By Mike Whitney
The Great Russia Deception all began with John Brennan.
It was Brennan who reported “contacts… between Russian officials and persons in the Trump campaign”, just as it was Brennan who first referred the case to former FBI Director James Comey. It was also Brennan who “hand-picked” the analysts who stitched together the dodgy Intelligence Community Assessment (ICA) (which said that “Putin and the Russian government aspired to help…Trump’s election chances.”) And it was Brennan who persuaded Harry Reid to petition Comey to open an investigation.
At every turn, Brennan was there. He got the ball rolling, he pulled all the right strings, he whipped up a mood of public hysteria, and he excoriated the president at every opportunity.
For those who want to know where Russiagate began, look no further than John Brennan.
Here’s a bit of what Brennan told the House Intelligence Committee during his testimony in 2017:
We were uncovering information and intelligence about interactions and contacts between US persons and the Russians. And as we came upon that, we would share it with the bureau.
Brennan’s statement clarifies his role in the operation, he was providing the raw intelligence to Comey and Comey was reluctantly following up with surveillance, wiretaps, leaks to the media, and the placing of confidential informants in the Trump campaign. It was a tag-team combo, but Brennan was the primary instigator, there’s no doubt about that.
And let’s not forget that Comey didn’t really want to participate in Brennan’s hairbrain scheme to smear candidate Trump. At first he balked, which is why Brennan leaned on Senate Majority leader Harry Reid to twist Comey’s arm. Here’s a little background from Tom Fitton at artvoice.com:
Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid reportedly believed then-Obama CIA Director Brennan was feeding him information about alleged links between the Trump campaign and the Russian government in order to make public accusations:
According to ‘Russian Roulette,’ by Yahoo! News chief investigative correspondent Michael Isikoff and David Corn… Brennan contacted Reid on Aug. 25, 2016, to brief him on the state of Russia’s interference in the presidential campaign. Brennan briefed other members of the so-called Gang of Eight, but Reid is the only who took direct action.
Two days after the briefing, Reid wrote a letter to then-FBI Director James Comey asserting that ‘evidence of a direct connection between the Russian government and Donald Trump’s presidential campaign continues to mount.’ Reid called on Comey to investigate the links ‘thoroughly and in a timely fashion.’
Reid saw Brennan’s outreach as ‘a sign of urgency,’ Isikoff and Corn wrote in the book. ‘Reid also had the impression that Brennan had an ulterior motive. He concluded the CIA chief believed the public needed to know about the Russian operation, including the information about the possible links to the Trump campaign.’
According to the book, Brennan told Reid that the intelligence community had determined that the Russian government was behind the hack and leak of Democratic emails and that Russian President Vladimir Putin was behind it. Brennan also told Reid that there was evidence that Russian operatives were attempting to tamper with election results. Indeed, on August 27, 2016, Reid wrote a letter to Comey accusing President Trump’s campaign of colluding with the Russian government.” (“The John Brennan-Harry Reid Collusion to ‘Get Trump’, artvoice.com)
So Brennan fed Reid a load of malarkey and the credulous senator swallowed it hook, line and sinker. It may sound incredible now, given the results of the Mueller report, but that’s what happened. Here’s more of Brennan’s testimony to Congress:
I encountered and am aware of information and intelligence that revealed contacts and interactions between Russian officials and US persons involved in the Trump campaign that I was concerned about because of known Russian efforts to suborn such individuals and it raised questions in my mind, again, whether or not the Russians were able to gain the cooperation of those individuals.”
Okay, so Brennan says he gathered ‘information and intelligence that revealed contacts between Russian officials and persons in the Trump campaign.’
What information? What intelligence? What officials? Brennan has never identified anyone and never produced a lick of evidence to back up any of his claims, and yet, his testimony was taken as gospel truth. Why? Why would anyone in their right mind trust anything Brennan has to say? Hasn’t Brennan lied to Congress in the past? Didn’t the CIA’s inspector general find that Brennan’s agents “improperly” spied on US Senate staffers”? Hasn’t Brennan defended the use of torture and promoted Obama’s homicidal drone program? Hasn’t Brennan revealed his personal animus and vitriolic hatred for Donald Trump many, many times before. So why would anyone trust what he has to say? It makes no sense. The man has a major credibility problem which is a polite way of saying he’s a serial liar. Here’s more from Brennan:
I don’t know whether or not such collusion — and that’s your term, such collusion existed. I don’t know. But I know that there was a sufficient basis of information and intelligence that required further investigation by the bureau to determine whether or not US persons were actively conspiring, colluding with Russian officials.
