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FBI Mayberry Machiavellians: CIA globalists dirty games against Sanders and Trump

Russiagate should actually be called Intelgate

Stealth conversion of FBI into STASI 2.0 by Obama appointees or how "The gang of three" (Comey, McCabe and Strzok) pushed Sanders under the bus and rigged the US elections. According to Ray McGovern of Jan 12, 2018 it became clear that Russiagate became FBI-gate -- a story about FBI attempt to rig Presidential elections The central role in this drama were played by two most powerful USA intelligence agencies FBI (Comey) and CIA (Brennan):

News Russiagate -- a color revolution against Trump by neocons and DemoRats Recommended Links Understanding Hillary Clinton email scandal Brennan elections machinations James "We are not weasels" Comey Andrew McCabe and his close circle of "fighters with organized crime" Special Prosecutor Mueller and his fishing expedition Strzokgate
Attempts to entrap Trump Papadopoulos entrapment Carter Page Joseph Misfud Halpers FBI and CIA contractor Crowdstrike and DNC leak saga FBI contractor Fusion GPS Was Natalia Veselnitskaya meeting with Trump Jr. a trap? Obama administration participation in the intelligence services putsch against Trump
Wiretaps of Trump and his associates during Presidential elections FISA Memo scandal Brennan elections machinations "Seventeen agencies" memo about Russian influence on elections Appointment of a Special Prosecutor gambit Coordinated set of leaks as a color revolution tool DNC and Podesta emails leak: blaming Vladimir Putin Clapper role in putsch Rosenstein role
False flag operations in cyberspace FBI and CIA contractor Crowdstrike and very suspicious DNC leak saga FBI contractor Fusion GPS Steele dossier Was Natalia Veselnitskaya meeting with Trump Jr. a trap? Obama administration participation in the intelligence services putsch against Trump Samantha Power Susan Rice unmasking campaign as an attempt to derail Trump by Obama administration Do the US intelligence agencies influence the US Presidential elections ?
Anti-Russian hysteria in connection emailgate and DNC leak Anti Trump Hysteria Amorality and criminality of neoliberal elite Audacious Oligarchy and "Democracy for Winners" Control of the MSM during color revolution is like air superiority in the war MSM as fake news industry MSM as an attack dogs of color revolution Hillary Clinton email scandal History of American False Flag Operations
Corporate Media: Journalism In the Service of the Powerful Few Trump vs. Deep State Michael Flynn removal NGOs as braintrust of color revolutions The Real War on Reality Media as a weapon of mass deception Inside "democracy promotion" hypocrisy fair Two Party System as polyarchy Neoliberalism as Trotskyism for the rich
US and British media are servants of security apparatus Neocon foreign policy is a disaster for the USA Media-Military-Industrial Complex Neoconservatism New American Militarism Corporatist Corruption The problem of control of intelligence services in democratic societies Bernie Sanders betrayal of his supporters American intelligence services putsch against Trump
Control of the MSM during color revolution is like air superiority in the war The Deep State The Iron Law of Oligarchy National Security State Color revolutions Militarism and reckless jingoism of the US neoliberal elite Skeptic Quotations Politically Incorrect Humor Hypocrisy and Pseudo-democracy

Few government organizations have been engaged in violation of the US citizens' constitutional rights for as long a time and against as many individuals as the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). Seldom has there been greater collusion in the perpetration of crimes against civil liberties, electoral freedom and free and lawful expression as what has taken place between the FBI and the US Justice Department.

In the past, the FBI and Justice Department secured the enthusiastic support and public acclaim from the conservative members of the US Congress, members of the judiciary at all levels and the mass media. The leading liberal voices, public figures, educators, intellectuals and progressive dissenters opposing the FBI and their witch-hunting tactics were all from the left. Today, the right and the left have changed places: The most powerful voices endorsing the FBI and the Justice Department's fabrications, and abuse of constitutional rights are on the left, the liberal wing of the Democratic Party and famous liberal media corporations and public opinion makers.

The recently published Congressional memo, authored by Congressman Devin Nunes, provides ample proof that the FBI spied on Trump campaign workers with the intent to undermine the Republican candidate and sabotage his bid for the presidency. Private sector investigators, hired by Trump's rival Hillary Clinton and the Democratic National Committee, worked with pro-Clinton operatives within the FBI and Justice Department to violate the national electoral process while flouting rules governing wiretaps on US citizens. This was done with the approval of the sitting Democratic President Barack Obama.

The FBI and the President – Mutual Manipulation, by James Petras
The Unz Review, Feb 9, 2018

Was Russiagate produced by the primary leaders of the US intelligence community, not just the FBI? If so, it is the most perilous political scandal in modern American history, and the most detrimental to American democracy.

Stephen F Cohen

Few knew that FBI (which formally is a part of Justice Department) serves as the main USA counterintelligence agency. And that branch of FBI has strong connections with CIA (being essentially a branch of counterintelligence in CIA) and like CIA tend to be heavily politicized in best traditions of East Germany STASI. In essence, we saw the emergence of STASI 2.0 -- the political police heavily engaged in controlling the Presidential elections. The important insight here is that powerful intelligence agencies are incompatible with democracy. They, by the mere fact of their existence, tend automatically transfer the state into the regime which can be called neofascism, or inverted totalitarism and in which democratic process is controlled by intelligence agencies. In a very fundamental way the mere existence of powerful intelligence agencies is incompatible with democracy and cause sliding of the state first into the "national security state" and then, possibly, into neofascist state. The internal structure of intelligence agencies perfectly corresponds neofascist state apparatus: regime of total secrecy, unlimited and uncontrolled spending of money on "special operations" which often are outside the law.

That's why Professor Stephen Cohen suggested that Russiagate should be called Intelgate, as Russia played pretty peripheral role.

The publication of the Republican House Committee memo and reports of other documents increasingly suggest not only that "Russiagate" exists without Russia, but also something darker: The "collusion" may not have been between Trump and the Kremlin but between two key US intelligence agencies -- CIA and FBI (with major participation of British Mi6) with the explicit purpose to derail Trump by digging dirt of him (the tried and true J. Edgar Hoover method)

Cohen first raised the question of "Intelgate," perhaps coining the word, in the first half of 2017. He returns to it here.

Referring to the memo whose preparation was overseen by Republican Congressman Devin Nunes and whose release was authorized by President Trump, and to similar reports likely to come, Cohen, having for years researched Soviet-era archive materials (once highly classified), understands the difficulties involved in summarizing such secret documents, especially when they have been generated by intelligence agencies. They must be put in the larger political context of the time, which can be fully understood only by using other sources as well, including open ones; and they may be contradicted by other classified materials not yet available.

Nonetheless, the "Republican memo," as it has become known while we await its Democratic counterpart, indicates that some kind of operation against presidential candidate and then President Trump, an "investigation," has been under way among top officials of US intelligence agencies for a long time. The memo focuses on questionable methods used by Obama's FBI and Justice Department to obtain a warrant permitting them to surveil Carter Page, a peripheral and short-tenured Trump foreign-policy adviser, and the role played in this by the anti-Trump "dossier" complied by Christopher Steele, a former British intelligence officer whose career specialization was Russia. But the memo's implications are even larger.

Steele's dossier, which alleged that Trump had been compromised by the Kremlin in various ways for several years even preceding his presidential candidacy, was the foundational document of the Russiagate narrative, at least from the time its installments began to be leaked to the American media in the summer of 2016, to the US "Intelligence Community Assessment" of January 2017 (when BuzzFeed also published the dossier), the same month that FBI Director James Comey "briefed" President-elect Trump on the dossier -- apparently in an effort to intimidate him -- and on to today's Mueller investigation. Even though both have been substantially challenged for their lack of verifiable evidence, the dossier and subsequent ICA report remain the underlying sources for proponents of the Russiagate narrative of "Trump-Putin collision."

The memo and dossier are now being subjected to close (if partisan) scrutiny, much of it focused on the Clinton campaign's having financed Steele's work through his employer, Fusion GPS. But two crucial and ramifying question are not, Cohen argues, being explored: Exactly when, and by whom, was this Intel operation against Trump started? And exactly where did Steele get the "information" that he was filing in periodic installments and that grew into the dossier?

In order to defend itself against the memo's charge that it used Steele's unverified dossier to open its investigation into Trump's associates, the FBI claims it was prompted instead by a May 2016 report of remarks made earlier by another lowly Trump adviser, George Papadopoulos, to an Australian ambassador in a London bar. Even leaving aside the ludicrous nature of this episode, the public record shows it is not true. In testimony to the House Intelligence Committee in May 2017, John Brennan, formerly Obama's head of the CIA, strongly suggested that he and his agency were the first, as The Washington Post put it at the time , "in triggering an FBI probe."

Certainly both the Post and The New York Times interpreted his remarks in this way. Equally certain, Brennan played a central role in promoting the Russiagate narrative thereafter, briefing members of Congress privately and giving President Obama himself a top-secret envelope in early August 2016 that almost certainly contained Steele's dossier. Early on, Brennan presumably would have shared his "suspicions" and initiatives with James Clapper, director of national intelligence. FBI Director Comey, distracted by his mangling of the Clinton private-server affair during the presidential campaign, may have joined them actively somewhat later.

But when he did so publicly, in his March 2017 testimony to the House Intelligence Committee, it was as J. Edgar Hoover reincarnate -- as the nation's number-one expert on Russia and its profound threat to America (though, when asked, he said he had never heard of Gazprom, the giant Russian-state energy company often said to be a major pillar of President Putin's power). The question therefore becomes: When did Brennan begin his "investigation" of Trump? His House testimony leaves this somewhat unclear, but, according to a subsequent Guardian article , by late 2015 or early 2016 he was receiving, or soliciting, reports from foreign intelligence agencies regarding "suspicious 'interactions' between figures connected to Trump and known or suspected Russian agents."

In short, if these reports and Brennan's own testimony are to be believed, he, not the FBI, was the instigator and godfather of Russiagate. Certainly, his subsequent frequent and vociferous public retelling of the Russiagate allegations against Trump suggest that he played a (and probably the ) instigating role. And, it seems, a role in the Steele dossier as well. Where, then, Cohen asks, did Steele get his information? According to Steele and his many stenographers -- which include his American employers, Democratic Party Russiagaters, the mainstream media, and even progressive publications -- it came from his "deep connections in Russia," specifically from retired and current Russian intelligence officials in or near the Kremlin . From the moment the dossier began to be leaked to the American media, this seemed highly implausible (as reporters who took his bait should have known) for several reasons:

§ Steele has not returned to Russia after leaving his post there in the early 1990s. Since then, the main Russian intelligence agency, the FSB, has undergone many personnel and other changes, especially after 2000, and especially in or near Putin's Kremlin. Did Steele really have such "connections" so many years later?

§ Even if he did, would these purported Russian insiders really have collaborated with this "former" British intelligence agent under what is so widely said to be the ever-vigilant eye of the ruthless "former KGB agent" Vladimir Putin, thereby risking their positions, income, perhaps freedom, as well as the well-being of their families?

§ Originally it was said that his Russian sources were highly paid by Steele. Arguably, this might have warranted the risk. But subsequently Steele's employer and head of Fusion GPS, Glenn Simpson, wrote in The New York Times that "Steele's sources in Russia were not paid." If the Putin Kremlin's purpose was to put Trump in the White House, why then would these "Kremlin-connected" sources have contributed to Steele's anti-Trump project without financial or political gain -- only with considerable risk?

§ There is the also the telling matter of factual mistakes in the dossier that Kremlin "insiders" were unlikely to have made, but this is the subject for a separate analysis.

And indeed we now know that Steele had at least three other "sources" for the dossier, ones not previously mentioned by him or his employer. There was the information from foreign intelligence agencies provided by Brennan to Steele or to the FBI, which we also now know was collaborating with Steele. There was the contents of a " second Trump-Russia dossier " prepared by people personally close to Hillary Clinton and who shared their "findings" with Steele.

And most intriguingly, there was the "research" provided by Nellie Ohr, wife of a top Department of Justice official, Bruce Ohr, who, according to the Republican memo, "was employed by Fusion GPS to assist in the cultivation of opposition research on Trump. Ohr later provided the FBI with all of his wife's opposition research." Most likely, it found its way into Steele's dossier. (Mrs. Ohr was a trained Russian Studies scholar with a PhD from Stanford and a onetime assistant professor at Vassar, and thus, it must have seemed, an ideal collaborator for Steele.) We are left, then, with a vital, ramifying question: How much of the "intelligence information" in Steele's dossier actually came from Russian insiders, if any? (This uncertainly alone should stop Fox News's Sean Hannity and others from declaring that the Kremlin used Steele -- and Hillary Clinton -- to pump its "propaganda and disinformation" into America. Such pro-Trump allegations, like those of Russiagate itself, only fuel the new Cold War, which risks becoming actual war any day, from Syria to Ukraine.) And so, Cohen concludes, we are left with even more ramifying questions:

§ Was Russiagate produced by the primary leaders of the US intelligence community, not just the FBI? If so, it is the most perilous political scandal in modern American history, and the most detrimental to American democracy. And if so, it does indeed, as zealous promoters of Russiagate assert, make Watergate pale in significance. (To understand more, we will need to learn more, including whether Trump associates other than Carter Page and Paul Manafort were officially surveilled by any of the agencies involved. And whether they were surveilled in order to monitor Trump himself, on the assumption they were or would be in close proximity to him, as the president once suggested in a tweet.)

§ If Russiagate involved collusion among US intelligence agencies, as now seems likely, why was it undertaken? There are various possibilities. Out of loathing for Trump? Out of institutional opposition to his promise of better relations -- "cooperation" -- with Russia? Or out of personal ambition? Did Brennan, for example, aspire to remaining head of the CIA, or to a higher position, in a Hillary Clinton administration?

§ What was President Obama's role in any of this? Or to resort to the Watergate question: What did he know and when did he know it? And what did he do? The same questions would need to be asked about his White House aides and other appointees. Whatever the full answers, there is no doubt that Obama acted on the Russiagate allegations. He cited them for the sanctions he imposed on Russia in December 2016, which led directly to the case of General Michael Flynn (not for doing anything wrong with Russia but for "lying to the FBI"); to the worsening of the new US-Russian Cold War; and thus to the perilous relationship inherited by President Trump, who has in turn been thwarted by Russiagate in his attempts to improve relations through "cooperation" with Putin.

§ With all of this in mind, and assuming Trump knew most of it, did he really have any choice in firing FBI Director Comey, for which he is now unfairly being investigated by Mueller? We might also ask, given Comey's role during Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign (for which she and her team loudly condemned him), whether as president she would have had to fire him. Listening almost daily to the legion of former US intel officers condemn Russiagate skeptics ever more loudly and persistently in the media, we may wonder if they are increasingly fearful it will become known that Russiagate was mostly Intelgate. For that we will need a new bipartisan Senate Church Committee of the 1970s, which investigated and exposed misdeeds by US intelligence agencies and which led to important reforms that are no longer the preventive measures against abuses of power they were intended to be. (Ideally, everyone involved would be granted amnesty for recent misdeeds, ending all talk of "jail time," on the condition they now testify truthfully.) But such an inclusive investigation of Intelgate would require the support of Democratic members of Congress, which no longer seems possible.

Fmr. FBI Assistant Director James Kallstrom argued that FBI planned to destroy Donald Trump's presidency (Dec 19, 2017). In his Fox interview he said that there was a "cabal" of FBI personnel around Comey as well as selected group of people in Justice Department working together toward this goal. He asks an interesting question: "Why Trump Justice Department does not comply with congressional subpoena?" The answer is that it is not Trump Justice Department yet. So far this is still Obama Justice Department, or more correctly "neoliberals dominated Justice Department". Deposing a couple of people who were openly involved in the attempt to rig elections in favor of Hillary like Bruce Ohr does not solve the problem. the problem are no so much people, but the underlining doctrine that the department supports -- which is neoliberalism

The role of Peter Strzok is probably the most interesting in this drama as he was instrumental is swiping the dirt about Hillary private email server under the carpet and thus derailing Sanders; later he used Steele Dossier to start color revolution against Trump (aka Russiagate) : Jordan: Appears There Was Orchestrated Plan Within DOJ, FBI to Prevent Trump From Becoming President - YouTube

From what we know as of January 2018 the operational part of Stzrok-gate consists of at least following overlapping operations (listed not exactly in chronological order)

  1. Swiping under the carpet Hillary Clinton email scandal and thus derailing Sanders candidacy (which at this point looks like a provable crime committed by "FBI Mayberry Machiavellians")
  2. False flag operation with organizing Russian lobbyist Natalia Veselnitskaya meeting with Trump Jr.
  3. False flag operatin by FBI and CIA contractor Crowdstrike with DNC leak saga -- blaming it on Russians. It is quite probable that the "intrusion" was a false flag operation which involved FBI, Crowdstrike and elements on CIA and was directed against Sanders and Trump. It helped to save Hillary candidacy and ensure her becoming the candidate from Democratic Party in 2016 Presidential elections.
  4. Creation of falsified Steele dossier by FBI contractor Fusion GPS and British intelligence services
  5. Obtaining FISA court warrant using Steele dossier by FBI Mayberry Machiavellians
  6. Wiretaps of Trump and his associates during Presidential elections
  7. "Seventeen agencies" memo about Russian influence on elections
  8. Unleasing witch hunt against Trump in neoliberal MSM
  9. Attempt to instigate the Electoral college revolt
  10. Attempt to instigate violate demonstrations on the capital during inauguration
  11. Michael Flynn removal from the Trump team (as a former head of military intelligence agency he was the most dangerous for plotters member of Trump team)
  12. Coordinated set of damaging to Trump leaks by senior intelligence officiials such as Comey
  13. Appointment of a Special Prosecutor gambit
  14. Neutering Flynn using entrapment and indictment on falsified charge by Peter Strzok
  15. Hyping to the stratosphere Trump Tower meeting as proof of "collision" (using Wolff'f book as a pretext)
  16. Using "mentally unstable" meme to discredit Trump and his administration. As Peter Van Buren said "His opponents are trying to use the 25th Amendment as a backdoor to impeachment, but that's more Maoist than American." As John Grudlos noted on January 26, 2018 at 9:49 am
    In East Germany, Stasi leader Markus Wolfe took things a step further with the "zersetzung" tactic. The idea was to *induce* a "personal crisis" through clandestine harassment,

I realize that Clinton wing of Democratic Party (soft neoliberals) and their supporters which include a part of Wall Street, large part of Silicon valley and most MSM progressives hate Donald Trump so much that they believe that any pretext is justified in taking him down. So they joined efforts with the neoconservatives to prevent any changes that can negatively affect military industrial complex or neoliberal globalization (and by extension the US led global neoliberal empire). That's why war-mongering against Russia is now OK (and implicitly directly against China). that's why the Democratic Party now is just another War Party along (or even more jingoistic) then Republican Party -- traditional war hawks pandering to military industrial complex (that was pretty evident from Hillary campaign).

See also the following Youtube video (Jim Jordan GRILLS Rod Rosenstein: Calls For Second Special Counsel 12/13/17 ). From comments:

unit472, December 23, 2017 at 6:26 am GMT • 200 Words
We now know the 'fix' was in when Comey admitted that Congress was not informed that an FBI counterintelligence investigation with the Trump campaign as the target in the summer of 2016. The basis for this investigation seems to be nothing more than that Clinton supplied Russian dossier. That the head of the FBI's counterintelligence operations, Bill Priestap deemed the matter 'too sensitive' to disclose to Congressional Intelligence Committees until March of 2017 yet the Obama Administration disseminated the results of NSA surveillance throughout his Administration to the point where low level operatives like Evelyn Farkas could blurt out during an MSNBC interview that "it was important to conceal how we knew what we knew" from the president elect.

Mueller, if he were to really do his job, would redirect his investigation and target the Obama Administration and his close friend Jim Comey but his conflicts of interest, in particular, the Uranium One deal he approved makes that impossible. His only job now is to coverup the biggest conspiracy in the history of the US government.

spider, December 23, 2017 at 2:06 pm GMT
The assumption that Mueller is honest is questionable. He hounded Steven Hatfield for years about the anthrax letters. Then, he went after Bruce Ivins until he committed suicide–or was suicided. The chance that Ivins was guilty is about 0,001 percent.
Svigor, December 23, 2017 at 3:29 pm GMT • 700 Words

If the media was hoping to persuade the American people that Trump is guilty of a crime, they have a long way to go.

Thanks for all the poll numbers, Mike. As suspect as poll numbers are, they give us at least an idea of what a lemon Big Media is selling. They pushed that narrative that hard for that long, and they haven't even cracked 50%.

As for Mueller, it's not hard to pick up his swamp-rat odor. He's BFFs with Comey, for one thing. And Comey is a consummate swamp creature, absolutely tailor-made for DC (just think about all his moralizing, how his tummy hurt dealing with Trump, etc). Remember, it's extremely likely that Mueller had to sign off on Comey's post-firing behavior. Those two put their heads together to game-plan, and Comey's subsequent shitshow was by mutual design. That shitshow displayed that the two were at least as interested in playing politics as they were in being FBI.

Also FBI is essentially an imperial institution and as such designed (and staffed with appropriate type of people) to serve the Us-led global neoliberal empire and ensure continuity of imperial policies (much like CIA, arm of which it essentially is, especially its counterintelligence part). In this sense the fact that many high level staff were pro-warmonger Clinton should not surprise anybody. Clinton was the establishment candidate hell-bent on continuation of disastrous Mid-East wars and neoliberal/neocon imperial policies toward Russia and China designed to extend the period of the USA sole supremacy it obtained after the dissolution of the USSR.

Anon says: • Disclaimer December 23, 2017 at 7:48 pm GMT • 200 Words
Please, let Mueller stay to become a poster boy for borgistas. With each day, the incompetence of the CIA' and FBI' brass has been revealing with the greater and greater clarity. They have sold out the US citizenry for personal gains.

Rod Rosenstein' role in particular should be well investigated so that his name becomes tightly connected to the "dossier" and all its racy tales.

"… there was never sufficient reason to appoint a Special Counsel. The threshold for making such an appointment should have been probable cause, that is, deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein should have shown why he thought there was 'reasonable basis to believe that a crime had been committed.'

That's what's required under the Fourth Amendment, and that's the standard that should have been met. But Rosenstein ignored that rule because it improved the Special Counsel's chances of netting indictments. Even so, there's no evidence that a crime has been committed. None."

Svigor December 23, 2017 at 3:59 pm GMT • 600 Words
Corvanus keeps lubing his corvanus in hopes Comey and Mueller will come by for shiatsu but so far nothin'.

I don't think Trump should fire Mueller (makes a martyr of his fishing expedition), but I also don't know WTF Trump is doing with this thing. I haven't read a single report about the Administration stone-walling Mueller's investigation, which suggests that the administration isn't stonewalling Mueller's investigation. I think I would've stonewalled Mueller's investigation many months ago. "Fuck you, fish by yourself."

Hey, I guess he has better lawyers than I, but my strategy would've kept 3 of the 4 guys currently under indictment in the "not indicted" category.

If Trump wants Mueller fired, he should start firing the top brass at FBI. Give no reason, just keep firing guys until one of the replacements terminates Mueller's investigation. Then he can stop firing people.

... ... ...


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[Sep 28, 2019] Christopher Steele's connection to Ukraine

Sep 28, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

JohnH -> JohnH... , September 26, 2019 at 01:02 PM

Christopher Steele's connection to Ukraine:

"During the Ukraine cries in 2014-15, Chris Steele had a number of commercial clients who were asking him for reports on what was going on in Russia, what was going on in Ukraine, what was going on between them." --Victoria Nuland.
https://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2018/02/04/former_assistant_secretary_of_state_victoria_nuland_christopher_steele_also_shared_information_with_state_department.html

By commercial clients, you should read oligarchs who were still in business because they had sworn fealty to the US owned regime.

JohnH -> JohnH... , September 26, 2019 at 07:09 PM
More information on Hunter Biden. He served on the President's Advisory Council of the National Democratic Institute (NDI), a subsidiary of the National Endowment for Democracy, which was set up after Congress banned the CIA from pursuing regime change. A lot of the coordination and assistance for the Ukraine coup probably passed through that 'non-profit.' Joe Biden was Obama's point person, and Hunter Biden was probably Joe's eyes, ears, and gopher at NDI.

Immediately after the coup, Hunter was appointed to the board of the strategically critical Burisma energy company, Ukraine's largest producer of natural gas. From what I have seen, the US likes to have its assets sit on the Board of strategically critically energy companies.

And is Ukraine ever strategically important!!! Apart from the fact the Russian pipelines pass through the country, "Ukraine has an estimated 42 trillion cubic feet (tcf) of technically recoverable shale gas reserves, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), ranking its deposits as the fourth largest in Europe."
https://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php/Ukraine_and_fracking

Again, Hunter Biden's appointment would not have been by chance. He would have been put there to once again to be Joe Biden's eyes, ears, and gopher.

As a side benefit, Hunter Biden would have been in an excellent position, both from his work at NDI and at Burisma, to meet the movers and shakers in post-coup Ukraine and coordinate disinformation campaigns as needed. The Ukrainians would have been eager to help as the solvency of the country depended on US loans.

So are we about to witness the first color revolution on US soil? Could be

[Sep 28, 2019] In his phone call with Zelensky, President Trump mentioned two subjects in particular which are Kryptonite to the Democrats: Crowdstrike and "the server," meaning the DNC server which was never forensically examined by the FBI.

Sep 28, 2019 | www.unz.com

Buck Ransom , says: September 27, 2019 at 12:51 am GMT

In his phone call with Zelensky, President Trump mentioned two subjects in particular which are Kryptonite to the Democrats: Crowdstrike and "the server," meaning the DNC server which was never forensically examined by the FBI. Pulling on these two threads may be even more interesting than the stuff about the big-bucks shakedowns of foreign governments by Joe Biden & Son, Inc. Just for starters: what the fcuk is the DNC server doing in Ukraine?

[Sep 27, 2019] Christopher Steele's connection to Ukraine

Notable quotes:
"... "During the Ukraine cries in 2014-15, Chris Steele had a number of commercial clients who were asking him for reports on what was going on in Russia, what was going on in Ukraine, what was going on between them." --Victoria Nuland. ..."
"... More information on Hunter Biden. He served on the President's Advisory Council of the National Democratic Institute (NDI), a subsidiary of the National Endowment for Democracy, which was set up after Congress banned the CIA from pursuing regime change. A lot of the coordination and assistance for the Ukraine coup probably passed through that 'non-profit.' Joe Biden was Obama's point person, and Hunter Biden was probably Joe's eyes, ears, and gopher at NDI. ..."
"... As a side benefit, Hunter Biden would have been in an excellent position, both from his work at NDI and at Burisma, to meet the movers and shakers in post-coup Ukraine and coordinate disinformation campaigns as needed. The Ukrainians would have been eager to help as the solvency of the country depended on US loans. ..."
Sep 27, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

JohnH -> JohnH... , September 26, 2019 at 01:02 PM

Christopher Steele's connection to Ukraine:

"During the Ukraine cries in 2014-15, Chris Steele had a number of commercial clients who were asking him for reports on what was going on in Russia, what was going on in Ukraine, what was going on between them." --Victoria Nuland.

https://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2018/02/04/former_assistant_secretary_of_state_victoria_nuland_christopher_steele_also_shared_information_with_state_department.html

By commercial clients, you should read oligarchs who were still in business because they had sworn fealty to the US owned regime.

JohnH -> JohnH... , September 26, 2019 at 07:09 PM
More information on Hunter Biden. He served on the President's Advisory Council of the National Democratic Institute (NDI), a subsidiary of the National Endowment for Democracy, which was set up after Congress banned the CIA from pursuing regime change. A lot of the coordination and assistance for the Ukraine coup probably passed through that 'non-profit.' Joe Biden was Obama's point person, and Hunter Biden was probably Joe's eyes, ears, and gopher at NDI.

Immediately after the coup, Hunter was appointed to the board of the strategically critical Burisma energy company, Ukraine's largest producer of natural gas. From what I have seen, the US likes to have its assets sit on the Board of strategically critically energy companies.

And is Ukraine ever strategically important!!! Apart from the fact the Russian pipelines pass through the country, "Ukraine has an estimated 42 trillion cubic feet (tcf) of technically recoverable shale gas reserves, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), ranking its deposits as the fourth largest in Europe."
https://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php/Ukraine_and_fracking

Again, Hunter Biden's appointment would not have been by chance. He would have been put there to once again to be Joe Biden's eyes, ears, and gopher.

As a side benefit, Hunter Biden would have been in an excellent position, both from his work at NDI and at Burisma, to meet the movers and shakers in post-coup Ukraine and coordinate disinformation campaigns as needed. The Ukrainians would have been eager to help as the solvency of the country depended on US loans.

So are we about to witness the first color revolution on US soil? Could be

[Sep 27, 2019] Did Crowdstrite transrefered DNC disk images to Ukraine for the analysys?

Sep 27, 2019 | southfront.org

Another point was CrowdStrike, hired by Democratic National Committee (DNC) during the last election to analyze an infiltration of DNC email networks. He asked if the CrowdStrike servers are in Ukraine.

"Trump: I would like you to do us a favor though because our country has been through a lot and Ukraine knows a lot about it. I would like you to find out what happened with this whole situation with Ukraine, they say CrowdStrike I guess you have one of your wealthy people The server, they say Ukraine has it. There are a lot of things that went on, the whole situation."

"Zelenskiy: Well yes, to tell you the truth, we are trying to work hard because we wanted to drain the swamp here in our country. We brought in many many new people. Not the old politicians, not the typical politicians, because we want to have a new format and a new type of government You are a great teacher for us and in that."

"Zelenskiy: Actually last time I traveled to the United States, I stayed in New York near Central Park and I stayed at the Trump Tower. I will talk to them and I hope to see them again in the future. I also wanted to thank you for your invitation to visit the United States, specifically Washington DC. On the other hand, I also want to assure you that we will be very serious about the case and will work on the investigation."

Zelensky was applying the tried and true formula of flattering Trump until he agrees to fulfill a request. The summary of the conversation is quite limited, and US Congress asked for the whistleblower complaint to also be unclassified.

[Sep 24, 2019] The Plan to Trip Up Trump Consortiumnews

Notable quotes:
"... "I don't know what the fuck you're talking about," Papadopoulos replied according to his recent book , "Deep State Target." But what if he had instead chuckled or said something stupid in order to puff himself up? Based on previous FBI entrapment cases , the answer seems clear: after threatening him with prosecution, the bureau would have outfitted him with a wire so that he could bring down other campaign officials. It wouldn't have stopped until it snared the ultimate prize –Trump himself. ..."
"... Trump told reporters in May he wanted Australia's role to be investigated by the Justice Department. Comey's Trump Tower meeting was important because it led directly to the publication of the notorious dossier that would generate endless headlines and cripple the incoming Trump administration even though it was full of baloney. ..."
"... Wall Street Journal ..."
"... Instead of electing presidents, Americans would merely submit them to the FBI for review. ..."
"... With the Electoral College and the Supreme Court already overturning the popular vote in two of the last five presidential elections, voters would have a fourth branch to contend with – the intelligence community. ..."
"... As Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer told MSNBC'S Rachel Maddow at the height of the Russiagate madness: "Let me tell you, you take on the intelligence community – they have six ways from Sunday of getting back at you." Had Comey succeeded in bringing down Trump, they may have had a seventh. ..."
"... Le Monde Diplomatique ..."
Sep 24, 2019 | consortiumnews.com

Before the Trump Tower visit, Comey sat down with top FBI brass – Chief of Staff James Rybicki, Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, General Counsel James Baker, and others involved with the Russiagate investigation – to strategize about the upcoming meeting.

Page 17 of the OIG report tells of what they were up to:

"Baker and McCabe said that they agreed that the briefing needed to be one-on-one, so that Comey could present the 'salacious' information in the most discreet and least embarrassing way. At the same time, we were told, they did not want the President-elect to perceive the one-on-one briefing as an effort to hold information over him like a 'Hoover-esque type of plot.' Witnesses interviewed by the OIG also said that they discussed Trump's potential responses to being told about the 'salacious' information, including that Trump might make statements about, or provide information of value to, the pending Russian interference investigation."

As the final sentence shows, Comey's job was to confront Trump about the alleged 2013 Moscow incident and see whether he would give the FBI reason to advance its Russiagate investigation to a whole new level, that of the presidency itself.

This was the same approach the FBI would employ a couple of weeks later after listening in on a telephone conversation between Mike Flynn and Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak and not liking what it heard about plans to bolster U.S.-Russian relations. The solution was to send a couple of agents to quiz the newly-appointed national security adviser and see how he would respond. After telling Flynn not to bother bringing along a lawyer because it was just a friendly chat and "they wanted Flynn to be relaxed, and they were concerned that giving the warnings might adversely affect the rapport" – as a follow-up memo noted – the agents caught the ever-voluble Flynn fudging various details. Three weeks later, he found himself out of office and in disgrace. Ten months after that, he was in federal court pleading guilty to making false and misleading statements.

Another Set-Up

Michael Horowitz, the Justice Department's inspector general. (Wikimedia Commons)

Now we know from the OIG report that this was apparently the goal with regard to Trump.

Russiagate began nine months earlier with a smallarmy of intelligence agents buzzing around a naïve young Trump adviser named George Papadopoulos. [See " Spooks Spooking Themselves ," May 31, 2018.] An Anglo-Maltese academic named Joseph Mifsud, an individual with strong Anglo-American intelligence connections, wined and dined him and told him that Russia had "dirt" on Hillary Clinton in the form of "thousands of emails."

An Australian diplomat, former Foreign Minister Alexander Downer , who was similarly connected, invited him out for drinks and then passed along the fruits of the conversation to Canberra, which related them to Washington. A Belorussian-American businessman who worked for Steele offered Papadopoulos $30,000 a month under the table. A U.S. intelligence asset named Charles Tawil presented him with $10,000 in cash. A long-time CIA informant named Stefan Halper flew Papadopoulos to London and barraged him with questions:

"It's great that Russia is helping you and the campaign, right, George? George, you and your campaign are involved in hacking and working with Russia, right? It seems like you are a middleman for Trump and Russia, right? I know you know about the emails."

"I don't know what the fuck you're talking about," Papadopoulos replied according to his recent book , "Deep State Target." But what if he had instead chuckled or said something stupid in order to puff himself up? Based on previous FBI entrapment cases , the answer seems clear: after threatening him with prosecution, the bureau would have outfitted him with a wire so that he could bring down other campaign officials. It wouldn't have stopped until it snared the ultimate prize –Trump himself.

Trump told reporters in May he wanted Australia's role to be investigated by the Justice Department. Comey's Trump Tower meeting was important because it led directly to the publication of the notorious dossier that would generate endless headlines and cripple the incoming Trump administration even though it was full of baloney.

Most of what we know about that meeting in the early days of the Trump administration comes from a memo that Comeydashed off minutes later and then lightly revised the next morning.

According to his memo, Comey met one-on-one with Trump to tell him about the Steele dossier because

"the content [was] known at IC [intelligence community] senior level and I didn't want him caught cold by some of the detail . I said I wasn't saying this was true, only that I wanted him to know both that it had been reported and that the reports were in many hands. I said media like CNN had them and were looking for a news hook. I said it was important that we not give them the excuse to write that the FBI has the material and that we were keeping it very close-hold."

But Comey's memo was disingenuous, starting with his line about not wanting to give the media "the excuse to write that the FBI has the material." Leaks are an integral part of Washington, as an insider and a leaker like Comey knows.

As Comey must have also known, his very decision to brief Trump on the dossier wound up triggering press attention to it.

Four days later, Buzzfeed posted the dossier on its website. The source remains anonymous but it's easy to imagine that either Director of National Intelligence James Clapper or CIA Director John Brennan spilled the beans. They both accompanied Comey to the meeting and were appalled by Trump's call for a rapprochement with Russia.

Comey's memo also rings false where it says he "wasn't saying this was true, only that I wanted him to know both that it had been reported and that the reports were in many hands."

Glenn Simpson, the ex- Wall Street Journal reporter whose private Washington intelligence firm, Fusion GPS, commissioned the dossier on behalf of the Clinton campaign and the DNC, told the House intelligence committee that Steele began sharing his findings with the FBI "in July or late June" of 2016. (See p. 60 of testimony transcript ).

That means that the bureau had the Moscow Ritz-Carlton report in hand six months prior to the Trump Tower meeting. Surely, this is enough time to reach some conclusion as to its veracity.

'Might Make Statements'

Had Trump fallen into Comey's trap, millions of Americans would no doubt have cheered – and given Trump's dismal record in office, who can blame them? But the implications are chilling, and not just for rightwing dissidents. Instead of electing presidents, Americans would merely submit them to the FBI for review.

With the Electoral College and the Supreme Court already overturning the popular vote in two of the last five presidential elections, voters would have a fourth branch to contend with – the intelligence community.

As Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer told MSNBC'S Rachel Maddow at the height of the Russiagate madness: "Let me tell you, you take on the intelligence community – they have six ways from Sunday of getting back at you." Had Comey succeeded in bringing down Trump, they may have had a seventh.

Daniel Lazare is the author of "The Frozen Republic: How the Constitution Is Paralyzing Democracy" (Harcourt Brace, 1996) and other books about American politics. He has written for a wide variety of publications from The Nation to Le Monde Diplomatique and blogs about the Constitution and related matters at D aniellazare.com .


Richard A. , September 24, 2019 at 15:13

I think Russiagate is more than just smearing Trump, it's also about smearing Russia. The war lobby here in the US and the UK are trying to manipulate public opinion in to hating Russia.

R Zarate , September 24, 2019 at 05:02

And now there are calls to impeach Trump for asking for an investigation into Biden! It speaks volumes about the MSM that there was no uproar when H.B. took the job at Bursima, I remember the White House putting out a release at the time saying they could see no conflict of interest, I guess the lack of conflict was it was par for the course to enrich family members.

By the bye. So Trump gets impeached, then what? Didn't do Clinton any harm.

CitizenOne , September 23, 2019 at 23:26

It is an interesting history filled with plots within plots to destroy Trump for the audacity to win the presidential election. True he won the election with a lot of help from Cambridge Analytica and his election team which included Roger Stone, George Papadopoulos (the nube) Paul Manafort (the former partner in the Black, Stone, Manafort and Kelly lobby firm) , Rick Gates and Michael Flynn.

All these people were indicted under the Mueller probe but yet Trump escaped without a scratch on his record. To pull this off Trump abandoned all of them in turn claiming he hardly knew them and had no involvement. How Trump escaped from the Mueller investigation has nothing to do with his innocence and everything to do with the lack of evidence tying him to the crimes his associates admitted to under intense scrutiny by the Mueller Special Council Investigation into the alleged Russian Hacks which supposedly threw the election toward Trump. Michael Cohen, Trump's long time lawyer was also convicted of paying off two women that alleged Trump arranged for sex with the women and later paid them off handsomely allegedly by orders from Trump.

It is like Trump won his freedom because there was no evidence to convict him despite the many people who were closely associated with himwho fell as victims to the special prosecutors zeal for indictments of Trump's inner guard.

In the end the Mueller report all but exonerated Trump with Mueller claiming Trump had committed impeachable evidence but that Mueller could do nothing about that leaving his conclusions up to the court of popular appeal as to whether or not Trump was guilty of obstruction of justice in the entire Russia Gate story.

Trump accurately called out the testimony of Comey before Congress into what he knew about the Russian attempt to hack the election as fake news. Trump banked on what the intelligence community would share about the election result and he won big time when the Mueller investigation into Russian hacking of the election produced no tangible connection between Trump and the alleged hackers. The Steel dossier was also l shown to be just more fake news paid for by the democrats.

The longer Trump remains in charge the less likely that he will be implicated in a scandal although the new allegations that he attempted to get the Ukrainian government to investigate Joe Biden has the potential to raise a new round of fake news decrying that the president has engaged in yet more impeachable offenses.

robert e williamson jr , September 23, 2019 at 21:23

Beware of the Department of Justice, mad dogs and dogs of war.

Appears to be FBI disruption of the domestic governmental tranquility for the unique purpose of disrupting a duly elected president.

I mean the FBI bill themselves as the domestic counter intelligence apparatus and CIA apparently agrees. Maybe CIA is actually running another of their counter intelligence covert mission that involves the undoing of Ole Donny J. .

No I didn't say it, no mention of the dreaded "executive action" my me.

My assumption is that this may be simply collateral damage from the investigation into the Russia meddling in the 2016 elec . . . . .

. . . and the beat goes on, la da da dee . . . !

That far away look in the eyes of the old democratic leaders is the look of "the fear" (H.S.T.). They watch as the repugs, their partners in crime get skewered , by the same DOJ that will skewer them in a New York second given a chance.

DOJ and the USAG leading the shock troops of the National Socialists take over.

Sandra Thompson , September 23, 2019 at 20:58

One of your best lines: "Instead of electing presidents, Americans would merely submit them to the FBI for review." Liked last couple of paragraphs too. Thank you

Abby , September 23, 2019 at 19:43

So Comey knowingly and blatantly lied to the incoming president and it was that incoming president that got investigated? How the hell does that make sense to the Russia Gaters? And then they elevated Comey after he got fired? This makes as much sense as people thinking that Robert Mueller was going to save the country.

After reading Parry's essay on Joe ByeDone from 2014 after the Obama coup in Ukraine that showed how corrupt the powerful people in our government are I don't even know why people bother to vote anymore. The country is run by people behind the scenes who use congress critters to do their dirty work and give them cover. And with our corrupt military industrial complex setting the world on fire I think it's time for the empire to burn.

Ray McGovern , September 23, 2019 at 18:46

VERY GOOD PIECE, DAN. THANKS. Ray McGovern

Martin , September 23, 2019 at 15:27

I read somewhere early on that someone was peddling the steele-dossier to many different outlets weeks or even months before trump's briefing, but they wouldn't bite (too fantastic) until the feds legitimized it. The people should be informed about these mechanics.

Dan Anderson , September 23, 2019 at 15:09

Here's the warning before being sworn in:
January 3, 2017 – Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer: "Let me tell you, you take on the intelligence community, they have six ways from Sunday to get back at you. So, even for a practical, supposedly hard-nosed businessman, he is being really dumb to do this."
Rachel Maddow: "What do you think the intelligence community would do if they were motivated to?"
Schumer: "I don't know, but from what I am told, they are very upset with how he has treated them and talked about them," -- The Rachel Maddow Show Jan 3, 2017

[Sep 18, 2019] DOJ Sued For Records Of FBI Agent Who Helped Circulate Steele Dossier

Looks like Cheney protégé Victoria Nuland played an important role in Steele dossier saga.
I wonder why female neocons are so nasty. Is this this suppressed "Inferiority complex" or what ?
Notable quotes:
"... A Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit was filed against the US Justice Department on Wednesday by legal watchdog group Judicial Watch , ..."
"... According to August 2018 testimony by the DOJ's former #4 official Bruce Ohr, dossier author Christopher Steele gave two memos from his salacious, Clinton-funded opposition research to Gaeta. ..."
"... According to the Epoch Times ..."
"... For this visit, the FBI sought permission from the office of Nuland, the assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian affairs. Nuland, who had been the recipient of many of Steele's reports, gave permission for the more formal meeting. On July 5, 2016, Gaeta traveled to London and met with Steele at the offices of Steele's firm, Orbis. ..."
"... Victoria Nuland???? Oh, waits, that Nuland. The qwm who orchestrated the Ukraine mess. Now I've got it, whew, thought I was losing my memory there for a bit. ..."
Sep 18, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

A Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit was filed against the US Justice Department on Wednesday by legal watchdog group Judicial Watch , seeking records concerning FBI Special Agent Michael Gaeta - an agency Legal Attaché in Rome who helped circulate the infamous Steele Dossier.

George Papadopoulos @GeorgePapa19

Expect the name Michael Gaeta to become a household name very soon regarding spygate.

The JW lawsuit seeks:

According to August 2018 testimony by the DOJ's former #4 official Bruce Ohr, dossier author Christopher Steele gave two memos from his salacious, Clinton-funded opposition research to Gaeta.

In the July 30 meeting, Chris Steele also mentioned something about the doping -- you know, one of the doping scandals. And he also mentioned, I believe -- and, again, this is based on my review of my notes -- that he had provided Mr. Gaeta with two reports "

The only thing I recall him mentioning is that he had provided two of his reports to Special Agent Gaeta.

According to the Epoch Times , Gaeta was authorized by former Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland to meet with Steele at his London office in order to obtain dossier materials.

The purpose of the London visit was clear. Steele was personally handing the first memo in his dossier to Gaeta for ultimate transmission back to the FBI and the State Department.

For this visit, the FBI sought permission from the office of Nuland, the assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian affairs. Nuland, who had been the recipient of many of Steele's reports, gave permission for the more formal meeting. On July 5, 2016, Gaeta traveled to London and met with Steele at the offices of Steele's firm, Orbis.

The FBI's scramble to vet the dossier's claims are well known. According to an April, 2017 NYT report , the FBI agreed to pay Steele $50,000 for "solid corroboration" of his claims . Steele was apparently unable to produce satisfactory evidence - and was not paid for his efforts :

Mr. Steele met his F.B.I. contact in Rome in early October, bringing a stack of new intelligence reports. One, dated Sept. 14, said that Mr. Putin was facing "fallout" over his apparent involvement in the D.N.C. hack and was receiving "conflicting advice" on what to do.

The agent said that if Mr. Steele could get solid corroboration of his reports, the F.B.I. would pay him $50,000 for his efforts, according to two people familiar with the offer. Ultimately, he was not paid . - NYT

Still, the FBI used the dossier to obtain the FISA warrant on former Trump campaign aide Carter Page - while the document itself was heavily shopped around to various media outlets . The late Sen. John McCain provided a copy to Former FBI Director James Comey, who already had a version, and briefed President Trump on the salacious document. Comey's briefing to Trump was then used by CNN and BuzzFeed to justify reporting on and publishing the dossier following the election.

" The FBI is covering up its role in the Russiagate hoax ," said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. "Judicial Watch has had to fight the FBI 'tooth and nail' for every scrap of information about the illicit targeting of President Trump."


Herp and Derp , 1 minute ago link

Great news that Ted is finally (after 30+ years of discussion) introducing a term limits amendment.

Along with term limits for legislature, we need to kill the deep state as well. The government needs to be reduced significantly. I say we go back to spoils. If a federal role is needed, then it must be hired/re-hired by the whitehouse. Every FBI agent, etc. Trump has proven that most current direct appointments are waste of money and unnecessary.

Limits restricting ex-politicians and military from lobbying, but also partners and nepotism need to be codified and restricted for politician families.

LEEPERMAX , 2 minutes ago link

Whether it's MARK MEADOWS, DOUG COLLINS, JIM JORDAN, LINDSEY GRAHAM or any of the others, I've come to the conclusion that the ONLY PERSON seriously taking on those who were involved in THE ATTEMPTED COUP TO TAKE DOWN TRUMP is TOM FITTON of JUDICIAL WATCH.

The U.S. is a Captured Operation

tunetopper , 5 minutes ago link

Misfud was in Rome too. The Most Venerable Order of the Hospital St John - present sovereign, Queen Elizabeth II. Was he a bailiff or a knight, question...?

Swamidon , 8 minutes ago link

Talk talk talk, its cheap, and boring with the same criminals appearing over and over, but no action ever taken and the Traitors don't look very nervous. Why doesn't Trump issue an Executive Order to direct employees of the DOJ and the FBI etc., to fully cooperate with investigators?

I am Groot , 15 minutes ago link

Time to fire Director Deep State Wray and dismantle the FBI, President Trump ! They are 100% corrupt !

CheapBastard , 13 minutes ago link

He's a huge disappointment.

NoDebt , 6 minutes ago link

Agreed. This guy Wray has been slow-walking and standing in the way of anything happening at every turn. I am convinced he is absolutely there to protect the FBI and nothing else. He is definitely acting like a "company man".

And, I'm not gonna give Trump any more free passes for what seems to be a lot of BAD picks in his appointments. In this respect I think it's where Trump has been the most disappointing.

White Nat , 21 minutes ago link

Hope Judicial Watch files a FOIA request for weiner's laptop.

gilhgvc , 23 minutes ago link

correction: BARR,TRUMP and the REPUBLICANS are ALLOWING the FBI to cover up

New_Meat , 24 minutes ago link

Nuland?

Victoria Nuland???? Oh, waits, that Nuland. The qwm who orchestrated the Ukraine mess. Now I've got it, whew, thought I was losing my memory there for a bit.

but who is Evelyn Farkas? Gotta' think on that one.

f'noldbastard , 43 minutes ago link

They may respond sometime in 2025

Gringo Viejo , 44 minutes ago link

The FBI was founded by a cross dressing, closet homosexual with a gambling "jones" who was blackmailed by the Mafia.

And it was expected to improve with age?

JoeTurner , 45 minutes ago link

Is Steele still alive? He seems like a major liability

chunga , 33 minutes ago link

Christopher Wray is another beauty right up there with Stiff Sessions.

Secret Weapon , 46 minutes ago link

The FBI has become America's Gestapo.

chunga , 43 minutes ago link

Their top experts have been studying the malfunctioning Epstein cameras for about three weeks now.

Demologos , 26 minutes ago link

The FBI has their TOP men studying it, TOP men!

chunga , 10 minutes ago link

When NYPD busted Weiner Comey sent his black hats to seize the laptop.

While under an international spotlight Barr recused himself from the Epstein matter and Wray did nothing.

[Sep 15, 2019] How the UK Security Services neutralised the country s leading liberal newspaper by Matt Kennard and Mark Curtis

Highly recommended!
Essentially neoliberal MSM were hijacked. Which was easy to do. The current anti-Russian campaign is conducted under the direct guidance of MI6 and similar agencies
Notable quotes:
"... committee minutes note the secretary saying: "The Guardian was obliged to seek advice under the terms of the DA notice code." The minutes add: "This failure to seek advice was a key source of concern and considerable efforts had been made to address it." ..."
"... These "considerable efforts" included a D-Notice sent out by the committee on 7 June 2013 – the day after The Guardian published the first documents – to all major UK media editors, saying they should refrain from publishing information that would "jeopardise both national security and possibly UK personnel". It was marked "private and confidential: not for publication, broadcast or use on social media". ..."
"... "The FT [Financial Times] and The Times did not mention it [the initial Snowden revelations] and the Telegraph published only a short". It continued by noting that only The Independent "followed up the substantive allegations". It added, "The BBC has also chosen to largely ignore the story." ..."
"... The British security services had carried out more than a "symbolic act". It was both a show of strength and a clear threat. The Guardian was then the only major newspaper that could be relied upon by whistleblowers in the US and British security bodies to receive and cover their exposures, a situation which posed a challenge to security agencies. ..."
"... The increasingly aggressive overtures made to The Guardian worked. The committee chair noted that after GCHQ had overseen the smashing up of the newspaper's laptops "engagement with The Guardian had continued to strengthen". ..."
"... But the most important part of this charm and threat offensive was getting The Guardian to agree to take a seat on the D-Notice Committee itself. The committee minutes are explicit on this, noting that "the process had culminated by [sic] the appointment of Paul Johnson (deputy editor Guardian News and Media) as a DPBAC [i.e. D-Notice Committee] member". ..."
"... The Guardian's deputy editor went directly from the corporation's basement with an angle-grinder to sitting on the D-Notice Committee alongside the security service officials who had tried to stop his paper publishing. ..."
"... In November 2016, The Guardian published an unprecedented "exclusive" with Andrew Parker, the head of MI5, Britain's domestic security service. The article noted that this was the "first newspaper interview given by an incumbent MI5 chief in the service's 107-year history". It was co-written by deputy editor Paul Johnson, who had never written about the security services before and who was still sitting on the D-Notice Committee. This was not mentioned in the article. ..."
"... The MI5 chief was given copious space to make claims about the national security threat posed by an "increasingly aggressive" Russia. Johnson and his co-author noted, "Parker said he was talking to The Guardian rather than any other newspaper despite the publication of the Snowden files." ..."
"... Just two weeks before the interview with MI6's chief was published, The Guardian itself reported on the high court stating that it would "hear an application for a judicial review of the Crown Prosecution Service's decision not to charge MI6's former counterterrorism director, Sir Mark Allen, over the abduction of Abdel Hakim Belhaj and his pregnant wife who were transferred to Libya in a joint CIA-MI6 operation in 2004". ..."
"... The security services were probably feeding The Guardian these "exclusives" as part of the process of bringing it onside and neutralising the only independent newspaper with the resources to receive and cover a leak such as Snowden's. They were possibly acting to prevent any revelations of this kind happening again. ..."
"... The Guardian's coverage of anti-Semitism in Labour has been suspiciously extensive, compared to the known extent of the problem in the party, and its focus on Corbyn personally suggests that the issue is being used politically. While anti-Semitism does exist in the Labour Party, evidence suggests it is at relatively low levels. Since September 2015, when Corbyn became Labour leader, 0.06% of the Labour membership has been investigated for anti-Semitic comments or posts. In 2016, an independent inquiry commissioned by Labour concluded that the party "is not overrun by anti-Semitism, Islamophobia or other forms of racism. Further, it is the party that initiated every single United Kingdom race equality law." ..."
"... A former Guardian journalist similarly told us: "It is significant that exclusive stories recently about British collusion in torture and policy towards the interrogation of terror suspects and other detainees have been passed to other papers including The Times rather than The Guardian." ..."
"... The Guardian had gone in six short years from being the natural outlet to place stories exposing wrongdoing by the security state to a platform trusted by the security state to amplify its information operations. A once relatively independent media platform has been largely neutralised by UK security services fearful of being exposed further. Which begs the question: where does the next Snowden go? DM ..."
Jan 01, 2019 | dailymaverick.co.za

The Guardian, Britain's leading liberal newspaper with a global reputation for independent and critical journalism, has been successfully targeted by security agencies to neutralise its adversarial reporting of the 'security state', according to newly released documents and evidence from former and current Guardian journalists.

