Sunday, January 19, 2020

MAJORLY UPDATED: Top NSC Staffer Escorted From WH

This is pretty interesting. From The Hill--Trump's newest Russia adviser, Andrew Peek, leaves post. "Leaves post, as in: placed on leave pending a security related investigation and escorted from building.

Andrew Peek, the head of European and Russian affairs at the National Security Council (NSC), has left his post three months after he started, people familiar with the situation told Bloomberg on Saturday evening. 
Sources told the publication that Peek was escorted from the White House on Friday. 
Earlier on Saturday, Axios reported that Peek had been placed on administrative leave pending a security-related investigation. 
Peek joined the NSC in November, coming over from the State Department, where he was a deputy assistant secretary.

I've seen speculation that he was brought over to the NSC from State because it would be easier to nail him at the NSC.

Son of Liz Peek.

UPDATE: Commenter Anonymous, below, has provided a link to CTH's commentry on this situation. It comes at a fortuitous moment. I've been doing a bit of preparation for a new post on the Structure of the Deep State. I was moved to do that by commenter Joe's comments, also below. In response to Joe I suggested that the interlocking web of loyalties, supervision, and control among Deep State agencies and Departments render Presidential control problematic at best. CTH's thoughts on the Andrew Peek situation are an object lesson in that regard. Here is the CTH post, which I highly recommend:

NSC Russia Expert Escorted From White House Under Intelligence Investigation

I'll simply provide the barest of summaries, while noting that this situation has the potential to be extremely important--including during the impeachment trial.

The biggest question, the one on all our minds, is: Where is Andrew Peek coming from, from a political standpoint--in the broad sense. Watch how CTH's analysis proceeds, and the names that come up. Then ask, where do all these names fit in the big scheme of Trumpian governance?

The first thing we need to ponder is the fact that Andrew Peek came to the NSC from Mike Pompeo's State Department. The presumption must be that Peek moved to the NSC with Pompeo's blessing, as well as the blessing of National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien.

CTH flately states: "Andrew Peek was a mole. A resistance spy sent into the Trump administration as part of the allied deep state resistance effort." IMO, that's probably the most plausible working assumption. Peek was a mole and he got caught. Of course, the next question is: When was Peek discovered to be a mole? Was that discovered while he was still at DoS, or was it only discovered after he arrived at the NSC? What, if anything, does this tell us about Pompeo and/or O'Brien? One presumes that they understood his background.

CTH identifies the key to recognizing Andrew Peek’s ideology as his connection to former U.S. General John Allen. Allen was part of Hillary Clinton’s campaign.  He spoke at the DNC convention for Hillary Clinton. He was, in short, a Dem general in the mold of David Petraeus. (Michael Flynn fit that mold, up until his time at DIA.) Allen also had links to the Obama administration. Again--Pompeo and O'Brien?

According to CTH, Allen "had a serious zipper problem" and was forced to retire in 2012. But he was brought back in 2014. Which means that his connections to the Obama administration run deep and recent. So, with that background, consider this from CTH:

Andrew Peek coming from the stable of John Allen tells us everything we need to know about the ideology of Mr. Peek.  There’s no doubt in my mind that Andrew Peek is therefore an ideological member of the resistance similar to another NSC appointment, Alexander Vindman.
Keep in mind, National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien also comes from inside the Dept of State. So whether Mike Pompeo and Robert O’Brien set-up Peek as a mole, or whether Peek’s activities were discovered without their foreknowledge is an open question.  However, I find it impossible to believe that NSA Robert O’Brien didn’t know the ideology of Peek prior to the appointment.

So, CTH is arguing that Peek as a mole was possibly operating with the knowledge of current NSA Robert O'Brien. And possibly Mike Pompeo, although CTH doesn't go there. Or another possibility: While O'Brien and/or Pompeo knew of Peek's proclivities, they remained loyal to Trump and cooperated in an internal security op. Time will tell.

CTH concludes by noting a key tell. Adam Schiff complained yesterday:

The Intelligence Community is beginning to withhold documents from Congress on the issue of Ukraine. They appear to be succumbing to pressure from the administration. The NSA in particular is withholding what are potentially relevant documents to our oversight.

At which CTH observes:

Considering the timeline; and considering the topic(s); and considering the ideology; there’s a strong possibility the person on the other end of Peeks’ communication effort was someone in the network of Adam Schiff, perhaps Mary McCord or similar.

And now we await the beginning of the Senate's Impeachment Theater.

Hmmmm. Are there or are there not coincidences in politics?


  1. Who is Liz Peek? I'm curious but not that interested to look it up. Call it "Deep State" fatigue.

    1. Liz Peek is a writer, commentator on the finance industry, and philanthropist.

    2. Fortunately he had the Federalist guys doing the judges.


    I digress.

    As I speculated a week or so ago, they own Rosey.

    Barr must know this, but it makes you wonder...

    1. Yeah. Ya gotta believe this could be really big.

    2. Here's the link to the Sharyl Atkisson brief. Anyone who hasn't read this, it's the most astonishing thing. Has to be read to be believed.

    3. Oops, of course - they're still just trying to get it started. Thanks.

  3. In a January 15 comment, Titan 28 asked

    "...These agencies. Under what branch of government do the CIA & NSA reside? I searched about and got no straight answer. ..."

