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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 Deripaska and Steele connection 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 Do the US intelligence agencies  influence the US Presidential elections ?
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 Infiltration of Trump campaign Rosenstein role in the appointment of special Prosecutor gambit
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 History of American False Flag Operations
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

As of August 2018 there is a strong suspicion that Steele's involvement may have been less in crafting the dossier, than making it possible to conceal its actual origins while giving it an appearance of credibility. It could also be the case that Nellie Ohr's sudden interest in radio transmissions had to do with communications inside the United States, rather than with Steele.

Steele dossier is a kind of nemesis, arising from the fact that key figures in British and American intelligence have, over a protracted period of time, got involved in intrigues where they were  way out of their depth. The unintended consequences of these have meant that people like Brennan and , on British side, Younger, and also Hannigan, have ended up having to resort to desperate measures to cover their backsides after Trump election and use "insurance" in the form of Mueller appointment to keep Trump in check until the moment he can be deposed.  In other way Steele dossier became one of the central issues of the color revolution against Trump launched by the Deep state immediately after the election.   In this sense intelligence agencies now operate as forth branch of government

Also various parts of the dossier probably were authored by different authors, including probably some turncoats from Russian intelligence now residing in the USA and/or UK. In this sense Skripal affair looks like MI6 attempt to silence one of the possible sources.

Steele dossier and Skripalmania are almost impossible to make sense of unless you think of a bunch of highly politicised and not very bright people sinking deeper and deeper into what looked like a bright idea at the time. They put all bets of Hillary and miscalculated that Trump might be the winner. 

Steele was used by FBI for discreditation operations
long before Steele dossier (in case of FIFA 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 at the request of Brennan  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 they face Catch22 situation:

But how petty American ex-journalist and an 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 (and first of all from Russian intelligence turncoats living in the USA and GB), neocon Russophobes, Ukrainian sources (which might be really cheap those days).

Probably Steele  enjoyed some help from their friends and contacts in MI6, so here we clearly have the case of foreign interference in the US elections.  A false flag operations against Soviets and, lately, Russians are commonplace. CIA actually has a long history of fabricating accusations against Soviets ("bombs shaped as toys" in Afghanistan, etc). Two recent cases such as Litvinenko death, Magnitsky affair (According to Nekrasov's film Browder was a financial shark stealing Russian assets during Yeltsin periodmand might be involved in killing account (whom he disingeniously presented as a lawyer) Sergey Magnistky to cover the tracks; Browder was most probably connected to MI6 as now new information surfaced about his involvement with promoting Navalny during 2011-2012 color revolution in Russia; no respectable businessman would play such a dangerous political game). Skripal poisoning also raise a lot of questions.

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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[Jan 17, 2019] FISA shocker: DOJ official Bruce Ohr warned Steele dossier was connected to Clinton, might be biased by John Solomon

Jan 17, 2019 | thehill.com

FBI and DOJ officials may have misled federal judges in zeal to obtain warrant targeting Carter Page just weeks before Election Day

When the annals of mistakes and abuses in the FBI's Russia investigation are finally written, Bruce Ohr almost certainly will be the No. 1 witness, according to my sources.

The then-No. 4 Department of Justice (DOJ) official briefed both senior FBI and DOJ officials in summer 2016 about Christopher Steele's Russia dossier, explicitly cautioning that the British intelligence operative's work was opposition research connected to Hillary Clinton's campaign and might be biased.

Ohr's briefings, in July and August 2016, included the deputy director of the FBI, a top lawyer for then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch and a Justice official who later would become the top deputy to special counsel Robert Mueller.

Read more

[Jan 15, 2019] State Department was employing a de facto foreign agent

Jan 15, 2019 | grayzoneproject.com

Of all the State Department officials named in Integrity Initiative documents, the one who appeared most frequently was Todd Leventhal. Leventhal has been a staffer at the State Department's Global Engagement Center, boasting of "20 years of countering disinformation, misinformation, conspiracy theories, and urban legends." In an April 2018 Integrity Initiative memo, he is listed as a current team member:

Funded to the tune of $160 million this year to beat back Russian disinformation with "counter-propaganda," the State Department's Global Engagement Center has refused to deny targeting American citizens with information warfare of its own. "My old job at the State Department was as chief propagandist," confessed former Global Engagement Center Director Richard Stengel. "I'm not against propaganda. Every country does it and they have to do it to their own population and I don't necessarily think it's that awful."

Like so many of the media and political figures involved in the Integrity Initiative's international network, the Global Engagement Center's Leventhal has a penchant for deploying smear tactics against prominent voices that defy the foreign policy consensus. Leventhal appeared in an outtake of a recent NBC documentary on Russian disinformation smugly explaining how he would take down a 15-year-old book critical of American imperialism in the developing world. Rather than challenge the book's substance and allegations, Leventhal boasted how he would marshall his resources to wage an ad hominem smear campaign to destroy the author's reputation. His strategic vision was clear: when confronting a critic, ignore the message and destroy the messenger.

Like so many of the media and political figures involved in the Integrity Initiative's international network, the Global Engagement Center's Leventhal has a penchant for deploying smear tactics against prominent voices that defy the foreign policy consensus. Leventhal appeared in an outtake of a recent NBC documentary on Russian disinformation smugly explaining how he would take down a 15-year-old book critical of American imperialism in the developing world. Rather than challenge the book's substance and allegations, Leventhal boasted how he would marshall his resources to wage an ad hominem smear campaign to destroy the author's reputation. His strategic vision was clear: when confronting a critic, ignore the message and destroy the messenger.

Integrity Initiative documents reveal that Leventhal has been paid $76,608 dollars (60,000 British pounds) for a 50% contract.

While those same documents claim he has retired from the State Department, Leventhal's own Linkedin page lists him as a current "Senior Disinformation Advisor" to the State Department. If that were true, it would mean that the State Department was employing a de facto foreign agent.

[Jan 15, 2019] The man behind the Russiagate hoax set to resign (Video)

Jan 15, 2019 | theduran.com

A source close to Rosenstein said he intends to stay on until Mueller submits a report to the Justice Department on the Russian meddling investigation. The source said that would mean Rosenstein would remain until early March. Several legal sources have said they expect the Mueller team to submit its report by mid-to-late February, although they said that timeline could change based on unforeseen investigative developments.

Rosenstein had long intended to serve about two years as the Justice Department's No. 2 official, these officials say. They add that this is his own plan and that he is not being forced out by the White House. That's despite the fact that he's been a frequent target of criticism from President Donald Trump on Twitter.

The administration officials say he plans to remain on the job until after a new attorney general is confirmed. After pushing out Jeff Sessions in November, Trump nominated William Barr, who planned to be at the Capitol on Wednesday, beginning a round of courtesy calls with senators ahead of his confirmation hearing, which begins Jan. 15.

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said Wednesday on Fox News: "I know the deputy attorney general has always planned to roughly stay around two years. My guess is that he is making room for the new attorney general to build a team that he wants around him."

Rosenstein's intentions were first reported by ABC News. He did not respond to questions Wednesday morning.

Rosenstein considered resigning last fall, after a report surfaced that he had advocated secretly recording Trump, but he decided to stay on the job. Aides said he made a comment about having someone "wear a wire" around the president as a joke during a meeting.

Rosenstein had been overseeing the Mueller's investigation into possible Trump campaign collusion with Russia and obstruction of justice because Sessions recused himself because of his role in the Trump campaign. And even with the arrival of acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker, who took over the probe, Rosenstein has continued to help supervise it.

If Barr is confirmed, as seems likely, he will fully take over the investigation. Several legal sources have said it appears that the Mueller investigation is entering its final stages. But Barr would play a key role in deciding whether and how to share Mueller's expected report with Congress and whether to make all or part of it public.

Responding to news of Rosenstein's impending departure, Democratic Sen. Tim Kaine of Virginia told CNN's "New Day" that he has "deep concern" about how Barr will handle the Mueller probe. He referred to a memo Barr wrote in which he was critical of the investigation.

"William Barr was sending freelance memos to the Trump administration making a case to undercut the Mueller investigation," Kaine said. "So the deep concern will be if he comes in and Rosenstein is gone, is this just a preface to either undercutting the investigation or trying to keep the results of it hidden from the American public."

Rosenstein has been a consistent defender of Mueller and the Justice Department, responding to attacks from Republicans in Congress. He told a Law Day conference last May that the department "is not going to be extorted," after some House Republicans raised the prospect of seeking Rosenstein's impeachment.

The attacks from Congress and the White House were a jolt for Rosenstein, who enjoyed bipartisan support for most of his three decades as a federal prosecutor. But his congressional support faltered when he wrote a memo providing a rationale for Trump's decision to fire FBI Director James Comey.

By appointing Mueller to take over the Russia investigation as a special counsel, Rosenstein won back Democrats but angered the president, who tweeted, "I am being investigated for firing the FBI Director by the man who told me to fire the FBI Director! Witch Hunt."

[Jan 14, 2019] The British Role In Initiating Russiagate

Notable quotes:
"... "Democratic hopes for a wave election that could carry them to a significant House majority have been tempered in recent weeks amid a shifting political landscape ." ..."
Jan 14, 2019 | www.shiftfrequency.com

Harley Schlanger – After months of hyping the prospects for a Democratic Party sweep into control of the U.S. House in the November 6 midterm elections, the anti-Trump fanatics in the "Fake News" mainstream media seem to be recognizing that the dramatic change in thinking among Americans, which led to Donald Trump's victory in November 2016, was not a momentary phenomenon.

The lead election story in the {Washington Post} on October 21 reflects this recognition, in its opening sentence:; "Democratic hopes for a wave election that could carry them to a significant House majority have been tempered in recent weeks amid a shifting political landscape ." While the rest of the article is full of the usual slanders against the President and his supporters, the underlying tone reflects the fear of those behind the coup attempt to topple Trump, that Americans have awakened to the fact that the British, and their allies among the Obama-Clinton Democrats, Bush Republicans, and lying media, remain committed to overturning the result of the 2016 election.

Trump has been holding election rallies across the country, with large, wildly enthusiastic crowds greeting him, cheering his charge that his opponents are conducting a witch hunt against him, due to their fear that he -- and they -- are taking the country back from the free-trading, war-mongering, anti-growth globalists who drove the nation into a ditch during the Bush and Obama administrations. That the media continues to distort his comments, and to push instead the largely-rejected fake narrative of "Russian meddling-Trump collusion" as being responsible for his election, only serves to strengthen the anti-establishment mood of the voters, which does not always show up in the polls.

To fully defeat the coup, it is essential that the British role in initiating "Russiagate" be exposed , as it also explains the slavish devotion to British imperial geopolitics that characterized the approach of the Bush and Obama administrations, and was embraced by his 2016 opponent, Hillary Clinton. Trump won his election by ruthlessly exposing how those policies risked triggering World War III and a global economic crash, and voters responded to his promise to work for peaceful cooperation with Russia and China, and against the predatory City of London/Wall Street financial system.

It is therefore highly significant that the former U.S. Attorney for Washington, D.C., Joseph DiGenova, identified the British role explicitly in an interview with that city's radio station, WMAL, on October 15. Asked about the delay in declassifying documents related to the secret FISA Court warrants to spy on the Trump campaign, DiGenova identified the hand of British intelligence, in collaboration with the Obama Administration, which would be proven once those documents become public. The British and the Australian governments begged for Trump to delay the declassification.

The release of these documents is what scares the British, he said. "British MI6 conducted illegal electronic surveillance on U.S. citizens at the request of the FBI and [CIA's] Brennan .Illegal spying by the Brits. That's why the Brits are going crazy."

"That's a remarkable issue," he continued. "We talk about domestic surveillance all the time. But when you stretch out to work with foreign governments–read 'collude'–to spy on an American citizen, that really opens up an entirely different can of worms. It opens up a huge criminal liability on the part of American intelligence officials, especially Brennan. Brennan actually visited London, before all this started, and visited MI6 and GCHQ before it started ."

After speaking further about the complicity of Obama intelligence officials in illegal spying and involvement in the coup attempt, DiGenova explained how they planted the Russiagate story through a typical FBI sting operation. The documents "will show Halper [a joint asset of the CIA and MI6] used a CIA agent to entrap Papadopoulos and Page [two low-level Trump campaign advisers], and funnel back to U.S. [lies about Russian involvement], to the FBI, to get the FISA warrant. [To get] MI6 and GCHQ to do illegal overseas surveillance of the these people–totally illegal! The application [for a FISA warrant] presents [Page] as in cahoots. They knew it was all fabricated." He characterized the entire operation as "so much worse than Watergate."

DiGenova warned that "if Republicans lose the House, these investigations are over because [Senate Intelligence Chair] Burr is a chicken–the only way it will come out is through a criminal investigation by DOJ, and that won't happen unless Sessions and Rosenstein are gone after the election. If we lose the House, all of the investigations come to an end. Every one of them."

President Trump is well aware of this, and that is why he is making it a theme of his campaign rallies. As the [Washington Post] story reveals, this strategy is having an effect, and threatens to derail the hopes of the anti-Trumpers for taking over the Congress on November 6, as winning a Democratic majority is a pre-condition for an impeachment of the President.

SF Source Dave Janda Oct 2018

[Jan 14, 2019] The Russia Hoax The Illicit Scheme to Clear Hillary Clinton and Frame Donald Trump Gregg Jarrett 9788925598352 Amazon.com

The books does not answer the key question: if it was not Russian influence, who of forign powers tried to influence the election: GB, Israel, Saudi, or all three. We have solid evidence of interference of British intelligence services into the election. Which means May government interference.
Also important to understand that FBI from the very beginning was apolitical tool. Nothing new here.
This dirty political witch hunt has one major goal to cement the cracks in neoliberal society that appear after 2008 Financial crash. This attempt failed and Pateigenosse Mueller is unable to change that. Confidence in the ruling neoliberal oligarchy collapsed and problem with the inequality laid now bare.
Jan 14, 2019 | www.amazon.com

KB from Illinois 5.0 out of 5 stars Very detailed. Raises many questions about politically motivated investigations. September 14, 2018 Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase

My interest in this book occurred by chance. Over the past couple years reading news stories on sites like Yahoo News I sensed a very overt stance against President Trump. It appeared very obvious to me, but I wanted some confirmation whether these views may have validity, or perhaps not. So I started to investigate other opinions via some of the conservative talk radio shows. Up until this time, I rarely listened to them. One was the Sean Hannity Show and Gregg Jarrett was sitting in for Sean on one of the shows. He mentioned his book and I thought it sounded interesting. My basic assumption even prior to reading this book was I never felt there was any illegal Trump/Russian collusion in our recent election. I couldn't see how it would ever be done in such a way that would actually affect the voting outcome (other than if it were some kind of ballot box type fraud). So I had doubts about all the related investigations. When this book was mentioned I figured it would offer some factual information to help me understand the investigations better. It did accomplish that. And much more awareness.

One of the major items about this book is that it is well researched and documented. This made me feel somewhat comfortable about its content. There is so much misinformation making its rounds today that knowing what is truthful and what isn't can become a real guessing game. I could even ask 'Did Mr. Jarrett fabricate his sources'? At this point I will go on faith that they are real.

Based on that assumption, he presents a very hard case about the Russian collusion investigation as not being quite what the U.S.A. people are being led to believe by the media outlets. So much so, I hope this book could be a catalyst for other investigations (assuming that isn't already being planned). As summarized in this book, a major point is about federal investigative departments having integrity in performing their duties, and doing so legally and without prejudice or political partisanship. This book does raise some real concerns.

The author states at the end of the book "The people who should read this book, probably won't". Unfortunately he is probably correct. As a country we seem so divided today politically. It is my impression that anti-Trumpers will probably not want to acknowledge any conflicting thoughts or facts to their beliefs. But this book could be a great exercise in broadening one's knowledge regarding the investigations on Trump. It would show a different viewpoint than that being touted by much of the media, and has the facts backing it up. At the very least, it can provide some food for thought.

