Yet another major Obama administration scandal has been uncovered.
This one centered on then-Director of National Intelligence James Clapper leaking classified information that endangered national security “in an attempt to undermine President Trump,” according to the American Center for Law and Justice.
ACLJ’s Jay Sekulow said Clapper changed policy to make it easier to share intercepted information among intelligence agencies, according to documents obtained through several Freedom of Information Act lawsuits against the ODNI and the National Security Agency.
They revealed that Clapper, in the latter days of his tenure as ODNI, “rushed” put new procedures in place.
“The documents also reveal that ODNI’s Robert Litt told Office of the Undersecretary of Defenses’ Director of Intelligence Strategy, Policy, & Integration (and also USDI’s Liaison to ODNI): ‘Really want to get this done … and so does the Boss.”
The documents show the plan was approved by Clapper and then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch.
“It was not immediately clear just how significant these revelations were. Now we know,” ACLJ said.
“Consider what we now know about the nature and degree of Deep State opposition to President Trump. With the public revelations about the infamous disgrace known as the Steele dossier, FISA abuse and the underpinnings of Crossfire Hurricane, as well as former-DNI James Clapper’s open hostility to President Trump and intentional leaking by senior law enforcement and intelligence actors – all of which appears to show a coordinated effort across agencies to oppose the Trump administration – the picture is coming into focus,” ACLJ said.
Of concern were reports that during the last days of the Obama administration, there was a rush to expand vastly the power of the National Security Agency “to share globally intercepted personal communications with the government’s 16 other intelligence agencies.”
Clapper, after Trump’s election, approved the “Procedures for the Availability or Dissemination of Raw Signals Intelligence Information by the National Security Agency.”
The change expanded the NSA’s freedom to distribute information from its surveillance operations.
The report said it appeared to coincide directly “to the exponentially increased number of intel leaks the Trump administration has been dealing with.”
“By greatly expanding access to classified information by unelected, unaccountable bureaucrats, the Obama administration paved the way for a shadow government to leak that classified information – endangering our national security and severely jeopardizing the integrity and reputation of our critical national security apparatus – in an attempt to undermine President Trump,” ACLJ said.
Sharing information among intelligence agencies is not new. But the timing of the major expansion was “way too suspicious,” ACLJ said.
ACLJ demanded to know “why the Obama administration waited until mere days before a new administration took over to implement a significant change in intelligence policy.”
The organization said it was continuing to review all the documents involved “in light of the revelations coming to light.”
Clapper, as WND has reported, previously affirmed that Obama is responsible for the claims of Trump-Russia collusion that roiled Washington for two years but were debunked by special counsel Robert Mueller.
“If it weren’t for President Obama, we might not have done the intelligence community assessment that we did that set off a whole sequence of events which are still unfolding today, notably, special counsel Mueller’s investigation,” Clapper said at the time.
The intelligence community assessment addressed Russia meddling in general. And it was the special counsel’s task as well. But it’s clear that Obama officials, including Clapper and CIA Director John Brennan, were promoting the Trump-collusion allegation. And that claim was the focus of Mueller’s probe.
Clapper previously established his own reputation as a liar.
He claimed he didn’t lie to Congress when he told members that the NSA didn’t collect “any type of data at all on millions, or hundreds of millions of Americans.”
The truth was that the program gathered metadata on vast swaths of communications among Americans.
Pressed on his statement in an interview on CNN, he insisted he just didn’t “understand.”
The NSA surveillance program has been targeted in several privacy lawsuits in federal courts. And it is in the news again with a report from the New York Times that the system “which analyzed logs of domestic calls and texts by Americans was being shut down, or allowed to expire.”
The spy-on-Americans program was revealed by the dump of classified material by Edward Snowden, a onetime government contractor who fled the United States.
In an interview with John Berman of CNN, Clapper said he did not understand the question he was being asked during the 2013 hearing, although he had been provided it in advance.
Clapper said he simply “made a big mistake.”
He has faced other questions about his truthfulness.
In an April 2017 interview with “Meet the Press,” he unequivocally denied the existence of a FISA court order to wiretap the Trump campaign in 2016.
But in an interview with CNN five months later, he said it was possible that President Trump was recorded as part of the government’s surveillance of Paul Manafort, who served briefly as Trump’s campaign manager.
In the CNN interview, Clapper continued to claim that he wasn’t aware of a FISA warrant against Manafort.
But when asked by CNN host Don Lemon if it was “possible the president was picked up in a conversation with Paul Manafort,” Clapper said, “It’s certainly conceivable.”
Republican lawmakers had urged the Justice Department to prosecute Clapper for falsely testifying during a March 2013 Senate Intelligence Committee hearing that the NSA was “not wittingly” collecting “any type of data at all” on millions of Americans.
The testimony fell apart months later when Snowden revealed secret court orders forced phone companies to turn over all U.S. call records on an “ongoing, daily basis.”