Is a decision by Donald Trump to declassify material from Operation Crossfire Hurricane “just around the corner”? House Freedom Caucus leader Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC) told Fox’s Brian Kilmeade yesterday that the American people will be “able to judge for themselves” whether the FBI set up members of the Trump campaign soon enough. While noting that he hasn’t seen all of the information that Trey Gowdy did as House Oversight chair in the previous session, Meadows wholeheartedly agrees that this material will be “game changing” when it comes out (via Sara Carter):
Moreover, the North Carolina Congressman explained that ‘the American people will be astonished’ when Trump declassifies more information. For example, the classified FISA interviews, Bruce Ohr 302 FBI interviews and the so called “Gang of Eight” binder.
Former House Oversight Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy said Sunday, the new information could reveal “game-changer” evidence further disproving the collusion narrative.
Meadows said he is confident the President will act soon.
“I think declassification is right around the corner and hopefully the American people will be able to judge for themselves,” said Meadows.
Color me somewhat skeptical on the potential for “game changing” information. If it truly would have that impact, why hasn’t Trump already declassified it? Even during the Mueller investigation, Trump had the authority to do so, and it would have been very difficult to characterize de-classification as an obstructive act. And now the Mueller probe has been over for two months, perhaps much longer on the Volume I issues of Russia-collusion.
In fact, one would think that the House Democrats’ push for wide-ranging subpoenas on this subject would have pushed Trump even more to declassify such material. If it flips the collusion hypothesis into a politicized-counterintelligence narrative, the sooner that happens the better. The fight over subpoenas has its own political momentum, one that will eventually erode Trump’s standing as well as Democrats’. Why not nip that in the bud right from the start?
That’s not to say that there isn’t something interesting buried under redactions and withholds. William Barr has already said he’s not satisfied with the answers he’s received on the start of Operation Crossfire Hurricane and has opened up a separate review of it, apart from the one finishing up from Inspector General Michael Horowitz. That might well show that partisan political bias poisoned the effort from the start, or perhaps might show something even worse. If that was the case, though, why hasn’t US attorney John Huber opened up a grand jury investigation?
It seems clear that Gowdy and Meadows have seen material they think will significantly alter the narrative on Operation Crossfire Hurricane. Gowdy doesn’t have any reason to flog that now that he’s retired from politics either, which makes it sound at least intriguing. Right now, though, they’d better learn a lesson about overselling from what Democrats did with the Mueller probe over the last two years and let the material sell itself when it comes out. If it comes out at all, given the curious lack of movement from the White House the last two years on it.