Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. To Redact or Unredact, That Is the Question

 

Democrat leaders Pelosi/Schumer/Schiff/Warner have written to Director, National Intelligence (DNI) Coats, DAG Rosenstein, and FBI Director Wray to direct them to ignore President Trump’s order on declassification without first running the information through Congress.

Reportedly, DNI, DOJ, and FBI are “working…to comply with the president’s order.” Unofficial reports are surfacing they may send a package (still redacted) to the White House for review. This would be a violation of the President’s order to declassify three sets of documents in addition to text messages, unredacted.

As with the declassified “Nunes” intelligence committee memo, intelligence/justice officials are expected to object on the basis it would expose sources and methods, and interfere in an investigation. Twitter account @JohnWHuber posted a very good thread on 9/19/2018 outlining some of the sources/methods/investigation details which the government has leaked, citing the DOJ OIG report and Senator Ron Johnson’s Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs report. The bar graph near the end of the thread comparing the number of national security leaks in the first 126 days of the last three presidents is one glaring representation of the extent of the government’s malfeasance.

An additional twist: It’s very possible the names of journalists who aided the government in their efforts will also be in the declassified information.

Congressional Democrat leadership has no authority to command the executive branch to disobey a direct order from the POTUS. These same Democrat leaders have shown no interest in getting the unredacted documents (which I believe are included in the ones President Trump has ordered), Congress has requested from DOJ, yet now they protest mightily at their being released to Congress and the public. They’re not interested in enforcing their Constitutionally granted oversight authority, but they want to usurp the executive’s. This is possibly a step on the road to impeaching Trump should the Democrats win the House majority; they think they can declare Trump endangered national security.

There is no one more entitled than American citizens to know who/what/when our government was doing to surveil a political campaign/presidency. Government works for us; there is no privilege allowing them to supersede or operate separate from laws or departmental guidelines. To paraphrase Nixon, “Americans have got to know whether or not their justice and intelligence officials are crooks.”

Donald Trump often has been referred to as authoritarian. Is there anything more imperious than Congress ordering employees of the executive branch to disobey a direct order from the Chief Executive and instead report to Congress? Note also that Democrats in Congress are calling on the FBI to investigate accusations against Judge Kavanaugh that are the purview of local/state authorities, not the FBI. For folks so worried about Trump improperly using the levers of the justice system (over which he has Constitutional authority), Democrats sure like exerting their will in a variety of extralegal ways.

UPDATE:

Citing DOJ concerns that POTUS’ order to release specific documents unredacted would impact the investigation, President Trump indicated Friday (9/21/18) that release will be delayed pending DOJ OIG “expedited” review of them.

Trey Gowdy (around 4:05 mark), who has seen in their unredacted form all the documents POTUS has ordered to be released, said that while the release of the info may be embarassing, embarassment is no reason to not declassify documents and there’s nothing that will jeopardize national security of the US in them.

Devin Nunes also indicated there are no national security concerns in the information, pointing out some of the loudest voices warning against declassification, are themselves involved in some capacity with the documents (read John Brennan).

There are 33 comments.

  1. Jon1979 Lincoln

    As with the current Kavanugh fight, the goal here is to kick the declassification back to where nothing gets released before the November 6 election, out of fears that the reality of the redactions is they weren’t hidden for National Security reasons, they were hidden to keep people from discovering the level of collusion among the Hillary-leaning higher-ups in crafting their plans to scuttle Trump.

    • #1
    • September 20, 2018, at 5:03 AM PST
    • 10 likes
  2. JoelB Member

    Makes one wonder if some of the Dem. congressional leaders have already seen the unredacted letters.

    • #2
    • September 20, 2018, at 5:32 AM PST
    • 11 likes
  3. danok1 Member

    I’ve heard the Dems/MSM (but I repeat myself) calling Trump’s alleged obstruction of justice a “Constitutional crisis.” It is, of course, no such thing.

    And here we have the Democrat Congressional leadership setting off the real thing. They are deliberately fomenting a Constitutional crisis. Their only role in Executive branch agencies is funding and oversight. They cannot direct Executive branch agencies to do anything unrelated to those items.

