Submitted by J. Theodore Schatt,
With the Mueller Report now in the can and in light of the information previously uncovered/released, James Comey, with a tip of the cap to Lisa Page, Peter Strzok and Andrew McCabe, apparently decided in early 2016 that Hillary Clinton would be the next President of the United States and took action, with the full weight of the FBI behind him, with that outcome in mind.
Perhaps concerned that Hillary Clinton's use of a private e-mail server for official government business would create a significant legal problem that would hinder the future President once elected, an investigation was undertaken to address this issue. Mr. Comey’s protestations that this investigation wasn’t predetermined is undermined by the facts now known:
(1) Mr. Comey, following the direction of Attorney General Lynch, publicly referred to this as a “matter” and not an “investigation”;
(2) Potential witnesses/collaborators were granted immunity without being required to provide any information helpful to the "matter’s" resolution;
(3) Physical evidence was permitted to be destroyed despite being under government subpoena; and
(4) the Attorney General engaged in a secretive meeting with Bill Clinton after Mr. Comey had drafted a report exonerating Mrs. Clinton for lacking intent, but before the FBI actually interviewed Mrs. Clinton to inquire as to her intent (disregarding the dubious legal argument that intent was even required).
Thereafter, (in the version of events set forth by the FBI) the FBI received information from US intelligence officials in the summer of 2016 that an Australian Diplomat had been present when George Papadopoulous drunkenly bragged about his knowledge of the Russian hack of Democratic Party e-mails. Instead of properly advising the prospective Republican nominee that one of his campaign advisers might be compromised by the Russians, the FBI decided it was appropriate to have undercover informants interact with multiple members of the Trump campaign to determine what the campaign may know about Russian activity (it should be noted these efforts apparently uncovered nothing, save the creation of a perjury trap).
Again, in the version of events set forth by the FBI, that decision was based, at least in part, upon the FBI accepting a Clinton campaign funded opposition research project as gospel. The State Department had knowledge of the political motivations and funding source of that opposition research project and conveyed that information to the FBI. However, the FBI and the Department of Justice informed the FISA Court the information in that opposition research project had been verified (even though it hadn’t), and provided the FISA court with a general disclaimer of the potential for political bias, while concealing from the FISA Court the specific reasons to believe the information contained in the opposition research project was unreliable.
Since being ousted from the FBI, Mr. Comey has completed a book tour chiefly aimed at convincing the public that these actions were undertaken in pursuit of “A Higher Loyalty”. Whatever, the reason for the actions, the result was that the FBI, the Department of Justice and others involved in the counterintelligence investigation gained access to a treasure trove of Trump campaign/transition emails. Mr. Mueller’s Report leads to the obvious conclusion that these emails did not contain any evidence of coordination with Russia. Surprisingly, Mr. Comey's failure to identify such emails under the first FISA application did not fill him with a sense of relief and end his inquiry. Mr. Comey renewed the FISA warrant multiple times.
If the counterintelligence operation reviewing Trump campaign/transition e-mails wasn’t aimed at finding evidence of coordination with Russia, what was contained within the emails, besides confidential Trump campaign/transition information, that required the FISA warrant to be renewed multiple times? How was the confidential Trump campaign/transition information protected? Who accessed that information and with whom was that information shared?
Attorney General Barr has set his Department of Justice on a quest to hopefully get answers to these questions and others. If, as appears likely, it is confirmed that, instead of informing the Trump campaign of a potential Russian problem, a counterintelligence operation was run for the purpose of monitoring a political campaign for President of the United States the intelligence community has broken trust with the American public. Even if the confidential information obtained was properly protected and not shared with political opposition, the act itself is appalling. How can the populace expect the intelligence community to respect their rights of privacy if they do not respect the rights of a Presidential campaign?
Mr. Comey embarked upon this path knowing he was acting on unverified information bought and paid for by the Clinton campaign. His journey led the FBI and the intelligence community across the Rubicon. The die was cast. The Mueller Report has determinative the outcome for President Trump. The fates of Mr. Comey and his confederates (Strozk, Page, McCabe and others) is yet to be determined and likely lay in Attorney General Barr’s capable hands.