Former Deputy Attorney General Sally Quillian Yates and former Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper appeared before the U.S. Senate committee probing into possible Russian interference in the 2016 elections yesterday. After hours of testimony, it became quite clear that little, if anything, new was learned. Democrat Senators focused on why it took the Trump administration 18 days to fire Michael T. Flynn after Yates informed the White House that Flynn may be subject to being blackmailed by the Russians? They also raised more questions about if the Trump campaign was colluding with Russia. Republican Senators focused more on the unmasking of the names of American citizens in intelligence reports who had been ′captured′ through ′incidental surveillance′. Also on who was responsible for the unmasking of names and who may have leaked this information to the Press?

Sally Yates hearing

I watched some of the hearings in between my usual TV viewing routine. I have to say it was a rather dull affair, if not a total waste of time. Most of the questions of actual importance could not be answered during this ′Open Hearing′ session by either Yates or Clapper. Some questions they couldn′t answer at all, either because they claim they didn′t know or that there was an ongoing investigation.

After their testimony, as well as that of James Comey last week, it seems to me that there is little evidence of any actual collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russians. That Russia may have tried to influence the outcome is possible, but that is par for the course. They′ve been trying to influence our elections for decades. Given voter responses in exit polls as to why they voted one way or the other, the Russians wasted their time and money. The election outcome was based on what the actual candidates did, or did not do.

As for the whole thing with Michael Flynn, much of The Media is making a big deal about how Barack Obama apparently ′warned′ Donald Trump about Flynn during a phone call shortly after the election. Naturally, Trump did not care about Obama′s opinion about Flynn, since Flynn was critical of how Obama was running the War on Terrorism. Trump agreed with Flynn on that score. On Sally Yates, it does seem a rather odd coincidence that within days after she talked with the White House about Flynn, the Washington Post was leaked a story about it.

Here we are some 7 months after the election and there is no evidence of Russia colluding with the Trump campaign. The FBI, the Justice Department and much of our intelligence apparatus had been looking into this at least since last June or July. The only criminal activity connected to any of this is the leaking of unmasked names from intelligence reports, as well as summaries of the reports, themselves. Clearly committed by members of the Obama administration, or by enthusiastic supporters of Hillary Clinton or Obama within said agencies.

Susan Rice, whom was one of several people who was responsible for some of the unmasking of names is refusing to voluntarily testify before Congress. We have recently learned that in 2016, well over 2,000 requests for unmasking of names occurred compared to only 650 in 2015. There appears to have been more interest in investigating the Trump campaign than there was with the whole use of a private email system by Hillary Clinton and the mishandling of classified material. At worse, Michael Flynn might have lied to the FBI when questioned. However, when the FBI questioned Hillary, they didn′t even keep a transcript. Clinton received undue leniency by the FBI, something which Flynn did not get.

The bottom line is simple. Sally Yates and James Clapper are covering their own butts, as well as those of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. Also, doing whatever they can to cast doubt and innuendo upon the Donald Trump administration. We know from the hearings about how the NSA eavesdropped on 300 Million Americans that James Clapper lied to Congress. So far, nobody is prosecuting him for that felony. Nor is anybody planning to prosecute Hillary Clinton for all of the violations of security procedures she committed. This whole thing about Michael Flynn stinks as much as the old witch hunt against Scooter Libby did. I hope that President Trump will exercise justice better than George W. Bush and grant Flynn clemency should Flynn be tried and found guilty of a minor mistake.

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