by WorldTribune Staff, August 21, 2018
Congressional investigators are reportedly looking into a meeting between former CIA Director John Brennan and Sen. Harry Reid which took place days before Reid’s letter asking the FBI to investigate alleged Trump campaign ties to Russia was leaked to the media.
Brennan, late in the summer of 2016, met with Sen. Harry Reid just days before Reid had told then-FBI Director James Comey that he would be sending him a letter asking the FBI to investigate allegations that President Donald Trump’s campaign had colluded with Russia, investigative journalist Sara Carter reported on Aug. 20.
Reid’s letter was leaked several days later to The New York Times. The letter stated, “evidence of a direct connection between the Russian government and Donald Trump’s campaign continues to mount.”
A congressional official with knowledge of the documents and communications said what’s “troubling is that there appears to be a coordination between Director Brennan’s briefing with Harry Reid to Director Comey, and Director Comey’s acknowledgment that he was expecting the inquiry from (then) Senator Harry Reid.”
Documents obtained by Congress revealed senior FBI officials were already expecting Reid’s letter even before the senator wrote it, Carter reported, citing congressional sources.
Rep. Mark Meadows, North Carolina Republican, said documents obtained by congressional oversight committees raise serious questions about the role of other government agencies in the FBI’s investigation into alleged Trump-Russia collusion.
“One of the concerning trends in the documents as they are produced to Congress is that we’re seeing more and more of a role of agencies beyond the FBI that were potentially coordinating with the Russia investigation,” said Meadows. “New documents that have been received would indicate that the FBI was fully aware that Harry Reid received a brief or the details of the unverified dossier prior to August 30 of 2016. What we do now know is that Director Brennan gave a briefing to Harry Reid on August 25, 2016 and within days of that briefing Harry Reid sent a letter to Director Comey asking him to look into the Trump-Russia connection.”
Meadows said he was concerned that “we have multiple government agencies using technology and intelligence gathering abilities for perhaps political purposes. The deeper we dig, the more troubling it becomes because we see there are political motivations within the FBI and the Department of Justice – everybody is entitled to a non biased investigation of the facts and yet we’re seeing multiple examples where biases actually affected the investigation. Either they firmly believe they are correct in their assessment of Donald Trump’s Russia ties or they are working overtime to discredit the administration in fear of what will come out.”
In May 2017, Brennan testified before the House Intelligence Committee that the dossier authored by ex-British spy Christopher Steele was not included in the intelligence community’s assessment of Russia’s meddling in the 2016 election.
Brennan said the dossier was “not in any way used as the basis for the intelligence community assessment.” He was later contradicted by former NSA Director Mike Rogers and former DNI Director James Clapper. Both officials noted that some parts of the dossier were used in the intelligence assessment.
Brennan’s former Deputy Chief of Staff Nick Shapiro, in a recent interview with SaraACarter.com, said Brennan did not know about the contents of the dossier until December 2016.
“He had heard it existed but hadn’t seen the contents, hadn’t been briefed on it, knew nothing about it until December 2016, again, it wasn’t a CIA document,” Shapiro said. “He only even knew it existed because he heard members of the media bring it up.”
“Comey has said publicly that he wanted to make sure President Obama and Trump knew about the dossier. Comey decided to attach it to the IC (Intelligence Community) assessment,” Shapiro said. “There was even talk of including it as part of the IC assessment but Brennan (and Clapper) in fact were the ones who didn’t allow the dossier to be part of it, and they didn’t allow that because they said the information wasn’t verified intelligence and that wasn’t what the IC assessment was about.”