The “Deep State,” the career bureaucrats actively obstructing President Trump’s agenda, now are defying the president’s demands for more transparency.
Paul Sperry noted at Real Clear Investigations that Trump granted Attorney General William Barr the “unprecedented power” to declassify intelligence files.
But Sperry, citing sources with direct knowledge of White House discussions, reports that key U.S. intelligence agencies continue to withhold documents related to the Trump-Russia investigation.
The logjam is at the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.
Sperry said Trump “is in the process of shaking up [that office] after the resignations last month of its director, Dan Coats, and principal deputy, Sue Gordon. ‘Establishment’ officials in that agency are still dragging their feet, say the sources, who spoke on condition that they not be further identified.”
For example, documents are being withheld that could hold evidence that President Obama’s CIA, FBI and Justice Department illegally eavesdropped on the Trump campaign.
The cases are separate from the FBI’s disputed FISA court-approved surveillance of Trump campaign adviser Carter Page, Sperry said.
Then there’s a 2016 briefing CIA Director John Brennan “hand-delivered in a sealed envelope to Obama, containing information from what Brennan claimed was ‘a critical informant close to Putin.'”
Sperry said the informant is believed to have been “a Russian source recycled from the largely debunked dossier compiled by ex-British agent Christopher Steele for the Hillary Clinton campaign.”
There’s also a December 2016 email exchange between Brennan and FBI Director James Comey in which Brennan is said to have argued for using the dossier in early drafts of the task force’s “much-hyped January 2017 intelligence assessment.”
Sperry said that “spread the narrative that Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the alleged Clinton campaign hacking to steal the election for Trump.”
And there are the FBI, CIA and State Department records about Joseph Mifsud, “the mysterious Maltese professor whose statements regarding Papadopoulos allegedly triggered the original Russia-collusion probe.”
Sperry also pointed to transcripts of “53 closed-door interviews of FBI and Justice Department officials and other witnesses conducted by the House Intelligence Committee.”
The transcripts, according to Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., of the House Judiciary Committee, show “who was lying and expose the bias that existed against Trump before and after his election.”
Other documents have “evidence of a Democratic National Committee attorney maintaining Russia-related contacts with the CIA during the 2016 campaign.”
The office was run by James Clapper during Obama’s administration, but Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., later pointed out Clapper was one of a trio, including James Comey and John Brennan, who tried to “bring down a sitting president.”
The office of DNI has authority to declassify and release records but was thrown a curve when Trump gave that authority to Barr in May. Trump wanted to remove a bottleneck to the release of classified information to those investigating the foundations of the Russia collusion claims.
Sperry reported the “intelligence bureaucracy” has resisted Trump’s move, because it is “protective of its turf.”
A Sperry source said: “There’s been a huge impasse in getting key documents to Congress and declassified during the Russia investigation. … Several House members, especially Devin Nunes [of House Intelligence] and Mark Meadows [of House Oversight)] were upset that Coats refused to cooperate in releasing this explosive material to Congress.”
The report said the release of documents likely will be impacted by Trump’s selection of a permanent replacement for Coats at the secretive DNI.
Sperry’s sources said Trump is “suspicious of the intelligence establishment and believes it spied on him during and after the 2016 election, and is now withholding documents from investigators that could prove foreign intelligence was weaponized against him.”