JUST HOW FAR?
by Sharon Rondeau
(May 10, 2019) — On Friday night’s “Hannity,” investigative reporter Sara A. Carter said that “members of the Obama administration” are implicated not only in “surveillance” and “unmasking” of Trump campaign aides but also engaged in activity which went “far beyond the Trump campaign.”
In the absence of Sean Hannity’s Friday, former Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT), a Fox News contributor since resigning from Congress in June 2017, hosted the show.
Carter said that regardless of a Thursday interview with “Lawfare” at the Brookings Institution by former FBI General Counsel James Baker in which Baker said the FBI and DOJ properly warned the FISA court of the political origins of the “Steele dossier,” used as evidence to obtain four successive surveillance warrants on former Trump advisor Carter Page, “Baker is under investigation for leaks.”
Baker is currently a “contributing editor” to Lawfare.
The dossier claimed that Trump was receiving political assistance from the Kremlin and implied that he could be subject to blackmail based on “salacious and unverified” statements, as former FBI Director James Comey described it to Trump shortly after the election.
At some point in 2016, or perhaps before, the FBI launched a counterintelligence probe into the Trump campaign on the suspicion that one or more of his aides was “colluding” with the Kremlin to gain an election advantage over Democrat contender Hillary Clinton.
Comey, however, signed the first FISA warrant on Page, averring that the information it contained was verified to the best of the FBI’s ability.
Carter’s reference to a “leak” investigation was to a probe being conducted by U.S. Attorney John Durham, according to Baker’s counsel during Baker’s testimony to members of Congress last fall and a letter written by Rep. Jim Jordan in January.
During Baker’s closed-door testimony on the FBI’s “Russia” investigation on October 3 and 18, 2018, Reps. Jordan and Mark Meadows indicated they had emails in their possession demonstrating that Baker was in regular contact with The New York Times about the probe launched by the Bureau in 2016 and completed by Special Counsel Robert Mueller in March with no findings of “collusion” between the campaign, or any American, and Russia.
The dossier, compiled by former British intelligence agent Christopher Steele, was circulated among Obama-regime agencies over the summer and fall of 2016, with Steele having leaked certain elements to Michael Isikoff at Yahoo! News, The New York Times, and The Washington Post. For at least a portion of the time Steele was allegedly tapping into his Russian sources to gather derogatory information about Trump and Russia at the request of private opposition-research company Fusion GPS, he was also an FBI confidential human source. By leaking his work product to the media, Steele reportedly violated his agreement with the FBI and was terminated from their service.
However, Steele continued to funnel Trump-Russia material to DOJ official Bruce Ohr, who testified that he then relayed it, allegedly with the caveat that it was unverified, to a contact at the FBI.
In response to Chaffetz’s comment that the FISA application could have stated, “Hey, this is paid for by the Clinton campaign and the DNC. Do we believe Baker now…?” Carter replied, “No. I think Baker right now realizes he’s in jeopardy as well, that he was part of this process; he even admits to the fact that it was he that oversaw a lot of this, the FISA applications that went before the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, and it’s also Baker that’s under investigation right now…”
Carter reminded the audience that she broke that news “nearly two years ago” when she worked for Circa News.
Contrary to Baker’s claims as well as Comey’s at a CNN “townhall” on Thursday night that the investigation into the Trump campaign was conducted “by the book,” Carter said, “So we have a number of high-level senior officials at the FBI under investigation right now for their failure to adhere to the law…They violated everything in the book. But Jason, it goes far beyond this. What we’re seeing now is just the tip of an iceberg; remember, the iceberg below, the water is much larger. And I think that’s the reason they’re fighting back so hard.”
Accusing the former FBI officials of “gaslighting the public,” Carter then said, “They withheld exculpatory evidence. And I think that the more we see, the more we’ll realize how far members of the Obama administration went, not only with surveillance, but with unmasking and far beyond the Trump campaign.”
On Monday night’s “Hannity,” Carter said that an “abuse of power extended years before” the Russia investigation was launched.
During his confirmation hearings, Attorney General William Barr pledged to conduct a probe into the basis for the FBI’s counterintelligence investigation of alleged Trump-Russia collusion. In testimony to two congressional subcommittees last month, Barr said that in his opinion, “spying did occur” on the campaign, that it “is a big deal,” and that he wanted to discover whether or not it was properly “predicated.”
Former Trump foreign-policy adviser George Papadopoulos has claimed on Twitter and in his book, “Deep State Target” that he attracted the attention of the Obama regime in 2015 for his relationship with Israel while he worked in the international energy business prior to his joining the Trump campaign. Shortly after he was announced as a member of Trump’s foreign policy team in March 2016, Papadopoulos testified to congressional investigators that he was approached by individuals in London, Rome and the U.S. about his connections to the campaign and Trump’s stance on Russia.
Carter Page and former Trump campaign deputy director Sam Clovis said they received unsolicited overtures from Cambridge University professor Stefan Halper, who was identified last year as a longtime CIA and Pentagon informant.
In his book, Papadopoulos described his meeting with Halper in London at Halper’s request as “hostile” and conducted with the professor profusely “sweating” despite the cold weather.
In a number of interviews beginning last fall, Papadopoulos said he is aware of at least one “spy” planted in the Trump campaign by the U.S. intelligence community. In an April 17, 2019 Wall Street Journal editorial, Papadopoulos declared, “The Russia Probe Started With the Spies Who Marked Me.”
Following Sara Carter Friday night was Fox News contributor Rachel Campos-Duffy, wife of Congressman Sean Duffy (R-WI7), who said that the continuing demand by congressional Democrats for sworn testimony and, in the case of Barr, production of the full, unredacted Mueller report, results from the origins of the Trump-Russia “collusion” narrative as leading “all the way to the top: Obama, Biden, Valerie Jarrett…”
“That’s what they’re worried about,” Duffy completed her thought at approximately 9:40 PM.
Sharon Rondeau has operated The Post & Email since April 2010, focusing on the Obama birth certificate investigation and other government corruption news. She has reported prolifically on constitutional violations within Tennessee’s prison and judicial systems.