Susan Rice's unredacted email to herself shows still more Obama-era corruption
A peculiar artifact of Obama's presidency is an email that Susan Rice, the outgoing national security adviser, wrote to herself on January 20, 2017, the day Trump was inaugurated. In it, she purports to describe what took place at the now infamous January 5, 2017 Oval Office meeting. This was when Obama seemed to give the go-ahead to hunt down General Michael Flynn based upon Flynn's December 29 phone call with Russian ambassador Sergei Kislyak.
Rice's email was extraordinary for two reasons. First, she didn't write it until fifteen days after a pivotal meeting in the Russia Hoax and on the day she was leaving her office.
Second, the email's tone is off. In the part that was produced earlier, before it was fully unredacted, there's almost no substantive material. Instead, the email exists almost entirely to assure everyone that Obama wasn't doing anything illegal (emphasis mine):
President Obama began the conversation by stressing his continued commitment to ensuring that every aspect of this issue is handled by the Intelligence and law enforcement communities "by the book". The President stressed that he is not asking about, initiating or instructing anything from a law enforcement perspective. He reiterated that our law enforcement team needs to proceed as it normally would by the book.
Reading that reminded me inexorably of Jon Lovitz's famous pathological liar character, who kept stating obvious lies and then praised himself by saying some variation of "Yeah, that's what happened!"
A paragraph such as Rice's seems to confirm that what she's describing did not happen. This is a cover for the truth rather than the truth itself.
Now that Ric Grenell has finally released a completely unredacted version of the email, we can see Comey's role in the meeting. From it, we learn that nothing was done by the book when it came to Flynn.
Remember as you read the following words that the American people automatically gave the incoming president full national security clearance. We also know now, again thanks to Grenell's declassifications, that none of the people involved in this charade had seen any information supporting the endless claims about Trump and his campaign colluding with the Russians. And we know that no one used formal procedures to unmask Flynn's phone calls.
With that in mind, here's a familiar paragraph from the email as initially released:
From a national security perspective, however, President Obama said he wants to be sure that, as we engage with the incoming team, we are mindful to ascertain if there is any reason that we cannot share information fully as it relates to Russia.
That Obama would even ask the question is farcical, and he knew it. Assuming that Obama said those words, this was Kabuki theater.
What's truly shocking is the newly unredacted paragraph shows that Comey was spying on Flynn. The phrase "by the book" appears once more, and again highlight its opposite — namely, that Comey had no intention of following the rules:
Director Comey affirmed that he is proceeding "by the book" as it relates to law enforcement. From a national security perspective, Comey said he does have some concerns that incoming NSA Flynn is speaking frequently with Russian Ambassador Kislyak. Comey said that could be an issue as it relates to sharing sensitive information. President Obama asked if Comey was saying that the NSC should not pass sensitive information related to Russia to Flynn. Comey replied "potentially." He added that he has no indication thus far that Flynn has passed classified information to Kislyak, but he noted that "the level of communication is unusual."
Again, to the extent Comey had substantive knowledge of Flynn's calls, Comey was definitely spying on Flynn. But as noted Tuesday, Flynn had no authority to spy: there was no criminal case against Flynn; there was no FISA application on Flynn; and, at least as to the December 29 phone call that was used to take Flynn down, no one had unmasked the call.
From these facts, we can deduce three things, none of them good: (1) the CIA was spying on Flynn, an American citizen; (2) Obama had ordered spying on Kislyak in a way deliberately meant to catch Flynn in the net; or (3) Comey had gone off the reservation and was spying on Flynn without a pretense of legal authorization.
We also see Comey, through weasel words, pushing to keep national security information from the next president of the United States. Comey, in other words, was elevating himself above the newly elected president of the United States, and he was doing so based upon what currently appears to be illegal spying activity against an American citizen.
Comey has wrapped himself in the flag since his role in the Russia Hoax first came to light. It's difficult to tell whether he's a man with a Machiavellian lust for power or whether he'd convinced himself that he was indeed answering a call to a higher authority. No matter the motive, his behavior was unconstitutional and fundamentally unpatriotic.