Following the US president's announcement about authorising a massive declassification of materials related to the FBI's Trump-Russia investigation, Director of National Intelligence (DNI) John Ratcliffe revealed that he had recently provided almost 1,000 documents to DOJ investigator John Durham who is looking into the conduct of law enforcement and intelligence officials involved in the inquiry.
On Tuesday, Ratcliffe released handwritten notes by former CIA Director John Brennan reportedly taken after briefing then-President Obama on Hillary Clinton's alleged July 2016 "plan" to cook up a scandal by tying her presidential rival Donald Trump to the Kremlin and alleged "Russian hackers" as a distraction from the controversy surrounding her private email server and mishandling of classified information.
Trump Takes on FBI & CIA
"Trump is also openly challenging the national security state by ordering the release of these documents and it is a big political gamble for him to take on the FBI and CIA, who clearly favoured a Clinton victory in 2016 and may have even broken the law in an attempt to ensure that outcome", believes US independent journalist Max Parry.
Prior to the publication of Brennan's memo, the DNI revealed last month that in late July 2016 US security services "obtained insight" into Russian intelligence claiming that Clinton had "approved" the aforementioned plan proposed to her by her foreign policy adviser on 26 July 2016.
the FBI email probe, was run to ground to determine credibility with same attention, intensity + resources as allegations against the Trump team. Separately, CBS is told the notes were turned up by US attorney Durham + opened a new track in his probe. @CBSNews pic.twitter.com/BxcOVYLAx5— Catherine Herridge (@CBS_Herridge) September 29, 2020
"Brennan believed it credible enough to brief [President Obama] and other national security officials about it", Parry underscores, referring to the US mainstream media's recent attempts to dismiss the disclosure as "Russian disinformation".
According to Ratcliffe's letter, on 7 September, US intelligence officials forwarded "an investigative referral" to then-FBI Director James Comey and then-Deputy Assistant Director Peter Strzok who at that time led the Trump-Russia probe, codenamed Crossfire Hurricane, kicked off on 31 July 2016. Nevertheless, while testifying publicly before the Senate Judiciary Committee last Wednesday, Comey stated that he did not remember receiving any investigative referral of that kind in September 2016.
If the ongoing disclosures are indeed Trump's "October Surprise", it may be why he has waited until this moment to use these executive powers to authorise the declassification, which many of his Republican colleagues have been urging him to do for quite some time, Parry suggests.
Still, the journalist warns that while the president is authorised to order this declassification, the intelligence community establishment "has excelled in devising ways of either postponing or refusing to comply with the disclosure of such information".
Did the Clinton Campaign & National Security Bureaucracy Work Together?
The release of Brennan's memo has become a "bombshell", casting a shadow over the ex-CIA director, Comey, and the Obama administration, according to Parry.
"This memo shows that Brennan himself supported the allegations by the Clinton campaign despite his apparently knowing they were determined to implicate Trump in the DNC hacking as a ruse and deliberate fabrication, even lending his expertise to the media as a national security analyst on MSNBC", he stresses.
Likewise, "James Comey's wrongdoing is also exposed, because he justified signing FISA warrants to spy on Carter Page and the Trump campaign using the unverified Steele dossier, even though he had prior information in the referral that the Clinton campaign was intent on linking Trump to Russia", Parry stresses.
Referring to the ex-FBI chief's testimony that the September 2016 investigative referral does not ring any bells for him, the journalist alleges that Comey "would be incriminating himself" by having any recollection of the document sent to him by Brennan.
As for the Obama White House, the declassified memo indicates that it "intentionally disregarded" the information concerning Hillary Clinton's "plan", according to Parry.
In addition to this, Brennan's notes also confirm the timeline of events related to the Russiagate scandal, the journalist says:
· allegedly, Russian intelligence agents were already aware that the Clinton campaign had hired Fusion GPS in April 2016 and former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele in June 2016 to "fabricate the salacious dossier on Trump and Russia";
· by 26 July 2016, Steele had produced at least three known reports within the framework of his uncorroborated "dirty dossier" on Trump (80, 86, and 94);
· after Hillary Clinton purportedly approved the supposed "plan", the FBI launched the Crossfire Hurricane operation on 31 July 2016;
· In mid-September 2016, the Crossfire Hurricane team received the unverified Steele dossier and on 21 October requested a FISA warrant to spy on Trump aide Carter Page citing the ex-British spy's reports.
The DNI's recent disclosure "lends credence to the theory that the Clinton campaign and the national security bureaucracy were working together on this", Parry believes.
Obama Administration Mastered in Coup-Making
It is hardly surprising that the Obama administration and intelligence community operatives might have tried to rig the 2016 election in the US, given that under Obama, the United States interfered in many foreign elections and regime change operations in the Middle East, Africa, and Eastern Europe, says Wall Street analyst Charles Ortel.
"Indeed, following losses suffered by the Democratic Party in the Senate and in the House in 2010, I suspect the Obama administration and 'intelligence' agencies likely interfered in the US elections of 2012 and 2014 as well", the analyst suggests.
Former FBI directors Robert Mueller and James Comey have been covering for the Bushes, Clintons, and Obamas for almost 18 years, according to Ortel, who has repeatedly referred to the apparent unwillingness of the two bureau bosses to conduct a thorough investigation into the Clinton Foundation's alleged fraud as well as to Comey's supposedly "soft" handling of the Hillary Clinton emailgate case.
Americans across the political spectrum from Bernie Sanders to Rand Paul want to see effective oversight, the analyst insists, expressing hope that Durham, who has recently received additional materials for consideration from the DNI, may ensure that justice will be served.
"For more than three precious years, the Clintons, Obamas, and their allies have tried to hobble a fairly elected President of the United States", Ortel says. "Their example must not stand unpunished. Unless malefactors pay heavy prices and soon, other more aggressive crimes may be attempted in future".