With weeks to go before Donald Trump's inauguration, former President Obama and VP Joe Biden were briefed by Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates, FBI Director James Comey, CIA Director John Brennan, and Director of National Intelligence James Clapper on matters related to the Russia investigation.
The January 5, 2017 meeting - also attended by former National Security Adviser Susan Rice, has taken on a new significance in light of revelations of blatant misconduct by the FBI - and the fact that the agency decided not to brief then-candidate Trump that a "friendly foreign government" (Australia) advised them that Russia had offered a member of his campaign 'dirt' on Hillary Clinton.
The rumored 'dirt' was in fact told to Trump campaign aide George Papadopoulos by Joseph Mifsud - a shadowy Maltese professor and self-described member of the Clinton Foundation. Papadopoulos then told Australian diplomat Alexander Downer, who told Aussie intelligence, which tipped off the FBI, which then launched Operation Crossfire Hurricane. Papadopoulos was then surveiled by FBI spy Stefan Halper and his honeypot 'assistant' who went by the name "Azra Turk" - while in 2017, Papadopoulos claims a spy handed him $10,000 in what he says goes "all the way back to the DOJ, under the previous FBI under Comey, and even the Mueller team."
Meanwhile, the Trump DOJ decided last week to drop the case against former Director of National Security, Mike Flynn, after it was revealed that the FBI was trying to ensnare him in a 'perjury trap,' and that Flynn was coerced into pleading guilty to lying about his very legal communications with the Russian Ambassador.
And let's not forget that the FBI used the discredited Steele Dossier to spy on Trump campaign associate Carter Page - and all of his contacts. Not only did the agency lie to the FISA court to obtain the warrant, the DOJ knew the outlandish claims of Trump-Russia ties in the Steele Dossier - funded by the Clinton Campaign - had no basis in reality.
And so, it's worth going back in time and reviewing that January 5, 2017 meeting which was oddly documented by Susan Rice in an email to herself on January 20, 2017 - inauguration day, which purports to summarize that meeting.
Rice later wrote an email to herself on January 20, 2017—Trump’s inauguration day and her last day in the White House—purporting to summarize that meeting. “On January 5, following a briefing by IC leadership on Russian hacking during the 2016 Presidential election,” Rice wrote, “President Obama had a brief follow-on conversation with FBI Director Jim Comey and Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates in the Oval Office. Vice President Biden and I were also present.”
According to Rice, “President Obama began the conversation by stressing his continued commitment to ensuring that every aspect of this issue is handled by the Intelligence and law enforcement communities ‘by the book.’” But then she added a significant caveat to that “commitment”: “From a national security perspective, however, President Obama said he wants to be sure that, as we engage with the incoming team, we are mindful to ascertain if there is any reason that we cannot share information fully as it relates to Russia.”
The next portion of the email is classified, but Rice then noted that “the President asked Comey to inform him if anything changes in the next few weeks that should affect how we share classified information with the incoming team. Comey said he would.”
At the time Obama suggested to Yates and Comey—who were to keep their posts under the Trump administration—that the hold-overs consider withholding information from the incoming administration, Obama knew that President Trump had named Flynn to serve as national security advisor. Obama also knew there was an ongoing FBI investigation into Flynn premised on Flynn being a Russian agent. -The Federalist
And so, instead of briefing Trump on the Flynn investigation, Comey "privately briefed Trump on the most salacious and absurd ‘pee tape’ allegation in the Christopher Steele dossier."
The fact that Comey did so leaked to the press, which used the briefing itself as justification to report on, and publish the dossier.
What Comey didn't brief Trump on was the FBI's bullshit case against Michael Flynn - accusing the incoming national security adviser of being a potential Russian agent. And according to The Federalist, "Even after Obama had left office and Comey had a new commander-in-chief to report to, Comey continued to follow Obama’s prompt by withholding intel from Trump."
The Federalist also raises questions about former DNI James Clapper - specifically, whether Clapper lied to Congress in July of 2017 when he said he never briefed Obama on the substance of phone calls between Flynn and the Russian Ambassador Sergei Kislyak.
According to the report, accounts from Comey and McCabe directly contradict Clapper's claim.
"Did you ever brief President Obama on the phone call, the Flynn-Kislyak phone calls?" asked Rep. Francis Rooney (R0FL) during Congressional testimony, to which Clapper replied: "No."
Except, Comey told Congress that Clapper directly briefed Obama ahead of the January 5 meeting.
"[A]ll the Intelligence Community was trying to figure out, so what is going on here?” Comey testified. “And so we were all tasked to find out, do you have anything [redacted] that might reflect on this. That turned up these calls [between Flynn and Kislyak] at the end of December, beginning of January," Comey testified. "And then I briefed it to the Director of National Intelligence, and Director Clapper asked me for copies [redacted], which I shared with him ... In the first week of January, he briefed the President and the Vice President and then President Obama’s senior team about what we found and what we had seen to help them understand why the Russians were reacting the way they did."
And now to see if anything comes of the ongoing Durham investigation, or if Attorney General Bill Barr will simply tie a bow on the matter and call it a day.