Opinion from a Libertarian ViewPoint

The Deep State Exposed: Investigation Uncovers Foggy Bottom Anti-Trump Leak Factory

Posted by M. C. on September 18, 2018

by Kristina Wong

It was mid-May, about six weeks after Trump appointee Mari Stull began her new job as senior adviser at the State Department’s Bureau of International Organization Affairs.

As senior adviser at the bureau, Stull was in charge of making sure President Trump’s agenda was represented at the many international organizations the U.S. participates in and mostly funds, such as the United Nations and its various agencies.

Stull and her boss, Amb. Kevin Moley, had just left for a trip to Geneva for the World Health Assembly. Back at the State Department, Erin Barclay, a senior career diplomat at the IO bureau, invited more than ten civil servants within the bureau to a lunch meeting.

At the meeting, Molly Phee, another senior career diplomat, went around the table and asked each civil servant for complaints about Stull and took notes. Another senior career diplomat in the IO bureau, Nerissa Cook, was also there. One civil servant who participated in the meeting would later say the meeting felt uncomfortable, and that there was pressure to say something.

Several weeks later, the first hit piece against Stull ran in an exclusive Foreign Policy report. The June 13 piece alleged that Stull was “vetting” U.S. employees at the State Department and at the United Nations to determine whether they were “loyal” to President Trump.

The piece also alleged Stull had a “highly secretive management style,” had emerged as the most “dominant force” in the bureau, had required that she review new directives from the office before they went out, and that she was stripping references to “international law” and “international order” from action items and memos.

Not one source was named in the piece, which cited the allegations from “nearly a dozen” anonymous “current and former U.S. officials.” The piece did, however, mention three deputy assistant secretaries of state in the bureau: Phee, Barclay, and Cook, who were said to be leaving to other positions at State.

After the article published, three top Democrats — Sen. Bob Menendez (NJ), Rep. Eliot Engel (NY), and Elijah Cummings (MD) — then sent a letter dated June 19 to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo citing the article and demanding documents related to Stull and her alleged vetting of employees’ loyalty.

Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan then launched an investigation into whether Stull had been vetting employees for loyalty, according to a source.

Some officials now believe the meeting was to collect ammunition to be leaked to Foreign Policy. At least several civil servants who participated in the meeting are now planning to file a complaint against Phee for putting them on the spot and making them gripe about Stull, according to the source.

The episode reveals what some officials and outside observers believe is a concerted leak campaign to force out a Trump appointee at a bureau that has seen results in the implementation of Trump’s policies.

Leaks like these from what has become known as “the Deep State” have plagued the Trump administration since it took office…

Foreign Policy’s next exclusive article came September 7, alleging that the inspector general was also investigating Stull for allegedly “hurl[ing] homophobic slurs at a State Department staffer.”

It also alleged Stull had blocked the promotion of one career official to a top human rights post because the official had previously been involved in overseeing humanitarian assistance to Palestinian refugees. The article cited “at least 10 current and former” anonymous State Department officials.

Breitbart News queried the inspector general’s office, which could not confirm that Stull was under investigation — indicating that if such an investigation into Stull exists, it was leaked through unauthorized channels.

Stull did not respond to a request for comment, but those who know her say the allegations are completely false and that they are sickened by the nasty and unrelenting attempts to get her fired for doing her job…

A long-time friend of Stull who is a gay and a Democrat told Breitbart News he is sickened by the smears suggesting that Stull is homophobic. He spoke on anonymity since he is a business owner in D.C. and fears retaliation.

“I am a proud member of the resistance, and we have plenty of opportunities at our disposal to discredit this administration,” he told Breitbart News. “But untruthful character assassination, especially against a woman who has been an ally of the LGBTQ community [is] wrong. I’ve known Mari for over a decade. In that time, she has been a big sister to myself and many of my gay friends.”

“Like many in D.C., our families are in far flung places. Mari has opened her home to us for meals, provided financial help without expecting repayment, come to important milestone events in our lives, offered myself and others relationship advice — particularly in times of real crisis…and while she was working and raising her own family,” he said.

“I don’t want to draw attention to the bullsh-t that this is, but this is personal,” he said. “She has been someone in my life and other gay people when we had no one. And that hasn’t changed.”

Another long-time friend of Stull who is also a human rights lawyer and lifelong Democrat said she was also sickened by the attacks against Stull. She told Breitbart News that Stull would never put together “loyalty” lists based on political affiliation and that Stull had even forwarded her resumé for consideration for a job at the UN.

“You know that old saying — throw it against the wall and see if it sticks? That’s what they’re doing here,” she told Breitbart News. “I’m really angry about it.”

Heritage Foundation senior fellow Brett Schaefer, who is also connected within the State Department, said there is no way to verify if any of the leaks against Stull are true because they are anonymous. He also called the anonymous leaks of the inspector general investigation unfair since Stull and others at the State Department cannot comment on ongoing inspector general investigations and confirm whether the allegations are true or not.

“Based on the comments in the [last Foreign Policy] article, individuals have filed complaints against Mari Stull, and if the article is accurate, the inspector general and others are looking into her behavior. Instead of leaking to the press and besmirching her character in that way, the individuals should be content to let the process work it out and those responsible come to the conclusions at the end of their examination,” he told Breitbart News.

Yoshihara and others believe the concerted campaign against Stull is a joint effort involving career officials inside State and an outside group composed of former Obama officials, Democrat congressional aides, and Hillary Clinton loyalists…

Be seeing you


Deep state useful idiot


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