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Steele dossier: the case study in politically motivated blackmail

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

Hat tip to The Last Refuge

News Russiagate -- a color revolution against Trump by neocons and DemoRats Recommended Links FBI Mayberry Machiavellians Strzokgate Do the US intelligence agencies  influence the US Presidential elections ? Coordinated set of leaks as a color revolution tool Special Prosecutor Mueller and his fishing expedition FBI contractor Fusion GPS
CIA hacking and false flag cyber operations American intelligence services putsch against Trump Brennan elections machinations "Seventeen agencies" memo about Russian influence on elections Appointment of a Special Prosecutor gambit Wiretaps of Trump and his associates during Presidential elections DNC and Podesta emails leak: blaming Vladimir Putin Clapper role in putsch Rosenstein role in the appointment of special Prosecutor gambit
Anti-Russian hysteria in connection emailgate and DNC leak FBI and CIA contractor Crowdstrike and DNC leak saga Amorality and criminality of neoliberal elite  Audacious Oligarchy and "Democracy for Winners" Control of the MSM during color revolution is like air superiority in the war MSM as fake news industry NeoMcCartyism   History of American False Flag Operations
Anti Trump Hysteria Trump vs. Deep State   NGOs as braintrust of color revolutions The Real War on Reality Media as a weapon of mass deception Inside "democracy promotion" hypocrisy fair Two Party System as polyarchy  
Luke Harding: a pathetic author of rehash of Steele Dossier book Hillary Clinton email scandal US and British media are servants of security apparatus Neocon foreign policy is a disaster for the USA Media-Military-Industrial Complex New American Militarism Neoliberalism as a New Form of Corporatism Bernie Sanders betrayal of his supporters Elite Theory And the Revolt of the Elite
MSM as an attack dogs of color revolution The Deep State The Iron Law of Oligarchy National Security State Color revolutions Militarism and reckless jingoism of the US neoliberal elite Skeptic Quotations Politically Incorrect Humor Hypocrisy and Pseudo-democracy

Introduction

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

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

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

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

The Last Refuge

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Here is the summary of Christopher Steele biography

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Also

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

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

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

That is the problem.

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

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

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

Several commenters offered additional thought on this complex issue:

Sylvia 1 said...

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

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

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

wisedupearly Ceo said...

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

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

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

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

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

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

Joe100,

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

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

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

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

State Department role in creation of the dossier

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I was right.

Sidney Blumenthal role in creation of the dossier

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

This is a classic Machiavellian trick

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I realize that Clinton wing of Democratic Party (soft neoliberals) and their supporters which include a part of Wall Street, large part of Silicon valley and most MSM progressives hate Donald Trump so much that they believe that any pretext is justified in taking him down. So they joined efforts with the neoconservatives. That's why war-mongering against Russia is now OK for them and Democratic party now is just another War Party (as was evident from Hillary campaign).

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

... ... ...

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

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

... ... ...

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

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

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

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

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

Chronology

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    ... ... ...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  I want to believe the path you threw out for consideration in Andy's office - that there's no way he gets elected - but I'm afraid we can't take that risk. It's like an insurance policy in the unlikely event you die before you're 40...

Peter Strzok, AUG 15,2016

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

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

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

... ... ...

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

... ... ...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cui Bono?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Yes, the dossier was funded by Democrats

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

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

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

Russians blame MI6 for Steele dossier

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

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

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

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

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

... ... ...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

... ... ...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

... ... ...

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

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

Was British government involved in color revolution against Trump?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Did FBI or Justice Department pay Steele?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What was in the dossier?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

— Mother Jones, October 31, 2016[10]

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

... ... ...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

 


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Old News ;-)

[Feb 22, 2018] Sic Semper Tyrannis One if by Land, Two if by Sea, Three if by GCHQ. The British are Coming! The British are Coming! Observat

On the subject of the real motivations for Mueller and the Russophobic hysteria, I came across a Twitter user the other day who clearly gets it; @BethLynch2020 's Twitter name is "Killing Russians because Hill lost is bad actually". Outstanding.
Notable quotes:
"... Breakfast at Tiffany's ..."
"... OK if you are with her ..."
"... counter-intellegence ..."
"... influenced the election ..."
"... insurance policy ..."
"... Mueller announces another process charge, while the Flynn sentencing is on hold as a federal judge orders Mueller to provide Flynn all related documents. Then there is Nunes, Goodlatte, and Grassley with their investigation, which as this article notes is slowly reaching into Brennan, Clapper, Rice and Powers. ..."
"... Bloomberg (your link): "Manafort and Gates are accused of failing to register as agents in the U.S. for political consulting they did in Ukraine ." Question: Is Christoper Steele registered under FARA? Did anybody in the DNC/Clinton campaign/Fusion GPS know he was a "foreign person" (see the SVR 13 indictment) and thus had to register .. ..."
Feb 22, 2018 | turcopolier.typepad.com
Steele to drive a dagger into the heart of American democracy - our system of free and fair elections.

Christopher-steele

He doesn't look dangerous, does he? He looks like the very image of a noble ally, not like some ignoble troll. What possible deed could he have done to draw the ire eye of the American government? We know what Russian trolls did. Check the 13 Troll indictment:

"U.S. law bans foreign nationals from making certain expenditures or financial disbursements for the purpose of influencing federal elections. U.S. law also bars agents of any foreign entity from engaging in political activities within the United States without first registering with the Attorney General."

" strategic goal to sow discord in the U.S. political system, including the 2016 U.S. presidential election. ..... derogatory information....."

Hmmmm. I'm sure this gentlemen, still under the obligations of the Official Secrets Act, is a registered foreign agent in the US, right? I'm sure Her Britannic Majesty's government is quite happy with what this "former" intelligence officer has done with his knowledge, skills, abilities and of course, contacts, to affect the special relationship between our nations.

" Ex-MI6 officer Christopher Steele, named as writer of Donald Trump memo, is 'highly regarded professional '"

I've forgotten, is it "Fake news never lies", or that "people never lie to fake news"?

"After Mr Trump won the election, an ally of John McCain, the Republican senator, visited Britain to meet Mr Steele and read the dossier for himself. ..... He was reportedly told to "look for a man wearing a blue raincoat and carrying a Financial Times under his arm" at Heathrow Airport. A copy of the dossier was eventually passed to Mr McCain. "

That sounds like a scene from an episode of Rumpole of the Bailey. Only that episode featured biscuits....... Somehow I think Victoria Nuland will eventually come into the picture here too.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/02/07/ex-british-spy-christopher-steele-interviewed-russia-election/

Undoubtedly what Mr. Steele found, compiled or created was presented to somebody somewhere - besides "allies" of one of Mr. Trump's political opponents - Senator McCain:

" Bruce Ohr, the Department of Justice official who brought opposition research on President Donald Trump to the FBI, ...".

I wonder who got that into Bruce's hands? Hopefully the FBI didn't just sit on in like it was a tip about a teenager who threatened to shoot up a school or something. I'm sure a warrant to investigate could be obtained at any Federal Courthouse. It's not like we have a secret Star Chamber court where the facts never see the light of day .

What? I'm sure somebody wrote a memo. Nunes memo. Or two. Grassley-Graham memo . Wow. Something seems rather Schiffty . Sigh. "classified" It seems politicians don't trust Americans with the truth. Letting the Truth out wouldn't be good for re-election, would it?

Confused yet? Keeping track of this scandal is hard work; it could drive a man to drink.

... ... ...

Now why would anyone send a Breakfast at Tiffany's style weather report to an employee of Fusion GPS? To get the word out to who was to do what to whom? I wonder. Now what the heck does that have to do with Ohr and Steel? Ohr... right, an employee of Fusion GPS. Which just happens to employ our noble ally Mr. Steele. Ohr, who's husband just happens to be....

https://www.cnn.com/2017/12/12/politics/bruce-ohr-special-counsel/index.html

Just happens to be married to a DOJ official. Well nobody believes fake news anymore, how about we verify before we trust:

http://dailycaller.com/2018/02/14/exclusive-doj-official-bruce-ohr-hid-wifes-fusion-gps-payments-from-ethics-officials/

"Bruce Ohr, the Department of Justice official who brought opposition research on President Donald Trump to the FBI, did not disclose that Fusion GPS, which performed that research at the Democratic National Committee's behest, was paying his wife, and did not obtain a conflict of interest waiver from his superiors at the Justice Department,....."

Why there can't be any conflict with that. Let's check the official DOJ code of conduct. I know it's around here somewhere.

Winston_smith_newspeak_dictionary_feature_11-22-15-1

Crimethink - Nope, not happening here. Bellyfeel. Well a lot of that goin' on, but nope, nothing to do with integrity . Thoughtcrime- Nope. All the correct bellyfeel was happ'n. Integrity. That word is not in that dictionary, so that conduct must be OK if you are with her . Congratulations, you get to keep a job and your pension Bruce almighty . For now.

What else is in that book? Doubletalk? Naw, that's in the fake news handbook. The DOJ would never stoop that low.

Now if only somebody at the Counter Intellegence section of the FBI could get to the heart of the fbi lawyer he's banging on the side. matter about what criminal conduct was occuring. Did that FBI agent responsible for counter-intellegence talk to DOJ attorney Bruce Ohr's boss, the attorney who just happened to be.... the pièces de résistance Sally "I don't have to obey the head of the Executive Branch of Government" Yates ? I wonder what's in the record of the meetings those two had? They did keep records? Maybe something simple like that email from Susan Rice - to Susan Rice. For the record.

Well, at least after more than a year we finally have some indictments. So what kind of conduct that influenced the election is criminal, according to the indictment handed down by the Mueller team?

Count 1: ".... U.S. law also bars agents of any foreign entity from engaging in political activities within the United States without first registering with the Attorney General. And U.S. law requires certain foreign nationals seeking entry to the United States to obtain a visa by providing truthful and accurate information to the government." If you have someone fly to london and get that info is that OK or is that criminal?

Count 2: "... defraud the United States by impairing, obstructing, and defeating the lawful functions of the government through fraud and deceit for the purpose of interfering with the U.S. political and electoral processes, including the presidential election of 2016." If you delete all your emails - 384 pages does that count as "imparing, obstructing and defeating the lawful functions of government"? Has the Mueller team interviewed Strzok and Page? How about not telling anyone your wife works for Fusion GPS, creator of the dossier that was essential to obtaining the FISA court indictment?

Count 3: "....... ORGANIZATION began operations to interfere with the U.S. political system, including the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Defendant ORGANIZATION received funding for its operations from .... and companies he controlled .... Defendants .... spent significant funds to further the ORGANIZATION's operations and to pay .... other uncharged ORGANIZATION employees, salaries and bonuses for their work at the ORGANIZATION."

Who paid Fusion GPS at each stage of their work? Is that criminal?

Count 4: "..... operated social media pages and groups designed to attract U.S. audiences....."

If a firm knowingly changes the ranking of social media pages others have created does that affect the "attraction of US audiences" and thus count as interference in the electoral process? How about just making sure users of social media never see the content? ex1 ex2

What a tangled tale they weave. Worthy of Hollywood, pre-Harvey. If nothing else the fallout has permanently affected some political families. What was it the Dowager Empress said in "55 days at Peking"? "The Dynasty has fallen". Just like the Hilary's. If only she had had an insurance policy .

Now that is a fine piece of art. Some people look younger when all the life has been taken out of their political careers. I wonder who did the final deed: Yates, Power, Rice? Perhaps the artist just merged a successful triumverate of legal beauties. Who gave the go-ahead? Somebody with a legal mind should dig into the weeds and figure that out.

If only we had a group of lawyers adept at trimming the verge. Sadly, I think we have too many that drank the koolaid. "What we have now is a highly corrupted system of intelligence and policymaking, one twisted to serve specific group goals, ends and beliefs held to the point of religious faith."


Kooshy , 19 February 2018 at 12:25 PM

Contrary to Mr. Muller' investigations, and what Borg and the MSM wants us to think it's actually US' closest allies, the politicly corrupting three, aka UK, Israel, and KSA who have and are meddling in US elections/internal affairs without anybody questioning their involvement in our internal politics. All these three countries are more, and most, venerable than any other allies to US' change in Trajectory of her foreign policy, with regard to their own region. They continue to meddle and insert their interests Many times against and above US' own interest under the cover of US' most dependable allies. These three country' security depends on US foreign policy. Other countries may wish to meddle and empower their choices of US statesmen, but they don't possess an unquestioned blank free security pass to freely insert themselves in US internal affairs as these three countries posses with consent of the US Borg.
Anna said in reply to Leaky Ranger... , 19 February 2018 at 01:32 PM
Leaky, here is an informed opinion of Mike Whitney: http://www.unz.com/mwhitney/goofy-indictments-divert-attention-from-criminal-abuses-at-the-fbi-and-doj/

"Robert Mueller's Friday night indictment-spree, is a flagrant and infuriating attempt to divert attention from the damning revelations in the Nunes memo (and the Graham-Grassley "criminal referral") which prove that senior-level officials at the FBI and DOJ were engaged in an expansive conspiracy to subvert the presidential elections..."

1. "the senior-level officials in the FBI and DOJ were engaged in an expansive conspiracy to subvert the presidential elections."
-- This is the most damning conclusion that speaks about violation of the US Constitution, i.e., about the treason within the national security apparatus

2. from Mueller' indictment: "U.S. law bans foreign nationals from making certain expenditures or financial disbursements for the purpose of influencing federal elections. U.S. law also bars agents of any foreign entity from engaging in political activities within the United States without first registering with the Attorney General."

-- Right. Bring on Mr. Steele and the UK' brass from the British intelligence agency Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) plus the Lobby cabal.

Jack , 19 February 2018 at 01:32 PM
Excellent Fred! Had a good laugh this morning.

Apparently much of Mueller's indictment was written up in a Radio Free Europe report from 2015. In any case this indictment opens up the question of which other foreign entities violated federal statutes? Is Mueller gonna investigate any of them? Or is it just Russia that he cares about?

It would seem Steele violated the same statutes. When is he going to be indicted by Mueller?

Jack , 19 February 2018 at 03:16 PM
Then there is John Podesta...

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-02-19/watch-flustered-john-podesta-respond-why-russians-operatives-were-smarter-hillary

Bartiromo then goes on to break down how Podesta joined the board of the board of a small energy company in 2011 which later received $35 million from a Kremlin-funded entity. Other members of the board of Joule Unlimited included senior Russian official Anatoly Chubais and oligarch Reuben Vardanyan - a Putin appointee to the Russian economic modernization council. Podesta jettisoned his shares before the 2016 election, transferring them to his daughter via a shell corporation
Anna said in reply to Laura... , 19 February 2018 at 03:18 PM
Not everyone agrees with you: https://consortiumnews.com/2018/02/19/nunes-fbi-and-doj-perps-could-be-put-on-trial/
"House Intelligence Committee Chair Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) stated that there could be legal consequences for officials who may have misled the FISA court. "If they need to be put on trial, we will put them on trial. The reason Congress exists is to oversee these agencies that we created."

-- Here is explanation to the deprivation of the US citizenry of factual information: "One glaring sign of the media's unwillingness to displease corporate masters and Official Washington is the harsh reality that Hersh's most recent explosive investigations, using his large array of government sources to explore front-burner issues, have not been able to find a home in any English-speaking newspaper or journal. In a sense, this provides what might be called a "confidence-building" factor, giving some assurance to deep-state perps that they will be able to ride this out, and that congressional committee chairs will once again learn to know their (subservient) place."

-- This is why The Onion could be on a par with The NYT, WaPo, The New Yorker, and such. The New Yorker used to be a great journal, but under the watchful eye of the Russophobic Remnick, the journal's {sub}standards have become indistinguishable from the MSM's standards

Generalfeldmarschall von Hindenburg said in reply to turcopolier ... , 19 February 2018 at 06:16 PM
It all seems like the natural outgrowth of the RHodes-Milner Round Tables and the Atlantic Council/CFR agenda. Trump was't plucked from the pool of those groomed by the Oxford Scholar system and his family background is not finance by the anglophile claque and he doesn't seem to give a hoot about their ideology regarding perpetual domination through finance and subversion. Elites in the US have affected a posh Cambridge accent for a good century now.
Tidewater said in reply to David Habakkuk ... , 19 February 2018 at 06:19 PM
Do you know anything about the Zinoviev letter?

Isn't there an interesting comparison to be made with the Steele 'Dossier' and all that has followed? How it seems possible that both Letter and dossier could have originated in the Baltic? How both letter and dossier seem to have been designed to check any rapprochement with Russia? And have succeeded? In spite of both having howlers of mistakes in each?

I would love to hear your thinking on this.

Anna , 19 February 2018 at 10:51 PM
An impassionate and interesting suggestion by Paul Craig Roberts: https://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2018/02/19/david-nunes-president-ray-mcgovern-cia-director/
David Habakkuk -> Tidewater... , 20 February 2018 at 12:06 PM
Tidewater,

In response to #33.

I had not thought of the comparison with the Zinoviev Letter, but it is certainly a very interesting one, about which I need to think further.

Doing a quick Google search, I see that when the FCO historian Gill Bennett produced a study of the incident in 1999, her best guess was that it was commissioned by White Russian intelligence circles from forgers in Berlin or the Baltic states, most likely in Riga. And it brings one up against a question of continuing relevance – where credulity ends and active mendacity begins.

As to what is happening now, so much has been happening on so many fronts that I am finding it difficult to keep up. With regard to Steele, there is ample material available demonstrating that fabricating evidence and corrupting judicial procedures are part of his 'stock-in-trade'.

I can prove this, and I can also prove that ample evidence establishing a 'prima facie' case that he had been involved in a 'conspiracy to obstruct the course of justice' in relation to the death of Alexander Litvinenko was made available by me to Sir Robert Owen years before his Inquiry into that event opened, and suppressed by him.

In relation to current events, however, it still seems to me very much an open question how far Steele was actually involved in producing the memoranda attributed to him, and how far he was simply brought in to make it seem as though a hodge-podge put together by others was a proper intelligence product, adequate to justify FISA applications.

Another set of puzzles has to do with information from pro-Russian sources. With 'The Duran' and 'The Vineyard of the Saker', it is rather more than possible that, at least some of the time, these are channelling material from Russian intelligence. This, incidentally, is not an argument against reading them. Both Alexander Mercouris and Andrei Raevsky are highly intelligent people, whose views are commonly well worth pondering.

An ironic element, moreover, is that information channelled from Russian intelligence sources can be both important and accurate because, much of the time, these have every interest in telling the truth.

As it happens, in relation to the 'Internet Research Group', I think Russian repudiations of the suggestion that this was used in a Russian government attempt to influence the American elections are highly likely to be true.

Something so transparent, for so little gain, does not make much sense. And I agree with 'Smoothie X12': "We had a slight crisis here at work: the FBI busted our activity (not a joke)" sounds like someone trying to frame Russian intelligence, not an operative caught red-handed.

However, while I have not got to the bottom of this, I think the Scott Humor piece to which people have linked may mix up the arrests of the two FSB cybersecurity people, and one Kaspersky person, with those of the members of the 'Shaltai Boltai' group. And Mercouris earlier appeared rather too happy to suggest that the former were simply involved in criminal activity.

To my mind, the second memorandum in the dossier, and the final memorandum, read as though they could have been the product of material supplied through the contacts between the FBI and FSB cybersecurity people, with a view to laying a trap.

For one thing, if the first memorandum was a fabrication pure and simple, I would expect it to have 'meshed' better with the improvised disinformation from Alperovitch, of the 'Atlantic Council', and the former GCHQ operative pretending to run a consultancy which did not actually trade and writing for 'Lawfare' Matt Tait.

For another, I think the 'howlers' in both memoranda could have been deliberately included, in the expectation that people like Nellie Ohr might believe them – indeed, I think I may be able to detect a wicked sense of humour.

To have Steele compelled to defend himself in court against a libel suit brought by Aleksej Gubarev, in relation to claims which would be very difficult to defend, and for which he had to accept responsibility, although he was not actually responsible, might well have struck some people as, how shall one put it, 'neat.'

So I think there are a very great many inadequately explored questions about the origins of the dossier – and also that its eventual effects are very unpredictable.

Both MI6, and Steele personally, have in the past very successfully manipulated judicial processes in the U.K. in their favour.

However, they have had at least one spectacular failure, which comes of particular interest in relation to the indictment against German Khan's son-in-law, where he is apparently entering a guilty plea. It may be material here that Khan, along with his Alfa colleagues Mikhail Fridman and Petr Aven, was the subject of another memorandum which provoked a lawsuit.

Interestingly, it was the firm for which Alex Van Der Swaan works, Skadden Arps, which instructed Lord Sumption on behalf of Roman Abramovich in the case brought up against the latter by the late Boris Berezovsky. Having been given a very easy ride by the British courts up to that point, the latter found himself confronting one of the best legal minds in recent British history. As a result, Mrs Justice Gloster did not simply throw his case out, but delivered a damning and long overdue verdict on his credibility as a witness.

Whether Berezovsky's subsequent death was suicide or murder remains an open question. That if it was murder, the Russian security services were about the least likely culprits does not. (As with Stephen Curtis and 'Badri' Patarkatsishvili.)

In addition to the Gubarev suit against Steele, and his suit and that of Khan and his colleagues against BuzzFeed, suits against that company have also been brought by Carter Page and Michael Cohen.

Unfortunately, Lord Sumption is no longer practising. But the spectacle of Christopher Steele being cross-examined by some really heavyweight counsel in one or other of these cases might be a very interesting one. (I would enjoy it!)

Jack , 20 February 2018 at 12:20 PM
Mueller announces another process charge, while the Flynn sentencing is on hold as a federal judge orders Mueller to provide Flynn all related documents. Then there is Nunes, Goodlatte, and Grassley with their investigation, which as this article notes is slowly reaching into Brennan, Clapper, Rice and Powers.

https://www.realclearinvestigations.com/articles/2018/02/11/former_cia_director_john_brennan_investigated_for_perjury.html

Fred , 20 February 2018 at 12:25 PM
Robt,

So what is the actual charge? Statements to the FBI not matching what was in the "secretly" recorded meeting tapes from a later date? From the bloomberg article you linked to: "Alex Van Der Zwaan was charged Feb. 16 with lying to the FBI and Mueller's office about conversations related to his work on a report prepared by his law firm on the legitimacy of the criminal prosecution of a former Ukrainian prime minister, Yulia Tymoshenko."

"After the pro-Russian government was run out of town in 2014, the new authorities began investigating."

That's some classic doublespeak there. Just who ran whom out of town? How'd that happen? A free and fair election? Nobody got more than a tiny paper cut on the purple fingers? Let me help the poor reporters for Bloomberg:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2014_Ukrainian_revolution#United_States_involvement

"In a leaked recorded phone conversation .."

"Nuland: "I think Yats is the guy who's got the economic experience the governing experience. .. We want to try to get somebody with an international personality to come out here and help to midwife this thing."

Nothing says international experience quite like getting shitcanned by the USN for using coke. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hunter_Biden#U.S._Naval_Reserve

" he sits on the Chairman's Advisory Board for the National Democratic Institute (NDI). NDI is a project of the National Endowment for Democracy (NED)."

Could real news reporters of Bloomberg remind us how much money the NED spent in Ukraine and why?

Bloomberg (your link): "Manafort and Gates are accused of failing to register as agents in the U.S. for political consulting they did in Ukraine ." Question: Is Christoper Steele registered under FARA? Did anybody in the DNC/Clinton campaign/Fusion GPS know he was a "foreign person" (see the SVR 13 indictment) and thus had to register ..

Leaky:

Remind me again of the Ukrainian collusion to interfere with the US election so Donald Trump would get elected President? Perhaps Axios - founded by completely nonpolitical ex-Politico executives - could do an expose of Mr. Biden's son, the employee of Bursima and just what the Ukrainian company does.

Let me help them out: From BBCnews, 14 May 2014.
http://www.bbc.com/news/blogs-echochambers-27403003

" . "Joe Biden has been the White House's go-to guy during the Ukraine crisis, touring former Soviet republics and reassuring their concerned leaders," writes the National Journal's Marina Koren. "And now, he's not the only Biden involved in the region."....."

"The younger Mr Biden isn't the only American with political ties to have recently joined Burisma's board. Devon Archer, a former senior advisor to current Secretary of State John Kerry's 2004 presidential campaign and a college roommate of Mr Kerry's stepson HJ Heinz, signed on in April."

My, my, in less time than it took the USN to cashier the son of the Vice Present of the United States for cocaine use a Cyprus based Ukrainian gas company managed to hire him - after the Glorious kumbayah Maidan Square thingy ran Putin's puppets out of town. If only the FBI leadership during the Obama administration had been as adept with internet trolls and a 17 yo kid in Broward County Florida. But we know what the leadership of the FBI was doing, don't we?

David Habakkuk -> David Habakkuk ... , 20 February 2018 at 01:11 PM
In response to #38

Apologies.

I should have written Alex Van Der Swaan 'worked' for Skadden Arps, rather than 'works.'

Barbara Ann , 21 February 2018 at 09:25 AM
Very good Fred, thanks.

Comedy is one way of dealing with this profound idiocy and mockery surely as good a way as any to fight idiotic use of the law to undermine First Amendment rights.

I am reminded of the wags who years ago printed the RSA encryption algorithm on a T-shirt so that wearers were able to export 'Auxiliary Military Equipment' (cryptography was so-classified until 1992). Perhaps similar mockery & mass 'law-breaking' may work in this case.

http://www.cypherspace.org/adam/rsa/

On the subject of the real motivations for Mueller and the Russophobic hysteria, I came across a Twitter user the other day who clearly gets it; @BethLynch2020 's Twitter name is "Killing Russians because Hill lost is bad actually". Outstanding.

[Feb 22, 2018] The US-UK Deep State Empire Strikes Back 'It's Russia! Russia! Russia!'

Notable quotes:
"... For weeks the unfolding story in Washington has been how a cabal of conspirators in the heart of the American federal law enforcement and intelligence apparat ..."
"... Are you reading this commentary? ..."
"... To the extent that Russiagate was less about Trump than ensuring that enmity with Russia will be permanent and will continue to deepen , this latest Mueller indictment is a smashing success already. ..."
Feb 22, 2018 | www.strategic-culture.org

There's no defense like a good offense.

For weeks the unfolding story in Washington has been how a cabal of conspirators in the heart of the American federal law enforcement and intelligence apparat colluded to ensure the election of Hillary Clinton and, when that failed, to undermine the nascent presidency of Donald Trump. Agencies tainted by this corruption include not only the FBI and the Department of Justice (DOJ) but the Obama White House, the State Department, the NSA, and the CIA, plus their British sister organizations MI6 and GCHQ , possibly along with the British Foreign Office (with the involvement of former British ambassador to Russia Andrew Wood ) and even Number 10 Downing Street.

Those implicated form a regular rogue's gallery of the Deep State: Peter Strzok (formerly Chief of the FBI's Counterespionage Section, then Deputy Assistant Director of the Counterintelligence Division; busy bee Strzok is implicated not only in exonerating Hillary from her email server crimes but initiating the Russiagate investigation in the first place, securing a FISA warrant using the dodgy "Steele Dossier," and nailing erstwhile National Security Adviser General Mike Flynn on a bogus charge of "lying to the FBI "); Lisa Page (Strzok's paramour and a DOJ lawyer formerly assigned to the all-star Democrat lineup on the Robert Mueller Russigate inquisition); former FBI Director James Comey, former Associate Deputy Attorney General Bruce Ohr, former Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe, and – let's not forget – current Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, himself implicated by having signed at least one of the dubious FISA warrant requests . Finally, there's reason to believe that former CIA Director John O. Brennan may have been the mastermind behind the whole operation .

Not to be overlooked is the possible implication of a pack of former Democratic administration officials, including former Attorney General Loretta Lynch, former National Security Adviser Susan Rice , and President Barack Obama himself, who according to text communications between Strzok and Page "wants to know everything we're doing." Also involved is the DNC, the Clinton campaign, and Clinton operatives Sidney Blumenthal and Cody Shearer – rendering the ignorance of Hillary herself totally implausible.

On the British side we have "former" (suuure . . . ) MI6 spook Christopher Steele, diplomat Wood, former GCHQ chief Robert Hannigan (who resigned a year ago under mysterious circumstances ), and whoever they answered to in the Prime Minister's office.

The growing sense of panic was palpable. Oh my – this is a curtain that just cannot be allowed to be pulled back!

What to do, what to do . . .

Ah, here's the ticket – come out swinging against the main enemy. That's not even Donald Trump. It's Russia and Vladimir Putin. Russia! Russia! Russia!

Hence the unveiling of an indictment against 13 Russian citizens and three companies for alleged meddling in U.S. elections and various ancillary crimes.

For the sake of discussion, let's assume all the allegations in the indictment are true, however unlikely that is to be the case. (While that would be the American legal rule for a complaint in a civil case, this is a criminal indictment, where there is supposedly a presumption of innocence. Rosenstein even mentioned that in his press conference, pretending not to notice that that presumption doesn't apply to Russian Untermenschen – certainly not to Olympic athletes and really not to Russians at all, who are presumed guilty on "genetic" grounds .)