Grady T. Birdsong 5.0 out of 5 stars Tells the honest truth about corruption in our Government November 23, 2018 Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase

As Gregg Jarrett states in the Epilogue of this book, "The people who should read this book, probably won't... they are intellectually dishonest in believing that the president must have committed some crime in connection with Russia...There was never any plausible evidence that Trump or his campaign collaborated with Russia to win the presidency... Comey's scheme to trigger the appointment of his friend as special counsel was a devious maneuver by an unscrupulous man..."
As many of these events unfolded I have watched closely and performed my own "tests of reasonableness" from facts presented. Utilizing logic and common sense I often wondered if I was missing something? What crystal ball would have predicted that Donald Trump would run for the presidency? One example: The press told us he had been a political asset for many years and had been exchanging Intel with the Russians...
Then I heard about this book, purchased it and began reading it... I could hardly put it down... The information in it is astonishing! It is all to clear now...
Jarrett has researched, compiled and formatted an almost air-tight legal case (within this book) for prosecuting these "weasels." The astonishing levels of corruption and crimes committed by those in the highest levels of the DOJ and FBI are unprecedented. He has compiled an extraordinary amount of source information to back up his many claims throughout the book. I am totally perplexed that our so-called leaders in Congress are allowing this abuse to go unpunished... baffling? This disgraceful abuse of power documented by Jarrett will come back to haunt us! A well written expose by Mr. Jarrett!

E. Christine Hess 5.0 out of 5 stars Mueller, Rosenstein & the members of the Special Council SHOULD be on trial! November 24, 2018 Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase

Gregg Jarrett's research leaves NO DOUBT that drastic action needs to be taken to hold these people- PRETENDING to represent the law- accountable & end their "assassination" tactics on our tax dollar.
This is not Halloween, not a play. This is REALITY with our laws running amok!
And our Congress - our elected officials, supposedly servants of We, the People, - is not taking action?
How is this possible?

Amazon Customer 5.0 out of 5 stars The deep bias rooted in the Deep State, better known now as The Swamp October 8, 2018 Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase

Incredibly well researched and well written book which explains methodically in an easy to read style the undeniable deep seated bias against President Trump at the highest levels of the Department of Justice and the FBI. They tried to first prevent him from being elected by exonerating Hillary Clinton of a long list of crimes committed during her tenure as Secretary of State and then smearing him with a politically motivated fake "Dossier". When that didn't work, they have tried to undermine his presidency from the start with an equally politically motivated Special Prosecutor investigating "Collusion with Russia" in an investigation which had no crime to investigate from the start. A must read for all Americans.

Andrew Maile 5.0 out of 5 stars A very informative, but yet digestible, read........ September 30, 2018 Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase

This author writes with a very smooth, easy, but detailed style. The book brings in much law for the reader to digest, but, somehow, does not get a reader tangled up in the weeds. As for the thrust of the book: A detailed 'tick tock' of the day by day events that have taken America to the point we are today on this entire question of Trump, Russia, and the 2016 election.
This book really is vivid proof that the 'deep state' does emphatically exist. Not as a structure or organization with secret meetings,rituals or handshakes. But as a mentality, or common political/social view of government, stemming from the longevity of bureaucracy to feel invulnerable to popular will because of their simple edict that 'we'll still be here after you're long gone'. And from this, these bureaucrats build liaisons with favoring political elites that lead to deep, hidden, obscure --shall we say 'deep state'-- actions to pervert the popular will for the ends of a few.
This book vividly displays why bureaucrats (whose lifeblood is to promote more government) so turn their collective hand to supporting Democrats, the party of government. Yates covering for Comey and the blackmailing of Gen. Flynn, Comey leaking to a friend in Academia that provokes the appointment of his (Comey's) close associate --indeed, his mentor-- Robert Mueller. Senior bureaucrats (McCabe, Strzok) playing inside baseball to maneuver themselves for promotion in the expected new (Democratic) administration that they so much support and wish for. Indeed friendships with FISA judges to assure bogus warrants can be obtained against political enemies.
Where money and power are traded as coin of the realm in a way that is so antiseptic and hidden. Nobody says 'How much money will it take'; instead it's 'I can help you fund raise'. Rod Blagojevich was foolish enough to call a bribe a bribe...well, he's in jail, but Strzok's wife isn't.
It just goes on and on................it's simple corruption!!! And the band plays on......the human comedy continues........

JG Kuhl 5.0 out of 5 stars How about a media complicity sequel? September 3, 2018 Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase

Excellent detailed and researched book that simply amazes me. Lynch, Comey, Clinton, Stzrok, Orr, Rosenstein, McCabe, Reid and Brennen all worked seamlessly to install Hillary and have a backup plan B to lay the groundwork to impeach Trump in case she doesn't make it. All under the oversight of Obama. Neat trick, but what follows is even more orchestrated: MEDIA COMPLICITY! You can't pull this off unless you have the full cooperation willingly or otherwise of: NBC, CBS, NPR, ABC, MSNBC, and most of all CNN, the New York Times, and Washington Post! Here's where the real story lies. The media and the Democrat party are simpatico, joint at the brain and mouth and one other orifice. This is the real story that Jarrett only pays passing attention to. Sequel maybe, I hope so. Jon Kuhl Papillion, NE & New England

Amazon Customer 5.0 out of 5 stars The Deep State Is Real September 14, 2018 Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase

This book is very thorough and completely exposes the Deep State. If there were any doubts about the conspiracy to depose President Trump before reading this book, there certainly aren't any afterwards. After reading the book, I am very disappointed and discouraged to find that our government has such liars and criminals in the FBI, the DOJ, and the Congress. I have completely lost any confidence I had in the U.S. government and will never believe in it again, unless there is a complete house-cleaning in the FBI and the DOJ.

S. Martin Shelton 4.0 out of 5 stars This attack to undermine our democracy is unparalleled in the history of our republic. October 1, 2018 Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase

Jarrett pens a comprehensive review of the Deep State's inordinate fraud on our Constitution -- perhaps the greatest attack on our constitutional republic in the history of our country. He writes in clear and empathetic style. His narrative evolves in a coherent and logical progression that details the conspirators' skullduggery in an "ABC" type of progression. He cites exactly who violated the relevant federal statute and why and how it was violated. Unfortunately, as of 30 September 2018 -- the date I'm preparing the review -- none of the miscreants have been indicted even though the documentation of evidence is ponderous.

Larry A. Whited 4.0 out of 5 stars One Less than Five Stars August 8, 2018 Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase

Gregg Jarrett's study -- and that is what this book is, a study -- covers two main aspects of recent history. First and foremost it is an in-depth look at the tactics and forces arrayed against President Trump. Intertwined with this comes by necessity a parallel look at Hillary Clinton's tenure as Secretary of State, her presidential run, as well as a broader look at the activities of the Clintons with the nearly full support of those same forces that are now aligned against the presidency of Donald Trump. The nature of the often overlapping issues and the personnel involved has resulted in a fair amount of repetition of key points. This was not a lazy attempt to achieve a book-length manuscript, as Jarrett's original copy by his own admission in the acknowledgments was a hefty 100,000 words before the publisher encouraged him to trim things down.

It is unfortunate that this book will be dismissed by so many who are unwilling to understand and accept that the pervasive high-level animosity against President Trump has evolved into a direct and active threat against our country -- and this threat is compounded by a complicit media that is eager to pounce. The rule of law has been twisted and contorted if not completely abandoned. Trump is the primary target, but whether by design or happenstance it is the U.S. Constitution that is being the most assaulted. The danger of this cannot be overemphasized -- we are at a critical crossroads. Gregg Jarret understands this and was motivated to bring this truth to light. He is no sycophant of President Trump. His loyalty is to the rule of law and to our Constitution rather than to political agendas on either side.

I withheld one star because a great opportunity was lost. This book will never appear in classrooms, and it will likely be stocked in few law libraries. It most certainly should be, and it needs to be read and studied. The flagrant abuses of power by the DOJ, the FBI, and others need to be brought out into a bright light and the corruption purged. As a people we need to get our head out of the sand and realize what has been going on behind closed doors -- our future is most definitely at stake. The lost opportunity that I am alluding to comes down to the expressed (albeit well deserved) disdain and disgust that Gregg Jarrett now has towards those who are participating in this hoax that he has so thoroughly revealed. I fear even the preface itself will turn away those who most need to read this book.

What will be perceived as bias before the facts are presented and developed will allow or even cause those who need to read this book to close their minds, giving them the excuse they want to dismiss the evidence. If strictly the evidence and history had alone been presented with Jarrett's (again, well-deserved) animosity being held in check and edited out, then perhaps this book could have become a classic for later generations to study assuming that we survive these perilously subversive times. I did the math, and there are 771 supporting references -- an average of 70 per chapter -- documenting Jarrett's research, plus 12 references even in the epilogue. Obviously, we are not talking about willfully blind opinion with no basis in fact.

The antagonists who post their 1-star reviews with almost all of them having obviously never read the book (Re. few verified purchases) reveal a dangerous willful ignorance that they are happy to embrace. Their mindset should concern us all.

[Jan 14, 2019] Ship of Fools How a Selfish Ruling Class Is Bringing America to the Brink of Revolution by Tucker Carlson

Jan 14, 2019 | www.amazon.com

Amazon Customer 5.0 out of 5 stars October 2, 2018

Don't drink and read

Don't drink wine and read this book, you'll get angry and make posts on social media that are completely accurate and your friends will hate you.

[Jan 13, 2019] The Trump-Russia Scam - How Obama Enabled The FBI To Spy On Trump

Notable quotes:
"... Washington Post ..."
"... Washington Post ..."
"... There is a major flaw in reasoning here. Trump is no populist. A populist can't be elected by the money-based US political system. Trump's election was almost certainly arranged ..."
"... Sanders was a 'sheepdog' and Hillary ran a terrible campaign in which she made obvious mistakes that a seasoned campaigner like herself would never make; ..."
"... British involvement in the election (Fusion GPS, Cambridge Analytica, a Brit 'spy' in the Sanders campaign, etc.) suggests CIA-MI6 working together; ..."
"... MAGA is a POLICY CHOICE as much as it is a campaign slogan. It is designed to meet the challenge posed by Russia and China and 'turn the page' on the deceit and duplicity of the Obama Administration just as Obama's "Change You Can Believe In" was designed to turn the page on the the militarism of the Bush Administration. These BI-PARTISAN page-turnings ensure that there is no accountability and provides each new Administration with a new sly story line that the public readily swallows. Each new Presidential charade entertains and misdirects as the interests of the Empire are advanced with a refreshed box of tricks and dishonest narratives. ..."
"... Then why did Trump nominate Gina Haspel as head of the CIA? She is the acolyte of Trump nemesis Brennan. Why does Trump choose people like Nikki Halley, Pompeo, Bolton? ..."
"... And I don't buy the theory that Hillary is hell bent on war. The Clinton's are very rational and calculating and no President has the freedom that your theory suggests. IMO what the Deep State has done under their man Trump is very similar to what the Deep State would have done if they had selected Clinton instead. The fact is, a populist nationalist is what was deemed necessary to meet the challenge from Russia and China. And that is what we got (surprise!). ..."
"... I very much dislike most of Trump's domestic and foreign policy. But he was duly elected under the existing rules. The campaign the media and the intelligence services have since run against him undermines the will of the people ..."
"... This pretty well sums it up for me. Being old enough to remember FDR and the brief rise of the middle class in the 40's, 50's and 60's (and having benefited from that attempt at leveling the playing field), I am more than saddened at the downward spiral of our nation ..."
"... Whether this will lead to badly needed fixes for the heinous wealth inequality (started with Reagan) is doubtful but at least the conversation is now underway (started with Bernie) which is the first step. Tax increases, social security stabilization, re-funneling wasted MIC billions to domestic programs for the poor, etc. It is a start. Will it become a solution or a revolution in time? That is up to the people who are still under the yoke of neoliberalism and global capital flight. ..."
"... What is quite remarkable, despite all the investigative effort, is how clean Trump has managed to keep himself despite building a fortune in one of the toughest cities in the world, building himself up through the eras of the five families, junk bonds and ponzi schemes and soviet union mobsters, not to mention the corruption of the poltical classes and regulatory abuses and unionised labor. ..."
"... For the world's he moves in, the only explanation that gives him enough protection is that for a long time Trump has been a protected FBI asset for one of the field offices, possibly now senior service figures. ..."
"... One thing the US deep state and their Mueller proxy would have on Trump, and most if not all of Trump's team, is collusion with Israel (can this convert into charges of treason as threats). ..."
"... Pat Lang has a post up "What is wrong with Trump?" "But, how does one explain his lack of action on the border? Does someone or some thing in Russia, Israel, the UK, his former business associates, have something really juicy on Trump, something that he fears to unleash through decisive action? pl" ..."
"... Collusion with Israel is something neither side - team Trump and the deep state - would wish to bring into the open, but this may be the only thing they have on Trump. ..."
"... Obama sacrificed a huge chunk of American freedom just for the sake of personal political revenge. The USA is transitioning from a laissez faire to a highly burocratized, byzantine economy. ..."
Jan 13, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org
The Trump-Russia Scam - How Obama Enabled The FBI To Spy On Trump Jose Garcia , Jan 13, 2019 1:51:10 PM | link

Despite the loss of major narratives, the war of the deep state against U.S. President Trump continues unabated. The main of tool in this war are allegations of relations between Trump and anything Russia. The war runs along several parallel paths.

The narrative war in the media is most visible one. When any of the fake stories about Trump and Russia gets debunked and disposed, new ones are created or others intensified.

In parallel to these propaganda efforts the deep state created an investigation that Trump has no way to escape from. Enabled by one of the Obama administrations last acts the investigation is using signal intelligence to entrap and flip the people surrounding Trump (see section three below). The big price will be Trump himself. Here we take a look at what transpired during the last weeks.


One major anti-Trump narrative was that 'Russian influence' helped to put him into office. This was based on the alleged nefarious influence a Russian clickbait company, the Internet Research Agency (IRA) in St. Peterburg, had on the U.S. electorate. That explanation never made sense. Little of the IRA activities had to do with the election. It used sockpuppets on Facebook and Twitter to attract people to websites filled with puppy pictures or similar nonsense. The IRA would then sell advertisement and promotions on these sites.

This was obvious for anyone following the factual content of the news instead of the 'opinions' a whole bunch of anti-Trump 'experts' and the media formed around them.

That the Mueller investigation finally indicted several of the IRA's officers over minor financial transactions was seen as a confirmation of the political aspects of the IRA activities. But nearly all the reporting left out that Mueller confirmed the commercial intent behind the IRA and its activities. There is nothing political in the accusations. Indeed point 95 of the Mueller indictment of the IRA says:

Defendants and their co-conspirators also used the accounts to receive money from real U.S. persons in exchange for posting promotions and advertisements on the ORGANIZATION-controlled social media pages. Defendants and their co-conspirators typically charged certain U.S. merchants and U.S. social media sites between 25 and 50 U.S. dollars per post for promotional content on their popular false U.S. persona accounts , including Being Patriotic, Defend the 2nd, and Blacktivist.

Part of the false narrative of a political influence campaign was the claim that the $100,000 the IRA spent for advertisement to promote its clickbait webpages through Facebook ads somehow moved people to vote for Trump. But 56% of the IRA ads ran after the election, 25% of all its ads were never seen by anyone. How a few $10,000 for ads only few saw moved an election that was fought with several billions spent by each candidate's campaign was left unexplained.

This week, only fifteen month after this site came to the conclusion that IRA was a commercial clickbait business , the Washington Post finally admitted that the alleged political targeting of voters by the IRA never happened:

[T]he common understanding is that Russia's interference efforts included sophisticated targeting of specific voting groups on Facebook, which could have made the difference in states that Trump narrowly won on his way to an electoral-vote victory.

That understanding about Russia's sophisticated targeting, though, is not supported by the evidence -- if it's not flat-out wrong.
...
Most of the ads purchased by the Russians didn't specify a geographic target smaller than the United States on the whole, according to a Post review of the ads released by the House Intelligence Committee. Those that did target specific states heavily targeted those that weren't really considered targets of the 2016 election, such as Missouri and Maryland. And of those ads that did target specific states, most happened well before or well after the final weeks of the campaign.

All the claims that some Russian sockpuppets influenced the 2016 elections were and are nonsense.The IRA sockpuppets never had any political intent.

Likewise the allegations that Russian intelligence hacked the DNC and Clinton crony Podesta's email are mere assertions for which no hard evidence was ever provided. The only known fact is that the emails and papers were real, and that there content revealed the shoddiness of Hillary Clinton, the DNC, and her campaign.


