The just-released Durham report confirmed that the FBI not only failed to corroborate the Steele dossier, Hillary Clinton’s oppo-doc against Donald Trump, but it regularly ignored existing, sometimes dispositive, evidence to keep the investigation alive. Some officials were credulous. Others were devious. But no one “stole” our democracy — other than perhaps intelligence officials and the journalists who helped feed the collective hysteria over Russia.
John Brennan, Hamas-loving authoritarian and partisan propagandist, almost surely knew it was a con from the start. Yet he spent four years on television sounding like a deranged subreddit commenter. Even after privately admitting he knew there was no collusion, Brennan kept lying and using his credentials to mislead the public.
From Durham’s report:
CIA Director John Brennan and Deputy Director David Cohen were interviewed by the Office and were asked about their knowledge of any actual evidence of members of the Trump campaign conspiring or colluding with Russian officials. When Brennan was provided with an overview of the origins of the Attorney General’s Review after Special Counsel Mueller finding a lack of evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian authorities, Brennan offered that “they found no conspiracy.”
As Durham points out, even after Special Counsel Robert Mueller delivered his report, and after Brennan admitted no one found a conspiracy between Russia and the Trump campaign, the former head of the CIA went on with MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough, another all-star election “denier,” and claimed that he “suspected there was more” to collusion between the Trump campaign and Vladimir Putin than Mueller had let on.
Did I mention this was the former director of the Central Intelligence Agency?
Brennan must have been relying on that same gut instinct that led him to sign a letter asserting that the New York Post’s Hunter Biden laptop scoop, a journalistic effort with more corroboration than virtually anything connected to Trump’s alleged “collusion,” had “all the classic earmarks of a Russian information operation.”
The House Judiciary Committee recently uncovered a Oct. 19, 2020, email from CIA Deputy Director Michael Morell, who was working with the Biden campaign to concoct “a talking point” to “push back on Trump” during the final presidential debates, asking Brennan to sign on to the “disinformation” letter. “Ok, Michael, add my name to the list. Good initiative. Thanks for asking me to sign on,” was Brennan’s reply.
That’s all it takes for the former CIA director, a man who was given immense unchecked power — a man who oversaw secret kill lists and was the driving force behind drone strikes on civilians (including an American citizen) — to sign a letter he knew would obstruct the workings of “democracy” and the free press.
This is a man who still has access to classified documents. You might remember all the hand-wringing over broken norms when Trump allegedly barred intelligence agencies from sharing classified information with Brennan. The New York Times even gave him a column to argue that Trump’s claims of “no collusion” were “why the president revoked my security clearance,” which, again, he almost certainly knew was a lie.
Of course, Brennan should have been denied access to any classified material and driven into exile after he was caught overseeing an operation of illegal spying on staffers in the Senate. CIA officials broke into Senate computer files and viewed emails and drafts of a report on torture. All of it was illegal. Brennan covered up the agency’s actions (also illegal), blamed the Senate, and pushed to fire at least one staffer who was tasked with investigating his agency.
All this happened when the tan-suited Obama was in charge, so most people probably missed it.
It wasn’t until the CIA’s inspector general confirmed this wrongdoing that Brennan began negotiating with the lily-livered senators about owning up to the spying. Even then, Brennan was lying. When asked about the CIA hacking into Senate computers at an appearance at the Council on Foreign Relations, Brennan responded by saying, “Nothing could be further from the truth.” Nothing? “I mean, we wouldn’t do that,” he went on. “I mean, that’s just beyond the — you know, the scope of reason in terms of what we would do.” Brennan went on to say: “Let me assure you the CIA was in no way spying on [the committee] or the Senate.”
The Obama administration backed Brennan fully, and the Senate moved on. No one put him under oath and grilled him about the specifics. As with the FBI interference in the 2016 election, not one person was held accountable for domestic spying, much less fired.
Not that my voice matters very much, but this is probably the first time in 20 years of writing — and I’ve written thousands of columns and millions of published words — that I’ve wondered why a public official isn’t in prison. Brennan has abused his position, power, and access with impunity for years. He deserves a bright orange jumpsuit. Yet we also all know he’ll never be held accountable either. So, at the very least, let’s hope he can be disgraced.