(…) Accusing the intelligence community of improper “analytic tradecraft” in analyzing Russia’s strategic intentions is an extremely grave indictment for a congressional oversight committee to make. In my opinion, there is no question the House Intelligence Committee is right for the reasons in its 2018 report and other subsequent findings.
The House committee found the intelligence community assessment violated protocols for drafting such assessments. This major finding shows why America needs strong legislative oversight over the intelligence services.
For example, although the protocols require intelligence community assessments to be “community products” and vetted with all intelligence agencies and analysts with equities in a given subject, only three intelligence agencies were asked to draft this assessment: the CIA, National Security Agency and FBI.
With the 14 other intelligence agencies left out, the three participating agencies included only two dozen “handpicked” analysts. Other intelligence agencies working on this issue, such as the Defense Intelligence Agency and the Department of Homeland Security, were excluded.
In addition, House Intelligence Committee staff revealed the actual drafting of the intelligence community assessment was done by three close associates of former CIA Director Brennan, who has proven to be the most politicized intelligence chief in American history.
Contrary to common practice for controversial intelligence community assessments, Brennan’s team allowed no dissenting views or even an annex with reviews by outside experts.
These were extraordinary violations of intelligence community rules to ensure that analysis is accurate and trusted. The Senate committee reports ignored these foundational violations.
The Senate Intelligence Committee report falsely claims that “all analytical lines are supported with all-source intelligence” and that analysts who wrote the intelligence community assessment consistently said they “were under no politically motivated pressure to reach specific conclusions.”
House Intelligence Committee staff members found the opposite. They told me there was conflicting intelligence evidence on Russian motivations for meddling in the 2016 election.
More gravely, they said that CIA Director Brennan suppressed facts or analysis that showed why it was not in Russia’s interests to support Trump and why Putin stood to benefit from Hillary Clinton’s election. They also told me that Brennan suppressed that intelligence over the objections of CIA analysts.
House Intelligence Committee staff told me that after an exhaustive investigation reviewing intelligence and interviewing intelligence officers, they found that Brennan suppressed high-quality intelligence suggesting that Putin actually wanted the more predictable and malleable Clinton to win the 2016 election.
Instead, the Brennan team included low-quality intelligence that failed to meet intelligence community standards to support the political claim that Russian officials wanted Trump to win, House Intelligence Committee staff revealed. They said that CIA analysts also objected to including that flawed, substandard information in the assessment.” (Read more: Fox News, 4/22/2020) (Archive)
On May 12, 2020, Ed Henry confirms Fred Fleitz’s findings: