Today, former CIA officer Brad Johnson talks about President Trump’s declassification of the FISA documents, why Democrats should be worried, and whether a counterintelligence investigation should have been conducted on the Clinton campaign.
- You can listen to Part 1 of Brad Johnson’s interview here.
Brad Johnson is a retired Senior Operations Officer and Chief of Station with the CIA and founder at Americans for Intelligence Reform. He is an expert in counterintelligence with 25 years of service.
A Criminal Act
It’s my understanding that the former CIA director, John Brennan, insisted that this document [Steele Dossier] be used. And he contacted James Comey, who was the former FBI director, and Comey complied with this. So would you say that this was a treasonous act to submit the false evidence or you’re saying it’s just perjury?
Brad Johnson: Well, treason is a pretty–it’s something pretty significant for someone to have have committed. So I sort of hesitate to use treason right off. What you’re describing there, to me, it doesn’t reach the threshold of treason to me.
Well, I’m thinking they were spying on an American citizen. Would that be considered a treasonous act?
Brad Johnson: No, I don’t think so. I think that would be considered criminal. I mean it that threshold fairly clearly. They would need to pay that price. But for me the treason aspect of it is, would be sort of hinged on was he doing it for a foreign power? And I don’t think we, we come near that threshold. I think what John Brennan did was … he was being a party loyalist, doing what he could do to help the Democratic Party illegally. But he wasn’t helping a foreign power against the United States, which that would be the treason aspect. This to me is straight up criminal.
What Did the FBI and DOJ Know?
So the FBI and the DOJ both knew that Hillary Clinton’s campaign had paid for this dossier; is that right?
Brad Johnson: Yeah, there’s a lot of information to indicate that to confirm it. Yes … the source of the information on Brennan instructing Comey to use the Steele Dossier as that crown document was given by Trey Gowdy, the former Chairman of the Oversight Committee on the House side when the Republicans had the majority. So he has read those and has said that that’s part of the information that’s contained–or implied that that’s part of the information that’s contained. He’s a pretty straight-forward guy and also an attorney and was also a prosecutor. So I think his perspective is worthy of a lot of respect on this.
So “crown document,” that’s kind of a revealing comment because, where John Brennan came from was analysis. He was an analyst and that’s a term that you would hear analysts use. It’s the crown document from which everything else flows. And if you take it away, it just reduces everything else to kind of rubble and just supporting evidence that goes to nothing. So you need that crown document, if you will, to have everything else make sense. — Brad Johnson
Do you think that the FBI and the DOJ should have let the FISA Court know that the Clinton campaign had paid for the dossier?
Brad Johnson: That’s actually a requirement. By law, they’re required to say the truth of what they know about the origin of the documents. So it’s not a thing of opinion. It’s a thing that’s actually in the law. So they were required to report everything they knew about their document and did not. Therefore, the perjury, or fraud of some sort, would apply to that case.
Hillary Clinton Investigation
Do you think that a counter intelligence investigation should have been opened up against the Clinton campaign?
Brad Johnson: On the CIA investigation of Hillary Clinton, I think in her case, a criminal investigation would’ve been more appropriate than CI. I don’t think what she was doing, again, was something related to her betraying the United States to a foreign power per se. There’s a lot of questions I have about some of the deals that were made when she was secretary of state and the money that went into the Clinton Foundation that they invented to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars and some of the speaking fees that Bill Clinton got, those sorts of things. Those would need to be investigated, but that’s more criminal by nature.
Clinton Email Scandal Is Worse than Initially Thought
Brad Johnson: Where this clearly indicates a real problem with corruption is the Anthony Wiener laptop. There were two phases to this, if you will. There were the Wikileaks emails that all originated from Hillary Clinton within which there were a lot of classified documents. You have the Anthony Wiener laptop. He was the husband of Houma, who was the assistant to Hillary Clinton. On his laptop, they found 2,500 to 3000 classified emails on that, including CIA documents. The IG then inspected this. The man, the FBI agent out in Seattle, Washington–who had collected up this laptop and was looking for child pornography and things like that to use against Anthony Wiener in court–looked at all of that, and he didn’t have a clearance, so he was very uncomfortable having all of this.
But his comment to the FBI IG was that James Comey was disingenuous with the American people talking about that and that he was off by at least a factor of 10 as to how many classified documents were on that. Well, now we’re talking, no longer 2,500 to 3000, now we’re talking 25,000 to 30,000. Then that computer later went to Quantico, where now they’re talking numbers of 50- to 70,000 classified documents on that computer. So we’re talking tens of thousands of classified documents, some of which we know are CIA, some of which we know are NSA. Clearly there are State Department classified documents in that. — Brad Johnson
Brad Johnson: Who knows what harm was done during that period because it hasn’t been investigated. There has been no damage assessment done on all of those classified documents so that we know what did the Chinese get out of it? What did the Russians get out of it? What did the Iranians get out of it?
President Trump has announced that he’s declassifying the FISA documents and several other documents that were submitted with that. So other than the obvious misuse of the dossier, what other information may be contained in those declassified documents?
Brad Johnson: Well, I don’t think there’s going to be too much to that first wave. Now, I’ll say, here in the Washington DC area, everybody knows what’s coming. I mean, there’s no confusion as to what’s unfolding as we speak. The things that you described with the FISA warrant being declassified and so on, everybody’s known that it’s been coming for a long time … But as John Brennan is reported to have said, the Steele dossier was the crown document. There is nothing else significant if you remove that from the equation. And so that’s the underlying problem. Once that comes out, it’s a nail in the coffin of the Democratic Party and the Democratic Party loyalists within government circles. How do you excuse that? How do you explain it? Then, will those be people be in legal jeopardy over those things? And I think the answer is clearly yes on that aspect of it.
Brad Johnson: So while we’re living in these interesting times, it’s a very, very dangerous period of time, which is no question. There are a lot of storm clouds on the horizon … But I’ve become a real believer in his [President Trump’s] capability and why he’s going about the things he’s doing. So I would leave all of your viewers with that thought in mind. This is a dangerous period, but it looks like, by some bizarre twist of fate, kind of a serendipitous way that it unfolded for us, that we have a president that’s going to help reduce those dangers. So I’m optimistic in the scheme of things as we sit.
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