Intel chief declassifying papers showing Brennan had info on Russian influence
Acting Director of National Intelligence Richard Grenell is declassifying four or five other batches of intelligence along with the list of Obama administration officials who were allegedly involved in the “unmasking” of former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, according to a report.
That intelligence, according to Fox News anchor Ed Henry, includes information that could cause things to “get sticky” for former CIA Director John Brennan regarding what knowledge he had of Russia’s 2016 election interference.
Asked during an appearance on Fox News’ “Tucker Carlson Tonight” Tuesday what kind of intelligence could be made public, Henry reported that Brennan had intel alleging that Russia wanted Hillary Clinton to win the 2016 election when the intelligence community released its January 2017 statement, which said the Soviet nation had interfered to help Donald Trump.
According to Henry, the intelligence Brennan had claimed the Russian government actually viewed Clinton as far more malleable on policy than Trump, who was less predictable.
Brennan has emerged as a top foe of Trump in cable news circles since leaving his intelligence post. He has accused the commander in chief of “treasonous” behavior and stood by his remarks that the president “is wholly in the pocket of Putin.”
When asked by the House Intelligence Committee in May 2017 whether he had seen evidence of “collusion” between the Trump campaign and Russia, Brennan said that he was aware of information that revealed interactions between Russian officials and Trump campaign staffers.
“I don’t know whether or not such collusion … existed. I don’t know. But I know that there was a sufficient basis of information and intelligence that required further investigation by the bureau to determine whether or not U.S. persons were actively conspiring, colluding with Russian officials,” he told lawmakers.
Grenell made headlines on Tuesday for officially declassifying the list of Obama officials involved in the unmasking of Flynn, a move that Henry claims could uncover some illegal activity.
US citizens sometimes have conversations incidentally picked up through surveillance practices by the intelligence community that monitor foreign officials. Those citizens’ identities are supposed to be kept private, or “masked,” absent a warrant to reveal their identity.
US intelligence officials, however, can request the names of those citizens if they feel the information is pertinent to understand the intelligence. This process is called “unmasking.”
Flynn was unmasked and his name was revealed to the public in a leak, which Henry says could have been a crime.
Flynn pleaded guilty in late 2017 to lying to the FBI about the conversations he had with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak. He later tried to withdraw that plea ahead of sentencing, claiming he did not intentionally lie.
Joe Biden denies he was involved in Michael Flynn probe
A four-page document released as part of a re-examination of the Flynn case showed the then-counterintelligence director of the bureau openly questioning whether the agency’s “goal” was to “get him to lie.”
“What’s our goal? Truth/Admission or to get him to lie, so we can prosecute him or get him fired?” Bill Priestap wrote. “If we get him to admit to breaking the Logan Act, give facts to DOJ & have them decide. Or, if he initially lies, then we present him [redacted] & he admits it, document for DOJ, & let them decide how to address it.”
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