PART I – The Presidential Declassification Counter-Punch: Understanding The Process…

There has been a great deal of debate and consternation surrounding how the Administrative State has boxed in President Trump through the use of the Mueller/Weissman counterintelligence probe, authorized by Rod Rosenstein, where President Trump is a target of the investigation.

A widely held supporter perspective is that President Trump can expose the fraudulent origination of the counterintelligence investigation; of which he is now a target; if he were to declassify a series of documents as requested by congress and allies of his administration. This approach would hopefully remove the sword of Damocles.

Because the issues are very complex, we begin a two-part CTH post to outline the issues and hopefully clarify the situation; as well as outline a possible solution that would minimize the risk.  This is part I.

The core issue within the debate surrounds two contradictory reference points: (1) President Trump has ultimate declassification authority.  (2) Yes; however, in this example President Trump is also the target of the investigation; so declassification could be viewed by elements within the investigation as ‘obstruction’. Both of these points are true.

Also true is the reality that both laws and politics come into play.

In November 2018 President Trump gave an interview where he discussed the situation as it is visible to him.  Democrats and opposition, writ large, are working earnestly to remove him from office.  Obviously President Trump is aware:

New York Post – In a wide-ranging, exclusive interview with The Post, President Trump said Wednesday that if House Democrats launched probes into his administration — which he called “presidential harassment” — they’d pay a heavy price.

“If they go down the presidential harassment track, if they want go and harass the president and the administration, I think that would be the best thing that would happen to me. I’m a counter-puncher and I will hit them so hard they’d never been hit like that,” he said during a 36-minute Oval Office sitdown.

The commander-in-chief said he could declassify FISA warrant applications and other documents from Robert Mueller’s probe — and predicted the disclosure would expose the FBI, the Justice Department and the Clinton campaign as being in cahoots to set him up.

“I think that would help my campaign. If they want to play tough, I will do it. They will see how devastating those pages are.”

But Trump told The Post he wanted to save the documents until they were needed.

“It’s much more powerful if I do it then,” Trump said, “because if we had done it already, it would already be yesterday’s news.” (read more)

So President Trump is aware of the material that he can use to defend himself from the ongoing ‘impeachment’ plans of Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer.

However, President Trump is also seemingly aware of the issues within the process to gain access to the material and actually use it.  This is where the concentric circle of lawyers around the Office of The Presidency come into play.

We have the constitution, we have laws, and we have politics.

Moving forward there are three background threads that are critical to understanding how this process has unfolded so far:

All three of these issues come into play.  Unfortunately, if you have not already invested the time in those three aspects it is easy, very easy, to get lost.

Because none of the legal linquistics take into account the reality of the actual process for declassifying information, many people get stuck thinking President Trump has sole authority to classify and declassify intelligence without understanding the process.

Declassification of intelligence is a process, and each person -within the executive branch- inside the process must agree to the process.  Making the process even more riddled with issues is the reality that President Trump is a target in a counterintelligence investigation. President Trump is being investigated by Mueller to see if he is under the direct or indirect influence of a foreign power. [In this example, Russia]

The Mueller probe is an originating counterintelligence investigation that ‘can find’ espionage (see Russian indictments) as well as violations of law (Papadopoulos, Manafort, Flynn).

It is critical to remember, the originating probe is not a criminal probe; but Mueller and Weissmann can charge criminality if the investigators encounter interference of their counterintelligence probe; these are the process crimes (perjury, obstruction, lying to congress); or if the probe uncovers direct criminal activity (tax evasion, money laundering, FARA violations etc.).

Moving foward….  Technically President Trump can declassify anything. However, it is also true that technically POTUS doesn’t actually declassify anything.  The Office of the President asks for a document to enter into a declassification review process.

Officials within that process (ODNI, DoD, DoS, FBI, DOJ-NSD, CIA, NSA, etc), based on their unique relationship to the interests within the document(s), can approve or refuse to sign-off based on their specific intelligence interests.  This is where compartmented intelligence comes into play.

Any officer who refuses the request for declassification must justify to the intelligence hub; the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI, Dan Coats). The executive branch intelligence official tells the ODNI (Dan Coats) why they, their unique interests, cannot approve of the declassification request.

DNI Dan Coats then informs POTUS why the document is not cleared for declassification.

