Former FBI Director James Comey is currently testifying remotely before the Senate Judiciary Committee — pretty much playing Sergeant Schultz re: his knowledge of Steele’s bogus dossier using a literal Russian spy who was a known threat to national security as the primary subsource — but what keeps coming up is a previously classified letter from Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe that Chairman Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) has now made public (covered here and here by my RedState colleagues). And it’s a corker.
DNI Ratcliffe provided the following declassified information to the committee:
“In late July 2016, U.S. intelligence agencies obtained insight into Russian intelligence analysis alleging that U.S. Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton had approved a campaign plan to stir up a scandal against U.S. Presidential candidate Donald Trump by tying him to Putin and the Russians’ hacking of the Democratic National Committee. The IC does not know the accuracy of this allegation or the extent to which the Russian intelligence analysis may reflect exaggeration or fabrication.”
“According to his handwritten notes, former Central Intelligence Agency Director Brennan subsequently briefed President Obama and other senior national security officials on the intelligence, including the ‘alleged approval by Hillary Clinton on July 26, 2016 of a proposal from one of her foreign policy advisors to vilify Donald Trump by stirring up a scandal claiming interference by Russian security services.’”
“On 07 September 2016, U.S. intelligence officials forwarded an investigative referral to FBI Director James Comey and Deputy Assistant Director of Counterintelligence Peter Strzok regarding ‘U.S. Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s approval of a plan concerning U.S. Presidential candidate Donald Trump and Russian hackers hampering U.S. elections as a means of distracting the public from her use of a private mail server.’”
So…basically, the letter alleges Crossfire Hurricane was Hillary’s idea and the Obama White House was briefed on it by none other than CIA Director John Brennan.
Needless to say, Democrat Senators sitting in the Comey hearing this morning are in a tizzy about the letter, calling it unserious and lacking in credibility (Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) was particularly disturbed), and just generally trying to denigrate the allegations as unsubstantiated and possibly even simply a bold-faced lie.
But it’s out there. And there will be plenty written about it in the weeks to come. And they’ll have to answer for it.