One more nugget on a Tuesday evening. Ed Henry quoted sources in the intelligence community in a report he made on Tucker Carlson’s show on 12 May, to the effect that Richard Grenell is looking to declassify intelligence that indicated the Russians had a preference for a Hillary Clinton win in 2016.
Henry doesn’t say there was no intelligence indicating the Russians preferred Trump. He implies that that intel existed. But there was also, according to his sources, intel indicating the Russians preferred Hillary.
Fox News is reporting that @JohnBrennan buried intel that Russia wanted Hillary Clinton to win — not Trump.
If that’s what ODNI @RichardGrenell has found, it will be the greatest political scandal in American history.
And John Brennan will die in prison.pic.twitter.com/8GD15tMAxh
— BDW (@BryanDeanWright) May 13, 2020
Hillary, as Henry put it, was a known quantity who would be, from the Russians’ standpoint, more “malleable.” Trump was more “unpredictable.”
Obviously we’ll have to judge for ourselves, assuming Grenell declassifies the intel reports. Henry said there are “four or five” of them.
The fact that we’re even hearing about them tells me they were filed at the Secret level. They probably come from non-covert HUMINT. They shouldn’t be that hard to redact or assess.
As Ed Henry says, the right, professional thing to do, especially for the famous Intelligence Community Assessment on Russian interference, would have been to take into account all the reporting, rather than leaving some of it out (assuming it was all validated reporting). So Brennan could have at least that to answer for.
Something to keep in mind, meanwhile, is that one of Michael Flynn’s biggest conflicts with the Obama administration was over Secret-level reporting from 2012 that presaged the rise of ISIS. Flynn took it seriously, and flagged it to the higher-ups in the administration when he was the Director of Defense Intelligence. The administration stonewalled his efforts to highlight its significance and prompt policy action on it.
He never made a public issue of it while he was serving. But after he was forced out of DIA in 2014, it was something Flynn criticized the Obama administration for. His fearlessness about that clearly left a mark.
Something important to note about the declassifications we’re now hearing about is that Trump delegated authority to Attorney General Barr to render final judgment on most of them. That’s why Grenell took his satchel-full of Obama-era names involved in rogue surveillance to Barr seeking their release.
Grenell shouldn’t need Barr’s approval to release what are strictly foreign intelligence documents. ODNI would be the authority on those anyway, and as they don’t involve potentially criminal implications about U.S. persons, there should be no need to apply to Barr for release. But we’ll see how that goes in the next few days.