Questions for Congressman Keating and Senator Warren [OPINION]
Good day, Congressman Keating and Senator Warren. I just wanted to see what your thinking is on an important matter for this nation.
Last Friday, March 22, 2019, you both sent out media statements following the Special Counsel's handing over of their concluded investigative findings into the Trump campaign and Russian collusion:
“The purpose of the Mueller investigation was to investigate threats and attacks to our democracy. The public should have full access to all the information in the Mueller report, absent any material that would compromise intelligence sources or methods." That is what you said last Friday, Mr. Keating.
Senator Warren, you had this to say on Twitter:
"Robert Mueller’s finished his report. He’s delivered it to Attorney General William Barr. The American people deserve the full report...."
While I tend to fully agree as nothing comes to mind to contest your positions, I wonder—why did you not also demand that the public get full access to all the information that would not compromise intelligence sources or methods in the FBI's FISA warrant issued to investigate a serious presidential contender, Donald J. Trump? Are we somehow not deserving to know why in that instance?
If that was the case then, why aren't you calling for it now? It seems clear to everyone that the Special Counsel, who had access to all evidence allegedly accumulated by the Justice Department, and the Department of Defense (NSA, CIA) has concluded that they saw no evidence of collaboration or collusion with Russia by the Trump Administration or by members of his 2016 campaign.
What evidence did Obama-era CIA Director James Brennan see to make the following statement in a New York Times Op-Ed on August 16, 2018?
"Mr. Trump’s claims of no collusion are, in a word, hogwash."
Of course, this "Deep State" old warhorse knew better than to state anything close to that while under oath in the House Intelligence Committee hearing on May 23, 2017, answering a question from Rep. Trey Gowdy:
Gowdy: "Did evidence exist of collusion, coordination, conspiracy, between the Trump campaign and Russian state actors at the time you learned of 2016 efforts?”
Brennan: "I don’t know whether or not such collusion — and that’s your term, such collusion existed. But I know that there was a sufficient basis of information and intelligence that required further investigation by the bureau to determine whether or not U.S. persons were actively conspiring, colluding with Russian officials.”
And what of the statements by President Obama's FBI Director James Comey?
“There was a basis for investigating, meaning there were facts to support an investigation” into alleged ties between Russia and members of Trump’s campaign, Comey said in an interview with the PBS NewsHour’s Judy Woodruff on April 30, 2018. “To say there was no evidence just wasn’t the case.”
Okay, so Mr. Brennan and Mr. Comey made those specific public allegations. Don't you also believe that the American people deserve to know, "Where's the beef?" Mr. Congressman, Madam Senator?
A (then) private citizen, Donald J. Trump, had his civil rights more than violated if there really was no evidence presented to a FISA court judge who signed a legal unleashing of the extraordinary powers of the United States federal government onto a citizen.
Assuming that you do support the Constitution, Rep. Keating and Sen.Warren, do you also demand full transparency for the American people to have access to the information that the Obama Administration assured us was there but that the Mueller Special Counsel has concluded was not, which called for requesting and obtaining a judge's signature for FISA warrants?
Here is a great example of the level of transparency in releasing the evidence the Department of Justice was willing to share: page 3 of the Carter Page FISA warrant as it relates to the Trump campaign and Russian collusion.
Are you satisfied with that level of transparency, Congressman Keating and Senator Warren? Will you be consistent with your tolerance of this level of redaction? Neither of you spoke out when that was released. Come to think of it, neither of you called for its release, either.
As a constituent within your Massachusetts 9th District, Congressman, and in your state, Senator, I am concerned that you are not seeking to ensure lawful use of and execution of these powers of the Executive Branch of office. After seeing you ignore the concerning implications that the prior administration may have abused their powers and targeted a citizen of their choosing, I'm worried that you are both being a partisan opportunists and, quite frankly, making terribly irresponsible political decisions to further divide our nation in an attempt to dissuade the American people from accepting the exonerating conclusions of Mueller's findings. Please represent all of your constituents.
I hope you will put my concerns at ease, Congressman Keating and Senator Warren. Please be consistent with your concerns for transparency and demand that the public see the same level for it to better understand how we got here in the first place.
That, we also deserve.
Ken Pittman is the host of The Ken Pittman Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard Saturdays from 9 a.m. to noon. Contact him at ken.pittman@