New Report Hints at What Happened to ‘Missing Binder’ Showing CIA Involvement in Russia Hoax

New Report Hints at What Happened to ‘Missing Binder’ Showing CIA Involvement in Russia Hoax  Donald Trump

A new report follows up on the bombshell unleashed on Tuesday suggesting the location of the “missing binder” showing CIA involvement in an international espionage operation to frame Donald Trump as a pro-Russian traitor during the 2016 election.

The Politics Brief previously reported on a CNN report written by infamous Russia hoaxer Natasha Bertrand, along with Evan Perez, Zachary Cohen, Jeremy Herb, and Katie Bo Lillis and published in December 2023, which suggests the “real” reason for the FBI raid on Mar-a-Lago.

A binder containing highly classified information related to Russian election interference went missing at the end of Donald Trump’s presidency, raising alarms among intelligence officials that some of the most closely guarded national security secrets from the US and its allies could be exposed, sources familiar with the matter told CNN.

Its disappearance, which has not been previously reported, was so concerning that intelligence officials briefed Senate Intelligence Committee leaders last year about the missing materials and the government’s efforts to retrieve them, the sources said.

In the two-plus years since Trump left office, the missing intelligence does not appear to have been found.

The binder contained raw intelligence the US and its NATO allies collected on Russians and Russian agents, including sources and methods that informed the US government’s assessment that Russian President Vladimir Putin sought to help Trump win the 2016 election, sources tell CNN.

The intelligence was so sensitive that lawmakers and congressional aides with top secret security clearances were able to review the material only at CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia, where their work scrutinizing it was itself kept in a locked safe.

However, the real reason this binder would be so interesting to the Biden IC slips out in a subsequence passage.

The binder was last seen at the White House during Trump’s final days in office. The former president had ordered it brought there so he could declassify a host of documents related to the FBI’s Russia investigation. Under the care of then-White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, the binder was scoured by Republican aides working to redact the most sensitive information so it could be declassified and released publicly.

The Russian intelligence was just a small part of the collection of documents in the binder, described as being 10 inches thick and containing reams of information about the FBI’s “Crossfire Hurricane” investigation into the 2016 Trump campaign and Russia. But the raw intelligence on Russia was among its most sensitive classified materials, and top Trump administration officials repeatedly tried to block the former president from releasing the documents.

The day before leaving office, Trump issued an order declassifying most of the binder’s contents, setting off a flurry of activity in the final 48 hours of his presidency. Multiple copies of the redacted binder were created inside the White House, with plans to distribute them across Washington to Republicans in Congress and right-wing journalists.

Instead, copies initially sent out were frantically retrieved at the direction of White House lawyers demanding additional redactions.

Tucked into the following paragraphs in the story is a matter that would be a true cause for alarm in the FBI and CIA: The binder was reportedly not recovered in its FBI raid.

Just minutes before Joe Biden was inaugurated, Meadows rushed to the Justice Department to hand-deliver a redacted copy for a last review. Years later, the Justice Department has yet to release all of the documents, despite Trump’s declassification order. Additional copies with varying levels of redactions ended up at the National Archives.

But an unredacted version of the binder containing the classified raw intelligence went missing amid the chaotic final hours of the Trump White House. The circumstances surrounding its disappearance remain shrouded in mystery.

US officials repeatedly declined to discuss any government efforts to locate the binder or confirm that any intelligence was missing.

The binder was not among the classified items found in last year’s search of Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort, according to a US official familiar with the matter, who said the FBI was not looking specifically for intelligence related to Russia when it obtained a search warrant for the former president’s residence last year.

There’s also no reference to the binder or the missing Russian intelligence in the June indictment of Trump over the mishandling of classified documents at Mar-a-Lago.

Now, there is more information on the location of this “missing binder.” It is believed to be hidden by the U.S. government itself.

Public, a Substack by Michael Shellenberger, Matt Taibbi, and Alex Gutentag, provides more information on the suspected whereabouts of the “missing binder.”

Multiple sources believe that Trump’s possession of the binder, or one of multiple binders, led the FBI to raid his home in Mar-a-Lago, which led to the prosecution of Trump by Justice Department special prosecutor Jack Smith.

A source close to the House Intelligence investigation said, “We think a lot of that product in Mar-a-Lago is” what investigators “went through.” The FBI was “worried that there was a copy [of the binder] there,” said the person.

A source close to Trump said, “I think [retrieving the binder] was part of [FBI’s] motivation. It was Russiagate. It was years of FISA [surveillance warrant] abuse. It was doing a 702 [FISA] query to surveil 300,000 Americans. It was using taxpayer dollars to fund the Steele memo and get Justice Department lawyers when we fired Christopher Steele. It was the mountain of corruption we uncovered.”

But another source with significant knowledge of the Russiagate investigation was skeptical. “I don’t think the raid at all had to do with Russia documents. It started as a bureaucratic tussle. Look at search warrant returns. That’s what they were looking for. There was nothing in there that does that. If you talk to the lawyers involved, they never said they were looking for Russia collusion documents.”

Trump himself has not said that the FBI raided Mar-a-Lago to obtain the binder of information. “It’s uncharacteristic of him to stay quiet about anything,” acknowledged a source close to the current 2024 Trump campaign.

At the same time, the source added, “It’s easy to guess that his lawyers told him, ‘This is an active court case’ and so ‘Don’t say anything about it.’ It could be as simple as that. That’s the obvious explanation.”

CNN mentioned last August’s raid of Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in its piece last December, suggesting there may be a connection between the “missing binder” story and the FBI’s search of Trump’s property while noting no such materials were found.

CNN’s own reporting suggests that the binder was indeed related to raw intelligence the U.S. and its NATO allies collected on Russians and Russian agents (in other words, intelligence on the Trump campaign).

CNN reported that Trump’s binder contained a classified House Intelligence Committee report about the IC’s assessment of Russian election interference, according to CNN.

“The binder contained raw intelligence the US and its NATO allies collected on Russians and Russian agents, including sources and methods that informed the US government’s assessment that Russian President Vladimir Putin sought to help Trump win the 2016 election, sources told CNN.”

This “missing binder” may indeed be one of the most important sets of classified documents in U.S. history. It has the potential to expose the darkest secrets of the U.S. government, including an illegal operation to rig the 2016 election.