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Steele dossier: the case study in politically motivated blackmail

FBI Mayberry Machiavellians went va bank and lost. Dossier was a part of a covert operation (Intelgate) to fuel anti-Russian hysteria to exonerate Hillary (and  deprive Sanders of a chance to represent Dems) and later get FISA warrant to spy on Trump team during elections and appoint the Special Prosecutor after the elections.  Professor Stephen Cohen thinks that Brennan played the key role: it was an alliance of CIA and FBI. Fusion GPS was the tools and Steele looks just a patsy who was fed the information by Sidney Blumenthal

Hat tip to The Last Refuge

News Russiagate -- a color revolution against Trump by neocons and DemoRats Recommended Links FBI Mayberry Machiavellians Strzokgate Do the US intelligence agencies  influence the US Presidential elections ? Coordinated set of leaks as a color revolution tool Special Prosecutor Mueller and his fishing expedition FBI contractor Fusion GPS
CIA hacking and false flag cyber operations American intelligence services putsch against Trump Brennan elections machinations "Seventeen agencies" memo about Russian influence on elections Appointment of a Special Prosecutor gambit Wiretaps of Trump and his associates during Presidential elections DNC and Podesta emails leak: blaming Vladimir Putin Clapper role in putsch Rosenstein role in the appointment of special Prosecutor gambit
Anti-Russian hysteria in connection emailgate and DNC leak FBI and CIA contractor Crowdstrike and DNC leak saga 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 NeoMcCartyism   History of American False Flag Operations
Anti Trump Hysteria Trump vs. Deep State   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  
Luke Harding: a pathetic author of rehash of Steele Dossier book Hillary Clinton email scandal US and British media are servants of security apparatus Neocon foreign policy is a disaster for the USA Media-Military-Industrial Complex New American Militarism Neoliberalism as a New Form of Corporatism Bernie Sanders betrayal of his supporters Elite Theory And the Revolt of the Elite
MSM as an attack dogs of color revolution 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

Introduction

Fusion GPS eventually produced the trash, a lurid account written by the former British MI6 intelligence agent Christopher Steele, based on hearsay purchased from anonymous Russian sources. Amid prostitutes and golden showers, a story emerged: the Russian government had been blackmailing and bribing Donald Trump for years, on the assumption that he would become president some day and serve the Kremlin’s interests. In this fantastic tale, Putin becomes a preternaturally prescient schemer.

Like other accusations of collusion, this one has become vaguer over time, adding to the murky atmosphere without ever providing any evidence.... Yet the FBI apparently took the Steele dossier seriously enough to include a summary of it in a secret appendix to the Intelligence Community Assessment.

Jackson Lears, What We Don’t Talk about When We Talk about Russian Hacking, Jan 4, 2018, LRB

The motive within the FBI/DOJ surveillance of the 2016 campaign of Donald Trump is simple. However, to understand how they did it – the story becomes more complex

The Last Refuge

The Steele dossier is not a single document  but a series of memos which were ordered by Clinton campaign via Fusion GPS (currently under investigation by House intelligence committee) and by former MI6 agent Christopher Steele (born 1964) for enumeration of around $160K.  Steele delivered a total of 16 reports to Fusion GPS between June and early November 2016. All of them found way to FBI almost immediately. That raises several questions about the role of FBI in Steele dossier creation and propagation, as well as the question: was Steele an FBI operative? The latter question is still actively discussed after the release of Nunes memo. See Nunes FISA Memo scandal

Steele is not some unknown to FBI player. He was a member of old McCabe squad and it is possible that it was McCabe who ordered this hit job to Steele and try to mask it via Fusion GPS (via Bruce Ohr or other channels). So McCabe might well be in the center of this scandal (Trump Dossier Author Christopher Steele Worked With FBI's McCabe & DOJ's Ohr on Russian Organized Crime Long Before 2016 Election):

...Steele was well known by the Bureau and CIA long before that and shared Intel with both agencies on cases with British links, especially dealing with MI6's interest in Russian Organized crime, federal law enforcement sources said. It is little wonder the Justice Department and the FBI refuse to release any documents dealing with Steele. Or the payments from government coffers -- including the FBI -- to Steele or Fusion GPS.

We are getting definitive Intel from FBI and federal law enforcement sources that Christopher Steele worked with the FBI when he was a MI6 Agent working Russian Organized Crime. Before his retirement from the British spy agency. That's the same desk and the exact same time frame FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe worked before coming the Washington, D.C., heading up the FBI Eurasian Organized Crime Task Force in Manhattan, along with NYPD Intel sources and resources. And on the Justice Department side, also in New York at the very same time, Bruce Ohr was working organized crime for the DOJ in the Southern District of New York, beginning in the 1990s through the identical timeline of Steele and McCabe. That's the same Bruce Ohr who was just demoted at DOJ for conducting secret meetings with Fusion GPS, who hired Steele to write the Trump Dossier. And Fusion GPS also hired Ohr's wife, a former CIA employee.

"You're finding that they all worked together," one FBI source said. "That's huge." If you wonder how Fusion GPS founder Glenn Simpson met Steele, look no further than Ohr. Or Ohr's wife. Or McCabe. Ohr ran the DOJ's Organized Crime and Racketeering Section from 1999 to 2011, mostly out of New York City. McCabe ran the FBI Eurasian Task Force up until 2006. Ohr's Organized Crime and Racketeering Section and the FBI were debriefed by Steele in London in 2010 on the FIFA corruption crime scheme, a major case for the DOJ. According to the Guardian, Steele trekked to Rome in 2010 to also swap Intel on FIFA with a FBI contact from its Eurasian Organized Crime Task Force. That was McCabe's old squad.

Christopher Steele is facing trial in the London High Court, charged with libels he and Simpson published in their dossier. Together with Simpson (co-owner of FBI contractor a private intelligence firm, Fusion GPS) they are material witnesses in two federal US court trials for defamation, one in Miami and one in New York. In both cases that face Catch22 situation:

But how petty American ex-journalist and a low-level ex-British intelligence agent can get access to Russian undercover operations outside Russia in general and talks between highly placed Russian officials? The most probably answer is that this was not an "information" but  wild and unsubstantiated rumors from émigré community, neocon Russophobes, Ukrainian sources (which might be really cheap those days). May be they also enjoyed some help from their friends and contacts in MI6 but  here we clearly have the case of foreign interference in the US elections so it can cost both their heads.  CIA actually has a long history of fabricating accusations against Soviets ("bombs shaped as toys" in Afghanistan, etc)

Here is the summary of Christopher Steele biography

From his biography, especially FIFA story,  Steele emerged as a political hitman, master of blackmail and disinformation disguised as intelligence.  

Steele dossier was instrumental in unleashing neo-McCarthyism campaign in the USA.  The initial purpose was probably creating a pretext for establishing  surveillance on  the members of Trump team (as "insurance" for blackmail in case of Trump victory; McCabe  after all came from the unit which was fighting Russian organized crime in NYC (which is ethnically is by-and-large Jewish and Caucasian) and as such clearly knows the methods really well. But later it acquired its own momentum and became the way to whitewash Hillary Clinton political fiasco and blame it on Putin like some  kind of "Deus Ex Machina" that can save the power of the corrupt to the core Clinton wing of Democratic Party from the anger of voters, switching this anger on Russians. At some point a color revolution against Trump was launched using Russiagate charges instead of typical voting fraud. This information is one search "McCabe and MI6" away, but you will never read about this in Neoliberal MSM like WaPo, or NYT ;-)

In New York Andrew McCabe has close contacts with MI6 (Steele) and Justice Department (Bruce Ohr).  Among their joint achievements was retribution on FIFA for not voting for the USA to host World Football Championship, which let to resignation of FIFA President and several convictions in National football associations in Latin America.  In which Steele played an important role. Like in saying "For friends everything, for enemies the law". We now see all those players in Steele dossier saga, and this is probably not accidental. Christopher Steele, Andrew McCabe and Bruce Ohr probably know each other for years.

Generally the plot concentrates on FBI and MI6 agents involved with Eurasian Organized Crime Task Force. Some ask a legitimate question: whether McCabe was the real initiator of involving Steele in digging dirt on Trump, because he knew him form his previous work and recommended him to Fusion GPS (for example via Ohr). In other words, did McCabe use his contacts in the Eurasian Organized Crime Task Force to facilitate the direct intervention of FBI into the US Presidential elections?

Christopher Steele looks more and  more like a patsy of more powerful forces, not an independent investigator. Judging from his FIFA activities his specialty is closer to bulling  and blackmail extended to sport venues than intelligence (although blackmail is a specialty of intelligence agencies).  He also might be compromised by being on FBI payroll which is big no-no for any British citizen and, especially, for former MI6 agent.  

He did served in Moscow in 1990th for three years (which is not sufficient for in-depth understanding of Russia -- this requires at least a decade of physical presence in the country) So his  experience with Russian was experience with corrupt Yeltsin regime and happened more then 20 years ago. He left Russia before Putin came to power. Steele does not know Russian language so as his value as a Russian expert is very limited. For obvious reasons he can't travel to Moscow. Any MI6 person is  a "persona non grata" and any contacts with him would be avoided as plague by any current of former Russian official including Putin opposition.  So the only independent of intelligence  source channel via which he can get some current information were rumors overhead from Russian emigrant community in London. Any hypothesis this his about his ability to talk to former highly placed FSB officers of Russian government officials are just a smoke screen to hide his complete dependence on other agencies for information. He essentially was a co-founder of rumor spreading mill/blackmailing  agency for some hidden player,  not so much a intelligence research firm.  He has no friends in Russia and even a phone call from him or anybody from his firm is a "poisoned ivy" to any Russian for obvious reasons: talking to him might well be a "career limiting move".   I think that any suggestion that he has  his own contacts (or even network of contacts) in Moscow is ridiculously stupid and is a blatant lie, unless we are talking about a bunch of alcoholics in London pubs.

Also he does not have enough money to conduct investigation on his own (but still might get some info via Ukraine as those sources are really cheap)  so most probably he served as a patsy of more powerful and more sinister forces (including probably his former employee). That why he went into hiding from January till March 2017 and it is unclear whom he fear more (as in "Moor did his duty, Moor has to go"). He understood quite well the elimination of him would dramatically boost the dossier credibility.  Or that was just a PR move to increase status of his "dossier" (should not it be more properly called "intelligence community rumors sewer" ? )

So the second  question arise: who supplied his with all this dirt and played him like a patsy (or more correctly as hired gun --  he got at least $170K for the job)? One very interesting fact is that the dossier instantly found its way to FBI and probably was used by FBI in their attempts to derail Trump.  But it reached higher levels of the US government too which is pretty suspicious for such a crude hatchet job. That suggests Brennan or Clapper sponsorships as well.  They probably used it to create the famous 17 intelligence agencies memo -- another hit job against Trump and attempt to blackmail Russians. This "memo" created by handpicked by Brennan analysis's (which most probably included Peter Strzok)   was used for unleashing really McCarthyism style campaign in neoliberal and neocon parts of US MSM (which mean in the lion share of US MSMs).

Moreover, in early January 2017 a two-page summary of the Trump dossier was presented to President Barack Obama and President-elect Donald Trump in meetings with Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, FBI Director James Comey, CIA Director John Brennan, and NSA Director Admiral Mike Rogers. On Jan 10, BuzzFeed, a fiercely pro-Clinton outlet,  pushed the full document (with minor redactions).  Even before that  Obama fueled anti-Russian hysteria expelling Russian diplomats. That suggests that Obama was the player in this whole "matter" (to use the term which  Loretta Lynch suggested to Comey as for Hillary emailgate scandal)

In November 2017 Luke Harding, a former Guardian correspondent in Moscow published a book Collusion Secret Meetings, Dirty Money, and How Russia Helped Donald Trump Win, which represents a rehash of the dossier with some details that contradict Steele testimonies in court (see  Luke Harding: a pathetic author of rehash of Steele Dossier book). 

The Steele dossier contains series of unproven and salacious allegations of  Donald Trump and try to implicate Trump with the "collision" the Russian government during the 2016 US presidential election (which was dirty Clinton strategy at the time designed switch attention from emailgate, DNC scandal, including killing of Seth Rich and Hillary health problems). This strategy was aided and abetted by certain elements in FBI, Justice Department and CIA. The contents of the one variant of the dossier was published BuzzFeed on January 10, 2017 just before Trump inauguration and was just one of a series of well coordinated and damaging leaks that hamper Trump administration the first six month of its existence and led to the appointment of special prosecutor in May, 2017.  For some  lies in the dossier BuzzFeed and Steele was already sued by Russian tech entrepreneur Aleksej Gubarev (spelling??), who was mentioned in the dossier and well as owners of Alfa Bank: 

The Steele dossier saga is closely connected with the activities of the "gang of three" in FBI (Comey, McCabe and Strzok).  This part of the story is often is referred to as Strzokgate (the term introduced by Alexander Mercouris in his article Strzok-gate and the Mueller cover-up  written Dec 10, 2017). There are at five issues that are encompassed by this term, as used on this site:

  1. Corruption in performing private email server investigation by pro-Clinton wing of FBI.  Look like "the gang of three" has been not only hell-bent on "saving the country from Trump" but also saving the country from Sanders.  That's the most important part of Strzok-gate where  "the gang of three" really influenced the US Presidential election, because indictment of Hillary would result in Sanders becoming the candidate from Democratic Party.
  2. Using Steele dossier as a ram to spy on Trump and his associates to get dirt on them as "insurance".
  3. Using Steele dossier to fuel "Russia-gate" witch hunt (in close cooperation with CIA Brennan and Clapper)
  4. Trying the witch hunt resulting  from Russiagate" to blackmail some former Trump associates (Flynn removal) and implicate Trump in Russian ties.
  5. Participating is the "appointment of the special Prosecutor"  gambit. That includes criminal "Comey leaks".

Was Christopher Steele a paid asset of FBI? Will Christopher Steele Be Charged in the UK as a Spy?

We all remember that Christopher  Steele went into hiding after the release of the memo and then after just three months suddenly reemerged. So he has concerns about his life. Such behaviour suggest that there might be something is wrong with his loyalties to his native country. And it might be that during those three month some high level negotiation between Brits and FBI were held. 

The blog Sic Semper Tyrannis provided an interesting analysis of the fact that FBI was adamantly against the release of the memo and an interesting phase in the Nunes memo "Steele was suspended and then TERMINATED AS AN FBI SOURCE.":

Do you want to know why the FBI continued to insist that the Nunes' memo not be declassified and released to the public? The answer is right there on page 2, (see 1b) in the discussion about what was excluded from the application to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court:

The application does not mention Steele was ultimately working on behalf of-and paid by-the DNC and Clinton campaign, or that the FBI had separately authorized payment to Steele for the same information.

I believe that the part in bold is what the FBI wanted out of the memo because it exposes the uncomfortable fact that Christopher Steele was (and had been for some time) a paid asset of the FBI. That is huge news. In other words, Steele was not a mere consultant or sub-contractor for the FBI. He was being paid to provide information/intelligence to the FBI. There are two classes of FBI "informants." One is serving as a "criminal informant" and the other is as an "intelligence asset." Information from "criminal informants" can be used in a U.S. judicial proceeding and the informant called as a witness. Getting money under that circumstance can be problematic because the source's credibility can be impeached by defense counsel, who can argue that the testimony is purloined.

You do not have to worry about that with an "intelligence asset." In that case the priority is protecting the identity of the source. The fact that Steele had been on the FBI payroll for a while sheds new light on Glen Simpson's testimony (which was leaked by Senator Feinstein) to the U.S. Senate. Simpson testified that Steele told him in late September 2016 that the FBI wanted to meet him in Rome to discuss the dossier.  That struck me initially as quite odd. If Steele was just acting as an average "foreign" citizen who was trying to help the FBI then he could easily have met with the Bureau in London. That city hosts the largest number of FBI agents in the world outside of the U.S. But Steele was asked to go meet in Rome. That's what you do when you are meeting an intelligence asset that the Brits do not know about.

Also

The application does not mention Steele was ultimately working on behalf of-and paid by-the DNC and Clinton campaign, or that the FBI had separately authorized payment to Steele for the same information.

I believe that the part in bold is what the FBI wanted out of the memo because it exposes the uncomfortable fact that Christopher Steele was (and had been for some time) a paid asset of the FBI. That is huge news. In other words, Steele was not a mere consultant or sub-contractor for the FBI. He was being paid to provide information/intelligence to the FBI. There are two classes of FBI "informants." One is serving as a "criminal informant" and the other is as an "intelligence asset." Information from "criminal informants" can be used in a U.S. judicial proceeding and the informant called as a witness. Getting money under that circumstance can be problematic because the source's credibility can be impeached by defense counsel, who can argue that the testimony is purloined.

You do not have to worry about that with an "intelligence asset." In that case the priority is protecting the identity of the source. The fact that Steele had been on the FBI payroll for a while sheds new light on Glen Simpson's testimony (which was leaked by Senator Feinstein) to the U.S. Senate. Simpson testified that Steele told him in late September 2016 that the FBI wanted to meet him in Rome to discuss the dossier. That struck me initially as quite odd. If Steele was just acting as an average "foreign" citizen who was trying to help the FBI then he could easily have met with the Bureau in London. That city hosts the largest number of FBI agents in the world outside of the U.S. But Steele was asked to go meet in Rome. That's what you do when you are meeting an intelligence asset that the Brits do not know about.

That is the problem.

The United States and Great Britain have had a long standing "understanding" or informal agreement to not recruit each others intelligence and law enforcement personnel as intelligence assets. I chatted yesterday with an old intelligence hand (a U.S. person) who was approached by British MI 6 during a TDY to London. My friend rejected the come on and reported the approach to the CIA Chief of Station (aka COS). The COS was angry with the Brits. They were not supposed to do that, nor are we. But sometimes a target is so attractive that very high level permissions to break the agreements are given.

The real irony here is that the Schiff memo is likely to compound the problem for Steele because it is likely to highlight Steele's prior activities on behalf of the Bureau that predate the 2016 election cycle (remember, Steele was hired by Fusion GPS in June 2016). This is the issue that had FBI Director Wray's panties in a knot. When you sign up a foreign source you vow to protect them. When you expose such a source you make it more difficult to recruit new sources.

There may be another twist to this. Was Steele actually operating as an FBI intel asset with the secret knowledge of the Brits? In other words, was he a double agent or an agent of influence? One way to tell will be watching the reaction of the U.K. authorities now that they know that Steele was a paid FBI informant. Imagine the outrage here if one of the former CIA or FBI talking heads that are appearing on punditry circuit was exposed as someone getting paid by the Russian version of the FBI or CIA. It would be ugly.

Several commenters offered additional thought on this complex issue:

Sylvia 1 said...

This is from an interview in Politico with Victoria Nuland. It seems Mr. Steele was accustomed to dropping by the State Department--and did so in the Summer of 2016 with news of "Russian interference" Since he was already a paid asset of the FBI wouldn't hey have also known of his "work" by then. This may be relevant to the issue of what caused the FBI to open a counter intelligence investigation in July 2016 -- Mr. Steele/Fusion GPS or a drunken Papadopolus?

"In the interview, Nuland said she was familiar with Steele’s work through regular reports he had passed on to her office over the previous several years dealing with political maneuverings in Russia and Ukraine. When presented by an intermediary with the startling information about “linkages” between Trump and Russia that summer, “what I did was say that this is about U.S. politics,” Nuland recounted, “and not the business of the State Department, and certainly not the business of a career employee who is subject to the Hatch Act, which requires that you stay out of politics. So, my advice to those who were interfacing with him was that he should get this information to the FBI, and that they could evaluate whether they thought it was credible.”"

https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2018/02/05/global-politico-victoria-nuland-obama-216937

wisedupearly Ceo said...

If Steele has been spying on the Brits on behalf of the FBI then he's gone. If he was working his old contacts for non-Brit intel after retiring is that a crime? Hopefully Steele would not approach active assets. Not sure how the spook world sees it.

To make the dossier watertight Steele would have to select believable contacts that could have supplied the information supposedly fed to him by Clinton. Or to put it the other way round, Clinton would have to know what contacts Steele had to generate the "dirt" to match the contacts. Feasible? Likely?

Still waiting for Gowdy to state that the warrant was issued illegally.

robt willmann , 06 February 2018 at 03:33 PM
Well, the House Intel Committee memo, Republican version, says on page 2, lines 7-8:

"Steele was a longtime FBI source who was paid over $160,000 by the DNC and Clinton campaign [etc.]..."

That is pretty clear: "Steele was a longtime FBI source ...." How long, one might wonder?

Joe100,

Carter Page does appear to be a little odd. He enthusiastically shows up for multiple television interviews grinning quite a bit and seemingly without a care in the world.

The memo has obviously been edited down. The first neon sign I saw was on page 1: "The FBI and DOJ obtained one initial FISA warrant targeting Carter Page and three FISA renewals from the FISC". A FISA order must be renewed every 90 days. Four times 90 is 360 days. Day one was 21 October 2016, the memo tells us. Donald Trump was elected president on 8 November 2016. He was sworn in on 20 January 2017. Carter Page was under surveillance until October 2017, a little over three months ago. On what grounds? Who was he talking to or communicating with, other than the hosts of television shows?

The memo creates the impression that the Steele paper was used in each of the four FISA applications, but that is not completely clear.

Furthermore, the memo clearly says that James Comey signed three FISA applications in question and Andrew McCabe signed one. But when it comes to the Justice Department lawyers, the language gets vague: Sally Yates, Dana Boente, and Rod Rosenstein "each signed one or more FISA applications on behalf of DOJ". Why not say the exact number each one signed? Is the memo talking only about the four Carter Page applications or other additional applications with respect to the DOJ lawyers?

State Department role in creation of the dossier

[Feb 11, 2018] Confirmed Clinton operative Sidney Blumenthal helped spread Russia collusion fever before the election by William A. Jacobson

So State Department took part is creation and dissimilation of Steele dossier
Feb 11, 2018 | legalinsurrection.com

The Clintons created a media and law enforcement echo chamber of Russia collusion.     Earlier this week we wrote about the possible involvement of Clinton operative Sidney Blumenthal in feeding information to Christoper Steele, author of the infamous Clinton/DNC funded dossier. That dossier formed a key part of the FBI's presentation to the FISA court to obtain a warrant to surveil Carter Page.

One of the key links in the Blumenthal-Steele stories was former State Department employee Jonathan Winer :

Devin Nunes has a new target: Jonathan Winer, the Obama State Department's special envoy to Libya, and longtime Senate aide to John Kerry. Winer received a memorandum written by political activist Cody Shearer and passed it along to Christopher Steele, the former British intelligence official who had compiled his own dossier on Donald Trump.

The release of last week's House Intelligence Committee memo accusing the FBI of surveillance abuses marked the end of the first phase of Nunes's investigation into the probe of alleged Russian interference in the 2016 election. Now, the committee chair told Fox News on Friday, the probe is moving into "phase two," which involves the State Department. His focus is on the dossier compiled by Shearer, and passed along by Winer, according to two sources familiar with the matter.

That Blumenthal was the source of the information passed on to Winer appeared to be confirmed by Trey Gowdy in an interview with Martha McCallum, Trey Gowdy suggests Clinton operative Sidney Blumenthal fed info to Steele weeks before election:

Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., strongly implied to Fox News Tuesday night that Clinton family confidant Sidney Blumenthal was a key link in a chain of information that helped create the controversial Trump-Russia dossier.

Gowdy told Fox News' "The Story" that "when you hear who one of the sources of that information is, you're going to think, 'Oh my gosh, I've heard that name somewhere before.'"

When host Martha MacCallum asked if he was referring to Blumenthal, Gowdy answered, "That'd be really warm. You're warm, yeah."

https://www.youtube.com/embed/TX3-G39GjiE?start=563&feature=oembed

Winer has published an Op-Ed at WaPo in which he confirms his involvement with Blumenthal, though he downplays its significance, Devin Nunes is investigating me. Here's the truth.

In the summer of 2016, Steele told me that he had learned of disturbing information regarding possible ties between Donald Trump, his campaign and senior Russian officials. He did not provide details but made clear the information involved "active measures," a Soviet intelligence term for propaganda and related activities to influence events in other countries.

In September 2016, Steele and I met in Washington and discussed the information now known as the "dossier." Steele's sources suggested that the Kremlin not only had been behind the hacking of the Democratic National Committee and the Hillary Clinton campaign but also had compromised Trump and developed ties with his associates and campaign.

I was allowed to review, but not to keep, a copy of these reports to enable me to alert the State Department. I prepared a two-page summary and shared it with Nuland, who indicated that, like me, she felt that the secretary of state needed to be made aware of this material.

In late September, I spoke with an old friend, Sidney Blumenthal, whom I met 30 years ago when I was investigating the Iran-contra affair for then-Sen. Kerry and Blumenthal was a reporter at The Post. At the time, Russian hacking was at the front and center in the 2016 presidential campaign. The emails of Blumenthal, who had a long association with Bill and Hillary Clinton, had been hacked in 2013 through a Russian server.

While talking about that hacking, Blumenthal and I discussed Steele's reports. He showed me notes gathered by a journalist I did not know, Cody Shearer, that alleged the Russians had compromising information on Trump of a sexual and financial nature.

What struck me was how some of the material echoed Steele's but appeared to involve different sources.

On my own, I shared a copy of these notes with Steele, to ask for his professional reaction. He told me it was potentially "collateral" information. I asked him what that meant. He said that it was similar but separate from the information he had gathered from his sources. I agreed to let him keep a copy of the Shearer notes.

Given that I had not worked with Shearer and knew that he was not a professional intelligence officer, I did not mention or share his notes with anyone at the State Department. I did not expect them to be shared with anyone in the U.S. government.

But I learned later that Steele did share them -- with the FBI, after the FBI asked him to provide everything he had on allegations relating to Trump, his campaign and Russian interference in U.S. elections.

The Clintons created a media and law enforcement echo chamber of Russia collusion.

Hillary's campaign and the DNC paid for the Steele dossier. Other Clinton operatives, such as Sidney Blumenthal and Cody Shearer, were spreading similar accusations and sharing information with Steele. Steele was also feeding accusations to the media. Employees of the FBI and possibly other agencies who hated Trump used that information both before and after the election.

In assessing the threats that Hillary and Trump posed to our liberty, respectively, in October 2016 I wrote that Hillary represented the greater threat because Hillary was "a systemic threat."

I was right.

Sidney Blumenthal role in creation of the dossier

Sidney Blumenthal is the original author of so called "birther" meme, which was an instant hit as Obama  was "a person without biography":  some parts of his biography are just "clean sheets". His period connected with Columbia university is one (there are almost no people who were studying at this time who knew  Obama. His trip to Pakistan is another.  Was his mother a CIA operative is yet another. 

In any case  Sidney Blumenthal is very skilled and nasty creator of political disinformation and dirty hits on Clinton rivals.

During Bill Clinton’s impeachment crisis, as one of Clinton’s special advisers, he spread rumors that one of independent counsel Kenneth Starr’s prosecutors abused young boys at a Christian summer camp and that Monica Lewinsky was stalking the president, according to the Observer. He also spread rumors that Colin Powell’s wife suffered from clinical depression and was unfit to be a first lady, according to publication.

The writing was outsourced to Clinton "hatchet man" Cody Shearer, who gave it to Jonathan Winer, the Obama State Department's special envoy to Libya, who routed it to Christopher Steele.

According to the referral, Steele wrote the additional memo based on anti-Trump information that originated with a foreign source. In a convoluted scheme outlined in the referral, the foreign source gave the information to an unnamed associate of Hillary and Bill Clinton, who then gave the information to an unnamed official in the Obama State Department, who then gave the information to Steele. Steele wrote a report based on the information, but the redacted version of the referral does not say what Steele did with the report after that.

Published accounts in the Guardian and the Washington Post have indicated that Clinton associate Cody Shearer was in contact with Steele about anti-Trump research, and Obama State Department official Jonathan Winer was a connection between Steele and the State Department during the 2016 campaign. – Washington Examiner

Shearer's brother served as an ambassador during the Clinton administration, and his late sister was married to Strobe Talbott, the chief authority on Russia in President Bill Clinton's State Department, according to ProPublica. They played fast and loose convinced that Hillary win will allow to swipe all the dirt under the carpet.

Recalling that the dossier was published by Buzzfeed after the election, we're sure that much like the rest of the swamp; Clinton, Obama, Comey, McCabe, Mueller, Rosenstein, Strzok, Page, and the rest of the gang – Christopher Steele thought Hillary would win, and none of this would have ever come to light – Zerohedge

Sidney Blumenthal also has some connections to iether USA of foreign intelligence  agencies as was revealed by Gussifer hack of his email account.  Some of his emails to her about Libya events looks like disguised intelligence reports (from Mossad or other intelligence  agency)

All-in-all Blumenthal, Shearer and Winer  are thee new figured that emerged in February 2018 and who likely played important role in creation of Steele dossier feeding Steele with his disinformation via Winer, who was a State Department official:

Clinton confidant Sidney Blumenthal’s name is cropping up again, but this time, as a potential key figure involved with the Trump dossier and the FBI’s investigation of the Trump campaign.
Republican congressional investigators appear to be zeroing in on Blumenthal, and the role he may have played in feeding information that Trump dossier author Christopher Steele later presented to the FBI in its investigation of the Trump campaign.

The prospect of Blumenthal — a long-time Clinton operative — feeding information for an FBI investigation on the Trump campaign has caused alarm among Republican lawmakers in charge of oversight of the FBI and the Justice Department.

The Washington Post on Tuesday reported that Steele gave the FBI a report in October 2016 that he received from a State Department employee about Trump and Russia.

According to the Post, the report was written by Cody Shearer, a former journalist with close ties to Bill and Hillary Clinton, who gave it to Blumenthal, who gave it to State Department official Jonathan Winer, who gave it to Steele, who then gave it to the FBI.

Shearer’s report claimed a source inside the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) spy agency alleged that Trump had financial ties to influential Russians and that the FSB had evidence of him engaging in compromising personal behavior.

A lawyer for Winer, Lee Wolosky, told the Post his client told the Post his client’s actions were “grounded” in concerns that a candidate for the presidency may have been compromised by a hostile foreign power. Wolosky did not say why Winer gave the report to Steele instead of the FBI.

The Guardian, which has ties to ex-British spy Steele, also reported recently that Shearer wrote a report that was given to Steele. Shearer had also shared his report with “select media organizations before the election,” according to the British paper.

Blumenthal and Shearer’s names were first tied to the FBI’s investigation of the Trump campaign in a letter sent last month by Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Crime and Terrorism Subcommittee Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-SC) to the Democratic National Committee.

Grassley and Graham wanted the DNC to disclose any communications with Blumenthal and Shearer from March 2016 to January 2017. Earlier this week, the two GOP senators released a redacted memo that described the transmission of a report from a Clinton friend to Steele:

“One memorandum by Mr. Steele that was not published by Buzzfeed is dated October 19, 2016. The report alleges [redacted], as well as [redacted]. Mr. Steele’s memorandum states that his company “received this report from [redacted] U.S. State Department,” that the report was the second in a series, and that the report was information that came from a foreign sub-source who ‘is in touch with [redacted], a contact of [redacted], a friend of the Clintons, who passed it to [redacted].”

They added, “It is troubling enough that the Clinton Campaign funded Mr. Steele’s work, but that these Clinton associates were contemporaneously feeding Mr. Steele allegations raises additional concerns about his credibility.”

Since the names are redacted by the FBI, they cannot be disclosed publicly by those who have seen them. Lawmakers who have seen the unredacted versions have danced around who they are.

When asked on FOX News’s The Story, House Oversight Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy (R-SC) told anchor Martha MacCallum that she was “really warm” if she believed that Blumenthal was part of the chain of information to Steele described by Grassley and Graham.

“I’m trying to think how Secretary Clinton defined him. I think she said he was an old friend who emailed her from time to time,” he said on Tuesday.

MacCallum then asked, “Sidney Blumenthal?” Gowdy responded, “That’d be really warm. You’re warm. Yeah.”

House Judiciary Committee member Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) also mentioned Blumenthal and Shearer’s role on Fox & Friends on Tuesday.

“What it looks like is, they paid Steele to put together the dossier and told him what to put in,” he said.

Micah Morin, chief investigative reporter at Judicial Watch, questioned whether Shearer and Blumenthal were also behind the dossier’s sources. He wrote:

According to the Guardian, Steele provided ‘a copy [of the Shearer report] because it corresponded with what he had separately heard from his own independent sources.’ If the reporting here is accurate, that’s quite a coincidence—that Cody Shearer and Christopher Steele were hearing the same things from different sources at pretty much the same time. A closer look at timelines and sources might be revealing. If Sid and Cody are behind the original Russian dossier sources, that would be big news indeed.

“It’s an astonishing, convoluted and somewhat circular chain of custody in which a Clinton source, that is Shearer and Blumenthal, gives it to the former, to the State Department where she used to be Secretary of State, who gives it to Christopher Steele, who’s being paid by the Clinton campaign, who then gives it to the FBI,” the Washington Examiner‘s Chief Political Correspondent Byron York said on the Hugh Hewitt radio show Wednesday.

Blumenthal has a known history of smearing opponents of the Clintons.

During Bill Clinton’s impeachment crisis, as one of Clinton’s special advisers, he spread rumors that one of independent counsel Kenneth Starr’s prosecutors abused young boys at a Christian summer camp and that Monica Lewinsky was stalking the president, according to the Observer. He also spread rumors that Colin Powell’s wife suffered from clinical depression and was unfit to be a first lady, according to publication.

As a former journalist, Blumenthal also used his media contacts to give the Clintons a heads up about forthcoming stories, and advised the Clinton campaign in 2008 to target then-candidate Sen. Barack Obama’s (D-IL) ties to Reverend Jeremiah Wright and Louis Farrakhan.

After Obama White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel refused to allow Blumenthal to join the Clinton State Department, he became a Clinton Foundation consultant, earning at least $120,000 a year. He continued to advise her in a number of areas, according to emails released by the State Department.

Less is known about Shearer. According to a recent article in the Washington Times, he was dubbed “Mr. Fixer” for Bill and Hillary Clinton and was a “workmate” of Blumenthal.

Shearer went from a journalist decades ago to foreign policy freelancer – once trying to broker some sort of peace deal in Bosnia, although he was not a U.S. official, – and working with Blumenthal to supply intelligence on Libya to Clinton when she was secretary of state. According to investigative journalist Sara Carter, Shearer worked in the 1990s for President Bill Clinton.

Nonprofit investigative journalism outlet ProPublica described Shearer as “a longtime Clinton family operative — his brother was an ambassador under Bill Clinton and his now-deceased sister was married to Clinton State Department official Strobe Talbott — who was in close contact with Blumenthal.”

According to Judicial Watch’s Morin, Shearer “has a long history of dirty tricks.” “He’s been linked to Whitewater-era efforts to dirty up Bill Clinton critics; to shakedown politics involving the Cheyenne-Arapaho Indian tribe; and to fronting for Bosnian Serb butcher Radovan Karadzic,” he wrote.

As the Times has noted, for whom Shearer produced his anti-Trump report is unclear.

Even less known about Jonathan Winer. Winer served as the State Department’s Special Envoy for Libya and Senior Advisor for MEK resettlement, according to the State Department website. According to CNN, Winer worked with Steele from 2014 through 2016. Steele reportedly provided Winer with reports related to the conflict in Ukraine and Russia as a courtesy.

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-CA), who led efforts to show that senior FBI and DOJ officials relied on the dossier to get a surveillance warrant on a former Trump campaign adviser, has said there will be a forthcoming memo on the State Department’s role in the FBI’s investigation of Trump, but has not said when that might be released.

 

 

This is a classic Machiavellian trick

First let's put Steele dossier (see  Trump Intelligence Allegations_ into historical perspective. This is a classic Machiavellian trick:

"The casual way in which Machiavelli discusses the need to kill opponents was necessary to those who wished to be princes 500 years ago. Today, of course, "killing" is translated as rendering less powerful, or taking an opponent out of the game."

In him Amazon review of Prince Wayne A. Smith wrote:

There are two good reasons to read Machiavelli's classic, "The Prince."

First, so you'll know what everyone is referring to when you come across the adjective "Machiavellian" in news stories or other media. This adjective has become so commonplace (and overused) it is almost a cliché. Also, most who use it have never read this letter from Machiavelli, a Renaissance courtier to his Prince (written from prison), but they insist on peppering writings with this noun turned adjective so much that as a matter of clearly understanding what is meant by the term, famiality with this brief treatise is helpful.

Second, this book does describe most (not all) power situations very well. From politics to corporations to most settings where advancement, influence and control exist, Machiavelli's observations and rules apply.

You will also discover that Machiavelli was not as evil as he is understood to be in popular thought. What he was doing was describing the rules of the game that have existed and always will exist for many situations involving selfish humans in competition. Machiavelli's rules are neither good nor bad in themselves -- they describe a process. What is good or bad is how those who master Machiavelli's rules use their power and position, in a society that tempers actions according to law and basic Judeo-Christian principals. When those [Christian] principles are abandoned (as in Nazi Germany, the Middle Ages or under Communism, or by those who refuse to live by these constraints), Machiavelli's rules take on their demonic and evil cloak; usually because they serve demonic and evil ends. In societies where positive constraints exist, for example the U.S. political system, Machiavellian behavior can produce excellent results.

A good example involves Abraham Lincoln, whose ambition led him to use every legitimate trick and strategy to master (and remove) political opponents. His mastery of Machiavellian behavior constrained by the US political system allowed him to save the Union and end slavery.

To fully appreciate the modern lessons that can be taken from this writing, one must translate Medieval sensibilities to their contemporary counterparts. The casual way in which Machiavelli discusses the need to kill opponents was necessary to those who wished to be princes 500 years ago. Today, of course, "killing" is translated as rendering less powerful, or taking an opponent out of the game.

