Under oath before the House Intelligence Committee last May, former CIA director John Brennan testified that the infamous anti-Trump “dossier” funded by the Democratic Party played no role in the intelligence community’s publicly released conclusion that Russia interfered in the 2016 election.
Brennan further declared he did not know who commissioned the opposition-research document, even though senior national security and counter-intelligence officials at the Justice Department and FBI knew the previous year it was funded by the Hillary Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee.
Now, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., is investigating whether or not Brennan committed perjury, reports Paul Sperry at RealClear Investigations.
Nunes released a memo Feb. 2 summarizing former deputy director Andrew McCabe’s testimony that the unverified dossier was essential to obtaining warrants in October 2016 to spy on a Trump campaign official. Nunes further found that in four separate applications for a warrant, FBI and Justice officials hid the fact that it was funded by the Democratic Party.
Nunes has said his committee is working on a second phase of the investigation, focusing on the Obama State Department’s role in creating and disseminating the dossier.
The report will identify Obama-appointed diplomats who worked with partisan operatives close to Hillary Clinton to help ex-British spy Christopher Steele compile the dossier, according to Sperry’s sources.
An aide who spoke to Sperry on condition of anonymity said Nunes will focus on Brennan as well as Obama’s first CIA director, Leon Panetta. Other Obama intelligence officials the committee will scrutinize are former director of national intelligence James Clapper, national security adviser Susan Rice and security adviser-turned U.N. ambassador Samantha Power.
“John Brennan did more than anyone to promulgate the dirty dossier,” the investigator said. “He politicized and effectively weaponized what was false intelligence against Trump.”
Former secret service agent Dan Bongino confirmed in an interview Monday with “Fox & Friends” that, according to his sources, Brennan “is in a world of trouble right now.”
Bongino said Brennan’s testimony that he didn’t know who commissioned the dossier isn’t plausible because “the CIA has a central role in the verification of foreign assets and information we get from foreign assets.”
“He’s in a world of trouble because he raised his right hand and he said the exact opposite.”
Sperry reported that several Capitol Hill sources said Brennan “talked up” the dossier to Democratic leaders and the media during the 2016 campaign.
The sources said he also fed allegations about Trump-Russia contacts directly to the FBI while pressuring the bureau to conduct an investigation of several Trump campaign figures.
In May 2017, Brennan testified to the House Intelligence Committee Congress that he had provided “the basis” for the FBI launching the counter-intelligence investigation into Russian election interference. He also testified, however, he had seen no evidence of collusion, offering only that “the intelligence community was picking up tidbits on Trump associates making contacts with Russians.”
A close confidante of President Obama, Brennan was found in 2014 to have given false testimony to the Senate. At a hearing, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., accused the CIA of spying on members of the Senate by hacking into computers used by her intelligence committee’s staffers.
Brennan replied: “Let me assure you the CIA was in no way spying on [the committee] or the Senate.”
However, a CIA inspector general’s report found the CIA was spying on the Senate, and Brennan was forced to privately apologize to intelligence committee chairmen.
Brennan also claimed in a 2011 speech that there had not been “a single collateral death” from U.S. drone strikes because of their “exceptional proficiency [and] precision.'” However, the Bureau of Investigative Journalism found that one U.S. drone strike alone had killed 42 Pakistanis, “most of them civilians.”
In April 2017, citing an article in the Guardian of London, the American Spectator’s George Neumayr found confirmation that Brennan was “the American progenitor of political espionage aimed at defeating Donald Trump”
“One side did collude with foreign powers to tip the election – Hillary’s,” he wrote. “Seeking to retain his position as CIA director under Hillary, Brennan teamed up with British spies and Estonian spies to cripple Trump’s candidacy.
“He used their phone intelligence as a pretext for a multi-agency investigation into Trump, which led the FBI to probe a computer server connected to Trump Tower and gave cover to Susan Rice, among other Hillary supporters, to spy on Trump and his people.”
Neumayer said Brennan’s CIA “operated like a branch office of the Hillary campaign, leaking out mentions of this bogus investigation to the press in the hopes of inflicting maximum political damage on Trump.”
An official in the intelligence community told the Spectator that Brennan’s “retinue of political radicals didn’t even bother to hide their activism, decorating offices with ‘Hillary for president cups’ and other campaign paraphernalia.”
The London report said the leaks against Trump originated in the British press, including claims from Estonia that the Kremlin was funneling cash to the Trump campaign.
“Any other CIA director would have disregarded such a flaky tip, recognizing that Estonia was eager to see Trump lose (its officials had bought into Hillary’s propaganda that Trump was going to pull out of NATO),” Neumayer wrote.
In an interview with MSNBC on March 2, 2017, former deputy assistant Secretary of Defense Evelyn Farkas inadvertently confirmed the Obama administration spied on Trump’s transition team for political purposes and that she helped leak the information.
“I became very worried because not enough was coming out into the open, and I knew that there was more,” she said. “We have very good intelligence on Russia. So then I had talked to some of my former colleagues, and I knew they were trying to also get information to the Hill.
“That’s why you have the leaking,” she said.
However, intelligence officials who saw the classified information in question, including Obama’s own former director of national intelligence, James Clapper, and former acting CIA Director Michael Morell, said days later they had seen no evidence of collusion between the Trump team and the Russian government.
White House: Democrats sabotaged their memo
One week ago, the House Intelligence Committee voted unanimously to declassify a Democratic memo to rebut the Republican memo spearheaded by Nunes. On Friday, however, the White House, which allowed the Republican memo to be released without redactions, said it could not declassify the Democrats’ memo because it revealed “methods and sources.”
White House legislative director Marc Short told NBC’s “Meet the Press” Sunday be believed the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., intentionally included the sources and methods to sabotage the release of the memo and set off a political fight.
President Trump tweeted Saturday: “The Democrats sent a very political and long response memo which they knew, because of sources and methods and more, would have to be heavily redacted, where upon they would blame the White House for lack of transparency. Told them to redo and send back in proper form.”
Schiff told CBS’ “Face the Nation” Sunday he and his Democrat colleagues will “sit down with the FBI and go through any concerns that they have, and any legitimate concerns over sources and methods, we will redact.”
He contended “the president doesn’t want the public to see the underlying facts.”
“What is revealed in our memo are quotations from the very FISA application that really demonstrate just how misleading the Republicans have been,” Schiff said. “Their goal here to put the FBI on trial, to put Bob Mueller’s investigation on trial. And the president is only too happy to accommodate.”