Like George Constanza’s mom once told her sad sack of a son on Seinfeld, “Every day it’s something new with you!”
And so it goes with the soap opera at the Department of Justice, where career officials—and their defenders in the mainstream media—are scrambling to come up with the least implausible explanation for why the Trump campaign seemed to have more government moles in it than the Gambino crime family. This comes fresh on the heels of the president calling out the DOJ for treating him much like Dean Wormer treated the Deltas, with the Obama administration pulling some double-secret probation moves for what increasingly appears to be politics dressed up as national security:
This has, incredibly enough, led to the specter of analysts—you know, those people who get paid handsomely by cable news networks to explain the arcana of how government works—feigning complete and total ignorance when it comes to their supposed area of expertise. For instance, here’s Ali H. Soufan, whose Twitter bio describes him as a former FBI special agent:
Say what? Then what exactly does the president talk about when he rings up the DOJ? Maybe he really took Loretta Lynch at her word when she claimed that her runway confab with Bill Clinton was all about the grandchildren and had nothing to do with the DOJ’s ongoing investigation into Hillary’s emails—but as a career FBI guy, he should know better. And he does know better, which is why stuff like this is so nefarious. It amounts to a disinformation campaign on the part of the media to confuse the public on what’s really going on and cast Donald Trump as the villain trying to tear down the Constitutional order, when, in fact, the Obama administration repeatedly and brazenly abused its powers.
Newly-examined emails among high-ranking U.S. intel officials at the time—including then-Director James Comey and his chief of staff James Rybicki—reference a “sensitive matter team.”
Based on the context of the emails, the “sensitive matter” appears to be the Trump-Russia narrative, and political opposition research funded by the Hillary Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee. The research— known as the “Steele dossier”— was peddled to the press and secretly used, in part, to justify controversial FBI wiretaps against at least one Trump associate.
Sounds strangely as if they were trying to compartmentalize the investigation to keep the “wrong” people from finding out about it—like maybe those who would see such as investigation as problematic, if not downright corrupt.
According to Sen. Johnson’s letter, Comey chief of staff Rybicki emailed unidentified recipients on the morning of Jan. 6, 2017 stating, “[Director Comey] is coming to HQ briefly now for an update on the sensitive matter team.”
Later in the day, Comey briefed President-elect Trump on a few of the salacious, unverified allegations in the Steele dossier. The next day, Comey reported on his briefing in an email to FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, FBI General Counsel James Baker and Chief of Staff Rybicki. (All four men have since resigned or been fired from the FBI.)
“I said there was something [Director of National Intelligence James] Clapper wanted me to speak to [President Elect Trump] about alone or in a very small group,” Comey wrote in the email. “I then executed the session exactly as I had planned…I said media like CNN had them and were looking for a news hook.” (Clapper now works as a CNN contributor.)
You mean a hook such as the president getting briefed about certain salacious details?
A day later, Jan. 8, FBI Deputy Director McCabe emailed Comey and Rybicki with the subject title: “Flood is coming.”
“CNN is close to going forward with the sensitive story,” McCabe wrote. “The trigger for them is they know the material was discussed in the [presidential] brief and presented in an attachment.”
Call me paranoid, but this looks an awful lot like the FBI and the DOJ coordinating with CNN to put out a story they knew to be unverified oppo research for the express purpose of damaging Trump. Does that make me a conspiracy theorist?
Clearly, there is a rot that has settled into our institutions of law and order—and Donald Trump is entirely justified in calling for an investigation into it. More critically, he would be remiss in his duties as the chief law enforcement executive if he didn’t. The question is, will he just keep tweeting about this sensitive matter—or will he order an immediate declassification of all the materials associated with it?
The public deserves to know the truth about what really happened. Indeed, the health of the republic depends upon it.