The newly released report from the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence reveals that James Clapper, former Director of National Intelligence, leaked information regarding the Steele dossier to CNN then lied to Congress when questioned under oath. James Clapper is now an employee at CNN.
Among the major findings of the report, the House Select Committee wrote that former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper leaked the details of a briefing to President elect Donald Trump regarding the Steele dossier to Jake Tapper of CNN, lied to Congress about the matter, and was subsequently rewarded with a job by CNN.
The committee cited Clappers own testimony before Congress in which he was asked by Florida Representative Tom Rooney, “Did you discuss the dossier or any other intelligence related to Russia hacking of the 2016 election with journalists?” James Clapper flatly in the negative, “no.”
James Clapper would later change his story when specifically confronted about his communications with CNN correspondent, Jake Tapper. “Clapper subsequently acknowledged discussing the ‘dossier with CNN journalist Jake Tapper,’ and admitted that he might have spoken with other journalists about the same topic,” cited the report. “Clapper’s discussion with Tapper took place in early January 2017, around the same time IC leaders briefed President Obama and President-elect Trump on a two-page summary of which was ‘enclosed in’ highly-classified version of the ICA (Intelligence Community Assessment),” the report concluded.
President Trump was briefed on the contents of the dossier by intelligence leadership on January 6, 2017. CNN would later publish a story based solely on this briefing based on anonymous leaks from “two national security officials,” on January 10. Buzzfeed then published the entire unverified Steele dossier just minutes later.
The now disgraced former Director of the FBI, James Comey, details in one of his leaked memos that it was imperative to notify both President Obama and President-elect Trump because, “CNN had them and were looking for a news hook.” The Intelligence Committee’s report concluded that it was this very briefing to President-elect Trump that media outlets used as their “news hook” in order to publish the dossier, which to this day has yet to be substantiated in any way.
“The Committee assesses that the leaks to CNN about the dossier were especially significant, since CNN’s report ‘that a two-page synopsis of the report was given to President Obama and Trump’ was the proximate cause of Buzzfeed News’ decision to publish the dossier for the first time a few hours later,” the report reads. “Until that point, the dossier had been ‘circulating among elected official, intelligence agents, and journalists,’ but remained unpublished,” wrote the Intelligence Committee.
The Federalist’s Molly Hemingway had a very interesting take on this chain of events. Hemingway claims that disgraced former FBI director James Comey’s account of his briefing to President-elect Trump suggests the entire meeting was scheduled with the specific purpose of serving as CNN’s “news hook” in order to publish unverified and unsubstantiated allegations as an effort to smear the incoming President.
Democrats lined up to defend James Clapper and issued a coordinated response which acknowledged the former director’s leak regarding the dossier to CNN however, they claimed he broke no laws. “Evaluated in context, Clapper denied leaking classified information, while acknowledging that, as DNI, he engaged in legitimate discussion of unclassified, non-intelligence information with Tapper,” Democrats claimed.
It should be rather alarming that Democrats would issue a statement that is an outright lie, prima facie. James Clapper did not deny leaking classified information, in fact, he was not even asked that by Florida Representative Tom Rooney. Rep. Rooney asked James Clapper the following: “Did you discuss the dossier or any other intelligence related to Russia hacking of the 2016 election with journalists?” James Clapper flatly replied, “No.” The Democrats refuse to acknowledge that James Clapper, without reservation, perjured himself before Congress. There is no room for argument since his testimony is rather straight forward. Clapper was asked if he leaked information relating to the dossier or the Russia probe and he answered no, under oath. That is perjury. The fact that Democrats are willing to tell the American people blatant lies in a statement rebutting their own committee’s findings speaks volumes to their willingness to protect their own at the expense of the truth.
James Clapper is not known as an honorable nor a credible man. He was already caught lying under oath with regard to the U.S. government spying on American citizens. Clapper would later apologize to Dianne Feinstein, the Senator to whom he lied to while under oath. Why is Clapper allowed to apologize, keep his job, not get charged, nor investigated for lying under oath while General Flynn is treated differently for allegedly lying to the FBI?
In the end, Clapper should be treated as General Michael Flynn was; or will Flynn be allowed to go back and correct the record as well? Of course not. This two-tiered justice system among the political class has got to stop. The FBI and intelligence community continue to bleed credibility as a result of a corrupt leaders who decided that they knew better than the American voters. They took political vendettas to new heights while bringing credibility among the intelligence community to new lows.
The DOJ needs to reestablish the rigorous standards and regulations they once abided by. The best way to pursue a renewed sense of credibility would be to pursue charges against bad actors such as James Clapper, James Comey, Andrew McCabe and any others within the purview of the DOJ who helped orchestrate this quagmire that continues to further divide the country with each passing day.