Also, why is the FBI being so difficult with information?
In The Wall Street Journal, Kimberley Strassel penned an op-ed that suggests the FBI may have placed a mole within then-GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump’s campaign since the department will not reveal its top-secret source.
And when did the FBI become so secretive? A former FBI agent wrote in the WSJ that in his time, Congress wouldn’t ever need to request a subpoena to retrieve information from the bureau.
The FBI Source
She wrote (emphasis mine):
Among them is that the Justice Department and Federal Bureau of Investigation outright hid critical information from a congressional investigation. In a Thursday press conference, Speaker Paul Ryan bluntly noted that Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes’s request for details on this secret source was “wholly appropriate,” “completely within the scope” of the committee’s long-running FBI investigation, and “something that probably should have been answered a while ago.” Translation: The department knew full well it should have turned this material over to congressional investigators last year, but instead deliberately concealed it.
House investigators nonetheless sniffed out a name, and Mr. Nunes in recent weeks issued a letter and a subpoena demanding more details. Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein’s response was to double down—accusing the House of “extortion” and delivering a speech in which he claimed that “declining to open the FBI’s files to review” is a constitutional “duty.” Justice asked the White House to back its stonewall. And it even began spinning that daddy of all superspook arguments—that revealing any detail about this particular asset could result in “loss of human lives.”
Strassel described Rosenstein’s response as desperation and more than likely the reveal will make the FBI “very uncomfortable.” Strassel continued:
Thanks to the Washington Post’s unnamed law-enforcement leakers, we know Mr. Nunes’s request deals with a “top secret intelligence source” of the FBI and CIA, who is a U.S. citizen and who was involved in the Russia collusion probe. When government agencies refer to sources, they mean people who appear to be average citizens but use their profession or contacts to spy for the agency. Ergo, we might take this to mean that the FBI secretly had a person on the payroll who used his or her non-FBI credentials to interact in some capacity with the Trump campaign.
This would amount to spying, and it is hugely disconcerting. It would also be a major escalation from the electronic surveillance we already knew about, which was bad enough. Obama political appointees rampantly “unmasked” Trump campaign officials to monitor their conversations, while the FBI played dirty with its surveillance warrant against Carter Page, failing to tell the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court that its supporting information came from the Hillary Clinton campaign. Now we find it may have also been rolling out human intelligence, John Le Carré style, to infiltrate the Trump campaign.
It’s very possible that this “source” is someone who already had a place in the campaign and the FBI merely chose the person. However, the DOJ has also said that revealing the name could possibly “damage international relationships.” Strassel wrote that means the person “may be overseas, have ties to foreign intelligence, or both.”
Yes, it’s possible another foreigner is part of this puzzle. I mean, everyone is all uppity about Russia interfering in our election, but remember an Australian diplomat “reported the Papadopoulos conversation,” former British spy Christoper Steele authored the dossier, and a former British diplomat told Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) about said dossier.
If the FBI actually planted someone in the campaign, that deserves an investigation like the Russia-Trump collusion. It’s an intrusion into a presidential campaign and, in my opinion, no better than a foreign government doing the same thing. Actually, it sickens me more to think of our agencies doing it.
The DOJ claims the FBI triggered its investigation into possible collusion after it received a tip in July 2016 about an over talkative George Papadopoulos.
We still need these answers: When did the FBI receive that infamous Steele dossier? When did the FBI receive the Papadopoulos information?
We also need to know when this “source” started because if the person came into play before the Papadopoulos information the FBI “was spying on the Trump campaign before that moment,” which means that the department “had been spurred to act on the basis of something other than a junior campaign aide’s loose lips.”
FBI’s Secretive Behavior
Let’s also look at the hostile behavior from the FBI and DOJ. The Wall Street Journal published an op-ed about it from retired FBI special agent Thomas Baker on the same day as Strassel’s piece.
Baker cannot believe the department’s “shocking disrespect for Congress” because during his 33 years at the FBI, “lawmakers’ requests for information got prompt responses.” Baker wrote (emphasis mine):
Former Directors William Webster (1978-87) and Louis Freeh (1993-2001) insisted that the FBI respond promptly to any congressional request. In those days a congressional committee didn’t need a subpoena to get information from the FBI. Yes, we were particularly responsive to the appropriations committees, which are key to the bureau’s funding. But my colleagues and I shared a general sense that responding to congressional requests was the right thing to do.
The bureau’s leaders often reminded us of Congress’s legitimate oversight role. This was particularly true of the so-called Gang of Eight, which was created by statute to ensure the existence of a secure vehicle through which congressional leaders could be briefed on the most sensitive counterintelligence or terrorism investigations.
This Gang of Eight is not the same Gang of Eight formed in 2013 who wrote an immigration bill.
No, this Gang of Eight includes eight senators who receive briefings on classified information. This is why Baker cannot believe that the FBI and DOJ have guarded information so closely or that former FBI Director James Comey didn’t tell Congress about the investigation on Trump.
THIS IS WHY CONGRESS HAS THE GANG OF EIGHT. Baker said not using this group of senators “is inexplicable” because they EXIST FOR THIS VERY REASON.
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