Issues & Insights

Trump Order Also Grants Barr Power To Declassify Still-Secret Hillary Docs

For the past three years, Washington’s gatekeepers have covered up evidence of two potentially massive and overlapping public-corruption scandals that, if fully exposed, threaten to shake the nation to its core.

One involves the Obama administration spying on the Trump campaign while sexing-up Russian interference in the 2016 election to justify it. The other involves it pulling punches in the Hillary Clinton email investigation and clearing her of criminal wrongdoing just in time for the Democratic National Convention.

President Donald Trump has granted his plucky new attorney general the power to rip the cover off both these election-year scandals.

Trump’s recent declassification order not only helps Attorney General William Barr dig into the earliest days of the Trump-Russia investigation to see the full extent of surveillance measures ordered by Obama officials. It also puts him in a position to declassify still-secret documents generated during the highly irregular Clinton probe, which absolved her of mishandling state secrets transmitted through her unauthorized basement email-server before agents could even interview her.

White House lawyers wrote the May 23 order in a way that delegates sweeping authority to Barr to declassify or un-redact documents covering both 2016 presidential investigations. This is key, because the same former Justice Department and FBI officials who led the Russia “collusion” investigation also headed the Clinton inquiry.

Under the order, these and other agencies will finally have to cough up key classified documents — including summaries of suspect and witness interviews, confidential source reports, transcripts of covert recordings and other investigative records — that they’ve withheld from congressional Republicans investigating whether the former administration misused its spying powers to monitor Trump and his aides. In addition, they’ll have to loosen their grip on secret papers related to the probe of Clinton’s illicit server.

One of these undisclosed papers remains so secret that Justice’s Inspector General Michael Horowitz was barred from discussing it in his 500-plus-page report on the FBI’s investigation of Clinton. “The information was classified at such a high level by the intelligence community that it limited even the members [of Congress] who can see it, as well as the staffs,” he said.

The documents are said to implicate the Clinton campaign and former Attorney General Loretta Lynch in a secret deal to fix the Clinton email investigation.

In his memoir, former FBI Director James Comey says he worried Lynch might be viewed as “politically compromised” if the secret information leaked, especially after the public found out she privately met with Bill Clinton on an airport tarmac just days before the FBI interviewed his wife in July 2016.

In recent closed-door House testimony, Lynch said she received a “defensive briefing” from the FBI on the potentially incriminating material in late summer 2016, but claimed it told her it couldn’t verify the information and didn’t think it “worthy of investigation.”

The FBI has been sitting on the documents — which I’m told are classified Top Secret/Sensitive Compartmented Information, meaning they can only be viewed in a secure room known as a SCIF — since March 2016.

The CIA and Office of the Director of National Intelligence also have copies and are keeping them under tight seal. (ODNI is the intelligence hub through which all requests and approvals for declassification normally flow.) Horowitz said they told him they need to protect “sources and methods” — an excuse the agencies too often hide behind when they don’t want to release embarrassing or potentially incriminating information.

But Trump’s order gives Barr unilateral authority to declassify any information classified under Obama’s Executive Order 13526, including “intelligence sources or methods.”

Count on Barr also freeing up a highly classified May 2016 memo drafted by Clinton investigators for higher-ups at Justice’s National Security Division. At the time, agents sought access to a still-secret intelligence report that a foreign government (reportedly China) penetrated Clinton’s unsecured private server and exfiltrated classified emails. They needed to explore the issue to complete their investigation, since cyber-espionage was relevant to their probe.

But this was the same month Comey began drafting his statement exonerating Clinton, so the memo was never sent. And the breach was never fully investigated. “The FBI left a potential mountain of evidence unreviewed,” former Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley said.

In August 2015, the Intelligence Community’s IG first alerted then-FBI counterintelligence official Peter Strzok to an “anomaly” related to the foreign intrusion on Clinton’s emails going through her server. Strzok’s notes from their meeting have suddenly turned up “missing,” or at least that’s what the FBI is telling the watchdog group Judicial Watch after it FOIA’d them.

For obvious reasons, the FBI is loath to see these documents exposed. But Barr has the power to ferret them out, along with other hidden Clinton data. Among them are intelligence reports shedding light on the suspicious Uranium One transaction the former secretary of state approved for Moscow — as millions poured into her husband’s wallet and their foundation from Russia. (Interestingly, Trump’s declassification memo also orders the Energy Department’s cooperation in the declassification effort. And Barr has previously stated he believes there is strong “basis” for investigating the Clinton-Russia deal.)

Comey and other former Obama law enforcement and intelligence officials are wringing their hands over the move. They warn that Barr could burn U.S. sources and assets, even leak valuable methods and techniques used by spooks. Former CIA Director John Brennan fears the attorney general will declassify secrets “willy nilly” and imperil national security.

Their warnings are a red herring.

Trump’s memo directs the attorney general to first “consult with” agency heads before declassifying materials; and Barr, who started his career in the CIA, has vowed to do just that. “I know how to handle classified information,” he said, “and I believe strongly in protecting intelligence sources and methods.”

More likely, Obama officials are fighting the release of these documents because they reveal their own misconduct. 

Paul Sperry, formerly Investor’s Business Daily’s Washington bureau chief, is a senior reporter for Real Clear Investigations.

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  • Wish he would get off his butt and do it. This just ain’t gonna happen

  • The truth will hurt many conspiring Obama administration officials and their Clinton organization allies.

  • The left is going to melt down if the crimes of Obama’s administration are brought to light. Expect more conspiracies against Trump as a distraction.

