Word broke nationally Tuesday that former Obama-era CIA Director John Brennan had suppressed evidence that Vladimir Putin was more interested in a Hillary Clinton win in 2016 than a Donald Trump win. My colleague Nick Arama covered the rumblings of that story in late April.
Brennan, in fact, seems to the be the big fish under U.S. Attorney John Durham’s microscope, but not just because of the latest news about suppressing Putin’s preferences. Sidney Powell, the formidable attorney responsible for helping Ret. Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn successfully battle the drummed-up charges against him, has very specifically said Brennan has his fingerprints all over the smearing of her client because Flynn had a keen interest in auditing the intelligence community and ferreting out corruption.
But it’s the corruption itself that’s stunning. In early April, Powell told the Vicki McKenna Show that the disgraced intel leader and others in the intelligence community were targeting Flynn over billions of taxpayer dollars that he knew were not being properly accounted for.
“Powell, who took over Flynn’s defense last summer, told the Vicki McKenna Show on 1310 WIBA Madison on Tuesday that her client was ‘totally set up’ because he threatened to expose wrongdoing by top intelligence officials in the Obama administration,” the Washington Examiner reported Wednesday.
“He was going to audit the intel agencies because he knew about the billions [former Obama era CIA Director John] Brennan and company were running off books,” she said.
The Washington Examiner notes Powell did not give evidence for her remarks on the radio show, but that she appeared to be echoing the belief of investigative journalist Lee Smith, who said something similar several months prior in an interview with Fox News’ Maria Bartiromo.
“In addition to Gen. Flynn’s name being cleared, I hope that his initiative to get to the bottom of what these people were doing — to audit the intelligence community … that’s something else we need to look at again,” Smith said. “As well, his initiative to clean out the deep state.”
They also discussed Stefan Halper, an academic who was given high-dollar Pentagon contracts to study Russia and China. Halper is also reported to be an FBI informant who had conversations with Trump campaign aides and is under scrutiny by U.S. Attorney John Durham’s review of the Russia investigation.
“There’s no telling how many billions of taxpayer dollars they’re running off books for the different intel agencies … and, of course, we see evidence of that … with what was paid to Stefan Halper for his shenanigans. It just goes on and on,” Powell alleged at the time.
Smith authored The Plot Against the President, a book that explores in detail the Russia collusion investigation into the Trump campaign, its origins, and the players involved.
Powell has also insisted the scheme to smear Flynn was cooked up at a meeting with President Obama in the White House attended by Brennan, then-FBI Director Jim Comey, then-Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, as well as former Vice President Joe Biden and former National Security Advisor Susan Rice.
BARTIROMO: The morning of January 4, the FBI drafts a document to close the Flynn probe, Crossfire Razor. They wanted to close it. They had nothing, so they want to close it. So the next day, on January – later that afternoon, Peter Strzok texts, don’t close the Razor yet. And the seventh floor is involved.
And then there’s a meeting in President Obama’s Oval Office. Talk to us about that, Sidney, because Sally Yates was there, Jim Comey was there, John Brennan was there, James Clapper was there briefing President Obama in the Oval Office on the Russia probe. Joe Biden and Susan Rice were there as well. This was January 5, 2017. Walk us through it.
POWELL: Exactly. Well, the day before, Comey had found and McCabe had found the transcripts of Flynn’s call with Kislyak. And he briefed Clapper on it immediately. Clapper then immediately went and briefed President Obama on it.
Then they have the Oval Office meeting on the 5th. Comey admits in his testimony that the FBI are the people that unmasked General Flynn, our people, whatever that means. And at the meeting on the 5th, Sally Yates was stunned because Obama mentions to her out of the blue about the call and the transcript of the call.
She knew nothing about it, because Comey hadn’t briefed DOJ.
So, then they dispatch Comey the very next morning to brief President Trump only on the salacious aspects of the dossier on January 6 to set the news hook for BuzzFeed and CNN to run with the dossier they knew was a lie.
Then Peter Strzok is watching a CNN report on that and texts about he and Priestap sitting there watching it and using it as a pretext to go interview some people. So the whole thing was orchestrated and set up within the FBI, Clapper, Brennan, and in the Oval Office meeting that day with President Obama.
Now that Powell has succeeded in having the case against Flynn thrown out, moves to uncover exactly the corruption permeating the intelligence community that Flynn had described seem to be back on the table.