US Govt Is Hiding Documents That Incriminate Intel Community For Illegal Spying & Election Interference, Say Sources

Matt Taibbi explains the multi-part series, cowritten with Michael Shellenberger and Alex Gutentag, about the corrupt origins of the Trump-Russia investigation...

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Read Part 1 here "CIA Had Foreign Allies Spy On Trump Team, Triggering Russia Collusion Hoax, Sources Say "...

Part 2: U.S. Government Is Hiding Documents That Incriminate Intelligence Community For Illegal Spying And Election Interference, Say Sources

Authored by Michael Shellenberger, Matt Taibbi, and Alex Gutentag via Public substack,

Former CIA Director Gina Haspel blocked the release of “binder” with evidence that may identify her role in the Trump-Russia collusion hoax

FBI Director Christopher Wray (left), former CIA Director Gina Haspel (center), and former Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats (right), testify at a Senate Intelligence Committee on January 29, 2019. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Last December 15th, as Americans decorated trees, lit Menorahs, and prepared to tune out for winter holidays, CNN ran an extraordinary article titled, “The mystery of the missing binder: How a collection of raw Russian intelligence disappeared under Trump.”

Co-authored by Natasha Bertrand, the gargantuan expose claimed a mysterious “binder” of “highly classified information related to Russian election interference” went “missing” in the chaotic waning days of Donald Trump’s presidency in January 2021, raising concerns that some of America’s most “closely guarded national security secrets… could be exposed.”

CNN and its intelligence sources meant “exposure” in a bad way.

Sources have told Public and Racket, however, that the secrets officials worry might be “exposed” are ones that would implicate them in widespread abuses of intelligence authority dating back to the 2015-2016 election season.

“I would call [the binder] Trump’s insurance policy,” said someone knowledgeable about the case.

“He was very concerned about having it and taking it with him because it was the road map” of Russiagate.

Transgressions range from Justice Department surveillance of domestic political targets without probable cause to the improper unmasking of a pre-election conversation between a Trump official and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to WMD-style manipulation of intelligence for public reports on alleged Russian “influence activities.”

The CNN report claimed intelligence officials were concerned about the disclosure of “sources and methods that informed the U.S. government’s assessment that Russian President Vladimir Putin sought to help Trump win the 2016 election.”

They should be concerned.

The story of how a team “hand-picked” by CIA Director John Brennan relied on “cooked intelligence” to craft that January 6th, 2017 Intelligence Community Assessment is the subject of tomorrow’s story, the last in this three-part series.

Corruption, not tradecraft, is what officials are desperate to keep secret.

The ”missing binder” story has several variants.

Sources offer differing answers on the question of whether anything of consequence is missing. They give mixed accounts of Trump’s frantic last efforts to declassify Russia-related material.

But nearly everyone Public and Racket spoke to agreed that the tale obscured a broader and more important story.

Dating back to the release of the so-called “Nunes memo” in 2018 exposing the corruption of the FISA application process, senior intelligence officials, including Trump’s CIA Director, Gina Haspel, have repeatedly blocked attempts to declassify information about the Trump-Russia investigation.

They had good reason to obstruct the release of these documents.

The documents in question are said to contain information about the legal justification for those investigations, or more specifically, the lack of justification, among other things. Should more of that information be made public, it might implicate a long list of officials in serious abuses.

Questions like these may be answered if the 10-inch thick binder of sensitive documents about the origins of the Russia probe is made public.

Fear for reputations and careers, not national security, is what has intelligence officials panicked.

...

Investigators wanted to declassify their findings before Trump left office, but the CIA “would not cooperate.” Investigators, a source told Public and Racket, “created a binder that blew up the assessment but couldn’t get it out because the CIA controlled it.”

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