Now, as the 'Russian influence' narrative is dying down, the anti-Trump - anti-Russian campaign is moving to new grounds. Last week the New York Times claimed that Paul Manafort, who for some time ran the Trump election campaign, gave public and internal polling data to the Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska: Manafort Accused of Sharing Trump Polling Data With Russian Associate . A day after that sensational claim made a large splash throughout U.S. media the New York Times recanted:

Kenneth P. Vogel @kenvogel - 18:39 utc - 9 Jan 2019

CORRECTION: PAUL MANAFORT asked KONSTANTIN KILIMNIK to pass TRUMP polling to the Ukrainian oligarchs SERHIY LYOVOCHKIN & RINAT AKHMETOV, & not to OLEG DERIPASKA, as originally reported. We have corrected the story & I deleted a tweet repeating the error.

Duh. Manafort gave polling data to his Ukrainian fixer Konstantin Kilimnik with the request to pass it along to Ukrainian oligarchs for who he had worked before joining the Trump campaign. Kilimnik had long worked for the International Republican Institute office in Moscow. The IRI is a CIA offshot under Republican Party tutelage that is used to influence politics abroad. Its long time head was the deceased hawkish Senator John McCain. While he worked with Kilimnik in the Ukraine, Manafort concentrated on moving the Ukraine towards the European Union and away from Russia. His and Kilimnik efforts were always opposed to Russian interests. But the NYT and others falsely try to pass them off as the opposite with the sole purpose of feeding the anti-Trump/anti-Russia campaign.


Another anti-Trump/anti-Russian propaganda effort is a new sensational NYT piece on obvious misbehavior in the upper rows of the FBI :

In the days after President Trump fired James B. Comey as F.B.I. director, law enforcement officials became so concerned by the president's behavior that they began investigating whether he had been working on behalf of Russia against American interests , according to former law enforcement officials and others familiar with the investigation.

The inquiry carried explosive implications. Counterintelligence investigators had to consider whether the president's own actions constituted a possible threat to national security. Agents also sought to determine whether Mr. Trump was knowingly working for Russia or had unwittingly fallen under Moscow's influence.

The NYT lets it seem as if the decision to launch a counter-intelligence investigation related to Trump was as based on some reasonable suspicion the FBI had. It was not. This was an act of revenge by the upper anti-Trump echelons in the FBI with which they attempted to undermine Trump's presidency. Note what the claimed suspicion was based on:

Mr. Trump had caught the attention of F.B.I. counterintelligence agents when he called on Russia during a campaign news conference in July 2016 to hack into the emails of his opponent, Hillary Clinton. Mr. Trump had refused to criticize Russia on the campaign trail, praising President Vladimir V. Putin. And investigators had watched with alarm as the Republican Party softened its convention platform on the Ukraine crisis in a way that seemed to benefit Russia.

Other factors fueled the F.B.I.'s concerns, according to the people familiar with the inquiry. Christopher Steele, a former British spy who worked as an F.B.I. informant, had compiled memos in mid-2016 containing unsubstantiated claims that Russian officials tried to obtain influence over Mr. Trump by preparing to blackmail and bribe him.

Trump made a joke during the election campaign asking Russia to release the 30,000 emails Hillary Clinton had deleted from her illegal private email server. There is no requirement, as far as I know, for any candidate to criticize this or that country. How can not following the non existing requirement to criticize Russia be suspicious? The Republican Party did not soften its convention platform on Ukraine. It rejected an amendment that would have further sharpened it. Overall the Republican platform was more hawkish than the Democratic one. The Steele dossier was of course from A to Z made up nonsense paid for by the Hillary Clinton campaign.

It is non sensible to claim that these were reasonable suspicions sufficient to open a counter-intelligence investigation. The hasty FBI move to launch a counter-intelligence operation obviously had a different motive and aim.

After Trump fired FBI director Comey, the FBI was led by Andrew McCabe, later also fired for leaking to the media and lying about it. His legal council was Lisa Page who exchange tons of anti-Trump SMS messages with her lover, the FBI agent Peter Strozk. These are the people who initiated the counter-intelligence investigation :

Strzok and Page sent other text messages that raise the possibility they were discussing opening up a counterintelligence investigation against Trump before Comey's firing.

"And we need to open the case we've been waiting on now while Andy is acting ," Strzok wrote to Page on the day of Comey's ouster.

Andy is Andrew McCabe, who served as deputy FBI director.

Page gave some indication in her congressional testimony in July 2018 that the text message was a reference to an investigation separate from the obstruction probe that has already been reported.

Normally the FBI needs to clear such counter-intelligence investigations with the Justice Department. In this case it did not do so at all :

In the case of the investigation into Trump, the FBI's decision to open a file on the president so quickly after Comey's firing in May 2017 was a source of concern for some officials at the Justice Department because the FBI acted without first consulting leadership at the department . But those worries were allayed when, days later, special counsel Robert S. Mueller III was appointed to oversee the Russia probe ...

After Comey was fired, the FBI made a very hasty move, without reasonable suspicion and without informing the Justice Department, to launch a counter-intelligence operation involving the sitting president and his administration. What was the real purpose of this move?

Initiating a counter-intelligence investigation, for which there was no basis, gave the FBI, and later the Mueller investigation, unfettered access to NSA 'signals intelligence' that could then possibly be used to incriminate Trump or his associates.

It was the Obama administration which had given the FBI access to this tool :

The Hoarse Whisperer @HoarseWisperer - 4:05 utc - 12 Jan 2019

On his way out the door, we all were wallowing in our winter of discontent, Obama signed an executive order...
...
The order revised the rules around intelligence sharing among our intel community. Specifically, it made the firehose of raw intelligence collected by the NSA directly accessible to the FBI and CIA. Instead of having to ask for intel and getting what they filtered down the FBI and CIA could directly access the unfiltered "SigInt" or signals intelligence. Intercepted phone calls, emails, raw intel from human sources. Everything our vast intelligence vacuum hoovers up, available directly... but only for counterintel and foreign intel purposes .

The NSA can sit on virtually every communication into and out of the U.S. that takes place over networks. Obama made it possible for the FBI to directly access everything they had on Trump, et al. Obama supercharged the FBI's ability to investigate Trump.

The Obama administration enacted the executive order EO 12333 in early January 2017, shortly before Trump took over:

Previously, the N.S.A. filtered information before sharing intercepted communications with another agency, like the C.I.A. or the intelligence branches of the F.B.I. and the Drug Enforcement Administration. The N.S.A.'s analysts passed on only information they deemed pertinent, screening out the identities of innocent people and irrelevant personal information.

Now, other intelligence agencies will be able to search directly through raw repositories of communications intercepted by the N.S.A. and then apply such rules for "minimizing" privacy intrusions.
...
[T]he 12333 sharing procedures allow analysts, including those at the F.B.I., to search the raw data using an American's identifying information only for the purpose of foreign intelligence or counterintelligence investigations , not for ordinary criminal cases. And they may do so only if one of several other conditions are met, such as a finding that the American is an agent of a foreign power.

However, under the rules, if analysts stumble across evidence that an American has committed any crime, they will send it to the Justice Department.

At that time Peter Lee, aka Chinahand, already had the suspicion that Obama was behind the FBI campaign against Trump.

With issuing EO 12333 Obama gave the FBI the ability to launch a world wide snooping operation against the incoming Trump administration under the guise of a 'counter-intelligence' operation. The hasty FBI move after Comey was fired activated this instrument. The Mueller investigation has since used it extensively. 'Crimes' revealed through the snooping operation are turned over to the Justice Department.

The NYT claim that the counter-intelligence investigation was initiated because of reasonable suspicion of Russian influence over Trump is nonsense. It was initiated to get access to a set of tools that would allow unlimited access to communication of Trump and anyone related to him. It was Obama who on his way out of the door gave the FBI these capabilities.

There are signs that the unlimited access the FBI and Mueller investigation have to signal intelligence is used to create prosecutions via ' parallel construction ':

The Hoarse Whisperer @HoarseWisperer - 18:50 utc - 12 Jan 2019

An active counterintel investigation means the Trump Administration's crimes were only as secure as the weakest link in their weakest moment. We got hints of this early. Our intelligence folks picked up "signals intelligence" or SigInt from Russians talking to Russians.
Those "signals" aren't the kind of evidence that finds its way into a courtroom. In fact, it's important that it doesn't. It would burn sources and methods. It lays out the crimes and the players though... and then prosecutors find ways to make triable cases other ways .
The public sees cases for specific charges carrying significant prison time without ever knowing that the NSA and prosecutors knew so much more than they ever revealed. Now, apply those principles to the cases we've seen Mueller bring forward so far.

Mike Flynn: pleaded out to a minor charge, rolled over in full and then produced five rounds of documents. Likely: Flynn was confronted with the intel they had on him and knew he was cooked. They knew the crimes. They heard and saw everything. There'd be no escape.

By flipping and pleading out Flynn, all of that secret intel stays secret. Our intelligence efforts are protected. And Flynn goes down. And he cooks a bunch of other gooses. He's savvy enough to know that once they have the intel, all that's left to do is make the case.
...

The 'crime' that di Flynn in was misremembering a phone call he had with the Russian ambassador. Similar happened with Rick Gates, Paul Manafort's righthand man and a member of Trump's transition team. Then it happened to Paul Manafort himself and to George Papadopoulos.

The Mueller investigation, thanks to the snooping Obama and the FBI enabled, knows the content of every phonecall, chat and email any member of the Trump administration made and make to someone abroad (and likely also within the U.S.). It invites people as witnesses and asks them about the content of a specific calls they made. If they misremember or lie - bang - Mueller has the transcript ready. A crime has been created and an indiction for lying to the FBI will follow. This is what happened to Flynn and the others the Mueller investigation entrapped and convicted.

Because of the counter-intelligence investigation the anti-Trump gang in the FBI hastened to initiate, the investigators got hands on signal intelligence - phone calls, chats and emails - that allowed them to indict minor people for petty crimes and to flip them to talk to the investigation.

The aim, in the end, was and is to build a prosecution case against President Trump for whatever minor and petty half-backed illegal doing there may be.


To make such a prosecution and an indictment publicly palpable the media is assigned with launching story after story about nefarious relations between Trump and anything Russia.

As we have seen above with the IRA story, the retracted NYT 's Manafort bang, and the NYT's false claims about the motive of the FBI's counter-intelligence investigation, none of these stories hold up to diligent scrutiny. Today's Washington Post adds another example of no-beef stories that insinuate mystic 'Russian influence' over Trump:

Trump has concealed details of his face-to-face encounters with Putin from senior officials in administration .

The first graph claims:

President Trump has gone to extraordinary lengths to conceal details of his conversations with Russian President Vladi­mir Putin , including on at least one occasion taking possession of the notes of his own interpreter and instructing the linguist not to discuss what had transpired with other administration officials, current and former U.S. officials said.

The rest of the story largely refutes the claim made in its headline and very first sentence:

Trump did so after a meeting with Putin in 2017 in Hamburg that was also attended by then-Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.
...
Trump generally has allowed aides to listen to his phone conversations with Putin ..
...
In an email, Tillerson said that he " was present for the entirety of the two presidents' official bilateral meeting in Hamburg,"...

After Trump had a first White House meeting with the Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov in Washington, lots of leaks about the talk appeared in the DC media. Trump was accused of giving information about an ISIS plot to the Russians that was allegedly secret. It was not . Since then Trump clamped down on the number of participants, briefings and readouts for such talks. That is simply a necessary and laudable behavior. Now the media try to construct that into 'Trump is concealing details' about talks with Russia even when the U.S. Secretary of State and others are present in these.


Ever since Trump won the Republican primaries, the Clinton campaign, the Obama administration and the U.S. and British intelligence services prepared to prevent a successful Trump presidency. The Steele dossier, created by 'former' British intelligence agents and paid for by the Clinton campaign, was the basis for an FBI investigation that was seen as an insurance against a Trump win. Any possible Russia relations Trump might have came under scrutiny. This prevented him from fulfilling his campaign promise of coming to better relations with Russia.

Shortly before Obama left the office he created the tool the FBI needed to put its investigation on steroids. When Trump fired Comey for his handling of the Clinton email affair, the FBI put that tool into action. With unfettered access to signal intelligence the Mueller investigation was able to entrap a number of Trump related people and to flip them to its side. It will use any information they give up to find some angle under which Trump can be prosecuted and eventually impeached. Even if nothing comes off this investigations, the media reports and slander all this created may well be enough to prevent an election of Trump for a second term.

I very much dislike most of Trump's domestic and foreign policy. But he was duly elected under the existing rules. The campaign the media and the intelligence services have since run against him undermines the will of the people. Unfortunately I see no way that Trump could escape from the hold it has gained over him. Exposing it as much as possible might well be his best defense.

Posted by b on January 13, 2019 at 01:15 PM | Permalink

Comments It is information that is put out there that is never cross checked by the American people. They are too busy, too involved with other things or too stupid to find out the true facts. It is hard to predict what will occur next year. I
feel it all depends who wins the primary on the Democrat side.


Zachary Smith , Jan 13, 2019 2:24:28 PM | link

Quibble time:
The Steele dossier, created by 'former' British intelligence agents and paid for by the Clinton campaign, was the basis for an FBI investigation that was seen as an insurance against a Trump win.

In my opinion the "insurance" theory is wrong. Hillary was going to win in 2016. She knew it. Trump knew it. Hell's bells, even I knew it. EVERYBODY knew it. What the murderous bit¢h was doing with her Steele dossier was laying the groundwork for the coming campaign - or even war - against Russia. Russia invading Crimea. Russia shooting down the MH17 airliner. Russia breaking INF treaty. Russian attempts to destroy the US electrical grid. After her coronation, she would begin to wave around "proof" supplied by the slimy Brits that the evil Russians had attempted to put the unspeakable Trump into the White House.

Of course there were also all the dead babies in Syria - murdered by Russia. Putin's use of the incredibly deadly nerve agent in Britain to try to kill the Skripals. No doubt there would have been more - say a discovery that Russia was also behind the disappearance of the MH370 flight in the Pacific.

Hillary is not in good health - mental or otherwise. I've got a nagging suspicion the woman is a stealth End Timer. No matter the reason, she has demonstrated she doesn't mind slaughtering people wholesale. War with Russia was on her immediate agenda upon taking office.

So I just don't buy into the "insurance" theory.

Jackrabbit , Jan 13, 2019 2:32:02 PM | link
I have to take issue with a few points, b.

[Trump] ... was duly elected under the existing rules. The campaign the media and the intelligence services have since run against him undermines the will of the people.

There is a major flaw in reasoning here. Trump is no populist. A populist can't be elected by the money-based US political system. Trump's election was almost certainly arranged:

- The anti-Russia campaign began in earnest in 2014 (well before the 2016 election);

- Trump's pre-election relationship to the Clinton's is highly suspect: they were likely to be much closer than we have been led to believe;

- An FBI informant worked for Trump for over 10 years - during the time that Mueller was FBI director;

- Trump was the ONLY populist on the Republican side (out of 19 contenders!);

- Sanders was a 'sheepdog' and Hillary ran a terrible campaign in which she made obvious mistakes that a seasoned campaigner like herself would never make;

- British involvement in the election (Fusion GPS, Cambridge Analytica, a Brit 'spy' in the Sanders campaign, etc.) suggests CIA-MI6 working together;

- Trump Administration policies are consistent those of Clinton-Bush-Obama:

> Obamacare was not repealed "on day one" - it has been strengthened by not defending coverage for prior conditions;

> Trump put TPP provisions into his new North American trade deal;

> Trump continues ME meddling;

> Trump continues militarism and tax cutting;

> Etc.

The only major "difference" that I can think of are Trump's Wall and China tariffs. But these are consistent with the 'Deep State' goals.
Surveys show that the "will of the people" is very different than the neoliberal, neoconservative policies that the establishment fosters upon us.

MAGA is a POLICY CHOICE as much as it is a campaign slogan. It is designed to meet the challenge posed by Russia and China and 'turn the page' on the deceit and duplicity of the Obama Administration just as Obama's "Change You Can Believe In" was designed to turn the page on the the militarism of the Bush Administration. These BI-PARTISAN page-turnings ensure that there is no accountability and provides each new Administration with a new sly story line that the public readily swallows. Each new Presidential charade entertains and misdirects as the interests of the Empire are advanced with a refreshed box of tricks and dishonest narratives.

...war of the deep state against U.S. President Trump continues unabated.

Then why did Trump nominate Gina Haspel as head of the CIA? She is the acolyte of Trump nemesis Brennan. Why does Trump choose people like Nikki Halley, Pompeo, Bolton?