The UK security services targeted The Guardian after the newspaper started publishing the contents of secret US government documents leaked by National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden in June 2013.

Snowden's bombshell revelations continued for months and were the largest-ever leak of classified material covering the NSA and its UK equivalent, the Government Communications Headquarters. They revealed programmes of mass surveillance operated by both agencies.

According to minutes of meetings of the UK's Defence and Security Media Advisory Committee, the revelations caused alarm in the British security services and Ministry of Defence.

" This event was very concerning because at the outset The Guardian avoided engaging with the [committee] before publishing the first tranche of information," state minutes of a 7 November 2013 meeting at the MOD.

The DSMA Committee, more commonly known as the D-Notice Committee, is run by the MOD, where it meets every six months. A small number of journalists are also invited to sit on the committee. Its stated purpose is to "prevent inadvertent public disclosure of information that would compromise UK military and intelligence operations". It can issue "notices" to the media to encourage them not to publish certain information.

The committee is currently chaired by the MOD's director-general of security policy Dominic Wilson, who was previously director of security and intelligence in the British Cabinet Office. Its secretary is Brigadier Geoffrey Dodds OBE, who describes himself as an "accomplished, senior ex-military commander with extensive experience of operational level leadership".

The D-Notice system describes itself as voluntary , placing no obligations on the media to comply with any notice issued. This means there should have been no need for the Guardian to consult the MOD before publishing the Snowden documents.

Yet committee minutes note the secretary saying: "The Guardian was obliged to seek advice under the terms of the DA notice code." The minutes add: "This failure to seek advice was a key source of concern and considerable efforts had been made to address it."

' Considerable efforts'

These "considerable efforts" included a D-Notice sent out by the committee on 7 June 2013 – the day after The Guardian published the first documents – to all major UK media editors, saying they should refrain from publishing information that would "jeopardise both national security and possibly UK personnel". It was marked "private and confidential: not for publication, broadcast or use on social media".

Clearly the committee did not want its issuing of the notice to be publicised, and it was nearly successful. Only the right-wing blog Guido Fawkes made it public.

At the time, according to the committee minutes , the "intelligence agencies in particular had continued to ask for more advisories [i.e. D-Notices] to be sent out". Such D-Notices were clearly seen by the intelligence services not so much as a tool to advise the media but rather a way to threaten it not to publish further Snowden revelations.

One night, amidst the first Snowden stories being published, the D-Notice Committee's then-secretary Air Vice-Marshal Andrew Vallance personally called Alan Rusbridger, then editor of The Guardian. Vallance "made clear his concern that The Guardian had failed to consult him in advance before telling the world", according to a Guardian journalist who interviewed Rusbridger.

Later in the year, Prime Minister David Cameron again used the D-Notice system as a threat to the media.

" I don't want to have to use injunctions or D-Notices or the other tougher measures," he said in a statement to MPs. "I think it's much better to appeal to newspapers' sense of social responsibility. But if they don't demonstrate some social responsibility it would be very difficult for government to stand back and not to act."

The threats worked. The Press Gazette reported at the time that "The FT [Financial Times] and The Times did not mention it [the initial Snowden revelations] and the Telegraph published only a short". It continued by noting that only The Independent "followed up the substantive allegations". It added, "The BBC has also chosen to largely ignore the story."

The Guardian, however, remained uncowed.

According to the committee minutes , the fact The Guardian would not stop publishing "undoubtedly raised questions in some minds about the system's future usefulness". If the D-Notice system could not prevent The Guardian publishing GCHQ's most sensitive secrets, what was it good for?

It was time to rein in The Guardian and make sure this never happened again.

GCHQ and laptops

The security services ratcheted up their "considerable efforts" to deal with the exposures. On 20 July 2013, GCHQ officials entered The Guardian's offices at King's Cross in London, six weeks after the first Snowden-related article had been published. At the request of the government and security services, Guardian deputy editor Paul Johnson, along with two others, spent three hours destroying the laptops containing the Snowden documents.

The Guardian staffers, according to one of the newspaper's reporters, brought "angle-grinders, dremels – drills with revolving bits – and masks". The reporter added, "The spy agency provided one piece of hi-tech equipment, a 'degausser', which destroys magnetic fields and erases data."

Johnson claims that the destruction of the computers was "purely a symbolic act", adding that "the government and GCHQ knew, because we had told them, that the material had been taken to the US to be shared with the New York Times. The reporting would go on. The episode hadn't changed anything."

Yet the episode did change something. As the D-Notice Committee minutes for November 2013 outlined: "Towards the end of July [as the computers were being destroyed], The Guardian had begun to seek and accept D-Notice advice not to publish certain highly sensitive details and since then the dialogue [with the committee] had been reasonable and improving."

The British security services had carried out more than a "symbolic act". It was both a show of strength and a clear threat. The Guardian was then the only major newspaper that could be relied upon by whistleblowers in the US and British security bodies to receive and cover their exposures, a situation which posed a challenge to security agencies.

The increasingly aggressive overtures made to The Guardian worked. The committee chair noted that after GCHQ had overseen the smashing up of the newspaper's laptops "engagement with The Guardian had continued to strengthen".

Moreover, he added , there were now "regular dialogues between the secretary and deputy secretaries and Guardian journalists". Rusbridger later testified to the Home Affairs Committee that Air Vice-Marshal Vallance of the D-Notice committee and himself "collaborated" in the aftermath of the Snowden affair and that Vallance had even "been at The Guardian offices to talk to all our reporters".

But the most important part of this charm and threat offensive was getting The Guardian to agree to take a seat on the D-Notice Committee itself. The committee minutes are explicit on this, noting that "the process had culminated by [sic] the appointment of Paul Johnson (deputy editor Guardian News and Media) as a DPBAC [i.e. D-Notice Committee] member".

At some point in 2013 or early 2014, Johnson – the same deputy editor who had smashed up his newspaper's computers under the watchful gaze of British intelligence agents – was approached to take up a seat on the committee. Johnson attended his first meeting in May 2014 and was to remain on it until October 2018 .

The Guardian's deputy editor went directly from the corporation's basement with an angle-grinder to sitting on the D-Notice Committee alongside the security service officials who had tried to stop his paper publishing.

A new editor

Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger withstood intense pressure not to publish some of the Snowden revelations but agreed to Johnson taking a seat on the D-Notice Committee as a tactical sop to the security services. Throughout his tenure, The Guardian continued to publish some stories critical of the security services.

But in March 2015, the situation changed when the Guardian appointed a new editor, Katharine Viner, who had less experience than Rusbridger of dealing with the security services. Viner had started out on fashion and entertainment magazine Cosmopolitan and had no history in national security reporting. According to insiders, she showed much less leadership during the Snowden affair than Janine Gibson in the US (Gibson was another candidate to be Rusbridger's successor).

Viner was then editor-in-chief of Guardian Australia, which was launched just two weeks before the first Snowden revelations were published. Australia and New Zealand comprise two-fifths of the so-called "Five Eyes" surveillance alliance exposed by Snowden.

This was an opportunity for the security services. It appears that their seduction began the following year.

In November 2016, The Guardian published an unprecedented "exclusive" with Andrew Parker, the head of MI5, Britain's domestic security service. The article noted that this was the "first newspaper interview given by an incumbent MI5 chief in the service's 107-year history". It was co-written by deputy editor Paul Johnson, who had never written about the security services before and who was still sitting on the D-Notice Committee. This was not mentioned in the article.

The MI5 chief was given copious space to make claims about the national security threat posed by an "increasingly aggressive" Russia. Johnson and his co-author noted, "Parker said he was talking to The Guardian rather than any other newspaper despite the publication of the Snowden files."

Parker told the two reporters, "We recognise that in a changing world we have to change too. We have a responsibility to talk about our work and explain it."

Four months after the MI5 interview, in March 2017, the Guardian published another unprecedented "exclusive", this time with Alex Younger, the sitting chief of MI6, Britain's external intelligence agency. This exclusive was awarded by the Secret Intelligence Service to The Guardian's investigations editor, Nick Hopkins, who had been appointed 14 months previously.

The interview was the first Younger had given to a national newspaper and was again softball. Titled "MI6 returns to 'tapping up' in an effort to recruit black and Asian officers", it focused almost entirely on the intelligence service's stated desire to recruit from ethnic minority communities.

" Simply, we have to attract the best of modern Britain," Younger told Hopkins. "Every community from every part of Britain should feel they have what it takes, no matter what their background or status."

Just two weeks before the interview with MI6's chief was published, The Guardian itself reported on the high court stating that it would "hear an application for a judicial review of the Crown Prosecution Service's decision not to charge MI6's former counterterrorism director, Sir Mark Allen, over the abduction of Abdel Hakim Belhaj and his pregnant wife who were transferred to Libya in a joint CIA-MI6 operation in 2004".

None of this featured in The Guardian article, which did, however, cover discussions of whether the James Bond actor Daniel Craig would qualify for the intelligence service. "He would not get into MI6," Younger told Hopkins.

More recently, in August 2019, The Guardian was awarded yet another exclusive, this time with Metropolitan police assistant commissioner Neil Basu, Britain's most senior counter-terrorism officer. This was Basu's " first major interview since taking up his post" the previous year and resulted in a three-part series of articles, one of which was entitled "Met police examine Vladimir Putin's role in Salisbury attack".

The security services were probably feeding The Guardian these "exclusives" as part of the process of bringing it onside and neutralising the only independent newspaper with the resources to receive and cover a leak such as Snowden's. They were possibly acting to prevent any revelations of this kind happening again.

What, if any, private conversations have taken place between Viner and the security services during her tenure as editor are not known. But in 2018, when Paul Johnson eventually left the D-Notice Committee, its chair, the MOD's Dominic Wilson, praised Johnson who, he said, had been "instrumental in re-establishing links with The Guardian".

Decline in critical reporting

Amidst these spoon-fed intelligence exclusives, Viner also oversaw the breakup of The Guardian's celebrated investigative team, whose muck-racking journalists were told to apply for other jobs outside of investigations.

One well-placed source told the Press Gazette at the time that journalists on the investigations team "have not felt backed by senior editors over the last year", and that "some also feel the company has become more risk-averse in the same period".

In the period since Snowden, The Guardian has lost many of its top investigative reporters who had covered national security issues, notably Shiv Malik, Nick Davies, David Leigh, Richard Norton-Taylor, Ewen MacAskill and Ian Cobain. The few journalists who were replaced were succeeded by less experienced reporters with apparently less commitment to exposing the security state. The current defence and security editor, Dan Sabbagh, started at The Guardian as head of media and technology and has no history of covering national security.

" It seems they've got rid of everyone who seemed to cover the security services and military in an adversarial way," one current Guardian journalist told us.

Indeed, during the last two years of Rusbridger's editorship, The Guardian published about 110 articles per year tagged as MI6 on its website. Since Viner took over, the average per year has halved and is decreasing year by year.

" Effective scrutiny of the security and intelligence agencies -- epitomised by the Snowden scoops but also many other stories -- appears to have been abandoned," a former Guardian journalist told us. The former reporter added that, in recent years, it "sometimes seems The Guardian is worried about upsetting the spooks."

A second former Guardian journalist added: "The Guardian no longer seems to have such a challenging relationship with the intelligence services, and is perhaps seeking to mend fences since Snowden. This is concerning, because spooks are always manipulative and not always to be trusted."

While some articles critical of the security services still do appear in the paper, its "scoops" increasingly focus on issues more acceptable to them. Since the Snowden affair, The Guardian does not appear to have published any articles based on an intelligence or security services source that was not officially sanctioned to speak.

The Guardian has, by contrast, published a steady stream of exclusives on the major official enemy of the security services, Russia, exposing Putin, his friends and the work of its intelligence services and military.

In the Panama Papers leak in April 2016, which revealed how companies and individuals around the world were using an offshore law firm to avoid paying tax, The Guardian's front-page launch scoop was authored by Luke Harding, who has received many security service tips focused on the "Russia threat", and was titled "Revealed: the $2bn offshore trail that leads to Vladimir Putin".

Three sentences into the piece, however, Harding notes that "the president's name does not appear in any of the records" although he insists that "the data reveals a pattern – his friends have earned millions from deals that seemingly could not have been secured without his patronage".

There was a much bigger story in the Panama Papers which The Guardian chose to downplay by leaving it to the following day. This concerned the father of the then Prime Minister, David Cameron, who "ran an offshore fund that avoided ever having to pay tax in Britain by hiring a small army of Bahamas residents – including a part-time bishop – to sign its paperwork".

We understand there was some argument between journalists about not leading with the Cameron story as the launch splash. Putin's friends were eventually deemed more important than the Prime Minister of the country where the paper published.

Getting Julian Assange

The Guardian also appears to have been engaged in a campaign against the WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange, who had been a collaborator during the early WikiLeaks revelations in 2010.

One 2017 story came from investigative reporter Carole Cadwalladr, who writes for The Guardian's sister paper The Observer, titled "When Nigel Farage met Julian Assange". This concerned the visit of former UKIP leader Nigel Farage to the Ecuadorian embassy in March 2017, organised by the radio station LBC, for whom Farage worked as a presenter. Farage's producer at LBC accompanied Farage at the meeting, but this was not mentioned by Cadwalladr.

Rather, she posited that this meeting was "potentially a channel of communication" between WikiLeaks, Farage and Donald Trump, who were all said to be closely linked to Russia, adding that these actors were in a "political alignment" and that " WikiLeaks is, in many ways, the swirling vortex at the centre of everything".

Yet Cadwalladr's one official on-the-record source for this speculation was a "highly placed contact with links to US intelligence", who told her, "When the heat is turned up and all electronic communication, you have to assume, is being intensely monitored, then those are the times when intelligence communication falls back on human couriers. Where you have individuals passing information in ways and places that cannot be monitored."

It seems likely this was innuendo being fed to The Observer by an intelligence-linked individual to promote disinformation to undermine Assange.

In 2018, however, The Guardian's attempted vilification of Assange was significantly stepped up. A new string of articles began on 18 May 2018 with one alleging Assange's "long-standing relationship with RT", the Russian state broadcaster. The series, which has been closely documented elsewhere, lasted for several months, consistently alleging with little or the most minimal circumstantial evidence that Assange had ties to Russia or the Kremlin.

One story, co-authored again by Luke Harding, claimed that "Russian diplomats held secret talks in London with people close to Julian Assange to assess whether they could help him flee the UK, The Guardian has learned". The former consul in the Ecuadorian embassy in London at this time, Fidel Narvaez, vigorously denies the existence of any such "escape plot" involving Russia and is involved in a complaint process with The Guardian for insinuating he coordinated such a plot.

This apparent mini-campaign ran until November 2018, culminating in a front-page splash , based on anonymous sources, claiming that Assange had three secret meetings at the Ecuadorian embassy with Trump's former campaign manager Paul Manafort.

This "scoop" failed all tests of journalistic credibility since it would have been impossible for anyone to have entered the highly secured Ecuadorian embassy three times with no proof. WikiLeaks and others have strongly argued that the story was manufactured and it is telling that The Guardian has since failed to refer to it in its subsequent articles on the Assange case. The Guardian, however, has still not retracted or apologised for the story which remains on its website.

The "exclusive" appeared just two weeks after Paul Johnson had been congratulated for "re-establishing links" between The Guardian and the security services.

The string of Guardian articles, along with the vilification and smear stories about Assange elsewhere in the British media, helped create the conditions for a deal between Ecuador, the UK and the US to expel Assange from the embassy in April. Assange now sits in Belmarsh maximum-security prison where he faces extradition to the US, and life in prison there, on charges under the Espionage Act.

Acting for the establishment

Another major focus of The Guardian's energies under Viner's editorship has been to attack the leader of the UK Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn.

The context is that Corbyn appears to have recently been a target of the security services. In 2015, soon after he was elected Labour leader, the Sunday Times reported a serving general warning that "there would be a direct challenge from the army and mass resignations if Corbyn became prime minister". The source told the newspaper: "The Army just wouldn't stand for it. The general staff would not allow a prime minister to jeopardise the security of this country and I think people would use whatever means possible, fair or foul, to prevent that."

On 20 May 2017, a little over two weeks before the 2017 General Election, the Daily Telegraph was fed the story that "MI5 opened a file on Jeremy Corbyn amid concerns over his links to the IRA". It formed part of a Telegraph investigation claiming to reveal "Mr Corbyn's full links to the IRA" and was sourced to an individual "close to" the MI5 investigation, who said "a file had been opened on him by the early nineties".

The Metropolitan Police Special Branch was also said to be monitoring Corbyn in the same period.

Then, on the very eve of the General Election, the Telegraph gave space to an article from Sir Richard Dearlove, the former director of MI6, under a headline: "Jeremy Corbyn is a danger to this nation. At MI6, which I once led, he wouldn't clear the security vetting."

Further, in September 2018, two anonymous senior government sources told The Times that Corbyn had been "summoned" for a "'facts of life' talk on terror" by MI5 chief Andrew Parker.

Just two weeks after news of this private meeting was leaked by the government, the Daily Mail reported another leak, this time revealing that "Jeremy Corbyn's most influential House of Commons adviser has been barred from entering Ukraine on the grounds that he is a national security threat because of his alleged links to Vladimir Putin's 'global propaganda network'."

The article concerned Andrew Murray, who had been working in Corbyn's office for a year but had still not received a security pass to enter the UK parliament. The Mail reported, based on what it called "a senior parliamentary source", that Murray's application had encountered "vetting problems".

Murray later heavily suggested that the security services had leaked the story to the Mail. "Call me sceptical if you must, but I do not see journalistic enterprise behind the Mail's sudden capacity to tease obscure information out of the [Ukrainian security service]," he wrote in the New Statesman. He added, "Someone else is doing the hard work – possibly someone being paid by the taxpayer. I doubt if their job description is preventing the election of a Corbyn government, but who knows?"

Murray told us he was approached by the New Statesman after the story about him being banned from Ukraine was leaked. "However," he added, "I wouldn't dream of suggesting anything like that to The Guardian, since I do not know any journalists still working there who I could trust."

The Guardian itself has run a remarkable number of news and comment articles criticising Corbyn since he was elected in 2015 and the paper's clearly hostile stance has been widely noted .

Given its appeal to traditional Labour supporters, the paper has probably done more to undermine Corbyn than any other. In particular, its massive coverage of alleged widespread anti-Semitism in the Labour Party has helped to disparage Corbyn more than other smears carried in the media.

The Guardian and The Observer have published hundreds of articles on "Labour anti-Semitism" and, since the beginning of this year, carried over 50 such articles with headlines clearly negative to Corbyn. Typical headlines have included " The Observer view: Labour leadership is complicit in anti-Semitism ", " Jeremy Corbyn is either blind to anti-Semitism – or he just doesn't care ", and " Labour's anti-Semitism problem is institutional. It needs investigation ".

The Guardian's coverage of anti-Semitism in Labour has been suspiciously extensive, compared to the known extent of the problem in the party, and its focus on Corbyn personally suggests that the issue is being used politically. While anti-Semitism does exist in the Labour Party, evidence suggests it is at relatively low levels. Since September 2015, when Corbyn became Labour leader, 0.06% of the Labour membership has been investigated for anti-Semitic comments or posts. In 2016, an independent inquiry commissioned by Labour concluded that the party "is not overrun by anti-Semitism, Islamophobia or other forms of racism. Further, it is the party that initiated every single United Kingdom race equality law."

Analysis of two YouGov surveys, conducted in 2015 and 2017, shows that anti-Semitic views held by Labour voters declined substantially in the first two years of Corbyn's tenure and that such views were significantly more common among Conservative voters.

Despite this, since January 2016, The Guardian has published 1,215 stories mentioning Labour and anti-Semitism, an average of around one per day, according to a search on Factiva, the database of newspaper articles. In the same period, The Guardian published just 194 articles mentioning the Conservative Party's much more serious problem with Islamophobia. A YouGov poll in 2019, for example, found that nearly half of the Tory Party membership would prefer not to have a Muslim prime minister.

At the same time, some stories which paint Corbyn's critics in a negative light have been suppressed by The Guardian. According to someone with knowledge of the matter, The Guardian declined to publish the results of a months-long critical investigation by one of its reporters into a prominent anti-Corbyn Labour MP, citing only vague legal issues.

In July 2016, one of this article's authors emailed a Guardian editor asking if he could pitch an investigation about the first attempt by the right-wing of the Labour Party to remove Corbyn, informing The Guardian of very good inside sources on those behind the attempt and their real plans. The approach was rejected as being of no interest before a pitch was even sent.

A reliable publication?

On 20 May 2019, The Times newspaper reported on a Freedom of Information request made by the Rendition Project, a group of academic experts working on torture and rendition issues, which showed that the MOD had been "developing a secret policy on torture that allows ministers to sign off intelligence-sharing that could lead to the abuse of detainees".

This might traditionally have been a Guardian story, not something for the Rupert Murdoch-owned Times. According to one civil society source, however, many groups working in this field no longer trust The Guardian.

A former Guardian journalist similarly told us: "It is significant that exclusive stories recently about British collusion in torture and policy towards the interrogation of terror suspects and other detainees have been passed to other papers including The Times rather than The Guardian."

The Times published its scoop under a strong headline , "Torture: Britain breaks law in Ministry of Defence secret policy". However, before the article was published, the MOD fed The Guardian the same documents The Times were about to splash with, believing it could soften the impact of the revelations by telling its side of the story.

The Guardian posted its own article just before The Times, with a headline that would have pleased the government: "MoD says revised torture guidance does not lower standards".

Its lead paragraph was a simple summary of the MOD's position: "The Ministry of Defence has insisted that newly emerged departmental guidance on the sharing of intelligence derived from torture with allies, remains in line with practices agreed in the aftermath of a series of scandals following the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq." However, an inspection of the documents showed this was clearly disinformation.

The Guardian had gone in six short years from being the natural outlet to place stories exposing wrongdoing by the security state to a platform trusted by the security state to amplify its information operations. A once relatively independent media platform has been largely neutralised by UK security services fearful of being exposed further. Which begs the question: where does the next Snowden go? DM

The Guardian did not respond to a request for comment.

Daily Maverick will formally launch Declassified – a new UK-focused investigation and analysis organisation run by the authors of this article – in November 2019.

Matt Kennard is an investigative journalist and co-founder of Declassified . He was previously director of the Centre for Investigative Journalism in London, and before that a reporter for the Financial Times in the US and UK. He is the author of two books, Irregular Army and The Racket .

Mark Curtis is a leading UK foreign policy analyst, journalist and the author of six books including Web of Deceit: Britain's Real Role in the World and Secret Affairs: Britain's Collusion with Radical Islam .

[Sep 11, 2019] John Brennan's and Jim Clappers' Last Gasp by Larry C Johnson

Highly recommended!
The fact that Smolenkov purchased house on his name excludes his "extraction" to the USA. He probably legally emigrated amazing some serious money in Russia
Notable quotes:
"... [Smolenkov] follows Ushakov back to Moscow, where he is a mid-level paper pusher doing administrative support for Ushakov. The CIA gets copies of Putin's itineraries that Smolenkov photographs. He is a big hit, but ultimately produces nothing of vital importance because all truly sensitive information is hand carried by principles, and never seen by administrative staff. Moreover Ushakov advises on international relations, and would not be privy to anything dealing with intelligence. Ushakov, as a long-serving Ambassador to the US, would be asked by Putin to opine on US politics. Smolenkov has access to Ushakov's post-meeting verbal comments, which he turns over to the CIA. ..."
"... The initial reports of the Steele Dossier appeared in June 2016. This coincided with John Brennan ordering Moscow Station to turn up the heat on Smolenkov to gain access to what Putin is thinking. But Smolenkov has no real direct access. Instead, he starts fabricating and/or exaggerating his access to convince his CIA handler that he is on the job and worth every penny he is being paid by US taxpayers. ..."
"... The information Smolenkov creates is passed to his CIA handler via the secure communications channel set up when he was signed up as a spy. But these reports are not handled in the normal way that sensitive human intelligence is treated at CIA Headquarters. Instead, the material is accepted at face value and not vetted to confirm its accuracy. My intel friend, citing a knowledgeable source, indicates that Smolenkov was not polygraphed. ..."
"... This raised red flags in the CIA Counterintelligence staff, especially when Brennan starts briefing the President using the information provided by Smolenkov. Brennan responds by locking most of the CIA's Russian experts out of the loop. Later, Brennan does the same thing with the National Intelligence Council, locking out the National Intelligence Officers who would normally oversee the production of a National Intelligence Assessment. In short, Brennan cooked the books using Smolenkov's intelligence, which had it been subjected to normal checks and balances would never have passed muster. It's Brennan's leaks to the press that eventually prompt the CIA to pull the plug on Smolenkov. ..."
"... The dossier attributed to Steele, it has seemed to me, showed every sign of being the proverbial 'camel produced by a committee.' ..."
"... Although I know that fabricating evidence and corrupting judicial proceedings is part of its supposed author's 'stock in trade', I think it is unclear whether he contributed all that much to the dossier. ..."
"... His prime role, I think, was to contribute a veneer of intelligence respectability to a farrago the actual origins of which could not be acknowledged, so it could be used in support of FISA applications and in briefings to journalists. ..."
"... Although it had started much earlier, the moving into 'high gear' of the conspiracy behind 'Russiagate, of which the dossier was one manifestation, and the phone 'digital forensics' produced by 'Crowdstrike' and the former GCHQ person Matt Tait another, were I think essentially panicky 'firefighting' operations. ..."
"... Part of this involved turning the conspiracy to prevent Trump being elected into a conspiracy to destabilise his Presidency and ensure he did not carry through on any of his 'anti-Borgist' agenda. ..."
Sep 11, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com

A flood of news in the last 24 hours regarding Russiagate. I am referring specifically to reports that the CIA ex-filtrated Oleg Smolenkov, a mid-level Russian Foreign Ministry bureaucrat who reportedly hooked himself on the coat-tails of Yuri Ushakov, who was Ambassador to the US from 1999 through 2008. He was recruited by the CIA (i.e., asked to collect information and pass it to the U.S. Government via his or her case officer) at sometime during this period. Smolenkov is being portrayed as a supposedly "sensitive" source. But if you read either the Washington Post or New York Times accounts of this event there is not a lot of meat on this hamburger.

Regardless of the quality of his reporting, Smolenkov is the kind of recruited source that looks good on paper and helps a CIA case officer get promoted but adds little to actual U.S. intelligence on Russia. If you understood the CIA culture you would immediately recognize that a case officer (CIA terminology for the operations officer tasked with identifying and recruiting human sources) gets rewarded by recruiting persons who ostensibly will have access to information the CIA has identified as a priority target. In this case, we're talking about possible access to Vladimir Putin.

If you take time to read both articles you will quickly see that the real purpose of this "information operation" is to paint Donald Trump as a security threat that must be stopped. This is conveniently timed to assist Jerry Nadler's mission impossible to secure Trump's impeachment. But I think there is another dynamic at play--these competing explanations for what prompted the exfiltration of this CIA asset say more about the incompetence of Barack Obama and his intel chiefs. John Brennan and Jim Clapper in particular.

A former intelligence officer and friend summarized the various press accounts as the follows and offered his own insights in a note I received this morning:

[Smolenkov] follows Ushakov back to Moscow, where he is a mid-level paper pusher doing administrative support for Ushakov. The CIA gets copies of Putin's itineraries that Smolenkov photographs. He is a big hit, but ultimately produces nothing of vital importance because all truly sensitive information is hand carried by principles, and never seen by administrative staff. Moreover Ushakov advises on international relations, and would not be privy to anything dealing with intelligence. Ushakov, as a long-serving Ambassador to the US, would be asked by Putin to opine on US politics. Smolenkov has access to Ushakov's post-meeting verbal comments, which he turns over to the CIA.

The initial reports of the Steele Dossier appeared in June 2016. This coincided with John Brennan ordering Moscow Station to turn up the heat on Smolenkov to gain access to what Putin is thinking. But Smolenkov has no real direct access. Instead, he starts fabricating and/or exaggerating his access to convince his CIA handler that he is on the job and worth every penny he is being paid by US taxpayers.

The information Smolenkov creates is passed to his CIA handler via the secure communications channel set up when he was signed up as a spy. But these reports are not handled in the normal way that sensitive human intelligence is treated at CIA Headquarters. Instead, the material is accepted at face value and not vetted to confirm its accuracy. My intel friend, citing a knowledgeable source, indicates that Smolenkov was not polygraphed.

This raised red flags in the CIA Counterintelligence staff, especially when Brennan starts briefing the President using the information provided by Smolenkov. Brennan responds by locking most of the CIA's Russian experts out of the loop. Later, Brennan does the same thing with the National Intelligence Council, locking out the National Intelligence Officers who would normally oversee the production of a National Intelligence Assessment. In short, Brennan cooked the books using Smolenkov's intelligence, which had it been subjected to normal checks and balances would never have passed muster. It's Brennan's leaks to the press that eventually prompt the CIA to pull the plug on Smolenkov.

There is public evidence that Brennan not only cooked the books but that the leaks of this supposedly "sensitive" intelligence occurred when he was Director and lying Jim Clapper was Director of National Intelligence. If Oleg Smolenkov was really such a terrific source of intel, then where are the reports? It is one thing to keep such reports close hold when the source is still in place. But he has been out of danger for more than two years. Those reports should have been shared with the Senate and House Intelligence committees. If there was actual solid intelligence in those reports that corroborated the Steele Dossier, then that information would have been leaked and widely circulated. This is Sherlock Holmes dog that did not bark.Then we have the odd fact that this guy's name is all over the press and he is buying real estate in true name. What the hell!! If the CIA genuinely believed that Mr. Smolenkov was in danger he would not be walking around doing real estate deals in true name. In fact, the sources for both the Washington Post and NY Times pieces push the propaganda that Smolenkov is a sure fire target for a Russian retaliatory hit. Really? Then why publish his name and confirm his location.

That leaves me with the alternative explanation--Smolenkov is a propaganda prop and is being trotted out by Brennan to try to provide public pressure to prevent the disclosure of intelligence that will show that the CIA and the NSA were coordinating and operating with British intelligence to entrap and smear Donald Trump and members of his campaign.

I want you to take a close look at the two pieces on this exfiltration (i.e., Washington Post and NY Times) and note the significant differences

REASON FOR THE EXFILTRATION :

Let's start with the Washington Post:

The exfiltration took place sometime after an Oval Office meeting in May 2017, when President Trump revealed highly classified counterterrorism information to the Russian foreign minister and ambassador, said the current and former officials, speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss the sensitive operation.

What was the information that Trump revealed? He was discussing intel that Israel passed regarding ISIS in Syria. (See the Washington Post story here .) Why would he talk to the Russians about that? Because every day, at least once a day, U.S. and Russian military authorities are sharing intelligence with one another in a phone call that originates from the U.S. Combined Air Operations Center (aka CAOC) at the Al Udeid Air Force Base in Qatar. Trump's conversation not only was appropriate but fully within his right to do so as Commander-in-Chief.

What the hell does this have to do with a sensitive source in Moscow? NOTHING!! Red Herring.

The NY Times account is more detailed and damning of Obama instead of Trump:

But when intelligence officials revealed the severity of Russia's election interference with unusual detail later that year, the news media picked up on details about the C.I.A.'s Kremlin sources.

C.I.A. officials worried about safety made the arduous decision in late 2016 to offer to extract the source from Russia. The situation grew more tense when the informant at first refused, citing family concerns -- prompting consternation at C.I.A. headquarters and sowing doubts among some American counterintelligence officials about the informant's trustworthiness. But the C.I.A. pressed again months later after more media inquiries. This time, the informant agreed. . . .

The decision to extract the informant was driven "in part" because of concerns that Mr. Trump and his administration had mishandled delicate intelligence, CNN reported. But former intelligence officials said there was no public evidence that Mr. Trump directly endangered the source, and other current American officials insisted that media scrutiny of the agency's sources alone was the impetus for the extraction. . . .

But the government had indicated that the source existed long before Mr. Trump took office, first in formally accusing Russia of interference in October 2016 and then when intelligence officials declassified parts of their assessment about the interference campaign for public release in January 2017. News agencies, including NBC, began reporting around that time about Mr. Putin's involvement in the election sabotage and on the C.I.A.'s possible sources for the assessment.

Trump played no role whatsoever in releasing information that allegedly compromised this so-called "golden boy" of Russian intelligence. The NY Times account makes it very clear that the release of information while Obama was President, not Trump, is what put the source in danger. Who leaked that information?

WHAT DID THE SOURCE KNOW AND WHAT DID HE TELL US?

But how valuable was this source really? What did he provide that was so enlightening? On this point the New York Times and Washington Post are more in sync.

First the NY Times:

The Moscow informant was instrumental to the C.I.A.'s most explosive conclusion about Russia's interference campaign: that President Vladimir V. Putin ordered and orchestrated it himself . As the American government's best insight into the thinking of and orders from Mr. Putin, the source was also key to the C.I.A.'s assessment that he affirmatively favored Donald J. Trump's election and personally ordered the hacking of the Democratic National Committee .

The Washington Post provides a more fulsome account:

U.S. officials had been concerned that Russian sources could be at risk of exposure as early as the fall of 2016, when the Obama administration first confirmed that Russia had stolen and publicly disclosed emails from the Democratic National Committee and the account of Hillary Clinton's campaign chairman, John Podesta.

In October 2016, the Department of Homeland Security and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence said in a joint statement that intelligence agencies were "confident that the Russian Government directed" the hacking campaign. . . .

In January 2017, the Obama administration published a detailed assessment that unambiguously laid the blame on the Kremlin, concluding that "Putin ordered an influence campaign" and that Russia's goal was to undermine faith in the U.S. democratic process and harm Clinton's chances of winning.

"That's a pretty remarkable intelligence community product -- much more specific than what you normally see," one U.S. official said. "It's very expected that potential U.S. intelligence assets in Russia would be under a higher level of scrutiny by their own intelligence services."

Sounds official. But there is no actual forensic or documentary evidence (by that I mean actual corroborating intelligence reports) to back up these claims by our oxymoronically christened intelligence community.

Vladimir Putin ordered the hack? Where is the report? It is either in a piece of intercepted electronics communication and/or in a report derived from information provided by Mr. Smolenkov. Where is it? Why has that not been shared in public? Don't have to worry about exposing the source now. He is already in the open. What did he report? Answer--no direct evidence.

Then there is the lie that the Russians hacked the DNC. They did not. Bill Binney, a former Technical Director of the NSA, and I have written on this subject previously ( see here ) and there is no truth to this claim. Let me put it simply--if the DNC had been hacked by the Russians using spearphising (this is claimed in the Robert Mueller report) then the NSA would have collected those messages and would be able to show they were transferred to the Russians. That did not happen.

This kind of chaotic leaking about an old intel op is symptomatic of panic. CIA is already officially denying key parts of the story. My money is on John Brennan and Jim Clapper as the likely impetus for these reports. They are hoping to paint Trump as a national security threat and distract from the upcoming revelations from the DOJ Inspector General report on the FISA warrants and, more threatening, the decisions that Prosecutor John Durham will take in deciding to indict those who attempted to launch a coup against Donald Trump, a legitimately elected President of the United States.


blue peacock , 10 September 2019 at 02:34 PM

I'm always skeptical of NY Times and WaPo and CNN reporting on anything national security related. It seems there is always an axe to grind.

I don't know why folks believe these media outlets have any credibility.

Larry Johnson -> blue peacock... , 10 September 2019 at 03:16 PM
Important to focus on the fact they are telling different and even contradictory stories. That's confusion on the part of the deep state.
Ana said in reply to Larry Johnson ... , 11 September 2019 at 10:00 AM
... And what helps us to decode the plot!
turcopolier -> blue peacock... , 11 September 2019 at 09:47 AM
BP

As I told LJ yesterday while he was writing this piece I have a slightly different theory of this matter. It is true that CIA suffered for a long time from a dearth of talent in the business of recruiting and running foreign clandestine HUMINT assets. This was caused by a focus by several CIA Directors on technical collection means rather than espionage. This policy drove many skilled case officers into retirement but the situation has much improved in the last decade and it must be remembered that an agency only needs a few skilled case officers with the right access to human targets to acquire some very fine and useful well placed foreign agents (spies). IMO it is likely that CIA has/had several well placed Russian assets in Moscow of whom Smolenkov was probably the least useful and the most expendable. It may well be that Brennan was using the chicken feed provided by Smolenkov to fuel the conspiracy run by him and Clapper against Trump's campaign and presidency, but Brennan left office and then the CIA under other management was faced with the problem of a Russian government which was told in the US press by implication that either the US had deep penetrations of Russian diplomatic and intelligence communications or that there were deep penetration moles in Moscow. that being the case it seems likely to me that the Russians would have been beating the bushes looking for the moles. In that situation the CIA may have decided to exfiltrate Smolenkov and his wife while leaving enough clues along the way that would have indicated that he might have been THE MOLE. People do not need a lot of encouragement to accept thoughts that they want to believe. A point in favor of this theory is that once CIA had him in the States they quickly lost interest in him, terminated their relationship with him and paid him his back pay and showed him the door. No new identity, no resettlement, he was given none of that. Finding himself alone in a strange land, Smolenkov then bought a house in the suburbs of Washington in HIS OWN NAME. Say what? That would not have happened if CIA had maintained some sort of relationship with him. And then... someone in CIA leaked the story of the exfiltration as movie plot to "a former senior intelligence officer" who gives sit to Sciutto at CNN. Why would they do that? IMO they would have though that having the story appear in the media would reinfocer Smolenkov's importance in Russian minds. Well, pilgrims, Clapper fits the bill as the "former blah, blah". He is an employee of CNN. CNN hates Trump and they quickly broadcast the story far and away. Unfortunately for CNN the story immediately began to disintegrate even in the eyes of the NY Times. The Smolenkov/Brennan affair will undoubtedly be part of the road that leads to doom for Brennan and Clapper but the possible CIA story is equally interesting.

ambrit , 10 September 2019 at 03:51 PM
Sir;
The fact that Mr. Smolenkov is out and about in his new home in the West shows that he is a small fish. As you say, if he was really in danger, he would be living somewhere in the West now under a new name and maybe a new face. The fact that his 'handlers' allow this lax security to happen is a sign of how unimportant he is. Unless, my inner cynic prompts, he is destined to become one of the "honoured dead," perhaps by a false flag 'liquidation.'
How low will Clapper and Brennan et. al. go?
Thanks for keeping this matter front and centre.
Fred , 10 September 2019 at 04:22 PM
So the son of Our Man in Havana went to Moscow. It would make a decent movies if it weren't for the damage Brennan and company have done to us. Obama, of course, knew nothing......
Diana C , 10 September 2019 at 04:49 PM
I have lost hope that anyone--especially Brennan and Clapper--will be held accountable for their attempt to "launch a coup" (as you put it).

Since their coup attempt ultimately failed, most people will be wanting just to move on.

As an unimportant citizen liveing in a fly-over state, I feel very angry that my tax dollars were wasted on these many government hearings and enormously expensive investigations rather than on actually on governing and improving the governing of our country.

The least we should be able to expect is that people who live off our tax dollars should be held accountable for all that wasted expense and for the lack of actual governing going on in The House and The Senate. So many problems that need the attention of our elected representative and Senators were ignored while elected representatives and representatives got to capture the spotlight and try to become "media stars" while accomplishing nothing.

I also feel terrible that men have been sent to prison for seemingly nothing and have their lives ruined for nothing but the chance of some to grand stand and claim they are really doing the jobs they were sent to do. So many people with no real sense of honor or of what is right and what is wrong.

Thanks, Larry. You have been consistently one of the good guys. (And I bet you are happy now that Yosemite Sam Bolton is no longer advising the POTUS.)

fredw , 10 September 2019 at 06:09 PM
"The fact that his 'handlers' allow this lax security to happen is a sign of how unimportant he is."

It indicates to me that he and any handlers believe that the Russians are OK with it. That could be for various reasons. But relying on Russian tolerance because he is a "small fish" seems incredibly trusting. Neither fled agents nor their handlers are known for their trusting natures. They have had some reasons stronger than that for their unconcern. Whether those reasons will survive publicity remains to be seen.

Oscar , 10 September 2019 at 06:31 PM
Are those CIA agents as stupid, naive & incompetent as you paint them to be?
If that's the case our country is in real danger! You are. Pro Trump
and, you are basically defending him, but Putin do own Donald Trump,whether you like it or not!
turcopolier -> Oscar ... , 11 September 2019 at 08:56 AM
Oscar
What is the evidence for "Putin do own Trump?"Is it Trump's attempts to conduct foreign policy relationships with Russia? That is his job.
JohnH , 10 September 2019 at 08:16 PM
My question is: why did they push this report now? Any way you cut it, the Times and Post are just providing some trivia and drivel. Without substance, they can accomplish nothing and substance has been what's been missing all along.

I doubt that Democrats, having been burned once, are eager to explore Brennan's smoke and mirrors again. It's never been a big concern to voters. And unless Brennan & Co. can do better than this superficial stuff, voters are never going to be concerned.

Maybe the Times and Post just felt sorry for Brennan, who's been off barking at the moon for years now.

Factotum , 10 September 2019 at 08:40 PM
Have a cup of Ovomaltine.
Rhondda , 10 September 2019 at 08:48 PM
...Smolenkov is a propaganda prop and is being trotted out by Brennan to try to provide public pressure to prevent the disclosure of intelligence that will show that the CIA and the NSA were coordinating and operating with British intelligence to entrap and smear Donald Trump and members of his campaign...

Well said. Thank you for following this closely and shining the light! You are an amazing American patriot, Mr. Larry C. Johnson. A glass in your honor!

plantman , 10 September 2019 at 09:13 PM
I think AG Barr might have cut these guys (Brennan and Clapper) some slack and let them off the hook, but NOW, what can he do but prosecute??

Brennan has shown that he is going to persevere with his fallacious attacks on Trump come hell or high water.

He needs to be stopped and brought to justice...

johnklis56@gmail.com -> plantman... , 11 September 2019 at 08:51 AM
Haha! Dream on. Barr IS CIA...remember his role back in the Slick WIlly days in Mena Arkansas?
Roy G , 10 September 2019 at 11:27 PM
IMO this scenario is the most plausible, Thanks for the sanity check. That said, given the desperation by these Sorcerer's Apprentices, I would be on the lookout for Mr. Smolenkov lest he be 'Skirpal-ed' in the coming weeks.
anon , 10 September 2019 at 11:36 PM
This whole story convinces now more than ever before that there is a high level spy/mole in the us administration and intelligence community.The only question is it spying for russia or china or both.Just a beautiful thing to watch.Those knickers,must surely be in a knot by now.
Even rocketman had a giggle.
Jim Ticehurst , 10 September 2019 at 11:52 PM
How many CIA Assets have been exposed..Tortured and Murdered During The Barrack Obama Reign...In May..2014 HE Paid a Surprise Visit to Afghanastan..His White House Bureau Chief Sent out an email to Reporters with a List of Who would meet With President Obama..It Contained the NAME of the CIA...Chief of Station in Kabul...Now that is REAL MESSY..
turcopolier , 11 September 2019 at 08:59 AM
johnklis56@gmail.com

Is there any basis for any of your assertions or are you just running your mouth?

David Habakkuk , 11 September 2019 at 10:37 AM
Larry,

Having been away from base, I have not been able to comment on some very fascinating recent posts.

Both your recent pieces, and Robert Willman's most helpful update on the state of play relating to the unraveling of the frame-up against Michael Flynn, have provided a lot to chew over.

Among other things, they have made me think further about the 302s recording the interviews with Bruce Ohr produced by Joseph Pientka – a character about whom I think we need to know more.

On reflection, I think that the picture that emerges of Ohr as an incurious and gullible nitwit, swallowing whole bucket loads of 'horse manure' fed him by Christopher Steele and Glenn Simpson, may be a carefully – indeed maybe cunningly – crafted fiction.

The interpretation your former intelligence officer friend puts on the Smolenkov affair, and also some of what Sidney Powell has to say in the ''Motion to Compel' on behalf of Flynn, both 'mesh' with what I have long suspected.

The dossier attributed to Steele, it has seemed to me, showed every sign of being the proverbial 'camel produced by a committee.'

Although I know that fabricating evidence and corrupting judicial proceedings is part of its supposed author's 'stock in trade', I think it is unclear whether he contributed all that much to the dossier.

His prime role, I think, was to contribute a veneer of intelligence respectability to a farrago the actual origins of which could not be acknowledged, so it could be used in support of FISA applications and in briefings to journalists.

Although it had started much earlier, the moving into 'high gear' of the conspiracy behind 'Russiagate, of which the dossier was one manifestation, and the phone 'digital forensics' produced by 'Crowdstrike' and the former GCHQ person Matt Tait another, were I think essentially panicky 'firefighting' operations.

They are likely to have been responses, first, to the realisation that material leaked from the DNC was going to be published by WikiLeaks, and then the discovery, probably significantly later, that the source was Seth Rich, and his subsequent murder.

Although the operation to divert responsibility to the Russians which then became necessary was strikingly successful, it did not have the expected result of saving Hillary Clinton from defeat.

What I then think may have emerged was a two-pronged strategy.

Part of this involved turning the conspiracy to prevent Trump being elected into a conspiracy to destabilise his Presidency and ensure he did not carry through on any of his 'anti-Borgist' agenda.

In different ways, both the framing of Flynn, and the final memorandum in the dossier, dated 13 December 2016, were part of this strategy.

Also required however was another 'insurance policy' – which was what the Bruce Ohr 302s were intended to provide.

The purpose of this was to have 'evidence' in place, should the first prong of the strategy run into problems, to sustain the case that people in the FBI and DOJ, and Bruce and Nellie Ohr in particular, were not co-conspirators with Steele and Simpson, but their gullible dupes.

This brings me to an irony. Some people have tried to replace the 'narrative' in which Steele was an heroic exposer of a Russian plot to destroy American democracy by an alternative in which he was the gullible 'patsy' of just such a plot.

In fact there is one strand, and one strand only, in the dossier which smells strongly to me of FSB-orchestrated disinformation.

Some of the material on Russian cyber operations, including critically the suggestions about the involvement of Aleksej Gubarev and his company XBT which provoked legal action by these against BuzzFeed and Steele, look to me as though they could come from sources in the FSB.

But, if this is so, the likely conduit is not through Steele, but from FSB to FBI cyber people.

How precisely this worked is unclear, but I cannot quite get rid of the suspicion that Major Dmitri Dokuchaev just might be serving out his sentence for treason in a comfortable flat somewhere above the Black Sea. Indeed, I can imagine a lecture to FSB trainees on how to make 'patsies' of people like the Ohrs.

If this is so, however, it mat also be the case that these are attempting to make 'patsies' of Steele and Simpson.

[Sep 11, 2019] There is the possibility that CIA extracted a minor source to divert attention from someone or someones who remain(s) in place.

Notable quotes:
"... So, this fully-spun story, apparently a mix of fact and fiction, arises at this moment to prop up the Russia-leaked-email hoax? ..."
"... If that's the case, does that mean this story's "authors" release it now to keep at least part of the Russia hoax alive as the Flynn case plods toward charges being dropped or because the Concord case is turning into a cluster f*k? Maybe someone is worried about the DNC-insider-leaked-email story breaking out? We need to talk about Rich? ..."
"... if I am wrong in supposing that a senior Chekist would never, as a question of policy, have been allowed a passport for foreign travel for him and his family. ..."
"... If Oleg Smolenkov reported allegedly "valuable" insider information about Russia's interference in US elections, as they say first hand, then why did Mueller's investigation fail? ..."
"... The New York Times story resurrects the Russia collusion hoax. This time the proof comes from Oleg Smolenkov. The story is identical to what the Steele dossier claimed: Putin personally directed a campaign to interfere in the US presidential elections. ..."
"... Every part of Steele narrative has already been shown to be a hoax and a fabrication. What proves that the Steele dossier is a work of fiction is that it is written from a fly-on-the-wall point of view. Only a person who was sitting in the same room with Putin when he had secret meetings could have written it. So how many moles did the West have sitting on Putin's desk? It seems like the CIA mole and Steele's secret source are one and the same source. But if Oleg Smolenkov was CIA's most tightly guarded secret, how did the information end up in Steele's dossier? ..."
"... Larry Johnson just posted about this on SST, and his take seems much more plausible: Desperation on the part of Clapper and his cabal as the chickens are coming home to roost. This story is chock full of holes, and the media hackery is disintegrating under its own weight. ..."
"... Perhaps someone should advise Smolenskov to stay away from park benches after eating seafood and to not touch doorknob's etc. ..."
"... "For those curious about what's going on with this bizarre Russia 'spy' story: Burr/Durham know Steele was fed obvious disinformation, they know who originated it, they know who peddled it, and it's just a matter of rounding up the whole network." ..."
"... In his third entry, he poses the following question: "So the only two unanswered questions about this particular pre-emptive leak campaign from the usual Russia hoax suspects are 1) why now, and 2) what specific event or official revelation are they trying to get ahead of?" ..."
"... Why the CIA would allow such a spy, once extradited, to live under his real name is beyond me. ..."
"... Because this man has nothing to do with "spies", "secrets" and "special services". He is an ordinary civilian, a former official from Russia. Many Russian ex- lives in abroad, including high-ranking persons. Smolenkov of course had no access to any "secrets", and had no access to entourage of the Russian president. ..."
"... That's the end of Smolenkov's anonymous quiet comfortable lifesyle. It doesn't send out a very reassuring message - that the CIA can publicly expose someone it considers a very useful asset. There must be a good reason why they threw Smolenkov under the bus in that way. ..."
"... It must be a very nice house. A 3-ish acre lot in that neighborhood has an assessment of $140k for the land. But the assessment for improvements for this house is over $900k while others in the neighborhood are more in the $600k range. I was looking at the aerial photos and trying to pick out what seem to be other nice houses, including ones with swimming pools which this one lacks, and which also have big garages (this one has 4 car garage apparently), but couldn't find a neighbor above an assessment in the $600k's. ..."
"... The only way that he's the 'source' of the Steele fiction is if the whole thing was in the style of LeCarre's "The Tailor of Panama" where everyone is lying and inflating what they know and people at the top are paying out good money for this because it suits their little power games. But any Moscow tailor with a couple of important customers would be positioned to run that scam as well as an aide to an aide to a foreign minister. ..."
"... My personal guess, he made his money by the more typical corruption in Russia, which means he was working for an oligarch. He lost his job, possibly during one of Putin's anti-corruption cleanup campaigns. He decided to move to DC with his oligarch money because he'd served 10 years in the embassy there and he liked the area. He is buying property in his own name because he's not part of any sort of witness/spy protection program and nobody in the USG is setting him up with a fake identity. ..."
"... Sergei Skripal was not just an turncoat for UK he also worked for Estonian intelligence. It seems to me the poisoning fits better as an Estonian job, to keep relations in Europe with Russia in very bad shape. It's easy to say that the Russians wouldn't be so incompetent, also goes for the UK, which could have come up with something more compelling if they pre planned it as false flag. ..."
"... Joe Mifsud and Claire Smith of MI6, Glenn Simpson of Fusion GPS, especially FBI special agent Joseph Pientka plus that BIG shot FBI agent (who's name I forget) are the names to remember. Why aren't Misud and Smith extradited to face inquiry? ..."
"... So what is emerging? is Mueller due in court to prosecute the Russian ad agency that has fully shirt fronted him? Is Flynn business about to upend a steaming pot of turds over Mueller and other heads. Is Seth Rich about to be posthumously knighted by some New York monarch for his role in smashing the HRC cart in public? Or is Julian Assange about to be put through more torture for being a journalist and publisher? ..."
Sep 11, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

b , Sep 10 2019 18:01 utc | 2

Pat Lang has this interesting take :
All

And then there is the possibility that CIA extracted a minor source to divert attention from someone or someones who remain(s) in place. The open purchase of a house in the outer suburbs of Washington by the extracted would seem to support the possibility that this is all a diversion. The narrative continues that "a former senior intelligence official" told Sciutto, an Obama man, at CNN of all this. Clapper is "a former senior intelligence official" and a CNN "contributor" (employee) is he not? He is dumb enough to have had this story planted on him.

