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?