Does Great Britain attempt to rig the US elections?

British intelligence now officially is a by-word for organized crime

News Mechanisms of rigging elections Recommended Links Papadopoulos entrapment Carter Page Was Natalia Veselnitskaya meeting with Trump Jr. a trap? Wiretaps of Trump and his associates during Presidential elections Infiltration of Trump campaign
Steele dossier Israel attempts to rig the US elections? Saudi Arabia attempts to rig the US elections Hypocrisy of British ruling elite as the template for hypocrisy of neoliberal elite Deripaska and Steele connection Russiagate -- a color revolution against Trump Brennan elections machinations Obama administration directed the intelligence services putsch against Trump
Special Prosecutor Mueller and his fishing expedition UK Government, MI6 and "Integrity Initiative" Hypocrisy of British ruling elite NeoMcCartyism False flag operations as demonization of the enemy strategy Skripal poisoning Politically Incorrect Humor Etc
 

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."

One if by Land, Two if by Sea, Three if by GCHQ. The British are Coming! The British are Coming!

 

Russiagate was designed in part to help the UK counter Russian influence by baiting the United States into taking a hard line against them. Leaves us all with more dangerous world as a consequence. Just another episode of the Great Game.

William Craddick @williamcraddick • Mar 17, 2019

 

Short-sighted politicians & media pundits who've spent last 2 years accusing Trump as a Putin puppet have brought us the expensive new Cold War & arms race. How? Because Trump now does everything he can to prove he's not Putin's puppet—even if it brings us closer to nuclear war.

Tulsi Gabbard @TulsiGabbard

British intelligence agencies were involved in  rigging of  2016 Presidential election both in supporting role for CIA activities and as an independent player.  This is not the first attempt to influence the USA election on the part of British. See When a Foreign Government Interfered in a U.S. Election -- to Reelect FDR

They produced Steele dossier which was the key to appointment of the special Prosecutor to investigate Trump Russian connections.  This is a clear attempt to influence elections.   We know  only the fragments of this wat operation. See the following pages:

The current Russiagate witch hunt along with US role also tends to mask two more powerful players: Israel and KSA.  Russia does not any significant political lobby within the USA so no matter how hard Russians try they can't influence the election in a way countries with  merged with USA intelligence services, or powerful lobbies can.

As for propaganda efforts by foreign power, here the picture is clear. If domestic propaganda in pursuit of foreign policy goals trumps the democratic ideal of an informed electorate, why foreign powers should behave differently.  If MSM do not honestly inform the American people about events around the world, but to try to manage their perceptions by ramping up fear in some cases and defusing outrage in others depending on the U.S. government’s needs, why we should expect different behaviour from foreign media?


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[Jul 24, 2021] Steele Dossier Peddlers Confirm Its Substance With New Forgeries

Jul 16, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org

Today the Guardian published another fake 'Russiagate' story:

Kremlin papers appear to show Putin's plot to put Trump in White House

Vladimir Putin personally authorised a secret spy agency operation to support a "mentally unstable" Donald Trump in the 2016 US presidential election during a closed session of Russia's national security council, according to what are assessed to be leaked Kremlin documents.
...
Western intelligence agencies are understood to have been aware of the documents for some months and to have carefully examined them. The papers, seen by the Guardian, seem to represent a serious and highly unusual leak from within the Kremlin.

Yaawwwnn ...

We know, without reading it, that the story is fake because its main author is Luke Harding. Harding also authored the story which claimed that Trump's former campaign manager Paul Manaford met Julian Assange in the Ecuadorian embassy in London. That story was proven to be false but the Guardian , to its shame, still has it up on its website .

In 2017 Luke Harding abruptly ended an interview with Aaron Maté after Harding was challenged over false claims he had made in his book about 'Russiagate'. The last five minutes of that video are quite amusing .

The Guardian story claims that the 'leaked' nonsense paper was discussed in high level Kremlin meeting in January 2016. It was then decided, it alleges, to support Trump. But in January 2016 there was no one, not even Donald Trump himself, who thought that he would win the Republican primary or even the presidency. But the Kremlin is supposed to have discussed him at the highest level well before anyone thought he could win?

Various people make interesting remarks about the new Guardian fakery:

Tara McCormack @McCormack_Tara - 12:13 UTC · Jul 15, 2021

I am seriously coming to the conclusion that Luke Harding is a Russian operative who has been put in place as part of a long term dastardly plan to make British journalism appear ridiculous.

---
Craig Murray @CraigMurrayOrg - 12:02 UTC · 15 Jul 2021

The next Luke Harding MI6 hoax.
Passing off forged Kremlin minutes saying things like "It is acutely necessary to use all possible force to facilitate his [Trump's] election to the post of US president."
Hilarious
theguardian.com/world/2021/jul"¦

---
Glenn Greenwald @ggreenwald - 12:07 UTC · 15 Jul 2021

The part of the media that feigns anger at misinformation is uncritically promoting a story today by Luke Harding that Russia was blackmailing Trump -- the same Harding who has published many false stories, championed the Steele Dossier and claimed Trump was long a Russian agent.
...
Now suddenly, Harding claims he obtained leaked, highly sensitive Kremlin documents that just so happen to prove all the lies he's been peddling for years, that not even Mueller's huge team found. Because it advances liberals' interests, journalists are uncritically spreading it.
...
I will once use this shabby behavior to against highlight 2 points:

1) The contempt and loss of trust people harbor for the corporate media is completely justified and well-earned.

2) These outlets are by far the most prolific and destructive disseminators of disinformation.

Even people who are typically inclined to promote all kinds of anti-Russian nonsense are cautious on this item.

Thomas Rid @RidT - 12:38 UTC · 15 Jul 2021

This Guardian story is likely to make big waves. I would remain somewhat cautious for now, however. For a "leak" of this magnitude, we need at least some details on the chain of custody. Also note the Guardian's own hedging ("papers appear to show") theguardian.com/world/2021/jul"¦

---
Pwn All The Things @pwnallthethings - 14:40 UTC · 15 Jul 2021

Also, just putting this out there, if the US had this and thought it was real, how likely is it that it would have survived the waterfall of leaks of the past few years? And yet, here we are, with this as exclusive by the UK's Guardian, and conspicuously not, say, WaPo or NYT.

Christopher Steele, the 'former' British intelligence officer who peddle the fake dossier about alleged Russian Trump kompromat on behalf of the Hillary Clinton campaign, worked and still works for Orbis Intelligence, a British private outlet run by 'former' British spies.

They are still at it ...

Orbis Business Intelligence @OrbisBIOfficial - 10:48 UTC · Jul 15, 2021

Great reporting on an important story.

Luke Harding @lukeharding1968 - 10:02 UTC · Jul 15, 2021

Exclusive: Leaked Putin papers appear to show #Russia's plot to put a "mentally unstable" Donald Trump into the White House "" my story with @julianborger in Washington and @dansabbagh in London
Kremlin papers appear to show Putin's plot to put Trump in White House

"Great reporting.. " "..important story"

Yeah. Sure. Whatever.

Posted by b on July 15, 2021 at 15:20 UTC | Permalink


Bemildred , Jul 15 2021 15:31 utc | 1


They embarass us all with this sort of stupidity. And being British, of course, they double down on it.

" REVEALED: Iran plotted to kidnap Iranian-American journalist from Brooklyn, transport her by speedboat to Venezuela and then fly her to the Islamic republic because she criticized regime, FBI say"

You just cannot get much more ludicrous than that.

Bemildred , Jul 15 2021 15:33 utc | 2
And lots of projection too, we all know who lies and indulges in all sorts of chicanery to silence critics (like Assange, say).
james , Jul 15 2021 15:50 utc | 3
damn you gottlieb! look what you started, lol...

thanks b... these intel agencies running the "free press" sure are getting boring really fast....

james , Jul 15 2021 15:52 utc | 4
@ 1 bemildred.... i knew it was a lie when i heard it on the cbc radio yesterday... if the cbc is running with it - it is an outright made up lie... accept everything on the surface and never question anything!!! be a good citizen, lol...
Bigben , Jul 15 2021 16:00 utc | 5
The articles from The Guardian and all don't prove anything about Russia's plans. The cite the January 26 meeting of the Security Council as Proof of Putin's plans. If I were in Putin's place, I would also have been happy with Trump's election and its likely socioeconomic impact on the US society.
Tuyzentfloot , Jul 15 2021 16:12 utc | 6
Harding strikes me as someone who's completely into the business of selling stories. He senses where the money is , looks at his sales numbers and concludes he's doing great because that is how he measures things. No concept of 'truth' other than financial success in the market of ideas. I suspect he makes a lot of money.
the pair , Jul 15 2021 16:18 utc | 7
damn, i wish i had it in me to be a cult leader...i'd make a beeline to the guardian office and have an army of kool-aid drinking simps at my disposal. when they aren't harrassing and firing women writers for calling out "female identifying" sex offenders in dresses or stirring up imaginary "anti-semitism" they're peddling this delusional nonsense and LARPing as MI6 spooks. truly in their own little world. i'll guess some LSD in the water cooler and a decent powerpoint presentation is all it would take to be the limey jim jones.
Ð"жММ , Jul 15 2021 16:35 utc | 8
The chunks of the supposed document that the Guardian included with its article really give it away. The text - supposedly from an internal Kremlin communication - reads as no more or less than a chunk of English passed through Google Translate. Idiomatically, it is chock full of awkwardness and simple ridiculous phrasings. There are even grammatical errors! "..во Ð²Ñ€ÐµÐ¼Ñ Ð¿Ñ€ÐµÐ±Ñ‹Ð²Ð°Ð½Ð¸Ñ ÐµÐ³Ð¾..." is simply incorrect. In Russian, the last two words are reversed in order.

It recalls the recent Putin's Palace story, with the "комната грÑзи".

It's just shameful how little pride the propagandists take in their work. I understand that they hold their audience in only the lowest of regard (not without cause, to be fair), but it's not like there is any shortage of Russian-speakers in the west they could go to for proofreading, if not copy writing.

vk , Jul 15 2021 16:55 utc | 9
Kremlin's response came out:

Peskov called the article by The Guardian about the authorities of Russia and Trump a fiction

"Of course, this is such a continuation of absolutely low-quality publications. Either the newspaper is trying to somehow increase its popularity, or the newspaper continues such a frenzied Russophobic line. Of course, all this does not and cannot correspond to the truth. This, in fact, is not true ... This is a continuation of the exercises on total demonization of Russia and Putin, which The Guardian sometimes likes to do, or is it a desperate attempt to attract some new readers by publishing such tales, "Peskov said.
Stonebird , Jul 15 2021 17:18 utc | 10
"REVEALED: Iran plotted to kidnap Iranian-American journalist from Brooklyn, transport her by speedboat to Venezuela and then fly her to the Islamic republic because she criticized regime, FBI say", Bemildred | Jul 15 2021 15:31 utc | 1

I TOLD you all that the FBI needed new script writers. Either that or they have so little imagination that they have to use up all the scripts from a couple of years back, as they cannot afford new ones.

******

Don't underestimate stupidity

pnyx , Jul 15 2021 17:18 utc | 11
Luke 'Skywalker' Harding defeats the evil empire. Part 13.
Citizen621 , Jul 15 2021 17:58 utc | 12
Doesn't matter - the MSNBC watchers will never accept this. I still try to punch through the armor of confirmation bias now and then. My last jab was: "I think Russiagate is every bit as much evidence-free bullshit as Quanon!". No effect whatsoever. Willing to agree with half of what I said - just like Fox watchers.

Unfortunately, I don't think my fellow citizens here in the heart of Pindostan will pay attention until things get bad enough that they know actual hunger - and then they will serve the elites by fighting each other.

Sorry for the pessimism, the one positive thing I do think I can do is tend my vegetable garden!

jo6pac , Jul 15 2021 18:07 utc | 13
Amerikan intel agrees it fake but they will walk it back soon I'm sure

https://www.alternet.org/2021/07/trump-and-kremlin/

QA , Jul 15 2021 18:53 utc | 14
Ð"жММ:

"во Ð²Ñ€ÐµÐ¼Ñ Ð¿Ñ€ÐµÐ±Ñ‹Ð²Ð°Ð½Ð¸Ñ ÐµÐ³Ð¾", maybe awkward but semikosher, many examples can be found Googling it ---like during stay of his vs. during his stay (e.g. kamchatka.mid.ru can be found to say: "ÑвÑÐ·Ð°Ð½Ð½Ñ‹Ñ Ñ Ð´ÐµÐ¹ÑтвиÑми и поÑтупками пригÐ"ашаемого во Ð²Ñ€ÐµÐ¼Ñ Ð¿Ñ€ÐµÐ±Ñ‹Ð²Ð°Ð½Ð¸Ñ ÐµÐ³Ð¾ в РФ, в том чиÑÐ"е, в ÑÐ"учае депортации").

Thomas , Jul 15 2021 20:22 utc | 15
Jeez, it just gets worse-as soon as I saw the name Luke harding, I knew it was a pile of trash; really, who in the hell reads this without a sense to vomit.

Well, there there is Orbis: "great reporting."

MI6 and prob cia has this clown on the payroll; I tried to watch the last 5 minutes of the video but could not get past the first minute; the guy is absolutely repulsive and they continue to double down on this garbage.

Cadence calls , Jul 15 2021 20:28 utc | 16
Headlines on Democratic Underground and Daily KOS:
"Explosive evidence that Putin supported a Trump Presidency"

Commenters: "I knew it!"

Thomas , Jul 15 2021 20:30 utc | 17
Ð"жММ-8

I think you really nailed it; we see it every day, with this latest pail of s___, that these purveyors absolutely have no shame or embarrassment, but believe their audience, the sheeple, are complete idiots or stupid. The question is who is stupid as this level of stupidity cannot be fixed or underestimated.

librul , Jul 15 2021 21:41 utc | 18
I remember the scene in the movie "The Big Short" where Steve Carell
was saying, "they knew all along!".

Goldman Sachs, et al, had over-leveraged the housing mortgages and "they knew all along"
if and when it all crumbled the government would cover Wall Street's bad bets with taxpayer debt.

They knew all along it was bs but they did it anyway.

The MSM is a different arena but has the same arrogant attitude towards average joe citizen.

The MSM knows it is selling bs but they don't care.

What I see is they are counting on the "Reiteration Effect" (look it up, it is a real thing).
"Russia bad", "Russia bad", "Russia bad", "Russia bad", "Russia bad", "Russia bad".

There have been a steady stream of "Russia bad" stories and "Russia helped Trump" stories, and over time
the fact that these stories are one by one debunked does not matter. The "Reiteration Effect" is what matters.
"Say something a million times and it becomes true" is not a mere cynical phrase, it actually works - the "Reiteration Effect".

Keep putting out these "Russia bad" stories and "Russia helped Trump" stories and over time people will accept the basic message as true.

The MSM has known all along they were selling bs, but they don't care.

vk , Jul 15 2021 22:11 utc | 19
@ Posted by: librul | Jul 15 2021 21:41 utc | 18

They definitely didn't know 2008 would happen. On the contrary: they thought they had discovered the elixir of immortality for capitalism.

The USA was caught completely off-guard in September 2008. You have to search with a magnifying glass to find the ten people who predicted the crisis would happen in its nature and more or less its timing - but even then, most of them were Marxists, i.e. outside the commanding heights of the USG.

librul , Jul 15 2021 22:23 utc | 20
@Posted by: vk | Jul 15 2021 22:11 utc | 19

Goldman Sachs began to short mortgage bonds and like instruments before the crash of 2008.

Regardless, they *knew* their bets were covered by the government.

---

Were you aware that Henry Paulson began to ready a coup in 2008?

Tuyzentfloot , Jul 15 2021 22:41 utc | 21
I like the idea of the makers of this thing deciding that it's a shoddy job which only Harding will take. Also Harding gets all the attention but let's not forget the honourable mentions in this story: Julian Borger and Dan Sabbagh.
librul , Jul 15 2021 22:49 utc | 22
@Posted by: librul | Jul 15 2021 22:23 utc | 20 ....continued

I saved this from somewhere (?) years ago. Doesn't matter, you can read Paulson's coup document for yourself.
The WSJ link still works but you hit a pay wall. You can put the following url at http://web.archive.org/
and read the original WSJ publication and Paulson's coup document dated Sept 20, 2008 at the WSJ.

http://blogs.wsj.com/economics/2008/09/20/treasurys-financial-bailout-proposal-to-congress/


**** "shall not be subject to judicial review" ****

http://blogs.wsj.com/economics/2008/09/20/treasurys-financial-bailout-proposal-to-congress/

"Decisions by the Secretary pursuant to the authority of this Act are non-reviewable and committed to agency discretion, and may not be reviewed by any court of law or any administrative agency."

