y The Zman
A story that has largely been forgotten, is the investigation into what happened with the intelligence services at the end of the Obama administration, into the start of the Trump administration. Trump has stopped tweeting about it and he never gets asked about by the media. Some elements of the Left are trying to keep the Russian collusion hoax alive, in order to push impeachment, but no one mentions the FBI scandal. What should be an important story is largely ignored by the liberal media for obvious reasons.
Despite the radio silence, the investigation appears to be continuing. A new witness has turned up, delaying the Horowitz report on the FISA abuse. The Inspector General lacks subpoena power, so people outside the DOJ don’t have to speak with him. For some unknown reason, this person has now agreed to answer questions. Since this person was in the State Department at the time of the FISA abuse, the assumption is she knows something about the foreign assets the FBI was using to get warrants.
Out of the blue, the Washington Post put out a big story claiming Joseph Mifsud was a Russian intelligence asset. The absurdity of the claim is less important than the timing, as no one was talking about this issue. For some reason, people in the FBI thought they needed to plant this nonsense in the press. The assumption is that he is cooperating with the new prosecutor appointed by Attorney General Barr. While little is known about his investigation, he has impaneled a grand jury and is subpoenaing witnesses.
That’s been the missing piece of this political puzzle for a long time. When Jeff Sessions recused himself, it allowed Rod Rosenstein and Bob Mueller to build a firewall around the FBI spying case. The only person looking into it was the inspector general, and he lacks subpoena power. That was the whole point of the Mueller investigation. His job was to bottle all of this up and run out the clock. When Trump fired Sessions and brought in Barr, the game was up. Mueller was sidelined and Rosenstein resigned.
At this point, the broad contours of the case are known. Elements within the DOJ and FBI setup an espionage operation on the Trump campaign. They used stories they planted in the media and friendly foreign assets to fabricate a case they presented to the FISA court in order to get warrants on Trump people. This allowed them to spy on the Trump campaign and presumably share the intelligence with the Clinton campaign, through FusionGPS, the political dirty tricks shop.
What is unknown at this stage is who authorized the operation. James Comey was head of the FBI, but he appears to be a patsy, as he is too dumb and timid to have pulled off this caper. It is entirely possible that this scheme was hatched by senior level people in the DOJ and FBI through their social network. At some point, someone in the administration was made aware of it. The text messages between Peter Strzok and Lisa Page make clear that the FBI was riddled with left-wing fanatics.
There’s also the question of just how wide ranging was this conspiracy. The list of names directly implicated is over two dozen. There are another two dozen that seem to have had some connection to the caper. The connection with the Clinton campaign has been largely ignored, but it is entirely possible that the missing e-mails from Clinton’s illegal server are involved. Then there are the foreign intelligence assets that have been implicated. There are at least three foreign governments named thus far.
The biggest unknown is what exactly is happening with the investigation. Barr brought in what amounts to a special prosecutor. He has a hand-picked staff and is working on just the FBI stuff and anything related to it. That means he is looking into the handling the Clinton e-mail case as well as the FBI spy ring. Barr is also known to have a deep dislike for the Clinton people, so it seem unlikely he is preparing to broom the whole thing or drag it out until Trump leaves office.
Lost in all of this is the fact that the people involved in these conspiracy seem to really bad at their jobs. If you are a senior person in the FBI, relying on signal intelligence to track suspected enemies of the state, you should know better than to use simple text messaging to coordinate your conspiracy. Even when they knew their shenanigans were going to be revealed and they needed a cover story, they continue to use text and e-mail on government phones to coordinate their conspiracy.
Of course, everything about this case is political. If Barr moves to indict some of the people involved, they may be willing to cut deals to avoid prison. Because no one knows the full story, no one can be sure who will be ratted out by these people. This is a case that could quickly go from being about rogue FBI agents to a story about the overall corruption in Washington. With the 2020 election coming up, this case could be the ultimate political weapon for Team Trump.
On the other hand, this could turn out to be the issue that rips the Democrat party to shreds over the next year. Joe Biden is the front runner, despite his recent problems, due to his association with Obama. How long before a rival asks him what did he know and when did he know it? Then you have Harris, who is connected to the Clinton political machine. This story could easily become a party scandal that unleashes all the old hatreds between the various tribes in the coalition.
The next year could be a lot of fun.