Double games, triple games ... Spies are so confusing ...

james , Sep 10 2019 18:14 utc | 3

thanks b... i agree about your comment on pls comment - double / triple and etc games can be played with spies... what seems clear to me is that some in the cia-msm want to frame trump.. this one feel apart fairly quickly... the frame up of russia over skripal has never been addressed by the usa.. in fact, most folks - using ew as an example - are still drinking the russia done it koolaid 24/7..
james , Sep 10 2019 18:14 utc | 3 casey , Sep 10 2019 18:18 utc | 4
So, this fully-spun story, apparently a mix of fact and fiction, arises at this moment to prop up the Russia-leaked-email hoax?

If that's the case, does that mean this story's "authors" release it now to keep at least part of the Russia hoax alive as the Flynn case plods toward charges being dropped or because the Concord case is turning into a cluster f*k? Maybe someone is worried about the DNC-insider-leaked-email story breaking out? We need to talk about Rich?

Funny about Lang and his crew. So much practical experience and yet they would make an interesting case study of extreme psychological compartmentalization as a means of denial.

Hoarsewhisperer , Sep 10 2019 18:19 utc | 5
Lucky Oleg & Antonina. In Oz a 760 square metre house used be known as having an area of 81 squares (8,172 square feet. In well-maintained condition such a 3-storey house anywhere in Oz would cost between A$2.5 million and A$3.5 million. Being in AmeriKKA Oleg's house probably has a basement too. That's another $150,000 minimum if it's damp-proof and ventilated.
karlof1 , Sep 10 2019 18:24 utc | 6
Nice networking by 4 BigLie Media outlets to make certain Russia knows where this man and his family reside. Maybe it's for an Outlaw US Empire sequel to MI-6's Novochock BigLie to be sprung as the election heats up. If I were the Smolenskovs, I'd demand an immediate identity change, sell ASAP and move to Idaho.
Michael Droy , Sep 10 2019 18:31 utc | 7
If Skripal could live safely under his own name I guess this guy could too. It just makes it easier for the US to get him in their own time. I don't really see this guy served any purpose until he was outed. Just a late effort to pretend that Russiagate had any credibility.
Montreal , Sep 10 2019 18:32 utc | 8
I wish that there was a resident Russian on this site, as there is on Craig Murray's.

That person could then tell me if I am wrong in supposing that a senior Chekist would never, as a question of policy, have been allowed a passport for foreign travel for him and his family.

Sergei , Sep 10 2019 18:33 utc | 9
If Oleg Smolenkov reported allegedly "valuable" insider information about Russia's interference in US elections, as they say first hand, then why did Mueller's investigation fail?
Petri Krohn , Sep 10 2019 18:57 utc | 10
WAS SMOLENKOV A SOURCE FOR THE STEELE DOSSIER?

The New York Times story resurrects the Russia collusion hoax. This time the proof comes from Oleg Smolenkov. The story is identical to what the Steele dossier claimed: Putin personally directed a campaign to interfere in the US presidential elections.

Every part of Steele narrative has already been shown to be a hoax and a fabrication. What proves that the Steele dossier is a work of fiction is that it is written from a fly-on-the-wall point of view. Only a person who was sitting in the same room with Putin when he had secret meetings could have written it. So how many moles did the West have sitting on Putin's desk? It seems like the CIA mole and Steele's secret source are one and the same source. But if Oleg Smolenkov was CIA's most tightly guarded secret, how did the information end up in Steele's dossier?

Roy G , Sep 10 2019 19:10 utc | 11
Larry Johnson just posted about this on SST, and his take seems much more plausible: Desperation on the part of Clapper and his cabal as the chickens are coming home to roost. This story is chock full of holes, and the media hackery is disintegrating under its own weight.
Arioch , Sep 10 2019 19:19 utc | 12
> Obama administration .... Russia had stolen .... Democratic National Committee and ..... John Podesta.

So we have to allege that Podesta's laptop between naked underage girls photos had list of CIA secret agents in Russian government? What else rid it contain and where did Podesta stole those lists?

Same question about Paki-managed DNC server. Was managing CIA agents in foreign governments outsourced to DNC or what?

"Once in the lifetime of yer townfolk! F..en circus! Imbecile clowns! Degenerate tamers! Deformed strongmen! Dysfunctional acrobats! Don't miss out!"

Qua , Sep 10 2019 19:21 utc | 13
Perhaps someone should advise Smolenskov to stay away from park benches after eating seafood and to not touch doorknob's etc.
Uncle $cam , Sep 10 2019 19:24 utc | 14
Speaking of outed Spy's..."Undercover" -- Valerie Plame for Congress "When elephants fight, it's the grass that suffers"
Gigi , Sep 10 2019 19:26 utc | 15
@2
Diversion is one of the three possibilities that I can think of:

1) clan wars within US special services, particularly in view of the 2020 elections.

2) diversion (as suggested by col. Pat Lang)

3) preparation of the ground to make this guy a "sacrificial lamb" like Scripal, to avoid any new rapprochement between the US and Russia after the end of the Muller report.

(comment originally posted at http://smoothiex12.blogspot.com/2019/09/he-was-never-qualified-to-start-with.html#disqus_thread )

james , Sep 10 2019 19:35 utc | 16
@11 roy g.. this is what i said @3 "what seems clear to me is that some in the cia-msm want to frame trump.. this one feel apart fairly quickly..." for others who want to read larry johnsons latest at sst here...

@4 casey - last line.. ditto my thoughts..

karlof1 , Sep 10 2019 19:39 utc | 17
Interesting Tweet thread by a Sean M Davis has 5 entries and almost 1000 retweets beginning with this:

"For those curious about what's going on with this bizarre Russia 'spy' story: Burr/Durham know Steele was fed obvious disinformation, they know who originated it, they know who peddled it, and it's just a matter of rounding up the whole network."

In his third entry, he poses the following question: "So the only two unanswered questions about this particular pre-emptive leak campaign from the usual Russia hoax suspects are 1) why now, and 2) what specific event or official revelation are they trying to get ahead of?"

The easy answer is the story itself is enough of a distraction as the 1000 retweets show.

Clueless Joe , Sep 10 2019 19:44 utc | 18
I tend to agree with Larry Johnson (at Pat Lang's) that this guy wasn't that useful back then. He might have become more useful, had he stayed at the Kremlin and rose further up the ladder, granted; or Obama's top guys assumed he wouldn't and it wasn't an issue to risk to burn him.
Clueless Joe , Sep 10 2019 19:44 utc | 18
I tend to agree with Larry Johnson (at Pat Lang's) that this guy wasn't that useful back then. He might have become more useful, had he stayed at the Kremlin and rose further up the ladder, granted; or Obama's top guys assumed he wouldn't and it wasn't an issue to risk to burn him.
librul , Sep 10 2019 19:54 utc | 19
Is someone brewing up some fresh Novichok nerve agent as we speak?

Don't touch those doorknobs, Oleg!

for future reference: this post was for amusement purposes only

alaff , Sep 10 2019 19:57 utc | 20
This whole story is entirely in the spirit of Hollywood comics. I had a good laugh when I saw the news about the "valuable spy successfully extracted from Russia".

Here are some reasons why this is fake/disinformation:

1) The news was published by CNN. I think there's no need to explain whether it is worth taking seriously the "sensations" published by news outlets with a reputation like CNN.

2) Sorry, but you must be a complete idiot (in the medical sense) to openly declare in the media that you had a "very valuable spy" in the immediate circle of the president of the Russian Federation (or any other country). Just because in this way you, by your own hands, are giving your opponent the reason to "strengthen control", conduct checks and identify those [other] people who might be able to work for you for a long time and be useful. When this really takes place in real life (the presence of a spy of the highest rank, close to the head of state), then this becomes public only after many years/decades, when the 'Top Secret' stamp is removed from the documents, you know.

3) V.Putin is a former intelligence officer. To put it mildly, it is very naive to assume that the presence of an "American spy" (close to Putin) would not be known to a person with Putin's experience/knowledge/capacity.

4) To be a spy, a member of the inner circle of the President of Russia (or any other country) and not to be exposed, one need to have extraordinary abilities and competencies. This is the highest class. In recent years, it seems only the lazy one did not notice and did not note the monstrous degradation of the American political class. These people do not know how to behave in a civilized society, do not have the traditions and culture of diplomacy and communication. The situation is similar in the American defense industry. With this level of decline in the competence of the American elite (political, military, etc.), to assume that they have such a ultra-high-class spy is at least very strange.

5) The fact that the "valuable spy" in the inner circle of the Russian president is pure CNN fiction is confirmed in practice. What I mean:

6) Serious Russian experts unequivocally spoke out that all this was fake and that Smolenkov certainly could not be a spy. In particular, Armen Gasparyan, one of the leading Russian political scientists, historian, writer (incidentally, who wrote several books on intelligence), spoke quite fully about this in his recent commentary .

Why the CIA would allow such a spy, once extradited, to live under his real name is beyond me.

Because this man has nothing to do with "spies", "secrets" and "special services". He is an ordinary civilian, a former official from Russia. Many Russian ex- lives in abroad, including high-ranking persons. Smolenkov of course had no access to any "secrets", and had no access to entourage of the Russian president.

An attempt to present Smolenkov as a "valuable spy" from exactly the same series as the clumsy attempt by the British government to introduce two Russian civilians (Ruslan Boshirov and Alexander Petrov) as "GRU agents". It is hardly reasonable to take this seriously.

However, all this is just my personal opinion.

Brendan , Sep 10 2019 20:05 utc | 21
That's the end of Smolenkov's anonymous quiet comfortable lifesyle. It doesn't send out a very reassuring message - that the CIA can publicly expose someone it considers a very useful asset. There must be a good reason why they threw Smolenkov under the bus in that way.
Mao Cheng Ji , Sep 10 2019 20:33 utc | 22
$925K for a 8k sqft house on 1.2 hectares? Sounds like a bargain. Not a very nice neighborhood, perhaps?
Sorghum , Sep 10 2019 20:52 utc | 23
This guy could not possibly be what the CIS and media are presenting to be. Living under his own name in Virginia? Could it be any simpler to find him? The Russians do have search engines, too.

B may be right that this is a double or triple play, but find it hard to see the benefits to pretending to have had a deep mole in the Kremlin. I also find it implausible that any Russsian diplomat who has been stationed in DC would not be viewed as potentially compromised. It would be relatively simple to feed him bullshit and see what filters into DC.

Margaret , Sep 10 2019 20:59 utc | 24
Many thoughtful comments here. My take, as a fan of Le Carre and Mad Magazine's Spy vs Spy cartoon, is that USA's spy was discovered and turned. He was dismissed, employed somewhere close by, and fed chicken feed for his CIA masters. When they realized he was a failure, the CIA got him and his family out with the possible object of turning him into a propaganda subject. Of course he would have to die first, but CIA could make it look like the Russians did it.
Smiley , Sep 10 2019 21:05 utc | 25
I'm generally interested in how spies are referred to in corporate media stories.

For instance, we were told constantly that Skirpal was a 'Russian Spy'. This ran contrary to the normal usage, which would have referred to a British Spy within the Russian government as a 'British Spy'. If that signaled a general change in language, then Solemenkov, would also be referred to as a Russian Spy and not as an American Spy. He shares with Skirpal having a Russian nationality, while he was spying for the Americans. Of course, when the propagandists are going for an emotional reaction, they can be relied on to use whichever helps tilt the story in their direction.

Smiley , Sep 10 2019 21:07 utc | 26
Historically, spy agencies aren't really known for their great humanity in pulling out a spy who is in a useful position just because they fear for that spy's safety. The more common course of action for Spy Bosses is to keep the spy in place, keep pushing for more, more, more information from the spy, before perhaps holding a brief moment of silence over their spy ending up in prison.
S , Sep 10 2019 21:18 utc | 27
@karlof1 #6:
Maybe it's for an Outlaw US Empire sequel to MI-6's Novochock BigLie to be sprung as the election heats up.

That's what I thought as well. Why would the MSM hype a spy other than establishing his persona in the public eye, to be followed by some event later? Either he's a double agent and they will kill him and blame it on Russia, or he is not a double agent and they will use him to announce some "strong evidence" of Trump–Russia connection.

Sabine , Sep 10 2019 21:57 utc | 28
so when can we expect the US / Russia to finally save us all from ourselfs?

fuck are you guys not tired of this bullshit kabuki theatre that you get fed daily in order to keep you amused and busy?

William Gruff , Sep 10 2019 22:09 utc | 29
Part of the intention of this farce is to give the CIA and the CIA News Network (CNN) the opportunity to pretend that they are not knotted together like mating dogs (I leave it up to the reader to guess which one is the bitch).
Madeira , Sep 10 2019 22:11 utc | 30
A theory:

1. Smolenkov was the source of the Steele Report, in other words he received a substantial payment to come up with fictional "dirt" on Trump.

2. With all the publicity about the Steele report, Brennan/Obama/etc. were scared (and with good reason) that the Russians would figure out that Smolenkov was the source and would then make a grand show of his confessing to how he had made everything up at the request of US/UK intelligence agencies.

3. Therefore he was extricated for a very good reason (if you are Obama/Brennan, that is).

4. His extrication is now being used as an anti-Trump weapon, but also as a pre-emptive measure to reduce the fallout if (or when) reports emerge that Smolenkov was the source for Steele.

Peter AU 1 , Sep 10 2019 22:33 utc | 31
Be interesting to know what was occurring if Smolenkov was the source for the Steele report. Whatever information he was sending, that he just left on holidays makes me think Russian intel were on the ball and had started feeding him a bit of disinformation.
karlof1 , Sep 10 2019 22:35 utc | 32
Sabine @28--

I don't expect the US--and by US I mean the Current Oligarchy--to save anyone, while Russia is very busy trying to save its current and future populace--the differences being quite extreme. Since the US isn't intent on saving anyone, it wants to ensure its populace thinks other governments act the same way toward their populaces so the US populace doesn't get any ideas about saving itself from its own viscous government. Busting that narrative is what keeps us busy--There IS an alternative.

Smiley , Sep 10 2019 22:41 utc | 33
From digging around on the property site (from the link).

It must be a very nice house. A 3-ish acre lot in that neighborhood has an assessment of $140k for the land. But the assessment for improvements for this house is over $900k while others in the neighborhood are more in the $600k range. I was looking at the aerial photos and trying to pick out what seem to be other nice houses, including ones with swimming pools which this one lacks, and which also have big garages (this one has 4 car garage apparently), but couldn't find a neighbor above an assessment in the $600k's.

The neighborhood as a whole has had its valuations decline in the 2018 biannual assessment. Not sure why, but maybe the neighborhood of 20 year old mansions isn't as hot as some newer developments. The last previous lowering of assessment values occurred during the Great-Not-A-Depression in the 2008 revaluations. Note, the land is not considered to have lower values, but all of the homes on the street have had the assessments of the improvements on the property lowered in the last reassessments.

Hard to tell much about the selling price from neighboring properties. Many of the neighbors bought their homes direct from the construction company back in the early years of the century. So not too many direct compares for homes bought in 2018.

Smiley , Sep 10 2019 22:54 utc | 34
A point that appears to have missed by several is that an aide to an aide to the foreign minister is not likely to have access to Putin's super-top-secret plans to use a few thousand dollars worth of utube and twit ads to change the course of multi-billion dollar American election, nor would he have access to information that might be used to blackmail a potential foreign leader. Both would be closely held secrets and apparently way above his pay grade. Often the FM wouldn't know of either, and both operations would be compartmentalized into a close team Putin can trust.

The only way that he's the 'source' of the Steele fiction is if the whole thing was in the style of LeCarre's "The Tailor of Panama" where everyone is lying and inflating what they know and people at the top are paying out good money for this because it suits their little power games. But any Moscow tailor with a couple of important customers would be positioned to run that scam as well as an aide to an aide to a foreign minister.

My personal guess, he made his money by the more typical corruption in Russia, which means he was working for an oligarch. He lost his job, possibly during one of Putin's anti-corruption cleanup campaigns. He decided to move to DC with his oligarch money because he'd served 10 years in the embassy there and he liked the area. He is buying property in his own name because he's not part of any sort of witness/spy protection program and nobody in the USG is setting him up with a fake identity.

Turner , Sep 10 2019 23:02 utc | 35
Does anyone really believe that the Kremlin takes as the truth what they hear on CNN?
karlof1 , Sep 10 2019 23:11 utc | 36
Smiley @33&34--

House likely bought by CIA and annual upkeep--taxes etc.--also paid by them.

MoA's investigators have fairly well established that Skripal was the most likely contributor to the Steele Dossier given the overall web of established connections--that was most certainly an MI-6 operation in league with DNC/HRC officials, not CIA, although CIA was involved in Russiagate Cover-up.

In examining Russia's foreign policy, where were the compromises generated by this alleged spy? Aside from the UNSC vote debacle on Libya, I see nothing but a string of successes, although the Ukraine Coup wasn't debauched. IMO, Outlaw US Empire policy toward Russia has failed spectacularly, and it is within the US government where I'd expect to find well placed spies.

james , Sep 10 2019 23:15 utc | 37
@35 turner.. no.. and no one here at moa believes anything out of the western msm either... see @ 29 william gruff comment for more meaningful lingo on the set up..
Uncle $cam , Sep 10 2019 23:21 utc | 38
Does anyone really believe that the Kremlin takes as the truth what they hear on CNN?

ha! Emphatically, Yes, most Mericans, think they think that.. Because most Mericans think everyone but Merican's are stupid.

Smiley , Sep 10 2019 23:21 utc | 39
Here's a tough problem for a counter-intelligence agent. Find the source of info for a fictional report.

Normally, after a link, one avenue of investigation would be to check who had access to the leaked information. But, if the report is completely fictional, then there is no list of people who had access to information that didn't exist. Everyone or no one had equal access to the non-existent information. The Tailor of Moscow had the same access to the non-existent information as did Putin's closest personal aide. Who done it?

willie , Sep 10 2019 23:30 utc | 40
Headline in le Figaro:

Ingérence russe :la CIA disposait d'une source haut-placée au Kremlin.
Russian collusion: CIA had high placed source at the Kremlin.

A lot of commentators see the incongruence of this title and make jokes about it. Really, when a superpower becomes a source of jokes and ridicule, than the end might be nigh.

Jackrabbit , Sep 11 2019 0:30 utc | 41
Evidence-free accusations of Russian meddling. Now with extra sauce.

<> <> <> <> <> <>

We don't really know WHY this spy was extracted. Anyone that believes that Russiagate was deliberately planned as part of the new Cold War is not surprised at yet another attempt to strengthen the nonexistent case for Russian meddling.

JasonT , Sep 11 2019 0:44 utc | 42
smiley @34 seems to have the most logical take on this.
GoldmanKropotkin , Sep 11 2019 0:47 utc | 43
The first report in US Press about Putin personally involved was on Dec 14 2016.
Two senior officials with direct access to the information say new intelligence shows that Putin personally directed how hacked material from Democrats was leaked and otherwise used. The intelligence came from diplomatic sources and spies working for U.S. allies, the officials said.

Putin's objectives were multifaceted, a high-level intelligence source told NBC News. What began as a "vendetta" against Hillary Clinton morphed into an effort to show corruption in American politics and to "split off key American allies by creating the image that [other countries] couldn't depend on the U.S. to be a credible global leader anymore," the official said.

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/u-s-officials-putin-personally-involved-u-s-election-hack-n696146

Notice the source is spies working for US Allies. Remember that the NSA did not sign off on the Russian interference/hacking because they were concerned that too much critical info rested on intelligence from a single foreign country.

Sergei Skripal was not just an turncoat for UK he also worked for Estonian intelligence. It seems to me the poisoning fits better as an Estonian job, to keep relations in Europe with Russia in very bad shape. It's easy to say that the Russians wouldn't be so incompetent, also goes for the UK, which could have come up with something more compelling if they pre planned it as false flag.

Notice how we have some sources saying concern grew after the Trump Putin meeting, where supposedly Trump gave Israeli intelligence to Putin on Syria, I think they were concerned Trump would have no problem revealing a spy for another government, much like he was free with foreign intelligence.

I don't think the exfiltration was the real source but someone to sacrifice, to protect the real source, who is working for Estonian intelligence. To me this seems like it is possibly Anton Vaino, Chief of Staff of the Kremlin since August 2016, Deputy Chief of Staff of Kremlin before that. This is not to say his info is accurate, but is in line with the foreign policy of Estonia to alienate everyone with Russia.

Yeah, Right , Sep 11 2019 0:57 utc | 44
Just out of curiousity, if what has been reported is true then what reason would Mueller have to exclude this from his report? The dude is proof of the Russia-did-it!! narrative. Check.The dude has already been extracted. Check. The Russians must have already noticed that he has done a runner. Check.

What would stop Mueller from producing a one-paragraph report that starts with: "we know the following to be true because for the last decade everything that Putin did was being relayed to us by an aide to the foreign policy advisor to the Kremlin, since extracted and now living in the USA".

I mean, bit of a slam-dunk, don't you think?

uncle tungsten , Sep 11 2019 3:00 utc | 45
I call it a red herring, and I bet this sucker has been fully set up. Publicly listed address and all the indicators are that he is held in reserve to throw to the dogs whenever the action gets too close to the mongrel perpetrators.

Joe Mifsud and Claire Smith of MI6, Glenn Simpson of Fusion GPS, especially FBI special agent Joseph Pientka plus that BIG shot FBI agent (who's name I forget) are the names to remember. Why aren't Misud and Smith extradited to face inquiry?

So what is emerging? is Mueller due in court to prosecute the Russian ad agency that has fully shirt fronted him? Is Flynn business about to upend a steaming pot of turds over Mueller and other heads. Is Seth Rich about to be posthumously knighted by some New York monarch for his role in smashing the HRC cart in public? Or is Julian Assange about to be put through more torture for being a journalist and publisher?

This poor Russian sod is a patsy for the vicious deep state game that now needs to prey on him and deliver his carcass to the howling mob and so distract them again. This Friday's quiet press releases might hold a clue.

snake , Sep 11 2019 3:47 utc | 46
plausible

maybe

where is the diversion.. lots of activity in Afghanistan and Golan today.. Turkey is moving into N. Syria.. Venezuela.. where is the diversion/

dltravers , Sep 11 2019 3:51 utc | 47
This guy will probably be making the rounds on CNN and cable news promoting the Steele dossier and the Russian collusion hoax as its complete disintegration is now fully evident. Offer up some turds on a plate, dress it up with a pinch a parsley and the truth will be avoided.

The whole 2 year media storm of lies on Russian collusion will be avoided by offering up another turd on a plate. This guy will pull down a few million and the media will never admit their false reporting.

Jen , Sep 11 2019 4:54 utc | 48
It would seem that a great deal has certainly changed at the CIA since 2003 when Valerie Plame was revealed as a spy by a newspaper journalist who was given the information about her during a phone conversation with someone close to the White House at the time, apparently to punish her ambassador husband Joseph Wilson for going to Niger to verify if that country had exported uranium to Saddam Hussein's Iraq. Then there was shock and anger at the time that the cover of a CIA operative had been blown.

Now the CIA doesn't even bother to give Smolenkov and his family new identities and biographies to explain their living in Washington DC, and even co-operates with the outgoing Obama administration in 2016 in risking the exposure of one of its own to try to stop Donald Trump from ensconcing himself in the White House.

Something certainly has changed in the culture of the CIA: while it was always a political animal, it is becoming an extremely ideological one as well.

Sunny Runny Burger , Sep 11 2019 5:40 utc | 49
The idea that this could be a fake spy is interesting.

Sabine wrote:

fuck are you guys not tired of this bullshit kabuki theatre that you get fed daily in order to keep you amused and busy?

Only speaking for myself I ignore almost all of it (and actively treat it as propaganda, deception, and manipulation) and take a lot of breaks. I test the waters (or sewage) from time to time but I don't expect much and have no right to expect anything either.

However despite such sentiments the last decade seems like it has been an improvement although too many people (and probably me as well) are searching for "replacements" to failures when maybe there shouldn't be any: any false choice requires at least two wrong answers but there could be any number .

az , Sep 11 2019 9:16 utc | 51
In Bulgaria is a spy scandal too.
Reschetnikov is banned for ten years to visit Bulgaria. A reporter from NYT has tried to interview him before steps are take in Bulgaria to investigate the case. The officials say the Russians wanted to divert Bulgaria to the asia-project and that money-laundering was used to finance subversive activities. The case started on 9.09 2019. Today the parliament heard the statements of the agencies. Nothing new they sayed
az , Sep 11 2019 9:20 utc | 52
I think the Nato-gang want to have a military war in the black sea. Turkey did not close the Bosporus for the Russians, so they lost the war in Syria.
Josh , Sep 11 2019 10:53 utc | 53
Sounds fishy, the whole thing. Of course, when everyone is lying about everything while they are pretending to fight with each other, it may well get a bit convoluted. CIA outing thrir own dude on their own propaganda outlet is quite strange though. Also, their dude just trotting about using his real name (in a publicly listed mansion no less),... ehh... Who knows...
Josh , Sep 11 2019 11:05 utc | 54
Of course, they could be trying to 'put him on the spot' to use him for yet another propaganda push (whether he wants to play along, or not). But, again, the whole thing seems a bit strange.
milomilo , Sep 11 2019 11:30 utc | 55
i would caution people here on patrick lang's views on this issue. remember he is an existensialist american "patriot" who stop at nothing and will approve of any warcrime to held up the mighty american empire. Look at patrick lang's history , he is ex intelligence and thus never left the "services" even when he is "retired".

Pat lang's hate toward those who criticize american empire is legendary.. just look at his own comments on SST.

another one to watch is patrick lang's friend called TTG which also US intelligence and it is not unknown for this guy to post or inject nonsense narrative on SST especially on intelligence matters concerning russia.

The posts that seems clean of US narrative lies seem to come from Publius Tacitus and Walrus. But then again never take off your mandatory antipropaganda shield especially on SST owned by ex spook who love the american empire and military trashing of the world

Sunny Runny Burger , Sep 11 2019 12:34 utc | 56
The following rumor (through sputniknews.com) is sort of educational even if it should turn out to not be true (its Boolean value is essentially irrelevant which is interesting as a separate matter as well): Trump mistrusts spies etc .
donkeytale , Sep 11 2019 12:41 utc | 57
Sabine - are you guys not tired of this bullshit kabuli theatre

No, we are tirelessly...chasing our own tails...endlessly drinking one exclusive flavour of koolaid...The Infotainment Sickness Unto Death...

cirsium , Sep 11 2019 14:25 utc | 58
@Jen, 48

It wasn't just shock. Scooter Libby, Cheney's (?) Chief of Staff, broke a federal law when he exposed Valerie Palme as a CIA operative. He served part of a prison sentence for this. Joseph Wilson verified that Saddam Hussein did not buy yellow cake. After his report was ignored, he wrote an article about his findings. I remember reading it in the International Herald Tribune. It put the WMD narrative in doubt.

[Sep 11, 2019] We don't really know WHY this spy was extracted. Anyone that believes that Russiagate was deliberately planned as part of the new Cold War is not surprised at yet another attempt to strengthen the nonexistent case for Russian meddling.

OK, lets' assume that neoliberal MSM are not lying. Then why Mueller did not include him in his report? He was already in the USA since June 2017. It is unclear when he was fired by russians.
Also as Smolenkov for a long time lived in the USA he knew very well what the USA wants and could lie with impunity trying to earn more money. In a way similar personality as Skripal.
Is the idea to create the second Skripals-style false poisoning hysteria to help to sustain RussiaGate?
Notable quotes:
"... The only way that he's the 'source' of the Steele fiction is if the whole thing was in the style of LeCarre's "The Tailor of Panama" where everyone is lying and inflating what they know and people at the top are paying out good money for this because it suits their little power games. But any Moscow tailor with a couple of important customers would be positioned to run that scam as well as an aide to an aide to a foreign minister. ..."
"... My personal guess, he made his money by the more typical corruption in Russia, which means he was working for an oligarch. He lost his job, possibly during one of Putin's anti-corruption cleanup campaigns. He decided to move to DC with his oligarch money because he'd served 10 years in the embassy there and he liked the area. He is buying property in his own name because he's not part of any sort of witness/spy protection program and nobody in the USG is setting him up with a fake identity. ..."
"... MoA's investigators have fairly well established that Skripal was the most likely contributor to the Steele Dossier given the overall web of established connections--that was most certainly an MI-6 operation in league with DNC/HRC officials, not CIA, although CIA was involved in Russiagate Cover-up. ..."
"... In examining Russia's foreign policy, where were the compromises generated by this alleged spy? Aside from the UNSC vote debacle on Libya ..."
"... A lot of commentators see the incongruence of this title and make jokes about it. Really,when a superpower becomes a source of jokes and ridicule, than the end might be nigh. ..."
"... We don't really know WHY this spy was extracted. Anyone that believes that Russiagate was deliberately planned as part of the new Cold War is not surprised at yet another attempt to strengthen the nonexistent case for Russian meddling. ..."
"... The first report in US Press about Putin personally involved was on Dec 14 2016 ..."
"... I don't think the exfiltration was the real source but someone to sacrifice, to protect the real source, who is working for Estonian intelligence. To me this seems like it is possibly Anton Vaino, Chief of Staff of the Kremlin since August 2016, Deputy Chief of Staff of Kremlin before that. This is not to say his info is accurate, but is in line with the foreign policy of Estonia to alienate everyone with Russia. ..."
"... Just out of curiosity, if what has been reported is true then what reason would Mueller have to exclude this from his report? The dude is proof of the Russia-did-it!! narrative. Check. The dude has already been extracted. Check. The Russians must have already noticed that he has done a runner. Check. ..."
"... What would stop Mueller from producing a one-paragraph report that starts with: "we know the following to be true because for the last decade everything that Putin did was being relayed to us by an aide to the foreign policy advisor to the Kremlin, since extracted and now living in the USA". ..."
"... Well, I just think Putin had more important things to think about than the charade that is now the US electoral process. Probably he felt (I'm guessing of course) that the whole Russiagate scenario was a desperate move to throw a curtain over the demise of American democracy that served his, Putin's, purposes very well because it kept the idiots busy while he shored up the badly leaking ship of his own state. ..."
"... And I go with Smiley@34 - no spy of even mediocre caliber would agree to being placed in such an exposed position under his own name, for crying out loud! ..."
"... It doesn't make sense that he would leave himself exposed if either in Russia or in the US he had undercover connections of this sort. Just doesn't make sense. But that he was the best the US operatives could come up with right now simply speaks to further deterioration of US ability to field persuasive stories. ..."
"... Putin hasn't had to worry about vendettas or showing corruption in American politics. Take a reliable poll. Who in the US thinks our politics ISN'T corrupt? ..."
"... We didn't need Putin, mastermind though he is, to 'create an image' of American unreliability. Was it Putin who reneged on so many treaties? Was it Putin who antagonized the Koreas? Was it Putin who set up the trade war with China? Was it Putin who threatened and sanctioned Russia, Iran, Venezuela? ..."
"... What can the Russians do to get ahead of the narrative on the likely impending demise of Smolenkov by novichok or polonium poisoning? ..."
"... The concern is about the three hundred million other Americans who are at least partially captured by the false narratives pumped out non-stop from their Plato's Cave displays. Is there anything that the Russians can do now to inoculate some Americans against the hard sell they will be facing when the corporate mass media ( Mighty Wurlitzer ) cranks up the multi-channel marketing campaign for the United States' own Skripal farce? ..."
Sep 11, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org
Smiley , Sep 10 2019 22:54 utc | 34

A point that appears to have missed by several is that an aide to an aide to the foreign minister is not likely to have access to Putin's super-top-secret plans to use a few thousand dollars worth of utube and twit ads to change the course of multi-billion dollar American election, nor would he have access to information that might be used to blackmail a potential foreign leader.

Both would be closely held secrets and apparently way above his pay grade. Often the FM wouldn't know of either, and both operations would be compartmentalized into a close team Putin can trust.

The only way that he's the 'source' of the Steele fiction is if the whole thing was in the style of LeCarre's "The Tailor of Panama" where everyone is lying and inflating what they know and people at the top are paying out good money for this because it suits their little power games. But any Moscow tailor with a couple of important customers would be positioned to run that scam as well as an aide to an aide to a foreign minister.

My personal guess, he made his money by the more typical corruption in Russia, which means he was working for an oligarch. He lost his job, possibly during one of Putin's anti-corruption cleanup campaigns. He decided to move to DC with his oligarch money because he'd served 10 years in the embassy there and he liked the area. He is buying property in his own name because he's not part of any sort of witness/spy protection program and nobody in the USG is setting him up with a fake identity.


karlof1 , Sep 10 2019 23:11 utc | 36

Smiley @33&34--

House likely bought by CIA and annual upkeep--taxes etc.--also paid by them.

MoA's investigators have fairly well established that Skripal was the most likely contributor to the Steele Dossier given the overall web of established connections--that was most certainly an MI-6 operation in league with DNC/HRC officials, not CIA, although CIA was involved in Russiagate Cover-up.

In examining Russia's foreign policy, where were the compromises generated by this alleged spy? Aside from the UNSC vote debacle on Libya, I see nothing but a string of successes, although the Ukraine Coup wasn't debauched. IMO, Outlaw US Empire policy toward Russia has failed spectacularly, and it is within the US government where I'd expect to find well placed spies.

Smiley , Sep 10 2019 23:21 utc | 39
Here's a tough problem for a counter-intelligence agent. Find the source of info for a fictional report.

Normally, after a link, one avenue of investigation would be to check who had access to the leaked information. But, if the report is completely fictional, then there is no list of people who had access to information that didn't exist. Everyone or no one had equal access to the non-existent information.

The Tailor of Moscow had the same access to the non-existent information as did Putin's closest personal aide. Who done it?

willie , Sep 10 2019 23:30 utc | 40
Headline in le Figaro: Ingérence russe :la CIA disposait d'une source haut-placée au Kremlin (Russian collusion: CIA had high placed source at the Kremlin.)

A lot of commentators see the incongruence of this title and make jokes about it. Really,when a superpower becomes a source of jokes and ridicule, than the end might be nigh.

Jackrabbit , Sep 11 2019 0:30 utc | 41
Evidence-free accusations of Russian meddling. Now with extra sauce.

<> <> <> <> <> <>

We don't really know WHY this spy was extracted. Anyone that believes that Russiagate was deliberately planned as part of the new Cold War is not surprised at yet another attempt to strengthen the nonexistent case for Russian meddling.

GoldmanKropotkin , Sep 11 2019 0:47 utc | 43
The first report in US Press about Putin personally involved was on Dec 14 2016.
Two senior officials with direct access to the information say new intelligence shows that Putin personally directed how hacked material from Democrats was leaked and otherwise used. The intelligence came from diplomatic sources and spies working for U.S. allies, the officials said.

Putin's objectives were multifaceted, a high-level intelligence source told NBC News. What began as a "vendetta" against Hillary Clinton morphed into an effort to show corruption in American politics and to "split off key American allies by creating the image that [other countries] couldn't depend on the U.S. to be a credible global leader anymore," the official said.

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/u-s-officials-putin-personally-involved-u-s-election-hack-n696146

Notice the source is spies working for US Allies. Remember that the NSA did not sign off on the Russian interference/hacking because they were concerned that too much critical info rested on intelligence from a single foreign country.

Sergei Skripal was not just an turncoat for UK he also worked for Estonian intelligence. It seems to me the poisoning fits better as an Estonian job, to keep relations in Europe with Russia in very bad shape. It's easy to say that the Russians wouldn't be so incompetent, also goes for the UK, which could have come up with something more compelling if they pre planned it as false flag.

Notice how we have some sources saying concern grew after the Trump Putin meeting, where supposedly Trump gave Isreali intelligence to Putin on Syria, I think they were concerned Trump would have no problem revealing a spy for another government, much like he was free with foreign intelligence.

I don't think the exfiltration was the real source but someone to sacrifice, to protect the real source, who is working for Estonian intelligence. To me this seems like it is possibly Anton Vaino, Chief of Staff of the Kremlin since August 2016, Deputy Chief of Staff of Kremlin before that. This is not to say his info is accurate, but is in line with the foreign policy of Estonia to alienate everyone with Russia.

Yeah, Right , Sep 11 2019 0:57 utc | 44
Just out of curiosity, if what has been reported is true then what reason would Mueller have to exclude this from his report? The dude is proof of the Russia-did-it!! narrative. Check. The dude has already been extracted. Check. The Russians must have already noticed that he has done a runner. Check.

What would stop Mueller from producing a one-paragraph report that starts with: "we know the following to be true because for the last decade everything that Putin did was being relayed to us by an aide to the foreign policy advisor to the Kremlin, since extracted and now living in the USA".

I mean, bit of a slam-dunk, don't you think?

juliania , Sep 11 2019 14:57 utc | 58

Well, I just think Putin had more important things to think about than the charade that is now the US electoral process. Probably he felt (I'm guessing of course) that the whole Russiagate scenario was a desperate move to throw a curtain over the demise of American democracy that served his, Putin's, purposes very well because it kept the idiots busy while he shored up the badly leaking ship of his own state.

And I go with Smiley@34 - no spy of even mediocre caliber would agree to being placed in such an exposed position under his own name, for crying out loud!

This was a guy who had big money stashed away, wanted to be in a place where rich guys are held in high esteem, planned his exit from a no-longer-friendly-to-rich-folk environment (if you had money in Russia these days, you should use it for the good of the country).

It doesn't make sense that he would leave himself exposed if either in Russia or in the US he had undercover connections of this sort. Just doesn't make sense. But that he was the best the US operatives could come up with right now simply speaks to further deterioration of US ability to field persuasive stories.

And this gave me some amusement:

Putin's objectives were multifaceted, a high-level intelligence source told NBC News. What began as a "vendetta" against Hillary Clinton morphed into an effort to show corruption in American politics and to "split off key American allies by creating the image that [other countries] couldn't depend on the U.S. to be a credible global leader anymore," the official said. [Quote from Goldman Kropotkin@43]

Putin hasn't had to worry about vendettas or showing corruption in American politics. Take a reliable poll. Who in the US thinks our politics ISN'T corrupt?

juliania , Sep 11 2019 15:11 utc | 59
We didn't need Putin, mastermind though he is, to 'create an image' of American unreliability. Was it Putin who reneged on so many treaties? Was it Putin who antagonized the Koreas? Was it Putin who set up the trade war with China? Was it Putin who threatened and sanctioned Russia, Iran, Venezuela?

We, our leaders, masterminded it all. Sorry, Mr. Putin - you lose that enviable title. We own it.

William Gruff , Sep 11 2019 15:50 utc | 60

What can the Russians do to get ahead of the narrative on the likely impending demise of Smolenkov by novichok or polonium poisoning?

I know some here might say "Everyone would know it is a false flag if Smolenkov gets assassinated!" and that is certainly true if by "everyone" one means the regular readers here and at a few other analysis sites that are not controlled by the empire.

The concern is about the three hundred million other Americans who are at least partially captured by the false narratives pumped out non-stop from their Plato's Cave displays. Is there anything that the Russians can do now to inoculate some Americans against the hard sell they will be facing when the corporate mass media ( Mighty Wurlitzer ) cranks up the multi-channel marketing campaign for the United States' own Skripal farce?

[Sep 11, 2019] On possible Oleg Smolenkov connection to Steele dossier

Sep 10, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

librul , Sep 10 2019 19:54 utc | 19

Is someone brewing up some fresh Novichok nerve agent as we speak?

Don't touch those doorknobs, Oleg!

for future reference: this post was for amusement purposes only

[Sep 11, 2019] DOJ Inspector General Expected To Conclude Carter Page FISA Warrants Illegally Obtained Jim Jordan

Notable quotes:
"... Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz will likely find that all four Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrants against 2016 Trump campaign aide Carter Page were obtained illegally , according to Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), top Republican on the House Oversight and Reform Committee. ..."
"... " I am reviewing the conduct of the investigation and trying to get my arms around all the aspects of the counterintelligence investigation that was conducted during the summer of 2016, " said Barr. ..."
"... Jordan also noted that he wants Horowitz to testify about his reports on former FBI Director James Comey, and asked "When is somebody going to jail for wrongdoing that took place in the Trump-Russia investigation or even the Clinton investigation?" ..."
Sep 11, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz will likely find that all four Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrants against 2016 Trump campaign aide Carter Page were obtained illegally , according to Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), top Republican on the House Oversight and Reform Committee.

" I think he will ," said Jordan during an discussion with Fox News 's Sean Hannity and Gregg Jarrett Monday night. In April , Attorney General William Barr assembled a team of DOJ investigators to review controversial counterintelligence decisions made by DOJ and FBI officials made during the 2016 US election.

" I am reviewing the conduct of the investigation and trying to get my arms around all the aspects of the counterintelligence investigation that was conducted during the summer of 2016, " said Barr.

"That's great news he's looking into how this whole thing started back in 2016," said Rep. Jordan at the time. " That's something that has been really important to us. It's what we've been calling for. "

The investigation into alleged FISA abuse against the Trump campaign by DOJ and FBI officials has reportedly been completed. After a declassification period, the report could be released sometime in September. The contents of the report have not been confirmed.

Attorney General William Barr, who is overseeing U.S. Attorney John Durham's investigation into the origins of the Russia investigation, said he is working closely with Horowitz, and they will take up any criminal referrals Horowitz might make.

Former U.S. Attorney Joe diGenova said he has heard the initial FISA warrant against Page and the three renewals at three-month intervals were illegally obtained . He told the Washington Examiner 's Examining Politics podcast late last month that he got his insider information because the report is "being circulated inside and outside of the department for comment by interested parties." - Washington Examiner

Jordan also noted that he wants Horowitz to testify about his reports on former FBI Director James Comey, and asked "When is somebody going to jail for wrongdoing that took place in the Trump-Russia investigation or even the Clinton investigation?"


New_Meat , 7 minutes ago link

The FISA Court is under the supervision of the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. Does John Roberts have zero resources to figure out what happened internally? Is there no Judicial oversight for this Star Chamber?

Or is his "judicial temperament" so calm that he can't see how his Branch has been corrupted?

847328_3527 , 6 minutes ago link

((( Roberts )))

Probably an accomplice to the entire RussiaGate Hoax.

TruthAbsolute , 9 minutes ago link

is there any doubt that the USA has a two tiered justice sytem...people in the Washinton swamp are all covered if they capitulate to the Deep State! Comey is nothing but a Traitor but the left wing party do not care cause he is just like them they hate... Trump! And the Patriot all just stand down!

Ruler , 14 minutes ago link

The Clintons and Bush's have been the worst things to ever have happened to this country.

booboo , 13 minutes ago link

and the kardashians

e-man , 12 minutes ago link

...and Obama. All the espionage and Deep State manipulation (that we know of) were done under his watch.

NukeChinaNow , 6 minutes ago link

What did you expect... when you let one of the monkeys try to turn America into a zoo?

romanmoment , 15 minutes ago link

This is all a ****-show of theater. Nobody is going to be held accountable for anything and, if by chance, some low level schlep gets thrown in the clink he'll hang himself with one-ply toilet paper and nobody will have seen a thing....

[Sep 10, 2019] Being called a narcissist by Jim Comey is akin to being accused of having sex with underage girls by the late Jeffrey Epstein by Larry C Johnsons

Highly recommended!
Sep 04, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com

Diana C ,

"Being called a narcissist by Jim Comey is akin to being accused of having sex with underage girls by the late Jeffrey Epstein."

As usual, your analogy here is spot on. I'm still giggling.

[Sep 10, 2019] Justice declined to pursue Comey leaks as a criminal case

Notable quotes:
"... The most alarming aspect of the Trump–Russia investigation, and of the stark difference between the aggression with which it was pursued and the see-no-evil passivity of the Clinton emails caper, is the way the investigative process was used to influence political outcomes. ..."
"... Ardent Trump supporters are growling over news that the FBI's former director, James Comey, will not be prosecuted by the Justice Department for the mishandling of memoranda he wrote about his contacts with the president. The news has been reported by The Hill 's John Solomon and the Washington Post 's Devlin Barrett , among others. ..."
"... Indications are that Horowitz referred the memos issue to the Justice Department for possible prosecution and that, after reviewing the IG's findings, Justice declined to pursue the matter as a criminal case. ..."
Sep 10, 2019 | www.nationalreview.com

A free society cannot stay free for long if the criminal-justice system becomes a political weapon, if that becomes our norm.

The most alarming aspect of the Trump–Russia investigation, and of the stark difference between the aggression with which it was pursued and the see-no-evil passivity of the Clinton emails caper, is the way the investigative process was used to influence political outcomes.

The way to right that wrong is to prevent it from becoming the new normal, not to turn the tables of abuse when power shifts from one side to the other. We can only make things worse by losing the distinction between rebuking errors in judgment and criminalizing them.

Ardent Trump supporters are growling over news that the FBI's former director, James Comey, will not be prosecuted by the Justice Department for the mishandling of memoranda he wrote about his contacts with the president. The news has been reported by The Hill 's John Solomon and the Washington Post 's Devlin Barrett , among others.

Comey's handling of his memos is one aspect of probes related to investigations attendant to the 2016 election, which are being conducted by Justice Department independent counsel Michael Horowitz. Indications are that Horowitz referred the memos issue to the Justice Department for possible prosecution and that, after reviewing the IG's findings, Justice declined to pursue the matter as a criminal case.

[Sep 09, 2019] Robert Mueller was "special counsel" in name only. The real boss was Andrew Weissman

Notable quotes:
"... The "report" was his work. Mueller never looked for anything, never found anything and never wrote anything. ..."
"... The entire charade was part of the "resistance" to straight jacket Trump until the mid term elections, a strategy put in motion by Comey and Brennan, which achieved the desired result: Republicans lost the House. ..."
"... Of course there was "little Russia in Russiagate." The narrative was all disinformation set loose by Crowdstrike and Fusion GPS, paid for by Hillary and the DNC with the blessing of President Obama. Welcome to the tin foil hat brigade as contributor. ..."
Sep 09, 2019 | www.unz.com

Officially, at least in the FBI's version, its operation "Crossfire Hurricane," the counterintelligence investigation of the Trump campaign that began in mid-2016 was due to suspicious remarks made to visitors by a young and lowly Trump aide, George Papadopoulos. This too is not believable, as I pointed out previously . Most of those visitors themselves had ties to Western intelligence agencies. That is, the young Trump aide was being enticed, possibly entrapped, as part of a larger intelligence operation against Trump. (Papadopoulos wasn't the only Trump associate targeted, Carter Page being another.)

But the question remains: Why did Western intelligence agencies, prompted, it seems clear, by US ones, seek to undermine Trump's presidential campaign? A reflexive answer might be because candidate Trump promised to "cooperate with Russia," to pursue a pro-détente foreign policy, but this was hardly a startling, still less subversive, advocacy by a would-be Republican president. All of the major pro-détente episodes in the 20th century had been initiated by Republican presidents: Eisenhower, Nixon, and Reagan.

So, again, what was it about Trump that so spooked the spooks so far off their rightful reservation and so intrusively into American presidential politics? Investigations being overseen by Attorney General William Barr may provide answers -- or not.

... ... ...

It is true, of course, that Barr and Durham, as Trump appointees, are not the ideal investigators of Intel misdeeds in the Russiagate saga. Much better would be a truly bipartisan, independent investigation based in the Senate, as was the Church Committee of the mid-1970s, which exposed and reformed (it thought at the time) serious abuses by US intelligence agencies. That would require, however, a sizable core of nonpartisan, honorable, and courageous senators of both parties, who thus far seem to be lacking.

There are also, however, the ongoing and upcoming Democratic presidential debates. First and foremost, Russiagate is about the present and future of the American political system, not about Russia. (Indeed, as I have repeatedly argued, there is very little, if any, Russia in Russiagate.) At every "debate" or comparable forum, all of the Democratic candidates should be asked about this grave threat to American democracy -- what they think about what happened and would do about it if elected president. Consider it health care for our democracy.

Anon [421] • Disclaimer says:

September 9, 2019 at 5:24 pm GMT • 100 Words

"former special counsel Robert Mueller found no evidence of "collusion."

Let me unpack that for you, esteemed professor: RM was "special counsel" in name only. The real boss was Andrew Weissman. The "report" was his work. Mueller never looked for anything, never found anything and never wrote anything.

The entire charade was part of the "resistance" to straight jacket Trump until the mid term elections, a strategy put in motion by Comey and Brennan, which achieved the desired result: Republicans lost the House.

Of course there was "little Russia in Russiagate." The narrative was all disinformation set loose by Crowdstrike and Fusion GPS, paid for by Hillary and the DNC with the blessing of President Obama. Welcome to the tin foil hat brigade as contributor.

Kolya Krassotkin , says: September 9, 2019 at 5:02 pm GMT

Given the impunity with which Israel nakedly interferes in American elections, worrying about Russian interference is laugh-out-loud funny.

But I forgot. Israel is our best "friend."

[Sep 07, 2019] Mueller Helped Saudis Cover Up Involvement In 9-11 Attacks Lawsuit

Sep 07, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Robert Mueller - pitched as an incorruptible beacon of justice when he was tasked with (unsuccessfully) hunting down ties between Donald Trump and Russia - was nothing more than a hatchet man for the deep state , who participated in a coverup of Saudi Arabia's role in 9/11 according to a new report by the New York Post 's Paul Sperry - citing former FBI investigators and a new lawsuit by 9/11 victims.

According to Sperry, Mueller stonewalled after FBI agents discovered evidence of "multiple, systemic efforts by the Saudi government to assist the hijackers in the lead-up to the 9/11 attacks, " while the former FBI director allegedly "covered up evidence pointing back to the Saudi Embassy and Riyadh -- and may have even misled Congress about what he knew. "

" He was the master when it came to covering up the kingdom's role in 9/11 ," said Sharon Premoli, a September 11th survivor who was pulled out of the rubble of the World Trade Center, and is now suing Saudi Arabia as a plaintiff in a new lawsuit .

"In October of 2001, Mueller shut down the government's investigation after only three weeks , and then took part in the Bush [administration's] campaign to block, obfuscate and generally stop anything about Saudi Arabia from being released," she added.

" Any letting the Saudis off the hook came from the White House ," said former Agent Mark Rossini, adding "I can still see that photo of Bandar and Bush enjoying cigars on the balcony of the White House two days after 9/11."

Speaking with multiple FBI case agents, Sperry lists a series of incidents describing Mueller 'throwing up roadblocks' in front of his own investigators - "making it easier for Saudi suspects to escape questioning." And according to the lawsuit, Mueller "deep-sixed what evidence his agents did manage to uncover."

