National Security / Politics

The Breathtaking Allegations Swirling Around the Brookings Institution

AMAC Exclusive – By Andrew Abbott

brookings

Early this month, in yet another blow to “Russiagate,” Igor Danchenko, a key contributor to reports alleging a conspiracy between Russia and Donald Trump, was arrested for lying to the FBI. The indictment states that Danchenko repeatedly told Bureau agents that the information contained within the now-discredited Steele Dossier was sourced from Russia. In reality, the indictment claims, the accusations that suggested deep ties between the 2016 Trump Campaign and Russia were largely derived from “chatter and gossip circulating in American political circles” (and that is describing this compilation of lies generously). Now, one of D.C.’s premier “nonpartisan” think tanks, the Brookings Institution, appears to be enmeshed in the controversy.

For five years, accusations ranging from a conspiracy theory that Trump was an acquired Russian asset to Vladimir Putin “hacking” the 2016 election were largely derived from this dossier and promoted as verified fact across much of the mainstream media. Regarding the arrest, the left-leaning outlet The Nation published an article by Aaron Mate that referred to the Steele Dossier and the media’s fixation with it as “a case study in mass hysteria and media credulity.”

While this latest revelation has effectively severed any last shreds of credibility the Steele Dossier might have had, it raises new questions as to how such a baseless conspiracy theory was accepted as truth by the media and virtually every elected Democrat. In an ironic twist, while the Steele Dossier exposed nothing about Trump, the establishment reaction to the Steele Dossier has revealed corruption and partisan manipulation across the mainstream media, and now, appears to implicate numerous figures associated with the Brookings Institution.

The Brookings Institution is a 105-year-old think tank that purports to “represent diverse points of view.” Danchenko worked at the organization for several years under “Russian Expert” Fiona Hill (who, very interestingly, went on to play a key role on the National Security Council in the Trump administration, and was a “star” witness against the President at Trump’s first impeachment). According to the Wall Street Journal, Brookings was where Danchenko received his “entrée” into the inner circles of “America’s liberal foreign-policy elite.” It was Fiona Hill who introduced him to ex-spy Christopher Steele. As noted by Fox News Contributor Jonathan Turley, “Brookings appears so often in accounts related to the Russian collusion scandal that it could be Washington’s alternative to the Kevin Bacon parlor game. It appears that many of these figures are within six degrees of Brookings.”

While the think tank purports to be “nonpartisan,” the role of Brookings scholars and personnel in the “Trump Resistance” movement has raised serious questions about the organization’s activities.

The day after the 2016 election (something Brookings scholars assured supporters would not happen) Brookings employees were told that they could take the day off to process the emotional trauma of Trump’s victory. Many of the workers who did show up came to work in black attire: mourning outfits to mark the day. While many reportedly acted traumatized and humbled, the work of some Brookings personnel was anything but. Before Trump was even sworn into office, it appears that core members of the Brookings Institution were hard at work undermining the legitimacy of his win.

Brookings maintains a legal website called Lawfare that unleashed a torrent of articles making the case for Trump’s immediate investigation, impeachment, and yes, his arrest. In July 2016, Lawfare Executive Editor Susan Hennessey and Editor-in-Chief Ben Wittes published a blog post entitled “Is Trump a Russian Agent? A Legal Analysis.” They made the case that there were grounds to target Trump directly under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). This was one of the earliest overt moves to directly get the FBI to investigate the soon-to-be President of the United States on the basis of D.C. rumors.

