Spygate: President Gives Barr Full Authority to Declassify Russia Probe Documents
Trump earlier Thursday: "They have unsuccessfully sought to bring down the wrong person."
Spygate is set to swing wide open.
President Donald Trump has given Attorney General William Barr “full and complete authority” to declassify a mass of documents likely to expose the origins and execution of the counter-intelligence investigation him and his campaign.
In a memorandum issued Thursday night, Trump ordered the intelligence community to “quickly and fully” cooperate with the Attorney General. As The New York Times notes, “The move gave Mr. Barr immense leverage over the intelligence community and enormous power over what the public learns about the roots of the Russia investigation.”
Curiously, Trump’s order is also addressed to the Secretary of Defense, Secretary of Treasury and Secretary of Energy. This indicates the scope of revelations will go far beyond the FBI, DOJ and CIA. You can read Trump’s full memorandum here.
Said the White House, “Today’s action will help ensure that all Americans learn the truth about the events that occurred, and the actions that were taken, during the last Presidential election and will restore confidence in our public institutions.”
The memorandum comes in the wake of William Barr announcing he is conducting a review of what he called the “spying” against the Trump campaign. U.S. Attorney John Durham is set to prosecute any cases that may arise.
So what are we going to get?
So What Can We Be Expect to See?
Investigative journalist Paul Sperry reports the first batch of documents are “set to include FBI documents of recorded conversations exculpating [George] Papadapoulos and [Carter] Page prior to FBI going for FISA warrant based on their alleged conspiracy. ”
BREAKING: First batch of POTUS declassification said to include FBI docs of recorded conversations exculpating Papapopoulos & Page–prior to FBI going for FISA warrant based on their alleged conspiracy.Papadopoulos says Halper & Downer both tried to record him w their cell phones
— Paul Sperry (@paulsperry_) May 24, 2019
Unredacted versions of the FISA warrants themselves are certain to be in the mix. Also, former Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein’s secret scope memo laying out what Robert Mueller could investigate.
Also, expect Obama’s unmasking campaign to be unmasked. Sara Carter reported Thursday night we can soon expect news on former UN Ambassador Samantha Powers. During Obama’s last year, Powers alone mysteriously unmasked over 300 individuals. Adding to the mystery, Powers testified to House investigators she wasn’t responsible for the unmaskings done in her name.
Just the other day, a redacted FBI 302 was released describing Peter Strzok’s interview of Gen. Michael Flynn.
Throughout his interview Flynn had a very ‘sure’ demeanor and did not give any indicators of deception. He did not parse his words or hesitant in any of his answers. … Strzok and (redacted) both had the impression at the time that Flynn was not lying or did not think he was lying.
Perhaps with declassification we’ll finally learn how this ended up in a charge of Gen. Flynn lying during that conversation.
What Else Does the Public Need to See?
Sundance at Conservative Treehouse listed some of what needs to be released:
- All versions of the Carter Page FISA applications (DOJ) (DoS) (FBI) (ODNI).
- All of the Bruce Ohr 302’s filled out by the FBI. (FBI) (ODNI)
- All of Bruce Ohr’s emails (FBI) (DOJ) (CIA) (ODNI), and supportive documents and material provided by Bruce Ohr to the FBI. (FBI)
- All relevant documents pertaining to the supportive material within the FISA application. (FBI) (DOJ-NSD ) (DoS) (CIA) (DNI) (NSA) (ODNI);
- All intelligence documents that were presented to the Gang of Eight in 2016 that pertain to the FISA application used against U.S. person Carter Page; including all exculpatory intelligence documents that may not have been presented to the FISA Court. (CIA) (FBI) (DOJ) (ODNI) (DoS) (NSA)
- All unredacted text messages and email content between Lisa Page and Peter Strzok on all devices. (FBI) (DOJ) (DOJ-NSD) (ODNI)
- The originating CIA “EC” or two-page electronic communication from former CIA Director John Brennan to FBI Director James Comey that started Operation Crossfire Hurricane in July 2016. (CIA) (FBI) (ODNI)
And speaking of Comey, here’s hoping the FBI releases the disgraced director’s detailed memos. A court filing last month revealed the Comey took far more detailed notes on activities involving the FBI political investigations than previously known. The FBI went to court to keep those notes secret.
As expected, Democrats are already trying to dismiss the President’s order as an “effort to distract.” Sen. Richard Blumenthal calls it “mystifying.” (One can understand how sunlight would be so baffling to a creature of the night like Blumethal.) But you have to love his logic: Exposing how the Trump-Russia investigation got started is distracting from Democrats investigating Trump-Russia.
Freedom Caucus head Rep. Mark Meadows was more enthusiastic. “Outstanding,” he posted on Twitter. “Americans are going to learn the truth about what occurred at their Justice Department.”
Columnist Mark Stein was also applauding Trump’s act. He also reminds us, “President Trump’s last attempt to declassify these materials was scuttled when London and Canberra called to ask him not to — because it would not be helpful to the official storyline re Christopher Steele, Alexander Downer, MI6 et al.”
Hours before tonight’s announcement, President Trump expressed his resolve to get the truth out. “They have unsuccessfully tried to bring down the wrong person,” he said. “That’s treason…treason.”
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.