By Jon Dougherty
Are the wheels finally coming off the Spygate scandal? Are the co-conspirators getting nervous not just about being found out but about suffering legal consequences?
Could be. And frankly, it’s about time.
Within days after special counsel Robert Mueller filed his report with the Justice Department noting that he’d found no “collusion” between the 2016 Trump campaign and Mother Russia, the House Intelligence Committee’s ranking member, Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) indicated he and others were preparing to file criminal referrals to DoJ regarding individuals Mueller “skipped over” during his 18-month probe.
â€œWeâ€™re still continuing to get to the bottom of what was happening to the Department of Justice and the FBI, trying to make sure that everyone there is held accountableâ€¦either through the courts or otherwiseâ€¦.Â Weâ€™ll be making criminal referralsÂ on a whole host of topics, most importantly probably lying and misleading Congress,â€ Nunes toldÂ One American News Network earlier this month, as we reported.
The Russia investigation was based on false pretenses, false intel, and false media reports. House Intel found a yr ago there was no evidence of collusion, and Democrats who falsely claim to have such evidence have needlessly provoked a terrible, more than two-year-long crisis.
— Devin Nunes (@DevinNunes) March 24, 2019
Well, we’ve heard these kinds of things before, only to be disappointed in the long run when nothing came of them. But there are indications that this time might be different.
First of all, looking back it made sense for the president to allow the Mueller witch hunt to play out. After all, he knew (as did most rational Americans), that the “collusion” narrative was a hoax. Mueller finally had to admit it.
Secondly, there are indications that some of the roaches involved in the scandal from the outset are scrambling to get out of the light. Enter former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper.
Last week during a post-Mueller report appearance on his meal ticket network,Â CNN, Clapper once again attempted to pin the blame on Obama for ordering the Spygate probe.
As noted by Right Red Videos:
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST:Â The 2017 assessment that the President says he now agrees with, that was done while you and then NCI Director John Brennan were still in office. So, how can we reconcile the President attacking you, but apparently after a very long time finally, allegedly saying â€” or saying he allegedly agrees with the product of the intelligence community that you, yourself oversaw?
JAMES CLAPPER:Â Yes, well, this is â€” yes, as weâ€™ve come to know the President, he is not a stalwart for a consistency or coherence. So itâ€™s very hard to explain that. One point Iâ€™d like to make, Anderson, that I donâ€™t think has come up very much before, and Iâ€™m alluding now to the Presidentâ€™s criticism of President Obama for all that he did or didnâ€™t do before he left office with respect to the Russian meddling.Â If it werenâ€™t for President Obama, we might not have done the intelligence community assessment that we did that set off a whole sequence of events which are still unfolding today, notably, special counsel Muellerâ€™s investigation.
President Obama is responsible for that, and it was he who tasked us to do that intelligence community assessment in the first place. I think itâ€™s an important point when it comes to critiquing President Obama.
This is inconsistent with what Clapper said in May 2018, when he denied that Obama knew anything about a key component of Spygate, which is, the placement of spies in the Trump campaign,Â as we reported:
â€œI am sure President Obama had no knowledge whatsoever of an informant,â€ Clapper said, adding that the FBI has many informants who play various roles within the department â€œwho provide very valuable information and do so in a legitimate way.”
This came after former White House spokesman Ari Fleischer, who worked for President George W. Bush,Â saidÂ he was positive Obama was fully aware of the Deep Stateâ€™s criminal spy operation. Thereâ€™sÂ no way ObamaÂ wouldnâ€™t have known, Fleischer insisted. In fact, he said, ObamaÂ authorizedÂ it. He would haveÂ had to.
BREAKING: Bush press secretary Ari Fleischer said "I guarantee the answer is yes" to whether Obama knew Halper & others were deployed to spy on Trump campaign. Fleischer explained that no FBI director would put informants inside a presidential campaign w/o the prez authorizing it
— Paul Sperry (@paulsperry_) May 24, 2018
Clapper would then go on to change his story. In July 2018, Clapper said essentially the same thing on CNNÂ thatÂ he said this week, as we noted:
If it werenâ€™t for President Obama we might not have done the intelligence community assessment that we did that set up a whole sequence of events which are still unfolding today including Special Counsel Muellerâ€™s investigation.Â Â President Obama is responsible for that.Â Â It was he who tasked us to do that intelligence community assessment in the first place.
According to Obama’s former spy chief, James Clapper, who appeared on CNN to say it was Obama who set the entire Russia witch-hunt into motion by tasking the intelligence community assessment.https://t.co/TNnRd1Me6V
Watch the video:https://t.co/y8DIXyTu4V
— Gigi (@LovelyGigi33) July 20, 2018
It’s interesting that Clapper would implicate his former boss againÂ now. Last year, he was able to frame the admission in positive terms — ‘Hey, Obama ordered this because he was legitimately concerned about Russian collusion!’ — but to say the same thingÂ this weekÂ after Mueller was forced to report “no collusion” carries a far different connotation.
Why would Clapper implicate Obama anewÂ after the hoax was exposed? Because maybe — just maybe — this time, Nunes’ claims that criminal referrals are coming is real.
And timing is everything, considering Mueller’s findings.
- Follow Jon Dougherty on Twitter at @JonDougherty10