11.02.2018 0

A vote for the House GOP is a vote for Devin Nunes to get to the bottom of the 2016 Obama spying scandal against the Trump campaign

By Robert Romano

How does U.S. Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) chairing the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence sound to you?

Besides being a recipe for more witch hunts to find fake Russian connections to President Donald Trump, that is? And to end any inquiry into the Obama administration spying on the opposition party, the Trump campaign, in the 2016 election?

Because that will be perhaps one of the more lasting consequences should the House of Representatives fall from Republican control on Nov. 6.

Under the leadership of U.S. Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), the intelligence committee has uncovered what might be the worst spying scandal in U.S. history. Utilizing the bogus dossier compiled by former British spy Christopher Steele, paid for by the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and the Hillary Clinton campaign, the Obama administration took out a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant against Trump campaign advisor Carter Page.

It was Nunes’ committee the produced the Feb. 2018 memorandum by the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, that noted that the political origins of the dossier were not revealed to the court: “Neither the initial application in October 2016, nor any of the renewals, disclose or reference the role of the DNC, Clinton campaign, or any party/campaign in funding Steele’s efforts, even though the political origins of the Steele dossier were then known to senior DOJ and FBI officials.”

The warrant itself, released in a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to Judicial Watch, confirmed that the dossier was used to obtain the warrant.

This was the same dossier that FBI Director James Comey had testified in Jan. 2017 as being “salacious and unverified.”

The last renewal, at least as we can see in the FOIA response, came in June 2017, after Special Counsel Robert Mueller had been appointed by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.

The Steele dossier pinned the alleged Russian intelligence hack of the DNC and John Podesta emails, which were published on Wikileaks, on the Trump campaign. Steele alleged his source had said “there was a well-developed conspiracy of co-operation” between then-candidate Donald Trump and Russia.

Steele elaborated, stating in July 2016, “This was managed on the TRUMP side by the Republican candidate’s campaign manager, Paul MANAFORT, who was using foreign policy advisor, Carter PAGE, and others as intermediaries. The two sides had a mutual interest in defeating Democratic presidential candidate Hillary CLINTON, whom President PUTIN apparently both hated and feared… Inter alia, Source E, acknowledged that the Russian regime had been behind the recent leak of embarrassing e-mail messages, emanating from the Democratic National Committee (DNC), to the WikiLeaks platform. The reason for using WikiLeaks was ‘plausible deniability’ and the operation had been conducted with the full knowledge and support of TRUMP and senior members of his campaign team.”

The Mueller indictment of the Russian spies said to have hacked the DNC and Podesta emails never named Manafort or campaign advisor Carter Page, differing from Steele’s claims via his infamous dossier that the Trump campaign had coordinated with Russia on the hack and publication of emails.

If the purpose of the Mueller probe was to prove that Steele was right — that the President really was a Russian agent — so far it has debunked Steele, and thus the entire basis for the investigation.

There were charges brought against Manafort, but they were unrelated tax and bank crimes. Page has not been charged with anything. Former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen, who Steele said was in Prague meeting with Russian agents about the Wikileaks email publications, professes he has never been the Prague even after publicly breaking with the President. Cohen lawyer Lanny Davis confirmed Aug. 22 that Cohen had “never, ever” been to Prague.

But for Nunes’ tenacity in conducting oversight, and the American people would have been unable to piece any of this together. The operation to make it appear the President was in cahoots with Russia might have succeeded. Nunes stood for the truth, and now we know at least a part of what happened. But if his investigation into the deep state is to continue, Republicans need to hold the House on Nov. 6. Stay tuned.

Robert Romano is the Vice President of Public Policy at Americans for Limited Government.

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