One of the weapons the ‘deep state’ has been using to protect itself and its allies is the use of classification and redaction to prevent the public from learning exactly what transpired in the process whereby an opposition research document paid for by the Clinton campaign and compiled by a man with deep ties to officials in Putin’s Russia was repackaged and deodorized and pawned off on the intelligence community, the FBI, and feckless, credulous judges on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court as legitimate intelligence product.
Former House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes has made the case time and again that redactions are being used to obscure wrongdoing and not to protect sources and methods.
As the Washington Examiner reported:
Nunes has expressed frustration with redactions in the past. The report the House Intelligence Committee released earlier this year on Russian interference in the 2016 election contained “page after page” of redactions,” Nunes lamented last week on Fox News. Without those blackouts, made at the behest of the U.S. intelligence community, Nunes claimed special counsel Robert Mueller’s recent indictment of 12 Russian officials on charges of hacking Democrats’ computers during the 2016 campaign would look “ridiculous” because it left out Republicans who were also targeted.
This morning, a crack appeared in the dam of cover-your-ass-redactions as Georgia Republican Doug Collins, the ranking member of the House Judiciary Committee, unilaterally released the testimony Bruce Ohr gave before that committee back in August.
“Out of an abundance of caution, we gave DOJ an opportunity to review them for information that would endanger national security, but after many months and little progress, our patience has grown thin,” Collins said.
“The proposed redactions have nothing to do with national security and are anathema to our goal of government transparency,” he continued, adding that “I am, therefore, today making one of these transcripts public.”
“I intend to make other transcripts public soon,” he said. “I’m willing to consider any reasonable redactions DOJ makes in a timely manner, but won’t allow these transcripts to remain shrouded in secrecy.”
This may be close to unprecedented but, as the Mueller investigation winds down, it is imperative that this information be made public so that evaluations can be made on exactly how the Russia collusion story got started and how it went from a Clinton campaign product to creating Robert Mueller as the tool of a slow-motion coup.
Already, there are some interesting things developing:
But the most interesting thing the release of the interview has shown is how secrecy and redactions have allowed Democrats, particularly dishonorable douches like Adam Schiff, to lie about what witnesses actually said.
For instance, Schiff claims Steele was never paid. Ohr says he was. Schiff knew when he approved that memo this was a lie. But this shows the extent to which Schiff was willing to go to try to cover up the actions of Bruce Ohr because he knew that those actions indicated a long-term effort to damage Trump’s election chances. Schiff says Ohr did not meet with Steele until after the election:
Mr. Ohr. As I recall, and this is after checking with my notes, Mr. Simpson and I spoke in August of 2016. I met with him, and he provided some information on possible intermediaries between the Russian Government and the Trump campaign.
Mr. Gowdy. Well, you also strike me as being smart enough not to make yourself a fact witness if you didn’t have to. So why take the information? Chris Steele already had a relationship with the Bureau. Why not just connect Glenn Simpson with the Bureau? Why put yourself in the middle of that?
Mr. Ohr. My recollection is that I tried to get Glenn Simpson to speak with the Bureau, but I don’t recall the exact conversation. So he was willing to meet with me and give me some information. So I took the information and passed it to the FBI.
Mr. Gowdy. Who at the FBI did you pass it on to?
Mr. Ohr. Well, at that point I had — I believe I met with Peter Strzok, Lisa Page, and some people from the Department’s — Justice Department’s Criminal Division, and I gave them the information that I had received.
It is impossible for Schiff to have made these errors in innocence. They are a deliberate attempt to discredit the memo written by Devin Nunes (and he had plenty of company in this, NRO’s David French, ever the Vichy Republican, took Schiff’s side on the dispute. He was not alone. Schiff was defended by more than a few on this site, too, because Devin Nunes was too effective at undermining the Russia collusion narrative.
If Collins sticks to his guns, the unraveling of the role the FBI and Justice had in creating and propagating this story and turning it into an investigation aimed at bringing down Trump will be epic.