  • So what do you think is going to happen when a Democrat is back in the WH. Barr wants to selectively release classified material, such as his recent plan to release Ohr’s 302’s, but not anyone elses? One has to suspect that Trump, Barr and gang are using encrypted messaging and writing nothing down.

  • The highest classified information in the clinton email scandal involved information about North korea’s nuclear weapons program. And before anyone gets excited, the actual information doesn’t even qualify as confidential information. It got the TS-SCI classification years after Clinton left office only because the IG-IC mistakenly claimed it was derived from spy satellite images.. it was not. However, now that the idiot connected it to the satellites, revealing this otherwise unclassified information would reveal where are satellites are looking. (The information was actually acquired from a S. Korean businessman who saw it while driving to his manufacturing facility in N. korea, i.e. it could be seen with one’s naked eye while driving on a N. Korean highway.)

    • Interesting, you know this how exactly?
      You read all those deleted emails? You examined the pre bleach bit server? You went through the phones and laptops before they were smashed by hillarys aides or destroyed for her by the fbi?
      You went through wieners lap top as well I guess.

      Military Intel has parallel authority with the fbi in domestic investigations of foreign agents, cyber attacks etc, there are reports that military Intel discovered the anomaly indicating the Chinese had hacked hrod during their investigation into the national security ramifications of your heros actions.
      You do know that the fbi recovered thousands of hillarys emails from the executive office of the guy that first heard about her private server on the news right? Military Intel has everything the fbi has and more. Maybe way more.

      When Admiral Rodgers discovered that the Obama administration had defrauded the fisa court and allowed contractors backdoor access to the NSA database without informing the court responsible for access to the database he went to see judge Collyer and she cut off the contractors access. At the time of the judges report (April 26 2017) on the contractor abuse of the database behind the courts back, they had not yet ascertained all of the systems and tools the contractors had used to access the database bypassing the audit system. Systems and tools, like private servers maybe lol. I always thought bleachbit, hammers, “I first heard about her private server on the news” etc etc was a little overboard for some emails about yoga and weddings lol.
      Your certainty may be a little premature.

  • “Among them are intelligence reports shedding light on the suspicious Uranium One transaction the former secretary of state approved for Moscow — as millions poured into her husband’s wallet and their foundation from Russia. “. In reality, the millions came from Canada from someone who no longer had any connection to uranium one (He sold his interest several years earlier.) Also, Uranium One represent a faction of 1% of US reserves, and cannot be produced except at an extreme loss, and hence the mines were shut down shortly after the transaction.

    • Newsweek’s fact check assessment dated 10-19-17.

      All told, $145 million went to the Clinton Foundation from those linked to Uranium One and UrAsia, but it went to the charity organization and not the Clinton family. Furthermore, most of those donations occurred before and during Hillary Clinton’s 2008 campaign, according to The Post.

      Assessment: Yes, the foundation received money and Bill Clinton was paid to give a speech, but there’s no evidence the Clintons were paid by Russians to push through the uranium deal.

      So 145 million into the Clinton foundation
      and a half million into Bill’s wallet from those connected with uranium one.
      In reality that one Canadian was an outlier, mostly Russians actually. According to Newsweek that is.

  • Look back at the last two decades and cite – one – example where a high level democrat paid the price for corruption / incompetence / criminal activity.

    (Que the crickets).

    The uniparty protects its own. Barr is as likely to expose hillary’s misdeeds as he is to expose >himself< in front of a class of grade school children. Ain't gonna happen. Neither is the wall or immigration reform – at least in any effective and substantial way.

    Look at the two FBI jerks that filed suit recently. They are not only supremely confident that they're above justice, they arrogantly think they can scam some money in the process.

    They're probably right.

    • ***
      HI SA–Chicago’s Blagovich(sp?) seems to be one of the few donks who actually got some jail time for their crimes. Most–like Cankles Clintoon–skate.

  • I’ll believe it when I see some prison sentences handed down and not a minute before.

  • I wonder. There are a lot of alleged crimes spoken of. Is there a statute of limitations associated with them? Could it be, that if there is, in order to avoid a major nation rocking scandal the people supposedly “investigating” these crimes are actually just dorking around with the idea of running out the clock on the limitations to avoid “rocking the boat?” It did not take three years for Mueller to bring charges against his victims. Why have three years passed (over half way to the statute) with no charges filed against anyone? I believe that there are just too many “friendships” amoungst the Intelligence inner circle for us to expect anything to really come down on the people guilty of crimes. Wray is a friend of Rosenstein, who is a friend of Mueller, who is a friend of Comey, who is/was a friend of McCabe, who is a friend of Strzok, who is a friend of etc. etc. etc. Who is Barr a friend of?

  • Political theater for the masses. The differences between the high-ranking government professionals is measurable with a micrometer.
    No one is going to jail. It will be “mistakes were made” and “I can’t recall” till the subject changes. A few small fines and on to other things.

  • It is about time. Why have these important documents of the Deep State operatives been kept secret? It is time for a reckoning for the rogue Democrat seditionists.

  • Trump has now been president for more than two years. During that time, he has had control of all of the “levers” of government, including the justice department. If the evidence supported a prosecution of Hilary Clinton, I cannot believe that we would not have seen it.

    So the inevitable conclusion is that all of the talk about HRC’s emails is nothing but blather. Likewise, the Dept. of Justice MUST have investigated the FBI’s investigation of Russian involvement in the Trump campaign.

    And what have we heard? Again, nothing but blah, blah, blah.

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