As More Information Comes To Light, There Are More Questions

Everything surrounding the case against General Flynn has been looked at, analyzed, and dissected, but it seems that the more we learn, the more questions arise. The Federalist posted an article today about the weaponization of the intelligence community by the Obama administration. I suspect that what we are learning is only a taste of what is to come. The article at The Federalist is complex, and I suggest that you follow the link to read the entire article. I will attempt to summarize the high points.

The article reports:

The drip-drip-drip of newly declassified documents related to the Trump-Russia investigation, together with recent reports that a classified leak against former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn might not have come from an unmasking request, leaves little doubt that the Obama administration weaponized federal surveillance laws to target Trump associates and undermine the incoming administration.

The story thus far is complex, but it reveals a disturbing abuse of power by the Obama administration that suggests congressional reform of federal surveillance laws is needed to ensure this never happens again.

Just as a side note, I can assure you that if those who misused the intelligence community are not punished, we will see this again.

The article continues:

According to Rice’s bizarre email, which she wrote to herself as President Trump was being inaugurated on Jan. 20, 2017, Comey told Obama and Biden he had “some concerns that incoming NSA Flynn is speaking frequently with Russian Ambassador Kislyak,” and that “the level of communication is unusual.” How did Comey know this? Because the FBI had been spying on Flynn as part of a counterintelligence investigation it launched in August 2016.

Flynn’s conversations with the Russian ambassador became national news after someone in the Obama administration illegally leaked to Washington Post columnist David Ignatius, who revealed in a Jan. 12, 2017, column that Flynn had spoken to Kislyak several times on Dec. 29, 2017.

That touched off an effort by Republicans to find out who leaked to the Post. Last week, responding to a request from Sens. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) and Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), acting Director of National Intelligence Richard Grenell released a list of former senior Obama administration officials who requested the unmasking of Flynn between Nov. 30, 2016, and Jan. 12, 2017.

This is the important (often overlooked) fact:

But the dates of the unmasking requests don’t match up with Flynn’s Dec. 29 conversations with the Russian ambassador, which suggests Flynn was identified in an intelligence report that didn’t require the concealment of his identity. On Wednesday, the Washington Post reported that, according to an anonymous former senior U.S. official, “When the FBI circulated [the report], they included Flynn’s name from the beginning,” and that, “There were therefore no requests for the unmasking of that information.”

This report matches with a theory floated over the weekend by National Review Online’s Andrew McCarthy, that Flynn’s call with Kislyak might have been “intercepted under an intelligence program not subject to the masking rules, probably by the CIA or a friendly foreign spy service acting in a nod-and-wink arrangement with our intelligence community.”

Please follow the link to read the rest of the story–it is amazing.

Why Was This Redacted In The First Place?

The redacted part of the Susan Rice memo-to-self was declassified on Tuesday. The Gateway Pundit posted an article yesterday that includes a picture of the entire memo including the redacted version.

The article reports:

Acting DNI Richard Grenell on Tuesday declassified the remaining portion of Susan Rice’s email.

CBS reporter Catherine Herridge obtained the declassified email and released it to the public

It was previously known the junk Russia dossier and General Flynn’s calls to Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak were discussed in the secret meeting.

The newly declassified portion of the email once again implicates Barack Obama and Comey!

Barack Obama and Comey discussed Flynn’s communications with Kislyak.

Comey suggested to Obama in the meeting that the National Security Council [NSC] might not want to pass “sensitive information related to Russia” to then-incoming National Security Adviser General Mike Flynn.

“President Obama asked if Comey was saying that the NSC should not pass sensitive information related to Russia to Flynn. Comey replied “potentially” and noted “the level of communication (w/Russian Ambassador) is unusual.”

Andrew McCarthy posted an article about the memo at The National Review today.

Andrew McCarthy notes:

Try not to get dizzy. Rice has gone from claiming to have had no knowledge of Obama administration monitoring of Flynn and other Trump associates, to claiming no knowledge of any unmaskings of Trump associates, to admitting she was complicit in the unmaskings, to — now — a call for the recorded conversation between retired general Michael Flynn and Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak to be released because it would purportedly show that the Obama administration had good reason to be concerned about Flynn (y’know, the guy she said she had no idea they were investigating).

Naturally, we have now learned that Rice was deeply involved in the Obama administration’s Trump–Russia investigation, including its sub-investigation of Flynn, a top Trump campaign surrogate who was slated to replace Rice as national-security advisor when President Trump took office. Last night, I did a column for Fox News, analyzing the newly unredacted paragraph from Rice’s previously reported email memorializing a White House meeting on these subjects.

