Unredact All of It

By | 2019-04-22T16:26:52-07:00 April 22nd, 2019|
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The Mueller Report confirms what some of us have suspected from the beginning: There was no collusion between Donald Trump’s presidential campaign and the Kremlin to influence the outcome of the 2016 presidential election. The investigation that monopolized the attention of the media, Capitol Hill, the White House, and the American public for two years is over.

Collusion truthers who’ve embarrassed themselves and misled the country about the existence of imaginary crimes are trying to move seamlessly from collusion to obstruction of justice claims. Demands for impeachment based on vague allegations of obstruction now contaminate the same cable news programs, political websites, and media outlets that falsely warned Americans for more than two years that Donald Trump was Vladimir Putin’s puppet. The self-immolation of our national news media continues.

This continuing trip with hyperbole serves one purpose: To obfuscate the real scandal, which is how the world’s most powerful law enforcement and intelligence apparatus was weaponized to sabotage a rival presidential campaign and then to try to oust the duly elected president of the United States.

Again, those of us who have focused on the legitimate corruption, abuse of power, and deception at the highest level of government (perhaps including the Obama White House) have been called “conspiracy theorists” by the very same people who have lied to us about Russian collusion. But thankfully, Attorney General William Barr has pledged to get to the truth.

So naturally Democrats are attempting to delegitimize Barr and crying foul over the hundreds of redactions in Mueller’s report. Representative Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, issued a subpoena last Friday to the Justice Department for the unredacted report and underlying materials. He also wants Barr and Robert Mueller to testify publicly before his committee next month.

Hear! Hear! We should fully support Nadler’s request for the unredacted report, any supporting materials and the open testimony of both Barr and Robert Mueller. The American people should finally hear from the inscrutable special counsel; he should answer many lingering questions about his investigation, not the least of which is why he continued to pursue a non-existent offense that had been manufactured by biased bureaucrats in the months before and after the 2016 presidential election.

While we’re at it, for the good of the country and whatnot, let’s also authorize the immediate release of several more inviolate documents that should shed light on the investigation into Donald Trump and his campaign:

The initiating documents for Crossfire Hurricane: We’ve been told that the counterintelligence probe into four associates of the Trump campaign began on July 31, 2016. (Others have suggested the operation actually began in late 2015 or early 2016). We’ve been told that a drunken interaction between George Papadopoulos and an Australian diplomat in spring 2016—and not the phony Steele dossier funded by Democrats—was the impetus for the investigation, even though three of the probe’s four targets were mentioned in the dossier.

In his congressional testimony, former FBI Director James Comey said he didn’t recall seeing the initiating documents that authorized the counterintelligence probe. It’s time that he, and the rest of us, see that document for the first time and find out who is responsible for launching an unprecedented investigation into a U.S. presidential campaign.

The fully unredacted FISA application on Carter Page: Oddly, many journalists, Democrats, and NeverTrump Republicans who fought last year’s release of both the Nunes memo and the Page FISA application now claim that the delayed release of the redacted Mueller report somehow represents gross malfeasance. Now that they are onboard for full transparency, it’s time to unredact the October 2016 application that was presented to a secret court and signed by Comey and former Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates in order to spy on a private American citizen for a year. The application alleged Page was a Russian foreign agent.

Representative Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) warned that the redactions conceal more damaging evidence about how the FISA process was abused by the Obama Justice Department.

“If you thought using dirt from a campaign was bad, you’ll think this is equally as bad,” Nunes told Sean Hannity last week. Page has been cleared in the formal FBI investigation, congressional inquiries, and, now, in Mueller’s report. There is no reason to hide this information any longer, other than to protect the corrupt officials behind the outrageous spying on Page, who has never been charged with a crime.

The declassified Intelligence Community report: Two weeks before Trump was sworn in as president in January 2017, two of Barack Obama’s top henchmen, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and CIA Director John Brennan, issued a bombshell report that outlined how the Russian government sought to influence the election in order to harm Hillary Clinton’s candidacy and help Donald Trump.

The report is notable for its weakly sourced evidence in support of that damning claim; much of it still remains “highly classified.”

Brennan testified under oath that the Steele dossier was not part of the body of evidence to support the report’s conclusion, but that testimony now is in doubt. The American people deserve to see all of the proof that led our intelligence experts to assess that the Russians meddled in the election to help Trump win the White House.

Any documents related to the FBI’s investigation into President Trump: After Trump fired Comey in early May 2017 and before Robert Mueller was appointed as the special counsel on May 17, 2017, acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe authorized a counterintelligence probe into the sitting president of the United States. During his recent book tour, McCabe confirmed the FBI opened up an inquiry into whether President Trump was a Russian agent. It’s time to see all the proof that compelled McCabe to take such an extraordinary step and make sure it was a legitimate probe and not a way for McCabe to get revenge against the president who had made derogatory public comments about McCabe and his wife, a one-time Democratic candidate for the Virginia state senate.

The unredacted “scope” memo: Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein authored a two-page memo to Robert Mueller in August 2017 that detailed the special counsel’s authority to investigate the Trump campaign, including instructions to “consult” the Justice Department for approval to pursue “additional matters” that may arise from the primary investigation. Much of the memo is redacted. Let’s see the whole thing.

The list of journalists who are in cahoots with FBI agents: The Justice Department’s Inspector General last year accused several FBI officials of improperly accepting gifts from journalists in exchange for information. Representative Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) confirmed that the IG is continuing to investigate the “corruption that existed between the media and members of the FBI.”

The news media played a central role not just in perpetuating the Russian collusion hoax, but in reporting illegally leaked details of classified information related to the investigation. The media is big on truth and transparency, so we’re told, and holding people accountable for their actions. Let’s see the names of the journalists who were trading perks for scoops.

There are other documents we should see right away: The transcripts of dozens of people interviewed by congressional investigators for their role in seeding the collusion hoax (the Justice Department continues inexplicably to delay the release of these documents); transcripts of the calls between former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn and former Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak to see in what context “sanctions” were discussed; the unredacted notes of the interview between Flynn and the FBI; any internal documents confirming the FBI’s relationship with both Stefan Halper and Joseph Mifsud. And, most importantly, any emails, calls, texts or other correspondence between the Justice Department and anyone in the Obama White House between January 2016 and January 2017 related to the investigation should be released.

The fog being generated by Democrats, the media, and NeverTrump Republicans about William Barr, obstruction charges, and the Mueller report can be lifted by issuing all of these materials as soon as possible. Then we will see who is truly interested in truth and transparency and who merely is extending the unyielding attempt to take down Donald Trump.

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Photo Credit: Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call

About the Author:

Julie Kelly
Julie Kelly is a political commentator and senior contributor to American Greatness. Her past work can be found at The Federalist and National Review. She also has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, The Hill, Chicago Tribune, Forbes, and Genetic Literacy Project. After college graduation, she served as a policy and communications consultant for several Republican candidates and elected officials in suburban Chicago. She also volunteered for her local GOP organization. After staying home for more than 10 years to raise her two daughters, Julie began teaching cooking classes out of her home. She then started writing about food policy, agriculture, and biotechnology, as well as climate change and other scientific issues. She graduated from Eastern Illinois University in 1990 with a degree in communications and minor degrees in political science and journalism. Julie lives in suburban Chicago with her husband, two daughters, and (unfortunately) three dogs.