Former Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein told a Senate committee on June 3, 2020:
“[B]ut I think it’s important, Senators, for us to keep in mind that it is established, I believe, that Russia’s efforts included disparaging Hillary Clinton, as you said. That doesn’t mean Russia is on the other candidate’s side. Russia is on Russia’s side.”
Anyone qualified to work within the U.S. Intelligence Community knows this. The idea that the Russian government would genuinely wish to aid any American politician is, on its face, ludicrous. This fact lies at the heart of the decision to assume – and assume is the right word to use – that Russia set out in 2016 to aid President Trump’s election campaign.
On October 6, the president authorized the declassification of all documents relating to the FBI’s Russia investigation, as well as everything pertaining to the Bureau’s probe into Hillary Clinton’s private email server. Mr. Trump has already authorized the release of the Russia investigation materials, but the FBI and other intelligence agencies have stonewalled, dragged their feet, and offered all manner of excuses for not turning them over. On Tuesday, the president tweeted:
“All Russia Hoax Scandal information was Declassified by me long ago. Unfortunately for our Country, people have acted very slowly, especially since it is perhaps the biggest political crime in the history of our Country. Act!!!”
America’s Right to Know
Do these government officials have something – or many things – to hide? Democrats have long demanded Mr. Trump’s tax records, often claiming that, if Trump has nothing to hide, he wouldn’t mind letting the American people see them. Maybe the same standard should be applied here – even though it is a rather Stalinesque, guilty until proven innocent attitude.
The difference being, of course, that the tax returns of a private citizen are just that: private. Documents relating to the most consequential – and, perhaps, the most fraudulent – FBI investigation in American history are, like everything else the federal government owns or produces, the property of the American people.
Information continues to trickle from the deep state, but it is often heavily redacted, which makes a mockery of the term “declassified.” Handwritten notes made by former CIA Director John Brennan have now been “declassified,” but with about 95% of the content blacked out. In that condition, these notes tell us nothing, beyond confirming what had recently been revealed; that the Trump-Russia conspiracy theory was engineered by the president’s 2016 opponent, Hillary Clinton.
To this day, former Obama administration officials maintain that Trump was entangled with the Russians despite having uncovered no evidence to support their claims. So loathed by the establishment is Trump that, if evidence of a conspiracy with the Russians existed, it would have long ago been splashed across the from pages on every U.S. media outlet. The FBI did not find evidence, and neither did Robert Mueller. Three years of investigation by America’s top law enforcement agents and prosecutors turned up nothing except an abandoned plan to build a Trump Tower in Moscow.
Meanwhile, evidence which incriminates the FBI and the CIA continues to pile up. How much more is still to be revealed? There may come a time when the president stops announcing that he has declassified documents and starts demanding that intelligence community officials hand them over or be indicted for obstruction of justice.
Read more from Graham J. Noble.