If he disagrees with the decision of the intelligence official, POTUS then would have to fire, replace and hope the next person in the chain-of-command would sign-off.  Given the nuance in the current example, and considering the President is under a counterintelligence cloud it is unlikely any officer would break ranks.

President Trump would have to fire people, and keep firing people, until he gets to a person, inside that specific agency, who will comply.  Now stop and be reasonable.

Think about the general political ramifications to that decision.  And then think about the ramifications against the reality that President Trump is a target, under the cloud of a counterintelligence probe.

Walking through an example: The congressional request is for President Trump to declassify and release the Carter Page FISA applications (including specifically pages 10-12 and 17-34 and relevant footnotes), all of the Bruce Ohr 302s and other relevant documents, including exculpatory evidence regarding Carter Page and others, that were presented to the Gang of Eight, but not presented to the FISA Court.  This would include the “EC” or electronic communication from Brennan (CIA) to Comey (FBI) that started Operation Crossfire Hurricane in July 2016.

Let’s just take the FISA application(s).

President Trump asks DNI Dan Coats (intelligence hub) to coordinate the declassification of the FISA warrant application against Carter Page.  Dan Coats then asks all of the compartmented principles with interest in that specific document.  That likely includes DOJ (Matt Whitaker), FBI (Chris Wray), and likely DoS (Mike Pompeo – because of the State Dept aspect to Chris Steele).

If FBI Director Christopher Wray refuses to declassify the document(s) because it is part of the current Mueller counterintelligence probe, of which Carter Page was a target, then President Trump would have to fire Chris Wray; and, while awaiting a replacement (confirmation seriously doubtful), the request then falls on FBI Deputy Director David Bowdich.  [Who would also likely refuse]

As this hypothetical declassification example is unfolding you can imagine the political damage being carried out.  Hopefully, you can also see how President Trump could easily be accused of interference or obstruction of justice.

Two scenarios: (1) If the Mueller probe is ended, Chris Wray has no excuse and would likely have to comply with the request.  (2) If POTUS is already in the ‘impeachment’ process for obstruction, that references back to his original NY Post statement.

Unfortunately under the second scenario if the Pelosi/Schumer plan is already underway; regardless of the Mueller probe, POTUS could still face executive officer refusals.

Hopefully everyone can see the larger issues.

That’s the worst case scenario; the bad news.  However, in Part II I’ll explain an approach that President Trump *could* follow regardless of the time frame.

Actually, unless President Trump has confidence (prior assurances) that Mueller and Weissmann will not provide impeachment fuel, the next outline will show how it could be better for him to counter-punch now while the Mueller probe is ongoing.


This entry was posted in Big Government, Big Stupid Government, CIA, Cold Anger, Conspiracy ?, Decepticons, Deep State, Dem Hypocrisy, Dept Of Justice, Donald Trump, Donald Trump Transition, Election 2016, Election 2020, FBI, IG Report FISA Abuse, media bias, Mike pence, Notorious Liars, President Trump, Professional Idiots, propaganda, Spygate, Spying, Typical Prog Behavior, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

361 Responses to PART I – The Presidential Declassification Counter-Punch: Understanding The Process…

  1. serrafeena says:

    When has anyone seen Trump actually use his power to clap back hard against his political rivals? Not with words, but with concrete action? I ask this sincerely. He’s willing to boldly swim upstream when it comes to trade policies, North Korea or NATO, but when has he ever dealt a serious political blow to “Chuck and Nancy” and the Democrats, to the deep state trying to unseat him, or to his Republican foes? Twitter doesn’t count; complaining on Twitter actually conveys weakness, not strength. I want Trump to succeed but I sense his fear and reluctance. He seems unable to attack the Machiavellian malevolence that surrounds him. If anyone can remind me of a situation in which he didn’t just bluster, but actually used his power to face them down and block their agendas, please share and remind me. I want to be convinced he is capable of doing it.

    Liked by 5 people

    • Gunrunner says:

      Hear! hear!

      Liked by 1 person

      • serrafeena says:

        Further, and for example, “clapping back” would be declaring (at the end of 21 days) that his EO would now be for the full wall funding of $20-25 million (not $5 or 7 million) to begin the wall immediately, and to finish it before his first term. And when he announced that, there would already be tractors at the border. Now that’s “hitting back, twice as hard.” I believe that’s exactly what Americans want to see at a moment like this. And, I believe that’s what $60+ million Americans hoped they were getting.

