Deep State vs. Trump-gate

by Philip Giraldi Unz edited by O Society April 28, 2019

The real “deplorable” in today’s United States is the continuation of a foreign policy based on an endless aggression to maintain Washington’s military dominance in parts of the world where Americans have no conceivable interest.

Many voters backed Donald Trump because he committed himself to changing all that, but, unfortunately, he reneged on his promise. Instead, Trump heightened tensions with major powers Russia and China, while also threatening Iran and Venezuela on an almost daily basis. Now Cuba is in the crosshairs because it is allegedly “assisting Venezuela.”

One might reasonably ask if America, in its seemingly enduring role as the world’s most feared bully, will ever cease and desist, but the more practical question might be, “When will the psychopathic trio of John Bolton, Mike Pompeo, and Elliott Abrams be fired so the United States can begin to behave like a normal nation again?”

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Trump, to be sure, is the heart of the problem. He consistently makes overtly belligerent bad decisions, when better and less abrasive options are available. This should not necessarily always be blamed on his poor choices of advisers. 

Yet, one also should not discount the likelihood the dysfunction in Trump is partly comprehensible, stemming from his belief he has numerous powerful enemies, who have been out to destroy him since before he was nominated as the GOP’s presidential candidate!

This hatred of all things Trump manifests in the neoconservative “Nevertrump” forces, led by Bill Kristol, and in the neoliberal “Trump Derangement Syndrome” regularly exhibited by Rachel Maddow on cable TV news.

And then there is the Deep State, which also worked with the Democratic Party and President Barack Obama to destroy the Trump presidency before it even began.

One can define “Deep State” in a number of ways, ranging from a “soft” version, which accepts there is an Establishment, which has certain self-serving objectives it works collectively to promote, to something harder, an actual infrastructure which meets together and connives to remove individuals and sabotage policies it objects to.

The Deep State in either version includes senior government officials, business leaders, and, perhaps most importantly, the managed media, which promotes a corrupted version of “good governance” that in turn influences the public.

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Whether or not the Mueller report is definitive depends upon the people they chose to interview and the questions they chose to ask, which is something that will no doubt be discussed for the next year if not longer. Beyond declaring the Trump team did not collude with Russia, it cast little light on the possible Deep State role in attempting to vilify Trump and his associates.

The investigation of this aspect of the 2016 campaign and the possible prosecutions of former senior government officials which might become a consequence of the investigation will likely be entertaining conspiracy theorists well into 2020. Since Russiagate already has been used and discarded, the new inquiry might well be dubbed “Trumpgate.”

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The media scarcely reports how Michael Horowitz – the Inspector General of the Department of Justice – is looking into the activities of the principal promoters of the Russia-gate fraud. Horowitz, whose report is expected in about a month, already revealed he intends to make criminal referrals as a result of his investigation.

While this report will only cover malfeasance in the Department of Justice, which includes the FBI, the names of the intelligence officers involved will, no doubt, surface. Charges leading to many prosecutions are expected, and one can hope for jail time for those corrupt individuals who betrayed their oaths to the United States Constitution to instead pursue political vendetta.

A review of what is already known about the plot against Trump is revealing. No doubt much more will be learned if, and when, investigators go through emails and phone records. The first phase of the illegal investigation of the Trump associates involved initiating wiretaps without probable cause.

This eventually involved six government intelligence and law enforcement agencies,  who formed a de facto task force headed by CIA Director John Brennan. Also reportedly involved are the FBI’s James Comey, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, Attorney General Loretta Lynch, Department of Homeland Security Director Jeh Johnson, and Admiral Michael Rogers, who headed the National Security Agency.

Brennan is the key to the operation because the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) court refused to approve several requests by the FBI to initiate taps on Trump associates and Trump Tower as there was no probable cause to do so, yet British and other European intelligence services were legally able to intercept communications linked to American sources.

Brennan was able to use his connections with those foreign intelligence agencies, primarily the British GCHQ, to make it look like the concerns about Trump were coming from friendly and allied countries and therefore had to be responded to as part of routine intelligence sharing. As a result, Paul Manafort, Carter Page, Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner and Gen. Michael Flynn were all wiretapped. And likely there were others. This all happened during the primaries and after Trump became the GOP nominee.

In other words, to make the wiretaps appear to be legitimate, GCHQ and others were quietly and off-the-record approached by Brennan and associates over their fears of what a Trump presidency might mean. The British responded by initiating wiretaps that were then used by Brennan to justify further investigation of Trump’s associates. It was all neatly done and constituted completely illegal spying on American citizens by the U.S. government.

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The British support of the operation was coordinated by the then-director of GCHQ Robert Hannigan who has since been forced to resign. Brennan is, unfortunately still around and has not been charged with perjury and other crimes. In May 2017, after he departed government, he testified before Congress with what sounds a lot like a final unsourced, uncorroborated attempt to smear the new administration:

“I encountered and am aware of information and intelligence that revealed contacts and interactions between Russian officials and U.S. persons involved in the Trump campaign that I was concerned about because of known Russian efforts to suborn such individuals. It raised questions in my mind whether or not Russia was able to gain the co-operation of those individuals.”

Brennan’s claimed “concerns” turned out to be incorrect. Meanwhile, other interested parties were involved in the so-called Steele Dossier on Trump himself. The dossier, paid for initially by Republicans trying to stop Trump, was later funded by $12 million from the Hillary campaign. It was commissioned by the law firm Perkins Coie, which was working for the Democratic National Committee (DNC). The objective was to assess any possible Trump involvement with Russia. The work itself was sub-contracted to Fusion GPS, which in turn sub-contracted the actual investigation to British spy Christopher Steele who headed a business intelligence firm called Orbis.

Steele left MI-6 in 2009 and had not visited Russia since 1993. The report, intended to dig up dirt on Trump, was largely prepared using impossible to corroborate second-hand information and would have never surfaced but for the surprise result of the 2016 election. Christopher Steele gave a copy to a retired of British Diplomat Sir Andrew Wood who in turn handed it to Trump critic Senator John McCain who then passed it on to the FBI. President Barack Obama presumably also saw it, and according to Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, “If it weren’t for President Obama, we might not have done the intelligence community assessment we did, which set off a whole sequence of events still unfolding today, notably, special counsel Mueller’s investigation.”

The report was leaked to the media in January 2017 to coincide with Trump’s inauguration. Hilary Clinton denied any prior knowledge despite the fact her campaign paid for it. Pressure from the Democrats and other constituencies devastated by the Trump victory used the Steele report to provide leverage for what became the Mueller investigation.

So, is there a broad ranging conspiracy against Donald Trump orchestrated by many of the most senior officials and politicians in Washington? Undeniably, yes. What little Trump amounted to as a “leader” and “role model” is beside the point, as what evolved is undeniably a bureaucratic coup directed against a legally-elected president of the United States, and to a certain extent it was successful, as Trump likely was forced to subsequently hire Pompeo, Bolton, and Abrams.

One can hope investigators dig deep into what Washington insiders have been up to, so Trumpgate will prove more interesting and informative than was Russiagate. And one also hopes enough of the highest-level heads will roll to make any interference by the Deep State in future elections unthinkable. One hopes.

Philip Giraldi is Executive Director of the Council for the National Interest

For Whom the Bell Tolls: John Brennan, it Tolls for Thee

Anatomy of the Deep State

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