The Mid-Day Campaign Update
John Ratcliffe was sworn into office as the new Director of National Intelligence Tuesday morning. Especially relevant was the man who did the swearing-in: His predecessor Ric Grenell.
In just 90 days on the job, Mr. Grenell performed one of the great services to our country in its history. By the sheer force of his will and his willingness to take personal risks for the greater good, Grenell completely exposed the scope and scale of the scandal we are now calling Obamagate. As a parting salute to Grenell, the folks at the Daily Caller put together a great piece cataloging the major actions he took during his brief time in the job.
Here are some examples:
— Directed the IC to change the way they protect the identities of U.S. citizens contained within intelligence reporting
— Completed the IC review of 53 transcripts from the House Intelligence Committee’s investigation into alleged Russian collusion in the 2016 election and made the transcripts publicly available
— Declassified previously redacted footnotes from the Justice Department Inspector General’s report into the origins of the Russian collusion investigation
— Declassified a list of government officials who requested the unmasking of National Security Advisor Michael Flynn
— Replaced FBI with ODNI as the primary group responsible for briefing presidential campaigns on information derived from national intelligence
— Declassified former national security adviser Susan Rice’s email to herself regarding a January 2016 Oval Office where progress on the Russia investigation was discussed
— Declassified additional transcripts in ODNI’s possession for potential public release by incoming DNI John Ratcliffe
The list is very long, and it is well worth your time to read the entire thing. No doubt Mr. Ratcliffe will do a fine job in this position, but he will find himself at great pains to replicate Grenell’s amazing record of achievement.
As his final act on the job, Grenell declassified what Fox News reports as “a slew of” additional Russia-probe-related files, including transcripts of several calls between General Mike Flynn and Russian Ambassador to the U.S. Sergey Kislyak. Of note, those calls do not include the December 29, 2016 call between the two men that the coup cabal within the FBI claimed as the basis for its effort to frame Flynn. Grenell made it clear in a tweet over the weekend that that particular call was not the property of the Intelligence Community.
This is a key disclosure, since it means that that particular call was not recorded under the umbrella of the IC’s efforts during that time to monitor Kislyak’s communications, but rather directly recorded by the FBI as a part of its own spying efforts on the Trump Transition team. Thus, the transcript of that critical call can only be declassified by the FBI and Department of Justice.
Interestingly, Grenell announced over the weekend that he will not return to his full-time job as the nation’s Ambassador to Germany. One would hope that President Trump would convince him to remain in service to the nation, given that he possesses such rare leadership skills. No agency of the Federal Government is more desperately in need of a dynamic and determined leader than the FBI itself, which continues to flounder around under the feckless reign of the useless, obstructing Christopher Wray.
It is long past time for President Trump to admit that the appointment of Wray was one of the great mistakes of his presidency. If Grenell is willing, there is literally no reason at all to keep Wray around a day longer.
That is all.
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