Somehow I’d forgotten that former CIA Director John Brennan “doesn’t do evidence.”
During a May 23, 2017 House Intelligence Committee hearing on Russian interference in the 2016 election, then-Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC), asked Brennan, “When you learned of Russian efforts, did you have evidence of a connection between the Trump campaign and Russian state actors?”
Brennan famously replied, “As I said, Mr. Gowdy, I don’t do evidence.”
As U.S. Attorney John Durham focuses on the origins of the Trump/Russia collusion investigation, he will be searching for evidence to support the long repeated claim that Russian interference helped sway the election to Donald Trump. Although four investigations have been conducted, including the exhaustive 22-month Mueller investigation, none have found sufficient evidence (or any evidence) to support these allegations. Durham’s investigators now plan to interview senior CIA officials to find some answers. The New York Times reported this story on Thursday in a front page article entitled “C.I.A. Scrutinized By Justice Department Over Russia Case.” The sub-headline read “Review May Put Focus On Conclusion That Putin Aided Trump To Win.”
Turns out, the left wasn’t so happy to hear this news. As far as they’re concerned, Putin ordered Russian operatives to do whatever was necessary to make sure Trump won the election.
The question is, was this just a fictional story manufactured to promote the Russia hoax? If Mueller’s team of angry Democrats wasn’t able to uncover any concrete evidence, the answer may be yes.
Political analyst and former U.S. intelligence officer Ray McGovern thinks so. He wrote:
With Justice Department investigators’ noses to the ground, it should be just a matter of time before they identify Brennan conclusively as fabricator-in-chief of the Russiagate story. Evidence, real evidence in this case, abounds, since the Brennan-Comey-Clapper gang of three were sure Hillary Clinton would become president. Consequently, they did not perform due diligence to hide their tracks.
Worse still, intelligence analysts tend to hang onto instructions and terms of reference handed down to them by people like Brennan and his top lieutenants. It will not be difficult for CIA analysts to come up with documents to support the excuse: “Brennan made me do it.”
John Brennan was especially piqued by this latest report. Here’s what he told NBC.
I’m very concerned about the upcoming presidential election. It’s clear that the Russians interfered to help Mr. Trump in 2016. Is Mr. Trump turning a blind eye to that because he doesn’t mind if the Russians involve themselves again to try to enhance his prospects for reelection? It’s really quite unnerving to think that this President, Mr. Trump, can in fact turn off law enforcement and intelligence capabilities if they pose a threat to him personally.
This is preposterous of course.
CNN’s Don Lemon discussed the NY Times report on his program. His guest, CNN Justice Reporter Shimon Prokupecz said, “It’s troubling, because…it’s not…you don’t do this. The CIA kind of operates in their own world.”
It’s troubling to ask questions of the CIA? Are they above the law, outside the law?
Perhaps realizing how his answer came across, Prokupecz redeems himself and offers a more truthful response.
And for the Department of Justice to start begin questioning CIA agents, people who work there, questioning their work. You know, for me, I think what all this comes down to is former CIA director, John Brennan. I know the president obviously has been very unhappy with the way John Brennan has behaved since he left office. I think it goes back to that.
He’s very concerned about the information and how some of the information that the CIA had really may not have been stood up. They couldn’t verify a lot of the information. And the CIA, certainly John Brennan, was sounding a lot of alarms to Congress saying something’s going on here. I know he was talking to people at the FBI at the time concerned something was going on. But what we’re seeing from the Attorney General right now is that he’s saying that they were acting on a lot of information that he’s concerned was not verified, there was no there, there. And perhaps they were overreacting and therefore caused other people to start reacting like the FBI and so it’s very — this is we’re in an extremely unprecedented time in terms of when you have Department of Justice officials now questioning CIA agents and analysts.
(The segment begins at 11:25 in the video below.)
Although Prokupecz, if he wants to keep his job at CNN, couldn’t go too far with his remarks, the truth is most, if not all, of Brennan’s assertions couldn’t be verified. He was telling anyone in Washington who would listen about the Russian collusion story in 2016. And it was Brennan who pushed the FBI to open an investigation.
Where I disagree with Prokupecz is when he offers Brennan an “out” by saying, “perhaps they were overreacting.” More accurately, they were lying. Initially, they were trying to prevent a Trump victory and, in the unlikely event that Trump did win, they were setting the stage for the “insurance policy” to go into effect.