From Mayberry Machiavellians point of view, limitation of the power of intelligence  agencies is bad, tolerance a luxury, fairness is another word for weakness, and the rule of law is unnecessary.

The "putsch" that intelligence agencies organized after Trump election as well as gambit to appointed the special prosecutor were not unprecedented (JFK assassination is probably one close instance, Nixon removal is another).  We have several signs typical for color revolution here:

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. That's why war-mongering against Russia is now OK for them and Democratic party now is just another War Party (as was evident from Hillary campaign).

Many people who detest Trump view Russiagate as the most effective path to achieve Trump’s impeachment, so this desirable end justifies whatever means. that makes them very similar to supported of Ukrainian Maydan, which removed Yanukovich and installed far right junta with a lot of unsavory characters. But to me it look like Trump surrendered after just 100 of anti-Russian smear campaign launched by neocons. So why they still  want to finish him?  So it must be more  to it; there might be some skeletons in the closet revealing of which previous administration and their factions in intelligence  services the are afraid to death . Because their action is as close to sedition as one  can get. In other words they went va bank  by unleashing on Trump Steele dossier (va bank is a common expression among Russian and German speakers. which means to put everything at risk in order to win.

In any case now two third of US population now is brainwashed into adamantly anti-Russian mindset, increasing the risk of the major war

The key in understanding Stele dossier is to view it as in integral part of Russiagate plot to remove trump, the  part of "American Maydan" story.  Ukrainian Maydan  was about  Yanukovich removal. Yanukovich  who was a neoliberal wanted to bargain more before signing EU memorandum and postponed its signing despite pressure.  At this point EU and the USA decided that he crosses the line  and decided to remove him by force.

Similarly Trump wanted to reach some level of detente  with Russia rightly considering the level of hostility achieved under Obama dangerous and counterproductive (to the extent that Obama might be controlled by Brennan it might be not Obama personal decision).  In this sense Trump also crossed the line (with the only difference that he did it during he election campaign) and at this point all power of neocons and neolib including their factions in intelligence agencies was unleashed for his removal. That's why Steele dossier was created and advertized: as part of anti-Trump coup d'état by the neocons, Clinton neoliberals and parts of the US intelligence services.  In both case the interests of the USA and national security suffers. In a way both neocons and neoliberals  are elements of foreign influence that do not care much about ordinary Americans.

Among the players that promoted Steele dossier and used it for "color revolution" against Trump Davis Stockman mentioned (The Russiagate Witch-Hunt Stockman Names Names In The Deep State's Insurance Policy )

One of best summaries of Steele dossier can be found  in Business Insider  article Mueller interviewed Steele Dossier on Trump comes into focus . It is clear from the text that Steele could not write such a document all by himself. Even if it is completely fake he would need some help from MI6 or CIA. And it does  contain a lot of juicy staff.

As of December 2017 we know that Peter Strzok played a very important role in using Steele dossier as a ram against Trump and his team. It was deployed in dual role: 

James Rosen suggests Peter Strzok has strong CIA connections. That's actually natural taking into account his position description and I would be surprised if he has none. Probably he has connection to the highest levels officials in CIA including Brennan.

Brennan is a very interesting figure (the person that looks like Muslim Brotherhood lobbyist within the USA government) activities of whom came in a new lights during Strzok-gate:

Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) asked Wray exactly about possibility that Strzok was essentially doing Brennan bidding at FBI  (House committee grills FBI director Did Trump–Russia dossier back a FISA warrant — RT US News)

FBI Director Christopher Wray has declined to tell the House Judiciary Committee if he was prohibited from sharing documents that would show whether the notorious Steele dossier was used to obtain a FISA warrant to spy on the Trump campaign.

Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) asked Wray about the FBI’s possible use of the Trump–Russia dossier, also known as the Steele dossier, named after its author ex-British spy Christopher Steele. It was a document paid for by the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and Hillary Clinton campaign to be used as opposition research against Trump in 2016. It contained allegations that Trump colluded with the Russian government in the 2016 US presidential election and engaged in lewd acts. The veracity of the salacious claims in the dossier were further undermined by the revelation that Steele paid Russian sources for information pointing to collusion.

... ... ...

Jordan alleged that Strzok used the Steele dossier to obtain a FISA warrant for spying on members of the Trump team.

“My hunch is it has something to do with the dossier,” Jordan said. “Did Peter Strzok help produce and present the application to the FISA court to secure a warrant to spy on Americans associated with the Trump campaign?”

... ... ...

Jordan then made his case that the FISA warrant was obtained based on false information contained in the Steele dossier, calling it “fake news National Enquirer garbage.”

“I think Peter Strzok, head of counterintelligence at the FBI... Peter Strzok, the guy who ran the FBI's Clinton investigation, did all the interviews... Peter Strzok, the guy who was running the Russia investigation at the FBI... Peter Strzok, Mr. Super Agent at the FBI, I think he is the guy that took the application to the FISA court.

“And if this happened, if you have the FBI working with the Democrats' campaign, to take opposition research, dress it all up and turning it into an intelligence document to take it to a FISA court so they can spy on another campaign, if that happened, that is as wrong as it gets...

“You could clear it all up, we sent you a letter two days ago. Just release the application, tell us what was in it. Tell us if I'm wrong. But I don't think I am. I think that is exactly what happened, and people who did that need to be held accountable.”

Most probable he was just a hired gun who received certain "recommendations" as this was part of the efforts of Obama administration to find dirt on Trump and derail his election campaign ( see also Did Obama order wiretaps of Trump conversations? ):

Chronology

The basic chronology might be as following (partially based on Stefan Molyneux YouTube  presentation):

  1. [Aug 01, 2014]:  Brennan caught spying on Senate torture probe. John Brennan Faces Calls to Resign After CIA Admits to Spying on Senate Torture Probe - Democracy Now!
  2. [Mar 02, 2015]: Hillary Clinton emailgate scandal broke lose. NYT reports that "Hillary Rodham Clinton exclusively used a personal email account to conduct government business as secretary of state, State Department officials said, and may have violated federal requirements that officials’ correspondence be retained as part of the agency’s record. Mrs. Clinton did not have a government email address during her four-year tenure at the State Department. Her aides took no actions to have her personal emails preserved on department servers at the time, as required by the Federal Records Act"
  3. [Jun 13, 2015]: CrowdStrike was financed to the tune of $100 million by Google Capital. Eric Schmidt, the chairman of Alphabet, has been a staunch and active supporter of Hillary Clinton and is a longtime donor to the Democratic Party. (Stefan Molyneux)
  4. [Oct ?? 2015]: Fusion GPS became key anti-Trump player -- the dirt digger.  During the Republican primary campaign, The Washington Free Beacon, a conservative website primarily funded by Republican donor Paul Singer, hired the American research firm Fusion GPS to conduct opposition research on Trump and other Republican presidential candidates.[1] Please note that  Christopher Steele at this time is not yet in the picture. This will happen six months later when the investigation became funded by Hillary Clinton campaign and DNC. For months, Fusion GPS gathered information about Trump, focusing on his business and entertainment activities. When Trump became the presumptive nominee on May 3, 2016, The Free Beacon stopped funding research on him.[21][22][23]
  5. [Mar ??, 2016]: Fusion GPS supposedly approached the Hillary Clinton Campaign and the Democratic National Committee through the law firm Perkins Coie offering to continue their opposition research into Donald Trump in return for payment.[Wikipedia]
  6. [Apr ??, 2016]: The Hillary Clinton Campaign and the Democratic National Committee used lawyer Marc E. Elias to retain and fund Fusion GPS. At this time Christopher Steele came into picture, may be via his ties with McCabe and FBI activities to derail Trump.   In April 2016, the investigation contract and funding were taken over by Marc Elias, a partner in the large Seattle-based law firm Perkins Coie and head of its Political Law practice. Elias was the attorney of record for the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and the Clinton presidential campaign.[6] In total, Perkins Coie paid Fusion GPS $1.02 million in fees and expenses, $168,000 of which was paid to Orbis Business Intelligence, a private British intelligence firm, and used by them to produce the dossier.[24] Glenn R. Simpson of Fusion GPS has stated that Steele did not pay to any of his sources.[25][Wikipedia]
  7. [Apr-Jun, 2016]: Wikileaks obtains something like 53,000 [DNC] emails and 17,000 attachments
  8. [Jun ??, 2016]:  After Wikileaks possession of leaked emails became known, a cover-up operation was started by DNC and Clinton campaign. The decision was made to used Russia as a scapegoat for the leak accusing  them in hacking. False flag operation using Crowdstrike was staged to make this plausible.  Dirty former MI6 officer Christopher Steele (who was expelled from Moscow for espionage more then 20 years ago and as such is a "person non grata" in Moscow) and his company Orbis Business Intelligence are hired by Fusion GPS to investigate Trump’s possible connections to Russia. This company previously was used to Statement from Christopher Steele: “Between June and early November 2016 Orbis was engaged by Fusion to prepare a series of confidential memoranda based on intelligence concerning Russian efforts to influence the US Presidential election process and links between Russia and Donald Trump.”
  9. [Jun 9, 2016]: Entrapment plot against Trump Jr. Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner, and Paul Manafort attended a meeting arranged by publicist Rob Goldstone with Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya (the client of Fusion FPS) supposedly for opposition research on Hillary Clinton, but Veselnitskaya instead focused on the opposition to the Magnitsky Act. President Trump's Outside Counsel Mark Corallo later remarked “Specifically, we have learned that the person who sought the meeting is associated with Fusion GPS, a firm which according to public reports, was retained by Democratic operatives to develop opposition research on the president and which commissioned the phony Steele dossier.”
  10. Crowdstrike investigates DNC leaks and promptly attributes it to Russians.  FBI is deprived of any access to factual information and uses Crowdstrike findings. After very damaging for Hillary DNC leak (iether  by Seth Rich or some other disgruntled DNC staffer) which proved corruption of DNC and the plot to deny Sanders any changed to become Democratic Party candidate, as well as the level of control of DNC by Clintons,  the decision was made to blame Russia for the lean (using Crowdstrike which has connections both with CIA and FBI as well as Clinton team) and use Trump connection with Russia to undermine the prospect of his election. The CrowdStrike attribution are not independently verified as the DNC refused to turn over its equipment to the FBI. . The connection between CrowdStrike and Perkins Coie should raise additional questions. (Stefan Molyneux)
  11. [Jun 14, 2016]: Russiagate smear campaign against Trump was launched in by major US MSM. The Washington Post published an article entitled “Russian government hackers penetrated DNC, stole opposition research on Trump" which reported: “DNC leaders were tipped to the hack in late April. Chief executive Amy Dacey got a call from her operations chief saying that their information technology team had noticed some unusual network activity.” “That evening, she spoke with Michael Sussmann, a DNC lawyer who is a partner with Perkins Coie in Washington. Soon after, Sussmann, a former federal prosecutor who handled computer crime cases, called [CrowdStrike President Shawn Henry], whom he has known for many years. "Within 24 hours, Crowdstrike had installed software on the DNC’s computers so that it could analyze data that could indicate who had gained access, when and how. " Charging good money after the horse has left the barn; it's funny that clearly political action of  "attribution" (qualified cyber adversary like CIA leaves zero traces in such cases or deliberately leaves false traces ) is hidden under tech jargon -- my God, a "super sophisticated" system was installed that now, when intruders are long gone will truck them ;-). From presentations available on YouTube Crowdstrike are typical security snake oil salesmen promising  a lot but delivering very little (much like ISS in the past).   It is impossible fully compensate for architectural flaws of Windows without imposing "military base" regime which is unacceptable for organizations like DNC. Moreover good adversary would use Crowdstrike software for perpetration much like CIA used Kaspersky software in the past. 
  12. [Jun 15, 2016]: Crowdstike  published its finding on thier site. Dmitry Alpherovidh blames Russians in his article Bears in the Midst Intrusion into the Democratic National Committee »
  13. [Jun 15, 2016]: A blog post to a WordPress site authored by an individual using the moniker Guccifer 2.0 claimed credit for breaching the Democratic National Committee. This blog post presents documents alleged to have originated from the DNC.
  14. [Jun 26, 2016] Bill Clinton has a 30 min meeting with Attorney General Loretta Lynch at Phoenix's Sky Harbor International Airport. The encounter took place ahead of the public release Tuesday morning of the House Benghazi Committee's report on the 2012 attack on a US consulate in Libya.  the meeting looks like a quid pro quo of "protect Hillary and you'll get a new great job Loretta under Hillary administration"...
  15. [Jun 30, 2016] The new about the meeting reached MSM. Donald Trump, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, said on The Mike Gallagher Show that the meeting was “so terrible” and “one of the big stories of this week, of this month, of this year.” Republican Sen. John Cornyn of Texas tweeted: “Lynch & Clinton: Conflict of interest? An attorney, cannot represent two parties in a dispute and must avoid even the appearance of conflict.” LA Times. Later it became known that Loretta Lunch instructed Comey to call Hillary email scandal "a matter".  During May 2017 testimony  James Comey, that it marking the moment he decided that the Department of Justice was not capable of an independent investigation into Hillary Clinton. The moment Comey lost faith in DOJ's Clinton probe - CNNPolitics
  16. [Jul 02, 2016]:  Hillary Clinton was interviewed by Peter Strzok, who gave her special "HQ treatment". The interview lasted approximately three and a half hours and was not conducted under oath. No transcripts of the  meeting exist.  Later Hillary Clinton claimed that she gave a "voluntary interview" to the FBI today regarding her email arrangements while she was secretary of state. James Comey admitted: Loretta Lynch's tarmac meeting with Bill Clinton was the turning point in the email investigation.  Business Insider Director Comey claimed that she did not lied to FBI during this interview. Director Comey admitted that he did not participate himself in the FBI’s interview of Hillary Clinton, nor did he talk to all of the agents who were present at the interview. While there was no recording or full transcript of the interview, there is an analysis which may or may not be provided to Congress.
  17. [Jul 05, 2016]: Comey hijacks the role of Justice Department role and exonerate Hillary. At this point  email scandal was swiped under the carpet. No criminal changes were filed. Statement by FBI Director James B. Comey on the Investigation of Secretary Hillary Clinton’s Use of a Personal E-Mail System
  18. [Jul 06, 2016]: Attorney General Loretta Lynch closed the case based on the FBI’s recommendation. Justice Department formally closes Clinton email investigation with no charges - LA Times. Atty. Gen Loretta Lynch said she had met late Wednesday with Comey and career prosecutors and agents who conducted the investigation.
  19. [Jul 10, 2016]: Seth Rich was killed.
  20. [Jul 22, 2016]: Wikipeak published leaks emails and  attachments. A cache of more than 19,000 e-mails was leaked on July 22, 2016.
  21. [Jul 22, 2016]: Another false flag operation to implicate Russians ? Major MSM report about previous unknown hacker going by the moniker "Guccifer 2.0" who claimed on a WordPress-hosted blog to have been acting alone in hacking the DNC. Might be a false flag operation by rogue elements of the US intelligence services, a part of effort to implicate Russians in DNC leak. 
  22. [Jul 24, 2016]: It became clear the DNC has thrown Sanders under the bus, but the role of FBI is depriving him from being Democratic Party candidate still remains hidden. Sanders urged Wasserman Schultz to resign following the leaks and stated that he was "disappointed" by the DNC email leaks, but said that he was "not shocked. In reality he was robbed in daylight. But not only by  Wasserman Schultz but also by the "gang of three at FBI who essentially prevented his nomination by swiping the dirt about Hillary Clinton handing of classified emails on the private email server under the carpet. Peter Strzok supposedly played outside role in this fateful decision. But that became known only in December 2017.
  23. [Jul 25, 2016]: Democratic Convention 2016 opens in at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia  Hillary became the  Democratic  party nominee. Democratic National Committee chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz was forced to reside due to her role in derailing Sanders candidacy. Sanders switched  camps and endorsed Hillary Clinton instead of fighting her nomination.  As Trump sarcastically commented  about Sanders endorsement of Hillary: 'Bernie is now officially part of the rigged system': Trump unloads on Sanders for 'selling out,' says it's like Occupy Wall Street endorsing Goldman Sachs  Donald Trump unloads on Bernie Sanders for 'selling out' Daily Mail Online
  24. [Jul 25, 2016]: The FBI announced that it would investigate the DNC hack.[5][6][7][8][9][10][11] The same day, the DNC issued a formal apology to Bernie Sanders and his supporters, stating, "On behalf of everyone at the DNC, we want to offer a deep and sincere apology to Senator Sanders, his supporters, and the entire Democratic Party for the inexcusable remarks made over email," and that the emails did not reflect the DNC's "steadfast commitment to neutrality during the nominating process."[12] (Wikipedia aka Ciapedia ;-)
  25. [Jul ??, 2016] Steele dossier reaches FBI. Steele, on his own initiative, supplied a report he had written to an FBI agent in Rome.[23] His contact at the FBI was the same senior agent with whom he had worked when investigating the FIFA scandal.[11] By early October 2016, he had grown frustrated at the slow rate of progress by the FBI investigation, and cut off further contact with the FBI.[21]  At this point Steele dossier got to the desk of Peter Strzok, adamantly anti-Trump FBI official with strong links to CIA and probably personally Brennan. 
  26. [July ??, 2016] Crowdstrike attribution is used for increasing the scope of vicious anti-Russian campaign was launched in the media with the full support and encouragement of Obama administration to swipe the dirt about DNC pushing Sanders under the bus and Clinton emailgate scandal as well as the problem with Hillary health.
  27. [Aug 25, 2016]: Brennan  makes the "all in" move adopting a highly political role and endorsing Steele dossier: according to NYT reports, CIA Director John Brennan briefed Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid on , and alleged that “unnamed advisers to Mr. Trump might be working with the Russians to interfere in the election.” (Stefan Molyneux)
  28. [Aug ??, 2016]: Reid had written to Comey and demanded an investigation of the “connections between the Russian government and Donald Trump’s presidential campaign,” and in that letter he indirectly referred to Carter Page, an American businessman cited by Trump as one of his foreign policy advisers, who had financial ties to Russia and had recently visited Moscow. 
  29. [Sep ??, 2016]: Steele, following instructions from Fusion GPs briefed several MSM. On Sep 23, 2016 Yahoo News published an article about possibilities of ties between Carter Page and Kremlin.
  30. [Sep ??, 2016] Following a report from the Daily Mail in September 2016, Weiner was investigated by the FBI for sexting with a 15-year-old girl. His laptop was seized and emails related to the Hillary Clinton email scandal were found on it, causing a controversy late in the presidential election. On May 19, 2017, Weiner pled guilty to one count of transferring obscene material to a minor. His wife, Huma Abedin, filed for divorce prior to Weiner's guilty plea. In September, he was sentenced to 21 months in federal prison. On November 6, 2017, Weiner began his sentence. (Wikipedia)
  31. [Sep ?? 2016]: FBI applied to FISA court to establish  surveillance on unknown number of members of Trump team (at least Carter Page) possibly using Steele dossier as a pretext.  Looks like rogue elements in FBI used "Steele Dossier" to obtain court order for wiretapping  some members of Trump team such as Carter Page (Strzokgate). With the dirt explicitly planned to be used as "insurance" in case of Trump victory.
  32. [Sep ??, 2016]: FISA warrant was authorized against Page, just after he left the Trump campaign (WaPo).
  33. [Oct 7, 2016]: Damaging for Trump "17 agencies memo" surfaced. This "17 agencies memo" was cooked by Brennan (with possible support of Clapper) by using small pre-selected team of "analysts" (in which probably Peter Strzok played the leading role) and presented as the view of the whole US intelligence community. On October 7, 2016 . On Oct. 7, the Department of Homeland Security and Office of the Director of National Intelligence issued a joint statement on behalf of the U.S. Intelligence Community. The USIC is made up of 16 agencies, in addition to the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (Yes, 17 intelligence agencies really did say Russia was behind hacking )
  34. The 17 agencies memo was used for amplification of the anti-Russian campaign in MSM. Neo-McCarthyism campaign in the USA reached high pitch.
  35. [Oct ??, 2016]: The FBI reached an agreement with Steele to pay him to continue his work. Looks like  the agreement never materialized as Steele was unable to provide the necessary verification for his claims.
  36. [Oct ?? 2016]: [Wikipedia propagates questionable info about how David Corn got the dossier, in view of role of Top FBI Lawyer Who Was Demoted Now Linked To Leaking Bogus Trump Dossier to MSM] On instructions from Fusion PGS Steele personally compiled 33 pages and passed on what he discovered so far to the anti-Trump reporter David Corn from Mother Jones magazine.[26][Wikipedia].  On Dec 22, 2017 it became known that another possible source was not Steele but FBI Lawyer  James Baker  who communicated with David Corn at this time and was demoted later for the leak.
  37. [Oct 28, 2016]: Due to the pressure from NYC FBI office who uncovered Comey announced that the investigation into Hillary "bathroom" email server is resumed based on new emails uncovered in probe into Anthony Wiener sexing scandal (which actually were available to FBI since September, so "why now"? ). FBI reopening investigation into Hillary private email server - Business Insider.  Strzok was assigned to conduct the investigation with predictable results. But the problem with this announcement is that it was made just a 10 days before the elections and violates the notion of "quite period" before election where such news should not be released.  Looks like Comey has second thoughts after throwing Sanders  under the bus.
  38. [Oct 31, 2016]: In the clear attempt to prevent election on Trump rabid Hillary Clinton supported David Corn, a Mother Jones reporter, leaked the existence of the Steele dossier A Veteran Spy Has Given the FBI Information Alleging a Russian Operation to Cultivate Donald Trump – Mother Jones. This leak can be viewed as a countermove on the Comey announcement, which damaged Clinton campaign:

    Mother Jones has reviewed that report and other memos this former spy wrote. The first memo, based on the former intelligence officer’s conversations with Russian sources, noted, “Russian regime has been cultivating, supporting and assisting TRUMP for at least 5 years. Aim, endorsed by PUTIN, has been to encourage splits and divisions in western alliance.” It maintained that Trump “and his inner circle have accepted a regular flow of intelligence from the Kremlin, including on his Democratic and other political rivals.” It claimed that Russian intelligence had “compromised” Trump during his visits to Moscow and could “blackmail him.” It also reported that Russian intelligence had compiled a dossier on Hillary Clinton based on “bugged conversations she had on various visits to Russia and intercepted phone calls.”

    The former intelligence officer says the response from the FBI was “shock and horror.” The FBI, after receiving the first memo, did not immediately request additional material, according to the former intelligence officer and his American associates. Yet in August, they say, the FBI asked him for all information in his possession and for him to explain how the material had been gathered and to identify his sources. The former spy forwarded to the bureau several memos—some of which referred to members of Trump’s inner circle. After that point, he continued to share information with the FBI. “It’s quite clear there was or is a pretty substantial inquiry going on,” he says.

    “This is something of huge significance, way above party politics,” the former intelligence officer comments. “I think [Trump’s] own party should be aware of this stuff as well.”

    The Trump campaign did not respond to a request for comment regarding the memos. In the past, Trump has declared, “I have nothing to do with Russia.”

  39. [Nov 06, 2016]: WikiLeaks released a second batch of DNC emails, adding 8,263 emails to its collection.[13] (Wikipedia), This was another deliberate attempt to influence an election as this should be a "quite" period" for such things.
  40. [Nov 06, 2016]:  FBI closes the investigation of "Wiener's laptop copy of Hillary Clinton emails". FBI chief James Comey told leaders in Congress hours earlier that a review of 650,000 emails discovered on a laptop belonging to Anthony Weiner had reinforced his July 5 decision to let her off the hook. FBI will not change decision regarding Hillary Clinton's emails Daily Mail Online
  41. [Nov 09, 2016]: Trump was elected in a surprise victory over Hillary Clinton in a stunning repudiation of the establishemnt .  United States elections, 2016 - Wikipedia
  42. [Nov 10, 2017]: After Trump election massive NeoMcCartyism was launched. Any contact with Russian officials were deemed criminal and the betrayal of the country.  
  43. [Nov 17, 2016]:  Retired general Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn was appointed as the national security adviser. Trump appoints Michael Flynn as national security adviser report - NY Daily News.

    Like Trump, Flynn sees a military ally in controversial Russian President Vladimir Putin, who he was seated next to at a banquet in Moscow last year. Flynn has also appeared several times on the state-owned TV station, Russia Today, which the U.S. State Department has accused of being a mouthpiece for Putin.

    ... ... ...

    Flynn's convention appearance puzzled many generals he had served with, as it broke their unofficial code of not picking sides in presidential races.

    Flynn gained further notoriety when he retweeted an anti-Semitic tweet that said, "Not anymore, Jews. Not anymore." He later apologized for the retweet, claiming it was a "mistake."

  44. Obama administration engaged in fierce campaign of "unmasking" the result of surveillance of Trump team in which several members of its administration participated (Susan Rice in primary role).  With the goal of discrediting Trump team and specifically removal of Flynn from the team.

    However, there are 20 high-ranking officials within the U.S. government who have to power to approve requests to reveal those identities if they deem that information is necessary to understanding the value of the intelligence. That process is called "unmasking," and Rice had the authority to do so while serving as national security adviser.

  45. [Nov 18, 2016]:  Sir Andrew Wood, British ambassador to Moscow from 1995 to 2000, met with U.S. Senator John McCain at the Halifax International Security Forum in Canada, and told McCain about the existence of the collected materials about Trump.[28] Wood vouched for Steele’s professionalism and integrity.[29] In early December, McCain obtained a copy of the dossier from David J. Kramer, a former U.S. State Department official working at Arizona State University.[27] On 9 December 2016 McCain met personally with FBI Director James Comey to pass on the information.[28]
  46. [Nov ??, 2016]: McCain got the dossier and spread it within Washington circles. 
  47. [Dec 09, 2016]: President Obama ordered the entire United States Intelligence Community to conduct an investigation into Russia's attempts to influence the 2016 U.S. election — and provide a report before he leaves office on January 20, 2017
  48. [Dec 29, 2016]: Obama makes his last New Year present to Russia a fuels Russiagate hysteria. He expelled 35 Russian diplomats and seized Russian property in the USA under the pretext of Russia  influencing the US Presidential elections. Along with 17 agencies memo that fueled further neo-McCarthyism campaign again Russia and damaged Trump team. [46][47][48] (Wikipedia)
  49. Another entrapment plot -- this  time against Flynn: Attempt of Flynn to limit the damage of the this move later were used for Flynn removal from the Trump team.  All his conversation were wiretapped and later leaked. In a way this was entrapment  as the conversations were recorded. later the recoding were used first to oust Flynn from Trump team and later by Mueller to  indict  him on technical charge of lying to FBI to get additional dirt of Trump.
  50. [Early January 2017]: a two-page summary of the Trump dossier was presented to President Barack Obama and President-elect Donald Trump in meetings with Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, FBI Director James Comey, CIA Director John Brennan, and NSA Director Admiral Mike Rogers. Christopher Steele - Wikipedia
  51. [Jan 10, 2017]: Steele goes into hiding.
  52. [Jan 10, 2017]: Just  before inauguration, Steele dossier was published by Buzzfeed.  Clinton claimed to be unaware and unconnected to the event.  [Wikipedia]

    On January 10, 2017, CNN reported that classified documents presented to Obama and Trump the previous week included allegations that Russian operatives possess "compromising personal and financial information" about Trump. CNN stated that it would not publish specific details on the memos because it had not "independently corroborated the specific allegations".[32][33] Following the CNN report,[34] BuzzFeed published a 35-page dossier that it said was the basis of the briefing, including unverified claims that Russian operatives had collected "embarrassing material" involving Trump that could be used to blackmail him.[35][36][33][37] NBC reported that a senior U.S. intelligence official said that Trump had not been previously briefed on the contents of the memos,[38] although a CNN report said that a statement released by James Clapper in early January confirmed that the synopsis existed and had been compiled for Trump.[39]

  53. [Jan 12, 2017]: Obama's EO12333 expansion made sure that whatever anti-Trump information got picked up by the intelligence community could be spread widely, and would be hard to trace it back to an individual source .  See also Obama Expands Surveillance Powers on His Way Out Electronic Frontier Foundation
  54. [Jan 20, 2017]: Trump inauguration was accompanied some protests like is common in color revolution scenarios, but is atypical for the US inauguration. They did failed to achieve the necessary scale in order to serve as a "trigger for further disturbances" nessesary to trigger further color revolution protests. There were no charges of policy brutality.  Only 217 protesters were arrested.  Trump inauguration protest damages parts of downtown Washington - CBS News

    The bulk of the criminal acts happened at 10:30 a.m. when 400 to 500 people on 13th Street destroyed property, Interim Police Chief Peter Newsham said. The protesters were armed with crowbars and threw objects at people and businesses, destroying storefronts and damaging vehicles. Police used pepper spray to diffuse the situation.

  55. [Jan 21, 2017]: Campaign for Flynn removal from Trump team started. After inauguration dirt of several member  of Trump team was surfaced  and first of all on general Flynn (who was important link to intelligence agencies in Trump administration) General Flynn served as the director of the Defense Intelligence Agency from July 2012 to his retirement from the military in August 2014. The fact the Flynn lobbied Russians to take more consolatory stance on Israel actions and not to retaliate for expulsion of 35 diplomats will become known much later. At this time his meetings are presented by MSM as a clear collision with the direct goal to discredit him and remove him from the team.
  56. [Jan 23, 2017]: Was this connected with Trump team wiretapping? Robert Hannigan, the director of GCHQ, has resigned from his job as head of one of the three Government intelligence agencies after just two years. GCHQ would only say that Mr Hannigan had left his post for "personal reasons" and that he was not sacked or subject to disciplinary proceedings. He had been director general of defense and intelligence at the Foreign Office before that. At the time he took on the job, GCHQ had been forced onto the defensive following the leak of information about mass surveillance by Edward Snowden, a former CIA employee. GCHQ boss Robert Hannigan quits for 'personal reasons' after just two years
  57. [Feb 13, 2017]: The first victim of Russiagate -- former general Flynn was forced to resign from Trump administration.
  58. [Mar 04, 2017]: Trump complains  about British MI6 surveillance on him and members of his team. White House does not know if alleged surveillance of Trump was by wiretap US news The Guardian
  59. [Mar 07, 2017]: Steele suddenly and unexpectedly emerged form hiding. Former MI6 agent behind Trump dossier returns to work UK news The Guardian
  60. [Mar 22, 2017]: Politico published an article entitled "Nunes claims some Trump transition messages were intercepted" reporting: "House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes declared Wednesday that members of Donald Trump’s transition team, possibly including Trump himself, were under inadvertent surveillance following November’s presidential election." Immediately Nunes get under fire and gets investigated.
  61. [Apr 2, 2017]: Mike Cernovich claimed that Susan Rice was identified as the person who unmasked members of Trump transition team.
  62. [Apr 5, 2017]: Susan Rice unmasking frenzy was confirmed. What you need to know about Susan Rice and the unmasking controversy - ABC News
  63. [May 8, 2017]: Comey was fired by Trump.  Mr. Trump explained the firing by citing Mr. Comey’s handling of the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server, even though the president was widely seen to have benefited politically from that inquiry and had once praised Mr. Comey for his “guts” in his pursuit of Mrs. Clinton during the campaign
  64. [May 9-May 17, 2017]: The "appointment  of the special prosecutor" gambit was launched.   After the success with the removal of Flynn (who might still have good connections with Military intelligence as as such  was especially dangerous for plotters appointment of the special prosecutor gambit was engineered. The included usage of Comey as sacrificed pawn and was supported by the atmosphere of  NeoMcCartyism already created in the country and rogue elements in the  Department of justice.
  65. [May 16, 2017]: Comey leaks information was published by NYT. Which was a deliberate criminal act on his part as such memos belong to the government. the idea was to trigger the appointment of the Special prosecutor and it worked. Comey Memo Says Trump Asked Him to End Flynn Investigation - The New York Times

    Mr. Comey wrote the memo detailing his conversation with the president immediately after the meeting, which took place the day after Mr. Flynn resigned, according to two people who read the memo. It was part of a paper trail Mr. Comey created documenting what he perceived as the president’s improper efforts to influence a continuing investigation. An F.B.I. agent’s contemporaneous notes are widely held up in court as credible evidence of conversations.

  66. [May 17, 2017]: Rosenstein appoints Mueller as the Special Prosecutor to investigate Trump-Russia connections and possible Russia influence on the elections.  With the indirect goal for force Trump resignation: shortly before Mueller was interviews by  Trump for the position of the director of FBI and was rejected.  Now Comey destiny as a leaker of government information hinged on the results on Mueller investigation. And they are long  time friends.  Mr. Comey revealed for the first time that he turned over memos about his conversations with Mr. Trump to the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III.
  67. [May ??, 2017]: Mueller took his task to provide a pretext to depose Trump seriously  and hired rabid anti-Trump prosecutors including Peter Strzok and Andrew Weissmann  (whom NYT called Mueller’s Legal Pit Bull) creating witch-hunt that paralyzed Trump administration.  As if it is difficult to find less biased competent  prosecutors in this country. In other words Mueller cards were revealed. 
  68. [Jun 8, 2017]: During his testimony Comey before before the Senate Intelligence Committee Comey admitted to be the source of leaks to media which triggered the appointment of the Special Prosecutor by Rosenstein, but  refused to answer question about FBI role in propagating and financing Steele dossier. Mr. Comey acknowledged for the first time that the FBI. was investigating Trump team but personally Mr. Trump. .    Comey Testimony The 8 Big Questions James Comey Refused to Answer
  69. [July ??, 2017]: Arrest of Imran Awan and possible role of Debbie Wasserman Schultz in organizing private spying on the members of Congress for the benefits of DNC and Democratic Party. 
  70. [July 20, 2017] FBI finally produced text messages from Strzok to Lisa Page that Horowitz office requested. Those texts uncovered by Inspector General provided ample information about the level of his bias against Trump
  71. [July ?? 2017]: Peter Strzok his illicit lover, FBI lawyer Lisa Page leaves Mueller team
  72. [July 27, 2017]: Mueller and Rosenstein were informed about Peter Strzok text messages to Lisa Page
  73. [Aug ??, 2017]: Peter Strzok was quietly removed from the Mueller investigation and demoted in FBI.  Neither Rosenstein, no Congress were informed.
  74. [Oct 18, 2017]: Three Fusion GPS partners plead the Fifth in response to subpoenas to testify before the House Intelligence Committee dailycaller.com

     "In August, Simpson, the point-man on the dossier project, met with the Senate Judiciary Committee for 10 hours. That meeting was held after Simpson and Fusion threatened to plead the Fifth in response to a subpoena threat from the Judiciary panel."

  75. [Oct 21, 2017]:  Fusion GPS that financed Steele dossier asks court to stop lawmakers from seeing financial records
  76. [Oct 25, 2017]: It was revealed that Steele dossier was funded by Hillary Clinton campaign and DNC via Fusion GPS. Hillary Camp Paid For Fusion GPS Steele Dossier – FBI Covered Steele’s Travel Expenses, The WaPo article claims the 2016 presidential campaign of Democratic Party nominee Hillary Clinton and the Democratic National Committee paid for the Fusion GPS dossier alleging Russian ties with the presidential campaign of Republican Donald Trump and sordid phony personal smears of Trump. The Post reported that Clinton campaign and DNC lawyer Marc Elias and his law firm Perkins Coie paid Fusion GPS $168K to continue researching Trump after a Republican donor who originally funded the research pulled out in April 2016.The Clinton campaign and the DNC continued to fund Steele’s research through the end of October. The Dirty Truth About the Steele Dossier Vanity Fair
  77. [Nov 6, 2017]: Flynn was indicted by Mueller team along with another hapless staffer. Business Insider  The indictment of Michael Flynn seems to have been partly intended to shield Mueller from dismissal and to keep his Russiagate investigation alive.
  78. [Dec 1, 2017]: Michael Flynn pleads guilty to lying to FBI. He was previously entrapeed by Peter Strzok and charged with lying to FBI. This move by-and-large was viewed as a desperate attempt of Mueller to survive under the barrage of revelations about Peter Strzok. And it suceccededed. Mueller probe survives althouth he personally from this point was discredited as a partisan hack (which he was since 9/11). 
  79. [Dec 2, 2017]: Information about Peter Strzok removal comes to light and the texts between him and Lisa Page were disclosed. FBI Agent Kicked-Off Mueller Team for Anti-Trump Messages - Breitbart
  80. [Dec 7, 2017]: Bruce Ohr, Top DOJ Official, Demoted for Ties to Fusion GPS, Trump Dossier. Information that Steele was also directly in touch with high level Obama’s Justice Department official Bruce Ohr and that brse Ohr wife worked for Fusion GPs in anti-Trump research comes to light.
  81. [Dec 10, 2017]: Suspicions about the anti-trump plot within Justice Department and several intelligence agencies including FBI were openly voiced during Congressional hearings. The "insurance policy" email suggested the existence of a conspiracy within the FBI to rig the Presidential Election. During the exchanges between Wray and Jordan at the hearing in the House Judiciary Committee Jordan also had this to say:

    Here’s what I think — I think Peter Strozk (sic)… Mr. Super Agent at the FBI, I think he’s the guy who took the application to the FISA court and if that happened, if this happened, if you have the FBI working with a campaign, the Democrats’ campaign, taking opposition research, dressing it all up and turning it into an intelligence document so they can take it to the FISA court so they can spy on the other campaign, if that happened, that is as wrong as it gets

  82. [Dec 11, 2017]: During his interview Michael Morell  admitted the existence of the plot to remove Trump within intelligence agencies. Conservative Daily Post
  83. [Dec 17, 2017]: BBC became really alarmed at the perspective of appointing a special prosecutor to investigate FBI and/or reopening the probe about Hillary Clinton email server which can expose the role of British government in Steele dossier saga (Trump-Russia inquiry- Why attacks on Robert Mueller are mounting by Anthony Zurcher ) :

    All of it could be setting the ground for new investigations into the FBI or Democrat Hillary Clinton's actions while secretary of state - something Mr Trump himself has suggested - or perhaps even for the president to order the end of Mr Mueller's probe.

