by WorldTribune Staff, June 22, 2020
In early April, the Republican chairmen of two Senate committees persuaded the intelligence community to declassify a series of censored footnotes in a report on FBI wiretap abuse by Department of Justice Inspector General Michael Horowitz.
Senate Finance Committee Chairman Charles Grassley of Iowa and Homeland and Government Affairs Committee Chairman Ron Johnson of Wisconsin enabled the unredacted release of the footnotes which “added another bizarre chapter to the story of the Christopher Steele dossier and his paymasters, the Hillary Clinton campaign and Democratic National Committee. The dossier had been shown to be a mix false conspiracy allegations against Trump and his allies,” Rowan Scarborough noted in a June 22 report for The Washington Times.
The footnotes show that some of the allegations made by Steele were derived from Kremlin disinformation designed to damage candidate Donald Trump and his presidency. They also show that intelligence agencies had warned the FBI in early 2017 that Russian President Vladimir Putin’s intelligence service knew in 2016 that Steele was compiling the dossier.
“The agencies warned the FBI that specific allegations against Trump came from the disinformation operation. Yet the bureau continued to rely on the document, including using it as evidence to persuade judges to approve intrusive wiretaps,” Scarborough noted.
“It’s ironic that the Russian collusion narrative was fatally flawed because of Russian disinformation. These footnotes confirm that there was a direct Russian disinformation campaign in 2016, and there were ties between Russian intelligence and a presidential campaign — the Clinton campaign, not Trump’s,” Grassley and Johnson said in a statement.
During an exclusive Oval Office interview last week with reporters and editors of The Washington Times, Trump was asked about Russian lies targeting him through the FBI-favored, Democratic Party-funded dossier.
“It was an attempted overthrow of the government of the United States of America and a duly elected president,” Trump said. “And we caught them.”
In the interview, Trump did not directly address Russia’s desire to smear him. Instead he launched an attack on the FBI and on President Barack Obama’s supposed involvement.
Trump said: “The Horowitz report was fantastic and don’t forget he was appointed by Obama. If you think the guy sitting in this seat didn’t know everything that took place. And now we’ll see what happens. I’ve given it to Attorney General [William] Barr and stayed out of it because I think politically it’s wise to stay out of it.
“They’ve been caught. Now it’s a question of what are they going to do about it. They’ve been caught. [Special investigator] John Durham has a great reputation. We haven’t seen anything yet. We’ll see what happens. But they have been caught … Personally, I think the information they have now without even getting new information, which I understand they are getting, it’s so serious. It’s incredible. And the man sitting in this seat knew everything. Knew everything.
“And [former FBI Director James B.] Comey is a dirty cop and [former Deputy FBI Director Andrew] McCabe and that whole group. They were all dirty cops. Now we see what ‘s going to happen. We already have the information. Sure it might get better. But we have information … Now we have to see what happens. They should do what’s right. Think of it. It was an attempted overthrow of the government of the United States of America and duly elected president, and we caught them. If they were the other side and 25 guys would right now be in jail for 50-year terms. Let’s see what happens.”