Via the NY Post :

***

"He's a villain, and an arrogant one to boot," said former FBI agent Mark Wauck, who called Mueller a "servant of the deep state."


Tunga , 12 minutes ago link

Oh those securities!

"

"Certain key unknown figures in the Federal Reserve may have 'conspired' with key unknown figures at the Bank of New York to create a situation where $240 billion in off balance sheet securities created in 1991 as part of an official covert operation to overthrow the Soviet Union, could be cleared without publicly acknowledging their existence. These securities, originally managed by Cantor Fitzgerald, were cleared and settled in the aftermath of September 11th

through the BoNY. The $100 billion account balance bubble reported by the Wall Street Journalas being experienced in the BoNY was tip of a three day operation, when these securities were moved from off-balance-sheet to the balance sheet.

LEEPERMAX , 13 minutes ago link

A FUMBLING two-faced WEAK, FRAIL man with NO MORALS or INTEGRITY was what we saw that day in front of the committee.

Conscious Reviver , 19 minutes ago link

Mueller's a real criminal, but it is not the Saudis who is helped cover up for, it's the Evil Entity Israel that did 9/11. Everyone with two working brain cells knows that, except the Zionist shill that wrote this crap article.

mrjinx007 , 20 minutes ago link

911 is just four days away. Let's listen to them read 3000 names on that day and feel warm and cozys so we remember one more time what president **** Cheney and Vice President Donald Rumsfeld brought upon this country with the help of Susan Rice and the general's speech about mushroom clouds.

warpigs , 33 minutes ago link

Is this 9-11 stuff still considered a real foreign attack by anyone?

What the actual ****?

Of course ir was an internal hit job by our own and other govies.

19 dirtball inbred retards circumvent the most advanced nation's entire security apparatus to kill 3-4k people? Really?

I have to, at this point, assume good people are simply too scared to say out loud over Thanksgiving sinner table that they believe their gov is evil.

Fantasy Free Economics , 41 minutes ago link

Coverups and conspiracies are a way of life in Washington. Coverups are discovered after it is too late to do anything. There is a huge coverup going on right now to prevent anointed members of the power structure of the world from being exposed. http://quillian.net/blog/the-importance-of-covering-up-the-epstein-affair/

robertsgt40 , 1 hour ago link

How about the FBI cover-up of the "five dancing Israelis" that confirmed on Israeli TV, they were there to "document the event" by video and were allowed to leave the country without further ado.

And then there's Lucky Larry Silverstein who collected handsomely from insurances on the collapse of bldgs 1,2 and my favorite bldg7.

DutchTaco , 1 hour ago link

9/11 was just operation Northwood in action. Same goes for MH17, also an operation Northwood to make people hate each other

[Sep 06, 2019] The CIA Bull in Glenn Simpson's Russia Shop naked capitalism

Notable quotes:
"... Few in the NC commentariat, at least from what I saw, had any problem accepting that the DNC and the Clinton campaign funded the dossier, so I’m wondering why it’s that much of a stretch to believe that the CIA might have engineered the whole thing. ..."
Sep 06, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

https://eus.rubiconproject.com/usync.html

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https://c.deployads.com/sync?f=html&s=2343&u=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.nakedcapitalism.com%2F2018%2F01%2Fcia-bull-glenn-simpsons-russia-shop.html <img src="http://b.scorecardresearch.com/p?c1=2&c2=16807273&cv=2.0&cj=1" /> The CIA Bull in Glenn Simpson's Russia Shop Posted on January 22, 2018 by Jerri-Lynn Scofield By John Helmer , the longest continuously serving foreign correspondent in Russia, and the only western journalist to direct his own bureau independent of single national or commercial ties. Helmer has also been a professor of political science, and an advisor to government heads in Greece, the United States, and Asia. He is the first and only member of a US presidential administration (Jimmy Carter) to establish himself in Russia. Originally published at Dances with Bears

In criminal trials the rule for prosecuting and defending lawyers is the same. Never ask a witness a question unless you already know the answer. The corollary rule for defending lawyers is – if the answer to your question will incriminate your client, don't ask it, and hope the prosecutor fails to do his job.

Glenn Simpson, a former employee of the Wall Street Journal in New York, is currently on trial in the US for having fabricated a dossier of allegations of Russian misconduct (bribes, sex, blackmail, hacking) involving President Donald Trump and circulating them to the press; the objective was to damage Trump's candidacy before the election of November 8, 2016. Simpson was called to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee on August 22, 2017; then the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence on November 8 and again on November 14, 2017. So far, Simpson's veracity and business conduct face nothing more than the court of public opinion. He has not yet been charged with criminal or civil offences. That will happen if the evidence materializes that Simpson has been lying.

Simpson's collaborator in the dossier and his business partner, Christopher Steele, is facing trial in the London High Court, charged with libels he and Simpson published in their dossier. Together, they are material witnesses in two federal US court trials for defamation, one in Miami and one in New York. If they perjure themselves giving evidence in those cases, they are likely to face criminal indictments. If they tell the truth, they are likely to face fresh defamation proceedings; perhaps a civil racketeering suit for fraud; maybe a false statement prosecution under the US criminal code.

One question for them is as obvious as its answer. Who do an American ex-journalist on US national security and an ex-British intelligence agent go to for sources on Russian undercover operations outside Russia in general, the US in particular? Answer -- first, their friends and contacts from the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA); second, their friends and contacts from the Secret Intelligence Service or MI6, as the UK counterpart is known.

Why then did the twenty-two congressmen, the members of the House Intelligence Committee who subpoenaed Simpson for interview, fail to pursue what information he and Steele received either directly from the CIA or indirectly through British intelligence?

The answer noone in the US wants to say aloud is the possibility that it was the CIA which provided Simpson and Steele with names and source materials for their dossier, creating the evidence of a Russian plot against the US election, and generating evidence of Russian operations. If that is what happened, then Simpson and Steele were participants in a false-flag CIA operation in US politics.

This isn't idle speculation. It has been under investigation at the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) since Simpson and Steele decided in mid-2016 to go to the FBI to request an investigation, and then told American press to get the FBI to confirm it was investigating. At the fresh request this month from the Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, the FBI is still investigating .

Simpson's appearance at the House Intelligence Committee was the sequel to his testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee; for that story, read this .

Simpson's three lawyers from the Washington, DC, firm of Cunningham Levy Muse, who appeared with him at the Senate and House committee hearings. From left to right, Robert Muse; Joshua Levy, and Rachel Clattenburg.  
The firm's other name partner, Bryan Cunningham, was a CIA officer specializingin cyber operations.

The transcripts of the House Intelligence Committee were released last Thursday. Simpson's first appearance was on November 8, and can be read in full here .

Simpson's lawyers did all the talking; Simpson said nothing, pleading the US Constitution's Fifth Amendment right not to incriminate himself.

Although his lawyers repeatedly claimed during the earlier Senate Committee hearing that Simpson was testifying voluntarily, the House Committee recorded that Simpson was compelled to testify. "Our record today," the November 8 transcript begins, "will reflect that you have been compelled to appear today pursuant to a subpoena issued on October 4th, 2017." Simpson then told the Committee through his lawyers that he would plead the Fifth Amendment and not answer any questions. The first transcript is a record of debate between Republican and Democratic members of the Committee.

This resulted in an agreement for Simpson to testify under the subpoena but on terms his lawyers said would limit the scope of the questions which he would agree to answer.

Steele, according to the November 8 transcript, was also summoned to testify. A British citizen with home in Berkshire and office in London, he refused and the Committee recorded his "noncooperation and nontestimony."

Republicans outnumber Democrats on the House Committee, 13 to 9. Just 5 Republican members were at Simpson's November 14 appearance; 7 Democrats. The Republican committee chairman, Devin Nunes, was absent. Release of Simpson's transcript was an initiative of the Democrats. In a statement by their leader on the committee, Adam Schiff, the Democrats claimed last week "thus far, Committee Republicans have refused to look into this key area and we hope the release of this transcript will reinforce the importance of these critical questions to our investigation."

Read the November 14 testimony here .

Members of the House Intelligence Committee on the podium at an open hearing inNovember 2017.    From left to right: Adam Schiff (D), Michael Conaway (R),and Thomas Rooney (R).

Search the 165 pages of the transcript for the CIA, and you will find many references to the letters, C, I and A – spe cia lize, so cia l, commer cia l, espe cia lly, asso cia tion, finan cia l and politi cia n. There were 44 mentions of the Federal Bureau of Intelligence (FBI); 4 mentions of "British Intelligence" – the spy agency to which Steele belonged ten years ago – one mention each of the Israeli Mossad, the Chinese and Indian intelligence services.

According to Simpson, "foreign intelligence services hacking American political operations is not that unusual, actually, and there's a lot of foreign intelligence services that play in American elections." He mentioned the Chinese and the Indians, not the Israelis. The Mossad, Simpson did tell the Committee, was his source for his belief that Russian intelligence has been operating through the Jewish Orthodox Chabad movement, and the Russian Orthodox Church. "The Orthodox church is also an arm of the Russian State now the Mossad guys used to tell me about how the Russians were laundering money through the Orthodox church in Israel, and that it was intelligence operations."

There are just two references in the Committee transcript to the CIA. One was a passing remark to imply the Russians cannot "break[ing] into the CIA, [so instead] you are breaking into, you know, places where, you know, an open society leaves open."

The second was a bombshell. It dropped during questioning by Congressman Thomas Rooney (right),
a 3-term Republican representative from Florida with a career as an army lawyer. Rooney asked Simpson: "Do you or anyone else independently verify or corroborate any information in the dossier?"

Simpson replied by saying, "Yes. Well, numerous things in the dossier have been verified. You know, I don't have access to the intelligence or law enforcement information that I see made reference to, but, you know, things like, you know, the Russian Government has been investigating Hillary Clinton and has a lot of information about her."

Then Simpson contradicted himself, disclosing what he had just denied. "When the original memos came in saying that the Kremlin was mounting a specific operation to get Donald Trump elected President , that was not what the Intelligence Community was saying. The Intelligence Community was saying they are just seeking to disrupt our election and our political process, and that this is sort of kind of just a generally nihilistic, you know, trouble-making operation. And, you know, Chris turned out to be right, it was specifically designed to elect Donald Trump President."

How did Simpson know with such confidence what the "Intelligence Community" was "saying", and who were Simpson's and Steele's sources in the "Intelligence Community"? Rooney failed to inquire. Instead, he and Simpson exchanged question and answer regarding the approach Simpson and Steele made to the FBI when they delivered their dossier. In the details of that, Simpson repeated what he had already told the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Rooney then asked what contact had been made with the CIA or "any other intelligence officials". Simpson claimed he didn't understand the question at first, then he stumbled.

Source: http://docs.house.gov/meetings/IG/IG00/20180118/106796/HMTG-115-IG00-20180118-SD002.pdf -- page 61 .

What Simpson was concealing in the two pauses, reported in the transcript as hyphens, Rooney did not realize. Simpson was implying that noone from Fusion GPS, his consulting company, had been in contact with the CIA, nor him personally. But Simpson left open that Steele had been in contact with the CIA. Rooney followed with a question about "anyone", but that was so imprecise, Simpson recovered his confidence to say "No". That was a cover-up – and the House Intelligence Committee let it drop noiselessly.

Intelligence community sources and colleagues who know Simpson and Steele say Simpson was notorious at the Wall Street Journal for coming up with conspiracy theories for which the evidence was missing or unreliable. He told the Committee that disbelief on the part of his editors and management had been one of his reasons for leaving the newspaper. "One of the reasons why I left the Wall Street Journal was because I wanted to write more stories about Russian influence in Washington, D.C., on both the Democrats and the Republicans eventually the Journal lost interest in that subject. And I was frustrated that was where I left my journalism career."

Left: Glenn Simpson reporter for the Wall Street Journal in 1996, promoting his book, Dirty Little Secrets: The Persistence of Corruption in American Politics.  Right: Simpson in Washington in August 2017.

When Simpson was asked "do you – did you find anything to -- that you verified as false in the dossier, since or during?" Simpson replied: "I have not seen anything – ". Note the hypthen, the stenographer's signal that Simpson was pausing.

"[Question]. So everything in that dossier, as far as you're concerned, is true or could be true?"

"MR. SIMPSON: I didn't say that. What I said was it was credible at the time it came in. We were able to corroborate various things that supported its credibility."

Sources in London are divided on the question of where Steele's sources came from – CIA, MI6, or elsewhere. What has been clear for the year in which the dossier's contents have been in public circulation is that the sources the dossier referred to as "Russian" were not. For details of the sourcing . The subsequent identification of the Maltese source Joseph Mifsud, and the Greek-American George Papadopoulos, corroborates their lack of direct Russian sources. Instead, the sources identified in the dossier were either Americans, Americans of Russian ethnic origin, or Russians with no direct knowledge repeating hearsay three or four times removed from source.

So were the allegations of the dossier manufactured by a CIA disinformation unit, and fed back to the US through the British agent, Steele? Or were they a Simpson conspiracy theory of the type that failed to pass veracity testing when Simpson was at the Wall Street Journal? The House Intelligence Committee failed to inquire.

One independent clue is what financial and other links Simpson and Steele and their consulting firms, Fusion GPS and Orbis Business Intelligence, have had with US Government agencies other than the FBI, and what US Government contracts they were paid for, before the Republican and Democratic Party organizations commissioned the anti-Trump job?

The House Committee has subpoenaed business records from Fusion, but Simpson's lawyers say they will refuse to hand them over. The financial records of Steele's firm are openly accessible through the UK government company registry, Companies House. Click to read here .

Because the Trump dossier work ran from the second half of 2015 to November 2016, the financial reports of Orbis for the financial years ending March 31, 2016, and March 31, 2017, are the primary sources. For FY 2016 and FY 2017, open this link to read.

The papers reveal that Orbis was a small firm with no more than 7 employees. Steele's business partner and co-shareholder, Christopher Burrows, is another former MI6 spy. They had been hoping for MI6 support of their private business, but it failed to materialize, says an London intelligence source. "Chris Burrows is another from the same background. They all hope to be Hakluyt [a leading commercial intelligence operation in London] but didn't get the nod on departure."

Left: Christopher Steele; right, Christopher Burrows.

They do not report the Orbis income. Instead, for 2016 the company filings indicate £155,171 in cash at the bank, and income of £245,017 owed by clients and contractors. Offsetting that figure, Orbis owed £317,848 – to whom and for what purposes is not reported. The unaudited accounts show Orbis's profit jumped from £121,046 in 2015 to £199,223 in 2016, and £441,089 in 2017.

The financial data are complicated by the operation by Steele and Burrows of a second company, Orbis Business Intelligence International, a subsidiary they created in 2010, a year after the parent company was formed. Follow its affairs here .

According to British press reports , Orbis and Steele were paid £200,000 for the dossier. Simpson told the House Intelligence Committee the sum was much less -- $160,000 (about £114,000). Simpson's firm, he also testified, was being paid at a rate of about $50,000 per month for a total of about $320,000. If the British sources are more accurate than Simpson's testimony, Steele's takings from the dossier represented roughly half the profit on the Orbis balance-sheet.

British sources also report that a US Government agency paid for Orbis to work on evidence and allegations of corruption at the world soccer federation, Fédération Internationale de Football (FIFA). Indictments in this case were issued by the US Department of Justice in May 2015 , and the following December . What role the two-partner British consultancy played in the complex investigations by teams from the Justice Department, the FBI and also the Internal Revenue Service is unclear. That Steele, Burrows and Orbis depended on US government sources for their financial well-being appears to be certain.

Another reported version of the FIFA contract is that Steele, Burrows and Orbis were hired by the British Football Association to collect materials on FIFA corruption, and provide them to the FBI and other US investigators, and then to the press. The scheme's objective was reportedly to advance the British bidding for the World Cup in 2018 or 2022 by discrediting the rival bids from Russia and Qatar. Click to read . Were MI6 and CIA sources mobilized by Orbis to feed the FBI with evidence the US investigators were unable to turn up, or was Orbis the conduit through which disinformation targeting Russia was fed to make it appear more credible to the FBI, and to the media?

US Congressional investigators have so far failed to notice the similarities between the FIFA and the Trump dossier operations. Early this month two Republican members of the Senate Judiciary Committee announced that they have called for a Justice Department and FBI investigation of Steele for providing false information to the FBI. The provision of the US code making lying a federal crime requires the falsehoods occur "within the jurisdiction of the executive, legislative, or judicial branch of the Government of the United States." Simpson has testified that when Steele briefed the FBI on the dossier, he did so at meetings in Rome, Italy.

Now then, Part I and this sequel of the Simpson-Steele story having been read and thoroughly mulled over, what can the meaning be?

In the short run, this case was a black job assigned by Republican Party candidates for president, then the Democratic National Committee, for the purpose of discrediting Trump in favour of Hillary Clinton. It failed on Election Day in 2016; the Democrats are still trying.

In the long run, the case is a measurement of the life, or the half-life, of truth. Giuseppe di Lampedusa wrote once that nowhere has truth so short a life as in Sicily. On his clock, that was five minutes. He didn't know the United States, or shall we say the stretch from Washington through New York to the North End of Boston. There, truth has an even shorter life. Scarcely a second.

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Rhondda , January 22, 2018 at 3:57 pm

I pay pretty close attention to this topic and I must say I sometimes wonder if the Russians haven’t sold the rope to the American political elite. I read all 311 pages of Simpson’s testimony. I was struck that much of what he was “fed” by Steele confirmed his “OMG Russia corruption” biases.

And I say “fed to him” when I’m in a generous mood, giving him the benefit of the doubt, because usually I am of the opinion that he’s either a really crappy CIA agent posing as a journalist or just a garden variety rat f*!@er. A black job political operative, stitching together a few almost-believable “facts” and out-and-out fabrications with squishy words like “collusion” and “ties.”

From the embedded link in Helmer’s text above:
http://johnhelmer.net/glenn-simpson-chases-his-shadow-into-a-black-hole/

London due diligence firms say the record of Simpson’s firm Fusion GPS and Steele’s Orbis Business Intelligence operations in the US has discredited them in the due diligence market. The London experts believe the Senate Committee transcript shows Simpson and Steele were hired for the black job of discrediting the target of their research, Trump; did a poor job; failed in 2016; and now are engaged in bitter recriminations against each other to avoid multi-million dollar court penalties.

A source at a London firm which is larger and better known than Steele’s Orbis says “standard due diligence means getting to the truth. It’s confidential to the client, and not leaked. There are also black jobs, white jobs, and red jobs. Black means the client wants you to dig up dirt on the target, and make it look credible for publishing in the press. White means the client wants you to clear him of the wrongdoing which he’s being accused of in the media or the marketplace; it’s also leaked to the press. A red job is where the client pays the due diligence firm to hire a journalist to find out what he knows and what he’s likely to publish, in order to bribe or stop him. The Steele dossier on Trump is an obvious black job. Too obvious.”

Emphasis mine.

3.14e-9 , January 22, 2018 at 6:49 pm

Rhondaa writes:

I read all 311 pages of Simpson’s testimony. I was struck that much of what he was “fed” by Steele confirmed his “OMG Russia corruption” biases.

Same here, but not just about what he was fed by Steele. Simpson claimed to have done some of his own research and said it was consistent with what he got from Steele.

I’m about three-quarters of the way through the transcript of Simpson’s interrogation by the House Intelligence Committee, and I’ve read all 312 pages of the Senate Judiciary Committee transcript, which bears little resemblance to what was reported in the major media – shocking, I know.

Among the “bombshells” the mainstream reported was “proof” that it wasn’t the dossier that launched the FBI’s investigation of Trump, and therefore the dossier couldn’t have been used as justification for a FISA warrant. A bigger bombshell, which of course none of them mentioned, is that Simpson, with his client’s consent, was secretly briefing Clinton-friendly reporters on information from Steele’s memos, and they used it to write stories based on “unnamed sources.” He even admitted that he didn’t verify the information before feeding it to the media, said he didn’t feel he needed to, because it came from a trustworthy source. Where have we heard that before?

Few in the NC commentariat, at least from what I saw, had any problem accepting that the DNC and the Clinton campaign funded the dossier, so I’m wondering why it’s that much of a stretch to believe that the CIA might have engineered the whole thing. It’s well-established that the State Department often acts as a cover for the CIA, and the agency under Secretary Clinton had a strong anti-Russia faction that’s on the record as meddling in Ukraine’s presidential election. And how much doubt could there be that both Clintons kept the CIA connections they made while in office?

Then there was the whole “Grizzly Steppe” report just before Trump’s inauguration, presented as a consensus among “17 intelligence agencies” that the Russians “hacked the election” to help Trump win.

I’m not 100-percent convinced that U.S. intelligence was behind the dossier, but it’s enough of a possibility that I’m not writing it off as some nutty “conspiracy theory.”

integer , January 23, 2018 at 4:16 am

Few in the NC commentariat, at least from what I saw, had any problem accepting that the DNC and the Clinton campaign funded the dossier, so I’m wondering why it’s that much of a stretch to believe that the CIA might have engineered the whole thing.

FWIW this NC commenter has never had any problem believing that this may be the case. In fact I am fairly certain that it is the case, although from what I understand the FBI and MI6 were also involved.

Adding: Heh. I posted this before looking at Rev Kev’s link to the Raimondo article, which comes to the same conclusions. Interesting times!

Scott1 , January 22, 2018 at 4:37 pm

I believe that Seth Abramson or someone put photographs to the Steele dossier showing people in the places & at the times delineated in the Steele dossier.
From the very first Steele said he would not & could not reveal his sources. It was from the first indicated that it would be to the FBI & CIA to discover.
He said he believed that his sources were credible.
When I was studying Intelligence services the CIA was said to be the private army of the CIA. These days I don’t know exactly who the CIA works for, or answers to.
I certainly don’t think well of the CIA believing they are wrapped up working for their Front businesses more than focusing on the mission of spying in the interests of the American people.
Of private intelligence companies I get what I can from IHS Jane’s.
That the CIA lost 20 assets, human beings, in China for incompetent secret communications methods would lead professionals to withhold as much of identities as possible.
For awhile there I believe Steele was worried about his own health.
David Corn at Mother Jones was reticent to break the story.
So now what I see to look for is what Steele said needed to be done, & that being what Mueller is doing at the behest of the DOJ.
The US has been at war, albeit Hybrid war since the imposition of sanctions for their violations of international law as regarded the annexation of Crimea & the attack on the Ukraine.
Sanctions are Economic Warfare.
That the US feels the right to engage in warfare of any kind Economic or Hot over violations of International Law leads me to believe that the UN will fail to prevent the apocalyptic riot.
But that as regards Trump becomes neither here nor there, correct?

The Rev Kev , January 23, 2018 at 12:29 am

Justin Raimondo has weighed in on this story at https://original.antiwar.com/justin/2018/01/22/russsia-gate-implodes/ and he does not sound like a happy camper.

John Gilberts , January 24, 2018 at 12:25 am

William Binney, former NSA technical official and whistleblower, comments on the FISA memo, that has apparently just been released. Obviously, a major development in ‘Russia-gate’.

William Binney Exposes Secret FISA Memo
http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/48650.htm

[Sep 04, 2019] Jim Comey, Have the Grace to Shut Up!! by Larry C Johnson

Sep 04, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com

You think that a guy who has been repeatedly rebuked by the Department of Justice Inspector General for violating DOJ and FBI policies and procedures would have the grace to be silent. You would be wrong. Jim Comey has anointed himself as the Jesus Christ of America. Only Jim is wise and good. Only Jimmy can save us from that anti-Christ, Donald Trump.

And Comey's latest? Trump's a narcissist. Being called a narcissist by Jim Comey is akin to being accused of having sex with underage girls by the late Jeffrey Epstein. Jim Comey tweeted out the following today (Sunday):

James Comey ‏ Verified account @ Comey 4h 4 hours ago

It's Sunday morning. A devastating hurricane is approaching. A gunman just slaughtered innocents in Texas. But the President of the United States is wasting time airing personal grievances and live-Tweeting Fox. Narcissism is not leadership. America deserves better. Could not agree more. Except the narcissist in Chief is not Trump. It is you, Jimmy Comey. It was not Donald Trump who overstepped his authority and read out a detailed list of charges against Hillary Clinton. It was not Donald Trump that sat on the news that Anthony "Little Dick" Weiner's laptop contained more classified Hillary emails. It was not Donald Trump who then belatedly announced the discovery of said emails.

Jimmy Comey has achieved new lows in smug sanctimony. His self-righteous bullshit has passed the point of tiresome. It is just annoying. I spoke with a retired FBI buddy today. He was one of the first ones detailed to CIA Headquarters in the late 1990s in an effort to improve inter-agency coordination (and that mission failed in large measure because of the behavior of another narcissist, the CIA Chief of Alec Station). He was beyond sad and embarrassed at the spectacle and conduct of Jim Comey. My friend told me that he used to happily introduce himself as a "retired FBI agent." No longer. He simply says that he worked for the Government and tries to avoid saying anything about having served with the FBI. The big hammer is still to drop and Comey is not likely to walk away a free man. He lied to a Federal Court. He needs to be held accountable.

Posted at 08:52 AM in Larry Johnson , Russiagate | Permalink


Factotum , 03 September 2019 at 11:22 AM

Trey Gowdy also long warned us about the self-annointed Saint James Comey. I sense a trend among knowledgable pundits.
Rob Naardin , 04 September 2019 at 11:00 AM
I can't wait to see the dark forces of the deep state in bright orange prison jumpsuits.

https://www.nationalreview.com/corner/kudos-andy-for-ball-of-collusion/

Diana C , 04 September 2019 at 11:40 AM
"Being called a narcissist by Jim Comey is akin to being accused of having sex with underage girls by the late Jeffrey Epstein."

As usual, your analogy here is spot on. I'm still giggling.

My literary analogy would have been that Comey is the very inept Walter Mitty of today's America. He does imagine himself as the "voice crying in the wilderness."

It sounds, however like a braying donkey wanting some attention. He was one of the Democrats' "useful idiots." Too bad they didn't realize that they might actually get a certified idiot.

[Sep 04, 2019] Are General Flynn s Prosecutors Panicking by Larry C Johnson

Notable quotes:
"... Last Friday, August 30th, Sidney Powell filed a brief with the District Court in the District of Columbia laying out in exquisite detail the misconduct of the Mueller prosecutors, who have withheld exculpatory evidence. The document is still behind a pay wall (Pacer). But let me share with you some of the salient points of this filing: ..."
"... Likewise, the prosecutors did not produce evidence of Weissmann's and Ahmad's relationship and work with Bruce Ohr on transmitting the corrupt information to the FBI, and the numerous 302s resulting from the interviews of Bruce Ohr by the second agent. ..."
"... This case, involving Adam Lovinger, is related to issues involving Mr. Flynn, as Mr. Lovinger was wrongly charged (and secretly cleared) after blowing the whistle on the fraudulent payments to FBI/CIA/DOD operative Stefan Halper -- a central figure in the government's targeting and intelligence abuses of the last several years -- including against Mr. Flynn. ..."
"... Got that? The Mueller prosecutors lied about what the investigation of Mr. Lovinger concluded. He did NOT, repeat NOT, "yield any classified or sensitive information. " But Mueller's team of hacks, disgraceful pieces of excrement, took out the word, "NOT". ..."
"... How in the hell does Goldman know what is in those "transcripts"? He was told. ..."
"... But there is a broader, more important point--Michael Flynn's conversation with the Russian Ambassador was not illegal. It was not improper. He could discuss whatever he wanted to discuss as the incoming National Security Advisor for Donald Trump. This was a false claim by the Mueller Prosecutors. ..."
"... If the Mueller team, what is left of it, was confident of their position, they would not have leaked this story to the New York Times hack, Goldman. This is a sign of desperation and panic. ..."
"... Knowing what we know about Judge Sullivan, who is in charge of the Michael Flynn case, he is likely to be furious by this bald lying by Mueller's hacks. ..."
"... On another front of the Russiagate affair, per a Monsieur America Twitter thread, Loretta Lynch in testimony before the House Judiciary Committee has absolved herself of any involvement in the FISA warrant on Carter Page. https://twitter.com/MonsieurAmerica/status/1168885394269564928 ..."
"... Now the rats are throwing their subordinates under the sinking ship. Good to know the grandma AG had time to meet Hillary's husband on the tarmac but no time to be briefed about "foreign interference" in our election. I can't wait to hear Obama's excuse. ..."
"... Flynn may have been set up and lied to right and left, BUT... how did he get three stars? He comes across in this as a victim and a dummy. ..."
Sep 04, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com

The short answer to the title of this article--YES!!

Michael Flynn's new lawyer, Sidney Powell, is a honey badger. If you do not know anything about honey badgers I encourage you to watch the documentary, Honey Badgers, Master's of Mayhem . They tear the testicles off of lions. And it sure looks like Ms. Powell is emasculating prosecutor Andrew Weisman.

Last Friday, August 30th, Sidney Powell filed a brief with the District Court in the District of Columbia laying out in exquisite detail the misconduct of the Mueller prosecutors, who have withheld exculpatory evidence. The document is still behind a pay wall (Pacer). But let me share with you some of the salient points of this filing:

The government's most stunning suppression of evidence is perhaps the text messages of Peter Srzok and Lisa Page. In July of 2017, (now over two years ago), the Inspector General of the Department of Justice advised Special Counsel of the extreme bias in the now infamous text messages of these two FBI employees. Mr. Van Grack did not produce a single text messages to the defense until March 13, 2018, when he gave them a link to then-publicly available messages.14

Mr. Van Grack and Ms. Ahmad, among other things, did not disclose that FBI Agent Strzok had been fired from the Special Counsel team as its lead agent almost six months earlier because of his relationship with Deputy Director McCabe's Counsel -- who had also been on the Special Counsel team -- and because of their text messages and conduct. One would think that more than a significant subset of those messages had to have been shared by the Inspector General of the Department of Justice with Special Counsel to warrant such a high-level and immediate personnel change.

Indeed, Ms. Page left the Department of Justice because of her conduct, and Agent Strzok was terminated from the FBI because of it.

Likewise, the prosecutors did not produce evidence of Weissmann's and Ahmad's relationship and work with Bruce Ohr on transmitting the corrupt information to the FBI, and the numerous 302s resulting from the interviews of Bruce Ohr by the second agent.

The Government's misconduct was not limited to General Flynn. Ms. Powell describes in detail how the Government lied in another case related to General Flynn:

In yet another recent demonstration of egregious government misconduct, the government completely changed the meaning of exculpatory information in a declassified version of a report -- by omitting the word "not." This case, involving Adam Lovinger, is related to issues involving Mr. Flynn, as Mr. Lovinger was wrongly charged (and secretly cleared) after blowing the whistle on the fraudulent payments to FBI/CIA/DOD operative Stefan Halper -- a central figure in the government's targeting and intelligence abuses of the last several years -- including against Mr. Flynn.

Mr. Lovinger had been an analyst at the Pentagon for more than ten years when he was detailed to the White House at then-National Security Advisor Flynn's request. Mr. Lovinger voiced concerns internally regarding the Pentagon's Office of Net Assessment for prioritizing academic reports (one of which was written by Stefan Halper) at the expense of real threat assessments. He was recalled to the Pentagon, accused of mishandling sensitive information, stripped of his security clearance, and suspended. As it turned out, the Naval Criminal Investigative Service conducted a thorough examination of his electronic devices, but "[a]gents found no evidence he leaked to the press, as charged, or that he was a counterintelligence risk.

Even though the investigation exonerated Mr. Lovinger of these charges a full month before Mr. Lovinger's hearing, the government did not reveal to Mr. Lovinger's attorneys that this investigation occurred.17 Even worse, the declassified version of the NCIS left out a crucial "not". It read that the investigation "did yield any classified or sensitive information,"18 when the truth was the investigation "did not yield any classified or sensitive information."19 The declassified version omitted the word "not."

Got that? The Mueller prosecutors lied about what the investigation of Mr. Lovinger concluded. He did NOT, repeat NOT, "yield any classified or sensitive information. " But Mueller's team of hacks, disgraceful pieces of excrement, took out the word, "NOT".

Now here is where it gets interesting. Sidney Powell filed her document on Friday night (30 August). She also submitted a sealed portion detailing how the Mueller team has lied about the evidence. I have seen one of the affidavits she filed. I will not say who or what it contained other than to expose specific details how Michael Flynn's Fourth Amendment rights were violated. But the prosecutors ran immediately to Adam Goldman of the New York Times as leaked this sealed information.

Adam wrote an article the same day and "reported" the following:

Lawyers for Michael T. Flynn, the president's first national security adviser, escalated their attacks on prosecutors on Friday, recycling unfounded conspiratorial accusations in a last-ditch bid to delay his sentencing in a case in which he has twice admitted guilt.

The move could anger Emmet G. Sullivan, the federal judge who will sentence Mr. Flynn. The filings could magnify any doubts by Judge Sullivan about whether Mr. Flynn truly accepts responsibility for his crime of lying to the F.B.I. and whether he fulfilled his cooperation agreement with the government in one of the lingering cases brought by the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III.

In a pair of filings, Mr. Flynn's lawyers made clear that they view him as a victim of prosecutorial misconduct, amplifying right-wing theories about a so-called deep state of government bureaucrats working to undermine President Trump. The defense lawyers accused prosecutors of engaging in "pernicious" conduct in Mr. Flynn's case, saying they had been "manipulating or controlling the press to their advantage to extort that plea."

Yet, when you read the full filing by Ms. Powell, not a single "unfounded conspiratorial accusation" is discussed. The prosecutors gave that protected information to Goldman.

Worse, the prosecutors gave Goldman information from the NSA intercepts of Michael Flynn's conversation with the Russian Ambassador. So far, the Mueller team of miscreants have refused to turn over this material to Michael Flynn's lawyer. But they shared it with Goldman, who wrote:

"We must have access to that information to represent our client consistently with his constitutional rights and our ethical obligations," Mr. Flynn's lawyers wrote.

The classified transcripts of the calls make clear that the two men discussed sanctions at length and that Mr. Flynn was highly unlikely to have forgotten those details when questioned by the F.B.I., several former United States officials familiar with the documents have said. It was clear, the officials said, that sanctions were the only thing Mr. Flynn wanted to talk about with Mr. Kislyak.

Mr. Flynn's lawyers also suggested in the filing that the government had exculpatory material, but it is not clear if they consider the transcripts to be that material. Some conservatives have embraced a theory that Mr. Flynn's nonchalance in the F.B.I. interview, which agents documented because it seemed at odds with how blatantly he was lying, was exonerating.

How in the hell does Goldman know what is in those "transcripts"? He was told.

But there is a broader, more important point--Michael Flynn's conversation with the Russian Ambassador was not illegal. It was not improper. He could discuss whatever he wanted to discuss as the incoming National Security Advisor for Donald Trump. This was a false claim by the Mueller Prosecutors.

If the Mueller team, what is left of it, was confident of their position, they would not have leaked this story to the New York Times hack, Goldman. This is a sign of desperation and panic.

Knowing what we know about Judge Sullivan, who is in charge of the Michael Flynn case, he is likely to be furious by this bald lying by Mueller's hacks.

Should be an interesting week ahead. Sidney Powell will probably be feasting on a heaping plate of prosecutor balls. Like the Honey Badger, she is ripping them a new one.

Posted at 10:27 PM in Larry Johnson , Russiagate | Permalink


Factotum , 03 September 2019 at 11:24 AM

Year of the Woman finally finds the right woman. I'm with her.
Jack , 03 September 2019 at 12:05 PM
What were Flynn's previous attorneys doing? They got him to cop the plea deal.
Larry Johnson -> Jack... , 03 September 2019 at 12:34 PM
They were incompetents. They should be sued for malpractice and disbarred. They helped serve up General Flynn and he trusted them. That's now water under the bridge. Sidney Powell is a force to be reckoned with.
Don Schmeling said in reply to Jack... , 03 September 2019 at 06:40 PM
They might have been too scared of what Mueller would do to them if they put up a good case for Flynn.

I think the same thing happened to George Popadopoulos who had his lawyers roll over and play dead before Mueller.
You need to find Lawyers who are not afraid of the system, or are in bed with the system.

Factotum said in reply to Don Schmeling... , 03 September 2019 at 09:22 PM
The "confession" they got Papadopolus to sign made no sense and almost looked like it had been altered after Papadopolus had already signed his name. There were a series of very disjointed and irrelevant statements of facts, to which Papadopolus agreed they were factual.

Then pow at the very end was basically a confession he had violated the Logan Act.

None of the prior statements supported this conclusion, but as the cherry on top of his "confession" was the claim he engaged in policy level discussions with the very highest Russian higher ups while Obama was still President. (Was he ever in this role - hard to remember?).

That always struck me as a very weird "confession - but there is was with Papadolopus's signature on it, and accepted by the deep state investigating authorities.

This "confession" deserves a re-read in light of what we are learning now about the set-up and ambush mentality of the deep state "investigators.

jd hawkins said in reply to Factotum... , 04 September 2019 at 04:15 AM
I'm in your 'Amen' corner on this.
ex PFC Chuck , 03 September 2019 at 05:38 PM
On another front of the Russiagate affair, per a Monsieur America Twitter thread, Loretta Lynch in testimony before the House Judiciary Committee has absolved herself of any involvement in the FISA warrant on Carter Page. https://twitter.com/MonsieurAmerica/status/1168885394269564928
Fred -> ex PFC Chuck ... , 03 September 2019 at 06:54 PM
Now the rats are throwing their subordinates under the sinking ship. Good to know the grandma AG had time to meet Hillary's husband on the tarmac but no time to be briefed about "foreign interference" in our election. I can't wait to hear Obama's excuse.
Ghost Ship , 03 September 2019 at 07:30 PM
did yield any classified or sensitive information
Logically just doesn't make sense - it's almost as if the person editing the NCIS report decided he didn't like doing what he asked to do and produced a piece of text that only really made sense with a "not" in it. Either that, or he was actually an idiot.
JamesT -> Ghost Ship... , 04 September 2019 at 12:35 AM
Or the mangled language was used to let them claim it was accidental ... "gosh, we just made an honest mistake".
MP98 , 04 September 2019 at 12:01 AM
Flynn may have been set up and lied to right and left, BUT... how did he get three stars? He comes across in this as a victim and a dummy.

He should have known that the FBI NEVER interviews people honestly. The agents told him that he didn't need a lawyer so he didn't call one. That's just massive stupid.

Cops I know have told me to NEVER talk to police without a lawyer present. How come the former head of the DIA didn't know that?

[Sep 04, 2019] What We Still Do Not Know About Russiagate by Stephen F. Cohen's

Notable quotes:
"... It must again be emphasized: It is hard, if not impossible, to think of a more toxic allegation in American presidential history than the one leveled against candidate, and then president, Donald Trump that he "colluded" with the Kremlin in order to win the 2016 presidential election -- and, still more, that Vladimir Putin's regime, "America's No. 1 threat," had compromising material on Trump that made him its "puppet." Or a more fraudulent accusation. ..."
"... Was it plausible, for example, that Trump, a longtime owner and operator of international hotels, would commit an indiscreet act in a Moscow hotel that he did not own or control? Or that, as Steele also claimed, high-level Kremlin sources had fed him damning anti-Trump information even though their vigilant boss, Putin, wanted Trump to win the election? ..."
"... Nor was Russian "meddling" in the election anything akin to a "digital Pearl Harbor," as widely asserted, and it was certainly far less and less intrusive than President Bill Clinton's political and financial "interference" undertaken to assure the reelection of Russian President Boris Yeltsin in 1996. ..."
"... Nonetheless, Russiagate's core allegation persists, like a legend, in American political life -- in media commentary, in financial solicitations by some Democratic candidates for Congress, and, as is clear from my own discussions, in the minds of otherwise well-informed people. The only way to dispel, to excoriate, such a legend is to learn and expose how it began -- by whom, when, and why. ..."
"... Why did Western intelligence agencies, prompted, it seems clear, by US ones, seek to undermine Trump's presidential campaign? ..."
"... the repeatedly hapless Comey seems incapable of having initiated such an audacious operation against a presidential candidate, still less a president-elect. As I have long suggested, John Brennan and James Clapper, head of the CIA and Office of National Intelligence under Obama respectively, are the more likely culprits. ..."
"... First and foremost, Russiagate is about the present and future of the American political system, not about Russia. (Indeed, as I have repeatedly argued, there is very little, if any, Russia in Russiagate.) ..."
"... At every "debate" or comparable forum, all of the Democratic candidates should be asked about this grave threat to American democracy -- what they think about what happened and would do about it if elected president. Consider it health care for our democracy. ..."
Sep 04, 2019 | www.thenation.com

It must again be emphasized: It is hard, if not impossible, to think of a more toxic allegation in American presidential history than the one leveled against candidate, and then president, Donald Trump that he "colluded" with the Kremlin in order to win the 2016 presidential election -- and, still more, that Vladimir Putin's regime, "America's No. 1 threat," had compromising material on Trump that made him its "puppet." Or a more fraudulent accusation.

Even leaving aside the misperception that Russia is the primary threat to America in world affairs, no aspect of this allegation has turned out to be true, as should have been evident from the outset. Major aspects of the now infamous Steele Dossier, on which much of the allegation was based, were themselves not merely "unverified" but plainly implausible.

Was it plausible, for example, that Trump, a longtime owner and operator of international hotels, would commit an indiscreet act in a Moscow hotel that he did not own or control? Or that, as Steele also claimed, high-level Kremlin sources had fed him damning anti-Trump information even though their vigilant boss, Putin, wanted Trump to win the election? Nonetheless, the American mainstream media and other important elements of the US political establishment relied on Steele's allegations for nearly three years, even heroizing him -- and some still do, explicitly or implicitly.

Not surprisingly, former special counsel Robert Mueller found no evidence of "collusion" between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin. No credible evidence has been produced that Russia's "interference" affected the result of the 2016 presidential election in any significant way. Nor was Russian "meddling" in the election anything akin to a "digital Pearl Harbor," as widely asserted, and it was certainly far less and less intrusive than President Bill Clinton's political and financial "interference" undertaken to assure the reelection of Russian President Boris Yeltsin in 1996.

Nonetheless, Russiagate's core allegation persists, like a legend, in American political life -- in media commentary, in financial solicitations by some Democratic candidates for Congress, and, as is clear from my own discussions, in the minds of otherwise well-informed people. The only way to dispel, to excoriate, such a legend is to learn and expose how it began -- by whom, when, and why.

Officially, at least in the FBI's version, its operation "Crossfire Hurricane," the counterintelligence investigation of the Trump campaign that began in mid-2016 was due to suspicious remarks made to visitors by a young and lowly Trump aide, George Papadopoulos. This too is not believable, as I pointed out previously . Most of those visitors themselves had ties to Western intelligence agencies. That is, the young Trump aide was being enticed, possibly entrapped, as part of a larger intelligence operation against Trump. (Papadopoulos wasn't the only Trump associate targeted, Carter Page being another.)

But the question remains: Why did Western intelligence agencies, prompted, it seems clear, by US ones, seek to undermine Trump's presidential campaign? A reflexive answer might be because candidate Trump promised to "cooperate with Russia," to pursue a pro-détente foreign policy, but this was hardly a startling, still less subversive, advocacy by a would-be Republican president. All of the major pro-détente episodes in the 20th century had been initiated by Republican presidents: Eisenhower, Nixon, and Reagan.

So, again, what was it about Trump that so spooked the spooks so far off their rightful reservation and so intrusively into American presidential politics? Investigations being overseen by Attorney General William Barr may provide answers -- or not. Barr has already leveled procedural charges against James Comey, head of the FBI under President Obama and briefly under President Trump, but the repeatedly hapless Comey seems incapable of having initiated such an audacious operation against a presidential candidate, still less a president-elect. As I have long suggested, John Brennan and James Clapper, head of the CIA and Office of National Intelligence under Obama respectively, are the more likely culprits.

The FBI is no longer the fearsome organization it once was and thus not hard to investigate, as Barr has already shown. The others, particularly the CIA, are a different matter, and Barr has suggested they are resisting. To investigate them, particularly the CIA, it seems, he has brought in a veteran prosecutor-investigator, John Durham.

Which raises other questions. Are Barr and Durham, whose own careers include associations with US intelligence agencies, determined to uncover the truth about the origins of Russiagate? And can they really do so fully, given the resistance already apparent? Even if so, will Barr make public their findings, however damning of the intelligence agencies they may be, or will he classify them? And if the latter, will President Trump use his authority to declassify the findings as the 2020 presidential election approaches in order to discredit the role of Obama's presidency and its would-be heirs?

Equally important perhaps, how will mainstream media treat the Barr-Durham investigation and its findings? Having driven the Russiagate narrative for so long and so misleadingly -- and with liberals perhaps finding themselves in the incongruous position of defending rogue intelligence agencies -- will they credit or seek to discredit the findings?

It is true, of course, that Barr and Durham, as Trump appointees, are not the ideal investigators of Intel misdeeds in the Russiagate saga. Much better would be a truly bipartisan, independent investigation based in the Senate, as was the Church Committee of the mid-1970s, which exposed and reformed (it thought at the time) serious abuses by US intelligence agencies. That would require, however, a sizable core of nonpartisan, honorable, and courageous senators of both parties, who thus far seem to be lacking.

There are also, however, the ongoing and upcoming Democratic presidential debates. First and foremost, Russiagate is about the present and future of the American political system, not about Russia. (Indeed, as I have repeatedly argued, there is very little, if any, Russia in Russiagate.)

At every "debate" or comparable forum, all of the Democratic candidates should be asked about this grave threat to American democracy -- what they think about what happened and would do about it if elected president. Consider it health care for our democracy.

This commentary is based on Stephen F. Cohen's most recent weekly discussion with the host of The John Batchelor Show . Now in their sixth year, previous installments are at TheNation.com .

Stephen F. Cohen Stephen F. Cohen is a professor emeritus of Russian studies and politics at New York University and Princeton University. A Nation contributing editor, his most recent book War With Russia? From Putin & Ukraine to Trump & Russiagate is available in paperback and in an ebook edition. His weekly conversations with the host of The John Batchelor Show, now in their sixth year, are available at www.thenation.com .

[Aug 29, 2019] Comey Is A Proven Liar And Leaker White House Slams Former FBI Director After IG Report Zero Hedge

Aug 29, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Update (1455ET) : The White House has issued an extremely strong statement on the Inspector General's report:

Statement from the Press Secretory

James Comey is a proven liar and leaker. The Inspector General's report shows Comey violated the most basic obligations of confidentiality that he owed to the United States Government and to the American people, "in order to achieve a personally desired outcome."

Because Comey shamefully leaked information to the press - in blatant violation of FBI policies - the Nation was forced to endure the baseless politically-motivated, two-year witch hunt.

Comey disgraced himself and his office to further a personal political agenda, and this report further confirms that fact.

* * *

Update (1405ET) : President Trump has taken a momentary break from helping Fla. Gov. Ron DeSantis batten down the hatches ahead of Hurricane Dorian's weekend landfall - and from doing everything he can to pump the market - by taking a shot at disgraced former FBI director James Comey following the Thursday publication of the DoJ's IG report, which confirmed that Comey violated both DoJ policy and the law, by leaking the contents of his memos to the press.

"Perhaps never in the history of our Country has someone been more thoroughly disgraced and excoriated than James Comey in the just-released Inspector General's Report," Trump tweeted. "He should be ashamed of himself!"

me title=

Of course, as we mentioned below, Comey doesn't see it that way. But maybe, someday, he'll at least acknowledge that he acted rashly - and put his subordinates in a very awkward position - by deciding to leak the memos as an unabashed strategy to try and undermine the newly inaugurated president of the country he claims to love so dearly.

* * *

In a long-awaited report released Thursday morning, the DOJ's inspector general revealed that former FBI Director James Comey's handling of the memos he took from meetings with President Trump before he was unceremoniously fired in early 2017 violated department policy and the law when he shared them with a longtime confidant, who then leaked their contents to the press.

"We conclude that Comey's retention, handling, and dissemination of certain Memos violated Department and FBI policies, and his FBI Employment Agreement," the Justice Department inspector general report states.

Fox News Host Sean Hannity warned that Comey should be worried about facing the repercussions for his decision to leak the contents of the memos.

"Without a doubt... [Comey] should be sweating a lot tonight about what might be in those reports. This report is expected to be the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Jim Comey."

The IG's office had referred Comey for potential prosecution earlier this summer based on his handling of the memos, CNN reported. But the DoJ declined to bring a case, in part because prosecutors didn't believe there was evidence to show Comey knew and intended to violate laws pertaining to the handling of classified information.

Still, as Hannity said, things are "not looking good...for Mr. Super Patriot , a guy that knows better than us...we are told that the report will strongly rebuke the disgraced former FBI director, document his utter lack of candor. That means lying, " Hannity said.

As an earlier media report reminded us, the Comey report is separate from a larger report about how the DoJ handled the Russia investigation, though it's still not clear why the separate report is needed.

Comey infamously took created the memos after meetings with President Trump where Trump purportedly asked him to go easy on former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn. Comey then leaked the contents of these memos to a friend through a trusted confidant, helping to spur the launch of the Russia probe.

In a series of tweets replying to the report, Comey tried to spin the report's findings, highlighting a section of the report that was favorable to his narrative.

Here are some highlights from the report, starting with the conclusion:

Congress has provided the FBI with substantial powers and authorities to gather evidence as part of the FBI's criminal and counterintelligence mission. The FBI uses these authorities every day in its many investigations into allegations of drug trafficking, terrorism, fraud, organized crime, public corruption, espionage, and a host of other threats to national security and public safety. In the process, the FBI lawfully gains access to a significant amount of sensitive information about individuals, many of whom have not been charged, may never be charged, or may not even be a subject of the investigation. For this reason, the civil liberties of every individual who may fall within the scope of the FBI's investigative authorities depend on the FBI's ability to protect sensitive information from unauthorized disclosure.

As Comey himself explained in his March 20, 2017 testimony before the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, he was unable to provide details about the nature or scope of the FBI's ongoing investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election because the FBI is very careful in how we handle information about our cases and about the people we are investigating . Our ability to share details with the Congress and the American people is limited when those investigations are still open, which I hope makes sense. We need to protect people's privacy . We just cannot do our work well or fairly if we start talking about it while we're doing it.

However, after his removal as FBI Director two months later, Comey provided a copy of Memo 4, which Comey had kept without authorization, to Richman with instructions to share the contents with a reporter for The New York Times. Memo 4 included information that was related to both the FBI's ongoing investigation of Flynn and, by Comey's own account, information that he believed and alleged constituted evidence of an attempt to obstruct the ongoing Flynn investigation; later that same day, The New York Times published an article about Memo 4 entitled, "Comey Memo Says Trump Asked Him to End Flynn Investigation."

The responsibility to protect sensitive law enforcement information falls in large part to the employees of the FBI who have access to it through their daily duties. On occasion, some of these employees may disagree with decisions by prosecutors, judges, or higher ranking FBI and Department officials about the actions to take or not take in criminal and counterintelligence matters. They may even, in some situations, distrust the legitimacy of those supervisory, prosecutorial, or judicial decisions. But even when these employees believe that their most strongly-held personal convictions might be served by an unauthorized disclosure, the FBI depends on them not to disclose sensitive information.

Former Director Comey failed to live up to this responsibility. By not safeguarding sensitive information obtained during the course of his FBI employment, and by using it to create public pressure for official action, Comey set a dangerous example for the over 35,000 current FBI employees -- and the many thousands more former FBI employees -- who similarly have access to or knowledge of non-public information. Comey said he was compelled to take these actions "if I love this country and I love the Department of Justice, and I love the FBI." However, were current or former FBI employees to follow the former Director's example and disclose sensitive information in service of their own strongly held personal convictions, the FBI would be unable to dispatch its law enforcement duties properly, as Comey himself noted in his March 20, 2017 congressional testimony. Comey expressed a similar concern to President Trump, according to Memo 4, in discussing leaks of FBI information, telling Trump that the FBI's ability to conduct its work is compromised "if people run around telling the press what we do." This is no doubt part of the reason why Comey's closest advisors used the words "surprised," "stunned," "shocked," and "disappointment" to describe their reactions to learning what Comey had done.