Based on the public announcement of the indictment by Rosenstein – who is effectively the Attorney General in place of the pro forma holder of that office, Jeff Sessions (R-Recused) – and on an initial examination of the indictment, and we can already draw a few conclusions:

  • Finally, "collusion" is dead! If Mueller and the anti-constitutional cabal had any hint that anyone on the Trump team cooperated with those indicted, they would have included it. They didn't. That means that after months and months of "investigation" – or really, setting "perjury traps" and trying to nail people on unrelated accusations, like Paul Manafort's alleged circumvention of lobbying and financial reporting laws – and wasting however many millions of dollars, Mueller and his merry band got nothing. Zip. Zilch. Bupkes. Nada.The fake charge that Trump colluded with the Russians is exposed as the fraud it always was.
  • And yet, "collusion" still lives! But while there is no actual allegation (much less evidence) that any American, much less anyone on the Trump team, "colluded" with the indicted Russians, the indictment makes it clear that Moscow sought to support Trump and disparage Hillary. Thus, Trump is guilty of being favored by Russia even if there was no actual cooperation. It's a kind of zombie walking dead collusion, collusion by intent (of someone else) absent actual collusion. Its purpose in the indictment is to discredit Trump as a Russian puppet, albeit an unwitting one. The indictment says the Russian desperados supported Bernie Sanders and Jill Stein too – so they're also Putin's dupes.
  • Any and every Russian equals Putin. Incredibly, nothing in the indictment points to any connection of those indicted to the Russian government! This is on a par with the hysteria over social media placements by "Russian interests" on account of which hysterical Senators demanded that tech giants impose content controls , or dimwit CIA agents getting bilked out of $100,000 by a Russian scam artist in Berlin in exchange for – well, pretty much nothing. ( The CIA denies it , which leads one to suspect it is true.) Paragraph 95 of the indictment points to what amounted to a click-bait scam to fleece American merchants and social media sites from between $25 and $50 per post for promotional content. Paragraph 88 refers to "self-enrichment" as one motive of the alleged operation. That makes a lot more sense than the bone-headed claim in the indictment that the Russian goal was to "sow discord in the U.S. political system" by posting content on "divisive U.S. political and social issues." What! Americans disagree about stuff? The Russians are setting us against each other! In announcing the indictment, Rosenstein said the Russians wanted to "promote discord in the United States and undermine public confidence in democracy. We must not allow them to succeed." (He wagged his finger with resolve at that point.) It evidently doesn't occur to Rosenstein that he and his pals have undermined public confidence in our institutions by perverting them for political ends.
  • Demonizing dissent. Those indicted allegedly sought to attract Americans' attention to their diabolical machinations through appeal to hot-button issues (immigration, Black Lives Matter, religion, etc.) and popular hashtags (#Trump2016, #TrumpTrain, #MAGA, #Hillary4Prison). Have you taken a stand on divisive issues, Dear Reader? Have you used any of these hashtags? Are you reading this commentary? You too might be an unwitting Russian stooge! Vladimir Putin is inside your head! Hopefully DOJ will set up a hotline where patriotic citizens influenced without their knowledge can now report themselves, now that they've been alerted. Are you a thought criminal, comrade ?
  • An amateurish, penny-ante scheme with no results – compared to what the U.S. does. At worst, even if all the allegations in the indictment are true – a big "if" – it would still amount to the kind of garden-variety kicking each other under the table that a lot of countries routinely engage in. As described in the indictment this gargantuan Russian scheme was (as reported by Politico ) an "expensive [sic] effort that cost millions of dollars and employed as many as hundreds of people." Millions of dollars! Hundreds of people! How did the American republic manage to survive the onslaught? Rosenstein was keen to point out for the umpteenth time that nothing the Russians are alleged to have done (never mind what they actually might have done, which is far less) had any impact on the election. That stands in sharp contrast to the lavishly funded, multifaceted, global political influence and meddling operations the U.S. conducts in nations around the world under the guise of "democracy promotion." The National Endowment for Democracy (NED), along with its Democratic and Republican sub-organizations, can be considered the flagship of a community of ostensibly private but government-funded or subsidized organizations that provides the soft compliment to American hard military power. The various governmental, quasi-governmental, and nongovernmental components of this network – sometimes called the " Demintern " in analogy to the Comintern , an organization comparable in global ambition if differing in ideology and methods – are also coordinated internationally at the official level through the less-well-known " Community of Democracies ." It is often difficult to know where the "official" entities (CIA, NATO, the State Department, Pentagon, USAID) divide from ostensibly nongovernmental but tax dollar-supported groups (NED, Freedom House, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty) and privately funded organizations that cooperate with them towards common goals (especially the Open Society organizations funded by billionaire George Soros). Among the specialties of this network are often successful " color revolutions " targeting leaders and governments disfavored by Washington for regime change – a far cry from the pathetic Russian operation alleged in the indictment.
  • " Mitt Romney was right ." Already many of Trump's supporters are not only crowing with satisfaction that the indictment proves there was no collusion but refocusing their gaze from the domestic culprits within the FBI, DOJ, etc., to a bogus foreign threat. "This whole saga just brings back the 2012 election, and the fact that Mitt Romney was right" for "suggesting that Russia is our greatest geopolitical foe," is the new GOP meme . To the extent that Russiagate was less about Trump than ensuring that enmity with Russia will be permanent and will continue to deepen , this latest Mueller indictment is a smashing success already.

The Mueller indictment against the Russians is a well-timed effort to distract Americans' attention from the real collusion rotting the core of our public life by shifting attention to a foreign enemy. Many of the people behind it are the very officials who are themselves complicit in the rot. But the sad fact is that it will probably work.

[Feb 19, 2018] Nunes FBI and DOJ Perps Could Be Put on Trial by Ray McGovern

Highly recommended!
Nunes chances to bring perpetrators to justice are close to zero. The Deep State controls the Washington, DC and can withstand sporadic attacks.
It is an extremly courageous of Devin Nunes to give this interview.
Notable quotes:
"... Throwing down the gauntlet on alleged abuse of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) by the Department of Justice and the FBI, House Intelligence Committee Chair Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) stated that there could be legal consequences for officials who may have misled the FISA court. "If they need to be put on trial, we will put them on trial," he said. "The reason Congress exists is to oversee these agencies that we created." ..."
"... Nunes took this highly unusual, no-holds-barred stance during an interview with Emmy-award winning investigative journalist Sharyl Attkisson , which aired on Sunday. ..."
"... He unapologetically averred that, yes, a criminal trial might well be the outcome. "DOJ and FBI are not above the law," he stated emphatically. "If they are committing abuse before a secret court getting warrants on American citizens, you're darn right that we're going to put them on trial." ..."
"... The stakes are very high. Current and former senior officials -- and not only from DOJ and FBI, but from other agencies like the CIA and NSA, whom documents and testimony show were involved in providing faulty information to justify a FISA warrant to monitor former Trump campaign official Carter Page -- may suddenly find themselves in considerable legal jeopardy. Like, felony territory. ..."
"... On the other hand, the presumptive perps have not run into a chairman like Nunes in four decades, since Congressmen Lucien Nedzi (D-Mich.), Otis Pike (D-NY), and Sen. Frank Church (D-Idaho) ran tough, explosive hearings on the abuses of a previous generation deep state, including massive domestic spying revealed by quintessential investigative reporter Seymour Hersh in December 1974. (Actually, this is largely why the congressional intelligence oversight committees were later established, and why the FISA law was passed in 1978.) ..."
"... At this point, one is tempted to say plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose ..."
"... One glaring sign of the media's unwillingness to displease corporate masters and Official Washington is the harsh reality that Hersh's most recent explosive investigations, using his large array of government sources to explore front-burner issues, have not been able to find a home in any English-speaking newspaper or journal. ..."
"... On this point, Nunes said, "In the last administration they were unmasking hundreds, and hundreds, and hundreds of Americans' names. They were unmasking for what I would say, for lack of a better definition, were for political purposes." ..."
"... It is real courageous of Devin Nunes to give this interview. It is not only the accountability to law that is at stake in U.S., but the Whole World is imperiled with what happens in Washington. But as many have written before in comments about this complete moral collapse of the Entire West, I am afraid, it is all going to be swept under the rug. We have to just keep the fingers crossed. ..."
"... I have never seen such media bias against a sitting president in my lifetime, not even against Richard Nixon when they at least practiced decorum and feigned objectivity even if they were secretly cheering on his demise. I will reiterate here that I do not champion the man but rather due process under our constitution, which has been made a travesty from the moment of Clinton's loss at the polls. ..."
"... I completely agree with you Realist. I am not Trump's fan or supporter of his agenda, in fact, in many things quite the opposite of it. However, he raised some very valid points about the the domestic economy and other issues, and about the need to stop interventions in foreign countries, and getting along Russia, and the need to rebuild country's manufacturing system again. He was duly elected by the people, and he should have been given the support to pursue what he promised. But it did not happen. ..."
"... Although it's being done for the wrong reasons, I am nevertheless looking forward to seeing our out-of-control intelligence agencies being put in their place. If I were president and my party controlled both houses of Congress, you'd better believe I'd be looking to dismantle the national surveillance state and reduce the military budget to a "mere" $250 billion annually. ..."
"... The post 9-11 wars of aggression, massive surveillance, torture and other war crimes were sold to the American public as only to be inflicted on foreigners, i.e. "we fight them over there so we don't fight them here." But the blowback has now turned America's schools, malls, workplaces, concerts and churches into war zones and little by little, the disinformation ops, "regime change" know-how and other accoutrements of perpetual war (the fool's errand of gaining full spectrum dominance over the rest of the world) have been turned inward on the American people, including powerful American officials themselves. So it would seem to be a good thing that some politicians like Nunes have finally seen the light exactly as Frank Church did -- only when they themselves began to reap the negative consequences of what they thought would only negatively impact other, lesser people. ..."
"... But there is more to it, as some have pointed out in comments above, there are some intra-party quarrels going on in Washington to take the upper hand. Regarding foreign policy, National Security State and surveillance, and other such issues, both parties are joined at the hip. ..."
"... It is instructive to read the comments on any NYT article on this subject. The comments are clearly written by intelligent, well-educated individuals – who parrot the Deep State's anti-Russian propaganda as if they were the dumbest of the "Better dead than Red!" 50s McCarthyites. ..."
"... The new McCarthyites are actually stupider and more authoritarian than their sad fore-bearers, because they could pierce the Deep States lies with 30 minutes of online research, but they prefer tribalism and ignorance, instead. ..."
"... Trump started going head to head with the intel folks, but has backed down a lot now. Let's hope Nunes et al hang in there and keep the pressure on these despicable criminals who hide behind governmental powers. ..."
"... Somehow I don't think Nunes or his committee is capable of reigning in Frankenstein. His "constitutuents"" are not likely to allow it and although the monster was pieced together from many body parts its instincts for self-preservation are formidable. Nevertheless, I would applaud anyone who makes the effort. ..."
"... Note that after saying the Russians are indicted for interfering in the election, and spending 5 minutes on this, at the 5 minute 20 second mark Rosenstein says there is no evidence that the Russians had any affect [sic] on the election! So what we have is the Deputy Attorney General of the United States announcing an indictment for which he says there is no evidence! ..."
"... In the world of cypher espionage I have no knowledge, but if Russia does hang out in it well then I'm sure the U.S. is already there to do what it must to defend it's cypher security. So that's a wash, but this insane Russia-Gate distraction was originally a way to deflect attention from Hillary & Debbie's putting the screws to Socialist Sanders . then Russia-Gate became a MSM driven coup to oust Trump from his Electoral won presidential office. ..."
"... Impossible to get the whole Gorgon's head, anyway, in such a corrupt system as we have ..."
"... Ray, do you think Trump has made a deal: he'll allow escalations against Russia, and in return the Deep State will leave him alone? If so, does that portend that this will fizzle out? ..."
"... While the shiny ball, smoke and mirrors psychological operation known as "Russiagate" has begun running on fumes before the gas tank finally runs dry, the major revelation of the Clinton WikiLeaks emails describing Saudi/Qatari financing of ISIS drops further down the memory hole. There's nothing like success ..."
Feb 19, 2018 | consortiumnews.com

House Intelligence Committee Chair Devin Nunes has stated that "DOJ and FBI are not above the law," and could face legal consequences for alleged abuses of the FISA court, reports Ray McGovern.

Throwing down the gauntlet on alleged abuse of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) by the Department of Justice and the FBI, House Intelligence Committee Chair Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) stated that there could be legal consequences for officials who may have misled the FISA court. "If they need to be put on trial, we will put them on trial," he said. "The reason Congress exists is to oversee these agencies that we created."

Nunes took this highly unusual, no-holds-barred stance during an interview with Emmy-award winning investigative journalist Sharyl Attkisson , which aired on Sunday.

Attkisson said she had invited both Nunes and House Intelligence Committee Ranking Member Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) but that only Nunes agreed. She asked him about Schiff's charge that Nunes' goal was "to put the FBI and DOJ on trial." What followed was very atypical bluntness -- candor normally considered quite unacceptable in polite circles of the Washington Establishment.

Rather than play the diplomat and disavow what Schiff contended was Nunes' goal, Nunes said, in effect, let the chips fall where they may. He unapologetically averred that, yes, a criminal trial might well be the outcome. "DOJ and FBI are not above the law," he stated emphatically. "If they are committing abuse before a secret court getting warrants on American citizens, you're darn right that we're going to put them on trial."

Die Is Cast

The stakes are very high. Current and former senior officials -- and not only from DOJ and FBI, but from other agencies like the CIA and NSA, whom documents and testimony show were involved in providing faulty information to justify a FISA warrant to monitor former Trump campaign official Carter Page -- may suddenly find themselves in considerable legal jeopardy. Like, felony territory.

This was not supposed to happen. Mrs. Clinton was a shoo-in, remember? Back when the FISA surveillance warrant of Page was obtained, just weeks before the November 2016 election, there seemed to be no need to hide tracks, because, even if these extracurricular activities were discovered, the perps would have looked forward to award certificates rather than legal problems under a Trump presidency.

Thus, the knives will be coming out. Mostly because the mainstream media will make a major effort -- together with Schiff-mates in the Democratic Party -- to marginalize Nunes, those who find themselves in jeopardy can be expected to push back strongly.

If past is precedent, they will be confident that, with their powerful allies within the FBI/DOJ/CIA "Deep State" they will be able to counter Nunes and show him and the other congressional investigation committee chairs, where the power lies. The conventional wisdom is that Nunes and the others have bit off far more than they can chew. And the odds do not favor folks, including oversight committee chairs, who buck the system.

Staying Power

On the other hand, the presumptive perps have not run into a chairman like Nunes in four decades, since Congressmen Lucien Nedzi (D-Mich.), Otis Pike (D-NY), and Sen. Frank Church (D-Idaho) ran tough, explosive hearings on the abuses of a previous generation deep state, including massive domestic spying revealed by quintessential investigative reporter Seymour Hersh in December 1974. (Actually, this is largely why the congressional intelligence oversight committees were later established, and why the FISA law was passed in 1978.)

At this point, one is tempted to say plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose -- or the more things change, the more they stay the same -- but that would be only half correct in this context. Yes, scoundrels will always take liberties with the law to spy on others. But the huge difference today is that mainstream media have no room for those who uncover government crimes and abuse. And this will be a major impediment to efforts by Nunes and other committee chairs to inform the public.

One glaring sign of the media's unwillingness to displease corporate masters and Official Washington is the harsh reality that Hersh's most recent explosive investigations, using his large array of government sources to explore front-burner issues, have not been able to find a home in any English-speaking newspaper or journal. In a sense, this provides what might be called a "confidence-building" factor, giving some assurance to deep-state perps that they will be able to ride this out, and that congressional committee chairs will once again learn to know their (subservient) place.

Much will depend on whether top DOJ and FBI officials can bring themselves to reverse course and give priority to the oath they took to support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies foreign and domestic. This should not be too much to hope for, but it will require uncommon courage in facing up honestly to the major misdeeds appear to have occurred -- and letting the chips fall where they may. Besides, it would be the right thing to do.

Nunes is projecting calm confidence that once he and Trey Gowdey (R-Tenn.), chair of the House Oversight Committee, release documentary evidence showing what their investigations have turned up, it will be hard for DOJ and FBI officials to dissimulate.

In Other News

In the interview with Attkisson, Nunes covered a number of other significant issues:

The committee is closing down its investigation into possible collusion between Moscow and the Trump campaign; no evidence of collusion was found. The apparently widespread practice of "unmasking" the identities of Americans under surveillance. On this point, Nunes said, "In the last administration they were unmasking hundreds, and hundreds, and hundreds of Americans' names. They were unmasking for what I would say, for lack of a better definition, were for political purposes." Asked about Schiff's criticism that Nunes behaved improperly on what he called the "midnight run to the White House," Nunes responded that the stories were untrue. "Well, most of the time I ignore political nonsense in this town," he said. "What I will say is that all of those stories were totally fake from the beginning."

Not since Watergate has there been so high a degree of political tension here in Washington but the stakes for our Republic are even higher this time. Assuming abuse of FISA court procedures is documented and those responsible for playing fast and loose with the required justification for legal warrants are not held to account, the division of powers enshrined in the Constitution will be in peril.

A denouement of some kind can be expected in the coming months. Stay tuned.

Ray McGovern works with Tell the Word, a publishing arm of the ecumenical Church of the Savior in inner-city Washington. He was a CIA analyst for 27 years and is co-founder of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS).


Skip Scott , February 19, 2018 at 9:38 am

Thanks Ray for another great article. One can only hope that Nunes is successful. However, like you say, the MSM is now complicit with the "Deep State", so the fight for justice becomes much harder. One also has to remember Schumer's "six ways from Sunday" applies equally to the congress as it does to the president. I hardly ever watch TV news, but recently I've been subjected to it, and I've seen a deluge of fluff pieces on our so-called Intelligence Agencies. I would love to see Trump give a speech (instead of a tweet) directly to the American people letting them know what rascals like Brennan, Clapper, et al have been up to.

Bob Van Noy , February 19, 2018 at 12:51 pm

This may be the best broadcast tv journalism in many years, read Sharyl Attkisson's story, "Stonewalled" (I will link the commentary page to that book for thorough readers). And thank you Nat, Ray McGovern & CN

https://www.amazon.com/Stonewalled-Obstruction-Intimidation-Harassment-Washington/dp/0062322850/ref=sr_1_1/140-4375232-2286101?ie=UTF8&qid=1519058613&sr=8-1&keywords=stonewalled#customerReviews

Dave P. , February 19, 2018 at 2:29 pm

An excellent and very timely article by Ray McGovern. Lawlessness, greed, complete subservience to Wall Street Finance and other Powers, insanity, and utter inhumanity prevails in present day Ruling Establishment in Washington. Obama, "the hope and change" Con Artist for whose election, being democrats we worked so hard in 2008 turned to be the biggest perpetrator of this lawlessness and responsible for fanning the flames still further in starting a new Cold War.

It is real courageous of Devin Nunes to give this interview. It is not only the accountability to law that is at stake in U.S., but the Whole World is imperiled with what happens in Washington. But as many have written before in comments about this complete moral collapse of the Entire West, I am afraid, it is all going to be swept under the rug. We have to just keep the fingers crossed.

Howard Dean just said yesterday that Nunes and people like him belong in jail. Now can you believe it, how low these so called liberal democrats have come to? Looking at the pictures of Adam Schiff, Howard Dean, and others in their company, I literally feel sick in the stomach. And one asks the essential question: "did not their parents teach them any honesty or moral principles in young age?".

Abbybwood , February 19, 2018 at 3:54 pm

But what he said is very confusing. First he says that Congress has no way to prosecute the DOJ/FBI for wrong doing then at the end he says Congress will need to prosecute the DOJ/FBI if necessary. Either Congress has the ability to prosecute the DOJ/FBI and issue indictments and set up Grand Juries or they don't.

Somebody needs to find out, Constitutionally, what the solution is when the DOJ/FBI at the highest levels become the criminals. WHO has the power to indict/convict these individuals??

Sam F , February 19, 2018 at 10:36 pm

A special prosecutor (Mueller's position) is appointed by the Pres or AG.

Annie , February 19, 2018 at 3:20 pm

From what I've heard expressed by a few FBI people, you don't come before a court, but a judge, one person, and they are known to rubber stamp almost everything. So they should be investigated too.

Realist , February 19, 2018 at 5:02 pm

I have never seen such media bias against a sitting president in my lifetime, not even against Richard Nixon when they at least practiced decorum and feigned objectivity even if they were secretly cheering on his demise. I will reiterate here that I do not champion the man but rather due process under our constitution, which has been made a travesty from the moment of Clinton's loss at the polls.

Dave P. , February 19, 2018 at 7:56 pm

I completely agree with you Realist. I am not Trump's fan or supporter of his agenda, in fact, in many things quite the opposite of it. However, he raised some very valid points about the the domestic economy and other issues, and about the need to stop interventions in foreign countries, and getting along Russia, and the need to rebuild country's manufacturing system again. He was duly elected by the people, and he should have been given the support to pursue what he promised. But it did not happen. We would not know now what he actually wanted to accomplish.

Sam F , February 19, 2018 at 10:41 pm

Yes, neither party nor the mass media shows concern for the Constitution or for the people. As the propaganda agency, the mass media are primarily responsible. The zionist/WallSt/MIC oligarchy have consolidated control over mass media, secret agencies, and elections, but not without factions.

Michael , February 19, 2018 at 10:00 am

Although it's being done for the wrong reasons, I am nevertheless looking forward to seeing our out-of-control intelligence agencies being put in their place. If I were president and my party controlled both houses of Congress, you'd better believe I'd be looking to dismantle the national surveillance state and reduce the military budget to a "mere" $250 billion annually.

Joe Tedesky , February 19, 2018 at 11:09 am

Michael I hear ya. Yes, there is a civil war of sorts going on in DC, and yes it would be a wonderful thing to rid our bureaucracy of all the slim that is in it, but taking Jiminy Cricket's good advice to heart would be so much more fruitful to if you and I would only sing;

'When you wish upon a star
Makes no difference who you are
Anything your heart desires will come to you"

Now that song will be stuck in my head all day .got any Journey? Joe

Coleen Rowley , February 19, 2018 at 3:27 pm

It's true that people generally do not care when bad practices, policies or violence is inflicted on others and not on themselves. Of course that's stupid because it's just a matter of time before "blowback" occurs (as the CIA euphemistically labeled how doing unto others eventually boomerangs back on perpetrators). Going back to the Church Committee and how that bit of accountability finally happened, it only got off the ground when Frank Church and other Senators found THEMSELVES in the crosshairs of FBI Cointelpro; CIA's "CHAOS" and NSA's "Minaret" surveillance. http://foreignpolicy.com/2013/09/25/secret-cold-war-documents-reveal-nsa-spied-on-senators/ (To this day, only 7 of the 1000 or so Americans targeted by the NSA during the Vietnam War have been discovered but their identities are telling.)

The post 9-11 wars of aggression, massive surveillance, torture and other war crimes were sold to the American public as only to be inflicted on foreigners, i.e. "we fight them over there so we don't fight them here." But the blowback has now turned America's schools, malls, workplaces, concerts and churches into war zones and little by little, the disinformation ops, "regime change" know-how and other accoutrements of perpetual war (the fool's errand of gaining full spectrum dominance over the rest of the world) have been turned inward on the American people, including powerful American officials themselves. So it would seem to be a good thing that some politicians like Nunes have finally seen the light exactly as Frank Church did -- only when they themselves began to reap the negative consequences of what they thought would only negatively impact other, lesser people.

BobS , February 19, 2018 at 4:50 pm

" the blowback has now turned America's schools, malls, workplaces, concerts and churches into war zones"

"blowback" is doing a lot of work in that sentence, if you're referring specifically to "post 9-11 wars of aggression, massive surveillance, torture and other war crimes". Whenever the incidents have had a political agenda attached, it's more often than not been of the domestic right-wing variety. And of course, all of them have been facilitated by easy civilian access to hardware that was originally developed by the military (ours and the Soviets) to efficiently kill/incapacitate large numbers of enemy fighters.

Gregory Herr , February 19, 2018 at 7:30 pm

BobS fails to understand that blowback encapsulates more than "revenge". "Forever war" and all Colleen mentions that goes with it has had societal impact because violence is glorified as a "solution" and feelings of suspicion and antagonism become part of the dark undertow.

Sam F , February 19, 2018 at 10:54 pm

Well said, Colleen. Let us hope that Nunes is not merely acting the part. I wonder whether the greatest secrets of domestic spying are now so compartmentalized and controlled that only those most dependent upon their agency could blow the whistle.

Annie , February 19, 2018 at 4:23 pm

This is not to be compared to spying on citizens, which is unacceptable, but they tried to undermine a presidency, whether you like Trump or not, and at the same time it allowed them to push their cold war agenda. I remember Clinton's campaign manager coming out right after the e-mail dump that said the Russians did it. And didn't Obama send a lot of those Russian ambassadors packing? They should be investigated, as should the FISA court itself. Perhaps if Trump didn't have this charge of colluding with Russia he might have been able to be more diplomatic on that score. Now, they made sure he would never be getting along with Russia. What they have now is a bunch of Russians acting on their own that allegedly interfered in our elections and created political discord, which is absurd, since the democrats are mainly responsible for this nonsense, as is the FBI and DOJ. I was a democrat, but no more.

Dave P. , February 19, 2018 at 4:52 pm

Annie, you are right on that. However, Coleen Rowely has also made some very good observations in her comments. But there is more to it, as some have pointed out in comments above, there are some intra-party quarrels going on in Washington to take the upper hand. Regarding foreign policy, National Security State and surveillance, and other such issues, both parties are joined at the hip.

Gregory Herr , February 19, 2018 at 7:42 pm

I wouldn't completely discount the idea that Nunes' sense of responsibility has been activated by being a close witness to what is blatant wrongdoing. But then my cynicism is still tempered by the belief that sometimes people are compelled to do what's right just because it's what's right. Silly me.

Virginia , February 19, 2018 at 10:34 am

Me, too, Michael, to " dismantle the national surveillance state and reduce the military budget to a 'mere' $250 billion annually."

Thanks to Ray McGovern for another good article with link to interview. Good to hear they will finally be closing the Mueller investigation (Nunes was straightforward about that, no there there) and will likely be investigating the FBI and DOJ.

Applause goes to David Nunes. Keep up the good work.

Abbybwood , February 19, 2018 at 4:03 pm

But I see where Trump asked for nearly one TRILLION dollars for the military and got it.

Pandas4peace , February 19, 2018 at 10:24 am

Where can we get access to Seymour Hersh's "recent explosive investigations" even if they are written in German?

Cherrycoke , February 19, 2018 at 11:57 am

https://www.welt.de/politik/ausland/article165905578/Trump-s-Red-Line.html

There is more at the bottom of the page.

Ray McGovern , February 19, 2018 at 12:11 pm

Try this link: http://raymcgovern.com/?s=hersh+welt or simply search on consortiumnews.com webpage.

ray

mike k , February 19, 2018 at 2:54 pm

"On June 25th 2017 the German newspaper, Welt, published the latest piece by Seymour Hersh, countering the "mainstream" narrative around the April 4th 2017 Khan Sheikhoun chemical attack in Syria."

Ray McGovern , February 19, 2018 at 9:35 pm

Ranney,

Please have a look at this: https://consortiumnews.com/2017/06/25/intel-behind-trumps-syria-attack-questioned/

Consortiumnews.com publishes and comments on everything Pulitzer Prize winning Sy Hersh does. The problem is that he is BANNED from English-language pubs -- simply banned and even kept off erstwhile "liberal" TV and radio programs. Amy Goodman, for example, has ALWAYS had Sy on when he had a new story until this one. She would not touch it; these days prefers to go with the "White Helmets" of this world. O Tempora, O Mores. Sad.

So, in sum, the problem is a very basic one. Sy does not publish until he has nailed down every significant detail and, since he is so well plugged in with many longtime, trusted sources to sift through, that takes a while for a bit story -- as all of them are. And when he is ready to publish, he hears folks whisper "Leper" as he gets close to an editorial office. It really IS that bad. We owe the op-ed editor at die Welt our thanks.

Btw: The Consortiumnews.com main page has a SEARCH button that I find very handy. Try to search on Seymour Hersh. Same goes for easily searchable raymcgovern.com, my website.

Ray

David Otness , February 19, 2018 at 5:37 pm

The London Review of Books has been publishing Hersh's work. That's one source.

Ray McGovern , February 19, 2018 at 9:51 pm

David,

Not for his latest of last June. See explanation of LRB cave in at: https://consortiumnews.com/2017/06/25/intel-behind-trumps-syria-attack-questioned/

The ostracizing of Sy Hersh is a major -- if highly depressing -- story in and of itself. But he is irrepressible. I do not think he is going to silently steal away any time soon.

Ray McGovern

Kim Dixon , February 19, 2018 at 10:32 am

Can anyone imagine the Neocon WashPo, or the NYT (or CBS, or CNN, or ) committing actual journalism, as this story progresses?

That, and the DNC's commitment to the DNC to the Russia Did It!™ canard, will ensure that real revelations go nowhere.

It is instructive to read the comments on any NYT article on this subject. The comments are clearly written by intelligent, well-educated individuals – who parrot the Deep State's anti-Russian propaganda as if they were the dumbest of the "Better dead than Red!" 50s McCarthyites.

The new McCarthyites are actually stupider and more authoritarian than their sad fore-bearers, because they could pierce the Deep States lies with 30 minutes of online research, but they prefer tribalism and ignorance, instead.

Lois Gagnon , February 19, 2018 at 1:01 pm

You got that right! I live in the 5 college area in Massachusetts. Plenty of those types around here playing activists. They fit your description. I can't stand to be in the same room with any of them. They may as well be from Mars.

Nancy , February 19, 2018 at 2:47 pm

I agree. The average working person has more common sense than the so-called intelligent, educated class. I suspect their views reflect the fact that they are very comfortable, financially, with the status quo, and don't want any real change.

mike k , February 19, 2018 at 10:35 am

Trump started going head to head with the intel folks, but has backed down a lot now. Let's hope Nunes et al hang in there and keep the pressure on these despicable criminals who hide behind governmental powers. When you allow people to do whatever they want in secret with no oversight, you can expect them to abuse their power. The basic question all this leads to is "who is running this country and making crucial decisions about war and peace, or fascism and democracy"?

BobH , February 19, 2018 at 10:52 am

Somehow I don't think Nunes or his committee is capable of reigning in Frankenstein. His "constitutuents"" are not likely to allow it and although the monster was pieced together from many body parts its instincts for self-preservation are formidable. Nevertheless, I would applaud anyone who makes the effort.

BobH , February 19, 2018 at 6:43 pm

Here's where Mueller's investigation didn't go https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G-2_Bc_7Pos

Bob Van Noy , February 19, 2018 at 7:11 pm

Thanks BobH, that's an excellent rant, thanks for passing it along.

Joe Tedesky , February 19, 2018 at 10:58 am

The only way any trail that Nunes could even begin to make magically appear to happen before our weary eyes will happen only, and I say only, will appear because it will be good for tv ratings. Enforcing Constitutional law, I mean who does that anymore? Why today in our nation's capital we have congressional people asking the opposite of what Ben Franklin warned us good citizens about as the swamp critters are saying, 'Constitution how can we lose it'. You know this Ray that these crooks and crookettes in DC think that the U.S. Constitution is so passé and so anciently colonial that they hear Jefferson saying, 'ignore this stupid document, I was drunk with Adams and Franklin when I wrote it. It was all a big mistake.' Or something like that, but Constitutional law we don't need no stink'n Constitutional law, now get back to your part time work. (Whip cracking sound)

Hey Ray this whole fiasco does what is most important in this new American century, this fiasco is entertaining and the ratings are going through the roof so with that what more could a red blooded good American ask for now pass the tv remote.

Joe Tedesky , February 19, 2018 at 11:29 am

Paul Craig Roberts may have nailed this thing: https://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2018/02/18/cbs-contradicts-muellers-report/

blimbax , February 19, 2018 at 9:21 pm

Paul Craig Roberts wrote,

Note that after saying the Russians are indicted for interfering in the election, and spending 5 minutes on this, at the 5 minute 20 second mark Rosenstein says there is no evidence that the Russians had any affect [sic] on the election! So what we have is the Deputy Attorney General of the United States announcing an indictment for which he says there is no evidence!

If we take Roberts' statement at face value, he may have inadvertenly mischaracterized Rosenstein's statement. According to Roberts, Rosenstein said there is no evidence of an effect on the election, but it does not follow from that that Rosenstein is saying that there is no evidence of interference. There may have been "interference" that had no impact. And, of course, there is the question, just what is meant by "interference" in this context?

I share the frustration many commenters have about the entire "Russiagate" narrative, but I think it is important to be careful in how we evaluate these statements. It may all be a "nothinburger," but it is important to describe things carefully and correctly. Otherwise, one ends up inadvertently setting up a straw man for someone else to knock down.

Joe Tedesky , February 19, 2018 at 10:25 pm

I share the stress you do blimblax that you and all who stay on this Russia-Gate pay-ops suffer, but the way this crooked nail investigation has been going, mostly distorted by the press coverage, your argument about the interpretation of Rosenstein's words to the general public will be like splitting hairs with bald people . they just won't get it, and why, because I'm not sure the vast amount of Americans get it now. They got turned off along time ago back when the FBI didn't produce Trump performing his much heard about Steele Dossier acclaimed Water Sports in his Moscow Obama's Presidential Suite sick, yes, but it's the truth. No pictures, no believe you.

