Declassified Docs Show ‘Crossfire Hurricane’ Was Even More Nefarious Than First Thought

Written by Wes Walker on July 24, 2020

What was supposed to be a ‘defensive briefing’ to benefit the 2016 Republican candidate, was actually a fishing expedition aiming to destroy him.

A defensive briefing is supposed to be an intelligence briefing for those unaccustomed to working with classified information. Normally, it teaches people how NOT to let foreign actors penetrate or gain influence over those who have access to sensitive information or political power.

What it was, in Trump’s case, was a way for the government itself to gain illicit access to the Trump campaign.

Judicial Watch has done the job that Congress and other oversight entities were supposed to have done forever ago. They shone a light on how brazenly corrupt that agencies formed with the intent of DEFENDING our nation and rights of US citizens have truly become.

The meeting included Christie, Flynn, and Trump.

If they were so intent on Russian interference, and defending Trump from being infiltrated, why would there be a lag of more than 2 weeks before they provide him with a ‘defensive’ briefing?

Simple. It was never intended to protect HIS interests… or even the American interests. You might call it ‘an insurance policy’ for rival left-leaning political interests.

The FBI agents who gave Donald Trump his first intelligence briefing during the 2016 election season had already opened an investigation into ties between Trump’s team and Russian officials, a document declassified on Thursday shows.

That document is a seven-page summary of the briefing on August 17, 2016, written about two weeks later and filed as part of the Crossfire Hurricane investigation. The summary was written by agent Joe Pientka, who took part in the briefing, and approved by Peter Strzok and Kevin Clinesmith. (Strzok was dismissed from the FBI following the leak of his politically-charged, anti-Trump texts, while Clinesmith is a lawyer accused of altering a document used to renew a FISA warrant on former Trump-campaign adviser Carter Page.)

…“During the [intelligence] briefs, writer actively listened for topics or questions regarding the Russian Federation,” Pientka wrote in the August 2016 summary.

The document was among a collection declassified on Thursday by Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe, and sent to Senators Ron Johnson (R., Wis.) and Chuck Grassley (R., Iowa), who are investigating the origins of the Russia probe. Pientka’s notes from the August, 2016 briefing as well as emails between Pientka and Strzok were also declassified. In the emails, Strzok asks Pientka to include counterintelligence officials in future briefings with Trump.– NationalReview

Pientka was spying ON the future President. They were NOT protecting him from foreign attempts to breach his network.

You might recall that even before Hillary sat down for her own interview with Feds, that Page and Strzok were already joking about her being in ZERO legal danger for her unlawful use of classified information. That makes the differences in how she and Trump were treated by this inner circle appear even more nefarious.

For historical context:

The August 17, 2016 meeting came the day after the FBI opened a formal counterintelligence investigation against Flynn and just two days after FBI counterintelligence official Peter Strzok texted his former lover, FBI attorney Lisa Page, about an “insurance policy” he had designed to keep Trump from becoming president.

“I want to believe the path you threw out for consideration in Andy [McCabe]’s office—that there’s no way he gets elected—but I’m afraid we can’t take that risk,” Strzok texted Page on August 15, 2016. “It’s like an insurance policy in the unlikely event you die before you’re 40….” —Federalist

What were they hoping to accomplish?

Pientka told the OIG that he was selected to attend on behalf of the FBI so he could “record” or “overhear” from Trump, Flynn, or Christie “any kind of admission” that they were colluding with the Russian government to steal the election from Hillary Clinton. Pientka also added that he wanted to get a baseline impression of Flynn’s “overall mannerisms” in case he needed to later use that information against him.

Pientka later took part in the FBI’s 2017 interview of Flynn, which became the basis of former Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s criminal case against Flynn. Following the discovery of exculpatory documents that had previously been suppressed by the government, the DOJ moved to dismiss all charges against Flynn. A top federal appellate court panel ordered Emmett G. Sullivan, the judge overseeing Flynn’s case, to dismiss the charges against Flynn, but Sullivan has thus far refused to comply.

Pientka’s account of the meeting was approved by Strzok and former FBI attorney Kevin Clinesmith. According to the DOJ OIG, Clinesmith fabricated evidence against Carter Page to ensure that a warrant to spy on him would be approved by the federal spy court. Rather than inform the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court that Carter Page had previously worked with a U.S. intelligence agency in its successful efforts to capture and prosecute Russian intelligence officers working against the United States, Clinesmith allegedly changed an e-mail from that intelligence agency to eliminate the agency’s confirmation that Page had worked with them against the Russians. —Federalist

This difference in treatment between Hillary and Trump stands even more starkly in light of the fact that we now know Hillary indirectly paid a British spy for Russian intel to defame Trump… which later became known as the Steele Dossier and the First Cause of the Mueller Investigation.

Pientka, who was one of the top agents on Crossfire Hurricane, developed the briefing materials in coordination with Peter Strzok, the lead investigator on the Trump-Russia probe. Kevin Clinesmith, an FBI lawyer found to have altered an email related to Carter Page, also worked on the plan to use Pientka in the briefing, according to the memo.

Ratcliffe sent the memo and Pientka’s notes to Sens. Chuck Grassley and Ron Johnson, who have for months pressed for the declassification of documents related to the Trump campaign briefing.

The FBI’s covert use of the briefing was revealed in a Justice Department inspector general’s (IG) report released on Dec. 9, 2019. Investigators provided a briefing to Hillary Clinton on Aug. 27, 2016, but did not use it for purposes of collecting evidence on the candidate.

…The FBI opened an investigation of the Trump campaign’s possible ties to Russia on July 31, 2016. Investigators opened a counterintelligence probe of Flynn on Aug. 16, 2016, a day before the campaign briefing.

The IG report said that FBI “viewed that briefing as a possible opportunity to collect information potentially relevant to the Crossfire Hurricane and Flynn investigations.”

Pientka told the IG that he saw the briefing as an opportunity “to gain assessment and possibly have some level of familiarity with [Flynn]. So, should we get to the point where we need to do a subject interview….I would have that to fall back on.”

Pientka’s memo does not indicate that Trump or Flynn made any incriminating statements. According to Pientka, Trump asked about Russia’s spy activities in the United States compared to other hostile nations, such as China.

“This brief will advise you that if you are not already a target of a Foreign Intelligence Service, due to the fact you are receiving this classified briefing, you will be,” Pientka said in the briefing, according to his memo.–DailyCaller

This might make you wonder, what was said in these meetings that they were so intent on listening to them?

Nothing.

They asked some context questions about what they were dealing with, and how serious these threats were relative to some other similar threats. And Flynn expressed concerns whether we had sufficient federal agents to fully deal with both the foreign and domestic threats to security — it was his contention that we did not.

Yeah, definitely the sort of thing a Russian plant would be arguing for… increased attention being given to national security.