Did you catch that? Paulson went further. Not just the courts are cut out but "any adminstrative agency" as well.

Paulson also was giving to Himself the authority to APPROPRIATE any funds He wished.

"Any funds expended for actions authorized by this Act, including the payment of administrative expenses, shall be deemed appropriated at the time of such expenditure."

HE could pass ANY legislation He wanted to:

"(5) issuing such regulations and other guidance as may be necessary or appropriate to define terms or carry out the authorities of this Act."

The word "term" has a duel meaning. It also refers to TIME, as in length of a term.

Give powers to anyone and hire anyone He wished to:

"(1) appointing such employees as may be required to carry out the authorities in this Act and defining their duties;"

What miscellaneous authorities did G-d Paulson give Himself? Answer: Authority over the police and the military.

"In exercising the authorities granted in this Act, the Secretary shall take into consideration means for""

(1) providing stability or preventing disruption to the financial markets or banking system; and

"providing stability OR". That OR makes for confusion (intentional confusion). Stability is a word used often in the context of economics but it is also used in the context of police action. Get it? He wants to create his own SS. See the very next word: "protecting", as in "We Serve and Protect".

(2) protecting the taxpayer."

The last one is my favorite. Who is a *taxpayer*? Hmmm, is not everyone, even candy purchasing kids liable to pay tax? Corporations are also taxpayers...

G-d Paulson covered all his bases.

Even the one about being G-d Forever:

"Sec. 9. Termination of Authority.

The authorities under this Act, with the exception of authorities granted in sections 2(b)(5), 5 and 7, shall terminate two years from the date of enactment of this Act."

Paulson wants you to believe this terminates in two years. However, 2(b)(5) does NOT terminate and that one says he can just place the crown back on His own head:

"(5) issuing such regulations and other guidance as may be necessary or appropriate to define terms or carry out the authorities of this Act."

Cheers

A coup! A massive scandal that has been totally missed.

Michael888 , Jul 15 2021 23:01 utc | 23
@Posted by: librul | Jul 15 2021 21:41 utc | 18

"If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State."-- Joseph Goebbels (Luke Harding's Father?)

corvo , Jul 15 2021 23:16 utc | 24
@ Cadence calls | Jul 15 2021 20:28 utc | 16:

We can take some comfort in the fact that Daily Kos readership has fallen precipitously over the last few years. Nobody takes it seriously anymore.

Dim sim , Jul 15 2021 23:31 utc | 25
In 2017 Luke Harding abruptly ended an interview with Aaron Maté after Harding was challenged over false claims he had made in his book about 'Russiagate'. The last five minutes of that video are quite amusing.

I'm not normally a follower of this topic even though one of our sleazers, Downer, was involved but needing something to smile at while in our CV lockdown I watched the link.

What an understatement! It's a hilarious 28m:51s train wreck interview with a complete dick. Thanks b for sharing it.

mismatch , Jul 15 2021 23:49 utc | 26
@Vk, I'm sorry to contradict you but if you pick up a copy of the Financial Times in 2008 before the crash, everyone was predicting it. I checked recently, and sure enough, it was all over the paper.
TEP , Jul 16 2021 0:18 utc | 27
Luke Harding. Nuff said.
TEP.
Erelis , Jul 16 2021 0:22 utc | 28
Once again super duper evil genius ex-KGB spy cannot keep state secrets secret.
Christian J. Chuba , Jul 16 2021 0:24 utc | 29
Painful video to watch. Harding is using the Hitler argument.

'My evidence that Trump colluded with Putin (Saddam has WMD) is that Putin is Hitler. If you don't believe me, you are supporting Adolf Hitler'.

Harding is Satan's minion, and Jesus said, 'Satan is a liar and a murderer, when he lies, he speaks his native language'

Lies kill.

vk , Jul 16 2021 0:39 utc | 30
@ Posted by: mismatch | Jul 15 2021 23:49 utc | 26

By 2007, the financial elite already knew something would happen - but not a structural crisis. In fact, they predicted nothing: the chain of bankruptcies started at the end of 2006; September 2008 was just the date it "leaked" to the "real economy".

Not every crisis is bad for capitalism. Cyclical crisis are natural and beneficial to capitalism. The crisis of 2008 was not a cyclical crisis, but a structural one. They probably thought it was either a cyclical crisis (a la Dotcom crisis of 2000) or, if something more serious, something the free market would easily be able to "self-regulate" out of.

[Jun 03, 2021] Too Many Journalists Need to Raise Their Ethical Bar - WSJ

Jun 03, 2021 | www.wsj.com

Holman Jenkins aptly describes the journalists involved in the Steele affair as "lazy" ( "Two Grifters and a Dossier," Business World, May 26). Of course, they are intellectually lazy -- it's absurdly in their interest. When it comes to public figures, knowing less is a better defense than actually doing their job. The 1964 Supreme Court case Sullivan v. New York Times requiring "actual malice" has given the news business a perverse incentive. The less journalists actually know about the veracity of a story, the more defensible their legal position. Justice Clarence Thomas recently described the malice standard as "almost impossible" to prove, and without a reporter unearthing counterfactual accounts, proving malice is properly impossible. So reporters find a story they love with suspect, but well-placed, sourcing and run it without corroboration.

The wholesale use of single, anonymous sourcing to print defamatory stories about public figures is now commonplace. Rep. Adam Schiff and his staff continually leaked falsities about the Russia investigation, and reporters dutifully printed every word of it. Let's overturn Sullivan and watch how fast the 24-hour news cycle changes under the threat of the plaintiffs bar.

Conan M. Ward

[Dec 29, 2020] Surprising uniformity of opinions about Steele dossier following by surprising uniformity of actions

Highly recommended!
Nov 28, 2020 | twitter.com

Commodore Allen Retweeted

C3
@C_3C_3
FBI knew the Dossier was FAKE
CIA knew the Dossier was FAKE
DOJ knew the Dossier was FAKE
ODNI knew the Dossier was FAKE
Media knew the Dossier was FAKE
Mueller knew the Dossier was FAKE
Congress knew the Dossier was FAKE
BO Admin knew the Dossier was FAKE

They were all in on it

[Nov 25, 2020] Biden NSA Pick Called Steele Dossier 'Perfectly Appropriate' - Newsmax.com

Nov 25, 2020 | www.newsmax.com

Joe Biden's national security adviser pick defended the anti-Trump dossier in 2018 as "perfectly appropriate."

Many news outlets have declared Biden the president-elect. Newsmax has yet to project a winner, citing legal challenges in several key battleground states.

Jake Sullivan, who worked for Biden when he served as vice president in the Obama administration and as a senior foreign policy adviser to Hillary Clinton during her presidential race in 2016, made the comments on a podcast interview with David Axelrod, the chief strategist for Obama's presidential campaigns.

"I mean, I believe that it is perfectly appropriate and responsible if we get wind, or if people associated with the campaign get wind, that there may be real questions about the connections between Donald Trump, his organization, his campaign and Russia that that be explored fully," he said at the time, The Daily Caller reported.

https://274b4c66c3248245933d19a14f4d7121.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-37/html/container.html

Sullivan worked for Clinton when a law firm representing her campaign hired an opposition research firm to investigate Trump's possible ties to Russia. The firm hired Christopher Steele, the author behind the dossier alleging a "well-developed conspiracy of cooperation between the Trump campaign and Russian government."

Special counsel Robert Mueller later found those claims to be unfounded during his probe into Russian interference in the election, writing in his report "the investigation did not establish that members of the Trump campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities."

Related Stories:

[Nov 12, 2020] WSJ- Vengeful Russian Was Source Of Outlandish Dossier Claims

Nov 12, 2020 | thefederalist.com

WSJ: Vengeful Russian PR Exec Was Source Of Outlandish Dossier Claims OCTOBER 29, 2020 By Mollie Hemingway

The "most important contributor" to the Russia collusion hoax dossier has been identified by the Wall Street Journal as a disgruntled Russian public relations executive with a reported drinking problem. The 40-year-old Olga Galkina had already been suspected as the woman who provided "the most critical allegations" of unverified and uncorroborated gossip to an old school friend digging for dirt on Donald Trump.

According to the Journal, Galkina was the source of the completely debunked claim that Trump attorney Michael Cohen had conspired with high-level Russian officials in a secret meeting in Prague. Shortly after getting fired from her job at a web-services company known for its Webzilla internet hosting unit, she claimed that its owner, Russian internet entrepreneur Aleksej Gubarev, had been recruited by Russian security services. Also shortly after her firing from the company, Galkina blamed Webzilla for the hack of emails from the Democratic National Committee.

https://0a7a31e9314db9b2b8e0a509c26489ce.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-37/html/container.html

None of the dramatic stories that Galkina shared with her friend Igor Danchenko, who is also a Russian national and was suspected by the U.S. government of being a Russian agent, have been corroborated. The Russia collusion hoax operation was secretly funded by the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee. This summer it was revealed that Danchenko was hired by Christopher Steele, a man falsely described by major media as a James Bond-like master spy , to get dirt on Trump.

Galkina was reportedly fired for frequently showing up late to work, appearing drunk. A manager reportedly went to authorities because an acquaintance of Galkina told him "he would face deep trouble, including possible death, unless he paid €10,000 ($11,740) in compensation," according to a statement that was confirmed by a Cypriot official and another person who confirmed it, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Danchenko also had a history of public drunkenness , and he described another source for his dossier work as a "drinking buddy."

The dossier mixed publicly available information with outlandish gossip, smears, rumors, and innuendo. The FBI used the smears to help secure warrants to spy on a Trump campaign affiliate, despite having many reasons to believe they were false. Kevin Clinesmith, an FBI official who worked for Robert Mueller's special counsel probe, was convicted of falsifying a document that was used to help continue spying on Carter Page, the Trump affiliate.

Despite the complete lack of corroboration for the non-public information, Danchenko told the Journal he trusted Galkina and his other sources. "I have no reason to believe that any of them fabricated information that was given to me," Danchenko told the Journal. "More importantly, I have yet to see anything credible that indicates that the raw intelligence I collected was inaccurate."

An investigation into the Russia collusion hoax is purportedly being conducted by the Department of Justice, although Clinesmith is the only government official to be held accountable for his participation in the operation. Attorney General William Barr appointed John Durham to head a probe into the Russia collusion investigation and its origins. Mollie Ziegler Hemingway is a senior editor at The Federalist. She is Senior Journalism Fellow at Hillsdale College and a Fox News contributor. She is the co-author of Justice on Trial: The Kavanaugh Confirmation and the Future of the Supreme Court . Follow her on Twitter at @mzhemingway

[Oct 30, 2020] Why Are These Anti-Russian And Anti-Chinese Narratives So Similar-

Notable quotes:
"... I hope you don't mind me opining that the story as written is most likely to be a complete fiction, designed to hide the real source of the fantasy story book that is the Steele dossier. The main mission here being to admit that the dossier was indeed a pack of lies but with the important corollary that J Steele did indeed do some sort of research to dig up the dirt on Trump. Heaven forbid that it ever was discovered that himself, Pablo Miller and Sergei Skripal made the whole thing up over a meal of Zizzi's garlic bread and risotto, washed down with white wine and a bottle of Vodka over at the Mill. ..."
Oct 30, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Caliman , Oct 29 2020 16:04 utc | 6

After more than four years of Russiagate we finally learn (paywalled original ) where the Steele dossier allegations about nefarious relations between Trump and Russia came from:

A Wall Street Journal investigation provides an answer: a 40-year-old Russian public-relations executive named Olga Galkina fed notes to a friend and former schoolmate who worked for Mr. Steele.​ The Journal relied on interviews, law-enforcement records, declassified documents and the identification of Ms. Galkina by a former top U.S. national security official.

In 2016, Ms. Galkina was working in Cyprus at an affiliate of XBT Holding SA, a web-services company best known for its Webzilla internet hosting unit. XBT is owned by Russian internet entrepreneur Aleksej Gubarev.

That summer, she received a request from an employee of Mr. Steele to help unearth potentially compromising information on then-presidential candidate Donald Trump 's links to Russia, according to people familiar with the matter. Ms. Galkina was friends with the employee, Igor Danchenko, since their school days in Perm, a Russian provincial city near the Ural mountains.

Ms. Galkina often came drunk to work and eventually got fired by her company. She took revenge by alleging that the company and its owner Gubarev were involved in the alleged hacking of the Democratic National Committee. A bunch of other false allegations in the dossier were equally based on Ms. Galkina's fantasies.

Mark Ames @MarkAmesExiled - 18:39 UTC · Oct 28, 2020

So the Steele Dossier that kicked off 4 years of Russiagate hysteria among the US ruling class was cooked up by two Russian alcoholics from Perm. "Gogolesque" does not begin to describe the grotesque credulity & stupidity of the American elites.

The tales in the dossier were real disinformation from Russians but not ' Russian disinformation ' of the American Newspeak variant.

The FBI, and others involved, knew very early on that the Steele dossier was a bunch of lies. But the issue was kept in the public eyes by continues leaks of additional nonsense. All this was to press Trump to take more and more anti-Russian measures which he did with unprecedented generosity . The accusations about a Trump-Russia connection were the 'Russia bad' narrative that pressed and allowed Trump to continue the anti-Russian policies of the Obama/Biden administration.

A similar string of continuous policies from the Obama/Biden administration's 'Pivot to Asia' and throughout the four years of Trump is the anti-China campaign.

We now hear a lot about Hunter and Joe Biden's corrupt deals with Chinese entities. These accusations come with more evidence and are far more plausible than the stupid Steele dossier claims. Their importance is again twofold. They will be used to press a potential President Joe Biden to act against China but they will primarily be used to intensify a public anti-China narrative that creates public support for such policies.

As Caitlin Johnstone points out :

I don't know how or at what level, but we are being played. A narrative is being aggressively rammed down our throats about China in exactly the same way it was being aggressively rammed down our throats about Russia four years ago; two unabsorbed nations the US government has long had plans to attack and undermine .
Russiagate was never really about Trump. It was never about his campaign staff meeting with Russians, it was never about a pee tape, it was never about an investigation into any kind of hidden loyalties to the Kremlin. Russiagate was about narrative managing the United States into a new cold war with Russia with the ultimate target being its far more powerful ally China, and ensuring that Trump played along with that agenda.
...
If Biden gets in we can expect the same thing: a president who advances escalations against both Russia and China while being accused of the other party of being soft on China. Both parties will have their foot on the gas toward brinkmanship with a nuclear-armed nation, with no one's foot anywhere near the brakes.

It is thus assured that the verbal attacks on China , the search for new anti-China allies like the Hindu-fascist India and the dangerous weaponizing of Taiwan will all continue under a Biden administration.

""Gogolesque" does not begin to describe the grotesque credulity & stupidity of the American elites."

Not at all. The "elites" know what's going on; it's being done for their benefit, after all. It's the "normals" who are being sheared of the little wool left on our backs. Just one more true grand larceny before the whole thing falls apart. And for this we need a real enemy. From the great Antiwar.com:

https://news.antiwar.com/2020/10/28/raytheon-ceo-the-idea-that-biden-would-cut-defense-spending-is-ridiculous/


Bemildred , Oct 29 2020 16:10 utc | 7

It's like living in a "B" movie. Probably many of the same sorts of people behind it too. The lack of imagination and knowledge in these propaganda narratives tells you a lot about the mediocrities behind them. In considering these US foreign policy excesses, real and imagined, I keep thinking at some point reality is going to raise its ugly head and Washington will collapse in a puddle of spite. I expect the next adminstration to be overwhelmed by its domestic problems, along with quite a few other countries. I look at what is going on in Western societies today and I think of the movie Brazil.

ptb , Oct 29 2020 16:17 utc | 8
I think this stuff will matter more if Trump wins than if Biden wins. (I'm thinking 3:2 odds in favor of Biden, by the way).

If Biden wins, Republicans will make a lot of noise, but that's about it. Without a huge majority of Congress, they can't do even what little token effects Democrats had to "stop Trump". Then, whenever Harris takes over, she can just distance herself from the whole thing.

If Trump wins, however, the flag humpers in the administration will have the ammunition they need in the fight over Russiagate. Not to shut it down, but to take control of it for their own political ends, and perhaps take down someone famous in the media and intimidate the rest - in a replay of the post-9/11 Bush era (not that it ever stopped). So you can thank Democrats for handing them the setup to do all that, not to mention for nominating Biden, if that is the path we take.

More realistically, Trump still loses, but Dems might fail to get an effective majority in the Senate (something like a 51-49 majority might not be enough in practice, because the most conservative Democrats in the Senate vote Republican half the time.). Again it makes no difference for foreign policy, but it could really change how the country responds to economic hardship, now baked in due to the virus.

