With the publication of the Department of Justice (DOJ) Inspector General’s long-awaited report on Thursday, June 14, 2018 the complicated tale of FBI involvement in the 2016-17 presidential election got even more confusing. Considering all the public information available, the following is a likely scenario of the events.
Apparently, the FBI involvement in this entire episode was originally triggered by the obvious questions about Hillary Clinton’s use of private emails. Obama’s FBI Director James Comey realized that the situation posed a potentially fatal threat to her eligibility to run for president. He believed it was his responsibility to neutralize that threat, possibly on orders from President Obama, perhaps through Attorney General Loretta Lunch. Accordingly, he initiated an FBI investigation, but kept control in his own office, using a hand-picked group of investigators, who were known to Comey as sympathetic to Clinton/Obama.
The Trump Dossier
In March 2016 WikiLeaks, an international activist organization opposing government secrecy, began publication of the emails of Clinton campaign chairman, John Podesta. These and subsequent publications were extremely damaging to the candidate and her entire entourage, including her husband, former President Bill Clinton. No one ever denied the authenticity of the documents, but a defense of sorts was mounted according to the following logic:
- Someone had obviously hacked into the Clinton campaign emails.
- The most likely culprit was Russian intelligence, which was widely suspected of such dirty tricks.
- Since the advantage of this activity fell to the Republicans, (the nominating convention was six months later), there must be a treasonous relationship between the Republicans and the Russians.
While there was never any evidence of this allegation, Democrats latched on to this “defense” and henceforth considered it a fact.
The Clinton people then set out to prove that this wild speculation was in fact the truth. The DNC, funded by the Clinton campaign, commissioned an opposition research project, which became the infamous “Trump Dossier”. The Trump Dossier was an unsubstantiated compilation by a foreign agent, including highly scurrilous accusations highlighting Trump’s 2013 trip to Moscow in connection with a television project. The document has since been proven to be false and the author totally discredited. The question of how the Trump Dossier came to the attention of the FBI does not seem hard to imagine, since the the wife of one of Comey’s team was an executive in the company which hired the foreign agent to author this document. .
Comey’s Press Conference
For nearly a year, the Clinton email “investigation” operated under the radar. Then, with the Democrat convention looming, and in view of the fateful private meeting between Attorney General Loretta Lynch and Bill Clinton having been discovered and raising a boatload of questions, Comey decided he had to save the nomination. He then held his outrageous press conference in which he gave all the reasons why Clinton was liable and then declared she would not be prosecuted. (My comment in the Washington Times (July 20, 2017) was: “Mr. Comey had the chance to imitate Nathan Hale, but he chose Benedict Arnold.”)
Trump is Nominated
Shortly afterwards, Donald Trump won the Republican nomination, much to the horror of the Comey’s investigators. Frantic to stop Trump’s election, they were given the Trump Dossier. The dossier apparently then became the basis for the FBI’s “Russia collusion investigation” of the Trump campaign. Thus, a new “investigation” was begun immediately after Donald Trump’s nomination by the same team which was also whitewashing the Clinton case.
During the months to follow, this team proceeded to extensive wiretapping and collection of other private Trump campaign information, using warrants from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) court. The FISA court exists to protect American citizens from undue violation of our rights to privacy. FISA warrants can only be issued to use surveillance devices against American citizens if there is sufficient evidence that these Americans are threats to the nation’s security. These applications for a warrant must be signed by an appropriate official. Two of these applications were signed by Deputy Attorney General, Rod J. Rosenstein. At the same time, permission to view all transcripts of these intercepts was extended from the usual 4-5 accredited investigators to apparently over a dozen (perhaps more) Obama operatives in the White House and the United Nations Ambassador’s office.
It seems that there was no basis other than unverified opposition research for any of this.
After the election.
After the new President had been inaugurated, this team continued its “investigation” unimpeded by the niceties of law and custom. They had now switched their mission to providing the Democrats with a basis for impeachment. When their leader was fired by the new President, they successfully persuaded the new Attorney General Jeff Sessions to recluse himself from all further investigations into the alleged (by the FBI) “collusion (undefined) of the Trump campaign with Russia” and to appoint instead the head of the Comey sympathizers, Rod J. Rosenstein, to direct their efforts.
Mr. Rosenstein’s role here is a curious one. He was a faithful collaborator with the Comey team’s efforts to spy on Trump – even signing two FISA warrants –but, when given the opportunity, he turned on Comey and wrote the letter to the new President which resulted in Comey’s firing.
With Comey gone, and the Attorney General out of the picture, Rosenstein was now the acting AG. His next act was to recommend the man who had organized the current FBI and had been a colleague for many years before Comey, to be the new Special Counsel to “investigate” the President’s malfeasance. The new hit man aiming at the Trump presidency was former FBI Director, Robert Mueller. Rosenstein immediately assigned to Mueller the same FBI team which had been in Comey’s pocket all along. Oversight of Mueller is (you guessed it) Rod Rosenstein.
Then new players emerged. The Congressional oversight committees of the House and Senate became active in 2017, and now are demanding that Rosenstein turn over all the evidence of DOJ and FBI activities in relation to the recent scandals, including both the Clinton and the pre-Special Counsel Russian investigations. Rosenstein has resisted in every way he can think of – redacting to oblivion what he does turn over, slow-walking responses, restricting briefings to leadership teams, and pleading shortage of personnel, among other delays.
His latest tactic is to threaten House staff with criminal investigations and accompanying seizure of computers, freezing of bank accounts, invasion of homes and offices – all the same treatment performed by the FBI on Trump’s lawyer and his one-time campaign manager in other cases. But this time he may have gone too far; the Committee chairmen are seething.
Of course, Rosenstein has plenty to hide. One wonders if he might have been the brains behind Comey – before Comey became a liability. One also wonders where the Attorney General has been throughout this latest confrontation between his Department and the Congress. It looks like he has recused himself from his own office. It will soon come down to forcing the President to step in and straighten out this whole mess.
The significance of this behavior is critical to our form of government. If a canny bureaucrat can stop the Congress from overseeing an executive department’s activities, America is on the verge of a bloodless coup d’etat. The Inspector General’s report speaks of “accountability”. The accountability for treason used to be death. We’ll see what happens to these conspirators now.
The outcome of this deep state activity is still in doubt. It now appears that the next steps depends on Congress’ determination to exercise its Constitutional responsibilities for oversight of the executive branch of government, which consists of all the departments and agencies under the president as Chief Executive Officer of the United States. If the Democrats win control of the House of Representatives, the prosecution of the conspirators is highly doubtful. it is also possible that Mr. Mueller will finally uncover some credible evidence of wrong doing on the part of President Trump which a Democrat-controlled House could use as a basis for impeachment proceedings. A third possibility is that the President, with an Attorney General in absentia, may have to step in, fire Rosenstein and his cohorts, and replace the AG.
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