Sara Carter reports on a classified document that was released to all members of the House today. The document seems to be a compilation of information, prepared by House intelligence committee staff, relating to the anti-Trump dossier, the FBI, the warrant to conduct surveillance on members of the Trump campaign, and the use of that warrant.
Carter calls the document a bombshell. Her sources say its revelations might lead to the removal of senior officials in the FBI and Department of Justice, and perhaps even to the criminal prosecution of some. They also say, less plausibly, that the revelations could lead to the end of Robert Mueller’s investigation into President Trump and his associates.
What information does the classified document contain? We don’t know yet. It’s classified.
However, there’s a good chance one revelation (if we can still call it that) will be that the FBI used uncorroborated information from Christopher Steele’s anti-Trump dossier (paid for by the Clinton campaign) to obtain surveillance warrants from the FISA court. Lindsey Graham has all but said that this occurred.
According to Carter’s sources, the classified document also outlines “several problematic” issues with how FISA warrants were used. I won’t speculate about what these issues might be.
Democrats on the House intelligence committee resisted the sharing of the classified document with members of the House as a whole. A motion to share it passed on a straight party line vote. The Dems’ resistance tends to support Carter’s report that the document is explosive.
Republican members such as Jim Jordan and Matt Gaetz intend to press for the declassification and release of the document to the public. The success of this effort will depend, as I understand it, on cooperation from the Department of Justice.
The document may well be a “bombshell,” as Carter’s sources say. But will releasing it to the public lead to an end of the Mueller investigation?
Mueller certainly won’t disband his team of anti-Trump partisans just because the evidence that sparked the Russia collusion investigation arose from collusion between the FBI and the Clinton campaign. It’s no defense to any true and incriminating facts Mueller uncovers to say that, but for chicanery (which predates Mueller’s participation), the facts might never have come to light.
If the Mueller investigation disbands, it will be because Trump, or someone picked by Trump for that purpose, pulls the plug. Evidence that the Mueller investigation stems from serious wrongdoing by the FBI might cause Trump to pull the plug. He might think it gives him the cover he needs to do what, I assume, he has long wanted to do.
But will it truly give him that cover? Mueller and his backers already seem to be shifting their focus, at least with regard to Trump, to alleged obstruction of justice. It will be easy for Mueller and his backers in the Democratic Party and the media to argue that this aspect of the investigation ought not be shut down, regardless of how the “collusion” investigation arose.
Michael Flynn and George Papadopoulos have already pleaded guilty to making false statements to the FBI. Thus, for purposes of discussion, there are crimes in the picture. Hypothetically, if Trump tried to obstruct the prosecution of Flynn, let’s say, the matter would be worth pursuing regardless of any hanky-panky with the FISA court filing.
I have no reason to believe that Trump obstructed justice in this or any other respect. My point is that Trump might well have a difficult time in the court of public if he used “bombshell” information about the FBI as his basis for sacking Mueller.
The clear upshot of bombshell information about wrongdoing by pro-Clinton forces in the FBI would be the removal of these officials and, perhaps, their criminal prosecution. Another upshot might be some weakening of support for Mueller and his investigation and weakening of support for impeaching Trump based on Mueller’s findings (if things come to that). But termination of Mueller investigation may be a bridge too far.