Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), a co-founder of the House Freedom Caucus, told Martha MacCallum of Fox News Channel that he believes top officials at the Federal Bureau of Investigation plotted to thwart Donald Trump from becoming president. "Everything points to the fact that there was an orchestrated plan to try to prevent Donald Trump from being the next president of the United States," Jordan told Fox News on Tuesday evening.

At a November hearing on Capitol Hill, Jordan called on Attorney General Jeff Sessions to appoint a special counsel to investigate the agency. Sessions told Jordan it "looks like there's not enough evidence." Jordan’s response to Session was: “If you're not going to appoint a second special counsel, then maybe you should step down."

Jordan continues to question whether a controversial opposition research dossier on Trump, prepared by the Fusion GPS opposition research firm at the behest of the Democratic National Committee and the Clinton campaign, was used to obtain surveillance warrants against Trump’s political organization. He has also asked whether the wife of a top Justice Department official helped assemble that disputed dossier, and whether anti-Trump text messages exchanged by two FBI agents prove FBI bias against the candidate.

"You cannot have top people at the FBI systematically trying to tip the scale in favor of one campaign over another," Jordan told cleveland.com. "That's not supposed to happen in this country. All the evidence suggests that's what took place."

Special Counsel Robert Mueller continues to pursue an investigation into whether the Trump campaign conspired with Russia to sway the presidential election in 2016. Mueller has so far obtained four indictments, including those against former national security advisor Michael Flynn, former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort.

Jordan believes top FBI officials schemed against Trump because of as yet unexplained contacts between officials of the FBI and DOJ with Fusion GPS, as well as anti-Trump messages exchanged by FBI officials and apparent manipulation of the media.

The dossier

In September 2015, the Washington Free Beacon website hired Fusion GPS to investigate candidate Donald Trump. Funded by Paul Singer -- one of Trump’s Republican adversaries -- the website ultimately ceased payment on the research after Trump won the Republican presidential nomination. Thereafter, the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton campaign paid Fusion GPS. Much of the research was gathered by Christopher Steele, a former British intelligence officer who had ties to the FBI and U.S. intelligence community.

Steele supposedly interviewed Russians who alleged that Trump had cooperated closely with highly-placed individuals in the Russian government who allegedly had compromising information about Trump. Rep. Jordan has referred to the dossier as “fake news, National Enquirer garbage.” Both Sens. Charles Grassley and Lindsey Graham have called on the Department of Justice to probe Steele.

At a Judiciary Committee hearing, Jordan asked current FBI Director Christopher A. Wray whether the FBI used the disputed dossier as a "legitimate intelligence document" to obtain a warrant under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) to spy on Trump adviser Carter Page. At that hearing Jordan asked Wray: "If you had the FBI working with a campaign, the Democrats' campaign, taking opposition research, dressing it all up and turning it into an intelligence document and taking it to the FISA court so they could spy on the other campaign -- if that happened, that is as wrong as it gets.”

Wray demurred, telling Jordan that he believed it was not legal for him to share secret FISA proceedings with the Judiciary Committee. The FBI director said access to the dossier is "something that is the subject of ongoing discussion between my staff and the various intelligence committees." Jordan was not mollified by Wray’s answer and still demands to know whether the FBI paid Steele.

Family matters

Fusion GPS has admitted the Nellie Ohr, an expert on Russian affairs who is married to Bruce Ohr -- a top Justice Department official -- worked on compiling the Trump/Russia dossier. Bruce Ohr was demoted from his post as an associate deputy attorney general when the DOJ found out he had had secret meetings with Steele and Fusion GPS founder Glenn Simpson.

Rep. Jordan wants to know what was Nellie Ohr's role in assembling the dossier, and when and how the FBI learned she worked for Fusion GPS. "Why did DOJ lawyer Bruce Orr (sic) meet with Fusion GPS founder Glenn Simpson after the election?" Jordan asked on Twitter. "To get their story straight after their candidate Clinton lost? Or to double down and plan how they were going to go after President-elect Trump?"

Tainted texts

Anti-Trump text messages that Peter Strzok -- a former FBI deputy head of counterintelligence -- exchanged with FBI lawyer Lisa Page, have also concerned Rep. Jordan. It was Strzok who conducted the FBI abortive investigation of Hillary Clinton’s use of a private, unsecure email server while she served as Barack Obama’s secretary of state. Strzok changed the investigation’s conclusion from criminal "gross negligence" to "extreme carelessness," which allowed former FBI Director James Comey to rule that now criminal charges were warranted in Clinton’s case. Strzok also played a key role in special counsel Mueller's investigation until being dismissed over the text messages.

Strzok referred to Trump as an "idiot," in one of his texts. He also wrote "that there's no way he gets elected - but I'm afraid we can't take that risk. It's like an insurance policy in the unlikely event you die before you're 40..."