Got that? So Brennan had zero hard evidence of anything, but he thought that a few scratchy phone intercepts were sufficient for the FBI to hector, harass and spy on the GOP nominee for president of the United States. Can you see how ridiculous this is? No one elected John Brennan to anything, and yet, he arbitrarily decided that he had the right to sex up the intelligence so Comey and Clapper would do his bidding and try to bring down Trump. This is the type of thing you’d expect to see in a police state not America.
We are told by the Guardian that: “GCHQ (British Government Communications Headquarters) played an early, prominent role in kickstarting the FBI’s Trump-Russia investigation, which began in late July 2016. One source called the British eavesdropping agency the “principal whistleblower”. (Guardian)
This might be true, but I seriously doubt it. I suspect the Guardian is just covering for Brennan because they know that his ridiculous claims of “contacts between Russian officials and persons in the Trump campaign” are complete, utter nonsense. There were no contacts between Russian officials and the Trump campaign because–as the Mueller report states– there was no coordination, no cooperation, and no collusion. In other words, Brennan just made it up to pursue his own personal vendetta against Trump which is what you’d expect from the most partisan CIA chief in history. Here’s more from the same article:
The Guardian has been told the FBI and the CIA were slow to appreciate the extensive nature of contacts between Trump’s team and Moscow ahead of the US election. This was in part due to US law that prohibits US agencies from examining the private communications of American citizens without warrants. “They are trained not to do this,” the source stressed. (Guardian)
“The extensive nature of contacts between Trump’s team and Moscow”???
There were no extensive contacts nor were there any illegal, unethical or improper contacts. If there were, AG Barr would have highlighted them in the 4-page Mueller report summary released last weekend. But he didn’t, because they don’t exist. The Democrats are now clinging to the feint hope that their flimsy obstruction case can be pulled from the ash-heap, but that’s not going to happen. It’s impossible to obstruct a case when you already know the case is is a fraud. Trump did not break the law. It’s that simple.
As for Brennan, well, he was providing classified briefings to ranking members of Congress (expressing his belief that Moscow was helping Trump win the election) as early as August 2016. The date seems particularly relevant given that Trump did not become the GOP’s official presidential nominee until July 21, 2016. Was that just a coincidence or did it suddenly dawn on Brennan that Trump must be a Kremlin mole shortly after he clinched the top spot on the ticket? Funny how that works, isn’t it? Trump nabs the nomination and all of a sudden Brennan shifts into high gear digging up all kinds of fictional intercepts from Estonia and god-knows where else. Is this the looniest story you’ve ever heard or what?
There’s really no part of Brennan’s implausible storyline that holds water. Even his flagship Intelligence Community Assessment (ICA), which was supposed to provide iron-clad proof of Trump’s culpability, fizzled out like a Roman candle in a summer downpour.
Brennan of course hit all the cable news stations shortly after the ICA was released touting its wishy-washy findings as rock-solid proof of wrongdoing but, strangely enough, the report undermined its own credibility by providing a sweeping disclaimer that cautions readers against drawing any rash conclusions from the analysts observations. Here’s the money-quote from the report:
Judgments are not intended to imply that we have proof that shows something to be a fact. Assessments are based on collected information, which is often incomplete or fragmentary, as well as logic, argumentation, and precedents.
Nice, eh? So, while Brennan continues to insist that the Kremlin meddled in our elections, his own analysts suggest that any such judgements should be taken with a very large grain of salt. Nothing is certain, information is “incomplete or fragmentary”, and the entire report is based on what-amounts-to ‘educated guesswork.’ It’s a wonder why anyone took the report seriously to begin with.
There’s no way to get around the fact that Brennan was glitzing up the intelligence to persuade Comey into hounding Trump. That’s the bottom line here. The unelected agents in the bureaucracy decided to use their considerable power to try to sabotage the election, prevent the normalisation of relations with Russia, and pave the way for impeachment proceedings. Only they got caught with their pants down, so someone’s going to have to take the fall.
Who is responsible for placing spies in the Trump campaign? That’s what we want to know. Who is Stefan Halper and who did he work for? Why did he cozy up to Trump campaign advisers Carter Page, Sam Clovis and George Papadopoulos? Was it all part of an ‘entrapment’ scheme? How many other spies were assigned to the Trump campaign? What was their purpose and who did they work for? Who signed off on the FISA applications that were improperly obtained? How was the Steele dossier used to build the case against Trump? Who authorized or participated in the leaks to the media? Who approved the wiretapping of Trump advisors? Was Trump wiretapped too? What was Obama’s role in all of this? How much did he know and how much did he authorize? How has Brennan escaped blame for the political firestorm he started? (According to Mother Jones, it was not the FBI that initiated the “Trump-Russia connection”.. but ..”Former CIA Director John Brennan … was the one who got the ball rolling.”)
The only way the American people are going to find out what really happened is by interrogating the people who know. Putting John Brennan in the docket would be a good place to start.