- The Washington Times - Tuesday, May 29, 2018

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

In a confused and disjointed appearance on CNN’s State of the Union hosted by Dana Bash this Sunday, former Director of National IntelligenceJames Clapper responded to one of the most burning questions of Spygate with a nonsensical response.

The burning question? If the FBI, CIA and DNI (Comey, Brennan and CLapper) had real and legitimate concerns of Russian infiltration into the Trump campaign via low-level, unpaid advisers (Carter Page and George Papadopoulos) then why was candidate Trump or other members of the campaign staff (like Reince Priebus or Sean Spicer) given a heads-up on this important, national security matter?

It’s an important question that deserves a serious answer because we have been told for the past ten days that the investigation deploying electronic surveillance and a confidential human source (the spy who we are not supposed to call a spy) was not directed at Trump or his campaign but against Russians who were suspected of meddling and colluding with the campaign. It’s the entire pretense for the unprecedented (and constitutionally suspect) operation. 

Trust us, these three paragons of justice and virtue have told us. We had probable cause to suspect a major breach, we had to investigate. 

So, in comes Dana Bash to reluctantly (she even passed off the origins of the query to Trump’s legal counsel, Rudy Giuliani rather than own it herself) ask Clapper this very important question:

BASH: I want to ask you one of the things that Rudy Giuliani brought
up and that the president has been tweeting about this weekend as well, which is, if this was — if there was enough concern about people penetrating the Trump campaign, why not contact him? 

Why not contact the campaign, instead of sending an informant — an informant or a confidential source in? What is the answer to that?

 CLAPPER: Well, I think the first thing is determine just what was going on. 

 If there wasn’t a concern about the Russians and that could be allayed, then perhaps there is no reason to do that. I — the FBI has rules and protocols on when they decide to do things like that.

And I don’t think, at that point, that it had reached the point where it would be appropriate to engage with the head of the campaign or the nominee. 

 

So… let’s just cut through the claptrap and explain what the former Director of National Intelligence under President Barack Obama said in that revealing obfuscation: 

  • We were spying so we could figure out if there was ample reason to begin an investigation. 
  • There may have been nothing to justify an investigation, so we had to investigate. 
  • It wasn’t so serious that we had to inform the campaign they might have been infiltrated by Russians so instead, we the United Stated government decided to infiltrate them.  

One thing Clapper came close to being candid about in this exchange is the fact that “the FBI has rules and protocols on when they decide to do things like” launch an investigation complete with electronic surveillance and a “confidential human source” the rest of the English-speaking world would call a spy. Those “rules and protocols” are generally referred to as “probable cause” and the American people are still, after almost two years, waiting to see what that was. 

It’s time for Mr. Clapper to take a break from his book tour and his busy CNN schedule and answer some serious questions, under oath, before a grand jury,. 


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