Director of National Intelligence nominee James Clapper testifies during the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence hearing on his nomination on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, July 20, 2010. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
President Trump was nearly unanimously criticized for throwing the U.S. intelligence community under the bus during a joint press conference with Vladimir Putin at the conclusion of the Helsinki Summit last July. As time goes by, it’s becoming more and more clear he had good reason for doing so.
One America News reports that in March 2017, former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper knew there was no evidence for a collusion case against Trump. They point to CNN’s Anderson Cooper’s interview with Clapper the day after AG William Barr had released his summary which cleared Trump of collusion accusations.
Clapper (referring to comments made on March 4, 2017) told Cooper, “I consistently said we didn’t have the evidence at the time contemporaneously and it was my great hope that the Mueller investigation would resolve that once and for all. And apparently it did.” (Relevant portion begins at 2:20 in the CNN video at the bottom of the page.)
They also reported that former President Obama “ordered an operation that led” to the Russia probe. On this point, however, the evidence is less clear. Clapper said, “Jim Comey and I were part of the group that was tasked by President Obama to put together all the reporting we had on the Russian interference.”
Obama did indeed initiate the search for evidence of Russian interference. And it was this probe that turned into the Trump/Russia collusion investigation. Although this strongly suggests that Obama initiated the Trump/Russia collusion phase, more evidence is necessary to prove it.
I searched for collaboration. In a 2018 interview Clapper said, “If it weren’t for President Obama, we might not have done the intelligence community assessment that we did that set off a whole sequence of events which are still unfolding today, notably, special counsel Mueller’s investigation.”
Again, this isn’t definitive proof, but we’re getting warmer.
What Clapper’s remarks make plain is that Obama needs to be questioned under oath about the origins of the Trump/Russia collusion piece.
If he refuses, solid questioning (also under oath) of former FBI Director James Comey, former CIA Director John Brennan, Clapper and others in that orbit, would provide some answers. Their responses might even force Obama to appear.
I think we all know the answer, that Obama first directed the scuttling of the FBI’s investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server and then initiated the collusion case against Trump.
Each day, new information dribbles out that corroborates these assumptions. But only a formal inquiry can provide proof.
Sen. Judiciary Chairman Lindsey Graham, who has been a true champion, has promised a formal inquiry by his committee.
The appointment of a special counsel or at least a serious DOJ investigation would be better still.
Lindsay Graham recently said, “Mr. Mueller thoroughly investigated the Trump campaign. You cannot say that about the other side of the story. And what I hope Mr. Barr will do, is understand for the country’s sake, and appoint somebody outside the current system to look into these allegations.”
I hope so too.