The Forgotten Rotten Egg in the Russia-Trump Hoax

Former special counsel Robert Mueller testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, July 24, 2019, before the House Judiciary Committee hearing on his report on Russian election interference. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

In retrospect, connecting all the dots in Russia-Trump investigation and hoax it becomes glaringly obvious that the existential rot that exists in the “swamp” runs deep.  One can excuse a political novice like Trump for not realizing the depth of the problem at the time as he tried to create a cabinet and staff lower level positions, but it is inexcusable for others and possibly criminal.  And it all centers around the Carter Page FISA warrant.  One must follow the timeline to realize that one key actor- Dana Boente- the US Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia- was intimately involved.

The original FISA warrant was approved on October 21, 2016 with a subsequent renewal on January 12, 2017.  These were initiated by Obama administration officials as Trump was in transition and not yet sworn into office.  According to the Horowitz IG report, we know that at some point before end of January 2017, the FBI is aware the Steele dossier, upon which the FISA warrant is largely based, is unverified and possibly false altogether.  In the interim upon after being sworn in, the administration issues their travel ban order that draws the ire of the Left.  Sally Yates is fired for refusing to enforce the travel ban.  At this point, there is no Attorney General; Loretta Lynch is out and Jeff Sessions has not been confirmed.  Yates is replaced at the DOJ by Boente.

On February 8, 2017, Sessions is confirmed and the following day, Trump signs an Executive Order adjusting the line of succession at the DOJ in case of vacancies.  Under that Order, the key beneficiary is Boente who assumes the role of Deputy Attorney General until a replacement can be found.  He is no longer “acting;” he is the Deputy AG at this point.  Note that Boente was appointed to his original position, which he still retained, by Obama.

Then on March 2, 2017 a meeting is held chaired by Boente.  Also present are Jody Hunt, the Chief of Staff to AG Jeff Sessions, Jim Crowell, a Justice Department lawyer from Maryland, another DOJ lawyer, Tash Gauer, and Scott Schools- the Assistant Deputy Attorney General.  What is remarkable about this is that Gauer was a key legal adviser to the Department of Justice on the Hillary Clinton email scandal, and Schools helped draft the letter exonerating Clinton for any wrongdoing.  Further, the purpose of the meeting was to discuss and eventually convince AG Jeff Sessions to recuse himself from anything relating to Russia, which he then does.  Sessions does not know the conflicts of interest, although ignorance is no defense of his action.

With Sessions recused and out of the picture, FBI head James Comey must now report to Boente regarding the FISA warrant and ongoing investigations into the Trump campaign and, now, transition and administration.  Later that month, according to the IG report, the FBI is again warned about the validity of the Steele dossier.  Given these warnings, one would think the FBI would cease relying on the documents to obtain a FISA warrant renewed, but they do not.  And, in fact, as of March 30, 2017 James Comey is discussing renewal of the FISA warrant with Boente.  On April 7, 2017, both Comey and Boente sign the FISA renewal.  Later that month (April 25th), Rod Rosenstein is confirmed as Deputy AG.

With Rosenstein in and Boente out one would think that the latter’s role done in this affair.  On May 9, 2017, Trump fires Comey as head of the FBI.  Two days later, Boente, while still the Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, is named Assistant AG- National Security Division.  The chief legal counsel to the NSD is none other than Michael Atkinson- he of the infamous Ciamarella whistle-blower fame.  At about the same time, Andrew McCabe opens an investigation into possible obstruction of justice charges against Trump over the Comey termination.  This aspect of his investigation eventually gets folded into the Mueller investigation (part 2 of his report).

Soon thereafter, Rod Rosenstein anoints Robert Mueller patron saint of The Resistance and officially Special Counsel.  With his staff being hired by Democrat lawyer cronies and a phalanx of some 40 FBI agents, things get quiet until that pesky FISA is up for renewal again.  The fourth and final request is signed by Rod Rosenstein and Andrew McCabe.  McCabe is invested in the investigation and has a political ax to grind while Rosenstein is either part of the coup attempt or just plain ignorant and stupid (or both).

So where is Boente all this time?  He is plugging away in the NSD of the Justice Department until October, 2017 when he decides to retire from public service.  His retirement did not last long because in January, 2018, FBI Director Christopher Wray taps Boente to become the FBI’s Chief Legal Counsel.  Not only does Boente get to be in charge of Mueller’s 40 FBI agents, he also becomes a fact witness in the Mueller probe, but is shielded from scrutiny by his new title.

In late July, 2018, the FISA warrant applications are made public in redacted form.  In retrospect and knowing what we know now, two things become apparent.  The first is that Jeff Sessions was played like the proverbial fiddle in recusing himself setting up a chain of events that created the Mueller probe and eventually the impeachment hoax.  The second is that the abrupt resignation of Don McGahn as Trump’s legal counsel also makes more sense now.  Looking at the FISA applications from a unique perspective, he realized what that Executive Order on DOJ succession was all about.

If anyone started investigating, given his position as White House Counsel, he would become a fact witness in the FISA abuse that occurred across two administrations.  Two weeks after the warrants were made public, McGahn resigned his position.

Finally, since Wray appointed Boente, it clearly explains his detachment from the issue.  He is unfazed by the deep corruption within the organization he “leads.”  When your own chief legal counsel was a key, but under-the-radar, player in a coup to remove a duly elected President, he does not deserve the title of “leader” of anything.  He is, in effect, a co-conspirator.