Down South , Oct 29 2020 16:28 utc | 9
The MIC needs a Cold War to boost military expenditure. The bigger the boogeyman the more money will be spent the more profits will be generated.

They don't want a hot war as all those profits are meaningless if you are reduced to ashes.

The last thing the MIC can afford is for peace and goodwill amongst nations to break out. There is absolutely no profit in that.

Eisenhower warned against the rise of the MIC for this very reason. If war is profitable then to keep generating more profits you need to keep on generating more wars.

Noirette , Oct 29 2020 17:11 utc | 13

Trump proposed to ally with Russia against China. MAGA clearly implies the US was, is weakening, one way out (classical) is to ally (perhaps only lightly) with one of the other two strong powers. This was total anathema to part of the PTB, mostly represented (officially) by Dems. An all-out attack on Trump thus took place (before he was elected, because all was known) as a stooge for Russia, etc. Russia 3x, Russiagate, all of it clumsily made-up rubbish.

Surely now with Hunter's lap-top and the exposé of Biden-China ties (pay to play at the highest level, potentially billions, not minor corruption chicken-sh*t..) it is possible to grasp that one faction of what some call the Deep State is more pro-China i.e. the aspirations towards that type of society (I leave that aspect aside ..) and the opportunities for money extraction / deals - see tech etc. / also sales (MIC, etc.) favor China. The noise about Chinese incursions (Tibet, sea.. etc.), Chinese human-rights violations (Uighurs, etc.), and the OBOR initiative have always been somewhat glancing more pro-forma than anything else..

It was the 'Dem' faction of the duopoly, Obiman + Biden who 'did' Ukraine, an anti-Russian move (on the face of it. Perhaps it was just an extraction scheme, Mafia style. Of course they had the keen involvement of Germany and support from France.)

I have boiled down complex issues to just one "narrative arc", a simplification if you will, I am aware there is much more to it all

Question. There is a well-know board on which sit, amongst many others:

Mary T. Barra (CEO Gen. Mot.)
Carlos Ghosn (Renault etc.)
H. Kruger (BMW)
Elon Musk

Henry Paulson
Lloyd Blankfein
Laurence Fink (Blackrock)
M. L. Corbat (Citigroup)

Tim Cook
Michael Dell (Dell co.)
S. Nadella (Microsoft)

answer:

https://www.sem.tsinghua.edu.cn/en/aboutsem/advMem.html

Here is the Board of Trustees of Moscow University, Lavrov in first place:

https://english.mgimo.ru/basic-facts/board-of-trustees

I believe such minor examples are quite telling.

Yes the elites know what is going on. (Caliman 6)

karlof1 , Oct 29 2020 17:16 utc | 14
IMO, the current Imperial policy goals of the Outlaw US Empire will continue regardless who wins. IMO, the ultimate question is if the Empire has enough power to continue on its current track. As most know, I see a drowning empire trying to disrupt the rapid rise of two strategically bound nations and those allied with them. China just finished planning and publishing its 14th 5-year plan. This Global Times editorial is supremely confidant for good reason:

"The fifth plenary session of the 19th CPC Central Committee is leading the country forward. China has the capital and ability to do so. In this turbulent world, the meeting has provided a practical and significant guide for our direction, goal and tactics. Despite the many problems, China's political philosophy can constantly generate positive energy to solve the problems, instead of letting the problems crush positive energy.

"At the moment, China is facing the most problems and challenges. However, the country is also the most confident now. Other countries have posed many difficulties, but they provide reference and proof that we are doing better . As the world suffers from shrinking demand and negative growth, we are demanding real and comprehensive growth to realize new achievements in six areas. The country is self-driven ." [My Emphasis]

It's been announced that "The 19th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) will hold a press conference Friday to introduce the guiding principles of its fifth plenary session."

Here are two important articles related to China's next phase that demand reading, "China sets 'pragmatic' targets through 2035 ; and "CPC vows to grasp opportunities amid major strategic [development] period" . I intend to use these and other items in a follow up to the article I wrote in anticipation of China's new phase while recapping the one just concluded.

As for Russia's direction, that was very clearly mapped out by Putin and Lavrov's recent Valdai Club speeches and Q & A sessions and other interviews over the past ten days or so. Compared to the drowning Outlaw US Empire, China and Russia combine to offer the world two not so different examples that are clearly superior to Neoliberal Parasitism. And the longstanding Imperial edict of the Outlaw US Empire saying no threat of a better example can be allowed to exist forms the basis for the confrontation. However, it's no longer just China and Russia that provide such threats as a majority of the world's nations want to join Win-Win and scupper Zero-sum. So the already joined contest between two differing ideological blocs will escalate until the drowning Outlaw US Empire finds it no longer possess the power to dominate outside its borders, but will still have its domestic populace to exploit until they too revolt.

Ilya G Poimandres , Oct 29 2020 17:27 utc | 15
The similarities are there, except that Trump's investigation had not one document of compromat even after 3 years, whilst Biden's already has many from day 1.

Yes, the deepstate attacks Russia from the left, and China from the right, but this does not imply that members of the body politic are not subservient to either side, ever.

Only that Trump was never a Russian stooge, nor did they ever hold compromising documents over him, whilst Biden seems the Cleon of the modern age, that his business partners say he is. Is this compromat? Maybe, but at the very least this is graft. And that should be enough to send him into the gutter.

Babyl-on , Oct 29 2020 17:32 utc | 16
This is a good report as is usually the case here at MoA. Yet, there is nothing really new in this at all other than the details of how the Western empire goes about enforcing its will on the world.
Sense August 6, 1945 the Imperial policy has been "Global full spectrum domination." and to that end it was determined that Russia and China were to be considered one enemy and must be attacked simultaneously.
In the 75 years sense that date when the Western empire declared the world belonged to it and it alone to rule the Western empire has slaughtered innocent people across the globe tens of millions of them, additionally in the last 20 years alone the Western empire has displaced over 37 million people, kicked them out of their homes destroyed their towns and communities. For 75 years non stop slaughter of innocent people.
Western Liberal Democracy and indeed Western civilization itself is an utter and contemptible failure irredeemable in any form which we might recognize as "democracy'
wagelaborer , Oct 29 2020 18:22 utc | 24

Why do media corporations put out remake after remake of popular movies? Is it because they lack imagination, or is it that audiences prefer the familiar.
They use the same war propaganda time after time because the audience falls for it more easily if they've heard it before.
I agree with Michael, however, that we are in dire planetary straits at this point.
Apparently, our ruling overlords are putting in a Hail Mary plan to slow down the destruction of the ecosystem. I don't believe that it is the virus that made them screech the brakes on the global economy back in March. They have a plan to reset and scale back consumption.
We all knew it couldn't last forever, anyway, right?

Sunny Runny Burger , Oct 29 2020 18:23 utc | 25

I'm not so sure about the overall conclusions, instead I'm sidetracked by the attempt to whitewash Russiagate. I guess they finally figured out they had to come up with some kind of lame excuse to brush it off.

"It wasn't me! It was some crazy drunk Russian woman from Perm! She was angry!"

Well that explains everything. They must have been so scared :D

Because that's what people do when they get fired isn't it? Instead of getting a new job (or drinking a bit more, or sliding down the slippery slope of society) they make up and tell stories about politicians in other countries. Not to blackmail anyone, oh no, only to try to tarnish the reputation of the old boss to get revenge. Stuff like this is why watching soap operas (including "Friends") is bad for you :)

"We need a scapegoat but we don't have any good ones available right now, however someone we know has an aunt in Perm who will do anything for money"

It still doesn't make sense but now instead of a problem that doesn't make sense they have a solution that doesn't make sense. They probably threw a party to celebrate how smart they were.

Roger , Oct 29 2020 18:25 utc | 26

"A narrative is being aggressively rammed down our throats about China": I usually respect Caitlin's work a lot but how does this jive with the MSM and Techno-platforms desperate attempts to block all circulation of anything to do with the Biden corruption scandals? Digging deeper into these issues is toxic not just for Biden, but for a significant segment of the neoliberal elite.

The economic elites need time to decouple their profits from China before any real head-to-head battle commences, Biden (or Kamala) will bark a lot but bite much less given the probable wealth-vaporization of increased hostilities with China.

P.S. the number of COVID cases in Sweden is exploding, so to quote one of my favourite movie reviewers (The Critical Drinker) can the Sweden trolls please "just go away now".

Abe , Oct 29 2020 18:39 utc | 31

Jackrabbit @ 22

I don't argue popularity, but strength. Trump is a weakling, both as a person and as a president IMO.

US presidential system won't allow true leaders but puppets (or easily manipulated persons), it is all I'm saying. Do we need more than last 4 years of Trump's reign as a proof?

Christian J. Chuba , Oct 29 2020 18:48 utc | 34

Because the U.S. public is close to brain dead We can't detect obvious lies no matter how brazen.

Let's suppose I told you something was absolutely true and I literally started out by saying, 'Once upon a time there was an evil stepmother ...'. Or I told you about about a villainous neighbor while literally playing a sad song on a violin.

I do not consider myself a genius, in fact I was a neocon but good God, I could just tell I was being lied to just by the pattern of the stories. I didn't know what the truth was but I knew they were lying.

A doozy with FOX promoting genocide against Iran

FOX news does a story about the terrorist attack in France and in the very next segment without any commercial breaks they interview a Congressman about Iran. Now they did not say Iran was responsible but clearly this was a puppet show to make just that association. In addition to the standard blood libel, the Congressman talked about a tweet the Ayatollah made in 2014, so it was not as if there even was any newsworthy item to discuss about Iran. It was just to frame them for something they did not do.

donkeytale , Oct 29 2020 21:47 utc | 54

Correction: I outed the Bytedance board of directors. Bytedance is the parent company of tik tok.

Jen , Oct 29 2020 22:57 utc | 55

S Brennan @ 3, Bevin @ 17, James @ 38:

China and Russia signed a friendship treaty in 2001 pledging co-operation and assistance in diplomacy and across several areas including economic and military assistance and in environmental technology (green or environmental science) and energy issues as well. In Article 6 of the treaty, both nations agreed to respect one another's borders and to preserve the status quo where there were unresolved issues.

On top of the 2001 Sino-Russian Friendship Treaty, both nations also signed an agreement in 2008 officially ending all territorial disputes between the two countries. With no exceptions, the border between Russia and China is fixed.

In addition northeast China (or that area historically known as Manchuria) is now a rustbelt area and is deindustrialising. People especially young people are moving away from this part of the country and into the cities farther south to find more job opportunities. According to this Mercatornet.com article , fertility rates in this part of Northeast Asia across all ethnic groups are the lowest in the world and this part of China is heading for demographic collapse.

Probably the only people in China and Russia who still have fantasies about seizing one another's territories in Northeast China and the Russian Far East are gameboys who spend too much time playing computer games or nattering with one another on their blogsites and who would suffer cardiac arrest the moment they step away from the screen (or who would suffer cardiac arrest anyway from playing games two or three days straight).

oldhippie , Oct 29 2020 23:13 utc | 56

US economy and US life in general is wholly dependent on China. Face masks or pharmaceuticals, car parts or building materials, it comes from China. No, we cannot resume making these things in US, we do not know how. When 3M was told to get busy and make masks under Defence Procurement authority all they could do was refer to Chinese subsidiary. Clear enough it is the "subsidiary" that has the whip hand. What do we have for them? Treasury bonds? Or we can start handing over real estate. Maybe if we give them the West Coast they will supply us for a time.

One of the big stalls with the Foxconn-Racine plant has been there are no American engineers to hire. Just none. All Chinese staff would be easier. Or Chinese lords supervising American coolies.

US basically does not trade with Russia. They have unloaded US paper securities. All we get from them is service as a bogeyman. If we needed another bogey we could get that easy, make up some shit as always.

Russia and China are different.

donkeytale , Oct 29 2020 23:36 utc | 57

Old hippie

Mostly true but it's not because the US cant make these products it's because the shareholder class decided long ago their portfolios would be better enhanced by cheaper labor costs outside the US.

And just as important, the US consumer prefers a "bargain price" and wants cheap goods more than a living wage, especially those consumers who own some stocks (52% of Amerikkkans own at least some shares, usually in a 401k plan) and believe they too are participating in the global wealth machine.

BTW, nearly as much stuff is made in Mexico and exported into the US as is made in China and products from both countries are made by multinational corporations whose ownership consists largely Amerikkkan/western elites.

The problem isn't national-based, it is class based and international .

They are only trying to trick us into believing the problem is we are lazier than the Chinese.

uncle tungsten , Oct 29 2020 23:43 utc | 59

The Chinese authorities have been prosecuting corrupt officials for many years. The prospect of certain USAi officials like the Biden family carpetbaggers and their Chinese associates being prosecuted in public courts in China with no plea bargaining and all those other niceties would be a delight for eyes and ears.

Be careful with those threats USAi, it could come back to haunt you.

uncle tungsten , Oct 30 2020 0:59 utc | 63

Corkie # 49

I hope you don't mind me opining that the story as written is most likely to be a complete fiction, designed to hide the real source of the fantasy story book that is the Steele dossier. The main mission here being to admit that the dossier was indeed a pack of lies but with the important corollary that J Steele did indeed do some sort of research to dig up the dirt on Trump. Heaven forbid that it ever was discovered that himself, Pablo Miller and Sergei Skripal made the whole thing up over a meal of Zizzi's garlic bread and risotto, washed down with white wine and a bottle of Vodka over at the Mill.

I am with you Corkie. That is about the strength of it. The WSJ is BS from front page to last.

[Oct 25, 2020] RNC Spox Liz Harrington- Everything Democrats Accuse Us Of Doing Is What They Did With The Steele Dossier - Video - RealClearPolitics

Oct 25, 2020 | www.realclearpolitics.com

RNC Spox Liz Harrington: Everything Democrats Accuse Us Of Doing Is What They Did With The Steele Dossier Posted By Tim Hains
On Date October 23, 2020

https://platform.twitter.com/embed/index.html?dnt=false&embedId=twitter-widget-0&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1319351107253141504&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.realclearpolitics.com%2Fvideo%2F2020%2F10%2F23%2Fgop_spox_elizabeth_harrington_everything_democrats_accuse_us_of_doing_is_what_they_did_with_steele_dossier.html&siteScreenName=rcpvideo&theme=light&widgetsVersion=ed20a2b%3A1601588405575&width=550px

RNC's national spokesperson Liz Harrington battled CNN's Christiane Amanpour for refusing to engage with allegations of corruption against Joe Biden and his family after years of hyping unverified Trump-Russia allegations.

"Why don't you want to report this? This is one of the most powerful families in Washington," she asked. "And you're okay with our interests being sold out to profit Joe Biden and his family, while we're suffering during a pandemic from communist China?"

me title=

https://c5x8i7c7.ssl.hwcdn.net/vplayer-parallel/20200902_2348/ima_html5/index.html

https://c5x8i7c7.ssl.hwcdn.net/vplayer-parallel/20200902_2348/videojs/show.html?controls=1&loop=60&autoplay=0&tracker=a71d2729-c152-42a5-b839-e31cfd08bff8&height=227&width=402&vurl=%2F%2Fd14c63magvk61v.cloudfront.net%2Fvideos%2Fdgv_rcp%2F20201024150810_5f9441771320b%2Fdgv_rcp_trending_articles_20201024150810_5f9441771320b_new.mp4&poster=%2F%2Fd14c63magvk61v.cloudfront.net%2Fvideos%2Fdgv_rcp%2F20201024150810_5f9441771320b%2Fdgv_rcp_trending_articles_20201024150810_5f9441771320b_new.jpg


"Absolutely, absolutely," CNN's Amanpour replied. Related Topics: Liz Harrington , Hunter Biden

[Oct 21, 2020] A Bidengate summary from the Daily Mail - Sic Semper Tyrannis

Notable quotes:
"... I always thought the Steele Dossier was poor trade craft; way too over the top. An example being jumping around on a bed and urinating on multiple prostitutes. It puzzled me why they would tell such far out stories. Why stretch credulity?. SWMBO's response was that such behavior is so ubiquitous and frequent among democrat elites that they just assume everyone is doing it. To them it's not far out in the least, it's just a typical Saturday night. I begin to think that she is on to something. ..."
Oct 21, 2020 | turcopolier.typepad.com

A Bidengate summary from the Daily Mail "Documents appear to show Hunter Biden's signature on $85 receipt for repair of laptops left at Delaware store at center of email scandal - while other paperwork reveals FBI's contact with owner

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

Well, pilgrims, he sure looks comfy in the tub. I still wonder who took the pictures. Was it the gal in California who later sued him over paternity of her child/fetus, whatever.