We have previously faulted Comey for acting unilaterally and inconsistent with Department policy.103 Comey's unauthorized disclosure of sensitive law enforcement information about the Flynn investigation merits similar criticism. In a country built on the rule of law, it is of utmost importance that all FBI employees adhere to Department and FBI policies, particularly when confronted by what appear to be extraordinary circumstances or compelling personal convictions. Comey had several other lawful options available to him to advocate for the appointment of a Special Counsel, which he told us was his goal in making the disclosure. What was not permitted was the unauthorized disclosure of sensitive investigative information, obtained during the course of FBI employment, in order to achieve a personally desired outcome.

* * *

If he wanted to force the appointment of a special counsel, the report found that Comey had other lawful options besides leaking to the press, yet, he chose to ignore them.

Comey's unauthorized disclosure of sensitive law enforcement information about the Flynn investigation merits similar criticism. In a country built on the rule of law, it is of utmost importance that all FBI employees adhere to Department and FBI policies, particularly when confronted by what appear to be extraordinary circumstances or compelling personal convictions. Comey had several other lawful options available to him to advocate for the appointment of a Special Counsel, which he told us was his goal in making the disclosure. What was not permitted was the unauthorized disclosure of sensitive investigative information, obtained during the course of FBI employment, in order to achieve a personally desired outcome. The OIG has provided this report to the FBI and to the Department of Justice Office of Professional Responsibility for action they deem appropriate.

Even members of Comey's leadership team were "shocked" by the then-director's actions.

IG: Members of Comey's senior leadership team used the adjectives "surprised," "stunned," "shocked," and "disappointment" to describe their reactions to learning that Comey acted on his own to provide the contents of Memo 4, through Richman, to a reporter

As Ryan Saavedra pointed out, the IG found that Comey set a "dangerous example" for the tens of thousands of FBI employees working under him...

...And the "bottom line", as one reporter put it:

Even CNN conceded that the report was "damning" for Comey.

Several Twitter wits sifted through the reports findings pertaining to Comey memos 1 through 7.

Read the full report released on Thursday morning bellow.

o1902 by Zerohedge on Scribd

https://www.scribd.com/embeds/423675889/content?start_page=1&view_mode=scroll&access_key=key-uDafDhGIwmWhJXW0r6gm&show_recommendations=true


Questan1913 , 10 minutes ago link

Toothless Trump. Pity him. THEY let him play deal maker.......and nothing more. From a citizens point of view this is a lawless, unconstitutional, rogue government. The assassination of Epstein by this criminal government while incarcerated in the most hi-tech federal prison in NYC which incidentally is ATTACHED to the New York office of the Justice Department speaks for itself.

Lord Raglan , 3 minutes ago link

and the video cameras being "under repair"............what a crock............that's a nice touch........

Aubiekong , 13 minutes ago link

Comey was directed by president Obama to obstruct justice and destroy evidence all to protect Hillary Clinton.

hooligan2009 , 10 minutes ago link

bingo! so was brennan, yates, lynch, rice, mills, samuelson etc etc

navy62802 , 15 minutes ago link

Without an indictment, this is all meaningless. Nothing more than sound and fury.

Indelible Scars , 36 minutes ago link

If this doesn't tell you that our intelligence services are politically biased from the top down, nothing will. It is disgusting that a person like him and frankly, most FBI/CIA tops, can make it into such a dangerous and powerful positions.

Lord Raglan , 36 minutes ago link

Comey and McCabe have such big balls and feel so protected by the Deep State that I wouldn't be surprised if they both run for President on the Dem ticket when a few more of them get washed out.

Lord Raglan , 5 minutes ago link

Oligarchs = Deep State ..............semantics...............

lakecity55 , 37 minutes ago link

I'll bet this ********** is never prosecuted; in fact, the (((people))) he works for will likely enrich him with even more cash. He will live out his life untouched with every convenience money can buy in a huge home within a wealthy enclave.

The US is finished. People like Cummie helped kill the United States. I hope this ******* **** is happy with his money.

Real Estate Guru , 55 minutes ago link
Giant Meteor , 55 minutes ago link

Look you mugs, no prosecution of high level players post " global financial crisis" ever occurred. As the official story went, sure, there was some perhaps bad, tsk, tsk, judgement by high level players, and corrupt revolving door " government enforcers", but no crimes were ever committed, the verdict.

Except some very smart folks, that most citizens never heard of, and never will hear of, whom received absolutely zero play in the mainstream, whom diligentlly, methodically, laid out their ironclad case for prosecution, law, and procedure, on a variety of ummm, inconsistencies, and existing law, pointing to this thing known as control fraud, top among the provable crimes of the nations top men,

Clear as a ******* bell ..

Then there was John Corzine. Anyone remember him?

Nope, the departnent of just us, under the Obama regime simply wouldn't hear of such heresy .. nor his own justice head, Eric the place holder, and thus, systemically important, to big too fail " entities" , their execs, and a bevy of non prosecution agreement, no admissions of guilt, were born again .. free to continue hold on to their assets, free to continue new crime waves ..

The point is .. this matter before you now, being another scale, another aspect, but drawing water from the same poisoned chalice if government service , is how should one say, business as usual. Now tell me again about all those differences, between red team and blue team.

Follow the fiat, the bribes, the control fraud, the control files, which of course all draws ALL power through, and from the money changers, and their system.

Roger Rabbit , 34 minutes ago link

Because, if you actually read the ******* article, the memos weren't classified. So there's not much to go after him with. HOWEVER, he signed off on a FISA warrant which Horowitz determined was illegal. He will be in trouble further down the line..

Real Estate Guru , 59 minutes ago link

DOJ declines to prosecute James Comey on inspector general referral for leaking classified info

by Daniel Chaitin

& Jerry Dunleavy

| July 31, 2019 09:33 PM

The Justice Department declined to prosecute former FBI Director James Comey following a criminal referral from the agency's independent watchdog, which concluded that Comey had leaked classified information and showed a lack of candor with investigators.

Inspector General Michael Horowitz reached out to prosecutors about one of the memos Comey leaked to a friend, which detailed a conversation he had with President Trump, after he was fired by President Trump in May 2017.

Although prosecutors found the watchdog's findings compelling, they decided against prosecution under classified information protection laws because of there being too much uncertainty surrounding Comey's intent, according to the Hill . A month after he was fired, Comey testified to Congress he had leaked his notes to a friend to give to the media, hoping that it would spark a special counsel investigation.

Then-Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein appointed Robert Mueller as special counsel the day after the New York Times first reported on details from one of Comey's leaked memos, which claimed Trump pressed his FBI director to drop an investigation into his national security adviser Michael Flynn. That memo was classified as "confidential" -- the lowest classification level -- after Comey sent the information.

With other investigations focused on the origins of the Trump-Russia investigation underway, one source said the DOJ did not want to "make its first case against the Russia investigators with such thin margins and look petty and vindictive."

Comey's lawyers did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Spokespeople for the DOJ and its inspector general also did not immediately respond to the Washington Examiner's request for comment.

The news comes hours after conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch announced it had obtained an FBI log about special agents arriving at Comey's home in June 2017 to retrieve his memos. The notes show Comey handed over four of them to the FBI agents, and he said to the best of his recollection two might be missing.

Although the DOJ declined to prosecute in this case, Comey, who has become a vocal critic of the president since his ouster, is not yet in the clear.

Comey is also a possible target of Horowitz's separate investigation into alleged Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act abuse. He signed three of the four FISA applications targeting former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page before being fired by Trump. Horowitz's report is expected to be released after Labor Day.

It is also likely that Comey's actions as FBI director will be scrutinized during the "investigation of the investigators," a review of the origins of the Trump-Russia investigation, being led by Attorney General William Barr and the U.S. attorney in Connecticut, John Durham.

SHsparx , 47 minutes ago link

To what end though? There's a point where it veers from just delusion and starts looking like intentional disinfo.

freedommusic , 1 hour ago link

Their business model is STRESS... https://youtu.be/8Py2XuPTOQI?t=1042

puckles , 57 minutes ago link

OIG has no authority to indict (although their law enforcement arms can and do recommend for prosecution, which would not be produced here), but in most .GOV agencies their word is feared like that of almighty God. This report is utterly damning. If nothing results from it, it would be truly remarkable.

Anunnaki , 54 minutes ago link

Watch the pretzel logic for when the prosecutors decline to indict. It's a country club. They are all friends outside of work. Comey and Mueller took vacations together with their families for Chrissakes

Darracq , 1 hour ago link

Trump appointed deep state POS to key positions: Sessions then Barr, Wray at the FBI, Rosenshits gets to sneak away, Dan Coats gets to obstruct. Where are all the buckets of FISA documents that Trump ordered Barr to declassify? And tough guy "Mad Dog" Mattis is a ****** and sells out to Amazon. We are being had.

Anunnaki , 54 minutes ago link

Apparently the coup is ongoing

[Aug 25, 2019] The FBI Tried and Failed to Entrap Donald Trump Using his Business Associate, Felix Sater by Larry C Johnson

Notable quotes:
"... Let me cut to the chase--Felix Sater was an FBI informant since 1998. He was originally signed on as a "cooperator" in December 1998 by Robert Mueller's number two guy, Andrew Weissman. Robert Mueller and his team used Felix Sater as a "lure" or "bait" to tempt Trump and his team, Michael Cohen in particular, to work with Russia. Trump did not bite. ..."
"... Sater, as we now know, played a central role in the FBI plot to destroy Donald Trump by proposing a Trump Tower in Moscow. ..."
"... One of the very first reports provided by Christopher Steele insists that the Russians were working overtime to get Trump in bed with them on "lucrative real estate deals." The Steele report dated 20 June 2016 makes the following claims: ..."
"... Steele's claim that the "Kremlin," as part of a broader scheme to recruit Trump as a Russian asset, was "offering him various lucrative real development" deals in Russia, is refuted by the article by Newsweek's Bill Powell and by Robert Mueller's report ..."
"... Felix Sater was the ones telling Trump to build a Trump Tower in Moscow. Sater, according to Newsweek's Powell, was not a close confidant of Trump: ..."
"... Powell's account is consistent with the information present by Robert Mueller in the Charging Indictment of Michael Cohen. While the Steele Dossier makes the claim that the Russian Government was offering up "lucrative projects" to the Trump organization, Michael Cohen never made such a claim. The details in the charging document show otherwise; i.e., that Felix Sater was pushing the projects : ..."
"... Notwithstanding these communications, the Moscow project was terminated in June 2016. And it was Felix Sater aka "Individual 2", not the Russians, pushing for going to Russia and making a deal. No evidence of Russians offering up "lucrative deals." ..."
"... If the Steele Dossier was true, Trump should have had multiple project going on in Russia, especially Moscow. Steele paints a picture of Putin's people feeding Trump information and opportunity. So where is the evidence of such activity? There is none. ..."
Aug 25, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com

I am revisiting a story I did nine months ago about Felix Sater and the Steele Dossier ( you can read it here ). Let me cut to the chase--Felix Sater was an FBI informant since 1998. He was originally signed on as a "cooperator" in December 1998 by Robert Mueller's number two guy, Andrew Weissman. Robert Mueller and his team used Felix Sater as a "lure" or "bait" to tempt Trump and his team, Michael Cohen in particular, to work with Russia. Trump did not bite.

Robert Mueller did not disclose that Sater was an FBI Informant. Mueller did not disclose that Sater was deliberately used starting in September 2015 to entrap Donald Trump. I am revisiting this issue because a Sater's work for the Feds was unsealed last Friday by Judge Glasser in New York. According to the Wall Street Journal:

Felix Sater, a former business associate of President Trump, began working with the Federal Bureau of Investigation in 1998, after he was caught in a stock-fraud scheme. As he pleaded guilty, Mr. Sater turned on his co-conspirators, federal prosecutors in Brooklyn wrote in an Aug. 27, 2009, letter , unsealed Friday, to U.S. District Judge I. Leo Glasser, who was overseeing the case. He had gone on to assist various agencies in different areas of law enforcement for years, they wrote.

"Sater went above and beyond what is expected of most cooperators and placed himself in great jeopardy in doing so," the prosecutors wrote in pushing for him to get a lighter sentence. On the strength of his continuing cooperation, they had put off his sentencing for more than a decade, an unusually long period for such arrangements.

As I tried to unpeel the onion that is the layered life of Felix Sater, I came across an excellent article by Newsweek reporter Bill Powell, Donald Trump Associate Felix Sater Is Linked to the Mob and the CIA -- What's His Role in the Russia Investigation? . It is worth your time. One of the surprising revelations from Powell is that Felix Sater was a childhood friend of Michael Cohen, Trump's lawyer. Let that sink in for a moment. The FBI informant, Felix Sater, was a long time friend of Cohen. This now provides another explanation for how Michael Cohen became part of the Trump orbit. Did Felix Sater, while an active FBI informant, introduce Cohen to Trump? (Sater and his company, Bayrock, started working with Trump in 2003 while Cohen did not start working for Trump until 2006).

Sater, as we now know, played a central role in the FBI plot to destroy Donald Trump by proposing a Trump Tower in Moscow. Trump did not take the bait. No Trump Tower in Moscow deal was ever done. Sater also provides, unwittingly, direct evidence that part of the Christopher Steele Dossier is a fraud and a fabrication.

One of the very first reports provided by Christopher Steele insists that the Russians were working overtime to get Trump in bed with them on "lucrative real estate deals." The Steele report dated 20 June 2016 makes the following claims:

Speaking to a trusted compatriot in June 2016 sources A and B, a senior Russian Foreign Ministry figure and a former top level Russian intelligence officer still active inside the Kremlin respectively, the Russian authorities had been cultivating and supporting US Republican presidential candidate, Donald TRUMP for at least 5 years. . . .

In terms of specifics, Source A confided that the Kremlin had been feeding TRUMP and his team valuable intelligence on his opponents, including Democratic presidential candidate Hillary CLINTON, for several years (see more below). . . .

The Kremlin's cultivation operation on TRUMP also had comprised offering him various lucrative real estate development business deals in Russia , especially in relation to the ongoing 2018 World Cup soccer tournament. How ever, so far, for reasons unknown, TRUMP had not taken up any of these.

Steele's claim that the "Kremlin," as part of a broader scheme to recruit Trump as a Russian asset, was "offering him various lucrative real development" deals in Russia, is refuted by the article by Newsweek's Bill Powell and by Robert Mueller's report

Bill Powell reported the following in Newsweek:

[Felix Sater] and his childhood friend, Michael Cohen -- then a lawyer and dealmaker for the Trump Organization -- had been working for more than a decade, on and off, to build a Trump Tower in Moscow . The New York real estate mogul had long wanted to see his name on a glitzy building in the Russian capital, but the project had never materialized.

Where are all of those "lucrative deals" the Kremlin was supposedly offering up? Nowhere. It was a lie.

Felix Sater was the ones telling Trump to build a Trump Tower in Moscow. Sater, according to Newsweek's Powell, was not a close confidant of Trump:

In [2003], Sater says he met Trump, thanks to his work for Bayrock, the real estate company. . . Sater raised money for Bayrock from, among others, a wealthy businessman from the former Soviet republic of Kazakhstan, and he persuaded people in Trump's orbit -- including Cohen, his old friend -- to bring his deals before the boss. Two of the ideas worked out. Sater and the New York real estate mogul eventually worked on the Trump SoHo in Manhattan and a hotel and condo project in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, which failed after the 2008 economic crisis. He and Trump, Sater claims, were friendly but not particularly close.

Powell does not report the Russians offering up any "lucrative" real estate deal.

Powell's account is consistent with the information present by Robert Mueller in the Charging Indictment of Michael Cohen. While the Steele Dossier makes the claim that the Russian Government was offering up "lucrative projects" to the Trump organization, Michael Cohen never made such a claim. The details in the charging document show otherwise; i.e., that Felix Sater was pushing the projects :

The Moscow Project was discussed multiple times within the Company and did not end in January 2016. Instead, as late as approximately June 2016, COHEN and Individual 2 discussed efforts to obtain Russian governmental approval for the Moscow Project.

Why does the Trump organization need to "obtain Russian governmental approval" if, per the Steele Dossier, the Russians are offering up a slew of "lucrative" deals?

The charging document provides further detail on Cohen and Sater's interaction with Russian officials. In early January 2016, Michael Cohen sent an email to Vladimir Putin's Press Secretary. The Secretary responded:

On or about January 14, 2016, COHEN emailed Russian Official 1's office asking for assistance in connection with the Moscow Project.

On or about January 20, 2016, COHEN received an email from the personal assistant to Russian Official 1 ("Assistant 1"), stating that she had been trying to reach COHEN and requesting that he call her using a Moscow-based phone number she provided.

Shortly after receiving the email, COHEN called Assistant 1 and spoke to her for approximately 20 minutes. On that call, COHEN described his position at the Company and outlined the proposed Moscow Project, including the Russian development company with which the Company had partnered. COHEN requested assistance in moving the project forward, both in securing land to build the proposed tower and financing the construction. Assistant 1 asked detailed questions and took notes, stating that she would follow up with others in Russia.

Notwithstanding these communications, the Moscow project was terminated in June 2016. And it was Felix Sater aka "Individual 2", not the Russians, pushing for going to Russia and making a deal. No evidence of Russians offering up "lucrative deals."

From on or about June 9 to June 14, 2016, Individual 2 sent numerous messages to COHEN about the travel, including forms for COHEN to complete. However, on or about June 14, 2016, COHEN met Individual 2 in the lobby of the Company's headquarters to inform Individual 2 he would not be traveling at that time.

If the Steele Dossier was true, Trump should have had multiple project going on in Russia, especially Moscow. Steele paints a picture of Putin's people feeding Trump information and opportunity. So where is the evidence of such activity? There is none.

The Mueller report reinforces the fact that Felix Sater was the one proposing doing the deal in Moscow and talking to the Russians. THE PROPOSED TRUMP TOWER PROJECT IN MOSCOW, according to Mueller's report, originated with an FBI Informant--Felix Sater. Here's what the Mueller Report states:

In the late summer of 2015, the Trump Organization received a new inquiry about pursuing a Trump Tower project in Moscow. In approximately September 2015, Felix Sater . . . contacted Cohen (i.e., Michael Cohen) on behalf of I.C. Expert Investment Company (I.C. Expert), a Russian real-estate development corporation controlled by Andrei Vladimirovich Rozov. Sater had known Rozov since approximately 2007 and, in 2014, had served as an agent on behalf of Rozov during Rozov's purchase of a building in New York City. Sater later contacted Rozov and proposed that I.C. Expert pursue a Trump Tower Moscow project in which I.C. Expert would license the name and brand from the Trump Organization but construct the building on its own. Sater worked on the deal with Rozov and another employee of I.C. Expert. (see page 69 of the Mueller Report).

Mueller, as I have noted previously , is downright dishonest in failing to identify Sater as an FBI informant. Sater was not just a private entrepreneur looking to make some coin. We now know without a doubt that Sater was a fully signed up FBI informant. Sater's status as an FBI snitch was first exposed in 2012 (you can read the letter confirming Sater's status as an FBI snitch here ). Another inconvenient fact excluded from the Mueller report is that one of Mueller's Chief Prosecutors, Andrew Weissman, signed the deal with Felix Sater in December 1998 that put Sater into the FBI Informant business .

All suggestions for meeting with the Russian Government, including Putin, originated with Felix Sater. The use of Sater on this particular project started in September 2015.

All of this raises very troubling issues about FBI misconduct. Under what authority did The FBI initiate the "Moscow Tower" play in September 2015. We are supposed to believe that the FBI counter intelligence investigation, aka Crossfire Hurricane, only began the end of July 2016 because of an alarming report from an Australian diplomat. We now know that is a lie.

The revelations about Sater add to the urgency to expose the FBI's criminality and malevolence.

[For more on Sater please see my previous posts, Felix Sater--The Rosetta Stone for the FBI/CIA Conspiracy Against Trump? , Felix Sater and the Steele Dossier .]


exiled off mainstreet , 25 August 2019 at 06:46 PM

Mr.Johnson has done good work on these issues throughout the whole time this initiative has gone on. It reveals the level of rot in the structure of the secret police operation carried on by the US government and shows that it probably cannot be reformed from within but that the only solution which might work is the dissolution of the existing institutions and some form of starting over, something which is, of course, highly unlikely to be achieved.
Factotum , 25 August 2019 at 06:50 PM
Thank you for tying so many of these loose ends together, these past few years. It is quacking like a duck to me.
Fred , 25 August 2019 at 07:51 PM
How many other people were successfully railroaded by the FBI and was Barack the only president they were doing this under?
blue peacock , 25 August 2019 at 08:46 PM
Something just doesn't add up for me when Trump who was the target of these spying and information operations doesn't use the power and authority of POTUS to expose all the communications and actions of these people. Why? What is he hiding or what is he afraid of?
Larry Johnson -> blue peacock... , 25 August 2019 at 09:54 PM
It is very simple. Trump is relying on the judicial process out of fear that if he did unilaterally release this info he could be accused of "obstructing justice."
akaPatience , 25 August 2019 at 09:54 PM
Trump announced his candidacy June 16, 2015. SO, by September the FBI had begun its operation against him. It seems like a fairly quick mobilization.

Were Obama and Clinton so insecure that they felt they needed to resort to this, or are they both so corrupt that this was business as usual?

Christopher Steele, Felix Sater, Josef Mifsud, Stephan Halper, Alexander Downer -- so far there are at least 5 known to have connections to the IC who tried to entrap Trump. We need a summary with an index since there's so much corruption to keep straight -- Hillary's Vast Left-wing Conspiracy.

[Aug 23, 2019] Spygate The Inside Story Behind the Alleged Plot to Take Down Trump by Jeff Carlson

Highly recommended!
Images removed. See the original for full version.
Much more plausible explanation of Russiagate then Mueller report that cost probably 1000 times less. Mueller and his team should commit hara-kiri in shame.
It contains more valuable information about Russiagate and color revolution against Trump initiatesd by Obama and Brennan. And what is important it is much shorter and up to the point. In other words, Jeff Carlson beat the whole Mueller team to the punch.
An excellent reporting by Jeff Carlson !!! Bravo!!!
Notable quotes:
"... Horowitz continued to push Congress for oversight access and encouraged passage of the Inspector General Empowerment Act . Horowitz would ultimately win his battle, but only as President Barack Obama was leaving office. On Dec. 16, 2016, Obama finally signed the Inspector General Empowerment Act into law. ..."
"... The IGs' memo included an assessment that Clinton's email account contained hundreds of classified emails, despite Clinton's claims that there was no classified information present on her server. ..."
"... On July 30, 2015, within weeks of the FBI's opening of the Clinton investigation, McCabe was suddenly promoted to the No. 3 position in the FBI. With his new title of associate deputy director, McCabe was transferred to FBI headquarters from the Washington Field Office, and his direct involvement in the Clinton investigation began. ..."
"... Strzok was one of the agents selected, and in late August 2015, he was assigned to the Mid-Year Exam team and transferred to FBI headquarters. Strzok, in his comments to lawmakers, acknowledged that the newly formed investigative team was largely made up of hand-picked personnel from the Washington Field Office and FBI headquarters. ..."
"... On Jan. 29, 2016, Comey appointed McCabe as FBI deputy director, replacing the retiring Giuliano, and McCabe assumed the No. 2 position in the FBI, after having held the No. 3 position for just six months. ..."
"... By early 2016, the three participants in the infamous "insurance policy" meeting -- McCabe, Strzok, and Page -- were now in place at the FBI. ..."
"... Priestap, who testified that he was unaware of the frequency of meetings between McCabe, Strzok, and Lisa Page, seems to have been kept in the dark regarding many of the actions taken by Strzok, who appeared to be exercising significant investigative control. ..."
"... It sounds like Peter Strzok was kind of driving the train here. Would you agree with that?" ..."
"... Peter and Jon, yeah." ..."
"... Do you know if Mr. McCabe was aware that some of his agent executives were concerned that they were being bypassed on information on what, by all accounts, was a sensitive, critical investigation?" ..."
"... My understanding was that he was aware." ..."
"... Notably, Comey had been convinced to remove the term "gross negligence" to describe Clinton's actions from his prepared statement by, among others, Page, Strzok, Anderson, and Moffa. ..."
"... While GCHQ was gathering intelligence, low-level Trump campaign foreign-policy adviser George Papadopoulos appears to have been targeted, after a series of highly coincidental meetings. Most of these meetings with Papadopoulos -- whose own background and reasons for joining the Trump campaign remain suspicious -- occurred in the first half of 2016. Maltese professor Josef Mifsud, Australian diplomat Alexander Downer, FBI informant Stefan Halper, and officials from the UK's Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) all crossed paths with Papadopoulos -- some repeatedly so. ..."
"... As this foreign intelligence -- unofficial in nature and outside of any traditional channels -- was gathered, Brennan began a process of feeding his gathered intelligence to the FBI. Repeated transfers of foreign intelligence from the CIA director pushed the FBI toward the establishment of a formal counterintelligence investigation. ..."
"... The last major segment of Brennan's efforts involved a series of three reports. The first, titled the "Joint Statement from the Department Of Homeland Security and Office of the Director of National Intelligence on Election Security ," was released on Oct. 7, 2016. The second report, "GRIZZLY STEPPE -- Russian Malicious Cyber Activity ," was released on Dec. 29, 2016. The third report, "Assessing Russian Activities and Intentions in Recent U.S. Elections " -- also known as the intelligence community assessment (ICA) -- was released on Jan. 6, 2017. ..."
"... On July 5, 2016, Gaeta traveled to London and met with Steele at the offices of Steele's firm, Orbis. At some point in early July, Steele passed his initial report to Nuland and the State Department. Nuland later said these documents were passed on at some point to both the FBI and then-Secretary of State John Kerry. ..."
"... Prior to joining Fusion GPS, Nellie had worked as an independent contractor for an internal open-source division of the CIA, Open Source Works, from 2008 to at least June 2010; it appears likely she remained in that role into 2014. ..."
"... Additionally, email communications between her and Bruce Ohr show that she routinely sent her husband at the DOJ articles on Russia -- most carrying a similar negative slant. The emails continued through the duration of Nellie's employment with Fusion GPS and usually contained a brief, often one-line comment from Nellie. ..."
"... In her testimony, Nellie described her work as online open-source efforts that utilized "Russian sources, media, social media, government, you know, business registers, legal databases, all kinds of things." Ohr said that she would "write occasional reports based on the open-source research that I described about Donald Trump's relationships with various people in Russia." ..."
"... Steele had produced eight reports from June 20, 2016, through the end of August 2016 (there also is one undated report included in the dossier). No further reports were generated by Steele until Sept. 14, when he suddenly wrote three separate memos in one day. One of the memos referenced a Russian bank named Alfa Bank, misspelled as "Alpha" in his memo. Steele's sudden burst of productivity was likely done in preparation for his Sept. 19 meeting in Rome with the FBI. ..."
"... The impact of Brennan's potential knowledge of the dossier in August 2016 should not be underestimated. As Brennan testified to Congress, his briefing to the Gang of Eight was done in consultation with the Obama administration: ..."
"... Halper, who has been outed as an FBI informant, stayed in contact with Carter Page for the next 14 months, severing ties exactly as the final FISA warrant on Page expired. ..."
"... Following the publication of the Isikoff article, the Hillary for America campaign released a statement on the same day that touted Isikoff's "bombshell report," with the full article attached. ..."
"... Winer had received a separate dossier , very similar to Steele's, from longtime Clinton confidant Sidney Blumenthal. This "second dossier" had been compiled by another longtime Clinton operative, former journalist Cody Shearer, and echoed claims made in the Steele dossier. Winer gave Steele a copy of the "second dossier." Steele then shared this second dossier with the FBI, which may have used it as a means to corroborate Steele's own dossier. ..."
"... Steele also met with U.S. media during his visit to Washington, doing so "at Fusion's instruction." According to UK Court documents , Steele testified that he "briefed" The New York Times, The Washington Post, Yahoo News, The New Yorker, and CNN at the end of September 2016. Steele would engage in a second round of media contact in mid-October 2016, meeting again with The New York Times, The Washington Post, and Yahoo News. Steele testified that all these meetings were "conducted verbally in person." ..."
"... Sometime in late 2016, his wife, Nellie Ohr, provided him with a memory stick containing all of her research that she had compiled while employed at Fusion GPS. Bruce Ohr testified he gave the memory stick to Pientka. Nellie Ohr had left Fusion in September 2016. Through Pientka, Strzok now had all of Nellie Ohr's Fusion research in his possession. ..."
"... Flynn's 2015 dinner in Moscow was initially used to implicate the Trump campaign's ties to Russia. It was then used as a means to cast doubts on Flynn's ability as Trump's national security adviser. Following Flynn's resignation, it was then used as a means to pursue the ongoing collusion narrative that gained full strength in the early days of the Trump administration. ..."
"... On April 18, 2016, Rogers moved aggressively in response to the disclosures. He abruptly shut down all FBI outside-contractor access. At this point, both the FBI and the DOJ's NSD became aware of Rogers's compliance review. They may have known earlier, but they were certainly aware after outside-contractor access was halted. ..."
"... Carlin filed the government's proposed 2016 Section 702 certifications on Sept. 26, 2016. Carlin knew the general status of the compliance review by Rogers. The NSD was part of the review. Carlin failed to disclose a critical Jan. 7, 2016, report by the NSA inspector general and associated FISA abuse to the FISA court in his 2016 certification. Carlin also failed to disclose Rogers's ongoing Section 702-compliance review. ..."
Mar 28, 2019 | www.theepochtimes.com

Updated: July 7, 2019

Efforts by high-ranking officials in the CIA , FBI , Department of Justice ( DOJ ), and State Department to portray President Donald Trump as having colluded with Russia were the culmination of years of bias and politicization under the Obama administration.

<img class="size-large wp-image-2855920" src="https://img.theepochtimes.com/assets/uploads/2019/03/27/DOJ-FBI_infographic_3_Epoch-Times-1200x630.png" alt="" width="640" height="336" /> Click on image to enlarge.

The weaponization of the intelligence community and other government agencies created an environment that allowed for obstruction in the investigation into Hillary Clinton and the relentless pursuit of a manufactured collusion narrative against Trump.

A willing and complicit media spread unsubstantiated leaks as facts in an effort to promote the Russia-collusion narrative.

The Spygate scandal also raises a bigger question: Was the 2016 election a one-time aberration, or was it symptomatic of decades of institutional political corruption?

This article builds on dozens of congressional testimonies, court documents, and other research to provide an inside look at the actions of Obama administration officials in the scandal that's become known as Spygate.

<img class=" wp-image-2833768" src="https://img.theepochtimes.com/assets/uploads/2019/03/11/Michael-Horowitz-1200x1239.jpg" alt="" width="160" height="165" /> Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz . (MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)

To understand this abuse of power, it helps to go back to July 2011, when DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz was appointed.

From the very start, Horowitz found his duties throttled by Attorney General Eric Holder, who placed limitations on the inspector general's right to have unobstructed access to information. Holder used this tactic to delay Horowitz's investigation of the failed sting operation known as Operation Fast and Furious.

"We got access to information up to 2010 in all of these categories. No law changed in 2010. No policy changed. It was simply a decision by the General Counsel's Office in 2010 that they viewed, now, the law differently. And as a result, they weren't going to give us that information," Horowitz told members of Congress in February 2015.

On Aug. 5, 2014, Horowitz and other inspectors general had sent a letter to Congress asking for unimpeded access to all records. Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates responded on July 20, 2015, with a 58-page memorandum, titled " Memorandum for Sally Quillian Yates Deputy Attorney General ," written by Karl R. Thompson, the principal deputy assistant attorney general of the Office of Legal Counsel (OLC).

<img class=" wp-image-2833772" src="https://img.theepochtimes.com/assets/uploads/2019/03/11/sally-yates-1200x1188.jpg" alt="" width="161" height="159" /> Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

The July 20, 2015, opinion was widely criticized . But it accomplished what it was intended to do. The opinion limited IG Horowitz's oversight from extending to any information collected under Title III -- including intercepted communications and national security letters. (Notably, The New York Times disclosed that national security letters were used in the surveillance of the Trump 2016 presidential campaign.)

In response, on Aug. 3, 2015, IG Horowitz sent a blistering letter to Congress. The letter was signed not only by Horowitz but by all other acting inspectors general as well:

"The OLC opinion's restrictive reading of the IG Act represents a potentially serious challenge to the authority of every Inspector General and our collective ability to conduct our work thoroughly, independently, and in a timely manner. Our concern is that, as a result of the OLC opinion, agencies other than DOJ may likewise withhold crucial records from their Inspectors General, adversely impacting their work.

Horowitz continued to push Congress for oversight access and encouraged passage of the Inspector General Empowerment Act . Horowitz would ultimately win his battle, but only as President Barack Obama was leaving office. On Dec. 16, 2016, Obama finally signed the Inspector General Empowerment Act into law.

It is against this backdrop of minimal oversight that Spygate took place.

Ironically, the Clinton email server investigation, known as the "Mid-Year Exam," originated from a disclosure contained in a June 29, 2015, memo sent by the inspectors general for both the State Department and the Intelligence Community to Patrick F. Kennedy, then-undersecretary of state for management.

The IGs' memo included an assessment that Clinton's email account contained hundreds of classified emails, despite Clinton's claims that there was no classified information present on her server.

On July 6, 2015, the IG for the Intelligence Community made a referral to the FBI, which resulted in the official opening of an investigation into the Clinton email server by FBI officials Randall Coleman and Charles Kable on July 10, 2015.

<img class="size-large wp-image-2833204" src="https://img.theepochtimes.com/assets/uploads/2019/03/11/Andrew-McCabe-Lisa-Page-Peter-Strzok-1200x720.jpg" alt="peter strzok andrew mccabe and lisa page" width="640" height="384" /> (L-R) FBI agent Peter Strzok, FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe , and FBI lawyer Lisa Page. (Getty Images/Epoch Times)

A Hand-Picked Team

At this time, Peter Strzok was an assistant special agent in charge at the FBI's Washington Field Office. The assistant director in charge at the Washington Field Office during this period was Andrew McCabe, a position he assumed on Sept. 14, 2014.

On July 30, 2015, within weeks of the FBI's opening of the Clinton investigation, McCabe was suddenly promoted to the No. 3 position in the FBI. With his new title of associate deputy director, McCabe was transferred to FBI headquarters from the Washington Field Office, and his direct involvement in the Clinton investigation began.

Strzok would follow shortly. Less than a month after McCabe was transferred, FBI headquarters reached out to the Washington Field Office, saying it needed greater staffing and resources "based on what they were looking at, based on some of the investigative steps that were under consideration," Strzok told congressional investigators in a closed-door hearing on June 27, 2018.

Strzok was one of the agents selected, and in late August 2015, he was assigned to the Mid-Year Exam team and transferred to FBI headquarters. Strzok, in his comments to lawmakers, acknowledged that the newly formed investigative team was largely made up of hand-picked personnel from the Washington Field Office and FBI headquarters.

Starting in October 2015 and continuing into early 2016, FBI Director James Comey made a series of high-profile reassignments that resulted in the complete turnover of the upper-echelon of the FBI team working on the Clinton email investigation:

Comey is the only known senior FBI leadership official who remained involved throughout the entire Clinton email investigation. McCabe had the second-longest tenure.

On Jan. 29, 2016, Comey appointed McCabe as FBI deputy director, replacing the retiring Giuliano, and McCabe assumed the No. 2 position in the FBI, after having held the No. 3 position for just six months.

It was at this point that FBI lawyer Lisa Page was assigned to McCabe as his special counsel. This was not the first time that Page worked directly for McCabe. James Baker, the FBI's former general counsel, told congressional investigators that Page had worked for McCabe at various times during McCabe's career, going back as far as 2013.

By early 2016, the three participants in the infamous "insurance policy" meeting -- McCabe, Strzok, and Page -- were now in place at the FBI.

In January 2016, Bill Priestap was named as head of the FBI's Counterintelligence Division, replacing Coleman and inheriting the Clinton email investigation in the process.

<img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-2857145" src="https://img.theepochtimes.com/assets/uploads/2019/03/28/Spygate_Epoch-TImes.jpg" alt="" width="676" height="1280" />

According to Priestap, Coleman had "set up a reporting mechanism that leaders of that team would report directly to him, not through the customary other chain of command" in the Clinton email investigation. Priestap, who said he didn't know why Coleman had "set it up," kept the chain of command in place when he assumed Coleman's position in January 2016.

This new structure resulted in some unusual reporting lines that went outside normal chains of command. Strzok, who would not normally fall under Priestap's oversight, was now reporting directly to him.

As Priestap described it, the team involved in the Clinton investigation comprised three different but intertwined elements: the primary team, the filter team, and the senior leadership team.

While the elements of the day-to-day investigative team differed for the Clinton email investigation and the Trump–Russia investigation, the primary team remained the same throughout both cases -- as did the lines of communication between the FBI and the DOJ. According to testimony by Page, John Carlin, who ran the DOJ's National Security Division (NSD), was receiving briefings on both investigations directly from McCabe.

Priestap Left in the Dark

Priestap, who testified that he was unaware of the frequency of meetings between McCabe, Strzok, and Lisa Page, seems to have been kept in the dark regarding many of the actions taken by Strzok, who appeared to be exercising significant investigative control. Priestap was asked about this by congressional investigators during a June 5, 2018, testimony:

Rep. Meadows: " It sounds like Peter Strzok was kind of driving the train here. Would you agree with that?"

Mr. Priestap: " Peter and Jon, yeah."

<img class=" wp-image-2833249" src="https://img.theepochtimes.com/assets/uploads/2019/03/11/Priestap-1200x1548.jpg" alt="" width="160" height="205" /> Assistant Director of the FBI's Counterintelligence Division Bill Priestap. (Jennifer Zeng/The Epoch Times)

Additionally, Page often circumvented the established chain of command, not only with McCabe, for whom she reportedly served as a conduit for Strzok, but also with Baker. Additionally, there were concerns that Page bypassed both the executive assistant director for the National Security Branch -- first Giacalone, then Steinbach -- and Priestap, the head of counterintelligence. Anderson, the No. 2 lawyer, admitted in her testimony to congressional investigators that she had been aware of these concerns, saying, "Neither of them personally complained to me, but I was aware of their concerns."

A report published by IG Horowitz in June 2018, which reviewed the FBI's investigation of the Clinton email case, included the notable statement that several witnesses had informed the IG that Page "circumvented the official chain of command, and that Strzok communicated important Midyear case information to her, and thus to McCabe, without Priestap's or Steinbach's knowledge." Steinbach, who was the executive assistant director and Priestap's direct supervisor, left the FBI in early 2017.

According to Anderson, McCabe was aware of the ongoing concerns regarding Page's circumventions, but it appears that nothing was done to address them:

Mr. Baker: " Do you know if Mr. McCabe was aware that some of his agent executives were concerned that they were being bypassed on information on what, by all accounts, was a sensitive, critical investigation?"

Ms. Anderson: " My understanding was that he was aware."

DOJ Prevents 'Gross Negligence' Charges

By the spring of 2016, the Clinton email investigation was already winding down. This was due in large part to the fact that the DOJ, under Attorney General Loretta Lynch , had decided to set an unusually high threshold for the prosecution of Clinton, effectively ensuring from the outset that she would not be charged.

In order for Clinton to be prosecuted, the DOJ required the FBI to establish evidence of intent -- even though the gross negligence statute explicitly does not require this.

This meant that the FBI would have needed to find a smoking gun, such as an email or an admission made during FBI questioning, revealing that Clinton or her aides knowingly set up the private email server to send classified information.

According to Page, the DOJ played a far larger role in the Clinton investigation than previously had been known:

"Everybody talks about this as if this was the FBI investigation, and the truth of the matter is there was not a single step, other than the July 5th statement, there was not a single investigative step that we did not do in consultation with or at the direction of the Justice Department," Page told congressional investigators on July 13, 2018.

<img class=" wp-image-2833254" src="https://img.theepochtimes.com/assets/uploads/2019/03/11/GettyImages-545524880-1200x1441.jpg" alt="" width="161" height="193" /> Attorney General Loretta Lynch. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Comey also had hinted at the influence exerted by the DOJ over the Clinton investigation, at a July 5, 2016, press conference , in which he recommended that Clinton not be charged, stating that "there are obvious considerations, like the strength of the evidence, especially regarding intent."

Notably, Comey had been convinced to remove the term "gross negligence" to describe Clinton's actions from his prepared statement by, among others, Page, Strzok, Anderson, and Moffa.

CIA Director Instigates Trump Investigation

As the Clinton investigation wound down, interest from the intelligence community in the Trump campaign was ramping up. Sometime in 2015, it appears former CIA Director John Brennan established himself as the point man to push for an investigation into the Trump campaign. Using a combination of unofficial foreign intelligence compiled by contacts, colleagues, and associates -- primarily from the UK , but also from other Five Eyes members, such as Australia -- Brennan then fed this information to the FBI. Brennan stated this fact repeatedly during a May 23, 2017, congressional testimony :

"I made sure that anything that was involving U.S. persons, including anything involving the individuals involved in the Trump campaign, was shared with the [FBI]."

<img class=" wp-image-2833258" src="https://img.theepochtimes.com/assets/uploads/2019/03/11/GettyImages-687314312-1200x1279.jpg" alt="" width="160" height="171" /> CIA Director John Brennan. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Brennan also admitted that it was his intelligence that helped establish the FBI investigation:

"I was aware of intelligence and information about contacts between Russian officials and U.S. persons that raised concerns in my mind about whether or not those individuals were cooperating with the Russians, either in a witting or unwitting fashion, and it served as the basis for the FBI investigation to determine whether such collusion [or] cooperation occurred."

In late 2015, Britain's Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) was involved in collecting information regarding then-candidate Trump and transmitting it to the United States. The GCHQ is the UK equivalent of the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA).

<img class=" wp-image-2833230" src="https://img.theepochtimes.com/assets/uploads/2019/03/11/George-Papadopoulos.jpg" alt="" width="160" height="192" /> Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos. (MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)

While GCHQ was gathering intelligence, low-level Trump campaign foreign-policy adviser George Papadopoulos appears to have been targeted, after a series of highly coincidental meetings. Most of these meetings with Papadopoulos -- whose own background and reasons for joining the Trump campaign remain suspicious -- occurred in the first half of 2016. Maltese professor Josef Mifsud, Australian diplomat Alexander Downer, FBI informant Stefan Halper, and officials from the UK's Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) all crossed paths with Papadopoulos -- some repeatedly so.

<img class=" wp-image-2833234" src="https://img.theepochtimes.com/assets/uploads/2019/03/11/Alexander-Downer-1200x1391.jpg" alt="" width="160" height="186" /> Australian high commissioner to the UK, Alexander Downer. (GOH CHAI HIN/AFP/Getty Images)

Downer's conversation with Papadopoulos was reportedly disclosed to the FBI on July 22, 2016, through Australian government channels, although it may have come directly from Downer himself.

Details from the conversation between Downer and Papadopoulos were then used by the FBI to open its counterintelligence investigation on July 31, 2016.

In the summer of 2016, Robert Hannigan, the head of the UK's GCHQ, traveled to Washington to meet with Brennan regarding alleged communications between the Trump campaign and Moscow. Around the same time, Brennan formed an inter-agency task force comprising an estimated six agencies and/or government departments. The FBI, Treasury, and DOJ handled the domestic inquiry into Trump and possible Russia connections. The CIA, Office of the Director of National Intelligence, and the NSA handled foreign and intelligence aspects.

During this time, Brennan appeared to have employed the use of reverse targeting , which refers to the targeting of a foreign individual with the intent of capturing data on a U.S. citizen.

Mr. Brennan:

" We call it incidental collection in terms of CIA's foreign intelligence collection authorities. Any time we would incidentally collect information on a U.S. person, we would hand that over to the FBI because they have the legal authority to do it. We would not pursue that type of investigative, you know, sort of leads. We would give it to the FBI. So, we were picking things up that was of great relevance to the FBI, and we wanted to make sure that they were there -- so they could piece it together with whatever they were collecting domestically here."

As this foreign intelligence -- unofficial in nature and outside of any traditional channels -- was gathered, Brennan began a process of feeding his gathered intelligence to the FBI. Repeated transfers of foreign intelligence from the CIA director pushed the FBI toward the establishment of a formal counterintelligence investigation.

The last major segment of Brennan's efforts involved a series of three reports. The first, titled the "Joint Statement from the Department Of Homeland Security and Office of the Director of National Intelligence on Election Security ," was released on Oct. 7, 2016. The second report, "GRIZZLY STEPPE -- Russian Malicious Cyber Activity ," was released on Dec. 29, 2016. The third report, "Assessing Russian Activities and Intentions in Recent U.S. Elections " -- also known as the intelligence community assessment (ICA) -- was released on Jan. 6, 2017.

This final report was used to continue pushing the Russia-collusion narrative following the election of President Donald Trump. Notably, Adm. Mike Rogers of the NSA publicly dissented from the findings of the ICA, assigning it only a moderate confidence level.

Fusion GPS and the Steele Dossier

Meanwhile, another less official effort began. Information paid for by the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and the Clinton campaign targeting Trump made its way to the highest levels of the FBI and the State Department, with a sophisticated strategy relying on the personal connections of hired operatives.

<img class=" wp-image-2833265" src="https://img.theepochtimes.com/assets/uploads/2019/03/11/GettyImages-621958726-1200x1324.jpg" alt="" width="159" height="176" /> Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. (JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)

At the center of the multi-pronged strategy to disseminate the information were Fusion GPS co-founder Glenn Simpson and former British spy Steele.

In early March 2016, Fusion GPS approached Perkins Coie -- the law firm used by the Clinton campaign and the DNC -- expressing interest in an "engagement," according to an Oct. 24, 2017, response letter by Perkins Coie. The firm hired Fusion GPS in April 2016 to "perform a variety of research services during the 2016 election cycle."

Steele's firm, Orbis Business Intelligence, was retained by Fusion GPS during the period between June and November 2016. During this time, Steele produced 16 memos, with the last memo dated Oct. 20, 2016. There is one final memo that Steele wrote on Dec. 13 at the request of Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.).

<img class=" wp-image-2833240" src="https://img.theepochtimes.com/assets/uploads/2019/03/11/GettyImages-634408242-1200x1349.jpg" alt="" width="160" height="180" /> Sen. John McCain commissioned one of Steele's memos. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Steele provided Fusion GPS with something that Simpson's firm was lacking: access to individuals within the FBI and the State Department. These contacts could be traced back to at least 2010, when Steele had provided assistance in the FBI's investigation into FIFA over concerns that Russia might have been engaging in bribery to host the 2018 World Cup.

Sometime in the latter half of 2014, Steele began to informally provide reports he had prepared for a private client to the State Department. One of the recipients of the reports was Victoria Nuland, the assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian affairs.

After Steele's company was hired by Fusion GPS in June 2016, he began to reach out to the FBI through Michael Gaeta, an FBI agent and assistant legal attaché at the U.S. Embassy in Rome who Steele had worked with on the FIFA case. Gaeta also headed up the FBI's Eurasian Organized Crime unit, which specializes in investigating criminal groups from Georgia, Russia, and Ukraine.

Gaeta was later identified as Steele's FBI handler, in a July 16, 2018, congressional testimony before the House Judiciary and Oversight committees by Page.

<img class=" wp-image-2833242" src="https://img.theepochtimes.com/assets/uploads/2019/03/11/victoria-nuland-1200x1373.jpg" alt="" width="160" height="183" /> Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Victoria Nuland. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

On July 5, 2016, Gaeta traveled to London and met with Steele at the offices of Steele's firm, Orbis. At some point in early July, Steele passed his initial report to Nuland and the State Department. Nuland later said these documents were passed on at some point to both the FBI and then-Secretary of State John Kerry.

Exactly what happened with the reports that Gaeta brought back from London, and precisely who he gave them to within the FBI, remains unknown, although some media reports have indicated they might have been sent to the FBI's New York Field Office. During the period following Steele's initial contact with the FBI, there appears to have been no further FBI interaction or contact with Steele.

Former CIA Contractor Worked for Fusion GPS

Notably, eight months before Fusion GPS hired Christopher Steele, Simpson had hired Nellie Ohr, the wife of then-Associate Deputy Attorney General Bruce Ohr, to work for his firm as a researcher in October 2015. It was at this time that Fusion GPS was retained by the Washington Free Beacon to engage in research on the Trump campaign.

Prior to joining Fusion GPS, Nellie had worked as an independent contractor for an internal open-source division of the CIA, Open Source Works, from 2008 to at least June 2010; it appears likely she remained in that role into 2014.

Nellie told congressional investigators, in her Oct. 19, 2018, closed-door testimony, that part of her work for Fusion GPS was to research the Trump 2016 presidential campaign, including campaign associate Carter Page, early campaign supporter Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, and campaign manager Paul Manafort, as well as Trump's family members, including some of his children.

Additionally, email communications between her and Bruce Ohr show that she routinely sent her husband at the DOJ articles on Russia -- most carrying a similar negative slant. The emails continued through the duration of Nellie's employment with Fusion GPS and usually contained a brief, often one-line comment from Nellie.

In her testimony, Nellie described her work as online open-source efforts that utilized "Russian sources, media, social media, government, you know, business registers, legal databases, all kinds of things." Ohr said that she would "write occasional reports based on the open-source research that I described about Donald Trump's relationships with various people in Russia."

The work Nellie conducted for Fusion GPS matches the same skill set used when she worked for Open Source Works, which is a division within the CIA that uses open-source information to produce intelligence products.

When asked how she came to be hired by Fusion GPS and who had approached her, Nellie responded, "Nobody approached me," telling investigators that it was she who had initiated contact and approached Fusion GPS after reading an article on Simpson.

Nellie would continue to work for Fusion GPS until September 2016. By this time, Simpson and Steele already had started working on pushing the Steele dossier into the FBI.

Following the end of her employment with Fusion GPS, Nellie provided Bruce with a memory stick that contained all of the research she had compiled during her time at the firm. Bruce then gave the memory stick to the FBI, through his handler, Joe Pientka.

Bruce Ohr Becomes a Conduit

Nearly a month after Gaeta brought back the reports that Steele provided in London, Simpson and Steele decided to pursue a new channel into the FBI through Bruce Ohr. Bruce had known Steele since at least 2007, when they met during an "official meeting" while Steele was still employed by the British government as an MI6 agent. Steele had already been in contact with Bruce via email in early 2016. Notably, most of these prior communications appeared to discuss Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska and his ongoing efforts to obtain a U.S. visa.

<img class=" wp-image-2833270" src="https://img.theepochtimes.com/assets/uploads/2019/03/11/Bruce-ohr.jpg" alt="" width="160" height="191" /> Department of Justice official Bruce Ohr. (Samira Bouaou/The Epoch Times)

On July 29, 2016, Steele wrote to Bruce, saying that he would "be in DC at short notice on business," and asked to meet with both Bruce and his wife. On July 30, 2016, the Ohrs met Steele for breakfast at the Mayflower Hotel. Also present at the breakfast meeting was a fourth individual, described by Bruce as "an associate of Mr. Steele's, another gentleman, younger fellow. I didn't catch his name." Nellie testified that Steele's associate had a British accent.

The timing of the July 30 breakfast meeting is of particular note, as the FBI's counterintelligence investigation, "Crossfire Hurricane," was formally opened the following day, on July 31, 2016, by FBI agent Peter Strzok.

<img class=" wp-image-2833272" src="https://img.theepochtimes.com/assets/uploads/2019/03/11/Nellie-Ohr.jpg" alt="" width="160" height="183" /> Fusion GPS contractor Nellie Ohr. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

According to a transcript of Bruce's testimony before Congress, Steele relayed information from his dossier at this meeting and claimed that "a former head of the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service, the SVR, had stated to someone that they had Donald Trump over a barrel."

Steele also referenced Deripaska's business dealings with Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and foreign policy adviser Carter Page's meetings in Moscow.

Lastly, Bruce noted that Steele told him he had been in contact with the FBI but now had additional reports. "Chris Steele had provided some reports to the FBI, I think two, but that Glenn Simpson had more," he said.

Immediately following the Ohrs' breakfast meeting with Steele, Bruce Ohr reached out to FBI Deputy Director McCabe and the two met in McCabe's office -- sometime between July 30 and the first days of August. Also present at this meeting was FBI lawyer Page, who had previously worked for Bruce Ohr at the DOJ, where he was her direct supervisor for five to six years.