    Trump is, as I understand it, using his lawful powers as President in directing this declassification. Congress has no say in this, other than changing the laws regarding classification.

    Trump and the Republican Congressional leadership need to call Pelosi, Schumer, et al., out on this.

    • #3
    • September 20, 2018, at 5:47 AM PST
    • 9 likes
  4. DrewInWisconsin, Type Monkey Member

    It’s another delay tactic. It’s all about getting past the election. They presume if they can take back the House they’ll be able to stop the release.

    And we have way too many turncoats on our side willing to help them.

    • #4
    • September 20, 2018, at 6:13 AM PST
    • 7 likes
  5. Columbo Member

    DrewInWisconsin (View Comment):

    It’s another delay tactic. It’s all about getting past the election. They presume if they can take back the House they’ll be able to stop the release.

    And we have way too many turncoats on our side willing to help them.

    Indeed. Nancy has loose lips … Pelosi: Dems will win House because some Republicans “aren’t going to fight us.”

    • #5
    • September 20, 2018, at 6:41 AM PST
    • 7 likes
  6. Mim526 Member
    Mim526 Post author

    Jon1979 (View Comment):

    As with the current Kavanugh fight, the goal here is to kick the declassification back to where nothing gets released before the November 6 election, out of fears that the reality of the redactions is they weren’t hidden for National Security reasons, they were hidden to keep people from discovering the level of collusion among the Hillary-leaning higher-ups in crafting their plans to scuttle Trump.

    The DOJ top officials seems to be operating on the premise if they can just keep a lid on the worst of it through November midterm elections, it will all disappear. Who can say they’re not wrong? They’ve gotten away with giving only the information Congressmen like Nunes, Goodlatte, and Grassley have forced out of them. Paul Ryan has issued occasional warnings he has not backed up with punitive action. Republican senators have warned POTUS not to remove certain staff.

    • #6
    • September 20, 2018, at 8:40 AM PST
    • 3 likes
  7. Mim526 Member
    Mim526 Post author

    Jason Chaffetz related an account yesterday of making a joint recommendation (with Elijah Cummings, ranking Democrat) to Sessions that certain individual(s) should be fired for their interaction with Congress (blatantly lying, etc.) He said Sessions looked him in the eye and said, “I can’t do that” because of some nonsense about Hillary (he didn’t want to appear to be persecuting political opponents was my interpretation). This is beyond wrong: the DOJ above all agencies must follow rules and apply laws equally irrespective of creed, or political persuasion.

    I don’t always like the way Trump chooses to address the Sessions issue, but he is not wrong in saying he has no Attorney General. The man is missing in action by his own choice (recusal and abrogating his responsibilities). Andrew McCarthy notes when discussing Special Counsel the DOJ under Rosenstein views DOJ regulations as “hortatory guidelines that DOJ may flout at will”.

    Basically, we have a Dept of Justice that is a law unto itself with Congressional Democrats, not the President, thinking they’re the ones holding the reins.

    • #7
    • September 20, 2018, at 8:42 AM PST
    • 5 likes
  8. Susan Quinn Contributor

    Great post, @mim526! What arrogance on their part! I think they are desperate and very worried, and I suspect they should be. Consequences, people, consequences.

    • #8
    • September 20, 2018, at 9:05 AM PST
    • 4 likes
  9. Addiction Is A Choice Member

    I’ve come to believe that Dems get legal advice from the law firm of Dilly Dally Doolittle and Stall.

    On a slightly related note: I’m always amazed that law firms never have commas separating the names of the partners; that lawyers would so cavalierly disregard the rules of the very language they seek to manipulate…Then again, I am not surprised at all.

    • #9
    • September 20, 2018, at 9:36 AM PST
    • 4 likes
  10. Jager Member

    Mim526: Democrat leaders Pelosi/Schumer/Schiff/Warner have written to Director, National Intelligence (DNI) Coats, DAG Rosenstein, and FBI Director Wray to direct them to ignore President Trump’s order on declassification without first running the information through Congress.

    What a bunch of garbage. Trump can and should release this information to the public. If anything, trying to hide information would be a problem. I think the public should know as much as possible.

