Who Trapped Who
Anyone that follows my Twitter feed is aware that from the moment the whistleblower (WB) story broke I have been saying it was a designed op targeting the Democrats. Somehow Trump baited someone to leak to the WB a false description of the call with the Ukrainian President. It seems the purpose was to force the Democrats into a baseless impeachment chase and open a national conversation about Ukraine. This then becomes the catalyst to reveal the results of what I have termed #Phase2, the prosecution phase of dealing with the coup plotters.
I've had different ideas about who leaked. We know the WB did not have first hand knowledge so someone leaked to him. At first I speculated it could have been a whisper campaign in the presence of a previously known WH leaker. Then when the second whistleblower story broke, I speculated it was a fellow CIA agent assigned to the White House (WH) for some purpose. But admittedly this was still an area of uncertainty. The leaker had to be someone so credible that the Democrats would launch into action assuming the information was accurate.
On Monday Fiona Hill gave testimony to Adam Schiff's inquisition. She testified that Bolton told her over the summer that he wanted Giuliani referred to WH attorneys because he "wanted no part of the effort" and as a result more scrutiny turned to Bolton as the leaker. I hadn't explored that idea too much because I just don't buy that Bolton wants to hurt Trump.
Then earlier today someone shared a youtube video with me.
To be clear, I only watched the first five minutes where they were discussing Bolton being the leaker. I am not endorsing either of the two people in the video or any of their ideas but I thought it was important to explain how I ended going down the rabbit hole I am about to share with you. What I will say is that Mr. Shipp was sufficiently persuasive that it made me start thinking.
Why would Bolton speak to someone so clearly anti-Trump as Fiona Hill and push the idea that Giuliani was doing something inappropriate in the summer? Presumably this preceded the July 25th call with Ukrainian President Yelensky. Well either he was authentically concerned or it was bait, like chumming the waters for anyone with experience fishing.
Since Mr. Shipp had mentioned that Laura Ingraham had discussed Bolton being the leaker, I figured I would search Twitter to find a clip. I typed "Ingraham Bolton" into the search and a very interesting article popped up. It was written by @jonathanvswan at AXIOS and it's titled "Exclusive: Leaked Trump vetting docs". Somehow I missed this story but it immediately triggered my thinking.
Trump is infamous for leaking information that most would consider damaging. What do we have here but a treasure trove of information on all of the people that were vetted during the transition. In effect dishing the dirt on everyone in Trump world. But I was looking for information that could persuade me that Bolton was the leaker. So what did I find?
Well along with this article came links to each persons vetting document. You will never guess whose vetting document was included in this trove. Yup, John Bolton. Click here to view.
Here were the two tops items:
The information was interesting but what I found more interesting was the timing. Remember we found out from the Fiona Hill testimony that in the summer Bolton was telling her that he wanted nothing to do with Giuliani. Summer. So just preceding that conversation the waters were chummed. BOLTON HAS ISSUES WITH TRUMP! A DAGGER AT THE HEART! VERY TROUBLING! Now the idea Bolton was the leaker as part of a bait trap strategy had my full attention. There are no coincidences. So I kept searching.
First thing I did was look for the Ingraham clip referred to by Mr. Shipp but all I found was the clip from the night Bolton quit/got fired. The "firing" and the Ingraham episode happened on 9/10/19. This monologue was a treasure trove of clues. Here's the video:
Now as you watch this video you have to put yourself back in the context of that moment while layering on the things we now know. Trump had just cancelled a "secret" meeting with the Taliban on 9/11 and was supposedly considering a meeting with Rhouani as part of a capitulation to rejoin the Iranian nuclear deal. These were the issues that had supposedly angered Bolton so much that he had an argument with Trump.
We also know that by the point of the Bolton firing the WB had already filed an anonymous complaint with the CIA General Counsel, met with Schiff and filed the WB complaint. Schiff's aide, Thomas Eagan, had already met with Bill Taylor, Taylor had already sent the "quid pro quo texts" and Gordon Sondland had already spoken with the WH and denied any quid pro quo. Assuming Bolton was the leaker, all of these actions were taken by the Democrats based on their belief that Bolton had turned on Trump. Why were they so certain of this? We will look at that further later.
So in this context, the clips of Democrat's comments about Bolton's firing are very interesting. Bernstein - "Governing crisis" Brennan - "Disarray and chaos" Then Ingraham lectures about how people serve at the pleasure of the President and need to follow his directives. If they can't they need to go, she says. Ingraham plays the clearly negative views expressed by Democrats when Bolton was hired and then...
You'll never guess who the first clip was defending Bolton AFTER he was FIRED? Adam "Shifty" Schiff! He extols how "on a couple of key issues, this failed idea for a summit at Camp David and these colossal failures with North Korea, Bolton was right." Sheila Jackson Lee says "he also has a knowledge about the ways of the international affairs, international dealings" All of it is so very interesting.
Since Ingraham had also used the clip of the press conference that Pompeo and Mnuchin gave when Bolton was fired, I went to watch it.
Pompeo also makes the point that the President deserves the staff he wants and that will help him carry out his agenda. He acknowledges that he deals with people all the time with differing views and directly says that there are issues on which they do not see eye to eye. Mnuchin says they are completely committed to the maximum pressure campaign with Iran but they are willing to meet with Rhouani without precondition. Pompeo acknowledges the palace intrigue but says they will not get into it.
Then I remembered the resignation letter everyone made such a big deal about. They said it showed Bolton resigned, Trump hadn't fired him. Bolton even made a point to write a tweet to clarify that the President was wrong, he resigned and Trump had "lied" about what happened.
