In an under-reported story, Judicial Watch obtained documents from the State Department under a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit which portrays that Department as frantic to deliver classified information to members of the Senate in the days leading up to Trump’s inauguration. The primary recipients of this information were Ben Cardin (D-MD), Mark Warner (D-VA) and former Senator Bob Corker (R-TN). In all, 86 pages of documents were turned over to Judicial Watch and they portray an outgoing Obama administration as desperate to undermine the incoming President.
On Thursday, January 5, 2017, an email chain between then State Department Congressional Advisor Hera Abassi indicates that Victoria Nuland, then the Secretary for European and Eurasian Affairs was attempting to provide sensitive information to Warner as quickly as possible. Nuland is a figure in this whole affair whose importance is often overlooked. She is the one who permitted a meeting between Christopher Steele and an FBI agent in Italy. She also testified the State Department was aware of Steele’s dossier in July, 2016. Abassi, in this email chain, seems concerned with getting information to Cardin in a timely manner. They further assert that Nuland was fully aware of the efforts.
On January 17, 2017, another email chain proves they were transmitting highly classified information to members of the Senate. Former Foreign Service officer Karem Blige wrote to State Department Congressional advisor Hillary Johnson: “Highest class is SECRET/NOFORN.” Johnson replies, “FYI- so we can keep it SECRET/NOFORN, and should declassify it 25 years from tomorrow.” She closes the email with “Note: we’ll need to make sure there is someone in Senate security tomorrow who can accept these.” On the 18th, an email reveals that the classified documents were sent directly to Cardin and Corker.
Another figure in the saga was Naz Durakoglu, an assistant to Nuland at the time. A day before the inauguration, they sent an email titled “Signed, sealed, delivered.” He closes with this doozy: “We made the deadline” before thanking everyone for a truly “departmental effort.” The goal was to get this information into the hands of certain Senators before Trump was sworn in. They succeeded in that goal.
According to a March, 2017 article in the Baltimore Sun, Cardin received the information when the Obama administration was attempting to disseminate information about Russian election interference throughout the government. According to the narrative given at the time, the Obama administration feared that once sworn in, Trump would coverup the intelligence on Russian interference. In other words, their goals were lofty, if not possibly illegal and unethical.
In that same month, Evelyn Farkas, Deputy Asst. Secretary of Defense, admitted that there was surveillance of the Trump campaign and transition by the Obama administration. She further stated that there was a serious effort to obtain and disseminate as much information as possible to members of the Senate. Again, this strange unfounded fear that Trump would bury the intelligence and downplay Russian interference was the motivating factor to Farkas.
So what did these secret documents reveal? One was marked “Political Parties” and showed how Russia was fostering relationships with political parties in Germany, Austria and France. Russia had paid for excursions by politicians to travel to the Crimea and Donbas where they would condone Russian actions. Another document outlined Russian NGOs, particularly the Caucasus Research Network. They are a Russian front designed to foster anti-EU and anti-NATO sentiment throughout Europe. Also mentioned was the Human Rights Accountability Global Initiative, a Russian organization founded by someone familiar on these pages- Natalia Veselnetskaya. She, you may remember, showed up in Trump Tower with alleged dirt on Hillary Clinton only to plead with Trump campaign officials to rescind the Magnitsky Act. She, you may also remember, was granted a special visa to enter the country by Kerry’s State Department.
Hiding behind the veneer of misplaced patriotism, these officials in the State Department cared less about the law, let alone ethics. The motivation was not a fear of what Trump would or would not do with accumulated intelligence on Russia. This was a coordinated effort by the State Department, including many entrenched bureaucrats at all levels, to discredit an incoming administration.
Along with the willing dupes in the intelligence community and the Justice Department, their’s was a concerted effort to cast the seeds of doubt and hamstring a president with which they disagreed and who they hated. Through their actions, they have succeeded in what no Russian president could ever achieve in his wildest dreams.
There are many bad actors in this saga, but the role of the State Department is often overlooked as we concentrate on the Three Stooges of this thing- Comey, Clapper, and the puke-worthy Brennan. But, people like Victoria Nuland and her cadre of State Department lackeys and John Kerry must also be held to accountability. When you have under secretaries of Defense stating they were aware of surveillance against Trump’s campaign and transition, the disease was throughout the Obama administration, not just centered in the FBI and IC.
Sadly, these people will drape themselves in the American flag and declare it their patriotic duty to do what they did. Meanwhile, Putin sits back and laughs and raises his glass in a toast to these people for a job well done. And to think… he had to do very little. It makes you wonder who the real agents of Russia truly are.