FBI Director Christopher Wray is only interested in damage control and institutional preservation for the disgraced and compromised FBI. Rather than cleaning house and reforming the Bureau, Wray is acting as a legal obstructionist, fighting tooth and nail to keep the full story of the corrupt “Crossfire Hurricane” investigation of President Trump and his associates from the American people.
Wray’s conduct will eventually destroy any remaining trust and confidence the public has in the FBI and further erode any remaining belief in the integrity of the Justice Department.
The issue arose yet again this week when Senate Homeland Security Committee chair Ron Johnson, (R-WI), issued a subpoena to the FBI for “all records related to the Crossfire Hurricane investigation.” In an 11-page letter, Johnson explained that he had sought voluntary cooperation from the relevant agencies, but resorted to the subpoena power “primarily because of my strong belief that transparency in government is essential and that the American people have waited too long for the truth.”
Meanwhile Senator Lindsey Graham sent a letter to Wray demanding the names of FBI briefers who he says “misled the hell out of” the Senate Intelligence Committee regarding the reliability of the discredited Steele dossier. A newly declassified FBI briefing document, dated February 14, 2018, had affirmed the reliability of the dossier long after Steele’s primary subsource, Igor Danchenko, had told the Bureau that the salacious report was bunk. The FBI reportedly briefers lied to the Senate just like the Bureau reportedly lied to the FISA court, seeking authorization to set up surveillance on Carter Page, and by extension spy on the entire Trump team, including Mr. Trump himself. Senator Graham said, “somebody needs to go to jail for this,” and would that it were so. But years after these offenses supposedly took place we still have not seen any indictments, much less convictions, of the members of the coup cabal.
The investigation by U.S. Attorney John Durham into the origins of the Russian investigation is also getting stonewalled. In an interview Thursday on Fox Business, President Trump lamented Wray’s not being forthcoming with relevant documents requested by the investigators. “There are documents that they want to get,” Trump said, “and we have said we want to get. We’re going to find out if he’s going to give those documents. But certainly he’s been very, very protective.” It is astonishing that the president cannot simply order the document be declassified and released unredacted to Durham’s investigators, or better still to the American public. It is another symptom of the unaccountability of federal power, even to the chief executive. President Trump is not well-served by many subordinate officials who pay him lip service, then actively sabotage him.
New evidence also demonstrates that the timeline of potential FBI and Intelligence Community misdeeds stretches back further than most people recognize. Former FBI Director James Comey testified under oath that the Crossfire Hurricane investigation began in July 2016. However, the FBI and other government agencies may have been acting against the Trump campaign almost a year earlier.
This week Judicial Watch released 168 pages Justice Department records including a timeline of meetings connected to Peter Strzok and Lisa Page and Steele/Fusion GPS. A handwritten note with the heading “FBI: 11/21, Lisa Page, Peter Strzok DAD, [Redacted] SSA”, has an attached page with the heading, “Partial Chron[ology]” and a list of dates, from “2007 Met 1st time London” to several dates in 2015, to six more in 2016. We know from other sources that Stefan Halper, the Cambridge professor who helped ensnare Carter Page and George Papadopoulos, was awarded a nearly $250,000 U.S. government contract in September 2015. And buried in a 500-page document release from the Senate in June 2018, we find Strzok’s infamous December 28, 2015 message to Page, “You get all our oconus lures approved? ;)” This apparent reference to an overseas entrapment or double agent operation was redacted in a previous FBI document release but exposed by the Senate document dump.
If illegal government spying was going on against the Trump campaign long before he was the Republican nominee, were there also efforts at the time aimed at other Republican candidates? In September of 2015 the political cognoscenti were confidently predicting that the Trump campaign would soon flame out. How could deep state operatives know to target only Trump when pundits considered him the least likely nominee? If it can be shown that the FBI and Intelligence Community had taken similar actions against other Republican candidates or their advisors, then the extent of the abuse of power would be clear, and the motives of the plotters unmistakable.
Given the stonewalling and foot-dragging of the deep state cover-up so far, it may be years before that question can be answered. Imagine if Joe Biden and his wrecking crew of Leftist radicals come to power. It is easy to envision that all investigations would end and whatever evidence of wrongdoing that exists would be quickly eliminated. Then the coup cabal would breathe easy because they will have gotten away with it.
Chris Farrell is director of investigations and research at Judicial Watch, a nonprofit government watchdog. He is a former military intelligence officer.