The war of the Deep State is a psyop to crush dissent as the butt-hurt Deep State continues to pursue their dream of global hegemony. Anyone that believes that Trump is no part of that psyop is delusional.

Jackrabbit , Jan 13, 2019 2:43:34 PM | link
Zachary Smith @2: ... I just don't buy into the "insurance" theory.

And I don't buy the theory that Hillary is hell bent on war. The Clinton's are very rational and calculating and no President has the freedom that your theory suggests. IMO what the Deep State has done under their man Trump is very similar to what the Deep State would have done if they had selected Clinton instead. The fact is, a populist nationalist is what was deemed necessary to meet the challenge from Russia and China. And that is what we got (surprise!).

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

Furthermore, focusing on personality and Party is just what they want. "Watch what they do, not what they say" has a corollary: pay attention to the polices, not the politicians.

jacktheokie , Jan 13, 2019 3:01:49 PM | link
MoA's final paragraph is just about how I feel.

"I very much dislike most of Trump's domestic and foreign policy. But he was duly elected under the existing rules. The campaign the media and the intelligence services have since run against him undermines the will of the people."

This pretty well sums it up for me. Being old enough to remember FDR and the brief rise of the middle class in the 40's, 50's and 60's (and having benefited from that attempt at leveling the playing field), I am more than saddened at the downward spiral of our nation. Politics have obviously never been clean and fair, but the assassination of JFK opened the floodgates of blatant depravity perpetrated by those whose greed and lust for power will ultimately destroy us.

donkeytale , Jan 13, 2019 3:19:32 PM | link
Of course b you have nothing here to offer except your opinion. Your views regarding the relentlessness of the US criminal justice system are on target, just ask the underclass about that. Once in view, you are never let be and in the US everyone can be found guilty of something. Rather nice to see the pampered son of inherited tax-free wealth on the receiving end for once, in my opinion.

Trump is a crook. Russian collusion is his smokescreen. His crimes have already been demonstrated through what little we already know and there is still much we don't know and probably never will know. This essay reads something like a veiled mea culpa from you.

You were wrong about Trump from the get go. Why not just admit it and move along? Why remain steadfastly in thrall to any shred of rightwing, authoritarianism of the elite masquerading as populism?

Whatever Trump gets from the criminal justice system, Congress or the voters appears to be well-deserved. He has brought this on himself and really there is no one else to blame even as he never will accept responsibility. He is stupid at best, dishonest at best, a useful idiot at best.

Trump saved his ass financially after a series of disastrous business bankruptcies by accepting what appears by all indications to be laundered money from literally hundreds of anonymous shell companies investing in his condos since at least 2008. He has run roughshod over the emoluments clause quite openly. I do believe, knowing what we know now, he will probably avoid indictment and escape impeachment, maybe only through resignation/pardon but more likely the old fashioned way: defeat at the polls in 2020.

In many ways Trump has done some good by reinvigorating the US left (such as it is) and bringing at least enough cohesion in the ranks of a badly splintered populace mainly among white females and white college educated voters who now reject the GOP, or at least the GOP of Trump.

Whether this will lead to badly needed fixes for the heinous wealth inequality (started with Reagan) is doubtful but at least the conversation is now underway (started with Bernie) which is the first step. Tax increases, social security stabilization, re-funneling wasted MIC billions to domestic programs for the poor, etc. It is a start. Will it become a solution or a revolution in time? That is up to the people who are still under the yoke of neoliberalism and global capital flight.

Don Bacon , Jan 13, 2019 3:29:06 PM | link
re:
Mike Flynn: pleaded out to a minor charge, rolled over in full and then produced five rounds of documents. Likely: Flynn was confronted with the intel they had on him and knew he was cooked. They knew the crimes. They heard and saw everything. There'd be no escape. By flipping and pleading out Flynn, all of that secret intel stays secret. Our intelligence efforts are protected. And Flynn goes down. And he cooks a bunch of other gooses. He's savvy enough to know that once they have the intel, all that's left to do is make the case.

So the situation is worse than I thought. The clear inference is that (1) Flynn (and others) really did commit some major crimes, and then (2) got off easy by admitting to a memory lapse (3) while cooking a bunch of other gooses. Flynn does the easy (2) and gets away with (1) and (3), both very serious. This is justice?

Zachary Smith , Jan 13, 2019 3:42:11 PM | link
@ Jackrabbit #6

Well sir, opinions certainly do vary on this issue. As you may recall, the woman threatened conflict on cyberattacks.

"As president, I will make it clear that the United States will treat cyberattacks just like any other attack," the Democratic presidential nominee said. "We will be ready with serious political, economic and military responses."

Regarding the Deep State and Trump, Syria is in the process of winning against the neocons. And Iran has not yet been attacked. Hillary has a record, and for the most part hasn't even tried to run away from it. Hillary Clinton's War Record – 100% For Genocide If you know of any instances of the woman speaking against the War Solution to problems, kindly tell me about them. Trump is an incomparable jerk, but perhaps not quite as bad as HRC.

james , Jan 13, 2019 3:43:30 PM | link
thanks b... the topic is so very tiring.. i am sick of hearing about it.. If the usa fell off a cliff and never came back again - i would be fine with that.. thank you regardless, for taking it apart and trying ti dispel the bullshite.. it is so thick, it defies logic.. i agree with @1 jose garcia, and @4 radiator...

trump is a crook... so what? most of the business class in the west are at this point! politics and crookery go hand in hand... i would be surprised if it was any different at this point in time.. how about the intel agencies? you want to sleep with them? lol..

Hoarsewhisperer , Jan 13, 2019 3:57:17 PM | link
There's either something wrong with this assumption, or something we're not being told...

The Mueller investigation, thanks to the snooping Obama and the FBI enabled, knows the content of every phonecall, chat and email any member of the Trump administration made and make to someone abroad (and likely also within the U.S.). It invites people as witnesses and asks them about the content of a specific calls they made. If they misremember or lie - bang - Mueller has the transcript ready. A crime has been created and an indiction for lying to the FBI will follow. This is what happened to Flynn and the others the Mueller investigation entrapped and convicted.

Option 1. Something wrong? If you're being cross-examined in a court or pseudo-legal forum about things you may or may not remember, you have the right to decline to answer a question, or to preface any and every answer with the phrase "If I remember correctly blah blah blah..."

Option 2. Something we're not being told? If the interrogators were able to ambush Flynn, then it's probably because they didn't acquaint him with all of his rights, or he didn't have a lawyer with him.

Trump's not stupid. He won't blunder into a situation bereft of any semblance of legal Human Rights protections designed to ambush him. And if he can't have a lawyer with him when the questions start, then he can probably refuse to attend without breaking any law.

Tess Ting , Jan 13, 2019 3:57:41 PM | link
@donkeytale There has been close to three years of serious investigative intent to lay a glove on Trump (HRC's team, the FBI and Mueller) and there is only the merest scratch of a womaniser (which with three marriages doesn't come as a surprise). What is quite remarkable, despite all the investigative effort, is how clean Trump has managed to keep himself despite building a fortune in one of the toughest cities in the world, building himself up through the eras of the five families, junk bonds and ponzi schemes and soviet union mobsters, not to mention the corruption of the poltical classes and regulatory abuses and unionised labor.

For the world's he moves in, the only explanation that gives him enough protection is that for a long time Trump has been a protected FBI asset for one of the field offices, possibly now senior service figures. And it's this deep relationship with well connected parts of the FBI or other secret services that has given him the ability to steer past the various attempts by the deep state. Why, for instance, do we have such a lot of leakage of the inner workings of the anti-Trump FBI? Some part of the deep state has become disgusted at the spying (eg on congress), the blackmailing, the warmongering, and deep corruption of the anti-constitutionalists, and Trump is their vengeance. You just have to decide which side you are on...

Peter AU 1 , Jan 13, 2019 4:11:46 PM | link
Hoarsewhisperer 13 I think it unlikely that the likes of Flynn would not know their basic legal rights.
brian , Jan 13, 2019 4:17:24 PM | link
meanwhile..trump and his appointees attack legitimacy of Venezuela govt. Trump is in bad odor at home while seeking to attack other govts. ' Washington has explicitly expressed its support for a potential coup against the elected Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, by offering its backing to the opposition and stating outright it was time for a "new government." "The Maduro regime is illegitimate and the United States will continue ... to work diligently to restore a real democracy" to Venezuela, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told reporters on his trip to the Middle East on Saturday, adding that Washington would attempt to make the Latin American nations "come together to deliver that."'
https://www.rt.com/news/448673-us-venezuela-time-new-government/
Peter AU 1 , Jan 13, 2019 4:25:14 PM | link
One thing the US deep state and their Mueller proxy would have on Trump, and most if not all of Trump's team, is collusion with Israel (can this convert into charges of treason as threats). A weapon that is good for threats against and turning those around Trump, and possibly used in as a last resort to remove Trump.
Peter AU 1 , Jan 13, 2019 4:33:00 PM | link
Adding to my post @ 18 Pat Lang has a post up "What is wrong with Trump?" "But, how does one explain his lack of action on the border? Does someone or some thing in Russia, Israel, the UK, his former business associates, have something really juicy on Trump, something that he fears to unleash through decisive action? pl"

Collusion with Israel is something neither side - team Trump and the deep state - would wish to bring into the open, but this may be the only thing they have on Trump.

juliania , Jan 13, 2019 5:17:56 PM | link
Thank you, b. I am so glad I did not vote for Obama a second time around. A very rotten duopoly has taken over the US government, all based on the premise that money is speech and money runs government, the people be damned. Hence the shutdown being orchestrated by money, with Trump in the crosshairs.

I also very much adhere to your final paragraph's sentences. Let no one be in any doubt - what is underway is no less than traitorous activity, a clear violation of the US Constitution, motivated by corrupt individuals whose meanness is beyond dispute. How it can be redressed at this very late stage beggars the mind; I can only hope it be done as peacefully as possible.

vk , Jan 13, 2019 5:19:18 PM | link
If this is really true, then it's a clear sign of decline: Obama sacrificed a huge chunk of American freedom just for the sake of personal political revenge. The USA is transitioning from a laissez faire to a highly burocratized, byzantine economy.
Hal Duell , Jan 13, 2019 6:27:54 PM | link
Shortly after the USSR's experiment with communism collapsed, I read an article which suggested that if the noise from that fall was loud, even louder will be the noise when the second shoe (the American experiment with capitalism) falls. And this is the crux of why I appreciate The Donald. His is the most honest face the US can present to the world at this point in time. So look at it closely, and marvel at where we have come to.

[Jan 13, 2019] As FBI Ramped Up Witch Hunt When Trump Fired Comey, Strzok Admitted Collusion Investigation A Joke

Highly recommended!
All links are going to Brennan and CIA. Rosenstein was just a tool, necessary to appoint the Special Prosecutor. And launching the prove was the meaning of "insurance" that Strock mentioned to his mistress. Both Strzok and McCabe have their liasons (read bosses) at CIA, so in essence they were "CIA infiltration group" within the FBI. And it is also important to understand that Obama was just a CIA snowperson.
There is Stalin's NKVD chief Beria shadow over CIA and FBI now. He famously said "Show me the man and I'll find you the crime."
Notable quotes:
"... The Daily Caller 's Chuck Ross has made a brilliant observation, noting Peter Strzok - then the FBI's deputy chief of counterintelligence, admitted to his FBI lawyer mistress, Lisa Page, that there was no merit to the investigation. ..."
"... Interestingly, another series of Strzok-Page texts refers to "coordinating investigation" after Strzok apparently met with Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who both recommended Comey's firing, then authorized the special counsel probe ..."
"... As Ross notes in The Daily Caller , there were other text messages that between Strzok and Page which raise suspicion over whether the FBI was working on a "gotcha" against Trump. ..."
Jan 13, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

As FBI Ramped Up "Witch Hunt" When Trump Fired Comey, Strzok Admitted Collusion Investigation A Joke

A Friday report in the New York Times revealing that the FBI supercharged its Trump-Russia collusion investigation after President Trump fired FBI director James Comey appears to have backfired - especially when one reviews internal FBI communications from the time period in question.

The Daily Caller 's Chuck Ross has made a brilliant observation, noting Peter Strzok - then the FBI's deputy chief of counterintelligence, admitted to his FBI lawyer mistress, Lisa Page, that there was no merit to the investigation.

Nine days after Comey was fired and the DOJ "sought to determine whether Mr. Trump was knowingly working for Russia," Strzok texted Page on May 18, 2017: "You and I both know the odds are nothing. If I thought it was likely I'd be there no question. I hesitate in part because of my gut sense and concern there's no big there there. "

It is unclear from The Times report what information was used as a predicate to open the investigation. The article suggests that the FBI had long considered the move and that Comey's firing and Trump's subsequent comments marked a tipping point.

...

A source close to Strzok told The Daily Caller News Foundation on Jan. 26, 2018, shortly after the text was released, that the message reflected Strzok's concern that the FBI would not find evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia . - Daily Caller

The Times' explanation for the FBI's rationale that Trump may have been a Russian asset consists of Trump's call for Moscow to release Hillary Clinton's emails an election debate, and allegations contained within the unverified Steele Dossier. The Times was also quick to note that Trump may have "unwittingly fallen under Moscow's influence," to temper the accusation that he was an agent of a foreign power. In short, weak sauce.

It's no wonder Strzok was hesitant to join Mueller's team.

Interestingly, another series of Strzok-Page texts refers to "coordinating investigation" after Strzok apparently met with Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who both recommended Comey's firing, then authorized the special counsel probe.

As Ross notes in The Daily Caller , there were other text messages that between Strzok and Page which raise suspicion over whether the FBI was working on a "gotcha" against Trump.

" And we need to open the case we've been waiting on now while Andy is acting ," Strzok texted Page the day Comey was fired, referring to then-deputy FBI director Andrew McCabe.

Meanwhile, Page - who served as McCabe's deputy, provided some additional color on the text messages during her July 2018 congressional testimony, suggesting that the "case we've been waiting on" text referred to an investigation separate of the obstruction probe we already knew about.

"Well, other than obstruction, what could it have been?" one lawmaker asked Page in her interview, details of which were published by The Epoch Times on Friday.

" I can't answer that, sir. I'm sorry ," she replied.

"If I was able to explain in more depth why the Director firing precipitated this text, I would," she continued while declining to say if the text message referred to an obstruction of justice investigation or something more. - Daily Caller

That said, Page admitted that Comey's firing prompted the text exchange.

"So the firing of Jim Comey was the precipitating event as opposed to the occupant of the Director's office?" asked one lawmaker.

"Yes, that's correct," replied Page.

Meanwhile, The Times went to great lengths to imply that the FBI was justified in their ratcheted-up collusion investigation - failing to mention who started the probe, who led it, and more importantly - waiting until the 9th paragraph to mention the fact that it turned up nothing .

"No evidence has emerged publicly that Mr. Trump was secretly in contact with or took direction from Russian government officials. An F.B.I. spokeswoman and a spokesman for the special counsel's office both declined to comment."

VideoEng_NC

"It is unclear from The Times report what information was used as a predicate to open the investigation."

Should be pretty simple with one question. "Was it Hillary who was the responsible party to open an investigation on Trump?". About as direct as it gets & we already know the answer.

adampeart

TDS sufferers hate Trump so bad that they have become (at 70%) pro-warmonger. Pathetic. I guess that I shouldn't be surprised. They were fine with Black Jesus starting wars, overthrowing governments and bombing brown people for 8 years.

Teeter

McCabe initiated the investigation. Nobody likes McCabe, so he is likely to be the one guy that gets thrown under the bus. Of course what he knows may protect him to some extent... they won't want a trial.

Duc888

Sedition? Treason?