Rep. Jordan believes the so-called "insurance policy" refers to plans to undermine Trump. "If you kicked everybody off Mueller's team who was anti-Trump, I don't think there'd be anybody left," Jordan said in one Judiciary Committee hearing. Reports that some of the texts were leaked to the media first is also a concern to Jordan. While Strzok and Page exchanged approximately 10,000 messages, DOJ has only released a small fraction of them. Jordan wants to know about the remainder. "Why did the FBI release only 375/10,000+ texts?" Jordan asked on Twitter. "Were they the best? Worst? Or part of a broader strategy to focus attention away from something else? And when can Americans see the other 96% of texts?"

Jordan wants question Strzok, Page, Ohr and other FBI and DOJ figures. He also expects that a forthcoming investigation by the DOJ Inspector General will provide more more incriminating material. "What's it going to take to get a second special counsel to answer these questions and find out if Peter Strzok was up to what I think he was?" Jordan asked Rosenstein at a recent Judiciary Committee hearing. "All kinds of senators think we need a special counsel. What fact pattern do you have to have? What kind of text messages do you have to see before you say it's time for a second special counsel?"

"We have a responsibility to make an independent determination and we will," Rosenstein told him.

Feinstein releases Judiciary Committee testimony

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) unilaterally released elements of testimony provided to the Senate Judiciary Committee in August by Fusion GPS co-founder Glenn Simpson. Among the revelations in the testimony, the release of which was not authorized by Judiciary Committee Chair Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), was that “somebody's already been killed” as a result of the publication of the anti-Trump dossier. “He wants to be very careful to protect his sources,” said Simpson’s attorney Josh Levy during the August 22 Senate Judiciary Committee interview of his client. “Somebody's already been killed as a result of the publication of this dossier and no harm should come to anybody related to this honest work.”

Simpson said that when he spoke to British intelligence agent Christopher Steele that he wanted to think about contacting the FBI about the dossier and that he was not certain to whom they should give it. Simpson told the committee “In any event, he [Steele] said, ‘Don't worry about that, I know the perfect person, I have a contact there, they'll listen to me, they know who I am, I'll take care of it.’” Simpson also recalled that Steele claimed that the FBI had “an internal Trump campaign source.” Of the FBI, Simpson said, “They believed Chris's information might be credible because they had other intelligence that indicated the same thing and one of those pieces of intelligence was a human source from inside the Trump organization.”

President Trump tweeted on Wednesday about the release of the testimony, calling the California Democrat, "Sneaky Dianne."

 

FBI manipulates media

When Martha MacCallum asked Rep. Jordan for his reaction to Sen. Feinstein’s unauthorized release of the Fusion GPS testimony, Jordan responded: “I leave that up to Senator Feinstein and the Judiciary Committee in the Senate...“What I do know and what I found most interesting about what I have been able to read thus far is the fact Glenn Simpson said Christopher Steele told him the FBI had another source. How did Christopher Steele know that? Did the FBI tell him? If they did, why is the FBI telling Christopher Steele, the guy who was paid by Fusion who was paid by the Clinton campaign, why is the FBI telling Christopher Steele they got another source on this whole Russia investigation? I think that is interesting and something we need to get to the bottom of.”

MacCallum asked: 

“Yeah it goes to the larger question of whether or not there was a coordinated effort between these intelligence agencies and, perhaps, including the FBI and the Clinton campaign to dig up dirt on Donald Trump, right?”

“Exactly,” said Jordan.

“And I think when you couple what Senator Feinstein released today with the story John Solomon wrote this morning on additional text messages we have now reviewed, where they talk about planting stories. Peter Strzok and Lisa Page in their text message exchange talk about planting stories with the media to further their narrative. What was their narrative and what was their plan? It was the insurance policy that was designed to make sure that we can’t take the risk the American people are going to elect Donald Trump president. So now this all fits together. So that’s what I found most interesting today is those text messages that [The Hill reporter] John Solomon wrote about, along with what Senator Feinstein released and how it fits this idea that the FBI was actively planning and orchestrating in a systematic way this idea we are going to generate stories that further our narrative and the plan we have.”

Deep state collusion with media

Reporter Solomon reported at The Hill that FBI counterintelligence agent Peter Strzok and FBI lawyer Lisa Page engaged a number of text messages just before Election Day 2016 that appeared to indicate that they knew in advance about an article in The Wall Street Journal and would need to pretend to stumble onto the story and so share it with FBI colleagues. “Article is out, but hidden behind paywall so can’t read it,” Page texted Strzok on October 24, 2016.

“Wsj? Boy that was fast,” Strzok responded, using the initials of the famed newspaper. “Should I ‘find’ it and tell the team?” Page and Strzok discussed how they could pretend to have found the article through Google News alerts. “I can get it like I do every other article that hits any Google News alerts, seriously,” Strzok wrote, adding he didn’t want his team hearing about the article “from someone else.”
 

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Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat and the editor of Spero News.

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