Such was the point made by Breitbart News' Joel Pollak, whose reporting and analysis of the so-called "deep state" (and issues related to California) has been must-read material. In an article today, Pollak writes:
There was only one new revelation at the hearing, and it was a bombshell: senior Obama administration officials could have known the identities of surveillance targets.Pollak details the grilling of FBI director James Comey by Rep. Trey Gowdy, which named potential suspects in the illegal leaks.
One of those targets, retired General Michael Flynn, lost his job after it was revealed that his conversation with the Russian ambassador had been monitored, and that he had discussed sanctions relief, contrary to his early private and public claims.
Yet Flynn’s identity was never supposed to have been revealed. The surveillance of the Russian ambassador, routine though it may have been, yielded classified information, and the identity of any U.S. citizen swept up in it should have been redacted.
But Flynn’s name was unmasked and leaked to the media. Moreover, the New York Times reported on Jan. 19 — with a front-page, top-of-the-fold headline on Inauguration Day — that “intelligence reports based on some of the wiretapped communications had been provided to the White House.” And the Times also reported in February that surveillance of Trump aides suspected of ties with Russia had been disseminated widely throughout the government, without privacy protections, by order of the lame duck Obama administration under newly-relaxed NSA rules, which the Times had already reported earlier in January.
Monday’s hearing “debunked” Trump’s wiretapping tweets, but left his underlying claim intact: that there was surveillance of the Trump campaign; that the results were shared throughout the government — even possibly reaching the Obama White House; and that intelligence was leaked, illegally, to the mainstream media.
Pollak has an ally in columnist Pat Buchanan, who writes today:
There is hard evidence of collusion between the intel community and The New York Times and The Washington Post, both beneficiaries of illegal leaks -- felonies punishable by up to 10 years in prison.Buchanan asks a pertinent question and makes a suggestion:
While the howls have been endless that Trump accused Obama of a "felony," the one provable felony here was the leak of a transcript of an intercepted conversation between Gen. Michael Flynn and the Russian ambassador.
That leak ended Flynn's career as national security adviser. And Director Comey would neither confirm nor deny that President Obama was aware of the existence of the Flynn transcript.
Is the FBI investigating the intelligence sources who committed felonies by illegally disclosing information about the Trump campaign? [...]Meanwhile, the Conservative Treehouse -- an opinion blog that nonetheless offers detailed, thought-out analysis of issues with evidence and links -- keys in on the questioning of Comey by Rep. Elise M. Stefanik to argue that the nation's intelligence apparatus -- and Comey himself -- acted as political muscle for the Obama White House. They write:
Attorney General Jeff Sessions has recused himself from any role in the Russian hacking scandal. But the Justice Department should demand that the FBI put the highest priority on investigating the deep state and its journalistic collaborators in the sabotage of the Trump presidency.
If Comey refuses to do it, appoint a special counsel.
The counter-intel investigation, by [Comey's} own admission, began in July 2016. Congress was not notified until March 2017. That’s an eight month period [...]Again, the real story to follow is the illegal activity of people in the intelligence community and their willing accomplices in the media. And this is a story for which the New Media will play an indispensable role in getting to the truth. You cannot rely on the major corporate media -- including Fox News -- to get to the bottom of this or report it truthfully, because some of them were participants in the illegal activity.
Anyone who followed the Obama White House intel policy outcomes will have a lengthy frame of reference for DNI Clapper and CIA Director John Brennan as the two primary political operatives. Brennan admitted investigating, and spying on, the Senate Intelligence Committee as they held oversight responsibility for the CIA itself. [...]
There is only one reasonable explanation for FBI Director James Comey to be launching a counter-intel investigation in July 2016, notifying the White House and Clapper, and keeping it under wraps from Congress. Comey was a participant in the intelligence gathering for political purposes – wittingly, or unwittingly.