Former Obama administration defense official Evelyn Farkas testified under oath that she lied during an MSNBC interview when she claimed to have evidence of alleged collusion, a newly declassified congressional transcript of her testimony shows. Farkas testified before the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence on June 26, 2017, as part of the committee’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election between Donald Trump and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
Lawmakers keyed in on an appearance Farkas made on MSNBC on March 2, 2017, in which she urged intelligence community bureaucrats to disseminate within the government and potentially even leak to media any incriminating information they had about Trump or his aides.
“I had a fear that somehow that information would disappear with the senior [Obama administration] people who left…[that] it would be hidden away in the bureaucracy,” Farkas said.
Farkas, who served in the Obama administration as the deputy assistant secretary of Defense for Russia, Ukraine, and Eurasia from 2012 through 2015, also claimed that administration officials appointed by Trump might even destroy evidence of alleged collusion if they “found out how we knew what we knew about the Trump staff’s dealing with Russians.”
They might “try to compromise those sources and methods,” Farkas alleged in the MSNBC interview. “And we would no longer have access to that intelligence.”
“Not enough was coming out into the open and I knew there was more,” Farkas claimed.
But Farkas sang a different tone under oath when questioned by lawmakers about what she actually “knew” about collusion.
“Why don’t we go back to that sentence that I just asked you about. It says ‘the Trump folks, if they found out how we knew what we knew about their staff dealing with Russians,” Gowdy said. “Well, how would you know what the U.S. government knew at that point? You didn’t work for it, did you?”
“I didn’t,” said Farkas, a former mid-level Russia analyst who left the federal government in 2015.
“Then how did you know?” Gowdy responded.
“I didn’t know anything,” Farkas said.
“Did you have information connecting the Trump campaign to the hack of the DNC?” Gowdy asked.
“No,” Farkas admitted.
“So when you say, ‘We knew,’ the reality is you knew nothing,” Gowdy asked later during the deposition.
“Correct,” Farkas responded.
Gowdy didn’t stop there.
“So when you say ‘knew,’ what you really meant was felt?” he asked.
“Correct,” Farkas answered.
“You didn’t know anything?” Gowdy continued.
“That’s correct,” Farkas responded.
Farkas, a Democrat, is currently running for Congress in New York’s 17th district.