“VERY SUSPECT ORIGINS”
by Sharon Rondeau
(May 13, 2019) — On the May 12 broadcast of “Sunday Morning Futures,” host Maria Bartiromo asked House Judiciary Committee member John Ratcliffe (R-TX4) about the atmosphere in the room when it voted last week to hold Attorney General William Barr in contempt of Congress.
A former federal prosecutor, Ratcliffe responded that the moment stands out in his mind as an “embarrassing” one in which to be a member of Congress. “Think of it: the once-esteemed House Judiciary Committee marked up a resolution to hold the attorney general of the United States in contempt for his refusal to commit a crime,” he said. Ratcliffe expounded that Barr had no obligation to release any part of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s “Russia” report since by statute, a special counsel’s work product is considered “confidential” and that federal law requires the redactions made in the report prior to its April 18 release.
Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY10) had demanded that Barr produce an unredacted version of the report by May 1 and that he testified to the committee on May 2, issuing a subpoena for the materials which the Justice Department said it could not honor given the restrictions on the release of grand-jury testimony and classified information. Negotiations between Nadler and Just as quickly broke down, evolving into the committee vote which passed along party lines, 24 to 16, on Wednesday.
“To the extent that we have asked for access to grand jury information—which is protected by federal law—all we have ever asked is that the Department join us in petitioning the court to determine if it is proper for us to have access to this material. We asked for a commitment to join us in that effort again last night, as it has done in many previous cases, and the Department refused,” Nadler stated in a May 8 press release on the upcoming hearing.
Of the hearing, Ratcliffe said, “It was all staged; it was all scripted; it was all part of the Democratic effort to create the illusion of a cover-up…” In response to Mueller’s finding that no “collusion” occurred between the Trump campaign and Russia, Democrats “either had to admit they were wrong to the American people or they had to find a villain,” Ratcliffe said, “and unfortunately, they’ve made Bill Barr that villain, and they’ll do anything they can to try and damage his reputation before he delivers the message that he intends to deliver, because he’s promised to get to the bottom of the very suspect origins of this Russia-trump collusion-conspiracy investigation” begun by the FBI.
When Bartiromo asked if the Democrats themselves were committing “obstruction,” another potential crime which Mueller probed but made no final determination, Ratcliffe responded that the Democrats “are in a panic” about what he sees as the “predicate” for the launch of the Trump-Russia probe as “quickly unraveling.”
After Bartiromo played a clip of former FBI Director James Comey’s “townhall” appearance Thursday night and asked Ratcliffe for his response, Ratcliffe said that based on Comey’s remarks, Comey is “proud of himself, but the inspector general found him insubordinate,” referring to Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s report, released June 14, 2018.
Further of Comey, Ratcliffe said, “…Many of us believe that he either is or should be under investigation for violating the Espionage Act for recording the conversations with President Trump in the Oval Office and then intentionally leaking classified information to start this investigation,” a reference to Comey’s leaking to his “friend,” Daniel Richman,” at least one memo Comey wrote documenting his interactions with Trump with the stated intention of prompting a special counsel investigation.
Horowitz is expected to produce at least two more reports, one about the FBI’s having accepted improper gifts from members of the media in exchange for leaked information, and the other dealing with alleged “abuse” of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) to obtain warrants on at least one member of the Trump campaign, Carter Page.
Text messages exchanged between then-Deputy Assistant Director of Counterintelligence Peter Strzok and his colleague, then-FBI counsel to the deputy director, both of whom worked on the Russia probe, show that they sensed an urgency to file the application with the FISA court in the final weeks of the presidential campaign.
“Will there be accountability?” Bartiromo asked, reverting to a common theme in her weekly show. “I want to ask you about accountability for Jim Comey, Peter Strzok, and also John Brennan, because I’m being told that the director of the CIA is responsible for all counterintelligence operations. That would be John Brennan. Are we going to see accountability for all of the above?”
Ratcliffe responded that in August 2016, Brennan informed then-Nevada Senator Harry Reid about the existence of the “dossier” compiled by former British intelligence agent Christopher Steele, who was working for the private company Fusion GPS. In turn, Fusion was paid by the Clinton campaign and Democratic National Committee (DNC) through the DNC law firm, Perkins Coie. Further, Ratcliffe said, “Brennan later testified under oath that the Steele dossier played no part of the intelligence community assessment. That was a demonstrably false statement, and there are classified documents that I believe prove that.”
The dossier was a major component of the surveillance applications on Carter Page.
“I believe that there will be accountability on all fronts,” Ratcliffe said.
To this writer’s knowledge, Bartiromo’s statement as to Brennan’s reported oversight of “all counterintelligence operations” is the first of its kind.
Nearly one year ago, Obama birth certificate lead investigator Mike Zullo said on the “Freedom Friday” radio show hosted by Carl Gallups that after 5+ years of investigating the “long-form” image posted on the White House website on April 27, 2011 found to be a “computer-generated forgery,” he believes that in response to critics insisting they can discredit his conclusions about the birth certificate image, “this is going to go deeper, because I personally believe, aside from Obama, all roads lead to John Brennan with this birth certificate.”
Perkins Coie played a significant role in purportedly obtaining two certified copies of the Obama “long-form” birth certificate from the Hawaii Department of Health (HDOH) days before it was made public. Just prior to its release, then-White House counsel Robert Bauer, a founding member of the law firm, held an off-the-record session for reporters during which it was noted that copies of the image, but no actual original document, were distributed.
In early 2008, Brennan headed a company called The Analysis Corp. whose employee was found to have breached the State Department-held passport records of Obama, Hillary Clinton and John McCain. According to a Newsmax article dated January 12, 2009 by Ken Timmerman, “Sources who tracked the investigation tell Newsmax that the main target of the breach was the Obama passport file, and that the contractor accessed the file in order to ‘cauterize’ the records of potentially embarrassing information.”