A lot of names have been bandied about in relation to the unethical, unprecedented, and highly illegal operation to spy on the 2016 Trump campaign, ostensibly because the future president and his inner circle were dupes of Moscow.
Former FBI James Comey certainly played a role, as did his deputy, Andrew McCabe. We know that CIA Director John Brennan played a part, as did the director of national intelligence, James Clapper.
FBI counterterrorism official Peter Strzok seems like he was the operation’s point man, aided and abetted by former FBI lawyer Lisa Page. Their efforts were being tracked by Attorney General Loretta Lynch and the No. 4 Justice Department official at the time, Bruce Ohr. His wife Nellie worked for Fusion GPS, co-founded by Glenn Simpson, the firm that commissioned the bogus “Russia dossier” compiled by former British spy Christopher Steele.
But do you know whose name hasn’t been dropped much at all throughout the extensive coverage of this still-unfolding scandal? The man who led it all: Barack Obama.
Whatever else the “Spygate” investigation was, at its core it was a counterintelligence operation. And as experts have noted, all counterintel operations are conducted for, and on behalf of, the president of the United States.
“Counterintelligence is an information-gathering exercise undertaken for one purpose and one purpose alone: to inform the president, through his subordinate intelligence officials, of information about threats to, and opportunities to advance, American interests,” former federal prosecutor Andrew McCarthy, who specialized in national security cases, wrote in February 2018.
But now, according to Eric Zuesse, writing for the Strategic Culture Foundation, the deemphasis on Obama may be about to change.
In a December 29 column, Zuesse noted that Obama is in “severe legal jeopardy” after the “Russiagate investigation turned 180 degrees” — the focus no longer on President Donald Trump but his predecessor instead.
Noting that “the biggest crime” any president can commit is to undermine or “defeat American democracy,” or the constitutional function of the U.S. government, either through collaboration with a foreign power or “working internally” with willing co-conspirators “to sabotage democracy” for personal political gain. (Related: Spygate bombshell: Key “Russian” agent, Joseh Mifsud, actually turns out to be a CIA asset.)
Such behavior is treasonous, considering that the U.S. officially remains at war with various elements in the Middle East and Afghanistan.
…Mr. Obama is now being actively investigated, as possibly having done this. The Russiagate investigation, which had formerly focused against the current US President, has reversed direction and now targets the prior President. Although he, of course, cannot be removed from office (since he is no longer in office), he is liable under criminal laws, the same as any other American would be, if he committed any crime while he was in office.
He goes on to note that a recent order by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) court was extremely critical of the FBI’s actions under Obama — specifically, to obtain, under false pretenses, a surveillance warrant to spy on a member of the 2016 Trump campaign, Carter Page.
This illegal behavior was well-documented in a report released Dec. 9 by the Justice Department inspector general, Michael Horowitz, who found at least 17 violations of procedure and law involving affidavits to spy on Page filed with the court by the FBI.
Now, since counterintelligence operations are necessarily done for and on behalf of presidents, and since the FBI’s “Crossfire Hurricane” (the official name for Spygate) was a counterintelligence op and it involved defrauding the FISA court in order to get surveillance warrants, that puts Obama squarely at the helm of this disgraceful (and illegal) conduct.
“The problem in America isn’t either Obama or Trump; it’s neither merely the Democratic Party, nor merely the Republican Party; it is instead both; it is the Deep State,” Zuesse wrote.
Now, here’s hoping AG Barr holds all of those responsible to account, including a former president.