As he had repeatedly hinted he would, President Donald Trump on Sept. 17 ordered the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI), the Department of Justice (DOJ), and the FBI to declassify many documents related to the “Crossfire Hurricane” investigation and release them to the public—fully unredacted.
These documents are
- The FISA court application that was used to spy on Trump campaign adviser Carter Page
- FBI interview forms detailing extensive interviews with DOJ official Bruce Ohr
- All FBI reports of interviews prepared in connection with the Page FISA applications
- All of the text messages of top DOJ/FBI people involved in the Crossfire Hurricane counterintelligence probe: James Comey, Andrew McCabe, Peter Strzok, Lisa Page, and Bruce Ohr
On Sept. 18, desperate to keep all of this information hidden from the public, the four Democratic members of the “Gang of Eight” sent a letter to Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, and FBI Director Christopher Wray, urging all three of them to defy Trump’s declassification order.
In an obvious stalling tactic, the Democrats demanded in the letter that they be fully briefed on all the redactions being lifted from these documents. This makes no sense because the Gang of Eight saw all the unredacted SpyGate documents long ago. There’s no need for the ODNI to give them multiple briefings on what is going to be unredacted and then pass the documents on to the White House for review before they are released to the public.
For months, Democrats pursued a gambit in which they walked a tightrope. As more information became public, showing no collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russian government, they claimed this was because the real evidence showing that Trump stole the 2016 election with the help of nefarious Russians had been hidden behind redactions which the public hadn’t seen yet.
Why are the Democrats so determined to keep this information hidden from public scrutiny? Because they know the Trump/Russia Election Collusion narrative is based on a hoax. And they’ve known for more than a year and a half.
As I stated in an earlier column, this all started as a dirty political trick when Hillary Clinton’s campaign hired Fusion GPS to create what has become known as “the Steele dossier.” The dossier contains fake allegations of Trump/Russia collusion based on second- and third-hand stories, supposedly collected from shadowy, anonymous Russian government officials.
Information contained in the dossier was then presented to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) to obtain a spy warrant on Page—which was likely used by extension, under the so-called two-hop rule, to spy on other members of the Trump campaign as well. The FISC was left in the dark by the FBI and DOJ on the shady origins of the information and also that it was paid for by a political campaign.
When the truth about the Steele dossier began to come out, suddenly, a new counter-narrative was launched, in which it was claimed that minor Trump campaign figure George Papadopoulos, who had a drunken chat in a bar with Australian diplomat Alexander Downer, was the real trigger for the investigation. Democrats in Congress and reporters both pushed this new, alternative narrative for months, and most of the top people involved in pushing that new narrative knew the entire time that it was false.
Not only do the Democrats know they’ve been feeding a narrative they knew to be 100% false to their base for more two years and that this is about to be exposed, so do the major media outlets.
There are very strong indications that key members of the mainstream media at the New York Times and elsewhere saw the fully unredacted Carter Page FISA warrant over a year ago.
On March 17, 2017, the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence received from DOJ the 82-page copy of the FISA court warrant that was granted to allow surveillance of Page, who is a U.S. citizen.
On that same day, intelligence committee security officer James Wolfe, who was in charge of handling all of the classified documents that the committee receives, sent exactly 82 text messages to a reporter at the New York Times. This information appears in Wolfe’s indictment, which was unsealed June 7.
That reporter, designated as “Reporter #2” in the Wolfe indictment, is the now-infamous Ali Watkins, who at the time was working on the national security beat for the newspaper. It appears that what Wolfe did was take a picture of each individual page of the warrant, and then sent them to Watkins one at a time via text messages.
Later, the Page FISA warrant was publicly released, but only in a very heavily redacted form. A full 34 pages of that release were completely redacted, from the top to the bottom of the page.
It strains credulity that Wolfe would send Watkins 34 pictures of fully redacted pages.
Also, the members of the SSCI have the highest security clearances you can get, so it’s highly unlikely anything was redacted in the version of the FISA warrant that they received.
This means it’s extremely likely that what Wolfe transmitted to Watkins was a completely unredacted copy of the Page FISA warrant. And if this is what happened, there’s no reason to think the Times sat on this and didn’t share it with other news media outlets.
This would mean top people inside the mainstream media have known for at least a year and a half that all their Trump–Russia collusion reporting is based on a hoax. They’ve known for more than 18 months what that FISA court warrant says. They’ve known the truth about how Crossfire Hurricane was started. And they deliberately chose to peddle Fake News to the American public instead of reporting what they knew to be the real facts.
The American public is about to clearly see just how extensively they were lied to by both the Democrats in Congress and their media mouthpieces.
Don’t feel sorry for either the lying Democrats in Congress or their fellow travelers in the Fake News media. They deserve every single thing that’s about to happen to them.
Brian Cates is a political pundit and writer based in South Texas and the author of “Nobody Asked For My Opinion … But Here It Is Anyway!” He can be reached on Twitter at @drawandstrike.
Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.