Jonathan Turley: This Liberal Think Tank Continues To Appear In The Durham Inquiry
NEWYou can now listen to Fox News articles!
Special Counsel John Durham’s latest indictment caused a stir in Washington as the investigation into the Russian collusion scandal revealed new links to the Clinton campaign.
Igor Danchenko’s indictment exposes additional close advisers to Hillary Clinton who allegedly pushed discredited and salacious allegations into the Steele case. However, one of the more interesting new elements has been the role of a liberal think tank, the Brookings Institution, in the alleged attempt to create a bogus collusion scandal.
Indeed, Brookings appears so often in accounts related to the Russian collusion scandal that he could be Washington’s alternative to the Kevin Bacon board game. Many of those numbers appear to be within six degrees of Brookings.
JONATHAN TURLEY: GUN RIGHTS SHOWDOWN – SUPRE COURT AFFAIR A BIG WIN POTENTIALLY FOR A SECOND AMENDMENT
Washington remains a small city for the ruling elite, where the degrees of separation can be quite low as prominent figures enter and leave government. In addition, think tanks are often the parking lot for party faithful who wait (and work) for new administrations. The Federalist Society and the Heritage Foundation play a similar role for conservative figures.
However, even in Washington’s inbred environment, the layers of connections to Brookings are remarkable in Durham’s three indictments and accounts of efforts to create a Russian collusion scandal.
CLICK HERE TO GET THE OPINION NEWSLETTER
The effort was hardly a secret until anyone knew the name of former British spy Christopher Steele. On July 28, former CIA Director John Brennan informed President Obama of Hillary Clinton’s alleged “plan” to tie Donald Trump to Russia as “a means of diverting public attention from its use. a private mail server “. Notes from the meeting indicate that the plan to invent a collusion story was “allegedly endorsed by Hillary Clinton on a proposal by one of her foreign policy advisers to vilify Donald Trump by stoking a scandal claiming interference from the United States. Russian security “. It was three days before the opening of the Russian investigation.
Durham explains in detail how this plan was implemented and many of those benchmarks fall not at six but two degrees of separation from Brookings.
What is most surprising is how the indictment seems to chart the course that keeps Brookings back.
Brookings was instrumental in promoting the Russian collusion narrative, hiring various experts who then populated media outlets like MSNBC and CNN, confidently stating that Trump was clearly implicated in a series of dubious criminal acts.
While no such crime has ever been charged, let alone prosecuted, Brookings has maintained a strong group of experts like Susan Hennessey (now National Security Advisor in the Biden administration), Ben Wittes (who defended James Comey in his leaked FBI memos) and Norm Eisen (who then became a lawyer in the Trump impeachment effort). This included Brookings’ site, LawFare, which posted a constant stream of columns on how Trump could be charged with crimes ranging from obstruction to corruption.
However, this type of media cross pollination is common. What is most surprising is how the indictment appears to chart the routes that keep coming back to Brookings:
The last person charged, Danchenko, worked at Brookings. He turned out to be Christopher Steele’s primary anonymous source and later admitted to the FBI that the information attributed to him was not only “unfounded” but, after being reworked by Steele, was unrecognizable from the original gossip or speculation. Steele himself was introduced to Danchenko
It appears that Danchenko was introduced to former British spy Christopher Steele by Brookings employee Fiona Hill. If the name sounds familiar to you, Hill got a job on President Trump’s National Security Council and later became a key witness against him in Trump’s first impeachment over the Ukraine scandal.
Steele also said in London that his friend and then Brookings chairman Strobe Talbott participated in briefings and investigations into the development of the case. Talbott is also a former diplomat in the Clinton administration and friend of Clinton who held a high-ranking post under Hillary Clinton. (Another character, Cody Shearer, who has been mentioned in accounts expanding and disseminating his own allegations of collusion, was the brother of Talbott’s late wife).
When Steele was called to the State Department for a briefing on his case, Talbott sat next to Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland, who is currently at Brookings. The role of Brookings’ personalities in the dossier is still developing, but all paths seem to go to the think tank.
Even when it became clear that the false statements made in FISA’s secret requests targeted Trump associate Carter Page, the secret court selected David Kris, who wrote for Brookings’ LawFare despite his prior denial that the FBI had misled the tribunal and its critics of Trump.
Brookings has long been viewed as the effective research arm of Democratic figures and liberal causes. Yet even in the Baconesque world of Washington insiders, it’s rare to see a think tank connected on so many levels to many criminal investigations.
Like many in our policy, these connections will mean different things to different people. To conservatives, Brookings looks like the mothership of this scandal, with associates coordinating meetings and roles in the scandal’s metastasis. For liberals, the connections simply show the influence of the liberal think tank, and any focus from the think tank highlights a new ‘Trilateral Commission’ narrative.
CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP
With the exception of Danchenko, there is no evidence that these individuals linked to Brookings have committed or are suspected of such criminal acts by Durham. However, these links have already been factored into the investigation and will likely be addressed in any Special Advocate’s final report.
The Brookings Institution’s influence on the Russian collusion scandal will likely remain central to Durham’s explanation of how the FBI was duped in the Russian investigation and the role of Clinton’s agents in that effort. Notably, on September 9, 2015, Hillary Clinton appeared at Brookings and pointed out that “a lot of longtime friends and colleagues roost here in Brookings, including Strobe.” The question is whether this perch will become more and moreis lying precarious as Durham continues his investigation.
CLICK HERE TO READ MORE FROM JONATHAN TURLEY