Biden Participated In Secretive Meetings
That Launched Russia-Collusion Probe
Former Vice President Joe Biden was reportedly one of the few Obama administration officials who participated in secretive meetings during the early stages of the Obama-era intelligence community’s initial operations regarding suspected Russian interference in the 2016 presidential campaign.
That tidbit was contained deep inside a 7,700-plus word Washington Post article published June 23, 2017, in which the newspaper also detailed the highly compartmentalized nature of the original Russia interference investigation and the manner in which other U.S. intelligence agencies were deliberately kept in the dark.
Part of the efforts eventually involved unsubstantiated and ultimately discredited charges made by the Christopher Steele dossier that Trump campaign officials were colluding with Russia.
Biden’s largely unreported role in the initial Obama administration meetings on the matter of Russian interference could spark further questions now that Attorney General William Barr has appointed a U.S. attorney to investigate the origins of the Russia collusion claims.
Only last week, Barr commented that the intelligence community’s early handling of the Russia investigation may itself raise questions. He noted that it was first handled at a “very senior level” and then by a “small group.”
The lengthy Washington Post article from 2017 detailed the closed circle of Obama administration officials who were involved in overseeing the initial efforts related to the Russia investigation – a circle than was narrowly widened to include Biden, according to the newspaper report.
According to the newspaper, in the summer of 2016, CIA Director John Brennan convened a “secret task force at CIA headquarters composed of several dozen analysts and officers from the CIA, the NSA and the FBI.”
The Post described the unit as so secretive it functioned as a “sealed compartment” hidden even from the rest of the U.S. intelligence community; a unit whose workers were all made to sign additional non-disclosure forms.
Adding another layer of secrecy, the newspaper reported that when the closed Cabinet sessions on Russia began in the White House Situation Room in August, the video feed from the main room was cut off during the meetings.
The feed, which allows only for video and not audio, is usually kept on so that senior aides can see when a meeting takes place.
It was not clear what went on inside those meetings and how many included Biden’s participation. The meetings progressed during the period that the Steele dossier was reported to the FBI.
The dossier was cited as evidence in three successful FISA applications signed by Comey to obtain warrants to spy on Trump campaign adviser Carter Page. The second and third were renewal applications since a FISA warrant must be renewed every 90 days.
Comey, Brennan and Clapper have been the subjects of a dispute in recent weeks over which top Obama administration officials advocated for the infamous dossier to be utilized as evidence in the Russia collusion investigation, as Breitbart News reported.
The dossier was produced by the controversial Fusion GPS firm which was paid for its anti-Trump work by Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign and the Democratic National Committee via the Perkins Coie law firm.