Personally I have never doubted any Russian influence in the way of statements, or essays, but this contribution of opinion is to be expected from any well thinking country, or nation if you'd rather of the world. Plus the Russians spending wasn't even close to any real fraction of what both U.S. Presidential candidate spend on their campaigns, get real.

In the world of cypher espionage I have no knowledge, but if Russia does hang out in it well then I'm sure the U.S. is already there to do what it must to defend it's cypher security. So that's a wash, but this insane Russia-Gate distraction was originally a way to deflect attention from Hillary & Debbie's putting the screws to Socialist Sanders . then Russia-Gate became a MSM driven coup to oust Trump from his Electoral won presidential office.

We could argue to how Trump,should be questioned, or even brought up on impeachment charges, but not for this particular Russia interference into our so well guarded American democracy. In fact we Americans don't need any Russian help at bringing our American democracy down, because we Americans already did that with the Patriot Act as among a few many other things. Joe

Joe Tedesky , February 19, 2018 at 11:59 am

Here is a rant by Charles Hugh Smith: http://charleshughsmith.blogspot.com/2018/02/russian-meddling-gagging-on-irony.html

SocraticGadfly , February 19, 2018 at 1:35 pm

Neither Dems nor GOP truly care about the First Amendment. Ray won't write about that. I have, re the Mueller indictments: http://socraticgadfly.blogspot.com/2018/02/internet-research-agency-butt-hurt.html

Joe Tedesky , February 19, 2018 at 2:14 pm

That was a terrific read, and so is this: http://www.moonofalabama.org/2018/02/mueller-indictement-the-russian-influence-is-a-commercial-marketing-scheme.html#more

Enjoy. Joe

Bill , February 19, 2018 at 11:48 am

Somehow many Democrats are convinced that the FBI/DOJ did nothing wrong with regards to the FISA warrants. And they're still convinced that Trump colluded with Putin. Nothing will change their minds, it's hopeless.

Lois Gagnon , February 19, 2018 at 4:17 pm

It is indeed surreal to watch people who classify themselves as the left undermining the left by supporting the very agencies whose sole purpose from their inception is to destroy the left.

As David William Pear put it at OpEd News, "I don't think even Orwell has a scene like this: anti-authoritarian dissidents endorse more authoritarian means to weed out authoritarians resulting in authoritarians having more control to weed out dissidents."

I have a headache.

Jessika , February 19, 2018 at 11:55 am

The Deep State is very, very deep, and we're "Knee Deep in the Big Muddy" (Pete Seeger). Anybody knows the US Deep State was thoroughly entrenched by Reagan's time. It's overdue not to let this deep state corruption harden to concrete. I support neither party until there is a course correction, and Nunes makes valid points in support of a correction. Thanks, Ray.

BobS , February 19, 2018 at 11:58 am

Thin skinned too, eh Ray?
You're right, of course- Russia analysts at the CIA did stellar work in the 1980s.

Joe Tedesky , February 19, 2018 at 12:01 pm

No BobS it's you with your thickhead that doesn't get it. Keep it up BobS, because eventually you are going to say something funny. Take care. Joe

SocraticGadfly , February 19, 2018 at 1:34 pm

Ray continues to engage in two-siderism. He ignores digging into legit critiques of Mueller, as I have. http://socraticgadfly.blogspot.com/2018/02/internet-research-agency-butt-hurt.html

Charles Misfeldt , February 19, 2018 at 11:58 am

Will Nunes or any conservative go after the thousands of illegal acts perpetrated by conservatives??? NO! Nunes, along with every conservative traitor in America (republican or democrat) needs to be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. The conservative agenda is not moral or constitutional.

BobS , February 19, 2018 at 1:09 pm

Considering their disregard for law as well as their worship of authoritarianism (exercised against the proper targets, of course), I'd say it's more than "self-enrichment" that drives conservatives, both ancient and modern.

Deniz , February 19, 2018 at 1:58 pm

Perhaps that is an issue, but I am unclear precisely what is wrong in Nunes position that he is relying on Gowdy, an undeniably sharp, precise, prosecutor, to review the examined material. Watching both Nunes and Gowdy in sessions, I would have probably, and gladly, made the same decision. It also make sense politically that they cover for each other, one person is expendable and takes the heat – Nunes, while the other – Gowdy, an upward star of the party, who probably ran the whole investigation anyway, keeps his hands clean.

BobS , February 19, 2018 at 2:09 pm

The always partisan "upward star" Trey 'BENGHAZI!!!' Gowdy announced his retirement from congress last month due to his being "sick of hyper-partisanship". And let me show you this bridge I'm selling

Deniz , February 19, 2018 at 2:32 pm

In fact, I would greatly enjoy a discussion on weapons transfers from Libya to Erdogan to Al – Qaeda via Clinton. This is actually one of my favorite topics. So have it.

Deniz , February 19, 2018 at 5:34 pm

So what is your argument, that we should be loyal to our crime family and not theirs?

Or do you think Hillary, "We came, we saw, he died" or Mueller, of nothing to see here on 9/11 notoriety are the sort of people we should be defending.

Jessika , February 19, 2018 at 12:07 pm

Impossible to get the whole Gorgon's head, anyway, in such a corrupt system as we have. Why else are we in such a mess? Both GOP and Democrats have not served the people, so we should therefore give up trying to address any abuse?

Antiwar7 , February 19, 2018 at 12:35 pm

Ray, do you think Trump has made a deal: he'll allow escalations against Russia, and in return the Deep State will leave him alone? If so, does that portend that this will fizzle out?

Gregory Herr , February 19, 2018 at 8:14 pm

So you are privy to the briefings in question. Just because Reagan bloated the military budget doesn't mean he was being fed false intelligence by McGovern.

On the other hand, it is well publicized that Cheney twisted arms at Langley and Tenet obliged and Rummy worked the Iraq angle as well. We also had the Downing Street Memo and the Powell fiasco and Valerie Plame. Ray was right to be indignant.

Jerry Alatalo , February 19, 2018 at 3:50 pm

While the shiny ball, smoke and mirrors psychological operation known as "Russiagate" has begun running on fumes before the gas tank finally runs dry, the major revelation of the Clinton WikiLeaks emails describing Saudi/Qatari financing of ISIS drops further down the memory hole. There's nothing like success

Drew Hunkins , February 19, 2018 at 3:59 pm

Good point Mr. Alatalo. The Saudi-Zio Terror Network gets away with murder, literally and figuratively and of course the Saudi-Zio Terror Network NEVER, EVER interferes in ANY elections in the United States, no never.

(sarcasm)

Paul E. Merrell, J.D. , February 19, 2018 at 5:59 pm

Related news: Kim Dotcom: "Let Me Assure You, The DNC Hack Wasn't Even A Hack", https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-02-18/kim-dotcom-let-me-assure-you-dnc-hack-wasnt-even-hack (Kim Dot Com claims personal knowledge on who took the DNC emails (Seth Rich) and his lawyers wrote to Mueller twice, offering his testimony, but never heard back from Mueller).

Bob Van Noy , February 19, 2018 at 7:18 pm

Thank you Paul E. Merrell, J.D. I have been convinced from the beginning of all of this that this was the line to Wikileaks. Now if we could only get a real investigation into Seth's murder.

Stop Bush and Clinton , February 19, 2018 at 7:34 pm

"We found that they broke a vast number of laws, did surveillance of a competitor with a warrant based on fake evidence, all adding up to treason worse than Watergate. But we think that no reasonable prosecutor would file charges .." -- The FBI

[Feb 19, 2018] The Russiagate Intelligence Wars What We Do and Don't Know

Highly recommended!
Mueller was the person responsible for investigation of 911. That fact alone tells you all as for what we can expect.
Notable quotes:
"... NO actual physical proof has been presented to the public to substantiate claims that Russia hacked the DNC ..."
"... There is NO proof (only allegations) of collusion between Trump's campaign and the Kremlin ..."
"... Social media efforts by Russian trolls to influence the election were minimal in the extreme, laughably amateurish and completely ineffective ..."
"... Glenn Greenwald has spent the past year documenting in detail the large volume of fake anti-Russian "news" generated by the MSM (see GG at The Intercept) ..."
"... There is NO connection between the Russian government and the 13 private citizens recently indicted for their pathetic and ineffectual activity as part of a troll farm ..."
"... Thanks to the paranoid, xenophobic, Russia-bashing nationalistic propaganda that is being promoted by our military-industrial-intelligence-media complex, the U.S. now believes it is acceptable to launch a first strike nuclear attack in retaliation for breeches of cyber security ..."
"... Trump won't be impeached over Russiagate for the simple reason that Russiagate is nothing but a psyops perpetrated against the American people by the national-security bureaucracy (and their corporate media propagandists) for the purposes of reigniting a second Cold War and maintaining U.S. global hegemony. ..."
"... Thanks to the hysterical McCarthyism now rampant among Democrats - and that is being used to great effect by Washington's bipartisan neocon warmongers - we may just end up in a nuclear war. The good news: it will be a short war and the Democrats will never have to accept responsibility for Clinton's loss. ..."
"... How about that Clinton got the CIA to partner with neo-Nazis in Ukraine to stage a coup, kick out Putin's friend, and install a billionaire capitalist as President? - something the media never mentions. ..."
"... Ultimately, I see the Russia story as getting its legs from the efforts of the dominant Hillary wing of the Democratic party, backed by big media, to continue to assert that Hillary really won the presidency in 2016, and that their wing should continue to have control of the party. ..."
"... That an immensely dangerous war fever is being whipped up in the process is of no importance to them. And, by no means incidentally, they are ignoring all of the real atrocities being committed by the Trump administration against the American people and the earth's environment. ..."
"... It has been thus since the creep moved into the White House. Dreyfuss, perky Rachel Maddow, Colbert, Maher, and many others have been the true "useful idiots". ..."
"... This same media never gave Sanders any media exposure during the primary. ..."
"... I would add that the election manipulations which the Clinton forces engaged in to defeat Sanders during the Democratic primaries dwarfs, by orders of magnitude, anything alleged against the Russians by even the most hawkish backers of the Russia probe. ..."
"... tweet by Peter Van Buren, former US foreign intelligence officer "Just did a quick read of the '13 Russian' indictment. Missing are a) any connections between the 13 and the Russian government and/or Trump campaign; b) any discussion of the impact (if any) their social media efforts had. It describes them buying Facebook ads, but nothing about if it affected votes; c) no connection shown between any of this and DNC, Wikileaks, hacking of emails; d) no discussion of motive; e) assumption that anything anti-Clinton was defacto pro-Bernie and/or pro-Trump. And all indicted persons are Russians, and outside the U.S., so highly unlikely this is going anywhere further legally. ..."
"... BTW, today the media put up that scumbag Podesta as a spokesperson for the Democrats. ..."
"... Seems that the end justifies the means. No matter what is the truth. In the mean-time, they're actually harming the opposition to Trump. I suppose nobody asked Podesta why the DNC never offered their computers for FBI forensics. ..."
"... The MSM never asks the hard questions anymore. It seems all pre-scripted and sanitized for corporate media. ..."
"... It's been a year since Mueller went to work and what's he got? A couple of Republican political operatives being political operatives. Their crime was not reporting to the USG that they were working for Ukraine. Now we're down to social media posts. You're probably one of those people who say, I saw it on the internet so it must be true. If the government is going to be upset about crap they see on social media from foreign parties, they need to start by telling said social media that they can't solicit advertising from foreign entities with political overtones as facebook did of RT. ..."
"... So we are going to limit global free speech by spending $Trillions more on building a nuclear arsenal - total madness - driven by [un] Democratic whining. ..."
"... Apparently, it comes down to trolls who planted various "fake news" stories. Stipulate to all of that; the worst of it. How does THAT begin to stack–up against the murderous coup that the USA OPENLY fomented in the Ukraine a couple of years earlier by bankrolling dozens of Non-governmental organizations whose sole purpose was "regime change"? ..."
"... Maybe come back to me about all of this when the FBI can convincingly prove that the Russian government armed and funded a Neo–nazi para–military group that assaulted and burned–down the North Carolina State House. ..."
"... You mean like Clinton and the CIA did in Ukraine, for economic domination over Russia, don't you? ..."
"... Tell me, as soon as you can, when having skepticism on the Russia/Election Meddling story is finally permitted. I heard tell, we've lately dropped the "Treason" narration. Now the spin du jour is that Trump & Co were all duped by them clever Ruskies. Whatever floats your boat. ..."
"... Stephen Cohen's take on Russiagate makes a lot of sense, to me. I've followed Russia/soviet/US relations very closely since Gorbachev. Open your eyes, Mattis has labeled Russia our mortal enemy, we just upped defense spending to an obscene level that shall keep our schools, hospitals, social services, and infrastructure in their bad state. ..."
Feb 19, 2018 | www.thenation.com

Cara Marianna says: February 19, 2018 at 4:36 pm

Here's what we know:

  1. NO actual physical proof has been presented to the public to substantiate claims that Russia hacked the DNC
  2. There is NO proof (only allegations) of collusion between Trump's campaign and the Kremlin
  3. Social media efforts by Russian trolls to influence the election were minimal in the extreme, laughably amateurish and completely ineffective
  4. Glenn Greenwald has spent the past year documenting in detail the large volume of fake anti-Russian "news" generated by the MSM (see GG at The Intercept)
  5. There is NO connection between the Russian government and the 13 private citizens recently indicted for their pathetic and ineffectual activity as part of a troll farm
  6. Thanks to the paranoid, xenophobic, Russia-bashing nationalistic propaganda that is being promoted by our military-industrial-intelligence-media complex, the U.S. now believes it is acceptable to launch a first strike nuclear attack in retaliation for breeches of cyber security

Read number six again and think about it. The U.S. is ready and willing to launch a preemptive nuclear attack against any nation it accuses of undermining our cyber security - no proof necessary. The Democratic establishment, which has spent the past year engaging in baseless Kremlin-baiting (and very little else), is directly responsible for this insanity.

Trump won't be impeached over Russiagate for the simple reason that Russiagate is nothing but a psyops perpetrated against the American people by the national-security bureaucracy (and their corporate media propagandists) for the purposes of reigniting a second Cold War and maintaining U.S. global hegemony.

Thanks to the hysterical McCarthyism now rampant among Democrats - and that is being used to great effect by Washington's bipartisan neocon warmongers - we may just end up in a nuclear war. The good news: it will be a short war and the Democrats will never have to accept responsibility for Clinton's loss.

Fred Caruso says: February 18, 2018 at 9:30 pm

Who gives a shit really?

How about that Clinton got the CIA to partner with neo-Nazis in Ukraine to stage a coup, kick out Putin's friend, and install a billionaire capitalist as President? - something the media never mentions.

Caleb Melamed says: February 18, 2018 at 9:12 am

As I open the online edition of The Nation this morning, there are two lead stories. One of them tells how Trump is planning to evict 5 million poor people from public housing. A very important story.

The second story by Bob Dreyfuss is probably the 10,000th one I've seen about the Russia probe. The public housing story is obviously much more important and substantial, yet the Democrats have been focusing almost exclusively on the flimsy Russia probe. Not even the pressing need to regulate assault rifles has really grabbed their full attention, even in the wake of the latest dreadful Florida high school massacre. In perusing the news stories this Sunday morning, the Russia probe continues to hold first place in coverage by a big margin.

Ultimately, I see the Russia story as getting its legs from the efforts of the dominant Hillary wing of the Democratic party, backed by big media, to continue to assert that Hillary really won the presidency in 2016, and that their wing should continue to have control of the party.

That an immensely dangerous war fever is being whipped up in the process is of no importance to them. And, by no means incidentally, they are ignoring all of the real atrocities being committed by the Trump administration against the American people and the earth's environment.

Clark M Shanahan says: February 18, 2018 at 9:52 am

Amen, Caleb
It has been thus since the creep moved into the White House. Dreyfuss, perky Rachel Maddow, Colbert, Maher, and many others have been the true "useful idiots".

Fred Caruso says: February 18, 2018 at 9:33 pm

This same media never gave Sanders any media exposure during the primary.

Caleb Melamed says: February 18, 2018 at 9:42 am

I would add that the election manipulations which the Clinton forces engaged in to defeat Sanders during the Democratic primaries dwarfs, by orders of magnitude, anything alleged against the Russians by even the most hawkish backers of the Russia probe.

Clark M Shanahan says: February 18, 2018 at 8:24 am

FYI
tweet by Peter Van Buren, former US foreign intelligence officer "Just did a quick read of the '13 Russian' indictment. Missing are a) any connections between the 13 and the Russian government and/or Trump campaign; b) any discussion of the impact (if any) their social media efforts had. It describes them buying Facebook ads, but nothing about if it affected votes; c) no connection shown between any of this and DNC, Wikileaks, hacking of emails; d) no discussion of motive; e) assumption that anything anti-Clinton was defacto pro-Bernie and/or pro-Trump. And all indicted persons are Russians, and outside the U.S., so highly unlikely this is going anywhere further legally.

Fred Caruso says: February 18, 2018 at 9:37 pm

There is nothing illegal or unethical about any individual of government supporting one candidate over another. BTW, today the media put up that scumbag Podesta as a spokesperson for the Democrats.

Clark M Shanahan says: February 19, 2018 at 9:02 am

Seems that the end justifies the means. No matter what is the truth. In the mean-time, they're actually harming the opposition to Trump. I suppose nobody asked Podesta why the DNC never offered their computers for FBI forensics.

Fred Caruso says: February 19, 2018 at 12:31 pm

The MSM never asks the hard questions anymore. It seems all pre-scripted and sanitized for corporate media.

Richard Phelps says: February 18, 2018 at 2:52 am

There is one issue that no media is talking about regarding the "memos". Trump is clearly a "person of interest", if not a suspect in some parts of the investigation. Given Trump's entanglement how is it not an absolute conflict of interest for Trump being the person who decides what memos get to be public and what redactions must be made.

Imagine a judge being a suspect in a crime or a major stockholder in a corporate civil suit. S/he would never be allowed to make any rulings on what evidence the jury gets to see or anything about the case. Some non-interested 3rd party needs to make those decisions.

Fred Caruso says: February 18, 2018 at 9:38 pm

Quit feeding this beast.

Jeffrey Harrison says: February 16, 2018 at 8:15 pm

The other interesting and fun fact not mentioned anywhere. Three Names won by 3 million votes. Crafty Ruskis.

Carla Skidmore says: February 16, 2018 at 7:33 pm

This investigation by Mueller is just beginning. In other words, and to use the vernacular, "We "ain't seen nothing," yet."

Fred Caruso says: February 18, 2018 at 9:40 pm

You are right. This is nothing but bullshit and it may be just the beginning. The Democrats have an endless supply of donkey-shit.

Jeffrey Harrison says: February 16, 2018 at 6:08 pm

It's interesting that the Russians set this all up to boost Trump and disparage Three Names before Trump even announced he was running. The basic set up for this was going on in 2014 whereas Trump announced in 2015.

Carla Skidmore says: February 16, 2018 at 7:29 pm

No, not really. Trump was making gestures of interest in the presidency in 2012

Clark M Shanahan says: February 18, 2018 at 10:28 am

Since when have you been so trusting of our FBI & CIA, Carla? From what we've experienced together from the Gulf of Tonkin onward, I'm a wee-tad taken aback. Please read the ex-foreign intelligence officer's twitter posting that I posted above.

Jeffrey Harrison says: February 16, 2018 at 8:30 pm

Pfui. He also made noises about running in the 2012 election. People don't set up organizations to do stuff just on the off chance that some politician or wannabe is going to run. These guys ain't got nothin'. It's been a year since Mueller went to work and what's he got? A couple of Republican political operatives being political operatives. Their crime was not reporting to the USG that they were working for Ukraine. Now we're down to social media posts. You're probably one of those people who say, I saw it on the internet so it must be true. If the government is going to be upset about crap they see on social media from foreign parties, they need to start by telling said social media that they can't solicit advertising from foreign entities with political overtones as facebook did of RT.

Fred Caruso says: February 19, 2018 at 3:35 pm

So we are going to limit global free speech by spending $Trillions more on building a nuclear arsenal - total madness - driven by [un] Democratic whining.

Francis Louis Szot says: February 16, 2018 at 6:05 pm

Apparently, it comes down to trolls who planted various "fake news" stories. Stipulate to all of that; the worst of it. How does THAT begin to stack–up against the murderous coup that the USA OPENLY fomented in the Ukraine a couple of years earlier by bankrolling dozens of Non-governmental organizations whose sole purpose was "regime change"?

Maybe come back to me about all of this when the FBI can convincingly prove that the Russian government armed and funded a Neo–nazi para–military group that assaulted and burned–down the North Carolina State House.

Fred Caruso says: February 19, 2018 at 3:37 pm

You mean like Clinton and the CIA did in Ukraine, for economic domination over Russia, don't you?

Clark M Shanahan says: February 16, 2018 at 3:44 pm

I'm hoping the hush-money passed on to two of Trump's romantic caprices, during the election, gets traction.

Tell me, as soon as you can, when having skepticism on the Russia/Election Meddling story is finally permitted. I heard tell, we've lately dropped the "Treason" narration. Now the spin du jour is that Trump & Co were all duped by them clever Ruskies. Whatever floats your boat.

Clark M Shanahan says: February 17, 2018 at 10:13 am

Yes David, I'm still a skeptic. In fact, I think this move to indict 13 suspects, that have a snowball in Hell's chance of ever being tried, is simply a dog and pony show to placate the public. Debrief yourself, read Binney's report and listen to Stephen F Cohen's latest, here on the Nation.

Clark M Shanahan says: February 17, 2018 at 5:25 pm

Stephen Cohen's take on Russiagate makes a lot of sense, to me. I've followed Russia/soviet/US relations very closely since Gorbachev. Open your eyes, Mattis has labeled Russia our mortal enemy, we just upped defense spending to an obscene level that shall keep our schools, hospitals, social services, and infrastructure in their bad state.

As if Hill, who stole the primaries actually ran a competent campaign.

[Feb 18, 2018] Here s how Mueller s latest indictment further discredits the Trump Dossier by Alexander Mercouris

Notable quotes:
"... As the days since Mueller's latest indictment have passed, the failure of his investigation to make any claim of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia has begun to sink in, even amongst some of Donald Trump's most bitter enemies. ..."
"... Even the Guardian – arguably the most fervid of Donald Trump's British media critics, and the most vocal supporter of the Russiagate conspiracy theory – has grudgingly admitted that Special Counsel Robert Mueller has "once again failed to nail Donald Trump" ..."
"... In fact the latest indictment when considered properly is a further huge nail in the coffin of the Russiagate conspiracy theory and in the already disintegrating credibility of the Trump Dossier, which is the foundation document for that theory ..."
"... Notwithstanding claims to the contrary, the Russiagate conspiracy theory is laid out in its most classic form in the Trump Dossier, and it is the Trump Dossier which remains the primary and indeed so far the only 'evidence' for it ..."
"... This theory holds that Donald Trump was compromised by the Russians in 2013 when he was filmed by Russian intelligence performing an orgy in a hotel room in Moscow, and he and his associates Paul Manafort, Carter Page and Michael Cohen subsequently engaged in a massive criminal conspiracy with Russian intelligence to steal the election from Hillary Clinton by having John Podesta's and the DNC's emails stolen by Russian intelligence and passed on by them for publication by Wikileaks. ..."
"... The Trump Dossier never mentions Jared Kushner's four conversations with Russian ambassador Kislyak, including the famous meeting between Kislyak and Kushner in Trump Tower on 1st December 2016 (which Michael Flynn also attended) over the course of which the setting up of a backchannel to discuss the crisis in Syria is supposed to have been discussed (Kushner denies that it was). ..."
"... The last entry of the Trump Dossier is dated 13th December 2016 ie. twelve days after this meeting took place, and given its high level a genuinely well-informed Russian source familiar with the private ongoing discussions in the Kremlin might have been expected to know about it. ..."
"... Nor does the Trump Dossier mention the now famous meeting in Trump Tower between the Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya and Donald Trump Junior – which Paul Manafort and Jared Kushner also attended – which took place on 9th June 2016. ..."
"... Now Special Counsel Mueller has provided further details in his latest indictment of actual albeit unknowing contacts between members of the Trump campaign and various Russian employees of Yevgeny Prigozhin's Internet Research Agency, LLC, apparently both in person and online. ..."
"... The Trump Dossier has however nothing to say about these contacts either, just as it has nothing to say about the Internet Research Agency, LLC, Yevgeny Prigozhin, or the entire social media campaign set out in such painstaking detail by Special Counsel Mueller in his indictment. ..."
"... I only remembered Helmer's 18th January 2017 article about the Trump Dossier after I wrote my article about Senator Grassley's and Senator Lindsey Graham's memorandum to the Justice Department on 6th February 2018. ..."
"... This is most unfortunate, not only because Grassley's and Lindsey Graham's memorandum resoundingly vindicates Helmer's reporting, but because it shows that a genuine expert about Russia like Helmer was able to spot immediately the holes in the Trump Dossier, which only now – a whole year and months of exhaustive investigations later – are starting to be officially admitted. ..."
"... Heroic efforts to elevate Papadopoulos's case and the meeting between Donald Trump Junior and the Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya into 'evidence' of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia which exists supposedly independently of the Trump Dossier fail because as I have discussed extensively elsewhere (see here and here ) they in fact do no such thing. ..."
"... With the Trump Dossier – the lynchpin of the whole collusion case – not just unverified and discredited but proved repeatedly to have been completely uninformed about events which were actually going on, why do some people persist in pretending that there is still a collusion case to investigate? ..."
Feb 19, 2018 | theduran.com

As the days since Mueller's latest indictment have passed, the failure of his investigation to make any claim of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia has begun to sink in, even amongst some of Donald Trump's most bitter enemies.

Even the Guardian – arguably the most fervid of Donald Trump's British media critics, and the most vocal supporter of the Russiagate conspiracy theory – has grudgingly admitted that Special Counsel Robert Mueller has "once again failed to nail Donald Trump"

There will be understandable disappointment in many quarters that the latest indictments delivered by Robert Mueller, the special counsel investigating Russian interference in the 2016 US presidential election, once again failed to nail Donald Trump. Although the charges levelled against 13 Russians and three Russian entities are extraordinarily serious, they do not directly support the central claim that Trump and senior campaign aides colluded with Moscow to rig the vote.

The Times of London meanwhile has admitted that the latest indictment contains "no smoking gun"

The Department of Justice, however, offered no confirmation to those still smarting from the election in Nov­em­ber 2016, who believe that, in the absence of Russian interference, Hillary Clinton would be in the White House today. Friday's allegations offered no evidence that the outcome had been affected. Sir John Sawers, former head of MI6, said yesterday that Donald Trump's victories in the key swing states were his own.

There was further comfort for Mr Trump, which he was quick to celebrate with a tweet. The investigation uncovered no evidence "that any American was a knowing participant in the alleged unlawful activity". That includes, so far, anybody involved in the Trump campaign. If there is a smoking gun it has yet to emerge, though Robert Mueller's investigation will grind on. Presi­dent Vladimir Putin is a malign and dangerous mischief maker. It has not been proved that he is an evil genius with the ability to swing a US election.

In fact the latest indictment when considered properly is a further huge nail in the coffin of the Russiagate conspiracy theory and in the already disintegrating credibility of the Trump Dossier, which is the foundation document for that theory.

Notwithstanding claims to the contrary, the Russiagate conspiracy theory is laid out in its most classic form in the Trump Dossier, and it is the Trump Dossier which remains the primary and indeed so far the only 'evidence' for it

This theory holds that Donald Trump was compromised by the Russians in 2013 when he was filmed by Russian intelligence performing an orgy in a hotel room in Moscow, and he and his associates Paul Manafort, Carter Page and Michael Cohen subsequently engaged in a massive criminal conspiracy with Russian intelligence to steal the election from Hillary Clinton by having John Podesta's and the DNC's emails stolen by Russian intelligence and passed on by them for publication by Wikileaks.

Belief in this conspiracy dies hard, and an interesting article in the Financial Times by Edward Luce provides a fascinating example of the dogged determination of some people to believe in it. Writing about Mueller's latest indictment Luce has this to say

Mr Mueller's report hints at more dramatic possibilities by corroborating contents of the "Steele dossier", which was compiled in mid-2016 by the former British intelligence officer, Christopher Steele -- long before the US intelligence agencies warned of Russian interference. Mr Steele, who is in hiding, alleged that the Russians were using "active measures" to support the campaigns of Mr Trump, Bernie Sanders, the Democratic runner-up to Hillary Clinton, and Jill Stein, the Green party nominee. Mr Mueller's indictment confirms that account.

Likewise, Mr Mueller's indictment confirms the Steele dossier's claim that Russia wished to "sow discord" in the US election by backing leftwing as well as rightwing groups. Among the entities run by the IRA were groups with names such as "Secured Borders", "Blacktivists", "United Muslims of America" and "Army of Jesus".

What is fascinating about these words is that none of them are true.

Christopher Steele is not in hiding.

The actua l Trump Dossier does not allege "that the Russians were using "active measures" to support the campaigns of Mr Trump, Bernie Sanders, the Democratic runner-up to Hillary Clinton, and Jill Stein, the Green party nominee".

Bernie Sanders is mentioned by the Trump Dossier only in passing. By the time the Trump Dossier's first entries were written Bernie Sanders's campaign was all but over and it was already clear that Hillary Clinton would be the Democratic Party's candidate for the Presidency.

Jill Stein is mentioned – again in passing – only once, in a brief mention which refers to her now infamous visit to Russia where she attended the same dinner with President Putin as Michael Flynn.

Nor does the Trump Dossier anywhere claim that "Russia wished to "sow discord" in the US election by backing leftwing as well as rightwing groups".

On the contrary the Trump Dossier is focused – exclusively and obsessively – on documenting at fantastic length the alleged conspiracy between the Russian government and the campaign of the supposedly compromised Donald Trump to get him elected US President.

Supporters of the Russiagate conspiracy theory need to start facing up to the hard truth about the Trump Dossier.

At the time the Trump Dossier was published in January 2017 little was known publicly about the contacts which actually took place between members of Donald Trump's campaign and tranisiton teams and the Russians during and after the election.

Today – a full year later and after months of exhaustive investigation – we know far more about those contacts.

What Is striking about those contacts is how ignorant the supposedly high level Russian sources of the Trump Dossier were about them.

Thus the Trump Dossier never mentions Jeff Sessions's two meetings with Russian ambassador Kislyak, or the various conversations Michael Flynn is known to have had with Russian ambassador Kislyak, some of which apparently took place before Donald Trump won the election.

The Trump Dossier never mentions Jared Kushner's four conversations with Russian ambassador Kislyak, including the famous meeting between Kislyak and Kushner in Trump Tower on 1st December 2016 (which Michael Flynn also attended) over the course of which the setting up of a backchannel to discuss the crisis in Syria is supposed to have been discussed (Kushner denies that it was).

The last entry of the Trump Dossier is dated 13th December 2016 ie. twelve days after this meeting took place, and given its high level a genuinely well-informed Russian source familiar with the private ongoing discussions in the Kremlin might have been expected to know about it.

Nor does the Trump Dossier mention the now famous meeting in Trump Tower between the Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya and Donald Trump Junior – which Paul Manafort and Jared Kushner also attended – which took place on 9th June 2016.

