Watercooler 09/1/17 Open Thread: The FBI is Fighting the Public Release of Trump Dossier Info!


Does Jeff Sessions have any control over the Justice Department and the FBI?  Or does he have some control but lacks the: resources, chops, or desire to bring to heel his organization or… is he just the wrong person to control the Justice Department?  It’s likely too early to answer the last question but we have evidence that one or both of the first two questions can be answered in the affirmative.


It seems that Justice is not cooperating with Congress and outside groups on their information requests about Comey’s time as FBI chief.   From our friends over at the Washington Examiner this editorial by Byron York , found here, reports that that isn’t the case:

Senate investigators have had problems getting the FBI to reveal information about the Trump dossier. They’re not the only ones. Outside groups filing Freedom of Information Act requests are running up against a stone wall when it comes to the dossier.

You would think that getting to the bottom of the Trump dossier and how it was used to launch FBI investigations and then brought about the Mueller SP investigation, it would be a high priority for the FBI to cooperate but, as York reported about one attempt to get to the documents:

On March 8, Judicial Watch filed a FOIA request for documents regarding the bureau’s contacts with Christopher Steele.

Since Trump is President and he wants to clear the whole matter up and the country is ill-served by these investigations if they were brought about by fraudulent means, given that? The FBI surely just gave in so they… wait, they said what?

Sorry, wrong sound bite… Justice said:

The Justice Department’s response to Judicial Watch was simple: No. And not just no: The Department would not even confirm or deny whether any such documents or communications even existed.


Not liking that response, Judicial Watch filed another suit on May 16th, the FBI’s response was conciliatory because they really want to help out their boss… NOT!

“Plaintiff’s claims are moot,” Justice lawyers wrote, “because Defendant has notified Plaintiff of its decision to neither confirm nor deny the existence of any responsive records, and the reasons for that decision.

But the reason must have been good, right?

“The nature of your request implicates records the FBI may or may not compile pursuant to its national security and foreign intelligence functions,” a Justice Department FOIA official wrote. “Accordingly the FBI cannot confirm or deny the existence of any records about your subject as the mere acknowledgment of such records existence or nonexistence would in and of itself trigger harm to national security interests.”

Huh??!!! You say what?

Byron York was perplexed as well because, well… as he notes that Comey and the FBI had already spilled the beans on the existence of the records and, as York noted:

These were not low-key, hush-hush actions. But apparently no one told the Justice Department’s FOIA bureaucracy that the department and the FBI had, in a very big way, confirmed the existence of the Trump-Russia investigation.

The Senate Judiciary Committee has held so-called “de-confliction” meetings with Mueller’s office in which officials discussed whether this or that aspect of the committee’s investigation might interfere with Mueller’s probe.

It appears Mueller’s office did not object to the Senate interviewing Fusion GPS chief Glenn Simpson, with the full knowledge that all or part of that interview might be publicly released.


York noted other abnormalities that hadn’t yet torn the fabric of space and spewed out evil creatures from some dimension in space like:

  • The Justice Department appointed Robert Mueller to serve as the special counsel in the case. The department announced the appointment publicly and released the document outlining Mueller’s responsibilities.
  • There are indications that Mueller himself does not object to the public release of information regarding the dossier.

If Trump and his appointees want to stop or properly control the FBI investigation you would think that a firmer hand on the levers of power might be in order.  Sessions should, at a minimum, unambiguously instruct the Justice employees to cooperate with the Senate and House investigations.

Given the obstructions Justice and the FBI has been throwing up in the path of these investigations curious minds would be justified in wondering what the FBI is hiding? Are they are worried about what the information would reveal about a broader and more offensive involvement of the Justice department and FBI in this sorry state of affairs!

The President deserves an FBI that serves the President but, more importantly, the country deserves these answers.  As the old saying goes, with friends like these who needs enemies?



Drink up, that’s it for the Watercooler today. Thanks for stopping by, hanging out, and drink up.

This is a guest post for the Friday Watercooler.


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