President Trump has ordered the declassification of documents related to the questionable FISA warrants on how the FBI got authorization to surveil Trump aide Carter Page. The howls from both the Democrats and the national security community can now be heard from orbit. It just goes to show how badly it needed to be done.
According to Fox News:
President Trump on Monday ordered the declassification of several key documents related to the FBI investigation of Russian actions during the 2016 presidential election, including 21 pages of an application for a renewed surveillance warrant against former campaign aide Carter Page, and text messages from disgraced FBI figures Peter Strzok and Lisa Page.
Following that, we got reportage like this:
Rep. Adam Schiff (Calif.), the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, said Trump’s “selective release of materials he believes are helpful to his defense team and thinks will advance a false narrative” is a “clear abuse of power,” and based on his conversations with federal law enforcement officials, the FBI and Justice Department see the release of these unredacted documents as “a red line that must not be crossed as they may compromise sources and methods.”
David Kris, former chief of the Justice Department’s national security division and founder of the Culper Partners consulting firm, said Mr. Trump’s action was “especially unprecedented” because he was overruling subordinates who had provided a redacted version of the surveillance application to Congress and because the order pertained to a continuing investigation of which Mr. Trump is a subject.
Democrats on Monday contended that the declassification order was another salvo in a partisan battle being waged to protect Mr. Trump and discredit an investigation that has already resulted in guilty pleas or convictions of his former campaign chairman, his former national security adviser and several others involved in his campaign or his business.
“President Trump, in a clear abuse of power, has decided to intervene in a pending law enforcement investigation by ordering the selective release of materials he believes are helpful to his defense team and thinks will advance a false narrative,” said Rep. Adam Schiff (D., Calif.), the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee.
So we’re seeing quite an alarm from both the Deep State and the Democrats over declassifying just why the FBI took up the case of spying on Carter Page dating from October 2016; got three FISA court extensions (read this from Thomas Lifson yesterday about why those extensions are so problematic); and yielded absolutely zero charges, let alone convictions, against Page their target – just surveillance, surveillance, surveillance…which just happened to be a convenient thing for an administration all in for unmasking Trump officials during campaign 2016 based on that FISA warrant – which previous reports say was premised on Democratic opposition research contained within the Steele dossier and nothing else.
See why they are protesting? Schiff’s lack of concern for Page’s civil rights is rather, ummm, touching, given that Democrats up to now have always been right on it when the FBI’s target is a leftist. And the prospect of revelations that Democratic opposition research was weaponized as actual FBI law enforcement activity stands to expose how deeply Democrats have politicized government. What’s more, it ought to make Democrats look like rats, which is an unpleasant prospect as midterms approach. What indeed is Schiff hiding, and what does he so badly not want to be revealed now that this is a civil rights case and not an espionage case? How painful to lose that “Trump colluded with the Russians to steal the election from Hillary Clinton” narrative.
The Deep State’s protestations are interesting, too. National security honchos have intoned to the Wall Street Journal and others that declassifying the FISA warrant and all of the Peter Strzok-Lisa Page text messages would be just dreadful. Really? Because we would all see how the sausage is made? The intelligence community exists to serve the president, and these guys seemed instead to plot against the president to topple him and nullify the will of the voters. Trump, as the intel community’s biggest customer, has an absolute right to say what is classified and unclassified. What the Deep State is really howling about is that its people don’t believe that anymore; they want to feel free to run as an entity of their own and pick and choose what Trump gets to hear about. Politics and politicking of this sort have no place in intelligence or law enforcement, and yet that seems to be what occurred, with the “insurance policy” Strzok and Page texted about, as well as newer revelations about the pair’s vow to “open a case” in the wake of the May 2017 firing of FBI director James Comey. Maybe the FBI will want to stick to counterintelligence and real crime cases instead of plots to remove a president because agents don’t like that he got elected from now on? If they don’t want their emails made public, they might consider this, in addition to making their customer their ally, not their enemy.
I think the bigger reason why the Deep State hangers-on are howling is that Trump has “de-statused” them. Access to classified information is a privilege, but it’s gotten battered in the age of WikiLeaks and the willingness of intel community leftists such as Reality Winner, Ed Snowden, and Bradley Manning (who the hell is hiring these people?) to leak to them. That, along with the large number of secrets and large number of people with clearances, has already diluted the value of secrets and the access to them.
In fact, it’s pretty much descended to a status issue, as the screaming from John Brennan over the loss of his security clearance indicates. Trump’s declassification of large numbers of never before disclosed secrets lowers the status of the people with access (which is to say, Deep-Staters) even more. Because if everyone can read what up until now has always been secret, that means the voters now have access to secrets, same as John Brennan once did, rendering the Deep State even more powerless.
The Deep State’s power is based on secrets, and ending that privilege is definitely cause for screaming from that group. Couple that with the Democrats’ howls as their Russia, Russia, Russia narrative goes down in flames, and we have a fantastic Bonfire of the Vanities, courtesy of President Trump. All I can say is, bring it on.