    • #10
    • September 20, 2018, at 10:48 AM PST
    • 2 likes
  11. DrewInWisconsin, Type Monkey Member

    Addiction Is A Choice (View Comment):
    On a slightly related note: I’m always amazed that law firms never have commas separating the names of the partners; that lawyers would so cavalierly disregard the rules of the very language they seek to manipulate…Then again, I am not surprised at all.

    Kind of contrary to my experience with the legal publisher I once did freelance work for. Their editors were scrupulous to the individual point. I always imagined them measuring space between numbered lists to make sure it was exactly what the specs called for. Because if there was a one-point error in spacing, they caught it! It’s made me overly scrupulous with my page layout to this day.

    • #11
    • September 20, 2018, at 11:11 AM PST
    • 4 likes
  12. CarolJoy, Above Top Secret Coolidge

    Jager (View Comment):

    Mim526: Democrat leaders Pelosi/Schumer/Schiff/Warner have written to Director, National Intelligence (DNI) Coats, DAG Rosenstein, and FBI Director Wray to direct them to ignore President Trump’s order on declassification without first running the information through Congress.

    What a bunch of garbage. Trump can and should release this information to the public. If anything, trying to hide information would be a problem. I think the public should know as much as possible.

    Yet meanwhile the Dem’s old Secretary of State John Kerry goes around talking to Iranian officials, pretending that he is the one in charge.

    If that doesn’t indicate how delusional and power grabbing the Democrats happen to be, nothing will.

    • #12
    • September 20, 2018, at 12:00 PM PST
    • 5 likes
  13. Steve C. Member

    Mim526: Americans have got to know whether or not their justice and intelligence officials are crooks.”

    We know the answer, we’re just waiting on the confirmation.

    • #13
    • September 20, 2018, at 12:19 PM PST
    • 6 likes
  14. Steve C. Member

    Mim526 (View Comment):
    They’ve gotten away with giving only the information Congressmen like Nunes, Goodlatte, and Grassley have forced out of them. Paul Ryan has issued occasional warnings he has not backed up with punitive action. Republican senators have warned POTUS not to remove certain staff.

    Nunes and others have seen the full contents of the FISA applications. What they can’t do is talk about the redacted parts. Because those parts are presently classified. To do so would expose them to sanctions by the intel community, ie they could be denied access. And as we’ve learned from “Nunesgate” any schlub can make a complaint to the Ethics Committee and change the subject from potential illegal acts by the intel community to conduct unbecoming a Congressman.

     

    • #14
    • September 20, 2018, at 12:27 PM PST
    • 5 likes
  15. Clifford A. Brown Contributor

    DrewInWisconsin (View Comment):

    It’s another delay tactic. It’s all about getting past the election. They presume if they can take back the House they’ll be able to stop the release.

    And we have way too many turncoats on our side willing to help them.

    Yes, I, as an Arizonan, do. I apologize for helping elect Flake. I will not so readily pull the lever for McSally, absent her burning bridges or boats on the shore, preventing her moving back to “Never Trump” and “Tru-Con” lands.

    • #15
    • September 20, 2018, at 2:01 PM PST
    • 1 like
  16. Clifford A. Brown Contributor

    Steve C. (View Comment):

    Mim526: Americans have got to know whether or not their justice and intelligence officials are crooks.”

    We know the answer, we’re just waiting on the confirmation.

    The list of names to put on our cards, to check off as they are perp walked. That, and only that, is real accountability and real reform.

    • #16
    • September 20, 2018, at 2:03 PM PST
    • 1 like
  17. Clifford A. Brown Contributor

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Great post, @mim526! What arrogance on their part! I think they are desperate and very worried, and I suspect they should be. Consequences, people, consequences.

    The list of names, to place on our cards, so we may check them off as we see them perp walked. Nothing less is accountability and nothing less will produce real reform. 

    At this point, I will not be happy with much less than a company-sized element of deputized U.S. Marshals going in heavy (full body armor, carbines, riot guns, sidearms) and frogmarching out most of the senior DOJ and FBI leadership/staff, followed by driving ATVs in and out, emptying whole rooms of files, computers, and cell phones. I’d say 0930 on 7 November 2018, before the conspirators could get over the election shock and destroy the evidence.

