The “crowning achievement” of the 115th Congress, which is set to recess for the last time, is its uncovering of “one of the greatest dirty tricks of our political times,” contends Wall Street Journal columnist Kimberly Strassel.
The “dirty trick” was the effort by the Obama administration, the Democratic Party and the Hillary Clinton campaign to either “co-opt or fool” the FBI into investigating the Republican campaign for president in 2016.
House and Senate investigators should be commended, she said, for unraveling the plot, so that when former FBI Director James Comey testified this month, he “was there to account for his actions” rather than “provide new details.”
Strassel recalled that in January 2017, CNN reported “the explosive news that ‘classified documents’ from a ‘credible’ ‘former British intelligence operative’ alleged collusion between the Trump campaign and Russians.”
“It sounded bad and set off a hysteria that led to the recusal of Attorney General Jeff Sessions, the firing of national security adviser Mike Flynn, the launching of half a dozen investigations, and the appointment of special counsel Robert Mueller,” she wrote. “Senior officials, including Mr. Comey, watched all this in full knowledge of the dossier’s provenance. They said nothing.”
The dossier’s “provenance,” she noted, was uncovered by the House Intelligence Committee chaired by Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif.
The panel exposed the fact that the dossier of unsubstantiated political dirt based on unnamed Russian sources was funded by the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton’s campaign.
The FBI and the Justice Department used the “dirt” to obtain a surveillance warrant against former Trump campaign aide Carter Page. Separately, noted Strassel, the Obama administration was engaged in the unmasking of U.S. citizens and leaking of classified information.
But the American public still doesn’t have the full story, said Strassel, because investigators say there are classified documents that contain “even more explosive revelations.”
The documents will help determine whether anyone broke laws, and Republicans believe the revelations provide grounds for a Justice Department investigation.
Strassel explained that House investigators haven’t released an official report on their findings because they can’t tell the story comprehensively until President Trump declassifies the relevant documents.
“The president is said to be waiting for the Mueller probe and prosecutions to end. But why? This is about transparency,” she wrote.
“The president also owes it to these lawmakers, who began the hard work of investigating the 2016 election, to finally allow them to finish it.”