Did he take the pictures himself? Interestingly, the Bidens have not denied the implicit charge of corruption, bribery, etc., etc. that is the mass of incriminating e-mail traffic on the hard drive. And then, there are the disgusting sex videos. Does anyone think that these were faked?

SWMBO says that the Bidens have set a new standard for depraved and addled stupidity. As usual, she is right. pl

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8857893/Documents-Hunter-Bidens-signature-Delaware-computer-repair-shop-receipt.html


Eric Newhill , 20 October 2020 at 12:17 PM

It's interesting that Bidens, Epsteins, Clintons, Hollywood types, Weiners, et al engage in all of the sordid behaviors that they accused Trump of in the "Steele Dossier" (and then some).

I always thought the Steele Dossier was poor trade craft; way too over the top. An example being jumping around on a bed and urinating on multiple prostitutes. It puzzled me why they would tell such far out stories. Why stretch credulity?. SWMBO's response was that such behavior is so ubiquitous and frequent among democrat elites that they just assume everyone is doing it. To them it's not far out in the least, it's just a typical Saturday night. I begin to think that she is on to something.

Deap , 20 October 2020 at 12:20 PM

Borgs for Biden - 50 former intel agents sign statement claiming this Hunter Biden thing is a Russian disinformation racket: https://www.redstate.com/bonchie/2020/10/20/50-former-intel-agents-flush-their-credibility-and-show-why-their-agency-should-be-blown-up/

Any familiar names here, any traps the unwary?

turcopolier , 20 October 2020 at 12:24 PM

Deap Brennan, Clapper, McLaughlin are all properly described as intelligence bureaucrats, not "agents."

BillWade , 20 October 2020 at 01:42 PM

Rudy Guiliani and Steve Bannon stated this morning that more information will be forthcoming within 24-48 hours. The Q folks are thinking that it will be released on Thurs morning for maximum effect at the later in the evening debate. The Admiral who oversaw the Bin Laden raid has endorsed Joe Biden in spite of being a pro life and 2nd amendment advocate. Things are getting interesting to say the least.

TV , 20 October 2020 at 02:31 PM

Another oxymoron, like "government worker" - "intelligence" officials.
Self important parasites....oh wait....selfless patriots who "risk their lives every day" for America.

NancyK , 20 October 2020 at 02:51 PM

The Bidens are not involved, one Biden is. Joe Biden is not responsible for his son's idiocy. I do believe he has massive addiction issues but I need a lot more proof that he took all 3 of his computers in for work and the bill was only $85.00. I need the name of that repair shop it is much more expensive where I live.

Keith Harbaugh , 20 October 2020 at 02:57 PM

Here is an account from the MSM documenting Biden Inc.'s practice of graft.
https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2019/08/02/joe-biden-investigation-hunter-brother-hedge-fund-money-2020-campaign-227407

Quote:

"Don't worry about investors," [James Biden] said, according to the executive,
who spoke on the condition of anonymity, citing fear of retaliation.
"We've got people all around the world who want to invest in Joe Biden."

End quote

Anybody claiming Politico is a Russian disinformation operation?

Thanks to Andrew McCarthy for the link.
https://mobile.twitter.com/AndrewCMcCarthy/status/1318595953893494785

ancientarcher , 20 October 2020 at 03:40 PM

Colonel,

While I hope and pray for a Trump victory, I am not so sure that he will be able to overcome systematic rigging. What is your opinion on the level of rigging that is going on?

All sorts of worms from all over the place are crawling up and endorsing the slime ridden corrupt Bidens. Who knows what sort of pressure must have been put on them to do that. And if that is so, can you imagine the level of pressure the democrat machine must have put on those who are in charge of conducting the election? Look at the commission on presidential debates for God's sake. Absolutely, no hint of neutrality there!

The media is pulling the wool over everyone's eyes just like in the last election. The polls are all for democrats, again, just like the last election. Methinks the difference this time might just be the magnitude of vote rigging that the democrats will do. How much more will that be versus the last time? Enough to swing the election?

TV , 20 October 2020 at 04:10 PM

BillWade:
That's the same (Obama) Admiral who said that Trump should be gone:
"......then it is time for a new person in the Oval Office -- Republican, Democrat or independent -- the sooner, the better."
Like the other retired brass and "intelligence" officials, just more swamp creatures wailing about an "outsider" disturbing their little world of endless losing wars and a foreign policy of bending over.

BillWade , 20 October 2020 at 04:56 PM

NancyK, Which is worse, voting for someone with dementia or voting for someone pretending to have dementia?

I haven't heard anything about Joe's brother or sister-in-law having a drug problem, have you? Maybe they just have a pay to play problem, any thoughts?

Hillary certainly looked wonderful in her Chinese cut clothing in the 2016 debates. Joe's got those nice 3 Red Flags going for him on his campaign poster, maybe he should wear a rice farmer's hat to the upcoming debate, no?

I decided to vote today instead of Nov 5th as you had recommended. Did I do the right thing?

ancientarcher , 20 October 2020 at 05:00 PM

NancyK,

You think Joe is innocent of all that has been done by his family? You think druggy Hunter deserved to get a senior vice president position at MBNA straight after graduating from college at $100k a year or that seat at Burisma at $50k a month? Do you think he deserved all of that not because of his dad's influence but because he was so smart and because he graduated from yale? If you believe all of that, you must be smoking some strong stuff.

Here is something you can read to improve your knowledge. This is not how a normal cv looks like, for sure.

https://www.realclearinvestigations.com/articles/2020/10/16/joe_bidens_boosters_wrote_his_prodigal_sons_entire_resume_125616.html


Brats like Hunter don't get these amazing deals because they are smart or create value for their employers because of their work. He got these deals because it is a way of paying off his father, the guy who then bats for these employers in the senate or the white house.

james , 20 October 2020 at 05:56 PM

@ NancyK.. true - biden senior is not responsible for biden junior... however it seems junior got the gig thanks daddys connections and willingness to fire the prosecutor so that junior could continue to have the job! that is the part you appear to be turning a blind eye to.... senior has major dirt on him due all this.. either you think it is a made up russian propaganda set up, or you think it isn't... there is enough info at present to show that it isn't a set up, but that daddy was using his position as vp unscrupulously or criminal depending on how you want to filter it.. the fact the media want to push it under the carpet with whatever excuse they provide, doesn't change any of it..

Deap , 20 October 2020 at 06:01 PM

Vote rigging?

14 House seats in California GOP districts flipped a few weeks after the GOP "won" on election night. It took that long for all the third party "harvested votes" to go through the government employee union dominated election office verification procedures.

This election when the GOP turned tables and did their own "vote-harvesting" the Democrat AG and Secy of State cried foul, sent the GOP a cease and desist letter to stop or face fines and punishment. GOP said go pound sand. And the Dems had to back down since the law was too vague to even be enforced.

Unfortunately this means the Democrats in this state will only double down on their "vote harvesting". As if winning or losing California matters - except in the House. One guesses, after the 2020 census California will lose a few House seats anyway, due to the state's outflow of population and the reluctance of illegals to participate in the census in the first place.

Don't forget, it was "term limits" that led to this one-party, one agenda domination of this state. Never ever think "term limits" is an answer for anything.

Term limits only created a huge power vacuum, and in swooped the Democrat back public sector unions running a steady string of revolving door talking head flunkies out of the public sector union world, who immediately passed super-majority legislation that only solidified their permanent domination. It happened so fast since 2000, few in the state knew what hit them.

In 2016, they added "vote- harvesting" - allowing third parties to help fill out and collect mail-in ballots and drop them off by the car loads, which technically must be checked and verified, but in such volumes as to overwhelm the election offices - Cloward-Pivens on steroids- a favorite technique of Barry Soetoro.

turcopolier , 20 October 2020 at 06:52 PM

james

You are mistaken. Under US law they, IMO, are a conspiracy under RICO.

[Oct 19, 2020] MI6 outgoing chief: the perceived threat posed by Russia and China against the UK is overstated and distract from addressing the UK's domestic problems

And that's by design. False flags like Scripal Novichok saga are just a smoke screen over UK problems, the ciursi of neoliberalism in the country, delegitimization of neoliberal elites and its subservience to the USA global neoliberal empire, which wants to devour Russia like it plundered the USSR in the past.
But why outgoing MI6 chief decided to tell us the truth? This is not in the traditions of the agency.
Oct 19, 2020 | www.rt.com

After years of focusing on combating terrorism, US Special Forces are preparing to turn their attention to the possibility of future conflict with adversaries Russia and China. The outgoing head of MI6, the UK's clandestine intelligence service, says that the perceived threat posed by Russia and China against the UK is overstated and distract from addressing the UK's domestic problems. Meanwhile, his replacement insists that the threat posed by Russia and China is real and is growing in complexity. Rick Sanchez explains. Then former US diplomat Jim Jatras and "Going Underground" host Afshin Rattansi share their insights.

The Senate Judiciary Committee is meeting for a for a final day of deliberations before the confirmation of Judge Amy Coney Barrett, President Trump's controversial pick for the US Supreme Court. RT America's Faran Fronczak reports. RT America's Trinity Chavez reports on the skyrocketing poverty across the US as coronavirus relief funds dry up and the White House stalls on additional stimulus. RT America's John Huddy reports on the backlash against Facebook and Twitter for their suppression of an incendiary new report about Democratic nominee Joe Biden's son Hunter Biden and his foreign entanglements.

[Oct 02, 2020] Who is who in Ukrainegate

Oct 02, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com


4 play_arrow

protrumpusa , 4 hours ago

President Trump has gotten rid just about everyone in this article I found 3 years ago
> The ATLANTIC COUNCIL is funded by BURISMA, GEORGE SOROS OPEN SOCIETY FOUNDATION & others. It was a CENTRIST, MILITARISTIC think tanks,now turned leftist group

> JOE BIDEN extorted Ukraine to FIRE the prosecutor investigating BURISMA, HUNTER's employer.

> LTC VINDMAN & FIONA HILL met MANY TIMES with DANIEL FRIED of the ATLANTIC COUNCIL. FIONA HILL is a former CoWorker of CHRISTOPHER STEELE !

> AMBASSADOR YOVANOVITCH is connected to the ATLANTIC COUNCIL, is PRAISED in their documents, gave Ukraine a "do not prosecute" list, was involved in PRESSURING Ukraine to not prosecute GEORGE SOROS Group.

> BILL TAYLOR has a financial relationship with the ATLANTIC COUNCIL and the US UKRAINE BUSINESS COUNCIL (USUBC) which is also funded by BURISMA.

> TAYLOR met with THOMAS EAGER (works for ADAM SCHIFF) in Ukraine on trip PAID FOR by the ATLANTIC COUNCIL. This just days before TAYLOR first texts about the "FAKE" Quid Pro Quo !

> TAYLOR participated in USUBC Events with DAVID J. KRAMER (JOHN MCCAIN advisor) who spread the STEELE DOSSIER to the media and OBAMA officials.

> JOE BIDEN is connected to the ATLANTIC COUNCIL, he rolled out his foreign policy vision while VP there, He has given speeches there, his adviser on Ukraine, MICHAEL CARPENTER (heads the Penn Biden Center) is a FELLOW at the ATLANTIC COUNCIL.

> KURT VOLKER is now Senior Advisor to the ATLANTIC COUNCIL, he met with burisma

[Sep 29, 2020] Hillary Clinton Accused Of Approving Scheme To Smear Trump With Russia Accusations

Images and part of the tweets removed. Most links to Twitter video removed. See the original for the full text.
Sep 29, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

Update (1712ET): Online sleuths such as The Last Refuge are already connecting dots between when the Trump-Russia allegations surfaced and the newly released briefing timeline .

TheLastRefuge @TheLastRefuge2 · Sep 29, 2020 This is additionally important for a specific reference point. Clinton ally, and former acting CIA Director Mike Morell first published the Clinton created Russia narrative (in the New York Times) less than a week after this July 26, 2016, briefing by Brennan.
The Reckoning @sethjlevy This conversation between @jaketapper and @RobbyMook happened on July 25th. The Reckoning @sethjlevy On day 1 of the Democrat Convention as Wikileaks began their DNC releases Mook's interview uses the release to begin spinning the Trump Russia tale. This was planned, prepared, purposeful and the beginning of one of the most damaging psy op disinformation campaigns in US history.
https://twitter.com/sethjlevy/status/963977316547399680?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1311019881039618049%7Ctwgr%5Eshare_3&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.zerohedge.com%2Fpolitical%2Fus-intelligence-investigated-hillary-clinton-over-alleged-plan-smear-trump-russia Sean Davis @seanmdav · Sep 29, 2020 Replying to @seanmdav Today's declassification confirms that from the beginning, the FBI knew its anti-Trump investigation was based entirely on Russian disinformation. Brennan and Comey were personally warned. They responded by fabricating evidence and defrauding the courts. https:// judiciary.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/ 09-29-20_Letter%20to%20Sen.%20Graham_Declassification%20of%20FBI's%20Crossfire%20Hurricane%20Investigations_20-00912_U_SIGNED-FINAL.pdf BenTallmadge @BenKTallmadge https:// twitter.com/benktallmadge/ status/1310676483501768705?s=21 BenTallmadge @BenKTallmadge Replying to @BenKTallmadge Alexander Vindman was working at thé US embassy in Moscow when the wife of former mayor wired $3.5M to Hunter Biden, right before Russia took Crimea H/t @grabaroot https:// twitter.com/playstrumpcard /status/1310648949393502214?s=21 https:// twitter.com/playstrumpcard /status/1310648949393502214

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Meanwhile, this is being downplayed by intelligence officials as Russian disinformation, which DNI Ratcliffe has refuted.

Chuck Ross @ChuckRossDC · 3h Intel officials came out within minutes to claim Russian disinfo in the Ratcliffe letter. We didn't find out for nearly three years that Russian disinfo might have been in the dossier.

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Jeremy Herb @jeremyherb
New statement from Ratcliffe on unverified Russian intel: "To be clear, this is not Russian disinformation and has not been assessed as such by the Intelligence Community. I'll be briefing Congress on the sensitive sources and methods by which it was obtained in the coming days." 5:35 PM · Sep 29, 2020

* * *

On September 7, 2016, US intelligence officials forwarded an investigative referral to former FBI officials James Comey and Peter Strzok concerning allegations that Hillary Clinton approved a plan to smear then-candidate Donald Trump by tying him to Russian President Vladimir Putin and Russian hackers , according to information given to Sen. Lindsey Graham by the Director of National Intelligence.

According to Fox News' Chad Pergram, "In late July 2016, U.S. intelligence agencies obtained insight into Russian intelligence analysis alleging that U.S. Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton had approved a campaign plan to stir up a scandal against U.S. Presidential candidate Donald Trump," after one of Clinton's foreign policy advisers proposed vilifying Trump "by stirring up a scandal claiming interference by Russian security services."


Chad Pergram @ChadPergram · Sep 29, 2020 Replying to @ChadPergram 5) DNI info to Grahm: On 07 September 2016, U.S. intelligence officials forwarded an investigative referral to FBI Director James Comey and Deputy Assistant Director of Counterintelligence Peter Strzok regarding 'U.S. Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton's approval of a plan.. Chad Pergram @ChadPergram 6) DNI info to Graham:...concerning U.S. Presidential candidate Donald Trump and Russian hackers hampering U.S. elections as a means of distracting the public from her use of a private mail server.'" 2:51 PM · Sep 29, 2020

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Read the letter from DNI Director John Ratcliffe to Lindsey Graham below:

it

Jack PosobiecO

@JackPosobiec

BREAKING: According to handwritten notes, Brennan briefed Obama on Hillary's approval of a proposal to attack Trump in the 2016 election by tying him to Putin

United Slates Senate

290 Russell Senate Office Building

Washington, D.C. 20510

Chairman Graham.

In response to your request for Intelligence Community (IC) information related to the Federal Bureau of Investigation's (FBI) Crossfire Hurricane Investigation, I have declassified the following:

In late July 2016, U.S. intelligence agencies obtained insight into Russian intelligence analysis alleging that U.S. Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton had approved a campaign plan to stir up a scandal against U.S. Presidential candidate Donald Trump by tying him to Putin and the Russians' hacking of the Democratic National Committee. The IC docs not know the accuracy of this allegation or the extent to which the Russian intelligence analysis may reflect exaggeration or fabrication.

According to his handwritten notes, former Central Intelligence Agency Director Brennan subsequently briefed President Obama and other senior national security officials on the intelligence, including the "alleged approval by Hillary Clinton on July 26. 2016 of a proposal from one of her foreign policy advisors to vilify Donald Trump by stirring up a scandal claiming interference by Russian security services."