    • #17
    • September 20, 2018, at 2:18 PM PST
    • 4 likes
  18. Kozak Member

    Columbo (View Comment):

    DrewInWisconsin (View Comment):

    It’s another delay tactic. It’s all about getting past the election. They presume if they can take back the House they’ll be able to stop the release.

    And we have way too many turncoats on our side willing to help them.

    Indeed. Nancy has loose lips … Pelosi: Dems will win House because some Republicans “aren’t going to fight us.”

    If they do win the house the GOP needs to give her as many votes as she needs to be speaker. She’s the gift that keeps on giving …..

    • #18
    • September 20, 2018, at 2:37 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  19. cdor Member

    Why didn’t POTUS just request the docs he wanted, buy a $250 copy machine, have his secretary scan and email to the world? What does he need Dan Coats for? I have been saying this since the FISC warrants started seeping out. Every time I get a call from President Trump (they appear on my caller ID) I ask him or his DIL, Laura, to do exactly that as soon as I pick up the phone. But, alas, it’s only a recording. Maybe one day it will actually be him. Then I’ll be able to tell the Pres exactly what he needs to do.

    • #19
    • September 20, 2018, at 3:41 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  20. Mim526 Member
    Mim526 Post author

    CarolJoy (View Comment):

    Jager (View Comment):

    Mim526: Democrat leaders Pelosi/Schumer/Schiff/Warner have written to Director, National Intelligence (DNI) Coats, DAG Rosenstein, and FBI Director Wray to direct them to ignore President Trump’s order on declassification without first running the information through Congress.

    What a bunch of garbage. Trump can and should release this information to the public. If anything, trying to hide information would be a problem. I think the public should know as much as possible.

    Yet meanwhile the Dem’s old Secretary of State John Kerry goes around talking to Iranian officials, pretending that he is the one in charge.

    If that doesn’t indicate how delusional and power grabbing the Democrats happen to be, nothing will.

    Kerry’s activities grabbed my attention as well. So much so, I wrote a post about Kerry, Pompeo today.

    Conservatives, all of us whether we like or dislike Trump, hopefully can be in sync about what’s happening. These people are literally refusing to get off the stage.

    • #20
    • September 20, 2018, at 3:41 PM PST
    • 1 like
  21. cdor Member

    Steve C. (View Comment):

    Mim526 (View Comment):
    They’ve gotten away with giving only the information Congressmen like Nunes, Goodlatte, and Grassley have forced out of them. Paul Ryan has issued occasional warnings he has not backed up with punitive action. Republican senators have warned POTUS not to remove certain staff.

    Nunes and others have seen the full contents of the FISA applications. What they can’t do is talk about the redacted parts. Because those parts are presently classified. To do so would expose them to sanctions by the intel community, ie they could be denied access. And as we’ve learned from “Nunesgate” any schlub can make a complaint to the Ethics Committee and change the subject from potential illegal acts by the intel community to conduct unbecoming a Congressman.

    If Trump declared those parts unclassified, Nunes and others could talk about them at will right now. The deep staters can slow walk all they want. They can accuse Nunes of lying. Sooner or later the docs will come out. Nunes gets the last laugh…along with our President.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    • #21
    • September 20, 2018, at 3:48 PM PST
    • 1 like
  22. PHCheese Member

    Take a Secret Service Swat team to the DOJ get all the documents. Shoot anyone who resists. Throw the bodies outside in the street. Call the MSM and shoot them as well. Have a nice day.

    • #22
    • September 20, 2018, at 4:09 PM PST
    • 3 likes
  23. Mim526 Member
    Mim526 Post author

    PHCheese (View Comment):

    Take a Secret Service Swat team to the DOJ get all the documents. Shoot anyone who resists. Throw the bodies outside in the street. Call the MSM and shoot them as well. Have a nice day.

    You gotta watch more spy thrillers, Cheese. Ya gotta make it look like an accident, create diversions then go in during the chaos over there and swoop up all the intel over here. Keep the good guys outta the hoosegow.