    Such an action would provoke a major political crisis and could have unpredictable consequences. For Mr Trump's defenders, it may be enough simply to mire Mr Mueller's investigation in a partisan morass. Here are some are some of the ways they're trying to do that.

  84. [Dec 19, 2017]: One of the central figures in "anti-Trump putsch" within Justice Department and intelligence agencies Andrew McCabe was  grilled for seven and a half hours by House Republicans in Russia meddling probe - Washington Times “I’ll be a little bit surprised if [Mr. McCabe‘s] still an employee of the FBI this time next week,” Mr. Gowdy told Fox News in a separate interview. Washington Times. Now it looks like there is investigation of Mueller collision with the "FBI gang of three" along with Mueller investigation of Trump. this became rteally convoluted but the  degrees of freedom for Mueller were severy cut now.
  85. [Dec 20, 2017]: Several other key figures connected with "insurance policy" email  are expected to testify under oath to House intelligence committee.  The list include Ohr, his wide, Lisa Page and Peter Strzok.
  86. [Dec 22, 2017] More than 170 House Democrats signed a letter supporting Mueller this week, and Sen. Mark Warner, the top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, took to the floor of the Senate on Wednesday to warn that ousting the special counsel could spark a constitutional crisis.
  87. [Dec 22, 2017]: Top FBI Lawyer James Baker who was recently demoted was linked to leaking bogus Steele Dossier to MSM. The GOP sources said the documents — made available recently to lawmakers by the Department of Justice — revealed that James Baker, the FBI’s general counsel, communicated with Mother Jones reporter David Corn in the weeks leading up to the November 2016 election. Corn was the first to report the existence of the dossier on Oct. 31. Top FBI Lawyer Who Was Demoted Now Linked To Leaking Bogus Trump Dossier to MSM – True PunditTrue Pundit
  88. [Dec 23, 2017]:  Andrew McCabe announced his intention to resign from FBI in 90 days (when he can get full pension). Trump sarcastically commented on this decision in a twit.
  89. [Dec 26, 2017]: Damage control efforts and attempt to regroup and save Mueller skin in view of Peter Strzok role in the Hillary email server investigation and pushing Steele dossier started. NYT tried to lower the expectations about year and half "Russiagate" investigation by rabidly anti-Trump team does not provide enough information to change President with "collision" (BTW there is no such rime in Us criminal codex). Now NYT pleads "give me  dirt, any dirt on Trump" The End of Trump and the End of Days - The New York Times:

    Fury isn’t strategy, and there’s no need to extrapolate beyond the facts already in our possession. Take the inquiries into the Trump campaign’s dealings with Russia. They could screech to a halt tomorrow and we’d be left with more than enough evidence of corrupt business dealings, conflicts of interest, shady back channels, awful judgment and outright lies among Trump’s intimates to present voters with a powerful case against his fitness for office.

    But by obsessing over clear “collusion” and insisting on visible puppet strings by which Vladimir Putin controlled Trump, we have set the bar dangerously high. Mueller’s ultimate findings could be plenty ugly and still be deemed underwhelming.

Strzok role in Steele dossier saga and placing Trump team under surveillance

  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...

Peter Strzok, AUG 15,2016

Recent hearings does not inspire any confidence in John Brennan and methods that he used. Looks like he might be at the center of events connected to Steele dossier (including, but not  limited to  "Seventeen agencies" memo about Russian influence on elections ) and, especially, to Strzok role in FBI in opening  investigation about Trump Russian connections (John Brennan, Obama loyalist and CIA director, drove FBI to investigate Trump associates - Washington Times): 

It was then-CIA Director John O. Brennan, a close confidant of Mr. Obama’s, who provided the information — what he termed the “basis” — for the FBI to start the counterintelligence investigation last summer. Mr. Brennan served on the former president’s 2008 presidential campaign and in his White House.

Mr. Brennan told the House Intelligence Committee on May 23 that the intelligence community was picking up tidbits on Trump associates making contacts with Russians. Mr. Brennan did not name either the Russians or the Trump people. He indicated he did not know what was said.

... ... ...

Mr. Brennan, who has not hidden his dislike for Mr. Trump, testified he briefed the investigation’s progress to Mr. Obama, who at the time was trying to aid Hillary Clinton in her campaign against the Republican nominee.

... ... ...

But Mr. Brennan’s May 23 testimony shows that it was his actions that drove the FBI probe.

The dossier was financed by a Clinton backer and written by British ex-spy Christopher Steele. He was hired by Democratic-tied Fusion GPS in Washington.

Mr. Steele’s 35 pages of memos were first circulated in late June. In mid-July Fusion passed around another memo that made the most sensational charges. “Further Indications of Extensive Conspiracy Between Trump’s Campaign and the Kremlin” was the headline.

Strzok played important role in using Steele dossier as a pretext to wiretapping of Trump team during the elections.  James Rosen suggests he has CIA connections as well. Which would be  natural for anybody in his position.  So here there might be a link to Brennan's efforts to derail Trump

Most probable he was just a hired gun who received certain "recommendations" as this was part of the efforts of Obama administration to find dirt on Trump and derail his election bid.  Now we know that :

And likely there were others. It is unclear who performed wiretapping. It can be well "outsourced" to MI6 as Trump alleged in March 2017. 

Steele dossier which was created by former MI6 agent probably with the approval and support of MI6. It was a hatchet job to discredit  Trump and ensure Hillary Clinton victory (in which GB government was very interested).  When the dossier was created it found its way to Strzok desk:

As deputy FBI director for counterintelligence, Strzok also enjoyed liaison with various agencies in the intelligence community, including the CIA, then led by Director John Brennan.

House investigators told Fox News they have long regarded Strzok as a key figure in the chain of events when the bureau, in 2016, received the infamous anti-Trump "dossier" and launched a counterintelligence investigation into Russian meddling in the election that ultimately came to encompass FISA surveillance of a Trump campaign associate.

The "dossier" was a compendium of salacious and largely unverified allegations about then-candidate Trump and others around him that was compiled by the opposition research firm Fusion GPS. The firm's bank records, obtained by House investigators, revealed that the project was funded by the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee.

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes, D-Calif., has sought documents and witnesses from the Department of Justice and FBI to determine what role, if any, the dossier played in the move to place a Trump campaign associate under foreign surveillance.

Strzok himself briefed the committee on Dec. 5, 2016, the sources said, but within months of that session House Intelligence Committee investigators were contacted by an informant suggesting that there was "documentary evidence" that Strzok was purportedly obstructing the House probe into the dossier.

In early October, Nunes personally asked Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein – who has overseen the Trump-Russia probe since the recusal of Attorney General Jeff Sessions – to make Strzok available to the committee for questioning, sources said.

While Strzok's removal from the Mueller team had been publicly reported in August, the Justice Department never disclosed the anti-Trump texts to the House investigators. The denial of access to Strzok was instead predicated, sources said, on broad "personnel" grounds.

When a month had elapsed, House investigators – having issued three subpoenas for various witnesses and documents – formally recommended to Nunes that DOJ and FBI be held in contempt of Congress. Nunes continued pressing DOJ, including a conversation with Rosenstein as recently as last Wednesday.

Did FBI paid Steele additional money for the dossier is currently unclear.  But negotiations about such payments were under way.

Cui Bono?

Clearly both pro-Clinton and neocon/imperial factions in the US intelligence agencies were most to benefit from the election of Clinton. They also have skeletons  in the closet to hide. For them Hillary Clinton was the only suitable candidate,  and both Trump and Sanders -- a mortal danger.  Previous history of agencies influencing the USA election, such as Herbert Hoover collection dirt on politicians (which saved his from dismissal during Kennedy administration),  Allen Dulles machinations and  the whole JFK assassination sage (which up to this day remain unresolved with Warren commission seen as an instrument of swiping the dirt under the carpet),  as well as CIA role in Nixon Watergate operation suggest that any large US intelligence  agency but especially FBI and CIA have means, motive and opportunity. 

It might be a time for the news Church commission investigating their role in 2016 Presidential election.

Civic control of large intelligence agencies is exceedingly difficult, if impossible, so at some point tail tried to wag the dog.  Both Rockefeller Commission (United States President's Commission on CIA Activities within the United States - Wikipedia) and Church committee provide ample evidence that once the process of polarization of agencies started it difficult or impossible to stop. The boost given to intelligence  agencies after 9/11 (Patriot Act) also played an important role. 

The behavior of Brennan, Clapper and Morell after elections does not inspire any confidence that they stayed  politically neutral in such important for them political fight.

It might be  helpful to see who is defending the dossier to answer the Cui Bob question Some "former CIA agents" jumped in with attempt to increase the credibility of Stele dossier. among  them:

And now there were a couple of former British diplomatic services officials and "journalists" closely connected with MI6 who also tried to defend  the dossier:  

People closely connected to Clinton campaign including Hillary Clinton herself (suppose, surprise) were also quite loud in defending the dossier as were close to Clinton campaign NYT and CNN.

Why Steele was assigned to do this hit job: possible collision between CIA and MI6

According  to Washington Times  it was Brennan who provide FBI information necessary to start the  "Russiagate" and put Trump team under surveillance:

It was then-CIA Director John O. Brennan, a close confidant of Mr. Obama’s, who provided the information — what he termed the “basis” — for the FBI to start the counterintelligence investigation last summer. Mr. Brennan served on the former president’s 2008 presidential campaign and in his White House.

BTW Strzok, the person  instrumental in swiping the Hillary "emailgate" dirt under the carpet,  probably has  multiple and close contacts with CIA due to the nature of his position at FBI. Strzok was the Chief of the Counterespionage Section during the FBI's investigation into Hillary Clinton's use of a personal email server.[4][5] (Wikipedia).

As of December 2017 it looks plausible that the dirt included into Steele dossier was at least tacitly approved by MI6 (as this influences British-Russia relations, which were already at a very low point at this time).  It is also difficult to assume that all those lurid details were the product of Steele imagination. And Steele does not have money to pay his sources and he was a "persona non grata" in Russia so he can't travel to the country; he does not know the language. Typically such  thing are projection: they just attribute to Trump incident  that occurred or rumored to be occurred with a different person. So his  sources might be tales within Russian emigrant community in London, not in Russia. 

The primary hypothesis is that he was just was patsy in a bigger game and can pay for this role a high price being undesired witness of machinations of powerful intelligence agencies.  After he realized that he was scared to death (and probably not only about Russians). That's why after his identity was revealed, he fled his home and went into hiding. Interestingly enough he did it before the publication, not after. Another possibility was that this was a shrewd PR move that implicitly increase plausibility of his "findings" and allow is to avoid unpleasant questions unless the noise around the dossier subside.  

Another the secondary factor might be that Steele services were cheap and he was pretty malleable character who quickly understood what is needed from him (his FIFA work). He also hold a grudge against Russians as Steele career was ruined by Russians who caught him and expelled from the country for espionage in 1993. As you can expect no Russian with any significant standing in government or business would talk to him and/or take bribes from such a person (to begin with the fact that to bribe a Russian official without British Government financial help  he simply is incapable ;-). This simply would be viewed as a setup.  Money he was paid for dossier are too small, really tiny,  to bribe even a couple of Russian university professors who are poor as church rats in comparison with government officials, or businessman. Moreover he is ostracized in Russia and lost all his contacts.  He definitely could bribe Ukrainians instead to provide some real or fake information from their channels for cheap.

According to the Telegraph he specialized on commercializing his knowledge of Russia, but in rather small, pedestrian areas, such as "soccer officials corruption" and similar efforts to derail Moscow bid for world championship (Former MI6 officer Christopher Steele, who produced Donald Trump Russian dossier, 'terrified for his safety' and went to ground): 

Christopher Steele, who wrote reports on compromising material Russian operatives allegedly had collected on US President-elect Donald Trump, is a former officer in Britain’s Secret Intelligence Service, according to people familiar with his career.

Former British intelligence officials said Steele spent years under diplomatic cover working for the agency, also known as MI6, in Russia and Paris and at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in London.

After he left the spy service, Steele supplied the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) with information on corruption at FIFA, international soccer’s governing body.

It was his work on corruption in international soccer that lent credence to his reporting on Trump’s entanglements in Russia, US officials said on Wednesday.

Emails seen by Reuters indicate that, in the summer of 2010, members of a New York-based FBI squad assigned to investigate “Eurasian Organized Crime” met Steele in London to discuss allegations of possible corruption in FIFA, the Swiss-based body that also organizes the World Cup tournament.

People familiar with Steele’s activities said his British-based company, Orbis Business Intelligence, was hired by the Football Association, Britain’s domestic soccer governing body, to investigate FIFA. At the time, the Football Association was hoping to host the 2018 or 2022 World Cups. British corporate records show that Orbis was formed in March 2009.

Amid a swirl of corruption allegations, the 2018 World Cup was awarded to Moscow and Qatar was chosen to host the 2022 competition.

The FBI squad whose members met Steele subsequently opened a major investigation into alleged soccer corruption that led to dozens of US indictments, including those of prominent international soccer officials.

Senior FIFA officials, including long-time president Sepp Blatter, were forced to resign.

Steele was initially hired by FusionGPS, a Washington, DC-based political research firm, to investigate Trump on behalf of unidentified Republicans who wanted to stop Trump's bid for the GOP nomination. The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) reported that Steele was initially hired by Jeb Bush, one of Trump’s 16 opponents in the 2016 Republican primary. It was not immediately possible to verify the BBC’s report.

He was kept on assignment by FusionGPS after Trump won the nomination and his information was circulated to Democratic Party figures and members of the media.

Steele’s dealings with the FBI on Trump, initially with the senior agent who had started the FIFA probe and then moved to a post in Europe, began in July. However, Steele cut off contact with the FBI about a month before the Nov. 8 election because he was frustrated by the bureau’s slow progress.

The FBI opened preliminary investigations into Trump and his entourage’s dealings with Russians that were based in part on Steele’s reports, according to people familiar with the inquiries.

However, they said the Bureau shifted into low gear in the weeks before the election to avoid interfering in the vote. They said Steele grew frustrated and stopped dealing with the FBI after concluding it was not seriously investigating the material he had provided.

Steele’s reports circulated for months among major media outlets, including Reuters, but neither the news organizations nor US law enforcement and intelligence agencies have been able to corroborate them.

BuzzFeed published some of Steele’s reports about Trump on its website on Tuesday but the President-elect and his aides later said the reports were false. Russian authorities also dismissed them.

Associates of Steele said on Wednesday he was unavailable for comment. Christopher Burrows, a director and co-founder of Orbis with Steele, told The Wall Street Journal, which first published Steele’s name, that he could not confirm or deny that Steele’s company had produced the reports on Trump.

The Guardian, being is 100% neoliberal publication (which means strongly pro-Clinton) of course tried to present him not as a sleazy patsy, who worked for money,  but as a person meeting some higher moral standards ;-). See for example  Christopher Steele believes his dossier on Trump-Russia is 70-90% accurate US news The Guardian

Between 2014 and 2016, he authored more than a hundred reports on Russia and Ukraine, which were commissioned by private clients but shared widely within the state department and passed across the desks of the secretary of state, John Kerry, and the assistant secretary Victoria Nuland, who led the US response to the annexation of Crimea and the covert invasion of eastern Ukraine.

I like this range (70-90%). Lower bound means that one out of three allegation is provably  false and two other can't be verified ;-)

Now we know that it was DNC and Hillary Clinton campaign who financed the creation of dossier. (MSN, Oct 25,2017)

Yes, the dossier was funded by Democrats

Some of the pushback on the left has focused on the fact that a still-unidentified Republican client retained Fusion GPS to do research on Trump before the Clinton campaign and the DNC. Thus, they argue, it's wrong to say the dossier was just funded by Democrats.

But the dossier's author, Steele, wasn't brought into the mix until after Democrats retained Fusion GPS. So while both sides paid Fusion GPS, Steele was only funded by Democrats.

A Tory MP said last night the fresh outbreak of Cold War hostilities comes at a time when relations between Britain and Russia were the ‘worst they could get in peace-time’.

Russians blame MI6 for Steele dossier

Russians claimed they knew of ‘an impending official anti-Russian witch-hunt, involving the British special services’.

After publication of the dossier, Russia's London embassy posted the dark message addressing former MI6 officer Steele as the diplomatic crisis deepened. The post, headed 'Christopher Steele story', also claimed that British spies had been 'briefing both ways' against both Moscow and the US. In a tweet from its official account the Russian embassy said "MI6 officers are never ex". It was posted on the Russian embassy's official Twitter feed, and was published after the first picture emerged of former British spy Christopher Steele  went into hiding.

Theresa May rejected Russian claim MI6 was behind 'dirty dossier' about President elect Donald Trump  The Independent

Theresa May has rejected Russian allegations that MI6 was to blame for the ‘dirty dossier’ of explosive claims about Donald Trump. Former British spy Christopher Steele – the dossier's alleged author – has not worked for British intelligence “for years”, the Prime Minister said.

The Russian embassy in London had alleged that Mr. Steele was still working for MI6 and “briefing both ways” against Mr. Trump and Moscow, in a Twitter post.

... ... ...

Ms May spoke for the first time about the controversy at a press conference following talks with her New Zealand counterpart in Downing Street. She was asked whether the UK Government had any involvement in the creation of the dossier, a summary of which was handed to the FBI and to President Obama.

“It's a long-standing position that we don't comment on such matters, but I think from everything that you will have seen it is absolutely clear that the individual who produced this dossier has not worked for the UK Government for years,” the Prime Minister replied.

The late-night allegation by the Russian embassy appeared to signal another worsening of Anglo-Russian relations, after many frosty years. An embassy spokesman said the tweet – which said “MI6 officers are never ex” – “reflected the mood in Russia”, prompting talk of a fresh Cold War. American newspapers named Mr. Steele as the author of the 35-page dossier, thought to have been commissioned by a wealthy Republican donor who opposed Mr. Trump's bid for the White House. It alleged Mr. Trump had been cozying up to Vladimir Putin and cavorting with Russian prostitutes. The President-elect has dismissed it as “fake news”, “phoney stuff” and “crap”.

Why Steele went into hiding in January 2017 and then emerged from hiding in March

  Part of the document, allegedly compiled by former British intelligence agent Mr. Steele, is seen above. Click here to see the full document first published by BuzzFeed

All signs are that Steele was not an independent player. He was iether a fraud happy to make a buck, but a patsy of more powerful and sinister forces including parts of MI6 and CIA.  while I think that  'disappearance" was a PR move, Steele probably has reasons  to fear for his life. And it is fair to say that his elimination would be very useful for PR purposes for his handlers. there might be also other  reasons: "One must wonder what's happened to MI6, now that one it's former agents is advertising his former employer. Couldn't they kill him, or something ? ;-)" As one commenter to Daily Caller suggested:

It is so obvious that these idiots had NO IDEA that Trump might actually win the election. They believed their own rigged polls! If they even suspected that Trump might win, and get the keys to the kingdom, they never would have been so bold or at least they would have used what they had sooner to steal it. Once Trump won, they had to go "all in" and try to discredit him quick, but Trump doesn't fold. Once Sessions took over DOJ, the jig was up.

Daily Mail Online  in the article Christopher Steele in hiding over Trump dirty dossier made £1m in two years Daily Mail Online published on Jan 12, 2017 suggested that both Russian government and Trump assumed that this was a MI6 operation against them and that means British government was involved. The relation between Russia and Great Britain slide to the  such a low level that one Tory MP  called them "worst they could get in peace-time."

Christopher Steele in hiding over Trump dirty dossier made £1m in two years

Russia's relations with Britain went into the deep freeze last night as Moscow blamed MI6 for the dossier of sordid claims about Donald Trump.

In an alarming Twitter post, the Russian embassy in London suggested the dossier’s alleged author, former British spy Christopher Steele, was still working for MI6 and ‘briefing both ways’ against Mr. Trump and Moscow.

Mr. Steele, who spied in Moscow in the 1990s, was last night in hiding after vanishing shortly before the damning dossier made headlines around the world. Neighbours said he had asked them to look after his three cats, and there were claims last night he was in an MI6 safe house.

A Russian embassy spokesman said the tweet – which said ‘MI6 officers are never ex’ – ‘reflected the mood in Russia’.

A Tory MP said last night the fresh outbreak of Cold War hostilities comes at a time when relations between Britain and Russia were the ‘worst they could get in peace-time’.

Just days ago the Russians claimed they knew of ‘an impending official anti-Russian witch-hunt, involving the British special services’.

Russia's London embassy posted the dark message addressing former MI6 officer Steele as the diplomatic crisis deepened. The post, headed 'Christopher Steele story', also claimed that British spies had been 'briefing both ways' against both Moscow and the US. It was posted on the Russian embassy's official Twitter feed, and was published after the first picture emerged of former British spy Christopher Steele  -- who has fled his £1.5million Surrey mansion in fear.

When approached for a comment by MailOnline, a spokesman for the Russian embassy said: 'We have obvious questions". 'We don't raise them with HM Government given the frozen state of our official relationship. The tweet reflects the mood in Russia and speaks for itself.'

Following the tweet, Tory MP Crispin Blunt, who is conducting an inquiry into Russia, said it was a sign UK-Russian relations were the 'worst they could get in peace time'. Mr. Blunt, an ex-army officer and foreign affairs select committee chair, said: 'For a peace time political relationship, it is about as bad as it could get.'

Steele, 52, described as a 'confirmed socialist' as a Cambridge student, apparently packed his bags and fled his home in fear yesterday telling his neighbour: 'Look after my cats.'  Steele, a father-of-three and widower, may have gone abroad after being sensationally revealed as the author of a dossier on Donald Trump’s alleged outlandish sexual perversions with prostitutes in a Russian presidential suite.

... ... ...

Mr. Trump called the dossier 'fake' and 'phony', even suggesting that US secret services had leaked it to damage his reputation before his inauguration.  He debunked the 'golden shower' claim by saying: 'Does anyone believe that? I'm a germophobe'.

Senator John McCain was allegedly handed the incendiary Trump file by a former British Ambassador to Moscow, who has not yet been named.

Yesterday it was revealed Sir Tim Barrow, a former British Ambassador to Moscow who is now the UK's top EU diplomat in charge of Brexit regotiations, worked in the same office as Steele when the Soviet Union collapsed.

Sir Tim is understood to have told bosses he had 'nothing to do with' leaking Steele's Trump memos, a Foreign Office source told MailOnline.

Sir Andrew Wood - British ambassador to Moscow between 1995 and 2000 - has confirmed he met McCain, an outspoken critic of the President Elect, at a security conference in Canada in November.

The two discussed Trump's vulnerability to blackmail amid allegations contained in the discredited dossier. But he denied being the source of the document, which McCain was handed by an unnamed diplomat. Sir Andrew told The Independent he knew the alleged author of the dossier, former MI6 spy Christopher Steele, describing him as 'professional and thorough'.

He suddenly emerged from hiding on March 7, 2017 Just in  time as the buzz around the dossier subsided. (Trump Dossier Author Comes Out Of Hiding The Daily Caller ):

But the ex-spy declined to comment on his work on the 35-page Trump dossier, which was published by BuzzFeed in January. “I’m really pleased to be back here working again at the Orbis’s offices in London today,” he said in a video statement outside of Orbis’ offices in London.

He thanked supporters but said “I won’t be making any further statements or comments at this time.”

... ... ...

The retired spook began his work on the dossier in June after being hired by Fusion GPS, a Washington, D.C.-based opposition research firm. Fusion GPS had been hired by a pro-Clinton group to dig up dirt on Trump.

Steele produced a series of memos dated between June 20 and Dec. 13. The memos, which were gleaned from a variety of sources, alleged that the Kremlin has blackmail material on Trump. Another Steele source claimed that the Trump campaign and Kremlin were in secret talks to help Trump win the election.

Was British government involved in color revolution against Trump?

On Jan 23, 2017 the head of British GCHQ spy agency resigned for "family reasons." That might  be connected with British government wiretapping of Trump team to which Trump alleged later the same year:

British spy chief Robert Hannigan said on Monday he was stepping down as head of Britain’s intelligence eavesdropping service GCHQ for family reasons. Hannigan, GCHQ director since 2014, said the job had demanded “a great deal” from his family.

In   NYT published an article Trump Offers No Apology for Claim on British Spying  which now sounds pretty funny in view of subsequent events and discoveries and now can be viewed as a part of whitewashing efforts:

The angry response from Britain stemmed from Mr. Trump’s persistence in accusing Mr. Obama of tapping his phones last year despite the lack of evidence and across-the-board denials. At a briefing on Thursday, Sean Spicer, the White House press secretary, read from a sheaf of news clippings that he suggested bolstered the president’s claim.

Among them was an assertion by Andrew Napolitano, a Fox News commentator, that Mr. Obama had used Britain’s Government Communications Headquarters, the agency known as the GCHQ, to spy on Mr. Trump. In response to Mr. Spicer, the agency quickly denied it as “nonsense” and “utterly ridiculous,” while British officials contacted American counterparts to complain.

Also British government staunchly supported Hillary Clinton after former PM David Cameron reached an agreement with her about Brexit. Those facts were not yet reflected in Wikipedia article. Among journalists, Bob Woodward called the dossier a "garbage document". A devastating assessment of this "unconvincing forgery" was done by  Craig Murray  in his article  Unconvincing Forgery, The Alleged Donald Trump “Manchurian Candidate” The Steele Dossier or the Hitler Diaries Mark II  Fusion GPS threatening to plead the Fifth Amendment against self-incrimination also raised eyebrows last week. The Clinton campaign has also, notably, denied working with the Ukrainian government to dig up dirt on Trump.

Looking on treatment of Steele dossier in Guardian a strong suspicion arise that a part of British establishment  was involved in this dirty peace of work too.

Did FBI or Justice Department pay Steele?

There were also information of FBI payment to Steele, but so far it is unverified.  If true that implicates Comey in criminal activity ( FBI Dir. James Comey testified on Russian 'The Steel Dossier' - YouTube, his testimony  30:00 ). After Hillary Clinton "emailgate" case was reopened James Comey asked for immunity.  See also Trey Gowdy’s STUNNING Move Left Robert Mueller & James Comey SPEECHLESS! - YouTube

The Daily Caller article suggest that the deal fall apart when Steele was unable to verify allegations:

It emerged last week that the FBI made an informal agreement with Steele in October to pay the retired spook for his services. According to The Washington Post, the FBI never paid Steele, though it is unclear why their deal fell apart. (RELATED: FBI Pressed On Agreement With Trump Dossier Author)

Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Chuck Grassley is now asking the FBI to provide details of that agreement and other correspondence with Steele.

“The idea that the FBI and associates of the Clinton campaign would pay Mr. Steele to investigate the Republican nominee for President in the run-up to the election raises further questions about the FBI’s independence from politics,” Grassley wrote in the letter to Comey.

Steele has also been sued over his work on the dossier. A Russian tech executive named in the dossier as a Kremlin asset who was helping wage the email hacking campaign is suing Steele and BuzzFeed for defamation. BuzzFeed redacted the executive’s name and apologized for not doing so when it first published Steele’s memos.

As NPR reported Andrew McCabe, FBI Deputy Director, Faces Closed-Door Grilling From Lawmakers NPR

Lawmakers on Tuesday also likely grilled McCabe on the so-called Trump dossier, which was compiled by a former British intelligence officer at the behest of a Washington-based strategic research firm called Fusion GPS. Hillary Clinton's campaign helped pay for the dossier as opposition research on Trump.

Republicans want to know whether the FBI used the dossier to launch its investigation into Russian interference in last year's election. Mueller took over that probe when he was named special counsel in May.

Republicans allege that if the Russia investigation is founded upon a Democratic-funded dossier, then the whole inquiry is politically motivated.

Then-FBI Director James Comey told Congress earlier this year that the bureau's counterintelligence investigation into the Trump camp began in July of 2016, but he did not detail what spurred it.

Comey also was a supporter of McCabe, who began his career at the FBI in 1996 in the New York Field Office, where he investigated organized crime. He later shifted to counterterrorism and held senior positions in the FBI's National Security Branch and Washington Field Office. In January 2016, Comey named McCabe as the bureau's deputy director, which gave him an oversight role in all of the FBI's domestic and international investigations and intelligence operations. McCabe briefly served as acting director after Trump fired Comey in May.

After Andrew McCabe who was involved in those negotiations was grilled by House Intelligence Committee as part of its investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election he rushed to retire (announced Dec 23, 2017) Andrew McCabe, F.B.I.’s Embattled Deputy, Is Expected to Retire - The New York Times

What was in the dossier?

Donald Trump–Russia dossier - Wikipedia (please note that Wikipedia clearly takes pro-Steele stance, which is not surprising taking into account that one nickname of Wikipedia is CIApedia)

The Donald Trump–Russia dossier is a private intelligence dossier that was written by Christopher Steele, a former British MI6 intelligence officer. It contains unverified allegations of misconduct and collusion between Donald Trump and his campaign and the Russian government during the 2016 U.S. presidential election and the period preceding the election. The contents of the dossier were published in full by BuzzFeed on January 10, 2017.[1] BuzzFeed's decision to publish the dossier was met with criticism from some mainstream media outlets.[2][3][4]

The dossier primarily discusses possible Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. The media and the intelligence community have stressed that accusations in the dossier have not been verified. Most experts have treated the dossier with caution, but in February, it was reported that some details related to conversations between foreign nationals had been independently corroborated, giving U.S. intelligence and law enforcement greater confidence in some aspects of the dossier as investigations continued. Trump himself has denounced the report, calling it "fake news" and "phony".

The dossier was produced as part of opposition research during the 2016 U.S. presidential election. The research was initially funded by an unnamed Republican during the Republican Party presidential primaries. After Trump won the primaries, the Democratic lawyer Marc Elias took over the funding on behalf of the DNC and Clinton presidential campaign,[5] and, following Trump's election, Steele continued working on the report, with financing from Glenn R. Simpson of Fusion GPS,[6] and passed on the information to British and American intelligence services.

The 35-page dossier claims that Russia is in possession of damaging or embarrassing information about Trump which could be used for purposes of blackmail to get Trump to cooperate with the Russian government.[7] The material includes allegations about Trump's sexual and financial dealings in Russia.[8] The dossier further alleges that Trump has been cultivated and supported by Russia for at least five years, with Putin's endorsement, with the overall aim of creating divisions between Western alliances; that Trump has extensive ties to Russia; and that there had been multiple contacts between Russian officials and people working for Trump during the campaign.[7][9]

The report alleged that the Russian government had cultivated Trump for years:

The "Russian regime has been cultivating, supporting and assisting TRUMP for at least 5 years. Aim, endorsed by PUTIN, has been to encourage splits and divisions in western alliance". It maintained that Trump "and his inner circle have accepted a regular flow of intelligence from the Kremlin, including on his Democratic and other political rivals". It claimed that Russian intelligence had "compromised" Trump during his visits to Moscow and could "blackmail him".

— Mother Jones, October 31, 2016[10]

The report further alleged that there were multiple in-person meetings between Russian government officials and individuals established as working for Trump.[11][12] The former intelligence officer continued to share information with the FBI, and said in October 2016 that "there was or is a pretty substantial inquiry going on".[10]

... ... ...

Russian press secretary Dmitry Peskov insisted in an interview that the document is a fraud, saying "I can assure you that the allegations in this funny paper, in this so-called report, they are untrue. They are all fake."[70] The President of Russia, Vladimir Putin, called the people who leaked the document "worse than prostitutes"[71] and referred to the dossier itself as "rubbish".[72] Putin went on to state he believed that the dossier was "clearly fake",[73] fabricated as a plot against the legitimacy of President-elect Donald Trump.[74]

...Among journalists, Bob Woodward called the dossier a "garbage document,"

...Aleksej Gubarev, chief of technology company XBT and a figure mentioned in the dossier, sued BuzzFeed for defamation on February 3, 2017. The suit, filed in a Broward County, Florida court,[80] centers on allegations from the dossier that XBT had been "using botnets and porn traffic to transmit viruses, plant bugs, steal data and conduct 'altering operations' against the Democratic Party leadership".[81] In the High Court of Justice, Steele's lawyers said that their client did not intend for the memos to be released, and that one of the memos "needed to be analyzed and further investigated/verified".[82]

On March 2, 2017, media began reporting that the Senate may call Steele to testify about the Trump dossier.[83]

On March 27, 2017, Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley asked the Department of Justice to initiate an inquiry into Fusion GPS, who initially retained Steele to write the dossier.[84] Fusion GPS was previously associated with pro-Russia lobbying activities due to sanctions imposed by the Magnitsky Act.[85]

On August 22, 2017, media reported that Christopher Steele had met with the FBI and had provided them with the names of his sources for the allegations made in the dossier.[86]

 HLet's here consideration of of the opposite party: The Russia Explainer. The main point is that "If the dossier were true, it means Steele’s contacts are not only supernaturally well-connected, having access to unreported information from various parts of the Russian state apparatus (and from inside the Trump campaign) on intelligence matters and criminal conspiracies, but are willing to take incredible risks in order to help Steele prepare his reports.". The most typical punishment in Russia for treason is life sensence without parole. Even for extremely greedy and unscuplious person, that exclude possibility of taking such  a risk for small amount of money that  Steele might be to pay, if any. 

These are the general impressions a Russia-knowledgeable person gets from the dossier (I’ll expand on these as we go through the points of the dossier):
  • With about 10 minutes of Googling in Russian (which I then confirmed with English-language sources linked to below) I was able to debunk one of the allegations in this supposedly “unverifiable” dossier: that longtime Kremlin insider Oleg Govorun supposedly was a “bag carrier” for Alfa Group in the early ’90s who delivered cash to Vladimir Putin while he was deputy mayor of St. Petersburg. I was able to establish that Govorun didn’t go to work for Alfa until 1997, leaving Mikhail Khodorkovsky’s holding Rosprom together with Vladislav Surkov (who joined Alfa in March 1997), 8 months after Putin had moved from St. Petersburg to Moscow to work for Yeltsin after Putin’s boss, St. Petersburg mayor Anatoly Sobchak, had lost the 1996 election. At the time Putin left office (his boss having been voted out), Govorun was working for Mikhail Khodorkovsky, a rival of Alfa’s owners. And no, he didn’t work for Alfa before that. I was also able to see how Steele’s sources made this mistake: Govorun’s Wikipedia page leaves out his time working for Khodorkovsky, and makes it look like Govorun worked at Alfa-Bank from 1993 to 2000. Ah, the perils of doing your research on Wikipedia!
  • The person who actually organized the reports in the dossier (as opposed to the sources) is not very familiar with Russian business or politics (particularly the personalities involved) in 2016, probably doesn’t speak Russian or know what’s being reported in the Russian media, and there are a number of clear or easily checkable errors.
  • If the dossier were true, it means Steele’s contacts are not only supernaturally well-connected, having access to unreported information from various parts of the Russian state apparatus (and from inside the Trump campaign) on intelligence matters and criminal conspiracies, but are willing to take incredible risks in order to help Steele prepare his reports.
  • Some of the information that Steele’s contacts provide would only make sense if (1) the Russian government works completely different from how even Russians close to the government believe it works, (2) the personalities involved are completely different from how they appear to close observers, and (3) all of the prevailing wisdom about how the Putin team works behind-the-scenes is wrong.
  • There’s a strange juxtaposition of on the one hand, information that, if true, would be ultra-insider, completely surprising, mind-blowing revelations about the inner workings of the Russian ruling clique, and on the other hand, basically cut-and-paste jobs from whatever was in the headlines in the weeks before any given report in the dossier. Steele does not seem to be concerned that his client will simply Google the names and incidents in his reports and find out that this information had already been in the news for days, or sometimes weeks or months – in the case of Steele’s “scoop” about the relationship between Aras Agalarov and Trump, the “intel” had been in Donald Trump’s own Twitter feed for almost 3 years.
  • The dossier doesn’t seem to have had much intelligence value: if you go by the dates on the individual reports that make up the dossier, all of the verifiable information refers to things that had already been reported or speculated on in the Russian and/or Western media by that time. The unverifiable information is presented in the form of unfounded allegations. There isn’t any “actionable” intelligence – accurate predictions of future events and people’s plans, or “dirt” for which there is at least some evidence.
  • There are also glaring omissions given later developments in the Trump/Russia story. Why no mention of Cozy Bear, Fancy Bear or the GRU? Why no mention of internet troll armies or fake news? Why no mention of the role of RT or Sputnik in the overall influence operation? The most logical explanation is that Steele’s sources were riffing off of media reports, and the omitted narratives didn’t get traction in the press until the US intelligence community issued its declassified report on Russia’s election interference in January 2017, after the dossier was already out in the wild. But if the dossier was really based on knowledgable insiders’ reports and not on a bunch of rumors peddled in response to the news of the day, you’d expect it would have foreshadowed many of the revelations in that report (assuming the intel agencies’ report has merit).

 

Frantic efforts to spread lies after the election to fuel neo-McCarthyism campaign

Neo-McCarthyism campaign launched after the election has multiple purposes. It allow to shift blame for Hillary Clinton fiasco, which was important for neoliberal wing of Democratic Party. And specifically swipe under that carpet the dirty game DNC played against Sanders.

It also distracts public from the fundamental problem -- the crisis of neoliberalism in the USA. The crisis that led to the Trump election.