On 07 September 2016. U.S. intelligence officials forwarded an investigative referral to FBI Director James Comey and Deputy Assistant Director of Counterintelligence Peter Strzok regarding "U.S. Presidential candidate I lillary Clinton's approval of a plan concerning U.S. Presidential candidate Donald Trump and Russian hackers hampering U.S. elections as a means of distracting the public from her use of a private mail server."

As referenced in his 24 September 2020 letter to your Committee, Attorney General Ban has advised that the disclosure of this information will not interfere with ongoing Department of Justice investigations. Additional declassification and public disclosure of related intelligence remains under consideration; however, the IC welcomes the opportunity to provide a classified briefing with further detail at your convenience.

Respectfully,

i RatcliiTc

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Wikileaks

In 2017, it was claimed that the "blame Russia" plan was hatched "within twenty-four hours" of Clinton losing the election - while the US intelligence investigation predates that by several months.

New book by 'Shattered' by Clinton insiders reveals that "blame Russia" plan was hatched "within twenty-four hours" of election loss.

The authors detail how Clinton went out of her way to pass blame for her stunning loss on "Comey and Russia."

"She wants to make sure all these narratives get spun the right way," a longtime Clinton confidant is quoted as saying.

The book further highlights how Clinton's Russia-blame-game was a plan hatched by senior campaign staffers John Podesta and Robbv Mook. less than "within twenty-fourhours" after she conceded:

That strategy had been set within twenty -four hours of her concession speech. Mook and Podesta assembled her communications team at the Brooklyn headquarters to engineer the case that the election wasn't entirely on the up-and-up. For a couple ofhours, with Shake Shack containers littering the room, they went over the script theywould pitch to the press and the public. Already. Russian hacking was the centerpieceof the argument.

The Clinton camp settled on a two-pronged plan -- pushing the press to cover how"Russian hacking was the major unreported story of the campaign, overshadowed by thecontents of stolen e-mails and Hillary*s own private-server imbroglio.'' while"hammering the media for focusing so intently on the investigation into her e-mail, whichhad created a cloud over her candidacy ." the authors wrote.

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[Sep 26, 2020] Steele Dossier Sub-Source Was Subject of FBI Counter-Intel Probe

That the Steele dossier was potentially based on the words of a Russian spy should have been a red flag against its use. It seems that the FBI had not informed the FISA court about the dubious sourcing of the dossier allegations.
Igor Danchenko, the premier sub-source for the Steele dossier, had earlier worked for the Democrat affiliate Brookings Institute:
Notable quotes:
"... The American Conservative ..."
"... National Review ..."
Sep 26, 2020 | www.theamericanconservative.com

New information strikes the strongest blow yet at the foundations of the Russian collusion narrative. April 4, 2019: A protestor outside the White House demanding the release of the full Mueller Report. (By bakdc/Shutterstock)

SEPTEMBER 25, 2020

|

1:34 PM

DECLAN LEARY

In a September 24th letter to Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Attorney General Bill Barr revealed that the "primary sub-source" for the Steele dossier was the subject of an FBI counterintelligence investigation in 2009. The source's Russian ties had been called into question, and the individual was considered a possible national security threat, according to Attorney General Barr's letter. This sub-source has elsewhere been identified as Russian national Igor Danchenko.

This latest revelation in the Russiagate saga lands just over a month before the election, chipping away further at one of the main lines of criticism that many on the left have leveled against President Trump -- and bolstering suggestions from the president's own camp that the FBI and other executive agencies engaged in substantial misconduct during the transition period in 2016. Allegations contained in the Steele dossier justified FISA warrants against Trump campaign advisor Carter Page and inspired many of the collusion claims that have been floated in the four years since Trump's election victory.

https://lockerdome.com/lad/13045197114175078?pubid=ld-dfp-ad-13045197114175078-0&pubo=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.theamericanconservative.com&rid=www.theamericanconservative.com&width=838

The attorney general's letter attributes the finding to a now-declassified footnote in the inspector general's report on the dubious FISA warrants. The footnote reports that the individual later identified as Christopher Steele's primary source was under FBI investigation from 2009 to 2011; the investigation was terminated because the subject "had apparently left the United States."

The FBI found that Danchenko had been in contact with two known Russian intelligence officers in 2005 and 2006. In his exchanges with one of these contacts, the Steele sub-source openly expressed his desire to join the Russian diplomatic service. All of this was known to the FBI's Crossfire Hurricane team as early as December 2016 -- five months before Robert Mueller was even appointed to investigate collusion charges originating from Danchenko.

A few other interesting details:

Specifically, the FBI received reporting indicating a research fellow for an influential foreign policy advisor in the Obama Administration was at a work-related event in late 2008 when they were approached by another employee of the think tank ("the employee"). The employee reportedly indicated that if the two individuals at the table "did get a job in the government and had access to classified information" and wanted "to make a little extra money," the employee knew some people to whom they could speak. According to the research fellow, there was no pretext to the conversation; the employee had not been invited to the table

And if that weren't enough, "one interviewee did note that the Primary Sub-source persistently asked about the interviewee's knowledge of a particular military vessel." Real subtle there, Igor.

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It now seems likely that the panic about foreign influence which swept over our politics for four years rested on the word of not just a Russian spy, but the worst Russian spy of all time. ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Declan Leary is the Collegiate Network Fellow at The American Conservative and a graduate of John Carroll University. His work has been published at National Review , Crisis, and elsewhere.

[Sep 10, 2020] Steele -Acted Crazy- - FBI Handler Says -People's Ears Were Bleeding- -

Sep 10, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

Steele "Acted Crazy" - FBI Handler Says "People's Ears Were Bleeding"


by Tyler Durden Thu, 09/10/2020 - 16:40 Twitter Facebook Reddit Email Print

Authored by Eric Felten via RealClearInvestigations.com,

"Crazy" was the term the FBI agent used to describe the behavior of Christopher Steele, author of the now-debunked Trump-Russia dossier. "I've seen crazy source-related stuff in 20 years in New York and this was one of the craziest," the veteran agent testified to the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.

Christopher Steele: "I'm very upset about – we're very upset – about the actions of your agency," Steele said, according to Gaeta. Using the first person plural, Steele likely meant himself and his client, Fusion GPS head Glenn Simpson. Victoria Jones/PA via AP

Nevertheless, the FBI continued to rely on Steele's allegations – that Donald Trump and his team were conspiring with Russians who possessed compromising information – to justify its surveillance of the Trump campaign. Without evidence to verify Steele's claims, the FBI fell back on its assertion that the former British intelligence agent was reliable.

The previously unreported testimony of FBI agent Michael Gaeta is found on page 900 of the fifth and final volume of the Senate committee's probe of Russian interference in the 2016 election. It raises new questions about the basis of the FBI's investigation of the Trump campaign, Crossfire Hurricane, and the declarations it made to the FISA court in four separate applications submitted to spy on American citizens.

Gaeta had a long history with the London-based Steele, who had started his own firm, Orbis Business Intelligence, after leaving the British spy service MI6 in 2009. Between 2013 and 2016, the bureau had paid Steele $95,000 to pass along tidbits on Eurasian organized crime; Gaeta was his contact at the bureau . It was Gaeta whom Steele approached in July 2016 with wild and depraved stories of collusion and kompromat. Gaeta became the "handling agent" for Steele's participation in Crossfire Hurricane. Among his tasks was to get Steele paid (a process that came along slowly) and to see to it that Steele didn't violate the FBI's rules on confidentiality.

This requirement for discretion created a conflict of interest for Steele, who was also being paid for the same information by the Washington-based firm Fusion GPS. Fusion, in turn was being paid by the Democratic National Committee and the Hillary Clinton campaign for opposition research on Trump. The Democrats wanted Steele's information spread far and wide. They also wanted to be able to claim that the FBI was investigating the allegations. Paid FBI informants, however, are not allowed to tell anyone of their work for the FBI or of the bureau's investigations.

Gaeta was astonished, then, when shortly before the 2016 election an article appeared in Mother Jones titled "A Veteran Spy Has Given the FBI Information Alleging a Russian Operation to Cultivate Donald Trump." The sub-headline asked, "Has the bureau investigated this material?" Gaeta was convinced Steele was the source for the article and confronted him about it. Steele readily admitted he was behind the Mother Jones story.

The conversation that followed and its aftermath have been described before, but in bloodless ways that fail to capture the importance of that confrontation in determining Steele's reliability and credibility. For example, a Justice Department inspector general report says "Handling Agent 1 advised Steele that he must cease collecting information for the FBI, and it was unlikely that the FBI would continue a relationship with him."

https://lockerdome.com/lad/13084989113709670?pubid=ld-dfp-ad-13084989113709670-0&pubo=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.zerohedge.com&rid=www.zerohedge.com&width=890 "Listen, Is It About the Money?"

Here's how Gaeta recounted that conversation to the Senate: "Listen, is it about the money?" Gaeta asked Steele. "Because we have the money now. Is it about the money?" The FBI had promised, but had yet to deliver to Steele, $15,000 for one meeting with Crossfire Hurricane agents. The bureau had further promised Steele he would be paid "significantly" for his Trump-Russia research.

Gaeta assumed at first a delay in payment had made Steele go rogue.

"Yes, I'm owed the money, but that's secondary," Steele told Gaeta. "I'm very upset about – we're very upset – about the actions of your agency." By the "we" in "we're very upset" one can reasonably infer that Steele was speaking about himself and his client, Fusion GPS head Glenn Simpson (whose client, not counting cutouts, was Hillary Clinton's campaign).

The handling agent was shocked: "I had no idea what he was talking about." Before Gaeta could inquire further, Steele started railing about ''your Director" and his "reopening of the investigation." This was an apparent reference to former FBI Director James Comey's decision to reopen the probe into Hillary Clinton's private email server after 340,000 copies of State Department emails between Clinton and her close personal aide, Huma Abedin, were discovered on a laptop used by Abedin and her husband, Anthony Weiner. He was a disgraced congressman under investigation by the bureau's New York office for sending sexually explicit messages and photos to an underage girl.

At which point it all became clear to the handling agent:

"I'm now understanding that he did this because he was upset that the Director's reopening of the investigation was going to negatively affect the election for Hillary Clinton."

The handling agent described his reaction to Steele's behavior as "surprise and disbelief." Gaeta told the Senate that Steele's actions and attitude weren't just "crazy source-related stuff," but "one of the craziest" the veteran agent had seen in two decades of handling sources. The words are significant: Steele's behavior with the FBI has been characterized as a sort of professional disagreement, uncomfortable perhaps but not unreasonable. Gaeta's blunt assessment casts things in a much harsher light and undercuts subsequent efforts by the FBI's top officials to rehabilitate Steele in order to justify using his "reporting."

Although it has been downplayed until now, Steele's acting out – and his overtly declared partisan motivations -- constituted a crisis for the bureau, so much so that the handling agent describes it in violent terms:

"After that point – after everybody digests what happened," Gaeta told the Senate committee, "[p]hones were ringing at that point; people's ears were bleeding."

Bill Priestap, left, with Michael Horowitz, DoJ inspector general. Priestap vouched for Steele's reliability, and that misrepresentation is important because it was Priestap who was responsible for the official launch of the Crossfire Hurricane investigation in the first place. AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin

Whose ears would those have been? Gaeta's first call likely would have gone to Bill Priestap, assistant director of the FBI's Counterintelligence Division.

He had just been made Gaeta's point of contact at FBI headquarters.

"Management said we were going to close him," Gaeta told the Senate.

"At that point it's just obvious. That's all you could do." The "management" was Priestap, according to Inspector General Michael Horowitz. "Priestap decided that Steele had to be closed immediately." Gaeta drew up the paperwork and Steele was removed from the list of official bureau sources on Nov. 17, 2016.

In the wake of Donald Trump's election, President Obama ordered a multi-agency "Intelligence Community Assessment" of Russian interference in the presidential campaign. James Comey, the director whose actions had prompted Steele to go outside the bureau in the first place, now pushed for Steele's "reporting" to be included in the document, even though none of it had been corroborated. Comey called Director of National Intelligence James Clapper.

"I informed the DNI that we would be contributing the [Steele] reporting (although I didn't use that name) to the IC [Intelligence Community] effort," Comey reported in an email to his top deputies the next day.

"I told him the source of the material, which included salacious material about the President-Elect, was a former [REDACTED] who appears to be a credible person."

First in the list of recipients of Comey's email was Priestap.

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Priestap would have known from Gaeta that Steele's behavior was among the "craziest" the handling agent had run into in two decades of source work. He would have known also that, by his own admission, Steele's motivations were to promote Hillary Clinton's campaign apparently by sabotaging Trump's. Yet Priestap went along with Comey's presentation of Steele as a credible source. More than that, Priestap promoted the idea of including Steele's allegations in the intelligence assessment, himself writing to the CIA and describing the former British spy as "reliable."

Finally, Priestap vouched for Steele's reliability even though he later admitted to the Justice Department inspector general that he "understood that the information [from Steele] could have been provided by the Russians as part of a disinformation campaign."

Steele Cast as 'Person of Integrity'

But that's not how Steele's materials were presented to the secret FISA court. Shortly after the election, Priestap went with FBI agent Peter Strzok to London to see if they could rehabilitate Steele's credibility by gathering the opinions of "persons who previously had professional contacts with Steele." They found some who described Steele as "smart" and a "person of integrity" But several lamented Steele's "poor judgment" or "lack of judgment" and his habit of "pursuing people [with] political risk but no intel value." But because Priestap and Strzok did not find any former colleagues to say Steele made things up out of whole cloth, the Crossfire Hurricane team declared him to be credible for the purpose of justifying surveillance warrants.

The willingness of the assistant director for counterintelligence to misrepresent essential information is important because it was Priestap who was responsible for the official launch of the Crossfire Hurricane investigation in the first place.

Gaeta explained to senators just how serious and irrevocable a break it was to "close" a source: ''Once he's closed, nobody is allowed – we can't talk to him."

In this case, that practice was not followed. Priestap's apparent rationale was that the decision to close Steele as a source was not made because he offered unfounded claims but because he had violated confidentiality agreements by sharing them with the press. And so, the FBI continued to gather new "reporting" by Steele. One of channels was David Corn, the Mother Jones reporter who had written the article about Steele's accusations. Corn was a longtime friend of then-FBI General Counsel James Baker. Their children had gone to the same school years before and carpooled. Corn gave Steele memos to Baker and then Baker passed them on to Priestap. Thus the strange situation in which an assistant director of the FBI forbade agents from talking to Steele because of the source's indiscretion with Mother Jones and then proceeded to gather Steele materials through a back-channel relationship with Mother Jones.

Strange, yes, perhaps even crazy.

fxrxexexdxoxmx2 , 1 hour ago

They will never give up reshaping this story.

Here is the truth

Barack Hussein Obama used the DOJ,FBI, CIA, State Department to spy on his campaign rival.

Those loyal to him then used the same agencies in an COUP attempt to remove a duly elected President.

End of story, no spin.

JimmyJones , 1 hour ago

Oh I love President Trump for completely exposing the Deep State and their partners in Crime at the MSM...

BaNNeD oN THe RuN , 58 minutes ago

"completely exposing the Deep State"??

This is but a small corner of a huge termite infestation.

Blondefire , 1 hour ago

The only thing crazier than the Steele dossier are the deaths of Seth Rich and Epstein, or HRC maintaining a private email server which was literally a superhighway for highly classified information to be funneled directly to China for which no one ever suffered even trivial consequences, or HRC and WJC supporting the Uranium One deal along with Sleepy Joe and selling materials vital to our national defense to our sworn enemies, or Obummer being elected to any office higher than dog catcher, or the entire set of circumstances surrounding the death of Justice Scalia and the complete lack of curiosity on the part of the "impartial press", or the deaths of innocent patriots in Benghazi during an arms deal gone wrong, or the complete lack of curiosity on the part of the "impartial press" on the Las Vegas massacre and resultant civilian deaths during an arms deal gone wrong, or the current situation across the nation with civilian police forces being slandered and defunded, with officers being arrested or encouraged to resign en masse, presumably to create a vacuum which can only be filled by a national police force of some sort and probably overseen by the DHS, or almost any of the other headlines from the past 10 years.

MitchRyderAndTheDetroitWheels , 59 minutes ago

I am only 70 and I wouldn't piss on any of the members of the FBI/CIA/Congress if they were on fire. They are all useless to the common good of this country. The entire government workforce in DC needs to be fired starting this afternoon. The most useless MFers on the planet work in city/count/state/federal government. It takes 7 of them to do the job of one good associate.