Normally, the blog posts of a think tank are largely inconsequential to the wider world. In the case of Brookings, however, we know that senior officials at the FBI were actively consuming their content. Last year, it was revealed that former FBI agent Lisa Page texted a Brookings blog post to Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe, saying, “You should read this – the D [Director James Comey] surely has by now. Some of the internal links are well worth your time as well.” Only a few days later, the FBI formally opened the now infamous Crossfire Hurricane investigation into links between the Trump Administration and Russia. Wittes also wrote numerous pieces that defended and lionized former FBI Director Comey who later revealed that the two were close friends and had been for some time. In the days leading up to the 2016 election, Wittes published a blog post titled “A Coalition of All Democratic Forces, Part III: What if Trump Wins?” where he coined the phrase “insurance policy” as to what must be done if Trump won. This was one of the most visible and outright calls for an across-the-board resistance campaign against the President of the United States at every level of government and society. The left-leaning New York Magazine referred to Wittes as “The Man Who Made Liberals Newly Enamored of the Deep State.”

Hennessey and Wittes continued the drumbeat of articles all but declaring Trump was as good as indicted all through the election, and all throughout the administration.

Lawfare became the de facto defender and protector of disgraced and rejected bureaucrats who failed in their campaign to take down Trump. Another Ukraine impeachment star witness, former Army Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman, joined the blog after leaving the Trump Administration. Former FBI General Counsel James A Baker, who was heavily involved in the early days of the FBI’s Russiagate investigation, also joined the publication as a contributor. The blog routinely defended disgraced ex-FBI agents Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, later retaining Strzok as a contributor. They, in turn, routinely invoked and celebrated the publication. As recently as last month, Page was encouraging her followers to donate to them. Sounding like she might expect to be a criminal defendant one day, she wrote, “When they ship me off to Girly Gitmo and take away my ability to send texts, I hope I’ll still at least have access to https://lawfareblog.com”.

Frighteningly, Susan Hennessey herself is now on Biden’s national security team, in a post at the National Security Division of the Department of Justice. And for all Lawfare’s tireless “reporting” about the intricacies of Russia-gate, the indictment of Danchenko was dismissively reported by the blog with less than 500 words by an intern.

Brookings’ apparently deep ties to the origins of the Russia Hoax also highlight concerns about the culture that seems to have taken hold at this institution that has been admired in Washington for more than a century. The organization has been the subject of a number of eyebrow-raising stories in recent years.

In August 2016, Brookings was at the center of a major New York Times expose that suggested its research had been heavily compromised by corporate money. The Times reported:

“Thousands of pages of internal memos and confidential correspondence between Brookings and other donors — like JPMorgan Chase, the nation’s largest bank; K.K.R., the global investment firm; Microsoft, the software giant; and Hitachi, the Japanese conglomerate — show that financial support often came with assurances from Brookings that it would provide “donation benefits,” including setting up events featuring corporate executives with government officials, according to documents obtained by The New York Times and the New England Center for Investigative Reporting.”

In 2014, the Institute was involved in another swirl of charges, including allegedly offering Norway political favors while accepting multi-million-dollar donations from the country. That same year, the Institute was revealed to have taken millions of dollars from Qatar under deeply questionable circumstances that many suggested undermined the institution’s scholarship on the Middle East. The think tank was also the subject of a Washington Post article in 2017 exposing favorable coverage of Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei, while the organization also accepted funding from the CCP-linked company.

Brookings’ apparently decaying culture was not merely a matter of accepting donations, either. In 2017, at the height of the #MeToo movement, Brookings suspended senior fellow Leon Wieseltier for his “inappropriate behavior” toward women. And in yet another recent controversy, Brookings has hired Kimberlé W. Crenshaw as a Nonresident Senior Fellow. Crenshaw, a Neo-Marxist, and one of the leading writers on Critical Race Theory, believes objectivity cannot exist, the Civil Rights Movement accomplished little, and openly calls for discrimination on the basis of race.

The ongoing Durham investigation has embarrassed and humbled the mainstream media and many, once-hallowed Washington institutions. While most of these embarrassments cut deeply, an investigation by a Special Counsel’s office is another level entirely. And that is to say nothing of potential civil exposure. This well-endowed Washington institution better hope it has good insurance.

Andrew Abbott is the pen name of a writer and public affairs consultant with over a decade of experience in DC at the intersection of politics and culture.

