Leaks Cut Both Ways: Adam Schiff Mum After Viewing Nunes Intelligence

During the House Intelligence Committee hearings, ranking Democrat Rep Adam Schiff made a great show of FBI Director Comey’s refutation of President Trump’s accusations of “wiretapping.” He and fellow Democrat Terri Sewell did a great job grandstanding and making hay off the president’s unsupported accusations.

What has Schiff seen that’s silenced him?

Remember, leaks cut both ways. A leaker gave the New York Times and the Washington Post information about “surveillance” on Trump that fed stories of smoke and fire on various campaign and administration associates connections with the Russians. Another leaker fed specific highly classified document references to House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes. Nunes worked with White House staffers to gain access to those documents in a secure fashion, without informing his fellow committee members.

That was undoubtedly against procedure, but Nunes had no idea what he was going to see, and no way to see the documents without going through the White House. It’s not as if the CIA, DIA, NSA, or any other intelligence community agency was about to go along with a document request.

We don’t know what Nunes saw, but we do know that it indicated there was some “incidental” data collection on Trump’s campaign and that information was available to the Obama administration. It’s now surfaced that Susan Rice requested specific “by name” intelligence data on Trump staffers.

Schiff has now seen what Nunes saw. His response should be troubling for those grandstanding Democrats. “While I cannot discuss the content of the documents, if the White House had any concern over these materials, they should have been shared with the full committees in the first place as a part of our ordinary oversight responsibilities,” the statement read.

Schiff’s biggest complaint is why the White House shared the documents with Nunes before the rest of the committee. This is all explained by the narrative Streiff suggested Friday at RedState.

  • Leaker gives Nunes list of document serial numbers.
  • Nunes asks White House — probably one of the two lawyers fingered by the NYT as leakers — for help retrieving the documents because of agency stonewalling.
  • NSC intel guy retrieves the documents and passes them to White House counsel for clearance. This part alone makes this sequence believable to me. The NSC intel chief is on thin ice with McMaster, the odds of him defying McMaster by collaborating with Nunes on his own as a “leaker” seemed to me to approach zero.
  • Nunes visits White House SCIF and views documents that have been retrieved.

This is backed up by the fact that the CIA moved to have National Security Adviser Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster reassign Ezra Cohen-Watnick, the National Security Council’s senior director of intelligence. Trump belayed that order.

It appears that Schiff has no answer for the documents that were leaked to Nunes. The intelligence community has been caught with its pinky in the pushke, and they don’t like it at all. The documents should now be shared with the entire House Intelligence Committee, and hopefully the Department of Justice. Whatever went on between Trump and Russia, it is not a bigger story than the abuse of intelligence information that seems to be rampant in the intelligence community.

Instead of “Nixon-Watergate,” we are more likely looking at a “Scooter Libby-Valerie Plame” scenario. Fellow billionaire and Trump-watcher Mark Cuban’s take is worth reading. The short version is that Trump simply did what businessmen do–he didn’t use Russian influence to win the election–and Trump didn’t have the situational awareness to organize that kind of scandal if he could have.

There was a concentrated effort to stop Trump, and it’s looking likely that members of our intelligence community were complicit in that effort to some degree.

Leaks cut both ways. It’s time for our intelligence folks to put their cards on the table with the administration and Congress. It’s also time for Democrats in Congress and their media minions to quit their single-minded effort to destroy Trump. But I’m pretty sure that’s asking too much.

Dems Manufacture Smoke Then Pull Fire Alarm

Yesterday’s House of Representative Intelligence Committee hearing proved how adroit Democrats have become at fomenting disingenuous talking points and outright falsehoods in their attempt to paint President Trump as an impeachable charlatan. Powerline’s Paul Mirengoff provides an excellent analysis: (Powerline)

“…the hearing was worthwhile for me because it provided an opportunity to hear the Democrats explain why they suspect, or purport to suspect, the Trump campaign of colluding with the Russians. Ranking Member Adam Schiff set forth that case in his 15 minute opening statement. Rep. Jim Himes added a few points later on. I now have a better understanding of what former acting CIA director Mike Morell means by “the smoke” regarding “the question of the Trump campaign conspiring with the Russians.” Morell made it clear that he sees “no fire, at all,” not even “a spark.” (Emphasis Mine)

