Russia Collusion Saga — Chapter 27

Russia Collusion Saga — Chapter 27

The latest salvo in the Russia Collusion Saga comes not from Robert Mueller’s indictment of 13 Russians, but from Obama loyalist John Brennan.
Daniel Oliver

One problem with Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation is that we keep talking about it. That, of course, was the primary reason the Resistance wanted the investigation. It was a way of slowing down, if not absolutely paralyzing, the Trump administration. The Resistance’s objections to the Trump administration are not primarily to President Trump; they are to his programs.

The lefties didn’t want lower taxes. They don’t want fewer regulations. And they don’t seem to care that unemployment has already gone down — in the case of blacks and Hispanics, to the lowest levels since records have been kept. We know liberals don’t care because when Trump mentioned the declining rates in his State of the Union address, Democrats sat on their left-wing fannies while Republicans jumped up and cheered.

The latest salvo in the Russia Collusion Saga comes not from Robert Mueller’s indictment of 13 Russians — who live in Russia and will never be brought to justice here, indicating that the indictments were primarily for (or only for) show; not that shows can’t be important for making points.

No, the latest salvo comes from Obama loyalist John Brennan, who was the director of the Central Intelligence Agency at the time of the 2016 election. He has put out on Twitter his take on the Russia collusion business and the recent Mueller indictments, making fun of Trump’s claim that the Russia collusion narrative is a hoax. Brennan tweeted: “Claims of a ‘hoax’ in tatters. My take: Implausible that Russian actions did not influence the views and votes of at least some Americans.”

Wow! And water has been discovered flowing downhill. If Brennan is to be understood as meaning anything serious, he must mean that enough votes may have been changed to affect the outcome of the election.

Now that is ― or would be ― interesting. It would be interesting because the January 6, 2017, report of the intelligence community, i.e., the CIA, NSA, and now-discredited FBI, says that although Russia interfered in the election: “We did not make an assessment of the impact that Russian activities had on the outcome of the 2016 election.”

So when did Brennan make his assessment that Russian actions did influence the views and votes of at least some Americans? Brennan left the CIA on January 20, 2016. Did he make his assessment sometime in the fourteen days between January 6 when the report of the intelligence community was published and January 20 when he resigned?

If so, did he make his assessment all on his own, without any assistance from any of the CIA staff? He was sitting in his office late one night in the dark, nursing a 16-year-old single malt whisky when — bingo! — the light goes on (but it’s only the charlady: she turns it off quickly) and he realizes that it’s implausible that Russian actions did not influence the views and votes of “at least some Americans.”

Or was he aided in his deliberations by CIA staff? If so, shouldn’t the American people be informed of those deliberations? They were presumably not his own, or at least not solely his own — certainly not his own “property.” They belong to the American people. Why weren’t the American people informed by Mr. Brennan before now?

Or did Mr. Brennan come to his conclusion after he left the CIA? In which case, did he acquire new facts that were not available to the CIA when he was there? And if so, how on earth did he do that? Did he have the security clearance to see new information?

Or, a fourth possibility: Mr. Brennan is just pumping out a lot of hot air.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, Democrats have been reduced to claiming that there was nothing wrong with using the Christopher Steele dossier (aka the Hillary Clinton–Democratic National Committee dossier) as the basis for the FISA warrant to spy on Carter Page, the sometime window-dressing “advisor” to the Trump campaign. There was nothing wrong, they say, because the “facts” in the Steele dossier may turn out to be true after all.

But of course that isn’t the point. The point is that even if the facts in the dossier do turn out to be true, the FBI didn’t know they were true at the time they presented the dossier to the FISA court. James Comey, the FBI director at the time, has described the dossier as “salacious and unverified.” Basing an application for a FISA warrant on a document known to be unverified — and not just unverified but also from a highly partisan source, who would not be likely to present the whole truth — would seem to be … just what you’d expect from the Obama administration.

But, see? That’s the problem. We’re spending all this time on the Russia collusion story instead of on whether we should have a strong dollar, or cut the Department of Education budget by 5 percent (no!) or by 50 percent (yes!!), or make Colorado obey the national marijuana laws. That distraction is precisely what the Resistance wants.

And that’s why Robert Mueller (an honorable man, as honorable as any man in Washington — and that includes women too) should be told to wrap up his investigation by, say, May 17, 2018, one year after he was appointed. There’s a country to govern, and the Mueller investigation distracts us from that business and compels us to move on to: Russia Collusion Saga— Chapter 28.

Daniel Oliver is chairman of the board of Education and Research Institute and senior director of White House Writers Group in Washington DC. In addition to serving as chairman of the Federal Trade Commission under President Ronald Reagan, he was executive editor and subsequently chairman of the board of National Review.

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