Yippie21

7 Days in May.... except for current version we use the DOJ and FBI! Interesting times.

[Jan 13, 2019] Deep State neutered Trump: I have been FAR tougher on Russia than Obama, Bush or Clinton. Maybe tougher than any other President

He essentially became a Republican Obama, save Nobel Peace Price. If Obama was/is a CIA-democrat, this guy is a Deep State controlled republican. In any case he betrayed his voters in a way that resembles Obama betrayal. One has a fake slogan "change we can believe in" that other equally fake "Make [middle] America Great Again" (which means restoration of well-being of middle class and working class in my book, not the continuation of Obama foreign wars, and tax cuts for for corporations and super rich.
And that means that he lost a considerable part of his electorate: the anti-war republicans and former Sanders supporters. He might do good and not to try to run in 2020. He definitely is no economic nationalist. Compare his policies with Tucker Carlson Jan 2, 2019 speech to see the difference. He is "national neoliberal" which rejects parts of neoliberal globalization based on treaties and prefer to bully nations to compliance that favor the US interests instead of treaties.
And his "fight" with the Deep State resemble so closely to complete and unconditional surrender, that you might have difficulties to distinguish between the two.
Most of his appointees would make Hillary proud. That that extends beyond rabid neocons like Haley, Mattis, Bolton and Pompeo.
Notable quotes:
"... The Washington Post is without a doubt the most pro-establishment among all large mainstream publications, not only do they defend the narratives of the Deep State but actively attacks anyone who challenges them. ..."
"... Jeff Bezos owner of the Washington Post is also a contractor with the CIA and sits on a Pentagon advisory board all part of doing everything he can to cozy up and ingratiate himself to the establishment on which his empire is built. ..."
"... It's really sad that people in the public believe this stuff. It's insane and ridiculous. We're living in an Insane Asylum and the ones who should be there for the safety of themselves and others are walking around giving orders to Media and USG, fomenting war and making a mockery of laws and "normal behaviors. ..."
"... They flooded the news with the old Helsinki/Putin stuff to hide the real news. Lisa Page's testimony revealed that John Carlin, Mueller's former chief of staff was running the Russia investigation from the DOJ end, showing another conflict of Mueller's. Now Mueller is covering for two best friends, Comey and Carlin and he has to frame Trump to save them. ..."
"... The testimony also showed FBI David Bowditch was heavily involved, and Bowditch is now 2nd in command at the FBI and blocking the public release of witness testimony, and one reason for it is it reveals his involvement. ..."
"... It is also now revealed that John Brennan CIA had the dossier before the FBI, and the dossier was likely written by Nellie Ohr, who belonged to a CIA group, and then the dossier was laundered by Steele to look like foreign intelligence to get the Crossfire Hurricane investigation started on Trump. You would think it would be big news that Russians may have had nothing to do with the dossier but the media doesn't see it that way ..."
Jan 13, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com
Washington Post stating that he "has gone to extraordinary lengths to conceal details" of his discussions with Russian President Vladimir Putin - telling Fox News host Jeanine Pirro in a phone interview that he would be willing to release the details of a private conversation in Helsinki last summer.

"I would. I don't care," Trump told Pirro, adding: "I'm not keeping anything under wraps. I couldn't care less."

"I mean, it's so ridiculous, these people making up," Trump said of the WaPo report.

The president referred to his roughly two-hour dialogue with Putin in Helsinki -- at which only the leaders and their translators were present -- as "a great conversation" that included discussions about "securing Israel and lots of other things."

"I had a conversation like every president does," Trump said Saturday. "You sit with the president of various countries. I do it with all countries." - Politico

In July an attempt by House Democrats to subpoena Trump's Helsinki interpreter was quashed by Republicans.

"The Washington Post is almost as bad, or probably as bad, as the New York Times," Trump said.

When Pirro asked Trump about a Friday night New York Times report that the FBI had opened an inquiry into whether he was working for Putin, Pirro asked Trump "Are you now or have you ever worked for Russia, Mr. President?"

"I think it's the most insulting thing I've ever been asked," Trump responded. "I think it's the most insulting article I've ever had written."

Trump went on an epic tweetstorm Saturday following the Times article, defending his 2017 firing of former FBI Director James Comey, and tweeting that he has been "FAR tougher on Russia than Obama, Bush or Clinton. Maybe tougher than any other President. At the same time, & as I have often said, getting along with Russia is a good thing, not a bad thing. I fully expect that someday we will have good relations with Russia again!"

rumcho

Jeff Bezos paid $250 million for Washington Post, five years later he gets a government contract with the CIA for $600 million. Are you connecting the dots? You do the numbers. This is how fascism works. Bezos is a crony capitalist joker.

Anunnaki

https://www.moonofalabama.org/2019/01/the-trump-russia-scam-how-obama-enabled-the-fbi-to-spy-on-trump.html#more

is Trump waiting for Mueller to lay down his cards? Head him off at the pass and arrest Obama, Rice, Jarrett, Lynch, Comey, Rosenstein and McCabe all on day 1

best defense is a good offense. Make the narrative about Dem sedition not impending House impeachment hearings.

You are President, start acting like it. Make them fear you.

your re-election depends on Mike Obama not being your opponent.

Let it Go

WaPo, again?

The Washington Post is without a doubt the most pro-establishment among all large mainstream publications, not only do they defend the narratives of the Deep State but actively attacks anyone who challenges them.

Jeff Bezos owner of the Washington Post is also a contractor with the CIA and sits on a Pentagon advisory board all part of doing everything he can to cozy up and ingratiate himself to the establishment on which his empire is built. The article below delves into how WaPo is behind many of the big stories that manipulate America and moves the needle of public opinion in huge ways.

http://Washington-post-influence-and-power.html

MoralsAreEssential

It's really sad that people in the public believe this stuff. It's insane and ridiculous. We're living in an Insane Asylum and the ones who should be there for the safety of themselves and others are walking around giving orders to Media and USG, fomenting war and making a mockery of laws and "normal behaviors.

shadow54

They flooded the news with the old Helsinki/Putin stuff to hide the real news. Lisa Page's testimony revealed that John Carlin, Mueller's former chief of staff was running the Russia investigation from the DOJ end, showing another conflict of Mueller's. Now Mueller is covering for two best friends, Comey and Carlin and he has to frame Trump to save them.

The testimony also showed FBI David Bowditch was heavily involved, and Bowditch is now 2nd in command at the FBI and blocking the public release of witness testimony, and one reason for it is it reveals his involvement.

It is also now revealed that John Brennan CIA had the dossier before the FBI, and the dossier was likely written by Nellie Ohr, who belonged to a CIA group, and then the dossier was laundered by Steele to look like foreign intelligence to get the Crossfire Hurricane investigation started on Trump. You would think it would be big news that Russians may have had nothing to do with the dossier but the media doesn't see it that way.

Then there is the news that Fusion GPS worked with the Democracy Integrity Project and Knew Knowledge to run a fake Russian bots campaign against Roy Moore. The Democracy Integrity Project was started by Feinstein's aide and with New Knowledge wrote a report on Russian bots for the Senate Intelligence Committee. So the Senate Intelligence Committee hired creators of fake Russian bots to write a report on Russian bots.

[Jan 13, 2019] Until we have more action on this than just some furious tweets, it doesn't matter

Notable quotes:
"... Yes, plus they could have at least tied in the Rosenstein attempt to wear a wire to trap Trump via the 25th amendment as hatched by McCabe too. Lousy article. ..."
Jan 13, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

navy62802 , 1 hour ago link

Until we have more action on this than just some furious tweets, it doesn't matter.

notfeelinthebern , 1 hour ago link

OLD news. This was established long ago by looking at the time line of events.

SDShack , 1 hour ago link

Yes, plus they could have at least tied in the Rosenstein attempt to wear a wire to trap Trump via the 25th amendment as hatched by McCabe too. Lousy article.

[Jan 11, 2019] Facts does not matter in the current propoganda environment, the narrative is everything

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Look at Russiagate. An excellent recent article by Ray McGovern for Consortium News titled "A Look Back at Clapper's Jan. 2017 'Assessment' on Russia-gate" reminds us on the two-year anniversary of the infamous ODNI assessment that the entire establishment Russia narrative is built upon nothing but the say-so of a couple dozen intelligence analysts hand-picked and guided by a man who helped deceive the world into Iraq, a man who is so virulently Russophobic that he's said on more than one occasion that Russians are genetically predisposed to subversive behavior. ..."
"... That January 2017 intelligence assessment has formed the foundation underlying every breathless, conspiratorial Russia story you see in western news media to this very day, and it's completely empty. The idea that Russia interfered in the US election in any meaningful way is based on an assessment crafted by a known liar , from which countless relevant analysts were excluded, which makes no claims of certainty, and contains no publicly available evidence. It's pure narrative from top to bottom, and therefore the "collusion" story is as well since Trump could only have colluded with an actual thing that actually happened, and there's no evidence that it did. ..."
"... So now you've got Trump being painted as a Putin lackey based on a completely fabricated election interference story, despite the fact that Trump has actually been far more hawkish towards Russia than any administration since the fall of the Soviet Union. ..."
"... The narrative matrix of America's political/media landscape is a confusing labyrinth of smoke and funhouse mirrors distorting and manipulating the public consciousness at every turn. It's psychologically torturous, which is largely why people who are deeply immersed in politics are so on-edge all the time regardless of where they're at on the political spectrum. The only potentially good thing I can see about this forceful brutalization of the public psyche is that it might push people over the edge and shatter the illusion altogether. ..."
"... Trust in the mass media is already at an all-time low while our ability to network and share information that casts doubt on official narratives is at an all-time high, which is why the establishment propaganda machine is acting so weird as it scrambles to control the narrative, and why efforts to censor the internet are getting more and more severe. ..."
Jan 11, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Caitlin Johnstone via Medium.com,

Earlier this week, President Donald Trump tweeted the following:

"Endless Wars, especially those which are fought out of judgement mistakes that were made many years ago, & those where we are getting little financial or military help from the rich countries that so greatly benefit from what we are doing, will eventually come to a glorious end!"

The tweet was warmly received and celebrated by Trump's supporters, despite the fact that it says essentially nothing since "eventually" could mean anything.

Indeed, it's looking increasingly possible that nothing will come of the president's stated agenda to withdraw troops from Syria other than a bunch of words which allow his anti-interventionist base to feel nice feelings inside. Yet everyone laps it up, on both ends of the political aisle, just like they always do:

  • Trump supporters are acting like he's a swamp-draining, war-ending peacenik...
  • ...his enemies are acting like he's feeding a bunch of Kurds on conveyor belts into Turkish meat grinders to be made into sausages for Vladimir Putin's breakfast, when in reality nothing has changed and may not change at all.

How are such wildly different pictures being painted about the same non-event? By the fact that both sides of the Trump-Syria debate have thus far been reacting solely to narrative.

This has consistently been the story throughout Trump's presidency: a heavy emphasis on words and narratives and a disinterest in facts and actions. A rude tweet can dominate headlines for days, while the actual behaviors of this administration can go almost completely ignored. Trump continues to more or less advance the same warmongering Orwellian globalist policies and agendas as his predecessors along more or less the same trajectory, but frantic mass media narratives are churned out every day painting him as some unprecedented deviation from the norm. Trump himself, seemingly aware that he's interacting entirely with perceptions and narratives instead of facts and reality, routinely makes things up whole cloth and often claims he's "never said" things he most certainly has said. And why not? Facts don't matter in this media environment, only narrative does.

Look at Russiagate. An excellent recent article by Ray McGovern for Consortium News titled "A Look Back at Clapper's Jan. 2017 'Assessment' on Russia-gate" reminds us on the two-year anniversary of the infamous ODNI assessment that the entire establishment Russia narrative is built upon nothing but the say-so of a couple dozen intelligence analysts hand-picked and guided by a man who helped deceive the world into Iraq, a man who is so virulently Russophobic that he's said on more than one occasion that Russians are genetically predisposed to subversive behavior.

That January 2017 intelligence assessment has formed the foundation underlying every breathless, conspiratorial Russia story you see in western news media to this very day, and it's completely empty. The idea that Russia interfered in the US election in any meaningful way is based on an assessment crafted by a known liar , from which countless relevant analysts were excluded, which makes no claims of certainty, and contains no publicly available evidence. It's pure narrative from top to bottom, and therefore the "collusion" story is as well since Trump could only have colluded with an actual thing that actually happened, and there's no evidence that it did.

So now you've got Trump being painted as a Putin lackey based on a completely fabricated election interference story, despite the fact that Trump has actually been far more hawkish towards Russia than any administration since the fall of the Soviet Union. With the nuclear brinkmanship this administration has been playing with its only nuclear rival on the planet, it would be so incredibly easy for Trump's opposition to attack him on his insanely hawkish escalation of a conflict which could easily end all life on earth if any little thing goes wrong, but they don't. Because this is all about narrative and not facts, Democrats have been paced into supporting even more sanctioning, proxy conflicts and nuclear posturing while loudly objecting to any sign of communication between the two nuclear superpowers, while Republicans are happy to see Trump increase tensions with Moscow because it combats the collusion narrative. Now both parties are supporting an anti-Russia agenda which existed in secretive US government agencies long before the 2016 election .

And this to me is the most significant thing about Trump's presidency. Not any of the things people tell me I'm supposed to care about, but the fact that the age of Trump has been highlighting in a very clear way how we're all being manipulated by manufactured narratives all the time.

Humanity lives in a world of mental narrative . We have a deeply conditioned societal habit of heaping a massive overlay of mental labels and stories on top of the raw data we take in through our senses, and those labels and stories tend to consume far more interest and attention than the actual data itself. We use labels and stories for a reason: without them it would be impossible to share abstract ideas and information with each other about what's going on in our world. But those labels and stories get imbued with an intense amount of belief and identification; we form tight, rigid belief structures about our world, our society, and our very selves that can generate a lot of fear, hatred and suffering. Which is why it feels so nice to go out into nature and relax in an environment that isn't shaped by human mental narrative.

This problem is exponentially exacerbated by the fact that these stories and labels are wildly subjective and very easily manipulated. Powerful people have learned that they can control the way everyone else thinks, acts and votes by controlling the stories they tell themselves about what's going on in the world using mass media control and financial political influence, allowing ostensible democracies to be conducted in a way which serves power far more efficiently than any dictatorship.

So now America has a president who is escalating a dangerous cold war against Russia , who is working to prosecute Julian Assange and shut down WikiLeaks , who is expanding the same war on whistleblowers and Orwellian surveillance network that was expanded by Bush and Obama before him, who has expanded existing wars and made no tangible move as yet to scale them back, who is advancing the longstanding neocon agenda of regime change in Iran with starvation sanctions and CIA covert ops , and yet the two prevailing narratives about him are that he's either (A) a swamp-draining, establishment-fighting hero of peace or that he's (B) a treasonous Putin lackey who isn't nearly hawkish enough toward Russia.

See how both A and B herd the public away from opposing the dangerous pro-establishment agendas being advanced by this administration? The dominant narratives could not possibly be more different from what's actually going on, and the only reason they're the dominant narratives is because an alliance of plutocrats and secretive government agencies exerts an immense amount of influence over the stories that are told by the political/media class.

The narrative matrix of America's political/media landscape is a confusing labyrinth of smoke and funhouse mirrors distorting and manipulating the public consciousness at every turn. It's psychologically torturous, which is largely why people who are deeply immersed in politics are so on-edge all the time regardless of where they're at on the political spectrum. The only potentially good thing I can see about this forceful brutalization of the public psyche is that it might push people over the edge and shatter the illusion altogether.

Trust in the mass media is already at an all-time low while our ability to network and share information that casts doubt on official narratives is at an all-time high, which is why the establishment propaganda machine is acting so weird as it scrambles to control the narrative, and why efforts to censor the internet are getting more and more severe. It is possible that this is what it looks like when a thinking species evolves into a sane and healthy relationship with thought. Perhaps the cracks that are appearing all over official narratives today are like the first cracks appearing in an eggshell as a bird begins to hatch into the world.

* * *

The best way to get around the internet censors and make sure you see the stuff I publish is to subscribe to the mailing list for my website , which will get you an email notification for everything I publish. My articles are entirely reader-supported, so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, liking me on Facebook , following my antics on Twitter , throwing some money into my hat on Patreon or Paypal , purchasing some of my sweet new merchandise , buying my new book Rogue Nation: Psychonautical Adventures With Caitlin Johnstone , or my previous book Woke: A Field Guide for Utopia Preppers .

[Jan 11, 2019] New Documents Reveal a Covert British Military-Intelligence Smear Machine Meddling In American Politics naked capitalism

Notable quotes:
"... By Mark Ames, co-host of the Radio War Nerd podcast , author of Going Posta l and publisher of The eXile, and Max Blumenthal, an award-winning journalist and the author of books including best-selling Republican Gomorrah , Goliath , The Fifty One Day War , and The Management of Savagery , which will be published in March 2019 by Verso. He has also produced numerous print articles for an array of publications, many video reports and several documentaries including Killing Gaza and Je Ne Suis Pas Charlie . Originally published at the Greyzone Project ..."
"... The Integrity Initiative has mobilized an international disinformation campaign across Europe. Now, with government and right-wing foundation money, this massive "political smear unit" is infiltrating the US. ..."
Jan 11, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

By Mark Ames, co-host of the Radio War Nerd podcast , author of Going Posta l and publisher of The eXile, and Max Blumenthal, an award-winning journalist and the author of books including best-selling Republican Gomorrah , Goliath , The Fifty One Day War , and The Management of Savagery , which will be published in March 2019 by Verso. He has also produced numerous print articles for an array of publications, many video reports and several documentaries including Killing Gaza and Je Ne Suis Pas Charlie . Originally published at the Greyzone Project

The Integrity Initiative has mobilized an international disinformation campaign across Europe. Now, with government and right-wing foundation money, this massive "political smear unit" is infiltrating the US.

