Lying under oath is never a smart move, even if you think you’re well-connected enough to avoid being called out on it.
Former CIA Director John Brennan might be about to find that out the hard way. Real Clear Investigations reports that House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes wants to get to the bottom of whether Brennan perjured himself back in his May 2017 congressional testimony about the ongoing Trump/Russia investigation.
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At the time, Brennan had flatly stated that the infamous Steele dossier paid for by the DNC and Hillary Clinton campaign played no role in the intelligence committee’s conclusion that Russia intended to aid Donald Trump’s campaign, and he claimed not to know who commissioned the creation of the dossier. These statements are now called into doubt both by Brennan’s troubled history with the truth and recent revelations about the Obama Justice Department’s activities during the campaign.
The aide, who spoke only on condition of anonymity, said Nunes will focus on Brennan as well as President Obama’s first CIA director, Leon Panetta, along with the former president’s intelligence czar, James Clapper, and national security adviser, Susan Rice, and security adviser-turned U.N. ambassador Samantha Power, among other intelligence officials.
“John Brennan did more than anyone to promulgate the dirty dossier,” the investigator said. “He politicized and effectively weaponized what was false intelligence against Trump.”
Attempts to reach Brennan for comment were unsuccessful.
Several Capitol Hill sources say Brennan, a fiercely loyal Obama appointee, talked up the dossier to Democratic leaders, as well as the press, during the campaign. They say he also fed allegations about Trump-Russia contacts directly to the FBI, while pressuring the bureau to conduct an investigation of several Trump campaign figures starting in the summer of 2016.
If true, none of this should shock anyone. First, we know Brennan has lied to Congress before — in 2013 when he denied that the NSA was collecting bulk data on the phone and internet communications of millions of Americans, and in 2014 when he denied that the CIA had improperly accessed the computers of Senate staffers. So the question really shouldn’t be whether Brennan perjured himself again, but why hasn’t he faced consequences for the perjury he’s already committed.
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Second, we now know much more about the extent to which the Obama DOJ and FBI abused its authority for partisan ends. As former terrorism prosecutor Andy McCarthy explains, the feds completely ignored the most basic standards of evidence in using the Steele dossier as a pretext to spy on the Trump campaign:
As I outlined at greater length last week (here, in section C), in applying for a warrant, the government must establish the reliability of the informants who witnessed the alleged facts claimed to support a probable-cause finding. Steele was not one of those witnesses. He is not the source of the facts. He is the purveyor of the sources — anonymous Russians, much of whose alleged information is based on hearsay, sometimes multiple steps removed from direct knowledge. Steele has not been in Russia since his cover as a British spy was blown nearly 20 years ago. He has sources, who have sources, who have sources . . . and so on. None of his information is better than third-hand; most of it is more attenuated than that […]
If there is no credible sourcing for the factual allegations in the warrant application, that is a probable-cause deficiency that could not have been cured by the reputation of the purveyor of the sources, no matter how sterling. That said, it is obvious that the less identifiable and reliable the informants are, the greater is the government’s obligation to be transparent in conveying the investigator’s potential biases. The Obama administration’s malfeasance on this point is breathtaking.
Indeed. John Brennan would be a good start, but he is just the first of many who need to answer for this.
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