DHS whistleblower accuses Chad Wolf of boosting Russia and white supremacists. DHS isn't talking
For weeks, Donald Trump ordered a rag-tag mix of border patrol, U. S. marshals, and other elements of federal enforcement—none of them trained to deal with the public—into the streets of Portland, Oregon, where they upped the level of violence, grabbed people off the street without charges, and savagely beat a group of local moms trying to get them to halt their violence. After some weeks, Trump finally decided he’d done enough to generate footage for his doom-themed campaign commercials (with a few supplements) and took his beat-down squad off the streets.
Understandably, Congress would like to talk to the people who thought that dragging people into unmarked vans, shooting journalists in the face, defying local officials, and filling the streets with banned chemical weapons was a great idea. They’ve asked officials form the Department of Homeland Security to provide witnesses about the incident in Portland, and about ongoing efforts to create a make-believe threat of “antifa terrorists” to justify their actions, while ignoring their own analysis showing the genuine threat posed by white supremacist groups.
At the same time, Congress is dealing with a whistleblower complaint from a former DHS official who says that Wolf ordered him to stop trying to both stop prevent Russian interference, and instead create a false narrative about China and Iran. That same officials says that the white supremacist threat was deliberately played down as DHS suppressed information that might be “embarrassing” to Trump. But the DHS has decided that it doesn’t want to talk about any of this. Instead, it’s refusing to provide witnesses to the House intelligence Committee, setting off yet another conflict between a Congress that needs to know the truth, and a White House that needs to keep the truth hidden.
Failing to cooperate with Congress in any way has become the hallmark of the Donald Trump White House. Statements that re supposed to be regularly provided to the House, are not being sent. Standard briefings are being halted. And from the moment he sat down, Trump has been bypassing Congress entirely with an unprecedented number of executive orders and the use of a national emergency declaration to get around the congressional budget.
As The Washington Post reports, DHS has sent a response to Congress saying that they simply have too many questions. They have “unreasonably broadened their scope” after getting the whistleblower complaint from former DHS official Brian Murphy who says he was twice told to stop reporting about the threat of Russian interference in the election—in spite of compelling evidence that Russia is absolutely interfering in the election. Murphy also reports that he was told to remove statements about white supremacists “to bring them in line with President Trump’s public comments.” Among his claims, Murphy says that a July analysis that showed Russia interfering in a way designed to help Trump was not released because “it was embarrassing to Trump.”
DHS officials have denied Murphy’s charges and claimed they are “looking forward” to an investigation. Except for the part where they cooperate with that investigation.
But DHS has tried to explain to Congress that everything is just fine. Rather than having anyone answer questions, assistant secretary Beth Spivey provided committee chair Adam Schiff with an email in which whistleblower Murphy says that “The acting secretary has never given me any direction on what to do Regarding [sic] threats,” only … it’s not a whole email. It’s just a that text from a larger statement … text that looks suspiciously as if even that tiny scrap has been edited.
Schiff has said the Intelligence Committee will consider “compulsory process” to force witnesses to appear, but so far the House has been unwilling to move forward with steps that would prevent the White House from simply turning any effort to pull in witnesses into a months-long court battle.