The American Public Deserves to Know

October 8, 2020 Updated: October 13, 2020

Editorial

It’s been nearly four years since the 2016 elections, during which the FBI, with the help of the CIA, conducted a criminal investigation of the Trump campaign.

Yet, while the probe—which eventually evolved into the special counsel investigation—has long been concluded, Americans continue to remain in the dark about what exactly transpired and whether the probe was political in nature.

Since 2017, The Epoch Times has documented the lack of evidence to support the allegation that the Trump campaign colluded with Russia. Congressional investigations have since confirmed that it was the Clinton campaign that paid for the key source of the allegations, the “Steele dossier.”

Text messages of the FBI personnel involved, congressional testimony by Department of Justice (DOJ) and FBI personnel, investigations by Congress, and media reports have confirmed that the FBI’s “Crossfire Hurricane” investigation was riddled with irregularities.

These irregularities include the severe bias expressed by the agents investigating the Trump campaign, the reliance on the Steele dossier to obtain a warrant under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, the misleading of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court by not providing it with exculpatory evidence, the direct involvement of the senior leadership of the FBI in the investigation, the continuation of the investigation despite a lack of evidence, and so on.

Yet many of the details of the investigation, as well as any accountability—other than that of FBI attorney Kevin Clinesmith, who pleaded guilty to altering an email—remain elusive.

Earlier this week, Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe authorized the release of handwritten notes by former CIA Director John Brennan, as well as a CIA memo to then-FBI Director James Comey and then-Deputy FBI Assistant Director Peter Strzok, containing an investigative lead based on Russian intelligence, which suggested that Hillary Clinton had authorized a plan to use the allegation of Trump–Russia collusion to distract from her own email scandal.

The documents, however, contain so many redactions that it’s hard to understand the context of the statements and give them a fair assessment. It also opened up the declassification to accusations of being selective and political in nature.

And this is exactly where the problem lies; how is the American public—on both sides of the aisle—supposed to regain trust in our institutions, such as the FBI and CIA, when it has been so severely damaged?

Furthermore, there have been reports suggesting that the CIA is holding up the declassification of documents. In an Oct. 7 letter to CIA Director Gina Haspel, Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) wrote that the agency “has not produced a single document in response” to their inquiries.

This letter came a day after President Donald Trump wrote on Twitter he had “fully authorized the total Declassification of any & all documents pertaining to the single greatest political CRIME in American History, the Russia Hoax.”

The American people deserve to have full transparency and accountability in regards to the FBI’s Crossfire Hurricane investigation of a presidential campaign, which, in turn, will be a key remedy to restore the broken trust of tens of millions in the system.