Bay of Pigs , 1 hour ago

Huma Abedin. Oh yeah, I remember her.

Anyone know what happened to her husband's laptop?

MitchRyderAndTheDetroitWheels , 1 hour ago

Lindsey Graham isn't going to do **** about anything going forward because he like his useless butt boy John McCain are knee deep in this coup.

MrBoompi , 1 hour ago

Steele is a criminal along with a long list of others, starting off with Obama and Brennan.

MitchRyderAndTheDetroitWheels , 56 minutes ago

Barr has 2 more weeks before The Donald has to stand and use the Pulpit....it's ugly now with the dems coming everyday with a new scheme for Trump to have to counter. The good news is the MSM is Chicken Little at this point. Only a F fool believe anything they say since 95% of everything they say about Trump is already negative.

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I love your wife , 1 hour ago

How come the fact that Steele is a foreigner never comes in to play?

mikka , 1 hour ago

He is an "allied" foreigner.

BetterOffDead , 27 minutes ago

Are we sure he is retired from MI-6? Sounds like foreign interference in our election, sponsored by a candidate for president. Good thing she didn't win, she would have been impeached for this! /sarc


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Ditch , 1 hour ago

There are no good actors in any of these stories. And don't tell me to just wait for Sessions, Horrorwitz,Dumbham ...

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Joebloinvestor , 51 minutes ago

The FBI acts with impunity and no integrity.

Slammofandango , 15 minutes ago

Just to be clear, Steele was paid by the FBI, with our tax dollars, to meet with the FBI so as to lend legitimacy to fiction created by a company paid to smear Hillary Clinton's political opposition, with itself being paid with other funds that came by way of a law firm hired by Hillary Clinton.

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Freespeaker , 26 minutes ago

Rod Rosenstein is complicit. He should lose his pension and other gov benefits. He should be seriously considered for prosecution.


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RickyLaFleur , 14 minutes ago

Shadowgate explains why these outsourced contractors are the root of the problem. We have been advised.

Freespeaker , 9 minutes ago

They are part of the problem. But really it is just another way to cover things up.

sborovay07 , 21 minutes ago

The treasonists behind the coup, other than 1, still remain free. Strzok, instead of making license plates, has his 2nd book coming out. Meanwhile, the individual who could have exposed the hoax, Julian Assange, is withering away in prison. It has been so obvious for a number of years that the Deep State operatives on both sides of the political spectrum still control the system. Most Americans are not aware of this as the MSM/Socialist/Marxist/Globalist/DeepState cabal will never admit their crimes. Assange, as in my book, Dad, Why Are You Still Talking About Saul Alinsky, He's Been Dead Since 1972? Socialism and the Deep States War on Our Constitution, tells a tale to Congress that the Deep State and Obama treasonists never want you to hear. They need to pay!!!

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LOL123 , 22 minutes ago

Priestap may have been the first on list from comey but that's not the first source of dossier.

"

Rahm Emmanuel, who became President Obama's chief of staff, wouldn't allow him (sidney blumenthal) near the Obama White House. Hillary kept him, however, at a $10,000 a month sinecure at the Clinton Foundation where he went on to be instrumental in creating the bengaziscandal from his "Libyan sources."

Trey Gowdy said that the FBI used information from Hillary Clinton hatchet man Sidney Blumenthal to corroborate the Steele dossier.

"I have seen each factual assertion listed in that dossier, and then I've seen the FBI's justification. And when you're citing newspaper articles as corroboration for a factual assertion that you have made, you don't need an FBI agent to go do a Google search," said Gowdy, a former South Carolina congressman and member of the House Intelligence Committee, in a Fox News interview.

"And when the name Sidney Blumenthal is included as part of your corroboration, and you're the world's leading law enforcement agency, you have a problem," Gowdy said.In 2018, Gowdy hinted that Blumenthal was responsible for the creation of the dossier.

"When you hear who the source or one of the sources of that information is, you're going to think, 'Oh my gosh, I've heard that name somewhere before. Where could it possibly have been?'" Gowdy said in February 2018

https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/trey-gowdy-claims-hillary-clinton-hatchet-man-sidney-blumenthal-was-used-to-corroborate-steele-dossier

Blumenthal, you recall , was an assistant senior advisor to President Clinton from 1997 to 2001, the prime Clinton scandal years, following a career as a writer for the New Yorker. He was a prime witness in the grand jury testimonies over the Monica Lewinsky scandal and famous for leaking creepy stories about the Ken Starr special prosecutor investigation to the press, and came to be known as a man who would do anything for the Clintons. He got a reputation so slimey that even Rahm Emmanuel, who became President Obama's chief of staff, wouldn't allow him near the Obama White House. Hillary kept him, however, at a $10,000 a month sinecure at the Clinton Foundation where he went on to be instrumental in creating the Benghazi scandal from his "Libyan sources." These days, he's affiliated with David Brock's Media Matters, the slime machine featured by Sharyl Attkisson in her bestseller, The Smear: How Shady Politcal Operatives Control What You See, What You Think and How You Vote .

Since then, he's got Clinton in this Steele dossier mess. You'd think Hillary would not want to have anything to do with him after Benghazi, but they're birds of a feather. Blumenthal is to Clinton as Ben Rhodes is to Obama.

Blumenthal was on Hillarys retainer and he is really good at making **** up and getting FBI/CIA involved so much so that he was NOT ALLOWED IN OBAMAS WHITE HOUSE.

To try and pin this on Priestap is a joke.

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Freespeaker , 1 hour ago

Halper, Steele and Mifsud should testify publicly.


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Shifter_X , 23 minutes ago

No one talks about the true origins of the "pee" story anymore

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-01-11/how-4chan-mcfooled-john-mccain-buzzfeed-and-cia-believing-trumps-golden-showers

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-01-10/4chan-claims-have-fabricated-anti-trump-report-hoax

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I Write Code , 49 minutes ago

Spooks is all crazy.

Makes Hillary seem almost norbal.

[Aug 21, 2020] Why Brennan, Strzok, DOJ Needed Julian Assange Arrested; And Why UK Officials Obliged... -

Notable quotes:
"... To understand the risk that Julian Assange represented to CIA interests, it is important to understand just how extensive the operations of the CIA were in 2016. It is within this network of foreign and domestic operations where FBI Agent Peter Strzok is clearly working as a bridge between the CIA and FBI operations. ..."
"... By now people are familiar with the construct of CIA operations involving Joseph Mifsud, the Maltese professor now generally admitted/identified as a western intelligence operative who was tasked by the CIA (John Brennan) to run an operation against Trump campaign official George Papadopoulos in both Italy (Rome) and London. { Go Deep } ..."
"... In a similar fashion the CIA tasked U.S. intelligence asset Stefan Halper to target another Trump campaign official, Carter Page. Under the auspices of being a Cambridge Professor Stefan Halper also targeted General Michael Flynn. Additionally, using assistance from a female FBI agent under the false name Azra Turk, Halper also targeted Papadopoulos . ..."
"... The initial operations to target Flynn, Papadopoulos and Page were all based overseas. This seemingly makes the CIA exploitation of the assets and the targets much easier. ..."
"... In short, Peter Strzok appears to be the very eager, profoundly overzealous James Bond wannabe, who acted as a bridge between the CIA and the FBI. The perfect type of FBI career agent for CIA Director John Brennan to utilize. ..."
"... It was also Fusion-GPS founder Glenn Simpson who was domestically tasked with a Russian lobbyist named Natalia Veselnitskya. A little reported Russian Deputy Attorney General named Saak Albertovich Karapetyan was working double-agents for the CIA and Kremlin. Karapetyan was directing the foreign operations of Natalia Veselnitskaya, and Glenn Simpson was organizing her inside the U.S. ..."
"... All of this context outlines the extent to which the CIA was openly involved in constructing a political operation that settled upon anyone in candidate Donald Trump's orbit. ..."
"... Additionally, Christopher Steele was a British intelligence officer, hired by Fusion-GPS to assemble and launder fraudulent intelligence information within his dossier. And we cannot forget Oleg Deripaska, a Russian oligarch, who was recruited by Asst. FBI Director Andrew McCabe to participate in running an operation against the Trump campaign and create the impression of Russian involvement. Deripaska refused to participate . ..."
"... The key point of all that background is to see how committed the CIA and FBI were to the constructed narrative of Russia interfering with the 2016 election. The CIA, FBI, and by extension the DOJ, put a hell of a lot of work into it. Intelligence community work that Durham is now unraveling. ..."
"... Rohrabacher recounted his conversation with Assange to The Hill. "Our three-hour meeting covered a wide array of issues, including the WikiLeaks exposure of the DNC [Democratic National Committee] emails during last year's presidential election," Rohrabacher said, "Julian emphatically stated that the Russians were not involved in the hacking or disclosure of those emails." ..."
"... Knowing how much effort the CIA and FBI put into the Russia collusion-conspiracy narrative, it would make sense for the FBI to take keen interest after this August 2017 meeting between Rohrabacher and Assange; and why the FBI would quickly gather specific evidence (related to Wikileaks and Bradley Manning) for a grand jury by December 2017. ..."
"... The Weissmann/Mueller report contains claims that Russia hacked the DNC servers as the central element to the Russia interference narrative in the U.S. election. This claim is directly disputed by WikiLeaks and Julian Assange, as outlined during the Dana Rohrabacher interview, and by Julian Assange on-the-record statements. ..."
"... The predicate for Robert Mueller's investigation was specifically due to Russian interference in the 2016 election. The fulcrum for this Russia interference claim is the intelligence community assessment; and the only factual evidence claimed within the ICA is that Russia hacked the DNC servers; a claim only made possible by relying on forensic computer analysis from Crowdstrike, a DNC contractor. ..."
"... The CIA holds a massive conflict of self-interest in upholding the Russian hacking claim. The FBI holds a massive interest in maintaining that claim. All of those foreign countries whose intelligence apparatus participated with Brennan and Strzok also have a vested self-interest in maintaining that Russia hacking and interference narrative. ..."
"... This Russian "hacking" claim is ultimately so important to the CIA, FBI, DOJ, ODNI and U.K intelligence apparatus ..."
Aug 21, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by 'sundance' via TheConservativeTreehouse.com,

According to reports in November of 2019, U.S Attorney John Durham and U.S. Attorney General Bill Barr were spending time on a narrowed focus looking carefully at CIA activity in the 2016 presidential election. One recent quote from a media-voice increasingly sympathetic to a political deep-state notes:

"One British official with knowledge of Barr's wish list presented to London commented that "it is like nothing we have come across before, they are basically asking, in quite robust terms, for help in doing a hatchet job on their own intelligence services"". ( Link )

It is interesting that quote came from a British intelligence official, as there appears to be evidence of an extensive CIA operation that likely involved U.K. intelligence services. In addition, and as a direct outcome, there is an aspect to the CIA operation that overlaps with both a U.S. and U.K. need to keep Wikileaks founder Julian Assange under tight control. In this outline we will explain where corrupt U.S. and U.K. interests merge.

To understand the risk that Julian Assange represented to CIA interests, it is important to understand just how extensive the operations of the CIA were in 2016. It is within this network of foreign and domestic operations where FBI Agent Peter Strzok is clearly working as a bridge between the CIA and FBI operations.

By now people are familiar with the construct of CIA operations involving Joseph Mifsud, the Maltese professor now generally admitted/identified as a western intelligence operative who was tasked by the CIA (John Brennan) to run an operation against Trump campaign official George Papadopoulos in both Italy (Rome) and London. { Go Deep }

In a similar fashion the CIA tasked U.S. intelligence asset Stefan Halper to target another Trump campaign official, Carter Page. Under the auspices of being a Cambridge Professor Stefan Halper also targeted General Michael Flynn. Additionally, using assistance from a female FBI agent under the false name Azra Turk, Halper also targeted Papadopoulos .

The initial operations to target Flynn, Papadopoulos and Page were all based overseas. This seemingly makes the CIA exploitation of the assets and the targets much easier.

One of the more interesting aspects to the Durham probe is a possibility of a paper-trail created as a result of the tasking operations. We should watch closely for more evidence of a paper trail as some congressional reps have hinted toward documented evidence (transcripts, recordings, reports) that are exculpatory to the targets (Page & Papadop). HPSCI Ranking Member Devin Nunes has strongly hinted that very specific exculpatory evidence was known to the FBI and yet withheld from the FISA application used against Carter Page that also mentions George Papadopoulos. I digress

However, there is an aspect to the domestic U.S. operation that also bears the fingerprints of the CIA; only this time due to the restrictive laws on targets inside the U.S. the CIA aspect is less prominent. This is where FBI Agent Peter Strzok working for both agencies starts to become important.

Remember, it's clear in the text messages Strzok has a working relationship with what he called their "sister agency", the CIA. Additionally, Brennan has admitted Strzok helped write the January 2017 Intelligence Community Assessment (ICA) which outlines the Russia narrative; and it is almost guaranteed the July 31st, 2016, "Electronic Communication" from the CIA to the FBI that originated FBI operation "Crossfire Hurricane" was co-authored from the CIA by Strzok . and Strzok immediately used that EC to travel to London to debrief intelligence officials around Australian Ambassador to the U.K. Alexander Downer.

In short, Peter Strzok appears to be the very eager, profoundly overzealous James Bond wannabe, who acted as a bridge between the CIA and the FBI. The perfect type of FBI career agent for CIA Director John Brennan to utilize.

Fusion-GPS founder Glenn Simpson hired CIA Open Source analyst Nellie Ohr toward the end of 2015 ; at appropriately the same time as " FBI Contractors " were identified exploiting the NSA database and extracting information on a specific set of U.S. persons.

It was also Fusion-GPS founder Glenn Simpson who was domestically tasked with a Russian lobbyist named Natalia Veselnitskya. A little reported Russian Deputy Attorney General named Saak Albertovich Karapetyan was working double-agents for the CIA and Kremlin. Karapetyan was directing the foreign operations of Natalia Veselnitskaya, and Glenn Simpson was organizing her inside the U.S.

Glenn Simpson managed Veselnitskaya through the 2016 Trump Tower meeting with Donald Trump Jr. However, once the CIA/Fusion-GPS operation using Veselnitskaya started to unravel with public reporting back in Russia Deputy AG Karapetyan fell out of a helicopter to his death (just before it crashed).

Simultaneously timed in late 2015 through mid 2016, there was a domestic FBI operation using a young Russian named Maria Butina tasked to run up against republican presidential candidates . According to Patrick Byrne, Butina's handler, it was FBI agent Peter Strzok who was giving Byrne the instructions on where to send her. { Go Deep }

All of this context outlines the extent to which the CIA was openly involved in constructing a political operation that settled upon anyone in candidate Donald Trump's orbit.

International operations directed by the CIA, and domestic operations seemingly directed by Peter Strzok operating with a foot in both agencies. [ Strzok gets CIA service coin ]

Recap :

Additionally, Christopher Steele was a British intelligence officer, hired by Fusion-GPS to assemble and launder fraudulent intelligence information within his dossier. And we cannot forget Oleg Deripaska, a Russian oligarch, who was recruited by Asst. FBI Director Andrew McCabe to participate in running an operation against the Trump campaign and create the impression of Russian involvement. Deripaska refused to participate .

All of this engagement directly controlled by U.S. intelligence; and all of this intended to give a specific Russia impression. This predicate is presumably what John Durham is currently reviewing.

The key point of all that background is to see how committed the CIA and FBI were to the constructed narrative of Russia interfering with the 2016 election. The CIA, FBI, and by extension the DOJ, put a hell of a lot of work into it. Intelligence community work that Durham is now unraveling.

We also know specifically that John Durham is looking at the construct of the Intelligence Community Assessment (ICA); and talking to CIA analysts who participated in the construct of the January 2017 report that bolstered the false appearance of Russian interference in the 2016 election. This is important because it ties in to the next part that involves Julian Assange and Wikileaks.

On April 11th, 2019, the Julian Assange indictment was unsealed in the EDVA. From the indictment we discover it was under seal since March 6th, 2018 : (Link to pdf)

On Tuesday April 15th more investigative material was released . Again, note the dates: Grand Jury, * December of 2017 * This means FBI investigation prior to .

The FBI investigation took place prior to December 2017, it was coordinated through the Eastern District of Virginia (EDVA) where Dana Boente was U.S. Attorney at the time. The grand jury indictment was sealed from March of 2018 until after Mueller completed his investigation, April 2019 .

Why the delay?

What was the DOJ waiting for?

Here's where it gets interesting .

The FBI submission to the Grand Jury in December of 2017 was four months after congressman Dana Rohrabacher talked to Julian Assange in August of 2017: "Assange told a U.S. congressman he can prove the leaked Democratic Party documents did not come from Russia."

