Features Australia

Mr President, look beyond the swamp

10 February 2018

9:00 AM

10 February 2018

9:00 AM

Not since Ronald Reagan has the reaction to a State of the Union address been so optimistic, anticipating the return of the United States as the undisputed world superpower, an overwhelming force for good. Opposition comes not only from foreign dictatorships, it also comes from within the swamp.

Even before the inauguration, an impeachment was already on the agenda of some, encouraged by too many in the mainstream media.

The anti-Trump phalanx extended to politicians donning black robes to sit on the bench disguised as judges, issuing nationwide injunctions far beyond their districts, claiming to protect people who had never heard of them. Worse, the commander-in-chief was targeted by highly partisan bureaucrats in the FBI and the Department of Justice (DOJ) who believe they and not the Constitution should determine who should be president.

But with the release of a House Intelligence Committee memorandum on the electronic surveillance of the Trump election campaign, their conspiracy has at last been exposed.

Nobody now denies what President Trump was ridiculed for complaining about, that he had been wiretapped. Nor do any of those complaining about the release of the memorandum challenge what must be the core accusation— a failure to act in relation to the FISC, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, with the only permissible standard when liberty is involved and only one side heard, uberrimae fidei, utmost good faith.

This represents not only a level of corruption and abuse of power never before seen in Washington but also that the Mueller Special Investigation into Russian collusion was never justified.

Before coming to the details, what is the solution? The first step must be to appoint a Special Counsel to establish the facts.

It is crucial that Counsel be energetic, fiercely independent and of undoubted integrity. Why not then, Mr President, look beyond the swamp? Why not, either as Special Counsel or Associate Counsel, appoint someone of the calibre of that that highly qualified Antipodean lawyer, Crown Prosecutor Margaret Cunneen?

Now to the outrage itself. The warrant was finally granted on 21 October 2016 by the FISC under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, (FISA). The judge was presumably satisfied then and on each 90 day renewal until past the inauguration, that there was ‘probable cause’ that Trump volunteer, Carter Page, was knowingly engaged in Russian intelligence activities involving the commission of a crime. This is a high bar to cross, and what is obvious is that the judge was only told half the story by the conspirators.

There can be no doubt that any judge acting properly would never have granted the warrant had he or she been aware of all the facts.

The signatures on the various applications include the dismissed FBI Director, James Comey, FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, who has just left the agency, Deputy A-G Sally Yates, dismissed for disobedience over immigration bans, and Deputy A-G Rod Rosenstein, who appointed Robert Mueller as Special Counsel Investigating the non-existent collusion with the Russians.

According to testimony offered by Deputy Director McCabe to House Intelligence in December 2017, an essential part of each FISA application was a report by a former MI6 operative, Christopher Steele.

This was commissioned through Fusion GPS by the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and the Hillary Clinton campaign. Steele was paid over $160,000 to cloak derogatory and unverifiable stories as well as gossip about Trump into the language of an intelligence report. Later Comey agreed to pay him more. But in his June 2017 testimony to House Intelligence, Comey curiously changed tack and dismissed the Dossier as ‘salacious and unverified’.

While the FISA applications referred to Steele’s past, they revealed neither that he was dedicated to blocking a Trump election, nor working for and generously paid by the Democratic campaigns on a political document to be dressed up as if it were an intelligence report.

But both senior FBI and DOJ officials were well aware of all these facts. So why did they not tell the judge? The answer is obvious.

The FISA application also cited a Yahoo News article by Michael Isikoff as corroboration for the Dossier. The judge was told this was not provided by Steele, but Steele admitted to a UK court that at the direction of Fusion GPS he met with Isikoff and gave him this information. He also briefed other media off the record, which led to an assumption that the Dossier was being corroborated independently.

This led to understandable but ignored concerns within responsible FBI circles that any corroboration of the Dossier was only in its ‘infancy’ and that it was only ‘minimally corroborated’.

Although Steele’s relations with the FBI were terminated when he revealed to a Mother Jones journalist his role in the agency, he maintained contact with Associate Deputy A-G Bruce Ohr.

Ohr noted that Steele told him he was ‘desperate’ and ‘passionate’ that Trump not be elected. You will probably have difficulty believing this, but Ohr’s wife, Nellie, also worked for Fusion GPS on the Dossier, referring to her husband any new derogatory political material on Trump which he then circulated within the FBI.

The memorandum also notes that FBI agent Pete Strzok had to be removed from the Trump investigation when texts with his mistress, FBI attorney Lisa Page, first, demonstrated an extreme bias against Trump, second, orchestrated leaks to the media, and finally, included reference to a meeting with Deputy Director McCabe to discuss an ‘insurance’ policy against Donald Trump’s election.

Strzok was also involved in drafting a letter for Comey exonerating Mrs Clinton on false grounds from serious official secret offences, both before any examination and after subpoenaed evidence had been destroyed.

In any event, with the election of Donald Trump which the conspirators did not envisage, it was necessary to justify the FISA warrants.

How better than to hit two birds with one stone? Invent collusion and it would not only justify the FISA applications, it could trigger an impeachment.

The facts surrounding these extraordinary events must be established to restore good governance in the US and by example, in the world.

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