I have followed the Trump-Russia collusion farce obsessively, but I forget the critical role played by institutions other than the FBI in the still mysterious origin of the counterintelligence investigation. In his Wall Street Journal column this past Saturday, Holman Jenkins reminds us of the role of James Comey, to be sure, but also of CIA Director John Brennan and of DNI James Clapper as well:
The FBI’s Mr. Comey, since Election Day, has been a model of discretion compared with Obama CIA chief John Brennan and Obama Director of National Intelligence James Clapper. Mr. Brennan suggested on national TV that Vladimir Putin possesses secret information he uses to control President Trump. Mr. Clapper, also on national TV, called Mr. Trump a Kremlin “asset” whose election was secured by Russian meddling.
Their involvement in the events Mr. Horowitz details was extensive and pervasive and yet these men are invisible in his report. And it is hardly plausible that they were more restrained in their accusations against Mr. Trump in their private dealings with Mr. Comey before the election than they have been on TV since.
Which brings us to Mr. Comey’s potentially most consequential decision, his reopening of the Hillary email investigation just before Election Day, which many Democrats and independent analysts say may inadvertently have elected Mr. Trump.
Mr. Horowitz finds no convincing explanation of why a month elapsed between the surfacing of the Weiner laptop and Mr. Comey’s action. It might be useful, though, to understand what else was going on between Sept. 26 and Oct. 28. The Yahoo news article based on the Steele dossier had recently appeared. A Mother Jones piece would soon appear. Inquiries about the Steele dossier would have been pouring into the agency. The FBI would soon break off relations with Christopher Steele for speaking to the press. Harry Reid would soon exploit the FBI’s possession of the dossier to try to get its allegations into the media.
Mr. Comey would have seen that a partisan explosion was coming. Nothing would remain secret. Even in the expected Hillary victory, a GOP Congress would insist on an investigation.
This is the environment in which he made a decision that objectively seems aimed at redeeming the FBI’s reputation as a straight shooter amid a welter of intelligence community actions that eventually would be exposed and second-guessed.
Oh, what a tangled web we weave…and continue to weave.
Following Brennan on Twitter, we see his animus nakedly on display. He is demented by hatred. Is this really the public role a former Director of the CIA is to be playing? Below is one of his most recent effusions on Twitter.
Your fear of exposure is palpable. Your desperation even more so. When will those of conscience among your Cabinet, inner circle, and Republican leadership realize that your unprincipled and unethical behavior as well as your incompetence are seriously damaging our Nation. https://t.co/n6ivjOYxzo
— John O. Brennan (@JohnBrennan) June 23, 2018
NOTE: Brennan retweeted Rep. Joe Kennedy’s comment on the Supreme Court’s “travel ban” decision last week that I initially posted here (embedded, it didn’t show Brennan’s retweet). Brennan himself didn’t write it, he just felt it somewhere deep inside.