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Paul Struble
4 days ago

Lyndon Johnson once publicly accused one of his political opponents of having sexual relationships with his barnyard animals. When his associates accused him of crossing the line, he laughed and said he knew it wasn’t true, but just wanted to hear his opponent deny it.

What he said about African American was far worse.

Prospector
4 days ago

Please tell me that the BI is not a non-profit organization.

PERRY BONNEY
5 days ago

“This well-endowed Washington institution better hope it has good insurance.” – article

While I hope that it doesn’t.

Used to be a worthwhile organization, but, obviously, it has been radicalized against the United States. Time for it to go.

Christopher Putnam
5 days ago

I certainly was one who bought the Russian Hoax foisted by the Brooking Inst. as well as Steele and his cohorts but one is more easily fooled when then president Trump asked Russia to help themselves to our election process on national TV. Then Trump refused to provide requested information by Muller and that further implied he had something to hide and to this day I have my doubts. Why go through all the legal machinations and deception if there was no there, there?

Prospector
4 days ago

Would you help with your own lynching?

Tacitus
4 days ago
Reply to  Prospector

Probably….didn’t most of Stalin’s show trial victims? Self- criticism and confessing your privilege. The weak and credulous end up believing whatever they’re told to believe.

Matthew Florio
4 days ago

See, that’s where I strain to give people like yourself any intellectual credibility.
“Asked Russia to help themselves to our election process on national TV”….you say, which tells me that you really think the world is like a comic book, where the villain conveniently explains his evil plan in great detail just before the hero escapes his trap and foils his schemes. It’s ridiculous, and pretending to be stupid enough to believe it is offensive.

George
6 days ago

We all know that any false declarations made against President Trump by this elite think tank are due to Covid. That’s what the democrats and liberals blame for everything. Oh, except for the policies inherited from President Trump when America was successful.

Memyeslfandi
6 days ago

“(something Brookings scholars assured supporters would not happen” If you click on the link you will never once see the article say that Donald Trump won’t win. It repeatedly stresses that Donald might win, even once saying that Trump was favored to win.

Willy E
8 days ago

Looks like the Brookings bunch needs a thorough investigation to see if they are in bed with the CCP, and if so, they all should be indited, tried for treason, and if found guilty, incarcerated.

Mario Capparuccini
9 days ago

Any organization aligned with the Democratic Party will be full of lies. We should not be surprised. I am grateful for AMAC and the Epoch Times. I certainly do not listen to or read liberal news sources.

Eddie Van Halen
9 days ago

Stay away from “Brookings.” They are covert communists.

Lynn
9 days ago

not covert any more

hrwolfe
9 days ago

As much as I do like this column and new factual revelations about the Brookings Institute are welcomed the NYT and WaPo are hardly paragons of facts should as well be noted. The NYT got Pulitzers for the Russia Hoax.

M. G.
10 days ago

“it raises new questions as to how such a baseless conspiracy theory was accepted as truth by the media and virtually every elected Democrat”,

Your kidding with this statement, right.

Tacitus
5 days ago
Reply to  M. G.

Of course it should have been amended to read something more like “…how such a baseless conspiracy theory was brazenly trumpeted and broadcast wholesale as truth by every yellow journalist and politic worm with a twitter account.”

dunce
10 days ago

Many stories begin with “according to a recent study released by the Brookings institution” and then i know it is not worth my time to read.

Wanda
10 days ago

The main thing to this is that Hillary Clinton was involved and the ousted FBI, CIA, NSA directors were also….the people who took this piece of lies and lied to the Fisa Court have yet to be arrested….if you lie to a court to obtain a warrant….that is a felony….yet, so many of these people who were involved are still walking around and should be in jail….any citizen of this country would go to jail for lying to the FBI or lying to a court. They arrested a small person in this big game and should be going after the big guys and we ALL know who the big guys were…and the FBI knows also….do your damn job and start arresting the real criminals.

Max
10 days ago
Reply to  Wanda

Agree with your comment but nothing is going to happen while the current administration is in charge and besides nothing happened to Hillary and company while the Republicans were in charge. So much for justice.

