Investigative reporter Paul Sperry has just come out with a “developing” story about investigators learning that Obama’s CIA Director John Brennan set up a task force to target then-candidate Donald Trump. Such a task force would certainly explain a lot of what happened with the “Russia Russia Russia!” story, and we’ve been hypothesizing something similar for quite some time, as it's obvious that Brennan’s in deep. Former CIA analyst Larry C. Johnson reported on the task force about a year ago. Here’s what Johnson has to say about it now, in light of Sperry’s latest revelation.
A retired CIA colleague told Johnson in October of 2019 that Brennan had set up a task force, hand-picking the group himself instead of going through the usual posting. Apparently not everyone accepted the invitation, which “could be a problem for John Brennan,” Johnson wrote.
"I am not talking about an informal group of disgruntled Democrats working at the CIA who got together like a book club to grouse and complained about the brash real estate guy from New York,” Johnson said, though I imagine they did that sort of thing, too. “It was a specially designed covert action to try to destroy Donald Trump.”
The way Johnson explains it, a CIA task force, as designed and first used in 1947, can be “expanded” to include personnel from other intel agencies such as the FBI, DIA (Defense Intelligence Agency) and NSA (National Security Agency). It operates outside the CIA organizational chart. A typical and appropriate use for it might be to go after foreign terrorists or drug traffickers; it would certainly NOT be used to go after a U.S. presidential candidate! But Johnson was told that’s exactly what Brennan did, with the blessings of then-Director of National Intelligence James Clapper. (The director of national intelligence coordinates the various intel agencies.)
Johnson’s friends in the CIA have told him that the task force was operating in early 2016 and possibly even in summer 2015. (This would explain a lot of what we’ve already learned from the reporting of Lee Smith and others.)
According to Johnson, the anti-Trump task force included CIA case officers (“handlers” for overseas spies), intel analysts and administrators. Importantly, personnel from the FBI might also have been invited, including Michael Gaeta, the FBI’s “handler” for “confidential human source” (SPY) Christopher Steele, a former member of British spy organization MI-6.
CIA case officers on the task force would have been able to work with foreign intelligence, such as Steele in MI-6 and diplomat Alexander Downer from Australia. They could have used someone like Joseph Mifsud to target George Papadopoulos. They could also have used the NSA to do “targeted collections”; that is to say, to intercept their communications. Let me again stress, all of these activities are legal when used against foreign terrorists or drug traffickers; they are NOT legal when used against a U.S. citizen, and most especially against a major party nominee for President.
Johnson hopes there’s also been an investigation into the so-called impeachment “whistleblower,” ERIC CIARAMELLA (yes, we still dare to use his name around here), to see if he was a part of the task force or perhaps reporting to them.
If this is the way Brennan were using a CIA task force, it was illegal. But even with all he was trying to do to tie Trump to the Russians, he was never able to do it. And no one ever will –- because (say it with me) Trump wasn’t conspiring with the Russians.
Moving ahead to Paul Sperry’s tweet, it makes news because he says not only that Brennan did this, but that “investigators “HAVE LEARNED” he did this.
I assume he’s referring to John Durham’s investigators. Here’s what Sperry tweeted:
"DEVELOPING: Investigators have learned that Obama CIA Director John Brennan ran a secret task force out of Langley with its own separate budget to investigate Trump campaign and alleged ties to Russia. Taskforce set up before FBI officially launched its own probe on 7/31/16.”
Ah, it had its own separate budget. Your tax dollars at work.
Another journalist, Adam Housley, responded, “He’d been doing this well before Trump. As I have reported. Remember I’ve been saying John Brennan ran his own op and had been doing that. I’ve reported/said this for 3 years...”
According to the WASHINGTON EXAMINER, Brennan was questioned by Durham’s team at Langley, his old stomping ground, but Brennan’s spokesperson has said he was told he’s not “a subject or a target” of Durham’s investigation. At the same time, according to ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee Devin Nunes, Brennan is NOT in the clear, as he lied under oath to Congress about not including the Steele “dossier” in the Intel Community Assessment of Trump/Russia collusion in January of 2017. (Recall that he laughably said it was not in the “corpus” of information they used.)
If investigators have suddenly found evidence of Brennan’s task force, he can become a subject or target with the snap of a finger. Brennan, who loathes President Trump and has even called him a traitor, is up to his eyeballs in this. And it seems these off-the-book task forces were his M.O., even before he cranked one up against the future President. It’s almost inevitable that some participants are going to skate in this, but let’s hope that justice will finally be served to the one who led the whole thing.
UPDATE LATE WEDNESDAY
As reported in the DAILY WIRE, Attorney General Bill Barr gives us reason to anticipate more criminal indictments in the Durham investigation.