The announcement this week by Attorney General Barr that he does not expect there will be an investigation, "at this time", into the role played in the attacks on the Trump campaign and presidency by former President Barack Obama and former Vice President Joe Biden, has added another layer of intrigue to the already explosive developments around Russiagate. Barr's comments came as new evidence has been pouring out, which proves that it is justified to charge that there were multiple violations of law behind the coup attempt against President Donald Trump, and that officials at the highest levels of the Obama administration were informed of these activities, if not directly involved. Trump himself began referring to the ongoing investigation as "Obamagate."
In speaking of the investigation underway by U.S. Attorney John Durham into the origins of Russiagate, Barr stated that he does not expect there will be a "criminal investigation of either man." Describing the attack on Trump as a "grave injustice...unprecedented in American history," Barr cautioned that Durham's investigation "will not be a tit-for-tat exercise....Not every abuse of power—no matter how outrageous—is necessarily a federal crime." He was sharply critical of what he called "increasing attempts to use the criminal justice system as a political weapon," insisting that the upcoming presidential campaign should be one of robust debate, but that political fights should not be criminalized.
Barr's comments were taken by ardent supporters of the President as a retreat. What was Russiagate, they argued, but an hysterical reaction to the political defeat of Hillary Clinton, by trying to prove it was caused by criminal collusion between Trump and Russia's President Putin? And now that proof has emerged that those who made the accusations against him did so knowingly, with no evidence to back their claims, does that not constitute a crime, deserving prosecution?
Before answering these questions, let's begin by looking at some of the relevant evidence now being publicly disclosed.
THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THE FLYNN CASE
The decision announced May 7 by the U.S. Justice Department (DOJ) to drop the case against Michael Flynn resulted from the surfacing of documents showing that not only did the FBI agents who led the charge against him know that he had committed no crime, but planned set up a "perjury trap" when they interviewed him shortly after Trump's inauguration, to induce him to lie (for details, see "Flynn Revelations Prove Russiagate Was a Regime Change Coup", posted May 3). The new evidence was produced due to a vigorous effort by Flynn's new attorney, former prosecutor Sidney Powell, to demonstrate that his guilty plea had been coerced by government misconduct. The withholding of exculpatory evidence, which demonstrated his innocence, from Flynn's defense team, by special counsel Robert Mueller's prosecutors, was cited by the DOJ in the decision to drop his case.
The DOJ decision was immediately denounced by those directly responsible for the violations which were exposed, such as former FBI Director Jim Comey. A letter signed by nearly 2,000 former DOJ employees called for Barr to step down, accusing him of blatant political interference on behalf of the president. This was a repeat of a similar letter circulated after the DOJ intervened in the frame-up of Roger Stone, reducing his prison sentence. And, of course, Democrats, led by Rep. Adam Schiff, who prosecuted the impeachment case against Trump, and Speaker Nancy Pelosi, attacked Barr.
More serious was the reaction of the judge in the case, Emmit Sullivan, who announced he would hold hearings to decide whether to accept the DOJ's order. Sullivan hired a former Judge, John Gleeson, to present arguments on why he could reject the decision on the basis of DOJ over-reach, or even accuse Flynn of perjury when he entered his plea of guilty! Gleeson had coauthored an op ed in the Washington Post arguing that the DOJ decision was unacceptable.
At this point, Obama entered the flap, denouncing Barr's decision during a private phone conversation with alumni of his administration. There is "no precedent" for this decision, Obama declared, expressing concern that with this decision, "our basic understanding of rule of law is at risk." Obama's "private" discussion, naturally, was leaked to the media within hours, intensifying the focus on what Sullivan might do. Flynn's attorney, Powell, obliterated Obama's arguments in a response, demonstrating that his statement "is entirely false", and pointed to the hypocrisy in citing the "rule of law", when the FBI during his administration repeatedly had engaged in blatant violations of the law! Powell has filed a motion on Flynn's behalf asking that he be granted a different judge, since Sullivan has shown obvious bias against him.
In keeping with the partisan inanity of the Democrats, there is now talk among them, of the possibility that they might prepare a new impeachment case against Trump, for "politicizing" the legal cases against Stone and Flynn, while insisting on the removal of Barr.
THE SCANDAL OF THE "UNMASKING" OF FLYNN
An additional element in the Flynn case emerged when the House Intelligence Committee—chaired by Rep. Schiff—was compelled to release 53 interviews done by the Committee into Russiagate. Former Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates, who was an Obama appointee, expressed her shock when Obama revealed at a meeting of top intelligence and DOJ officials, on January 5, 2017, that he was familiar with the call between Flynn and Russian Ambassador to the U.S. Kislyak, which had been the initial subject of the investigation of Flynn. Flynn's conversation had been picked up as Kislyak's calls were monitored. Since it is unlawful to release the names of U.S. citizens who are overheard speaking to those who are monitored, it was necessary to use an official request to identify, or "unmask" Flynn.