( August 2017, The Hill Via John Solomon ) Julian Assange told a U.S. congressman on Tuesday he can prove the leaked Democratic Party documents he published during last year's election did not come from Russia and promised additional helpful information about the leaks in the near future.

Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, a California Republican who is friendly to Russia and chairs an important House subcommittee on Eurasia policy, became the first American congressman to meet with Assange during a three-hour private gathering at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, where the WikiLeaks founder has been holed up for years.

Rohrabacher recounted his conversation with Assange to The Hill. "Our three-hour meeting covered a wide array of issues, including the WikiLeaks exposure of the DNC [Democratic National Committee] emails during last year's presidential election," Rohrabacher said, "Julian emphatically stated that the Russians were not involved in the hacking or disclosure of those emails."

Pressed for more detail on the source of the documents, Rohrabacher said he had information to share privately with President Trump. ( read more )

Knowing how much effort the CIA and FBI put into the Russia collusion-conspiracy narrative, it would make sense for the FBI to take keen interest after this August 2017 meeting between Rohrabacher and Assange; and why the FBI would quickly gather specific evidence (related to Wikileaks and Bradley Manning) for a grand jury by December 2017.

Within three months of the grand jury the DOJ generated an indictment and sealed it in March 2018. The EDVA sat on the indictment while the Mueller probe was ongoing.

As soon as the Mueller probe ended, on April 11th, 2019, a planned and coordinated effort between the U.K. and U.S. was executed; Julian Assange was forcibly arrested and removed from the Ecuadorian embassy in London, and the EDVA indictment was unsealed ( link ).

As a person who has researched this three year fiasco; including the ridiculously false 2016 Russian hacking/interference narrative: "17 intelligence agencies", Joint Analysis Report (JAR) needed for Obama's anti-Russia narrative in December '16; and then a month later the ridiculously political Intelligence Community Assessment (ICA) in January '17; this timing against Assange is too coincidental.

It doesn't take a deep researcher to see the aligned Deep State motive to control Julian Assange because the Mueller report was dependent on Russia cybercrimes, and that narrative is contingent on the Russia DNC hack story which Julian Assange disputes.

This is critical. The Weissmann/Mueller report contains claims that Russia hacked the DNC servers as the central element to the Russia interference narrative in the U.S. election. This claim is directly disputed by WikiLeaks and Julian Assange, as outlined during the Dana Rohrabacher interview, and by Julian Assange on-the-record statements.

The predicate for Robert Mueller's investigation was specifically due to Russian interference in the 2016 election. The fulcrum for this Russia interference claim is the intelligence community assessment; and the only factual evidence claimed within the ICA is that Russia hacked the DNC servers; a claim only made possible by relying on forensic computer analysis from Crowdstrike, a DNC contractor.

The CIA holds a massive conflict of self-interest in upholding the Russian hacking claim. The FBI holds a massive interest in maintaining that claim. All of those foreign countries whose intelligence apparatus participated with Brennan and Strzok also have a vested self-interest in maintaining that Russia hacking and interference narrative.

Julian Assange is the only person with direct knowledge of how Wikileaks gained custody of the DNC emails; and Assange has claimed he has evidence it was not from a hack.

This Russian "hacking" claim is ultimately so important to the CIA, FBI, DOJ, ODNI and U.K intelligence apparatus . Well, right there is the obvious motive to shut Assange down as soon intelligence officials knew the Mueller report was going to be public.

Now, if we know this, and you know this; and everything is cited and factual well, then certainly AG Bill Barr knows this.

The $64,000 dollar question is: will they say so publicly?


Non-Corporate Entity , 7 minutes ago

Former NSA chief Bill Binney has forensic evidence that it was a download not a hack!!! Hello?!?!

exige42 , 22 seconds ago

I believe this all holds true. My only hesitation is why Assange hasn't retaliated. He was holed up in an Embassy for how many years because of these bastards? He had to have known they were going to make a move on him sooner or later. Where is his dead plan? I hate how these corrupt evil bastards have gotten their way forever. There has got to be a turn on these SOBs. Where is the fight from these people who they are destroying ffs???!!!

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Dolar in a vortex , 1 minute ago

Jabba Barr and Bulldog Durham are a complete joke until they prove otherwise with significant indictments. And no, Steve Bannon doesn't count.

[Aug 20, 2020] Obama State Department Official Destroyed Records At Christopher Steele's Request - Zero Hedge

Aug 20, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

Obama State Department Official Destroyed Records At Christopher Steele's Request by Tyler Durden Thu, 08/20/2020 - 15:05 Twitter Facebook Reddit Email Print

In January 2017, former State Department official Jonathan Winer destroyed several years worth of reports from former UK spy Christopher Steele , at Steele's request, according to the Daily Caller , citing a report released Tuesday.

Winer, a former legislative assistant to former Sen. John Kerry who became the State Department's Special Envoy for Libya when Kerry was Secretary of State - was Steele's contact at the State Department, and received the now-debunked reports claiming that President Trump had been compromised by the Russians.

According to the Senate report , Winer disclosed that he destroyed reports that Steele had sent him over the years. The Senate report also says that Winer failed to reveal when asked in his first interview with the committee that he had arranged the meeting for Steele at the State Department months earlier. - Daily Caller

me title=

"After Steele's memos were published in the press in January 2017, Steele asked Winer to make note of having them, then either destroy all the earlier reports Steele had sent the Department of State or return them to Steele , out of concern that someone would be able to reconstruct his source network," reads the Senate report, which quote sWiner as saying " So I destroyed them, and I basically destroyed all the correspondence I had with him. "

In total, Winer had received over 100 intelligence reports from Steel between 2014 and 2016.

Emails that The Daily Caller News Foundation obtained through a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit show that Winer shared Steele's reports with a small group of State Department officials. The Senate report says that the State Department was able to provide the committee with Steele's reports from 2015 and 2016, though most from 2014 are missing. - Daily Caller

In March, Steele told a UK court that he had "wiped" all of his dossier-linked correspondence in December, 2016 and January, 2017, and had no records of communications with his primary dossier source, Igor Danchenko.

In addition to receiving reports from Steele, Winer gave Steele various anti-Trump memos from Clinton operative Sidney Blumenthal , which originated with Clinton "hatchet man" Cody Shearer. Winer claims he didn't think Steele would share the Clinton-sourced information with anyone else in the government.

about:blank

about:blank

me title=

"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," Winer wrote in a 2018 Op-Ed .

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Steele was paid $168,000 by opposition research firm Fusion GPS to produce his anti-Trump dossier, which was funded in part by Hillary Clinton and the DNC, who used law firm Perkins Coie as an intermediary.

Read the rest of the Daily Caller report here .

[Aug 12, 2020] Brookings Institution links to Steele dossier

Aug 12, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

librul , Aug 10 2020 20:50 utc | 35

Spawn of the Dossier

Were you aware that the Steele dossier had a significant other?

"Rep Devin Nunes:

"You may remember that the State Department was involved and there were additional
dossiers that weren't the Steele dossier- except that they mirrored the Steele dossier.
And we think there is a connection between the [former] president of Brookings
and those dossiers that were given to the State Department."
"
...
Also from article:

"
The "additional dossiers that weren't the Steele dossier" addressed by Nunes
is a reference to a lesser known dodgy dossier produced by Brookings-affiliated
journalist Cody Shearer (brother-in-law of Strobe Talbott) which was crafted
explicitly to validate the wildly unsupported claims found in Steele's dossier.
"

https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2020/08/10/the-brookings-hand-behind-russiagate-points-back-to-rhodes-trust-coup-on-america/


Arch Bungle , Aug 11 2020 17:36 utc | 95

Posted by: William Gruff | Aug 11 2020 16:57 utc | 92

Almost certainly, at least at one time, the scholarship was meant to come first.


The Rhodes Scholars provide a talent pool for the single organisation that oversees the CIA, Mossad and British Intelligence:

A clumsy grab from James Corbett's excellent documentary `The WW1 Conspiracy` https://www.corbettreport.com/wwi/ provides the entrance to a rabbit hole ...


Gerry Docherty, WWI scholar and co-author of Hidden History: The Secret Origins of the First World War.

DOCHERTY: Rhodes had the money and he had the contacts. He was a great Rothschild man and his mining wealth was literally uncountable. He wanted to associate himself with Oxford because Oxford gave him the kudos of the university of knowledge, of that kind of power.

And in fact that was centered in a very secretive place called "All Souls College." Still you'll find many references to All Souls College and "people behind the curtain" and such phrases [as] "power behind thrones." Rhodes was centrally important in actually putting money up in order to begin to gather together like-minded people of great influence.

Rhodes was not shy about his ambitions, and his intentions to form such a group were known to many. Throughout his short life, Rhodes discussed his intentions openly with many of his associates, who, unsurprisingly, happened to be among the most influential figures in British society at that time.

More remarkably, this secret society -- which was to wield its power behind the throne -- was not a secret at all. The New York Times even published an article discussing the founding of the group in the April 9, 1902, edition of the paper, shortly after Rhodes' death.

The article, headlined "Mr. Rhodes's Ideal of Anglo-Saxon Greatness" and carrying the remarkable sub-head "He Believed a Wealthy Secret Society Should Work to Secure the World's Peace and a British-American Federation," summarized this sensational plan by noting that Rhodes' "idea for the development of the English-speaking race was the foundation of 'a society copied, as to organization, from the Jesuits.'" Noting that his vision involved uniting "the United States Assembly and our House of Commons to achieve 'the peace of the world,'" the article quotes Rhodes as saying: "The only thing feasible to carry out this idea is a secret society gradually absorbing the wealth of the world."

uncle tungsten , Aug 10 2020 21:51 utc | 46

librul #35

Thank you for that excellent link regarding Brookings Institution etc and its source report at Real Clear Investigations.

Here is some deeper information on the Round Table Movement and its global undermining.

The Rhodes Scholars are worth identifying and knowing of their appointments.

karlof1 , Aug 11 2020 18:24 utc | 99

Seems the Brookings Institute is deeply involved in lots of dodgy doings if the info in this article is credible as it links to the discussion of Rhodes Scholars, such as it is:

"It would here be the height of folly to presume, as some commentators have done, that Talbott's role in this operation indicates an American guiding hand between the plot to undo the 2016 elections. The fact is that Talbott's entire life and world outlook have been shaped not by wholly anti-American ideas but rather by British Imperial principles that are programed into the minds of all Rhodes Scholars during his time in Oxford from 1966-1968."

When was Bill Clinton there? 1968-1970, it seems, and Talbott was in Clinton's cabinet. Am just midway through article, but thought I'd post the link so others might read.

[Aug 12, 2020] New notes will show FBI lied to Congress about Steele dossier

From MoA : "Russiagate, the deep state campaign to disenfranchise President Donald Trump, is further unraveling. The Spies Who Hijacked America is a first-person account that convincingly documents an MI6-linked conspiracy by former director Richard Dearlove, former agent Christopher Steele and FBI informant Stefan Halper to frame Carter Page that led to the FBI launching of "Crossfire Hurricane". The long read is very interesting but it still does not account for who or what instigated the British spies into launching their campaign against Trump. My hunch is that then CIA director John Brennan was the central person behind it."
Notable quotes:
"... Sunday Morning Futures ..."
Aug 12, 2020 | turcopolier.typepad.com

"A top Republican defended his committee releasing the declassified FBI interview with a top source for British ex-spy Christopher Steele and said a forthcoming document would show the bureau misled Congress about the reliability of his anti-Trump dossier.

South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, criticized the former MI6 agent, said Steele's dossier was compromised by Russian disinformation, and argued newly public FBI notes from a January 2017 discussion with Steele's "primary subsource" demonstrated the FBI knew the dossier was unreliable but continued to use it anyway. During his interview with Maria Bartiromo on Sunday Morning Futures on Fox News, he also previewed new bureau records to be released in the upcoming week he said would show the FBI misled not just the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court about the Steele dossier, but also lawmakers.

"We also now have found, and this will come out next week, that Congress got suspicious about the Russian subsource and reliability of the Steele Dossier, and that members of Congress asked to be briefed about it," Graham said. "Here is what I think I'm going to be able to show to the public: not only did the FBI lie to the court about the reliability about the Steele dossier, they also lied to the Congress. And that is a separate crime. "" Washington Examiner

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

The first thing to do is fire Christopher Wray, the present Director of the FBI, for malfeasance and neglect of duty in this whole matter.

The second thing to do is to seriously consider dissolution of the FBI and its replacement with a new federal police force severely limited to criminal investigations of violations of federal law.

There should also be a separate domestic internal security investigative body modeled on the UK's MI-5 (the Security Service). Whether or not such a service should have the power of arrest is an open question. If arrests become necessary after their investigations the agents of some other federal police force could be used to make them after examination of the security service's case.

The rest of the USIC should be examined with an eye to re-organization in light of the partisan role they played in the 2016 election.

pl

https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/lindsey-graham-new-notes-will-show-fbi-lied-to-congress-about-steele-dossier

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christopher_A._Wray


blue peacock , 09 August 2020 at 11:16 AM

Col. Lang

How can any of the law enforcement and IC be re-organized when everyone in DC from the politicians in both parties to the media and the top honchos in government are all part of the same social and professional circle? They just keep rotating around.

Elliott Abrams epitomizes this. He's a convicted felon in the Iran-Contra affair in the Reagan administration. Get's pardoned by Bush pere. Pushed hard for the disastrous Iraq invasion in the George W. Bush administration. Then in charge of the Venezuela coup attempt in the Trump administration. Fails at that. And then now gets appointed to head the Iran desk to create more trouble.

DC is incestuous and corrupt beyond redemption.

As far is Wray is concerned why hasn't he been fired sometime back? Why did Trump hire him and Rosenstein in the first place?

Jack , 09 August 2020 at 12:40 PM
@LindseyGrahamSC saying today the 2018 SSCI had doubts about Steele's primary sub source, and pointing fingers at the 2018 FBI for misinformation, carries an identical motive to Sally Yates testimony last week.

It's all CYA in DC Central. Graham protecting SSCI.

https://twitter.com/thelastrefuge2/status/1292483937508429825?s=21

It appears the Republicans in the Senate were in on the Russia Collusion hoax and now throwing the FBI under the bus. DC is a cesspool of corruption. Only voters can reform this club by voting both parties out.

Jack , 09 August 2020 at 12:54 PM
Writing on Substack, Steven Schrage for the first time tells the story of how he worked alongside "FBI Informant" Stefan Halper at Cambridge during the "Russiagate" period:

https://twitter.com/mtaibbi/status/1292470973569146882?s=21

We are nearly at the end of Trump's term yet his administration hasn't provided a full accounting of the election interference and framing of Trump and some of his team by the previous Obama administration and his own administration.

Jim , 09 August 2020 at 01:26 PM

Sen. Graham thinks [or at least says] Russia hacked the Democrats; and thinks [or at least says] Igor Dancheko represent "Russian disinformation."

"The sub-source [Danchenko] was a senior Russian researcher at the Brookings Institution and an employee of Christopher Steele living in the United States. He calls up a bunch of people in Russia. Who do you think this information came from? It came from the Russian intelligence service. They played this guy like a fiddle," Graham has recently said.

Unctuous Graham himself continues maliciously to spread lies.

The first words out of his mouth at last week's hearing with the unctuous Sally Yates was Russia hacked the Democrats.

In other words, he was pretending -- and in his thus lying, creating a "predicate" for all of the Russia Hoax nonsense that continues and which he helps to continue, by lying.

So is this liar going to get to the bottom of it, or instead create and continue to create alternate reality from which more propaganda be disseminated and spun onto American public?

He, and those pushing these lies, our congressional leaders -- and think we are not aware of their vile and moral turpitude.

Not only did the FBI and Sally Yates and Rosenstein lie to the court about the reliability about the Steele dossier.

And not only does Graham continue to lie to the American people.

Who is assisting Graham to run his ongoing and continuing cover up?

The FBI? The DOJ? The CIA? Senator Warner? etc. . . .

Why does the Senate list Mark Warner, a Democrat, as "Vice Chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee"?

https://www.intelligence.senate.gov/

Of 24 US Senate committees, 3 list a Democrat as vice chair; the rest list a ranking member. Why is this?

https://www.senate.gov/committees/

When the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence was formed in 1976, via Senate Resolution 400 of the 94th Congress, this is what they decided:

[[[(b) At the beginning of each Congress, the Majority Leader of the Senate shall select a chairman of the select Committee and the Minority Leader shall select a vice chairman for the select Committee. The vice chairman shall act in the place and stead of the chairman in the absence of the chairman. Neither the chairman nor the vice chairman of the select committee shall at the same time serve as chairman or ranking minority member of any other committee]]]

https://www.senate.gov/general/resources/pdf/authority_and_rules_of_senate_committees.pdf

PS
Fire Wray, dissolve FBI, excellent suggestions.