Bruce Ohr would later testify that during the July/August meeting, he told McCabe that his wife, Nellie, worked for Fusion, noting, "I wanted the FBI to be aware of any possible bias." FBI General Counsel Baker, who reviewed a portion of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) application to spy on Trump campaign adviser Carter Page -- which relied in part on the information from Steele -- told congressional investigators that he was never told of Ohr's concerns regarding possible bias and conflicts of interest.

On Aug. 15, 2016, a week or two following Bruce Ohr's meeting with McCabe, Strzok would send the now-infamous "insurance policy" text referencing McCabe to Lisa Page:

"I want to believe the path you threw out for consideration in Andy's office – that there's no way he gets elected – but I'm afraid we can't take that risk. It's like an insurance policy in the unlikely event you die before you're 40."

On Aug. 22, Bruce Ohr had a meeting with Simpson. Ohr would later discuss that meeting during his testimony:

"I don't know exactly what Chris Steele was thinking, of course, but I knew that Chris Steele was working for Glenn Simpson, and that Glenn might have additional information that Chris either didn't have or was not authorized to prevent [present], give me, or whatever."

It was at this meeting that Simpson first mentioned Belarusan-American businessman Sergei Millian and former Trump attorney Michael Cohen.

Brennan's Briefings to the Gang of Eight <img class=" wp-image-2833280" src="https://img.theepochtimes.com/assets/uploads/2019/03/11/GettyImages-103218413-1200x1585.jpg" alt="" width="160" height="211" /> Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

During this same period in late August 2016, Brennan began briefing members of the Gang of Eight on the FBI's counterintelligence investigation, through a series of meetings in August and September 2016. Notably, each Gang of Eight member was briefed separately, calling into question whether each of the members received the same information. Efforts by Democrats to block the release of transcripts from each meeting are ongoing. Comey, however, did not notify Congress of the FBI investigation until early March 2017, and it's entirely possible he was unaware of Brennan's private briefings during the summer of 2016.

During her testimony, FBI lawyer Lisa Page was questioned by Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) in relation to an Aug. 25, 2016, text message that read, "What are you doing after the CH brief?" CH almost certainly referred to Crossfire Hurricane.

Lisa Page then was asked about an event that took place on the same day as the "CH brief" -- a briefing provided by Brennan to then-Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid:

"You give a brief on August the 25th. Director Brennan is giving a brief. It's not a Gang of Eight brief. It is a one-on-one, from what we can tell, a one-on-one briefing with Harry Reid at that point."

According to Meadows, Brennan briefed Reid on the Steele dossier:

"We have documents that would suggest that in that briefing the dossier was mentioned to Harry Reid and then obviously we're going to have to have conversations. Does that surprise you that Director Brennan would be aware [of the dossier]?"

Lisa Page appeared genuinely surprised that Brennan would have been aware of the dossier's existence at this early point, telling Meadows: "The FBI got this information from our source. If the CIA had another source of that information, I am neither aware of that nor did the CIA provide it to us if they did."

She elaborated further: "As of August of 2016, I don't know who Christopher Steele is. I don't know that he's an FBI source. I don't know what he does. I have never heard of him in all of my life."

This claim by Page seems incongruous when viewed against Bruce Ohr's testimony that he met with Page and McCabe in the first days of August following his July 30, 2016, breakfast with Steele:

"My initial meeting was with Mr. McCabe and with Lisa Page.

"I was telling them about what I was hearing from Chris Steele."

Meanwhile, Brennan's briefing prompted Reid to write not one but two letters to Comey. Both demanded that Comey commence an investigation, with the details to be made public.

Reid's first letter , which touched on Carter Page, was sent on Aug. 27, 2016. Reid's second letter , far angrier and declaring Comey to be in possession of material information, was sent on Oct. 30, 2016.

There had been reports that Comey had been considering closing the FBI investigation of Trump, something Brennan strongly opposed. Now, with Reid's letters sent, that avenue was effectively closed. The termination of the FBI's Trump–Russia investigation would be all but impossible in the face of Reid's public demands.

Perhaps it was in response to Reid's Aug. 27 letter that the FBI suddenly reached out to Steele in September 2016, asking him for all the information in his possession. The team working on Crossfire Hurricane received documents and a briefing from Steele in mid-September, reportedly at a meeting in Rome, where Gaeta also was present.

During Lisa Page's testimony, she appeared to corroborate this account, noting that the team received the "reports that are known as the dossier from an FBI agent who is Christopher Steele's handler in September of 2016." She would later clarify the timing, noting "we received the reporting from Steele in mid-September." A text sent to her by FBI agent Peter Strzok on Oct. 12, 2016, may provide us with the actual date:

"We got the reporting on Sept 19. Looks like [redacted] got it early August."

Steele had produced eight reports from June 20, 2016, through the end of August 2016 (there also is one undated report included in the dossier). No further reports were generated by Steele until Sept. 14, when he suddenly wrote three separate memos in one day. One of the memos referenced a Russian bank named Alfa Bank, misspelled as "Alpha" in his memo. Steele's sudden burst of productivity was likely done in preparation for his Sept. 19 meeting in Rome with the FBI.

The impact of Brennan's potential knowledge of the dossier in August 2016 should not be underestimated. As Brennan testified to Congress, his briefing to the Gang of Eight was done in consultation with the Obama administration:

"Through the so-called Gang-of-Eight process we kept Congress apprised of these issues as we identified them. Again, in consultation with the White House, I personally briefed the full details of our understanding of Russian attempts to interfere in the election to congressional leadership.

"Given the highly sensitive nature of what was an active counter-intelligence case, involving an ongoing Russian effort, to interfere in our presidential election, the full details of what we knew at the time were shared only with those members of Congress."

https://www.youtube.com/embed/PseDla0l9xE?wmode=transparent&wmode=opaque The Carter Page FISA Warrant <img class=" wp-image-2833286" src="https://img.theepochtimes.com/assets/uploads/2019/03/11/Carter-Page.jpg" alt="" width="160" height="207" /> Trump campaign adviser Carter Page. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

As the dossier was making its way into the FBI, the agency began its preparations to obtain a FISA warrant on Trump campaign adviser Carter Page, who was surveilled under Title I of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.

According to Baker's testimony, it appears that the FBI began to set its sights on Carter Page in the summer of 2016. When asked how he had first gained knowledge of the FBI's intention to pursue a FISA warrant on Carter Page, Baker testified that it came through his familiarity with the FBI's investigation:

Mr. Baker: " I learned of -- so I was aware when the FBI first started to focus on Carter Page, I was aware of that because it was part of the broader investigation that we were conducting. So I was aware that we were investigating him. And then at some point in time –"

Rep. Meadows: "But that was many years ago. That was in 2014. Or are you talking about 2016?"

Mr. Baker: " I am talking about 2016 in the summer."

Rep. Meadows: "Okay."

Mr. Baker: " Yeah. And so I was aware of the investigation, and then at some point in time, as part of the regular briefings on the case, the briefers mentioned that they were going to pursue a FISA."

It appears the FBI, and possibly the CIA, began to focus on Carter Page earlier than Baker was aware. Carter Page had been invited some months prior to a July 2016 symposium held at Cambridge regarding the upcoming election. The speaker list was notable:

Carter Page attended the event just four days after his July 2016 Moscow trip, and it was during this time in the UK that he first encountered Stefan Halper. Page's Moscow trip would later figure prominently in the Steele dossier.

Halper, who has been outed as an FBI informant, stayed in contact with Carter Page for the next 14 months, severing ties exactly as the final FISA warrant on Page expired.

Trisha Anderson, the principal deputy general counsel for the FBI and head of the bureau's National Security and Cyber Law Branch, approved the application for a warrant to spy on Carter Page before it went to FBI Director James Comey.

According to Anderson, pre-approvals for the Carter Page FISA warrant were provided by both McCabe and Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates, before the FISA application was ever presented to Anderson for review.

"[M]y boss and my boss' boss had already reviewed and approved this application. And, in fact, the Deputy Attorney General, who had the authority to sign the application, to be the substantive approver on the FISA application itself, had approved the application. And that typically would not have been the case before I did that," said Anderson.

The unusual preliminary reviews and approvals from both McCabe and Yates appear to have had a substantial impact on the normal review process, leading other individuals like Anderson to believe that the warrant application was more vetted than it really was.

Anderson also testified that she had not read the Carter Page FISA application prior to signing off on it and passing it along to Comey for the final FBI signature. According to FBI lawyer Sally Moyer, the underlying Woods file (a document that provides facts supporting the allegations made in a FISA application) was only read by the originating agent and the supervisory special agent in the field. Moyer also noted that the Woods file relating to the Page FISA had not been reviewed or audited by anyone.

The Carter Page FISA application was largely reliant on the Steele dossier, which was unverified at the time of its submission to the FISA court and remains unverified by the FBI to this day. Circular reporting, provided by Steele himself, was used as corroboration of the dossier. Additionally, Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos, whose conversation with Australian diplomat Alexander Downer was used to open the FBI's July 31, 2016, counterintelligence investigation, is referenced in the FISA, yet there "is no evidence of any cooperation or conspiracy between Page and Papadopoulos," according to a House Intelligence Committee memo.

Moyer testified that without the Steele dossier, the Carter Page application would have had a "50/50" chance of achieving the probable cause standard before the FISA court. Notably, the Steele dossier is generally considered to have been largely discredited.

A Perkins Coie Partner and Alfa Bank Allegations

<img class=" wp-image-2679668" src="https://img.theepochtimes.com/assets/uploads/2018/10/05/Michael-Sussmann-Perkins-Coie.jpg" alt="Michael Sussmann Lawyer Perkins Coie" width="160" height="194" /> Michael Sussmann, partner at Perkins Coie. (Courtesy Perkins Coie)

On Sept. 19, shortly after Steele completed his latest three memos, FBI General Counsel James Baker met with Perkins Coie partner Michael Sussmann, the lawyer the DNC turned to on April 28, 2016, after discovering the alleged hacking of their servers.

Sussman, who sought out the meeting, presented Baker with documents that Baker described as "a stack of material I don't know maybe a quarter inch half inch thick something like that clipped together, and then I believe there was some type of electronic media, as well, a disk or something."

The information that Sussmann gave to Baker was related to what Baker described as "a surreptitious channel of communications" between the Trump Organization and "a Russian organization associated with the Russian Government."

Baker was describing alleged communications between Alfa Bank and a server in the Trump Tower. The allegations, which were investigated by the FBI and proven to be false, were widely covered in the media.

Just four days earlier, on Sept. 14, Steele mentioned Alfa Bank (misspelled as Alpha bank) in one of his memos.

According to Baker's testimony, there appears to have been at least three meetings with Sussmann -- the first in person and at least two subsequent meetings by phone. In either the second or third conversation, Baker came to understand The New York Times was also in possession of Sussmann's information. As would become clear later, other members of the media also had this same information.

As Baker was meeting with Sussmann, Steele was back in Washington for a series of meetings that included his DOJ contact, Bruce Ohr.

On Sept. 23, 2016, Bruce Ohr again met with Steele for breakfast, telling lawmakers during testimony, "Steele was in Washington, D.C., again, and he reached out to me, and, again, we met for breakfast, and he provided some additional information." Ohr said this meeting concerned similar topics that were discussed at the July 30, 2016, meeting but did not provide further details.

Bruce Ohr would also meet either that same month or in early October with FBI agent Peter Strzok, FBI lawyer Lisa Page, and DOJ career officials from the criminal division, Bruce Swartz, Zainab Ahmad, and Andrew Weissman (Ohr testified that he was unsure whether Weismann was at this or a later meeting). Both Weissman and Ahmad would later become part of the team assembled by special counsel Robert Mueller.

Steele's Meetings With the Media

On the same day that Bruce Ohr met with Christopher Steele for breakfast, on Sept. 23, 2016, Yahoo News reporter Michael Isikoff published an article about Trump campaign foreign policy adviser Carter Page. The article, headlined " U.S. Intel Officials Probe Ties Between Trump Adviser and Kremlin ," was based on an interview with Steele. Isikoff's article would later be used by the FBI in the FISA spy warrant application on Carter Page as corroborating information.

Following the publication of the Isikoff article, the Hillary for America campaign released a statement on the same day that touted Isikoff's "bombshell report," with the full article attached.

A second lengthy article was published on Sept. 23, by Politico: " Who Is Carter Page? The Mystery of Trump's Man in Moscow ," by Julia Ioffe. This article was particularly interesting as it appeared to highlight media efforts by Fusion GPS:

"As I started looking into Page, I began getting calls from two separate 'corporate investigators' digging into what they claim are all kinds of shady connections Page has to all kinds of shady Russians. One is working on behalf of various unnamed Democratic donors; the other won't say who turned him on to Page's scent. Both claimed to me that the FBI was investigating Page for allegedly meeting with Igor Sechin and Sergei Ivanov, who was until recently Putin's chief of staff -- both of whom are on the sanctions list -- when Page was in Moscow in July for that speech."

Ioffe noted that "seemingly everyone I talked to had also talked to the Washington Post, and then there were these corporate investigators who drew a dark and complex web of Page's connections."

Her article also mentioned rumors regarding Alfa Bank:

"In the interest of due diligence, I also tried to run down the rumors being handed me by the corporate investigators: that Russia's Alfa Bank paid for the trip as a favor to the Kremlin; that Page met with Sechin and Ivanov in Moscow; that he is now being investigated by the FBI for those meetings because Sechin and Ivanov were both sanctioned for Russia's invasion of Ukraine."

It was probably during this same trip to Washington that Steele met with Jonathan Winer, a former deputy assistant secretary of state for international law enforcement and former special envoy for Libya, whom Steele had known since at least 2010.

Winer had received a separate dossier , very similar to Steele's, from longtime Clinton confidant Sidney Blumenthal. This "second dossier" had been compiled by another longtime Clinton operative, former journalist Cody Shearer, and echoed claims made in the Steele dossier. Winer gave Steele a copy of the "second dossier." Steele then shared this second dossier with the FBI, which may have used it as a means to corroborate Steele's own dossier.

Steele also met with U.S. media during his visit to Washington, doing so "at Fusion's instruction." According to UK Court documents , Steele testified that he "briefed" The New York Times, The Washington Post, Yahoo News, The New Yorker, and CNN at the end of September 2016. Steele would engage in a second round of media contact in mid-October 2016, meeting again with The New York Times, The Washington Post, and Yahoo News. Steele testified that all these meetings were "conducted verbally in person."

Alfa Bank Media Leaks

<img class=" wp-image-2679669" src="https://img.theepochtimes.com/assets/uploads/2018/10/05/james-baker.jpg" alt="James Baker FBi Special Counsel" width="160" height="203" /> Former FBI General Counsel James Baker.

As Steele's media meetings were going on, FBI General Counsel James Baker learned that Perkins Coie partner Michael Sussmann was also speaking with reporters from The New York Times regarding the Alfa Bank information that Sussmann had provided to the FBI. After some internal discussion, the FBI approached both Sussmann and The New York Times, asking that any story be held until the FBI had time to complete an investigation into the documents provided by Sussmann. It appears that an agreement was reached, and the FBI began to look into the claims regarding Alfa Bank and the server at Trump Tower.

But Sussman wasn't the only one that Baker, currently the subject of an ongoing criminal leak investigation, was speaking with. According to congressional investigators, beginning sometime in September 2016 -- before the presidential election -- Baker began having conversations with his old friend and journalist, David Corn of Mother Jones.

According to Baker, these conversations were in relation to ongoing FBI matters:

Rep. Jordan: " Did you talk to Mr. Corn prior to the election about anything, anything related to FBI matters? Not -- so we're not going to ask about the Steele dossier. Anything about FBI business, FBI matters?"

Mr. Baker: " Yes."

Rep. Jordan: " Yes. And do you know -- can you give me some dates or the number of times that you talked to Mr. Corn about FBI matters leading up to the 2016 Presidential election?"

Mr. Baker: " I don't remember, Congressman."

By Oct. 31, 2016, the FBI had apparently wrapped up their investigation into the Alfa Bank allegations, finding no evidence of anything untoward in the process. It was on this day that three separate articles on Alfa Bank would be published.

The first, " Investigating Donald Trump, F.B.I. Sees No Clear Link to Russia " by The New York Times, appeared to be an updated version of the article they had intended to publish before the FBI asked them to delay their reporting. It stated the following:

"In classified sessions in August and September, intelligence officials also briefed congressional leaders on the possibility of financial ties between Russians and people connected to Mr. Trump. They focused particular attention on what cyberexperts said appeared to be a mysterious computer back channel between the Trump Organization and the Alfa Bank, which is one of Russia's biggest banks and whose owners have longstanding ties to Mr. Putin."

The reference to "classified sessions in August and September" is likely in relation to the series of Gang of Eight briefings that former CIA Director John Brennan engaged in at that time -- including his briefing to then-Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid. The article continued:

"F.B.I. officials spent weeks examining computer data showing an odd stream of activity to a Trump Organization server and Alfa Bank. Computer logs obtained by The New York Times show that two servers at Alfa Bank sent more than 2,700 'look-up' messages -- a first step for one system's computers to talk to another -- to a Trump-connected server beginning in the spring. But the F.B.I. ultimately concluded that there could be an innocuous explanation, like a marketing email or spam, for the computer contacts."

The second article, "Was a Trump Server Communicating With Russia?" by Slate Magazine, was solely focused on the allegations regarding a server in the Trump Tower that had allegedly been communicating with a server at Alfa Bank in Russia.

Immediately following the publication of the Slate article, Clinton posted a tweet that included a statement from Jake Sullivan, a senior policy adviser:

"Computer scientists have apparently uncovered a covert server linking the Trump Organization to a Russian-based bank."

Sullivan's statement referenced the Slate article and included the following:

"This could be the most direct link yet between Donald Trump and Moscow. Computer scientists have apparently uncovered a covert server linking the Trump Organization to a Russian-based bank.

"This secret hotline may be the key to unlocking the mystery of Trump's ties to Russia. It certainly seems the Trump Organization felt it had something to hide, given that it apparently took steps to conceal the link when it was discovered by journalists."

The Alfa Bank story took off -- despite the same-day story from The New York Times that specifically noted the FBI had investigated that matter and found nothing untoward.

The final article published on Oct. 31, " A Veteran Spy Has Given the FBI Information Alleging a Russian Operation to Cultivate Donald Trump " by Mother Jones reporter -- and Baker's friend -- David Corn, also mentioned Alfa Bank:

"In recent weeks, reporters in Washington have pursued anonymous online reports that a computer server related to the Trump Organization engaged in a high level of activity with servers connected to Alfa Bank, the largest private bank in Russia. On Monday, a Slate investigation detailed the pattern of unusual server activity but concluded, 'We don't yet know what this [Trump] server was for, but it deserves further explanation.' In an email to Mother Jones, Hope Hicks, a Trump campaign spokeswoman, maintains, 'The Trump Organization is not sending or receiving any communications from this email server. The Trump Organization has no communication or relationship with this entity or any Russian entity.'"

More notably, Corn's article also provided the first public reporting on the existence of the Steele dossier:

"A former senior intelligence officer for a Western country who specialized in Russian counterintelligence tells Mother Jones that in recent months he provided the bureau with memos, based on his recent interactions with Russian sources, contending the Russian government has for years tried to co-opt and assist Trump -- and that the FBI requested more information from him."

As it turns out, Corn had detailed, first-hand knowledge of the dossier. According to testimony from Baker, Corn had been provided with parts of the dossier by Fusion GPS head Glenn Simpson. Baker knew of this fact, because within a week of publishing his article, Corn passed these dossier parts on to Baker personally:

Rep. Jordan: " Prior to the election Mr. Corn had a copy of the dossier and was talking to you about giving that to you so the FBI would have it. Is that all right? I mean all accurate."

Mr. Baker: " My recollection is that he had part of the dossier, that we had other parts already, and that we got still other parts from other people, and that -- and nevertheless some of the parts that David Corn gave us were parts that we did not have from another source?"

Steele had written four memos after the FBI team received his information in mid-September. All of the memos were written in October -- on the 12th, 18th, 19th, and the 20th. It is possible that these were the memos passed along to Baker by Corn.

Baker testified that he received elements of the dossier from Corn that were not in the FBI's possession at the time. He said that he immediately turned this information over to leadership within the FBI, noting, "I think it was Bill Priestap," the head of the FBI's Counterintelligence Division.

The use of personal relationships as a mechanism to transmit outside information to the FBI was actually noted by Baker, who said of Corn: "Even though he was my friend, I was also an FBI official. He knew that. And so he wanted to somehow get that into the hands of the FBI."

Bruce Ohr's FBI Handler

Christopher Steele was terminated as a source by the FBI on Nov. 1, 2016, for communicating with the media. Despite this, DOJ official Bruce Ohr and Steele communicated regularly for another full year, until November 2017.

On Nov. 21, 2016, Ohr had a meeting with FBI agent Peter Strzok and FBI lawyer Lisa Page, and was introduced to FBI agent Joe Pientka, who became Ohr's FBI handler. Pientka was also present with Strzok during the Jan. 24, 2017, interview of Trump's national security adviser, Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn .

The next day, Nov. 22, 2016, Ohr met alone with Pientka. Ohr would continue to relay his communications with Steele to the FBI through Pientka, who then recorded them in FD-302 forms. What Ohr didn't know was that Pientka was transmitting all the information directly to Strzok.

Ohr, in his testimony, detailed his interactions with Steele and Glenn Simpson, as well as his communications with officials at the FBI and DOJ. Notably, Ohr repeatedly stated that he never vetted any of the information provided by either Steele or Simpson. He simply turned it over or relayed it to the FBI -- usually to Pientka -- but Ohr also testified that "at least on two occasions I was handed onto a new agent."

Sometime in late 2016, his wife, Nellie Ohr, provided him with a memory stick containing all of her research that she had compiled while employed at Fusion GPS. Bruce Ohr testified he gave the memory stick to Pientka. Nellie Ohr had left Fusion in September 2016. Through Pientka, Strzok now had all of Nellie Ohr's Fusion research in his possession.

On Dec. 10, 2016, Bruce Ohr met with Simpson, who gave him a memory stick that Ohr believed contained a copy of the Steele dossier. Ohr also passed this second memory stick along to Pientka.

On Jan. 20, 2017, Ohr had one final communication with Simpson, a phone call that took place on the same day as Trump's inauguration. Ohr testified that Fusion GPS co-founder Glenn Simpson was concerned that one of Steele's sources was about to be exposed through the pending publication of an article:

Mr. Ohr: " He says something along the lines of, I -- there's going to be some reporting in the next few days that's going to -- could expose the source, and the source could be in personal danger."

Rep. Meadows: " And why was he concerned about that source being exposed?"

Mr. Ohr: " I think he was aware of some kind of article that was likely to come out in the next, you know, few days or something."

Apparently, Simpson's information was at least partly accurate. On Jan. 24, 2017, The Wall Street Journal reported that Sergei Millian, a Belarusan-American businessman and onetime Russian government translator, was both "Source D" and "Source E" in the dossier. It remains unknown exactly how Simpson knew in advance that Millian would be outed as a source.

But there are some questions as to the accuracy of the Journal's reporting. The dossier appears to conflict with the newspaper's article in at least one aspect. According to the dossier, Source E was used as confirmation for Source D -- meaning they can't be the same person.

McCain, the Dossier, and a UK Connection

Simpson and Steele were carefully thorough in their dissemination efforts. The dossier was fed into U.S. channels through several different sources.

One such source was Sir Andrew Wood, the former British ambassador to Russia, who had been briefed about the dossier by Steele. Wood may have previously worked on behalf of Steele's company, Orbis Business Intelligence; he was referenced in a UK court filing as an associate of Orbis. Wood was also referred to as an adviser to Orbis in a deposition by an associate of late Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), David Kramer.

Kramer knew Wood previously from their mutual expertise on Russia. Kramer said in his deposition, which was part of a defamation lawsuit against BuzzFeed News, that Wood told him that "he was aware of information that he thought I should be aware of and that Senator McCain might be interested in."

<img class=" wp-image-2833323" src="https://img.theepochtimes.com/assets/uploads/2019/03/11/kramer-300x300.jpg" alt="" width="160" height="173" /> McCain associate David Kramer. (Courtesy McCain Institute)

McCain, Wood, and Kramer would meet later that afternoon, on Nov. 19, 2016, in a private meeting room at the Halifax International Security Forum in Nova Scotia, Canada.

Wood told both Kramer and McCain that "he was aware of this information that had been gathered that raised the possibility of collusion and compromising material on the president-elect. And he explained that he knew the person who gathered the information and felt that the person was of the utmost credibility," Kramer said.

Kramer ascribed the word "collusion" three times to Wood in his deposition. He also said that Wood mentioned the possible existence of a video "of a sexual nature" that might have "shown the president-elect in a compromising situation." According to Kramer, Wood said that "if it existed, that it was from a hotel in Moscow when president-elect, before he was president-elect, had been in Moscow."

No such video was ever uncovered or given to Kramer.

Kramer testified that following the description of the video, "the senator turned to me and asked if I would go to London to meet with what turned out to be Mr. Steele."

Kramer traveled to London to meet with Steele on Nov. 28, 2016. Kramer reviewed all the memos during his meeting with Steele but wasn't provided with a physical copy of the dossier.

When Kramer returned to Washington, he was provided with a copy of the dossier -- which, at that point, consisted of 16 memos -- during a meeting with Simpson on Nov. 29, 2016. Kramer also testified that there was another individual, "a male," present at the meeting.

<img class=" wp-image-2849229" src="https://img.theepochtimes.com/assets/uploads/2019/03/22/John-McCain-1200x1530.jpg" alt="" width="160" height="204" /> Late Sen. John McCain (R-AZ). (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Interestingly, Kramer testified that Simpson gave him two copies of the dossier, noting that Simpson told him that "one had more things blacked out than the other." Kramer said, "It wasn't entirely clear to me why there were two versions of this, so but I took both versions."

Kramer noted that Simpson, who was aware the dossier was being given to McCain, said the dossier "was a very sensitive document and needed to be handled very carefully."

Despite that warning, Kramer showed the dossier to a number of journalists and had discussions with at least 14 members of the media, along with some individuals in the U.S. government.

Kramer testified that he gave a physical copy of the dossier to reporters Peter Stone and Greg Gordon of McClatchy; to Fred Hiatt, the editor of the Washington Post editorial page; Alan Cullison of The Wall Street Journal; Bob Little at NPR; Carl Bernstein at CNN; and Ken Bensinger at BuzzFeed. It's possible that Kramer gave copies to other reporters as well.

Kramer said that Simpson and Steele were aware of most of these contacts, but that Kramer hadn't told either of them that he gave the dossier to NPR. He also noted that Steele had been in contact with Bernstein at CNN and that the CNN and BuzzFeed meetings occurred at Steele's request. Steele told Kramer that he and Bensinger "had been in touch during the FIFA investigation; they got to know each other that way."

According to Kramer, he didn't believe that Fusion GPS and Simpson were aware of these two meetings with CNN and BuzzFeed.

Kramer testified that he, McCain, and McCain's chief of staff, Christopher Brose, met to review the dossier on Nov. 30, 2016. Kramer suggested that McCain "provide a copy of [the dossier] to the director of the FBI and the director of the CIA." McCain later passed a copy of the dossier to James Comey on Dec. 9, 2016. It isn't known whether McCain also provided a copy to then-CIA Director John Brennan. Notably, Brennan did attach a two-page summary of the dossier to the intelligence community assessment that he delivered to outgoing President Barack Obama on Jan. 5, 2017.

Kramer said that he wasn't aware of the content of McCain's Dec. 9 discussion with Comey, noting that he "did not get any readout from the senator on the meeting, but just that it had happened."

Kramer did, however, provide updates to both Steele and Simpson regarding the status of McCain's meeting with Comey, in subsequent discussions with Simpson and Steele:

"It was mostly just to inform him about whether or not the senator had transfer -- transmitted the document to the FBI. Both he and Mr. Steele were -- I kept them apprised of whether the senator was -- where the senator was in terms of his contact with the FBI."

The implications of this statement are significant. Kramer, a private citizen, was providing updates to a former British spy as to what a sitting senator, and chairman of the Senate Committee on Armed Services, was saying to the director of the FBI.

Other members of the media also had advance knowledge of McCain's intention to meet with Comey. Kramer testified that both Mother Jones reporter David Corn and Guardian reporter Julian Borger came to meet with him. According to Kramer, "They were mostly interested in Senator McCain and his, whether he had given it to Director Comey or not."

Several days after McCain, Brose, and Kramer met to discuss the dossier, Kramer said that McCain instructed him to meet with Victoria Nuland, the assistant secretary of state for Europe and Eurasian Affairs, and Celeste Wallander, the senior director for Russia and Central Asia on the National Security Council.

The purpose of the meeting was to verify whether the dossier "was being taken seriously." Both Nuland and Wallander were previously aware of the dossier's existence, and both officials previously knew Steele, whom "they believed to be credible." Kramer said he didn't physically share the dossier with them at this point, but met again with Wallander "around New Years" and "gave her a copy of the document"

Nuland had actually received a copy of the earlier Steele memos back in July 2016.

Steele produced a final memo dated Dec. 13, 2016. According to UK court documents , Kramer, on behalf of McCain, had asked Steele to provide any further intelligence that he had gathered relating to "alleged Russian interference in the US presidential election." Notably, it appears it was this request from McCain that led Steele to produce his Dec. 13 memo.

Although Kramer didn't provide a date, he said he received the final Steele memo sometime after "Senator McCain had provided the copy to Director Comey." We know that Kramer received the final memo prior to Dec. 29 -- when Kramer met with BuzzFeed's Bensinger.

Kramer testified that Bensinger "said he wanted to read them, he asked me if he could take photos of them on his -- I assume it was an iPhone. I asked him not to. He said he was a slow reader, he wanted to read it. And so I said, you know, I got a phone call to make, and I had to go to the bathroom " Kramer said that he "left him to read it for 20, 30 minutes."

Kramer also testified that besides the reporters, he gave a final copy of the dossier to two other people in early January 2017: Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Il.) and House Speaker Paul Ryan's chief of staff, Jonathan Burks.

James Clapper Leaks Details of Obama–Trump Briefings

The ICA on alleged Russian hacking was released internally on Jan. 5, 2017. On this same day, outgoing president Obama held an undisclosed White House meeting to discuss the assessment -- and the attached summation of the dossier -- with national security adviser Susan Rice, FBI Director James Comey, and Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates. Rice would later send herself an email documenting the meeting.

The following day, CIA Director John Brennan, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, and Comey attached a written summary of the Steele dossier to the classified briefing they gave Obama. Comey then met with President-elect Trump to inform him of the dossier. This meeting took place just hours after Comey, Brennan, and Clapper formally briefed Obama on both the ICA and the Steele dossier.

<img class=" wp-image-2833293" src="https://img.theepochtimes.com/assets/uploads/2019/03/11/James-Clapper-1200x1296.jpg" alt="" width="160" height="173" /> Director of National Intelligence James Clapper. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Comey would only inform Trump of the "salacious" details contained within the dossier. He later explained on CNN in an April 2018 interview that he had done so at the request of Clapper and Brennan, "because that was the part that the leaders of the intelligence community agreed he needed to be told about."

Shortly after Comey's meeting with Trump, both the Trump–Comey meeting and the existence of the dossier were leaked to CNN. The significance of the meeting was material, as Comey noted in a Jan. 7 memo :

"Media like CNN had them and were looking for a news hook. I said it was important that we not give them the excuse to write that the FBI has the material."

The media had widely dismissed the dossier as unsubstantiated and, therefore, unreportable. It was only after learning that Comey briefed Trump on it that CNN reported on the dossier. The House Intelligence Committee report on Russian election interference confirmed that Clapper personally leaked confirmation of the dossier, along with Comey's meeting with Trump, to CNN:

"The Committee's investigation revealed that President-elect Trump was indeed briefed on the contents of the Steele dossier and when questioned by the Committee, former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper admitted that he confirmed the existence of the dossier to the media."

Additionally, the House intelligence report shows Clapper appears to have been the direct source for CNN's Jake Tapper and his Jan. 10 story that disclosed the existence of the dossier:

"When initially asked about leaks related to the ICA in July 2017, former DNI Clapper flatly denied 'discuss[ing] the dossier [compiled by Steele] or any other intelligence related to Russia hacking of the 2016 election with journalists.' Clapper subsequently acknowledged discussing the 'dossier with CNN journalist Jake Tapper,' and admitted that he might have spoken with other journalists about the same topic.

"Clapper's discussion with Tapper took place in early January 2017, around the time IC leaders briefed President Obama and President-elect Trump, on 'the Christopher Steele information,' a two-page summary of which was 'enclosed in' the highly-classified version of the ICA."

On Jan. 10, 2017, CNN published the article "Intel Chiefs Presented Trump With Claims of Russian Efforts to Compromise Him " by Evan Perez, Jim Sciutto, Jake Tapper, and Carl Bernstein. (The article would later be updated and have a Jan. 12, 2017, date.)

The allegations within the dossier were made public, and with reporting of the briefings by intelligence community leaders, instant credibility was given to the dossier's assertions.

Immediately following the CNN story, BuzzFeed published the Steele dossier, and the Trump–Russia conspiracy was pushed into the mainstream.

David Kramer was asked about his reaction when CNN broke the story on the dossier. According to his deposition, Kramer stated, "I believe my words were 'Holy [expletive].'"

Kramer, who was actually meeting with The Guardian's Julian Borger when CNN reported on the dossier, said that he quickly spoke with Steele, who "was shocked."

On the following day, Jan. 11, 2017, Clapper issued a statement condemning the leaks -- without revealing the fact that he was the source of the leak.

On Nov. 17, 2016, Clapper submitted his resignation as director of national intelligence; his resignation became effective on Jan. 20, 2017. Later that year, CNN hired Clapper as its national security analyst.

The Effort to Remove General Flynn

Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, then-national security adviser to President Donald Trump, was interviewed on Jan. 24, 2017, by FBI agents Peter Strzok and Joe Pientka about two December 2016 conversations that Flynn had had with Russian Ambassador Sergei Kislyak.

<img class=" wp-image-2833340" src="https://img.theepochtimes.com/assets/uploads/2019/03/11/Michael-Flynn-1200x1469.jpg" alt="" width="161" height="197" /> National security adviser Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn. (Kevin Hagen/Getty Images)

Details of the phone conversation had leaked to the media. Flynn ultimately pleaded guilty to one count of lying to the FBI regarding his conversations with Kislyak. It remains unknown to this day who leaked Flynn's classified call -- a far more serious felony violation.

The Washington Post reported in January 2017 that the FBI had found no evidence of wrongdoing in Flynn's actual call with the Russian ambassador. The call, and the matters discussed in it, broke no laws.

Flynn has been portrayed in the media as being suspiciously close to Russia; a dinner in Moscow that occurred in late 2015 is frequently cited as evidence of this.

On Dec. 10, 2015, Flynn attended an event in Moscow to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Russian television network RT. Flynn, who was seated next to Russian President Vladimir Putin for the culminating dinner, was also interviewed on national security matters by an RT correspondent. Flynn's speaker's bureau, Leading Authorities Inc., was paid $45,000 for the event and Flynn received $33,000 of the total amount.

Seated at the same table with Flynn was Jill Stein, the Green Party candidate in the 2016 election. By all accounts, including Stein's , Flynn and Putin didn't engage in any real conversation. At the time, Flynn's trip didn't garner significant attention. But it would later be used by the media and the Clinton campaign to push the Russia-collusion narrative.

Notably, as stated by lawyer Robert Kelner, Flynn disclosed his Moscow trip to the Defense Intelligence Agency before he traveled there and provided a full briefing upon his return:

"As has previously been reported, General Flynn briefed the Defense Intelligence Agency, a component agency of the DoD, extensively regarding the RT speaking event trip both before and after the trip, and he answered any questions that were posed by the DIA concerning the trip during those briefings."

Flynn's trip to Russia was first brought to broader attention on July 18, 2016, during a live interview at the Republican National Convention with Yahoo News reporter Michael Isikoff.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/vjvvtuDEQJY?wmode=transparent&wmode=opaque

The Isikoff interview took place on July 18, 2016. Unknown at the time, the matter had also captured the attention of Christopher Steele, who had begun publishing his dossier memos on June 20, 2016.

Contained within an Aug. 10, 2016, memo was this initial reference to Flynn:

"Kremlin engaging with several high profile US players, including STEIN, PAGE and (former DIA Director Michael Flynn) and funding their recent visits to Moscow."

In addition to the obvious questions raised by the timing of Flynn's name appearing in Steele's Aug. 10 memo, is the manner in which Flynn is denoted. All other names are capitalized, in the manner of intelligence briefings. Flynn's name isn't capitalized and, in one case, appears within parentheses.

Steele met with Yahoo News' Isikoff in September 2016 and gave him information from the dossier. The resulting Sept. 23, 2016, article from Isikoff was then cited by the FBI as validating Steele's claims and was featured in the original FISA application , and its three subsequent renewals , for a warrant to spy on Trump campaign foreign policy adviser Carter Page.

Steele wasn't the only person Isikoff was working with. On April 26, 2016, Isikoff published a story on Yahoo News about Paul Manafort's business dealings with Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska. It was later learned from a Democratic National Committee (DNC) email leaked by Wikileaks that Isikoff had been working with Alexandra Chalupa, a Ukrainian-American operative who was doing consulting work for the DNC. Chalupa met with top officials in the Ukrainian Embassy in Washington in an effort to expose alleged ties between Trump, Manafort, and Russia.

The obvious question remains: How did the information on Flynn make its way into the dossier at the time it did, and who provided the information to Steele?

Flynn's 2015 dinner in Moscow was initially used to implicate the Trump campaign's ties to Russia. It was then used as a means to cast doubts on Flynn's ability as Trump's national security adviser. Following Flynn's resignation, it was then used as a means to pursue the ongoing collusion narrative that gained full strength in the early days of the Trump administration.

A Jan. 10, 2017, article in The New York Times, " Trump's National Security Pick Sees Ally in Fight Against Islamists: Russia ," highlighted the efforts:

"In an extraordinary report released last week, the agencies bluntly accused the Russian government of having worked to undermine American democracy and promote the candidacy of Mr. Trump. The report is likely to renew questions about Mr. Flynn's avowed eagerness to work with Russia, and his dismissal of concerns about President Vladimir V. Putin."

Flynn would resign from his position as national security adviser in February 2017. The sequence of events leading to his resignation were both coordinated and orchestrated, with acting Attorney General Sally Yates playing a leading role.

On Jan. 12, 2017, Flynn's Dec. 29, 2016, call with Kislyak was leaked to The Washington Post. The article portrayed Flynn as undermining Obama's Russia sanctions that had been imposed on the same day as Flynn's call with the Russian ambassador.

On Jan. 15, five days before Trump's inauguration, Vice President Mike Pence appeared on "Face the Nation" to defend Flynn's calls.

A few days later, on Jan. 19, Obama officials -- Yates, Clapper, Brennan and Comey -- met to discuss Flynn's situation. The concern they reportedly discussed was that Flynn might have misled Trump administration officials regarding the nature of his call with Kislyak.

<img class="wp-image-2852644 size-full" src="https://img.theepochtimes.com/assets/uploads/2018/10/25/spygate-small.jpg" alt="" width="592" height="724" /> Click on the infographic to enlarge

Yates, Clapper, and Brennan supported informing the Trump administration of their concerns. Comey took a dissenting view. On Jan 23, Yates again pressured Comey, telling the FBI director that she believed Flynn could be vulnerable to blackmail. At this point, according to media reports, Comey relented, despite the FBI finding nothing unlawful in the content of Flynn's calls.

Strzok and Pientka, at the instruction of McCabe, interviewed Flynn the following day. According to court documents, McCabe and other FBI officials "decided the agents would not warn Flynn that it was a crime to lie during an FBI interview because they wanted Flynn to be relaxed." It was during this interview that Flynn reportedly lied to the FBI.

The DOJ was provided with a detailed briefing of the Flynn interview on the following day. On Jan. 26, Yates contacted White House counsel Don McGahn, who agreed to meet to discuss the matter. Yates arrived at McGahn's office, bringing Mary McCord, John Carlin's acting replacement as head of the DOJ's National Security Division.

Yates later testified before Congress that the meeting surrounded Flynn's phone calls and his FBI interview. She also testified that Flynn's call and subsequent interview "was a topic of a whole lot of discussion in DOJ and with other members of the intel community." McGahn reportedly asked Yates, "Why does it matter to the DOJ if one White House official lies to another official?"

McGahn called Yates the following day and asked her to return for a second meeting. Yates returned to the White House without McCord. McGahn asked to examine the FBI's evidence on Flynn. Yates said she would respond by the following Monday.

Yates failed to provide McGahn with the FBI's evidence on Flynn. From that point, the pressure on Flynn and the Trump administration escalated -- with help from media reporting.

Flynn resigned on Feb. 13, after it was reported that he had misled Pence about phone conversations he'd had with Kislyak.

The following day, The New York Times reported that "phone records and intercepted calls show that members of Donald J. Trump's 2016 presidential campaign and other Trump associates had repeated contacts with senior Russian intelligence officials in the year before the election, according to four current and former American officials."

With Flynn gone and the Russian narrative firmly established, the conspirators then turned their attention to Trump's newly confirmed attorney general, Jeff Sessions . On March 1, 2017, The Washington Post reported that Sessions had twice had contact with the Russian ambassador, Kislyak. The following day, March 2, Sessions recused himself from the Russia investigation.

On the same day that Sessions recused himself, Evelyn Farkas, a former deputy assistant secretary of defense, detailed efforts at hampering the newly installed Trump administration, during a March 2, 2017, interview with MSNBC , in which she described how the Obama administration gathered and disseminated intelligence on the Trump team:

"I was urging my former colleagues and, frankly speaking, the people on the Hill 'Get as much information as you can. Get as much intelligence as you can before President Obama leaves the administration.'

"The Trump folks, if they found out how we knew what we knew about the Trump staff's dealing with Russians, [they] would try to compromise those sources and methods, meaning we would no longer have access to that intelligence. That's why you have the leaking."

Note that Farkas said "how we knew," not just "what we knew."

Obama Officials Used Unmasking to Target the Trump Campaign

On Tuesday, March 21, 2017, the chair of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), met a classified source who showed him "dozens" of intelligence reports. Contained within these reports was evidence of surveillance on the Trump campaign. Nunes held a press conference on March 22 highlighting what he had found:

<img class=" wp-image-2849235" src="https://img.theepochtimes.com/assets/uploads/2019/03/22/Devin-Nunes-1200x1522.jpg" alt="" width="160" height="203" /> Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.). (Samira Bouaou/The Epoch Times)

"I recently confirmed that on numerous occasions, the intelligence community incidentally collected information about U.S. citizens involved in the Trump transition. Details about persons associated with the incoming administration, details with little apparent foreign intelligence value were widely disseminated in intelligence community reporting."

In a series of rapid-fire questions and answers, Nunes attempted to elaborate on what he had been shown:

"From what I know right now, it looks like incidental collection. We don't know exactly how that was picked up but we're trying to get to the bottom of it I think the NSA's going to comply. I am concerned – we don't know whether or not the FBI is going to comply. I have placed a call, I'm waiting to talk to Director Comey, hopefully later today.

"I have seen intelligence reports that clearly show the President-elect and his team were at least monitored and disseminated out in intelligence, in what appears to be raw -- well I shouldn't say raw -- but intelligence reporting channels.

"It looks to me like it was all legally collected, but it was essentially a lot of information on the President-elect and his transition team and what they were doing."

The documents Nunes had been shown highlighted the unmasking activities of the FBI, the Obama administration, and CIA Director Brennan in relation to the Trump campaign. Although March 2017 would prove chaotic, the Trump administration had survived the first crucial months, and would now begin to slowly assert its administrative authority.

Comey Testifies No Obstruction by Trump Administration

On May 3, 2017, James Comey testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee. Under oath, Comey stated that his agency -- and the FBI's investigation -- had not been pressured by the Trump administration:

Sen. Hirono: " So if the attorney general or senior officials at the Department of Justice opposes a specific investigation, can they halt that FBI investigation?"

Mr. Comey: " In theory, yes."

Sen. Hirono: " Has it happened?"

Mr. Comey: " Not in my experience. Because it would be a big deal to tell the FBI to stop doing something that – without an appropriate purpose. I mean where oftentimes they give us opinions that we don't see a case there and so you ought to stop investing resources in it. But I'm talking about a situation where we were told to stop something for a political reason. That would be a very big deal. It's not happened in my experience."

<img class="wp-image-2849240" src="https://img.theepochtimes.com/assets/uploads/2019/03/22/Former-FBI-Director-James-Comey-.jpg" alt="" width="160" height="199" /> FBI Director James Comey. (REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst)

Less than a week later, on May 9, Trump fired Comey based on a May 8 recommendation by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein .

Rosenstein would later tell members of Congress: "In one of my first meetings with then-Sen. Jeff Sessions last winter, we discussed the need for new leadership at the FBI. Among the concerns that I recall were to restore the credibility of the FBI, respect the established authority of the Department of Justice, limit public statements and eliminate leaks."

Regarding the recommendation, Rosenstein said: "I wrote it. I believe it. I stand by it."

McCabe's FBI Reaches Out Again to Steele

Within days of Trump's firing of Comey, the FBI, now under the leadership of acting-FBI Director Andrew McCabe, suddenly decided to reestablish direct contact with Christopher Steele through DOJ official Bruce Ohr.

The re-engagement attempt came six months after Steele had been formally terminated by the FBI on Nov. 1, 2016.

The FBI's re-engagement of Ohr was highlighted during a congressional review of some text messages between Ohr and Steele:

Mr. Ohr: " The FBI had asked me a few days before, when I reported to them my latest conversation with Chris Steele, they had had would he -- next time you talk with him, could you ask him if he would be willing to meet again."

Rep. Jordan: " So this is the re-engagement?"

Mr. Ohr: " Yes."

The texts being referenced were sent on May 15, 2017, and refer to a request that Ohr received from the FBI to ask Steele to re-engage with the FBI in the days after Comey had been fired on May 9.

This was the only time the FBI used Ohr to reach out to Steele.

The Battle Between McCabe and Rosenstein

Two days after Comey was fired, on May 11, 2017, McCabe testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee. While the hearing's original intent had been to focus on national security threats, Trump's firing of Comey completely altered the topic of the hearing.

McCabe, who agreed that he would notify the committee "of any effort to interfere with the FBI's ongoing investigation into links between Russia and the Trump campaign," told members of Congress that there had been "no effort to impede our investigation to date." In other words, McCabe testified that he was unaware of any evidence of obstruction from Trump or his administration. Notably, Comey's May 3 testimony may have left McCabe with little choice other than to confirm there had been no obstruction.

<img class="wp-image-2849245 " src="https://img.theepochtimes.com/assets/uploads/2019/03/22/McCabe-1200x1290.jpg" alt="" width="161" height="173" /> Former Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe. (REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque)

McCabe, however, failed to inform the committee that he was actively considering opening an obstruction-of-justice probe of Trump -- a path he would initiate in a meeting with Rosenstein just five days later.

On the morning of May 16, 2017, Rosenstein allegedly suggested to McCabe that he could secretly record Trump. It was at this meeting that McCabe was "pushing for the Justice Department to open an investigation into the president," according to witness accounts reported by The Washington Post.

In addition to McCabe, Rosenstein, and McCabe's special counsel, Lisa Page, there were one or two others present, including Rosenstein's chief of staff , James Crowley, and possibly Scott Schools, the senior-most career attorney at the DOJ and a top aide to Rosenstein.

An unnamed participant at the meeting, in comments to The Washington Post, framed the conversation between McCabe and Rosenstein in an entirely different light, noting that Rosenstein had responded with angry sarcasm to McCabe, saying, "What do you want to do, Andy, wire the president?"

This was just five days after McCabe had publicly testified that there was no obstruction on the part of the Trump administration.

<img class="wp-image-2849247 " src="https://img.theepochtimes.com/assets/uploads/2019/03/22/Rod-Rosenstein-1200x1404.jpg" alt="" width="160" height="187" /> Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. (Samira Bouaou/The Epoch Times)

Sometime later that same day, both Rosenstein and Trump met with former FBI Director Robert Mueller in the Oval Office. The meeting was reported as being for the FBI director position, but the idea that Mueller would be considered for the FBI director role seems highly unlikely.

Mueller had previously served as the FBI director from 2001 to 2013 -- two years beyond the normal 10-year tenure for an FBI director. In 2011, Obama requested that Mueller stay on as FBI director for an additional two years, which required special congressional approval .

Rosenstein appointed Mueller as special counsel the following day, on May 17, 2017, and in doing so, Rosenstein removed control of the Trump–Russia investigation from McCabe and put it in the hands of Mueller.

This was confirmed in a recent statement by a DOJ spokesperson, who said, "The deputy attorney general in fact appointed special counsel Robert Mueller, and directed that Mr. McCabe be removed from any participation in that investigation."

Following the appointment of Mueller as special counsel, it also appears the FBI's efforts to re-engage with Steele abruptly ended.

'There's No Big There There'

We know the FBI hadn't found any evidence of collusion in the May 2017 timeframe. While McCabe was attempting to open an obstruction investigation, Peter Strzok -- who played a key role in the counterintelligence investigation of the Trump campaign -- texted Lisa Page about lacking evidence of collusion:

"You and I both know the odds are nothing. If I thought it was likely, I'd be there, no question. I hesitate, in part, because of my gut sense and concern there's no big there there."

Page, who was asked about this text during her July 2018 testimony, said, "So I think this represents that even as far as May of 2017, we still couldn't answer the question."

James Baker, who was questioned about the Strzok text, was then asked if he'd seen any evidence to the contrary. He stumbled a bit in his reply:

Rep. Meadows: " Do you have any evidence to the contrary that you observed personally in your official capacity?"

Mr. Baker: " So the difficulty I'm having with your question is, what does 'collusion' mean, and what does 'prove' mean? And so I don't know how to respond to that."

FBI Leadership Speculates on New Trump–Russia Collusion Narrative

In his testimony, Baker disclosed the actual substance of discussions taking place at the upper echelons of the FBI immediately following Comey's firing -- that Vladimir Putin had ordered Trump to fire Comey:

Mr. Baker: " We discussed, so to the best of my recollection, with the same people I described earlier: Mr. McCabe, possibly Mr. Gattis [Carl Ghattas, executive assistant director of the National Security Branch], Mr. Priestap, possibly Lisa Page, possibly Pete Strzok. I don't remember that specifically."

Rep. Ratcliffe: " So there was -- there was a discussion between those folks, possibly all of the folks that you've identified, about whether or not President Trump had been ordered to fire Jim Comey by the Russian Government?"

Mr. Baker: " I wouldn't say ordered. I guess I would say the words I sort of used earlier, acting at the behest of and somehow following directions, somehow executing their will, whether -- and so literally an order or not, I don't know. But -- "

Rep. Ratcliffe: " And so -- "

Mr. Baker: " As a -- it was discussed as a theoretical possibility."

Rep. Ratcliffe: " When was it discussed?"

Mr. Baker: "After the firing, like in the aftermath of the firing."

The FBI, with no actual evidence of collusion after 10 months of investigating, began discussing a complete hypothetical at the highest levels of leadership as a means to possibly open an obstruction-of-justice investigation of the president of the United States.

During his testimony, Baker told lawmakers: "I had a jaundiced eye about everything, yes. I had skepticism about all this stuff. I was concerned about all of this. This whole situation was horrible, and it was novel and we were trying to figure out what to do, and it was highly unusual."

McCabe was later fired for lying to the DOJ inspector general and is currently the subject of a criminal grand jury investigation.

The Fixer

Despite the ongoing assault from the intelligence community and holdovers from the Obama administration, Trump was not entirely without allies.

Dana Boente, one of the nation's highest-profile federal prosecutors, served in a series of critical shifting roles within the Trump administration. Boente, who remained the U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia until early 2018, concurrently became the acting attorney general following the firing of Sally Yates. Boente, who was specifically appointed by Trump, was not directly in the line of succession that had been previously laid out under an unusual executive order from the Obama administration.