That Obama was aware that Flynn had been unmasked, and discussed it at that meeting, indicates that Obama had been fully aware of the proceedings against Flynn. It is significant that the decision had been made the day earlier to drop the investigation of Flynn, a decision that was reversed shortly afterwards—had that been discussed at that January 5 meeting? Further, it has been revealed that nearly three dozen requests had been made by Obama officials to unmask Flynn. His name was then illegally leaked to David Ignatius of the Washington Post, a blatant violation of classification rules. Ignatius' article one week later describing Flynn's discussion with Kislyak was used to ramp up the charges that Trump, through Flynn, was making promises to Russia, in return for the alleged role played by Putin to elect Trump!
As for Obama's involvement in Russiagate, it was already known, thanks to a text message from FBI attorney Lisa Page to Peter Strzok, an FBI official at the center of a wide range of anti-Trump activities, that he was in the loop. Page wrote on September 2, 2016, "POTUS [Obama] wants to know everything we're doing," referencing her work with Strzok to assure that Trump would lose to Hillary Clinton.
There were two other major revelations in the House Intelligence Committee interviews. First, virtually everyone involved in the intelligence community who had been publicly insisting that there was clear evidence of Trump's "collusion" with the Russians in their "meddling" in the 2016 elections—such as Obama's Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper and National Security Adviser Susan Rice—acknowledged under oath, in secret testimony before the Committee, that there was NO EVIDENCE of collusion between Trump and Russia! Secondly, Shawn Henry, the President of CrowdStrike, the cyber security firm hired by the Democratic National Committee to investigate the breach of their computers, admitted that there was no evidence that the emails, which were allegedly hacked by "the Russians", had ever been "exfiltrated", that is, removed from the computer. Since CrowdStrike, and not the FBI, was the only entity which had access to those computers, its charge that there was Russian hacking was accepted and then asserted by the intelligence community, reported as "fact" by the media and politicians, and was affirmed in Mueller's report—even though, during his testimony delivered in December 2017, Henry acknowledged there was no forensic evidence of Russian hacking!
It is now clear why Schiff had steadfastly refused to release the transcripts of the interviews given to his committee, as the testimony confirmed that the narrative of the charges against Trump, and Russia, was based on lies, which were repeated ad nauseum by public officials and the media.
WHY THIS MATTERS
As the layers of deceit are peeled away, the new evidence being released proves that top officials of the Obama administration did engage in unlawful attacks against the Trump campaign in 2016, in an effort to defeat him and elect Hillary Clinton President, and were escalated after Trump's election. What was put in place can be accurately characterized as a blackmail operation against the incoming President, which became a regime change coup plot when Donald Trump made clear, in his January 7, 2017 meeting with Comey, that he would not succumb to their blackmail.
The weakness that most defenders of the president have, which hinders their ability to crush the coup and its plotters, is that they fail to view this process from the "top down", in order for the pieces to make sense. This requires a strategic view which is unique to the LaRouche organization, beginning with an understanding of the British role in initiating the coup attempt. The first inkling came from Robert Hannigan of the U.K.'s GCHQ, who claimed they had obtained evidence in 2015 of "suspicious Russian cyber activity" targeting the campaign. Hannigan presented this to John Brennan, who used this fake revelation to begin pulling together a "Get Trump" task force, including Clapper and later Comey. And while many are aware that Christopher Steele, whose infamous and fabricated dossier was a central tool used against Trump, is British, and a "former" top operative of MI6, and that much of the attempt to infiltrate the Trump campaign, and connect it with "Russia", through targeting of Carter Paige, George Papadopoulos, Flynn and Paul Manafort, was done by assets shared by U.S. and British intelligence agencies, they miss the intent of the operation. It is not just that Trump was seen as "unpredictable", or "too friendly" with, or influenced by foreign "authoritarian" figures, but that he was a threat to the world order constructed by the British and their U.S. allies.
The actions taken against him were initiated to insure unbroken continuity with the City of London/Wall Street military and financial policies of the Bush and Obama administrations, centered on "endless wars", "endless bailouts" of the casino economy, and further anti-growth deindustrialization of the U.S. If Trump would not submit to continuing the direction of his predecessors, he must be removed from office, to allow for the continuation of those policies. Trump's oft-stated desire to end the wars, and do so in cooperation with Putin and Xi Jinping, was an existential threat to the whole post-Cold War order, dominated by geopolitical and financial doctrines created to defend the primacy of the supra-national, neoliberal policies, required by the bankrupt financial superstructure of City of London.
Russiagate was never just about the partisan divide in the U.S., as many Republicans have joined with Democrats to oppose Trump's priorities, such an ending U.S. involvement in wars in Syria and Afghanistan, to break with free trade policies which have deindustrialized America, or to spend trillions of dollars to upgrade U.S. infrastructure. While Russiagate did not succeed in removing him from office, it has prevented him from fulfilling his campaign promises to end the wars, establish cooperative relationships with Russia and China, and to rebuild the American economy.
Attorney General Barr's statement on whether Obama and Biden become targets of investigation must be understood in this context. There was an actual coup attempt underway, to remove a duly-elected president. Gathering the evidence to prove this must not be used for revenge, or to fulfill a vendetta against a political adversary, but to enforce a necessary correction to the dangerous policy course dictated by British-dominated geopolitical strategic interests, which has been underway since the collapse of the Soviet Union.
Let the evidentiary process unfold with this in mind, as Barr indicated in his remarks. For justice to be served, it is necessary, as Americans often say, to "Let the chips fall where they may."