There was a Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee hearing today where one of the responding executive branch officials was FBI Director Christopher Wray. Toward the end of the hearing, long after the rest of the members had left the hearing, Chairman Ron Johnson took the opportunity to ask Director Wray some very specific and pointed questions about the current issues within the FBI as an institutional office.
Few people remember, fewer even know, that it was Ron Johnson’s committee effort that brought out the Lisa Page and Peter Strzok text messages. Lots of other committees began exploring DOJ and FBI misconduct, but it was Johnson who started the sunlight back in July and August of 2017. That’s the baseline to begin to appreciate this questioning.
The exchange between Chairman Johnson and Director Wray begins around 02:15:00 of the video (nearly two and a half hours into the hearing). Likely few will have watched this because, just like actually reading the 600 pages of Page/Strzok text messages, it takes granular exploration to understand what is happening.
Chairman Johnson starts asking specific questions about the lack of response from officials underneath Director Wray. As CTH outlined in the June 2018 FBI press conference on the IG report, Christopher Wray transparently has no clue (intentionally so) what is going on within his institutional apparatus.
Wray doesn’t know who has responded to oversight requests; what oversight requests have been made; what documents exist; what documents are being hidden; what documents the FBI possesses; and the current status of the FBI to produce documents for oversight.
This level of disconnection is critical to see and watch first-hand.
It is critical to see because this reality speaks directly to the corrupt internal officials who are underneath Wray and manipulating the executive suites of the cabinet.
A combination of willful blindness and abject ineptitude comes to the surface as you watch the shallow and superficial answers from the FBI director. This is not necessarily Wray being corrupt, this is Wray’s office being corrupted by officials within the FBI as an institution.
Don’t take my word for it. Watch it yourself [prompted, just hit play]:
Then comes the “rip off the bandaid” [02:18:30] – Two issues of primary focus:
♦ (1) Notice how Director Wray deflects questions about current documentary requests behind the shield of the Special Counsel Robert Mueller investigation. There’s the frustrating part for Senator Johnson and those of us who completely accept this shield is by design. THIS is the purpose of Mueller.
Robert Mueller (the entire team) was put into place, carefully selected by James Baker and Andrew McCabe, specifically to cover for the DOJ and FBI activity that preceded the firing of James Comey. Mueller’s role has two essential aspects:
♦(i) Create an investigation – Just by creating the investigation it is then used as a shield by any corrupt FBI/DOJ official who would find himself/herself under downstream congressional investigation. Former officials being deposed/questioned by IG Horowitz or Congress could then say they are unable to answer those questions due to the ongoing special counsel investigation. In this way Mueller provides cover.
♦(ii) Use the investigation to keep any and all inquiry focused away from the corrupt DOJ and FBI activity that took place in 2015, 2016, 2017. Keep the media narrative looking somewhere, anywhere, other than directly at the epicenter of the issues.
♦ (2) As the conversation between Johnson and Wray continues, [02:20:12] On the Bruce Ohr 302’s etc. Note Director Wray’s response:
….”But I do know there is a very serious, ongoing, criminal investigation, that involves grand jury secrecy and the need to protect the integrity of that investigation. Whether the particular documents that you are asking for, and the particular requests, run afoul of that I’d have to have someone take a look at it”…
This reference is likely directed toward the previously reported criminal referral of Asst. FBI Director Andrew McCabe for his actions and activities surrounding his lies to INSD investigators about leaking information to media; and the creation of the “spygate” fiasco.
It was reported in early September, 2018, that a grand jury was impaneled to review the evidence against Andrew McCabe [SEE HERE]
That said, there are ridiculous amounts of people who would take that statement by Director Wray as an “ah-ha” defense to say there is a vast 3-D, stealth Jeff, ongoing sting operation being conducted under the radar to take down mass swaths of the former administration, DOJ and FBI officials. That claim is nonsense.
By looking at the behavior of those who would directly be targeted within such an investigative approach, if real; and from an acceptance that such a vast sting operation being conducted within the apparatus of the DOJ and FBI would not remain hidden to the corrupt officials it would be targeting; and accepting there are corrupt institutional elements remaining within the DOJ and FBI that would tip-off external elements that would be the target of such an approach; and accepting the factual basis of what decision-making took place within the FBI and DOJ surrounding James Wolfe…. there is not a scintilla of demonstrable evidence such an investigative round-up is taking place.
The Occam’s Razor behind the Wray comments is the narrow criminal focus on the conduct of former FBI Director Andrew McCabe. Yes, McCabe is a potential criminal target; however, he is the only known (and inferred) criminal target.
Additionally, the outlying evidence -McCabe knowing he is a target- is visible within the latest reports from the Washington Post, specifically Devlin Barrett reporting, highlighting how team McCabe is constructing a narrative in defense of McCabe to the disparagement of Rod Rosenstein. [SEE HERE]
Team McCabe is trying to set-up Rosenstein to go down if McCabe is taken down.
Team McCabe is: Lisa Page, Peter Strzok, James Baker, Michael Kortan, Daniel Richman, Benjamin Wittes, Michael Bowditch and to a lesser and self-serving extent, James Comey and David Laufman…. These are the people leaking to, and sources for, Devlin Barrett and the Washington Post, as well as the New York Times, in the effort to pin DAG Rod Rosenstein to the cross and distract from the epicenter of the soft-coup, Andrew McCabe.
Defending McCabe in essence defends the entire soft-coup team.
While this defense is ongoing at a very high level, the institutional brethren of the group, mainly from deep inside Main Justice, are working earnestly to continue marginalizing AG Sessions and fuel the Robert Mueller ‘insurance policy’. In effect, this keeps congressional oversight at a controllable distance.
TEAM McCABE – Shortly after Robert S. Mueller III was appointed to investigate possible coordination between President Trump’s campaign and the Kremlin, he was drawn into a tense standoff in which Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein and then-acting FBI director Andrew McCabe each urged the other to step aside from the case, according to people familiar with the matter.
At the time of the confrontation in mid-May 2017, tensions were running high at the FBI and Justice Department, and between Rosenstein and McCabe. Trump had just fired James B. Comey as the bureau’s director, and almost immediately afterward, FBI officials had opened a case into whether the president had obstructed justice. (read more)
Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein is a man without any team. He is simultaneously trying to keep the narrative engineers from constructing his framing – and with his fingertips, hold on to the possible defensive skirt of the President.
From a political perspective Rosenstein is in ‘no-man’s-land’. Perhaps wasn’t a direct and active participant in the soft-coup; however, at the same time he did nothing to impede their efforts; and the “small group” manipulated his position to initiate the Special Counsel.
Rosenstein is FUBAR.