Documents obtained by congressional investigators suggest possible coordination by Obama White House officials, the CIA and the FBI into the investigation into President Donald Trump’s campaign. Those senior Obama officials used unsubstantiated evidence to launch allegations in the media that the Trump campaign was colluding with Russia during the run-up to the 2016 presidential election, according to newly discovered documents and communications obtained by Congress.
The documents also reveal that former Senate majority leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada, sent a letter on Aug. 29, 2016, asking former FBI Director James Comey to investigate the allegations, which were presented to him by then CIA Director John Brennan. Brennan had briefed Reid privately days earlier on the counterintelligence investigation and documents suggest Reid was also staying in close touch with Comey over the issues.
The documents, which include text messages from embattled FBI Special Agent Peter Strzok and his paramour Lisa Page, also reveal that former Obama White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough was involved in the initial investigation into Trump’s campaign. Comey, Brennan, and McDonough were the “highest-ranking officials at the FBI, CIA and White House” and were working in concert to ensure an investigation was initiated, congressional members told this reporter.
Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., a member of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, was deeply troubled by the findings.
“We’ve been asking for documents with little cooperation of the DOJ and FBI — we’re having to find these unredacted documents on our own,” said Meadows, who’s also chairman of the House Freedom Caucus. “It appears there was a coordination between the White House, CIA, and FBI at the onset of this investigation and it’s troubling.”
Meadows said John Moffa, who was part of the counterintelligence division at the FBI, met with Denis McDonough on August 10, (2016), Meadows added. “What we’re finding is the more we dig the more we realize that there appeared to be a willful coordination between multiple groups outside the Department of Justice and FBI. Moffa was also the FBI agent who helped draft Comey’s July 5, 2016 exoneration letter to Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server.
Meadows said the documents suggest Reid’s briefing from Brennan “was used in Michael Isikoff’s Yahoo News story.”
Isikoff’s article was also used as evidence for the FBI’s FISA warrant being granted against Carter Page. Page was a short-term volunteer advisor on the Trump campaign, who was spied on by the FBI. Congress and the Department of Justice are investigating the FBI’s conduct in obtaining a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act warrant in October 2016 to spy on Page. Page was a central figure in an unverified dossier put together by former British Spy Christopher Steele alleging the Trump campaign colluded with Russia.
In April 2017, The New York Times published the first story about Brennan’s counterintelligence briefing to Reid regarding Trump. The briefings to Gang of Eight congressional members suggested Russia might be helping Trump win the election. Brennan alluded to the unverified allegation that members of the Trump campaign may be colluding with the Russians. The information briefed to the lawmakers expanded the number of people who were aware of the unverified allegations, and played a significant role in the increase of leaks to the media, according to the information obtained by the committee.
“A chain of events suggest the FBI encouraged Reid to write this letter to legitimize its surveillance of Carter Page”
A congressional investigator told this reporter that they believe the FBI was involved in the briefing to Reid but are still waiting for confirmation.
In the letter from Reid to Comey, Reid cites information Brennan shared with him that Trump advisor, referencing Carter Page, and other “high ranking sanctioned individuals” in Moscow were meeting. Reid asks Comey to launch an investigation by the FBI into the Trump Campaign and the Kremlin.
The letter, which was obtained by this reporter, refers to reports briefed by Brennan but gives “almost no evidence” regarding the Trump campaign and Russia, according to congressional investigators.
For example, the letter only states that “questions have been raised about whether a Trump advisor who has been highly critical of U.S. and European economic sanctions on Russia, and who has conflicts of interests due to his investments in Russian energy conglomerate Gazprom, met with high-ranking sanctioned individuals in Moscow in July of 2016.”
Congressional investigators also note that newly revealed text messages between Strzok and Page also show possible coordination between the FBI, CIA and the Democrats.
Shortly after Reid’s letter was revealed in a New York Times article on August 30, 2016, Strzok texts Page saying, “here we go.” He included a link to the story in the text message.
Congressional investigators suggest that the pair were creating inferences “that they knew it would create public calls for an investigation into Russian interference.”
Sept. 23, 2016, Isikoff article, which cites Reid’s letter, is also another example of possible coordination, congressional investigators state. The FBI used the Yahoo news article as part of the evidence in their application to obtain a FISA warrant on Carter Page.
“This sequence of events strongly suggests the FBI encouraged Reid to write this letter to legitimize its surveillance of Carter Page,” congressional investigators stated.
- What began as an investigation into allegations of Russian cyber hacking of the DNC was eventually broadened into an investigation of the Trump campaign.
- By sending high-ranking officials and led to brief members of Congress on the possibility of Russian interference in the 2016 election, the DNC hack, and the possibility Trump campaign associates were in contact with Russia, the FBI was given cover for the investigation they had recently opened on Trump with questionable legal justification.
- The intelligence community has admitted Russian efforts to influence the 2016 presidential election were only the most “recent expression” of their longstanding desire to undermine US elections.
- It appears based on the information “insurance policy” in case Trump won, these briefings by the intelligence community to Congress, which led to several members calling for investigations into Russian interference and Trump, were perfectly timed to plant seeds of doubt in the outcome of the 2016 election.
- By utilizing the FBI’s cyber division to look into the DNC hack, the agents exhibiting improper political biases from the FBI’s counterintelligence division, Lisa Page, and Peter Strzok, were offered cover.