A bombshell domestic spy scandal has been unfolding in Britain, after hacked internal communications exposed a covert UK state military-intelligence psychological warfare operation targeting its own citizens and political figures in allied NATO countries under the cover of fighting "Russian disinformation."

The leaked documents revealed a secret network of spies, prominent journalists and think-tanks colluding under the umbrella of a group called "Integrity Initiative" to shape domestic opinion -- and to smear political opponents of the right-wing Tory government, including the leader of the opposition Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn.

Until now, this Integrity Initiative domestic spy scandal has been ignored in the American media, perhaps because it has mostly involved British names. But it is clear that the influence operation has already been activated in the US. Hacked documents reveal that the Integrity Initiative is cultivating powerful allies inside the State Department, top DC think tanks, the FBI and the DHS, where it has gained access to Katharine Gorka and her husband, the fascist-linked cable news pundit Sebastian Gorka .

The Integrity Initiative has spelled out plans to expand its network across the US, meddling in American politics and recruiting "a new generation of Russia watchers" behind the false guise of a non-partisan charity. Moreover, the group has hired one of the most notorious American "perception management" specialists, John Rendon, to train its clusters of pundits and cultivate relationships with the media.

Back in the UK, Member of Parliament Chris Williamson has clamored for an investigation into the Integrity Initiative's abuse of public money.

In a recent editorial , Williamson drew a direct parallel between the group's collaboration with journalists and surreptitious payments the CIA made to reporters during the Cold War.

"These tactics resemble those deployed by the CIA in Operation Mockingbird that was launched at the height of the cold war in the early 1950s. Its aims included using the mainstream news media as a propaganda tool," Williamson wrote.

"They manipulated the news agenda by recruiting leading journalists to write stories with the express purpose of influencing public opinion in a particular way," the Labour parliamentarian continued. "Now it seems the British Establishment have dusted off the CIA's old playbook and is intent on giving it another outing on this side of the Atlantic."

Unmasking a British Military-Intelligence Smear Machine

The existence of the Integrity Initiative was virtually unknown until this November, when the email servers of a previously obscure British think tank called the Institute for Statecraft were hacked, prompting allegations of Russian intrusion. When the group's internal documents appeared at a website hosted by Anonymous Europe, the public learned of a covert propaganda network seed-funded to the tune of over $2 million dollars by the Tory-controlled UK Foreign Office, and run largely by military-intelligence officers.

Through a series of cash inducements, off the record briefings and all-day conferences, the Integrity Initiative has sought to organize journalists across the West into an international echo chamber hyping up the supposed threat of Russian disinformation -- and to defame politicians and journalists critical of this new Cold War campaign.

A bid for funding submitted by the Integrity Initiative in 2017 to the British Ministry of Defense promised to deliver a "tougher stance on Russia" by arranging for "more information published in the media on the threat of Russian active measures."

The Integrity Initiative has also worked through its fronts in the media to smear political figures perceived as a threat to its militaristic agenda. Its targets have included a Spanish Department of Homeland Security appointee, Pedro Banos, whose nomination was scuttled thanks a media blitz it secretly orchestrated; Jeremy Corbyn, whom the outfit and its media cutouts painted as a useful idiot of Russia; and a Scottish member of parliament, Neil Findlay, whom one of its closest media allies accused of adopting "Kremlin messaging" for daring to protest the official visit of the far-right Ukrainian politician Andriy Parubiy -- the founder of two neo-Nazi parties and author of a white nationalist memoir, "View From The Right."

These smear campaigns and many more surreptitiously orchestrated by the Integrity Initiative offer a disturbing preview of the reactionary politics it plans to inject into an already toxic American political environment.

Lessons from "The Man Who Sold the War"

A newly released Integrity Initiative document reveals that the outfit plans an aggressive expansion across the US.

The Integrity Initiative claims to have already established a "simple office" in Washington DC, though it does not say where. It also boasts of partnerships with top DC think tanks like the Atlantic Council, the Center for European Policy Analysis, CNA, and close relationships with US officials.

A major hub of Integrity Initiative influence is the State Department's Global Engagement Center, a de facto US government propaganda operation that was established by President Barack Obama to battle online ISIS recruitment, but which was rapidly repurposed to counter Russian disinformation following the election of Trump.

The Integrity Initiative has also recruited one of the most infamous American PR men to organize its clusters of journalists and political figures.

He is John Rendon, best known as "The Man Who Sold The War" -- several wars, in fact, but most notoriously the Iraq invasion. Rendon was the self-described "information warrior" who planted fake news in the major US-UK media about non-existent WMD threats. With deep ties to the CIA and other military-intelligence agencies, his PR firm was paid $100 million to organize and sell Ahmed Chalabi's Iraqi National Congress. In 2002, the New York Times exposed a Pentagon program using Rendon to plant "disinformation" -- including "false stories" and "the blackest of black PR" -- in media outlets around the world, in order to shape public opinion and sell the Iraq invasion.

John Rendon (left) with Maj. Gen. Michael Snodgrass, US Africa Command Chief of Staff (photo by US Africom Public Affairs)

Journalist James Bamford outlined a catalogue of disinformation feats Rendon performed for the Pentagon, such as identifying "the biases of specific journalists and potentially obtain an understanding of their allegiances, including the possibility of specific relationships and sponsorships." Bamford also found proposals and programs Rendon was involved in that aimed to "'coerce' foreign journalists and plant false information overseas [and] find ways to 'punish' those who convey the 'wrong message.'"

These tactics seem particularly relevant to his work with the Integrity Initiative, especially considering the internal documents that reveal further Rendon-style plans to produce reports and studies to be "fed anonymously into local media." (Among the outlets listed as friendly hosts in Integrity Initiative internal memos are Buzzfeed and El Pais, the center-left Spanish daily.)

Keeping Up with the Gorkas

Internal documents also refer to interactions between Integrity Initiative Director Chris Donnelly and top Trump officials like Katharine Gorka , a vehemently anti-Muslim Department of Homeland Security official, as well as her husband, Sebastian, who earned right-wing fame during his brief tenure in Trump's White House.

The latter Gorka is an open supporter of the Hungarian Vitezi Rend, a proto-fascist order that collaborated with Nazi Germany during its occupation of Hungary. Following Trump's election victory in 2016, Gorka appeared for televised interviews in a black Vitezi Rend uniform.

Sebastian Gorka, in Vitezi Rend garb, with his wife, Katharine, on Election Night

Gorka was among the first figures listed on an itinerary for Donnelly to Washington this September 18 to 22. The itinerary indicates that the two had breakfast before Donnelly delivered a presentation on "Mapping Russian Influence Activities" at the federally funded military research center, CNA .

According to the itinerary, Donnelly was granted access to Pentagon officials like Mara Karlin , an up-and-coming neoconservative cadre , and John McCain Institute executive director Kurt Volker , another neoconservative operative who also serves as the US Special Representative for Ukraine. Numerous meetings with staffers inside the State Department's Office of Global Engagement were also detailed.

A Foreign Agent in the State Department?

Of all the State Department officials named in Integrity Initiative documents, the one who appeared most frequently was Todd Leventhal. Leventhal has been a staffer at the State Department's Global Engagement Center, boasting of "20 years of countering disinformation, misinformation, conspiracy theories, and urban legends." In an April 2018 Integrity Initiative memo, he is listed as a current team member:

Funded to the tune of $160 million this year to beat back Russian disinformation with "counter-propaganda," the State Department's Global Engagement Center has refused to deny targeting American citizens with information warfare of its own. "My old job at the State Department was as chief propagandist," confessed former Global Engagement Center Director Richard Stengel. "I'm not against propaganda. Every country does it and they have to do it to their own population and I don't necessarily think it's that awful."

Like so many of the media and political figures involved in the Integrity Initiative's international network, the Global Engagement Center's Leventhal has a penchant for deploying smear tactics against prominent voices that defy the foreign policy consensus. Leventhal appeared in an outtake of a recent NBC documentary on Russian disinformation smugly explaining how he would take down a 15-year-old book critical of American imperialism in the developing world. Rather than challenge the book's substance and allegations, Leventhal boasted how he would marshall his resources to wage an ad hominem smear campaign to destroy the author's reputation. His strategic vision was clear: when confronting a critic, ignore the message and destroy the messenger.

Integrity Initiative documents reveal that Leventhal has been paid $76,608 dollars (60,000 British pounds) for a 50% contract.

While those same documents claim he has retired from the State Department, Leventhal's own Linkedin page lists him as a current "Senior Disinformation Advisor" to the State Department. If that were true, it would mean that the State Department was employing a de facto foreign agent.

As a cut-out of the British Foreign Office and Defense Ministry, the Integrity Initiative's work with current and former US officials and members of the media raises certain legal questions. For one, there is no indication that the group has registered under the Justice Department's Foreign Agent Registration Act, as most foreign agents of influence are required to do.

Grants from the Neocons' Favorite Foundation

An Integrity Initiative memo states that the right-wing Smith Richardson Foundation has also committed to ponying up funding for its US network as soon as the group receives 501 c-3 non-profit status. The foundation has already provided it with about $56,000 for covert propaganda activities across Europe.

The Smith Richardson Foundation has old ties to the US intelligence community and controversial cold war influence operations. According to reporter Russ Bellant , the foundation was secretly bankrolling radical right-wing "indoctrination campaigns for the American public on cold war and foreign policy issues" -- programs that got the attention of Senator William Fulbright, who warned then-President Kennedy of their dangers. At one of these indoctrination seminars, a Smith Richardson Foundation director "told attendees that 'it is within the capacity of the people in this room to literally turn the State of Georgia into a civil war college,' in order to overcome their opponents."

Smith Richardson has funded a who's who of the neoconservative movement, from hyper-militaristic think tanks like the American Enterprise Institute and the Institute for the Study of War. "To say the [Smith Richardson] foundation was involved at every level in the lobbying for and crafting of the so-called global war on terror after 9/11 would be an understatement," wrote journalist Kelley Vlahos.

Besides Smith Richardson, the Integrity Initiative has stated its intention to apply for grants from the State Department "to expand the Integrity Initiative activities both within and outside of the USA." This is yet another indicator that the US government is paying for propaganda targeting its own citizens.

The "Main Event" in Seattle

An Integrity Initiative internal document argues that because "DC is well served by existing US institutions, such as those with which the Institute [for Statecraft] already collaborates," the organization should "concentrate on extending the work of the Integrity Initiative into major cities and key State capitals [sic] across the USA."

This December 10, the Integrity Initiative organized what it called its "main event" in the US. It was a conference on disinformation held in Seattle, Washington under the auspices of a data firm called Adventium Labs. Together with the Technical Leadership Institute at the University of Minnesota, the Integrity Initiative listed Adventium Labs as one of its "first partners outside DC."

Adventium is Minneapolis-based research and development firm that has reaped contracts from the US military, including a recent $5.4 million cyber-security grant from the Pentagon's Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, or DARPA.

Inside a modest-sized hotel conference room, the Adventium/Integrity event began with a speech by the Integrity Initiative's Simon Bracey-Lane. Two years prior, Bracey-Lane appeared on the American political scene as a field worker for Bernie Sanders' 2016 presidential primary run, earning media write-ups as the "Brit for Bernie." Now, the young operator was back in the US as the advance man for a military-intelligence cut-out that specialized in smearing left-wing political figures like Jeremy Corbyn, the Labour leader widely regarded as the British version of Sanders.

Bracey-Lane opened his address by explaining that Integrity Initiative director Chris Donnelly had been unable to appear at the event, possibly because he was bogged down in the scandal back home. He proceeded to read remarks prepared by Donnelly that offered a window into the frighteningly militaristic mindset the Integrity Initiative aims to impose on the public through their media and political allies.

According to Donnelly's comments, the West was no longer in a "peace time, rules based environment." From the halls of government to corporate boardrooms to even the UK's National Health System, "the conclusion is that we have to look for people who suit a wartime environment rather than peacetime."

During Q&A, Bracey-Lane remarked that "we have to change the definition of war to encompass everything that war now encompasses," referring vaguely to various forms of "hybrid warfare."

"There is a great deal to be done in communicating that to young people," he continued. "When we mean being at war we don't mean sending our boys off to fight. It's right here in our homes."

The emphasis on restructuring society along martial lines mirrored the disturbing thinking also on display in notes of a private meeting between Donnelly and Gen. Richard Barrons in 2016. During that chat, the two officers decided that the British military should be removed from democratic supervision and be able to operate as "an independent body outside politics."

While Bracey-Lane's presentation perfectly captured the military mindset of the Integrity Initiative, the speakers that followed him offered a diverse array of perspectives on the concept of disinformation, some more nuanced than others. But one talk stood out from the rest -- not because of its quality, but because of its complete lack thereof.

Reanimating the "Red-Brown" Grifter

Alexander Reid Ross (left) and Emmi Bevensee at the Integrity Initiative's "main event" in Seattle

The presentation was delivered by Alexander Reid Ross, a half-baked political researcher who peddles computer-generated spiderweb relationship charts to prove the existence of a vast hidden network of "red-brown" alliances and "syncretic media" conspiracies controlled by puppeteers in Moscow.

Ross is a lecturer on geography at Portland State University with no scholarly or journalistic credentials on Russia. His students have given him dismal marks at Rate My Professors, complaining about his "terrible monotone lectures" and his penchant for "insert[ing] his own ideologies into our class." But with a book, "Against the Fascist Creep," distributed by the well-known anarchist publishing house, AK Press, the middling academic has tried to make his name as a maverick analyst.

Before the Integrity Initiative was exposed as a military-intelligence front operation, Ross was among a small coterie of pundits and self-styled disinformation experts that followed the group's Twitter account. The Integrity Initiative even retweeted his smear of War Nerd podcast co-host John Dolan.

In a series of articles for the Southern Poverty Law Center last year, Ross attempted to bring his warmed-over Cold War theories to the broader public. He wound up trashing everyone from the co-author of this piece, Max Blumenthal, to Nation magazine publisher Katrina Vanden Heuvel to Harvard University professor of international relations Stephen Walt as hidden shadow-fascists secretly controlled by the Kremlin.

The articles ultimately generated an embarrassing scandal and a series of public retractions by the editor-in-chief of the Southern Poverty Law Center, Richard Cohen. And then, like some Dr. Frankenstein for discredited and buried journalism careers, the British Ministry of Defense-backed Integrity Initiative moved in to reanimate Ross as a sought-after public intellectual.

Before the Integrity Initiative-organized crowd, Ross offered a rambling recitation of his theory of a syncretic fascist alliance puppeteered by Russians: "The alt right takes from both this 'red-brown,' it's called, or like left-right syncretic highly international national of nationalisms, and from the United States' own paleoconservative movement, and it's sort of percolated down through college organizing, um, and anti-interventionism meets anti-imperialism. Right?"

In a strange twist, Ross appeared on stage at the Integrity Initiative's Seattle event alongside Emmi Bevensee , a contributor to the left-libertarian Center for a Stateless Society (C4SS) think tank, whose tagline, "a left market anarchist think-tank" expresses its core aim of uniting far-left anarchists with free-market right-libertarians.

Bevensee , a PhD candidate at the University of Arizona and self-described "Borderlands anarcho into tech and crypto," concluded her presentation by asserting a linkage between the alternative news site, Zero Hedge, and the "physical militarized presence in the borderlands" of anti-immigrant vigilantes. Like Bevensee, Ross has written for C4SS in the past.

The irony of contributors to an anarchist group called the "Center for a Stateless Society" auditioning before The State – the most jackbooted element of it, in fact – for more opportunities to attack anti-war politicians and journalists, can hardly be overstated.

But closer examination of the history of C4SS veers from irony into something much darker and more unsettling.

