OPINION: Is It Time To Remember The Role President Obama Played In Allowing Russian Interference?
Attorney General William Barr has delivered the summary of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report on Russian “collusion.” The findings vindicate President Trump, but more importantly, could cause some to question President Obama’s culpability in the matter.
In his summary, Barr described not only the special counsel’s conclusion that there was no evidence of collusion, but also the scale and completeness of the investigation. Robert Mueller “employed 19 lawyers who were assisted by a team of approximately 40 FBI agents, intelligence analysts, forensic accountants, and other professional staff. The special counsel issued more than 2,800 subpoenas, executed nearly 500 search warrants, obtained more than 230 orders for communication records, issued almost 50 order authorizing the use of pen registers, made 13 requests to foreign governments for evidence, and interviewed more than 500 witnesses.”
This description provides context regarding an exhaustive two-year effort led by what some Washington insiders have described as the prosecutorial dream team of the century.
Many in Washington predicted that Mueller would issue a final set of indictments at the conclusion of his investigation, but they were wrong. Among the loudest voices were former Obama administration officials, such as former CIA Director John Brennan who went on CNN two weeks before Mueller delivered his report and predicted there would be more indictments to come and even speculated on the date the report would be delivered.
The irony is that while Mueller didn’t issue any more literal indictments, his conclusions summarized by Barr serve as the most damning indictment stemming from the special counsel’s work. But it’s not an indictment of Trump or his team — it’s an indictment of the Obama administration.
Mueller concluded that Russia had in fact conducted a concerted effort to influence the 2016 presidential election, though there is no evidence that they were successful. Barr’s letter described two distinct efforts to influence the election. The first was an effort by a Russian entity called the “Internet Research Agency” tasked with spreading propaganda on social media. The second was a Russia government effort to hack into computer systems belonging to persons who were then working for Hillary Clinton’s Campaign for President or the Democratic National Committee to obtain damaging emails which were then disseminated to organizations such as “Wikileaks.”
These efforts by the Russian government took place during the 2016 election while the Obama administration was in office. We know from public statements issued by a number of former Obama administration officials that they were aware of the Russian efforts and did little to nothing to stop them.
In fact, the most serious response the administration took was to have President Obama tell Russian President Vladimir Putin to “cut it out” on the sidelines of an international event. When asked by the Washington Post about the administration’s failure to stop Russia, a former senior official said “I feel like we sort of choked.”
Their abject failure to protect the nation from Russian attacks, which can only be described as dereliction of duty, resulted in social and political discord on a scale that has not been seen in this country for a long time.
To make matters worse, former Obama officials then spent two years falsely accusing President Trump of colluding with Russia. That resulted in further societal discord and fanned the flames of the nation — the outcome the Russians were seeking. Not only did the Obama administration do little to stop the Russian effort, but former members of the Obama administration played right into Russia’s plans by contributing to and exacerbating societal discord.
If anyone is guilty of working to further the Russian objective of sowing societal discord, it’s Obama and his administration. They all should be ashamed of themselves.
Alex Plitsas (@AlexPlitsas) is a national security and management consultant and Army combat veteran. He served previously in the Pentagon as chief of sensitive activities for the assistant secretary for special operations.
The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of The Daily Caller.