Although no accusation was presented with anything close to evidence, what was evident was their prep work in presenting a coherent if not viable “connect the dots” circumstantial argument. Mr. Mirengoff continues:

“To support an inference of collusion, the Democrats need to show that Russia received (or was promised) something by the Trump campaign in exchange for interfering with the election. Rep. Schiff pointed to two benefits he says Trump has bestowed on Russia: (1) the softening of a plank on Ukraine at the GOP convention and (2) Trump’s call on NATO members to meet their monetary commitments. Questions asked by some Democratic members this morning seemed to bolster the view that certain key members of the Trump team have long been more sympathetic to the Russian position on Ukraine than many in the GOP are. Rep. Schiff also emphasized that Roger Stone predicted the release of John Podesta’s emails before it happened.”

This is where the Dems run into a brick wall of a problem. Their own spy director James Clapper admitted no evidence exists pointing to any Russia Trump Campaign collusion: (NBC Transcript MTP)

CHUCK TODD: Well, that’s an important revelation at this point. Let me ask you this. Does intelligence exist that can definitively answer the following question, whether there were improper contacts between the Trump campaign and Russian officials?

JAMES CLAPPER: We did not include any evidence in our report, and I say, “our,” that’s N.S.A., F.B.I. and C.I.A., with my office, the Director of National Intelligence, that had anything, that had any reflection of collusion between members of the Trump campaign and the Russians. There was no evidence of that included in our report.

CHUCK TODD: I understand that. But does it exist?

JAMES CLAPPER: Not to my knowledge.

CHUCK TODD: If it existed, it would have been in this report?

JAMES CLAPPER: This could have unfolded or become available in the time since I left the government.

CHUCK TODD: At some–

JAMES CLAPPER: But at the time, we had no evidence of such collusion.

CHUCK TODD: There’s a lot of smoke, but there hasn’t been that smoking gun yet. At what point should the public start to wonder if this is all just smoke?

JAMES CLAPPER: Well, that’s a good question. I don’t know. I do think, though, it is in everyone’s interest, in the current President’s interests, in the Democrats’ interests, in the Republican interest, in the country’s interest, to get to the bottom of all this. Because it’s such a distraction. And certainly the Russians have to be chortling about the success of their efforts to sow dissention in this country.

CHUCK TODD: So you feel like your report does not get to the bottom– you admit your report that you released in January doesn’t get to the bottom of this?

JAMES CLAPPER: It did– well, it got to the bottom of the evidence to the extent of the evidence we had at the time. Whether there is more evidence that’s become available since then, whether ongoing investigations will be revelatory, I don’t know.

CHUCK TODD: There was a conclusion that said, “It’s clear that the Russians interfered and did so in an attempt to help Donald Trump.” Do you still believe that conclusion?

JAMES CLAPPER: Yes, I do.

CHUCK TODD: But at this point, what’s not proven is the idea of collusion

JAMES CLAPPER: That’s correct.

Having been thwarted in their ability to directly tie President Trump to Russia, the Democrats on the committee focused on Paul Manafort, Roger Stone, and Carter Paige, and their dealings within Russia and the Ukraine. All to no effect: (Townhall):

“It has now been officially confirmed, with the permission of the Justice Department, that the FBI is engaged in an investigation into the Kremlin’s activities, including whether or not anyone in Trump’s orbit was coordinating or colluding with Russia during the campaign. That probe is active and ongoing, with an undetermined termination date. So far there is zero evidence of improper collusion; even the very media reports that have fueled various rumors and accusations quoted unnamed official sources who’ve conceded as much, and who’ve further stated that the alleged contacts were not even necessarily unusual in nature.”

Without the bother of fact, the Democrats were able to accomplish their objectives,

1) Provide a series of TV sized sound bites suitable for the edit happy newsrooms of CNN, CBS and MSNBC.

2) Ignore the felonious intelligence leaks provided by Obama sycophants meanwhile changing the narrative from  “felon” to “respected and admired whistleblower”.

That is all they wanted to accomplish yesterday. Provide talking points to continue propagating their “Red Scare Meets Donald Trump” scenario. Create smoke. Pull the fire alarm. Scream fire. Hope for some of the dirt to stick. Rinse. Repeat. The one positive in the midst of all of this artificial smoke is the fact that President Trump continues to enact his conservative governing agenda without successful MSM resistance.