This despite the fact that the Trump Dossier's first entry is dated 20th June 2016 i.e. eleven days later, so that if this meeting really was intended to set the stage for collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia – as believers in the Russiagate conspiracy theory insist – a well informed Russian source with access to information from the Kremlin would be expected to know about it.

Nor does the Trump Dossier have anything to say about George Papadopoulos, the Trump campaign aide who had the most extensive contacts with the Russians, and whose drunken bragging in a London bar is now claimed by the FBI to have been its reason for starting the Russiagate inquiry.

In fact George Papadopoulos is not mentioned in the Trump Dossier at all.

This despite the fact that members of Russia's high powered Valdai Discussion Club were Papadopoulos's main interlocutors in his discussions with the Russians, and Igor Ivanov – Russia's former foreign minister, and a senior albeit retired official genuinely known to Putin – was informed about the discussions also, making it at least possible that high level people in the Russian Foreign Ministry and conceivably in the Russian government and in the Kremlin were kept informed about the discussions with Papadopoulos, so that a genuinely well-informed Russian source might be expected to know about them.

By contrast none of the secret meetings between Carter Page and Michael Cohen and the Russians discussed at such extraordinary length in the Trump Dossier have ever been proved to have taken place.

Now Special Counsel Mueller has provided further details in his latest indictment of actual albeit unknowing contacts between members of the Trump campaign and various Russian employees of Yevgeny Prigozhin's Internet Research Agency, LLC, apparently both in person and online.

The Trump Dossier has however nothing to say about these contacts either, just as it has nothing to say about the Internet Research Agency, LLC, Yevgeny Prigozhin, or the entire social media campaign set out in such painstaking detail by Special Counsel Mueller in his indictment.

The only conclusion possible is that if the Trump Dossier's Russian sources actually exist (about which I am starting to have doubts) then they were extraordinarily ignorant of what was actually going on.

That of course is consistent with the fact – recently revealed in the heavily redacted memorandum sent to the Justice Department by Senators Grassley and Lindsey Graham – that many of the sources of the Trump Dossier were not actually Russian but were American.

John Helmer – the most experienced journalist covering Russia, and a person who has a genuine and profound knowledge of the country – made that very point – that many of the Trump Dossier's sources were American rather than Russian – in an article he published on 18th January 2017, ie. just days after the Trump Dossier was published.

In that same article Helmer also made this very valid point about the Trump Dossier's compiler Christopher Steele

Steele's career in Russian intelligence at MI6 had hit the rocks in 2006, and never recovered. That was the year in which the Russian Security Service (FSB) publicly exposed an MI6 operation in Moscow. Russian informants recruited by the British were passed messages and money, and dropped their information in containers fabricated to look like fake rocks in a public park. Steele was on the MI6 desk in London when the operation was blown. Although the FSB announcement was denied in London at the time, the British prime ministry confirmed its veracity in 2012.Read more on Steele's fake rock operation here , and the attempt by the Financial Times to cover it up by blaming Putin for fabricating the story.

Given that Steele was outed by Russian intelligence in 2006, with his intelligence operation in Russia dismantled by the FSB that year, it beggars belief that ten years later in 2016 he still had access to high level secrets in the Kremlin.

What we now know in fact proves that he did not.

I only remembered Helmer's 18th January 2017 article about the Trump Dossier after I wrote my article about Senator Grassley's and Senator Lindsey Graham's memorandum to the Justice Department on 6th February 2018.

This is most unfortunate, not only because Grassley's and Lindsey Graham's memorandum resoundingly vindicates Helmer's reporting, but because it shows that a genuine expert about Russia like Helmer was able to spot immediately the holes in the Trump Dossier, which only now – a whole year and months of exhaustive investigations later – are starting to be officially admitted.

For my part I owe Helmer an apology for not referencing his 18th January 2017 article in my article of 6th February 2018. I should have done so and I am very sorry that I didn't.

I have spent some time discussing the Trump Dossier because despite denials it remains the lynchpin of the whole Russiagate scandal and of the claims of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.

Heroic efforts to elevate Papadopoulos's case and the meeting between Donald Trump Junior and the Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya into 'evidence' of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia which exists supposedly independently of the Trump Dossier fail because as I have discussed extensively elsewhere (see here and here ) they in fact do no such thing.

Despite Edward Luce's desperate efforts to argue otherwise, Mueller's latest indictment far from corroborating the Trump Dossier, has done the opposite.

With the Trump Dossier – the lynchpin of the whole collusion case – not just unverified and discredited but proved repeatedly to have been completely uninformed about events which were actually going on, why do some people persist in pretending that there is still a collusion case to investigate?

[Feb 18, 2018] Flynn guilty plea might be thrown out of court by the newly appointed Judge Sullvan who will vacate the guilty plea due to prosecutorial misconduct and failure on the part of the DOJ to furnish the defense with exculpatory evidence

Feb 18, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Peter41 -> borderdog Sat, 02/17/2018 - 19:13 Permalink

Hillary's butt is fair game after Mueller finishes up his bull-crap "probe" with nothing to show for it except "process" indictment/pleas by people uninvolved in the Dem's collusion with Russia, or with this sham series of indictments. Mueller will be gone by that point, and a real prosecutor (Trey Gowdy or someone equally talented) will pursue the truth, get to the bottom of the Dem sponsored perversion of the 2016 election, convict the guilty and have their butts thrown in jail.

BTW, the Flynn guilty plea will go away when the prosecution is thrown out of court by the newly appointed Judge Sullvan who will vacate the guilty plea due to prosecutorial misconduct and failure on the part of the DOJ to furnish the defense with exculpatory evidence (e.g. the FISA warrant allowing eavesdropping on the basis of a phony Russian dossier paid for by Hillary's campaign, engineered by a British former spy (Christopher Steele) and facilitated by the Seattle law firm representing Hillary's campaign (Perkins Coie), which was a conduit for the cash spent to obtain phoney Russian oppo material accusing Trump of various alleged perversions. This will happen soon, and will be a further embarrassment for the stunningly benighted Mueller.

[Feb 17, 2018] Now we know that Brennan single-handedly opened Russiagate investigation and even boasted about that. That means that he is the real godfather of Russiagate

Notable quotes:
"... The other question is to what extent Strzok and McCabe can be considered as Brennan allies, or maybe even Brennan agents of influence within FBI. It is not that plausible that those two guys ventured into "va bank" operation of spying on Trump by themselves. From recovered texts, it is clear that Strzok opinion about Hillary was pretty low. ..."
"... "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 told the House Intelligence Committee on May 23 that the intelligence community was picking up tidbits on Trump associates making contacts with Russians." ..."
"... Links from Crowdstrike "analysis" (which most probably was a false flag operation to implicate Russians and cover the leak of emails to a USB drive) also might lead to Brennan. ..."
Feb 15, 2018 | turcopolier.typepad.com

likbez , 15 February 2018 at 11:33 PM

TTG,

Your logic is suspect in this particular case.

First of all the "Intelligence community" here means predetermined conclusions by specifically handpicked for this purpose by Brennan team, consisting of a dozen or so analysts. Which included Peter Strzok and, most probably, Andrew McCabe.

The key operation launched after election nicely fits the scheme of a color revolution (which are CIA specialty in tandem with the State Department ;-) In this context, the role ICA was to launch the media frenzy (to use controlled MSM as attack dogs to de-legitimize the elected government accusing it of some mortal sin such as corruption, collision with Russia (or other chosen scapegoat country), plunging the standard of living and economics of the country, racism and suppression of ethnic minorities, etc) is a classic recipe from Gene Sharp book https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/jan/30/gene-sharp-dead-arab-spring-political-scientist ).

That goal was successfully achieved -- unprecedented neo-McCarthyism campaign, along with the allegations of "collision with Russia" by Trump and his team were both in full bloom by January 2017.

David Stockman provided the names of the principal conspirators of the color revolution listing Brannan as the No. 1 ( http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-12-18/russiagate-witch-hunt-stockman-names-names-deep-states-insurance-policy)

Here are the names and rank of the principal conspirators:
John Brennan, CIA director;
Susan Rice, National Security Advisor;
Samantha Power, UN Ambassador;
James Clapper, Director of National Intelligence;
James Comey, FBI director;
Andrew McCabe, Deputy FBI director;
Sally Yates, deputy Attorney General,
Bruce Ohr, associate deputy AG;
Peter Strzok, deputy assistant director of FBI counterintelligence;
Lisa Page, FBI lawyer;
and countless other lessor and greater poobahs of Washington power, including President Obama himself.

And this MSM witch hunt was in turn a step stone toward "Appointment of the Special Prosecutor" gambit (for which Rosenstein was used possibly with help of intimidation), the most important goalpost so far achieved by plotters.

Your interpretation of the visit of Brennan to Reid is probably wrong. Information about Steele dossier was of secondary importance. His goal was to recruit an influential Congress ally who shared the agenda "Trump should go" and who can help with the forthcoming color revolution steps based on dossier and ICA. Reid subsequent steps of propagating Steele dossier were just a part of larger effort.

Barack Obama biography and his very strange relations with Brennan raises a lot of interesting questions one of which is: To what extent Obama was dependent/controlled by CIA and to what extent he was the part of the color revolution plot. He definitely took unprecedented (and dangerous for him personally) steps to de-legitimize Trump and implicate Russians before leaving the office ("unmasking" campaign by Rice and Powell, exclusion of Russian diplomats and confiscation of Russian property made of the basis of Steele falsification and the burning desire to "get" Trump )

The other question is to what extent Strzok and McCabe can be considered as Brennan allies, or maybe even Brennan agents of influence within FBI. It is not that plausible that those two guys ventured into "va bank" operation of spying on Trump by themselves. From recovered texts, it is clear that Strzok opinion about Hillary was pretty low.

Now we know that Brennan single-handedly opened Russiagate investigation and even boasted about that. That means that he is the real godfather of Russiagate. According to the 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 told the House Intelligence Committee on May 23 that the intelligence community was picking up tidbits on Trump associates making contacts with Russians."

Links from Crowdstrike "analysis" (which most probably was a false flag operation to implicate Russians and cover the leak of emails to a USB drive) also might lead to Brennan.

The same is true about Fusion GPS. And even Steele himself, who, as we now know, got some information collected by the duo of Shearer-Blumenthal via State Department. So it is plausible that none, or very little of the dirt on Trump published in the dossier belongs to Steele. He might simply be used for the legitimization purpose of already collected by somebody else dirt; I read somewhere that he produced the "initial" dossier memo used for FISA court in record short period; something like three days). The story with prostitutes urinating on the bed in a Moscow hotel really smells with Blumenthal. It's his methods of dealing with Hillary political opponents. BTW he is the author of "birth certificate hypothesis" and "birther movement" (of which Trump became a part much later, after Obama victory) and due to this was rejected by Ralph Emmanuel when Hillary tried to get him into Obama WH ( http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/does-clinton-have-a-blumenthal-birther-problem/article/2602090 )

Mike Whitney asked several important in this content questions ( http://www.unz.com/mwhitney/is-john-brennan-the-mastermind-behind-russiagate/ ):

But now the plan has backfired and the investigations are gaining pace. Trump's allies in the House smell the blood in the water and they want answers. Did the CIA surveil members of the Trump campaign on the basis of information they gathered in the dossier? Who saw the information? Was the information passed along to members of the press and other government agencies? Was the White House involved? What role did Obama play? What about the Intelligence Community Assessment? Was it based on the contents of the Steele report? Will the "hand-picked" analysts who worked on the report vouch for its conclusions in or were they coached about what to write? How did Brennan persuade the reluctant Comey into opening a counterintelligence investigation on members in the Trump campaign when he knew it would be perceived as a partisan attempt to sabotage the elections by giving Hillary an edge?

I'm wondering why it's that much of a stretch to believe that the CIA might have engineered the whole thing.

[Feb 17, 2018] When Spies Turn into TV Experts by Philip M. GIRALDI

Notable quotes:
"... In September 2016, the two men reportedly were involved in obtaining information on Page and it has also been suggested that Brennan sought and obtained raw intelligence from British, Polish, Dutch and Estonian intelligence services, which might have motivated FBI's James Comey to investigate the Trump associates. Brennan and Clapper, drawing on intelligence resources and connections, might have helped the FBI build a fabricated case against Trump. ..."
"... Currently the senior officials who were so hostile to Donald Trump have decided against going quietly into their generously rewarded retirements. Morell has long been a paid contributing "expert" for CBS news, Hayden has had the same role at CNN, and they are are now being joined by John Brennan at NBC. ..."
"... Brennan, an NBC "senior national security and intelligence analyst," is an Obama-Clinton loyalist who can be relied upon to oppose policies and actions undertaken by the Trump Administration, admittedly not a bad thing, but he will be doing so from a strictly partisan perspective. ..."
"... Brennan has behaved predictably in his new role. In his first appearance on Meet the Press last Sunday he said that the Steele dossier did "not play any role whatsoever in the intelligence community assessment that was presented to President Obama " which is a lie. He denounced the release of the so-called "Nunes memo" by the House Intelligence Committee because it was "exceptionally partisan," which is true, and because it exposes secrets, which it does not. ..."
"... Brennan, who was hated by much of the CIA's rank-and-file during his tenure as director, does not have much of a reputation for truth-telling. He lied about how the Agency under his leadership tried to spy on and disrupt the Senate's investigation into CIA torture. ..."
"... Of course that makes Brennan turning into a TV "expert" even worse. It marks the completion of Operation Mockingbird http://en.wikipedia.org/wik... ..."
"... US corporate media is now 100% propaganda, 1% truth (the 1% being where the truth actually is what they would have you believe it is -- the little overlap between truth and propaganda) ..."
Feb 17, 2018 | www.strategic-culture.org

"Brennan, who was hated by much of the CIA's rank-and-file during his tenure as director, does not have much of a reputation for truth-telling."

Once upon a time in the United States there was a general perception that organizations like the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) were both apolitical and high-minded, existing only to calmly and professionally promote the safety and security of the nation. Directors of both organizations often retired quietly without fanfare to compose their memoirs, but apart from that, they did not meddle in politics and maintained low profiles.

There was a widespread belief at CIA that former officers should rightly retire to a log cabin in the Blue Ridge Mountains where they could breed Labrador retrievers or cultivate orchids.

But the relative respectability of America's national security agencies largely vanished in the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist incidents. It was learned that both the CIA and FBI had made fatal mistakes in their investigations of the al-Qaeda group, putting in question their effectiveness, and the leaders of both organizations began to focus on pleasing their political masters. The appearance of CIA Director George Tenet at the United Nations supporting lies promoted by Secretary of State Colin Powell was a low point, but there were many more to follow.

In September 2016, the two men reportedly were involved in obtaining information on Page and it has also been suggested that Brennan sought and obtained raw intelligence from British, Polish, Dutch and Estonian intelligence services, which might have motivated FBI's James Comey to investigate the Trump associates. Brennan and Clapper, drawing on intelligence resources and connections, might have helped the FBI build a fabricated case against Trump.

Currently the senior officials who were so hostile to Donald Trump have decided against going quietly into their generously rewarded retirements. Morell has long been a paid contributing "expert" for CBS news, Hayden has had the same role at CNN, and they are are now being joined by John Brennan at NBC.

Brennan, an NBC "senior national security and intelligence analyst," is an Obama-Clinton loyalist who can be relied upon to oppose policies and actions undertaken by the Trump Administration, admittedly not a bad thing, but he will be doing so from a strictly partisan perspective. And the danger is that his tag as former DCI will give him a certainly credibility, which, depending on the issue, might not be deserved or warranted. To be sure CIA interests will be protected, but they will be secondary to commentary from a partisan and revenge seeking John Brennan who is out to burnish his own sorry reputation. He looks perpetually angry when he is on television because he is.

Brennan has behaved predictably in his new role. In his first appearance on Meet the Press last Sunday he said that the Steele dossier did "not play any role whatsoever in the intelligence community assessment that was presented to President Obama " which is a lie. He denounced the release of the so-called "Nunes memo" by the House Intelligence Committee because it was "exceptionally partisan," which is true, and because it exposes secrets, which it does not.

Brennan, who was hated by much of the CIA's rank-and-file during his tenure as director, does not have much of a reputation for truth-telling. He lied about how the Agency under his leadership tried to spy on and disrupt the Senate's investigation into CIA torture.

He was also the driving force behind the Obama administration "kill list" of U.S. citizens selected for assassination. Concerns that Brennan will represent the Agency's viewpoint on NBC News are largely irrelevant as the network should have instead considered his credibility and judgment before hiring him.


Source: Strategic-Culture

> Stop Bush and Clinton 2 days ago

... ... ...

The CIA is very much effective - it just doesn't do what we're told it does.

Of course that makes Brennan turning into a TV "expert" even worse. It marks the completion of Operation Mockingbird http://en.wikipedia.org/wik... .

US corporate media is now 100% propaganda, 1% truth (the 1% being where the truth actually is what they would have you believe it is -- the little overlap between truth and propaganda) .

[Feb 17, 2018] Who Is Lying John Brennan or James Comey by Publius Tacitus

Notable quotes:
"... Another compelling fact is that the NSA only signed on as having "moderate confidence" in the conclusions and analysis presented in the document. That's a weasel word for "not sure." If there actually existed solid intel from reliable sources do you think that the NSA would insist that it only had "moderate confidence." Given my experience on working such issues the answer is a resounding, "hell no!" ..."
"... Finally, there is the dog that did not bark. It was a canard to claim, as Clapper did in October 2016, that "17 intelligence agencies" agreed there was Russian meddling. That was a lie. No document had been circulated and cleared on by all "17 agencies." ..."
"... Here is the bottom line. John Brennan is a proven liar and this whole charade about having some sensitive, well placed source giving us the inside dope on Putin is a new fraud and raises further questions about his credibility. ..."
"... UPDATE--More mindless idiocy courtesy of Robert Mueller. His indictment of Russians for meddling in the US election is a goddamn joke. Seriously? This kind of activity has been going on between Russia and the US for 60 plus years. Anyone remember Radio Free Europe? Voice of America? (And I can't disclose what we were doing covertly to meddle in Soviet/Russia politics, but we were). ..."
"... This is a clever move on Mueller's part - indict a bunch of Russians who (some) already have been arrested by the Russians and therefore are in no position to defend themselves against a US indictment. I suppose Brennan doesn't care that a bunch of Russians recruited as CIA assets get dumped on their own resources. Good luck recruiting any more Russians to help you! ..."
"... How nice and simple and tidy. '13 Russians'... has nice ring to it... will make a great propaganda movie. Seriously though, will this face saving result in any way encourage the Dems to pick a new strategy for "success" the Republicans? Or will they simply triple down on dumb? ..."
"... Yet, somehow, a few Russian trolls posting online claims that were indistinguishable from most of the "normal" election rhetoric is a threat to our democracy ..."
"... Imho, a far bigger threat to our elections is the massive amounts of money involved, and the funding of candidates by oligarchs. But the msm seems confortable with that. ..."
"... And it goes without saying that one of the most immediate threats to our democracy generated by Russiagate are the ongoing attempts to silence alternative dissent to the status-quo and label it as coming from Russianbots. ..."
"... Sounds even more desperate than simply dumb to me. Comey and his kins seem so pressed by (the lack of) facts and the overall incoherence of their ludicrous tale that they finally see no other choice than resorting to the ultimate weapon in store : direct scolding and shaming of ordinary citizen bold enough to object HRC's wrongdoings, past, present and future. ..."
Feb 17, 2018 | turcopolier.typepad.com

Sorry to belabor the point of the Deep State conspiracy, but the tenacious insistence of TTG in clinging to Democrat talking points and refusing to step back and objectively look at the facts demands an answer.

He is upset because I refused to post his comments to my last posting. He does a masterful job of seizing on an issue, such as John Brennan's briefing to key members of Congress sometime in August 2016, and insisting that this proves that Brennan was on the up and up. What I did not put on paper was the fact that I have spoken to one of the members of Congress briefed by Brennan and the content was not as advertised. Everyone did not get the same brief.

But let's go back and look at what Brennan was leaking to the press about this supposedly damning intelligence. If it really was as clear cut and damning, as TTG and others seem willing to believe, then we are faced with having to conclude that the Obama Administration, including Obama himself, endangered America's security or that the info was based on innuendo and conjecture.

Let's keep the timeline straight:

  1. The FBI learns from Christopher Steele in early July that the Russians reportedly are in cahoots with Donald Trump, who also happens to have a golden shower fetish. The FBI opens a counter intelligence case.
  2. John Brennan supposedly receives intelligence from a different source that Vladimir Putin is not only meddling in the US election in order to sow chaos but to get Donald Trump elected.
  3. Brennan then, at the urging for Barack Obama, supposedly briefs this incredible material to members of Congress.

Okay, so TTG wants us to believe that all members of the Congressional leadership got the same briefing and that it had nothing to do with the Steele memo. This is total bullshit. Let's go to the record.

We know that Harry Reid was briefed by John Brennan on 25 August 2016, according to a 6 April 2017 NY Times piece by Eric Lichtblau .

What did John Brennan tell Reid? Well, we only have to look at the letter that Reid sent to Comey two days later (27 August 2016) to understand the content of what Brennan briefed. Reid states:

  • The evidence of a direct connection between the Russian government and Donald Trump's presidential campaign continues to mount . . .
  • questions have been raised about whether a Trump advisor who has been highly critical of U.S. and European economic sanctions on Russia, and who has conflicts of interest due to investments in Russian energy conglomerate Gazprom, met with high-ranking sanctioned individuals while in Moscow in July of 2016, well after Trump became the presumptive Republican nominee.

This last point comes directly from the Steele dossier. There is no other source for it. Yet, Reid was not briefed by Comey or anyone from the FBI on the matter. He was only briefed by John Brennan.

I can hear TTG howling now. "Oh no," he'll insist, "Brennan surely had an independent source from the Steele dossier." Really?

Then how do you square the circle that James Comey, in his testimony before Congress in June of 2017, said that the dossier was "UNVERIFIED and salacious?" If the CIA actually had info corroborating the claim in the Steele dossier that Carter Page was acting as an agent of Trump and conspiring with the Russians then Comey would have had access to such information. In fact, if there actually were at least two sources confirming that Page was in Russia and collaborating with Putin on behalf of Trump, then Comey would have at least been able to say that part of the dossier was VERIFIED. He did not.

Do I think James Comey is a liar? Not on this point. I believe that if he had one shred of evidence corroborating one part of the dossier then he would have testified to that fact. He would not have said, "unverified and salacious." He would have said, "yes, some key parts but I cannot discuss that in open session."

But I do not have to rely on mere inference. I know from a source well placed in the intelligence community that Brennan was peddling the Steele memo and had no independent alternative source for such information. In fact, the intel backing up the audacious claims of Brennan and DNI Chief James Clapper was so weak that only a hand picked group of analysts were allowed to review and write up their analysis of that material.

Here again, I do not need to rely on inference. The only document supposedly coordinated in the intelligence community was the one published in January 2017 at DNI Jim Clapper's direction. TTG should know better, given his experience in the intel community, what charade and fraud this document is because only three agencies cleared on it (note, the term "clearance" refers to the process of relevant personnel from each of the named agencies certifying the language and content of the analysis).

It was a cooked, pre-determined document. Rather than let the analysts who were the actual substantive experts on the issues work on the document, DNI's Jimmy Clapper testified :

before a Senate Judiciary subcommittee on May 8 that "the two dozen or so analysts for this task were hand-picked, seasoned experts from each of the contributing agencies."

I know for a fact that a senior CIA analyst with special expertise on the GRU and Russia, who normally would be part of such a drafting process, was excluded. And it was not because the analyst lacked the appropriate clearance.

Another compelling fact is that the NSA only signed on as having "moderate confidence" in the conclusions and analysis presented in the document. That's a weasel word for "not sure." If there actually existed solid intel from reliable sources do you think that the NSA would insist that it only had "moderate confidence." Given my experience on working such issues the answer is a resounding, "hell no!"

Finally, there is the dog that did not bark. It was a canard to claim, as Clapper did in October 2016, that "17 intelligence agencies" agreed there was Russian meddling. That was a lie. No document had been circulated and cleared on by all "17 agencies." The reality is that one would never have all 17 clear on such a document because not all have expertise or even access to the intel that such a judgment would be based on. However, two agencies with direct and important expertise were excluded from coordinating on the DNI fraud--DIA and State's INR. Both agencies have experienced analysts with substantive knowledge. Don't believe for a minute that the "intel" (which only inspired moderate confidence in the NSA) was so sensitive that analysts with TS SCI clearances at DIA and INR could not see nor comment on such material.

Here is the bottom line. John Brennan is a proven liar and this whole charade about having some sensitive, well placed source giving us the inside dope on Putin is a new fraud and raises further questions about his credibility.

So, if TTG wants to rely on Brennan as a solid source, that is his right as a free citizen. But buyer beware. Brennan's story does not add up.

UPDATE--More mindless idiocy courtesy of Robert Mueller. His indictment of Russians for meddling in the US election is a goddamn joke. Seriously? This kind of activity has been going on between Russia and the US for 60 plus years. Anyone remember Radio Free Europe? Voice of America? (And I can't disclose what we were doing covertly to meddle in Soviet/Russia politics, but we were). And here is Mueller's conclusion:

anyone who was disparaging Clinton, may have "unwittingly" been a collaborator of the 13 Russian "specialists" who cost Hillary the election.

God help America. We've lost our damn minds.


Ishmael Zechariah , 16 February 2018 at 02:57 PM

PT,
re"God help America. We've lost our damn minds."

I am of the opinion that the parasites infesting the US body politic have now infected the nerve centers and the brain.
God help the World. Things are reaching a breaking point all over.
Ishmael Zechariah

eakens , 16 February 2018 at 03:05 PM
The problem is not whether the meddling did or did not happen, it's that the general populace here has no curiosity, and thus have lost their ability to think for themselves, and decide between what seems right, let alone the difference between right and wrong. We have institutional disregard for critical thinking here, and the fallout is that you have people who can be easily swayed by soundbites, 140 character twitter posts, and the onion type rags.

If they want to have a congressional hearing on something, it should be why a sitting member of congress thinks the Island of Guam might tip over if the Military continues to build on it.

We have lost our minds, but that is the question that needs answering. Maybe then you can find evidence of foreign interference.

Fred , 16 February 2018 at 03:06 PM
Publius,

In the Mueller indictment it also notes (page 23) that "Trump is Not my President" NYC, Novermber 12 2016, was a Russian idea. So by Meuller logic the Resistance is a Russian idea. How many members of congress should get expelled over being Putin's puppets?

Is this all he has to show for millions of dollars and how many damned months of investigation? How about all the NGOs that get foreign donations? When the hell are they going to get investigated for "defrauding" the United States? Better not ask, that would violate the narrative . God help us.

Anna , 16 February 2018 at 03:14 PM
Russian meddling -- Finally some "evidence" for the gullible: https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-02-16/special-counsel-robert-mueller-indicts-13-russians-hacking-during-us-election
"Defendant ORGANIZATION had a strategic goal to sow discord in the U.S. political system, including the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Defendants posted derogatory information about a number of candidates, and by early to mid-2016, Defendants' operations included supporting the presidential campaign of then-candidate Donald J. Trump ("Trump Campaign") and disparaging Hillary Clinton."
-- Really? Somehow the righteous Mueller and Rosenstein have missed very important Intel:
Comment section: "Sixteen thousand Facebook users said that they planned to attend a Trump protest on Nov. 12, 2016, organized by the Facebook page for BlackMattersUS, a Russian-linked group [?!!] that sought to capitalize on racial tensions between black and white Americans. The event was shared with 61,000 users. As many as 5,000 to 10,000 protesters actually convened at Manhattan's Union Square. They then marched to Trump Tower, according to media reports at the time. ... The group's protest was the fourth [4th!] consecutive anti-Trump rally in New York following election night, and one of many across the country." http://thehill.com/policy/technology/358025-thousands-attended-protest-organized-by-russians-on-facebook
-- And then there was a pink-pussy D.C. riot and the DisruptJ20 protest group riot against Trump. Have Mueller and Rosenstein had a sudden onset of dementia and forgotten the mass protests? Who was financing and organizing the logistics for the anti-Trump protests? Was there any investigation of the organizers of the protests against the elected POTUS? http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/what-i-saw-at-the-anti-trump-riot-in-dc/article/2612548
http://www.businessinsider.com/pussy-hats-womens-march-washington-trump-inauguration-2017-2
BillWade , 16 February 2018 at 03:23 PM
It sounds like the indictment makes 13 Russian trolls into felons. How many trolls do we have? Where do they work, will other governments decide they are felons as well? This isn't a "nothingburger", it's a "veginothingburger". Hasn't President Trump now been exonerated as well, "unwittings" versus "colluders"?
james , 16 February 2018 at 03:39 PM
thanks pt... good overview.. i want to reiterate you last words here -

"God help America. We've lost our damn minds."

is this what happens when a country goes overdrive with propaganda? the propaganda ends up eating away at the host country itself and causes a complete collapse of it's own sanity..

Keith Harbaugh , 16 February 2018 at 03:52 PM
Okay, let me try again.
I tried to post what appears below the line
to PT's post http://turcopolier.typepad.com/sic_semper_tyrannis/2018/02/pieces-of-the-coup-puzzle-fall-into-place-by-publius-tacitus.html
but it was not accepted.
Given PT's reference to RFE/VoA in the post above,
let me repeat the question:

------------------------

I have read numerous accounts of how the U.S. has attempted to influence political developments in:

  • Western Europe
  • the old Soviet Union, and its successor Russia
  • various other parts of the world.
  • Sometimes through kinetic means (Afg., Iraq, Libya, Syria, et al.)
  • but also through what seems to me like propaganda:
    Voice of America ,
    Radio Free Europe .

Back during the Cold War we were told that the USSR would try to block or jam
VoA/RFE broadcasts from reaching their citizens.

So, my very sincere question is:
Just how did U.S. efforts to influence the population of the USSR via the broadcasts of VoA/RFE
differ from the alleged efforts of Russia to support
what the media calls far-right parties and policies in the U.S. and Europe?

A Pols , 16 February 2018 at 04:05 PM
So these 13 Russians are accused of trolling and planting rumors?

Since the same thing is being done by Americans and, yes, Israelis, it seems ludicrous to suggest this is really "meddling" in the election. More like "feeding red meat to grey dogs" in the sense of stoking the fires of internecine culture wars already ongoing in this country.

If we actually end up arresting any of these individuals there will be tit for tat since there are still American financed NGOs operating in Russia whose personnel can be easily arrested on similar charges of promoting chaos and discord. Maybe the Germans can rent us that famous Berlin Bridge where "spies" were exchanged in various cold war movies.

Richardstevenhack , 16 February 2018 at 04:24 PM
See my comment in TTG's thread about who these "Internet Research Agency" people actually are. Scott Humor over at The Saker dug deep into these people and determined that they are actually anti-Russian Russians who were allegedly proven in court to be CIA spies!

I link to Scott's piece in the TTG thread. Hell, might as well link it here, too:

A Brief History of the "Kremlin Trolls": https://thesaker.is/a-brief-history-of-the-kremlin-trolls/

This is a clever move on Mueller's part - indict a bunch of Russians who (some) already have been arrested by the Russians and therefore are in no position to defend themselves against a US indictment. I suppose Brennan doesn't care that a bunch of Russians recruited as CIA assets get dumped on their own resources. Good luck recruiting any more Russians to help you!