        Liked by 5 people

        • PVCDroid says:

          Maybe you can become president and fend off attacks while you are trying to push through trade, rebuild the military, world peace, tax cuts, deregulation and a press/opposing party/DOJ/FBI that are hell bent on throwing you and your family in jail. Good luck if you want to try. He isn’t done yet btw.

          Liked by 1 person

        • RKEESX says:



    • snailmailtrucker says:

      He is hitting back….he has appointed dozens and dozens of Federal Judges…
      Trump knows what he is doing !

      Liked by 4 people

    • WSB says:

      I think Donald Trump won the Presidency against both sides, no?

      Liked by 5 people

      • serrafeena says:

        Not relevant…he won the presidency with claims of future action against his opponents. I want actual examples of action over the past 2 years. Direct strong action against his domestic political opponents. Go.

        Liked by 1 person

        • George 1 says:

          Nothing I can think of. In fact it seems as though many in the deep state apparatus are in charge of Trump and not the other way around. When Trump rightly questioned the motives of the intel community, Dan Coats felt perfectly comfortable going to the press and criticizing his boss, the President. On what planet does that not get you fired.

          Another example is R. Rosenstein telling Trump that any effort to declassify “Would be viewed as obstruction”. What a sickening piece of crap RR is. He should have been fired on Trump inauguration + 2 seconds.

          I am getting where I cannot pay attention to it anymore. I want the firing squads to be assembled.

          Liked by 2 people

        • WSB says:

          He won the Presidency against his political opponents. Count thousands.

          And then you could tack on 28 people who are now gone from the DOJ and the FBI.

          Not to mention those who ran scared and left GCHQ in Britain…Hannigan and a few others.

          And let us also remember the first few who tried to infiltrate PT’s own admin. There must be about 20 there.


          Liked by 2 people

          • serrafeena says:

            Your reply makes me smile because I’m happy about all of those people slinking away too. But they are gone more because of the bravery of Devin Nunes, and the daylight provided by conservative media than due to Trump’s actions. What I’m looking for is examples in domestic politics where Trump’s actions matched his bluster. Do you remember Trump’s campaign retort when Mexico said they wouldn’t pay for the wall? He said “The wall just got 10 feet higher.” I could argue that this line won him the election. That is the person we need now.

            Liked by 2 people

            • WSB says:

              He is right in front of you.

              15% Corporate Tax.

              We now have national steel and aluminum factories back working.

              Being in the hotel design field, I now have domestic spurces of stacking and other metal chairs…and custom design capability back in the US again.

              I last had that when I first started back in the 80’s.

              Liked by 3 people

              • serrafeena says:

                This is awesome; I’m not trying to be fatalistic. I actually need some great stacking chairs myself, for real. I have just observed that Trump has a weakness where his domestic political enemies are concerned. If he does not stand up to them with unexpected and overwhelming executive power soon, it will be too late in my opinion. There are too many of them. They hate him and they want to destroy him. Unless he starts playing the hardest of hardballs, and right now, I don’t believe he can survive. It’s not clear to me that he recognizes this. But I am just an observer.

                Liked by 1 person

              • farrier105 says:

                Those are not examples of Trump fighting back against Trump-Russia-Wikileaks and maneuvers to preserve de facto open borders. If they win in 20/20, the Democrats can take back everything listed previously except the judges. They couldn’t stop those, but many nominations are still back-logged by Chuckie. It all goes away if Trump-Russia-Wikileaks is not exposed.


              • John Juan says:

                Ever design anything in Savannah, GA? Seems like they’re building a new hotel every 10 minutes here.

                Liked by 1 person

                • WSB says:

                  Not in beautiful Savannah unfortunately…

                  I was there for a wonderful weekend years ago. June. 100% humidity…no rain.

                  Then one hour later a bucket fell upon the waterfront! Ha! We were all drenched. And it never cooled off or dried out!


            • Rightaroundtheblock says:

              Serra, “…more b/c of…”
              Generals don’t win wars w/o foot soldiers.


    • MrG says:

      Yeah, POTUS is fighting his way out of the corner (boxed in). Maybe he’s waiting/hoping that we will help him…and that’s the reason for the tweets.


