Tom Riggins: Collusion is back
Russia collusion news is back, but for a completely different reason. It seems Attorney General Barr is keeping his promise. Several months ago he stated that he was going to investigate potential corruption from the Justice Department stemming from the now-discredited Steele dossier and abuses of the FISA Court system.
Director of National Intelligence Richard Grenell is slowly releasing recently declassified documents that support the premise of abuse by the Obama administration in the so-called Trump Russia investigation. This has been much longer in arriving than was originally intimated by Barr. I suspect that is for two reasons. First, the initial investigation most likely expanded exponentially as the layers of the rotten onion were peeled back. Second, they know the information they use had better be accurate or those being investigated will attempt to ruthlessly and amorally destroy the reputations, lives, and families of those investigating. Just ask Michael Flynn. More on that later.
In a refreshing departure of non-stop coronavirus coverage a few national media outlets have touched on the fringe of this investigation. Sadly, there is just enough reporting that they can claim to have not ignored it. In order to fully understand the issues, it is necessary to delve deeper, like maybe actually looking at the documents. There is much more to find. It is so easy to actually read the released redacted documents that it took me all of 30 minutes to find them, as well as the usual “conservative” pundits whose opinions and conclusions must also be taken with a grain of salt.
This issue is much more involved than I have space to explain here. I will touch on some highlights. Suffice it to say that although involved, there is a very clear timeline of events and correlations. The first documents released include names of people who requested that a U.S. citizen and government official appearing in surveillance of foreign targets be unmasked. There were at least 38 names, some numerous times. Those include James Comey, intelligence chiefs John Brennen and James Clapper, then Chief of Staff Denis McDonough, and Joe Biden. To request unmasking is not rare but the request must be specific in time and scope. Apparently these were not.
The second set of documents released shows, among other things, a meeting between most of the aforementioned parties plus Samantha Power, Susan Rice, Sally Yates, and Obama himself just days before Trump took office. That discussion apparently revolved around the surveillance of former CIA official and Trump campaign adviser Carter Page. It also apparently resulted in someone deciding that Flynn had to be removed from the Trump administration because he knew “where the bodies were buried.” That resulted in Flynn being set up for perjury even after the FBI concluded there was no wrongdoing with his dealings with Russia. Apparently the U.S. attorneys involved threatened to ruin his son’s business as well as Flynn himself, with what appears to be near extortion tactics. Protecting their malfeasance is why they are still pursuing him even after the DOJ has dropped all charges.
Finally, redacted transcripts of the Schiff hearings and other documents revealed that Schiff, Nadler, and others knew for some time, even before the impeachment hearings, that there was no Russian collusion. Yet they persisted in perpetrating the story, essentially lying. Further, the DOJ is reportedly looking into making criminal referrals against some of the Mueller investigation team.
This only touches the surface of what in now available to the public and what possibly could still come. As I said, there is not enough space in this column to lay out the facts and the timelines. Just know that keeping Flynn muzzled is extremely important to the Obama acolytes. So much so that they had to set him up, accuse him of lying, and coerce him after threats of similar treatment to his family.
This may seem to be old news, but is has received new life after the ongoing investigation begins to reveal involvement of officials at the highest levels. So much so that it is now labeled “Obamagate.” One thing is for sure, the corruption in Washington is proving to run deep. As one pundit noted, “This will make Watergate look like a tea party.” It appears to be the single largest coup attempt in our history. The big question is “Will anyone be punished?” I hope so. We need to demand it from our government. If we don’t, “justice for all” will be meaningless.