There’s no doubt that many of the allegations prompting Robert Mueller’s special counsel investigation had a political origin. After all, the probe was fueled by an opposition-research document funded by the Hillary Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee.
But investigative reporter Sharyl Attkisson believes there’s much more to it.
She points to a cadre of intelligence officials, part of what has been called the “deep state” of career bureaucrats, who feared outsider Donald Trump would expose years of criminal acts in his effort to “drain the swamp.”
“Based on my info, we may be missing an important point in all this,” she said via Twitter on Thursday after the release of the Mueller report, which concluded the Trump campaign did not collude with Russia to interfere in the 2016 election.
“People keep pointing to ‘political bias’ in the 2016 capers. I’m not discounting that, but there’s a bigger overarching theme, I think. Important intel officials also did not want @realDonaldTrump because … (cont) … @realDonaldTrump and his admin stood to expose alleged longstanding criminal wrongdoing within intel agencies. Not just what happened in 2015-2016. Some officials were/are desperately fighting for their lives/freedom.”
Based on my info, we may be missing an important point in all this. People keep pointing to “political bias” in the 2016 capers. I’m not discounting that, but there’s a bigger overarching theme, I think. Important intel officials also did not want @realDonaldTrump because..(cont)
— Sharyl Attkisson🕵️♂️ (@SharylAttkisson) April 19, 2019
…@realDonaldTrump and his admin stood to expose alleged longstanding criminal wrongdoing within intel agencies. Not just what happened in 2015-2016. Some officials were/are desperately fighting for their lives/freedom. #GovtSpyingOnJournalists etc. #WoodsProceduresViolations
— Sharyl Attkisson🕵️♂️ (@SharylAttkisson) April 19, 2019
A blogger for the Twitter news-aggregator Twitchy wrote: “So to Sharyl’s point what we’re seeing in the Mueller report is indicative of a bigger and deeper issue within the intelligence agencies in the federal government and their fear of Donald Trump exposing them because coming in he was far from a ‘government’ type of person. Unlike say, Hillary Clinton.”
Barr investigating the investigators
Top Obama administration officials, including CIA Director John Brennan, seized on the now-debunked, anti-Trump “dossier” of Russian propaganda compiled by former British spy Christopher Steele and funded by Democrats.
The Justice Department and the FBI used the document as evidence to obtain a warrant, which was renewed three times, to spy on the Trump campaign. The surveillance was part of an FBI counter-intelligence probe led by Peter Strzok, whose intent to ensure Trump did not get elected was exposed in text messages. And he acknowledged he had a “back-up” plan to undermine Trump in case he were elected.
Critics point out that the Mueller investigation, which took over Strzok’s work, dangled the threat of impeachment over Trump for nearly two years.
Now, Attorney General William Barr has confirmed he’s reviewing the origin of the Russia-collusion allegations, including the FBI’s surveillance of the Trump campaign.
Brad Parscale, Trump’s 2020 campaign manager, said Thursday that “the tables have turned, and it’s time to investigate the liars who instigated this sham investigation into President Trump, motivated by political retribution and based on no evidence whatsoever.”
He said there is “simply no denying that ‘spying did occur’ on the Trump campaign during the 2016 election, as Attorney General Barr himself noted in testimony before Congress.”
Barr told senators there was a “failure among a group of leaders there at the upper echelon [of the FBI] … [and] I feel I have an obligation to make sure that government power is not abused.”
Pence said the release of the special counsel’s report “confirms what the president and I have said since day one: There was no collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia and there was no obstruction of justice.”
“After two years of investigation, conducted with the full cooperation of this administration, that involved hundreds of witness interviews and millions of pages of documents, the American people can see for themselves: no collusion, no obstruction,” he said. “Now that the special counsel investigation is completed, the American people have a right to know whether the initial investigation was in keeping with long-standing Justice Department standards – or even lawful at all. We must never allow our justice system to be exploited in pursuit of a political agenda.
A statement from the president’s campaign said: “After issuing 2,800 subpoenas and 500 search warrants, interviewing 500 witnesses, employing 40 FBI agents and 19 lawyers, and spending tens of millions of taxpayer dollars, President Trump has been fully and completely exonerated yet again.”
The statement said: “Democrats took us on a frantic, chaotic, conspiracy-laden roller coaster for two years, alleging wrongdoing where there was none. But the verdict stands: no collusion, no obstruction, no wrongdoing, no crimes, and an innocent president who has continued his relentless work for the American people.
‘Quaking in their boots’
Talk-radio host Rush Limbaugh commented April 11 after Barr’s testimony that Barr “knows who the informants were who were planted in the Trump campaign.”
“We finally got the guy who’s gonna dig into this. … This guy cares about the judicial system. … He understands exactly what happened here, as we all do,” he said,
“They’re quaking in their boots in the homes of [James] Comey and [Andrew] McCabe and [John] Brennan.
“Any investigation that is worth its weight in salt is going to reveal media complicity,” Limbaugh said.
“If these people aren’t careful, they’re gonna get exactly what they don’t want,” he warned. “They’re gonna get a full-fledged investigation into how this happened, who was behind it, who all knew about it.”