    NSA, along with NRO, DIA, and NGA are Department of Defense agencies and are members of the Intelligence Community. NRO, DIA and NGA directors are appointed by the Secretary of Defense with DNI concurrence. NSA's director is appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate. NSA, NRO and NGA have "National" instead of "Defense" as the first name of their agency to reflect their Title 50 responsibilities. Since DIA is, in many, but, not all, ways, the DoD version of the CIA, it has "Defense" as its first name. NSA, NGA, DIA and NRO are also Title 10 agencies, with a combat support function. They are known as DoD intelligence agencies. Senior executives within the federal government are typically known as members of the Senior Executive Service (SES). For these four agencies, their senior executives are appointed to the Defense Intelligence Senior Executive Service (DISES).

    Prior to 9/11, the CIA was the head of the Intelligence Community and was known as the DCI, the Director of Central Intelligence, as well being dual-hatted as the Director of the CIA. Post 9/11 reform placed the Office of the Director of Intelligence above the CIA and the DNI (Director of National Intelligence) removed the dual hat of the CIA Director. The DNI is not the head official of the Intelligence Community. The CIA version of an SES is a member of the Senior Intelligence Service (SIS).

    Lastly, the CIA, DIA, NSA, NRO and NGA are known as the "Big Five" of the Intelligence Community.

    I used some acronyms but you should be able to successfully search to answer any questions you may still have.

    Mr. Wauck,

    Thank you for indulging this long comment by me.

    1. Not at all. I thank you--I seem to have missed that comment, somehow. Let me add to your response.

      Titan 28 asked "under what branch do these agencies (CIA and NSA) reside?"

      My understanding is that their status is a bit different than other agencies that fit under a department.

      After WW2 the NSC was created as an arm of the White House, reporting directly to the President. As of 2004, here's how that works.

      The Director of National Intel (DNI) is a cabinet level officer who reports directly to the president.

      The DNI supervises the Intel Community (IC), but at least some members of the IC come under departments for various purposes, two hats. Most prominent would be the FBI, which is an IC member but also an agency of the DoJ.

      The CIA otoh is an "independent agency" under the DNI. "Independent agencies" while constitutionally managed by the executive branch, are independent of presidential control, usually because the president's power to dismiss the agency head or a member is limited. To me, that seems constitutionally dubious.

      These are very important but also complicated matters, and establish a Deep State that seems to operate independently and extra constitutionally in some respects.

      Anyone is free to weigh in. I'm ready to be educated.

  4. Typo correction.

    " The DNI is not the head official of the Intelligence Community." should be is now the head.

  5. Mr. Wauck,

    Thank you for adding some things that I did not.

    I work for one of the Big Five, one of the four DoD agencies. Until I retire, I am hesitant to identify which one, just for fear of retaliation.

    Anyone hired by NGA, DIA, NRO or NSA is a DoD employee. While the DNI certainly does exercise oversight over these agencies, I'd say the SecDef has more control. But it's not like I've ever observed the two squabble. If they do, it's behind the scenes.

    Rumsfeld fired Clapper when Clapper was head of NGA. Clapper and Hayden (then-NSA head) were planning to testify to Congress that NGA and NSA should be moved under DNI. That put a stop to that.

    1. Right. The interlocking web of loyalties and supervision and control make all this so hard for a POTUS to get a grip on.

    2. I understand we live in complicated times, but that old Gordian Knot approach is starting to smell good.

      In The Looming Tower, the author makes pretty clear that inter and intra-agency squabbling, in addition to mind-boggling ineptitude, led in great part to the 9-11 disaster.

      Does America really need all these snooping agencies? Are we better or worse off with their continued existence?

  6. Supposedly Mr. Peek was part of the Trump transition team and a Trump Loyalist.

    So is this a good or bad thing for Trump he was escorted out?

    Seems a lot of Trump supporters have been sidelined in the administration.

    1. Peek was no Trump loyalist and we know for a fact there were several moles on his "transition team". Peek worked under several Obama loyalists including Gen. John Allen. He's a snake and he likely got caught.

    2. I suspect he got that reputation of being a Trump loyalist because people have reflexively assumed: like mother like son. CTH argues convincingly that that is not true in this case.

  7. "As a Ukraine expert, Vindman reports to civilian Andrew Peek"
    "Andrew Peek coming from the stable of John Allen tells us everything we need to know about the ideology of Mr. Peek"

    From CTH:

    1. Thanks. I've worked that in as a major update.


  8. 1. "Peek had been placed on administrative leave pending a security-related investigation." Who would conduct a 'security-related' investigation of an NSC official? NSC itself? White House? Secret Service? FBI?

    2. CTH: "Andrew Peek was a mole." May well be true. But consider: Peek has worked primarily for Republicans. If O'Brien and Pompeo are part of the Resistance the plot has certainly thickened.

    3. Also consider: Peek's mother is an outspoken Trumpster.

    4. Is it possible the Deep State itself is going after Peek? How do Schiff's comments play in?

    Six ways to Sunday...

    1. #1 I hafta assume that would be the FBI, or that they would take the lead.

      #2 Mike Pompeo, then CIA director, "we lied, we cheated, we stole,"

      #3 Yes.

      #4 Yes. Schiff's comments would tend to exonerate O'Brien from complicity, I believe. Or could they be a ruse to lull Trump into a false sense of security?

  9. A leaky Schiff gets no intelligence.

    Rob S

  10. Peek was caught in a canary trap by the FBI leak investigation task force. Remember the story about Huber clearing Hillary on the ServerGate scandal.

    Will these clowns never learn. This smacks of the old winning the lottery scam that is used by LE to roundup bail jumpers. No matter how many times they run this trap, the crooks never fail to fall for it.