Curiouser and curiouser

On one hand we learn that the Obamans, spooked about the next administration, went beyond avoiding the shredding of documents:

As Inauguration Day approached, Obama White House officials grew convinced that the intelligence was damning and that they needed to ensure that as many people as possible inside government could see it, even if people without security clearances could not. Some officials began asking specific questions at intelligence briefings, knowing the answers would be archived and could be easily unearthed by investigators — including the Senate Intelligence Committee, which in early January announced an inquiry into Russian efforts to influence the election.

At intelligence agencies, there was a push to process as much raw intelligence as possible into analyses, and to keep the reports at a relatively low classification level to ensure as wide a readership as possible across the government — and, in some cases, among European allies. This allowed the upload of as much intelligence as possible to Intellipedia, a secret wiki used by American analysts to share information.

There was also an effort to pass reports and other sensitive materials to Congress. In one instance, the State Department sent a cache of documents marked “secret” to Senator Benjamin Cardin of Maryland days before the Jan. 20 inauguration. The documents, detailing Russian efforts to intervene in elections worldwide, were sent in response to a request from Mr. Cardin, the top Democrat on the Foreign Relations Committee, and were shared with Republicans on the panel.

The squirreling away of documents mattered, for now we learn that Jeff Sessions met with the Russian ambassador a few months ago:

Sessions did not mention either meeting during his confirmation hearings when he said he knew of no contacts between Trump surrogates and Russians. A Justice official said Sessions didn’t mislead senators during his confirmation.

The Washington Post first reported on Sessions’ meetings with the official.

Sergey Kislyak, the Russian ambassador, is considered by US intelligence to be one of Russia’s top spies and spy-recruiters in Washington, according to current and former senior US government officials.

I know Sessions will say — indeed, has said it already — that he met with Kislyak in his capacity as senator, but in the exchange with Al Franken during the confirmation hearings Sessions answered a question that wasn’t asked: Franken asked if he had any contact with Russian officials.

Except the question posed to him didn’t frame it like that at all – it asked point blank if he had “any” contact with Russian officials. even if that were true, the burden is on Sessions to disclose any meeting.

It’s obvious the Trump campaign, expecting defeat, wanted to shore up the boss’ business cred; when he won, taking themselves and the world by surprise, they prayed a GOP Congress would cover their asses.

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