Evelyn Farkas is the reason why Democrats didn’t want the 6,000-plus pages of testimony from the House Intelligence Committee hearings released.
I mean, she’s not the only one. The dozens of witnesses who went before the committee all testified to the exact same thing: There was no evidence linking the Trump campaign with Russia, no matter how much so many of them had intimated there was.
Farkas, however, is a special case. She was the former deputy assistant secretary of defense for Russia, Ukraine and Eurasia under the previous administration. She left that position in 2015, according to The Federalist. She’s also running for Congress in New York’s 17th district.
“I had a fear that somehow that information would disappear with the senior [Obama administration] people who left [that] it would be hidden away in the bureaucracy,” she said during the appearance.
She said Trump might even go so far as to destroy the evidence if he “found out how we knew what we knew about the Trump staff’s dealing with Russians.”
“So I became very worried because not enough was coming out into the open and I knew that there was more.”
Except she didn’t. Of course she didn’t, because there was none. She likely wouldn’t know if there was and she told the House Intelligence Committee as much when she was under questioning by Republican Rep. Trey Gowdy of South Carolina just several months later, on June 26, 2017.
Gowdy asked her about the appearance on the news channel, where she has a side gig as a commentator.
“Why don’t we go back to that sentence that I just asked you about. It says ‘the Trump folks, if they found out how we knew what we knew about their staff dealing with Russians,’” Gowdy said during the hearing.
“Well, how would you know what the U.S. government knew at that point? You didn’t work for it, did you?”
“I didn’t,” she said.
“Then how did you know?” Gowdy shot back.
“I didn’t know anything,” she responded.
Gowdy asked her why she would say that, and she said it was because she “had a strong suspicion.”
“Based on the media reports … and reporters calling me,” Farkas said.
“Dr. Farkas, how long have you been in or around intelligence?” Gowdy asked.
She replied that it had been 20 years.
“If you were to rank matters on the basis [of] evidentiary value, where would you rank media reports?” Gowdy asked. “Is it the same as intercepting a telephone call?”
This response was a doozy: “I’m a political scientist, not a lawyer, so I can’t deal with a –“
Gowdy responded that she didn’t need to be a lawyer and reiterated the question.
“It was not my job to be an intelligence analyst,” she said.
“Nor was it your job to be on national television to say how we knew what we knew about their staff dealing with the Russians,” Gowdy responded.
Needless to say, Farkas’ testimony is some of the most embarrassing that’s been released thus far. But to listen to her tell it, this is just because the president and “his far-right Republican cronies in his family, Congress, and on Fox News” are scared she’ll win the primary to participate in the general election in a reliably blue district in the southern part of the state.
“It is no coincidence their renewed attacks come on the heels of major national endorsements and fundraising momentum for my congressional campaign six weeks out from my election — they’re terrified at the prospect of my going to Congress because they know I’ll never waiver in my fight for accountability and the truth,” Farkas said in a statement to The Journal News of New York’s Lower Hudson Valley.
Or perhaps it’s because Farkas appeared on a cable TV channel that wouldn’t have a whit of interest in her unless she had intelligence bona fides and lied that she “knew” the Trump administration had been involved with the Russians during the 2016 campaign. I tend to think it’s the latter.
This was a media-driven farce and the Evelyn Farkases of the world knew it. Thus, she could go on MSNBC and give the impression she knew something that wasn’t so and viewers would believe her, in part because of the fact she worked in the intelligence community and in part because they wanted to believe it.
And all of these people who’d intimated in similar ways — if not quite those exact words — that they knew Trump was a Kremlin puppet came before the House Intelligence Committee and said they had no evidence for that.
This is why they all didn’t want those 6,000-odd pages of testimony out — least of all California Rep. Adam Schiff, who’s the chairman of the committee and is responsible for no small amount of Russia conspiracy theorizing himself. This was all nothing more than narrative from the start.
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