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Douglas Andrews / January 18, 2021

Declassified Docs Shed Light on Real Collusion

Trump declassified a trove of Crossfire Hurricane files, but whether justice will be served is anyone’s guess.

When it comes to bringing leftist crooks to justice, it seems like Charlie Brown is a Republican, the football is a Democrat, and Lucy is Lady Justice.

And depending on the outcome of Special Counsel John Durham’s criminal investigation, justice may never be served to the Obama-era Spygate co-conspirators. But at least we now have the satisfaction of knowing that it’s true — that Barack Obama and his intelligence services did willfully spy on candidate Donald Trump and, later, on his presidential administration.

As John Solomon reports, “Delivering in his final days on one of his last unfulfilled promises, President Trump is declassifying a massive trove of FBI documents showing the Russia collusion story was leaked in the final weeks of the 2016 election in an effort to counteract Hillary Clinton’s email scandal. … The president authorized the release of a foot-high stack of internal FBI and DOJ documents that detail significant flaws in the investigation and provide a detailed timeline of when the FBI first realized the Steele dossier was problematic.”

Yeah, yeah, you say, we know all about the phony Steele dossier. What about the spying?

“The documents,” Solomon continues, “also will settle a long-debated question in Washington about whether the FBI’s tactics amounted to spying on the Trump campaign. Tasking instructions the FBI gave to [Stefan] Halper, an academic who long worked as an FBI informant, make clear he was instructed to infiltrate the Trump campaign by posing as someone who wanted to work for the GOP nominee and then targeting campaign advisers to find out what they knew about Trump or his campaign’s ties to Russia” (emphasis ours).

To be clear: Pretending to be someone you’re not in order to surreptitiously obtain information you wouldn’t otherwise have access to is spying.

Let’s hope Durham can deliver a lot more justice than he has so far, which amounts to little more than a slap on the wrist for an Obama administration cutout named Kevin Clinesmith. An otherwise anonymous FBI lawyer, Clinesmith fabricated evidence that helped secure a FISA warrant to spy on Trump campaign associate Carter Page.

It strains credulity to think that a nobody like Clinesmith would’ve done what he did without any direction from above. And yet when we consider the cushy plea deal he got without having had to rat out even a single co-conspirator, we can’t help but wonder whether the fix has been in all along.

We’ll soon find out.

President Trump isn’t the only one looking to provide some transparency. On Friday, South Carolina Republican Lindsey Graham released the transcripts of the “Crossfire Hurricane” interviews conducted in recent months by the Senate Judiciary Committee — a committee he chairs for a few more days.

“We have released as much material as possible,” he said in a press release, “but some classified material has still been withheld.”

Graham had harsh words for those involved in the investigation: “I believe that Crossfire Hurricane was one of the most incompetent and corrupt investigations in the history of the FBI and DOJ,” he said. “The FISA court was lied to. Exculpatory information was withheld on those being investigated. The investigators, with some notable exceptions, were incredibly biased and used the powers of law enforcement for political purposes. The subjects of the investigation had their lives turned upside down.”

Harsh words, indeed. But to what end? If there’s one thing we’ve learned during this investigation of the investigators, it’s that talk is cheap. How many times, for example, have we been told that James Comey and John Brennan had better lawyer up? That one day soon we’d see them cuffed and frog-marched?

“It is my hope,” said Graham, “that counterintelligence investigations will be reined in and this never happens again in America.”

Hope isn’t a strategy, Senator Graham, and it won’t deliver justice. And without justice, we can be all but certain that this will happen again. And again. And again. And again.

John Durham: Change our minds.

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