Former Overstock CEO makes bombshell allegations against FBI
The astounding claims of the former Overstock CEO, Patrick Byrne, have set the media and social media world afire. As well they should.
Yet it seems that the pundits do not recognize the most scandalous and troublesome ramifications of his revelations — that a suspected Russian agent was allowed by the government to contact and target Republican presidential campaigns in order, in the event of a Republican victory, to compromise that new Republican president by accusing him of having contacts with that very same Russian agent.
The Russians call this "having kompromat." They even have a short form for it, since everyone knows what it means: "kompra."
Patrick Byrne, in an amazing interview conducted by Fox's Martha MacCallum, tells a tale of being tasked by rogue or illegitimate elements of the FBI to spy on a female Russian national in order to learn of her own activities, which consisted of allegedly collecting political intelligence about presidential candidates.
The Russian, one Marina Butina, is serving a prison sentence in the U.S., having pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to act as an agent of a foreign official.
Byrne appears to have stepped forward with his allegations because the FBI reportedly denied that Byrne had been an informant. The FBI furthermore denied having exculpatory information regarding Butina, yet Byrne claimed to have provided such information. (Exculpatory material must, by law, be provided to a defendant's lawyers.)
The story becomes even more piquant because Byrne had been the CEO of a publicly traded corporation when he initially came forward, and now, because of his claims, he has had to quit that position. Thus, the man has come under a great deal of public scrutiny and even lost something of great worth, because of madness, or foolishness, or because of a desire to tell the truth.
It seems that the professional chatterers are having a hard time recognizing the most shattering allegation Byrne made (Jesse Watters comes close here) — one which, if true, shows that a rogue group of top FBI and other officials acted in a seditious manner.
To wit: In the MacCallum interview, Byrne alleges that Butina had been tasked to make a contact in each of the following campaigns: that of Hillary Clinton, Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, and Donald Trump. Byrne further alleges that after she made contact in the Clinton campaign, she told him (and he told the FBI) that she was going to focus only on the Republican candidates.
And then Byrne says, "At that point, the interest of the United States government in doing anything about this [activity of Butina against the Republican candidates] went to zero" (@11:10). Indeed, Byrne claims the attitude was "we're going to let it all happen" (@11:19).
The significance of this is that, if true, top FBI and other officials wanted an insurance policy — that is, in the event of a Republican victory, they wanted kompromat: to be able to accuse and discredit the Republican president and his campaign of having had "ties" to the Russian government.
The fact that these "contacts and ties" would have been caused on purpose by the inaction of the FBI would be an inconvenient fact to sweep under a rug.
This kind of thing is the exact opposite of how the FBI is supposed to work and the exact opposite of what it is supposed to achieve. After all, in such a situation, it is possible to warn a candidate to disassociate a campaign from certain people — as President Trump has pointed out was not done in his case.
Indeed, if Byrne's allegations are true, those who engineered this were not only cynical, but willing to destabilize the republic. The word "sedition" comes to mind.
Tadas Klimas is a former FBI agent, awarded the National Intelligence Medal of Achievement (NIMA).
Image: Fox News via YouTube.