Posted originally on the conservative tree house on September 17, 2021 | Sundance | 283 Comments
Last night, following the indictment release of Clinton lawyer Michael Sussmann, Newsmax’ Grant Stinchfield made a strong accusation against former White House counsel Pat Cipollone. The claim is that in the final days of the Trump Presidency, the President declassified all of the pertinent documents related to DOJ and FBI misconduct surrounding the false Trump-Russia collusion case.
According to Stinchfield, speaking of ‘high level’ Trump administration sources, thousands of documents were declassified with instructions to release them to the public and also provide them to journalist John Solomon. The public release never took place; and Stinchfield as well as other Trump allies blame Pat Cipollone for withholding them. After explaining what his sources said took place, John Solomon joined as a guest to confirm the basic outline as presented. WATCH:
Right off the bat, something about this doesn’t pass my sniff test. That is not to say that events, as described, are not accurate; but something about the presentation doesn’t seem right.
FIRST – If John Solomon has known about this for nine months; and if Solomon has a partial list of those documents; and if Solomon is of the same frustrated mindset as outlined….. then why didn’t John Solomon ever write about the issue before?
SECOND – I am not excusing White House counsel Pat Cippolone, not even close; however, I think there is some context being ignored in the way Stinchfield and Solomon are framing this. Cippolone’s position as White House counsel is not to represent Donald Trump, his job is to represent the Office of The President. The White House counsel is a legal officer of the executive branch as an institution, not the president as a person/individual. Here is where the missing context and issue surfaces….
When Bill Barr appointed John Durham, officially appointed John Durham (October 19, 2020) as a special counsel, essentially what Bill Barr did was put the proverbial investigative shield over all material evidence that falls under the definition of the investigation Durham was charged to conduct.
Just like Robert Mueller’s appointment made him the controlling authority over everything related to Trump-Russia; which I might add was done with specific and purposeful intent; that made the Mueller special counsel the arbiter of anything that would ever be released to the public. That controlling authority is exactly how Mueller, Weissmann and crew kept a lid on anything that would be detrimental to the political narrative they were attempting to assemble (May 2017 through April 2019).
This process is one that we see used often in order to control and/or coverup wrongdoing. The material evidence, or any investigative discussion therein, becomes hidden under the cover of “an ongoing investigation“, which blocks the release and puts the control of all evidence into the hands of the investigators.
Understandably, our most familiar reference points are often when this “subject of an ongoing investigation” justification is used with malicious and corrupt intent to keep things hidden from the public. That corrupt reference is a stark and frustrating reality. However, there are valid reasons why material evidence is kept in the control of the investigators until they determine it is no longer useful; this is also true.
Back to Cippolone. With John Durham appointed as the special counsel with control over all evidence subject to the purpose of his investigation, well, right there is a valid reason why the counsel for the Office of the Presidency could not just release it. Cippolone would have to give it to John Durham because it was materially relevant to his ongoing investigation. The declassified material would have to go through John Durham, gain his approval that investigative value is exhausted (ie. it is no longer needed), and then the material can be released.
Through the prism of that approach, Pat Cippolone not making the material public (giving it to special counsel John Durham) would be following the appropriate step.
Inasmuch as it is extremely and righteously frustrating, and the greater sunlight of transparency is annoyingly kept at bay, as with many of these legal constructs, they are potentially subject to Machiavellian manipulation; so, I grant no benefit of honorable intent.
Cippolone should be asked that specific question very publicly: “Was the declassified information withheld under the auspices of first giving it to John Durham for review and use?” If yes, then that response establishes the framework for public pressure on John Durham to release it; or make a statement that he is not yet ready to do so.