Sunday, October 7, 2018

Solomon: DOJ "Smoking Gun" Redactions Due To National Embarrassment, Not "National Security" 


The Department of Justice (DOJ) and the FBI have repeatedly pointed to concerns over national security in their refusals to declassify evidence in the Russia investigation. It is now clear, however, that the agencies are simply covering up embarrassing facts, according to The Hill's John Solomon. 

How do we know this? 

A previously minor footnote on Page 57, Chapter 3 of the House Intelligence Committee report on Russian interference notes that FBI general counsel James Baker met with an unnamed person in September 2016 who provided information on the Russia case, including email hacking and a possible link to the Trump campaign. 

And who was this person whose information, if released, would threaten national security? 

A top attorney for Perkins Coie, the Democratic National Committee's private law firm

It was the same DNC, along with Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, that funded the unverified, salacious dossier by a British intel operative, Christopher Steele, that became a central piece of evidence used to justify the FBI surveillance of the Trump campaign in the final days of the election.

And it was the same law firm that made the payments for the dossier research so those could be disguised in campaign-spending reports to avoid the disclosure of the actual beneficiaries of the research, which were Mrs. Clinton and the DNC.

And it was, in turns out, the same meeting that was so heavily censored by the intel agencies from Footnote 43 in the House report – treated, in other words, as some big national-security secret. -The Hill

So the "big scary national security secret" was nothing more than a meeting between the FBI's former top attorney and a DNC attorney to discuss information the Committee had in the Russia investigation. 

Last week Baker was interviewed by lawmakers on Capitol Hill. While it was a closed-door hearing, much of Baker's testimony has leaked because he was not interviewed in a SCIF - a "sensitive compartmented information facility" which would typically be used if, say, a witness might convey an actual threat to national security. As Solomon reports, here was no claim of classification over any of the information he provided to congress that day. 

"So we can now say with some authority that the earlier redaction in Footnote 43 was done in the name of a national-security concern that did not exist," Solomon concludes. 

The DOJ similarly tried to conceal embarrassing information contained within text messages between FBI "lovebirds" Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, which had nothing to do with national security. 

Which raises the question of what the real reason was that it was hidden from public view. I think the answer can be found in an earlier set of documents that DOJ and FBI fought hard to keep secret – the text messages of those FBI love-birds Pete Strzok and Lisa Page. What we learned from their messages was that the investigation was a whole lot more about politics and and a whole lot less about verified intelligence.

There is now a concrete storyline backed by irrefutable evidence: The FBI allowed itself to take political opposition research created by one party to defeat another in an election, treated it like actionable intelligence, presented it to the court as substantiated, and then used it to justify spying on an adviser for the campaign of that party's duly chosen nominee for president in the final days of a presidential election. -The Hill

Furthermore, when the FBI couldn't prove any collusion between Trump and the Kremlin, unverified claims were leaked to the media to keep the Russia "witch hunt" rolling. 

And that, is extremely embarrassing to say the least - not to mention extremely illegal.