At the subcommittee hearing into the possible Russian Interference in the 2016 election, Democratic senators and Republicans grilled ex Attorney-General Sally Yates and James R. Clapper under-oath, about their roles in investigating the suspected interference in the 2016 Election, most likely by Russian Intelligence.
The GOP senators seemed fixated upon irrelevant topics, and the most glaring diversion was when Senator Ted Cruz, (R) Texas took the microphone…
“During your many years in intelligence, and at the DNI, have you ever knowingly forwarded classified information to a non-government employee on a non-government computer who did not have authorisation to receive that information?” — Ted Cruz, to Clapper
He continues this line of questioning, obviously heading towards a “but her emails!” query…
“And, Director Clapper, what would you do, at the DNI, if you discovered that an employee of yours had forwarded hundreds or even thousands of e-mails to a non-government individual, their spouse, on a non-government computer?” — Ted Cruz
James Clapper is now obviously “on to” what Cruz is hinting at, and is probably displeased at the waste of time; Each Senator only has a limited time to ask their question—wasting time talking about Hillary Clinton’s “bad emails” is not a good use of this time. He is happy to answer though…
“Well, it raises all kinds of potential security concerns. Again, depending on—on the—the content of the e-mail, what the intent was, there's a whole bunch of variables here that would have to be considered. But, you know, potentially, and again, this is a hypothetical scenario, it could be quite concerning.” — James R. Clapper
Undeterred, Cruz pushes on, desperately trying to steer the conversation back onto this shocking server which definitely posed a far greater risk to the United States’ national-security than say.. Electoral interference or worse, potential Foreign Agents in the Government or the upper echelons…
“Last week, I asked similar questions to FBI Director Comey, and—and he said an individual who did that would be subject to, quote, "significant administrative discipline," but that he was highly confident they wouldn't be prosecuted. Do you share that assessment?” — Cruz
“Well, I don't—I—I don't know. I think the—the track record is that the prior administration, I think, prosecuted more people for leaking than anyone in any—in any other administration in the past.
So it's difficult to do that. And there are many cases we could not prosecute or even seek a crimes report because the potential audience of people that could have been the perpetrator of—of—of these insecurities could not be identified.” — Clapper
CRUZ: Let me—let me shift to a different topic.
Director Clapper, you—you also testified that you're not aware of any intercepted communications of any presidential candidates or campaigns, other than the Trump campaign that's been discussed here. Is—is that correct?
CLAPPER: Yes. But that's to my knowledge. But, you know, prior administrations, prior campaigns—they wouldn't have been visible to me. So I—I can't—I can't say...
CRUZ: But—but in 2016, you're not aware any other campaigns or candidates?
CLAPPER: ... no.
CRUZ: And, Ms. Yates, same question to you.
YATES: I'm not aware of any interceptions of the Trump campaign.
CRUZ: And are you aware of any intercepted communications of any other candidates or campaigns?
CRUZ: Okay. Because earlier, when Chairman Graham had asked you that, I—I thought you'd declined to answer. So perhaps I misunderstood that.
YATES: And I may have misunderstood the question. I thought the question I declined to answer was a different one than that. So I'm—I'm glad I got a chance to clear it up.
CRUZ: OK. So you have no information of any interceptions of the Bernie Sanders campaign, Hillary Clinton campaign...
CRUZ: ... or any other candidate...
CRUZ: ... in 2016, or campaigns?
“By the express text of the statute, it says, quote, "whenever the president finds that entry of any alien or of any class of aliens into the United States would be detrimental to the interest of the United States, he may by proclamation, and for such period as he shall deem necessary, suspend the entry of all aliens or any class of aliens as immigrants or non-immigrants, or impose on the entry of aliens any restrictions he may deem appropriate. Would you agree that is broad statutory authorisation?” — Cruz
“I would, and I am familiar with that. And I'm also familiar with an additional provision of the INA that says no person shall receive preference or be discriminated against an issuance of a visa because of race, nationality or place of birth, that I believe was promulgated after the statute that you just quoted.”… "But my concern was not an INA concern here. It, rather, was a constitutional concern, whether or not this—the executive order here violated the Constitution, specifically with the establishment clause and equal protection and due process” — Yates
Cruz argues, then Yates shuts him down completely… Adding:
“And I also, in that same directive, Senator, said that I was not convinced it was lawful. I also made the point that the office of—OLC looks purely at the face of the document and, again, makes a determination as to whether there is some set of circumstances under which some portion of that E.O. would be enforceable, would be lawful.
They, importantly, do not look outside the face of the document. And in this particular instance, particularly where we were talking about a fundamental issue of religious freedom—not the interpretation of some arcane statute, but religious freedom—it was appropriate for us to look at the intent behind the president's actions, and the intent is laid in and out his statements.”
An Embarrassment for the GOP, the United States, and Donald Trump, who—predictably—had to Tweet about this as it was occurring of course. Very Presidential, Big-Lee.
"Director Clapper reiterated what everybody, including the fake media already knows- there is "no evidence" of collusion w/ Russia and Trump.”… “Sally Yates made the fake media extremely unhappy today --- she said nothing but old news!” … “The Russia-Trump collusion story is a total hoax, when will this taxpayer funded charade end?” And finally, using another one of his favourite slogans; “Biggest story today between Clapper & Yates is on surveillance. Why doesn't the media report on this? #FakeNews!” — ‘President’ Donald J. Trump, on Twitter
The enquiry will continue, and more information is slowly being unearthed. Will it end with an impeachment? How many of Donald Trump’s close advisers and family are involved with Russian Intelligence or their Military? Why are the GOP so obsessed with protecting Party over Country? Do they not swear allegiance to the flag of the United States, rather than their partisan loyalties…
Russia has proven they can influence an election, how could you further enable their Division of your nation? Active Measures need to be taken, and more defences too; Putin’s war on democracy and truth must not succeed, and we are seeing some positives this week with the defeat of Le Pen in the French election, even with obvious Russian interference.
We will report more on this massive trove of information, and any other revelations as they come.