The New York Times admitted in an otherwise highly misleading article that after more than a year of investigation there still exists no public evidence that President Donald Trump colluded with Russia to win the 2016 presidential election.
The article, headlined “Code Name Crossfire Hurricane: The Secret Origins of the Trump Investigation,” comes ahead of the release of a report by the Department of Justice (DOJ) Inspector General on the FBI’s handling of the investigations on Hillary Clinton and the Trump campaign, and appears intended as damage control and to set the narrative ahead of its release.
The article relies heavily on spin in an attempt to paint the picture of a responsible FBI which kept the investigation secret so as not to undermine the election process.
Earlier reporting by The New York Times on the subject of collusion, including an article published on Feb. 15, 2017, was discredited by former FBI Director James Comey himself before Congress under oath as being almost entirely wrong.
But despite the Times’ spin, it inadvertently reveals some key information.
One of those is the admission that no public evidence exists of collusion. For over 1 1/2 years, the New York Times, alongside numerous other publications, have pushed the narrative that Trump colluded with the Kremlin to win the elections.
As The Epoch Times has consistently pointed out, there exists no evidence of collusion. On the contrary, officials involved in the investigation, such as former Director of National Intelligence (DNI) James Clapper, have both publicly, as well as under oath before Congress, stated their investigation showed no evidence of collusion.
“A year and a half later, no public evidence has surfaced connecting Mr. Trump’s advisers to the hacking or linking Mr. Trump himself to the Russian government’s disruptive efforts,” The Times reported in the May 16 article.
Another major revelation in the article is that the FBI agents involved in the investigation used national security letters to spy on the Trump campaign.
An investigation by the House Intelligence Committee revealed in February this year, however, that the FBI had obtained a FISA warrant on Trump campaign volunteer Carter Page. Under the so-called two-hop rule, the warrant could have been extended to members of the Trump campaign, including then-candidate Trump himself.
The FISA warrant was not obtained until October 2016. The revelation that the FBI used national security letters to spy on the Trump campaign, potentially as early as July 2016, raises serious concerns.
The information obtained by spying on the Trump campaign could have been shared with other officials in the Obama administration and used for political purposes. Simultaneous to the FISA warrant and the FBI’s own spying efforts, key Obama officials including National Security Adviser Susan Rice and U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Samantha Powers made hundreds of so-called unmasking requests for the identities of members of the Trump campaign in intelligence reports.
The official who signed off on the initial FISA warrant was Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates, who was simultaneously kept in the loop on the secret FBI investigation.
Yates also attended a secret meeting in the Oval Office at the White House in January 2017 with then-President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, FBI Director James Comey, and National Security Adviser Susan Rice. An email Rice wrote to herself detailing the meeting reveals they discussed limiting incoming President Trump’s access to certain classified information.
In a letter sent to Rice on Feb. 12, 2018, Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Chairman of the Senate Judiciary’s Subcommittee on Crime and Terrorism Lindsey Graham (R-S.C), asked Rice to answer a number of questions about that email.
“It strikes us as odd that, among your activities in the final moments on the final day of the Obama administration, you would feel the need to send yourself such an unusual email purporting to document a conversation involving President Obama and his interactions with the FBI regarding the Trump/Russia investigation,” the letter reads.
“In addition, despite your claim that President Obama repeatedly told Mr. Comey to proceed “by the book,” substantial questions have arisen about whether officials at the FBI, as well as at the Justice Department and the State Department, actually did proceed ‘by the book.'”
Texts between the lead FBI agent on the Trump case, Peter Strzok, and council to then-FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, Lisa Page, have also revealed the White House’s involvement in the FBI investigation.
In a Sept. 2, 2016, text message, Page wrote to Strzok that “potus wants to know everything we’re doing.” POTUS is an acronym for President of the United States, which at the time was Barack Obama.
A month earlier, on Aug. 5, 2016, Strzok had texted Page, telling her that an official, whose name was redacted in the text messages released by the DOJ, had said that “the White House is running this,” referring to the Trump investigation.
At the time of the meeting in the Oval Office, the FBI’s investigation was the only open investigation into alleged Russian collusion in the 2016 elections. Earlier that month, on Jan. 6, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper had released the joint intelligence agency report that did not include any evidence of collusion between Trump and Russia.
Soon after the meeting, after Trump was sworn into office, the FBI investigation became the focal point of the resistance movement against Trump. Selective leaks as well as false reporting—an overwhelming amount of press reporting alleging Trump had colluded with Russia—was used to confuse the public as well as stir up resentment and anger. Along with this, key Democratic politicians and spokespeople began suggesting the impeachment of Trump on those grounds.
Media organizations had started laying the seeds of the Russia collusion narrative in 2016. Fusion GPS—the company behind the so-called Trump dossier, which played a crucial role in the FBI’s investigation as well as the FISA application—has provided journalists, including those from The New York Times, The Washington Post, and CNN, with secret briefings on the unsubstantiated allegations.
Court documents filed by the House Intelligence Committee in November last year also revealed that Fusion GPS made payments to a select number of journalists who were covering Russia-related matters.