On May 11, The Federalist posted an article with the following headline, “Why Did Obama Tell The FBI To Hide Its Activities From The Trump Administration?”
That is a very interesting question. President Obama was leaving office–his authority was over. Why would the FBI listen to him?
The article reports:
The FBI maintained that it opened the Crossfire Hurricane investigation, rather than providing Trump a defensive briefing on the report from a “friendly foreign government” that Russia had reached out to a member of his campaign to release damaging information on Hillary Clinton, because agents “had no indication as to which person in the Trump campaign allegedly received the offer from the Russians.” According to Counterintelligence Division Assistant Director E.W. “Bill” Priestap, “had we provided a defensive briefing to someone on the Trump campaign, we would have alerted the campaign to what we were looking into, and, if someone on the campaign was engaged with the Russians, he/she would very likely change his/her tactics and/or otherwise seek to cover-up his/her activities, thereby preventing us from finding the truth.”
Former deputy director of the FBI Andy McCabe likewise told Inspector General Michael Horowitz “that he did not consider a defensive briefing as an alternative to opening a counterintelligence case” because, “based on the [Friendly Foreign Government] information, the FBI did not know if any member of the campaign was coordinating with Russia and that the FBI did not brief people who ‘could potentially be the subjects that you are investigating or looking for.’”
McCabe further explained that “in a sensitive counterintelligence matter, it was essential to have a better understanding of what was occurring before taking an overt step such as providing a defensive briefing.”
While “there are plenty of problems with Priestap and McCabe’s rationale, as well as the entire predicate for Crossfire Hurricane,” a bigger problem arises if you take them at their word, because by the time Americans elected Trump president on November 8, 2016, the FBI had “a better understanding of what was occurring,” and had identified four individuals of concern. But still the FBI did not provide president-elect Trump a defensive briefing.
The article details what happened after the January 5th meeting in President Obama’s office:
While Comey found it important to tell the incoming commander-in-chief of the ridiculous “pee tape” “intel,” following Obama’s guidance the then-FBI director did not tell Trump that the FBI had an active investigation into Trump’s incoming national security advisor predicated on the idea that Flynn was potentially a Russian agent.
Even after Obama had left office and Comey had a new commander-in-chief to report to, Comey continued to follow Obama’s prompt by withholding intel from Trump. Recently released documents included as exhibits to the Department of Justice’s motion to dismiss the criminal charges against Flynn reveal this reality.
During that same January 5, 2017, Oval Office meeting in which Obama counseled Comey to be cautious in sharing information about Russia with the Trump administration, Obama and Comey discussed Flynn’s late-December telephone calls with the Russian ambassador.
The article concludes:
The FBI, however, is not solely to blame for keeping this “important” information from Trump: They were only following the counsel of former President Barack Obama.
While a young Amy Carter can be forgiven for her juvenile vision of departing the White House “content with the picture of Nancy Reagan struggling to clean out the oven,” there is no excuse for an outgoing president to withhold “intel” on supposed Russian agents from the president-elect. And there is no excuse for an outgoing president to advise hold-over high-ranking officials to do likewise once the new president has taken office.
Or, rather, the only excuse is an equally scandalous one: Obama knew the Russia investigation was a hoax from the get-go.
So much for President Obama participating in the smooth transition of power in our republic.