“IN DECEMBER 2016”
by Sharon Rondeau
Gowdy appeared during the first 20 minutes of the show after Hannity covered an array of news items relating to the Russia probe in a fast-moving opening monologue.
During the 115th Congress, Gowdy was chairman of the House Oversight & Government Reform Committee, now led by the Democrats and known as the Oversight & Reform Committee.
During questioning of witnesses over the course of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s 22-month investigation, the Oversight Committee, House Intelligence Committee, and Senate Intelligence Committee conducted their own independent investigations into the FBI claim that someone from the Trump campaign collaborated with Russian operatives to affect the outcome of the election.
Since Mueller produced his final report in March, made public on April 18 with redactions and finding insufficient evidence that the campaign engaged in “collusion,” the administration has called for a probe into “the investigators” who pursued the false narrative aggressively in 2016 and into Trump’s nascent presidency.
On May 9, 2017, then-FBI Director James Conley was fired, and Mueller assumed the probe from the FBI.
Over the last six months on virtually a daily basis, new information has emerged showing that the FBI never vetted the “dossier” it used to obtain four surveillance warrants on former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page. Notes recently released to John Solomon of The Hill, who uploaded them to Scribd, show that on October 11, 2016, a State Department employee informed the FBI that Steele’s compilation of unverified Trump-Russia reports known as the “dossier” was a political product and that the “Russian consulate in Miami” referenced within it does not exist.
Ten days later, the FBI submitted the dossier to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC), stating under oath that its contents were “verified.” The application alleged that Page was an “agent of a foreign government,” namely, Russia, without any verification.
Page was never charged with a crime and is attempting to regain his good name through both litigation and public statements.
Also on Monday, U.S. Attorney General William Barr announced that U.S. Attorney John Durham of the District of Connecticut has been appointed to investigate the origins of the FBI’s counterintelligence operation into the Trump campaign.
Durham has been investigating FBI media leaks which could involve former FBI General Counsel James Baker, who worked directly for Comey. Durham has a background in probing the actions of intelligence officials, according to the web page of the U.S. Attorneys’ Office for the District of Connecticut.
On yesterday’s “Sunday Morning Futures,” host Maria Bartiromo told guest Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-TX4), an outspoken critic of the FBI’s counterintelligence probe and former CIA Director John Brennan, that a source informed her that as CIA director under Barack Obama, Brennan was responsible for “all counterintelligence” operations.
On Twitter and in the media, Brennan has been particularly vociferous in his opposition to Trump’s policies, statements, and actions, accusing him of “treason” and criminal acts.
When it became apparent that Mueller found no evidence of collusion between the campaign and the Kremlin, Brennan said on MSNBC, where he works as a commentator, that he could have been given “bad information” leading to his prediction in early March that Mueller would issue additional indictments within two weeks.
In turn, Ratcliffe told Bartiromo that he believes Comey should be, or could now be, under investigation for leaking his memos documenting his interactions with Trump to a friend, who read their contents to The New York Times. Comey’s stated intention was to prompt the hiring of a special counsel, which occurred eight days after Comey was fired.
Ratcliffe on Sunday recalled that in regard to Comey, Gowdy “likes to refer to him as Saint Jim.”
Obama chose Comey to replace Mueller as FBI director in 2013.