It's a measure of Mueller's desperation, nothing more.

Valissa , 16 February 2018 at 04:52 PM
"Russians Did Not Alter The Outcome Of The Elections": Highlights From Rosenstein's Press Conference

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-02-16/russians-did-not-alter-outcome-elections-highlights-rosensteins-press-conference

To summarize: in 2014, 13 Russians launched a campaign to interfere with the US political system by "disparaging" candidates. This continued until ultimately Trump was elected, meanwhile, "there is no allegation in this indictment that any American was a knowing participant in this illegal activity. There is no allegation in the indictment that the [Russians'] conduct altered the outcome of the 2016 election."
----------------

How nice and simple and tidy. '13 Russians'... has nice ring to it... will make a great propaganda movie. Seriously though, will this face saving result in any way encourage the Dems to pick a new strategy for "success" the Republicans? Or will they simply triple down on dumb?

BillWade , 16 February 2018 at 05:46 PM
Aren't the economic sanctions imposed upon Russia due to Russian meddling in our elections? Might it not be prudent for Putin to round the 13 yokels up and put them on the next flight to NY (with lots of publicity)?
iowa steve , 16 February 2018 at 05:47 PM
During the campaign any voter using social media could come across literally hundreds of posts effectively proclaiming "Hillary is trash" and "Trump is trash".

Or for that matter the voters could see much the same by reading the campaign literature in their mailboxes, or listening to speeches on television.

Yet, somehow, a few Russian trolls posting online claims that were indistinguishable from most of the "normal" election rhetoric is a threat to our democracy.

Imho, a far bigger threat to our elections is the massive amounts of money involved, and the funding of candidates by oligarchs. But the msm seems confortable with that.

And it goes without saying that one of the most immediate threats to our democracy generated by Russiagate are the ongoing attempts to silence alternative dissent to the status-quo and label it as coming from Russianbots.

bluetonga , 16 February 2018 at 07:17 PM
"anyone who was disparaging Clinton, may have "unwittingly" been a collaborator of the 13 Russian "specialists" who cost Hillary the election"

Sounds even more desperate than simply dumb to me. Comey and his kins seem so pressed by (the lack of) facts and the overall incoherence of their ludicrous tale that they finally see no other choice than resorting to the ultimate weapon in store : direct scolding and shaming of ordinary citizen bold enough to object HRC's wrongdoings, past, present and future.

I this vein, I also read in earlier comment threads speculations regarding a new, very cunning objective of the putative Russian attackers : getting willfully spotted in order to spread chaos within the US politics and doubt within the heart of citizen. Frankly this sounds a wee bit far-fetched, like machiavelous 2.3 with Putin and the Kremlin gang upgrading to 4-D chess politics. Wouldn't it have been bold enough for them to bet on the universally predicted loser Trump? What sense does it make to interfere ostenteously when precisely their vowed nemesis is bound to win? How would that have tarnished her victory if she had won despite their meddling? Doesn't hold any water to me, but desperation stimulates imagination, and truly, confusion. Contenders of this view seem well engaged in a perillous intellectual twister game.

Besides, such an account shows very little appreciation for the intelligence and critical thinking of American voters. I bet that if many came to distrust their institutions, it is out of their own experience and reflexion rather than out of foreign engineering.

Delusion, desperation, confusion, stupidity, whatever. But for sure the seams are creaking.

Alves , 16 February 2018 at 07:20 PM
The funny thing is that it looks like the Russian government jailed several people from IRA last year. It would be prudent to look into it and try to figure out what is going on for real.
plantman , 16 February 2018 at 08:04 PM
One comment on the Timeline...

You say: "Harry Reid was briefed by John Brennan on 25 August 2016, according to a 6 April 2017 NY Times piece by Eric Lichtblau.

Well, now that's pretty convenient timing, don't you think? After all, Trump didn't become the GOP candidate for prez until the GOP convention on July 16, 2016. That gave the scheming Brennan a month to make up this dumb story and start passing it around Capitol Hill.

Yeah, Right , 16 February 2018 at 08:32 PM
"anyone who was disparaging Clinton, may have "unwittingly" been a collaborator of the 13 Russian "specialists" who cost Hillary the election."

So the US-side-of-things isn't even a "conspiracy" any more, it has become a "collaboration" of dupes?

What next?

Is Mueller going to accuse Trump-followers of the heinous sin of "not being with the program"? Or of "bucking the system"?

Goddammit! Hillary was meant to be the winner. All the scales were tipped in her favour. How dare there be any other result! Heads. Must. Roll!!!

GeneO , 16 February 2018 at 09:20 PM
Publius Tacitus -

Regarding your claim that Mueller concluded "unwittingly collaborated":

According to the text of the indictment that our host, Pat Lang, posted Mueller made no such conclusion. I note you did not put it within quotation marks.

Is there a separate indictment floating around out there with those conclusions?

Fred said in reply to Valissa... , 16 February 2018 at 09:24 PM
Valissa,

You mean Robby Mook is going to blow through $3 Billion next time out and still lose?

Publius Tacitus -> GeneO... , 16 February 2018 at 09:38 PM
You need to do a better job of reading
"Some defendants, posing as U.S. persons and without revealing their Russian association, communicated with unwitting individuals associated with the Trump Campaign and with other political activists to seek to coordinate political activities," the indictment said.
GeneO said in reply to Publius Tacitus ... , 16 February 2018 at 10:15 PM
Publius -

You are reading into that something I do not see.

Unwitting? I am sure there were unwitting Clinton fans also pushing TDS memes that were not true.

So call me blind if you want, but where does it say "collaborated"?

wisedupearly Ceo -> Publius Tacitus ... , 16 February 2018 at 10:25 PM
To PT: still no collaboration.
Valissa said in reply to Fred... , 16 February 2018 at 11:47 PM
Haha... https://www.lgbtqnation.com/2017/04/whos-blame-clinton-campaign-aides-throw-robby-mook-bus/ According to this article Mook is to blame for Clinton's loss. Nary a mention of any Russians.
Dabbler said in reply to Publius Tacitus ... , 17 February 2018 at 03:47 AM
With all due respect (and I read you assiduously), GeneO raises a valid point. Mueller's text, paraphrased accurately, says that some of the Russians contacted Trump campaigners with the intent to seek a collaboration. That's all it says. Nothing is said about a collaboration having been achieved with anyone or any organization

At the conclusion of your original essay, you augment Mueller with your own interpretations and words: "anyone who was disparaging Clinton, may have"; "been a collaborator with the 13 Russian"; and "who cost Hillary the election". You wrap your added words around two words that Mueller did use, "unwittingly" and "specialists". By doing this, you concoct a statement that summarizes what you read into the indictment, likely what you regard as Mueller's unspoken message.

Having done this, you present the blend of your several words and Mueller's two words as Mueller's conclusion. In this, you stretch a bit too far. "Anyone who was disparaging Clinton, may have 'unwittingly' been a collaborator with the 13 Russian 'specialists' who cost Hillary the election" is your conclusion, not Mueller's. To have prefaced the conclusion with something like "Here is what I think Mueller really means" would have been acceptable, and the supposition very likely might have been accurate. To say "And here is Mueller's conclusion" is disingenuous.

Publius Tacitus -> GeneO... , 17 February 2018 at 04:05 AM
GeneO, It is not "MY CLAIM." I'm quoting from Politico. Please learn to read and comprehend. I don't suffer fools well.

Here is the specific quote:
"Special counsel Robert Mueller's investigators found those Russians communicated with "unwitting" Trump campaign officials and other political activists before and after the 2016 election."
https://www.alternet.org/news-amp-politics/rod-rosenstein-americans-listed-mueller-indictment-were-unwitting-pawns-russian

LondonBob said in reply to Richardstevenhack ... , 17 February 2018 at 06:19 AM
Well it is an organisation that has received a lot of publicity in the West for awhile so it is an odd choice, I would have thought they would want a less public organisation for any IO.

Comey was telling the truth, he was still in the delusional belief he could weasel out of it and continue on as FBI chief.

Peter AU , 17 February 2018 at 06:36 AM
PT, in the latest, US indictment against a number of Russians, as its only example, cites a US placard holder on the birthday of JFK as evidence of "Russian interference". Jeez, JFK was a Russian?
what a friggin shambles the empire has become.
Bill H -> eakens... , 17 February 2018 at 10:30 AM
Yes indeed. As I said before in another thread. If the election is "disrupted" by voters altering their votes due to Russians posting on Facebook, then the problem is not that Russians are posting on Facebook, the problem is that voters are altering their votes based on posts they read on Facebook. There is little point in correcting the former problem without correcting the latter and vastly more serious problem.

The indictment accuses Russia of attempting to "diminish the public's faith in democracy," or some such thing. I really don't think our own voting public needs Russia's help in doing that.

J -> Bill H ... , 17 February 2018 at 11:51 AM
Nope, our crooked Politicians AND Intelligence/Law Enforcement entities are doing a good job of diminishing the public's faith. I don't know how many of my fellow Americans I have talked to have said to round them all the crooked politicians/intelligence/law enforcement and eradicate them from the earth permanently. That is why we see more and more the crooked politicians/intelligence/law enforcement understanding well their simmering public anger, and because of their fear of the angry public that they have created the surveillance grids (has nothing to do with misnomer terrorism), their legislation/laws that further restrict the public's ability to fight back against their crooked ways.

Diminished public faith, that's putting it mildly.

Sid_finster , 17 February 2018 at 02:32 PM
Mueller had a year and an unlimited budget, and all he has to show is an episode of "MTV's Catfish".

But that's not the point. The point is to distract from Deep State malfeasance, and use russiagate on domestic dissent.

Do you know whether that meme you are sharing didn't originate from.. RUSSIA!

different clue , 17 February 2018 at 03:26 PM
The Democrats remember how well the Republicans ( with help from Truman and others)
made Loyalty Oathism and HUACism and McCarthyism work for them. So the Democrats have decided to try making their own 2.0 version of Loyalty Oathism and HUACism and McCarthyism work for them. They will spend the next several-to-many years running their Reverse McCarthyism 2.0 operation.

They will accuse any Bitter Berners rejectful of yet-one-more-Clintonite of witless dupe-ness. If that doesn't win us over, they will accuse us of Russian subversive Fellow-Traveller-ism. If that doesn't win us over, they will accuse us of being Russian agents.

Of course they will try doing this to Republicans as well. If the Republicans complain, the Democrats will say such complaints are proof of Republican secret-Russian-agent subversionism; while quietly thinking to themselves " payback time for
McCarthy and HUAC").

DianaLC , 17 February 2018 at 04:00 PM
Thanks,PT, as usual.

I have no connection to intelligence agencies. I'm a mere citizen. I've been spending the last few days making cold calls to registered party members here in CO, trying to get them interested in the caucuses that are coming up. Remember how the caucuses became an issue when Trump was running?

Almost no one responded that they were going to attend. Several said they were so sick of politics they would definitely not attend. I'm beginning to believe that I and our precinct captain and her husband will be the only ones there.

What a sad state our country is in. Your last line is true, to a great extent, but I have to add to it. Yes, we need God to help American. And, yes, many Americans seem to have lost their mind. But what makes me sadder is that most of us who have not lost our minds are losing our belief that we could ever make a difference, to make things better.

[Feb 17, 2018] That gave the scheming Brennan a month to make up this dumb story and start passing it around Capitol Hill.

Notable quotes:
"... Well, now that's pretty convenient timing, don't you think? After all, Trump didn't become the GOP candidate for prez until the GOP convention on July 16, 2016. That gave the scheming Brennan a month to make up this dumb story and start passing it around Capitol Hill. ..."
Feb 17, 2018 | turcopolier.typepad.com

plantman 16 February 2018 at 08:04 PM

One comment on the Timeline...

You say: "Harry Reid was briefed by John Brennan on 25 August 2016, according to a 6 April 2017 NY Times piece by Eric Lichtblau.

Well, now that's pretty convenient timing, don't you think? After all, Trump didn't become the GOP candidate for prez until the GOP convention on July 16, 2016. That gave the scheming Brennan a month to make up this dumb story and start passing it around Capitol Hill.

[Feb 17, 2018] A federal judge has ordered Mueller to hand over all related documents to Flynn. If there is exculpatory evidence then Flynn could withdraw his plea and Mueller censured

Notable quotes:
"... I did read the indictment of the Russians and to my non-lawyer eyes, it read more like a political document rather than a criminal indictment. ..."
"... The charges seem very silly to me. And if ever there is a trial with these defendants challenging the prosecution I can see how they can win. But of course no one would pay any attention to the trial as the indictment is the desired endpoint that the media and the Democrats want. In comparison to the foreign money and influence operations of the zionists, the Saudis and of course many British politicians and their media during the last election, the operation by these Russians charged was more nonsensical. It would be absurd on the face of it that a bunch of Russian trolls could influence the election in any meaningful way. ..."
"... With respect to the potential conspiracy at the FBI, DOJ, and the IC, can Mueller really investigate his own colleagues and personal friends? I think he is a card carrying member of the Borg elite ..."
Feb 17, 2018 | turcopolier.typepad.com

Jack

Sir

I agree with you that the questions you posed should be answered.

An interesting point in all this high stakes drama is that a federal judge has ordered Mueller to hand over all related documents to Flynn. If there is exculpatory evidence then Flynn could withdraw his plea and Mueller censured.

I did read the indictment of the Russians and to my non-lawyer eyes, it read more like a political document rather than a criminal indictment. Mueller provided both sides reinforcement of their talking points. Hillary and the Democrats can confirm she lost the election due to a bunch of Russian trolls who spent a few million dollars and upended her billion dollar campaign war chest. Trump gets to confirm that there was no collusion.

The charges seem very silly to me. And if ever there is a trial with these defendants challenging the prosecution I can see how they can win. But of course no one would pay any attention to the trial as the indictment is the desired endpoint that the media and the Democrats want. In comparison to the foreign money and influence operations of the zionists, the Saudis and of course many British politicians and their media during the last election, the operation by these Russians charged was more nonsensical. It would be absurd on the face of it that a bunch of Russian trolls could influence the election in any meaningful way.

With respect to the potential conspiracy at the FBI, DOJ, and the IC, can Mueller really investigate his own colleagues and personal friends? I think he is a card carrying member of the Borg elite.

[Feb 17, 2018] DNC "hack" hoax should be investigated as that involves screwing with the investigation of a Federal crime and has counterintelligence implications and could lead to lots of indictments

Notable quotes:
"... We need a separate, really non-partisan investigation for the rest of the list. I think it would be possible to find competent investigators outside of the more politicized agencies who could be vetted for any political bias before being assigned. Investigation is investigation - you just need a place to start and a list of people to talk to. Facts then shake out. ..."
"... If Mueller does not look sufficiently into the "rolling Soft-Coup" aspects of all this, let us hope that the Congress and the Administration together can force into existence a Special Counsel with all of the powers and staff and funding that Mueller currently has/ will have. . . . to look into the "rolling Soft-Coup" aspects of all this. ..."
"... If such a counsel would look into the "letting Clinton off the e-mail hook" aspects of all this and esPECially into the "who shot Seth Rich" and "e-mails . . . hacked or leaked?" aspects of all this, so much the better. ..."
Feb 17, 2018 | turcopolier.typepad.com

Richardstevenhack , 17 February 2018 at 03:07 PM

I agree that the list should be investigated - especially the DNC "hack" hoax as that involves screwing with the investigation of a Federal crime and has counterintelligence implications and could lead to lots of indictments.

However, as someone else pointed out in the last thread, Mueller's only remit was to find evidence of Russian government "meddling" in the election and/or "collusion" with Trump and the Trump campaign - which he has not found yet and is highly unlikely to find. The 13 indictments are a joke in that regard.

We need a separate, really non-partisan investigation for the rest of the list. I think it would be possible to find competent investigators outside of the more politicized agencies who could be vetted for any political bias before being assigned. Investigation is investigation - you just need a place to start and a list of people to talk to. Facts then shake out.

different clue , 17 February 2018 at 03:07 PM
If Mueller does not look sufficiently into the "rolling Soft-Coup" aspects of all this, let us hope that the Congress and the Administration together can force into existence a Special Counsel with all of the powers and staff and funding that Mueller currently has/ will have. . . . to look into the "rolling Soft-Coup" aspects of all this.

If such a counsel would look into the "letting Clinton off the e-mail hook" aspects of all this and esPECially into the "who shot Seth Rich" and "e-mails . . . hacked or leaked?" aspects of all this, so much the better.

[Feb 17, 2018] Rosenstein unaccountably failed to mention yesterday Mueller's having landed a really, really big fish on February 2, the unwitting colluder and witless Ricard Pinedo (age 28), a small town scammer who operates a fake ID business out of Santa Paula

Looks like now Rosenstein is a marked man.
Feb 17, 2018 | turcopolier.typepad.com

Newmarket

All very good questions and one more either related to, or subsumed within #s 3 and 6 is whether Steele/MI6 are "targetable" for having meddled in the 2016 election.

Rosenstein unaccountably failed to mention yesterday Mueller's having landed a really, really big fish on February 2, the unwitting colluder and witless Ricard Pinedo (age 28), a small town scammer who operates a fake ID business out of Santa Paula, CA, a 80% Hispanic farm worker town in boondocks California. Pinedo plead guilty to one count of identify fraud and had, apparently, profited to the extent of some $10,000 or so from the sale of identify and banking information on-line with only a minimal amount sourced from any of the 13 defendants in the indictments. http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-richard-pinedo-mueller-investigation-20180216-story.html. The MSM, apparently, like Mr. Mueller has decided not to make a big deal out of the Pinedo indictment for reasons which remain the subject of speculation.

[Feb 17, 2018] The DOJ Inspector General report will be out in March. After one look at a draft of the report, Randall Wray fired McCabe. And remember, the DOJIG has all of the Strzok e-mails, including the ones the FBI "inadvertently destroyed."

Feb 17, 2018 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Jay Jay , , February 16, 2018 at 8:16 am

The DOJ Inspector General report will be out in March. After one look at a draft of the report, Randall Wray fired McCabe. And remember, the DOJIG has all of the Strzok e-mails, including the ones the FBI "inadvertently destroyed." Hopes -- and fears -- are high that this report will expose all of the Russiagate corruption in complete detail. If so, even mainstream media stars won't have a place to hide. They went all in too long ago and pushed the story way too hard.

So to answer Yves's questions: yes, there is deep fear that a receding tide is about to reveal a lot of naked swimmers and that yes, it will be a tsunami.

[Feb 16, 2018] The Russiagate Intelligence Wars What We Do and Don t Know

Steele dossier became hot potato for anti-Trump color revolution plotters. That's why probably 13 Russians were extracted from the back pocket
Feb 16, 2018 | www.thenation.com

In a recent interview, James Clapper, who served as President Obama's director of national intelligence, said explicitly that the Intelligence Community Assessment itself had nothing whatsoever to do with the dossier. "We briefed, John [Brennan, then CIA director] and I, briefed the president-elect [Trump] at the time, on January 6. He viewed what we presented to him, which had very high confidence levels in what we presented him, which by the way, a point I'll make, had nothing to do with the dossier. We did not draw on the dossier. The dossier, the infamous dossier, was not a part of our Intelligence Community Assessment," said Clapper. "His first reaction to it was that this caused a question about the legitimacy of his election."

Jeffrey Harrison says: February 16, 2018 at 6:08 pm

It's interesting that the Russians set this all up to boost Trump and disparage Three Names before Trump even announced he was running. The basic set up for this was going on in 2014 whereas Trump announced in 2015.

Carla Skidmore says: February 16, 2018 at 7:29 pm

No, not really. Trump was making gestures of interest in the presidency in 2012

Jeffrey Harrison says: February 16, 2018 at 8:30 pm

Pfui. He also made noises about running in the 2012 election. People don't set up organizations to do stuff just on the off chance that some politician or wannabe is going to run. These guys ain't got nothin'.

It's been a year since Mueller went to work and what's he got? A couple of Republican political operatives being political operatives. Their crime was not reporting to the USG that they were working for Ukraine.

Now we're down to social media posts. You're probably one of those people who say, I saw it on the internet so it must be true. If the government is going to be upset about crap they see on social media from foreign parties, they need to start by telling said social media that they can't solicit advertising from foreign entities with political overtones as facebook did of RT.

Francis Louis Szot says: February 16, 2018 at 6:05 pm

Apparently, it comes down to trolls who planted various "fake news" stories.

Stipulate to all of that; the worst of it.

How does THAT begin to stack–up against the murderous coup that the USA OPENLY fomented in the Ukraine a couple of years earlier by bankrolling dozens of Non-governmental organizations whose sole purpose was "regime change"?

Maybe come back to me about all of this when the FBI can convincingly prove that the Russian government armed and funded a Neo–nazi para–military group that assaulted and burned–down the North Carolina State House.

Clark M Shanahan says: February 16, 2018 at 3:44 pm

I'm hoping the hush-money passed on to two of Trump's romantic caprices, during the election, gets traction.

Tell me, as soon as you can, when having skepticism on the Russia/Election Meddling story is finally permitted. I heard tell, we've lately dropped the "Treason" narration. Now the spin du jour is that Trump & Co were all duped by them clever Ruskies.

Whatever floats your boat.

[Feb 16, 2018] Christopher Steele The Real Foreign Influence in the 2016 Election by Peter Van Buren

Steel role in propagating information should not be overestimated. The key here was probably Brennan, not Steele.
Scott Ritter: Steele's entire business model is built on the framework of an MI-6 anti-Russian information operation.
Notable quotes:
"... Steele, who is British, did far more than simply provide opposition research to the Democratic National Committee. He was able to make sure it reached the most influential people possible in politics, media and government to shape and influence the growing narrative of the 2016 presidential election. In other words, as a skilled professional intelligence officer, Steele ran a full-spectrum information operation against the United States. One could even call it information warfare. ..."
"... This is what separates his work creating the dossier (which a decent journalist with friends in Russia could have done) from his work insinuating the dossier into the highest reaches of American government and political society. For that, you need a real pro, an intelligence officer with decades of experience running just that kind of operation. Looking for foreign interference in the 2016 election? Let's take a closer look at Christopher Steele. ..."
"... Steele admits he briefed journalists off-the-record starting in summer and autumn 2016. His most significant hit came when in September 2016, journalist Michael Isikoff broke the story of Trump associate Carter Page's alleged connections to Russia. Isikoff did not cite the dossier or Steele as sources, and in fact denied they were when questioned. ..."
"... At the same time, Steele's info reached influential people like Sen. John McCain, who could then pick up a newspaper and believe he was seeing the "secret" info from Steele confirmed independently by an experienced journalist. And how did McCain first learn about Steele's work? At a conference in Canada, via Andrew Wood , former British Ambassador in Moscow. Where was Wood working at the time? Orbis , Christopher Steele's research firm. ..."
"... A copy of the dossier even found its way to the State Department , an organization which normally should have been far removed from U.S. election politics. A contact within State passed information from Clinton associates Sidney Blumenthal and Cody Shearer (both men also played active roles behind in the scenes feeding Clinton dubious information on Libya) to and from Steele. The Grassley memo suggests there is was a second Steele document, in addition to the dossier, already shared with State and the FBI, but not made public. ..."
"... While seeding his dossier in the media and around Washington, Steele was also meeting in secret with the FBI (he claims he did not inform Fusion GPS, his employer), via an FBI counterintelligence handler in Rome. Steele began feeding the FBI in July 2016 with updates into the fall, apparently in the odd guise of simply a deeply concerned, loyal British subject. "This is something of huge significance, way above party politics," Steele commented as to his motives. ..."
"... Steele reached an agreement with the FBI a few weeks before the election for the bureau to pay him $50,000 to continue his "research," though the deal is believed to have fallen through after the dossier became public (an intelligence community source tells The American Conservative Steele did in fact operate as a fully paid FBI asset.) Along the way, the FBI also informed Steele of their separate investigation into Trump staffer George Papadopoulos, a violation of security and a possible tainting of Steele's research going forward. ..."
"... The Nunes memo also showed then-associate deputy attorney general Bruce Ohr back-channeled additional material from Steele into the DOJ while working with Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates and her replacement, Rod Rosenstein. Ohr's wife Nellie Ohr worked for Fusion GPS, the firm that commissioned the dossier, on Steele's project. Ohr's wife would be especially valuable in that she would be able to clandestinely supply info to collaborate what Steele told the FBI and, via her husband, know to tailor what she passed to the questions DOJ had. The FBI did not disclose the role of Ohr's wife, who speaks Russian and has previously done contract work for the CIA, to the FISA court. ..."
"... In that time, he maneuvered himself from paid opposition researcher to clandestine source for the FBI. Steele then may have planted the spouse of a senior DOJ employee as a second clandestine source to move more information into DOJ. In the intelligence world, that is as good as it gets; via two seemingly independent channels you are controlling the opponent's information cycle. ..."
"... Meanwhile, there is informed speculation Steele was more than a source for the FBI, and actually may have been tasked and paid to search for specific information, essentially working as a double agent for the FBI and the DNC. Others have raised questions about Steele's status as "retired" from British intelligence, as the lines among working for MI6, working at MI6, and working with MI6 are often times largely a matter of semantics (for the record, Steele's old boss at MI6 calls the dossier credible; an intelligence community source tells The American Conservative Steele shared all of his information with MI6.) ..."
"... So, putting talk of Russian meddling aside for a moment, is it not fair to ask if what Christopher Steele was doing could be construed as foreign influence in an American election? ..."
"... Information operations is the bread and butter of MI-6. My experience with "Mass Appeal" in 1997-1998 underscores the degree to which planting stories in the media for the purpose of manipulating public opinion toward a specific objective served as a major component of MI-6 operational planning from top to bottom. ..."
"... Steele was part of a Russia team in the mid-2000's which was knee deep in conducting information operations against Putin's Russia; the entire Litvenenko episode was part and parcel of that effort. Steele was the MI-6 Case Officer who helped shape public opinion after Litvenenko's death. Keep in mind that Litvenenko was arrested in March 1999 his information was dated, and any new sources were from the Russian expat community, driven by anti-Putin oligarchs and guided by MI-6. Steele and Orbis assumes control of these sources in 2009; Steele's entire business model is built on the framework of an MI-6 anti-Russian information operation. Peter is spot on when he describes the Steele dossier as an information operation in the MI-6 model, whether MI-6 was directly involved or not. ..."
"... I think we should 'start' by accepting that this is a ludicrous pile of fabrications. You don't have to be an 'expert' at anything to smell this out. Being intelligent and not born yesterday are all the qualifications needed. ..."
"... And then there's the shadowy and still unexplored role of Britain's intelligence agencies–see the chapter titled "What Were the Brits Up To?" in Rogue Spooks: The Intelligence War on Donald Trump. ..."
Feb 15, 2018 | www.theamericanconservative.com

His dossier was more than opposition research, it was part of a full-spectrum information operation.

Leaving aside the validity of what has become known as the "Steele dossier," it's important to look at how Christopher Steele was able to guarantee that the information in it would play a significant and ongoing role in American politics.

Steele, who is British, did far more than simply provide opposition research to the Democratic National Committee. He was able to make sure it reached the most influential people possible in politics, media and government to shape and influence the growing narrative of the 2016 presidential election. In other words, as a skilled professional intelligence officer, Steele ran a full-spectrum information operation against the United States. One could even call it information warfare.

This is what separates his work creating the dossier (which a decent journalist with friends in Russia could have done) from his work insinuating the dossier into the highest reaches of American government and political society. For that, you need a real pro, an intelligence officer with decades of experience running just that kind of operation. Looking for foreign interference in the 2016 election? Let's take a closer look at Christopher Steele.

Steele's skill is revealed by the now familiar Nunes and Grassley memos, which show he used the same set of information in the dossier to create a collaboration loop, every intelligence officer's dream, which is his own planted information used to surreptitiously confirm itself, right up to the point where the target country's own intelligence service re-purposed it as evidence in the FISA (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act) court.

Steele admits he briefed journalists off-the-record starting in summer and autumn 2016. His most significant hit came when in September 2016, journalist Michael Isikoff broke the story of Trump associate Carter Page's alleged connections to Russia. Isikoff did not cite the dossier or Steele as sources, and in fact denied they were when questioned.

Isikoff's story didn't just push negative information about Trump into the public consciousness. It claimed U.S. intel officials were probing ties between a Trump adviser and the Kremlin, adding credibility, suggesting the feds themselves felt the info was worthwhile. Better yet for Steele, Isikoff claimed the information came from a "well-placed Western intelligence source," suggesting it originated from a third-party and was picked up by Western spies instead of being written by one. Steele, either as a source himself or via colleagues passing around his information, saw to it the dossier information reached journalists at Mother Jones , the BBC, Guardian and others. An article by Harold Blum in Vanity Fair laid it out in April of last year:

It wasn't long before, as The New York Times would write, the memos by the former spy "became one of Washington's worst-kept secrets, as reporters . . . scrambled to confirm or disprove them."

At the same time, Steele's info reached influential people like Sen. John McCain, who could then pick up a newspaper and believe he was seeing the "secret" info from Steele confirmed independently by an experienced journalist. And how did McCain first learn about Steele's work? At a conference in Canada, via Andrew Wood , former British Ambassador in Moscow. Where was Wood working at the time? Orbis , Christopher Steele's research firm.

A copy of the dossier even found its way to the State Department , an organization which normally should have been far removed from U.S. election politics. A contact within State passed information from Clinton associates Sidney Blumenthal and Cody Shearer (both men also played active roles behind in the scenes feeding Clinton dubious information on Libya) to and from Steele. The Grassley memo suggests there is was a second Steele document, in addition to the dossier, already shared with State and the FBI, but not made public.

While seeding his dossier in the media and around Washington, Steele was also meeting in secret with the FBI (he claims he did not inform Fusion GPS, his employer), via an FBI counterintelligence handler in Rome. Steele began feeding the FBI in July 2016 with updates into the fall, apparently in the odd guise of simply a deeply concerned, loyal British subject. "This is something of huge significance, way above party politics," Steele commented as to his motives.

The FBI, in the process of working Steele, would have likely characterized him as a " source ," technically an " extra-territorial confidential human source ." That meant the dossier's claims appeared to come from the ex-MI6 officer with the good reputation, not second-hand from who-knows-who in Russia (the FBI emphasized Steele's reputation when presenting the dossier to the FISA court). Think of it as a kind of money laundering which, like that process, helped muddy the real source of the goods.

The FBI used the Steele dossier to apply for a FISA court surveillance warrant against Carter Page. The FBI also submitted Isikoff's story as collaborating evidence, without explaining the article and the dossier were effectively one in the same. In intelligence work, this is known as cross-contamination , an amateur error. The FBI however, according to the Nunes memo, did not tell the FISA court the Steele dossier was funded by the Democratic National Committee as commissioned opposition research, nor did they tell the court the Isikoff article presented as collaborating evidence was in fact based on the same dossier.

Steele reached an agreement with the FBI a few weeks before the election for the bureau to pay him $50,000 to continue his "research," though the deal is believed to have fallen through after the dossier became public (an intelligence community source tells The American Conservative Steele did in fact operate as a fully paid FBI asset.) Along the way, the FBI also informed Steele of their separate investigation into Trump staffer George Papadopoulos, a violation of security and a possible tainting of Steele's research going forward.