    • #23
    • September 20, 2018, at 5:21 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  24. PHCheese Member

    Mim526 (View Comment):

    PHCheese (View Comment):

    Take a Secret Service Swat team to the DOJ get all the documents. Shoot anyone who resists. Throw the bodies outside in the street. Call the MSM and shoot them as well. Have a nice day.

    You gotta watch more spy thrillers, Cheese. Ya gotta make it look like an accident, create diversions then go in during the chaos over there and swoop up all the intel over here. Keep the good guys outta the hoosegow.

    Your right. Use the 1st Airborne Division for cover.

    • #24
    • September 20, 2018, at 5:24 PM PST
    • 3 likes
  25. Mim526 Member
    Mim526 Post author

    PHCheese (View Comment):

    Mim526 (View Comment):

    PHCheese (View Comment):

    Take a Secret Service Swat team to the DOJ get all the documents. Shoot anyone who resists. Throw the bodies outside in the street. Call the MSM and shoot them as well. Have a nice day.

    You gotta watch more spy thrillers, Cheese. Ya gotta make it look like an accident, create diversions then go in during the chaos over there and swoop up all the intel over here. Keep the good guys outta the hoosegow.

    Your right. Use the 1st Airborne Division for cover.

    Schedule Trump’s military appreciation parade with Coats/Wray/Rosenstein front row observers. 

    • #25
    • September 20, 2018, at 5:52 PM PST
    • 1 like
  26. DonG (skeptic) Coolidge

    I heard that part of the ordered release involves text messages between Stzrok, Page, McCabe,… If those are redacted and were made with non-secure devices, then the senders and receivers would be on the hook for improper handling of classified materials, which is a crime. We are gonna need a bigger prison bus.

    More importantly, Trump can use any redaction as an excuse to fire anyone not doing the redactions. Buh-bye Rosenstein.

    • #26
    • September 20, 2018, at 7:14 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  27. Mim526 Member
    Mim526 Post author

    DonG (View Comment):

    I heard that part of the ordered release involves text messages between Stzrok, Page, McCabe,… If those are redacted and were made with non-secure devices, then the senders and receivers would be on the hook for improper handling of classified materials, which is a crime. We are gonna need a bigger prison bus.

    More importantly, Trump can use any redaction as an excuse to fire anyone doing the redactions. Buh-bye Rosenstein.

    Yup. The disobey a direct order door swings both ways. Congress can try to use it to build an impeachment case, but there’s no question it’s within a POTUS’ purview to dismiss employees who disregard direct instruction.

    • #27
    • September 20, 2018, at 7:46 PM PST
    • 1 like
  28. Steve C. Member

    DonG (View Comment):

    I heard that part of the ordered release involves text messages between Stzrok, Page, McCabe,… If those are redacted and were made with non-secure devices, then the senders and receivers would be on the hook for improper handling of classified materials, which is a crime. We are gonna need a bigger prison bus.

    More importantly, Trump can use any redaction as an excuse to fire anyone doing the redactions. Buh-bye Rosenstein.

    I expect we will get the full text messages. As noted, if anyone discussed sources and methods in a text message, they have bigger problems. Still, I doubt there is any clear and direct statements that can only be construed one way. Of course it helps when you can rely on the integrity of the best water carriers TV money can buy.

    • #28
    • September 20, 2018, at 8:19 PM PST
    • 3 likes
  29. Western Chauvinist Member

    Trump, his lawyers and the Secret Service better haul ass over there and seize the materials. What are they waiting for, the copy machine to warm up? This is just giving the malefactors time to destroy evidence, a la the Clinton crime syndicate. The president has full authority to declassify. Make it happen.

    • #29
    • September 21, 2018, at 2:29 AM PST
    • 2 likes
  30. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher

    Just release it all and let them cards fall where they may. If lives get destroyed in the process, so what? They don’t care what lives they destroy. They are the ones who have set the standards. In fact, I hope that lives are destroyed for these faceless monsters in the DOJ and FBI who put their judgement above the voters. As Rob has said about the bankers, “I want to seem the selling apples in the streets”.

     

    • #30
    • September 21, 2018, at 7:51 AM PST
    • 1 like