In his position Mr. McCullough was directly responsible for oversight of the Hillary Clinton email investigation from the position of reviewing any potential risk to the entire intelligence community.
McCullough’s direct boss was the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI), James Clapper.
McCullough informed Clapper of the “above top secret‘ content of Hillary Clinton’s emails. However, soon after sharing that information McCullough received instructions to stop briefing James Clapper. Continued briefing would remove the necessary ‘plausible deniability‘ Clapper, James Comey (FBI) and John Brennan (CIA) would later use to defend their actions in the investigation.
Mr. McCullough appears on Tucker Carlson program tonight to outline the scope of the political pressure upon him to cover for Hillary Clinton.
(Via Fox) […] In January 2016, after McCullough told the Republican leadership on the Senate intelligence and foreign affairs committees that emails beyond the “Top Secret” level passed through the former secretary of state’s unsecured personal server, the backlash intensified.
“All of a sudden I became a shill of the right,” McCullough recalled. “And I was told by members of Congress, ‘Be careful. You’re losing your credibility. You need to be careful. There are people out to get you.’”
But the former inspector general, with responsibility for the 17 intelligence agencies, said the executive who recommended him to the Obama administration for the job – then-Director of National Intelligence James Clapper – was also disturbed by the independent Clinton email findings.
“[Clapper] said, ‘This is extremely reckless.’ And he mentioned something about — the campaign … will have heartburn about that,” McCullough said.
He said Clapper’s Clinton email comments came during an in-person meeting about a year before the presidential election – in late December 2015 or early 2016. “[Clapper] was as off-put as the rest of us were.”
After the Clapper meeting, McCullough said his team was marginalized. “I was told by senior officials to keep [Clapper] out of it,” he said, while acknowledging he tried to keep his boss in the loop.
As one of the few people who viewed the 22 Top Secret Clinton emails deemed too classified to release under any circumstances, the former IG said, “There was a very good reason to withhold those emails … there would have been harm to national security.” McCullough went further, telling Fox News that “sources and methods, lives and operations” could be put at risk.
Some of those email exchanges contained Special Access Privilege (SAP) information characterized by intel experts as “above top secret.” (read more)