Promoted from the diaries by streiff. Promotion does not imply endorsement.
FBI Director James Comey pauses while making a statement at FBI Headquarters in Washington, Tuesday, July 5, 2016. Comey said the FBI will not recommend criminal charges in its investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server while secretary of state. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)
In the aftermath of Attorney General William Barr’s letter to Congress summarizing the results of the Mueller investigation, one key player in the whole hoax- former FBI director James Comey- tweeted out “So many questions.” In this whole affair, this is perhaps his only cogent comment or action in the whole thing. There are “so many questions,” but they do not apply to Trump and Russia, but to the entire intelligence/law enforcement apparatus of the former administration.
Along the way, five Trump associates- Manafort, Gates, Flynn, van der Zwaag, and Papadopoulus- have been convicted of lying to investigators. A sixth- Roger Stone- awaits trial on similar charges having no relevance to the alleged underlying crime. Personal savings have been depleted on legal fees and lives torn apart as a result. It is bizarre that “lying to prosecutors” would even be a charge given there was no underlying crime to lie about.
Most importantly, the fact that the Mueller investigation found that there was no underlying crime being committed indicates that the FBI had no basis for opening an investigation in the first place. Hence, the FBI and the intelligence community spied on the campaign, transition and administration of a political party. While invoking the specter of Russian/Trump collusion of being a threat to our democracy and electoral process, they need to look in the mirror and then decide whether it was their false narrative or their blind hatred of Trump that was the true threat to American democracy. Of course, lacking any shame or morals themselves, they now cling to other things like “obstruction of justice,” Trump’s business dealings, and even his failed attempts to purchase sports teams decades ago. This is not only sad, it is is shameful.
While Comey asserts there are so many questions, those “questions” should be directed at the very organization he ran during this debacle- the FBI. That would be a great starting point for questions. The obvious answer to the first big question reveals either an FBI animus against Trump or ineptitude on the part of the FBI, or a combination of the two. In any of these scenarios, the FBI comes out smelling like horse s***, and Comey even worse.
If one follows the timeline gleaned from various sources, we know that in July, 2016, former British spy Christopher Steele met with a Rome-based FBI agent. It was at this meeting that Steele turned over the alleged findings of his dossier to date. This research had been paid for by the Clinton campaign and the DNC through the Washington law firm of Perkins Coie. Everything within the dossier was so unconfirmed that many media outlets which had no love for Donald Trump refused to publish the stories when they became aware. Yet, this dossier and its contents were then used by the FBI to open an investigation and provide a roadmap for the counterintelligence operation against the Trump campaign. In other words, the media used greater smarts and discretion when dealing with the Steele dossier than did the FBI and that alone should be concerning to most Americans.
Many have begun to question the role of Obama administration officials beyond the obvious actors (Comey, Brennan, Clapper, etc.) in this affair, and even Obama’s role itself. Further, one has to look at the strong feelings against Trump not only within the Obama administration, but also among many Republicans. Chief among them is long-time McCain advisor, David Kramer. Aware of the existence and contents of the dossier, Kramer admitted in sworn testimony that he met with at least two Obama administration officials to determine if the administration was taking the dossier seriously.
He testified that in December 2016, McCain himself directed Kramer to meet with State Department official Victoria Nuland. This was obviously during the transitional period after Trump had won the Presidency in November. The purpose of this meeting was to determine whether the Obama administration was taking the dossier seriously. In fact, Nuland is a shadowy, yet important figure in the saga. Apparently, she is responsible for giving the FBI the green light to meeting with Steele in the first place.
Steele had previously worked with an FBI agent named Michael Gaeta. Before that meeting could take place, it needed the approval of the State Department. At the time, Nuland was the Asst. Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs, specifically concentrating on Russia. Gaeta was assigned to the US embassy in Rome. After the FBI checked with Nuland, she gave the approval for the meeting with Steele having some trust in the ex-spy for work he had done regarding the Ukraine. A few days later, the meeting took place, Gaeta read the accusations and decided to report it up the chain.
The role of the State Department has been largely glossed over, but they too bear responsibility for this hoax. In an exchange of allegations against Trump- mostly unsubstantiated or uncorroborated- there was this incestuous relationship between the FBI, State Department, Clinton campaign, and Steele. John Finer, Kerry’s chief of staff at the State Department, had obtained a copy of the dossier’s summary and passed it along to Kerry. Finer, in turn, had received the document from Jonathan Winer, a key State Department official who admitted that he regularly communicated with Steele. Winer also shared the information with Nuland.
After the dossier and its contents became public, Winer admitted that while working in Kerry’s State Department, he regularly communicated with and exchanged documents with Steele. Among the information passed to Steele by Winer was opposition research compiled on Trump by long-time Hillary Clinton confidante and adviser, Sidney Blumenthal. He, in turn, we find out received the information about Trump from perhaps one of the shadiest characters associated with Clinton- Cody Shearer. Apparently, Shearer had compiled yet another unsubstantiated, uncorroborated and salacious dossier against Trump.
Not only was the intelligence community and federal law enforcement communities involved in this saga, but also key officials in Obama’s State Department, including John Kerry.
To answer Mr. Comey, yes… there are so many questions. It is just that his former entity which he directed- the FBI- were asking the wrong questions of the wrong people all along. Again, one of three scenarios are responsible for this: (1) an animus against Trump, (2) massive ineptitude, or (3) a combination of both. In either scenario, he comes out smelling like horse s***.