Stepping back you have to ask yourself, what in the hell were we witnessing. Considered in context, it sure felt like Bolton had broken with the WH and was willing to speak out to clarify things. The madness of a President willing to invite the Taliban to US soil on 9/11 was the last straw! Given what the Democrats "knew" via Schiff, if Bolton was the leaker, this all would be a very convincing spectacle. Convincing enough to get Pelosi to declare impeachment before she saw the transcript? Yup!
Let's take a moment and look at what was happening in the lead up to the July 25 call that helped seal the deal for Democrats buying Bolton's flip. I am going to start with a tidbit we learned in the wake of the Bolton firing from NBC news. You will never guess who Trump has been speaking with since last fall...
As President Donald Trump began losing confidence in national security adviser John Bolton, whom he fired on Tuesday, he reached out to the man he had fired to give Bolton the job: retired Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster.
In phone calls to McMaster — the first of which took place last fall — Trump told his second national security adviser that he missed him, according to two people familiar with the conversations. It’s a sentiment the president has also expressed to White House aides, they said. Trump has solicited McMaster's advice on various national security challenges, even asking McMaster whom he should nominate to lead the Pentagon, they said. https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/national-security/frustration-bolton-mounted-trump-reached-out-ex-adviser-mcmaster-n1051996
Now given everything everyone is certain of about McMaster and his involvement in undermining Trump why would Trump be calling him and expressing his frustration with Bolton? Seemingly Trump has been baiting this Ukraine affair for a lot longer than I previously assumed.
As we approach the date of the call we get reports of Trump reaching his limit with Bolton. This from an article on July 23:
And where was Bolton as Trump's frustrations boiled over in the days leading up to the Yelensky call? In Asia:
By the 25th of July the trap was fully baited. Bolton opposed what Giuliani was doing in Ukraine and wanted people to report the activity. He was calling Giuliani a "hand grenade" and worrying allowed that Rudy would blow everything up. People in and around the NSC were on high alert and then Trump jumps on a call that most believed was unnecessary. Why was it happening? Was this the moment? Had Trump finally gone too far?!?
What actually happened? Trump told us. It was a "perfect" call.
He "got them by surprise!" Whatever could he mean?!? Well somehow in the aftermath of the call someone (Bolton) convinced the CIA agent that ultimately became the WB that Trump had demanded a specific action by Yelensky in order to receive the military aid appropriated by Congress. They had Trump! Finally! A quid pro quo!
But that never actually happened. And there was no way to confirm what the leaker was saying because the call had been quarantined into a special compartmentalized system. Proof that Trump feared the release of the call, they said. Or just more bait...
Yet somehow the leaker's version of the call and the transcript do not match in a very significant way. There is no quid pro quo. There is no demand. The withheld aid is never mentioned. The truth is devastating to the accusation. But why would a leaker supposedly concerned about what they heard on the call, leak to a CIA agent a false version of the call? Is that really a leaker? Was it someone looking to hurt the WH or the Democrats? If Bolton is the leaker, which of those two options is more likely?
Given all of this, I started to wonder. If Bolton was the leaker, is it possible he was hired for this purpose (among others) from the very beginning? So I went back to search for when Bolton was hired. March 22, 2018. And for me that was a light bulb moment. Why? Because March 2018 is a key month in the Mueller investigation accord to John Dowd.
In fact according to an ABC news article referred to in a @techno_frog tweet Mueller told Dowd on March 5, 2018 that as of that date, Trump "was not a target".
What followed that notification by Mueller is a series of events that put in place all of the current players and structures in the Ukraine affair. As I said above on March 22 Trump fires McMaster and hires Bolton. Then on April 19, 2018 Trump hired Giuliani as his personal attorney helping to defend him from Mueller. But to believe that was the true purpose of the hire you must believe that Trump was still a target and that Jay Sekulow authentically needed help. Some will argue that Rudy was hired to go on the news shows but the truth is that anyone could have done that job. No, to be sure, Trump hired Rudy specifically because he could trust him. To do what? Run an op.
Oh and one last thing happened in "the spring" of 2018:
The Trump White House upgraded the security of the National Security Council’s codeword system in the spring of 2018, according to two former Trump White House officials familiar with the matter, as part of an effort to ferret out and deter leaks. https://www.politico.com/news/2019/10/01/white-house-trump-leaks-code-015194
Now going back to the beginning of this article, if this Ukraine affair was a designed op then everything was set in place starting in March 2018. All the players. All the systems. Following the notification by Mueller to Trump's lawyer that Mueller had cleared Trump. The bullet was in the proverbial chamber waiting for Trump to pull the trigger.
But he waited and Mueller lingered. And during that time, the Democrats won the House while Trump strengthened his hold on the Senate. Why? It seems that Trump, knowing impeachment 1.0 was destined to fail, set the stage for an impeachment 2.0. An impeachment he would trigger using a quarantined call and a "leaker" feeding a known anti-Trump CIA agent false information. An impeachment that would trap the Democrats.
Assuming it was a trap then at the point when the CIA agent had information regarding this call, information he had no authorization to have, he was likely being monitored as part of a leak investigation. When he met with Schiff's staff and before he filed the WB complaint, monitoring him would have been fair game. As would monitoring the activities of Schiff's staff. Like the trip taken by Thomas Eager to meet with Bill Taylor in Ukraine, the leaking of the story of withheld aid to Politico, and the attempts by Taylor to get Sondland to acknowledge the quid pro quo. All of this would be actions designed to entrap the President.
If I am right that Bolton was the leaker and this was an op set up to target the Democrats and their attempts to remove Trump by any means necessary then things are about to get very ugly for the Democrats. Particularly for Adam Schiff. And here is one of the biggest problems for Schiff, It seems Pelosi has smelled a rat and now realize she was baited into stupidity.
That says it all, doesn't it? Given all of this, you start to understand why Trump seems so supremely confidant. Trump isn't trapped. The Democrats are. Tick Tock