“THE GREATEST POLITICAL SCANDAL IN AMERICAN HISTORY”
by Sharon Rondeau
(May 23, 2019) — On Thursday night’s “Hannity,” guest host Dan Bongino announced almost immediately that President Trump, through an executive order, has authorized Attorney General William Barr to declassify documents associated with the Trump-Russia “collusion” narrative.
Trump had hoped to release the documentation last fall but was persuaded to wait until Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into the allegation was completed.
The claim that the Trump campaign coordinated with Russian operatives to gain an election advantage is believed to have originated with the FBI, but other intelligence agencies may also have been involved.
The president ordered a number of federal agencies to cooperate with Barr’s “Review of Intelligence Activities Relating to the 2016 Presidential Campaigns.”
Barr has appointed U.S. Attorney for the District of Connecticut John Durham to perform what is believed to be a wide-ranging investigation of the origins of the Trump probe given that Mueller found no evidence of “collusion” after 22 months of investigation.
Mueller’s report was made public last month.
Reporting from the White House, Fox News’s John Roberts told Bongino that the documents likely show, among other things, that former Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos was recorded while engaged in conversations with informants in Europe who sought him out about “Russia” once he was announced as an informal adviser to the campaign.
The allegedly recorded conversations are believed to contain “exculpatory information” showing that Papadopoulos expressed a revulsion toward the idea that anyone within the campaign would have coordinated with Russia to affect the outcome of the election.
Papadopoulos accepted a plea deal with the Justice Department in October 2017 as Mueller’s investigation proceeded and served 12 days in federal prison. He was also compelled to complete 200 hours of community service and pay a $9,500 fine.
In apparent violation of its own policy and existing law, the FBI did not present exculpatory information now believed to have been known to the agency to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) when it applied for a series of surveillance warrants on Trump informal campaign adviser Carter Page between October 2016 and June 2017, with surveillance continuing through September 2017.
Page was never charged with a crime.
Trump issued three tweets on the executive order at approximately 8:19 p.m. EDT Thursday.
One of Bongino’s early guests, American Conservative Union (ACU) leader Matt Schlapp, whose wife Mercedes works in the White House, said that the eventual release of the documents will turn the focus back to the “Obama/Biden” years and away from the Trump administration, which Democrats are attempting to discredit daily.
Another guest, Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL1) speculated that Obama’s CIA director, John Brennan, has considerable legal exposure, possibly along with Obama Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and former FBI Director James Comey. Gaetz said the three are now “turning on each other” as additional revelations emerge about the intelligence community’s 2016 activity.
Gaetz called the “collusion” narrative “the greatest political scandal in American history.”