While watching and listening to congressional testimony during the House of Representatives hearing into the Russia Probe can be overwhelmingly boring, as politicians want to spend more time droning on before actually getting to any pertinent questions of the witnesses, some noteworthy information does eventually come out.
Such as the NYT "story" last week claiming President Trump attempted to pressure former FBI Director James Comey into dropping his investigation into Michael Flynn, according to a memo the NYT hadn't seen and wasn't in possession of, and according to "unnamed sources, which was rebutted by Comey himself before his firing, and the newly released Washington Post story, again using "anonymous," sources, claiming that "Trump asked intelligence chiefs to push back against FBI collusion probe after Comey revealed its existence," is all bogus... FAKE NEWS, according to Former CIA Director John Brennan.
Brennan testified today and we have some clips relating to national security and the dangerous leaks via members of the intelligence community, with the full two-hour segment at the bottom of the article for those interested, where Brennan asserts that no one in the intelligence community has shared any concerns that "the president was attempting to enlist the help of people within the intelligence community to drop the Flynn investigation."
Schiff then asked "Are you aware of any efforts the president has made to enlist the help of the intelligence community to push back on a narrative involving the collusion issue," a question which comes directly from the newly released Washington Post fake news story, Brennan responds with "I am unaware of it."
Below you can hear Comey himself saying that an administration technically can halt an FBI investigation but it is not something he has witnessed in his experience, "because it would be a big deal to tell the FBI to stop doing something without an appropriate purpose. " He continued on to state "Often times they give us opinions that we don't see a case there so you ought to stop investing resources in it, but I'm talking about a situation where we're told to stop something for a political reason, that would be a very big deal. It's not happened in my experience."
Which means if Comey now asserts something different, he will either have lied to Congress above, or he is lying now after he was fired.
The next clip has Representative Trey Gowdy questioning Brennan on intelligence community leaks to the MSM, and what it means, where Brennan states unequivocally that those in the intelligence community that are leaking classified information to the media are "violating their oath to protect classified information.
In the next clip Brennan states in no uncertain terms that those leaks to the press are "appalling" and the leakers "need to be tracked down."
Last but not least, Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats says that the "leaks have become a very significant, played a very significant negative role relative to our national security. The release of information not only undermines confidence in our allies, but our ability to maintain secure information that we share with them. It jeopardizes sources and methods that are invaluable to our ability to find out what's going on and what those threats are. Lives are at stake in many instances and leaks jeopardize those lives."
Before getting to the bottom line, it is worth reiterating that "Whoever knowingly and willfully communicates, furnishes, transmits, or otherwise makes available to an unauthorized person, or publishes, or uses in any manner prejudicial to the safety or interest of the United States or for the benefit of any foreign government to the detriment of the United States any classified information" concerning the communication intelligence activities of the United States or any foreign government; or obtained by the processes of communication intelligence from the communications of any foreign government, knowing the same to have been obtained by such processes, is a criminal offence under 18 U.S. Code § 798, which "Shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both."
We are dealing with two separate aspects of the continuous reports from the establishment mainstream media, where some of the reports, using "anonymous" or "unnamed" sources have turned out to be completely fake and bogus news, then we have names being revealed, such as Michael Flynn, that were leaked to the press by deep state intelligence community members, in violation of not only oaths to protect the information but against the law.
The first aspect is the intelligence community leakers and the fact that they are breaking the law in revealing classified information, to which we just heard above are jeopardizing national security and lives. It would behoove the Trump administration to inform the public what actions are being taken to aggressively track them down and prosecute them to the fullest extent of the law.
The second aspect is the media who 1) Is either making up their so-called "sources" on the articles that have been proven to be totally false, or; 2) Are being fed bogus information by deep state intelligence community leakers, and then rushing to print it in order to sabotage the President, in some cases without ever seeing the evidence to confirm its existence.
What responsibility does the media have when they know that one of their sources is breaking US law, then they themselves are printing that classified information?
As late as March 2017, the question of whether reporters themselves can be prosecuted for knowing publishing classified information, was discussed in Congress, when Gowdy asked Former FBI Director Comey "Is there an exception in the law for reporters who want to break a story?" Comey responded "Well, that's a harder question, as to whether a reporter incurs criminal liability by publishing classified information, and one probably beyond my ken. I'm not as good a lawyer as Mr. Schiff said I used to be." Gowdy then asked "Well, I don't know about that, but the statute does use the word publish, doesn't it?" Comey answered "It does, but that's a question I know the Department of Justice has struggled with through administration after administration."
The question now becomes do the first amendment protections for "freedom of press" include the right to jeopardize national security and lives, as DNI Coats states that the leaks of classified information are doing?