A mere 19 minutes after he was sworn in as President of the United States on January 20, 2017, a Washington newspaper ran an article entitled “The Campaign to Impeach President Trump has Begun.”
As Donald Trump exits the White House, it is instructive to look back at the armada of power arrayed against him from the very first moments of his administration – and before. The American left’s hatred of him was total and the scorched earth mainstream media campaign was unrelenting. The fear he inspired in Washington with his talk of “draining the swamp” had already provoked covert actions against him and his associates by the nation’s most powerful law enforcement agency – the FBI.
Unbeknownst to Trump at the time he took the oath of office was the fact that a salacious and unverified source known as the “Steele Dossier, which was commissioned by the Hillary Clinton campaign, had been used as a false predicate to weaponize the intelligence agencies against him. This fabulist’s document was used as the basis for consecutive FISA requests granted to surveil the Trump campaign throughout 2016 – including warrants to spy on Carter Page, Paul Manafort, George Papadopoulos, and others.
In March of 2017, when Trump claimed Obama “wiretapped” him during his campaign, he was substantively correct – despite the howls and pearl-clutching of the media. It was President Obama’s intelligence agencies that underwrote and undertook the actions and spurious claims against the Republican nominee in 2016. These persistent smears would eventually turn to dust in front of America when Robert Mueller humiliated himself on national television in an admission his efforts had yielded no collusion whatsoever between the Trump campaign and Russia.
As Trump leaves office, he has declassified a trove of documents that connect the dots on one of the most outrageous abuses of power in recent memory in Washington, D.C. Since little is shocking any more, it is more apt to say that the revelations that have now seen the light of day confirm what was already known to anyone not blinded with hatred for Trump. There was “no there there” – as disgraced FBI Deputy Assistant Director Peter Strzok texted to his paramour, Lisa Page.
We now understand Strzok knew this to be true, as proven by a recently declassified email he wrote in February 2017, in which he stated, “we are unaware of ANY Trump advisers engaging in conversations with Russian intelligence officials.”
So not only was the collusion claim a giant, writ large zero that put America through more than two years of bitter, partisan agony, but the Justice Department knew full well this was the case in the nascent months of Trump’s administration.
In early 2017, after Attorney General Jeff Sessions had recused himself and before Rod Rosenstein had been confirmed, the senior Justice Department official in charge of the FBI’s Russia probe, known as “Crossfire Hurricane,” was Dana J. Boente. A newly released transcript shows that Boente was briefed as many as six times on the status of the probe and was told there was no evidence of the Trump campaign’s collusion with Russia. This was concurrent with the FBI’s expansion of its probe. As Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-SC) stated:
“The investigation was pushed when it should have been stopped, and the only logical explanation is that the investigators wanted an outcome because of their bias.”
Despite its misrepresentations to the FISA court and the knowledge that they were chasing a lie, the FBI forged ahead with its probe based on a fictional pretext anyway. The bitter irony here is that their quarry was a man who bellowed from the mountain top that he would root out the very corruption they appeared to make manifest in their strenuous efforts to undermine him.
More from Author Pennel Bird.