John McCain played some role in this effort, or may was used as a patsy by exploiting his pre-existent anti-Russian bias to further goals of other players.  During this period US MSM throw away any pretence in objectivity and lied and distort information with impunity.  Paradoxically this restored some  trust in fox News which was only partially infected by this neo-McCarthyism witch-hunt. But NYT, WaPo, CNN, MSNBC and other  neoliberal channels fall into such depth of depravity that they even Soviet media looks like a paragon of objectivity in comparison with them.

It could well be that the role of Steele dossier might be create a pretext of using total surveillance on Trump team on the part of FBI. Which was a pretty devious plot, indeed.  And they are real specialists in this area due to their track record of implementing color revolutions in various parts of the globe, and, especially, in former Soviet Union and its former satellites. 

It was also an opening move in the  appointment of the Special Prosecutor gambit, which culminated in May 2017 with the appointment of Mueller. 

 


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Old News ;-)

[May 19, 2018] Krugman Cries Treason After Stefan Halper Outed As FBI Infiltrator, There's Just One Problem...

Humint on Trump election campaign staff is a the last nail in the coffin of the US republic, as we know it. This is essentially "national security state" mode of operation, where intelligence agencies are primary political force.
Notable quotes:
"... Times ..."
"... counterintelligence powers ..."
"... counterintelligence ..."
May 19, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com
CIA and MI6 asset Stefan Halper as an FBI asset sent to infiltrate the Trump campaign has social media abuzz today. Reactions have ranged from celebration to outrage, with little inbetween.

To recap, after two weeks of hunting for a "mole" in the Trump campaign, the New York Times and Washington Post both printed incredibly detailed descriptions of Halper - printing all but his name, solidly corroborating a March report by the Daily Caller 's Chuck Ross about Halper's meetings with the Trump aides. Neither publication give Ross credit, of course.

Somehow several anti-Trump intellectuals got their wires crossed, conflating President Trump and Senate Intel Committee Chair Devin Nunes' calls for transparency by the DOJ, with the actual media outlets that exposed Halper.

Senior Brookings Institute fellow, and James Comey's close friend, Benjamin Wittes is beside himself - angrily tweeting: " I have a whole lot to say about how the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee and the President of the United States teamed up to out an intelligence source ...," adding in a subsequent tweet "But I am too angry to write right now -- and Twitter is probably not the right forum. So I'll leave it at this for now: Important people defiled their oaths of office for these stories to appear."

... ... ...

along with senior Russian official Anatoly Chubais and Russian oligarch Ruben Vardanyan – who was appointed by Vladimir Putin to the Russian economic council.

Two months after Podesta joined the board, Joule managed to raise $35 million from Putin's Kremlin-backed investment fund Rusnano. Not only did John Podesta fail to properly disclose this relationship before joining the Clinton Campaign, he transferred 75,000 shares of Joule to his daughter through a shell company using her address.

We're sure the FBI was all over that...

AlaricBalth two hoots Permalink The Caller - flying him out to London to work on a policy paper on energy issues in Turkey, Cyprus and Israel - for which he was ultimately paid $3,000."

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-05-19/fbi-spy-op-exposed-trump-camp

It would be interesting to find out through bank transaction records who reimbursed Halper for the $3,000 he paid Papadopoulos for this policy paper, which was clearly a ruse by Halper in an attempt to make Papadopoulos comfortable with him.

https://www.polis.cam.ac.uk/Staff_and_Students/professor-stefan-halper

y3maxx AlaricBalth Permalink

"They will go down fighting trump six ways to sunday."

-Since there was no "criminal" Russia Gate proof,
the Dem's & Deep State moved to an "illegal" counter intelligence investigation against Trump.

-Bringing down Trump at any cost, fuck the constitution or laws, is ok in the Dem books.

-The louder the Left shrieks, the guiltier they are.

Sudden suicides, jumping off towers, car crashes or exiting the US begin in 3...2...1...

Posa LaugherNYC Permalink

"What the Times story makes explicit, with studious understatement, is that the Obama administration used its counterintelligence powers to investigate the opposition party's presidential campaign.

That is, there was no criminal predicate to justify an investigation of any Trump-campaign official. So, the FBI did not open a criminal investigation. Instead, the bureau opened a counterintelligence investigation and hoped that evidence of crimes committed by Trump officials would emerge. But it is an abuse of power to use counterintelligence powers, including spying and electronic surveillance, to conduct what is actually a criminal investigation.

The Times barely mentions the word counterintelligence in its saga. That's not an accident. The paper is crafting the media-Democrat narrative."

Kayman AlaricBalth Permalink

They sure ain't the Obamas and the Clintons. Pallets of Cash purportedly flown to Iran, bullshit speeches for $500,000, millions thru their dirty Canadian conduit. Life sure was grand, selling out your country.

[May 19, 2018] FBI Spy-Op Exposed, Trump Campaign Infiltrated By Longtime CIA And MI6 Assete

May 19, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

... ... ...

Thanks to Friday's carefully crafted deep-state disclosures by WaPo and the Times , along with actual reporting by the Daily Caller 's Chuck Ross, we now know it wasn't a mole at all - but 73-year-old University of Cambridge professor Stefan Halper, a US citizen, political veteran and longtime US Intelligence asset enlisted by the FBI to befriend and spy on three members of the Trump campaign during the 2016 US election .


Billy the Poet -> Keffus Sat, 05/19/2018 - 13:50 Permalink

the "American academic who teaches in Britain" described by The Times,

Seems like Carter Page knew what he was talking about in this May 11 tweet.

Carter Page, Ph.D. @carterwpage

No @JackPosobiec, not me. But if what I'm hearing alleged is correct, it's a guy I know who splits most his time between inside the Beltway and in one of the other Five Eyes countries.

And if so, it'd be typical: swamp creatures putting themselves first.
4:17 AM - May 11, 2018

Mycroft Holmes IV -> unrulian Sat, 05/19/2018 - 10:17 Permalink

I think Rudy's flipped seeking redemption for his role in 911.

The deep state is not going down quietly or without a fight and they are in full attack mode. Multiple questionable instances yesterday to change news cycle, plus a week worths of leaks by major media mouthpieces justifying their crimes.

What's great is they are so caught up in their nest of lies, each new lie just contradicts previous ones and exposes more of the truth.

Now the question is: How do you bring these people to justice without starting a violent backlash / Civil War?

The cognitive dissonance is very strong on the left and they've fallen victim to hive mentality, simply regurgitating talking points they hear through pop culture and media. We are so afraid of not fitting in (as a society) that we will willingly accept completely contradicting "facts", defend them, and deride those who disagree. Further, there is no room for disagreement, for they are the party of tolerance, and if you disagree with them, you are intolerant, which cannot be tolerated in an open and free society (see how that works?).

The real hope is people are able to break the spell and think for themselves again. But I worry it's too late. A generation of children assaulted with excessive vaccination are now adults and it shows...

Dickweed Wang -> brianshell Sat, 05/19/2018 - 15:34 Permalink

People in the USA better get a grip real fast and realize that it's not Russia, China or Iran that is the real enemy of Americans, it's the British . . . the money gnomes in London and the "Queens men". They've caused more problems for the USA in the last 100+ years than the other three combined many times over.

mccvilb -> Americano Sat, 05/19/2018 - 18:41 Permalink

Let's see. Money was exchanged, foreign govt agents and contractors hired. The FBI knew about Hillary's criminal enterprises and illegal dissemination of classified documents and apparently has been complicit in helping or protecting her. The NYT and WaPo along with the network media regurgitated much of the anti-Trump rhetoric together in sync with the tsunami of fake news, either in creating it or knowingly participating in it. No wonder the news media in a sudden shift have been trying to paint themselves as now being on the other side of this Russkie Fubar after they promoted it 24/7 for two years without let-up. What's the penalty for trying to overthrow the President of the United States? Lots of folks here are sitting on potential indictments for treason. Enough talk. With all they got from the Congressional hearings, and now this, it's time!!!... for Trump to start draining.

T-NUTZ -> DingleBarryObummer Sat, 05/19/2018 - 10:12 Permalink

Why do dual citizens get to "serve" in our high positions of government??

44magnum -> T-NUTZ Sat, 05/19/2018 - 11:32 Permalink

Because that is what (((they))) want. Do a little research on how that came about in the US you will find that the same ole (((culprits))) got the law changed to their benefit of course.

[May 18, 2018] WSJ Asks Was Trump's Campaign 'Set Up' Zero Hedge

Notable quotes:
"... House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes appeared on "Fox & Friends" Tuesday, where he provided a potentially explosive hint at what's driving his demand to see documents related to the Federal Bureau of Investigation's Trump-Russia probe. "If the campaign was somehow set up," he told the hosts, "I think that would be a problem." ..."
"... government "officials" acknowledged that the bureau had used "at least one" human "informant" to spy on both Carter Page and George Papadopoulos. ..."
"... Think of the 2016 Trump-Russia narrative as two parallel strands -- one politics, one law enforcement. The political side involves the actions of Fusion GPS, the Hillary Clinton campaign and Obama officials -- all of whom were focused on destroying Donald Trump. The law-enforcement strand involves the FBI -- and what methods and evidence it used in its Trump investigation. At some point these strands intersected -- and one crucial question is how early that happened. ..."
"... Which brings us to timing. It's long been known that Mr. Steele went to the FBI in early July to talk about the dossier, and that's the first known intersection of the strands. But given the oddity and timing of those U.K. interactions concerning Messrs. Page and Papadopoulos, and given the history of some of the people involved in arranging them, some wonder if the two strands were converging earlier than anyone has admitted. The Intelligence Committee subpoena is designed to sort all this out: Who was pulling the strings, and what was the goal? Information? Or entrapment? ..."
"... Whatever the answer-whether it is straightforward, or whether it involves political chicanery-Congress and the public have a right to know. And a Justice Department willing to leak details of its "top secret" source to friendly media can have no excuse for not sharing with the duly elected members of Congress. ..."
"... Thanks for stopping by, Bob. Before you ask me your questions I need you to answer a few of mine: ..."
"... You have had a full year to investigate the allegations that my campaign colluded with the Russian government to meddle in our election. Has anyone obstructed you from doing this job to the best of your ability? If so, who have you notified of this and what corrective action have you taken or requested be taken? ..."
"... Have you found any evidence that I personally committed any crime involving collusion with the Russians to interfere with the election? ..."
"... Have you found any evidence that any member of my campaign committed any crime involving collusion with the Russians to interfere with the election? ..."
May 18, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

The Wall Street Journal continues to counter the liberal mainstream media's anti-Trump-ness with Kimberly Strassel leading the charge , dropping uncomfortable truth-bombs in a forum that is hard for the establishment to shrug off as 'Alt-Right' or 'Nazi' or be 'punished' by search- and social-media-giants.

Earlier in the week, with Trump now calling out the debacle as "possible bigger than Watergate," Strassel tweet-stormed some key points that everyone - leftist and right - should consider ... (that's wishful thinking)...

1. So a few important points on that new NYT "Hurricane Crossfire" piece. A story that, BTW, all of us following this knew had to be coming. This is DOJ/FBI leakers' attempt to get in front of the facts Nunes is forcing out, to make it not sound so bad. Don't buy it. It's bad.

2. Biggest takeaway: Govt "sources" admit that, indeed, the Obama DOJ and FBI spied on the Trump campaign. Spied . (Tho NYT kindly calls spy an "informant.") NYT slips in confirmation far down in story, and makes it out like it isn't a big deal. It is a very big deal.

3. In self-serving desire to get a sympathetic story about its actions, DOJ/FBI leakers are willing to provide yet more details about that "top secret" source (namely, that spying was aimed at Page/Papadopoulos) -- making all more likely/certain source will be outed. That's on them

4. DOJ/FBI (and its leakers) have shredded what little credibility they have in claiming they cannot comply with subpoena . They are willing to provide details to friendly media, but not Congress? Willing to risk very source they claim to need to protect?

5. Back in Dec., NYT assured us it was the Papadopoulos-Downer convo that inspired FBI to launch official counterintelligence operation on July 31, 2016. Which was convenient, since it diminished the role of the dossier. However . . .

6. Now NYT tells us FBI didn't debrief Downer until August 2nd. And Nunes says no "official intelligence" from allies was delivered to FBI about that convo prior to July 31. So how did FBI get Downer details? (Political actors?) And what really did inspire the CI investigation?

7. As for whether to believe line that FBI operated soberly/carefully/judiciously in 2016, a main source for this judgment is, um . . .uh . . . Sally Yates. Who was in middle of it all. A bit like asking Putin to reassure that Russia didn't meddle in our election.

8. On that, if u r wondering who narrated this story, note paragraphs that assure everybody that hardly anybody in DOJ knew about probe. Oh, and Comey also was given few details. Nobody knew nothin'! (Cuz when u require whole story saying u behaved, it means u know you didn't.)

And now Strassel is asking "Was Trump's Campaign 'Set Up'?"

At some point, the Russia investigation became political. How early was it?

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes appeared on "Fox & Friends" Tuesday, where he provided a potentially explosive hint at what's driving his demand to see documents related to the Federal Bureau of Investigation's Trump-Russia probe. "If the campaign was somehow set up," he told the hosts, "I think that would be a problem."

Or an understatement. Mr. Nunes is still getting stiff-armed by the Justice Department over his subpoena, but this week his efforts did force the stunning admission that the FBI had indeed spied on the Trump campaign. This came in the form of a Thursday New York Times apologia in which government "officials" acknowledged that the bureau had used "at least one" human "informant" to spy on both Carter Page and George Papadopoulos. The Times slipped this mind-bending fact into the middle of an otherwise glowing profile of the noble bureau -- and dismissed it as no big deal.

But there's more to be revealed here, and Mr. Nunes's "set up" comment points in a certain direction. Getting to the conclusion requires thinking more broadly about events beyond the FBI's actions.

Think of the 2016 Trump-Russia narrative as two parallel strands -- one politics, one law enforcement. The political side involves the actions of Fusion GPS, the Hillary Clinton campaign and Obama officials -- all of whom were focused on destroying Donald Trump. The law-enforcement strand involves the FBI -- and what methods and evidence it used in its Trump investigation. At some point these strands intersected -- and one crucial question is how early that happened.

What may well have kicked off both, however, is a key if overlooked moment detailed in the House Intelligence Committee's recent Russia report .

In "late spring" of 2016, then-FBI Director James Comey briefed White House "National Security Council Principals" that the FBI had counterintelligence concerns about the Trump campaign. Carter Page was announced as a campaign adviser on March 21, and Paul Manafort joined the campaign March 29. The briefing likely referenced both men, since both had previously been on the radar of law enforcement. But here's what matters: With this briefing, Mr. Comey officially notified senior political operators on Team Obama that the bureau had eyes on Donald Trump and Russia. Imagine what might be done in these partisan times with such explosive information.

And what do you know? Sometime in April, the law firm Perkins Coie (on behalf the Clinton campaign) hired Fusion GPS, and Fusion turned its attention to Trump-Russia connections. The job of any good swamp operator is to gin up a fatal October surprise for the opposition candidate. And what could be more devastating than to paint a picture of Trump-Russia collusion that would provoke a full-fledged FBI investigation?

We already know of at least one way Fusion went about that project, with wild success. It hired former British spy Christopher Steele to compile that infamous dossier. In July, Mr. Steele wrote a memo that leveled spectacular conspiracy theories against two particular Trump campaign members -- Messrs. Manafort and Page. For an FBI that already had suspicions about the duo, those allegations might prove huge -- right? That is, if the FBI were to ever see them. Though, lucky for Mrs. Clinton, July is when the Fusion team decided it was a matter of urgent national security for Mr. Steele to play off his credentials and to take this political opposition research to the FBI.

The question Mr. Nunes's committee seems to be investigating is what other moments -- if any -- were engineered in the spring, summer or fall of 2016 to cast suspicion on Team Trump. The conservative press has produced some intriguing stories about a handful of odd invitations and meetings that were arranged for Messrs. Page and Papadopoulos starting in the spring -- all emanating from the United Kingdom. On one hand, that country is home to the well-connected Mr. Steele, which could mean the political actors with whom he was working were involved. On the other hand, the Justice Department has admitted it was spying on both men, which could mean government was involved. Or maybe . . . both.

Which brings us to timing. It's long been known that Mr. Steele went to the FBI in early July to talk about the dossier, and that's the first known intersection of the strands. But given the oddity and timing of those U.K. interactions concerning Messrs. Page and Papadopoulos, and given the history of some of the people involved in arranging them, some wonder if the two strands were converging earlier than anyone has admitted. The Intelligence Committee subpoena is designed to sort all this out: Who was pulling the strings, and what was the goal? Information? Or entrapment?

Whatever the answer-whether it is straightforward, or whether it involves political chicanery-Congress and the public have a right to know. And a Justice Department willing to leak details of its "top secret" source to friendly media can have no excuse for not sharing with the duly elected members of Congress.

bowie28 One of We Permalink

Thanks for stopping by, Bob. Before you ask me your questions I need you to answer a few of mine:

You have had a full year to investigate the allegations that my campaign colluded with the Russian government to meddle in our election. Has anyone obstructed you from doing this job to the best of your ability? If so, who have you notified of this and what corrective action have you taken or requested be taken?

Have you found any evidence that I personally committed any crime involving collusion with the Russians to interfere with the election?

Have you found any evidence that any member of my campaign committed any crime involving collusion with the Russians to interfere with the election?

Assuming the answers to all 3 are "No" (which they likely are or such evidence would have already leaked to CNN via Clapper) or if he refuses to answer, inform Muller the meeting and his investigation are over. He is will be escorted to his office to turn over all records gathered in the investigation to the appropriate DOJ officials, debrief them on his findings and then is fired and all security clearances revoked.

Let the MSM and Dems bitch and cry all they want. You had a year to find evidence for your phony allegations with your top investigator on the job, access to millions of documents and millions of taxpayer dollars. You failed because there was no crime committed. Time to move on.

Of course this is assuming the Mueller investigation is actually what it is purported to be which I have serious doubts about. I think it's more likely Mueller cut an immunity deal for himself when he met with Trump the day before being appointed as SC and this whole thing was nothing but a charade to keep Trump's enemies believing Mueller is their guy. This way they put all their attention and energy into this investigation only to have it blow up in their faces just before the midterms when Trump is fully vindicated by the guy all his enemies said was above reproach. If that happens watch how fast they all turn on Mueller and every MSM outlet starts running hit pieces on him the next morning.

The First Rule bowie28 Permalink

And no real justice is going to come until Trump cleans house at our corrupt and out of control DOJ; starting with Sessions and Rosenstein.

beemasters Richard Chesler Permalink
Team_Huli beemasters Permalink Has anyone seen or heard from Comey lately? May want to keep an eye out for him dangling from some branches somewhere...

[May 18, 2018] IG Horowitz Finds FBI, DOJ Broke Law In Clinton Probe, Refers To Prosecutor For Criminal Charges

Notable quotes:
"... On July 27, 2017 the House Judiciary Committee called on the DOJ to appoint a Special Counsel, detailing their concerns in 14 questions pertaining to "actions taken by previously public figures like Attorney General Loretta Lynch, FBI Director James Comey, and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton." ..."
"... On September 26, 2017 , The House Judiciary Committee repeated their call to the DOJ for a special counsel, pointing out that former FBI Director James Comey lied to Congress when he said that he decided not to recommend criminal charges against Hillary Clinton until after she was interviewed, when in fact Comey had drafted her exoneration before said interview. ..."
"... And now, the OIG report can tie all of this together - as it will solidify requests by Congressional committees, while also satisfying a legal requirement for the Department of Justice to impartially appoint a Special Counsel. ..."
"... Who cares how many task forces, special prosecutors, grand juries, commissions, or other crap they throw at this black hole of corruption? We all know the score. The best we can hope for is that the liberals and neo-cons are embarrassed enough to crawl under a rock for awhile, and it slows down implementation of their Orwellian agenda for a few years. ..."
May 18, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

As we reported on Thursday , a long-awaited report by the Department of Justice's internal watchdog into the Hillary Clinton email investigation has moved into its final phase, as the DOJ notified multiple subjects mentioned in the document that they can privately review it by week's end, and will have a "few days" to craft any response to criticism contained within the report, according to the Wall Street Journal .

Those invited to review the report were told they would have to sign nondisclosure agreements in order to read it , people familiar with the matter said. They are expected to have a few days to craft a response to any criticism in the report, which will then be incorporated in the final version to be released in coming weeks . - WSJ

Now, journalist Paul Sperry reports that " IG Horowitz has found "reasonable grounds" for believing there has been a violation of federal criminal law in the FBI/DOJ's handling of the Clinton investigation/s and has referred his findings of potential criminal misconduct to Huber for possible criminal prosecution ."

Who is Huber?

As we reported in March , Attorney General Jeff Sessions appointed John Huber - Utah's top federal prosecutor, to be paired with IG Horowitz to investigate the multitude of accusations of FBI misconduct surrounding the 2016 U.S. presidential election. The announcement came one day after Inspector General Michael Horowitz confirmed that he will also be investigating allegations of FBI FISA abuse .

While Huber's appointment fell short of the second special counsel demanded by Congressional investigators and concerned citizens alike, his appointment and subsequent pairing with Horowitz is notable - as many have pointed out that the Inspector General is significantly limited in his abilities to investigate. Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) noted in March " the IG's office does not have authority to compel witness interviews, including from past employees, so its investigation will be limited in scope in comparison to a Special Counsel investigation ,"

Sessions' pairing of Horowitz with Huber keeps the investigation under the DOJ's roof and out of the hands of an independent investigator .

***

Who is Horowitz?

In January, we profiled Michael Horowitz based on thorough research assembled by independent investigators. For those who think the upcoming OIG report is just going to be "all part of the show" - take pause; there's a good chance this is an actual happening, so you may want to read up on the man whose year-long investigation may lead to criminal charges against those involved.

In short - Horowitz went to war with the Obama Administration to restore the OIG's powers - and didn't get them back until Trump took office.

Horowitz was appointed head of the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) in April, 2012 - after the Obama administration hobbled the OIG's investigative powers in 2011 during the "Fast and Furious" scandal. The changes forced the various Inspectors General for all government agencies to request information while conducting investigations, as opposed to the authority to demand it. This allowed Holder (and other agency heads) to bog down OIG requests in bureaucratic red tape, and in some cases, deny them outright.

What did Horowitz do? As one twitter commentators puts it, he went to war ...

In March of 2015, Horowitz's office prepared a report for Congress titled Open and Unimplemented IG Recommendations . It laid the Obama Admin bare before Congress - illustrating among other things how the administration was wasting tens-of-billions of dollars by ignoring the recommendations made by the OIG.

After several attempts by congress to restore the OIG's investigative powers, Rep. Jason Chaffetz successfully introduced H.R.6450 - the Inspector General Empowerment Act of 2016 - signed by a defeated lame duck President Obama into law on December 16th, 2016 , cementing an alliance between Horrowitz and both houses of Congress .

1) Due to the Inspector General Empowerment Act of 2016, the OIG has access to all of the information that the target agency possesses. This not only includes their internal documentation and data, but also that which the agency externally collected and documented.

TrumpSoldier (@DaveNYviii) January 3, 2018

See here for a complete overview of the OIG's new and restored powers. And while the public won't get to see classified details of the OIG report, Mr. Horowitz is also big on public disclosure:

Horowitz's efforts to roll back Eric Holder's restrictions on the OIG sealed the working relationship between Congress and the Inspector General's ofice, and they most certainly appear to be on the same page. Moreover, FBI Director Christopher Wray seems to be on the same page

Here's a preview:

https://twitter.com/DaveNYviii/status/939074607352614912

Which brings us back to the OIG report expected by Congress a week from Monday.

On January 12 of last year, Inspector Horowitz announced an OIG investigation based on " requests from numerous Chairmen and Ranking Members of Congressional oversight committees, various organizations (such as Judicial Watch?), and members of the public ."

The initial focus ranged from the FBI's handling of the Clinton email investigation, to whether or not Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe should have been recused from the investigation (ostensibly over $700,000 his wife's campaign took from Clinton crony Terry McAuliffe around the time of the email investigation), to potential collusion with the Clinton campaign and the timing of various FOIA releases. Which brings us back to the OIG report expected by Congress a week from Monday.

On July 27, 2017 the House Judiciary Committee called on the DOJ to appoint a Special Counsel, detailing their concerns in 14 questions pertaining to "actions taken by previously public figures like Attorney General Loretta Lynch, FBI Director James Comey, and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton."

The questions range from Loretta Lynch directing Mr. Comey to mislead the American people on the nature of the Clinton investigation, Secretary Clinton's mishandling of classified information and the (mis)handling of her email investigation by the FBI, the DOJ's failure to empanel a grand jury to investigate Clinton, and questions about the Clinton Foundation, Uranium One, and whether the FBI relied on the "Trump-Russia" dossier created by Fusion GPS.

On September 26, 2017 , The House Judiciary Committee repeated their call to the DOJ for a special counsel, pointing out that former FBI Director James Comey lied to Congress when he said that he decided not to recommend criminal charges against Hillary Clinton until after she was interviewed, when in fact Comey had drafted her exoneration before said interview.

And now, the OIG report can tie all of this together - as it will solidify requests by Congressional committees, while also satisfying a legal requirement for the Department of Justice to impartially appoint a Special Counsel.

As illustrated below by TrumpSoldier , the report will go from the Office of the Inspector General to both investigative committees of Congress, along with Attorney General Jeff Sessions, and is expected within weeks .

Once congress has reviewed the OIG report, the House and Senate Judiciary Committees will use it to supplement their investigations , which will result in hearings with the end goal of requesting or demanding a Special Counsel investigation. The DOJ can appoint a Special Counsel at any point, or wait for Congress to demand one. If a request for a Special Counsel is ignored, Congress can pass legislation to force an the appointment.

And while the DOJ could act on the OIG report and investigate / prosecute themselves without a Special Counsel, it is highly unlikely that Congress would stand for that given the subjects of the investigation.

After the report's completion, the DOJ will weigh in on it. Their comments are key. As TrumpSoldier points out in his analysis, the DOJ can take various actions regarding " Policy, personnel, procedures, and re-opening of investigations. In short, just about everything (Immunity agreements can also be rescinded). "

Meanwhile, recent events appear to correspond with bullet points in both the original OIG investigation letter and the 7/27/2017 letter forwarded to the Inspector General:

... ... ...

With the wheels set in motion last week seemingly align with Congressional requests and the OIG mandate, and the upcoming OIG report likely to serve as a foundational opinion, the DOJ will finally be empowered to move forward with an impartially appointed Special Counsel.


IntercoursetheEU -> Shitonya Serfs Thu, 05/17/2018 - 14:41 Permalink

"To save his presidency, Trump must expose a host of criminally cunning Deep State political operatives as enemies to the Constitution, including John Brennan, Eric Holder, Loretta Lynch, James Comey and Robert Mueller - as well as Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton."

Killing the Deep State , Dr Jerome Corsi, PhD., p xi

nmewn -> putaipan Thu, 05/17/2018 - 19:21 Permalink

I've been more than upfront about my philosophy. I have said on more than one occasion that progs will rue the day they drove a New Yorker like Trump even further to the right.

Now you see it in his actions from the judiciary to bureaucracy destruction to (pick any) and...as I often cite... some old dead white guy once said ..."First they came for the ___ and I did not speak out. Then they came for..."

Now I advocate for progs to swim in their own deadly juices, without a moment's hesitation on my part, without any furtive look back, without remorse or any compassion whatsover.

Forward! ...I think is what they said, welcome to the Death Star ;-)

nmewn -> IridiumRebel Fri, 05/18/2018 - 06:19 Permalink

Absolutely.

There have been (and are) plenty on "our side"...Boehner, Cantor, McCain, Romney and the thinly disguised "social democrat" Bill Kristol just to name several off the top of my head but the thing is, they always have to hide what they really are from us until rooted out.

That's what I try to point out to "our friends" on the left all the time, for example, there was never any doubt that Chris Dodd, Bwaney Fwank and Chuck Schumer were (and are) in Wall Streets back pocket. But for any prog to openly admit that is to sign some sort of personal death warrant, to be ostracized, blacklisted and harassed out of "the liberal community" so, they bite their tongue & say nothing...knowing what the truth really is.

Hell, they even named a "financial reform bill" after Dodd & Frank...LMAO!!!

It's just the dripping hypocrisy that gets me.

For another example, they knew what was going on with Weinstein, Lauer, Spacey, Rose etal but as long as the cash flowed and they towed-the-prog-BS-line outwardly, they gladly looked the other way and in the end...The Oprah...gives a speech in front of them (as they bark & clap like trained seals) about...Jim Crow?

Jim Crow?!...lol...one has nothing to do with the other Oprah! The perps & enablers are sitting right there in front of you!

It's just friggin surreal sometimes.

G-R-U-N-T -> Newspeaktogo Thu, 05/17/2018 - 21:06 Permalink

"After the report's completion, the DOJ will weigh in on it. Their comments are key. As TrumpSoldier points out in his analysis, the DOJ can take various actions regarding " Policy, personnel, procedures, and re-opening of investigations. In short, just about everything (Immunity agreements can also be rescinded). "

Rescind Immunity, absolutely damn right, put them ALL under oath and on the stand! This is huge! Indeed this goes all the way to the top, would like to see Obama and the 'career criminal' testify under oath explaining how their tribe conspired to frame Trump and the American people.

Hell, put them on trial in a military court for Treason, what's the punishment for Treason these days???

Also would like to see Kerry get fried under the 'Logan Act'!

Gardentoolnumber5 -> BigSwingingJohnson Thu, 05/17/2018 - 18:50 Permalink

As are half of their fellow travelers in the GOP. Neocon liars. Talk small constitutional govt then vote for war. Those two are direct opposites, war and small govt. The liars must be exposed and removed. The Never Trumpers have outed themselves but many are hiding in plain sight proclaiming they support the President. It appears they have manipulated Trump into an aggressive stance against Russia with their anti Russia hysteria. Time will tell. The bank and armament industries must be removed from any kind of influence within our govt. Most of these are run by big govt collectivists aka communists/globalists.

jin187 -> IridiumRebel Fri, 05/18/2018 - 05:33 Permalink

NO ONE IS GOING TO JAIL OVER THIS.

Who cares how many task forces, special prosecutors, grand juries, commissions, or other crap they throw at this black hole of corruption? We all know the score. The best we can hope for is that the liberals and neo-cons are embarrassed enough to crawl under a rock for awhile, and it slows down implementation of their Orwellian agenda for a few years.

[May 18, 2018] Two Colleagues Contradict Brennan s Denial of Reliance on Dossier

Notable quotes:
"... In my opinion the key points are: - Obama spied on Trump and many other Senator's Congressmen, Judges, and the press without warrants they only did Trump warrants well after they started spying. ..."
"... This was to cover their a$$ because they had no warrants when the spying started. ..."
"... Obama spied using our allies (GCHQ) 5 eyes etc. and DOJ, IRS, FBI, CIA, Treasury and all the Alphabet Obamagate will be 10,000 x worse than Watergate, ..."
"... They're covering up an attempted coup. ..."
"... essions (via his absurd recusal) and Rosenstein allowed the Statute of Limitations to run out against Clapper without filing a perjury charge. ..."
"... It's a bit ironic that Comey has been the focus of so much ire from the Trump people. Brennan and Clapper, not Comey, were the Obama political hacks who were pushing the Russian collusion angle. ..."
"... They forced the FBI to open a Trump/Russia investigation, even though Strzok and Comey were skeptical that any real evidence existed. ..."
"... It's hard to believe that Clapper and Brennan (and Lynch, Yates, and Ohr from DoJ) cooked-up the scheme without the approval/direction of Obama. In fact, the sheer political evil genius of the Trump/Russia collusion plot, including how it "explained" the DNC hack, reeks of the only person capable of inventing it: that 'ol silver fox himself, Bill Clinton. ..."
"... I think it is Comey's sanctimonious self-righteousness that brings that reaction. It always does. No matter who the parties are or what event it is. Even though their crimes are greater, it is easier to tolerate the obviously slimy swamp critters like Clapper and Brennan than it is the pious hypocrite like Comey. ..."
"... The DNC was caught in the act of rigging the Primaries. Fact. ..."
"... And someone inside hacked their computers for all those emails, too. That's why they didn't turn over their computers to the F.B.I. because it would bear that out. ..."
"... Brennan and Clapper may have been the puppetmasters, with Comey, McCabe, Stzrok, Page, Ohr and Yates dancing to their tune, but Rogers didn't play nice and they didn't even invite the Defense Intelligence Agency to play. ..."
"... Rogers is a white hat in a sea of black hats who tried to fire him for being a patriot. Rogers is a true American hero, without whom the extent of this coup and treasonous plot may never have been fully uncovered. The big ugly awaits the traitors and hopefully, the great awakening begins. ..."
"... I believe the name you're looking for is "Seth Rich." ..."
"... Aside from the obvious crimes of espionage and certainly extortion and fraud, why was Imran Awan trying to flee the country just after Seth Rich's assassination? Was Rich spilling the beans about Debbie Schultz's Pakistani mole and not just the Hillary scam? ..."
"... Brennan and Clapper are dirty as can be. They are both corrupt deep state agents, and should go to prison for their lies and corruption. Adm. Rogers looks like the only straight-shooter in the bunch. ..."
"... There are 2 sets of Laws in America. One for the elite, power political people and one for the Joe Sixpacks ..."
"... Former FBI Director James Comey has a long history of involvement in Department of Justice actions that arguably ended up favorable to the Clintons. ..."
"... FBI has had its ups and downs, certainly, but usually it found those low times due to some mishap or bad policy decisions based on matters of process by its upper management. But despite some of the worst 1970s conspiracy theories, rarely has the FBI been considered a bald-faced political actor until Director James Comey tarnished the shield by becoming a member of the Hillary Clinton's election campaign. ..."
"... If these yokels better knew history, they would better understand the dangers of fomenting revolution. ..."
May 18, 2018 | www.realclearinvestigations.com

Former CIA Director John Brennan's insistence that the salacious and unverified Steele dossier was not part of the official Intelligence Community Assessment on Russian interference in the 2016 election is being contradicted by two top former officials.

Recently retired National Security Agency Director Michael Rogers stated in a classified letter to Congress that the Clinton campaign-funded memos did factor into the ICA . And James Clapper, Director of National Intelligence under President Obama, conceded in a recent CNN interview that the assessment was based on "some of the substantive content of the dossier." Without elaborating, he maintained that "we were able to corroborate" certain allegations.

These accounts are at odds with Brennan's May 2017 testimony before the House Intelligence Committee that the Steele dossier was "not in any way used as the basis for the intelligence community's assessment" that Russia interfered in the election to help elect Donald Trump. Brennan has repeated this claim numerous times, including in February on "Meet the Press."

In a March 5, 2018, letter to House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes, Adm. Rogers informed the committee that a two-page summary of the dossier -- described as "the Christopher Steele information" -- was "added" as an "appendix to the ICA draft," and that consideration of that appendix was "part of the overall ICA review/approval process."

His skepticism of the dossier may explain why the NSA parted company with other intelligence agencies and cast doubt on one of its crucial conclusions: that Vladimir Putin personally ordered a cyberattack on Hillary Clinton's campaign to help Donald Trump win the White House.

Rogers has testified that while he was sure the Russians wanted to hurt Clinton, he wasn't as confident as CIA and FBI officials that their actions were designed to help Trump, explaining that such as assessment "didn't have the same level of sourcing and the same level of multiple sources."

Here and in photo at top, from left, the National Security Agency Director, Adm. Michael Rogers; FBI Director James Comey; Director of National Intelligence James Clapper; CIA Director John Brennan; and the Defense Intelligence Agency Director, Lt. Gen. Vincent Stewart, testifying before the

The dossier, which is made up of 16 opposition research-style memos on Trump underwritten by the Democratic National Committee and Clinton's own campaign, is based mostly on uncorroborated third-hand sources. Still, the ICA has been viewed by much of the Washington establishment as the unimpeachable consensus of the U.S. intelligence community. Its conclusions that "Vladimir Putin ordered" the hacking and leaking of Clinton campaign emails "to help Trump's chances of victory" have driven the "Russia collusion" narrative and subsequent investigations besieging the Trump presidency.

Except that the ICA did not reflect the consensus of the intelligence community. Clapper broke with tradition and decided not to put the assessment out to all 17 U.S. intelligence agencies for review. Instead, he limited input to a couple dozen chosen analysts from just three agencies -- the CIA, NSA and FBI. Agencies with relevant expertise on Russia, such as the Department of Homeland Security, Defense Intelligence Agency and the State Department's intelligence bureau, were excluded from the process.

While faulting Clapper for not following intelligence community tradecraft standards that Clapper himself ordered in 2015, the House Intelligence Committee's 250-page report also found that the ICA did not properly describe the "quality and credibility of underlying sources" and was not "independent of political considerations."

In another departure from custom, the report is missing any dissenting views or an annex with evaluations of the conclusions from outside reviewers. "Traditionally, controversial intelligence community assessments like this include dissenting views and the views of an outside review group," said Fred Fleitz, who worked as a CIA analyst for 19 years and helped draft national intelligence estimates at Langley. "It also should have been thoroughly vetted with all relevant IC agencies," he added. "Why were DHS and DIA excluded?"

Fleitz suggests that the Obama administration limited the number of players involved in the analysis to skew the results. He believes the process was "manipulated" to reach a "predetermined political conclusion" that the incoming Republican president was compromised by the Russians.

"I've never viewed the ICA as credible," the CIA veteran added.

A source close to the House investigation said Brennan himself selected the CIA and FBI analysts who worked on the ICA, and that they included former FBI counterespionage chief Peter Strzok.