The Nunes memo also showed then-associate deputy attorney general Bruce Ohr back-channeled additional material from Steele into the DOJ while working with Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates and her replacement, Rod Rosenstein. Ohr's wife Nellie Ohr worked for Fusion GPS, the firm that commissioned the dossier, on Steele's project. Ohr's wife would be especially valuable in that she would be able to clandestinely supply info to collaborate what Steele told the FBI and, via her husband, know to tailor what she passed to the questions DOJ had. The FBI did not disclose the role of Ohr's wife, who speaks Russian and has previously done contract work for the CIA, to the FISA court.

Ohr's wife only began work for Fusion GPS in September/October 2016 , as the FBI sought the warrant against Page based on the Steele dossier. Ohr's wife taking a new job with Fusion GPS at that critical juncture screams of the efforts of an experienced intelligence officer looking to create yet another inside pipeline inside, essentially his own asset.

For the operation's audacity, it was impressive: Steele took a dossier paid for by one party, and drove it deep into the Washington political machinery. His work formed in part the justification for a FISA warrant to spy on a Trump associate, the end game of which has not yet been written.

In that time, he maneuvered himself from paid opposition researcher to clandestine source for the FBI. Steele then may have planted the spouse of a senior DOJ employee as a second clandestine source to move more information into DOJ. In the intelligence world, that is as good as it gets; via two seemingly independent channels you are controlling the opponent's information cycle.

Steele further manipulated the American media to have his information amplified and given credibility. By working simultaneously as both an anonymous and a cited source, he got his same info out as if it was coming from multiple places.

The Washington Post characterized Steele as "struggling to navigate dual obligations -- to his private clients, who were paying him to help Clinton win, and to a sense of public duty born of his previous life." But The Washington Post has no idea how intelligence officers work. Their job is to befriend and engage the target to carry out the goals of their employer. When they do it right, the public summation is a line like the Post offered: you never even knew you were being used.

Meanwhile, there is informed speculation Steele was more than a source for the FBI, and actually may have been tasked and paid to search for specific information, essentially working as a double agent for the FBI and the DNC. Others have raised questions about Steele's status as "retired" from British intelligence, as the lines among working for MI6, working at MI6, and working with MI6 are often times largely a matter of semantics (for the record, Steele's old boss at MI6 calls the dossier credible; an intelligence community source tells The American Conservative Steele shared all of his information with MI6.)

As for the performance of the DOJ/FBI, we do not have enough information to judge whether they were incompetent, or simply willing partners to what Steele was up to, using him as a handy pretext to open legal surveillance on someone inside the Trump circle.

So, putting talk of Russian meddling aside for a moment, is it not fair to ask if what Christopher Steele was doing could be construed as foreign influence in an American election?

Peter Van Buren, a 24-year State Department veteran, is the author of We Meant Well : How I Helped Lose the Battle for the Hearts and Minds of the Iraqi People and Hooper's War : A Novel of WWII Japan. He Tweets @WeMeantWell


KevinS February 15, 2018 at 12:19 am

"The FBI used the Steele dossier to apply for a FISA court surveillance warrant against Carter Page. The FBI also submitted Isikoff's story as collaborating evidence, without explaining the article and the dossier were effectively one in the same."

Have you (or anyone else here) seen the application? I am not aware that is has been declassified.

Lenny , says: February 15, 2018 at 12:26 am
Carter Page Touted Kremlin Contacts in 2013 Letter

http://time.com/5132126/carter-page-russia-2013-letter/

The letter, dated Aug. 25, 2013, was sent by Page to an academic press during a dispute over edits to an unpublished manuscript he had submitted for publication, according to an editor who worked with Page.

"Over the past half year, I have had the privilege to serve as an informal advisor to the staff of the Kremlin in preparation for their Presidency of the G-20 Summit next month, where energy issues will be a prominent point on the agenda," the letter reads.

john , says: February 15, 2018 at 12:49 am
Doesn't the FISA court grant 99.5% of requests? A rubber stamp might have a higher failure rate. I doubt the info in the brief had much to do with anything. Still they re-upped the warrant 3x right? So that was based on what? I think something they saw/heard
Peter Van Buren , says: February 15, 2018 at 10:21 am
Commenters seem to have missed the point; Steele did everything he was paid for and then some. The fact that the universe of factors still elected Trump is immaterial to this relative success. In addition, the final chapter has not yet been written. There are people actively using Steele's work trying to bring Trump down. Stay tuned.
Allen , says: February 15, 2018 at 10:29 am
This article is a waste of time, not because it is inaccurate -- the federal government was weaponized and wielded by President Obama and Hillary Clinton a long time ago. No, it is a waste of time because those who hate Trump will continue to hate him and will believe any bad thing anyone says about him, regardless of facts. It's not about facts for them, it's about their feelings.

As I've said here before, if Trump cured cancer tomorrow, the headline at NYT and WaPo would read TRUMP PUTS DOCTORS OUT OF WORK!

Lenny , says: February 15, 2018 at 11:05 am
The Steel dossier which was not released during the campaign was an information operation but the coordinated leaks by Assange was not?

Comey ranting and raving about Clinton's emails before the elections but staying mum about the investigation into the Trump campaign was an effort by the deep state to get Hillary elected?

The Trump campaign had more contacts with Russians than the diplomatic staff at the US embassy in Moscow, but Hillary Clinton is the on who colluded with the Russians?

How much money is Putin paying you ?
Have you no shame or decency left in your bones? You and others who carry water for this abomination that is defiling the WH and degrading our democratic norms?

Will Harrington , says: February 15, 2018 at 11:07 am
ARK 712

You make quite a claim, considering that ALL of the history of the United States is modern history and we are only barely into the second year of the Trump administration. So, does this make you a sycophant for the people who claim to be resisting fascism while not having a clue what fascism is? Come on, use real arguments. Steele is the issue in this article so citing a couple of guilty pleas that don't really touch on the issue is not dealing with the article, it is a red herring. Personally, considering the blatant ways we interfere in other countries, I can't help but hear this as hypocritical whining. If Putin did order interference in our elections (and I would, if I were him) then the real problem seems to be that the Russian government is much better at playing this game than the sad bunch of incompetents that pass themselves off as our elite governing class.

Scott Ritter , says: February 15, 2018 at 11:24 am
Information operations is the bread and butter of MI-6. My experience with "Mass Appeal" in 1997-1998 underscores the degree to which planting stories in the media for the purpose of manipulating public opinion toward a specific objective served as a major component of MI-6 operational planning from top to bottom.

Steele was part of a Russia team in the mid-2000's which was knee deep in conducting information operations against Putin's Russia; the entire Litvenenko episode was part and parcel of that effort. Steele was the MI-6 Case Officer who helped shape public opinion after Litvenenko's death. Keep in mind that Litvenenko was arrested in March 1999 his information was dated, and any new sources were from the Russian expat community, driven by anti-Putin oligarchs and guided by MI-6. Steele and Orbis assumes control of these sources in 2009; Steele's entire business model is built on the framework of an MI-6 anti-Russian information operation. Peter is spot on when he describes the Steele dossier as an information operation in the MI-6 model, whether MI-6 was directly involved or not.

Johann , says: February 15, 2018 at 1:16 pm
At some point, the Democrats are going to have to admit they were duped by the Russian sources. The dossier fit exactly what they believed of Trump like a tee, and so it had to be true, except it wasn't. They were ecstatic and ran with it, even before they tried to verify it. When someone wants something very badly, they are easy to scam. The Russian agents who fed them that load of BS are now watching US TV, drinking vodka, and laughing their a__es off. They were wildly successful in creating political discord in our country, which was their objective. As usual, the democrats were their useful idiots, just like during Soviet times.
Johann , says: February 15, 2018 at 1:19 pm
The democrats may think it was patriotic for the Obama admin to use the intelligence agencies against their political opponents, but they are beyond stupid. Do they really think Trump or some future president won't do the same against them? Time to reel in our surveillance state. As usual, our greatest danger is our own government.
SteveK9 , says: February 15, 2018 at 2:06 pm
'Leaving aside the validity of what has become known as the "Steele dossier".'

Why do we have to start here? I don't think there is any point to 'leaving it aside'. The document is obvious rubbish to anyone with two gray cells to rub together.

I think we should 'start' by accepting that this is a ludicrous pile of fabrications. You don't have to be an 'expert' at anything to smell this out. Being intelligent and not born yesterday are all the qualifications needed.

Ken Zaretzke , says: February 15, 2018 at 3:35 pm
"Michael Flynn and George Papadopoulos have pleaded guilty and are working with a team of prosecutors to ensure that what is publicly known to meet the legal threshold for criminal activity to be ensured."

You need to read this article. http://www.nationalreview.com/article/456379/michael-flynn-guilty-plea-questions-raised-about-fbi-robert-mueller-investigation

And then there's the shadowy and still unexplored role of Britain's intelligence agencies–see the chapter titled "What Were the Brits Up To?" in Rogue Spooks: The Intelligence War on Donald Trump.

Peter Van Buren , says: February 15, 2018 at 3:54 pm
"Leaving aside the validity of what has become known as the "Steele dossier "

Space precludes going through the dossier line-by-line, and there is little to nothing in it that can be fully confirmed or disproven anyway based on publicly available information. Indeed, it was written just that way.

But the truth of the contents didn't matter; what mattered is what Steele could make people believe, whether those were journalists or the FBI.

OzPerch , says: February 15, 2018 at 9:00 pm
This is excellent work. Normally American conservatives suffer from a habitual Anglophilia, and they lionize vicious creatures like Winston Churchill. Perhaps this attempted coup against Trump is causing them to take a second look at the "special relationship", which has involved the US in one illegal war after another and given the neocons, who got their start in the Democratic Party, a foothold in the GOP.

[Feb 15, 2018] Another response to Publius Tacitus concerning those meddlesome Russians - TTG

This was clear a color revolution against Trump and Brennan was the key player. Which means that he might be guilty of sedition.
"Intelligence community" below means handpicked by Brennan a dosen of so analysts, which included Peter Strzok and probably Andrew McCabe.
Notable quotes:
"... "In other words, if the Russians really were in a full court press beyond their normal propaganda activities, then the intelligence community should have been galvanized to collect more information and should have briefed the leaders of the Senate and House intelligence committees. That did not happen. Key Republican leaders DID NOT, I repeat NOT, receive such a briefing. For example, Devin Nunes, the Chair of the House Intelligence Committee, did not get briefed by Brennan or any of his minions on this ..."
"... "Brennan started briefing the Gang of Eight individually beginning with Reid. He finished all individual briefings on 5 Sep 2016 commenting that it proved difficult to get appointments and talk with certain Republicans. Obama also sent Comey, Jeh Johnston and Lisa Monaco to brief the "Gang of Twelve" that included the chairmen and ranking minority members of Homeland Security and Intelligence to seek bipartisan support to respond forcefully to the Russians in early Sep 2016. McConnell reacted forcefully to stifle the intelligence and any forceful response saying "he would consider any effort by the White House to challenge the Russians publicly an act of partisan politics."" ..."
"... "Again, in consultation with the White House, I PERSONALLY briefed the full details of our understanding of Russian attempts to interfere in the election to congressional leadership; specifically: Senators Harry Reid, Mitch McConnell, Dianne Feinstein and Richard Burr; and to representatives Paul Ryan, Nancy Pelosi, Devin Nunes and Adam Schiff between 11th August and 6th September [2016], I provided the same briefing to each of the gang of eight members." ..."
"... "Given the highly sensitive nature of what was an active counter-intelligence case [that means the FBI], involving an ongoing Russian effort, to interfere in our presidential election, the full details of what we knew at the time were shared only with those members of congress; each of whom was accompanied by one senior staff member." ..."
"... The whole Trump/Putin narrative has lost steam. It has descended into an incomprehensible storm of "he said, she said." Unless Democrats, Mueller or the intelligence services can finally produce some kind of smoking gun, I doubt that Americans will just tune out. Advantage Trump. ..."
"... The whole adventure reminds me of the campaign against Bill Clinton in the 1990s. They could only 'get' Clinton because he shot himself in the foot with Monica. Of course, Trump, being Trump, is perfectly capable of doing the same thing. ..."
"... In any event, the longer this bullshit goes on with the innuendo, leaks, counter leaks, memos, and ridiculous histrionics the greater the level of transparency of the entire process and investigations will be necessary to assuage the "losing" side of this debate. And even granted that, it's doubtful there is a happy ending at the end of this particular rainbow. But some clear and convincing cards need to be thrown on the table soon, regardless of what they show. ..."
"... All in all, if there are solid clues, I'd wonder first if Russians aren't framed, and barring that, if their key goal isn't to cause paranoia inside the USA and make people doubt their whole political system. ..."
"... So what are we the people supposed to do with this....beat the bushes for another 3 years to see if something pops up? How is that fair to the people who voted for Trump and think he should be left to rule according to the results of the balloting? ..."
"... At what point does the onus fall on the prosecution to produce hard-evidence or shut the hell up?? Seriously. Or are you okay with a president being put under the microscope for 4 years with no probable cause, and no proof of criminal wrongdoing? ..."
"... Where did Mother Jones get that info on Russian bots? Why according to the article from the German Marshal Fund: http://securingdemocracy.gmfus.org/publications/methodology-hamilton-68-dashboard ..."
"... So Germany working to influence Americans is OK. Russians no. Yep. No influencing US elections via activities camouflaged as NGOs doing their good deeds. Never happen here. It's not like millions in donations to the Cxxxxxn Foundation, such as the $25 million donation of the Clinton Giustra Enterprise Partnership (Canada) - surprise! protected by Canadian law from releasing thier donor identities (see the NYT linked below)- or the multi-million donations of the Kindom of Norway, Kindom of Saudi Arabia, the Commonwealth of Australia and a slew of others would provide that organization with fungable assets that could be used in the USA to influence government policy or influence those voting for representatives who determine US government policy. ..."
"... Democracy dies in darkness. If this is actually worse than Watergate then declassify it all and hold public hearings - with no immunity for anybody. ..."
"... https://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/30/us/politics/canadian-partnership-shielded-identities-of-donors-to-clinton-foundation.html ..."
Feb 15, 2018 | turcopolier.typepad.com
Another response to Publius Tacitus concerning those meddlesome Russians - TTG

In the latest posting by Publius Tacitus concerning this subject, he made the following claim.

"In other words, if the Russians really were in a full court press beyond their normal propaganda activities, then the intelligence community should have been galvanized to collect more information and should have briefed the leaders of the Senate and House intelligence committees. That did not happen. Key Republican leaders DID NOT, I repeat NOT, receive such a briefing. For example, Devin Nunes, the Chair of the House Intelligence Committee, did not get briefed by Brennan or any of his minions on this subject."

I took issue with this interpretation of events in a response to a question posed by Fred.

"Brennan started briefing the Gang of Eight individually beginning with Reid. He finished all individual briefings on 5 Sep 2016 commenting that it proved difficult to get appointments and talk with certain Republicans. Obama also sent Comey, Jeh Johnston and Lisa Monaco to brief the "Gang of Twelve" that included the chairmen and ranking minority members of Homeland Security and Intelligence to seek bipartisan support to respond forcefully to the Russians in early Sep 2016. McConnell reacted forcefully to stifle the intelligence and any forceful response saying "he would consider any effort by the White House to challenge the Russians publicly an act of partisan politics.""

I got it mostly right, but upon further research I discovered I was wrong about the 5 September date. It was 6 September. Publius Tacitus still took issue with this insisting "Brennan did not brief all of the Republicans." I offered further proof of my claim in two comments which Publius chose not to publish. That is his prerogative as a guest writer here. I've decided to continue the discussion in this post. That is my prerogative as a guest writer subject to the final decision of Colonel Lang, of course. Both Publius and I must abide by those decisions.

I offer the testimony of John Brennan given before the HPSCI on 23 May 2017 to bolster my case that Brennan did brief the "Gang of Eight" on the intelligence community's initial findings that Russia was interfering with the 2016 elections.

"Again, in consultation with the White House, I PERSONALLY briefed the full details of our understanding of Russian attempts to interfere in the election to congressional leadership; specifically: Senators Harry Reid, Mitch McConnell, Dianne Feinstein and Richard Burr; and to representatives Paul Ryan, Nancy Pelosi, Devin Nunes and Adam Schiff between 11th August and 6th September [2016], I provided the same briefing to each of the gang of eight members."

"Given the highly sensitive nature of what was an active counter-intelligence case [that means the FBI], involving an ongoing Russian effort, to interfere in our presidential election, the full details of what we knew at the time were shared only with those members of congress; each of whom was accompanied by one senior staff member."

This particular transcription of Brennan's remarks was done by a darling of the deep state conspiracy crowd, sundance. Sundance was also kind enough to provide a video of Brennan's remarks. Note that Brennan names those he briefed and that list included Nunes. Sundance accepts Brennan's account of these meetings and, in fact, uses those remarks to beat Comey over the head over a related issue.

As long as I'm writing a post, I might as well address a couple of other points raised by Publius Tacitus. There was no "formal lack of response by the intelligence community." Prior to the briefing of the "Gang of Eight," Brennan established an intelligence task force of a couple dozen analysts from CIA, NSA and FBI to focus on the issue of Russian interference. This is probably the same team that wrote the January 2017 Intelligence Community Assessment. The establishment of this task force was preceded by intelligence obtained by the CIA through some kind of SIGINT, HUMINT or bilateral (FVEY) operation that detailed Putin's direct involvement in the cyber campaign to disrupt and discredit the US election. This intelligence also captured Putin's instructions on the operation's eventual objectives, to defeat or at least damage Clinton, and help elect Trump. Brennan sent this intelligence directly to Obama by courier prior to the "Gang of Eight" briefings. I remember the widespread outcry when the existence of this intelligence came out. It appeared to blow an apparent US penetration of Russian government secure communications. Maybe it did. But Brennan's call to FSB director, Alexander Bortnikov, on 4 August 2016 warning him to knock it off probably tipped off the Russians long before the public outing of the intelligence as did Obama's face to face warning to Putin at the G20 Summit that he knew what Putin was doing and warned him to knock it off.

In addition to this intelligence, the IC had at that time intelligence from Estonia (and maybe others) about Page's June trip to Moscow, the Dutch observation of Cozy Bear activities and the report from Australia about Popadopoulis' drunken ramblings in a London bar. None of that came from the Steele dossier. All of that is conveniently ignored by the deep state conspiracy theorists. All the information Reid referenced in his letter to Comey probably came from his briefing by Brennan, but we can reasonably disagree on the role or non-role of the Steele dossier.

In my earlier response to Publius Tacitus, I noted the forcefulness of McConnell in preventing a public release of intelligence about Russian meddling or a public response to that meddling. At that point in time, the Republican desire to keep this issue quiet can be seen as a reasonable maneuver of political electioneering or healthy skepticism. However, perhaps there's more to it than that. There are dueling conspiracy theories swirling around this whole Russia thing. Nunes was close to Flynn and was on the Trump transition team. I think he's too close to this to not recuse himself altogether, rather than this half-hearted recusal he currently claims. His continued efforts to derail the Mueller investigation smacks of conspiracy in my mind.

We still need to wait for the Mueller investigation to run its course and hope that the results will be released to the public. We need that and the results of the ongoing FBI IG investigation. Until then we'll continue to gleefully argue our respective points in a vacuum. Unless your comments are unusually abrasive and contribute nothing to the conversation, I'll publish them.

TTG

https://theconservativetreehouse.com/2017/05/23/massive-contradiction-john-brennan-completely-contradicts-fbi-director-james-comey-on-congressional-notification/

Posted at 05:32 PM in Russiagate , TTG | Permalink

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plantman , 15 February 2018 at 06:00 PM

Well argued, but I respectfully disagree....
and, regrettably, your argument sounds like a defense of the disgraced and untrustworthy John Brennan, who deserves a recap from author Glenn Greenwald at The Guardian:

"Brennan, as a Bush-era CIA official, had expressly endorsed Bush's programs of torture (other than waterboarding) and rendition and also was a vocal advocate of immunizing lawbreaking telecoms for their role in the illegal Bush NSA eavesdropping program

Obama then appointed him as his top counter-terrorism adviser . In that position, Brennan last year got caught outright lying when he claimed Obama's drone program caused no civilian deaths in Pakistan over the prior year .

Brennan has also been in charge of many of Obama's most controversial and radical policies, including "signature strikes" in Yemen – targeting people without even knowing who they are – and generally seizing the power to determine who will be marked for execution without any due process, oversight or transparency .." ("John Brennan's extremism and dishonesty rewarded with CIA Director nomination", Glenn Greenwald, The Guardian)

So, Brennan supported kidnapping (rendition), torture (enhanced interrogation techniques) and targeted assassinations (drone attacks). And this is the man we are supposed to trust about Russia???

You fail to mention that deputy director of the FBI Andrew McCabe stated under oath that the dossier was used to "improperly obtain" FISA warrants to spy on a member of the Trump camp or that the investigation has yet to produce even one scintilla of hard evidence in 18 months or that the media deliberately circulated stories they knew were uncorroborated nonsense in order to damage the president they never wanted.

I suggest you go back and reread the ODNI that Brennen put out with the help of his hand-picked team of analysts. I think you might be surprised in retrospect how weak the case against Trump really is...

GeneO , 15 February 2018 at 06:07 PM
TTG -

Well researched and well done. But please do not expect to cure paranoia with facts.

james , 15 February 2018 at 06:10 PM
thanks ttg.. it is nice to have 2 strong opponents battling it out, for us to possibly gain greater understanding here!

i am curious if you can shed more light on this quote from your post? "Obama's face to face warning to Putin at the G20 Summit that he knew what Putin was doing and warned him to knock it off."

that sounds very subjective to me... is there a transcript or recording of it? otherwise - it is total conjecture with nothing to substantiate it.. thanks..

m robert , 15 February 2018 at 06:19 PM
The "full spectrum information operation"by British operative Christopher Steele( working with MI6 ) and US "security and Intell services" ie : John Brennan points to an attempt at a unconstitutional coup against a duly elected President. Why? To maintain the British/US establishment policy of geopolitical confrontation with Russia & China and the policy of "regime change wars "; a policy candidate Trump voiced opposition to.

http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/christopher-steele-the-real-foreign-influence-in-the-2016-election/
Christopher Steele: The Real Foreign Influence in the 2016 Election?
His dossier was more than opposition research, it was part of a full-spectrum information operation.
By PETER VAN BUREN • February 15, 2018

https://www.thenation.com/article/russiagate-or-intelgate/

Russiagate or Intelgate?
The publication of the Republican House Committee memo and reports of other documents increasingly suggest not only a "Russiagate" without Russia but also something darker: The "collusion" may not have been in the White House or the Kremlin.
By Stephen F. Cohen FEBRUARY 7, 2018

Richardstevenhack , 15 February 2018 at 07:25 PM
"some kind of SIGINT, HUMINT or bilateral (FVEY) operation that detailed Putin's direct involvement in the cyber campaign to disrupt and discredit the US election. This intelligence also captured Putin's instructions on the operation's eventual objectives, to defeat or at least damage Clinton, and help elect Trump."

I call drivel.

Absent the presentation of "some kind of" said intel, Brennan is lying and conducting a disinformation campaign.

There is no chance that Putin is dumb enough to believe that his Russian intelligence services had the capability of swinging the election to anyone, let alone Trump whose victory, I remind those with - as Publius put it in his thread - "memory on the level of an Alzheimer patient" - was completely dismissed by everyone until it happened.

So we're supposed to believe the Russians knew better?

Hogwash.

When Brennan goes down for this disinformation campaign, I expect TTG to post a thread here with his mea culpa.

JohnH , 15 February 2018 at 07:33 PM
The whole Trump/Putin narrative has lost steam. It has descended into an incomprehensible storm of "he said, she said." Unless Democrats, Mueller or the intelligence services can finally produce some kind of smoking gun, I doubt that Americans will just tune out. Advantage Trump.

The whole adventure reminds me of the campaign against Bill Clinton in the 1990s. They could only 'get' Clinton because he shot himself in the foot with Monica. Of course, Trump, being Trump, is perfectly capable of doing the same thing.

JohnH , 15 February 2018 at 07:34 PM
Correction: I believe Americans will just tune out. Advantage Trump.
J -> JohnH... , 15 February 2018 at 07:54 PM
I concur.
The Twisted Genius -> plantman... , 15 February 2018 at 08:00 PM
plantman,

If you expect me to argue that Brennan is not a typical scheming bureaucratic hack, you'd have to wait a long time. I dislike him as I dislike most of his contemporaries, but I bear him no personal grudge. The purpose of the ICA on Russian interference was not to make a case against Trump. It was to make a case against Russia. I don't think it contained anything referring to any kind of collusion. You're conflating two very different, albeit related, subjects.

The Twisted Genius -> turcopolier ... , 15 February 2018 at 08:00 PM
pl,

Yes, I meant the DOJ IG report.

The Twisted Genius -> Richardstevenhack ... , 15 February 2018 at 08:21 PM
Richardstevenhack,

Reread the ICA on "Russian activities and intentions." It lays out the evolution of Russian thinking over the course of the election season. Russian actions were logical and in Russia's interests. They were not dependent on Trump's election victory.

The Porkchop Express -> The Twisted Genius ... , 15 February 2018 at 09:05 PM
This is a point that is rarely addressed or gets lost amongst all the vitriol. The Russians absolutely could have been (and almost assuredly were) involved in instigating and generally fuckery with respect to our elections and Trump could be squeaky clean as far as collusion/obstruction/etc... One does not preclude the other.

In any event, the longer this bullshit goes on with the innuendo, leaks, counter leaks, memos, and ridiculous histrionics the greater the level of transparency of the entire process and investigations will be necessary to assuage the "losing" side of this debate. And even granted that, it's doubtful there is a happy ending at the end of this particular rainbow. But some clear and convincing cards need to be thrown on the table soon, regardless of what they show.

On a lighter note, Karl Sharro wrote an entertaining piece last year about all this--more so to those on here with direct ME experience:

https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2017/01/america-you-look-like-an-arab-country-right-now-214678

Clueless Joe , 15 February 2018 at 09:08 PM
If there was some Russian meddling and hacking going on, I have to wonder if getting caught wasn't part of the plan. The key goal not being to put Trump in the White House, but to make sure each party would be at each others' throat and claims of foreign influence, possible treason and very dubious if not fake election results would poison the inner political life of the USA for the next 4 years. Basically, sowing seeds of mistrust towards the various authorities and the whole political process itself, to weaken the US system as a whole.

I base this hypothesis on reasoning similar to Richardstevenhack. Putin knows he can't win elections by internet and IT shenanigans; GOP or dems would use it already and would be far more effective than faraway Russia if it were the case. He's also smart enough to expect to be caught if such a massive endeavour was underway. On the other hand, going in without taking enough care not to get spotted and making sure the US agencies notice would indeed mean the operation was designed to be uncovered, and that was its purpose.

All in all, if there are solid clues, I'd wonder first if Russians aren't framed, and barring that, if their key goal isn't to cause paranoia inside the USA and make people doubt their whole political system.

plantman , 15 February 2018 at 09:38 PM
TTG....

I thought it might help to quote the first part of the "Key Judgements in the Intel Community Assessment:

Key Judgments

Russian efforts to influence the 2016 US presidential election represent the most recent expression of Moscow's longstanding desire to undermine the US-led liberal democratic order, but these activities demonstrated a significant escalation in directness, level of activity, and scope of effort compared to previous operations.

We assess Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered an influence campaign in 2016 aimed at the US presidential election. Russia's goals were to undermine public faith in the US democratic process, denigrate Secretary Clinton, and harm her electability and potential presidency. We further assess Putin and the Russian Government developed a clear preference for President-elect Trump. We have high confidence in these judgments.

 We also assess Putin and the Russian Government aspired to help President-elect Trump's election chances when possible by discrediting Secretary Clinton and publicly contrasting her unfavorably to him. All three agencies agree with this judgment. CIA and FBI have high confidence in this judgment; NSA has moderate confidence." (end quote)

The report was supposed to provide proof-positive that Russia meddled, but facts or evidence are excluded in the 40 page document.

So what are we the people supposed to do with this....beat the bushes for another 3 years to see if something pops up?
How is that fair to the people who voted for Trump and think he should be left to rule according to the results of the balloting?

At what point does the onus fall on the prosecution to produce hard-evidence or shut the hell up?? Seriously. Or are you okay with a president being put under the microscope for 4 years with no probable cause, and no proof of criminal wrongdoing?

Tell me, how long should this investigation be allowed to continue without any proof?

Fred , 15 February 2018 at 09:38 PM
TTG,

"... cyber campaign to disrupt and discredit the US election." Which other nations are doing the same thing? Which ones were doing so on behalf of the other candidate and why aren't those campaigns under investigation?

I learned from Mother Jones that a Democratic Senator met with lawyers that represent a Russian Oligarch close to Putin (he isn't recusing himself either) and that Russian "bots" are active. https://www.motherjones.com/politics/2018/02/donald-trump-joins-with-russian-bots-to-trash-mark-warner-on-twitter/

Where did Mother Jones get that info on Russian bots? Why according to the article from the German Marshal Fund:
http://securingdemocracy.gmfus.org/publications/methodology-hamilton-68-dashboard

So Germany working to influence Americans is OK. Russians no. Yep. No influencing US elections via activities camouflaged as NGOs doing their good deeds. Never happen here. It's not like millions in donations to the Cxxxxxn Foundation, such as the $25 million donation of the Clinton Giustra Enterprise Partnership (Canada) - surprise! protected by Canadian law from releasing thier donor identities (see the NYT linked below)- or the multi-million donations of the Kindom of Norway, Kindom of Saudi Arabia, the Commonwealth of Australia and a slew of others would provide that organization with fungable assets that could be used in the USA to influence government policy or influence those voting for representatives who determine US government policy.

"Nunes was close to Flynn and was on the Trump transition team. I think he's too close to this to not recuse himself altogether..."
Guilt by association? How many other transition team members should be removed from doing thier jobs for being "close to Flynn"?

"We still need to wait for the Mueller investigation to run its course and hope that the results will be released to the public. "
How many years will that be?

Democracy dies in darkness. If this is actually worse than Watergate then declassify it all and hold public hearings - with no immunity for anybody.

https://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/30/us/politics/canadian-partnership-shielded-identities-of-donors-to-clinton-foundation.html

[Feb 15, 2018] Tucker: Claims of the Steele dossier are completely absurd

Notable quotes:
"... It is funny to watch how they are divided (republicans and democrats) on domestic issues but they are as one on aggressive and militaristic foreign policies. Bomb, invade, bomb... rinse and repeat. No objection from either side. ..."
Feb 15, 2018 | www.youtube.com

It is funny to watch how they are divided (republicans and democrats) on domestic issues but they are as one on aggressive and militaristic foreign policies. Bomb, invade, bomb... rinse and repeat. No objection from either side.