<img class=" wp-image-2849248" src="https://img.theepochtimes.com/assets/uploads/2019/03/22/Dana-Boente.jpg" alt="" width="160" height="213" /> FBI General Counsel Dana Boente. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

Upon the confirmation of Sessions as attorney general, Boente next served as acting deputy attorney general until the confirmation of Rod Rosenstein as deputy attorney general on April 25, 2017. Boente then became the acting head of the DOJ's National Security Division on April 28, 2017, following the sudden resignation of Mary McCord.

Boente was appointed as FBI general counsel on Jan. 23, 2018, replacing Baker, who was demoted and reassigned. Baker is currently the subject of a criminal leak investigation. Boente remains in his position as FBI general counsel.

On March 31, 2017, the Trump administration asked for the resignations all 46 holdover U.S. attorneys from the Obama administration. Trump refused to accept the resignations of just three of them -- Boente, Rosenstein, and John Huber.

As Sessions noted in a March 29, 2018, letter to congressional chairmen Chuck Grassley, Bob Goodlatte, and Trey Gowdy, Huber was assigned by Sessions to lead a prosecution team and is currently working with DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz:

"I already have directed senior federal prosecutors to evaluate certain issues previously raised by the Committee. Specifically, I asked United States Attorney John W. Huber to lead this effort."

John Carlin's Race With Admiral Rogers

<img class=" wp-image-2833317" src="https://img.theepochtimes.com/assets/uploads/2019/03/11/Mike-Rogers-1200x1435.jpg" alt="" width="160" height="191" /> Director of the National Security Agency Admiral Mike Rogers. (SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)

The Carter Page FISA application has been the subject of significant media attention, but there's another element to the story that, although largely ignored, is equally important. It involved what amounted to a surreptitious race between then-NSA Director Adm. Mike Rogers and DOJ National Security Division (NSD) head John Carlin.

Following a March 9, 2016, discovery that outside contractors for the FBI had been accessing raw FISA data since at least 2015, Rogers directed the NSA's Office of Compliance to conduct a "fundamental baseline review of compliance associated with 702" at some point in early April 2016 ( Senate testimony & pages 83–84 of court ruling).

On April 18, 2016, Rogers moved aggressively in response to the disclosures. He abruptly shut down all FBI outside-contractor access. At this point, both the FBI and the DOJ's NSD became aware of Rogers's compliance review. They may have known earlier, but they were certainly aware after outside-contractor access was halted.

The DOJ's NSD maintains oversight of the intelligence agencies' use of Section 702 authority. The NSD and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) jointly conduct reviews of the intelligence agencies' Section 702 activities every 60 days. The NSD -- with notice to the ODNI -- is required to report any incidents of agency noncompliance or misconduct to the FISA court.

Instead of issuing individual court orders, the attorney general and the director of national intelligence (DNI) are required by Section 702 to provide the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) with annual certifications that specify categories of foreign intelligence information the government is authorized to acquire, pursuant to Section 702.

The attorney general and the DNI also must certify that Intelligence Community agencies will follow targeting procedures and minimization procedures that are approved by the FISC as part of the certification.

Carlin filed the government's proposed 2016 Section 702 certifications on Sept. 26, 2016. Carlin knew the general status of the compliance review by Rogers. The NSD was part of the review. Carlin failed to disclose a critical Jan. 7, 2016, report by the NSA inspector general and associated FISA abuse to the FISA court in his 2016 certification. Carlin also failed to disclose Rogers's ongoing Section 702-compliance review.

On Sept. 27, 2016, the day after he filed the annual certifications, Carlin announced his resignation , which would become effective on Oct. 15, 2016.

<img class=" wp-image-2849255" src="https://img.theepochtimes.com/assets/uploads/2019/03/22/John-Carlin-FBI.jpg" alt="" width="160" height="192" /> John Carlin, DOJ's National Security Division. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

On Oct. 4, 2016, a standard follow-up court hearing was held ( Page 19 ), with Carlin present. Again, he made no disclosure of FISA abuse or other related issues. This lack of disclosure would be noted by the court later in the April 2017 ruling:

"The government's failure to disclose those IG and OCO reviews at the October 4, 2016 hearing [was ascribed] to an institutional 'lack of candor.'"

Rogers appeared formally before the FISA court on Oct. 26, 2016, and presented the written findings of his audit:

"Two days later, on the day the Court otherwise would have had to complete its review of the certifications and procedures, the government made a written submission regarding those compliance problems and the Court held a hearing to address them.

"The government reported that the NSA IG and OCO were conducting other reviews covering different time periods, with preliminary results suggesting that the problem was widespread during all periods under review."

The FISA court was unaware of the FISA "query" violations until they were presented to the court by then-NSA Director Rogers.

Carlin didn't disclose his knowledge of FISA abuse in the annual Section 702 certifications, apparently in order to avoid raising suspicions at the FISA court ahead of receiving the Carter Page FISA warrant.

The FBI and the NSD were literally racing against Rogers's investigation in order to obtain a FISA warrant on Carter Page. FISA Abuse & the FISC

Rogers presented his findings directly to the FISA court's presiding judge, Rosemary Collyer. Collyer and Rogers would work together for the next six months, addressing the issues that Rogers had uncovered.

It was Collyer who wrote the April 26, 2017, FISA court ruling on the entire episode. It also was Collyer who signed the original FISA warrant on Carter Page on Oct. 21, 2016, before being apprised of the many issues by Rogers.

The litany of abuses described in the April 26, 2017, ruling was shocking and detailed the use of private contractors by the FBI in relation to Section 702 data. Collyer referred to it as "a very serious Fourth Amendment issue." The FBI was specifically singled out by the court numerous times in the ruling:

"The improper access previously afforded the contractors has been discontinued. The Court is nonetheless concerned about the FBI's apparent disregard of minimization rules and whether the FBI may be engaging in similar disclosures of raw Section 702 information that have not been reported."

Rogers informed Collyer of the ongoing FISA abuses by the FBI and NSD just three days after she personally signed the Carter Page FISA warrant.

Virtually every FBI and NSD official with material involvement in the original Carter Page FISA application would later be removed -- either through firing or resignation.

Correction: A previous version of this article stated the wrong month for Christopher Steele's 2016 meeting with the FBI in Rome. The meeting took place in September 2016.

[Aug 21, 2019] Solomon If Trump Declassifies These 10 Documents, Democrats Are Doomed

Highly recommended!
They are afraid to admin that a color revolution was launched to depose Trump after the elections of 2016. Essentially a coup d'état by intelligence agencies and Clinton wing of Democratic Party.
Notable quotes:
"... The 53 House Intel interviews. House Intelligence interviewed many key players in the Russia probe and asked the DNI to declassify those interviews nearly a year ago, after sending the transcripts for review last November. There are several big reveals, I'm told, including the first evidence that a lawyer tied to the Democratic National Committee had Russia-related contacts at the CIA. ..."
"... The Stefan Halper documents. It has been widely reported that European-based American academic Stefan Halper and a young assistant, Azra Turk, worked as FBI sources . ..."
"... Page/Papadopoulos exculpatory statements. Another of Nunes' five buckets, these documents purport to show what the two Trump aides were recorded telling undercover assets or captured in intercepts insisting on their innocence. Papadopoulos told me he told an FBI undercover source in September 2016 that the Trump campaign was not trying to obtain hacked Clinton documents from Russia and considered doing so to be treason. ..."
"... The 'Gang of Eight' briefing materials. These were a series of classified briefings and briefing books the FBI and DOJ provided key leaders in Congress in the summer of 2018 that identify shortcomings in the Russia collusion narrative. ..."
"... The Steele spreadsheet. I wrote recently that the FBI kept a spreadsheet on the accuracy and reliability of every claim in the Steele dossier. According to my sources, it showed as much as 90 percent of the claims could not be corroborated, were debunked or turned out to be open-source internet rumors. ..."
"... The Steele interview. It has been reported, and confirmed, that the DOJ's inspector general (IG) interviewed the former British intelligence operative for as long as 16 hours about his contacts with the FBI while working with Clinton's opposition research firm, Fusion GPS. It is clear from documents already forced into the public view by lawsuits that Steele admitted in the fall of 2016 that he was desperate to defeat Trump ..."
"... The redacted sections of the third FISA renewal application. This was the last of four FISA warrants targeting the Trump campaign; it was renewed in June 2017 after special counsel Robert Mueller 's probe had started, and signed by then-Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein . It is the one FISA application that House Republicans have repeatedly asked to be released, and I'm told the big reveal in the currently redacted sections of the application is that it contained both misleading information and evidence of intrusive tactics used by the U.S. government to infiltrate Trump's orbit. ..."
"... Records of allies' assistance. Multiple sources have said a handful of U.S. allies overseas – possibly Great Britain, Australia and Italy – were asked to assist FBI efforts to check on Trump connections to Russia. ..."
"... Attorney General Bill Barr's recent comments that "the use of foreign intelligence capabilities and counterintelligence capabilities against an American political campaign, to me, is unprecedented and it's a serious red line that's been crossed." ..."
Aug 21, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

As the Russiagate circus attempts to quietly disappear over the horizon, with Democrats preferring to shift the anti-Trump narrative back to "racist", "white supremacist", "xenophobe", and the mainstream media ready to squawk "recession"; the Trump administration may have a few more cards up its sleeve before anyone claims the higher ground in this farce we call an election campaign.

As The Hill's John Solomon details, in September 2018 that President Trump told my Hill.TV colleague Buck Sexton and me that he would order the release of all classified documents showing what the FBI, the Department of Justice (DOJ) and other U.S. intelligence agencies may have done wrong in the Russia probe.

And while it's been almost a year since then, of feet-dragging and cajoling and deep-state-fighting, we wonder, given Solomon's revelations below, if the president is getting ready to play his 'Trump' card.

Here are the documents that Solomon believes have the greatest chance of rocking Washington, if declassified:

1.) Christopher Steele 's confidential human source reports at the FBI. These documents, known in bureau parlance as 1023 reports, show exactly what transpired each time Steele and his FBI handlers met in the summer and fall of 2016 to discuss his anti-Trump dossier. The big reveal, my sources say, could be the first evidence that the FBI shared sensitive information with Steele, such as the existence of the classified Crossfire Hurricane operation targeting the Trump campaign. It would be a huge discovery if the FBI fed Trump-Russia intel to Steele in the midst of an election, especially when his ultimate opposition-research client was Hillary Clinton and the Democratic National Committee (DNC). The FBI has released only one or two of these reports under FOIA lawsuits and they were 100 percent redacted. The American public deserves better.

2.) The 53 House Intel interviews. House Intelligence interviewed many key players in the Russia probe and asked the DNI to declassify those interviews nearly a year ago, after sending the transcripts for review last November. There are several big reveals, I'm told, including the first evidence that a lawyer tied to the Democratic National Committee had Russia-related contacts at the CIA.

3.) The Stefan Halper documents. It has been widely reported that European-based American academic Stefan Halper and a young assistant, Azra Turk, worked as FBI sources . We know for sure that one or both had contact with targeted Trump aides like Carter Page and George Papadopoulos at the end of the election. My sources tell me there may be other documents showing Halper continued working his way to the top of Trump's transition and administration, eventually reaching senior advisers like Peter Navarro inside the White House in summer 2017. These documents would show what intelligence agencies worked with Halper, who directed his activity, how much he was paid and how long his contacts with Trump officials were directed by the U.S. government's Russia probe.

4.) The October 2016 FBI email chain. This is a key document identified by Rep. Nunes and his investigators. My sources say it will show exactly what concerns the FBI knew about and discussed with DOJ about using Steele's dossier and other evidence to support a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant targeting the Trump campaign in October 2016. If those concerns weren't shared with FISA judges who approved the warrant, there could be major repercussions.

5.) Page/Papadopoulos exculpatory statements. Another of Nunes' five buckets, these documents purport to show what the two Trump aides were recorded telling undercover assets or captured in intercepts insisting on their innocence. Papadopoulos told me he told an FBI undercover source in September 2016 that the Trump campaign was not trying to obtain hacked Clinton documents from Russia and considered doing so to be treason. If he made that statement with the FBI monitoring, and it was not disclosed to the FISA court, it could be another case of FBI or DOJ misconduct.

6.) The 'Gang of Eight' briefing materials. These were a series of classified briefings and briefing books the FBI and DOJ provided key leaders in Congress in the summer of 2018 that identify shortcomings in the Russia collusion narrative. Of all the documents congressional leaders were shown, this is most frequently cited to me in private as having changed the minds of lawmakers who weren't initially convinced of FISA abuses or FBI irregularities.

7.) The Steele spreadsheet. I wrote recently that the FBI kept a spreadsheet on the accuracy and reliability of every claim in the Steele dossier. According to my sources, it showed as much as 90 percent of the claims could not be corroborated, were debunked or turned out to be open-source internet rumors. Given Steele's own effort to leak intel in his dossier to the media before Election Day, the public deserves to see the FBI's final analysis of his credibility. A document I reviewed recently showed the FBI described Steele's information as only "minimally corroborated" and the bureau's confidence in him as "medium."

8.) The Steele interview. It has been reported, and confirmed, that the DOJ's inspector general (IG) interviewed the former British intelligence operative for as long as 16 hours about his contacts with the FBI while working with Clinton's opposition research firm, Fusion GPS. It is clear from documents already forced into the public view by lawsuits that Steele admitted in the fall of 2016 that he was desperate to defeat Trump , had a political deadline to make his dirt public, was working for the DNC/Clinton campaign and was leaking to the news media. If he told that to the FBI and it wasn't disclosed to the FISA court, there could be serious repercussions.

9.) The redacted sections of the third FISA renewal application. This was the last of four FISA warrants targeting the Trump campaign; it was renewed in June 2017 after special counsel Robert Mueller 's probe had started, and signed by then-Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein . It is the one FISA application that House Republicans have repeatedly asked to be released, and I'm told the big reveal in the currently redacted sections of the application is that it contained both misleading information and evidence of intrusive tactics used by the U.S. government to infiltrate Trump's orbit.

10.) Records of allies' assistance. Multiple sources have said a handful of U.S. allies overseas – possibly Great Britain, Australia and Italy – were asked to assist FBI efforts to check on Trump connections to Russia. Members of Congress have searched recently for some key contact documents with British intelligence . My sources say these documents might help explain Attorney General Bill Barr's recent comments that "the use of foreign intelligence capabilities and counterintelligence capabilities against an American political campaign, to me, is unprecedented and it's a serious red line that's been crossed."

These documents, when declassified, would show more completely how a routine counterintelligence probe was hijacked to turn the most awesome spy powers in America against a presidential nominee in what was essentially a political dirty trick orchestrated by Democrats.


rahrog , 2 minutes ago link

America's Ruling Class is laughing at all you fools still falling for the Rs v Ds scam.

Stupid people lose.

LibertyVibe , 3 minutes ago link

I disagree with Solomon. Nothing will "doom" the swamp unless the righteous few are willing to indict, prosecute and carry out sentencing for the guilty. Exposing the guilty accomplishes nothing, because anyone paying attention already knows of their crimes. Those who want to believe lies will still believe them after the truth comes out.
It's ALL A WASTE OF TIME unless we follow through.

#TheDailyNews #DrainTheSwamp

Lord Raglan , 5 minutes ago link

Where's all the other, earlier docs Trump was going to declassify? Just wondering..............

TheFQ , 16 minutes ago link

Does anyone see a pattern here after the 2009 Tea Party movement began?

2009 - Republicans: "If we win back the House, we can accomplish our agenda."

2011 - Republicans: "If we win back the Senate, we can accomplish our agenda." (NOTE: After winning back the House)

2012 - Republicans: "If we win back the Senate, we can accomplish our agenda." (NOTE: 2 YEARS After winning back the House)

2013 - Republicans: "If we win back the Presidency, we can accomplish our agenda." (NOTE: 1 YEAR after winning back the House and the Senate)

2014 - Republicans: "If we win back the Presidency, we can accomplish our agenda." (NOTE: 2 YEARS after winning back the House and the Senate)

2015 - Republicans: "If we win back the Presidency, we can accomplish our agenda." (NOTE: 3 YEARS after winning back the House and the Senate)

2016 - Republicans: "If we win back the Presidency, we can accomplish our agenda." (NOTE: 4 YEARS after winning back the House and the Senate)

2017 - Republicans: "Now that we've won back the Presidency, we can accomplish our agenda." (NOTE: After winning back the House 6 YEARS AGO and the Senate 4 YEARS AGO)

2018 - Republicans: "Now that we've won back the Presidency, we can accomplish our agenda." (NOTE: After winning back the House 7 YEARS AGO and the Senate 5 YEARS AGO)

2019 - John Solomon - "If Trump Declassifies These 10 Documents, Democrats Are Doomed"

I hate to say it, but I DON'T BELIEVE YOU, JOHN.

ALL WE HAVE HEARD OVER THE COURSE OF THIS DECADE IS "IF THIS HAPPENS...THEN THEY ARE DOOMED / WE CAN ACCOMPLISH OUR AGENDA / YADDA YADDA YADDA.

WHEN THE FOLLOWING ARE FOUND GUILTY OF TREASON, THEN AND ONLY THEN WILL I BELIEVE YOU:

WHY ARE THESE TREASONOUS, VILE, CORRUPT CRIMINALS NOT INDICTED FOR TREASON?

WTF?

FFS...

benb , 12 minutes ago link

WHY ARE THESE TREASONOUS, VILE, CORRUPT CRIMINALS NOT INDICTED FOR TREASON?

Because the people doing the indicting are in on it.

enfield0916 , 36 minutes ago link

As if there's any major philosophical difference between the Librtads and Zionist Cocksuckvatives.

Both sides use the .gov agencies to subvert and ignore the Constitution whenever possible. Best example is WikiLeaks and how each party wished Assange would just go away when he revealed damaging information about both sides on multiple occasions.

[Aug 17, 2019] The Unraveling of the Failed Trump Coup by Larry C Johnson

Highly recommended!
Former Ukrainian presidential candidate Yulia Tymoshenko trace to Steele dossier is a real shocker.
Notable quotes:
"... On December 5, 2016, Bruce Ohr emailed himself an Excel spreadsheet, seemingly from his wife Nellie Ohr, titled " WhosWho19Sept2016 ." The spreadsheet purports to show relationship descriptions and "linkages" between Donald Trump, his family and criminal figures, many of whom were Russians. ..."
"... If you want to have more fun, search the pdf using the term "BAYROCK." You will discover that Nellie Ohr, like a female Don Quixote, is searching desperately to link Trump and Sater to dirty Russian money. What she does not suspect is that Sater was being used, via his company Bayrock, to try to gain access to Russians who were potential targets of the FBI. ..."
"... What is not emphasized in the piece, and it is something I want to direct you to, is that the idea or impetus to launch the investigation of Butina came courtesy of Christopher Steele, who was relaying rumor and conjecture to Bruce Ohr. ..."
"... FBI Director Christopher Wray reminds me of one of the workers in the bowels of the Titanic who was furiously shoveling coal into the doomed boilers of the sinking ship. The FBI, like the Titanic, is in trouble. ..."
"... It also gave immunity to all of the people on Hillary's team that participated in obstruction of justice. On that same day, Jim Comey signed off on a separate memo that decided not to prosecute Hillary Clinton. ..."
"... Larry..Fusion GPS has always refused to Reveal who where its Financial support came from... ..."
"... So..the Timeline Indicates Fusion GPS was hired by The "Washington Free Beacon" around October 2015 to background checks and Profiles of The Republican Candidates for President.and that Fusion GPS continued to do so until May 2016..when it became clear that Donald Trump clinched the Nomination.. ..."
"... I wonder why AG Barr isn't forcing the FBI to comply sooner with Judge Boasberg's ruling to hand over unredacted Comey Memos and Archey Declarations? ..."
"... So what did Barack Obama know, and when did he know it? ..."
"... Nellie Ohr was working for a privately-owned firm that had employed her to make false accusations about Trump's alleged connections to Russians in order to sabotage his presidency and lay the groundwork for his impeachment. ..."
"... They also hired foreign agent, Chris Steele to concoct a thoroughly-debunked dossier for the same purpose. ..."
"... Can these people be charged with a crime or have we entered a new world of 'dirty tricks'??? ..."
"... Examination of the Nellie Ohr documents given to the FBI shows some of her source material also came from former Ukrainian presidential candidate Yulia Tymoshenko and a lawsuit she filed against Manafort. ..."
"... So, Bruce Ohr became a conduit of information not only for intelligence from Clinton's British opposition-researcher but also from his wife's curation of evidence from a Clinton foreign ally and Manafort enemy inside Ukraine. Talk about foreign influence in a U.S. election! ..."
"... The lines between government officials and informants, unverified political dirt and real intelligence, personal interest and law enforcement, became too blurred for the Justice Department's own good. ..."
Aug 17, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com

There are many moving pieces in the drama surrounding the Deep State attempt to kill the Trump Presidency. God Bless Judicial Watch. I think most of the key evidence that has surfaced came courtesy of Tom Fitton, Chris Farrell and their team of tireless workers.

I want to bring you back to Mr. Felix Sater . He was part of Bayrock, which worked closely with Donald Trump's organization and, most importantly of all, was an FBI Confidential Human Source since December of 1998.

Thanks to Judicial Watch we have a new dump of Bruce Ohr emails, which include several from his wife, Nellie. There are 330 pages to wade thru (you can see them here ). There is one item in particular I encourage you to look at:

On December 5, 2016, Bruce Ohr emailed himself an Excel spreadsheet, seemingly from his wife Nellie Ohr, titled " WhosWho19Sept2016 ." The spreadsheet purports to show relationship descriptions and "linkages" between Donald Trump, his family and criminal figures, many of whom were Russians. This list of individuals allegedly "linked to Trump" include: a Russian involved in a "gangland killing;" an Uzbek mafia don; a former KGB officer suspected in the murder of Paul Tatum; a Russian who reportedly "buys up banks and pumps them dry"; a Russian money launderer for Sergei Magnitsky; a Turk accused of shipping oil for ISIS; a couple who lent their name to the Trump Institute, promoting its "get-rich-quick schemes"; a man who poured him a drink; and others.

The spreadsheet starts on page 301. If you search the document for the name Felix Sater, he will pop up. Now here is the curious and, I suppose, reassuring thing about this document--Nellie Ohr did not have a clue that Felix Sater was an active FBI informant. We can at least give the FBI credit for protecting Sater's identity from Nellie Ohr and, more importantly, her husband, DOJ official Bruce Ohr.

If you want to have more fun, search the pdf using the term "BAYROCK." You will discover that Nellie Ohr, like a female Don Quixote, is searching desperately to link Trump and Sater to dirty Russian money. What she does not suspect is that Sater was being used, via his company Bayrock, to try to gain access to Russians who were potential targets of the FBI.

One point is clear--she uncovered no evidence implicating Trump working with the Russians, either thru Felix Sater or one of the other "suspects" she exhaustively listed.

Shifting gears, there are two very important pieces recently posted at The Conservative Tree House that I encourage you to read:

https://theconservativetreehouse.com/2019/08/12/quirky-angle-overstock-ceo-patrick-byrne-2016-fbi-activity-was-political-espionage/#more-168122 https://theconservativetreehouse.com/2019/08/12/federal-judge-completely-rejects-doj-argument-orders-archey-declarations-descriptions-of-comey-memosreleased/ The first piece focuses on CEO Patrick Byrne and the role he played in trying to entrap and portray Marina Butina as a Russian agent.

What is not emphasized in the piece, and it is something I want to direct you to, is that the idea or impetus to launch the investigation of Butina came courtesy of Christopher Steele, who was relaying rumor and conjecture to Bruce Ohr.

You can find this information in the Bruce Ohr 302s that Judicial Watch also secured. Marina Butina was unfairly and unjustly portrayed and prosecuted as a Russian intelligence agent. It was a damn lie.

I do not ever want to hear another American complaining about an American State Department or CIA employee who is entrapped and unfairly prosecuted in Russia.

We have done the same damn thing that we have accused the Soviets of doing. The same thing. It is shameful.

The second piece is the ultimate feel good piece. Kudos to its author, Sundance.

He details how a Federal Judge, infuriated by the FBIs stupidity and mendacity, tells the Bureau to go pound sand. The FBI is frantically trying to prevent the Archey Declarations from being revealed thanks to a lawsuit brought by CNN (finally, CNN did something right).

The Archey Declarations provide a detailed description of the memos written and illegally removed from FBI Headquarters by that sanctimonious twit, Jim Comey. More shoes will be dropping in the coming days.

It appears that Inspector General Horowitz is going to present at least one report on Jim Comey and one report on the FISA abuse by the FBI.

FBI Director Christopher Wray reminds me of one of the workers in the bowels of the Titanic who was furiously shoveling coal into the doomed boilers of the sinking ship. The FBI, like the Titanic, is in trouble.

Finally, Gateway Pundit's Joe Hoft put up an important piece today ( see here ). Here is the bottomline, and keep this in mind as you read the piece, on June 20, 2016 the FBI signed off on a deal with Hillary Clinton's attorney's that gave Hillary's team the right to destroy computers and emails.

It also gave immunity to all of the people on Hillary's team that participated in obstruction of justice. On that same day, Jim Comey signed off on a separate memo that decided not to prosecute Hillary Clinton.

The fix was in more than a month before Jim Comey appeared on camera to try to explain why he was not recommending prosecution of Hillary for putting Top Secret information on her unclassified server.

Jim Comey lied when he declared that could not prove "intent."

I am sure that those of you who have never held a clearance and handled Top Secret material probably believed that lie.

But anyone who knows how the TS system is set up knows that the ONLY WAY, I repeat, the ONLY WAY to put TS material on an unclassified server is to do so intentionally. There is no way to do this mistakenly.


Jim Ticehurst said in reply to Jim Ticehurst... ,

Larry..Fusion GPS has always refused to Reveal who where its Financial support came from...

So..the Timeline Indicates Fusion GPS was hired by The "Washington Free Beacon" around October 2015 to background checks and Profiles of The Republican Candidates for President.and that Fusion GPS continued to do so until May 2016..when it became clear that Donald Trump clinched the Nomination..

creating Phase 2..Operations..

"The Washington Free Beacon ".Has an Editor in Chief ..who is William Kristols Son In Law..And William Kristols ..Father....Irving Kristol..is Called..."the God Father of Neo Conservatism". William Kristol..was a John McCain supporter..

Thus Fusion GPS..retained Nellie Ohr..(strangly..NO Wiki Profile) who apparently had to Use her husbnd Bruce Ohrs Clearances,,to continue Her Collaberation with Fusion GPS..

By June 2016 the Strategy was to bring in Christopher Steele..who was know to Bruce Ohr back to 2006.. Strange.. NO early life BIOS for Bruce or Nellie Ohr..

Jack , 16 August 2019 at 01:38 AM
Larry

Do you believe the current DOJ under Barr will really investigate and convene a grand jury to hear testimony from Comey, Brennan and Clapper?

And what do you make of the fact that Epstein who was on suicide watch either was murdered or killed himself while in custody?

akaPatience , 16 August 2019 at 01:38 AM
I wonder why AG Barr isn't forcing the FBI to comply sooner with Judge Boasberg's ruling to hand over unredacted Comey Memos and Archey Declarations?

The Gateway Pundit item about the ridiculously unfair and unethical deals made in Hillary Clinton's email scandal investigation is just further proof of how the Clinton taint infected the FBI. "Crooked" is a very apt epithet, that's for sure. I'd love to know how much Bill and Hill raked in during her Sec'y. of State racketeering.

Fred , 16 August 2019 at 01:38 AM
So what did Barack Obama know, and when did he know it?
plantman , 16 August 2019 at 01:38 AM
You say: "One point is clear--she uncovered no evidence implicating Trump working with the Russians, either thru Felix Sater or one of the other "suspects" she exhaustively listed."

This is true, but it is also true that Nellie Ohr was working for a privately-owned firm that had employed her to make false accusations about Trump's alleged connections to Russians in order to sabotage his presidency and lay the groundwork for his impeachment.

They also hired foreign agent, Chris Steele to concoct a thoroughly-debunked dossier for the same purpose.

Can these people be charged with a crime or have we entered a new world of 'dirty tricks'???

Keith Harbaugh , 16 August 2019 at 01:38 AM
Let me just add this piece by John Solomon: "New evidence shows why Steele, the Ohrs and TSA workers never should have become DOJ sources" by John Solomon, 2019-08-15
...
Examination of the Nellie Ohr documents given to the FBI shows some of her source material also came from former Ukrainian presidential candidate Yulia Tymoshenko and a lawsuit she filed against Manafort.

Why is that significant? Tymoshenko and Hillary Clinton had a simpatico relationship after the former secretary of State went out of her way in January 2013 to advocate for Tymoshenko's release from prison on corruption charges.

So, Bruce Ohr became a conduit of information not only for intelligence from Clinton's British opposition-researcher but also from his wife's curation of evidence from a Clinton foreign ally and Manafort enemy inside Ukraine. Talk about foreign influence in a U.S. election!
...
The tales of Bruce and Nellie Ohr, Christopher Steele, Yulia Tymoshenko, and those DEA and TSA agents raise a stark warning:

The lines between government officials and informants, unverified political dirt and real intelligence, personal interest and law enforcement,
became too blurred for the Justice Department's own good.

That's a problem sorely in need of fixing.

oldman22 said in reply to Keith Harbaugh... 17 August 2019 at 01:16 AM

The person responsible for securing the release of Yulia Tymoshenko was Chancellor Merkel. Further, that USA opposed Tymoshenko.

quote
As for one of the leaders of the war party in Kiev, Merkel has privately and publicly endorsed every claim of Yulia Tymoshenko, promoting her release from prison and protecting her campaigns for war against Russia, even though – according to the high-level German source – “they [Chancellery, Foreign Ministry] have known for years that [Tymoshenko] was a crook.”
endquote

There is a lot more detail Tymoshenko's corruption and Merkel's rescue here:

https://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2015/02/john-helmer-the-political-motivation-of-chancellor-merkels-embrace-of-yulia-tymoshenko-and-war.html

(republished from John Helmer's website, includes a great cartoon worth viewing)

If you want more sources for this story,google
"Merkel, Tymoshenko, prison"

[Aug 12, 2019] Bruce Ohr 302s by Larry C Johnson - Sic Semper Tyrannis

Highly recommended!
That suggest that FBI actions were influenced by Obama administration and CIA to much greater expent thatn we assuned.
Notable quotes:
"... It may be that much of the dossier was created out of whole cloth by Nellie Ohr who was tasked to create a narrative that jibed with Simpson's political objectives. ..."
"... The ukraine is probably behind a great deal of the "info" the democrats and fib used.. ..."
Aug 12, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com

In reviewing these 302s there are some salient points I want to bring to your attention.

First, Christopher Steele was terminated as an FBI Confidential Human Source at the end of September 2016 for leaking to the press. That should have put an end to the relationship. Instead, the FBI starts using Bruce Ohr, the number four guy at the Department of Justice, as a cutout. Absolutely no justification for this kind of behavior by the FBI. It is, at a minimum, unethical and creates a real problem if any of the info collected from Ohr was to be used in a court proceeding. Something known as the "fruit of the poisonous tree" would kick in and the so-called evidence proffered by Ohr would be inadmissible or unusable because of Steele's previous lies to the FBI.

Second, Glenn Simpson played a huge role in helping spread anti-Trump propaganda generated by Steele. In fact, it was Simpson's insistence on Steele speaking with the press that got Steele terminated as an FBI source.

Third, the FBI knew by mid-December 2016 that Bruce Ohr's wife, Nellie, was working with Simpson and Steele. This too should have set off alarm bells about the potential conflicts of interest and unethical conduct.

Fourth, evidence used ultimately against Paul Manafort came from Nellie Ohr. If this was not disclosed to Manafort's attorney's there is a likely Brady violation, which bolster's Manafort's prospects for an appeal.

Fifth, Steele and Simpson made several claims of fact about Russia ties to the Trump campaign that were later proven to be false. For example, stating that Michael Cohen was in Prague meeting the Russians. Important to note that Christopher Steele produced the final report of the so-called dossier bearing his name on 13 December 2016 yet this information was "passed" to Ohr one day prior to the date on the report.

Sixth, the "debriefing" of Ohr on 12 December 2016 also provided the foundation for going after Marina Butina. (See Sara Carter's excellent update on this case here ). The false information from Steele/Simpson via Bruce Ohr became the pretext for launching an investigation of Butina, who was working for a wealthy Russian banker, Alexander Torshin. This too turns out to have been a fabrication. I believe this provides Butina's attorneys more ammunition for arguing prosecutorial misconduct and failure to provide critical Brady material.

Seventh, Ohr's report that Simpson and Steele were communicating with the State Department, including Assistant Secretary Victoria Nuland and Kathleen Kavalec makes it clear that State Department was used as a front to pass on info from the questionable Steele Dossier. This information was used in the FISA warrant and provided a seemingly reliable justification for spying on Carter Page (see the Page FISA warrant here .)

And finally, Fusion GPS, which was hired on behalf of the Clinton Campaign, was regularly communicating and coordinating with Obama's Department of Justice and Department of State. This was a complete abuse of power.

Now, here is the summary of the 302s:

11/22/2016 (entered on 12/19/2006)

Ohr met with Steele in 2007 (not sure of date) at a conference.

July 30, 2016 Steele met Ohr for breakfast. Steele claimed Carter Page had met with Russian Sechin at a conference.

States that Glenn Simpson hired Steele and Ohr's wife to dig up dirt on Trump's connections to Russia.

Noted that reporting was going to the Clinton Campaign, Jonathan Winer and the FBI.

Ohr met with Steele in late September and was told about Alfa Bank ties to Trump and the Sergei Millian organization.

Noted that Steele was desperate to stop Trump and to thwart the Kremlin.

Ohr knew that Glenn Simpson and "others" were meeting with Victoria Nuland.

12/05/2016 (entered on 12/19/2016) (drafted on 12/12/2016)

Glenn Simpson directed Christopher Steele to speak to the press, including David Corn at Mother Jones.

Ohr provided FBI info on Manafort Chronology prepared by his wife.

12/12/2016 (entered on 12/19/2016) (Drafted on 12/14/2016)

Ohr states, per Simpson, that Cohen replaced Manafort and Page as the contact with the Russians.

Says that Cohen met with Russians in Prague.

Claims that Torshin is a Russian mobster and is trying to infiltrate the NRA and was pushing money to Trump.

Simpson opined that Sergei Millian was an SVR officer and a link to Trump.

12/20/2016 (entered on 12/27/2016)

Thumb drive with Nelly Ohr's research passed to FBI.

1/23/2017 (entered on 1/31/2017) (drafted on 1/25/2017)

Simpson tells Ohr a source will be outed in the coming days.

Steele claims he met with a McCain staffer prior to October 2016

1/25/017 (entered on 1/27/2017)

Ohr spoke with Steele on 25 January 2017.

1/27/2017 (entered on 1/27/2017)

Steele told Ohr he wanted to keep lines of communication open.

02/06/2017 (entered on 02/08/2017)

Ohr contacted by Steele via What'sApp on 31 January 2017. Was reacting to firing of Sally Yates. Worried that if Ohr got fired he would have no one to talk to.

"Interviewing agents asked Ohr to ask Steele if he would be comfortable getting the name of an FBI agent."

Ohr reminded agents that Steele had spoken several times prior to 2016 Presidential election with Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Kathleen Kavalec. Ohr identified one of the sources for Steele's report as a Ukranian.

02/14/2017 (entered on 02/15/2017)

Ohr tells FBI about Steele's concerns about his business. Identifies other lawyer (name blacked out) he is working with. Steele is preparing a proposal to re-establish his business releationship with the FBI.

05/08/2017 (entered on 05/10/2017)

Steele tells Ohr that he is worried about Comey's upcoming testimony. Ohr tells Steele what Comey will say and Steele is "happy."

Ohr said that Glenn Simpson would be visiting Steele soon.

Jonathan Winer was bringing a letter to Steele.


walrus , 11 August 2019 at 04:43 PM

this is treason.
PRC90 , 11 August 2019 at 08:24 PM
As an aside, note the similarities between Steele and Downer. Both carried some imprimatur of credibility based on prior government service, and popped up from no where and returned to relative obscurity after producing a document that was able to be immediately misused by others for the same purpose.

I'd wondered why anyone would want to involve Downer in these events, the man is a moron. However, one of his greatest strengths is producing wonderful well written reports, and to that extent would appear to have been chosen well.

confusedponderer , 12 August 2019 at 05:52 AM
It is, however despicable the whole story is, suggesting - and in its own way entertaining - that apparently the experienced gutter lady "Eff the EU" Nuland was also involved, probably bringing in her ... regime change experience aquired in the Ukraine.

I wonder, did she ever say "Eff the Orange Man too"? Alas. Either way, more interesting to me is whether she also handed out cookies to Steel and/or Ohr?

https://orf.at/static/images/site/news/20131250/ukraine_klitschko_usa_body_a.4532409.jpg

As far as financial price of the Ohr & Steel operation goes, compared to the 5+ billion that were according to Nuland proudly poured into Ukraine to get Maidan and backstab Janukowytsch, hiring Steel to backstab somebody else - Trump - was probably way cheaper - i.e. 'however illegal, it was more economic'.

That said, I detested Nuland well before this story for her Maidan stuntery and the "Eff the EU" arrogance, but then, she really made it easy even for an at time even more benevolent observer.

Thanks for sharing and elaborating.

Patrick Armstrong , 12 August 2019 at 08:48 AM
But the big question that I would be interested to get opinions on is this:
when is all this stuff going to be revealed in a way that not even the readers of the WaPo NYT et al can deny thet the entire Russia collusion/interference story is false from beginning to end?

The longer the Russia-interfered-in-our-election-and-everybody-else's lie is perpetrated, the closer we all get to nuclear annihilation. So it's a matter of some importance.

Any ideas?
One that occurs to me is that nothing will happen -- it will all dribble out over such a long time that nothing will ever be ever dramatic and simple enough to make an effect.

My other thought is that Trump & Co wants the big explosive revelations to hit the street next Mar/Apr so as to destroy the Dems in 2020.

But many of us have known the general outline of the conspiracy for a couple of years, but nothing big ever hits the street and the lies get dug in a little deeper every day that they're not exploded.

turcopolier , 12 August 2019 at 09:02 AM
PA

Unless there are a lot of indictments none of this will matter.

plantman , 12 August 2019 at 11:39 AM
So, state department honchos--Victoria Nuland, Kavalec and Sally Yates (DOJ)--all had some knowledge of what was going on, right? And so did national security advisor Susan Rice.

Doesn't that prove that Obama must have been in the loop?

I think it does.

Second, how much of Nellie Ohr's russia research actually ended up in the steele dossier? I think that it is very unlikely that Chris Steele maintained his sketchy connections in Russia after the seismic political changes in the early 2000s. It may be that much of the dossier was created out of whole cloth by Nellie Ohr who was tasked to create a narrative that jibed with Simpson's political objectives.

notamusedobserver -> plantman... , 12 August 2019 at 04:42 PM
The ukraine is probably behind a great deal of the "info" the democrats and fib used..

[Aug 12, 2019] Russiagate is the idea around which varied interests can be organized

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Like the Wolfowitz explanation of the Iraq War, Russiagate is the idea around which varied interests can be organized. Cold Warriors like to hate on Russia. It justifies arms spending and their own importance. Clintonistas need an excuse to distract from her being a loser. The DNC needs an excuse for manipulating the candidate selection in favor of donor interests. "Moderates" need a distraction from their ongoing refusal to address the interests of voters. ..."
Aug 12, 2019 | consortiumnews.com

Mark Thomason , August 12, 2019 at 10:34

Like the Wolfowitz explanation of the Iraq War, Russiagate is the idea around which varied interests can be organized. Cold Warriors like to hate on Russia. It justifies arms spending and their own importance. Clintonistas need an excuse to distract from her being a loser. The DNC needs an excuse for manipulating the candidate selection in favor of donor interests. "Moderates" need a distraction from their ongoing refusal to address the interests of voters.

[Aug 07, 2019] Taibbi via Antiwar.com: The rise and fall of superhero Robert Mueller

Aug 07, 2019 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

et Al August 2, 2019 at 5:31 am

Taibbi via Antiwar.com: The rise and fall of superhero Robert Mueller
https://taibbi.substack.com/p/the-rise-and-fall-of-superhero-robert

The testimony of Robert Mueller should have marked the end of a national nightmare. Instead, a new legend was born

This myth died on television .

Mueller on the stand was a potted plant. Reporters saw Moses and Jesus. If you need evidence we're in a religious mania, look no further. This was a pure exercise in restoring an idol for worship

In mid-March, just before Mueller's probe wrapped up, CNN found a whopping zero percent of Americans identified "Russian investigation" as their primary concern heading into 2020. The network wrote (emphasis mine):..,

ussiagate should be dead. Instead, it's gaining new life, with impeachment looking like the New Testament phase of the religion
####

Much, much more at the link.

Mark Chapman August 2, 2019 at 5:11 pm
Every time I read a piece by Matt Taibbi, I ask myself, "Why don't you read Matt Taibbi more often?" By God, he can write – I nearly horked up a lung when he described John Brennan as a 'paranoid outpatient'. His descriptions of the frantic dissembling amongst the Democrats create passages in which you can actually smell the despair and incoherent rage, like burnt hair.

The whole Mueller testimonial dirge will turn out to have only divided Americans further. Republicans will chuckle with satisfaction at watching Mueller fly into a window like a careless jackdaw, while Democrats will sense that something crazy happened but that this is a time for blind loyalty. And never the twain shall meet. The fact that that was supposed to be East and West makes the irony but more pronounced.

[Aug 01, 2019] Comey Avoids DOJ Prosecution On Memo Leak; FISA Abuse Still On The Table

Aug 01, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Former FBI Director James Comey will avoid prosecution after illegally leaking personal memos in the hopes of instigating the special counsel's investigation into the 2016 US election, as reported yesterday by The Hill 's John Solomon and confirmed today by Fox News .

According to Solomon, DOJ Inspector General (IG) Michael Horowitz referred Comey for possible prosecution under laws governing the handling of classified information, however Attorney General William Barr has declined to prosecute - as the DOJ does not believe they have enough evidence of Comey's intent to violate the law.

"Everyone at the DOJ involved in the decision said it wasn't a close call," an official told Fox News . "They all thought this could not be prosecuted."

That said, it's important to note that this decision was the result of a 'carve-out' investigation separate of the IG probe on FISA abuse .

The Conservative Treehouse lays out the situation:

This is NOT the Inspector General Michael Horowitz report on DOJ and FBI FISA abuse.

This is a carve-out.

...

From the outset it was reported and confirmed that U.S. Attorney John Huber was assigned to assist Inspector General Michael Horowitz. Huber's job was to stand-by in case the IG carved out a particular concern, discovered during his investigation, that might involve criminal conduct.

Earlier this week Matt Whitaker said : "John Huber is reviewing anything related to Comey's memos and the like. "

Put the two data points together and what you realize is that during the OIG review of potential DOJ and FBI FISA abuse IG Horowitz investigated the Comey Memo's and then passed that specific issue along to John Huber for DOJ review.

The IG criminal referral for the James Comey memo leaking was a carve-out sent to U.S. Attorney John Huber.

...

This is not the inspector general report on DOJ and FBI FISA abuse. This is an IG report carved out of the larger investigation. - Conservative Treehouse

In short, we will first see an IG report just covering Comey, with a more comprehensive report to follow on FISA abuse. _arrow 1


chunga , 2 minutes ago

Every day this gets a little more humiliating.

libertysghost , 2 minutes ago

So it has to be proven that the head of the FBI knew what the frikin laws were that he was violating?

Knowing the laws were not in his job description?

Aside from that not being a standard for determining prosecution for anyone else aside from Deep Staters, the claim is laughable on its face. Did Comey's office (or Comey himself) ever provide evidence for the prosecution of ANY individual for ANYTHING where they argued "intent" didn't matter? I'm 100% sure he did. So why is this hard to point out in showing that "intent" doesn't matter?

FFS...this is a scam. I was leery as soon as Trump handing over declassification to Barr. We will know who is involved in the cover up by their response to this...in particular those claiming to be at the front lines of demanding consequences for the spying/coup.


Bavarian , 3 minutes ago

This was always small potatoes. FISA and the involvement in setting up the coup will involve the meat of his convictions anyway. Anyone thinking he's walking isn't paying attention.

I am Groot , 5 minutes ago

Comey: Oh I'm sorry, I didn't mean to help throw a coup.

Barr: Ok, no problem, we won't charge you. We know it was just an accident. You're all good. You can go on CNN and rub everybody's nose in it now

Real Estate Guru , 14 minutes ago

What makes you think that Comey didn't cut a deal with Barr to get the others, folks? Stay tuned!

You do the math.

I am Groot , 12 minutes ago

WHY THE **** WOULD BARR CUT A DEAL WITH ANY OF THOSE TREASONOUS ***** !

THEY ARE ALL GUILTY AS HELL ! ! !

Real Estate Guru , 11 minutes ago

I agree. But this fool might be naming Obama for all we know. That would be worth it, or Hillary.

Either way, he is going down on the FISA warrants. He signed off on them.

I am Groot , 8 minutes ago

Obama is fucked six ways to Sunday. They have the FBI text messages that prove he was directing all of this and was neck deep in it.

spyware-free , 12 minutes ago

Then why not state that as the reason? There is enough evidence to prosecute. They could have at the least waited and added the charge to future indictments instead of dismissing right away.

buckboy , 13 minutes ago

Prosecuting Comey by DOJ risks DOJ involvement and alike................just too many to protect.

TruthAbsolute , 13 minutes ago

haha the USA has a two tier justice system...You poor sick Patriots!

libertysghost , 21 minutes ago

Comey will walk and Trump will be impeached for "obstructing" an investigation into a non-existent crime, because he tried to defend himself against the coup proclaiming his innocents.

If this happens...

Cabreado , 22 minutes ago

Maintaining some sense of optimism just got a little harder...

enough of this , 23 minutes ago

All those dire pronouncements by conservative pundits that Comey would be nailed for taking classified information home from his office and releasing it to his friend, who in turn leaked it to the press was all ********. It turns out Comey could do it with impunity and he knew he would skate because his deep-state pals at the DOJ would never indict him for doing so. Rigged justice system = Rigged outcome.

SRV , 25 minutes ago

Flynn is facing 5 years for a clear FBI trap, after spying on everything he said in the WH... not a good start for Barr... and if he's a plant, it's over.

Real Estate Guru , 20 minutes ago

Flynn is a Patriot. He is not going down. He has not even been sent anywhere. Relax. if they had him, he would be in jail by now. He is like the invisible russians that Mueller convicted of nothing. They showed up by the way, and wanted to see the evidence...Mueller just blew them off. Mueller is a shill for Weissmann, he is clueless, feeble, and doesnt know one damn thing. No sentencing of anybody. Flynn is a hero, not a criminal. That tells you everything you need to know.

Real Estate Guru , 27 minutes ago

They have something far larger than this, and they don't want to lose the first case on him. Don't worry, the stuff that is coming out on this guy will easily convict him within weeks. It will involve the FISA warrants.

- Hannity, Soloman

Stay tuned...much more to come Patriots!

LookAtMeme.com , 14 minutes ago

Who said that they have to charge Comey piecemeal starting with smaller charges and therefore it's best to let him skate on those smaller charges? Prosecutors regularly load up charges against defendants.

RagaMuffin , 28 minutes ago

Unless he can be nailed on a larger charge, this is how the Swamp protects its own, particularly since intent is not the basis of whether the law was broken?

Roger Rabbit , 23 minutes ago

He IS going to be nailed on a much bigger charge: FISA abuse. It's already well established he lied to the FISA court. Too bad they are all Jesuit graduates though, hence why they've taken no corrective action, and never objected to what was obviously FISA fraud.

LookAtMeme.com , 16 minutes ago

It's already well established by Comey's own congressional testimony that he purposely leaked FBI documents in order to prompt an investigation of the President.

LookAtMeme.com , 5 minutes ago

If they intend to prosecute Comey for other crimes later then they don't have to "waste time" exonerating him now. They can throw the entire ball of wax at him at a later date. The man admitted to congress that he leaked FBI documents in order to prompt an investigation of the President. We all know this.

Ergo I.C. , 31 minutes ago

"... however Attorney General William Barr has declined to prosecute - as the DOJ does not believe they have enough evidence of Comey's intent to violate the law."

WTH! FBI agents went to Comey's house a month after he was fired to pick up documents he was not suppose to have. Not enough evidence to show intent my ***!

[Jul 29, 2019] Looks like Epstein turned informant for Mueller s FBI in 2008. Likely earlier

Highly recommended!
Did Mueller done this at the request of Clintons?
Notable quotes:
"... That was while Robert Mueller ran the Bureau, which means everything about Epstein's blackmail and kompromat operation has been tucked safely away out of sight in FBI files for at least a decade. Much longer, new evidence shows. ..."
"... *CIA Acknowledged in 2003, It Knew that Ghislaine Maxwell's Late Father was a Major Foreign Intelligence Agent Operating Inside the U.S. ..."
"... That Robert Maxwell was a ruthless, corrupt, tax-dodging international businessman who served as an Israeli agent is highly probable. ..."
"... For the first time, Maxwell had failed to get his own way. He started to threaten and bluster. He then demanded that, for past services, he should receive immediately a quick fix of £400million to bale him out of his financial difficulties. ..."
"... Instead of providing the money, a small group of Mossad officers set about planning his murder. They feared that he was going to publicly expose all Mossad had done in the time he worked for them. They knew that he was gradually becoming mentally unstable and paranoid. He was taking a cocktail of drugs - Halcion and Zanax - which had serious side effects. ..."
"... Then Maxwell was contacted. He was told to fly to Gibraltar, go aboard the Lady Ghislaine and sail to the Canary Islands. There at sea he would receive his £400million quick fix in the form of a banker's draft. Maxwell did as he was told. ..."
"... As Victor Ostrovsky, a former Mossad agent told us: "On that cold night Mossad's problems with Robert Maxwell were over." ..."
"... The incontrovertible facts about his murder are contained in a previously-unseen autopsy report by Britain's then-leading forensic pathologist Dr Iain West and Israel State Pathologist Dr Yehuda Hiss. Of all the documents in our possession, these reports confirm the truth about Maxwell's death. ..."
"... Boy that Mueller has had a busy career hasn't he? Didn't he start out in Chicago where he gave Whitey Bulgar cover for being a mob boss? Then there's his cover up before and after 9/11. The weapons of mass destruction that he said Saddam had. The anthrax prosecution, Epstein's pedophilia cover up, HSBC and now he is trying to cover Hillary's buttocks. And maybe Obama's? I'm sure I've missed a few things that he did or didn't do. ..."
"... Acosta was told to stand down by someone at the top of the food chain. Mueller. Ugh what a slimy piece of work he is. But not to the Russia Gaters. Oh no. "He is a highly decorated marine who takes no guff from anyone. ..."
"... In that time, he had free access to Margaret Thatcher's Downing Street, to Ronald Reagan's White House, to the Kremlin and to the corridors of power throughout Europe. ..."
"... Inquiring minds want to know did Maxwell have access to Margaret and Ron because they liked him or because he had something on them? ..."
"... Epstein is the destruction of the Deep State. ..."
"... That pedophelia and politics scandal, better known as the Franklin Coverup, made the papers for a few months, too, before it was made to go away. Similarly, a couple of the operators served some time on reduced charges after that one. ..."
"... The two main suspects in the Bush, Sr. White House child ring were Craig Spence and Lawrence E. King Jr. King sang the National anthem at two GOP national conventions. He served time in jail for bank fraud. Spence was a Republican lobbyist before he committed suicide. Several of his partners went to jail for being involved in the adult part of the homosexual prostitution ring. ..."
"... Mueller's scrupulous avoidance of the CIA link in his prosecution of Manuel Noriega and his diversion of the PanAm 103 bombing and framing of two Libyans. Bobby Mueller has been a real go to guy when the security establishment needs a phony investigation. ..."
"... Bobby Mueller has been a real go to guy when the security establishment needs a phony investigation. ..."
"... The anthrax investigation is the most serious of his crimes. Mueller is being sued by his lead investigator in that case. ..."
"... Every now and then, here and there the curtain lifts for a moment and the political elite of a country, the business elite, the spy services, the military, and organized crime are revealed to be all working together, indeed practically joined at the hip ..."
"... partnership started during the early Cold War with US intelligence officers facilitating the drug trade out of Turkey and Burma through Europe. That soon spread to the Americas and globally. Covert operations such as Gladio, Condor, and the Safari Club, and associated banks (Franklin National Bank, BCCI, Riggs Bank, HSBC, etc.) produced massive human rights violations, transnational terrorism and governmental corruption. The CIA's secret wars provided funds and official cover for private-public sector alliance of criminals, bankers and spooks around the world. ..."
"... The CIA, MI6 and Mossad ran overlapping coordinated operations using privateers, paramilitaries and organized crime networks that consumed vast amounts of cash generated by money laundering mechanisms. Enriched by the looting of the former Soviet Union, along with the infusion of Arab oil money (the Saudi Yamamah slush fund), the "Octopus" became the instrument of Oligarchs that have thoroughly corrupted western governments and secret services. ..."
"... The Snowden release included a number of documents that illustrate the on-line entrapment and political disruption activities run by the two main communications intelligence agencies. ..."
"... Epstein recruits young girls, throws parties where he invites potential hedge fund clients, lets nature take its course and films the proceedings, extracts blackmail in the form of investments to his (largely fake) hedge fund, which actually just buys an index fund (no actual fund management required). He takes a percentage from the coerced investments. Nobody talks because they have too much to lose. No suspicious payments to raise eyebrows at the IRS. ..."
"... Epstein brought in the clients. The CIA/MI-6/Mossad provided necessary cover from the FBI and local cops - then, three or four agencies shared the intelligence take, as they had for decades from Robert Maxwell's operations. ..."
"... For Ghislaine, it was simply carrying on the family business for fun and profit. For the spooks, it was business as usual going back to the Green House, the Berlin bordello founded in the the 1870s by Wilhelm Steiber, a Prussian Police section chief, to provide useful intelligence to Bismarck's Military Intelligence, which he reorganized. ..."
"... Epstein is also well acquainted with University President Lawrence H. Summers. The two serve together on the Trilateral Commission and the Council on Foreign Relations, two elite international relations organizations. ..."
"... Epstein's relationships within the academy are remarkable since the tycoon, who has amassed his fortune by managing the wealth of billionaires from his private Caribbean island, does not hold a bachelor's degree. ..."
"... There's a rocky road ahead for Larry Summers. Summers introduces Epstein into the Harvard fold, but becomes reckless with his newly-refined Neoliberalism and his opinions concerning "lady scholars." ..."
Jul 11, 2019 | caucus99percent.com

leveymg on Thu, 07/11/2019 - 11:30am

That was while Robert Mueller ran the Bureau, which means everything about Epstein's blackmail and kompromat operation has been tucked safely away out of sight in FBI files for at least a decade. Much longer, new evidence shows.

