For two years we listened to various Democrats, like LawFareBlog’s Benjamin Wittes, and a variety of Never Trumpers crowing about how Manafort or Flynn or Page or Papadopoulos or somebody was going to “flip” on the President. That didn’t happen for the reason that there turned out to be nothing to flip over. But now we are about to see some real, honest to gosh flipping.
Right now there is an IG (Michael Horowitz) looking into the policy decisions made by the FBI and Department of Justice in regards to the FISA warrant on Carter Page and the use of the discredited Steele Dossier. More important is that there is at least one federal prosecutor (see Attorney General Barr Launches Investigation to Determine How the Russia Investigation Started and More), John Durham, the US Attorney for Connecticut, looking into the genesis of how the Russia hoax was started. There may be two, but the US Attorney for Utah, John Huber, is being held incommunicado in an undisclosed location, so we don’t know. The difference is immense. The IG will recommend disciplinary action if he finds regulatory violations. Durham is looking to put asses in jail.
Yesterday, FoxNews reported that James Comey’s leak squad was chumming the waters with this story:
Sources familiar with the records told Fox News that a late-2016 email chain indicated then-FBI Director James Comey told bureau subordinates that then-CIA Director John Brennan insisted the dossier be included in the intelligence community assessment on Russian interference, known as the ICA.
This is significant. First, it is a contemporaneous record made on one of those rare occasions when Comey had no reason to lie. Second, it comports with reports at the time which had the FBI disagreeing with the CIA over the intent of Russian interference in the 2016 election (see Why Is The CIA Deliberately Assisting Russian Propaganda Efforts?), and the FBI eventually relented and went along with Brennan’s CIA.
Such an email would make Brennan’s life a lot more interesting because it would show that he insisted on including in the official assessment a document that the FBI already knew was either broken or severely bent well before the Intelligence Community assessment (see NEW: FBI Was Informed of Secret State Dept. Dossier Meeting BEFORE Submitting FISA Application). And the question of why he would do such a thing, other than for the purpose of perpetrating a fraud upon the Congress and the federal government would need to be answered.
Brennan’s team shot back:
“Former Director Brennan, along with former [Director of National Intelligence] James Clapper, are the ones who opposed James Comey’s recommendation that the Steele Dossier be included in the intelligence report,” the official said.
“They opposed this because the dossier was in no way used to develop the ICA,” the official continued. “The intelligence analysts didn’t include it when they were doing their work because it wasn’t corroborated intelligence, therefore it wasn’t used and it wasn’t included. Brennan and Clapper prevented it from being added into the official assessment. James Comey then decided on his own to brief Trump about the document.”
This, charitably, is at least half bullsh**. The fact is that the FBI didn’t sign onto the initial assessment, in fact, the CIA was odd-man-out in insisting that the Russians wanted Trump to win. For the past two years there has been no evidence that Brennan didn’t believe the Steele Dossier and there is plenty of evidence that he wanted everyone to believe it. Note the sleight of hand in the last paragraph where they change the subject from the Steele Dossier being part of the IC assessment to claiming Comey, on his own, decided to brief Trump on the pee tapes.
Though I will say, that a year ago Brennan’s team was making the same claim: James Comey was chief anti-Trump dossier proponent within U.S. intelligence community.
The FBI pushed in 2016 to include the discredited dossier into the official intelligence community assessment that Russia interfered in the election to help Donald Trump and hurt Hillary Clinton, two former senior officials said.
The officials told The Washington Times that as the historic ICA, as it is known, was being drafted, the FBI wanted to fold in allegations and observations from dossier writer Christopher Steele.
One source said then-FBI Director James B. Comey directly advocated inclusion. A second source said FBI officials definitely wanted Mr. Steele’s charges on Kremlin behavior included but could not single out Mr. Comey as the main driver.
The sources said James R. Clapper, then director of national intelligence, and John O. Brennan, then director of the CIA, objected on grounds that the dossier remained largely unconfirmed information from a former British spy, not vetted U.S. intelligence.
“The IC assessment was corroborated intelligence that involved what the intelligence community agreed with,” the source said. “The dossier was a totally separate thing that had not gone through that type of process, so it should not be included. That was the decision that was made.”
Trey Gowdy has a view:
“Comey has a better argument than Brennan, based on what I’ve seen.”
He also said that when two people start blaming each other they often both have reason to worry.
Hopefully, Barr’s guy will get to the bottom of this but I have to say that nothing could make me happier than seeing Brennan or Comey or Clapper or all three indicted, convicted, and imprisoned. For a long time.