Huston: The Scandal Watch

May 21, 2018

The author, an adjunct scholar of the Indiana Policy Review and a former associate counsel to the president of the United States, served as an officer in the United States Army assigned to the Defense Intelligence Agency.

RECALL THAT THE SO-CALLED ‘SMOKING GUN’ TAPE that led to President Richard Nixon’s resignation was of a June 1972 Oval Office conversation in which the president directed Bob Haldeman and John Ehrlichman to call in CIA Director Richard Helms and direct him to block the FBI investigation seeking to trace the money that financed the Liddy-Hunt operation that carried out the Watergate break-in. After a meeting with the acting FBI Director, Helms concluded that there was no legitimate reason for CIA to intervene and refused to permit CIA to take any action that would appear to be in furtherance of a cover-up. Compare that record of avoiding partisan entanglement with the emerging details of the anti-Trump conspiracy organized and directed by Obama’s CIA Director, John Brennan. It is simply unprecedented in this country for what the Soviets called “the organs of state security” to be deployed against the opposition to the incumbent administration and, ultimately, the sitting president. Brennan was not merely operating a Hillary Clinton campaign war room at CIA headquarters but subsequently assumed leadership of a joint CIA/FBI coup attempt against the constitutionally elected president. We are in constitutionally uncharted territory. Ultimately, partisanship will be forced to yield to facts, and the first step in that process will be the report of the Inspector General for the Department of Justice. My view is that thus far we have seen only the tip of the iceberg.

Crossfire Hurricane: Category Five Political Espionage— I don’t traffic in conspiracy theories, but I can come up with only one logical explanation why the FBI outed its London-based informant in the Trump campaign and that is to protect an even more important informant or operation targeting the campaign in the U.S. I believe the FBI/CIA leaks to the New York Timesand Washington Post fingering the Cambridge professor were intended to throw Congressional investigators off the track of even more damaging information. I suspect President Trump believes the same thing, which is why he ordered the Justice Department to formally launch an investigation into whether the Obama administration targeted the Trump campaign. That mandate has been passed onto the DOJ Inspector General, who, though appointed by Obama, is no toady. At the end of the day, the big story of the 2016 election will not be Trump collusion with Russia but rather the Obama administration spying on Trump. We are at the point where Sen. Howard Baker’s query is again relevant: What did the President know and when did he know it?

— Tom Charles Huston


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