It was announced this week that Attorney General Bill Barr has named another U.S. attorney to investigate “aspects” of the Michael Flynn unmasking scandal — the latest indication that Obamagate isn’t going to disappear anytime soon.
“Attorney General Bill Barr has asked U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Texas John Bash to review the practice of ‘unmasking’ before and after the 2016 presidential election, a controversy that has picked up steam after the Justice Department moved to drop charges against former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn,” Fox News reported.
One question Bash needs to examine is: Who leaked to David Ignatius, the Washington Post writer whose column helped set off the Michael Flynn fiasco? Was it John Brennan? He was the one who notoriously leaked to former Nevada Sen. Harry Reid the existence of an FBI investigation into the Trump campaign — an act of dirty pool late in the 2016 campaign designed to hurt Trump.
According to a senior U.S. government official, Flynn phoned Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak several times on Dec. 29, the day the Obama administration announced the expulsion of 35 Russian officials as well as other measures in retaliation for the hacking. What did Flynn say, and did it undercut the U.S. sanctions? The Logan Act (though never enforced) bars U.S. citizens from correspondence intending to influence a foreign government about “disputes” with the United States. Was its spirit violated? The Trump campaign didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
Who was that “senior U.S. government official”?
Meanwhile, more and more information is coming out showing that the FBI’s opening of an investigation into the Trump campaign had no credible basis to it whatsoever. As John Solomon’s Just the News has reported,
The FBI’s probe into whether the Trump campaign colluded with Russia was opened on a third-hand “suggestion” of wrongdoing and the thinnest of suspicions that illegal foreign lobbying had occurred, according to a declassified memo released Friday that shows agents immediately flagged the strong limitations of their evidence.
The July 31, 2016 electronic communication that officially open the counterintelligence investigation codenamed Crossfire Hurricane was obtained by the conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch.
It shows the criminal basis for opening the probe was suspected violations of the Foreign Agent Registration Act, but it did not identify a single episode that it said violated the law.
Rather it focused on a “suggestion” passed on by Australian ambassador Alexander Downer that Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos might be coordinating with Russia the release of damaging information about Hillary Clinton.
Downer had heard the information about the Russians during a bar conversation in May 2016 from Papadopoulos, who had heard it two months earlier from a European professor who had heard it from Russians allegedly.
The memo shows the case agent, Peter Strzok, expressed some doubts and reservations about the limitations of the evidence even as he opened the probe.
Even Strzok, the chief Trump hater, knew it was a bogus case. The relationship between Brennan and Strzok is another subject one hopes John Durham and now John Bash examine closely. Strzok was the FBI’s special liaison to Brennan and brags in one of his letters to his paramour Lisa Page that he received a special award from Brennan.
Brennan’s “interagency task force,” which preceded the official opening of the FBI investigation into the Trump campaign by several months, deserves special attention. Who attended its meetings? Why was it formed? What was discussed? One suspects that all of the players in the Flynn unmasking were also present at those first interagency task force meetings. Flynn, after all, had been on the Obama administration’s radar screen ever since he was fired from his Defense Intelligence Agency post.
Brennan in particular despised Flynn for his criticism of the Obama administration’s soft approach to Islamic terrorism. Brennan, a former CIA station chief in Saudi Arabia, was famous for his Islamic apologetics, saying that “jihad” is an uplifting concept meant to “purify oneself.” Brennan had the motive and the means to take out Flynn during the transition period. Was Brennan the one who picked up the phone to David Ignatius? Let’s hope Barr’s newest addition to the Obamagate investigation finds out.