Play Ball! The ‘Get Trump’ Blame Game Begins
It’s starting to dawn on the players involved in the spying on and framing of Donald Trump that Lady Justice is warming up in the bullpen. She’s throwing high heat and set to snap off some wicked curves.
Attorney General William Barr appointed US Attorney John H. Durham to investigate (read: prosecute) the origins of the Russian Hoax. That spells out as big as a Jumbotron: “Game On.”
It’s not just that Durham is a seasoned pro respected by both sides of the aisle. Or that he’s sent corrupt federal officials to the prison showers. He’s prosecuted CIA agents. He’s prosecuted FBI agents. And not just any FBI agents. We’re talking people that were working in the Boston office of the FBI under a certain Robert Mueller.
Barr putting Durham in there? That was a fastball right under the Deep State’s chin.
Durham has got plenty to work with. Sean Hannity’s sources are telling him Department of Justice Inspector General Michael Horowitz has finished his epic report. Now we’ll learn all about the DOJ and FBI’s Russian investigation shenanigans. It’s “done and it’s devastating.” (For starters, former prosecutor Joe DiGenova said last week that Horowitz has already concluded that three out of the four FISA warrants on Carter Page were illicitly obtained.)
Yes, it’s Game On. The “Get Trump” team’s hands are shaking and their knees are weak.
The Finger Pointing Begins
How do you know the players in this effort to spy on, then sabotage President Trump are all shook up? They’re starting to flip on each other. I’ve long suggested Vegas should take bets on who will turn on whom. Which government agency would turn on their sister agencies. Well, the betting window would have to close because the action’s underway.
Starting with former FBI director James Comey versus former CIA director John Brennan.
Fox News reported this week on an email string from James Comey to his underlings in December 2016. There Comey blames Brennan for pushing the bogus Steele Dossier into an ICA, an Intelligence Community Assessment. Brennan swore under oath he hadn’t known a thing about the dossier. Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper testified under oath the dossier wasn’t used.
Throwing Each Other Under the Bus
When news of Comey’s emails broke, a “former CIA official” went off on Comey, claiming he’s the one who pushed the dossier.
“Former Director Brennan, along with former DNI James Clapper, are the ones who opposed James Comey’s recommendation that the Steele Dossier be included in the intelligence report,” this official told Fox News. “The opposed this because the dossier was in no way used to develop the ICA.” Added the official:
The intelligence analysts didn’t include it when they were doing their work because it wasn’t corroborated intelligence, therefore it wasn’t used and it wasn’t included. Brennan and Clapper prevented it from being added into the official assessment. James Comey then decided on his own to brief Trump about the document.
Somebody’s fibbing. Sen. Rand Paul tweeted in March about a “high level source.” It was saying that Brennan had “insisted that the unverified and fake Steele dossier be included” in the January 2017 ICA.
If Sen. Paul’s right, DCNF reports, Brennan “was the force behind the infamous Steele dossier being included in an intelligence report that ordered surveillance on then-presidential candidate Donald Trump and his campaign team.”
Brennan, we know, was pushing the dossier on former Senate Democratic Minority Leader Harry Reid. Even attesting to its validity. Harry Reid himself said so.
We also know from Hillary pal and Trump hater Moby that CIA agents were telling him in January 2017 that the dossier was “100% true.” Even urging him to spread that on his social media.
Who wins the Comey-Brennan match-up? “Comey’s got a better argument than Brennan based on what I’ve seen,” Trey Gowdy told Fox News. But, he suggested, it’s possible that “sometimes when people are blame each other, they are both right.” And both in the wrong.
As for James Clapper, Comey already testified under oath about him. He literally swore that Clapper instructed him on what to tell President-elect Trump about the dossier, after an Oval Office meeting about the Russian investigation. A meeting, not incidentally, that involved discussing what to tell the Trump Team about the Russian investigation. And remember, Sara Carter reported it was Clapper who leaked Comey’s Trump Tower meeting to CNN. You know, the same network now paying Clapper big bucks to pontificate on the Russia hoax and all things anti-Trump.
Was Comey Trying to Blackmail Trump?
So you already have the FBI and CIA pointing fingers at each other. You also have FBI brass pointing fingers at each other. Or more accurately, throwing a grenade.
Former FBI general counsel James Baker — in other words, Comey’s top lawyer at the FBI — suggests Comey may have been trying to blackmail Trump.
Baker told Yahoo News’s Skullduggery podcast Tuesday he and others were “quite worried” about Comey’s briefing of Trump on January 6, 2017. It stank of former FBI director J. Edgar Hoover’s tactics, which included blackmailing the powerful.
