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Iowa Republican Sen. Charles Grassley said during a speech on the chamber floor Tuesday that it is time the country learned what former President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden knew about the FBI’s ‘Russia’ investigation into then-GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign.
“In the last several weeks…a lot of information about the FBI’s Russia investigation has been declassified and made public,” he said. “That’s in a large part thanks to Attorney General [William] Barr and action he has taken, and action taken by acting Director [of National Intelligence Richard] Grenell…on declassification of a lot of things that should have been declassified a long time ago.”
Grassley was likely referring to, in part, the release last week of once-secret transcripts of witnesses who testified before the House Intelligence Committee in 2017 and 2018 that the ODNI had cleared for release a year ago, but which were withheld by current committee chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.).
Grenell essentially told Schiff earlier this month he would release the transcripts if the committee chairman continued to refuse to do so.
In his speech, Grassley praised the “acts of transparency” by Barr and Grenell “are finally shining a light on the dark corners of the federal government.”
Grassley’s full speech can be seen below. He questions Obama and Biden directly at the 8:00 min mark:
They “are doing what they ought to do and I hope they keep it up,” he continued.
Grassley then swatted the media for its “denial” of basic facts about the FBI’s actions in targeting the Trump campaign, perhaps because many outlets were responsible for reporting several things about the ‘Spygate’ operation that turned out to be 100 percent false.
The senior Iowa senator then turned his attention to the 44th president.
“Also last week, former President Obama said ‘the rule of law is at risk’ because of the Justice Department’s dismissal of the [Michael] Flynn case,” he said. “Contrary to what President Obama and the media might say, I believe the opposite is true. The rule of law is at risk if the federal government can get away with violating the Constitution to do what they did to Lt. Gen. Flynn.”
The GOP senator noted that Obama has been largely silent despite the fact that some of his former senior DoJ and FBI officials have been identified by the Justice Department inspector general and others to have committed felonies, such as lying under oath — among them, former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe.
“I haven’t heard” Obama comment “about how Department of Justice prosecutors falsely told the court that they had produced all Brady [Act] material [exculpatory evidence] to Flynn,” he continued.
He notes also that Obama hasn’t commented publicly about why his FBI was putting members of Trump’s campaign — in this case, former adviser Carter Page — under surveillance “without probable cause” that was “based on evidence the FBI knew was questionable at best [the Steele dossier].”
Grassley said he’s been pursuing evidence regarding the FBI’s alleged case against Flynn for the past couple of years. “And from the beginning, none of what I found looked right,” he said.
The Iowa Republican went on to reference a meeting held in the Oval Office between members of Obama’s senior intelligence and Justice Department staff to include Biden, then-FBI Director James Comey, Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates, CIA Director John Brennan, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, and others. After the meeting, Obama asked Comey and Yates to stay behind, according to reports, allegedly to inquire about what the incoming Trump administration should be told about the Russia probe.
While it’s not clear what was discussed, “given what we now know about the fake inquiry it’s time we asked: What did Obama and Biden know and when did they know it?”
Grassley also lashed out at Comey for helping plan the appointment of a special counsel, Robert Mueller, to essentially formalize the ‘Trump-Russia collusion’ hoax.
Sen. Chuck Grassley: "Comey's pretty smart. He had a plan. It worked. And that plan worked to get Mueller appointed. Mueller did his work for two years and it cost the taxpayers $30 million. And in the end Mueller found no collusion and no obstruction." pic.twitter.com/6UyxQQ8oxQ
— The Hill (@thehill) May 12, 2020
“Comey’s pretty smart. He had a plan. It worked. And that plan worked to get Mueller appointed. Mueller did his work for two years and it cost the taxpayers $30 million. And in the end Mueller found no collusion and no obstruction,” said Grassley.
“That’s exactly the information that the House’s 50-plus depositions told us.”
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