Former CIA Director John Brennan testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, May 23, 2017, before the House Intelligence Committee Russia Investigation Task Force. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
The 2017 ICA report, released in January of that year, has become a gospel edition to the Russian collusion narrative.
The supposedly unquestionable report was commissioned and led by then CIA Dir. John Brennan, a self-exposed political hack. You may know him from one of his many unhinged Twitter rants against Donald Trump. He also famously made this ridiculous claim, which blew up in his face just a week later.
The “report” was literally thrown together over a span of a month. Coincidentally, it claimed to have substantiated nearly every major liberal talking about Donald Trump and Russia. Not only did it make accusations that clearly lacked evidence at the time, it even proclaimed to know Putin’s motivations, i.e. that he definitely wanted to get Trump elected.
That’s not to say there was no “Russian interference” at all, but it is to say that many of the claims we hear as factual today still have little to no evidence behind them. That was especially true in early 2017 when this ICA report came out.
Now, AG Barr is investigating the genesis of not only the Steele dossier, but also that report, which has largely escaped scrutiny to this point. Julie Kelly shares that and other information in a new piece.
But that conclusion reportedly is under scrutiny by Attorney General William Barr as part of his wide-reaching investigation into the corrupt origins of the Trump-Russia collusion hoax.
A special prosecutor appointed by Barr to oversee the probe is supposed to interview senior CIA officials who helped produce the report. According to a June 12 New York Times story disclosing the inquiry, the impending inquiry “has provoked anxiety in the ranks of the CIA.”
As Julie Kelly notes, Andrew McCarthy questioned the ICA at the time for very obvious reasons.
“To my mind the assessment is very peculiar,” former federal prosecutor Andrew McCarthy told the House Intelligence Committee earlier this month. “Ordinarily the kind of assessment that you’re talking about there would be something that would take well over a year to do, certainly many months to do . . . seems to me, in this instance, there was a rush to get that out within a matter of days.”
How did the Brennan-led CIA and Obama administration go from saying Russian interference wasn’t going to happen right before the election to making grand proclamations of a tainted election in a matter of days? Simple: they threw together a bunch of unsubstantiated accusations that sounded good and shoved them out under official auspices.
This allowed the media to then run wild claiming that Trump was an illegitimate President.
With the pump primed, the next step in the game would be to brief the President on the Steele dossier while withholding key information about its credibility from him. Then a simple leak to CNN provided the hook for what would culminate into the mess that we are dealing with today.
The hastily prepared report is akin to a last-minute term paper, carefully formatted with plenty of white space and graphics. Odd anecdotes are stitched together in a hodgepodge manner. It’s filled with repetition and hearsay. One vague passage insists that Putin “holds a grudge for comments [by Clinton] he almost certainly saw as disparaging him.” Another factoid is that a Putin pal said Russia would “drink champagne” if Trump won. Not exactly the kind of conjecture that would pass muster in a court of law.
The document was released in declassified form; readers repeatedly are assured that highly-classified information supports the Intelligence Community’s conclusions but that “the release of such information would reveal sensitive sources or methods and imperil the ability to collect critical foreign intelligence in the future.” (Where have we heard that before?) It strained to make a connection between the Kremlin, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, and the hacking of the Democratic National Committee.
In the end, there was no grand measure of evidence hiding behind those classified markings, as the Mueller report would make fairly clear. Even in regards to something as foundational as the DNC hack, Mueller would end up relying on the same 3rd party assessment by Crowdstrike, who were hired by the DNC after they refused to let the FBI examine the server.
While the media and Democrats spent years accusing anyone questioning the narrative of being a “conspiracy theorist,” the reality is that it was the government delving in conspiratorial realms. We see this from the ridiculous handling of the Steele dossier to the rushing out the 2017 ICA report The only reason to do the latter was to get ahead of Trump’s inauguration.
Hopefully, Barr’s investigation will look deeply at the motivations of figures like Brennan, Clapper, etc. and just how politically corrupt they were in getting their preferred narrative out there.
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