Said Baker, “We were quite worried about the Hoover analogies, and we were determined not to have such a disaster happen on our watch.”
Who Else is Going to Point at Whom?
Speaking of Baker, the media is treating as news reports US Attorney John Durham is looking into these people. That’s nothing new. We’ve known since January that Durham was investigating Baker’s potentially illegal media leaks. And Politico revealed in 2017 Baker was in contact with Mother Jones reporter David Corn in the weeks leading up to the 2016 election. Corn was the first to report the existence of the Steele Dossier.
Plus we have further word Durham’s been working on the origins of the anti-Trump counterintelligence probe “for weeks.”
Spy vs. Spy
Meanwhile, CNN reports “Barr is working in close collaboration with CIA Director Gina Haspel, Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats and FBI Director Christopher Wray.”
As Ed Morrissey put it at Hot Air:
Old-timers at Langley must be licking their chops over this news from CNN. Having the CIA investigate their rivals at the FBI for potential counterespionage wrongdoing has to be a bucket-list item for a few of them.
As we’ve seen, the CIA is already pushing back hard. It’s accusing Comey of being the one to push the Steele Dossier. Do you think Comey’s going to let himself be painted as the bad guy? Then you haven’t been watching him perform. Comey grabs the role of hero in any story he tells.
So look for him to run right over Brennan and Clapper on his white steed. And anyone else, up to and including President Obama. If that’s what it takes for him to be the grand shining knight, defender of the realm, purveyor of all that is good and just. (Comey acts like Don Corleone but thinks he’s Don Quixote.)
The War Between the Deep States
Look also for the Justice Department and FBI to flip on each other. DOJ already leaked texts showing its concerns over the Steele Dossier being used to get the FISA warrant on Carter Page. Lisa Page (no relation) has made it clear in texts and testimony. The DOJ was putting enormous pressure on the FBI, both with the Hillary investigation and the Russia investigation. Page will be one to watch as the heat rises. She had a front-row seat to all the action. That includes the interactions between the FBI and White House. (And ladies, I ask: How likely is she to protect her ex-lover Peter Strzok?)
Also keep an eye on DOJ official Bruce Ohr. He’s facing criminal investigation for some of his actions, as is his wife. US Attorney John Durham will slide into them hard. The Ohrs will cut a deal to protect each other. Nellie will give up Fusion GPS (and perhaps her old CIA cohorts). Bruce will give up his DOJ and FBI partners. Ohr said under oath he warned everyone the Steele dossier was poisoned propaganda paid for by Hillary. No way is he going to take the rap for people who ignored him.
Rosenstein’s Attempted Coup
In a related vein, former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe says former Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein was serious about using the 25th Amendment to get rid of Trump. And wearing a wire to bug Trump. (He settled on hiring Robert Mueller as Special Counsel instead.)
And what do we know about McCabe? He’s in very hot water. And he reportedly said that if he went down he was taking everybody with him.
Who’s he mean? When you say “If I go down I’m taking everybody with me,” you are threatening your equals and superiors. You’re saying, “I’m not gonna be the patsy.” Who were McCabe’s superiors? James Comey, Attorney General Loretta Lynch and one President Barack Obama.
A CIA Black Op?
The one question mark to me is John Brennan. An excellent case can already be made that he is the central figure in crafting the Trump-Russia collusion fiction:
- He pressed the garbage pail dossier on Reid.
- His agents pushed it to Moby.
- CIA assets like Stephan Halper got actively involved in setting the trap.
- The honeypot thrown at George Papadapoulos, a standard CIA trick.
- The involvement of British, Australian and likely Italian intelligence agencies, which would have listened to Brennan.
- The coordinated effort to move Papadapoulos and Carter Page onto foreign soil where CIA can operate.
All these clues point to a standard CIA black op. Plus, there’s Brennan’s history of spying on American politicians. (Just ask Democrat Dennis Kucinich and the Senate Intelligence Committee.)
And if you’re writing this as a movie, Brennan’s certainly the creepiest figure. Remember Gene Hackman’s chief of staff in the Kevin Costner spy thriller No Way Out?
My question is this: Will John Brennan finger the former president or will he take full responsibility … or will he take the bullet for his boss?
Yes, I’ve used a lot of game metaphors this column. But what happened — and what’s to come — is no game.
Al Perrotta is the Managing Editor of The Stream, and co-author with @JZmirak of The Politically Incorrect Guide to Immigration. You can follow him at @StreamingAl. And if you aren’t already, please follow The Stream at @Streamdotorg.