The Washington watchdog Judicial Watch released 42 pages of State Department documents Wednesday, asserting they provide evidence that the Obama administration was trying to undermine Donald Trump's upcoming administration.
The documents, obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request, contain classified information that was provided just before Trump's Jan. 20, 2017, inauguration to Sen. Ben Cardin, D-Md., the top Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and an outspoken critic of Trump.
The documents detail Russian political interference in elections and politics in countries across Europe.
"These documents show the Obama State Department under John Kerry gathered and sent its own dossier of classified information on Russia to Senator Ben Cardin, a political ally in the U.S. Senate, to undermine President Trump," said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton.
He said Judicial Watch "will pursue information on who pulled this classified information, who authorized its release, and why was it evidently dumped just days before President Trump’s inauguration."
Former Senator Tom Coburn provides the solution to how "we the people" and the states can finally wrest control from Washington insiders in "Smashing the DC Monopoly," available at the WND Superstore.
On Monday, the House Intelligence Committee voted along party lines to release the controversial Republican staff memo alleging what some GOP lawmakers are calling abuses "worse than Watergate" of government surveillance programs during the 2016 presidential campaign. Spearheaded by the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., the four-page classified memo is said to include text messages from FBI agent Peter Strzok – the agent who led the probe of Hillary Clinton's server and was fired from special counsel Robert Mueller's probe for anti-Trump bias – that indicate the so-called widely discredited "Steele dossier" was used to obtain FISA warrants to spy on Trump campaign officials. President Trump has five days to decide whether or not to block release of the memo.
The New York Times reported in March 2017 that Cardin received the classified information when the Obama administration was attempting to disseminate such material widely across the government to aid in any future investigations of the Trump administration.
Obama officials were concerned, the Times reported, that the Trump administration "would cover up intelligence once power changed hands."
Later in March, former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Evelyn Farkas admitted to MSNBC she had urged "people on [Capitol] Hill" to "get as much intelligence as you can, before President Obama leaves [office]."
Farkas was worried "the Trump folks – if they found out how we knew what we knew about their ... the Trump staff dealing with Russians – that they would try to compromise those sources and methods."
A section of the newly released documents titled "Pro-Kremlin NGOs and Think Tanks," marked as sensitive, discusses the Human Rights Accountability Global Initiative, founded by Natalia Veselnitskaya, which was working to erode support for the Magnitsky Act, a U.S. law that imposes sanctions on human rights violations.
Veselnitskaya was at the center of the controversial meeting with Donald Trump Jr. during the election campaign.
The documents also indicate Russia intervened in the Balkan nation of Montenegro to disrupt the October 2016 nationwide elections. A barrage of text messages were sent to citizens alleging the ruling party in Montenegro was conducting fraudulent activities on election day, such as paying for votes.
Russia also aggressively used the media to influence public opinion in the Czech Republic, according to the documents.
Also noted is that some countries resist Russian interference, including Estonia, which has adopted a "zero tolerance" approach to illegal activities by Russian intelligence operatives.
Estonia's domestic intelligence service, Kapo, annually issues a public review of major cases, naming organizations and individuals suspected of working with the Russians.