"Strzok was the intermediary between Brennan and [former FBI Director James] Comey, and he was one of the authors of the ICA," according to the source.

Last year, Strzok was reassigned to another department and removed from Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation after anti-Trump and pro-Clinton text messages he wrote to another investigator during the 2016 campaign were discovered by the Justice Department's inspector general. Strzok remains under IG investigation, along with other senior FBI officials, for possible misconduct.

Strzok led the FBI's investigation of Trump campaign ties to Russia during 2016, including obtaining electronic surveillance warrants on Carter Page and other campaign advisers. The Page warrant relied heavily on unverified allegations contained in the Democratic Party-funded dossier.

Brennan has sworn the dossier was not "in any way" used as a basis for the ICA. He explains he heard snippets of the dossier from the press in the summer of 2016, but insists he did not see it or read it for himself until late 2016. "Brennan's claims are impossible to believe," Fleitz asserted.

"Brennan was pushing the Trump collusion line in mid-2016 and claimed to start the FBI collusion investigation in August 2016," he said. "It's impossible to believe Brennan was pushing for this investigation without having read the dossier."

He also pointed out that the key findings of the ICA match the central allegations in the dossier. The House Intelligence Committee concluded that Brennan, who previously worked in the White House as Obama's deputy national security adviser, created a "fusion cell" on Russian election interference made up of analysts from the CIA, FBI and NSA, who produced a series of related papers for the White House during the 2016 campaign.

Less than a month after Trump won the election, Obama directed Brennan to conduct a review of all intelligence relating to Russian involvement in the 2016 election and produce a single, comprehensive assessment. Obama was briefed on the findings, along with President-elect Trump, in early January.

"Brennan put some of the dossier material into the PDB [presidential daily briefing] for Obama and described it as coming from a 'credible source,' which is how they viewed Steele," said the source familiar with the House investigation. "But they never corroborated his sources."

Attempts to reach Brennan for comment were unsuccessful. Several prominent Washington news outlets had access to the dossier during the 2016 campaign -- or at least portions of it -- but also could not confirm Steele's allegations. So they shied away from covering them. All that changed in early January 2017, after CNN and The Washington Post learned through Obama administration leaks that the CIA had briefed the president and president-elect about them. Then the allegations became a media feeding frenzy. On Jan. 11, 2017, within days of the dossier briefings and release of the declassified ICA report, BuzzFeed published virtually all of the dossier memos on its website.

The House committee found "significant leaks" of classified information around the time of the ICA -- and "many of these leaks were likely from senior officials within the IC." Its recently released report points to Clapper as the main source of leaks about the presidential briefings involving the dossier. It also suggests that during his July 17, 2017, testimony behind closed doors in executive session, he misled House investigators.

When first asked about leaks related to the ICA in July 2017, Clapper flatly denied "discuss[ing] the dossier or any other intelligence related to Russia hacking of the 2016 election with journalists." But he subsequently acknowledged discussing the "dossier with CNN journalist Jake Tapper," and admitted he might have spoken with other journalists about the same issue.

On Jan. 10, 2017, CNN published an article by Tapper and others about the dossier briefings sourced to "multiple U.S. officials with direct knowledge of the briefings." Tapper shared a byline with lead writer Evan Perez, a close friend of the founders of Fusion GPS, which hired Steele as a subcontractor on the dossier project.

The next day, Clapper expressed his "profound dismay at the leaks that have been appearing in the press," while stressing that "I do not believe the leaks came from within the IC." A month after his misleading testimony to House investigators, Clapper joined CNN as a "national security analyst."

Attempts to reach Clapper for comment were unsuccessful.


Tom JonesLeader 3d

My, My, My.....what a tangled web they weave. Interesting that both Rogers and Clapper indicated the dossier was part of the assessment and Brennan does not. All while Obama was assuring the public that in no way could Russia impact our elections. With the recent allegations of a plant in the Trump campaign organization and the continued reluctance of the DOJ to release documents, it's becoming more evident by the day of significant irregularities that took place. Certainly, one would hope that only under the most severe probabilities would a President allow his intelligence agencies to spy on an opponents campaign....but it's looking more and more like it was an intended political operation rather than a national security issue. And if so, it's a direct threat to our democracy and should be addressed with the full power and legal impact of our judicial system. If it was political, EVERYONE involved should be prosecuted to the fullest extend of the law and they should spend significant time behind bars.
magic_worker 1d
In my opinion the key points are: - Obama spied on Trump and many other Senator's Congressmen, Judges, and the press without warrants they only did Trump warrants well after they started spying.

This was to cover their a$$ because they had no warrants when the spying started. Did it start the second a billionaire stepped on the escalator or before? - Obama spied using our allies (GCHQ) 5 eyes etc. and DOJ, IRS, FBI, CIA, Treasury and all the Alphabet Obamagate will be 10,000 x worse than Watergate, Don't fall for the golly gee Obama knew nothing Schultz defense. - Awan's were hired by Obama to run the DNC server, you really don't think Debbie hired them do you? ... See more

Rosa1984 Leader 3d
They're covering up an attempted coup. What we've witnessed the past 15 months is HORRIFIC, Deeply Disturbing, and a Threat to the U.S. We CANNOT allow Democrats and Deep State to get away with this.
NoBS NoSpam Influencer 3d Edited
Did you know the President was in Nevada and Las Vegas during the Mandalay Assassination? Err, I mean the mass shooting by an FBI informant, of course. We assume Trump is free to govern. Why? If the Deep State owns the FBI, CIA, NSA and the most powerful weapon on Earth, the IRS. Martial Law of all Security clearance holders who are still alive "off" the books or not. Operative word is "Ex" spooks and their active psychopath cousins in the Military Industrial Complex.
Peps Leader 3d
All of which means precisely nothing, because Sessions (via his absurd recusal) and Rosenstein allowed the Statute of Limitations to run out against Clapper without filing a perjury charge. So, once again, if you are a high-ranking DC insider, you can commit a felony for which any average citizen would be arrested, prosecuted and jailed, and do so with absolute, arrogant impunity, regardless of which party is technically in charge of the Department of Justice.
KathyMcP 3d
What is the limitation period for a perjury charge???
carolinaswampfox Leader 3d
What is the limitations period for sedition, treason, conspiring to interfere with a presidential election, conspiring to overturn the results of an American presidential election, obstruction of justice, illegal abuse of the FISA process, perjury in sworn testimony and in the FISA process, etc.
Sam Hyde Leader 3d Edited
Mr. Clapper, did you leak any information on the briefings that took place with the President and President-elect? Clapper: Not wittingly. How many times has this guy committed perjury and gotten away with it? lol
Carolinatarheel Leader 3d
Obama lowered the bar substantially for ethical standards and telling the truth! Our FBI is corrupt and dangerous! Mueller and Comey are dirty cops! ...
chris_zzz Leader 3d
It's a bit ironic that Comey has been the focus of so much ire from the Trump people. Brennan and Clapper, not Comey, were the Obama political hacks who were pushing the Russian collusion angle.

They forced the FBI to open a Trump/Russia investigation, even though Strzok and Comey were skeptical that any real evidence existed. Congressional investigators as well as the relevant IGs need to look at whether Obama himself, as well as the White House staff, engineered the Trump/Russia collusion hocus-pocus. It's hard to believe that Clapper and Brennan (and Lynch, Yates, and Ohr from DoJ) cooked-up the scheme without the approval/direction of Obama. In fact, the sheer political evil genius of the Trump/Russia collusion plot, including how it "explained" the DNC hack, reeks of the only person capable of inventing it: that 'ol silver fox himself, Bill Clinton.

Greg Bed 2d
I think it is Comey's sanctimonious self-righteousness that brings that reaction. It always does. No matter who the parties are or what event it is. Even though their crimes are greater, it is easier to tolerate the obviously slimy swamp critters like Clapper and Brennan than it is the pious hypocrite like Comey.
GameTime68 Leader 3d
How much more of this are we going to have to read about before someone with authority begins investigating this entire sordid mess? Until someone is indicated and charged with something, there is no incentive for the truth - just more media stories about conflicting congressional testimony, colleague disagreements on the veracity of statements, and so forth. Those of us who sat through Watergate were not naive enough to think it was a one-off. What is Sessions doing? Where is the special investigator for Dossiergate?
NoBS NoSpam Influencer 3d
The DNC was caught in the act of rigging the Primaries. Fact. Do we really think they stopped at only the level of the DNC Primaries? I wish to be that naive so my love for America was still alive and not dead like Seth Rich. The low lives could not even cheat well, but not from lack of trying.
GameTime68 Leader span 3d
And someone inside hacked their computers for all those emails, too. That's why they didn't turn over their computers to the F.B.I. because it would bear that out.
Old Paratrooper Contributor 3d
Brennan and Clapper may have been the puppetmasters, with Comey, McCabe, Stzrok, Page, Ohr and Yates dancing to their tune, but Rogers didn't play nice and they didn't even invite the Defense Intelligence Agency to play. But I suspect the conspiracy went to the White House. Didn't Page say that the President "wanted to know everything we do"? And I suspect that Susan Rice, Valarie Jarrett and Ben Rhodes left fingerprints all over this crime.
chris_zzz Leader span oper 3d
The NSA director at the time, Adm. Rogers, reportedly visited Trump (without Clapper's authorization) during the transition to inform Trump about the FBI's surveillance of his operation. The next day Trump tweeted that Obama was wiretapping Trump Tower.
carolinaswampfox Leader 3d
Rogers is a white hat in a sea of black hats who tried to fire him for being a patriot. Rogers is a true American hero, without whom the extent of this coup and treasonous plot may never have been fully uncovered. The big ugly awaits the traitors and hopefully, the great awakening begins.
carolinaswampfox Leader span oper 3d
--and BHO communicated with Hillary at her private email address. The computers were smashed and bleach bit and Comey and company obstructed justice in whitewashing the Clinton investigation because all roads lead to BHO.
Right-Here; Right Now ! Influencer 3d
The cogent fact is that none of that matters since the entire premise is that the Russians hacked the emails.....the ENTIRE Russia collusion theory collapses without the hacking of emails. And of course the Russians did not hack the DNC emails (time stamps on the meta data PROVE that they were copied at speeds too fast for any internet hack) ....they were downloaded on site on to a portable storage devise. We Know that the DNC denied law enforcement access to its server, (why would any "victim," of a crime refuse to cooperate with investigators?) Even more remarkable, experts determined that the files released by Guccifer 2.0 have been "run, via ordinary cut and paste, through a template that effectively immersed them in what could plausibly be cast as Russian fingerprints." Brennan Clapper and Comey ALL testified to congress that the CIA...and many others.. had this capability to leave "fingerprints" of whomever they wished to implicate. Moreover, for what it is worth, Julian Assange has repeatedly denied that Russia "or any state actor" was the source of the stolen DNC data published by WikiLeaks...but rather a staffer who passed a portable drive on the Mall in DC I think its safe to assume that the downloading was done by Imran Awan who we KNOW had access and we KNOW downloaded material and we KNOW used unauthorized methods to access unauthorized areas of Congressional servers and TOTAL ... See more
James Fitzpatrick Influencer span Right Now ! 3d Edited
I believe the name you're looking for is "Seth Rich." This is a case that requires a bull dog, not Droopy Dog. It's got murder, blackmail, extortion, Deep State conspiracy, high treason, low-level corruption, perverted sex cults... c'mon! Why are we still hearing about how a Senator met a Russian Ambassador at a meet-and-greet?! This is real drama!
NoBS NoSpam Influencer span atrick 3d
They are mocking Seth Rich as the Russian Hacker. They keep dragging this kids hard work through the mud!
JayTeigh Leader span Right Now ! 3d
I think you're right about Awan being the hacker. I now wonder if the somehow sold the emails to someone who sent them to Assange.
James Fitzpatrick Influencer 3d
Here are some things that need investigation:
  1. Aside from the obvious crimes of espionage and certainly extortion and fraud, why was Imran Awan trying to flee the country just after Seth Rich's assassination? Was Rich spilling the beans about Debbie Schultz's Pakistani mole and not just the Hillary scam?
  2. Russia expert Nellie Ohr was hired by FusionGPS during the launch of the Steele scam. But she was CIA. Was Fusion itself a rogue CIA shell org? And nobody seems to get the connection to the CIA OpenSource hackers' toolbox that was leaked into the wild, just as the "resist" people were expressing concern that THEY would lose access to these spying malware products and could no longer spy on Trump. And who worked for the OpenSource project? Why, Nellie Ohr, of course. Funny.
pmidas span atrick 3d
Didn't Nellie state in some format that "i am going to be purchasing short-wave radios for our communications going forward"....?
James Fitzpatrick Influencer 3d
Yes. One of many attempts to dodge a trail for investigators, oversight and FOIA.
BorisBadinov Leader 3d
Brennan and Clapper are dirty as can be. They are both corrupt deep state agents, and should go to prison for their lies and corruption. Adm. Rogers looks like the only straight-shooter in the bunch.
NoBS NoSpam Influencer span v 3d
General Flynn was the main crusader for our children's dignity. The son of a b*censured*ich is still fighting for them!
Grandmother of 7 Contributor 3d
May Brennan and all his cohorts, including Obama, rot from the inside out because I doubt anything we could punish them with would be enough. They did more damage to the Republic than Osama bin Laden and his ilk ever could.
Mcgovern72 Leader 3d
The Clap-Man and Jimmy the B continue to be the best sources of intrigue on the whole collusion confusion, huh? Their legacy tarnished by all the lies, they now get to spew it on 'fake news', further tarnishing the credibility of 'faux news'. Brilliant!!
Sam Hyde Leader span 3d Edited
DNI Clapper doing what DNI Clapper does best. I can see him rubbing his greasy egg head right now for not having his story straight.
dadling 3d
There are 2 sets of Laws in America. One for the elite, power political people and one for the Joe Sixpacks.....there is NO Law in America...the people are still asleep and have yet to be roused. However, when they do wake up, pitchforks, tar & feathers will be the order of the day for these criminals.
dawg1234 3d
Ouch! Quite a scathing article from Real Clear! Impressive! Brennan? Brennan? Calling Mister, John, Brennan! LOL, this is getting fun!
cjones1 Leader 3d
The plot thickens!
leestauf4 Leader 2d
The democrats accuse Trump of colluding with the Russians to get elected, have ZERO proof of it after two years of trying to invent it, and yet it is a proven fact that Hillary and the DNC, through the middlemen Fusion GPS and Steele, COLLUDED with and paid high level Russian officials millions of dollars to produce the "salacious and completely unverified dossier" (Comey's words), in an attempt to throw our election like they did in their own primary, and to then try to impeach a constitutionally elected president with the same Russian supplied lies when that failed! So where was the actual collusion with the enemy? And why is Mueller completely ignoring those facts?
jrc_mrc 2d
Former FBI Director James Comey has a long history of involvement in Department of Justice actions that arguably ended up favorable to the Clintons. In 2001, following the original 9/11 mass murder by the Muslim jihadists, President Bush asked the FBI to track the movements of likely Muslim jihadists; Comey and Mueller refused that request on the basis that such tracking would be "un-American". The jihadist mass murders of Americans in Boston, Chattanooga, Orlando, Fort Hood, and San Bernardino are therefore the direct result of that irresponsible refusal. In 2004 Comey, then serving as a deputy attorney general in the Justice Department, apparently limited the scope of the criminal investigation of Sandy Berger, which left out former Clinton administration officials who may have coordinated with Berger in his removal and destruction of classified records from the National Archives. The documents were relevant to the accusations that the Clinton administration was negligent in the build-up to the 9/11 terrorist attack. Back a year or two ago, FBI director Comey announced that despite the evidence of "extreme negligence" by Hillary Clinton and her top aides regarding the handling of classified information through her unprotected private email server, the FBI would not refer criminal charges to Attorney General Loretta Lynch and the Justice Department since it was just a case of innocent negligence.
jrc_mrc 2d
FBI has had its ups and downs, certainly, but usually it found those low times due to some mishap or bad policy decisions based on matters of process by its upper management. But despite some of the worst 1970s conspiracy theories, rarely has the FBI been considered a bald-faced political actor until Director James Comey tarnished the shield by becoming a member of the Hillary Clinton's election campaign.

The FBI is no longer a legitimate or competent law enforcement agency. The FBI has become nothing more than a bunch of goons for the DNC and the Democrat Party. The FBI should now be considered a domestic corrupt terrorist organization. Due to the FBI's corruption and political affiliation with the Democrat Party, they should no longer have jurisdiction over a single American citizen. Comey is now guilty of treason by default and association. He has violated his sworn oath and must be removed. "Yes – Hillary Clinton is guilty but we will not recommend prosecution" – he declared to the congressional inquiry with a straight face. In other words, and for all practical purposes our FBI had become the American KGB.

KenPittman 2d
Clapper, Brennan and Comey have al likely retained legal counsel as Nunes has brilliantly followed the trail methodically backwards to the source. The Ohr couple, the intercepts of Strzok and the common denominators linking Stefan Halper are going to rock the Deep State to its foundation. Thankfully there are enough patriots in Washington to continue to outflank the framing of the POTUS.
johnmike 2d
The butts of Brennan, Clapper, and Comey should be hauled before a Grand Jury by John Huber, the US Attorney, as stated by Joe DiGenova. I believe all three are enemies of the US and the biggest threats to our constitutional republic. Brennan once voted for a communist. All three are pathological liars...it's scary that these three scumbags held the highest and most critical intelligence and law enforcement positions in the nation.
Ralph Lynch Contributor 1d
If these yokels better knew history, they would better understand the dangers of fomenting revolution.

[May 18, 2018] The Steele Dossier the Intelligence Community Assessment by Jeff Carlson, CFA

May 15, 2018 | www.themarketswork.com

An article, Two Colleagues Contradict Brennan's Denial of Reliance on Dossier , caught the attention of a bunch of folks:

In a March 5, 2018, letter to House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes, Adm. Rogers informed the committee that a two-page summary of the dossier -- described as "the Christopher Steele information" -- was "added" as an "appendix to the ICA draft," and that consideration of that appendix was "part of the overall ICA review/approval process."

A source close to the House investigation said Brennan himself selected the CIA and FBI analysts who worked on the ICA, and that they included former FBI counterespionage chief Peter Strzok.

"Strzok was the intermediary between Brennan and [former FBI Director James] Comey, and he was one of the authors of the ICA," according to the source.

As a result of the article, I'm re-upping relevant portions from a February 23, 2108 post, Did Brennan & Clapper Use the Steele Dossier in the Intelligence Community Assessment:

We've long suspected that Clapper and Brennan were already ensnared in the Inspector General's Investigation – see John Brennan & James Clapper – Complicity, Lies & Bill Priestap .

Clapper was the architect of the report – Assessing Russian Activities and Intentions in Recent U.S. Elections . I've previously discussed the report here and here .

Clapper's Assessment Report was the third in series of reports – each building on the other.

The first report, an assessment of Russian Intervention, was made in an October 7, 2016, Joint Statement from the Department of Homeland Security and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence noting the Intelligence Community was confident of Russian involvement in our election.

Later testimony by our various Intelligence Directors confirmed that Russia is always involved in Presidential elections.

The October report was followed up by a December 29, 2016, Joint Analysis by Homeland Security and the FBI titled GRIZZLY STEPPE – Russian Malicious Cyber Activity .

This report was meant to directly tie Russian hacking to the election.

What the report actually did was use technical language to describe a generalized hacking process – and the means by which hacking and phishing can be generally prevented.

I strongly encourage you to read the report. Its lack of actual detail is eye-opening.

FBI Russian Hacking Report by The Conservative Treehouse on Scribd

[May 18, 2018] In fact the Intelligence Community Assessment was the work product of two of Brennan's analysts

Notable quotes:
"... The paper was represented to be an IC wide opinion (like an NIE). ..."
May 18, 2018 | www.unz.com

Originally from: The President is not CinC of the US, by W. Patrick Lang - The Unz Review

3. John Brennan, James Clapper and Admiral Rogers stage-managed a paper in January, 2017 that asserted that the Intelligence Community believed various things about Russian government tinkering with the US election (much as the US does in other countries' elections). The paper was represented to be an IC wide opinion (like an NIE).

Clapper gave it his imprimatur as Director of National Intelligence but Admiral Rogers at the National Security Agency could not get his people to express more than limited confidence in the document. DIA, State Department INR, the Army, Navy, Air Force and other agencies were either not consulted or did not deign to "sign on." Donald J Trump thinks this is a "rum deal," a phony politically motivated procedure run by a group of "hacks". Why would he not think that? The reaction of the Left is to excoriate him for his lack of "respect", for the people who "cooked up" this document. We should remember that the people who "cooked" the document have no legal or constitutional existence outside the framework of the Executive Branch. Any president, in any circumstance could dismiss them all at will. No president is under any obligation at all to accept their opinion or that of anyone in the Executive Branch on anything. They are his advisers and subordinates, tools in his kit box, and that is all they are.

[May 14, 2018] You will never see a headline in WSJ which reads something like FBI spy infiltrated the Trump campaign .

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... At this point I have no belief that we'll ever see the entirety of the shenanigans or that any will be held to account. The bureaucratic gamesmanship with Nunes, Grassley and others to block, obfuscate and prevent any disclosure on one side and the complexity and extensiveness of the misuse of law enforcement and intelligence powers ensures that the American people will never know how warped their national security institutions have become. ..."
"... Net net, it seems to me that our national security apparatus along with our equally compromised political establishment will through sheer hubris and ineptitude, bungle into a situation that could be very dangerous not only to us but to the world at large. ..."
"... In other news: the Praetorian Guard is so embroiled in extracurricular activities that it doesn't actually spend any time guarding the Emperor. ..."
"... It is interesting that I don't see a headline on WSJ which reads something like "FBI spy infiltrated the Trump campaign". Of course I don't see such a headline on CNN or the NYTimes. To think that I once looked down my nose at Fox News. ..."
"... This article by Andy McCarthy reviews some of the Page-Strzok text messages and looks at what was redacted especially in light of Nunes pushing for the unredaction of the name of the person who is apparently associated with both US and British intelligence and apparently met with George Papadapolous prior to his meeting with the Australian ambassador Downer. ..."
"... A couple of interesting posts on Nunes. The Deep State Mob Targets Nunes https://www.zerohedge.com/n... Devin Nunes is a Badass https://amgreatness.com/201... ..."
"... The Trump campaign and presidency show similar characteristics. Placing a mole in that chaos seems to have been about the easiest possible intelligence operation. If we knew the details, would we find ANYONE who made the effort and failed to get past Trump level "vetting"? Does anyone think that Michael Wolf's experience was unique? It seems plausible that over time more and more of the real work is getting done by such people simply because they are careful not to do the sorts of things that lead to actual believers leaving at such impressive rates. ..."
"... The significance is pretty simple. What was the actual intelligence information to launch the counter-intelligence investigation of the Trump campaign? None. It was all a fabrication by Brennan and Clapper that was then laundered through to Comey to use the investigatory authorities and tools. ..."
"... The bottom line is that an incumbent administration used the national security apparatus to spy and frame a presidential campaign of the other party and directly intervene and manipulate a presidential election. And when they failed created media hysteria to launch an effort to find impeachable offenses of a duly elected president. This is what happens in a banana republic. We are one now, That is the significance. ..."
"... In my mind after 2 years of investigation both by the FBI/DOJ and then Mueller they've yet to provide any evidence that the Trump campaign colluded with the Russian government. On the other hand there is increasing evidence that the FBI/DOJ were weaponized for political purposes. ..."
"... The executive branch of government, in this case the Obama administration, planting a federal agent inside the political campaign of the Democratic Party's opponent to entrap members of that campaign or the candidate himself. ..."
"... I recall Carter Page being identified several months back in a SST comments section as the probable US intel source enabling the broad FISA order ..."
"... I suppose that this is the usual foreign (often ME) belief that America is about them rather than about itself. In fact Trump is leading an attempt at counter-revolution, a revolt of the heartland against the elites of the left and right coasts and islands in the stream like Chicago. The counter-revolution is against globalist internationalism that discounts the welfare of the heartland as well as against "progressivism" which denies the faith writ large of the heartland. ..."
May 14, 2018 | turcopolier.typepad.com

blue peacock , a day ago

As the onion gets slowly peeled back what we are seeing is staggering in its scope and depth. It is starting to make sense to me as to why the immense failures across the entire national security and law enforcement apparatus. Their leadership have been far too busy and immersed in playing political games, bureaucratic games and engaging in media operations. They've had no time or mental energy remaining to do the actual work that they've been paid to do.

At this point I have no belief that we'll ever see the entirety of the shenanigans or that any will be held to account. The bureaucratic gamesmanship with Nunes, Grassley and others to block, obfuscate and prevent any disclosure on one side and the complexity and extensiveness of the misuse of law enforcement and intelligence powers ensures that the American people will never know how warped their national security institutions have become.

The other side is that it seems that for Trump himself it is not about getting it out to the public as he could declassify all these documents with a stroke of a pen, but to use this to play up his victimization and rile up his base. That seems to be working if the attendance at his recent public rallies are an indicator.

Net net, it seems to me that our national security apparatus along with our equally compromised political establishment will through sheer hubris and ineptitude, bungle into a situation that could be very dangerous not only to us but to the world at large.

Sid Finster -> blue peacock , 8 hours ago
In other news: the Praetorian Guard is so embroiled in extracurricular activities that it doesn't actually spend any time guarding the Emperor.

From the point of view of the Iron Law of Institutions, the FBI's decision to play politics at the expense of law enforcement makes perfect sense.

James Thomas , 2 days ago
It is interesting that I don't see a headline on WSJ which reads something like "FBI spy infiltrated the Trump campaign". Of course I don't see such a headline on CNN or the NYTimes. To think that I once looked down my nose at Fox News.
richardstevenhack , 2 days ago
This link is better - it takes you past the WSJ paywall:

https://www.wsj.com/article...

Jack , 8 minutes ago
This article by Andy McCarthy reviews some of the Page-Strzok text messages and looks at what was redacted especially in light of Nunes pushing for the unredaction of the name of the person who is apparently associated with both US and British intelligence and apparently met with George Papadapolous prior to his meeting with the Australian ambassador Downer.

https://www.nationalreview....

Valissa Rauhallinen , a day ago
A couple of interesting posts on Nunes. The Deep State Mob Targets Nunes https://www.zerohedge.com/n... Devin Nunes is a Badass https://amgreatness.com/201...
Fred W , a day ago
The incoherence is stunning. And in the same kind of way as the hullabaloo on the left over Russian interference in the 2016 elections.

Let's start with the Russian participation since we now know a lot more about that. It was obnoxious. It showed potential for future serious damage to the US electoral system. But did it elect Donald Trump? No. The Russians were dabbling in a game being run at much larger scale by world class practitioners. They brought to the table neither the sophisticated understanding of American politics not the resources required to make a difference. They picked some targets of opportunity and were able to use pre-existing cleavages to their advantage.

The Trump campaign and presidency show similar characteristics. Placing a mole in that chaos seems to have been about the easiest possible intelligence operation. If we knew the details, would we find ANYONE who made the effort and failed to get past Trump level "vetting"? Does anyone think that Michael Wolf's experience was unique? It seems plausible that over time more and more of the real work is getting done by such people simply because they are careful not to do the sorts of things that lead to actual believers leaving at such impressive rates.

And what is the significance of the possible mole? Do we see a pattern of Trump administration initiatives being frustrated by subtle maneuvers by people who always seem to know what is the next planned move? No. Even their closest allies don't seem to have any idea what to expect. What would be the content of reports from such a mole?

So the contention is that that the FBI (or CIA?) opened up a channel of communication with someone in an inside position. Or placed someone in an inside position. For valid reasons or bad. I'm inclined to think probably good reasons; the WSJ writers are inclined to think bad. Did this happen before or after the famous Papadopoulis drunken indiscretions? If before, then indeed they need to have had reasons beyond what they have expressed.

But again, what is the significance? The WSJ article makes a brief foray into the suspicious nature of other (non-Russian) foreigners and leaves it at that. Did the intelligence agencies then undertake investigations that they shouldn't have? Regardless of where allegations come from, do we really want an intelligence service that follows up only on data from "approved" sources? If there was nothing going on, the proper action for the intelligence agencies was to determine that fact.

blue peacock -> Fred W , a day ago
The significance is pretty simple. What was the actual intelligence information to launch the counter-intelligence investigation of the Trump campaign? None. It was all a fabrication by Brennan and Clapper that was then laundered through to Comey to use the investigatory authorities and tools.

The bottom line is that an incumbent administration used the national security apparatus to spy and frame a presidential campaign of the other party and directly intervene and manipulate a presidential election. And when they failed created media hysteria to launch an effort to find impeachable offenses of a duly elected president. This is what happens in a banana republic. We are one now, That is the significance.

Fred W -> blue peacock , 13 hours ago
What I meant by significance was actual use of the data obtained. Discerning that can be logically dicey, but in general the investigation seems to have held data about as tight as it can be held. Other investigators don't seem to have much trouble turning up interesting (and embarrassing) history, but nobody seems to know what the FBI investigation has or doesn't have.

You do reference a "media hysteria to launch an effort to find impeachable offenses". That did happen. Media hysteria is how America does things these days. But any connection to the FBI investigation is problematic. That seems to have started with people deliberately going around the FBI and CIA, which initially wouldn't even confirm the existence of an investigation.

You don't like the fact that they investigated at all, and you may be right. But rightness or wrongness of initiating an investigation is certain to be contentious and to depend on facts that you and I don't have. Please correct me if in fact you do have access to the detailed fact set and timeline that went into the decision making. In the meantime I will assume only access to publicly available data. If the investigation was started capriciously, that would qualify as a serious problem. If facts or allegations with major national security implications only became available after other less damning data had caused investigation to begin, I am not very interested. This is about protecting the country, not about checking the right boxes. In the long term, failing to investigate serious charges will seem a lot more damning than overreacting to spurious ones.

This all seems to come down to matters of trust. Do we trust the FBI to have done its job professionally and without any overriding partisan bias? Yeah. My trust levels are pretty low, actually but I don't see much evidence to stoke the suspicions that are being so flagrantly marketed. To begin with, if you wanted to locate a cabal of hard-core leftist partisans in the US government, FBI agents would seem an unlikely place to look. If anything the known occurrences of bias seem to been directed against Hillary Clinton as much as than Donald Trump. Then there is the lack of instances of using investigation data in blatantly political ways. Their data is held very tightly. And what is the theory of how such a widespread conspiracy could have been put in place without anyone noticing at the time?

In the real world trustworthiness is always limited and relative. For this issue, would you trust the FBI more than self-interested politicians? Devin Nunes in particular with his history of leaking out-of-context mini-quotes, but really any politician. Would you trust the current FBI more than any replacement that could be formed? Would you trust that they are not carrying on the sort of activities uncovered by the Church committee? I know of no reason to withhold trust at that level.

And again we come back to significance. It might be worth digging out all the details if the investigation was being used to blackmail and intimidate people. (How would you set about intimidating Donald Trump?) Or if false charges were being filed against people. (The charges don't look false. The scandal may be that no one seems to have looked before at some of this. In any case false charges are a technique for people without the resources to defend themselves. Not these guys.) What has occurred to justify throwing away the system we have built over the years?

I don't see American political players being abused by an out-of-control FBI. I see some American political players desperately wanting to keep facts from coming out. "If you have an innocent client, act like it!"

Jack -> Fred W , 23 minutes ago
This whole Russia collusion affair speaks volumes about the state of our nation.

The testimony from Brennan, Clapper and Comey points to Electronic Communication as the original basis for the launch of the counter-intelligence probe of the Trump campaign. The DOJ and FBI have not been forthcoming on what exactly that was. They've continuously fought disclosure and then when the pressure rose from Congressional oversight they redacted critical elements. When some of the redactions were unredacted it showed it had nothing to do with national security and everything to do with preventing malfeasance and politicization from being disclosed. Nunes has disclosed that the electronic communication did not originate from a 5 Eyes party. From testimony and other public disclosures it seems that the electronic communication originated from Brennan and Clapper.

There's something fishy for sure that happened during the Summer/Fall 2016. In my mind after 2 years of investigation both by the FBI/DOJ and then Mueller they've yet to provide any evidence that the Trump campaign colluded with the Russian government. On the other hand there is increasing evidence that the FBI/DOJ were weaponized for political purposes.

Fred -> Fred W , a day ago
FredW,

"...dabbling in a game being run at much larger scale by world class practitioners."

And who might those practitioners be?

You ask about significance twice: "And what is the significance of the possible mole?" and "But again, what is the significance?"

The executive branch of government, in this case the Obama administration, planting a federal agent inside the political campaign of the Democratic Party's opponent to entrap members of that campaign or the candidate himself.

Those are Alinsky's rules, not constitutional principles in a democratic society. The follow on question is how many other times was this done in political campaigns inside the US to favor the political party in power, in this case the Democratic Party?

ChrisFahlman -> Fred , 10 hours ago
Trump by chance may have hired someone who came already with a past (and unrelated to anything Trump) FBI or CIA relationship. So it may not be a case of "planting" but of asset activation, or the source itself may have initiated the contact with law enforcement regarding possible crimes.
Fred S -> ChrisFahlman , 8 hours ago
Chris,

You mean it was just oh so coincidental that "someone who came with a past....FBI" How many other elections for President, or any other elected office, did this happen in previously? Perhaps an audit of all the FISA applications previously made would be helpful.

Fred W -> Fred , a day ago
"To entrap members of the campaign or the candidate himself"

You are assuming a motive. I have long since learned not to make assumptions about other people's motives. My mind-reading credentials expired long ago. In any case, one of the very first rules of intelligence is to avoid such assumptions.

In any case, your theory suffers from a lack of examples of such entrapment. The embarassments experienced all seem to have derived from much more basic and public sources. Whatever the intelligence agencies found on their own has remained private except for actual indictments. None of those qualify in my mind as "entrapment".

Fred S -> Fred W , 8 hours ago
FredW,

There have been no indictments against Trump or members of his campaign for aiding Russians with interference in the 2016 election.

Wj , 2 days ago
I recall Carter Page being identified several months back in a SST comments section as the probable US intel source enabling the broad FISA order.
Pat Lang Mod -> Wj , a day ago
We are talking about a second one.
Alexandros HoMegas , 2 days ago
So what is happening? This seems like a conflict inside the US ruling class, those who favored the Iran deal and those who want war.
Pat Lang Mod -> Alexandros HoMegas , 2 days ago
I suppose that this is the usual foreign (often ME) belief that America is about them rather than about itself. In fact Trump is leading an attempt at counter-revolution, a revolt of the heartland against the elites of the left and right coasts and islands in the stream like Chicago. The counter-revolution is against globalist internationalism that discounts the welfare of the heartland as well as against "progressivism" which denies the faith writ large of the heartland.

The Iran as enemy issue is derived from generations of pro-Zionist propaganda from those coastal elites. This has had a profound effect on the Christian evangelicals of the heartland who think Zion fulfills prophecy as a harbinger of the end of days. They are many of Trump's "troops."

[May 14, 2018] Keep an eye on the FBI or CIA spy inside the Trump campaign by Robert Willmann

May 12, 2018 | turcopolier.typepad.com

Bubbling up in the last several days is a story separate from but perhaps more highly charged and incriminating than the surveillance of Carter Page through a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court warrant that followed Page into the Donald Trump campaign for president. A U.S. citizen who had been an informant for the FBI and CIA may have been acting as an informant gathering information from inside and around the Trump campaign for one or both of them.

Even though everybody and their dog want to get a mole inside the campaign of a political opponent, this appears to be action by one or more governmental agencies to spy on a political campaign through an inside source, a/k/a HUMINT.

Although Carter Page may have been also acting as a knowing informant, he was at least and maybe was no more than a "walking wiretap" under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) during his interactions with the Trump campaign. A clue in the 18 January 2018 memo of the U.S. House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence which was declassified by order of the president on 2 February 2018 said that the FISA probable cause order on Carter Page "was not under Title 7" of FISA. It was under Title 1, which is the most expansive authorization under that law [1].

This new misconduct is being explored by U.S. Representative Devin Nunes (Repub., California, 22nd District), who is chairman of the House Intel Committee and is actually trying to do his job . He was first elected to Congress in 2002.

[1] Summary of Title 1 of FISA from the House Intel Committee--

https://intelligence.house.gov/uploadedfiles/fisa_title_i_summary.pdf

http://www.wsj.com/articles/about-that-fbi-source-1525992611

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=169&v=qub6z4f9_HQ

Posted at 06:30 PM in Administration , Current Affairs , government , Intelligence , Justice , Politics | Permalink | 1 Comment

[May 13, 2018] Keep an eye on the FBI or CIA spy inside the Trump campaign - By Robert Willmann

May 12, 2018 | turcopolier.typepad.com

Bubbling up in the last several days is a story separate from but perhaps more highly charged and incriminating than the surveillance of Carter Page through a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court warrant that followed Page into the Donald Trump campaign for president. A U.S. citizen who had been an informant for the FBI and CIA may have been acting as an informant gathering information from inside and around the Trump campaign for one or both of them.

Even though everybody and their dog want to get a mole inside the campaign of a political opponent, this appears to be action by one or more governmental agencies to spy on a political campaign through an inside source, a/k/a HUMINT.

Although Carter Page may have been also acting as a knowing informant, he was at least and maybe was no more than a "walking wiretap" under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) during his interactions with the Trump campaign. A clue in the 18 January 2018 memo of the U.S. House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence which was declassified by order of the president on 2 February 2018 said that the FISA probable cause order on Carter Page "was not under Title 7" of FISA. It was under Title 1, which is the most expansive authorization under that law [1].

This new misconduct is being explored by U.S. Representative Devin Nunes (Repub., California, 22nd District), who is chairman of the House Intel Committee and is actually trying to do his job . He was first elected to Congress in 2002.

