While reading a great article by Mollie Hemmingway at The Federalist, something stands out that might lend a cautious amount of optimism toward ongoing ‘spygate’ investigative inquiries and accountability. There are two distinct differences in the Bruce Ohr testimony as compared to all others released or revealed so far.
The known list of witnesses questioned by the joint House Judiciary and Oversight committees includes: James Comey, Andrew McCabe, James Baker, Lisa Page, Bill Priestap, Peter Strzok, and Bruce Ohr.
Until the release of the Ohr transcript all prior reports and leaks of witness testimony have been from the FBI side of ‘spygate’. Bruce Ohr is the first witness from the Main Justice (DOJ) side of the issue.
Within the released witness transcripts, lawyers from the FBI were interceding in the testimony and instructing witness not to answer questions; and/or blocking statements from the witness to the questioners. This pattern exists in Comey, McCabe, Baker, Page, Priestap and Strzok statements. However, there is a stark difference, a much more fulsome set of answers, obvious in the testimony from Bruce Ohr. Example:
[…] Rep. John Ratcliffe, R-Texas, asked specifically about what the FBI had been told before their first FISA application. He said, “So, again, so the record is clear, what the Department of Justice and the FBI was aware of prior to the first FISA application was your relationship with Christopher Steele and Glenn Simpson, your wife’s relationship with Christopher Steele and Glenn Simpson, Mr. Steele’s bias against Donald Trump, your wife’s compensation for work for Glenn Simpson and Fusion GPS, correct?”
Ohr conferred with his lawyer but said, “Right,” and went on to list the things he told the FBI, including “At some point, and I don’t remember exactly when, I don’t think it was the first conversation, I told them that Chris Steele was desperate that Donald Trump not get elected. So those are all the facts that I provided to the FBI.” (read more)
By all appearances, the Bruce Ohr testimony was far more direct and open. As a result the transcript provides substantially more weight to deconstruct the fraudulent narrative found amid claims and leaks from the FBI side of witnesses questioned. [See Here and See Here]
Question: Could it be that the absence of FBI lawyers, focused on FBI stakeholder interests, led to a more truthful end result from the Ohr testimony?
If so… could that not indicate a stronger likelihood the epicenter of the illicit “spygate” origination motive and intents lies factually in the FBI and not in Main Justice.
In Lisa Page’s transcript (as leaked) she outlined the conflict and schism between the FBI operation in 2016/2017 and across the street at the DOJ.
[…] According to Page, the ongoing dispute with the DOJ ran from “February/March-ish of 2016” to June of 2016. Page also noted one other critical factor in the investigation: “the FBI cannot execute a search warrant without approval from the Justice Department.” (more)
Following this line of possibility – one could infer that Main Justice priority (Lynch and Yates) was the exoneration/protection of Hillary Clinton; however, the FBI side of the overall effort (Comey and more specifically McCabe) was prioritized around the removal of candidate Trump (via ‘spygate’ writ large).
In the aftermath of the corrupt enterprise, and as the house of tenuous cards begins to collapse, the exoneration of Clinton is the lesser risk; and the discoveries of how far out of bounds the FBI and Intelligence Community traveled becomes the bigger risk.
If Andrew McCabe (and the FBI Team) were indeed the architect and primary control official in the targeting of Donald Trump, it would stand to reason the FBI lawyers would have a different set of priorities to defend the corrupted institution.
In addition to the substance within the testimony, perhaps the absence of lawyers protecting FBI interests is why Bruce Ohr’s testimony is so damaging….