Finally we are starting to see articles outlining the actual reality of the issues behind the congressional declassification request, and the challenges for President Trump. Last week we outlined “The Classification Conundrum“, it is complex. If you have reviewed the prior outline today’s expanded and specific follow-up will make more sense.
The congressional request is for President Trump to declassify and release the Carter Page FISA applications (including specifically pages 10-12 and 17-34 and relevant footnotes), all of the Bruce Ohr 302s and other relevant documents, including exculpatory evidence regarding Carter Page and others, that were presented to the Gang of Eight, but not presented to the FISA Court.
There are officials within the executive branch who are against the declassification because there is an inherent risk for two agencies: The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). Their self-serving anti-declassification position is bolstered by the DOJ Office of Legal Counsel (OLC); and conniving tricks previously played by internal usurpers within the DOJ Special Counsel “small group”.
First, within a Daily Caller article, which nibbles around the edges, you will note the following current state of the issues:
[Daily Caller] White House lawyers are actively reviewing controversial FBI and Department of Justice documents relating to the 2016 presidential campaign for possible declassification, multiple sources with knowledge tell The Daily Caller News Foundation.
The review process is being led by Emmet Flood of the White House Counsel’s office at the urging of an insistent president, two sources with knowledge of the process told TheDCNF. A source close to the president noted that Flood and his colleagues within the counsel’s office are generally opposed to declassification, out of the concern for the precedent it would set as well as any unintended consequences of making the information public.
Sources cautioned that declassification could occur as soon as this week, though the uncertainty reflects the nature of the review process itself. (read more)
Emmet Flood was the most likely replacement for outgoing White House Chief Legal Counsel Don McGahn. The reason why McGahn is not leading the effort is because he has a conflict of interest.
The scheme team of Mueller’s crew is conniving and smart; When they called McGhan as a witness for their investigation they created a situation where the White House counsels office became witnesses. McGahn was forced to recuse his office from having anything to do with the Robert Mueller probe. The probe was/is against the office of the President.
WASHINGTON – White House counsel Don McGahn recused his entire staff last summer from working on the Russia investigation because many of his office’s lawyers played significant roles in key episodes at the center of the probe, former White House attorney Ty Cobb said on Wednesday.
McGahn made the decision to halt his staff’s interactions with Special Counsel Robert Mueller because many of his own attorneys “had been significant participants” surrounding the firings of national security adviser Michael Flynn and FBI Director James Comey, Cobb said. (read more)
At the time, June 13th, 2018, the revelation of the entire office recusal by McGahn was relatively unnoticed because the very next day, June 14th, the IG report on the FBI was released. All attention went toward the IG report and the FBI.
Remember, Jeff Sessions is recused and sitting on the sidelines. He is of no help to President Trump in matters surrounding the Russia probe, or the 2016 election. The current declassification request surrounds actions directly relating to the 2016 campaign and the fraudulent, perhaps illegal, conduct by the former FBI and DOJ. So Sessions is useless…. period. There’s no help possible from the Attorney General.
“Stop waiting for me, I’M RECUSED” !!
In the current scenario the legislative branch is asking for President Trump to declassify information that is in his interests. However, within the executive branch declassification is adverse to the interests of the OLC, DOJ (Rosenstein) and FBI (Wray). In essence it’s the executive branch that’s “framing the President”; and the legislative branch trying to defend him.
There are two sets of contracting interests within the executive branch. The president wants declassification and yet some officials within the executive branch do not. Hence the conundrum. President Trump is insisting upon Emmet Flood of the White House Counsel’s office, to execute the declassification request.
At issue within the counsel’s office is whether to wholesale declassify documents related to former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page and DOJ official Bruce Ohr or partially redact information to protect sources and methods, two sources familiar with the process said. A source directly familiar with the process said he is certain some declassification action will occur within the coming weeks.
Rumblings and excitement over prospective declassification have reached a fever pitch in recent days among allies of the president.
A group of conservative House Republicans held a press conference Thursday calling on Trump to declassify and release the documents, which they claim show widespread reliance on politically motivated opposition research in obtaining Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrants on Page.
“We are confident that the FISA application will prove that the highest levels of the DOJ and FBI failed to provide the FISA court with critically important information when they requested a warrant to spy on Carter Page,” New York Republican Rep. Lee Zeldin said at the press conference. (DC Link)
It is in the interests of the DC administrative state for President Trump to be removed from office or at least stop his agenda. The legislative branch is attempting to help President Trump. That’s why there is a stall tactic being deployed to block President Trump. All DC activity is to remove the legislative branch defense mechanism and re-take the house in the mid-terms. That’s why everything is on hold. E.V.E.R.Y.T.H.I.N.G.
The DOJ Office of Legal Counsel is part of the administrative state and seem to be aligned in opposition. Additionally, there are legal voices within the executive branch opposed to the president taking action against the advice of his own executive branch officers:
The legislative branch, via Mark Meadows, is trying to provide support to bolster the position of President Trump against adverse interests within his own administration. The concern of the White House counsel is establishing a precedent: (1) for declassification of information to the benefit of the President (political/legal); and (2) for thinning the walls between two branches of government (executive and legislative).
From the WH counsels office there are some legitimate concerns surrounding executive power. From their position they don’t want to establish a precedent; however, it’s not really a precedent inasmuch as it appears to be is more of a first-deployment of already existing executive authority. The President holds unilateral executive power constitutionally, but no prior President has used that power for declassification of intelligence, against the advice of his own cabinet, that is seemingly self-interested.
If Rosenstein/Wray refuse to unredact and declassify “sources and methods”, and President Trump demands “sources and methods” be declassified, this would be a first.
Arguably the sunlight will exonerate President Trump, so the argument goes that all ends justify the means. Additionally, from Trump’s perspective if no-one in the executive has anything to hide, then declassification is no risk. However, WH legal counselors worry about what happens when Democrats control the House and make similar declassification demands of the executive in the future; or if the executive is held by opposition and uses declassification to target their political opposition. [I know, the irony!]
It is an unusual scenario because for the first time in modern history a President appears to be willing to give away a little power to the requests of the people’s house, rather than assemble more power for the executive.
Within the Rosenstein/Wray issue their recalcitrance also points to the underlying corrupt officials who remain embedded in the institutions. Specifically for FBI Director Wray, it is becoming clear the purpose of re-hiring Chief Counsel Dana Boente was to have a person familiar with the prior corruption to help navigate these explosive minefields. Boente was inside the DOJ-National Security Division, when the 2017 activity to remove President Trump was still ongoing.
The DC bureaucracy (DOJ-OLC and Mueller crew) appears to have decided a good strategy is to run out the clock to the 2018 mid-terms. So they are in a delay mode.
Again, the legal details of declassification are available HERE. The motive for the FBI and DOJ to refuse the “sources and methods” declassification request is outlined HERE.
The executive branch is in a squabble against itself due to malfeasance inside its law enforcement arm. It has been framing the President for crimes that Congress suspects he didn’t commit.
It’s the executive branch that’s “framing the President”; and the legislative branch trying to defend him.
Now, Just Hit Play:
*Reminder: 37 states have early voting anywhere from 2 weeks to 40 days before election day.