The meeting took place on January 5, 2017, and involved Rice, Obama, and Vice President Biden, the administration’s top political hierarchy on national-security matters, along with Obama’s top law-enforcement and counterintelligence officials, deputy attorney general Sally Yates (soon formally to take the acting AG role she was already performing), and FBI director James Comey. Prior redactions had already demonstrated that the meeting’s central purpose was to discuss the rationale for withholding intelligence about Russia from the incoming Trump national-security team.

The article at The National Review concludes:

It is vital that the documentary record, which should have been uncovered years ago, continue being brought to light. It is good that Trump’s National Intelligence director Ric Grenell is forcing the issue. But let’s not forget: When it turns out that Obama officials have intentionally inserted after-the-fact CYA memos into “the File,” we have to ask why they have done so . . . and to read what they’ve written with that in mind.

I strongly suggest that you follow the links to both of the above articles to read the details of the redacted part of this memo. It is becoming very obvious that the Obama administration was not interested in participating in a peaceful transfer of power.

 

The More You Know…

John Hinderaker at Power Line Blog posted an article yesterday about some of the things we have learned as information about spying on the Trump campaign and transition team is declassified. One thing that I don’t think has been widely reported is that Obama Treasury Department officials were on the list of those making unmasking requests relating to General Michael Flynn.

The article reports:

When Acting DNI Richard Grenell released the list of individuals who made unmasking requests relating to General Michael Flynn, one of the curious facts that stood out was the presence of a number of Obama Treasury Department officials on the list. Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew and no fewer than five of his subordinates–Deputy Secretary, Under Secretary, Acting Assistant Secretary, and so on, all political appointees in the Obama administration–all made unmasking requests with regard to conversations that turned out to involve General Flynn, on the same day: December 14, 2016. Lew made a second request on January 12, 2017.

The mystery of why President Obama’s Treasury Department was interested in electronic surveillance carried out for national security purposes may have been solved by this scoop in the Ohio Star: “The Treasury Department Spied on Flynn, Manafort, and the Trump Family, Says Whistleblower.”

President Barack Obama’s Treasury Department regularly surveilled retired Army Lt. Gen. Michael T. Flynn’s financial records and transactions beginning in December 2015 and well into 2017, before, during and after when he served at the White House as President Donald Trump’s National Security Director, a former senior Treasury Department official, and veteran of the intelligence community, told the Star Newspapers.

“I started seeing things that were not correct, so I did my own little investigation, because I wanted to make sure what I was seeing was correct” she said. “You never want to draw attention to something if there is not anything there.”

The whistleblower said she only saw metadata, that is names and dates when the general’s financial records were accessed. “I never saw what they saw.”

By March 2016, the whistleblower said she and a colleague, who was detailed to Treasury from the intelligence community, became convinced that the surveillance of Flynn was not tied to legitimate criminal or national security concerns, but was straight-up political surveillance among other illegal activity occurring at Treasury.

“When I showed it to her, what she said, ‘Oh, sh%t!’ and I knew right then and there that I was right – this was some shady stuff,” the whistleblower said.

“It wasn’t just him,” the whistleblower said. “They were targeting other U.S. citizens, as well.”

Only two names are listed in the whistleblower’s official paperwork, so the others must remain sealed, she said. The second name is Paul J. Manafort Jr., the one-time chairman of Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign.

The Star’s source says that she filed a formal complaint with the Treasury Department’s Inspector General in March 2017, but nothing was done. There is much more at the link.

Please follow the link to read the entire article–it is fascinating.

The article concludes:

We don’t know what Flynn communication these Obama officials were poring over, but we do know that the Treasury Department was never able to make any kind of a case against Flynn for financial misdeeds of any kind. It bears remembering that Jacob Lew was an unusually political Secretary of the Treasury. He was Obama’s Chief of Staff before taking over the Treasury Department. We have written about him several times, e.g. here.

Evidence continues to grow that the corruption of the executive branch of the U.S. government by Barack Obama was comprehensive and perhaps unprecedented.

Consequences are justified and needed.

Sunlight Is The Best Disinfactant

Townhall is reporting today that Acting Director of National Intelligence Richard Grenell has declassified documents showing the Obama administration officials allegedly involved in the “unmasking” of Michael Flynn in transcripts of calls he had with Russia’s former ambassador, Sergey Kislyak.

The article reports:

Information on the Flynn-Kislyak phone call was leaked to The Washington Post in 2017, leading many to wonder whether an Obama administration official had illegally disclosed classified information.

In 2017, Rep. Devin Nunes, who was then the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, said he had evidence “current and former government officials had easy access to U.S. person information and that it is possible that they used this information to achieve partisan political purposes, including the selective, anonymous leaking of such information.”

He continued, “The committee has learned that one official, whose position had no apparent intelligence-related function, made hundreds of unmasking requests during the final year of the Obama administration.”