[1] Summary of Title 1 of FISA from the House Intel Committee--

https://intelligence.house.gov/uploadedfiles/fisa_title_i_summary.pdf

http://www.wsj.com/articles/about-that-fbi-source-1525992611

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=169&v=qub6z4f9_HQ

Posted at 06:30 PM in Administration , Current Affairs , government , Intelligence , Justice , Politics | Permalink | 1 Comment

[May 12, 2018] Julian Assange: There is something very odd about the Joseph Mifsud story and the role of the UK in the 2016 US presidential election

May 12, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

Posted by: WJ | May 12, 2018 3:50:46 PM | 96

Julian Assange
@JulianAssange
There is something very odd about the Joseph Mifsud story and the role of the UK in the 2016 US presidential election:
(thread)
5:07 PM · Mar 22, 2018


DEVELOPING: A major new front is opening in the political espionage scandal. In summer 2016, Brennan with his FBI liaison Strzok, along with help from Kerry @ State, were trying to set Russian espionage traps for minor players in the Trump campaign through cultivated intel assets

-- Paul Sperry (@paulsperry_) May 11, 2018

james , May 12, 2018 4:18:00 PM | 105
@96 wj... you might find this article on mifsud of interest.. there are some earlier ones on that site too worth a read.. the gist of the articles are essentially mifsud is a british or cia intel asset, as opposed to how he is portrayed in the west..

@99 / 100 a p.. thanks for your perspective and your many fine posts! i guess we can wait and see how it unfolds..

[May 04, 2018] Memo to Trump Defy Robert Mueller by Patrick J. Buchanan

The shadow of 9/11 hangs over Mueller. The Deep State keeps him by the balls and wants results. And that means impeachment.
CIA-democrats which now is the ruling wing of Democratic Party wants to get to power but they have no that many viable candidates for midterm elections. If they overplay their hand then the attempt to cover betrayal of ordinary Americans with former military CIA candidates might backfire.
Notable quotes:
"... By now, witnesses have testified in ways that contradict what Trump has said. This, plus Trump's impulsiveness, propensity to exaggerate, and often rash responses to hostile questions, would make him easy prey for the perjury traps prosecutors set up when they cannot convict their targets on the evidence. Mueller and his team are the ones who need this interrogation. ..."
"... For, after almost two years, their Russiagate investigation has produced no conclusive proof of the foundational charge: that Trump's team colluded with Vladimir Putin's Russia to hack and thieve the emails of the Clinton campaign and DNC. ..."
"... Having failed, Mueller & Co. now seek to prove that, even if Trump did not collude with the Russians, he interfered with their investigation. How did Trump obstruct justice? ..."
"... Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of a new book, ..."
"... . To find out more about Patrick Buchanan and read features by other Creators writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators website at www.creators.com. ..."
May 04, 2018 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Should Mueller subpoena him, as he has threatened to do, Trump should ignore the subpoena and frame it for viewing in Trump Tower.

If Mueller goes to the Supreme Court and wins an order for Trump to comply and testify before a grand jury, Trump should defy the Court.

The only institution that is empowered to prosecute a president is Congress. If charges against Trump are to be brought, this is the arena, this is the forum, where the battle should be fought and the fate and future of the Trump presidency decided.

The goal of Mueller's prosecutors is to take down Trump on the cheap. If they can get him behind closed doors and make him respond in detail to questions -- to which they already know the answers -- any misstep by Trump could be converted into a perjury charge.

Trump has to score 100 on a test to which Mueller's team has all the answers in advance while he must rely upon memory.

Why take this risk?

By now, witnesses have testified in ways that contradict what Trump has said. This, plus Trump's impulsiveness, propensity to exaggerate, and often rash responses to hostile questions, would make him easy prey for the perjury traps prosecutors set up when they cannot convict their targets on the evidence. Mueller and his team are the ones who need this interrogation.

For, after almost two years, their Russiagate investigation has produced no conclusive proof of the foundational charge: that Trump's team colluded with Vladimir Putin's Russia to hack and thieve the emails of the Clinton campaign and DNC.

Having failed, Mueller & Co. now seek to prove that, even if Trump did not collude with the Russians, he interfered with their investigation. How did Trump obstruct justice?

Did he suggest that fired national security advisor General Mike Flynn might get a pardon? What was his motive in sacking FBI director James Comey? Did Trump edit the Air Force One explanation of the meeting in June 2016 between his campaign officials and Russians? Did he pressure Attorney General Jeff Sessions to fire Mueller?

Mueller's problem: These questions and more have all been aired and argued endlessly in the public square. Yet no national consensus has formed that Trump committed an offense to justify his removal. Even Democrats are backing away from talk of impeachment.

Trump's lawyers should tell Mueller to wrap up his work, as Trump will not be testifying, no matter what subpoena he draws up or what the courts say he must do. And if Congress threatens impeachment for defying a court order, Trump should tell them: impeach me and be damned.

Would a new Congress really impeach and convict an elected president?

An impeachment battle would be a titanic struggle between a capital that detests Trump and a vast slice of Middle America that voted to repudiate that capital's elite, trusts Trump, and will stand by him to the end.

And in any impeachment debate before Congress and the cameras of the world, not one but two narratives will be heard.

The first is that Trump colluded with the Russians to defeat Hillary Clinton and then sought to obstruct an investigation of his collusion.

The second is the story of how an FBI cabal went into the tank on an investigation of Clinton to save her campaign. Then it used the product of a Clinton-DNC dirt-diving operation, created by a British spy with Russian contacts, to attempt to destroy the Trump candidacy. Now, failing that, it's looking to overthrow the elected president of the United States.

In short, the second narrative is that the "deep state" and its media auxiliaries are colluding to overturn the results of the 2016 election.

Unlike Watergate, with Russiagate, the investigators will be on trial as well.

Trump needs to shift the struggle out of the legal arena, where Mueller and his men have superior weapons, and into the political arena, where he can bring his populous forces to bear on the decision as to his fate.

This is the terrain on which Trump can win: an us-vs-them fight, before Congress and country, where not only the alleged crimes of Trump are aired but also the actual crimes committed to destroy him and to overturn his victory.

Trump is a nationalist who puts America first both in trade and securing her frontiers against an historic invasion from the South. If he is overthrown, and the agenda for which America voted is trashed as well, it may be Middle America in the streets this time.

Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of a new book, Nixon's White House Wars: The Battles That Made and Broke a President and Divided America Forever . To find out more about Patrick Buchanan and read features by other Creators writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators website at www.creators.com.


Sid Finster May 4, 2018 at 11:30 am

https://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2018/05/gaius-publius-setting-perjury-trap-trump.html
swb , says: May 4, 2018 at 1:15 pm
Pat is correct, Trump should try to avoid answering any questions as he is incapable of keeping his lies straight. He can't even keep then straight in two consecutive sentences. A couple of hours of answering questions will result in a incoherent transcript that will take many teams of layers years to decipher.
Kurt Gayle , says: May 4, 2018 at 1:23 pm
Pat, I'm with you 100%!

Somebody should have said this a long time ago:

"Trump's lawyers should tell Mueller to wrap up his work, as Trump will not be testifying, no matter what subpoena he draws up or what the courts say he must do. And if Congress threatens impeachment for defying a court order, Trump should tell them: impeach me and be damned."

The Deep State, the mainstream media, Establishment Democrats, and (yes) Establishment Republicans have been conspiring to overturn the results of the 2016 presidential election since the early hours of Nov. 9, 2016.

But we're not going to let that happen!

You're right, Pat, that "Trump is a nationalist who puts America first both in trade and securing her frontiers against an historic invasion from the South. If he is overthrown, and the agenda for which America voted is trashed as well, it may be Middle America in the streets this time."

Yes! If we have to go into the streets to protect our duly-elected President and our country, then we will take the fight into the streets.

If we don't stand and fight now, we'll lose our country! It's that simple!

Sign me up! I'm ready!

Kurt Gayle , says: May 4, 2018 at 2:17 pm
Pat is right: "The goal of Mueller's prosecutors is to take down Trump on the cheap."

A good example of this came this morning at the Paul Manafort trial in federal court in Virginia, where Judge T.S. Ellis III scolded Mueller's prosecuters:

"You don't really care about Mr. Manafort's bank fraud. You really care about getting information Mr. Manafort can give you that would reflect on Mr. Trump and lead to his prosecution or impeachment I don't see what relationship this indictment [against Manafort] has with anything the special counsel is authorized to investigate."

Ken Zaretzke , says: May 4, 2018 at 3:48 pm
Because Mueller's entire team consists of Democrats, who are presumptively partisan, his investigation lacks even *prima facie* credibility.

It would be nice if Trump's team makes this point. Rudy G. could explain to dimwitted journos, "That means 'on its face.' The point being, what kind of charade is this investigation, and what kind of person doesn't think it's inevitably a charade?"

Dan Green , says: May 4, 2018 at 3:50 pm
The longer the left pursues this impeachment strategy the bigger hole they are digging for themselves. They never come forth with our Obama replacement or a plan.

[May 04, 2018] FBI monitored phone calls of Trump s personal lawyer by Barry Grey

FBI monitored phone calls of Trump's personal lawyer
Notable quotes:
"... US prosecutors, according to news reports, have also been covertly reading Cohen's emails. ..."
"... Spying on a lawyer's phone calls and Internet communications is considered highly unusual, given the principle of lawyer-client privilege. However, the Daily Beast ..."
"... Indeed, Trump's enemies within the ruling elite and the state apparatus know with whom they are dealing. The billionaire president is a representative of the criminal American financial oligarchy, a product of the New York real estate, casino gambling and reality TV milieu. His election expressed the degradation of American bourgeois politics and the entire political system. ..."
"... That being said, the methods being employed by Trump's factional opponents within the ruling elite are profoundly anti-democratic. The Mueller investigation itself is based on concocted and unsubstantiated allegations of Russian "meddling" in the elections and collusion by the Trump campaign in Moscow's supposed efforts to swing the election in his favor. ..."
"... This narrative, which has dominated US politics for nearly two years, has been used by the Democratic Party and most of the corporate media to attempt to whip up a war hysteria against Russia and force Trump to more rapidly escalate Washington's wars in the Middle East. It is also the pretext for the expanding campaign to censor the Internet and criminalize political dissent in the name of combating foreign-inspired "fake news." ..."
"... The context for the latest revelations is a sharpening of the conflict between the Trump White House and Mueller. Over the past several weeks, Trump has reshuffled the legal team handling his dealings with the special counsel to pursue a more aggressive legal response to the investigation. Last month, Trump named former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani to head the team, following the resignation of John Dowd in March. ..."
"... This week, the White House announced the resignation of Ty Cobb, who had counseled Trump to adopt a cooperative posture toward Mueller, advising that such a course would lead to a more rapid conclusion to the investigation. Not only has that not occurred, but Mueller has increased pressure on Trump to agree to an interview with his investigators. ..."
"... Flood has been described in the press as a "wartime consigliere." His appointment is seen as increasing the possibility of a legal fight to block an interview with Mueller that could ultimately go to the US Supreme Court. ..."
"... In a Wednesday night television interview with Fox News' Sean Hannity, Giuliani excoriated former FBI Director James Comey, whom Trump fired last May after Comey announced that the FBI was investigating possible Trump campaign collusion with Russia. Giuliani called him "a disgraceful liar" and said he should be indicted for leaking "confidential FBI information." He called the Mueller probe "a completely tainted investigation" and denounced the FBI raid on Cohen as a "storm trooper" operation. ..."
"... Washington Post ..."
May 04, 2018 | www.wsws.org

Multiple media reports on Thursday revealed that the Federal Bureau of Investigation monitored and logged the phone calls of President Donald Trump's personal lawyer and confidante, Michael Cohen, in the period leading up to the FBI raid on Cohen's office and residences in April.

According to NBC News, at least one of the calls that were tracked was between Cohen and Trump.

The extraordinary fact that the federal government's chief police agency, an integral part of the country's intelligence network, is monitoring telephone communications between the president and his self-described "fixer" points to the explosive level of conflict within the American ruling class and its state.

The revelation comes a month after the FBI, based on a referral from Robert Mueller, the special counsel who is investigating alleged Russian interference in the 2016 election and possible collusion by the Trump campaign, raided Cohen's office and residences as part of a criminal probe into his business dealings. FBI agents seized Cohen's financial records, computer hard drive, cell phones and taped recordings of conversations. Ostensibly, the main concern of federal prosecutors is Cohen's involvement in hush-money payoffs to two women, a porn star and a former Playboy playmate, who claim to have had sexual relations with Trump.

US prosecutors, according to news reports, have also been covertly reading Cohen's emails.

Spying on a lawyer's phone calls and Internet communications is considered highly unusual, given the principle of lawyer-client privilege. However, the Daily Beast quoted Ken White, a former federal prosecutor, as saying, "That sort of thing happens all the time if you're dealing with mob wiretaps."

Indeed, Trump's enemies within the ruling elite and the state apparatus know with whom they are dealing. The billionaire president is a representative of the criminal American financial oligarchy, a product of the New York real estate, casino gambling and reality TV milieu. His election expressed the degradation of American bourgeois politics and the entire political system.

There is little doubt that the FBI and Mueller have seized more than enough evidence of wrong-doing in Trump's business dealings to bring down an indictment, either to attempt a criminal prosecution -- never before carried out against a sitting president -- or force Trump to resign. Alternately, an indictment could become part of an impeachment effort should the Democrats win control of the House of Representatives in the November midterm elections.

No one is more aware of the threat posed by these developments than Trump himself.

That being said, the methods being employed by Trump's factional opponents within the ruling elite are profoundly anti-democratic. The Mueller investigation itself is based on concocted and unsubstantiated allegations of Russian "meddling" in the elections and collusion by the Trump campaign in Moscow's supposed efforts to swing the election in his favor.

This narrative, which has dominated US politics for nearly two years, has been used by the Democratic Party and most of the corporate media to attempt to whip up a war hysteria against Russia and force Trump to more rapidly escalate Washington's wars in the Middle East. It is also the pretext for the expanding campaign to censor the Internet and criminalize political dissent in the name of combating foreign-inspired "fake news."

These are the methods of palace coup, without the slightest democratic or progressive content. Should Trump be removed as a result of such a campaign, the result would be to shift the political system even further to the right.

The context for the latest revelations is a sharpening of the conflict between the Trump White House and Mueller. Over the past several weeks, Trump has reshuffled the legal team handling his dealings with the special counsel to pursue a more aggressive legal response to the investigation. Last month, Trump named former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani to head the team, following the resignation of John Dowd in March.

This week, the White House announced the resignation of Ty Cobb, who had counseled Trump to adopt a cooperative posture toward Mueller, advising that such a course would lead to a more rapid conclusion to the investigation. Not only has that not occurred, but Mueller has increased pressure on Trump to agree to an interview with his investigators.

This week, it was reported that in discussions with Trump's lawyers in March, Mueller threatened to subpoena Trump to appear before a grand jury if he did not voluntarily agree to an interview. On Wednesday, it was announced that Emmet Flood, a Republican who served as one of Bill Clinton's lawyers during the House of Representatives impeachment process in 1998, would replace Cobb.

Flood has been described in the press as a "wartime consigliere." His appointment is seen as increasing the possibility of a legal fight to block an interview with Mueller that could ultimately go to the US Supreme Court.

In a Wednesday night television interview with Fox News' Sean Hannity, Giuliani excoriated former FBI Director James Comey, whom Trump fired last May after Comey announced that the FBI was investigating possible Trump campaign collusion with Russia. Giuliani called him "a disgraceful liar" and said he should be indicted for leaking "confidential FBI information." He called the Mueller probe "a completely tainted investigation" and denounced the FBI raid on Cohen as a "storm trooper" operation.

He cited a list of 49 questions for Trump prepared by Trump's lawyers on the basis of an oral presentation by Mueller's investigators and called the wide-ranging queries concerning links to Russians and potential obstruction of justice, including the firing of Comey, a "perjury trap." The questions were leaked and published earlier this week by the New York Times . The Times , along with the Washington Post , have been in the forefront of the media witch hunt against Russia.

On the question of Trump agreeing to be interviewed by Mueller, Giuliani said, "Right now, the odds are against it."

Most of the media commentary on the interview has focused on Giuliani's statement that Trump reimbursed Cohen for the $130,000 in hush money he paid to porn star Stormy Daniels shortly before the 2016 election. Cohen has said he paid the money from his own funds and without Trump's knowledge, and last month Trump told reporters that he had no knowledge of the payoff.

It is striking that despite the media obsession with Trump and Russia, and the single-minded focus of the Democratic Party on this reactionary campaign, the public remains skeptical, if not hostile, to the entire matter. The Democrats have said virtually nothing about Trump's war on immigrants, including the barbaric treatment of the Central American caravan of refugees forced to camp out at the US border and the denial of their right to asylum. The Democratic Party has dropped its phony opposition to Trump's tax cut for corporations and the rich and barely noted the mounting assault on social programs, from Medicaid to food stamps to housing subsidies for the poor.

This is reflected in recent polls, which show Trump's approval rating actually increasing and the Democrats' edge in the coming midterm elections cut in half since the beginning of the year.

There is mass opposition in the working class and among young people to Trump and his chauvinist, militarist and pro-corporate policies. It is reflected in the upsurge of teachers' strikes and protests in defiance of the corporatist unions, which the unions and the Democrats are doing everything they can to isolate and suppress.

This emerging movement of the working class in the US and internationally is intensifying the warfare within the American ruling class and state. The crisis is being fueled not only by sharp differences over foreign policy -- including tactical differences over Trump's threat to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal and his trade war measures -- but also by a general loss of confidence in Trump's ability to manage either the global affairs of US imperialism or the tense internal social and political situation.

The independent social and political struggle of the working class is the only basis for a progressive solution to the crisis of American capitalism. The opposition of workers to Trump can find no progressive outlet within the framework of the capitalist two-party system. Both factions in the current political wars, notwithstanding their bitter differences, agree on a strategy of expanding war abroad and austerity and repression at home.

[May 04, 2018] Sic Semper Tyrannis The Skripals survived, but their cat and rodents ... not so much.

Notable quotes:
"... I am reading Taleb's recent book "Skin in the game" which has interesting material about the disconnection between risky behaviors and their consequences in modern USA. He also has a chapter about the mechanics involved in why minority viewpoints in our culture become dominant. It's an interesting read. ..."
"... Finally, the Police partially acknowledged their mistake and accused the Russians of not having been completely fair play. Indeed, these thuriferous bastards of Vlad the Impaler had put poison on the OUTDOOR handle of the front door of the house. It's infinitely subtle of these savages. The Brit Police did not suspect what strong part it had to make, the unexpected thwarting its learned calculations. Presumption, again and again. Nevertheless, the detectives are formal: the Russians did the trick well. The evidence is obvious. In this dramatic case, we are not going to make a comparison between insular and continental logic. The hour is too serious for these trifles. Lots of laughter. ..."
"... It's very difficult in any case to believe that such a notice could have been issued. Can't see why it would be needed. The scripting of the official story on such matters as this seems to be a joint enterprise between the media and the press officers. That's a time-honoured consensus so why would the media need bullying to stay in line? ..."
"... My personal view on all this is that the No. 10 press officers aren't that good at this new-fangled information stuff. They don't seem to have their hearts in it somehow. Time for them to go back to counting paperclips and for information campaigns to be handled by the experts. The BBC have a proven track record in this field and it's time that was officially recognised. ..."
May 03, 2018 | turcopolier.typepad.com

Sir Mark, bless him, has told an MP during a committee meeting, that the armed forces, MI-5, MI-6 and GCHQ do not know who or indeed what sickened the Skripals, pere et fille , in Salisbury. He doesn't seem to have mentioned the police. So, basically, pilgrims, Teresa May, the queen's first minister has insistently and incessantly accused the Russians of a crime of which our British cousins know precious little. In a closely related development, it is now revealed that the Britishers sealed up Skripal's house after the poisoning event leaving the black Persian shown above and two guinea pigs to die of thirst and hunger within. It would seem likely that they knew they were doing this since they would have searched the house first. No? Perhaps they thought that the cat might be a threat as a being of possible Iranian descent. This is impressive stuff. pl https://www.usnews.com/news/world/articles/2018-05-01/uk-has-not-yet-identified-skripal-poisoning-suspects


Eric Newhill , 11 hours ago

These false flag ops are all so shabby in their execution. The lack of thoroughness and imagination on the part of the governments running them is really disappointing. For example, if I was running an investigation into the Skripal incident, I would have captured the cat and rodents and run pathology tests on them to see what bio/chem agents might be in their systems. Also, because they might escape and become a vector of further infection. That seems like it would be SOP. So I'd do it even if I knew the story was BS to create the appearance of reality. Then, I could always state that the pets should signs of Russian engineered bio/chem agents. Could even create a video of the pets dying some horrible death due to the agents. That's more better BS.
Threadzilla , 11 hours ago
And yet, this appears to be a lie as well. An earlier piece in the British news claims the pets were taken to Porton Down for examination and testing soon after the incident. Seems more likely they eliminated evidence and then came up with the cover story about how the animals were "forgotten about" and locked in the house for a month, implying totally unimportant for the investigation. http://metro.co.uk/2018/03/...
JohnA , 12 hours ago
I am truly dis-May-ed!

I hope she and Johnson pay the price for this folly. May it be steep! Very. very steep.

How these two suckered so many nations foolishly into sending diplomats home reflected respect for UK policy toward Russia. These nations will need to think long and hard about following any such UK lead in future.

This week, the US took down the Russian flag flying over Russian real estate in Seattle. Shameful!

Sid Finster -> JohnA , 9 hours ago
Sociopaths care nothing for law and everything for enforcement.
Jack , 4 hours ago
I don't know much about the dynamics of British politics but as a light observer of British news I wonder why Theresa May remains prime minister? She became prime minister after the historic Brexit vote. Promptly takes the country to an election and botches it for the Tories. Then bungles the Brexit negotiations. Runs a floundering government. Now comes up with accusations against the Russians in the Skripal affair with no evidence presented but looking more foolish as her story comes under scrutiny.
DH , 11 hours ago
Thirst, yes, hunger, not so much.
Tony , 11 hours ago
I am reading Taleb's recent book "Skin in the game" which has interesting material about the disconnection between risky behaviors and their consequences in modern USA. He also has a chapter about the mechanics involved in why minority viewpoints in our culture become dominant. It's an interesting read.
Sid Finster , 10 hours ago
http://www.theblogmire.com/...
France74 , 10 hours ago
A french view and laughter.

2 cats and 2 guinea pigs were locked up for 9 days in Skipal's house, in the hope of proving that the Russians are guilty.
When the police reopened the house, they found four bodies. the veterinary faculty is positive, both cats died of starvation. Guinea pigs, some say, began to be worked by hungry cats, accelerating their deaths. Unspeakable bloodshed. In this whole case, it's THE revolting detail, among many others. Poor beasts.

Finally, the Police partially acknowledged their mistake and accused the Russians of not having been completely fair play. Indeed, these thuriferous bastards of Vlad the Impaler had put poison on the OUTDOOR handle of the front door of the house. It's infinitely subtle of these savages. The Brit Police did not suspect what strong part it had to make, the unexpected thwarting its learned calculations. Presumption, again and again. Nevertheless, the detectives are formal: the Russians did the trick well. The evidence is obvious. In this dramatic case, we are not going to make a comparison between insular and continental logic. The hour is too serious for these trifles.
Lots of laughter.

kao_hsien_chih , 11 hours ago
Great. There was once a war for Jenkins' ear. I guess we should now have a nuclear war for Skripals' cat.
English Outsider -> kao_hsien_chih , 9 hours ago
Colonel,

There's talk of a D-Notice covering the Skripal affair. Seems unlikely. All concerned were being sat on quite satisfactorily anyway.

I Looked up D-notices on WIKI -

https://en.wikipedia.org/wi...

Presumably there are bigger guns in the background if information that would really threaten national security or the lives of serving officers is in danger of being released. The D-Notice system itself seems to be a more or less voluntary affair -

https://www.theguardian.com...

It's very difficult in any case to believe that such a notice could have been issued. Can't see why it would be needed. The scripting of the official story on such matters as this seems to be a joint enterprise between the media and the press officers. That's a time-honoured consensus so why would the media need bullying to stay in line?

My personal view on all this is that the No. 10 press officers aren't that good at this new-fangled information stuff. They don't seem to have their hearts in it somehow. Time for them to go back to counting paperclips and for information campaigns to be handled by the experts. The BBC have a proven track record in this field and it's time that was officially recognised.

[May 04, 2018] Rosenstein defiant as impeachment talk rises TheHill

Notable quotes:
"... Republicans have repeatedly accused Rosenstein of being unnecessarily slow in providing the documents they say are necessary for carrying out several parallel congressional investigations into FBI decision-making. Some of them have suggested the Justice Department is biased against Trump and now seeking to hide the evidence. ..."
"... The seventh and eighth articles of impeachment in the draft document charge Rosenstein of "knowingly and intentionally prevented the production of all documents and information" related to potential abuses of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) and the federal government's initial investigation into possible ties between the Trump campaign and Russia. ..."
"... It was Rosenstein who authored the memo criticizing former FBI Director James Comey , which the White House ultimately used to justify his firing. Trump later indicated that he removed Comey in part because of the Russia investigation, which helped open him up to charges of obstruction of justice. ..."
"... After Comey's firing, it was Rosenstein who decided to appoint Mueller, a former FBI director who is widely respected for his prosecutorial skill and independence, as special counsel to handle the Russia probe. ..."
"... Since then, Rosenstein has given Mueller a broad mandat e to investigate any criminal activity uncovered by his work, angering the president and his allies. ..."
"... In addition, Rosenstein reportedly signed off on the FBI's raid of Michael Cohen, Trump's long-time personal attorney, fueling widespread speculation that the president might fire him. Rosenstein has privately told allies that he is prepared for the possibility of being dismissed, according to NBC News , but his appearance Tuesday made clear he has no intention of caving to outside pressure. ..."
"... He described a process in which a career federal law enforcement officer swears on an affidavit that the information they presented in a FISA application is both "true and correct" to the best of his or her knowledge and belief. While mistakes do happen and there are consequences for those who erred, he said, the agency employs "people who are accountable." ..."
"... "If the focus is Rod Rosenstein and whether he has done something or failed to do something that could remotely warrant impeachment, I think it's just groundless," said Jack Sharman, a former special counsel to Congress during the Whitewater investigations. ..."
May 04, 2018 | thehill.com

Rosenstein defiant as impeachment talk rises By Olivia Beavers and Morgan Chalfant - 05/03/18 06:00 AM EDT 2,577 63 Ex-doctor says Trump dictated letter claiming he would be 'healthiest' president ever Trump- South Korean president gives us all the credit Rosenstein knocks Republicans who want to impeach him: 'They can't even resist leaking their own drafts' White House dodges on Mueller questions Sanders: White House tries to 'never be concerned' with Adam Schiff White House talking to Waffle House hero about Trump meeting White House says Trump is 'very happy' with chief of staff White House: Jackson no longer serving as Trump's lead physician Chaplain controversy shifts spotlight to rising GOP star Pruitt's head of security resigns Trump’s ex-doctor says Trump associates 'raided' his office Romney praises Trump's first year in office: It's similar to things 'I'd have done' WHCD host: Sarah Sanders lies Netanyahu: iran deal flawed, based on lies WHCD host: Trump is not rich Conservative House lawmakers draft articles of impeachment against Rosenstein List reveals questions Mueller wants to ask Trump: report NBC: White House chief of staff told aides women 'more emotional' than men McCain torches Trump in new book: He prioritizes appearance of toughness over American values White House chief of staff denies report he called Trump an idiot Trump: Threats to pull out of Iran deal 'sends the right message' Trump: We don't want to be the policemen of the world Trump campaign covered some of Cohen's legal costs: report Democrats losing support of millennials: poll Cruz again questioning McConnell’s strategies Ex-Bush ethics official to run for Franken's former Senate seat as Dem: report Parkland survivor calls out NRA for banning guns at convention Michelle Wolf pushes back on criticism of Sarah Sanders jokes 7 targets Michelle Wolf took aim at during the White House correspondents’ dinner Trump: If Dems win in 2018 midterms, they'll impeach me WHCD host calls Trump ‘cowardly’ for skipping event again Trump threatens to 'close down the country' over funding for border wall GOP chairman 'doesn't have a problem' with Tester's handling of Jackson allegations Election forecaster: Nunes seat no longer ‘safe’ Republican Washington’s heavy-drinking ways in spotlight Stars of 'Veep,' 'West Wing' to lobby lawmakers ahead of White House correspondents' dinner Republican worries 'assassination risk' prompting lawmaker resignations Gillibrand unveils bill to offer banking services at post offices Meehan resigns with promise to pay back alleged sexual harassment claim Rosenstein knocks Republicans who want to impeach him: 'They can't even resist leaking their own drafts'

On Tuesday, the deputy attorney general rebuked the nascent conservative effort to impeach him, likely exacerbating tensions with conservatives in the House. House Republicans are demanding access to classified documents related to special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation, including a heavily redacted memo that spells out the scope of the investigation.

"There is really nothing to comment on there, but just give me the documents. The bottom line is, he needs to be give me the documents," Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) said during an interview with The Hill on Wednesday when asked about his response to Rosenstein.

"I have one goal in mind, and that is not somebody's job or the termination of somebody's job, it is getting the documents and making sure we can do proper oversight," he said, adding that there are "no current plans to introduce an impeachment resolution."

Republican lawmakers led by Meadows, chairman of the House Freedom Caucus one of President Trump's top allies in Congress, have drafted eight articles of impeachment against Rosenstein. The articles make a series of charges against Rosenstein and question his credibility, reputation and fitness to serve.

Conservatives have called the impeachment articles a last resort. Rosenstein dismissed the impeachment threat and went a step further by suggesting the Justice Department's independence is being threatened. "There have been people who have been making threats privately and publicly against me for quite some time, and I think they should understand by now the Department of Justice is not going to be extorted," Rosenstein said during an appearance at the Newseum. "I just don't have anything to say about documents like that that nobody has the courage to put their name on and they leak in that way," he continued, after quipping earlier that the lawmakers "can't even resist leaking their own drafts."

Rosenstein, a career Justice Department official, is widely respected in legal circles. He has been praised for his work leading the U.S. attorney's office in Maryland, a position to which he was appointed by President George W. Bush and served in for 12 years, spanning Republican and Democratic administrations. Rosenstein's years of service at the department came through in his public remarks, lawyers say.

"With a guy like Rosenstein, you can't underestimate the deep connection that many career -- not all -- but many career Justice Department officials have to the department," said Steven Cash, a lawyer at Day Pitney. "It defines their self image as participating in ensuring the rule of law in a way you often don't see in other departments -- they are very, very proud of their association with the department, its traditions, history and independence."

But Rosenstein has plenty of critics on Capitol Hill, where some Republicans accuse him of hindering legitimate oversight.

Republicans have repeatedly accused Rosenstein of being unnecessarily slow in providing the documents they say are necessary for carrying out several parallel congressional investigations into FBI decision-making. Some of them have suggested the Justice Department is biased against Trump and now seeking to hide the evidence.

The seventh and eighth articles of impeachment in the draft document charge Rosenstein of "knowingly and intentionally prevented the production of all documents and information" related to potential abuses of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) and the federal government's initial investigation into possible ties between the Trump campaign and Russia.

The charges appear to have caught the attention of the president, who threatened to get involved on Wednesday morning.

"A Rigged System -- They don't want to turn over Documents to Congress. What are they afraid of? Why so much redacting? Why such unequal 'justice?' At some point I will have no choice but to use the powers granted to the Presidency and get involved," Trump tweeted.

Since Trump appointed Rosenstein to serve as deputy attorney general, he has become a key player in the drama surrounding the Mueller investigation.

It was Rosenstein who authored the memo criticizing former FBI Director James Comey, which the White House ultimately used to justify his firing. Trump later indicated that he removed Comey in part because of the Russia investigation, which helped open him up to charges of obstruction of justice.

Rosenstein has defended the memo on Comey, pointing to criticism from both parties about Comey's handling of the investigation into former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton 's use of a private email server before the 2016 presidential election.

After Comey's firing, it was Rosenstein who decided to appoint Mueller, a former FBI director who is widely respected for his prosecutorial skill and independence, as special counsel to handle the Russia probe.

Since then, Rosenstein has given Mueller a broad mandat e to investigate any criminal activity uncovered by his work, angering the president and his allies.

In addition, Rosenstein reportedly signed off on the FBI's raid of Michael Cohen, Trump's long-time personal attorney, fueling widespread speculation that the president might fire him. Rosenstein has privately told allies that he is prepared for the possibility of being dismissed, according to NBC News , but his appearance Tuesday made clear he has no intention of caving to outside pressure.

Rosenstein took issue with allegations detailed in the impeachment draft, including the charge that he failed to properly supervise surveillance applications.

He described a process in which a career federal law enforcement officer swears on an affidavit that the information they presented in a FISA application is both "true and correct" to the best of his or her knowledge and belief. While mistakes do happen and there are consequences for those who erred, he said, the agency employs "people who are accountable."

It's unclear yet whether an impeachment push will gain traction among rank-and-file Republicans; GOP leaders have remained silent on the matter. AshLee Strong, a spokeswoman for Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), indicated Wednesday that he sees no reason to fire Rosenstein, as he said earlier this year. Some GOP lawmakers in recent weeks have also said they've seen improvement from the Justice Department in responding to documents requests.

"If the focus is Rod Rosenstein and whether he has done something or failed to do something that could remotely warrant impeachment, I think it's just groundless," said Jack Sharman, a former special counsel to Congress during the Whitewater investigations.

Still, Rosenstein's remarks are sure to ramp up tensions between two sides. Ford O'Connell, a Republican strategist, said Rosenstein came off as "cagey" in his defense and raised questions about what he may be trying to hide. "Everyone knows that this is heating up and both sides are gearing up for a fight," O'Connell told The Hill.

[May 04, 2018] Rosenstein -- Agent of the Deep State Coup by Daniel John Sobieski

Notable quotes:
"... The confirmation of Rod Rosenstein to be Deputy Attorney General by a lopsided 94-6 vote should have set off warning bells. It is odd that a Trump nominee would get much Democratic support, if any. ..."
"... A secret, highly contentious Republican memo reveals that Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein approved an application to extend surveillance of a former Trump campaign associate shortly after taking office last spring, according to three people familiar with it. ..."
"... Steele's discredited "research," which relied heavily on input from Russian sources, was paid for by the DNC and the Hillary Clinton campaign, which puts Rosenstein in the position of aiding the efforts of one political party to overturn the results of an election won by the other political party by okaying domestic spying on an American citizen. ..."
"... Needless to say, Rosenstein did not grant Page's request to see the FISA application to determine how much it was based on Steele's fake dossier. Nor has he expressed any dissatisfaction with the Mueller witchhunt he was responsible for launching, ..."
"... In an interview with a local D.C. TV station , Rosenstein admired the monster he created, who now runs an alleged investigation into supposed Russia-Trump collusion but which quickly morphed into what amounts to a silent coup against a sitting President of the United States: ..."
"... Yes, Mr. Rosenstein, you certainly are accountable for the Mueller witchhunt. Mueller has picked staff and prosecutors as if he were stocking Hillary Clinton's Department of Justice. He has picked a bevy of Clinton donors , an attorney who worked for the Clinton Foundation, a former Watergate assistant prosecutor, and even a senior advise to Eric Holder. Objective professionals all. ..."
"... A good question Rosenstein won't answer. Rosenstein is satisfied with Mueller, and why shouldn't he be? The two go back a long way and cooperated in the coverup of an FBI investigation into Russia's use of bribes, kickbacks, and money laundering to grab U.S. uranium supplies and real collusion with Hillary Clinton, only to resurface years later to chase phantom collusion between Team Trump and Russia. ..."
"... Mueller and Rosenstein were both involved in the FBI investigation dating back to 2009, with current Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller up to their eyeballs in covering up evidence of Hillary's collusion, bordering on treason, with Vladimir Putin's Russia: ..."
"... Robert Mueller was head of the FBI from Sept 2001-Sept 2013 until James Comey took over as FBI Director in 2013. They were BOTH involved in this Russian scam being that this case started in 2009 and ended in 2015. ..."
"... If evidence of bribery, kickbacks, extortion, and money laundering in the Uranium One affair were not grounds for a special prosecutor assigned to investigate Hillary Clinton, then what is? Rosenstein's goal apparently has long been to shield Hillary Clinton from prosecution for her crimes and to use any means to bring down the Trump administration he supposedly was appointed to serve. Now he has stooped so low as to employ a fake Russian dossier in a witchhunt the late Sen. Joseph McCarthy could only envy ..."
Jan 30, 2018 | www.americanthinker.com
The confirmation of Rod Rosenstein to be Deputy Attorney General by a lopsided 94-6 vote should have set off warning bells. It is odd that a Trump nominee would get much Democratic support, if any.

But his role in appointing his buddy Robert Mueller to lead a bogus Russian collusion probe and his history of looking the other way when Hillary Clinton is involved shows the Democrats had high hopes for Rosenstein, hopes realized by actions documented in the four-page House Intelligence Committee memo:

A secret, highly contentious Republican memo reveals that Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein approved an application to extend surveillance of a former Trump campaign associate shortly after taking office last spring, according to three people familiar with it.