Jack Novak , 1 day ago (edited)

Lois Dye , 1 day ago Dark Circles , 1 day ago BongoMunkey , 1 day ago Darrin Rychlak , 1 day ago SusanBailey AmazingEstate , 21 hours ago Knight Oyin , 22 hours ago pigboykool , 1 day ago Chris Shiherlis , 1 day ago avalanche344 , 1 day ago Lightwish Light , 1 day ago Purpurowy Diaboł , 10 hours ago Purpurowy Diaboł , 10 hours ago Shara Kirkby , 14 hours ago jo phoenix , 17 hours ago ameighable , 18 hours ago Jerry Cunningham , 18 hours ago dAn , 1 day ago

[Feb 15, 2018] Trump's War on the Deep State by Conrad Black

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... And the dossier, a pastiche of falsehoods from gossips in the Kremlin, has been exposed as a smear job paid for by the Clinton campaign and Democratic National Committee ..."
"... The hunters are the prey and Trump will prosecute, sack, or intimidate the deep state. But it is there, can arise quickly and can be very dangerous. Forewarned is forearmed. ..."
Feb 15, 2018 | nationalinterest.org

...Donald Trump went to war against the entire political class: all factions of both parties, the bureaucracy, the national media, the lobbyists, Hollywood and Wall Street. He said the whole system was rotten and had failed the nation: hopeless wars that accomplished nothing except the wastage of thousands of lives and trillions of dollars, the extension of Iranian influence and an immense humanitarian crisis, a flatlined economy, a shrinking workforce, increasing poverty and crime, oceans of debt, large trade deficits from trade agreements that exported unemployment to the United States and the unmonitored influx of millions of illiterate peasants from Latin America.

... ... ...

For the first nine months of the new administration, there was the constant confected threat of impeachment. The phantasmagorical imbecility that Trump had somehow colluded and connived with the Russian government to rig the election was the excuse of the hapless Clinton and her Trump-hating echo chamber in the national media for the election result.

The deep state was almost the whole state, and it pitched in to sabotage the administration. For nearly that long, the Republican leaders sat on their hands waiting to see if he would be impeached or not. His nominees were a long time in being confirmed. There were leaks of White House conversations, including with foreign leaders -- outright acts of insubordination causing Trump, a decisive executive, to fire some fairly high officials, including the malign director of the FBI, who then informed Congress that he had leaked a self-addressed memo (probably illegally, as it was technically government property), in order to have a special prosecutor named to torment the president over the fatuous Russian allegations, although Comey testified that Trump himself was not a target or suspect and the Russians had not influenced the outcome of the election. (This was a sober position compared to the wholesale fabrications of the Democratic vice chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Mark Warner, that a thousand Russian agents had swarmed the key battleground states and had delivered Wisconsin to Trump.)

The president has strengthened the White House staff. The FBI and Justice Department have been ripped apart in their partisanship and misuse of the dossier on which the collusion argument and the surveillance of the Trump campaign were based. And the dossier, a pastiche of falsehoods from gossips in the Kremlin, has been exposed as a smear job paid for by the Clinton campaign and Democratic National Committee, and the whole impeachment movement has collapsed. The hunters are the prey and Trump will prosecute, sack, or intimidate the deep state. But it is there, can arise quickly and can be very dangerous. Forewarned is forearmed.

Conrad Black is a writer and former newspaper publisher whose most recent book is Richard M. Nixon: A Life in Full (PublicAffairs, 2007).

[Feb 15, 2018] Tucker You have to be a moron to believe Steele dossier

Impressive dissection of Steele dossier
Notable quotes:
"... It is funny to watch how they are divided (republicans and democrats) on domestic issues but they are as one on aggressive and militaristic foreign policies. Bomb, invade, bomb... rinse and repeat. No objection from either side. ..."
"... Watch Jerome Corsi and James Kalstrom great video's about all the felony crimes Barry's DNC/DOJ/FBI were involved in including the dossier. ..."
"... to deflect the Seth Rich /WikiLeaks affair...and the Keystone Kops have been tripping all over as well as tripping up themselves ever since trying to "make it happen"...and if it was not for almost the "entire" mainstream media 'covering' for them many more people would actually realize that they are the biggest 'comedy' in town... ..."
Feb 15, 2018 | theduran.com

What kind of a moron would believe the Steele dossier on Trump and Russia? Lots of Democrat and hollywood elite morons and lots of morons at MSNBC and CNN.

It's so transparently partisan, outrageous and full of fictitious claims, the dossier reads like a parody of a badly written spy novel.

Amazingly, the dossier is what the FBI used to justify spying on American citizens.

Tucker Carlson easily debunks the many claims that Democrats in Congress repeatedly cited as reason to stop the normal functioning of government, so that millions of tax payer dollars can be spent trying to figure out if Trump has been a Russian spy for the last 10 years.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=29vHVcXVN_M


Melotte 22 , February 14, 2018 5:48 PM

It is funny to watch how they are divided (republicans and democrats) on domestic issues but they are as one on aggressive and militaristic foreign policies. Bomb, invade, bomb... rinse and repeat. No objection from either side.

Joseph Sobecki , February 14, 2018 1:29 PM

Watch Jerome Corsi and James Kalstrom great video's about all the felony crimes Barry's DNC/DOJ/FBI were involved in including the dossier.

john vieira , February 15, 2018 1:06 AM

No need to convince me Tucker...have been calling them morons with regards to "Putin did it" since the ex "moron in chief"...who by the way is now a certified fifth columnist with the blessing of the treasonous mainstream media...insinuated as much after the "loser" lost....to deflect the Seth Rich /WikiLeaks affair...and the Keystone Kops have been tripping all over as well as tripping up themselves ever since trying to "make it happen"...and if it was not for almost the "entire" mainstream media 'covering' for them many more people would actually realize that they are the biggest 'comedy' in town...

Vierotchka , February 14, 2018 1:28 PM

I can only concur.

[Feb 14, 2018] BuzzFeed Suing DNC For Proof They Were Hacked Zero Hedge

Notable quotes:
"... As part of their defense, BuzzFeed issued a subpoena to the DNC for information which might help them defend against Gubarev's lawsuit by verifying claims in the dossier - including "digital remnants left by the Russian state operatives," as well as a full version of the hacking report prepared by cybersecurity firm CrowdStrike. ..."
"... Since the DNC wouldn't let the FBI look at the server and instead relied on the report prepared by CrowdStrike (founded by Russian expat Dimitri Alperovitch - who sits on the very Anti-Russian Atlantic Council along with Evelyn " oops! " Farkas. The AC is funded by the US State Department, NATO, Latvia, Lithuania, and Ukranian Oligarch Victor Pinchuk, who apparently owns the Ukrainian gas company Joe Biden's son is on the board of). ..."
"... If the DNC is compelled to turn over the full CrowdStrike report and "digital remnants," perhaps Gubarev would then present a counter-analysis by researcher Forensicator which CrowdStrike apparently "missed" - revealing that the DNC files were copied at 22.6 MB/s - all but confirming that the files had to have been copied locally by an inside source. Many have speculated that DNC IT staffer Seth Rich, whose murder is still unsolved, was the source of the emails provided to WikiLeaks. ..."
"... Word of BuzzFeed's suit against the DNC comes on the heels of a Monday revelation that the news outlet hired a former top FBI and White House cybersecurity official to fly around the globe on a secret mission to corroborate various claims in the dossier. ..."
"... The probe is being conducted by Anthony Ferrante - formerly the FBI's top official in charge of "cyber incident response" at the U.S. National Security Council under the Obama administration. Ferrante is leading the investigation from his new employer, D.C.-based business advisory firm, Forensic Technologies International (FTI) consulting reports Foreign Policy ..."
"... Wouldn't it be funny if BuzzFeed proves the DNC wasn't hacked? ..."
Feb 14, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

BuzzFeed is suing the cash-strapped Democratic National Committee (DNC) to force them to hand over information related to the "Steele Dossier" that might help the news outlet defend itself against a lawsuit lodged by a Russian businessman who was named in the document. Three separate lawsuits have been launched against BuzzFeed in connection to the January 11, 2017 publication of the dossier, which states that Russian tech executive Aleksej Gubarev used his web hosting companies to hack into the DNC's computer systems.

The dossier, without substantiation, said Gubarev's U.S.-based global web-hosting companies, XBT and Webzilla, planted digital bugs, transmitted viruses and conducted altering operations against the Democratic Party leadership.

While one key name in the dossier was blackened out by BuzzFeed, Gubarev's was not. He alleges that he was never contacted for comment, suffering reputational harm in the process. - Foreign Policy

As part of their defense, BuzzFeed issued a subpoena to the DNC for information which might help them defend against Gubarev's lawsuit by verifying claims in the dossier - including "digital remnants left by the Russian state operatives," as well as a full version of the hacking report prepared by cybersecurity firm CrowdStrike.

Since the DNC wouldn't let the FBI look at the server and instead relied on the report prepared by CrowdStrike (founded by Russian expat Dimitri Alperovitch - who sits on the very Anti-Russian Atlantic Council along with Evelyn " oops! " Farkas. The AC is funded by the US State Department, NATO, Latvia, Lithuania, and Ukranian Oligarch Victor Pinchuk, who apparently owns the Ukrainian gas company Joe Biden's son is on the board of).

"As part of the discovery process, BuzzFeed is attempting to verify claims in the dossier that relate to the hacking of the DNC," said BuzzFeed spokesman Matt Mittenhal in a statement. "We're asking a federal court to force the DNC to follow the law and allow BuzzFeed to fully defend its First Amendment rights."

Last month, the DNC claimed that providing the requested information would expose the DNC's internal operations and harm the party politically (it's always someone else's fault, no?).

"If these documents were disclosed, the DNC's internal operations, as well as its ability to effectively achieve its political goals, would be harmed ," said DNC lawyers.

If the DNC is compelled to turn over the full CrowdStrike report and "digital remnants," perhaps Gubarev would then present a counter-analysis by researcher Forensicator which CrowdStrike apparently "missed" - revealing that the DNC files were copied at 22.6 MB/s - all but confirming that the files had to have been copied locally by an inside source. Many have speculated that DNC IT staffer Seth Rich, whose murder is still unsolved, was the source of the emails provided to WikiLeaks.

Word of BuzzFeed's suit against the DNC comes on the heels of a Monday revelation that the news outlet hired a former top FBI and White House cybersecurity official to fly around the globe on a secret mission to corroborate various claims in the dossier.

The probe is being conducted by Anthony Ferrante - formerly the FBI's top official in charge of "cyber incident response" at the U.S. National Security Council under the Obama administration. Ferrante is leading the investigation from his new employer, D.C.-based business advisory firm, Forensic Technologies International (FTI) consulting reports Foreign Policy .

At FTI, Ferrante launched what's now been a months-long stealth effort chasing down documents and conducting interviews on the ground in various countries around the world. His team directed BuzzFeed lawyers to subpoena specific data and testimony from dozens of agencies or companies across the country and assembled a cyber ops war room to analyze that dat a, according to sources familiar with the work.

Considering that much of the Steele dossier came from a collaboration with high level Kremlin officials (a collusion if you will), one has to wonder exactly what channels Ferrante and FTI have tapped in order to access such information.

Wouldn't it be funny if BuzzFeed proves the DNC wasn't hacked?

[Feb 14, 2018] Recused Judge in Flynn Prosecution Served on FISA Court

Highly recommended!
Feb 14, 2018 | www.unz.com

Clyde, February 14, 2018 at 11:20 am GMT

@Ozymandias

"It's worth noting that intentionally deceiving a federal judge is a felony."
It's also worth noting that sometimes the judge is in on it.

For the Trump Admin surveillance warrants the FISA judge was probably Contreras. So goes the rumor. He was probably in on it or halfway in on it. All the major players in DC know each other and trade favors.

And Gen Mike Flynn is in the process of getting his case dismissed. The only thing left to determine is how much the Federales will have to reimburse him for his lawyers fees, which are a million plus.

FISA Judge Rudolph Contreras EXPOSED – twitter.com

Rudolph Contreras was the FISA Judge who issued a warrant to spy on Carter Page because of a Yahoo News article and a Phony Probably have already. He needs to go

Recused Judge in Flynn Prosecution Served on FISA Court

https://www.infowars.com/recused-judge-in-flynn-prosecution-served&#8230 ;

Did Judge Contreras OK electronic surveillance of Recused Judge in Flynn Prosecution Served on FISA Court Did Judge Contreras OK electronic surveillance of

Federal FISA Judge Recuses Himself From Michael Flynn Case

https://theconservativetreehouse.com/2017/12/07/federal-fisa-judge&#8230 ;

Blows the whole FISA Court to hell in a hand basket and Judge Contreras is getting the hell out of dodge. This a helluva mess for the FISA Court and it's victims. Rule 5. Authority of the Judges. (b) Referring Matters to Other Judges.

[Feb 14, 2018] The Anti-Trump Coup by Michael S. Rozeff

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Mainly, unnamed intelligence officials and operatives who are in the CIA or recently retired from such. A number of media outfits are exceptionally active in propagating negative headlines and stories about Trump and his administration. Elements of other intelligence agencies and departments of government are possibly involved. We do not know the names of those operating against Trump, and this is a weakness of the coup hypothesis. ..."
"... Its foundation was laid in 2016 by accusations of Russian interference in the election. The coup began in earnest as soon as the election in November 2016 made Trump the winner. ..."
"... On Jan. 14, 2017, a news report states that the CIA set up a task force in 2016 to investigate possible Russian funding of Trump's campaign. The task force included the FBI, the Treasury, and Justice Departments, the CIA, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, and the National Security Agency (NSA). ..."
"... On February 24, 2016, ex-CIA chief Hayden said he'd be "frightened" of a Trump presidency. He said, "I would be incredibly concerned if President Trump governed in a way that was consistent with the language that candidate Trump expressed during the campaign." A news report told us "Former CIA director Michael Hayden believes there is a legitimate possibility that the U.S. military would refuse to follow orders given by Donald Trump if the Republican front-runner becomes president and decides to make good on certain campaign pledges." ..."
"... There is ample evidence in the form of sharp public bickering between Trump and these two CIA chiefs, present and the past, that the CIA set up a task force to investigate Trump's campaign as a weapon against Trump and his possible election. The motive behind the investigation was not to ensure a clean campaign free of Russian influence but to work against Trump's election chances. The CIA was dismayed by what appeared to them to be a possible president who was aiming to work with Putin and not against him. ..."
"... The excuse was an allegation that three of Trump's associates had received campaign money from the Kremlin. This allegation came from a Baltic state and it was processed by the CIA and made into something worthy of following up. We read that the task force " was set up after the director of the CIA, John Brennan, received a recording of a conversation about money from the Kremlin going into Trump's campaign coffers, the BBC's Paul Wood reported. The recording was apparently passed to the CIA by the intelligence agency of one of the Baltic States." ..."
"... According to this, John Brennan is the key player in the anti-Trump movement. He wants to see Trump's presidency brought to a quick end or otherwise neutered and made compliant to rule by the CIA. By their control over information and its interpretation, the leaders of the CIA have gained considerable power within the government. They've enhanced this by developing operational forces in the field. ..."
"... As occurred during the propaganda campaign that preceded Bush 2's attack on Iraq and as in the Ukraine case noted above, we again observe murky foreign sources that are given credence and validity by the CIA. The public and media have no viable way of checking on the story of Kremlin money except perhaps through off the record sources. Such stories can't be traced through public hearings without subpoena power and a will to wash a lot of dirty linen in public. They are perfect for propaganda and cover-ups. ..."
"... On January 3, 2016, Charles Schumer said that Trump was "being really dumb" for arguing against the assessments of the intelligence community on Russian hacking. He adds ominously: "Let me tell you, you take on the intelligence community, they have six ways from Sunday at getting back at you." ..."
"... On January 15, 2017, we read "CIA Director John Brennan on Sunday had a stern parting message for Republican Donald Trump days before he assumes the U.S. presidency, cautioning him against loosening sanctions on Russia and warning him to watch what he says. Brennan rebuked the president-elect for comparing U.S. intelligence practices to Nazi Germany in comments that laid bare the friction between Trump and the intelligence community he has criticized and is on the verge of commanding." ..."
"... In 2016 Trump and the CIA became foes of one another because of vast policy differences. Past and present CIA directors went public against Trump. They instigated a series of reports and leaks to discredit Trump and to link his campaign to Russian meddling in the election. They went after several of his aides, causing Paul Manafort to resign. After the election, they produced new anti-Trump material and managed to get his National Security Advisor, Michael Flynn, to resign. This adds up to an attempted coup that has had some success. ..."
Feb 21, 2017 | www.lewrockwell.com

...

Q. Who is behind the coup attempt ?

A. Mainly, unnamed intelligence officials and operatives who are in the CIA or recently retired from such. A number of media outfits are exceptionally active in propagating negative headlines and stories about Trump and his administration. Elements of other intelligence agencies and departments of government are possibly involved. We do not know the names of those operating against Trump, and this is a weakness of the coup hypothesis.

Q. When did the coup attempt begin?

A. Its foundation was laid in 2016 by accusations of Russian interference in the election. The coup began in earnest as soon as the election in November 2016 made Trump the winner.

Q. What evidence points to the CIA's role in the coup attempt?

A. A news report from September 5, 2016, reports that "U.S. intelligence and law enforcement agencies are investigating what they see as a broad covert Russian operation in the United States to sow public distrust in the upcoming presidential election and in U.S. political institutions, intelligence, and congressional officials said."

On Jan. 14, 2017, a news report states that the CIA set up a task force in 2016 to investigate possible Russian funding of Trump's campaign. The task force included the FBI, the Treasury, and Justice Departments, the CIA, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, and the National Security Agency (NSA).

Q. Why did the CIA set up a task force to investigate Trump's campaign?

A. Why did the CIA not set up a task force to investigate Hillary Clinton's activities during and after being Secretary of State in response to receipt of mammoth amounts of foreign money that were laundered through the Clinton Foundation? The reason is that she was the candidate favored by the CIA leadership and Trump was not.

Early in 2016, Trump was raising very strong doubts in the intelligence community that he'd govern as they saw fit.

On February 24, 2016, ex-CIA chief Hayden said he'd be "frightened" of a Trump presidency. He said, "I would be incredibly concerned if President Trump governed in a way that was consistent with the language that candidate Trump expressed during the campaign." A news report told us "Former CIA director Michael Hayden believes there is a legitimate possibility that the U.S. military would refuse to follow orders given by Donald Trump if the Republican front-runner becomes president and decides to make good on certain campaign pledges."

A month later, Hayden opined that Trump was a larger threat to national stability on security matters than Hillary Clinton.

On April 11, 2016, we learn that CIA Director "Brennan said on NBC News Sunday that he would not allow enhanced interrogation tactics, including waterboarding, even if a future president ordered it." Trump wasted no time responding: "Donald Trump is taking on CIA Director John Brennan on torture, saying Brennan's pledge not to allow waterboarding is 'ridiculous.'"

On July 13, 2016, Brennan testified that he'd consider quitting rather than obey a president's order to reinstate waterboarding, something that Trump had suggested. Another article says that even before that date, "[Brennan] has already expressed his distaste for Trump."

There is ample evidence in the form of sharp public bickering between Trump and these two CIA chiefs, present and the past, that the CIA set up a task force to investigate Trump's campaign as a weapon against Trump and his possible election. The motive behind the investigation was not to ensure a clean campaign free of Russian influence but to work against Trump's election chances. The CIA was dismayed by what appeared to them to be a possible president who was aiming to work with Putin and not against him.

Q. But wasn't the CIA doing the right thing to investigate possible Russian funding of the Trump campaign?

A. The idea of Russian funding of Trump's campaign was absurd. This investigation had no reason to be started other than a goal of smearing Trump and preventing a Trump presidency. It was absurd because foreign money given to American political campaigns is illegal and everyone knows it. Trump would not jeopardize his campaign for some trivial amount of money nor would his campaign officials; and a large amount would easily be spotted through the banking system. It was also absurd because the Kremlin would not operate and does not operate in this way. It would not risk being found out blatantly violating American law in this way, as that would greatly diminish its credibility. "Doing the right thing" for the American system was strictly a plausible and disingenuous device.

Q. If the investigation was absurd, what leads or allegations did the CIA have to set it up?

A. The excuse was an allegation that three of Trump's associates had received campaign money from the Kremlin. This allegation came from a Baltic state and it was processed by the CIA and made into something worthy of following up. We read that the task force " was set up after the director of the CIA, John Brennan, received a recording of a conversation about money from the Kremlin going into Trump's campaign coffers, the BBC's Paul Wood reported. The recording was apparently passed to the CIA by the intelligence agency of one of the Baltic States."

According to this, John Brennan is the key player in the anti-Trump movement. He wants to see Trump's presidency brought to a quick end or otherwise neutered and made compliant to rule by the CIA. By their control over information and its interpretation, the leaders of the CIA have gained considerable power within the government. They've enhanced this by developing operational forces in the field.

As occurred during the propaganda campaign that preceded Bush 2's attack on Iraq and as in the Ukraine case noted above, we again observe murky foreign sources that are given credence and validity by the CIA. The public and media have no viable way of checking on the story of Kremlin money except perhaps through off the record sources. Such stories can't be traced through public hearings without subpoena power and a will to wash a lot of dirty linen in public. They are perfect for propaganda and cover-ups.

John Brennan has the CIA initiate an investigation on a flimsy basis and gets away with it. We know from his public statements at that time and later that he's thoroughly anti-Trump and anti-Russia. This is why such an investigation went forward. Brennan had nothing to lose. If he found some dirt on Trump or his associates, he'd discredit Trump and lose him votes. If he didn't find anything, the investigation itself would still raise suspicions about Trump and provide Hillary Clinton and her aides with anti-Trump ammunition. In fact, her campaign did use the alleged Russian connection against Trump.

Q. What else do we know of Brennan's differences with Trump?

A. On Sept. 11, 2016, Brennan disagreed with Trump publicly: "CIA Director John Brennan pushed back against Donald Trump's claim that he could read disapproval of President Barack Obama's policies in the body language of the intelligence officers who gave him a confidential national security briefing."

On November 30, 2016, we read that Brennan expressed another difference with Trump: "The director of the CIA has issued a stark warning to President-elect Donald J. Trump. Tearing up the Iran nuclear deal would be 'the height of folly' and 'disastrous.'"

On January 3, 2016, Charles Schumer said that Trump was "being really dumb" for arguing against the assessments of the intelligence community on Russian hacking. He adds ominously: "Let me tell you, you take on the intelligence community, they have six ways from Sunday at getting back at you."

On January 15, 2017, we read "CIA Director John Brennan on Sunday had a stern parting message for Republican Donald Trump days before he assumes the U.S. presidency, cautioning him against loosening sanctions on Russia and warning him to watch what he says. Brennan rebuked the president-elect for comparing U.S. intelligence practices to Nazi Germany in comments that laid bare the friction between Trump and the intelligence community he has criticized and is on the verge of commanding."

Q. What became of the allegations against the three associates of Trump?

A. The three accused men each strongly denied allegations of being paid by the Kremlin. On October 15, the FISA court granted a warrant to intercept communications from two Russian banks. The investigators were looking for evidence that money passed from Russia to the three Trump associates. No such evidence was found.

On January 19, 2017, the continuing investigation by "American law enforcement and intelligence agencies" was confirmed, and Paul Manafort, Trump's former campaign manager, was mentioned:

"The counterintelligence investigation centers at least in part on the business dealings that some of the president-elect's past and present advisers have had with Russia . Mr. Manafort has done business in Ukraine and Russia. Some of his contacts there were under surveillance by the National Security Agency for suspected links to Russia's Federal Security Service, one of the officials said."

Mr. Manafort has done nothing illegal, we learn. He has merely done some business in Ukraine and Russia. He merely came into contact with people with suspected links to a Russian intelligence outfit. They weren't even known spies. Mr. Manafort has fallen victim to suspicion by association two or three times removed even from guilt by association.

The other two being investigated are Carter Page and Roger Stone, and we learn that they too are innocent of wrongdoing.

"The F.B.I. is leading the investigations, aided by the National Security Agency, the C.I.A. and the Treasury Department's financial crimes unit. The investigators have accelerated their efforts in recent weeks but have found no conclusive evidence of wrongdoing, the officials said."

So, we know that a concerted effort has been made to investigate three of Trump's close aides. We know that the CIA was the instigator and that it used its typical murky and unverifiable tips to gain credibility. Finally, we know that this inquiry has produced no evidence of any illegal activities of Trump or his aides.

Q. What other evidence is there of an attempted coup against Trump?

A. On Oct. 7, 2016, there was released the "Joint Statement from the Department Of Homeland Security and Office of the Director of National Intelligence on Election Security". This brief statement on behalf of U.S. intelligence agencies linked the Russian government to hacking: "The U.S. Intelligence Community (USIC) is confident that the Russian Government directed the recent compromises of e-mails from US persons and institutions, including from US political organizations." It stated its belief "that only Russia's senior-most officials could have authorized these activities."

On Nov. 30, 2016, an outfit named PropOrNot with links to the U.S. intelligence community published a report that named 200 websites as propagators of Russian propaganda: "Russia Is Manipulating US Public Opinion through Online Propaganda".

On Dec. 9, 2016, it was reported that "The CIA has concluded in a secret assessment that Russia intervened in the 2016 election to help Donald Trump win the presidency "

Dec. 29, 2016, arrived the FBI-DHS report: "Grizzly Steppe – Russian Malicious Cyber Activity". This was widely denounced as lacking even persuasive circumstantial evidence, never mind direct evidence of Russian involvement.

On Jan. 10, 2017, the Golden Showers report was leaked, accusing Trump of having been compromised by Russian agents and therefore subject to blackmail. This report had been circulating for weeks in intelligence and media circles. It had supposedly been written between July and December by former British MI-6 agent, Christopher Steele.

Once again we observe that a spurious anti-Trump report is purported or arranged to have a foreign origination; but that it is carried to the public by means of the CIA and leaks within the U.S.

On February 13, 2017, the coup perps drew fresh blood when Michael Flynn resigned, despite no evidence of wrongdoing. Their success is attributable to their use of wiretapped phone calls and to leaking these to the media. Since intelligence agents have access to these calls that the NSA collects, we once again observe that intelligence circles are active in seeking to undermine Trump. This is consistent with the conclusion that a coup attempt is ongoing.

Q. Could you summarize, please?

A. In 2016 Trump and the CIA became foes of one another because of vast policy differences. Past and present CIA directors went public against Trump. They instigated a series of reports and leaks to discredit Trump and to link his campaign to Russian meddling in the election. They went after several of his aides, causing Paul Manafort to resign. After the election, they produced new anti-Trump material and managed to get his National Security Advisor, Michael Flynn, to resign. This adds up to an attempted coup that has had some success.

Q. What happens next?

A. The future is guesswork. We will be surprised at what happens, but here are some guesses. The coup attempt will not cease. There is nothing presently opposing it unless Trump is counterattacking behind the scenes, of which there is no evidence. Trump will eventually sense the coup's efficacy and devise ways to stop it. The anti-Trump media will keep the pot boiling. They will need new stories to exploit. Anti-Trump elements in the CIA can be expected to come up with new, dubious and devious revelations aimed at discrediting Trump's handling of foreign affairs. We can expect former intelligence officials to speak out against Trump at critical times and to recruit allies who will add what appears to be an even more independent criticism of Trump. The coup may transform into an effort to control Trump's policies from outside his administration.

Michael S. Rozeff [ send him mail ] is a retired Professor of Finance living in East Amherst, New York. He is the author of the free e-book Essays on American Empire: Liberty vs. Domination and the free e-book The U.S. Constitution and Money: Corruption and Decline .

[Feb 14, 2018] The FBI and the President – Mutual Manipulation by James Petras

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... The liberals and Democrats and their allies in the FBI, political police and other elements of the security state apparatus were deeply involved in an attempt to implicate Russian government officials in a plot to manipulate US public opinion on Trump's behalf and corrupt the outcome of the election. However, the FBI, the Justice Department and Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller have produced no evidence of collusion linking the Russian government to a campaign to undermine Hillary Clinton's candidacy in favor of Trump. This is despite thousands of interviews and threats of long prison sentences against former Trump campaign advisers. Instead, they focus their attack on Trump's early campaign promise to find common ground in improving economic and diplomatic ties between the US and Russia, especially in confronting jihadi terrorists. ..."
"... The liberal-progressive FBI cohort turned into rabid Russia-bashers demanding that Trump take a highly aggressive stance against Moscow, while systematically eliminating his military and security advisors who expressed anti-confrontation sentiments. In the spirit of a Joe McCarthy, the liberal-left launched hysterical attacks on any and every Trump campaign adviser who had spoken to, dined with or exchanged eyebrows with any and all Russians! ..."
"... The conversion of liberalism to the pursuit of political purges is unprecedented. Their collective amnesia about the long-term, large-scale involvement by the FBI in the worst criminal violations of democratic values is reprehensible. The FBI's anti-communist crusade led to the purge of thousands of trade unionists from the mid-1940's onward, decimating the AFL-CIO. They blacklisted actors, screen writers, artists, teachers, university academics, researchers, scientists, journalists and civil rights leaders as part of their sweeping purge of civil society. ..."
"... President Trump has pursued an agenda mirroring the police state operations of the FBI – only on a global scale. Trump's violation of international law includes collaboration and support for Saudi Arabia's tyrannical invasion and destruction of the sovereign nation of Yemen; intensified aid and support for Israel's ethnic war against the Palestinian people; severe sanctions and threatened nuclear first-strike against North Korea (DPRK); increased deployment of US special forces in collaboration with the jihadi terrorist war to overthrow the legitimate government of Syria; coup-mongering, sabotage, sanctions and economic blockade of Venezuela; NATO missile and nuclear encirclement of Russia; and the growing naval threats against China ..."
"... Domestically, Trump's response to the FBI's blackmail has been to replace the original political leadership with his own version; to expand and increase the police state powers against immigrants; to increase the powers of the major tech companies to police and intensify work-place exploitation and the invasion of citizens' privacy; to expand the unleash the power of state agents to torture suspects and to saturate all public events, celebrations and activities with open displays of jingoism and militarism with the goal of creating pro-war public opinion. ..."
"... Even the fight within the two-headed reactionary party of the US oligarchy has had a positive effect. Each side is hell-bent on exposing the state-sponsored crimes of the other. In an unprecedented and historic sense, the US and world public is witness to the spies, lies and crimes of the leadership and elite on prime time and on the wide screen. We head in two directions. In one direction, there are the threats of nuclear war, economic collapse, environmental disasters and a full blown police state. In the other direction, there is the demise of empire, a revived and renewed civil society rooted in a participatory economy and a renewed moral order ..."
Feb 09, 2018 | www.unz.com

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

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

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

The liberals and Democrats and their allies in the FBI, political police and other elements of the security state apparatus were deeply involved in an attempt to implicate Russian government officials in a plot to manipulate US public opinion on Trump's behalf and corrupt the outcome of the election. However, the FBI, the Justice Department and Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller have produced no evidence of collusion linking the Russian government to a campaign to undermine Hillary Clinton's candidacy in favor of Trump. This is despite thousands of interviews and threats of long prison sentences against former Trump campaign advisers. Instead, they focus their attack on Trump's early campaign promise to find common ground in improving economic and diplomatic ties between the US and Russia, especially in confronting jihadi terrorists.

The liberal-progressive FBI cohort turned into rabid Russia-bashers demanding that Trump take a highly aggressive stance against Moscow, while systematically eliminating his military and security advisors who expressed anti-confrontation sentiments. In the spirit of a Joe McCarthy, the liberal-left launched hysterical attacks on any and every Trump campaign adviser who had spoken to, dined with or exchanged eyebrows with any and all Russians!