The article notes:

Both former Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates and former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper were pressed by GOP senators in 2017 about their role in alleged unmasking abuses, and denied any wrongdoing. There were reports that United Nations Ambassador Samantha Power unmasked hundreds of U.S. persons, but she has said this is “absolutely false.”

Former FBI Director James Comey told the House Intelligence Committee in 2017 that the National Security Agency, the CIA, the FBI, and the Justice Department all had the ability to unmask individuals.

U.S. Attorney John Durham is reportedly investigating the leaks of potentially classified information related to Flynn to the media in early 2017. (Washington Examiner)

There were many things that went on during the Obama administration regarding classified information that need to be examined. Things that should have remained classified were leaked for political purposes, and things that were classified solely for the purpose of hiding illegal surveillance activities by the administration were kept secret. It’s time to examine that and correct the misdeeds.

This Was Definitely The Right Response

There are some people in Congress who have been exposed as liars as documents surrounding Crossfire Hurricane are being declassified. One of those people is Adam Schiff, who is desperately trying to prevent any further damage to his reputation. I suspect this damage is inevitable as more information is released. Adam Schiff’s lies have been exposed, and his efforts to cover up further damage are obvious in a recent letter he wrote to Acting Director of National Intelligence Richard Grenell.

The Gateway Pundit posted an article about the letter yesterday.

The article reports:

Grenell decided to declassify the IG footnotes revealing the FBI was knowingly using Russian disinformation to spy on Trump’s camp, and now this…

Adam Schiff on April 7 sent Richard Grenell a letter demanding answers on the agency’s personnel changes, including the firing of ICIG Michael Atkinson.

“President Trump did not nominate you for confirmation as permanent DNI, and it would be inappropriate for you to pursue any additional leadership, organizational, or staffing changes to ODNI during your temporary tenure,” Schiff wrote in an April 7 letter acting like he has authority over the executive branch.

And Grenell responded with fire.

“I must disagree with your proposals to divest the DNI of managerial competence and personnel decision-making authority, and to replace your committee’s mandate for Intelligence Community oversight with a mandate for IC administration,” Grenell said.

Grenell continued, “Going forward, I encourage you to think of the relationship between your committee and the IC as that between the legislative and executive branches of government, rather than that between a hedge fund and a distressed asset, as your letter suggests.”

OUCH!

“Diversity of the IC workforce should always be celebrated, and I am proud that we increased diversity within the ODNI’s senior ranks, to include more women and members of the LGBT community,” said Grenell, who is openly gay.

Well done, Richard Grenell.

How Soon They Forget

On Thursday, The Washington Times posted an article about President Trump’s naming of Richard Grenell as the new acting director of national intelligence. The political left is complaining about the nomination, claiming that Ambassador Grenell is not qualified. The article reports that when Leon Panetta was chosen by President Obama to lead the CIA, Panetta had no intelligence experience.

The article notes:

What’s wrong is Grenell is pro-Trump and he’s being appointed to head an agency with a deep state reputation filled with deep state resentments about this president. The left is panicked about the potential for light to shine on their anti-Trump — anti-American — covert activities.

So they’re pretending as if Grenell isn’t the right guy for the job based on his experience.

Grenell … is known to be fiercely loyal to Trump, but critics have noted that he has no background in intelligence and no top-level management experience,” NPR reported.

And this, from ex-FBI agent Clint Watts, on Twitter: “Grennell as DNI can only be seen as a way for Trump to achieve confirmation bias for his conspiracies & block real analysis and true assessments of threats. Not a serious nominee. How much tax payer money will be used to run down nonsense?”

And this, interestingly enough, from Iran Press: “Trump names incompetent person as acting spy chief.”

The article concludes:

Grenell, at least, is an ambassador — somebody who has to deal with national security issues while navigating complicated, oft-conflicting waters, while calming and soothing and wheeling-and-dealing with a variety of personalities, all expressing a variety of interests. In other words: Grenell is somebody who at least has some hands-on experience doing exactly what intel folk do.

But Grenell is pro-Trump.

And that’s why the deep state and globalist elites deem him unqualified.

If Panetta was qualified as CIA chief, Grenell is more than qualified as acting director of national intelligence.

On Friday, The Conservative Treehouse reported:

Kash Patel previously worked as Devin Nunes’ senior staffer on the House Intelligence Committee (HPSCI).  It was Patel who was the lead author of the Nunes memo exposing corrupt conduct of the FBI and DOJ officials during Crossfire Hurricane.

Patel joined the National Security Council’s International Organizations and Alliances directorate last February and was promoted to the senior counterterrorism role at the NSC mid-summer 2019.  According to recent reporting Patel is now joining Acting Director of National Intelligence Richard Grenell as a Senior Advisor and Catherine Herridge is reporting the objective is to ‘clean house‘.

I wonder how much of this ‘housecleaning’ is going to put some members of Congress in a very bad light. Bring it on!