Deep State

Did John Brennan Lie to Congress About 2016 Gang of Eight Briefings?


- July 29th, 2019
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During an interview with Fox News’ Maria Bartiromo Sunday morning, Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) suggested that former CIA director John Brennan lied under oath to Congress in May 2017.

In written testimony to the House Intelligence Committee, Brennan claimed that he had briefed each member of the so-called Gang of Eight about “Russian attempts to interfere in the election” between August 11, 2016 and September 6, 2016.

At the time, the Gang of Eight—congressional leaders who are briefed on classified intelligence matters by the executive branch—was comprised of Senators Harry Reid (D-Nev.), Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Richard Burr (R-N.C.), and Representatives Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), and Adam Schiff (D-Calif.).

“Again, in consultation with the White House, I personally briefed the full details of our understanding of Russian attempts to interfere in the election to congressional leadership,” Brennan wrote. “I provided the same briefing to each Gang of Eight member. Given the highly sensitive nature of what was in what was an active counterintelligence case, involving an ongoing Russian effort, to interfere in our presidential election, the full details of what we knew at the time were shared only with those members of congress; each of whom was accompanied by one senior staff member.”

After his meeting with Brennan, Reid fired off a letter to FBI Director James Comey demanding an investigation into “the questions raised” in the Clinton/DNC/Steele dossier.

But Nunes told Bartiromo on “Sunday Morning Futures” that he and former Speaker Paul Ryan were never told about the Steele Dossier, which contained allegations about Russian interference and contacts with the Trump campaign.

“The CIA has mostly come clean about its activities during the 2016 election,” Nunes said. “The only one who has questions to answer is John Brennan,” he added. “We now know that John Brennan briefed Harry Reid on the dossier in August of 2016,” Nunes said. “At the same time, he never briefed me or Paul Ryan, who was the Speaker of the House at the time.”

Yet Brennan claimed that he gave each member of the Gang of Eight the same “full” briefing.

As legal eagle “Undercover Huber” noted on Twitter, this discrepancy could become a problem for Brennan.

“Big problem for Brennan: if true, he lied under oath to Congress—in written testimony, not just a slip of the tongue,” Huber tweeted.

This, of course, wouldn’t be the first time the former director had been accused of lacking veracity in testimony before Congress.

In a post at NRO last year, American Greatness senior contributor and columnist Victor Davis Hanson detailed a number of occasions where Brennan almost certainly lied under oath:

In 2011, Brennan, then the country’s chief counterterrorism adviser, had sworn to Congress that scores of drones strikes abroad had not killed a single noncombatant — at a time when both the president and the CIA were both receiving numerous reports of civilian collateral deaths.

In 2014, John Brennan, now as CIA director, lied emphatically that the CIA had not illegally accessed the computers of U.S. Senate staffers who were then exploring a CIA role in torturing detainees. Or as he told Andrea Mitchell: “As far as the allegations of the CIA hacking into Senate computers, nothing could be further from the truth. . . . We wouldn’t do that. I mean, that’s just beyond the, you know, the scope of reason in terms of what we do.” Brennan’s chronic deceptions drew the ire of a number of liberal senators, some of whom echoed the Washington Post’s call for his immediate resignation. After months of prevarications, but only upon release of the CIA inspector general’s report, Brennan apologized to the senators he had deceived.

Brennan, in May 2017, as an ex-CIA director, again almost certainly did not tell the truth to Congress when he testified in answer to Representative Trey Gowdy’s questions that he neither knew who had commissioned the Steele dossier nor had the CIA relied on its contents for any action. Yet both the retired National Security Agency director, Michael Rogers, and the former director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, have conceded that the Steele dossier — along with the knowledge that it was a Clinton-campaign-funded product — most certainly did help shape the Obama’s intelligence communality interagency assessments and actions, often under the urging of Brennan himself.

There are also numerous reports that, despite his denials about knowledge of the dossier, Brennan served as a stealthy conduit to ensure that it was disseminated widely, at least in the sense of meeting in August 2016 with Senator Harry Reid to brief the senator about its unverified contents in hopes that he would pressure the FBI to further its investigations, which Reid did in a call two days later to James Comey.

There are supposed to be penalties for lying to Congress.

Section 1621 of the U.S. Code stipulates that anyone who “willfully and contrary to such oath states or subscribes any material matter which he does not believe to be true” is guilty of perjury and shall be fined and/or imprisoned up to five years.

Section 1001 covers false statements made while not under oath. The section stipulates that “whoever, in any matter within the jurisdiction of the executive, legislative, or judicial branch of the government of the United States, knowingly and willfully” provides false information or conceals information may also be fined or imprisoned up to five years.

(Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

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