    • Ray Cane says:

      I think he just did. Pelosi issuing the invite to POTUS to deliver the State of the Union Address is a real smack in her kisser. Consider that when she was planning her little convenient sojourn to Brussels (with 93 of her “close friends”) is when that would-be – jihadi was arrested intent on executing a plot he had been planning to blow-up the White House since August 2017, and that somehow he got access to anti-tank weaponry and rocket-propelled grenades. (Gee…did Fast and Furious get an upgrade?) IF he had been successful, Pelosi would have been sworn in while overseas, safely ensconced in the globalist faction of the EU. All Coincidence?? I put nothing past people in a party that gets a lot of its money from drugs, gun running and human trafficking. She just ate a ton of political crow, and that wasn’t out of kindness. **************************************************. Now, I hope he turns up the heat. The back-pay due affected government employees is said to be issued by Friday. I’d like to see Trump shut it down again on Saturday, and for good measure re-open the investigation into 9-1-1, in particular Muller’s actions as head of the FBI, whereby tapes of the Pentagon (and other sites) have gone missing, and files have never been allowed to be opened, if they still exist. National Security? Only to protect the necks of the perps, just like the truth about JFK.

      It is laughable to think POTUS would be guilty of obstruction when you consider that he voluntarily turned over millions of pages of documents and videos as requested, didn’t stand in the way of Mueller’s witch hunt, and has not begun to out the role of the spouses of several of the deep state black hats (Starting with Rosenstein’s wife) while HRC destroyed 17 or 18 cell phones, bleached servers, destroyed hard drives, erased 30,000 (+) plus emails, – and none of that begins to deal with the shenanigans at the (ahem) “Foundation”. The no-competitive-bid contracts awarded to Lockheed while HRC was Sec State and lackey Comey was on the board of Lockheed Martin should be aired out thoroughly.
      Meanwhile, the RICO known as the DOJ buried everything in site to assist them. Again: trying to claim POTUS is or would be guilty of obstruction would be LAUGHABLE, just so much more political masturbation masquerading as “justice”. Does Lockheed manufacture Broomsticks too?

      POTUS has succeeded in demonstrating just how deep the depths of corruption of that government are – essentially, beyond belief, to include the judiciary. (Gee, do you think they are putting a chip or two in good ol’ Ruthie G?? Maybe Schumer and Nadler will introduce bills to force seances to be conducted with her ghost after she passes whenever a touchy legal issue is before the SCOTUS.) The fact that Pelosi caved on the State of the Union with no apparent quid pro quo to me says something pivotal just happened, but that is a gut instinct only. That said, it was a major power play at the start of the new Congress and I think it has failed miserably. POTUS has stated he has no problem shutting down the gov again if the wall is not funded. As I said, I think he’ll do that. Giving in to the temporary re-opening may actually have been a good move – it gets owed salaries to workers and their families and will lessen the impact of the shut down on the economy (ADP employment figures to be released pre-market 1/30/19) and then, the whole process could be repeated. DECLASS DECLASS DECLASS SHUTDOWN SHUTDOWN SHUTDOWN. BUILD THE WALL. And re-open the investigation into 9-1-1. Turn around is fair play.

      (Comment edited by Admin…)

      Liked by 2 people

    • Rightaroundtheblock says:

      Fired Comey
      Placed Pompeo inside cia (info gathering op)
      Nixed TPP, Paris Acc…
      Trade Tarrifs
      NATO funding
      N. Korea
      US Industry/manufacturing gains
      Competitive international Corp tax rate
      Existing Border Wall strengthening
      Border battle ongoing shut govt down
      Backroom Immigration deals w/AMLO

      Just a few for you…


    • Bill Gilkerson says:

      What I hear is that the swamp as many fail safe doors, chances of a declass are nil. It’s really not accurate to say he has the power to declass.IF IF IF hr can jump through a series of hoops impossible in the political realm. Trump is a man on an island, we can see him and wave to him but must watch while HIS assistant AG grinds him to dust in coordination with bug eyes , Skeletora, and Schmuck. So there will NOT be any counter punch.

      Liked by 1 person

    • kfish63 says:

      Cancelling Nancy’s boondoggle downrange at the 11th hour seemed like a pretty significant “clap back”. It held the news cycle for at least 48 hours! (Though seriously, I understand this was not of the political significance you were referring to with your question.)


  2. snailmailtrucker says:

    Untouchables….MY ASS !

