GORDON: Biden Appointees Include Russiagate Hoax Peddlers

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J. D. Gordon Former Pentagon Spokesman, George W. Bush Administration
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Well, that was fast.

Despite Joe Biden’s conciliatory tone on Nov. 7 when the corporate media declared him president-elect, he quickly contradicted himself with some early political appointments. It’s like 17th century French philosopher René Descartes once wrote: “To know what people really think, pay attention to what they do, not what they say.”

On that Saturday night in Wilmington, Delaware, Biden tried to soothe his fellow Americans: “Let us be the nation that we know we can be. A nation united. A nation healed. A nation strengthened.”

Sounds great, right?

Yet then he started naming Russiagate Collusion Hoax peddlers to his cabinet. And the White House. And the transition team.

To be clear, Russiagate was the crime of the century. A crazed anti-Trump #Resistance coalition spent years and tens of millions in taxpayer dollars fighting to overturn a presidential election by attempting to frame the president and dozens of his associates as Russian agents whole stole it.

Hundreds of people were involved. From bad actors within the national intelligence and law enforcement communities, Democrat and Never-Trump Republican political operatives, members of Congress, left-wing think tanks and activist groups, woke corporate media, Big Tech and beyond.

Such people should be shunned as pariahs who sabotaged our democracy — not rewarded with senior administration posts.

So which Biden appointees, thus far, peddled Russiagate?

The first two are Jake Sullivan, the incoming national security adviser, and Neera Tanden, nominated as the Office of Management and Budget director.

Sullivan was Hillary Clinton’s senior foreign policy adviser during the 2016 campaign.

According to recently declassified documents, then-CIA Director John Brennan’s handwritten notes of a briefing to President Obama on July 28, 2016, show the idea behind Russiagate — “stirring up” a scandal with Trump and Russia, began with a Clinton campaign foreign policy adviser. If not Sullivan, then who?

Sullivan acknowledged during a House Intelligence Committee hearing in Dec. 2017 that he briefed reporters from Fox, CNN, NBC, CBS and ABC about his suspicions over Trump-Russia ties during the 2016 campaign. In Oct. 2016, he also issued a campaign statement hyping a Slate report about how a Russian-based bank had a secret server registered to Trump Tower, writing “this could be the most direct link yet between Trump and Moscow.” Like so many other “bombshells” lobbed at Team Trump that littered the Russiagate Highway, the Alfa Bank story was debunked long after it already exploded.

Tanden, as president and CEO of the left-wing think tank Center for American Progress (CAP), also spread Russiagate conspiracies. After Clinton’s shocking loss, Tanden sent a series of tweets alleging that the “Russians” flipped votes for Trump through hacking and “did enough damage to affect 70k votes in 3 states”.

Along with fellow left-wing think tank Brookings Institution and its Lawfare project, CAP was among the activist groups most heavily invested in Russiagate. CAP’s Action Fund tax filings show $9 million in revenues during 2017, the height of Russiagate. It founded The Moscow Project, a conspiracy-laden “resource” targeting President Trump and four dozen associates. The website was updated as recently as this summer with gems like, “Yes, Collusion. Yes, Obstruction.” I guess it’s too expensive to take down. Donors might notice, like the Soros-funded Open Society Policy Center.

Further down the chain, Jen Psaki, Biden’s incoming press secretary, and Barbara McQuade, a DoJ transition official, are still noteworthy even if less involved.

Psaki’s 2017 columns at CNN imply malfeasance over then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions forgetting his 2016 “encounters” with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak during his Senate confirmation hearing. Well, his two handshakes in crowds of people and a brief meeting in his Senate office were just as legitimate as her “encounter” with Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and a top aide while a State Dept. spokeswoman. Maybe he would have remembered if something stood out as unusual. You know, like a photo op wearing a pink Soviet-style furry hat with the communist logo hammer and sickle?

McQuade is a former U.S. Attorney and MSNBC contributor who used her legal expertise to provide legitimacy to purported news shows which normalized anti-Trump rumor and innuendo. Even after the 448-page Mueller Report was released in April 2019 showing the special counsel cleared the Trump campaign of Russian collusion, she co-authored a Time column insisting there was collusion. And that the campaign wasn’t spied upon, despite the illegal FISA warrants.

So what can be done?

First, Senate Republicans should block all Russiagate hoaxers for positions requiring confirmation. Some have already self-destructed and probably won’t be nominated, like Rep. Eric Swalwell for his personal and campaign ties to Christine Fang, a.k.a. Fang Fang, a photogenic young alleged Chinese spy with a history of romancing politicians; and suspended CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin for exposing himself on a Zoom work call.

Second, newly-authorized Special Counsel John Durham needs to investigate and prosecute Russiagate rogues with the same zeal Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s staff used against Team Trump. And quickly, in case Biden tries to shut him down.

Third, Americans must always remember those responsible for the attack on our democracy and hold them accountable in the public arena so it never happens again.

It’s not much, but the least we can do.

J.D. Gordon is a former Senior National Security & Foreign Policy Advisor to Donald Trump.  Previously, he served as a Pentagon spokesman during the George W. Bush Administration and is a retired Navy Commander.