For those who may have wondered why Epstein was given such an incredible deal in sentencing, that explains it. Epstein was an extraordinary value informant, and he leveraged it. https://truepundit.com/fbi-pedophile-jeffrey-epstein-was-informant-for-m...

A figure who often gets overlooked in this is Ghislaine Maxwell, Epstein's chief procurer of underage girls. Ghislaine, the daughter of publishing magnate Robert Maxwell, was granted immunity and never charged in exchange for her own cooperation in the 2008 pseudo-prosecution. https://heavy.com/news/2019/03/ghislaine-maxwell/ ; https://pagesix.com/2016/03/17/alleged-epstein-madam-forced-to-hand-over...

The real question is, why did the FBI wait for more than a decade to bust Epstein and Maxwell?

Epstein and Maxwell came to the attention of the FBI in 1996, when, curiously, the Bureau never acted on an accusation that they had together sexually abused a 15 year old girl in a bedroom inside Epstein's Manhattan townhouse. Documents in a recent law suit filed by an alleged victim, Maria Farmer, show that the FBI had been aware of Epstein and Maxwell's child abuse activities in New York for at least a dozen years before Epstein was finally charged in 2008 with much-reduced Florida state offenses. https://www.yourtango.com/2019323698/who-maria-farmer-latest-woman-accus...

Farmer claims she reported her sexual assault to New York police and the FBI in 1996. "To my knowledge, I was the first person to report Maxwell and Epstein to the FBI," she wrote in her affidavit."

*CIA Acknowledged in 2003, It Knew that Ghislaine Maxwell's Late Father was a Major Foreign Intelligence Agent Operating Inside the U.S.

Previously, Robert Maxwell, Ghislaine's father, had for many years been known to have been involved in high-level espionage in the United States, as detailed in a 2003 publication of the CIA Center for the Study of Intelligence, The Intelligence Officer's Bookshelf . Therein, the CIA reviewer of a biography by British author Gordon Thomas acknowledged about Maxwell: https://www.cia.gov/library/center-for-the-study-of-intelligence/csi-pub...

That Robert Maxwell was a ruthless, corrupt, tax-dodging international businessman who served as an Israeli agent is highly probable.

For the deeper background to the Epstein-Maxwell multinational blackmail, coverup and kompromat operation, we have to look at the events that led up to the 1991 death of Robert Maxwell. A summary of the Maxwell bio by its authors recounts:

British Publisher Robert Maxwell
Was Mossad Spy
By Gordon Thomas And Martin Dillon
The Mirror - UK
12-6-2002
[ . . .]
Eleven years after former Daily Mirror owner Robert Maxwell plunged from his luxury yacht to a watery grave, his death still arouses intense interest.

Many different theories have circulated about what really happened on board the Lady Ghislaine that night in May 1991.

[ . . . ]

The Jewish millionaire and former Labour MP [born Ludvik Hoch
in Czechoslovakia] died the way he had lived - threatening.

He had threatened his wife. Threatened his children. Threatened the staff of this newspaper.

But finally he issued one threat too many - he threatened Mossad.

He told them that unless they gave him £400million to save his crumbling empire, he would expose all he had done for them.

In that time, he had free access to Margaret Thatcher's Downing Street, to Ronald Reagan's White House, to the Kremlin and to the corridors of power throughout Europe.

On top of that he had built himself a position of power within the crime families of eastern Europe, teaching them how to funnel their vast wealth from drugs, arms smuggling and prostitution to banks in safe havens around the globe.

Maxwell passed on all the secrets he learned to Mossad in Tel Aviv. In turn, they tolerated his excesses, vanities and insatiable appetite for a luxurious lifestyle and women.

He told his controllers who they should target and how they should do it. He appointed himself as Israel's unofficial ambassador to the Soviet Bloc. Mossad saw the advantage in that.

[ . . . ]

The more successful Maxwell became the more risks he took and the more dangerous he was to Mossad. At the same time, the very public side of Maxwell, who then owned 400 companies, began to unwind.

He spent lavishly and lost money on deals. The more he lost, the more he tried to claw money from the banks. Then he saw a way out of his problems.

He was approached by Vladimir Kryuchkov, head of the KGB. Spymaster and tycoon met in the utmost secrecy in the Kremlin.

Kryuchkov had an extraordinary proposal. He wanted Maxwell to help orchestrate the overthrow of Mikhail Gorbachev, the reformist Soviet leader. That would bring to an end a fledgling democracy and a return to the Cold War days.

In return, Maxwell's massive debts would be wiped out by a grateful Kryuchkov, who planned to replace Gorbachev. The KGB chief wanted Maxwell to use the Lady Ghislaine, named after Maxwell's daughter, as a meeting place between the Russian plotters, Mossad chiefs and Israel's top politicians.

The plan was for the Israelis to go to Washington and say that democracy could not work in Russia and that it was better to allow the country to return to a modified form of communism, which America could help to control. In return, Kryuchkov would guarantee to free hundreds of thousands of Jews and dissidents in the Soviet republics.

Kryuchkov told Maxwell that he would be seen as a saviour of all those Jews. It was a proposal he could not refuse. But when he put it to his Mossad controllers they were horrified. They said Israel would have no part in such a madcap plan.

For the first time, Maxwell had failed to get his own way. He started to threaten and bluster. He then demanded that, for past services, he should receive immediately a quick fix of £400million to bale him out of his financial difficulties.

Instead of providing the money, a small group of Mossad officers set about planning his murder. They feared that he was going to publicly expose all Mossad had done in the time he worked for them. They knew that he was gradually becoming mentally unstable and paranoid. He was taking a cocktail of drugs - Halcion and Zanax - which had serious side effects.

The group of Mossad plotters sensed, like Solomon, he could bring their temple tumbling down and cause incalculable harm to Israel. The plan to kill him was prepared in the utmost secrecy. A four-man squad was briefed.

Then Maxwell was contacted. He was told to fly to Gibraltar, go aboard the Lady Ghislaine and sail to the Canary Islands. There at sea he would receive his £400million quick fix in the form of a banker's draft. Maxwell did as he was told.

On the night of November 4, 1991, the Lady Ghislaine, one of the world's biggest yachts, was at sea.

[ . . . ]

As Victor Ostrovsky, a former Mossad agent told us: "On that cold night Mossad's problems with Robert Maxwell were over."

The incontrovertible facts about his murder are contained in a previously-unseen autopsy report by Britain's then-leading forensic pathologist Dr Iain West and Israel State Pathologist Dr Yehuda Hiss. Of all the documents in our possession, these reports confirm the truth about Maxwell's death.

Gordon Thomas & Martin Dillon are authors of The Assassination of Robert Maxwell: Israel's Super Spy, published by Robson Books.

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/allnews/page.cfm?objectid=12419168&method=f...

The obvious question, why did the U.S. government let these intelligence crimes continue for decades, isn't being asked. The answer is almost self-evident. Information and leverage obtained by Maxwell-Epstein and Co. was far too valuable to its several operators to let it all end too soon.

###

Linda Wood on Thu, 07/11/2019 - 12:45pm
Two parts of your reporting

leap out at me as suggesting how Epstein connects to much bigger subjects. First is the assertion that Maxwell was

... teaching them how to funnel their vast wealth from drugs, arms smuggling and prostitution to banks in safe havens around the globe.

This area of trafficking and money laundering directly connects to Mueller and his essential exoneration of HSBC .

The other quotation that suggests the importance of money laundering is here:

The plan was for the Israelis to go to Washington and say that democracy could not work in Russia and that it was better to allow the country to return to a modified form of communism, which America could help to control.

The life's work of Antony Sutton at Stanford's Hoover Institution shows that American industry was ALWAYS controlling communism as well as Soviet industrial development, and that a trend toward social democracy, represented by Gorbachev, would have put an end to that control.

leveymg on Thu, 07/11/2019 - 4:29pm
Curiously, the CIA review of the Maxwell bio doesn't touch on

@Linda Wood his money laundering and blackmailing activities. While the review confirms that Robert Maxwell was for decades a major Mossad agent actively setting up operations and cover in the United States and the UK, I can only surmise that the spreading political influence of Eastern European organized crime networks and child honey traps are things that the Agency didn't want to discuss publicly in 2003.

As for Mueller, let's not forget that he was FBI Director and before that the head of the Criminal Division at Main Justice at the time that global "black finance" grew along with the catastrophic spread of multinational crime and terrorism. BCCI, Iran-Contra, 9/11, and the rise of transnational Oligarchs happened on his watch. As the Chief Law Enforcement Officer in the United States at the time, it is hard to imagine anyone more responsibility for the ultimate consequences than Robert Mueller. There is perhaps someone who bears ultimate responsibility, the President who appointed Mueller: George Herbert Walker Bush and his lesser son, Shrub, who promoted him.

Pluto's Republic on Fri, 07/12/2019 - 5:21pm
From your own research

@leveymg

... wouldn't you assume that this entire affair is an ongoing Mossad operation, which may or may not have concluded? The US IC is just another operative inside the envelope, but Mossad owns the assets and the intellectual property. I think we could assume that some of this is automated and Mossad has ongoing leverage still in play.

The obvious question, why did the U.S. government let these intelligence crimes continue for decades, isn't being asked. The answer is almost self-evident. Information and leverage obtained by Maxwell-Epstein and Co. was far too valuable to its several operators to let it all end too soon.

.

Mossad's legendary blackmail traps ensnared even high-level deep state authorities and made them pliable. The recent history of United States foreign policy is an enigma that can only be solved when that assumption is inserted. Once the assumption is in place, it opens like a Pandora's box. Don't you find that to be the case?

Thanks for compiling this revealing argument.

Deja on Thu, 07/11/2019 - 11:03pm
HSBC?

@Linda Wood
From your link:

In a recent investigation I presented the case that British banking and financial giant HSBC conspired with banking institutions with documented links to terrorist financing, including those responsible for helping bankroll the 9/11 attacks.

Thank you for the link!

Linda Wood on Thu, 07/11/2019 - 1:11pm
HSBC article

linked here does not mention Mueller but does outline the crimes Mueller worked so hard not to solve:

http://antifascist-calling.blogspot.com/2012/07/black-dossier-hsbc-terro...

SUNDAY, JULY 29, 2012
Black Dossier: HSBC & Terrorist Finance

Moral equivalencies abound. After all, when American secret state agencies manage drug flows or direct terrorist proxies to attack official enemies it's not quite the same as battling terror or crime.

Pounding home that point, a new report by the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations accused HSBC of exposing "the U.S. financial system to a wide array of money laundering, drug trafficking, and terrorist financing risks due to poor anti-money laundering (AML) controls."

That 335-page report, "U.S. Vulnerabilities to Money Laundering, Drugs, and Terrorist Financing: HSBC Case History," (large pdf file available here ) was issued after a year-long Senate investigation zeroed-in on the bank's U.S. affiliate, HSBC Bank USA, N.A., better known as HBUS.

Drilling down, we learned that amongst the "services" offered by HSBC subsidiaries and correspondent banks were sweet deals with financial entities with terrorist ties; the transportation of billions of dollars in cash by plane and armored car through their London Banknotes division; the clearing of sequentially-numbered travelers checks through dodgy Cayman Islands accounts for Mexican drug lords and Russian mafiosi.

From richly-appointed suites at Canary Wharf, London, the bank's "smartest guys in the room" handed some of the most violent gangsters on earth the financial wherewithal to organize their respective industries: global crime.

A case in point. In 2008 alone the Senate revealed that the bank's Cayman Islands branch handled some 50,000 client accounts (all without benefit of offices or staff on Grand Cayman, mind you), yet still managed to ship some $7 billion (£10.9bn) in cash from Mexico into the U.S. Now that's creative accounting!...

Alligator Ed on Thu, 07/11/2019 - 10:49pm
Thank you, Linda

@Linda Wood HSBC, huh--there must be some clever name for it, which deserves no research.
what an eloquent article you presented. Brief but right on target. It isn't just sex, drugs and rock and roll. Now it is drugs - money -sexual perversion--and perhaps worse? Rumors are flying about what video on the Weiner laptop showed. It is strictly heresay, but a core of folks seem to believe the suspicions are possible.

snoopydawg on Thu, 07/11/2019 - 8:48pm
Boy that Mueller has had a busy career hasn't he? Didn't he start out in Chicago where he gave Whitey Bulgar cover for being a mob boss? Then there's his cover up before and after 9/11. The weapons of mass destruction that he said Saddam had. The anthrax prosecution, Epstein's pedophilia cover up, HSBC and now he is trying to cover Hillary's buttocks. And maybe Obama's? I'm sure I've missed a few things that he did or didn't do.

Acosta is saying that if he hadn't made the plea deal then Epstein would never have served any time in prison. Well he actually only slept there since he got to leave every day for work and then there's the massages he got after his busy day at work. But there were more than 80 pages that the Feds wrote on his escapades so I think that story he told congress is true. Acosta was told to stand down by someone at the top of the food chain. Mueller. Ugh what a slimy piece of work he is. But not to the Russia Gaters. Oh no. "He is a highly decorated marine who takes no guff from anyone.

In that time, he had free access to Margaret Thatcher's Downing Street, to Ronald Reagan's White House, to the Kremlin and to the corridors of power throughout Europe.

Inquiring minds want to know did Maxwell have access to Margaret and Ron because they liked him or because he had something on them?

Great information! The more I learn the more I need a shower.

Linda Wood on Thu, 07/11/2019 - 9:11pm
That needing a shower thing

@snoopydawg

is how I've been feeling all week from reading about this, just more and more demoralized when I think about the depravation of our so-called "leadership." What is it that we're supposed to think of as the new normal after this behavior?

Alligator Ed on Thu, 07/11/2019 - 10:53pm
Linda, you could shower in my extra long tub

@Linda Wood No problem--but, seriously, yecch! Epstein is the destruction of the Deep State.

leveymg on Fri, 07/12/2019 - 1:02pm
Remember Craig Spence and the 1989 Whitehouse Call Boy Ring?

@snoopydawg

That pedophelia and politics scandal, better known as the Franklin Coverup, made the papers for a few months, too, before it was made to go away. Similarly, a couple of the operators served some time on reduced charges after that one.

The two main suspects in the Bush, Sr. White House child ring were Craig Spence and Lawrence E. King Jr. King sang the National anthem at two GOP national conventions. He served time in jail for bank fraud. Spence was a Republican lobbyist before he committed suicide. Several of his partners went to jail for being involved in the adult part of the homosexual prostitution ring.

http://www.whatreallyhappened.com/WRHARTICLES/Franklin/FranklinCoverup/l...

Roy Blakeley on Fri, 07/12/2019 - 12:29pm
And let's not forget

@snoopydawg

Mueller's scrupulous avoidance of the CIA link in his prosecution of Manuel Noriega and his diversion of the PanAm 103 bombing and framing of two Libyans. Bobby Mueller has been a real go to guy when the security establishment needs a phony investigation.

Linda Wood on Fri, 07/12/2019 - 1:09pm
Absolutely.

@Roy Blakeley

You sum it up perfectly:

Bobby Mueller has been a real go to guy when the security establishment needs a phony investigation.

The anthrax investigation is the most serious of his crimes. Mueller is being sued by his lead investigator in that case.

Because researchers in our biological weapons labs went public with what they were doing, and where such research was being done in the U.S., we learned the CIA was one of several outfits doing biological weapons research.

But Mueller exonerated all of them, including the CIA, with no explanation and only focused on a lone vaccine researcher at the Army lab when journalists began to ask why no one had been indicted after seven years of investigation, at which point the FBI attempted to harass the suspect into committing suicide.

lotlizard on Fri, 07/12/2019 - 1:44am
Comparable to "Deep State" scandals in Turkey?

Every now and then, here and there the curtain lifts for a moment and the political elite of a country, the business elite, the spy services, the military, and organized crime are revealed to be all working together, indeed practically joined at the hip.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Susurluk_scandal

https://www.spiegel.de/international/world/ergenekon-plot-massive-trial-...

leveymg on Sat, 07/13/2019 - 11:08am
Read "Politics of Heroin in SE Asia". The CIA-Mafia-warlord

@lotlizard @lotlizard

partnership started during the early Cold War with US intelligence officers facilitating the drug trade out of Turkey and Burma through Europe. That soon spread to the Americas and globally. Covert operations such as Gladio, Condor, and the Safari Club, and associated banks (Franklin National Bank, BCCI, Riggs Bank, HSBC, etc.) produced massive human rights violations, transnational terrorism and governmental corruption. The CIA's secret wars provided funds and official cover for private-public sector alliance of criminals, bankers and spooks around the world.

This "dark alliance" assumed a political and economic life of its own beyond its original intent to counter communist movements. By the Vietnam War, Agency operators were running most of the heroin trade in the world through proprietary airlines, banks and logistics companies. In the mid-1970s, CIA Director Bush expanded privatization with Saudi funding in his Safari Club deal that eventually morphed into Al Qaeda and ISIS.

The CIA, MI6 and Mossad ran overlapping coordinated operations using privateers, paramilitaries and organized crime networks that consumed vast amounts of cash generated by money laundering mechanisms. Enriched by the looting of the former Soviet Union, along with the infusion of Arab oil money (the Saudi Yamamah slush fund), the "Octopus" became the instrument of Oligarchs that have thoroughly corrupted western governments and secret services.

Multinational honey trap operations such as Maxwell-Epstein & Co. are an inevitable and continuing part of this privatization and criminalization of intelligence that stretches back to the days of Tom Braden and Cord Meyer handing out stacks of greenbacks to Mafiosi on the Corsican Docks.

leveymg on Fri, 07/12/2019 - 11:31am
NSA and GCHQ have gotten into the honeytrap and influence game

@leveymg

The Snowden release included a number of documents that illustrate the on-line entrapment and political disruption activities run by the two main communications intelligence agencies.

"Honey-trap; a great option. Very successful, when it works" (GCHQ, UK training program slide)

https://cannonfire.blogspot.com/2014/05/lots-of-secret-nsa-documents-plu...

The "Information Ops" category is of particular interest to me...

Does this really seem like the sort of thing that would be done only to a jihadist...?

WoodsDweller on Fri, 07/12/2019 - 1:48pm
Here's an interesting take

https://www.alternet.org/2019/07/epstein-was-running-a-blackmail-scheme-...

Without quoting the whole thing (which is worth a read):

Epstein recruits young girls, throws parties where he invites potential hedge fund clients, lets nature take its course and films the proceedings, extracts blackmail in the form of investments to his (largely fake) hedge fund, which actually just buys an index fund (no actual fund management required). He takes a percentage from the coerced investments. Nobody talks because they have too much to lose. No suspicious payments to raise eyebrows at the IRS.

There's no need to invoke the Mafia/Russia/Mossad/CIA/etc, that's just needlessly overfitting.

Except such an operation would be quite attractive to intelligence services. Maybe they were in on the ground floor, maybe they made Epstein an offer he couldn't refuse once they heard about it.

leveymg on Sat, 07/13/2019 - 10:28am
My gut tells me that G. Maxwell provided the Know-how, and

@WoodsDweller

Epstein brought in the clients. The CIA/MI-6/Mossad provided necessary cover from the FBI and local cops - then, three or four agencies shared the intelligence take, as they had for decades from Robert Maxwell's operations.

For Ghislaine, it was simply carrying on the family business for fun and profit. For the spooks, it was business as usual going back to the Green House, the Berlin bordello founded in the the 1870s by Wilhelm Steiber, a Prussian Police section chief, to provide useful intelligence to Bismarck's Military Intelligence, which he reorganized.

Steiber is considered the father of modern espionage. His methods were vastly influential, and he attracted students from London, St. Petersburg to Tokyo. Each put their own national spin on the science of sexual blackmail. As for the Japanese, they are among the most interesting and innovative in their use of a parallel network of privatized intelligence services incorporating underworld Yakuzi groups alongside conventional military intelligence units. Using compromise, they gained and maintained control over Imperial Japan and its Colonies: https://weaponsandwarfare.com/2019/03/15/eastern-peril/

To realize these divinely inspired ambitions, Japan needed a modern espionage system. Adopting the German model, Japanese officials were sent to study under Wilhelm Stieber in the mid-1870s. Over the next decade Japan built up separate army and naval intelligence services, each with an accompanying branch of secret military police (Kempeitai for the army and Tokeitai for the navy). These latter organizations also provided an excellent counter-espionage service. However, where the Japanese were unique was in the use of spies belonging to unofficial secret societies working alongside or independently of the official intelligence agencies. These shadowy institutions were ultra-nationalist by nature, drawing their membership from a cross-section of Japanese society, including the military, politics, industry and Yakuza underworld. Under ruthless leadership, their henchmen would spy on, subvert and corrupt Japan's Far East neighbours.

For more on Steiber and his superior, von Hinckeldey, methods of international counter-insurgency, espionage, and political policing included deception and a forerunner of today's internet surveillance: https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2006/11/29/275653/-

While armies are essential to the maintenance of autocracy, the preservation of dynastic rule and the prevention of democracy requires an effective secret police. The suppression of its middle-class constitutionalists [during the 1840s] was followed by the expansion of the Prussian political police under Karl Ludwig Friedrich von Hinckeldey.

Appointed police president of Berlin in late 1848, Hinckeldey was an innovator of many of the features of modern systematic political policing. Among the tactics that he introduced with his new police system in Berlin was the "Litfass columns". Named for Ernst Litfass, Frederick William's court printer, he had dozens of these large poles erected in strategic spots around Berlin. The public posting of political notices was then banned. By application to a state office for a waiver, however, the columns could be used to display messages. The police dutifully recorded the names of all who had applied. A. Richie, Faust's Metropolis: A History of Berlin, New York: Carroll & Graf Publishers, 1998 at p.134.

LEGACY OF THE LITFASS COLUMNS: A similar ploy was later adopted by the People's Republic of China. In the mid-1980s, the Communist authorities at first appear to tolerate the operation of a so-called Democracy Wall, where "dissidents" in Beijing could post political writings, initially, without being arrested. Similar walls then sprung up under the noses of the authorities in other Chinese cities. For this apparent opening to democracy, the Deng regime much applauded, particularly by some in the Reagan-Bush Administration, eager to legitimize the regime and its growing commercial ties with U.S. corporations. Eventually, many of those who had availed themselves of the wall to post political messages were, of course, arrested in the roundup of hundreds of thousands of democracy supporters that followed the Tienamen Square massacre. The impression of anonymity and "freedom" conveyed by the Internet, of course, presents a similar opportunity for police to cast a wide net for identifying persons and organizations who may not hold favor for the regime in power, or may not in the future.

Hinckeldey also founded the Police Union, the first recorded international network of counterrevolutionary police spies in modern times. Primarily made up of police officers from Prussia and the German states, the Union operated throughout Europe, Britain and in the United States. The Union was run by his deputy, the notorious police provocateur, Wilhelm Steiber, who would later reorganize the Okhrana along similar lines. Internationally active from 1851-1866, the Police Union, according to Mathieu Deflem, was "one of the first formal initiatives in industrial society to establish an organized police system across national borders."13

I disagree with the Alternet view on this. See, this is the norm. A purely private sexual blackmail ring of any scale would be the historical exception. It certainly wouldn't survive very long.

Pluto's Republic on Fri, 07/12/2019 - 5:45pm
This is a chilling thought I try to avoid.

@leveymg

...authorities at first appear to tolerate the operation of a so-called Democracy Wall, where "dissidents" in Beijing could post political writings.... Similar walls then sprung up under the noses of the authorities in other Chinese cities. Eventually, many of those who had availed themselves of the wall to post political messages were, of course, arrested in the roundup of hundreds of thousands of democracy supporters....

The impression of anonymity and "freedom" conveyed by the Internet, of course, presents a similar opportunity for police to cast a wide net for identifying persons and organizations who may not hold favor for the regime in power, or may not in the future.

But why should one avoid the thought? If the situation looks like the people are going to lose the war for their minds, and are unwilling to back a publisher like Assange who has given his all to try to empower them, why should anyone put themselves at risk by expressing their opinions? It's a honeypot of our own making, just as Facebook is where people go to write their own dossiers for the Authorities.

leveymg on Sat, 07/13/2019 - 10:36am
Every time you entrap yourself as

@Pluto's Republic an enemy of the status quo, you raise the calculated costs of the eventual crackdown, pushing back the day of reckoning. Keep it up! Visible rebellion is the only defense of the people.

Pluto's Republic on Fri, 07/12/2019 - 5:54pm
Background: If someone were to choose the ideal node

...from which to leverage access to the elite, Harvard University would be a top choice.

Jeffery Epstein actually entered the social salons of the elite through many doors. He was, of course, a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. One would have to be to rub shoulders with the political elite. From there he matriculated to the Trilateral Commission becoming friendly with Harvard President, Larry Summers. **

Becoming a surprise mystery philanthropist at Harvard, with Summers help, was a booster rocket for Epstein. In the Havard Crimson , in June 2003, Epstein's involvement with Harvard was celebrated.

People in the News: Jeffrey E. Epstein

Elusive financier Jeffrey E. Epstein donated $30 million this year to Harvard for the founding of a mathematical biology and evolutionary dynamics program.

While the mathematics teacher turned magnate remained unknown to most people until he flew President Clinton, Kevin Spacey and Chris Tucker to Africa to explore the problems of AIDS and economic development facing the region, Epstein has been a familiar face to many at Harvard for years.

Networking with the University's leading intellectuals, Epstein has spurred research through both discussions with and dollars contributed to various faculty members.

Lindsley Professor of Psychology Stephen M. Kosslyn, former Dean of the Faculty Henry A. Rosovsky and Frankfurter Professor of Law Alan M. Dershowitz are among Epstein's bevy of eminent friends that includes princes, presidents and Nobel Prize winners.

Epstein is also well acquainted with University President Lawrence H. Summers. The two serve together on the Trilateral Commission and the Council on Foreign Relations, two elite international relations organizations.

Epstein's collection of high-profile friends also includes newly-recruited professor Martin A. Nowak, who will run Harvard's mathematical biology and evolutionary dynamics program.

Like Kosslyn, Rosovsky and Dershowitz, Nowak praises Epstein's numerous relationships within the scientific community.

"I am amazed by the connections he has in the scientific world," Nowak says. "He knows an amazing number of scientists. He knows everyone you can imagine."

Epstein's relationships within the academy are remarkable since the tycoon, who has amassed his fortune by managing the wealth of billionaires from his private Caribbean island, does not hold a bachelor's degree.

Yet, friends and beneficiaries say they do not see Epstein merely as a man with deep pockets, but as an intellectual equal.

Dershowitz says Epstein is "brilliant" and Kosslyn calls Epstein "one of the brightest people I've ever known."

Epstein's beneficiaries say they are particularly appreciative of the no-strings-attached approach Epstein takes with his donations.

"He is one of the most pleasant philanthropists," Nowak says. "Unlike many people who support science, he supports science without any conditions. There are not any disadvantages to associating with him."

Friends and associates say Harvard stands to benefit from its evolving relationship with Epstein.

"I hope that he will, over time, become one of the leading supporters of science at Harvard," Rosovsky writes in an e-mail.

__________________________________________
** A footnote on Larry Summers seems important here: Harvard-trained economists have been running the US economy for a very long time, and continue to do so. Summers began his ascent as a professor of economics at Harvard University, leaving shortly before Bill Clinton won the Presidency. He was clearly the Neoliberal seed planted for the New American Century.

In 1993, Summers was appointed Undersecretary for International Affairs of the United States Department of the Treasury under the Clinton Administration. In 1995, he was promoted to Deputy Secretary of the Treasury under his long-time political mentor Robert Rubin. In 1999, he succeeded Rubin as Secretary of the Treasury.

While working for the Clinton administration Summers played a leading role in the American response to the 1994 economic crisis in Mexico, the 1997 Asian financial crisis, and the Russian financial crisis. He was also influential in the Harvard Institute for International Development and American-advised privatization of the economies of the post-Soviet states, and in the deregulation of the U.S financial system, including the repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act.

At This Point the Ball is Passed to the Bush Team Republicans, while the Democrats Sit Back and Wait for 2008.

There's now a Treasury surplus to transfer to the wealthy, and the necessary deregulation for Wall Street empowerment is in place. The Soviet era had ended and Russia is ended forever. The world is finally primed to be seized by the One Exceptional Power. It's 2001, and we are standing on the threshold of the New American Century . Time to throw a flash-bang of chaos onto the world stage and trigger the booming War Economy that will carry us directly to global control.

There's a rocky road ahead for Larry Summers. Summers introduces Epstein into the Harvard fold, but becomes reckless with his newly-refined Neoliberalism and his opinions concerning "lady scholars."

Following the end of Clinton's term, Summers served as the 27th President of Harvard University from 2001 to 2006. Summers resigned as Harvard's president in the wake of a no-confidence vote by Harvard faculty, which resulted in large part from Summers's conflict with Cornel West, financial conflict of interest questions regarding his relationship with Andrei Shleifer, and a 2005 speech in which he suggested that the under-representation of women in science and engineering could be due to a "different availability of aptitude at the high end", and less to patterns of discrimination and socialization. Remarking upon political correctness in institutions of higher education, Summers said in 2016:

Summers resigned as Harvard's president in the wake of a no-confidence vote by Harvard faculty, which resulted in large part from Summers's conflict with Cornel West, financial conflict of interest questions regarding his relationship with Andrei Shleifer, and a 2005 speech in which he suggested that the under-representation of women in science and engineering

There is a great deal of absurd political correctness. Now, I'm somebody who believes very strongly in diversity, who resists racism in all of its many incarnations, who thinks that there is a great deal that's unjust in American society that needs to be combated, but it seems to be that there is a kind of creeping totalitarianism in terms of what kind of ideas are acceptable and are debatable on college campuses.

After his departure from Harvard, Summers cooled his jets on Wall Street, positioning himself to be called back into the game when it was Team Democrat's turn in 2008.

Summers worked as a managing partner at the hedge fund D. E. Shaw & Co., and as a freelance speaker at other financial institutions, including Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup, Merrill Lynch and Lehman Brothers. Summers rejoined public service during the Obama administration, serving as the Director of the White House United States National Economic Council for President Barack Obama from January 2009 until November 2010, where he emerged as a key economic decision-maker in the Obama administration's response to the Great Recession.

Jeffery Epstein continued to weave himself into the fabric of government like a good psychopath would. He was by no means the only one.

[Jul 29, 2019] CrowdStrikeOut Mueller's Own Report Undercuts Its Core Russia-Meddling Claims by Aaron Maté

Notable quotes:
"... The US elite jump up and down with moral indignation about an evidence-free allegation of foreign interference in its domestic politics, whilst ignoring actual evidenced foreign interference in its domestic affairs, and all the while constantly interfering in the domestic affairs of foreign countries and boasting about it. ..."
"... The Mueller Report is proof positive that the US is equally adept as Blair and Campbell in producing Dodgy Dossiers. ..."
"... It was a novel idea to outsource the investigation to Crowdstrike. There's a lot to be said for privatisation. Most commendable. Maybe the next time there's a high profile criminal investigation the FBI will outsource the murder investigation to Sam Spade, Ace Gumshoe. ..."
"... The fundamental flaw in the whole "Russiagate" thing is the failure to differentiate between Russia, the state and its government, and Russians, individuals who are Russian nationals. This failure is a direct result of an inability to recognize that the Cold War finished 30 years ago, a failure highlighted by the breathless Tom Clancy style of reporting and reinforced by a huge military/industrial complex that recognizes that in the absence of war or threats or war their business is a bust. ..."
Jul 25, 2019 | off-guardian.org
Vaska
Originally by Aaron Maté, July 5, 2019 First published by RealClearInvestigations .

At a May press conference capping his tenure as special counsel, Robert Mueller emphasized what he called "the central allegation" of the two-year Russia probe. The Russian government, Mueller sternly declared, engaged in "multiple, systematic efforts to interfere in our election, and that allegation deserves the attention of every American." Mueller's comments echoed a January 2017 Intelligence Community Assessment (ICA) asserting with "high confidence" that Russia conducted a sweeping 2016 election influence campaign. "I don't think we've ever encountered a more aggressive or direct campaign to interfere in our election process," then-Director of National Intelligence James Clapper told a Senate hearing.

While the 448-page Mueller report found no conspiracy between Donald Trump's campaign and Russia, it offered voluminous details to support the sweeping conclusion that the Kremlin worked to secure Trump's victory. The report claims that the interference operation occurred "principally" on two fronts: Russian military intelligence officers hacked and leaked embarrassing Democratic Party documents, and a government-linked troll farm orchestrated a sophisticated and far-reaching social media campaign that denigrated Hillary Clinton and promoted Trump.

But a close examination of the report shows that none of those headline assertions are supported by the report's evidence or other publicly available sources. They are further undercut by investigative shortcomings and the conflicts of interest of key players involved:

The report uses qualified and vague language to describe key events, indicating that Mueller and his investigators do not actually know for certain whether Russian intelligence officers stole Democratic Party emails, or how those emails were transferred to WikiLeaks. The report's timeline of events appears to defy logic. According to its narrative, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange announced the publication of Democratic Party emails not only before he received the documents but before he even communicated with the source that provided them. There is strong reason to doubt Mueller's suggestion that an alleged Russian cutout called Guccifer 2.0 supplied the stolen emails to Assange. Mueller's decision not to interview Assange – a central figure who claims Russia was not behind the hack – suggests an unwillingness to explore avenues of evidence on fundamental questions. U.S. intelligence officials cannot make definitive conclusions about the hacking of the Democratic National Committee computer servers because they did not analyze those servers themselves. Instead, they relied on the forensics of CrowdStrike, a private contractor for the DNC that was not a neutral party, much as "Russian dossier" compiler Christopher Steele, also a DNC contractor, was not a neutral party. This puts two Democrat-hired contractors squarely behind underlying allegations in the affair – a key circumstance that Mueller ignores. Further, the government allowed CrowdStrike and the Democratic Party's legal counsel to submit redacted records, meaning CrowdStrike and not the government decided what could be revealed or not regarding evidence of hacking. Mueller's report conspicuously does not allege that the Russian government carried out the social media campaign. Instead it blames, as Mueller said in his closing remarks, "a private Russian entity" known as the Internet Research Agency (IRA). Mueller also falls far short of proving that the Russian social campaign was sophisticated, or even more than minimally related to the 2016 election. As with the collusion and Russian hacking allegations, Democratic officials had a central and overlooked hand in generating the alarm about Russian social media activity. John Brennan, then director of the CIA, played a seminal and overlooked role in all facets of what became Mueller's investigation: the suspicions that triggered the initial collusion probe; the allegations of Russian interference; and the intelligence assessment that purported to validate the interference allegations that Brennan himself helped generate. Yet Brennan has since revealed himself to be, like CrowdStrike and Steele, hardly a neutral party -- in fact a partisan with a deep animus toward Trump.

None of this means that the Mueller report's core finding of "sweeping and systematic" Russian government election interference is necessarily false. But his report does not present sufficient evidence to substantiate it. This shortcoming has gone overlooked in the partisan battle over two more highly charged aspects of Mueller's report: potential Trump-Russia collusion and Trump's potential obstruction of the resulting investigation. As Mueller prepares to testify before House committees later this month, the questions surrounding his claims of a far-reaching Russian influence campaign are no less important. They raise doubts about the genesis and perpetuation of Russiagate and the performance of those tasked with investigating it.

Uncertainty Over Who Stole the Emails

The Mueller report's narrative of Russian hacking and leaking was initially laid out in a July 2018 indictment of 12 Russian intelligence officers and is detailed further in the report. According to Mueller, operatives at Russia's main intelligence agency, the GRU, broke into Clinton campaign Chairman John Podesta's emails in March 2016. The hackers infiltrated Podesta's account with a common tactic called spear-phishing, duping him with a phony security alert that led him to enter his password. The GRU then used stolen Democratic Party credentials to hack into the DNC and Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) servers beginning in April 2016. Beginning in June 2016, the report claims, the GRU created two online personas, "DCLeaks" and "Guccifer 2.0," to begin releasing the stolen material. After making contact later that month, Guccifer 2.0 apparently transferred the DNC emails to the whistleblowing, anti-secrecy publisher WikiLeaks, which released the first batch on July 22 ahead of the Democratic National Convention.

The report presents this narrative with remarkable specificity: It describes in detail how GRU officers installed malware, leased U.S.-based computers, and used cryptocurrencies to carry out their hacking operation. The intelligence that caught the GRU hackers is portrayed as so invasive and precise that it even captured the keystrokes of individual Russian officers, including their use of search engines.

In fact, the report contains crucial gaps in the evidence that might support that authoritative account. Here is how it describes the core crime under investigation, the alleged GRU theft of DNC emails:

Between approximately May 25, 2016 and June 1, 2016, GRU officers accessed the DNC's mail server from a GRU-controlled computer leased inside the United States. During these connections, Unit 26165 officers appear to have stolen thousands of emails and attachments, which were later released by WikiLeaks in July 2016. [ Italics added for emphasis.]

The report's use of that one word, "appear," undercuts its suggestions that Mueller possesses convincing evidence that GRU officers stole "thousands of emails and attachments" from DNC servers. It is a departure from the language used in his July 2018 indictment , which contained no such qualifier:

"It's certainly curious as to why this discrepancy exists between the language of Mueller's indictment and the extra wiggle room inserted into his report a year later," says former FBI Special Agent Coleen Rowley. "It may be an example of this and other existing gaps that are inherent with the use of circumstantial information. With Mueller's exercise of quite unprecedented (but politically expedient) extraterritorial jurisdiction to indict foreign intelligence operatives who were never expected to contest his conclusing assertions in court, he didn't have to worry about precision. I would guess, however, that even though NSA may be able to track some hacking operations, it would be inherently difficult, if not impossible, to connect specific individuals to the computer transfer operations in question."

The report also concedes that Mueller's team did not determine another critical component of the crime it alleges: how the stolen Democratic material was transferred to WikiLeaks. The July 2018 indictment of GRU officers suggested – without stating outright – that WikiLeaks published the Democratic Party emails after receiving them from Guccifer 2.0 in a file named "wk dnc linkI .txt.gpg" on or around July 14, 2016. But now the report acknowledges that Mueller has not actually established how WikiLeaks acquired the stolen information: "The Office cannot rule out that stolen documents were transferred to WikiLeaks through intermediaries who visited during the summer of 2016."

Another partially redacted passage also suggests that Mueller cannot trace exactly how WikiLeaks received the stolen emails. Given how the sentence is formulated, the redacted portion could reflect Mueller's uncertainty:

Contrary to Mueller's sweeping conclusions, the report itself is, at best, suggesting that the GRU, via its purported cutout Guccifer 2.0, may have transferred the stolen emails to WikiLeaks.

A Questionable Timeline

Mueller's uncertainty over the theft and transfer of Democratic Party emails isn't the only gap in his case. Another is his timeline of events – a critical component of any criminal investigation. The report's timeline defies logic: According to its account, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange announced the publication of the emails not only before he received the documents, but before he even communicated with the source that provided them.

As the Mueller report confirms, on June 12, 2016, Assange told an interviewer, "We have upcoming leaks in relation to Hillary Clinton, which is great." But Mueller reports that "WikiLeaks's First Contact With Guccifer 2.0 and DC Leaks" comes two days after that announcement:

If Assange's "First Contact" with DC Leaks came on June 14, and with Guccifer 2.0 on June 22, then what was Assange talking about on June 12? It is possible that Assange heard from another supposed Russian source before then; but if so, Mueller doesn't know it. Instead the report offers the implausible scenario that their first contact came after Assange's announcement.

There is another issue with the report's Guccifer 2.0-WikiLeaks timeline. Assange would have been announcing the pending release of stolen emails not just before he heard from the source , but also before he received the stolen emails . As noted earlier, Mueller suggested that WikiLeaks received the stolen material from Guccifer 2.0 "on or around" July 14 – a full month after Assange publicly announced that he had them.

In yet one more significant inconsistency, Mueller asserts that the two Russian outfits running the Kremlin-backed operation -- Guccifer 2.0 and DC Leaks – communicated about their covert activities over Twitter. Mueller reports that on Sept. 15, 2016:

The Twitter account@guccifer_2 sent @dcleaks_ a direct message, which is the first known contact between the personas. During subsequent communications, the Guccifer 2.0 persona informed DCLeaks that WikiLeaks was trying to contact DCLeaks and arrange for a way to speak through encrypted emails.

Why would Russian intelligence cutouts running a sophisticated interference campaign communicate over an easily monitored social media platform? In one of many such instances throughout the report, Mueller shows no curiosity in pursuing this obvious question.

For his part, Assange has repeatedly claimed that Russia was not his source and that the U.S. government does not know who was. "The U.S. intelligence community is not aware of when WikiLeaks obtained its material or when the sequencing of our material was done or how we obtained our material directly," Assange said in January 2017. "WikiLeaks sources in relation to the Podesta emails and the DNC leak are not members of any government. They are not state parties. They do not come from the Russian government."

Guccifer 2.0: A Sketchy Source

While Mueller admits he does not know for certain how the DNC emails were stolen or how they were transmitted to WikiLeaks, the report creates the impression that Russian intelligence cutout Guccifer 2.0 supplied the stolen material to Assange.

In fact, there are strong grounds for doubt. To begin with, Guccifer 2.0 – who was unknown until June 2016 – burst onto the scene to demand credit as WikiLeaks' source. This publicity-seeking is not standard spycraft.

More important, as Raffi Khatchadourian has reported for The New Yorker, the documents Guccifer 2.0 released directly were nowhere near the quality of the material published by WikiLeaks. For example, on June 18, Guccifer 2.0 released documents that it claimed were from the DNC, "but which were almost surely not," Khatchadourian notes. Neither was the material Guccifer 2.0 teased as a "dossier on Hillary Clinton from DNC." The material Guccifer 2.0 initially promoted in June also contained easily discoverable Russian metadata. The computer that created it was configured for the Russian language, and the username was "Felix Dzerzhinsky," the Bolshevik-era founder of the first Soviet secret police.

WikiLeaks only made contact with Guccifer 2.0 after the latter publicly invited journalists "to send me their questions via Twitter Direct Messages." And, more problematic given the central role the report assigned to Guccifer 2.0, there is no direct evidence that WikiLeaks actually released anything that Guccifer 2.0 provided. In a 2017 interview, Assange said he "didn't publish" any material from that source because much of it had been published elsewhere and because "we didn't have the resources to independently verify."

Mueller Didn't Speak With Assange

Some of these issues might have been resolved had Mueller not declined to interview Assange, despite Assange's multiple efforts.

According to a 2018 report by John Solomon in The Hill, Assange told the Justice Department the previous year that he "was willing to discuss technical evidence ruling out certain parties" in the leaking of Democratic Party emails to WikiLeaks. Given Assange's previous denials of Russia's involvement, that seems to indicate he was willing to provide evidence that Moscow was not his source. But he never got the chance. According to Solomon, FBI Director James Comey personally intervened with an order that U.S. officials "stand down," setting off a chain of events that scuttled the talks.

Assange also made public offers to testify before Congress. The Mueller report makes no mention of these overtures, though it does cite and dismiss "media reports" that "Assange told a U.S. congressman that the DNC hack was an 'inside job,' and purported to have 'physical proof' that Russians did not give materials to Assange."

Mueller does not explain why he included Assange's comments as reported by media outlets in his report but decided not to speak with Assange directly, or ask to see his "physical proof," during a two-year investigation.

No Server Inspection, Reliance on CrowdStrike

Before he nixed U.S. government contacts with Assange, Comey was implicated in another key investigative lapse – the FBI's failure to conduct its own investigation of the DNC's servers, which housed the record of alleged intrusions and malware used to steal information. As Comey told Congress in March 2017, the FBI "never got direct access to the machines themselves." Instead, he explained, the bureau relied on CrowdStrike, a cybersecurity firm hired by the DNC, which "shared with us their forensics from their review of the system."

While acknowledging that the FBI would "always prefer to have access hands-on ourselves, if that's possible," Comey emphasized his confidence in the information provided by CrowdStrike, which he called "a highly respected private company" and "a high-class entity."

CrowdStrike's accuracy is far from a given. Days after Comey's testimony, CrowdStrike was forced to retract its claim that Russian software was used to hack Ukrainian military hardware. CrowdStrike's error is especially relevant because it had accused the GRU of using that same software in hacking the DNC.

There is also reason to question CrowdStrike's impartiality. Its co-founder, Dmitri Alperovitch, is a nonresident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council, the preeminent Washington think tank that aggressively promotes a hawkish posture towards Russia. CrowdStrike executive Shawn Henry, who led the forensics team that ultimately blamed Russia for the DNC breach, previously served as assistant director at the FBI under Mueller.

And CrowdStrike was hired to perform the analysis of the DNC servers by Perkins Coie – the law firm that also was responsible for contracting Fusion GPS, the Washington, D.C.-based opposition research firm that produced the now discredited Steele dossier alleging salacious misconduct by Trump in Russia and his susceptibility to blackmail.

A CrowdStrike spokesperson declined a request for comment on its role in the Russia investigation.

The picture is further clouded by the conflicting accounts regarding the servers. A DNC spokesperson told BuzzFeed in early January 2017 that "the FBI never requested access to the DNC's computer servers." But Comey told the Senate Select Intelligence Committee days later that the FBI made "multiple requests at different levels," but for unknown reasons, he explained, those requests were denied.

While failing to identify the "different levels" he consulted, Comey never explained why the FBI took no for an answer. As part of a criminal investigation, the FBI could have seized the servers to ensure a proper chain of evidentiary custody. In investigating a crime, alleged victims do not get to dictate to law enforcement how they can inspect the crime scene.

The report fails to address any of this, suggesting a lack of interest in even fundamental questions if they might reflect poorly on the FBI.

The Mueller report states that "as part of its investigation, the FBI later received images of DNC servers and copies of relevant traffic logs." But it does not specify how much "later" it received those server images or who provided them. Based on the statements of Comey and other U.S. officials, it is quite likely that they came from CrowdStrike, though the company gets only passing mention in the redacted report.

Asked for comment, Special Counsel spokesman Peter Carr declined to answer whether the Mueller team relied on CrowdStrike for its allegations against the GRU. Carr referred queries to the Justice Department's National Security Division, which declined to comment, and to the U.S. Western District of Pennsylvania, which did not respond.

If CrowdStrike's role in the investigation raises a red flag, the potential exclusion of another entity raises an equally glaring one. According to former NSA Technical Director Bill Binney, the NSA is the only U.S. agency that could conclusively determine the source of the alleged DNC email hacks. "If this was really an internet hack, the NSA could easily tell us when the information was taken and the route it took after being removed from the [DNC] server," Binney says. But given Mueller's qualified language and his repeated use of "in or around" rather than outlining specific, down-to-the-second timestamps – which the NSA could provide -- Binney is skeptical that NSA intelligence was included in the GRU indictment and the report.

There has been no public confirmation that intelligence acquired by the NSA was used in the Mueller probe. Asked whether any of its information had been used in the allegations against the GRU, or had been declassified for public release in Mueller's investigation, a spokesperson for the National Security Agency declined to comment.

Redacted CrowdStrike Reports

While the extent of the FBI's reliance on CrowdStrike remains unclear, critical details are beginning to emerge via an unlikely source: the legal case of Roger Stone – the Trump adviser Mueller indicted for, among other things, allegedly lying to Congress about his failed efforts to learn about WikiLeaks' plans regarding Clinton's emails.

Lawyers for Stone discovered that CrowdStrike submitted three forensic reports to the FBI that were redacted and in draft form. When Stone asked to see CrowdStrike's un-redacted versions, prosecutors made the explosive admission that the U.S. government does not have them. "The government does not possess the information the defendant seeks," prosecutor Jessie Liu wrote. This is because, Liu explained , CrowdStrike itself redacted the reports that it provided to the government:

At the direction of the DNC and DCCC's legal counsel, CrowdStrike prepared three draft reports. Copies of these reports were subsequently produced voluntarily to the government by counsel for the DNC and DCCC. At the time of the voluntary production, counsel for the DNC told the government that the redacted material concerned steps taken to remediate the attack and to harden the DNC and DCCC systems against future attack. According to counsel, no redacted information concerned the attribution of the attack to Russian actors.

In other words, the government allowed CrowdStrike and the Democratic Party's legal counsel to decide what it could and could not see in reports on Russian hacking, thereby surrendering the ability to independently vet their claims. The government also took CrowdStrike's word that "no redacted information concerned the attribution of the attack to Russian actors."

According to an affidavit filed for Stone's defense by Binney, the speed transfer rate and the file formatting of the DNC data indicate that they were moved on to a storage device, not hacked over the Internet. In a rebuttal, Stone's prosecutors said that the file information flagged by Binney "would be equally consistent with Russia intelligence officers using a thumb drive to transfer hacked materials among themselves after the hack took place." In an interview with RealClearInvestigations, Binney could not rule out that possibility. But conversely, the evidence laid out by Mueller is so incomplete and uncertain that Binney's theory cannot be ruled out either. The very fact that DoJ prosecutors, in their response to Binney, do not rule out his theory that a thumb drive was used to transfer the material is an acknowledgment in that direction.

The lack of clarity around Mueller's intelligence community sourcing might appear inconsequential given the level of detail in his account of alleged Russian hacking. But in light of the presence of potentially biased and politically conflicted sources like CrowdStrike, and the absence of certainty revealed in Mueller's lengthy account, the fact that his sourcing remains an open question makes it difficult to accept that he has delivered definitive answers. If Mueller had the invasive window into Russian intelligence that he claims to, it seems incongruous that he would temper his purported descriptions of their actions with tentativ