Pedophile Co-Founder, White Nationalist Associates

C4SS was co-founded in 2006 by a confessed child rapist and libertarian activist, Brad Spangler, who set the group up to promote "Market anarchism" to "replace Marxism on the left."

When Spangler's child rape confessions emerged in 2015, the Center for Stateless Society founder was finally drummed out by his colleagues.

There's more: Spangler's understudy and deputy in the C4SS, Kevin Carson -- currently listed as the group's "Karl Hess Chair in Social Theory" -- turned out to be a longtime friend and defender of white nationalist Keith Preston. Preston's name is prominently plastered on the back of Kevin Carson's book, hailing the C4SS man as "the Proudhon of our time" -- a loaded compliment, given Proudhon's unhinged anti-Semitism . Carson only disowned Preston in 2009, shortly before Preston helped white nationalist leader Richard Spencer launch his alt-right webzine, Alternative Right.

The C4SS group currently participates in the annual Koch-backed International Students For Liberty conference in Washington DC, LibertyCon, a who's who of libertarian think-tank hacks and Republican Party semi-celebrities like Steve Forbes, FCC chairman Ajit Pai, and Alan Dershowitz.

In 2013, C4SS's Kevin Carson tweeted out his dream fantasy that four Jewish leftists -- Mark Ames, Yasha Levine, Corey Robin, and Mark Potok -- would die in a plane crash while struggling over a single parachute. Potok was an executive editor at the Southern Poverty Law Center, which last year retracted every one of the crank articles that Alexander Reid Ross published with them and formally apologized for having run them.

For some reason, the super-sleuth Ross conveniently failed to investigate the libertarian group, C4SS, that he has chosen to partner with and publish in. That ability to shamelessly smear and denounce leftists over the most crudely manufactured links to the far-right -- while cozying up to groups as sleazy as C4SS and authoritarian as the Integrity Initiative -- is the sort of adaptive trait that MI6 spies and the Rendon Group would find useful in a covert domestic influence operation.

Ross did not respond to our request for comment on his involvement with the Integrity Initiative and C4SS.

Disinformation for Democracy

As it spans out across the US, the Integrity Initiative has stated its desire to "build a younger generation of Russia watchers." Toward this goal, it is supplementing its coterie of elite journalists, think tank hacks, spooks and State Department info-warriors with certifiable cranks like Ross.

Less than 24 hours after Ross's appearance at the Integrity Initiative event in Seattle, he sent a menacing email to the co-author of this article, Ames, announcing his intention to recycle an old and discredited smear against him and publish it in the Daily Beast -- a publication that appears to enjoy a special relationship with Integrity Initiative personnel.

Despite the threat of investigation in the UK, the Integrity Initiative's "network of networks" appears to be escalating its covert, government-funded influence operation, trashing the political left and assailing anyone that gets in its way -- all in the name of fighting foreign disinformation.

"We have to win this one," Integrity Initiative founder Col. Chris Donnelly said , "because if we don't, democracy will be undermined."

Disturbed Voter , January 10, 2019 at 4:26 am

This is why you don't put spooks in charge. They are paid to be paranoid.

pretzelattack , January 10, 2019 at 5:18 am

making up lies to get paid. james angleton was paranoid (not that it seemed to make him more effective in counterintelligence)–these people are just con artists, paid to be con artists.
i'm just waiting for "we have to undermine democracy in order to save it".

Pym of Nantucket , January 10, 2019 at 5:46 pm

Agreed. Not only are they paid to make things up, but they have an ingenious scheme for paying themselves from narcotics and arms dealing.

The most amazing feat of confidence artistry (apart from maybe the TARP bailout (c.f. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Troubled_Asset_Relief_Program ) is their remarkable ability to convince the population they are needed and working on our behalf instead of being in jail where they belong.

nobody , January 10, 2019 at 6:06 am

I first heard about this enterprise/outfit from 21st Century Wire .

Peter , January 10, 2019 at 6:40 am

hat story has been around since at least December 17. https://grayzoneproject.com/2018/12/17/inside-the-temple-of-covert-propaganda-the-integrity-initiative-and-the-uks-scandalous-information-war/
maybe you should change your sources

Richard H Caldwell , January 10, 2019 at 6:52 am

Gotta love Mark Ames

jsn , January 10, 2019 at 6:55 am

b at Moon of Alabama posted on this on the 4th.

David , January 10, 2019 at 7:01 am

I submitted a long comment on this about an hour ago, which seems to have been eaten by the system. I won't repost it now, but I'll do so later if it doesn't surface.

PlutoniumKun , January 10, 2019 at 7:58 am

This is something that has repeatedly happened to me too recently – it often takes 2 or more hours for most of my recent posting to surface on the site. It rarely disappears altogether, so I would assume your post will eventually arrive.

hemeantwell , January 10, 2019 at 9:25 am

Same here on the delays. Keep a copy.
But anyway, very glad you posted this piece. Whatever we make of Patreon, it's one way to support Mark Ames' work.

flora , January 10, 2019 at 9:13 pm

Me, too. Though not on this post. Me thinks much sp@m and tr0llery happening behind the scenes that the mods have to wade through comment by comment.

jCandlish , January 10, 2019 at 7:50 am

Sir Alan Duncan, responding on behalf of the Government to Emily Thornberry's urgent question (Dec 12) on recent allegations that the Foreign Office funded a company which carried out a smear campaign against the official Opposition.

Chilling indeed.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GBOwO-MAPKI

RBHoughton , January 10, 2019 at 10:06 pm

What a frightful fellow that Alan Duncan is eh? Talks like a Mafia lawyer and he's supposed to be a national leader. He reminds that other MP, the POS who interrogated David Kelly on TV, they both use the same style. Is it a qualification for legislator?

The Rev Kev , January 10, 2019 at 8:23 am

Just a minor note to start off. That image of "Sebastian Gorka, in Vitezi Rend garb". I think that Vitezi Rend actually refers to the medal he wears on the left. The jacket itself more resembles the patrol jacket that British officers wore in the 19th century. Moving on! Notice how the same players keep on coming up again and again in all these stories of skulduggery? John Rendon, the Atlantic Council, Ajit Pai and Alan Dershowitz – the same scum-bags with a few new wannabe players. As an example.
The penchant that Brad Spangler, C4SS co-founder, has for under-age girls is disgusting of course but you have to put it into the context of the people that you are talking about. If Spengler was more rich or more powerful, you might see his name on a manifest for the "Lolita Express" but his activities would not be splashed about in an article like this one. That sort of activity is given a level of protection if you are in the right group. And it is a good thing that that British General Richard Barrons is retired as his comments are deserving of being cashiered.
Funny how a group that claims to be about protecting democracy wants to push it aside and install propaganda on a "1984" level in the pursuit of their aims. I cannot decide if their target of Russia is a means or an end. If it is a means, that means using the boogy-man of Russia to radically restructure western society to their tastes. If it is an end, well, it is true that Russia has about $75 trillion in resources, mostly in Siberia and the east, so if it was broken up eventually, that would be a bonanza of wealth appropriation.
I was thinking about the activities of this group and how they go about their activities, especially the smearing of anybody that talks truth to power. I wonder if anybody here made the connection with this story and the PropOrNot website that came out of nowhere about two years ago and that had the stamp of approval of the Washington Post. I would not be surprised if it turns out to be that PropOrNot was a trial balloon in the United States for the Integrity Initiative to establish what it was capable of. Just a thought.

Martin Finnucane , January 10, 2019 at 9:39 am

Vitezi Rend garb

He looks like an extra from Star Wars – one of those nazi guys working the bridge of the Death Star. The "look and feel" of a lot of pre-war fascism strikes us as silly in retrospect, though it really wasn't at the time.

EoH , January 10, 2019 at 10:35 am

That tailored black jacket Sebastian wears looks like something Winston Churchill would have changed out of before that last cavalry charge at Omdurman. It seems intentionally designed to mimic 19th century great power imperial army officer garb. Nostalgia for the good times, apparently. Goes with his fascist priorities.

bob , January 10, 2019 at 11:36 am

" my father was Moonraker and that is part of my origin story "

NSFW

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QbQx0NTV4TU

Tomonthebeach , January 10, 2019 at 9:25 pm

Let us not get carried away with the exuberance of discovering skulduggery among fascist elements of the media and politics. This does not mean that the conspiracy means Russia is thereby a Goodie Twoshoes. It also does not mean that Russia is any less a pain in the ass than it has heretorfore be characterized.

It does mean that there is less reason (any?) than ever to put much faith in FoxNews (already a mere propaganda machine) or other orgs. I am uncomfortable hearing CNA is caught up in this as they are a pseudo government thinktank with some Pentagon influence.

If true, the story should be used to clear out some journalists and analyst riffraff. However, this story is surely not going to restore, much less create, any integrity among the Beltway Punditry.

Off The Street , January 10, 2019 at 8:56 am

The article and related matters may also shed more light on the abrupt resignation of Robert Hannigan from the leadership of GCHQ in January 2017 a few days after Trump's inauguration. Given previous revelations about GCHQ and NSA spying on each other's citizens, what else is next in the UK and in the US and elsewhere?

After reading about that Carson character and others I am ready for a shower to try to wash off the disgust.

DJG , January 10, 2019 at 9:01 am

Yves Smith: Thanks for this. I am wondering about two stories that have been flapping around here for a few days: That odd New Knowledge company that produced the report about Russian influence on the elections as well as the story about the case before the Supreme Court of the US in which a company is invoking claims of sovereign immunity.

I have a feeling that New Knowledge definitely fits into the framework outlined by Ames above. A contractor that appears out of nowhere with a "distinguished" board of concerned semi-liberals (at the trough)?

But what do I know? Some guy named Volodya showed up at my house and bought my vote in 2016 for two bottles of pickled mushrooms

diptherio , January 10, 2019 at 9:32 am

Kevin Carson is always showing up in my twitter feed. I knew there was something I didn't like about that guy, anarchist or no.

jfleni , January 10, 2019 at 9:38 am

Perfideus Albion is not just a neat saying, but a truth that the Irish, French and
Germans (etc.) have known forever, the people don't deserve it, but the
jumped up Tories do in spades.

pjay , January 10, 2019 at 9:48 am

Thank you for highlighting this article! It names names and connects some dots, including some connections reaching into the U.S. It also describes propaganda mechanisms that have been around forever but have become pervasive today. A few protruding tips of a massive iceberg, in my view. I'm sure *this* "bombshell" story will get the massive coverage it deserves in the MSM -- not!

diptherio , January 10, 2019 at 10:43 am

Here's the response from C4SS, if anyone is interested:
https://c4ss.org/content/51563

jsn , January 10, 2019 at 1:11 pm

That was interesting. Well argued all the way through I thought, but they could take a closer look at the unwinding of Yugoslavia; what Serbia and Syria have in common is having been targeted by outside state powers for dissolution, responses did vary.

pjay , January 10, 2019 at 2:27 pm

Thank you diptherio for posting the C4SS response. Such responses are helpful in evaluating issues like this, and we should always be open to the other side when they take the time to reply. However, I can't agree that the response was "well argued." The author does make some valid points, but mainly she resorts to ad hominem attacks on Ames (based on some juvenile antics at eXile that are often used to smear him), or on both authors because they may have agreed with "Assadists" like Ambassador Peter Ford or "9/11 Truthers" like Piers Robinson, whose claims about Syria or the White Helmets are, of course, Kremlin propaganda. Which brings up why Blumenthal would have changed his position on Syria; it was not because of his gradual understanding of what was really happening there. Rather, while he had once grasp the truth of the "revolution," he made the mistake of going to a Kremlin gala and the Rooskies (and RT) got to him. Now he is just another propagandist. Nowhere that I can see does the author discuss the major claims made in Ames and Blumenthal's article, or the evidence cited (except to say that if it was in RT or Sputnik, we can ignore it anyway as propaganda). Nor does she address the actual defamation made by Alexander Ross-Reid through the SPLC that pissed off Blumenthal in the first place. There are other problems (don't get me started on the "red-brown" smear), but that's enough.

Having said all that, I do think that in their criticism of C4SS, Ames and Blumenthal perhaps did some unnecessary punching down. They could have made clearer the distinction between organizations like the Integrity Initiative, that are pretty clearly intelligence operatives or cut-outs, versus groups like C4SS that function more like "useful idiots" because of their ideological position (e.g. equating U.S. and Russian imperialism in this case in their "anarchist" appeal). The latter are in no way as evil as the former, in my mind.

jsn , January 10, 2019 at 3:18 pm

You are clearly much more engaged with the related debates than I. I read the piece as a response to the punching down you mention in your last paragraph and felt like I got a respectable read on someone still developing their arguments. I'm not informed enough to argue with much of it, but having read Diana Johnstone's "Fools Crusade", the Syria/Serbia bit stuck in my craw.

I had thought about commenting on the ad hominems directed at Ames, but didn't want to get into the whole identity argument embedded in much of the language of the post. While I disagree with many of her positions and attitudes on the state actions she criticizes without, in my opinion, adequate grounding, I judged it a mostly good faith effort trying to find solid footing in a world increasingly thick with distorted narratives.

It's hard to argue now, from anywhere with out power, without being someone's "useful idiot": trust has decayed to the point where language impedes communication in the political sphere.

pjay , January 10, 2019 at 5:01 pm

It's funny you should mention Johnstone's book. I normally would not use the derogatory term "useful idiot" for the very reason you imply; most such people are acting in good faith. I admit that her comments on Syria irritated me. But the reason I sometimes overreact to that sort of narrative is because of my own experiences as a useful idiot, starting with Yugoslavia. I fell for the liberal "humanitarian" argument hook, line, and sinker in the 1990s, even though I considered myself a knowledgeable progressive at the time. It wouldn't be the last time I was duped, but I'd like to think I'm a little wiser today.

I appreciate your comment. We definitely need to distinguish empire propagandists from the beliefs of people honestly trying to find their way.

rojo , January 10, 2019 at 6:41 pm

I thought the later part of Ames' piece was unnecessary. It's kind of the same sort of guilt-by-attending-same-conference thing that I find annoying about the Russophobes.

Keep focused on government malfeasance, not basement brown-shirts.

Ignacio , January 10, 2019 at 11:00 am

Oh well, there would be a lot to argue here. In one side it is nice to see that the "Initiative" is being exposed although it doesn't appear yet to trigger any significant response from supposedly democratic institutions like, let's say the english parliament (at ransom by brexit).

Just to demonstrate how this article is well focused and pointed I wanted to comment on this bit:

(Among the outlets listed as friendly hosts in Integrity Initiative internal memos are Buzzfeed and El Pais, the center-left Spanish daily .)

YES! iIt is so true that the former "center-left" –if you wish– daily that years ago was a must read but has been degraded to levels that I wouldn't have imagined, in a case that makes the Guardian as the "guardian of reporting-as-it should-be". One has to bear in mind that the current most important shareholder of Grupo Prisa (owner of El Pais) is an english hedge fund Amber Capital whose CEO, Joseph Oughorlian is chairman at Grupo Prisa and probably responsible for the Russia!Russia!Russia! campaign observed in this medium that surprised me so much. You don't find nothing similar in Spain even in rigth and rigth of the rigth news outlets.

I believe this UK-based shareholder is clearly associated with the peculiar Russia!Russia!Russia! stance of the supposedly centre-left daily.

juliania , January 10, 2019 at 12:24 pm

For those of us from way back way back, these kooks relate to offshoots of the Watergate scandal, the original one, where people working on those burglaries of psychiatrist's offices and Democratic headquarters got their start organizing small gangs of crooks to infiltrate what was then a porous but trustable system of government – on they went to propose surveillance and collection of data that was at first publicly laughed about but on they went. On they went. Technology with all its pluses has these minuses we at first were able to counter (Church hearings) but the rats have scurried into all the back alleys and secretive pathways that need a thorough cleanup. It can be done, but it needs to be done periodically. Hopefully this is finally the year when that will happen.

Thank you, Yves. I believe these folk don't end up in a good place, but meanwhile they are wreaking havoc. The place to start, after the brooms and mops, is to get money OUT of politics and restore a verifiable voting system that happens methodically and is trustworthy. The citizenry will be behind this. We the people don't care how long it takes to vote or to find out who won. We don't! Haste makes waste in more ways than we know.

Let's do this. And please, judges, do your duty or go to jail yourselves.

