There has been a shift; it’s subtle, it’s nuanced, but it’s there. Against the revelations that Ric Grenell has declassified multiple component parts of weaponized intelligence used against candidate, President-elect and President Trump; and with the unmasking data as only one part of that larger component grouping; DOJ Spokesperson Kerri Kupec says: “what happened to candidate Trump was one of the greatest political injustices in history.”
While AG Bill Barr doesn’t need to sign-off on the specific wording by the DOJ spox, the overarching public statement would never be articulated without institutional approval. The AG cannot make public comments that are too strong, but authorizing the spokesperson to articulate the position is one way to accomplish the same. WATCH:
Insufferably Martha MacCallum ‘pretends not to know’ the distinction in intelligence equity; she asks the same question repeatedly. The answer is clear. DNI Ric Grenell has presented one component group of intelligence data, the identity of the unmaskers and who they unmasked, to the DOJ. The DNI retains ownership and can release.
As Ms. Kupec outlines, the ‘unmasking’ data-set is being reviewed as part of John Durham’s larger investigative inquiry. Depending on other material similarly obtained, the unmasking information could be evidence to enhance that investigation. Regardless of what Durham does with the material, DNI Grenell is the control authority over the intelligence and can declassify and release the information at any time.
The ‘unmasking’ material is only one part of the document trail that can highlight the activity by Obama administration officials and the former Intelligence Community heads. There are multiple streams of intelligence which generate document trails.
CIA analysis and reports which may include 702; FBI analysis, reports and investigative documents which may include 702; DOJ-NSD analysis and investigative documents and the larger use of the NSA database… all generate user audit-logs, audit trails and search results. All of these are individual component parts which Grenell appears to be assembling.
Each of the intelligence components fill-in the larger picture and show what was being done over a period of time. The most recent media reports reflect Grenell focusing on the timeframe from just after the election to inauguration day (Nov 8, 2016 to Jan 20 2017).
The DNI can release the names of the unmaskers and the scale of the unmasking requests without identifying the individual who was unmasked. That’s the type of information likely to be shared by Grenell; however, the timing will likely be positioned to enhance another aspect not yet revealed.
My suspicion is the triggering mechanism for the release will be delivery of FISC ordered sequestration material, in all of the cases touched by four fraudulent surveillance warrants used against Carter Page, which brushed up against other targeted campaign officials.
That will overlap into the Mueller probe. Why? Simple…. If Mueller didn’t use the Carter Page FISA as a surveillance tool the June 29 renewal would never have taken place. Remember Mueller appointed May 17, 2017, and the FISA renewed June 29, 2017. If Mueller’s team didn’t plan to use it, it wouldn’t have been renewed.
Acting DNI Richard “Ric” Grenell is the key… he is in the process of strip mining the intelligence apparatus. In his DNI position, within the intelligence apparatus, Grenell is above the CIA director, FBI Director, Secretary of State and Secretary of Defense for all intelligence assemblies.
The DNI is the hub. The DNI can cross intelligence compartments and reach into the individual agencies to retrieve intelligence for declassification review. The DNI assembles the Presidential Daily Briefing; and the DNI leads all declassification efforts.