The renewal shows that the Justice Department under President Trump saw reason to believe that the associate, Carter Page, was acting as a Russian agent

The memo's primary contention is that F.B.I. and Justice Department officials failed to adequately explain to an intelligence court judge in initially seeking a warrant for surveillance of Mr. Page that they were relying in part on research by an investigator, Christopher Steele, that had been financed by the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign

Steele's discredited "research," which relied heavily on input from Russian sources, was paid for by the DNC and the Hillary Clinton campaign, which puts Rosenstein in the position of aiding the efforts of one political party to overturn the results of an election won by the other political party by okaying domestic spying on an American citizen.

When the newly departed Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe testified for seven hours before the House Intelligence Committee, he was unable to report that the FBI had corroborated anything in the Steele dossier, except for the fact that Carter Page had visited Russia :

Investigators say McCabe recounted to the panel how hard the FBI had worked to verify the contents of the anti-Trump "dossier" and stood by its credibility. But when pressed to identify what in the salacious document the bureau had actually corroborated, the sources said, McCabe cited only the fact that Trump campaign adviser Carter Page had traveled to Moscow. Beyond that, investigators said, McCabe could not even say that the bureau had verified the dossier's allegations about the specific meetings Page supposedly held in Moscow.

Based on the flimsiest of evidence in a fake Russian dossier paid for by Democrats the surveillance of Carter Page began and was reauthorized by Rosenstein. Page has vehemently denied the allegations in the dossier and has sought the release of the memo to show its falseness and to show the DOJ of Rod Rosenstein and the FBI of Andrew McCabe colluded with the Democrats to keep Hillary Clinton out of prison and Donald Trump out of the White House:

The former Trump campaign adviser who was spied on by the U.S. government prior to the 2016 election is "very much" in favor of the release of a controversial congressional memo alleging abuses of the surveillance warrant application process

Page pressed for the release the FISA application in a May 14 letter to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.

"If FISA warrants indeed exist as has been extensively reported, wide-ranging false evidence will be inevitably revealed in light of the fact that I have never done anything remotely unlawful in Russia or with any Russian person at any point in my life," he wrote.

What remains unanswered about the application for the warrant on Page is how heavily it relied on the dossier and whether the FBI and DOJ vetted the allegations made about him by Steele

Page has vehemently denied the allegations made against him in the dossier, which was put together by former British spy Christopher Steele, commissioned by opposition research firm Fusion GPS, and financed by the Clinton campaign and DNC.

In the 35-page dossier, Steele alleges that Page was the Trump campaign's main backchannel to the Kremlin for the purposes of campaign collusion. Steele claims that Page was working with former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, and that during a trip to Moscow in July 2016, he met secretly with two Kremlin cronies, Igor Sechin and Igor Diveykin.

The dossier also alleges that it was Page who "conceived and promoted" the idea of having hacked DNC emails released through WikiLeaks in order to swing Bernie Sanders supporters away from Hillary Clinton and into the Trump camp.

Page denies all of the claims. He says he does not know Manafort and has never spoken with Sechin and Diveykin.

Needless to say, Rosenstein did not grant Page's request to see the FISA application to determine how much it was based on Steele's fake dossier. Nor has he expressed any dissatisfaction with the Mueller witchhunt he was responsible for launching,

In an interview with a local D.C. TV station , Rosenstein admired the monster he created, who now runs an alleged investigation into supposed Russia-Trump collusion but which quickly morphed into what amounts to a silent coup against a sitting President of the United States:

The U.S. Department of Justice official who appointed special counsel Robert Mueller to investigate Russian efforts to influence the 2016 presidential election said he is satisfied with the special counsel's work

"The Office of Special Counsel, as you know, has a degree of autonomy from the Department of Justice. But there is appropriate oversight by the department. That includes budget. But it also includes certain other details of the office. It is part of the Department of Justice. And we're accountable for it."

Yes, Mr. Rosenstein, you certainly are accountable for the Mueller witchhunt. Mueller has picked staff and prosecutors as if he were stocking Hillary Clinton's Department of Justice. He has picked a bevy of Clinton donors , an attorney who worked for the Clinton Foundation, a former Watergate assistant prosecutor, and even a senior advise to Eric Holder. Objective professionals all.

Oh, what tangled webs Rosenstein and the FBI have woven! Republican lawmakers, needless to say, are not amused at all this, casting the obvious doubts on Rosenstein's praise of Special Counsel Mueller:

Several conservative lawmakers held a news conference Wednesday demanding more details of how the FBI proceeded last year in its probes of Hillary Clinton's use of personal email and Russian election interference. This week, the conservative group Judicial Watch released an internal Justice Department email that, the group said, showed political bias against Trump by one of Mueller's senior prosecutors .

"The question really is, if Mueller was doing such a great job on investigating the Russian collusion, why could he have not found the conflict of interest within their own agency?'' Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) asked at the news conference. Meadows, leader of the Freedom Caucus, cited a litany of other issues that he said show bias on the part of the FBI and Mueller, including past political donations by lawyers on Mueller's team.

A good question Rosenstein won't answer. Rosenstein is satisfied with Mueller, and why shouldn't he be? The two go back a long way and cooperated in the coverup of an FBI investigation into Russia's use of bribes, kickbacks, and money laundering to grab U.S. uranium supplies and real collusion with Hillary Clinton, only to resurface years later to chase phantom collusion between Team Trump and Russia.

Mueller and Rosenstein were both involved in the FBI investigation dating back to 2009, with current Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller up to their eyeballs in covering up evidence of Hillary's collusion, bordering on treason, with Vladimir Putin's Russia:

Prior to the Obama administration approving the very controversial deal in 2010 giving Russia 20% of America's Uranium, the FBI had evidence that Russian nuclear industry officials were involved in bribery, kickbacks, extortion and money laundering in order to benefit Vladimir Putin, says a report by The Hill

John Solomon and Alison Spann of The Hill : Federal agents used a confidential U.S. witness working inside the Russian nuclear industry to gather extensive financial records, make secret recordings and intercept emails as early as 2009 that showed Moscow had compromised an American uranium trucking firm with bribes and kickbacks in violation of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, FBI and court documents show

From today's report we find out that the investigation was supervised by then-U.S. Attorney Rod Rosenstein, who is now President Trump's Deputy Attorney General, and then-Assistant FBI Director Andrew McCabe, who is now the deputy FBI director under Trump.

Robert Mueller was head of the FBI from Sept 2001-Sept 2013 until James Comey took over as FBI Director in 2013. They were BOTH involved in this Russian scam being that this case started in 2009 and ended in 2015.

If evidence of bribery, kickbacks, extortion, and money laundering in the Uranium One affair were not grounds for a special prosecutor assigned to investigate Hillary Clinton, then what is? Rosenstein's goal apparently has long been to shield Hillary Clinton from prosecution for her crimes and to use any means to bring down the Trump administration he supposedly was appointed to serve. Now he has stooped so low as to employ a fake Russian dossier in a witchhunt the late Sen. Joseph McCarthy could only envy

Rosenstein, Mueller, McCabe et al have used the office of special counsel and a politicized the FBI and DOJ to conduct a silent coup against a duly elected president and are unindicted coconspirators in Hillary's crimes. They should be the targets of their very own special counsel.

Daniel John Sobieski is a freelance writer whose pieces have appeared in Investor's Business Daily , Human Events , Reason Magazine and the Chicago Sun-Times among other publications.

[May 03, 2018] Mueller's questions to Trump more those of a prosecuting attorney than of an impartial investigator by Alexander Mercouris

Highly recommended!
Mueller's proposed questions to Trump show that Trump remains Mueller's ultimate target
Notable quotes:
"... (1) Robert Mueller is in possession of no facts which have not previously been made public. ..."
"... (2) Donald Trump continues to be Robert Mueller's target ..."
"... Frankly they do not look like the sort of questions an investigator asks if he searching for the truth. Rather they look like cross examination by prosecuting Counsel. ..."
"... (3) Obstruction of Justice has replaced collusion with Russia as the focus of the Mueller probe ..."
"... the Russiagate investigation did become a criminal inquiry and not just a counterespionage inquiry. ..."
"... When he finished, I said that I agreed very much that it was terrible that his calls with foreign leaders leaked. I said they were classified and he needed to be able to speak to foreign leaders in confidence ..."
"... The memo shows Trump putting pressure on Comey to investigate the leaks and Comey resisting doing so. Whilst Comey purported to agree with Trump that the leaks were terrible and that the leakers should be punished, he resisted Trump's suggestion that the most effective way to go after the leakers was to go after the reporters they were leaking to. ..."
"... The reason Trump brought up the subject of Flynn was because his case was a particularly egregious example of a career that had been destroyed by unauthorised and illegal leaking. ..."
"... In addition Mueller wants to ask Trump questions about his thoughts about Comey and his reasons for dismissing Comey, all of which suggest an attempt to catch Trump in some sort of obstruction of justice charge in relation to the circumstances of Comey's dismissal, about which however see above. ..."
"... (4) The collusion narrative has collapsed ..."
"... The lawyer, Natalia V. Veselnitskaya, duped Don Jr. into setting up the meeting by claiming to have dirt on Hillary Clinton. In fact, the meeting was a bait and switch. It turned out the lawyer had no meaningful information to offer on Mrs. Clinton. Rather, she wanted to interest the Trump team in a Moscow initiative to allow American families to adopt Russian children. ..."
"... In contrast, Hillary Clinton's campaign actually helped pay for a dossier of almost entirely false accusations about Mr. Trump , some of which a British former intelligence official obtained from Russian contacts. ..."
"... Donald Trump has repeatedly referred to Mueller's investigation as a witch-hunt, and he is right. The questions Mueller is seeking to ask Trump confirm as much. ..."
May 03, 2018 | theduran.com

...Here is my take on these questions:

(1) Robert Mueller is in possession of no facts which have not previously been made public.

Every single one of the questions is obviously drawn on information which has already been made public and which has been widely discussed.

... ... ...

(2) Donald Trump continues to be Robert Mueller's target

Recently there have been media reports that Robert Mueller's investigators have informed Donald Trump that he is not a target of the Mueller investigation.

The highly aggressive questions Mueller wants to ask Trump however tell a very different story. The consistent theme behind them is of a Donald Trump who is very much at the centre of all sorts of nefarious activities. Frankly they do not look like the sort of questions an investigator asks if he searching for the truth. Rather they look like cross examination by prosecuting Counsel.

In light of this Trump's hesitation in submitting himself to an interview by Mueller in which these sort of questions are asked is fully understandable.

I suspect his lawyers are advising him against it.

(3) Obstruction of Justice has replaced collusion with Russia as the focus of the Mueller probe

When around the time of former FBI Director James Comey's admittedly botched dismissal the issue of obstruction of justice first arose, it seemed to me so farfetched that I could not bring myself to believe that Mueller or anyone else would seriously entertain it.

As I pointed out at the time the Russiagate investigation was at that point in time still a counterespionage inquiry rather than a crime inquiry, as had recently been confirmed by no less a person than James Comey himself in his March 2017 testimony to the House Intelligence Committee.

As it happens it is a moot point when exactly the Russiagate investigation did become a criminal inquiry and not just a counterespionage inquiry.

My guess is that no such formal decision was ever taken, but that Mueller himself simply decided as soon as he was appointed Special Counsel that he was conducting a criminal inquiry as well as a counterespionage inquiry. The point is apparently being pursued by Paul Manafort's lawyers in the case Mueller has brought against him. It will be interesting to see what comes of it. Irrespective of this, the fact that the Russiagate investigation was apparently still a counterespionage inquiry as opposed to a criminal inquiry when Comey was sacked made it impossible for me to see how Comey's sacking could amount to an obstruction of justice.

What I was of course at that time completely unaware of was of the discussions which had previously passed between Trump and Comey about General Flynn.

A memo Comey wrote up after one of these discussions has been seized on by Trump's critics as evidence that he attempted to block the FBI's investigation into whether or not General Flynn had committed an offence under the Logan Act by talking whilst a member of the Trump transition team to Russian ambassador Kislyak, and that this amounts to an obstruction of justice.

When early accounts of the contents of this memo appeared I expressed my strong doubt that its contents as they were being reported showed that there had been any obstruction of justice by Donald Trump of the investigation of General Flynn

..since Comey's note shows Trump neither instructing Comey nor requesting Comey to drop the investigation against Flynn, nor of Trump putting pressure on Comey to do so, but merely shows Trump expressing the "hope" Comey would do so, in any sane world no charge of obstructing justice or of perverting the course of justice brought upon it could possibly stick.

The redacted text of this and of Comey's other memos has now been published, and the relevant sections of the memo read as follows

He [Donald Trump – AM] began by saying he "wanted to talk about Mike Flynn". He then said that although Flynn "hadn't done anything wrong" in his call with the Russians (a point he made at least two more times in the conversation), he had to let him go because he misled the Vice-President and, in any event, he had concerns about Flynn, and had a great guy coming in, so he had to let Flynn go ..

..He then referred at length to the leaks relating to Mike Flynn's call with the Russians, which he stressed was not wrong in any way ("he made lots of calls"), but that the leaks were terrible.

I tried to interject several times to agree with him about the leaks being terrible, but was unsuccessful. When he finished, I said that I agreed very much that it was terrible that his calls with foreign leaders leaked. I said they were classified and he needed to be able to speak to foreign leaders in confidence ..

He then returned to the subject of Mike Flynn, saying that Flynn is a good guy, and has been through a lot. He misled the Vice-President but he didn't do anything wrong in the call. He said, "I hope you can see your way to letting this go, to letting Flynn go. He is a good guy. I hope you can let this go." I replied by saying, "I agree he is a good guy", but said no more.

(bold italics added)

The entirety of the memo in fact shows that the main subject of the conversation and Donald Trump's major concern as of the time when the conversation took place was not General Flynn or the case against him but the systematic campaign of leaks which were undermining his administration.

The memo shows Trump putting pressure on Comey to investigate the leaks and Comey resisting doing so. Whilst Comey purported to agree with Trump that the leaks were terrible and that the leakers should be punished, he resisted Trump's suggestion that the most effective way to go after the leakers was to go after the reporters they were leaking to.

The reason Trump brought up the subject of Flynn was because his case was a particularly egregious example of a career that had been destroyed by unauthorised and illegal leaking.

In this Trump was undoubtedly right.

Over the course of this discussion – and obviously so as to emphasise the point -Trump made the further point – which is no longer disputed by anyone – that Flynn had done nothing wrong in his conversations with Kislyak, and had done nothing to deserve having his career and reputation destroyed by illegal leaking.

The memo shows that it was in the context of these observations about the way Flynn was brought down by illegal leaking that Trump made his comments about the investigation of Flynn.

Trump's point was that the investigation of Flynn for committing an offence under the Logan Act (initiated by former Acting Attorney General Sally Yates). coming on top of the illegal leaks which had destroyed his career, was tough on Flynn given that he had done nothing wrong.

Accordingly Trump said to Comey that he hoped Comey would be able to find a way to "letting [the case against Flynn] go".

It was a minor aside and it is unlikely Trump gave much thought to it. Certainly it was not intended as any sort of instruction to Comey to drop the inquiry, and the entirety of the text of the memo shows that Comey never thought it was.

In fact the memo shows that Comey agreed with Trump.

The words in the memo which I have highlighted ("I agreed very much that it was terrible that his calls with foreign leaders leaked. I said they were classified and he needed to be able to speak to foreign leaders in confidence") have attracted remarkably little attention. However they show clearly that Comey also thought that Flynn's conversation with Kislyak was lawful.

No other explanation for his words as he himself has reported them in his memo – "he needed to be able to speak to foreign leaders in confidence" – is possible.

In other words the memo shows that not only did Trump not instruct or request Comey to drop the investigation of Flynn or put pressure on Comey to do so, but on the contrary he and Comey had what was essentially a consensual conversation in which they both agreed with each other that (1) leaks are terrible; (2) Flynn had been appallingly treated by having his career and reputation destroyed by leaks; and (3) in his conversation with Kislyak Flynn had done nothing wrong.

Given that this is so it is simply impossible to see how an obstruction of justice charge can be put together from this material.

Nonetheless the drift of Mueller's questions to Trump suggests that this is still what Mueller is trying to do.

A disproportionate number of Mueller's questions concern Trump's various interactions with Comey. These include but are not limited to Trump's interactions with Comey which concerned Flynn.

In addition Mueller wants to ask Trump questions about his thoughts about Comey and his reasons for dismissing Comey, all of which suggest an attempt to catch Trump in some sort of obstruction of justice charge in relation to the circumstances of Comey's dismissal, about which however see above.

There is also a number of questions concerning Trump's sometimes fraught relationship with Attorney General Jeff Sessions, the clear implication of which is that Trump's widely known and publicly expressed anger about Sessions's decision to recuse himself from the Russiagate inquiry stems from anger that Sessions would no longer be able to protect Trump from it.

Even if that is so – which it probably is – I cannot see how it amounts to obstruction of justice. Anger that Sessions had recused himself from the Russiagate inquiry and would no longer be able to protect the President is surely no more than a thought crime even if it were true, which it probably is.

Last I heard thought crimes are not actionable in America. However,judging from his questions, Mueller still seems intent on pursuing this one.

(4) The collusion narrative has collapsed

By comparison with the disproportionate number of questions devoted to the obstruction of justice allegations, the questions about the alleged collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia – the investigation of which was supposed to be the object of the Mueller inquiry – look threadbare.

All of them cover old ground, in which all the facts are known.

The first two questions concern the now notorious meeting in Trump Tower in June 2016 between Donald Trump Junior and the Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya. The lack of substance to this meeting, and the extent to which it is truly a non-story, has been brilliantly explained by Ronald Kessler in The Washington Times

When it comes to President Trump and the question of collusion with Russia , there is indeed a smoking gun. But it's not the June 2016 meeting that Donald Trump Jr. , along with campaign chairman Paul Manafort and Jared Kushner, held in Trump Tower with a Russian lawyer.

The lawyer, Natalia V. Veselnitskaya, duped Don Jr. into setting up the meeting by claiming to have dirt on Hillary Clinton. In fact, the meeting was a bait and switch. It turned out the lawyer had no meaningful information to offer on Mrs. Clinton. Rather, she wanted to interest the Trump team in a Moscow initiative to allow American families to adopt Russian children.

The meeting, which lasted 20 minutes, was the sort any political campaign or media outlet would have agreed to. Like investigative reporters, political operatives want to obtain tips, even if most of the time the proffered information turns out to be of no value. In this case, nothing came of the meeting. In contrast, Hillary Clinton's campaign actually helped pay for a dossier of almost entirely false accusations about Mr. Trump , some of which a British former intelligence official obtained from Russian contacts.

According to journalistic standards that existed decades ago, the fact that such a meeting took place would not have even been a story. The pretext for the meeting was a hoax, and nothing resulted from it. To suggest by running a story that there was something nefarious about it was unfair. But in today's politically charged media world, the meeting became an immediate sensation as part of a narrative -- pushed by the media and Democrats -- suggesting that the Trump campaign illegally colluded with Russia .

I have nothing to add to this masterful analysis save to say that the fact that Mueller is continuing to ask questions about a meeting at which exactly nothing happened is testimony to the hollowness of the whole collusion narrative the investigation of which Mueller's inquiry is supposed to be about.

Summary

When Robert Mueller was appointed Special Counsel I welcomed his appointment. What I had heard about Mueller suggested that he would be a safe pair of hands who would put the whole preposterous Russiagate conspiracy theory to bed. It is with frank embarrassment that I repeat what I wrote about him at the time of his appointment

.it is essential that with Comey gone the Russiagate investigation is put in the charge of a safe pair of hands, and of someone who will not be seen as the President's defender, and whose eventual findings are accepted, and Mueller seems by most accounts to be the sort of person to do that ..

Mueller appears to be a good choice for the job. He was a well regarded FBI director, staying in post from 2001 – when he was appointed by George W. Bush – until his retirement in 2013, when Comey replaced him. During that period he resisted the George W. Bush administration's attempts to introduce interrogation methods since characterised as torture as part of the so-called 'war on terror'. As someone well known to the staff of the FBI, he looks like the obvious person to do the job, and to steady the ship, and – hopefully – to bring some sanity to this investigation.

Mueller's job will now be to bring order to the mess Comey has created, and to bring the various investigations into Russiagate that Obama's Justice Department initiated to a proper close. If he does his job properly – and if he is left alone to do it – it should all be over by the summer.

It has long since become clear that far from Mueller being the safe pair of hands I took him for, he is someone who sees his task as protecting the Justice Department and the FBI (which he largely built up) from someone who he obviously considers to be an angry and potentially vengeful President. His proposed questions show that he still has the President in his sights, and that Mueller is pulling out all the stops to bring him down.

Donald Trump has repeatedly referred to Mueller's investigation as a witch-hunt, and he is right. The questions Mueller is seeking to ask Trump confirm as much.

[May 02, 2018] Sanctimonious liar James Comey s Forgotten Rescue Of Bush-Era Torture

While Mueller claim to fame was his handing of 9/11 investigation, Comey made his mark in approval of torture...
May 02, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by James Bovard via The Mises Institute,

" Here I stand, I can do no other," James Comey told President George W. Bush in 2004 when Bush pressured Comey - who was then Deputy Attorney General - to approve an unlawful antiterrorist policy.

Comey, who was FBI chief from 2013 to 2017, was quoting a line reputedly uttered by Martin Luther in 1521, when he told Holy Roman Emperor Charles V that he would not recan t his sweeping criticisms of the Catholic Church. Comey's quotation of himself quoting the father of the Reformation is par for the self-reverence of his new memoir, A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies, and Leadership .

MSNBC host Chris Matthews recently declared, "James Comey made his bones by standing up against torture. He was a made man before Trump came along." Washington Post columnist Fareed Zakaria , in a column declaring that Americans should be "deeply grateful" to lawyers like Comey, declared, "The Bush administration wanted to claim that its 'enhanced interrogation techniques' were lawful. Comey believed they were not... So Comey pushed back as much as he could."

Martin Luther risked death to fight against what he considered the heresies of his time. Comey, a top Bush administration policymaker, found a safer way to oppose the worldwide secret U.S. torture regime widely considered a heresy against American values. Comey approved brutal practices and then wrote some memos and emails fretting about the optics.

Comey became Deputy Attorney General in late 2003 and " had oversight of the legal justification used to authorize " key Bush programs in the war on terror. At that time, the Bush White House was pushing the Justice Department to again sign off on an array of extreme practices that had begun shortly after the 9/11 attacks. A 2002 Justice Department memo had leaked out that declared that the president was entitled to ignore federal law in approving extreme interrogation techniques. Photos had also leaked from Abu Ghraib prison showing the stacking of naked prisoners with bags over their heads, mock electrocution via a wire connected to a man's penis, guard dogs on the verge of ripping into naked men, and grinning U.S. male and female soldiers celebrating the bloody degradation. A confidential CIA Inspector General report had just warned that post-9/11 CIA interrogation methods may violate the international Convention Against Torture .

Rather than ending the abuses, Comey repudiated the memo. Speaking to the media in a not-for-attribution session on June 22, 2004, Comey declared that the 2002 memo was "overbroad," "abstract academic theory," and "legally unnecessary ." Comey helped oversee crafting a new memo with different legal footing to justify the same interrogation methods.

Comey twice gave explicit approval for waterboardin g, which sought to break detainees with near-drowning.

This practice had been recognized as a war crime by the U.S. government since the Spanish American War .

Comey wrote in his memoir that he was losing sleep over concern about Bush administration torture polices. But losing sleep was not an option for detainees because Comey approved sleep deprivation as an interrogation technique . Detainees could be forcibly kept awake for up to 180 hours until they confessed their sins. How did this work? At Abu Ghraib, the notorious Iraqi prison, one FBI agent reported seeing a detainee " handcuffed to a railing with a nylon sack on his head and a shower curtain draped around him, being slapped by a soldier to keep him awake ."

Comey also approved " wall slamming" -- which, as law professor David Cole wrote, meant that detainees could be thrown against a wall up to 30 times . Comey also signed off on the CIA using "interrogation" methods such as facial slaps, locking detainees in small boxes for 18 hours, and forced nudity. When the secret Comey memo approving those methods finally became public in 2009 , many Americans were aghast - and relieved that the Obama administration had repudiated Bush policies .

When it came to opposing torture, Comey's version of "Here I stand" had more loopholes than a reverse mortgage contract. Though Comey in 2005 approved each of 13 controversial extreme interrogation methods , he objected to combining multiple methods on one detainee. It was as if Martin Luther grudgingly approved of the Catholic Church selling indulgences to individually expunge sins for adultery, robbery, lying, and gluttony but vehemently objected if all the sins were expunged in one lump sum payment.

In 2014, the Senate Intelligence Committee finally released a massive report, Americans learned grisly details of the CIA torture regime that Comey helped legally sanctify - including death via hypothermia, rape-like rectal feeding of detainees, compelling detainees to stand long periods on broken legs, and dozens of cases of innocent people pointlessly brutalized. Psychologists aided the torture regime, offering hints on how to destroy the will and resistance of prisoners. The only CIA official to go to prison for the torture scandal was courageous whistleblower John Kiriakou.

If Comey had resigned in 2004 or 2005 to protest the torture techniques he now claims to abhor, he would deserve some of the praise he is now receiving. Instead, he remained in the Bush administration but wrote an email summarizing his objections, declaring that "it was my job to protect the department and the A.G. [Attorney General] and that I could not agree to this because it was wrong." A 2009 New York Times analysis noted that Comey and two colleagues "have largely escaped criticism [for approving torture] because they raised questions about interrogation and the law." In Washington, writing emails is "close enough for government work" to convey sainthood.

When Comey finally exited the Justice Department in August 2005 to become a lavishly-paid senior vice president for Lockheed Martin , he proclaimed in a farewell speech that protecting the Justice Department's "reservoir" of "trust and credibility" requires "vigilance" and "an unerring commitment to truth ." But Comey perpetuated policies that shattered the moral credibility of both the Justice Department and the U.S. government.

Comey failed to heed another Martin Luther admonition: " You are not only responsible for what you say, but also for what you do not say ."

Vote up! 7 Vote down! 0

enough of this Tue, 05/01/2018 - 23:05 Permalink

The guy is a sanctimonious liar.

beepbop -> enough of this Tue, 05/01/2018 - 23:20 Permalink

Torture is just a symptom of a BIGGER problem, and Paying lip service to Christianity is their way of hiding what they're really doing:

US Politicians have set aside the country's Christian roots and

fully embraced Satanic-Talmudic ways to please Israhell,

the Scourge of Empires .

???ö? -> beepbop Tue, 05/01/2018 - 23:32 Permalink

I was against Comey, then I was for Comey, and now I'm against Comey again.

ˎ.l..

MillionDollarButter -> ???ö? Tue, 05/01/2018 - 23:35 Permalink

"We all voted for Hillary." -The Bushes

P.S. Don't trust the plan, the plan is Greater Israel.

gigadeath Tue, 05/01/2018 - 23:06 Permalink

A saint with a capital s. /S

WTFUD Tue, 05/01/2018 - 23:09 Permalink

Lockheed, heard that name before, can't quite place it, it'll come back to me, every day in my nightmares.

DiggingInTheDirt Tue, 05/01/2018 - 23:49 Permalink

Fl*ck Comey. OMG. I've been wanting to puke into a wastebasket over all of Comey's crap lately. Actually, wanting to puke is one of my best bullshit barometers. He's a lying sack of shit, strutting his sanctimonious arrogance all over the tee-vee. Meanwhile back home his family of women wear pink hats to protest Trump. Wonder if James the Great told his family members he approved torture?

Neochrome Tue, 05/01/2018 - 23:58 Permalink

Keeping his back to the wall and stabbing others from behind...

And it worked until it didn't work anymore.

Aireannpure Wed, 05/02/2018 - 00:17 Permalink

Bush was torture. Bowf of dem.

[Apr 30, 2018] Mueller's past is so laden with misfeasance and malfeasance that he should have been disbarred a few decades ago

Key figures on anti-trump color revolution including Mueller, Rosenstein and Comey are closely connected with Clinton foundation
Notable quotes:
"... Guess who took over this investigation in 2002? Bet you can't guess. No other than James Comey. ..."
"... Guess who ran the Tax Division inside the Department of Injustice from 2001 to 2005? No other than the Assistant Attorney General of the United States, Rod Rosenstein. ..."
"... Guess who was the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation during this time frame??? I know, it's a miracle, just a coincidence, just an anomaly in statistics and chances: Robert Mueller. ..."
"... Then of all surprises, in April 2016, James Comey drafts an exoneration letter of Hillary Rodham Clinton, meanwhile the DOJ is handing out immunity deals like candy on Halloween. ..."
"... The DOJ didn't even convene a Grand Jury. Like a lightning bolt of statistical impossibility, like a miracle from God himself, like the true "Gangsta" Homey is, James steps out into the cameras of an awaiting press conference on July the 8th of 2016 and exonerates the Hillary from any wrongdoing. ..."
"... It goes on and on, Rosenstein becomes Asst. Attorney General, Comey gets fired based upon a letter by Rosenstein, Comey leaks government information to the press, Mueller is assigned to the Russian Investigation witch hunt by Rosenstein to provide cover for decades of malfeasance within the FBI and DOJ and the story continues. ..."
Apr 30, 2018 | www.unz.com

NoseytheDuke , April 23, 2018 at 11:39 am GMT

@renfro

I'm on the other side of the planet but a friend in the Mid-West sent me this and I thought I'd ask if anyone else had seen it?

Is there corruption in DC?

From 2001 to 2005 there was an ongoing investigation into the Clinton Foundation. A Grand Jury had been empaneled. The investigation was triggered by the pardon of Marc Rich ..

Governments from around the world had donated to the "Charity". Yet, from 2001 to 2003 none of those "Donations" to the Clinton Foundation were declared.

Guess who took over this investigation in 2002? Bet you can't guess. No other than James Comey.

Guess who was transferred in to the Internal Revenue Service to run the Tax Exemption Branch of the IRS? Your friend and mine, Lois "Be on The Look Out" (BOLO) Lerner.

It gets better, well not really, but this is all just a series of strange coincidences, right?

Guess who ran the Tax Division inside the Department of Injustice from 2001 to 2005? No other than the Assistant Attorney General of the United States, Rod Rosenstein.

Guess who was the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation during this time frame??? I know, it's a miracle, just a coincidence, just an anomaly in statistics and chances: Robert Mueller.

What do all four casting characters have in common? They all were briefed and were front line investigators into the Clinton Foundation Investigation.

Now that's just a coincidence, right? Ok, lets chalk the last one up to mere chance.

Let's fast forward to 2009. James Comey leaves the Justice Department to go and cash-in at Lockheed Martin.

Hillary Clinton is running the State Department, on her own personal email server.

The Uranium One "issue" comes to the attention of the Hillary. Like all good public servants do, you know looking out for America's best interest, she decides to support the decision and approve the sale of 20% of US Uranium to no other than, the Russians.

Now you would think that this is a fairly straight up deal, except it wasn't, I question what did the People get out of it?? Oddly enough, prior to the sales approval, Bill Clinton goes to Moscow, gets paid 500K for a one-hour speech then meets with Vladimir Putin at his home for a few hours.

Ok, no big deal right? Well, not so fast, the FBI had a mole inside this scheme.

Guess who was the FBI Director during this time frame? Yep, Robert Mueller. He requested the State Department allow himself to deliver a Uranium Sample to Moscow in 2009, under the guise of a "sting" operation -- (see leaked secret cable 09STATE38943).. while it is never clear if Mueller did deliver the sample, the "implication" is there ..

Guess who was handling that case within the Justice Department out of the US Attorney's Office in Maryland ?? No other than, Rod Rosenstein.

Remember the "informant" inside the FBI -- - Guess what happened to the informant? Department of Justice placed a GAG order on him and threatened to lock him up if he spoke about the Uranium Deal. Personally, I have to question how does 20% of the most strategic asset of the United States of America end up in Russian hands??? The FBI had an informant, a mole providing inside information to the FBI on the criminal enterprise and NOTHING happens, except to the informant -- Strange !!

Guess what happened soon after the sale was approved? 145 million dollars in "donations" made their way into the Clinton Foundation from entities directly connected to the Uranium One deal.

Guess who was still at the Internal Revenue Service working the Charitable Division?

No other than, Lois Lerner. Ok, that's all just another series of coincidences, nothing to see here, right? Let's fast forward to 2015.

Due to a series of tragic events in Benghazi and after the nine "investigations" the House, Senate and at State Department, Trey Gowdy who was running the 10th investigation as Chairman of the Select Committee on Benghazi, discovers that the Hillary ran the State Department on an unclassified, unauthorized, outlaw personal email server.

He also discovered that none of those emails had been turned over when she departed her "Public Service" as Secretary of State which was required by law.

He also discovered that there was Top Secret information contained within her personally archived email. Sparing you the State Departments cover up, the nostrums they floated, the delay tactics that were employed and the outright lies that were spewed forth from the necks of the Kerry State Department, they did everything humanly possible to cover for Hillary.

Guess who became FBI Director in 2013? Guess who secured 17 no bid contracts for his employer (Lockheed Martin) with the State Department and was rewarded with a six million dollar thank you present when he departed his employer. No other than James Comey. Folks if I did this when I worked for the government, I would have been locked up -- The State Department didn't even comply with the EEO and small business requirements the government places on all Request For Proposals (RFP) on contracts -- It amazes me how all those no-bids just went right through at State -- simply amazing and no Inspector General investigation !!

Next after leaving the private sector Comey is the FBI Director in charge of the "Clinton Email Investigation" after of course his FBI Investigates the Lois Lerner "Matter" at the Internal Revenue Service and exonerates her. Nope couldn't find any crimes there. Nothing here to report --

Then of all surprises, in April 2016, James Comey drafts an exoneration letter of Hillary Rodham Clinton, meanwhile the DOJ is handing out immunity deals like candy on Halloween.

The DOJ didn't even convene a Grand Jury. Like a lightning bolt of statistical impossibility, like a miracle from God himself, like the true "Gangsta" Homey is, James steps out into the cameras of an awaiting press conference on July the 8th of 2016 and exonerates the Hillary from any wrongdoing. As I've said many times, July 8, 2016 is the date that will live in infamy of the American Justice System ..

Can you see the pattern?

It goes on and on, Rosenstein becomes Asst. Attorney General, Comey gets fired based upon a letter by Rosenstein, Comey leaks government information to the press, Mueller is assigned to the Russian Investigation witch hunt by Rosenstein to provide cover for decades of malfeasance within the FBI and DOJ and the story continues.

FISA Abuse, political espionage .. pick a crime, any crime, chances are this group and a few others did it. All the same players. All compromised and conflicted. All working fervently to NOT go to jail themselves. All connected in one way or another to the Clinton's. They are like battery acid, they corrode and corrupt everything they touch. How many lives have the Clinton's destroyed?

As of this writing, the Clinton Foundation, in its 20+ years of operation of being the largest International Charity Fraud in the history of mankind, has never been audited by the Internal Revenue Service.

Let us not forget that Comey's brother works for DLA Piper, the law firm that does the Clinton Foundation's taxes.

Twodees Partain , April 23, 2018 at 10:23 pm GMT
@NoseytheDuke

More on Mueller for renfro, who seems to think that Mueller has some kind of integrity hidden somewhere:

http://themillenniumreport.com/2017/05/robert-mueller-the-old-fixer-is-back-in-town/

[Apr 28, 2018] Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein s Memo Against James Comey, Annotated by Candice Norwood and Elaine Godfrey

May 10, 2017 | www.theatlantic.com
Rosenstein's Case Against Comey, Annotated

Contextualizing the deputy attorney general's memorandum on the former FBI director

In a surprising move on Tuesday, President Trump abruptly fired James Comey, the director of the FBI and the official leading the investigation into whether Trump aides colluded with Russia to sway the U.S. presidential election. In his letter dismissing Comey , Trump told him: "While I greatly appreciate you informing me, on three separate occasions, that I am not under investigation, I nevertheless concur with the judgment of the Department of Justice that you are not able to effectively lead the bureau."

The White House said that Trump acted on the recommendations of Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. The longest letter released was a memorandum to Sessions from Rosenstein laying out the case for Comey's dismissal. In the memo, Rosenstein criticizes Comey for his handling of the investigation into former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's private email server, and offers examples of bipartisan condemnation of Comey's actions.

For context, we've annotated Rosenstein's letter below.


May 9, 2017

MEMORANDUM FOR THE ATTORNEY GENERAL

FROM: ROD J. ROSENSTEIN

DEPUTY ATTORNEY GENERAL

SUBJECT: RESTORING PUBLIC CONFIDENCE IN THE FBI

The Federal Bureau of Investigation has long been regarded as our nation's premier federal investigative agency. Over the past year, however, the FBI's reputation and credibility have suffered substantial damage, and it has affected the entire Department of Justice. That is deeply troubling to many Department employees and veterans, legislators and citizens.

The current FBI Director is an articulate and persuasive speaker about leadership and the immutable principles of the Department of Justice. He deserves our appreciation for his public service. As you and I have discussed, however, I cannot defend the Director's handling of the conclusion of the investigation of Secretary Clinton's emails, and I do not understand his refusal to accept the nearly universal judgment that he was mistaken. Almost everyone agrees that the Director made serious mistakes; it is one of the few issues that unites people of diverse perspectives. Discussions of James Comey's decisions leading up to the 2016 presidential election have been playing out since July. The Atlantic's David A. Graham and Adam Serwer both weighed in on that debate.

The director was wrong to usurp the Attorney General's authority on July 5, 2016, and announce his conclusion that the case should be closed without prosecution. A New York Times report from July summarized the announcement: "Mr. Comey's 15-minute announcement, delivered with no advance warning only three days after his investigators interviewed Mrs. Clinton in the case, riveted official Washington and is likely to reverberate for the rest of the campaign. In offices across the capital, all eyes turned to television screens to hear the outcome of a yearlong investigation that could have thrown the 2016 presidential election into disarray and changed history."