Andrew Watts , January 10, 2019 at 1:37 pm

It's obvious that neither Ames or Blumenthal read the actual documents they're quoting from. Which is a shame considering the relevant one involving the CIA's Operation Mockingbird comparison was only seven pages long. The CIA were merely imitating British intelligence during the war and it is clearly stated as such when one of the replies involving General Sir Richard Barrons states that they've done this before during the 1930s. The US didn't possess a foreign intelligence agency at the time and I'd fervently argue that we still don't to this day.

but I've already commented about British Security Coordination in the aftermath of PropOrNot though and I'm reluctant to beat a dead horse.

https://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2016/12/links-12312016.html#comment-2736471
https://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2017/01/100755.html#comment-2737564
https://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2017/01/links-11217.html#comment-2742827
https://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2018/05/links-5-21-18.html#comment-2971759

It's hard to be modest when you're this good.

Roady , January 10, 2019 at 4:02 pm

I wish I could be like Andrew Watts

Chauncey Gardiner , January 10, 2019 at 3:27 pm

Ah, the smell (or should we say stench) of domestic propaganda in the morning, ironically by some of the same individuals who brought us Iraq WMDs. While First Amendment rights to freedom of speech and other civil rights must be protected, it seems to me that a careful balance can be drawn under new legislation that insulates us from such government-sponsored propaganda. We should be able to rely on our government's representations. Instead, as with a former president who openly acknowledged, "My job is to catapult the propaganda," the reverse, together with a related loss of trust, unfortunately seems to be increasingly the case. Stop lying! What part of "of the People, by the People, for the People," is difficult to understand?

[Jan 11, 2019] Rosenstein expected to leave Justice Department; Barr tells lawmakers he won't interfere with Mueller

Notable quotes:
"... Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, the most visible Justice Department protector of special counsel Robert Mueller's Russia investigation and a frequent target of President Donald Trump's wrath, is expected to leave his position soon after Trump's nominee for attorney general is confirmed. ..."
"... In September, Rosenstein went to the White House expecting to be fired after news reports that he had discussed secretly recording Trump and invoking a constitutional amendment to remove Trump as unfit for office. He was ultimately allowed to stay on after private conversations with Trump and John Kelly, then chief of staff. ..."
"... Trump also shared a photo on Twitter in November showing Rosenstein and others criticized by the president behind bars, calling for them to be tried for "treason." ..."
Jan 11, 2019 | www.chicagotribune.com
Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, the most visible Justice Department protector of special counsel Robert Mueller's Russia investigation and a frequent target of President Donald Trump's wrath, is expected to leave his position soon after Trump's nominee for attorney general is confirmed.

The departure creates uncertainty about the oversight of Mueller's team as it enters what may be its final months of work. But the attorney general nominee, William Barr, moved quickly Wednesday to quell concerns that his arrival could endanger the probe, telling lawmakers during Capitol Hill visits ahead of his confirmation hearing that he has a high opinion of Mueller.

"He had absolutely no indication he was going to tell Bob Mueller what to do or how to do it," said Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham, the incoming chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, which will question Barr next Tuesday.

If confirmed by the Republican-led Senate, Barr could be in place at the Justice Department by February. Rosenstein is expected to leave his position soon after that, though he is not being forced out, said a person familiar with the plans who was not authorized to discuss them on the record and spoke on condition of anonymity to The Associated Press.

The departure is not surprising given that Rosenstein has been deputy for almost two years. It is common for new attorneys general to have their own deputies and Barr has told people close to him that he wanted his own No. 2.

It was unclear who might replace Rosenstein, though Barr has some ideas for a selection, Graham said, without elaborating. The deputy position requires Senate confirmation. It was also not immediately clear whether Rosenstein's top deputy, Edward O'Callaghan, who has a prominent role overseeing Mueller's investigation, might remain in his role.

Rosenstein's departure is noteworthy given his appointment of Mueller and close supervision of his work. He's also endured a tenuous relationship with Trump, who has repeatedly decried Rosenstein's decision to appoint Mueller, and with congressional Republicans who accused him of withholding documents from them and not investigating aggressively enough what they contend was political bias within the FBI.

In September, Rosenstein went to the White House expecting to be fired after news reports that he had discussed secretly recording Trump and invoking a constitutional amendment to remove Trump as unfit for office. He was ultimately allowed to stay on after private conversations with Trump and John Kelly, then chief of staff.

Trump also shared a photo on Twitter in November showing Rosenstein and others criticized by the president behind bars, calling for them to be tried for "treason."

Mueller is investigating Russia's meddling in the 2016 election and contacts with the Trump campaign. Rosenstein and his chief deputy have continued to maintain day-to-day oversight over the probe, a senior Justice Department official told reporters last month.

[Jan 10, 2019] Rosenstein Protected Mueller by Bending Justice Department Rules

Rosenstein was a puppet on more powerful forces, which were hell-bent on deposing Trump. And those included Intelligence agencies brass, Clinton clan and UK government.
Jan 10, 2019 | www.bloomberg.com
leave as expected when a new U.S. attorney general is confirmed. Rosenstein broke the normal rules to save a shred of normality. Usually that kind of compromise doesn't work. In this case, it did -- mostly.

Rosenstein is going to be remembered first for naming Robert Mueller as special counsel to investigate Russian interference in the 2016 election. Because Attorney General Jeff Sessions was recused from anything Russia related, because of his false statements to Congress during his confirmation process about his Russian contacts, Rosenstein also had the task of supervising Mueller. Rosenstein's second important accomplishment was to successfully protect Mueller from being fired by President Donald Trump, despite repeated threats and attacks on the investigation from the White House.

But Rosenstein should never have been in a position either to appoint Mueller or to supervise his investigation. He should've been recused from both tasks.

To begin with, the event that triggered Mueller's appointment was Trump's firing of FBI Director James Comey. Rosenstein played a central role in that process: He drafted a memo providing reasons to fire Comey that Trump relied on, whether in good faith or otherwise.

If you've advised the president on how to perform an act that is going to come under investigation, you really shouldn't choose the investigator or supervise the investigation. That's classic grounds for recusal. Indeed, back in June 2017, when Trump tweeted that he was effectively being investigated by Rosenstein for conduct Rosenstein had advised, it seemed obvious to me that Rosenstein would have to recuse himself.

He didn't.

Then, in September 2018, it came out that Rosenstein was so troubled by Trump's conduct around the Comey firing that he had discussed wearing a wire to record the president. He had also reportedly discussed having the cabinet invoke the 25th Amendment and declare the president unfit for office. This made it clearer still that Rosenstein should recuse himself.

Once again, he didn't.

Under normal circumstances, Rosenstein's failure to recuse himself would stand as a serious blot on his otherwise excellent reputation as a nonpartisan career prosecutor and Department of Justice professional. Prosecutors especially, but also other top Justice Department officials, gain their professional and moral authority from following the rules all the time, not some of the time.

Prosecutors hold tremendous power, greater than any other actor within our federal system, including judges. If you're prosecuted, your life is going to change drastically. Guilty or innocent, you're going to have to spend all your resources on defense. Most of the time, you will be guilty of something. The U.S. code criminalizes so much activity that prosecutors can typically find some area where you've broken some law -- and hold you accountable.

Given that prosecutors have extraordinarily broad discretion to decide whom to charge and what crimes to charge them with, prosecutors need to be paragons of rule-following. In other areas of life, bending the rules is sometimes necessary or desirable. In a prosecutor, it's the cardinal sin. And Rosenstein definitely bent the rules by not recusing himself.

Yet, from the perspective of two years, Rosenstein's rule-bending was probably justified -- because Mueller's investigation is necessary to assuring that the rule of law plays a role in making sense of Russian interference in the 2016 elections.

Without Rosenstein's appointment of Mueller, there might have been no special prosecutor at all. Or the person appointed might have been weaker or less competent than Mueller. Or the person appointed might have been more susceptible to pressure from the Trump White House.

It's also easy to imagine that without Rosenstein, another Justice Department official might have interfered with Mueller's investigation at the urging of the White House or even fired Mueller. Ask yourself: Do you have any faith that acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker would have resisted Trump's pressure for two years?

Now that Mueller has been able to operate for two years, and a new attorney general has been nominated, it's totally reasonable for Rosenstein to plan to step down.

If confirmed, William Barr will take over supervision of Mueller. Technically, Trump handed over that supervisory role to Whitaker after Sessions was fired -- but Rosenstein needed to stick around because Whitaker's appointment was itself legally questionable and because Whitaker isn't especially trustworthy as an independent actor.

In contrast, Barr, whatever his views on executive power and the Mueller investigation, would at least be a credible attorney general. He served in that role under President George H.W. Bush. At that time, there was no serious talk of firing independent prosecutor Lawrence Walsh, whose investigation of the Iran-Contra affair was getting close to the president.

A new attorney general should be able to recommend his own deputy. Rosenstein is free to step down because, in essence, his job is done. Mueller survived. The ends arguably justified the means. That's not a sentence I'm very happy to write when it comes to prosecution and the Department of Justice. But that will probably be the judgment of history this time.

[Jan 08, 2019] Shock Files- What Role Did Integrity Initiative Play in Sergei Skripal Affair- - Sputnik International

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... How could Novichok have poisoned people four months after the Skripal attack? -- ..."
"... The Skripal Files ..."
Jan 08, 2019 | sputniknews.com

Hacking syndicate Anonymous has just released its fourth tranche of documents hacked from the internal servers of the Institute for Statecraft and its subsidiary, the Integrity Initiative. Several explosive files raise serious questions about the shadowy British state and NATO-funded 'think tank' and its connections with the Skripal affair.

The files were released just after 2:30pm GMT on January 4 -- I've barely scratched the surface of the content, but what I've seen so far contains a panoply of bombshell revelations -- to say the least, the organization(s) now have serious questions to answer about what role they played in the poisoning of Sergei Skripal in March, and its aftermath both nationally and internationally.

Sinister Timeline

One file apparently dating to "early 2015" -- "Russian Federation Sanctions" -- written by the Institute's Victor Madeira outlines "potential levers" to achieve Russian "behaviour change", "peace with Ukraine", "return [of] Crimea", "regime change" or "other?". The suggested "levers" span almost every conceivable area, including "civil society", "sports", "finance" and "technology".

In the section marked "intelligence", Madeira suggests simultaneously expelling "every RF [Russian Federation] intelligence officer and air/defense/naval attache from as many countries as possible". In parentheses, it references 'Operation Foot' , the expulsion of over 1000 Soviet officials from the UK in September 1971, the largest expulsion of intelligence officials by any government in history.

The section on sports also suggests "advocating the view [Russia] is unworthy of hosting [sporting] events" -- and the section marked "information" recommends the sanctioning of 'Russian' media "in West for not complying with regulators' standards".

2015 File Written By Victor Madeira on Possible Anti-Russian Actions 2015 File Written By Victor Madeira on Possible Anti-Russian Actions

In April that year, Institute for Statecraft chief Chris Donnelly was promoted to Honorary Colonel of SGMI (Specialist Group Military Intelligence), and in October he met with General Sir Richard Barrons. Notes from the meeting don't make clear who said what, but one despaired that "if no catastrophe happens to wake people up and demand a response, then we need to find a way to get the core of government to realise the problem and take it out of the political space."

"We will need to impose changes over the heads of vested interests. We did this in the 1930s. My conclusion is it is we who must either generate the debate or wait for something dreadful to happen to shock us into action. We must generate an independent debate outside government. We need to ask when and how do we start to put all this right? Do we have the national capabilities [and/or] capacities to fix it? If so, how do we improve our harnessing of resources to do it? We need this debate now. There is not a moment to be lost," they said.

Operation IRIS Begins

On 4 March 2018, former Russian military officer and double agent for MI6 Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia were poisoned in Salisbury, England.

Within days, the Institute had submitted a proposal to the Foreign & Commonwealth Office, "to study social media activity in respect of the events that took place, how news spread and evaluate how the incident is being perceived" in a number of countries.

The bid was accepted, and the Initiative's 'Operation Iris' was launched. Under its auspices, the Institute employed 'global investigative solutions' firm Harod Associates to analyze social media activity related to Skripal the world over.

It also conducted media monitoring of its own, with Institute 'research fellow' Simon Bracey-Lane producing regular 'roundups' of media coverage overseas, based on insights submitted by individuals connected to the Initiative living in several countries. One submission, from an unnamed source in Moldova, says they "cannot firmly say" whether the country's media had its "own point of view" on the issue, or whether news organizations had taken "an obvious pro-Russian or pro-Western position", strongly suggesting these were key questions for the Initiative.

Integrity Initiative Seeks Intelligence On How Overseas Media Reported Skripal Incident Integrity Initiative Seeks Intelligence On How Overseas Media Reported Skripal Incident

Moreover though, there are clear indications the Institute sought to shape the news narrative on the attack -- and indeed the UK government's response. One file dated March 11 appears to be a briefing document on the affair to date, with key messages bolded throughout.

It opens by setting out "The Narrative" of the incident -- namely "Russia has carried out yet another brutal attack, this time with a deadly nerve agent, on someone living in Britain".

"Use of the nerve agent posed a threat to innocent British subjects, affecting 21 people and seriously affecting a police officer. This is not the first time such an attack has been carried out in the UK 14 deaths are believed to be attributable to the Kremlin Russia has poisoned its enemies abroad on other occasions, most notably then-candidate for the Presidency of Ukraine, Viktor Yushchenko, in 2004. Russian political activist Vladimir Kara-Murza has been poisoned twice; and the journalist Anna Politkovskaya was also poisoned and later shot dead. Since Putin has been running Russia, the Kremlin has a history of poisoning its opponents in a gruesome way," the "narrative" reads.

The file goes on to declare the British response has been "far too weak it's essential the government makes a much stronger response this time" -- and then lists "possible, realistic, first actions", including banning RT and Sputnik from operating in the UK, boycotting the 2018 World Cup, withdrawing the UK ambassador from Moscow and expelling the Russian ambassador to the UK, and refusing/revoking visas to leading Russians within Vladimir Putin's "circle", and their families.

Post-Skripal Incident Anti-Russian Actions Recommended by Integrity Initiative Post-Skripal Incident Anti-Russian Actions Recommended by Integrity Initiative

It's not clear who the document was distributed to -- but it may have been given to journalists within the Initiative's UK 'cluster', if not others. This may explain why the Institute's "narrative", and its various recommended "responses" utterly dominated mainstream media reporting of the affair for months afterwards, despite the glaring lack of evidence of Russian state involvement in the attack.

It's extremely curious so many of the briefing document's recommendations almost exactly -- if not exactly -- echo several of the suggested "levers" outlined in the 2015 document. It's also somewhat troubling the "Global Operation Foot" spoken of in that file duly came to pass on March 28 2018, with over 20 countries expelling over 100 Russian diplomats.

Likewise, it's striking Victor Madeira, the Institute staffer who made the recommendations in 2015, made many media appearances discussing the poisoning following the incident routinely documented by the Institute. Security consultant Dan Kaszeta also wrote a number of articles for the Integrity Initiative website about chemical weapons following the attack -- including a July 14 article, How could Novichok have poisoned people four months after the Skripal attack? -- receiving 40 pence per word .

Invoice submitted to Integrity Initiative by Dan Kaszeta Invoice submitted to Integrity Initiative by Dan Kaszeta Strange Connections

The Institute's bizarrely intimate connections with the incident don't end there. Another document apparently dating to July 2018 contains the contact details of Pablo Miller, Skripal's MI6 recruiter, handler and -- unbelievably -- neighbor in Salisbury. Anonymous claims the document is an invitee list for a meeting the Institute convened between a number of individuals and Syria's highly controversial White Helmets group, but this is yet to be verified.

Whatever the truth of the matter, the latest document dump raises yet further questions about how and why it was BBC Diplomatic and Defense Editor Mark Urban -- who was in the same tank regiment as Miller after leaving University -- came to meet with Skripal in the year before his poisoning. When I attended the launch of his book on the affair in October -- The Skripal Files -- he was evasive on whether he played a role in connecting him with Skripal, and denied Miller was Skripal's recruiter.

The latest trove also raises yet further questions about the activities of the Institute for Statecraft and Integrity Initiative. In light of these revelations, reading the record of Donnelly's meeting with General Barrons takes on an acutely chilling quality. It may be that purely serendipitously the pair got their "catastrophe", their "something dreadful", which "[woke] people up" and made the government "realise the problem" posed by Russia -- or it could be they one way or another played a facilitative role of some kind.

After months of refusing to answer the vast number of questions I and thousands of others have submitted to the paired organizations, it's high time for them to break cover, and be honest with the public.