    Liked by 2 people

  3. CM-TX says:

    Replying to @JT’s earlier comment (I lost track of):

    Glad to know I’m not the only one where “obstruction” just will not compute. If (in someway) declassifying does prove the Investigation is based on a conspired hoax, with manufactured evidence, plants, & set-ups. Then wouldn’t it void the entire premise of the SC, by way of exposing the criminality? Dems like to claim a lot of things, but it doesn’t make it so.

    We know they are infamous for word defining contortions. As well as selective interpretation– if not outright distortions of many laws.

    Like when Comey said it’s not “Gross Negligence”– claiming so doesn’t negate all the EVIDENCE proving otherwise.

    Or when Horowitz concluded, “it’s all good!” in the IG report. But had to downplay & ignore the actual content to get there. But it doesn’t change the FACTS… the bias was absolute, violations of policies & procedures happened, & laws were broken.

    Dems also believe if you repeat a lie long enough, then people will start to believe it– eventually making it true. NO, it most certainly does NOT! Back here in the Land of Logic, it is & will always be just a LIE!

    (Another example of this mindset): Sally Yates’s brief arguing against any oversight of the NSD. Horowitz should’ve marked it with a giant red “F”, then returned it while laughing hysterically. The quality was comparable to a MS/HS writing project. Yates gave a long list of excuses– citing laws, policies, & prior case rulings. Yet most weren’t even relevant, a/o required mental gymnastics just to entertain the idea!

    Why do we allow it, & when do we end it?

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Iamcat says:

    I cannot believe the Gang of 8 has seen all of these documents and communications and not said anything about the corruption. That is really terrifying. Absolute corruption.


    • noswamp says:

      I would love to hear Laura Ingraham’s take on this. She is an absolutely brilliant lawyer and used to clerk for one of the Supremes!


  5. KP Smith says:

    Sundance is absolutely BRILLIANT! And I pray daily and often that we can all see such as this potential offensive action from PDJT. However, even Sundance must defer to One greater than he. To wit…
    1st Corinthians 15.52 KJV: “…in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump…” KP speaking, in the original manuscripts, Father uses ‘salpigx’ [sal’-pinx] the greek word for “trump” [Trump] intentionally as a sign for our edification.
    Isaiah 3.4 KJV: “And I will give children to be their princes, and babes shall rule over them”. KP speaking, Demoncrats have the minds of children fulfilling another of our Father’s prophecies.
    Romans 12.19 KJV: “Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves… Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord”. KP speaking, Father will strike when he knows it is right!
    Matthew 13.43 KJV: “Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun…Who hath ears to hear…

    God bless you all, Brother & Sisters in Christ.
    In HIS Service…


  6. I will not bring my own opinions on this article and Part II until I read them three times each. Once was not enough.

    Thank you for putting in the effort, Sundance.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. noswamp says:

    Great education here SD! Great. I call you “butter” because you are on a Roll(breakfast)! Thanks for your hard work.


  8. Perot Conservative says:

    I thought OIG Michael Horowitz was reviewing all docs for declassification?


  9. meow4me2 says:

    Is the declassification process set in law, or are these rules and regulations set by the executive branch? If the process is hampering disclosure, why not change the process of declassification. If it’s law, I understand the President can’t summarily change it. But if it is rules and regs set by the executive branch, why not just change the rules by executive order? President gets to overrule any objections by department officials. He can get their advice and either agree or disagree. Anyone know if the declassification process is rules or law?


  10. Mike says:

    Trump is a the ultimate classification authority. He can use the process you outlined or he can declassify the items on his own. He doesn’t need to keep firing people until someone agrees.

    Carter didn’t do this when he revealed NRO, which was highly classified compartmentalized program.


    • JL says:

      I agree with this. Above is the normal order of declassification, but it is not the only order.

      The entire power of the executive branch is vested in the President.

      He can follow the recommendations of his appointees or he can choose to ignore those recommendations. No need to fire appointees, when he can just overrule them.


  11. JST1 says:

    So transparency is obstruction. Got it.


  12. brenrod says:

    According to this analysis nameless unelected officials can obstruct the elected executive with constitutional authority in the discharge of his duties and rights. Somehow it seems to me that rules of procedure cannot overide the constitutional authority of the president. If I am wrong then we indeed can be, and probably are, run by a dictatorship of the deep state.


  13. Hopper Creek says:

    Don t let your hearts be troubled…….


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