It is not the function of the Director to make such an announcement. At most, the Director should have said the FBI had completed its investigation and presented its findings to federal prosecutors. The Director now defends his decision by asserting that he believed attorney General Loretta Lynch had a conflict. But the FBI Director is never empowered to supplant federal prosecutors and assume command of the Justice Department. There is a well-established process for other officials to step in when a conflict requires the recusal of the Attorney General. On July 5, however, the Director announced his own conclusions about the nation's most sensitive criminal investigation, without the authorization of duly appointed Justice Department leaders.

Compounding the error, the Director ignored another longstanding principle: we do not hold press conferences to release derogatory information about the subject of a declined criminal investigation. The above New York Times story continues: "Mr. Comey's announcement was believed to be the first time that the F.B.I. had ever publicly disclosed its recommendations to the Justice Department about whether to charge someone in any high-profile case, let alone a presidential candidate. His decision to announce the results of the investigation was made before the uproar over Ms. [Loretta] Lynch's meeting with Mr. Clinton, according to a law enforcement official. He decided to make his findings public, the official said, because he wanted to make the F.B.I.'s position clear before referring the case to the Justice Department." Derogatory information sometimes is disclosed in the course of criminal investigations and prosecutions, but we never release it gratuitously. The Director laid out his version of the facts for the news media as if it were a closing argument, but without a trial. It is a textbook example of what federal prosecutors and agents are taught not to do.

In response to skeptical question at a congressional hearing, the Director defended his remarks by saying that his "goal was to say what is true. What did we do, what did we find, what do we think about it." Here is C-SPAN footage of that congressional hearing. But the goal of a federal criminal investigation is not to announce our thoughts at a press conference. The goal is to determine whether there is sufficient evidence to justify a federal criminal prosecution, then allow a federal prosecutor who exercises authority delegated by the Attorney General to make a prosecutorial decision, and then - if prosecution is warranted - let the judge and jury determine the facts. We sometimes release information about closed investigations in appropriate ways, but the FBI does not do it sua sponte Latin for " of one's own accord; voluntarily ." .

Concerning his letter to the Congress on October 28, 2016, the Director cast his decision as a choice between whether he would "speak" about the decision to investigate the newly-discovered email messages or "conceal" it. Comey's comments come from an exchange with California Senator Dianne Fernstein during his May 3 testimony in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee. "Conceal" is a loaded term that misstates the issue. When federal agents and prosecutors quietly open a criminal investigation, we are not concealing anything; we are simply following the longstanding policy that we refrain from publicizing non-public information. In that context, silence is not concealment.

My perspective on these issues is shared by former Attorneys General and Deputy Attorneys General from different eras and both political parties. Judge Laurence Silberman, who served as Deputy Attorney General under President Ford, wrote that "it is not the bureau's responsibility to opine on whether a matter should be prosecuted." Silberman's comments come from his February 24 column in The Wall Street Journal . Silberman believes that the Director's "Performance was so inappropriate for an FBI director that [he] doubt[s] the bureau will ever completely recover." Jamie Gorelick, Deputy Attorney General under President Clinton, joined with Larry Thompson, Deputy Attorney General under President George W. Bush, to opine that the Director had "chosen personally to restrike the balance between transparency and fairness, departing from the department's traditions." They concluded that the Director violated his obligation to "preserve, protect and defend" the traditions of the Department and the FBI. Gorelick's comments come from an October 29 column she wrote with former deputy attorney general Larry Thompson in The Washington Post .

Former Attorney General Michael Mukasey, who served under President George W. Bush, observed the Director "stepped way outside his job in disclosing the recommendation in that fashion" because the FBI director "doesn't make that decision." Mukasey made these comments in a July 6 interview with Fox Business Network's Maria Bartiromo.

Alberto Gonzales, who also served as Attorney General under President George W. Bush, called the decision "an error in judgement." Gonzales made this comment in an interview with CNN's John Berman and Kate Bolduan on October 31. Eric Holder, who served as Deputy Attorney General under President Clinton and Attorney General under President Obama, said the Director's decision "was incorrect. It violated long-standing Justice Department policies and traditions. And it ran counter to guidance that I put in place four years ago laying out the proper way to conduct investigations during an election season." Holder concluded that the Director "broke with these fundamental principles" and "negatively affected public trust in both the Justice Department and the FBI." Holder made this point in his October 30 column for The Washington Post .

Former Deputy Attorneys General Gorelick and Thompson described the unusual events as "real-time, raw-take transparency taken to its illogical limit, a kind of reality TV of federal criminal investigation," that is "antithetical to the interests of justice." Gorelick and Thompson made these comments in a joint column for The Washington Post.

Donald Ayer, who served as Deputy Attorney General under President H.W. Bush, along with former Justice Department officials, was "astonished and perplexed" by the decision to "break[] with longstanding practices followed by officials of both parties during past elections." Ayer's letter noted, "Perhaps most troubling is the precedent set by this departure from the Department's widely-respected, non-partisan traditions." These comments were not made by Ayer directly, but were part of an open letter from nearly 100 former federal prosecutors and Justice Department officials stating that Comey's disclosure "has invited considerable, uninformed public speculation about the significance of newly-discovered material just days before a national election."

We should reject the departure and return to the traditions.

Although the President has the power to remove an FBI director, the decision should not be taken lightly. I agree with the nearly unanimous opinions of former Department officials. The way the Director handled the conclusion of the email investigation was wrong. As a result, the FBI is unlikely to regain public and congressional trust until it has a Director who understands the gravity of the mistakes and pledges never to repeat them. Having refused to admit his errors, the Director cannot be expected to implement the necessary corrective actions. Although the letter builds a case for Comey's removal, Rosenstein never explicitly recommends a specific course of action, and never directly requests that Comey be dismissed from his job.

[Apr 28, 2018] Mark Levin Mueller's probe is an impeachment investigation

Comey trying to blackmail President using Steele dossier. Comey was also key figure in appointment of the Special Prosecutor.
Mueller investigation is an impeachment investigation with Comey and Rosenstein as key players.
Notable quotes:
"... We know that the authors of the fix were John Podesta, Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Hillary Clinton herself, the targets of the leak. ..."
"... We know that the DNC and the Democrats were careless with usernames and passwords. We know that any halfwit IT or DATABASE worker understands how to access the Outlook folder, and copy the *.pst files to a flash drive. MSNBC sticks to their flat earth conspiracy theories and Russian Collusion narrative like a flat-earth creationist. In the words of Carl Sagan, extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. ..."
Apr 28, 2018 | www.youtube.com

Fox News host Mark Levin says Comey has done enormous damage to himself and the FBI.


Lobo Blue , 1 week ago

Mark Levin, is brilliant. Wish he was in the Trump cabinet.

Justin Sparrow , 1 week ago

Comey thinks his book will save him 😂 he'll be off to jail along with the rest. The book means absolutely nothing.

Thelma Yoon , 1 week ago

Soros and Deep State are working 24 hours a day to ruin Trump adm.by any means like MSM propaganda ,payed riots and false flags.

CHAS1422 , 1 week ago

MSNBC' Chuck Todd keeps insinuating that Russia hacked the DNC emails without evidence to back up. He has no idea who leaked the emails to Wikileaks. There were also many in the DNC who were pissed off that citizens were sending hard earned campaign donations for Bernie Sanders, and knew that the Clinton financed DNC was rigging the primaries.

We know that the authors of the fix were John Podesta, Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Hillary Clinton herself, the targets of the leak.

We know that the DNC and the Democrats were careless with usernames and passwords. We know that any halfwit IT or DATABASE worker understands how to access the Outlook folder, and copy the *.pst files to a flash drive. MSNBC sticks to their flat earth conspiracy theories and Russian Collusion narrative like a flat-earth creationist. In the words of Carl Sagan, extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.

Jan Wallace

Don't forget the Tarmac meeting...Lynch the AG, and Clinton mixing it up that is obviously not really about golf or kids...She tells Comey to call it a "Matter" that is collusion.

George Stone

I just read that Dem's filed suit alleging that Russia, Trump & Wikileaks interfered with the 2016 campaign. I guess Dem's haven't got the memo, There IS NO EVIDENCE TO SUPPORT THEIR CLAIMS. Adam Schiff hasn't presented any evidence, James Comey hasn't provided any supporting evidence, neither has the FBI or DOJ.

[Apr 28, 2018] Newt Gingrich Comey is almost a pathological liar

Apr 28, 2018 | www.youtube.com

Ruby Begonia , 1 week ago

Newt is right on about Comey and his so-called emotions.

Dennis Vance , 1 week ago

Comey is a pathological weasel.

Alex Huxley , 1 week ago

Why is anyone surprised Comey is a consummate phoney? You didn't think he gained his position by being the best at what he does do you? Work at any large firm long enough and you'll see his type. Working behind the scenes, lying, playing political games for advantage. Eventually that person is promoted and proceeds to wreck the company that promoted him. Comey's only talent IS being a weasel.

Rand K , 1 week ago (edited)

The Democrats are obstructing Democracy. There are also members of congress who have leaked sensitive, if not classified information to the media to aid in this obstruction and the DOJ needs to investigate these members to see if crimes have been committed. If the Democrats believe that the President is not above the law then they too should be subject to this same standards and scrutiny. A special council should be appointed to investigate them and look into all their financial dealings both domestic and off shore.

Christi Dee , 1 week ago

I've been saying from the beginning Comey displays a very unhealthy level of infantile behaviour. How someone like that ever managed to manoeuvre himself so far up, let alone in a law enforcement agency, completely baffles the mind. He gives much credit to his wife. I'd bet a lot she coached him through much of the process. He's not leadership material. On the other side, more importantly even, if I were law enforcement in the USA I'd be taking a very good look at this man's life when the lights go off.

Me LotusBlssm , 1 week ago

It is amazing to hear Comey talk of himself and others rules of integrity. He should have actually done some of those things he would have done a better job.

Me LotusBlssm , 1 week ago

It is amazing to hear Comey talk of himself and others rules of integrity. He should have actually done some of those things he would have done a better job.

[Apr 28, 2018] A Higher Loyalty Truth, Lies, and Leadership

Comey career was damaged by his treatment of Hillary email scandal and derailing Sanders; clearly the political role the FBI assumed. So this is a memoir of a politician who happened to work in law enforcement, and should be treated as such.
An investigation of real Comey role in derailing Sanders and electing Trump still is a matter of the future.
Rosenstein memo pictures quite a different portrait Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein's Memo Against James Comey, Annotated - The Atlantic
Notable quotes:
"... Comey is more than willing on several occasions to make misguided decisions because of his uncompromising loyalty to the FBI. Loyalty to the FBI is ever bit as dangerous as loyalty to the president. ..."
"... I am not a fan of James Comey and to this day I have never seen an answer to why it would be ok for the FBI director to hold a press conference for what seemed to be injecting his own political thoughts and opinions far too close to an election to not have known it would have an effect. ..."
"... Comey goes on to say that "in mid June the Russian Government began dumping emails stolen from the institutions associated with the Democratic Party." Here he is implying that Wikileaks is the Russian Government without any evidence to back it up. ..."
"... Is Comey saying Russia in order to protect Clinton?, its possible. Comey has said in his Book he has been investigating the Clintons since the Clinton administration. Each of those investigations he has let the Clintons walk free and has stop the investigations unexpectedly even when evidence appears to pile up, he does admit that Hillary Clinton destroyed evidence even after receiving a subpoena .Comey investigated a suicide in the clintons white house. Comey was behind an investigation of Bill clinton in January 2002. ..."
"... Comey tries to imply if you did not go along with Hillary Clinton during the 2016 election and not supported her or made no positive comments about her as "associating or working with the Russians". I believe this mindset is very dangerous to suggest if you did not support Hillary Clinton for president as if working with the Russians. ..."
"... He says that "Candidate Clinton herself was talking about the Russian effort to elect her opponent.", well we do know that she was who paid for the slanderous "dossier" which is why she knew about what was in the dossier before the "Dossier" was publish by Buzzfeed and CNN. ..."
"... Before the election Comey said he did his job as if Hillary was already President and as if working for Her even though the election was weeks to come. He says " I was making decisions in an environment where Hillary Clinton was sure to be the next President" ..."
"... Comey expected Trump to curse Russia based on what the suppose "evidence" or the DNC funded "dossier". We do know that the Clinton campaign was running the DNC before Hillary was nominated based on Donna Brazile latest book where she implies that Hillary Clinton cheated Bernie Sanders. ..."
"... Yet Comey fails to mention that he signed a FISA warrant based on the "Dossier" paid by Hillary Clinton and the DNC. He said the Dossier was "salacious and unverified". The Dossier was politically crafted much of it has been proven to be false yet Comey use it to get a FISA warrant. ..."
"... Finishing, Comey goes on to slander president Trump of undermining public confidence in law enforcement institutions when this enforcement institutions have been caught lying, protecting politicians like Hillary Clinton having a double standard when it comes to investigating certain politicians and letting them walk free before finishing an investigation. ..."
"... Comey had his issues with the Justice Department, especially Loretta Lynch although he never says that she had sinister intent. ..."
Apr 28, 2018 | www.amazon.com

mick on April 25, 2018

Loyal to whom?

James Comey is articulate and makes his case in an interesting and effective manner. He seems competent and well intentioned. Problem is he, like many, considers lying about a crime a greater crime than the crime. It is not the case. If someone commits murder, is lying about it worse than the murder?

He rightfully seems horrified that Trump demands loyalty, but Comey is more than willing on several occasions to make misguided decisions because of his uncompromising loyalty to the FBI. Loyalty to the FBI is ever bit as dangerous as loyalty to the president.

Tucker Lieberman on April 18, 2018
A justification of the Clinton email server investigation and a nonpartisan critique of Trump's erosion of norms

A skillfully written and affecting memoir. Comey shares formative experiences: suffering a random attack by a serial home invader as a teenager, being bullied and then bullying, losing an infant son. There's a lot of detail about his decision to announce the reopening of the investigation into Hillary Clinton's private email server right before the election. Given that situation as he described it, had I been in his shoes, I can't say for sure what I would have done. He means to reveal the ethical complexity and he does it well.

He speaks positively of working for President George W. Bush and then for President Obama, but he has no such appreciation for President Trump. Contradicting longstanding norms of U.S. government, Trump demanded loyalty from Comey in his nonpartisan, ten-year term as the FBI Director, and when Comey did not give it unconditionally and did not halt the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, Trump fired him. "We had that thing, you know," Trump said to Comey, referring to the previous conversation in which he had asked for loyalty. Comey's knowledge of La Cosa Nostra ("that thing of ours," the Mafia's name for itself) adds a layer of meaning. Comey knows what Mafia guys are like, and he does not live like them; he is not swayed by appeals to loyalty. That's how he became FBI Director and that's also how he lost his job under Trump.

"I say this as someone who has worked in law enforcement for most of my life, and served presidents of both parties. What is happening now," he warns from his new position as a private citizen, "is not normal. It is not fake news. It is not okay." For those who support Trump's policy agenda because they believe it will benefit them personally somehow, Comey delivers a reminder that "the core of our nation is our commitment to a set of shared values that began with George Washington -- to restraint and integrity and balance and transparency and truth. If that slides away from us, only a fool would be consoled by a tax cut or a different immigration policy."

Irene on April 17, 2018
A higher loyalty

I am not a fan of James Comey and to this day I have never seen an answer to why it would be ok for the FBI director to hold a press conference for what seemed to be injecting his own political thoughts and opinions far too close to an election to not have known it would have an effect.

If you watch the news at all or read the 1 star reviews by people who appear not to have read the book you will be led to believe this is a book about Trump, and bashing him, or outing him as unfit in some way.

Especially if you know that the RNC has gone out of their way to create a website just ahead of the book release for the sole purpose of Comey bashing. So let me bust that myth. This is not a book about Trump. There are no big jaw dropping Trump secrets here.

This is a book about James Comey, from his early childhood until the here and now. Comey touches on childhood memories, being bullied, later on participating or at least turning a blind eye to bullyng himself. He speaks on his experience being home alone with his brother when the "Ramsey Rapist" broke into his house. He tells you how and why he decided to pursue law as a career instead of becoming a doctor. There are humorous anecdotes about his first job in the grocery store and yes some about his final days as FBI director. You do not have to be a fan of Comey or any of his decisions to enjoy this book. You may or may not be satisfied with his explanation of why he decided to make such public announcements on Hilary's emails, but that is a small part of this book. Personally I was not satisfied and he does admit that others may have handled it differently. If you are only looking for bombshells this book is not for you. By the time it gets to the visit to alert Trump to the salacious allegations the book is 70% over, because as I said this is not a book about Trump.

Even if I do not agree with Comey's decisions to publicly give his opinion on one candidate while withholding the fact that there is an investigation surrounding the other even with the "classified info" that he says we still do not know about I was still able to enjoy this book. I agree with his assessment in the last televised interview he gave, that if Comey is an idiot he is at least an honest idiot.

Omar Gonzalez on April 21, 2018
Just finished reading 100% of the book. James Comey

Just finished reading 100% of the book. James Comey starts with sharing an experience of a time his house was broken in by a robber while his parents were away and he was alone with Pete. James Comey recounts his investigations of the Mafia. James Comey talks about having Malaria and thanks his wife Patrice for taking him on the back of her motorcycle to the Hospital. He mentions his family life and his new born son Collin who passed away in the hospital after Doctors failed to give Collin treatment while Collin was already showing abnormal behavior.

Comey goes on to talk about his role as FBI director during the Obama Administration.

He talks about Micheal Brown and how fake news caused a big up roar and hatred on police by their distortion on what happened in Ferguson and thus caused great divisions.

Comey tries to justify the outcome of not prosecuting what clinton did with her private email server which had classified government data by saying that even if her actions were bad though a statute was broken and had lied to FBI officials about having classified information but she did so carelessly.

He says that the Clinton campaign was calling the criminal investigation surrounding Hillary Clinton a "matter" and he says that Attorney General Loretta Lynch was strangely telling him to do the same when confronting the media.

When Attorney General Loretta Lynch met with Bill Clinton privately on a tarmac he saw it not as a big deal, though it was after this private meeting that the decision of not prosecuting Secretary Hillary Clinton was decided . So this shows that the Clinton campaign had influence on the outcome of the investigation concerning Clinton.

Comey goes on to say that "in mid June the Russian Government began dumping emails stolen from the institutions associated with the Democratic Party." Here he is implying that Wikileaks is the Russian Government without any evidence to back it up. Though Wikileaks has already said that it was not Russia but someone living in the United States who sent the emails to Wikileaks.

Is Comey saying Russia in order to protect Clinton?, its possible. Comey has said in his Book he has been investigating the Clintons since the Clinton administration. Each of those investigations he has let the Clintons walk free and has stop the investigations unexpectedly even when evidence appears to pile up, he does admit that Hillary Clinton destroyed evidence even after receiving a subpoena .Comey investigated a suicide in the clintons white house. Comey was behind an investigation of Bill clinton in January 2002.

Comey mentions the piss dossier as evidence "strongly suggesting that the Russian government was trying to interfere in the election in 3 ways." He later admits the suppose "evidence" as "unverifiable", this is the same "dossier" that was used to grant a FISA warrant to spy on Clinton opponent Donald Trump which was paid by Hillary Clinton and her campaign.

Comey tries to imply if you did not go along with Hillary Clinton during the 2016 election and not supported her or made no positive comments about her as "associating or working with the Russians". I believe this mindset is very dangerous to suggest if you did not support Hillary Clinton for president as if working with the Russians. Again this is all based on the "unverifiable dossier" , even though the suggested "evidence" is unverifiable a tyrant Government can use this to justify in going after ANYONE who speaks against the corruption going within former director James Comey FBI.

He says that "Candidate Clinton herself was talking about the Russian effort to elect her opponent.", well we do know that she was who paid for the slanderous "dossier" which is why she knew about what was in the dossier before the "Dossier" was publish by Buzzfeed and CNN.

He says that his family were Hillary supporters and that they attended the "Woman's March" which was more of a rally in protest to President Trump presidency. Before the election Comey said he did his job as if Hillary was already President and as if working for Her even though the election was weeks to come. He says " I was making decisions in an environment where Hillary Clinton was sure to be the next President"

Comey goes on to talk about Donald Trump inauguration and as FBI director fails to talk about the riots and protestors blocking the entrance to the inauguration where they set a limousine on fire, stores were broken in including a Starbucks. He compares Trump inauguration to Obama but Obama had no rioters.

Comey expected Trump to curse Russia based on what the suppose "evidence" or the DNC funded "dossier". We do know that the Clinton campaign was running the DNC before Hillary was nominated based on Donna Brazile latest book where she implies that Hillary Clinton cheated Bernie Sanders.

Yet Comey fails to mention that he signed a FISA warrant based on the "Dossier" paid by Hillary Clinton and the DNC. He said the Dossier was "salacious and unverified". The Dossier was politically crafted much of it has been proven to be false yet Comey use it to get a FISA warrant.

Finishing, Comey goes on to slander president Trump of undermining public confidence in law enforcement institutions when this enforcement institutions have been caught lying, protecting politicians like Hillary Clinton having a double standard when it comes to investigating certain politicians and letting them walk free before finishing an investigation.

JWM on April 27, 2018
A better title would have been " An American's Highest Loyalty"

This memoir is an important piece in the analysis of turn of the century politics in the United States. It is unfortunate that the media hype for this book has been about the more recent turmoil in James Comey's service to his country. True, the Trump administration is different and in many ways dysfunctional. But it is only in the part of the book, that he deals with it's dysfunction.

If one reads carefully, President Trump is only a more obvious and verbal and transparent figure in his disdain for the judiciary and the justice department. Dick Cheney and others in the Bush 43 administration are portrayed as far more sinister in their actions to sublimate justice after 9/11.

His admiration for President Obama is evident and little discussed in the media.

Comey had his issues with the Justice Department, especially Loretta Lynch although he never says that she had sinister intent. His dealings with the Clinton email controversy is well outlined. His dilemma with his communication regarding his investigation and its reopening was inadequately described in the book and his naivety that its reopening would not influence the election is remarkable. He supposes that the average American voter understands how the investigative system and justice system works.

His demeaning comments about President Trump's physical flaws add nothing to the book. I can understand why he wrote them in as these kinds of notations sell books. They added nothing to the story he had to tell. He should have left them out.

I appreciate that he does not give loyalty to a person. What makes America great is that we are loyal to an idea. Even if we disagree on the interpretation of the Constitution, we can all be American. His loyalty seems to be to honesty and integrity which is admirable. However the highest loyalty should be to one's reading of the Constitution. I just wished he had said it.

[Apr 28, 2018] Jim Comey, Liar or Fool by Publius Tacitus

Notable quotes:
"... Because Comey revealed that he is either a world class liar or a total moron. Actually, he may be both. I also think that he earned the title of "sanctimonious twit." ..."
"... This exchange should leave you slack jawed by the audacity of Comey's lies. We are asked to believe that Jim Comey is a boy scout. Honest to a fault. Just a humble man trying to do the right thing. Oh yeah, he also is supposed to be really smart. He is a lawyer don't cha know. ..."
"... Put yourself in Jim Comey's large shoes. Would you get such a letter and then file it away at the bottom of your burn bag? Or, would you demand immediate action from your senior staff, including a briefing from the CIA liaison officer posted to FBI Headquarters? Call me crazy, but I am betting that someone as smart and honorable and conscientious (you get the drift) as Jimmy Comey would go for the latter. He would want a briefing and want to know what was told to Senator Reid and other key members of Congress. ..."
"... Comey also wants us to assume that he is a total idiot. Who else catches a briefing laying out sordid and salacious details about Donald Trump and members of his crew romping around Moscow and other formerly commie nooks and crannies and does not have even a wee bit of curiosity to ask, "Who is the source?" or "How did the source come to have this info?" ..."
"... 'Litvinenko used to say: They are total retards in the UK, they believe everything we are telling them about Russia.' It is important here that the 'we' clearly refers to the circle around Berezovsky. Of this, a very large part – Alex Goldfarb, Yuri Shvets, Yuri Felshtinsky, for example – were based on your side of the Atlantic. ..."
"... 'Litvinenko said interesting things about the British judiciary system. He was thrilled, he loved it, that in Britain you could prove anything, really. He used to say: "You can't imagine, you can simply raise your hand, tell the judge whatever, and they will believe you! They will believe you!" And in this respect, a Russia to totally different things, so for a Russian person it is all available and beneficial.' ..."
"... 'I want to stress this thought, the one I mentioned in my statement. I quote – Litvinenko used to say: You can't imagine what idiots they are and they believe everything we are telling them. I stress that.' ..."
"... this seems to me clearly to reflect Lugovoi's considered judgment as to the intellectual quality of British intelligence and law enforcement people, and it is also clear to me that Owen's conduct of his Inquiry is only one item among a mass of material vindicating his contempt. ..."
"... No competent intelligence agency would employ a man like Steele, let alone appoint him as head of its Russia Desk. ..."
"... A more plausible scenario, it increasingly appears, is that crucial strings were pulled by Berezovsky when alive, and are still being pulled by his ghost, after his death. As with Ahmed Chalabi, a somewhat similar figure, both in my country and ours we are going to have to live with the consequences of our credulity in the face of conmen, for a very long time. ..."
"... Another way of looking at it is that they're not really stupid, just completely uninterested in the truth. All they're interested in is gathering the 'evidence' that fits the party line--that's how careers are advanced in the Decadent West now. ..."
"... I tend to agree with RaisingMac below. Or perhaps as Publius says, it's a case of both stupidity and mendacity. I may have mentioned before that most Presidents are perfectly happy to go on national TV and state complete and utter lies that they would have to be more than retarded to actually believe. People used to talk about George Bush as if his speech impediments were related to his intelligence. I always thought it was just a case of he just didn't give a damn what he said because he KNEW he would never pay any consequence for anything he said. And that was true about Obama and it's true about Trump. ..."
"... Yes. I cringed every time Obama repeated the reason we were fighting in Afghanistan. "We are denying them space in which to plan their attacks." At least he used good grammar. ..."
"... Just what were Daniel Richman's duties as a "special government employee"? Who worked, according to Richman, "for no pay". Serve as the official leaker of FBI documents? What other documents has Richman seen and by whose authority? ..."
"... No collusion here, nothing to see here, just normal business amongst FBI leaders. Happens all the time, like Attorney General tarmac meetings with spouses of people being investigated by the FBI. ..."
"... Comey was part of the cabal to bring Trump down....pure and simple.. ..."
"... Just another so-called "smartest guy in the room." Does swimming in the swamp destroy brain cells or does the swamp just naturally attract the dimwitted among us? ..."
"... Plenty smart enough to cope with a TV interview, to the average observer with little grasp of the background. Observing from that position myself I can report that Mr Comey's performance would have been more than adequately convincing for most. After I'd watched the interview I had to re-read PT's article carefully to see where Mr Comey had been skating on thin ice. So yes, smart enough. ..."
"... Smart enough to cope with the considerably sharper and more persistent questioning of a hostile lawyer in a Court? Judging by that uneasy manner of shifting in his jacket from time to time even under such undemanding questioning as this, I'd imagine Mr Comey would do better to devote his ingenuity to avoiding such a test. ..."
Apr 27, 2018 | turcopolier.typepad.com

Lordy, Lordy, Lordy (to quote James Comey liberally). He was interviewed tonight (Thursday, 26 April 2018) by Bret Baier on the Fox 6pm news show and it was shocking. Why? Because Comey revealed that he is either a world class liar or a total moron. Actually, he may be both. I also think that he earned the title of "sanctimonious twit."

Do not take my word for it. Watch it yourself:

https://www.youtube.com/embed/CqdE0sMDKTo

I want to direct you to look at the exchange that starts at 8:30 into the interview. It concerns the so-called Steele Dossier. This exchange should leave you slack jawed by the audacity of Comey's lies. We are asked to believe that Jim Comey is a boy scout. Honest to a fault. Just a humble man trying to do the right thing. Oh yeah, he also is supposed to be really smart. He is a lawyer don't cha know.

So here is the scenario. He claims he is briefed sometime in September or October on parts of the Steele documents. He is not sure. This really smart guy just cannot remember.

Well, let's see if this helps jog the faltering brain cells of choir boy. There was a letter from Senator Harry Reid, whose panties were in a bunch after being briefed by someone from the Intelligence Community (probably CIA Director John Brennan) that there was:

. . . evidence of a direct connection between the Russian government and Donald Trump's presidential campaign continues to mount and has led Michael Morrell, the former Acting Central Intelligence Director, to call Trump an "unwitting agent" of Russia and the Kremlin. The prospect of a hostile government actively seeking to undermine our free and fair elections represents one of the gravest threats to our democracy since the Cold War and it is critical for the Federal Bureau of lnvestigation to use every resource available to investigate this matter thoroughly and in a timely fashion. The American people deserve to have a full understanding of the facts from a completed investigation before they vote this November.

Put yourself in Jim Comey's large shoes. Would you get such a letter and then file it away at the bottom of your burn bag? Or, would you demand immediate action from your senior staff, including a briefing from the CIA liaison officer posted to FBI Headquarters? Call me crazy, but I am betting that someone as smart and honorable and conscientious (you get the drift) as Jimmy Comey would go for the latter. He would want a briefing and want to know what was told to Senator Reid and other key members of Congress.

But Comey now wants us to believe that he does not remember anything about the specifics of this Dossier and the information contained in it. Are we to suppose that Comey was getting so many letters and reports about Trump and the Rooskies collaborating on stealing the election that it was just something routine? I doubt that.

Comey also wants us to assume that he is a total idiot. Who else catches a briefing laying out sordid and salacious details about Donald Trump and members of his crew romping around Moscow and other formerly commie nooks and crannies and does not have even a wee bit of curiosity to ask, "Who is the source?" or "How did the source come to have this info?"

Nope. Not Jimmy Comey. Asking such basic, factual questions apparently eluded his razor sharp mind. He concedes that it came from a foreign intelligence officer (Steele) and, rather than wonder about any possible counter intelligence concerns, says that he took that fact as validation of the reliability of these fantastical reports.

There was a time when I respected James Comey. No longer. Trump called him a liar today. I think President Trump has it right. Comey is a liar. What is shocking to me is that someone who is supposedly so smart can be so downright stupid. His interview above seals that fact for me.


David Habakkuk, a day ago

PT and All,

"He concedes that it came from a foreign intelligence officer (Steele) and, rather than wonder about any possible counter intelligence concerns, says that he took that fact as validation of the reliability of these fantastical reports."

As I have noted in earlier exchanges on these matters, in the press conference where he responded to the British request for his extradition, the man Steele et al framed over the death of Alexander Litvinenko, Andrei Lugovoi, made the following claim about what his supposed victim really thought of people like the man Comey appears so happy to believe:

'Litvinenko used to say: They are total retards in the UK, they believe everything we are telling them about Russia.' It is important here that the 'we' clearly refers to the circle around Berezovsky. Of this, a very large part – Alex Goldfarb, Yuri Shvets, Yuri Felshtinsky, for example – were based on your side of the Atlantic.

In the appearance on Russian primetime television where Litvinenko's father embraced Lugovoi, in addition to making the quite implausible claim that Goldfarb had assassinated his son, he made the to my mind not implausible suggestion that the figure who he was, in his turn, framing, was working for the CIA.

(See https://sputniknews.com/rus... .)

In the Q&A at the press conference, Lugovoi's supposed partner-in-crime, Dmitri Kovtun, made a claim parallel to Lugovoi's, about British law enforcement, clearly referring to the supposed plot to assassinate Berezovsky with a 'poison pen', which back in 2003 MI6 had used to frustrate Russian attempts to have the oligarch extradited.

(In this, I think it likely that the Russian Prosecutor-General's Office are quite correct to claim that Goldfarb and Litvinenko played crucial roles.)

According to Kovtun:

'Litvinenko said interesting things about the British judiciary system. He was thrilled, he loved it, that in Britain you could prove anything, really. He used to say: "You can't imagine, you can simply raise your hand, tell the judge whatever, and they will believe you! They will believe you!" And in this respect, a Russia to totally different things, so for a Russian person it is all available and beneficial.'

Also in the Q&A, Lugovoi returned to his earlier claim about Litvinenko's contempt for people like Steele:

'I want to stress this thought, the one I mentioned in my statement. I quote – Litvinenko used to say: You can't imagine what idiots they are and they believe everything we are telling them. I stress that.'

(For the press conference, follow the link INQ001886 on the 'Evidence page' on the archived website of the inquiry presided over by Sir Robert Owen, which is at http://webarchive.nationala... .)

Whether or not Litvinenko made the remarks attributed to him – and I think it most likely that he did – this seems to me clearly to reflect Lugovoi's considered judgment as to the intellectual quality of British intelligence and law enforcement people, and it is also clear to me that Owen's conduct of his Inquiry is only one item among a mass of material vindicating his contempt.

As it happens, the type to which Steele, and also our embarrassment of a Foreign Secretary, Boris Johnson, patently belongs – the worst kind of superannuated Oxbridge student politician – is one with which I have quite extensive knowledge, which even if I had not followed the antics of Steele and Owen, would strongly incline me to think that Lugovoi's judgments were accurate.

No competent intelligence agency would employ a man like Steele, let alone appoint him as head of its Russia Desk.

If people take a 'retard' seriously, then the natural inference is that they are themselves 'retards.'

I have largely lost count of the number of the people in the United States who appear to have taken Steele seriously. But it seems clear that your intelligence, foreign affairs and law enforcement bureaucracies are as infested by 'retards' as are ours.

The notion of Putin as the sinister puppet master, pulling the 'strings' which caused people to vote for 'Leave' in the Brexit campaign, or to support Trump, has always been BS.

A more plausible scenario, it increasingly appears, is that crucial strings were pulled by Berezovsky when alive, and are still being pulled by his ghost, after his death. As with Ahmed Chalabi, a somewhat similar figure, both in my country and ours we are going to have to live with the consequences of our credulity in the face of conmen, for a very long time.

RaisingMac -> David Habakkuk, a day ago

Another way of looking at it is that they're not really stupid, just completely uninterested in the truth. All they're interested in is gathering the 'evidence' that fits the party line--that's how careers are advanced in the Decadent West now.

richardstevenhack -> David Habakkuk, a day ago

I tend to agree with RaisingMac below. Or perhaps as Publius says, it's a case of both stupidity and mendacity. I may have mentioned before that most Presidents are perfectly happy to go on national TV and state complete and utter lies that they would have to be more than retarded to actually believe. People used to talk about George Bush as if his speech impediments were related to his intelligence. I always thought it was just a case of he just didn't give a damn what he said because he KNEW he would never pay any consequence for anything he said. And that was true about Obama and it's true about Trump.

This is the nature of people in power - they don't care what you think about what they said, so they say anything they want as long as it isn't something so absurd as to make them look like fools directly - in the minds of the rest of the fools listening to them as if what they said really mattered.

Parsing what these people say is a complete waste of time. What matters is what did they DO and what were the consequences to the rest of us.

Bill H -> richardstevenhack, 10 hours ago

Yes. I cringed every time Obama repeated the reason we were fighting in Afghanistan. "We are denying them space in which to plan their attacks." At least he used good grammar.

Nobby Stiles -> David Habakkuk, 17 hours ago

Yes! But i think you really should have said highly convenient credulity. That is why an intelligence agency employs a man like Steele. That is the key competancy they saw when recruiting. That "flexibility" with the truth is such an asset in the civil service. I dont believe all players were idiots. I believe they were "fooled" like John Scarlett was fooled about WMD.

Jack -> David Habakkuk, a day ago

David

Are these people retards or just skilled at playing the bureaucratic game and knowing which way the wind blows?

Sid Finster, a day ago

The criminal laws in the United States are broad and far-reaching enough that an aggressive prosecutor will always have a pretext to bring charges against anyone. This is entirely intentional. Those whom the establishment want punished are punished.

At the same time, because everybody and anybody can be made into a criminal whenever convenient, the converse is that violating the law is considered blameless, praiseworthy even, when doing so aligns with consensus establishment goals.

This does not mean that a shadowy cabal have secret meeting and take a ballot on whom we will persecute today. Rather, it refers to people of influence and authority, and prosecutors, being, depending on how you look at it, glorified or perhaps degraded politicians, are exquisitely sensitive to such things.

Che Guevara -> Sid Finster, a day ago

Excellent points!

Vicky SD, a day ago

I deal with attorneys on a weekly basis. The percentage of them which are simply unqualified to wake up in the morning and charge people for advice is mind boggling.

DianaLC, a day ago

I am giggling still after reading your comments about our little Jimmy C. I watched the interview yesterday and came away feeling that somehow I must be losing my marbles, so to speak, because I just could not make myself believe that this person had reached the level of authority in our government that he had reached before deservedly being fired at last.

When the whole Clinton email situation was at its peak in the news cycle, I finally decided that Jimmy was a prime example of the Peter Principle. He had reached his level of incompetence. But after watching the interview yesterday, I decided that he had reached that level of incompetence long before becoming the Director of the FBI. Perhaps all the really intelligent, competent people just didn't want to go into some sort of bureaucratic swampy environment that taking a management position would mean. Maybe they all just kept pushing him up the ladder to keep him from going out into the field to do the real work of the FBI. Who knows? One person--I forget who it was--did call him a malignant narcissist. And that he is. So, I hope he ends up in a federal prison with his fellow malignant narcissists, though they tend more to violence than he does. I pity his daughters. They have no hope of growing up to live rational lives.

I then thought the round table discussion afterward was a bit surreal. It's not that I thought the people weren't stating good points. It was just that I thought they would all be laughing so hard and holding their sides and rolling on the floor laughing at him.

God save our country if there are many more like Jimmy in high positions. I will have to pray extra hard at church this Sunday.

Fred S,