Washington is abuzz about Attorney General William Barr’s announcement he intends to look into a Trump Tower meeting no one seems to want to talk about.
“Trump Tower Meeting” has become synonymous with the June 9, 2016 meeting between Donald Trump Jr., Trump campaign senior members, and Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya. The Mueller investigation has already reported it could find no collusion there.
It’s a different Trump Tower meeting AG Barr is concerned about and this one had nothing to with collusion with Russian agents. The ‘other’ Trump Tower meeting in January 2017 involved then-FBI Director James Comey and his briefing of President-elect Trump on some of the more scandalous allegations made in the now-infamous Steele dossier.
In an exclusive interview with Fox News, Barr said, ” One of the things we want to look into [is] the handling of the meeting on Jan. 6, 2017 between the intelligence chiefs and the president and the leaking of information subsequent to that meeting”
After that meeting multiple media outlets reported someone leaked to them that Russia might have compromising information about President Elect Trump.
During that meeting CIA Director John Brennan, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, and FBI Director James Comey briefed President Elect Trump on the intelligence community’s assessment that Russia had interfered in the 2016 election. After the others left, Comey told Trump about more specifics of the dossier’s claims.
Just one day later (January 10, 2017), CNN ran a story titled “Intel chiefs presented Trump with claims of Russian efforts to compromise him.”
Later, on the night of January 10, citing unknown sources BuzzFeed published the dossier under the title “These Reports Allege Trump Has Deep Ties To Russia.”
Since then, Republicans have repeatedly called for an investigation into the likelihood the BuzzFeed’s article was made possible by criminal leaks of classified information by the intelligence community.
AG Barr would not specify what his questions are about this meeting but said, “it’s one of the things we need to look at.” He added, “We’re still at the stage of gathering all the information.”
Former FBI General Counsel James Baker admitted to Michael Isikoff of Yahoo News that the bureau at that time was worried Comey might appear to be “blackmailing” President Elect Donald Trump.
He told Isikoff, “Jim [Comey] and I had talked many times about the Hoover days, especially the investigation of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., what was done there, the blackmailing of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. So yeah, we were quite worried about that, quite worried about how that would come off.”
Baker said he discussed in length with Comey about the wisdom of pursuing such “sensational and salacious allegations” knowing that no one had “verified” their accuracy.
Baker said the FBI took the dossier “seriously … but not literally.” He claims the meeting with Trump was to get ahead of stories leaking to the press. The story was leaked. Within hours, not days!
Earlier this week Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani called Comey a “jackass” in the way he handled the dossier and subsequent meeting at Trump Tower.” That whole thing with going up to Trump and telling him about the Steele dossier,” said Giuliani, “… that wasn’t being a Hoover?”
For almost two years, the FBI’s handling of the Steele dossier has been in question. There have been at least three federal investigations of alleged FISA court abuse and other questionable ways the DOJ and the FBI handled the Trump-Russia investigation.
No wonder the Democrat-controlled House wants to tie AG Barr’s hands any way it can. Like much of America, he wants to get the facts on how this whole affair began. He told Bill Hemmer of Fox News, “The fact of the matter is Bob Mueller did not look at the government’s activities. He was looking at whether or not the Trump campaign had conspired with the Russians. But he was not going back and looking at the counterintelligence program. And we have a number of investigations underway that touch upon it — the main one being the office of inspector general that’s looking at the FISA warrants.”
Barr’s decision to investigate the happenings that surround the “other Trump Tower Meeting explains why Democrats first called him the “President’s lawyer” now want to be impeached.
In Barr’s words, there’s a lot about this story that doesn’t “hang together.”