The conversion of liberalism to the pursuit of political purges is unprecedented. Their collective amnesia about the long-term, large-scale involvement by the FBI in the worst criminal violations of democratic values is reprehensible. The FBI's anti-communist crusade led to the purge of thousands of trade unionists from the mid-1940's onward, decimating the AFL-CIO. They blacklisted actors, screen writers, artists, teachers, university academics, researchers, scientists, journalists and civil rights leaders as part of their sweeping purge of civil society.

The FBI investigated the private lives of Martin Luther King and Malcolm X, even threatening their family members. They illegally spied on and infiltrated civil liberties organizations, and used provocateurs and spies in anti-war groups. Individuals lives were destroyed, some were driven to suicide; important popular American organizations were undermined to the detriment of millions. This has been its focus since its beginning and continues with the current fabrication of anti-Russian propaganda and investigations.

President Trump: Victim and Executor

President Trump has pursued an agenda mirroring the police state operations of the FBI – only on a global scale. Trump's violation of international law includes collaboration and support for Saudi Arabia's tyrannical invasion and destruction of the sovereign nation of Yemen; intensified aid and support for Israel's ethnic war against the Palestinian people; severe sanctions and threatened nuclear first-strike against North Korea (DPRK); increased deployment of US special forces in collaboration with the jihadi terrorist war to overthrow the legitimate government of Syria; coup-mongering, sabotage, sanctions and economic blockade of Venezuela; NATO missile and nuclear encirclement of Russia; and the growing naval threats against China .

Domestically, Trump's response to the FBI's blackmail has been to replace the original political leadership with his own version; to expand and increase the police state powers against immigrants; to increase the powers of the major tech companies to police and intensify work-place exploitation and the invasion of citizens' privacy; to expand the unleash the power of state agents to torture suspects and to saturate all public events, celebrations and activities with open displays of jingoism and militarism with the goal of creating pro-war public opinion.

In a word: From the right to the left there are no political options to choose from among the two ruling political parties. Popular political movements and mass demonstrations have risen up against Trump with clear justification, but have since dissolved and been absorbed. They came together from diverse sectors: Women against sexual abuse and workplace humiliation; African-Americans against police impunity and violence; and immigrants against mass expulsion and harassment. They staged mass demonstrations and then declined as their 'anti-Trump' animus was frustrated by the liberal-democrats hell-bent on pursuing the Russian connection.

In the face of the national-political debacle local and regional movements became the vehicle to support the struggles. Women organized at some workplaces and gained better protection of their rights; African-Americans vividly documented and published video evidence of the systematic brutal violation of their rights by the police state and effectively acted to restrain local police violence in a few localities; immigrant workers and especially their children gained broad public sympathy and allies within religious and political organizations; and anti-Trump movements combined with critics of the liberal/democrat apparatus to build broader movements and especially oppose growing war-fever.

Abroad, bi-partisan wars have failed to defeat independent state and mass popular resistance struggles for national sovereignty everywhere – from North Korea, Iran, Yemen, Syria, and Venezuela and beyond.

Even the fight within the two-headed reactionary party of the US oligarchy has had a positive effect. Each side is hell-bent on exposing the state-sponsored crimes of the other. In an unprecedented and historic sense, the US and world public is witness to the spies, lies and crimes of the leadership and elite on prime time and on the wide screen. We head in two directions. In one direction, there are the threats of nuclear war, economic collapse, environmental disasters and a full blown police state. In the other direction, there is the demise of empire, a revived and renewed civil society rooted in a participatory economy and a renewed moral order .

[Feb 14, 2018] Is John Brennan the Mastermind behind Russiagate by Mike Whitney

Notable quotes:
"... Bottom line: Despite the denials of former-CIA Director John Brennan, the dossier may have been used in the ICA. ..."
"... Most disturbing is the fact that Steele reportedly received information from friends of Hillary Clinton. (supposedly, Sidney Blumenthal and others) ..."
"... These are just a few of the questions Steele will undoubtedly be asked if he ever faces prosecution for lying to the FBI. But, so far, we know very little about man except that he was a former M16 agent who was paid $160,000 for composing the dubious set of reports that make up the dossier. We don't even know if Steele's alleged contacts or intermediaries in Russia actually exist or not. ..."
"... Some analysts think the whole thing is a fabrication based on the fact that he hasn't worked the Russia-scene since the FSB (The Russian state-security organization that replaced the KGB) was completely overhauled. Besides, it would be extremely dangerous for a Russian to provide an M16 agent with sensitive intelligence. And what would the contact get in return? According to most accounts, Steele's sources weren't even paid, so there was little incentive for them to put themselves at risk? All of this casts more doubt on the contents of the dossier. ..."
"... What is known about Steele is that he has a very active imagination and knows how to command a six-figure payoff for his unique services. We also know that the FBI continued to use him long after they knew he couldn't be trusted which suggests that he served some other purpose, like providing the agency with plausible deniability, a 'get out of jail free' card if they ever got caught surveilling US citizens without probable cause. ..."
"... Since then, GOP lawmakers have been quietly buzzing about allegations that an Obama-era State Department official passed along information from allies of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton that may have been used by the FBI to launch an investigation into whether the Trump campaign had improper contacts with Russia. ..."
"... Regular readers of this column know that we have always believed that the Russiagate psyops originated with Brennan. Just as the CIA launched its disinformation campaigns against Saddam Hussein and Muammar Gadhafi, so too, Russia has emerged as Washington's foremost rival requiring a massive propaganda campaign to persuade the public that America faces a serious external threat. In any event, the demonizing of Russia had already begun by the time Hillary and Co. decided to hop on the bandwagon by blaming Moscow for hacking John Podesta's emails. The allegations were never persuasive, but they did provide Brennan with some cover for the massive Information Operation (IO) that began with him. ..."
"... 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 told the House Intelligence Committee on May 23 that the intelligence community was picking up tidbits on Trump associates making contacts with Russians. ..."
"... It all started with Brennan. After Putin blocked Brennan's operations in both Ukraine and Syria, Brennan had every reason to retaliate and to use the tools at his disposal to demonize Putin and try to isolate Russia. The "election meddling" charges (promoted by the Hillary people) fit perfectly with Brennan's overall strategy to manipulate perceptions and prepare the country for an eventual confrontation. It provided him the opportunity to kill two birds with one stone, to deliver a withering blow to Putin and Trump at the very same time. The temptation must have been irresistible. ..."
"... But now the plan has backfired and the investigations are gaining pace. Trump's allies in the House smell the blood in the water and they want answers. Did the CIA surveil members of the Trump campaign on the basis of information they gathered in the dossier? Who saw the information? Was the information passed along to members of the press and other government agencies? Was the White House involved? What role did Obama play? What about the Intelligence Community Assessment? Was it based on the contents of the Steele report? Will the "hand-picked" analysts who worked on the report vouch for its conclusions in or were they coached about what to write? How did Brennan persuade the reluctant Comey into opening a counterintelligence investigation on members in the Trump campaign when he knew it would be perceived as a partisan attempt to sabotage the elections by giving Hillary an edge? ..."
"... Brennan, Clapper, Clinton, Blumenthal, Abedin, Mills, Podesta, Strzok, McCabe whoever might have been mastermind or mere footsoldier in the drama, one cannot escape the fact that the Capo di tutti capi is Barak Hussein Obama, even if only on the "Buck stops here" principle. ..."
"... Last September Brennan began a two-year stint as a distinguished fellow for global security at Fordham Law School. Brennan is a 1977 college graduate of this Jesuit institution which undoubtedly laid the groundwork for a career of duplicity and malfeasance ..."
Feb 13, 2018 | www.unz.com

The report ("The Dossier") that claims that Donald Trump colluded with Russia, was paid for by the DNC and Hillary Clinton campaign. The company that claims that Russia hacked DNC computer servers, was paid by the DNC and Hillary Clinton campaign. The FBI's counterintelligence probe into Trump's alleged connections to Russia was launched on the basis of information gathered from a report that was paid for by the DNC and Hillary Clinton campaign.

The surveillance of a Trump campaign member (Carter Page) was approved by a FISA court on the basis of information from a report that was paid for by the DNC and Hillary Clinton campaign.

The Intelligence Community Analysis or ICA was (largely or partially) based on information from a report that was paid for by the DNC and Hillary Clinton campaign. (more on this below)

The information that was leaked to the media alleging Russia hacking or collusion can be traced back to claims that were made in a report that was paid for by the DNC and Hillary Clinton campaign.

The entire Russia-gate investigation rests on the "unverified and salacious" information from a dossier that was paid for by the DNC and Hillary Clinton Campaign. Here's how Stephen Cohen sums it up in a recent article at The Nation:

"Steele's dossier was the foundational document of the Russiagate narrative from the time its installments began to be leaked to the American media in the summer of 2016, to the US "Intelligence Community Assessment" of January 2017 .the dossier and subsequent ICA report remain the underlying sources for proponents of the Russiagate narrative of "Trump-Putin collision." ("Russia gate or Intel-gate?", The Nation)

There's just one problem with Cohen's statement, we don't really know the extent to which the dossier was used in the creation of the Intelligence Community Assessment. (The ICA was the IC's flagship analysis that was supposed to provide ironclad proof of Russian meddling in the 2016 elections.) According to some reports, the contribution was significant. Check out this excerpt from an article at Business Insider:

"Intelligence officials purposefully omitted the dossier from the public intelligence report they released in January about Russia's election interference because they didn't want to reveal which details they had corroborated, according to CNN." ("Mueller reportedly interviewed the author of the Trump-Russia dossier -- here's what it alleges, and how it aligned with reality", Business Insider)

Bottom line: Despite the denials of former-CIA Director John Brennan, the dossier may have been used in the ICA.

In the last two weeks, documents have been released that have exposed the weak underpinnings of the Russia investigation while at the same time revealing serious abuses by senior-level officials at the DOJ and FBI. The so called Nunes memo was the first to point out these abuses, but it was the 8-page "criminal referral" authored by Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley and Senator Lindsey Graham that gave credence to the claims. Here's a blurb from the document:

"It appears the FBI relied on admittedly uncorroborated information, funded by and obtained for Secretary Clinton's presidential campaign, in order to conduct surveillance of an associate of the opposing presidential candidate. It did so based on Mr. Steele's personal credibility and presumably having faith in his process of obtaining the information. But there is substantial evidence suggesting that Mr. Steele materially misled the FBI about a key aspect of his dossier efforts, one which bears on his credibility."

There it is. The FBI made a "concerted effort to conceal information from the court" in order to get a warrant to spy on a member of a rival political campaign. So –at the very least– there was an effort, on the part of the FBI and high-ranking officials at the Department of Justice, to improperly spy on members of the Trump team. And there's more. The FBI failed to mention that the dossier was paid for by the Hillary campaign and the DNC, or that the dossier's author Christopher Steele had seeded articles in the media that were being used to support the dossier's credibility (before the FISA court), or that, according to the FBI's own analysts, the dossier was "only minimally corroborated", or that Steele was a ferocious partisan who harbored a strong animus towards Trump. All of these were omitted in the FISA application which is why the FBI was able to deceive the judge. It's worth noting that intentionally deceiving a federal judge is a felony.

Most disturbing is the fact that Steele reportedly received information from friends of Hillary Clinton. (supposedly, Sidney Blumenthal and others) Here's one suggestive tidbit that appeared in the Graham-Grassley" referral:

" Mr. Steele's memorandum states that his company "received this report from REDACTED US 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."

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." (Lifted from The Federalist)

What are we to make of this? Was Steele shaping the dossier's narrative to the specifications of his employers? Was he being coached by members of the Hillary team? How did that impact the contents of the dossier and the subsequent Russia investigation?

These are just a few of the questions Steele will undoubtedly be asked if he ever faces prosecution for lying to the FBI. But, so far, we know very little about man except that he was a former M16 agent who was paid $160,000 for composing the dubious set of reports that make up the dossier. We don't even know if Steele's alleged contacts or intermediaries in Russia actually exist or not.

Some analysts think the whole thing is a fabrication based on the fact that he hasn't worked the Russia-scene since the FSB (The Russian state-security organization that replaced the KGB) was completely overhauled. Besides, it would be extremely dangerous for a Russian to provide an M16 agent with sensitive intelligence. And what would the contact get in return? According to most accounts, Steele's sources weren't even paid, so there was little incentive for them to put themselves at risk? All of this casts more doubt on the contents of the dossier.

What is known about Steele is that he has a very active imagination and knows how to command a six-figure payoff for his unique services. We also know that the FBI continued to use him long after they knew he couldn't be trusted which suggests that he served some other purpose, like providing the agency with plausible deniability, a 'get out of jail free' card if they ever got caught surveilling US citizens without probable cause.

But that brings us to the strange case of Carter Page, a bit-player whose role in the Trump campaign was trivial at best. Page was what most people would call a "small fish", an insignificant foreign policy advisor who had minimal impact on the campaign. Congressional investigators, like Nunes, must be wondering why the FBI and DOJ devoted so much attention to someone like Page instead of going after the "big fish" like Bannon, Flynn, Kushner, Ivanka and Trump Jr., all of whom might have been able to provide damaging information on the real target, Donald Trump. Wasn't that the idea? So why waste time on Page? It doesn't make any sense, unless, of course, the others were already being surveilled by other agencies? Is that it, did the NSA and the CIA have a hand in the surveillance too?

It's a moot point, isn't it? Because now that there's evidence that senior-level officials at the DOJ and the FBI were involved in improperly obtaining warrants to spy on members of the opposite party, the investigation is going to go wherever it goes. Whatever restrictions existed before, will now be lifted. For example, this popped up in Saturday's The Hill:

"House Intelligence Committee lawmakers are in the dark about an investigation into wrongdoing at the State Department announced by Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) on Friday. Nunes told Fox News on Friday that, "we are in the middle of what I call phase two of our investigation. That investigation is ongoing and we continue work toward finding answers and asking the right questions to try to get to the bottom of what exactly the State Department was up to in terms of this Russia investigation."

Since then, GOP lawmakers have been quietly buzzing about allegations that an Obama-era State Department official passed along information from allies of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton that may have been used by the FBI to launch an investigation into whether the Trump campaign had improper contacts with Russia.

"I'm pretty troubled by what I read in the documents with respect to the role the State Department played in the fall of 2016, including information that was used in a court proceeding. I am troubled by it," Gowdy told Fox News on Tuesday." ("Lawmakers in dark about 'phase two' of Nunes investigation", The Hill)

So the State Department is next in line followed by the NSA and, finally, the Russia-gate point of origin, John Brennan's CIA. Here's more background on that from Stephen Cohen's illuminating article at The Nation:

" .when, and by whom, was this Intel operation against Trump started?

In testimony to the House Intelligence Committee in May 2017, John Brennan, formerly Obama's head of the CIA, strongly suggested that he and his agency were the first, as The Washington Post put it at the time, "in triggering an FBI probe." Certainly both the Post and The New York Times interpreted his remarks in this way. Equally certain, Brennan played a central role in promoting the Russiagate narrative thereafter, briefing members of Congress privately and giving President Obama himself a top-secret envelope in early August 2016 that almost certainly contained Steele's dossier. Early on, Brennan presumably would have shared his "suspicions" and initiatives with James Clapper, director of national intelligence. FBI Director Comey may have joined them actively somewhat later .

When did Brennan begin his "investigation" of Trump? His House testimony leaves this somewhat unclear, but, according to a subsequent Guardian article, by late 2015 or early 2016 he was receiving, or soliciting, reports from foreign intelligence agencies regarding "suspicious 'interactions' between figures connected to Trump and known or suspected Russian agents."

In short, if these reports and Brennan's own testimony are to be believed, he, not the FBI, was the instigator and godfather of Russiagate." ("Russiagate or Intelgate?", Stephen Cohen, The Nation)

Regular readers of this column know that we have always believed that the Russiagate psyops originated with Brennan. Just as the CIA launched its disinformation campaigns against Saddam Hussein and Muammar Gadhafi, so too, Russia has emerged as Washington's foremost rival requiring a massive propaganda campaign to persuade the public that America faces a serious external threat. In any event, the demonizing of Russia had already begun by the time Hillary and Co. decided to hop on the bandwagon by blaming Moscow for hacking John Podesta's emails. The allegations were never persuasive, but they did provide Brennan with some cover for the massive Information Operation (IO) that began with him.

According to the 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 told the House Intelligence Committee on May 23 that the intelligence community was picking up tidbits on Trump associates making contacts with Russians."

It all started with Brennan. After Putin blocked Brennan's operations in both Ukraine and Syria, Brennan had every reason to retaliate and to use the tools at his disposal to demonize Putin and try to isolate Russia. The "election meddling" charges (promoted by the Hillary people) fit perfectly with Brennan's overall strategy to manipulate perceptions and prepare the country for an eventual confrontation. It provided him the opportunity to kill two birds with one stone, to deliver a withering blow to Putin and Trump at the very same time. The temptation must have been irresistible.

But now the plan has backfired and the investigations are gaining pace. Trump's allies in the House smell the blood in the water and they want answers. Did the CIA surveil members of the Trump campaign on the basis of information they gathered in the dossier? Who saw the information? Was the information passed along to members of the press and other government agencies? Was the White House involved? What role did Obama play? What about the Intelligence Community Assessment? Was it based on the contents of the Steele report? Will the "hand-picked" analysts who worked on the report vouch for its conclusions in or were they coached about what to write? How did Brennan persuade the reluctant Comey into opening a counterintelligence investigation on members in the Trump campaign when he knew it would be perceived as a partisan attempt to sabotage the elections by giving Hillary an edge?

Soon the investigative crosshairs will settle on Brennan. He'd better have the right answers.


El Dato , February 13, 2018 at 9:31 pm GMT

Deepstate ain't gonna go quietly.

Watch out for distractions in the national or international sphere.

(Btw, Russia warns via RT of an upcoming false flag attack using chlorine in Syria. Can't get an even break.)

Anon Disclaimer , February 13, 2018 at 10:02 pm GMT
That the whole media can be in service of a such a fraud and beam their relentless lies across millions of TV screens even in a democracy like America goes to tell you that the Power ultimately decides what is 'fiction' and 'non-fiction'.

Why else would most of Big Media be spreading all these lies about Russia Hacking or 'Russiagate' when the only real 'gate' is Deepstategate and Jewishhategate. The anti-Trump hysteria is nothing but an act of arson set by Jewish globalists who hate him.

The Alarmist , February 14, 2018 at 12:32 am GMT
Brennan, Clapper, Clinton, Blumenthal, Abedin, Mills, Podesta, Strzok, McCabe whoever might have been mastermind or mere footsoldier in the drama, one cannot escape the fact that the Capo di tutti capi is Barak Hussein Obama, even if only on the "Buck stops here" principle.
nsa , February 14, 2018 at 5:12 am GMT
Planting stories in the kept lugenpresse then citing the resulting articles as evidence is a common technique of the national security state. Anyone remember DickiePoo Cheney (the man with no heart) planting bogus weapons-of-mass-destruction stories with "reporter" Judith (the jooie) Miller whose stuff was dutifully published in the rapidly anti arab Jew York Times. DickiePoo then cited the stories as evidence that Iraq needed to be invaded and destroyed. This kind of propaganda is quite effective and very long lasting to this day something like 60% of the american public still believe Saddam had a hand in the 911 false flag operation and probably future history books will agree.
JNDillard , February 14, 2018 at 5:32 am GMT
Investigative reporting at its best. Thank you, Mike Whitney. Every member of Congress should read this.
Dan Hayes , February 14, 2018 at 5:39 am GMT
Last September Brennan began a two-year stint as a distinguished fellow for global security at Fordham Law School. Brennan is a 1977 college graduate of this Jesuit institution which undoubtedly laid the groundwork for a career of duplicity and malfeasance .

His appointment is in the grand tradition of Jesuitical sucking up to the powers-that-be.

An especially egregious example of this would be the current Jesuit "Bishop of Rome" (his preferred parlance) playing footsie with communist China. And in the process throwing faithful Chinese under the proverbial bus – just being chalked up as collateral damage!

The beat goes on.

Toby Keith , February 14, 2018 at 6:07 am GMT
@The Alarmist

Every President after Kennedy has been a kosher puppet. Obama masterminded nothing, and it's a very Hasbara thing to suggest he did.

[Feb 12, 2018] 'Russiagate' Delusion Dies - Who Is 'Bill' Priestap Zero Hedge

Feb 12, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

E.W. "Bill" Priestap is the head of the FBI Counterintelligence operation. He was FBI Agent Peter Strozk's direct boss. If anyone in congress really wanted to know if the FBI paid for the Christopher Steele Dossier, Bill Priestap is the guy who would know everything about everything.

FBI Asst. Director in charge of Counterintelligence Bill Priestap was the immediate supervisor of FBI Counterintelligence Deputy Peter Strzok.

Bill Priestap is #1. Before getting demoted Peter Strzok was #2.

The investigation into candidate Donald Trump was a counterintelligence operation. That operation began in July 2016. Bill Priestap would have been in charge of that, along with all other, FBI counterintelligence operations.

FBI Deputy Peter Strzok was specifically in charge of the Trump counterintel op. However, Strzok would be reporting to Bill Priestap on every detail and couldn't (according to structure anyway) make a move without Priestap approval.

On March 20th 2017 congressional testimony, James Comey was asked why the FBI Director did not inform congressional oversight about the counterintelligence operation that began in July 2016.

FBI Director Comey said he did not tell congressional oversight he was investigating presidential candidate Donald Trump because the Director of Counterintelligence suggested he not do so. *Very important detail.*

I cannot emphasize this enough. *VERY* important detail . Again, notice how Comey doesn't use Priestap's actual name, but refers to his position and title. Again, watch [Prompted]

https://www.youtube.com/embed/HlXXZQgh72Y

FBI Director James Comey was caught entirely off guard by that first three minutes of that questioning. He simply didn't anticipate it.

Oversight protocol requires the FBI Director to tell the congressional intelligence "Gang of Eight" of any counterintelligence operations. The Go8 has oversight into these ops at the highest level of classification. In July 2016 the time the operation began, oversight was the responsibility of this group, the Gang of Eight:

Obviously, based on what we have learned since March 2017, and what has surfaced recently, we can all see why the FBI would want to keep it hidden that they were running a counterintelligence operation against a presidential candidate. After all, as FBI Agent Peter Strzok said it in his text messages, it was an "insurance policy".

REMINDER – FBI Agent Strzok to FBI Attorney Page:

"I want to believe the path you threw out for consideration in Andy's office that there's no way he gets elected – but I'm afraid we can't take that risk. It's like an insurance policy in the unlikely event you die before you're 40."

So there we have FBI Director James Comey telling congress on March 20th, 2017, that the reason he didn't inform the statutory oversight "Gang of Eight" was because Bill Priestap (Director of Counterintelligence) recommended he didn't do it.

Apparently, according to Comey, Bill Priestap carries a great deal of influence if he could get his boss to NOT perform a statutory obligation simply by recommending he doesn't do it.

Then again, Comey's blame-casting there is really called creating a "fall guy". FBI Director James Comey was ducking responsibility in March 2017 by blaming FBI Director of Counterintelligence Bill Priestap for not informing congress of the operation that began in July 2016. (9 months prior).

At that moment, that very specific moment during that March 20th hearing, anyone who watches these hearings closely could see FBI Director James Comey was attempting to create his own exit from being ensnared in the consequences from the wiretapping and surveillance operation of candidate Trump, President-elect Trump, and eventually President Donald Trump.

In essence, Bill Priestap was James Comey's fall guy. We knew it at the time that Bill Priestap would likely see this the same way. The guy would have too much to lose by allowing James Comey to set him up.

Immediately there was motive for Bill Priestap to flip and become the primary source to reveal the hidden machinations. Why should he take the fall for the operation when there were multiple people around the upper-levels of leadership who carried out the operation.

Our suspicions were continually confirmed because there was NO MENTION of Bill Priestap in any future revelations of the scheme team, despite his centrality to all of it.

Bill Priestap would have needed to authorize Peter Strzok to engage with Christopher Steele over the "Russian Dosssier"; Bill Priestap would have needed to approve of the underlying investigative process used for both FISA applications (June 2016, and Oct 21st 2016). Bill Priestap would be the person to approve of arranging, paying, or reimbursing, Christopher Steele for the Russian Dossier used in their counterintelligence operation and subsequent FISA application.

Without Bill Priestap involved, approvals, etc. the entire Russian/Trump Counterintelligence operation just doesn't happen. Heck, James Comey's own March 20th testimony in that regard is concrete evidence of Priestap's importance.

Everyone around Bill Priestap, above and below, were caught inside the investigative net.

Above him: James Comey, Andrew McCabe and James Baker.

Below him: Peter Strzok, Lisa Page, Jim Rybicki, Trisha Beth Anderson and Mike Kortan.

Parallel to Priestap in main justice his peer John P Carlin resigned, Sally Yates fired, Mary McCord quit, Bruce Ohr was busted twice, and most recently Dave Laufman resigned. All of them caught in the investigative net . Only Bill Priestap remained, quietly invisible – still in position.

The reason was obvious.

Likely Bill Priestap made the decision after James Comey's testimony on March 20th, 2017, when he realized what was coming. Priestap is well-off financially; he has too much to lose. He and his wife, Sabina Menschel, live a comfortable life in a $3.8 million DC home; she comes from a family of money.

While ideologically Bill and Sabina are aligned with Clinton support, and their circle of family and friends likely lean toward more liberal friends; no-one in his position would willingly allow themselves to be the scape-goat for the unlawful action that was happening around them.

Bill Priestap had too much to lose and for what?

With all of that in mind, there is essentially no-way the participating members inside the small group can escape their accountability with Mr. Bill Priestap cooperating with the investigative authorities.

Now it all makes sense. Devin Nunes interviewed Bill Priestap and Jim Rybicki prior to putting the memo process into place. Rybicki quit, Priestap went back to work.

(page 5 pdf)

Bill Priestap remains the Asst. FBI Director in charge of counterintelligence operations.

It's over.

I don't want to see this guy, or his family, compromised. This is probably the last I am ever going to write about him unless it's in the media bloodstream. I can't fathom the gauntlet of hatred and threats he is likely to face from the media and his former political social network if they recognize what's going on. BP is Deep-Throat x infinity nuf said.

The rest of this entire enterprise is just joyfully dragging out the timing of the investigative releases in order to inflict maximum political pain upon the party of those who will attempt to excuse the inexcusable.

Then comes the OIG Horowitz report.

Then the grand jury empaneled (if not already); and while Democrats attempt to win seats in the 2018 election, arrests and indictments will hit daily headlines.

Oh, lordy...


Slippery Slope Mon, 02/12/2018 - 00:05 Permalink

Russia-gate was made up by Hillary. Still no proof of Russian collusion or hacking.

The poor progressives can't believe 62 million Americans voted for Trump.

Hillarys Server -> Slippery Slope Mon, 02/12/2018 - 00:26 Permalink

The thing often ignored is that if Trump did actually pee on Obama and Michael's bed in Moscow he would have gotten 63 million American votes.

oncefired -> Hillarys Server Mon, 02/12/2018 - 00:38 Permalink

Agreed, but then where would he sleep? Is there like a Guest Room with these Suites? Do Billionaires get 3 bedroom Suites?

Jim in MN -> oncefired Mon, 02/12/2018 - 00:57 Permalink

Trump doesn't really sleep. He'd just go up on the roof and fire up some tweets.

FreeEarCandy Mon, 02/12/2018 - 00:18 Permalink

Just for some clarification. Since Russia didn't "hack" the election, is it ok to trust Russia from here on? I'm I suppose to put my guard down and consider Russia my good buddy? What's the message here?

Oldwood -> FreeEarCandy Mon, 02/12/2018 - 00:19 Permalink

Trust no one. Without transparency there can be no trust.

FreeEarCandy -> Oldwood Mon, 02/12/2018 - 00:23 Permalink

Thanks! I just wanted to make sure we all understand and not take this too far.

Jim in MN -> gregga777 Mon, 02/12/2018 - 00:55 Permalink

Russia is unimportant in all of this. The fact is that the globalist neolibcon scum attempted a coup. It wouldn't have been any different if Russia had never existed. They made up lies and turned the police state on a US candidate. There is no greater crime in our Republic.

Russia, Elbonia, Alpha Centauri....so fucking what? It's simply cover for high treason.

HRH of Aquitaine 2.0 -> Billy the Poet Mon, 02/12/2018 - 01:06 Permalink

Fine. Let them be charged with sedition. In my mind there is little difference but to see these people indicted and do perp walks and be either executed or sent to federal prison along with having all their assets seized? Bring it. If I had done 1/100th of what these people have done I would have spent 30 years-to-life in Leavenworth.

HRH of Aquitaine 2.0 -> gregga777 Mon, 02/12/2018 - 00:59 Permalink

I would love to see that witch hung with piano wire after being charged with treason and sedition. Along with Obama, Lynch, Holder, Comey, Brennan, and that one other weasel I forget his name.

dognamedabu -> FreeEarCandy Mon, 02/12/2018 - 00:41 Permalink

The American people (and people of the west) and the Russian people shouldn't trust either of their respective oligarchy.

HRH of Aquitaine 2.0 -> dognamedabu Mon, 02/12/2018 - 01:00 Permalink

Exactly. The Russian people are not my enemy. They are trying to survive just like the rest of us peasants, peons, and serfs.

FreeEarCandy -> fockewulf190 Mon, 02/12/2018 - 01:00 Permalink

How would one know if what we have here is 2 crime families battling out? I mean, Hillary and Trump were good friends at one time. I'm just a bit interested in knowing why they parted ways. If I were a cat my curiosity would have killed me by now. But I'm still here and old habits are hard to break.

gregga777 -> FreeEarCandy Mon, 02/12/2018 - 00:39 Permalink

A little bird was late flying south for the winter. It got caught in an early winter storm and fell out of the sky half frozen into a barnyard. A cow just happened to be passing by and dumped a steaming cow pie on the little bird. The warmth from the cow pie revived the little bird and it began happily singing. Whereupon a cat dug it out of the cow shit and ate it.

The moral of the story?

The person that shit on you isn't necessarily your enemy. The person who dug you out from under the shit isn't necessarily your friend.

President Donald J. Trump is working his own agenda. So far his agenda is far superior to Hitlery "the Rotten Rodent" Clinton's agenda. Just don't forget about the lesson that the little bird learned too late.

HRH of Aquitaine 2.0 -> gregga777 Mon, 02/12/2018 - 00:56 Permalink

I come from a family that told stories and added your tale to my list. First time hearing it! Memorable tale in so many ways. Those are the best kind!

Life is complicated and it is hard to tell friend from foe but it isn't hard to discern that Trump has wrested away power from the true beasts. We are still in peril. I don't see a happy ending, simply a respite.

tmosley -> FreeEarCandy Mon, 02/12/2018 - 00:33 Permalink

No, we are supposed to have global thermonuclear war with them exterminating all life on Earth.

If you say otherwise you are a Putin shill!

brianshell -> FreeEarCandy Mon, 02/12/2018 - 00:41 Permalink

Trust, but verify.

Dun_Dulind -> FreeEarCandy Mon, 02/12/2018 - 00:44 Permalink

No. I might begin to wonder who in our political offices are actually Russian operatives working the long game. Honestly, does anyone really think the Russians support either/any of our political parties except the ones they can influence?

Mini-Me Mon, 02/12/2018 - 00:20 Permalink

How long can this dipshit, Mueller, pretend that he is "investigating" a bogus Russian collusion narrativ