President Donald Trump emphatically stated Monday “I never worked for Russia.” The president was responding to questions from reporters regarding The New York Times story revealing the FBI was investigating whether or not Trump fired former FBI Director James Comey to benefit the Russian government.
Two years into the Russia Trump investigation there is still no evidence that anyone in the Trump campaign, or for that matter the President, has colluded with Russia. However, two years later, President Trump is still fighting allegations in the media -disseminated by anti-Trump government officials- who allude that he is.
In an effort to get to the truth and for the sake of true transparency a second Special Counsel should be appointed to investigate the FBI’s handling of the Trump investigation.
Still, nothing has been done.
Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-SC, who now heads the Senate Judiciary Committee, has stated that a second Special Counsel, although not popular, is the only way to investigate the FBI’s handling of the investigations into Clinton and Trump. Many Republican colleagues have made the same argument.
On Monday, Graham tweeted out an important point: Democrats wanted Comey fired before Trump fired him. In October, 2016, then Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada, accused Comey of breaking the Hatch Act, a federal law, by publicly disclosing new information about the Clinton investigation 11 days ahead of the presidential election.
“I am writing to inform you that my office has determined that these actions may violate the Hatch Act, which bars FBI officials from using their official authority to influence an election,” he stated in a letter. “Through your partisan actions, you may have broken the law.”
Democrats called for James Comey’s firing UNTIL President @realdonaldTrump actually fired Comey.
Democrats supported wall/barriers UNTIL President Trump requested funding for wall/barriers.
Shameless hypocrisy. #BuildWallNow
— Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) January 14, 2019
What about the Obama Iran deal?
If we’re to accept the New York Times premise the Russia investigation was based on the FBI’s perception that Trump’s foreign policy with Russia diverted from the bureau’s position then one should ask, did the FBI do the same with previous administrations, like Obama who had secret dealings with Iran, an adversary of the United States?
Molly Hemingway’s article at The Federalist, succinctly captured what The New York Times story over the weekend revealed and pointed out this very fact. The New York Times admits deep into its story that the FBI had “no evidence” that the Trump campaign was colluding but only the perception by senior bureau officials that his foreign policy diverted from their thinking.
“The latest Times report does provide more detail than these earlier reports, however, and none of it makes the FBI look good. In fact, it provides evidence of a usurpation of constitutional authority to determine foreign policy that belongs not with a politically unaccountable FBI but with the citizens’ elected president,” said Hemingway.
Well, if that’s the qualification for investigating a president’s foreign policy behavior it would appear to me that former President Obama’s Iran deal would be at the top of the list of foreign policy investigations, if the FBI were investigating an administration’s behavior connected to a foreign adversary.
What about the two-secret side deals with Iran that left the United States out of the inspection process. What about the $400 million that was flown to Iran by plane the day four American hostages were released. Remember, the money was in Swiss francs on wooden pallets and was the first installment of a $1.7 billion settlement with Iran?
To the best of my knowledge, as well as publicly available information, the bureau did not investigate.
FBI Officials fired and Resigned Over Trump Probe
The New York Times story, also didn’t question the fact that the FBI has fired and forced the resignation of at least 12 Senior FBI officials due to their handling of the probe. Some examples, were former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, who was fired for lying to DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s investigators about leaking to the media. Former FBI Special Agent Peter Strzok was fired for his actions during the Trump investigation and his paramour FBI Attorney Lisa Page resigned from the bureau. And I’m only naming a few.
What the New York Times story did, yet again, was put Trump on the defensive, as reporters lobbed questions at him in the White House Rose garden regarding the allegations that he fired Comey to appease the Kremlin.
Moreover, it is the bureau’s own handling of the Russia investigation into Trump and its failure to adequately investigate Hillary Clinton’s use of a private server to conduct government business that has left multiple questions unanswered and the public demanding an investigation.
Steele Dossier “likely false.”
Over the past year, evidence has surfaced that former British spy Christopher Steele’s dossier was based on faulty, unproven and salacious information. Unverified information that was paid for by the Democratic National Committee and the Clinton campaign to target Trump during the election and leaked to numerous media outlets by his enemies.
Even Yahoo News journalist Michael Isikoff, who was first to report on the contents of the dossier regarding Page, now says the document is “likely false.”
Most importantly, the FBI used the faulty evidence to obtain a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Application from the secret FISA court to spy on former Trump campaign advisor Carter Page. The dossier, The FBI would first have to establish a ‘criminal predicate’ in order to get the warrant to spy on Page. That means the FBI would have to have evidence that a crime has taken place or is imminent. The information has to be factual, truthful and would have to be justified to the secret court in order to get the warrant.
By relying on the Steele dossier – a fraudulent document funded by the Democrats and based on Russian sources-FBI leaders were either complicit or too oblivious to notice they were being used in a disinformation operation by the Democratic Party and the Russian operatives, Rep. Devin Nunes
This is the same reason lawmakers, like Rep. Devin Nunes, the former chairman of the House Intelligence Committee has been asking President Trump to declassify a number of documents that he says will expose the FBI’s malfeasance in obtaining the warrant on Page.
This weekend Nunes responded to the New York Times story saying, “yet this is more evidence that the FBI leaders actually had no real evidence against the Trump team.”
“Instead, they were simply trying to undermine a president they didn’t like and avenge Comey’s firing,” said Nunes. “By relying on the Steele dossier – a fraudulent document funded by the Democrats and based on Russian sources-FBI leaders were either complicit or too oblivious to notice they were being used in a disinformation operation by the Democratic Party and the Russian operatives.”
And that’s exactly what intelligence officials, who worked against Russian operations, have told me.
“It appears the Russian’s gave Steele information that he bought hook, line and sinker as truth,” said one former senior intelligence official. “(The Russians) knew exactly who was paying Steele and what Fusion GPS was doing…Former Russian spies still remain in contact with the Kremlin. The minute Steele put out his feelers for information on Trump they went into high-gear using the dossier to play games with the U.S.and the election.”
Trump Still Defending Himself Against Unproven Allegations
Two years later the administration is still wrangling with the fallout of the dossier and Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report isn’t expected to change things. In the Rose Garden Trump told reporters it’s hard to have confidence in the bureau after investigations revealed that a number of Senior FBI officials had violated bureau policy and have been removed or fired for their behavior.
Trump on South Lawn via @catherine_lucey: "“I never worked for Russia”
— Zeke Miller (@ZekeJMiller) January 14, 2019
It would seem that if the FBI’s most recent excuse to investigate Trump was his behavior, it would appear that the bureau would have had more reason to open an investigation into Obama, whose secret dealings with Iran returned billions of dollars to a nation known for funding terror operations.
It would also appear that requests by lawmakers for a second Special Counsel to investigate the FBI’s handling of the Trump Russia probe is the only way the American people will get to the bottom of what actually happened during the 2016 presidential election.