Peter K
10 days ago
Reply to  Max

The current administration, the Obama administration, several in the Trump administration, federal judges, members of the DOJ and FBI, and on and on. We should be accustomed to those in power getting off scot-free because THEY have dirt on those that remain behind the scenes and they will do anything to remain that way.

gin
9 days ago
Reply to  Max

It seems hurt thou not the oil and the wine is already happening.

insidious pall
10 days ago

There is another problem with Brookings. (Dr) Andre Perry has been publicly excoriating real estate appraisers as being racist, white supremacists, etc. He bases his assertion on the fact that a home in a historically Black neighborhood is worth less than a similar home in a white neighborhood. This assertion is packed with ridiculous assumptions about who lives where and that real estate appraisers are causing values to be unequal, thereby robbing African Americans of billions. It wholly ignores the fact that real estate values are created by supply and demand, like anything else. Appraisers do not set value, they reflect market activity based on market evidence. Because most appraisers are white, they are an easy target for Perry and Brookings. Of course the Biden administration has bought into this nonsense and the result is that appraisers across the country are being publicly accused of biased appraisals. Media outlets breathlessly report these accusations as factual, even though they are easily and summarily deconstructed by knowledgeable appraisers.

Wanda
10 days ago
Reply to  insidious pall

The Biden administration has not bought into it….they started it under Obama.

Bill
9 days ago
Reply to  Wanda

BS, biden was involved while under obama as vise president they are all crooked

insidious pall
5 days ago
Reply to  Wanda

In his campaign for president last year, Biden specifically called out real estate appraisers performing biased appraisals and said he would address this problem if elected. Biden’s hand-picked CFPB Director Chopra is making appraiser bias one of his top priorities. So yes, the Biden administration has fully signed on.

JPhillips173
10 days ago

The entire Russian Collusion story can be summed up with a well known old saying.

“You might beat the crime, but you won’t beat the ride”.

The process was the punishment.

John L Davis
10 days ago

The Brookings Institute is one of many deep state fostering think tanks populated by elitist primarily democrats who see “flyover country” as deplorable, expendable, and despicable. They, like fired former Crossfire Hurricane FBI agent Peter Strozck, see normal patriotic Americans who love their country, flag, etc., as embarrassing, smelly sub-humans who do not even deserve the right to be heard.

Hopefully, in November 2022 and 2024, these arrogant narcissistic elitists will get their comeuppance with a red wave election that sweeps their favorite democrat socialist congressmen and senators out to sea and ushers in an era of American Renaissance where we end the Climate Change hysteria, build the wall and enforce our borders, stimulate our energy industry to once again dominate the world’s output, and various other Trumpian policies that had America’s economy roaring.

THESE PEOPLE REPRESENT EVERYTHING WRONG WITH AMERICA!

dunce
10 days ago
Reply to  John L Davis

They will persist forever because they can not be removed by elections.Their plush offices will be as lasting as the Vatican and occupied by political liberal bishops of deceit.

Eddie Van Halen
9 days ago
Reply to  John L Davis

PLEASE, do NOT support Brookings. They are SWAMP “things.”

really concerned
10 days ago

You, in any other country this would be treason and those behind this would be in front of a firing squad.

Winston Bela
10 days ago

So many liberal think that they are the center of the political world with left and right emanating from their own position being neutral. Reminds of William F. Buckley: “Liberals claim to want to give a hearing to other views, but then are shocked and offended to discover that there are other views.”

Eddie Van Halen
9 days ago
Reply to  Winston Bela

Bela – you are way too kind th those SWAMP dogs.

Atlas Carson
10 days ago

So its official! The Brookings Institute is a political whore available for 30 pieces of silver. This is news?

Jack Tavy
10 days ago

How do I get rid of the little red circle? It is distracting and irritating. Cannot read the article in peace!

Rhonda
10 days ago
Reply to  Jack Tavy

I’ve complained about it many times, to no avail.

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