Editor’s note: This is the second of a two-part series on the Obama administration’s plan to surveil the Trump campaign, discredit Trump’s election, and destroy his presidency, based on an exclusive in-depth interview with acclaimed former federal prosecutor and prolific author Andrew McCarthy, which will air Sunday, August 25 on Liberty Nation Radio. In part one, McCarthy discussed how surveillance of the Trump campaign began and how the Clinton-funded Steele dossier was used to secure multiple FISA warrants to justify it.
Other than a boiling hatred for Donald Trump, there is one thing that James Comey, John Brennan, James Clapper, Lisa Page, Peter Strzok, and other high-ranking officials involved in the deep state plan to discredit and destroy the Trump candidacy have in common: They all worked under President Barack Obama.
Is it possible that the 44th president himself was unaware or willfully ignorant of the plan executed by top officials in his administration, unmasked in the acclaimed and assiduously researched book Ball of Collusion: The Plot to Rig an Election and Destroy a Presidency, by Andrew McCarthy?
on August 25, he addressed the possible involvement of President Obama and his heads of the CIA, FBI, and Director of National Intelligence.
Tim Donner: What did you discover about the role President Obama himself might have played in this course of events? Or did he build in sufficient plausible deniability?
Andrew McCarthy: When things are operating the way they’re supposed to, counterintelligence investigations are done for the president. The fact that this was done as a counterintelligence investigation means that it was done for purposes of collecting intelligence in furtherance of the president’s constitutional responsibility to protect the country from foreign threats. I make a big deal distinguishing counterintelligence investigations from criminal investigations. It’s not just a formalistic distinction. There’s a lot of substance to it. Criminal investigations are done in order to vindicate the rule of law in judicial proceedings, and it’s got substantial oversight, not only by the judiciary, but by a Congress’s own laws, which is what the Justice Department enforces. In that area of Justice Department and FBI responsibilities, we obviously do not want politics intruding on things like who gets charged and whether somebody gets indicted. By contrast, counterintelligence investigations are done only for the president. The only purpose of doing counterintelligence investigations is to gather information so that the president can protect the country against foreign threats to American interests.
So when things are working as they’re supposed to be working, a foreign counterintelligence investigation is done for the president in the first place. There would be no reason for a president to be insulated from such an investigation, and obviously, here you’re talking about the extraordinary use of these counterintelligence powers to monitor the opposition party’s campaign. So this would have been the kind of thing that in a normal circumstance, not that there’s anything particularly normal about that, that the president would be and the White House would be being kept apprised of it. We, of course, have indications both in the text messages between Strzok and Page, in the news reporting, particularly with respect to Michael Flynn, where it was explicitly reported based on government leaks from the Obama administration, that administration officials were monitoring that investigation that the FBI was reporting to them.
Tim: We hear much about James Comey and the FBI when it comes to the surveillance of the Trump campaign, but what about the other key players, particularly CIA director, John Brennan and James Clapper, director of National Intelligence? Where and how exactly do they fit into this narrative?
Andrew McCarthy: Well, I think the key player in the narrative is John Brennan, who was the CIA director for President Obama. Originally, he was President Obama’s Homeland Security advisor at the White House, and then he became the CIA director. There’s a history of the CIA and the intelligence community widely in the Obama administration using and distorting American intelligence in support of administration storytelling and political narratives, such as the whole nonsense about how the Benghazi atrocity was caused by an anti-Muslim video. That’s probably the most notorious event, but it’s hardly the only one.
I think Brennan was involved in this from the beginning. The strands of intelligence that became the ultimate investigation go back to the second half of 2015, shortly after Donald Trump joined the campaign, and this is not me reading tea leaves. Brennan himself has testified in congressional hearings that he was something of a clearinghouse, that he wanted to make sure that all of the information that was coming into the intelligence community from foreign sources was made available to the FBI because the CIA, by its charter and by federal law, is not allowed to operate domestically.
Tim: Now, with the maximum degree of specificity you feel comfortable with, what exactly do you expect the Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz to uncover in his internal investigation of how the Justice Department conducted this surveillance of Trump or participated in it?
Andrew McCarthy Well, I think that from what I understand from the reporting that Horowitz is focused on what’s generally referred to as FISA abuse, and what he’s homing in on is what the FBI presented to the FISA court and how forthcoming they were both about the background of their main informant, Christopher Steele, the information that was withheld from the court about Steele, particularly that he was actually working for the Democratic National Committee and the Clinton campaign, ultimately. And I think also what Horowitz will look at closely is how the FBI performed as assessed by the requirement and their own procedures that they only present verified information to the FISA court. It seems very clear to me that the information that was presented to the court was not only not corroborated, in some instances it was flatly wrong, and in some instances, it was knowingly wrong.
Tim: So let’s get to a conclusion. Was this, as you see it, the insurance policy against the possibility, however remote it may have seemed, of Trump being elected, and then the soft coup d’état that Trump supporters have claimed it to be?
Andrew McCarthy: Well, coup d’état is an extreme characterization of this in that I do believe that they wanted to make Trump’s presidential term as short as they could make it. And what I mean by that is if they could find a crime that was worthy of impeachment and removal, that they’d be able to verify and they’d be able to convince enough senators, which is a high bar in our impeachment law, to remove the president, I’m sure they would have done it. But I’ve always thought that the main goal here was political and that it was to basically render Trump politically unelectable by the time of the 2020 election, with the understanding, again, that if they could remove him before then they would. But I always thought the counterintelligence intelligence was a pretext for doing a criminal investigation without a predicate crime. The criminal investigation is a pretext to get impeachment talk going, and the impeachment chatter is, again, a pretext for what is ultimately the goal here, which is a political one, to make Trump a one-term or shorter president.