In its place, a new federal police force severely limited to criminal investigations of violations of federal law, also a step in the right direction.

Should the nation's federal police chief report to the AG directly, or directly to the president?

Should this job be subject to advise and consent of senate, or, as is case with National Security Advisor, not subject to advise and consent of senate?

And feel free to criticize, but someone like . . . Attorney Michael Bernard Mukasey, former federal judge and 81st Attorney General of the United States --- he, be named acting FBI, right now, forthwith?
-30-

Jack , 09 August 2020 at 01:29 PM

Sir

It appears that SSCI with Burr and Warner are in on the coup attempt. They likely had Wolfe leak the Carter Page FISA application which was marked by a FBI special agent to his squeeze who took it with her to the NY Times. Mueller then takes over that investigation and buries it including lying to FISC. Wolfe gets away with a slap on the wrist. They are all implicated in the coup attempt - Republicans & Democrats in Congress, the FBI, DOJ, DNI, CIA, Obama, Biden, the media!

In a functioning constitutional republic this would be considered outrageous no matter one's opinion of Trump. The fact that the Trump administration itself is playing a huge role in obfuscating this subversion of the constitution by those entrusted to protect and defend it is telling. I'm old and my creator beckons. It pains me to no end what legacy we are leaving behind to our grandchildren and their children. My grandpa would be so dismayed!

https://theconservativetreehouse.com/2020/08/08/the-truth-doesnt-care-about-your-feelings-the-big-ugly/

nbsp; turcopolier , 09 August 2020 at 02:53 PM

jim

I would certainly support Mukasy's nomination.

nbsp; Fred , 09 August 2020 at 03:54 PM

The leaders and/or senior staff, of the SSCI new all along. Why did the SSCI leadership (Senators Burr, Warner and Feinstein) ask the judge to go easy on SSCI Security Director James Wolfe when he was sentenced for lying to the FBI?
https://fas.org/irp/congress/2018_cr/ssci-wolfe.pdf
https://www.justice.gov/usao-dc/pr/former-us-senate-employee-sentenced-prison-term-false-statements-charge

Who compromised this trio of senior senate leadership? Feinstein had a Chinese spy on her staff for a decade, apparently oblivious to that the whole time. Of course Russia is all we hear about, then and now.

nbsp; ex PFC Chuck , 09 August 2020 at 04:04 PM

Jack,
Just to clarify, the link you posted above is about Steven Schrage, not by him. It was written by Matt Taibbi at his personal internet perch. I agree it's definitely worth the time to read.

Rick Merlotti , 09 August 2020 at 04:15 PM

Jack

I was about to link the Tiabbi material when I saw your post. This is a must read. It ties up some loose threads on russiagate/obamagate.

walrus , 09 August 2020 at 04:41 PM

Col. Lang,

The FBI is indeed fighting for its survival, as I suspect are elements of the DOJ and other elements of the I C . If Trump is re elected, he will have a mandate for reform, that is why they will stop at nothing to prevent it.

I think, as someone else here at SST has suggested, the swamp is going to use the 20th Amendment to install Pelosi or similar. The chosen vehicle will be corruption of a mail in ballot process. As my first boss told me as we watche ounance manager being marched away by the police: "when someone is going to steal from you, the first thing they do is mess up the paperwork". That maxim proved true a number of times in my career.

sbin , 09 August 2020 at 05:32 PM

DC District of Corruption is beyond redemption.
The 17 "intelligence" agencies are rotten to the core as well.
I love my country but have a growing dislike of my federal government.
More like feral government.
Doubt the newly found corona super powers are going away anytime soon.

Grandparents were Irish immigrants.Learned early to keep a well stocked cellar and as much savings as possible.
Hard times are coming.

blue peacock , 09 August 2020 at 06:01 PM

Jack

It seems that Steven Schrage coming forward NOW with a recording of Halper stating that Flynn's gonna be f*ked 2 days before the leak to David Ignatius is a new shiny object to distract. Similar to Ms. Lindsey's faux outrage NOW that the FBI lied to SSCI. Of course he knew and so did Burr & Warner back in 2018. They kept quiet all this time. The big question is what did Senators Burr & Warner know and when and what role did they play in the coverup? And of course the same goes for Ms. Lindsey and the rest of the coterie in Congress?

Col. Lang,

What do your expert senses detect when both Rosenstein & Sally Yates have the best Captain Renault impersonation? They knew nuttin!! They just sign FISA applications and keep seats warm.

TV , 09 August 2020 at 08:19 PM

For years,the Feebs have been flat-footed keystone cops in the counterintelligence area.
Want more evidence?
Peter Strzok - a mediocrity with no sense of op security rose to number 2 in the FBI CI division.
Look at the bumbling mess these dolts made out of their attempted "coup."
Spy catching is not police work;it's "intelligence" work.

Oilman2 , 09 August 2020 at 08:38 PM

"The rest of the USIC should be examined with an eye to re-organization in light of the partisan role they played in the 2016 election."

Isn't this exactly what Gen. Flynn was about to do? Audit the IC?

nbsp; turcopolier , 09 August 2020 at 08:56 PM

blue peacock

These are partisan scum in spite of Ms Yates beautiful manners and voicings.

JerseyJeffersonian , 09 August 2020 at 09:32 PM

Col. Lang,

I think that what other posters may be seeing and commenting upon is trenchently conveyed in this quote from Carroll Quigley's Tragedy and Hope:


"The argument that the two parties should represent opposed ideals and policies, one, perhaps, of the Right and the other of the Left, is a foolish idea acceptable only to doctrinaire and academic thinkers. Instead, the two parties should be almost identical, so that the American people can 'throw the rascals out' at any election without leading to any profound or extensive shifts in policy."


This understanding adequately accounts for the behavior of The Borg toward President Trump's stated aims, and the defenestration of General Flynn. They don't want anything to change, and will go to any lengths to prevent it from happening. I guess we'll have to see if this will, indeed, be how it plays out. In my heart of hearts I certainly hope not.

blue peacock , 10 August 2020 at 12:33 AM

Fred

Wolfe was only indicted for lying to the FBI. He was never indicted for the big stuff of leaking the classified Carter Page FISA application provided by the FBI to SSCI to his "mistress" Ali Watkins. She moved to the NY Times and then began writing exposes that sold a certain now proven false narrative.

Was Wolfe ordered to leak it by Burr & Warner? Why was the leak investigation taken over by Mueller? What role did SSCI have in the coverup? What was Warner doing as some of his text messages to Steele's attorney Adam Waldman was released by Mueller?

Was SSCI a co-conspirator in the framing of a duly elected President?

Dan , 10 August 2020 at 02:13 PM

"Just to clarify, the link you posted above is about Steven Schrage, not by him"

Hi Ex-PFC Chuck - the piece was definitely written by Schrage. Its a first-person account of his work under Halper, with a ton of observations about his character and past.

For what its worth I sensed a little bit of CYA in the piece, like Schrage is trying to cleave himself from the rest of the group. His account of how and why Carter Page got to his symposium doesn't really add up - did he make a similar effort to get a member of the Clinton campaign? Appears not.

james , 10 August 2020 at 03:36 PM

here is an article that moa shared today very relevant to this thread and topic...

https://taibbi.substack.com/p/the-spies-who-hijacked-america

title - The Spies Who Hijacked America
As a doctoral candidate at Cambridge working under "FBI Informant" Stefan Halper, I had a front-row seat for Russiagate

nbsp; Fred , 10 August 2020 at 08:40 PM

Blue Peacock,

"Was SSCI a co-conspirator in the framing of a duly elected President?"

Good questions. I would go back a couple decades and see how much money in donations those members got from people who could have corrupted them, such as Jeffery Epstein and those connected to him, and see if they have any other foreign financial entanglements.

[Aug 12, 2020] Have to wonder at the re-emergence of Russiagate. Seems a major reason for its emergence is to shame voters into voting for Biden

Aug 12, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Erelis , Aug 10 2020 19:51 utc | 28

Have to wonder at the re-emergence of Russiagate. Seems a major reason for its emergence is to shame voters into voting for Biden. If you do not vote for Biden, you are Putin's useful idiot. In particular aimed at African Americans. Recently a NYT reporter claimed that it was Russian mean tweets, etc that caused a very dramatic drop in African American turn out in 2016. See screen shot by Aron Mate as the NYT reporter deleted the tweets.

https://twitter.com/aaronjmate/status/1292637512813481984/photo/1

Looks like the DNC may be very nervous about Black turnout after Biden's many racial gaffes. Imagine Black turnout if he chooses Susan Rice as his VP. The DNC may have to go to Putin to ask for his help.



librul , Aug 10 2020 20:50 utc | 35

Spawn of the Dossier

Were you aware that the Steele dossier had a significant other?

"Rep Devin Nunes:

"You may remember that the State Department was involved and there were additional
dossiers that weren't the Steele dossier- except that they mirrored the Steele dossier.
And we think there is a connection between the [former] president of Brookings
and those dossiers that were given to the State Department."
"
...
Also from article:

"
The "additional dossiers that weren't the Steele dossier" addressed by Nunes
is a reference to a lesser known dodgy dossier produced by Brookings-affiliated
journalist Cody Shearer (brother-in-law of Strobe Talbott) which was crafted
explicitly to validate the wildly unsupported claims found in Steele's dossier.
"

https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2020/08/10/the-brookings-hand-behind-russiagate-points-back-to-rhodes-trust-coup-on-america/

Jackrabbit , Aug 10 2020 21:03 utc | 38

I know it sounds wacky to those of you who still put some store in MSM nonsense, but I still believe that what we know as "Russiagate" was a carefully planned operation to:

  1. initiate a new anti-Russia McCarthyism -
    after Trump's election, MSM repeated Russigate accusations about Russian meddling every night for months;
  2. elect MAGA Nationalist (Trump, not Hillary!) -

    as Kissinger had called for in his Aug 2014 WSJ Op-Ed;

  3. discredit Wikileaks/Assange;
  4. lead to a vindictive settling of scores with Assange, Flynn, Manafort.

Also: It's likely that Skripal was the true "primary sub-source" and that he was drugged because he planned to flee back to Russia because he realised that he knew too much. He knew that the "dirty dossier" was meant to be untrue and easily debunked. It would never actually tarnish Trump - only Russia. Not surprisingly, Trump's MAGA Nationalism has been strengthened by Russiagate allegations while the anti-Russia sentiment remains.

!!

[Aug 08, 2020] Steele's Source Met With Russian Official Days Before Dossier Fabrication Began -

Aug 08, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

The 1958 "Psychological Warfare" Plan Playing Out Before Us

by Tyler Durden Fri, 08/07/2020 - 22:25 Twitter Facebook Reddit Email Print

Authored by Annie Holmquist via IntellectualTakeout.org,

I recently wrote about an old 1984 interview with former communist Yuri Bezmenov, who described the "ideological subversion" that could eventually take down America.

It sounds like the stuff of conspiracy theories - until one realizes that his predictions of "demoralization," "destabilization," and "crisis" are all unfolding before our eyes .

Pondering his prophetic words, I hunted up an old book a friend mentioned to me years ago: " The Naked Communist ." The title, I admit, is chuckle-worthy, but the words inside are no laughing matter, particularly when one reads the section titled, "Importance of the Psychological War."

Written in 1958, some of the "current strategy goals which the Communists and their fellow travelers are seeking to achieve" seem dated and read like a history book from the past. But then one comes to item number 17:

"Get control of the schools. Use them as transmission belts for socialism and current Communist propaganda. Soften the curriculum. Get control of teachers' associations. Put the party line in textbooks." (Emphasis added.)

That part in bold especially caught my attention. Haven't Americans been suspicious for years that public school curriculum has been dumbed down? Prominent public figures have certainly made this claim , while a comparison of middle school reading lists from today's schools and those of 100 years ago provides further evidence.

Things take a step closer to home by encouraging the use of "student riots to foment public protests against programs or organizations which are under Communist attack." We've had not a little experience with riots and protests lately, many of which have been heavily attended by young people. Are they mere tools in the hands of an ideology we don't realize is pulling the strings?

Even more terrifying, the list progresses from student riots to the cancel culture and statue bashing we are also currently experiencing.

about:blank

about:blank

me title=

"Continue discrediting American culture by degrading all forms of artistic expression," item number 22 commands, while number 31 calls for Communists to "[b]elittle all forms of American culture and discourage the teaching of American history ."

The document also suggests discrediting both the Constitution and the Founding Fathers.

Of the latter, it says,

"[p]resent them as selfish aristocrats who had no concern for the 'common man.'"

Sounds similar to the "slave-holding racists" that the Founders are now portrayed as, does it not?

The list is extensive and many of the items listed as eventual goals are now accepted parts of our culture. There is one more, though, that deserves a closer look:

"Create the impression that violence and insurrection are legitimate aspects of the American tradition; that students and special-interest groups should rise up and use 'united force' to solve economic, political or social problems."

Since the death of George Floyd, protests and violence have become commonplace. The large gatherings banned by our governments during the COVID-19 pandemic suddenly became necessary for fighting racism .

Indeed, systemic racism is increasingly labeled as a " public health crisis " that Black Lives Matter must wage war against. Furthermore, complete unity is demanded from the public. Those who refuse to go along -- or fail to say anything at all -- are immediately ostracized.

Where does this leave us?

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Should we start running around screaming, "The Communists are coming! The Communists are coming!"?

No. Now isn't the time to lose our heads. Rather, we should look at this historical list, recognize the parallels it has with our current culture, and ask ourselves whether there's an ideology working to undermine the values, history, and ideas upon which America was founded.

If we conclude that there is, we have a decision to make.

Do we accept that ideology and allow it to take over America?

If so, it's time to join the throngs of corporations, politicians, and average citizens in agitating for change.

But if we decide that ideology isn't in line with what we believe , nor with the direction we want to see America go, then we must be ready to choose the road less traveled.

This road is one of standing up for truth and justice. It also involves warning others of the consequences that come from giving way to an ideology completely opposed to what America has sought to protect and advance over the years.

As "The Naked Communist" implies, the alarm bell has been sounding for many years. Now, we just need the ears to hear and respond to it.

Read the rest of the report here .

Flynt2142ahh , 7 hours ago

You mean to tell me that a presidential candidate for the USA was through a proxy working with the Russians to create a crazy report that would influence the outcome of the elections in the USA..... Hillary who you say ? Blame who ?

... hmmm, at this point if Durham and Barr send no one to jail I don't know what to say. And for pete's sake can someone with balls help General Flynn finally pleaaazee. (Looking at you Sen. Cruz, Graham, Paul)

[Aug 01, 2020] Did MI6 created White Helmets?

Notable quotes:
"... Perhaps he was even the initiator of the White Helmets? My take away from those reports is that Cummings and Johnson have commenced a transition strategy within the UK and that the future of Integrity Initiative and its bogan crew may be limited. ..."
"... They have also restrained the MI6 manipulators that would conspire and contrive the overt 'Hate Russia' policy. Not that Bojo and Cummings will necessarily change anything other than a superficial rearrangement in their favour (for a month or two anyway). ..."
"... Caitlin Johnston has recently posted an astute analysis of the current distraction politics and why we should not be distracted by Covid19 rants from seeing the immediate rendition of the great game. ..."
"... I guess the UK will be less overt re Russia but expect the Libyan war to escalate as UKUSAI use Turkey in Libya to push back against Russia and even Sisi in Egypt. ..."
"... The UK could stage yet another 'Suez incident' with this mendacious confluence of opportunities. ..."
"... The USA has become the patsy for these thugs, when will they rise? ..."
Aug 01, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

uncle tungsten , Aug 1 2020 0:39 utc | 39

Jackrabbut #3

Thank you for those John Helmer reports. I note that the new head of MI6 is a lover of all fine Turkish things including Erdoghan. "Richard Moore, currently a third-ranking official of the Foreign Office, an ex-Ambassador to Turkey; an ex-MI6 agent; and a Harvard graduate".

Perhaps he was even the initiator of the White Helmets? My take away from those reports is that Cummings and Johnson have commenced a transition strategy within the UK and that the future of Integrity Initiative and its bogan crew may be limited.

They have also restrained the MI6 manipulators that would conspire and contrive the overt 'Hate Russia' policy. Not that Bojo and Cummings will necessarily change anything other than a superficial rearrangement in their favour (for a month or two anyway).

AtaBrit #9 includes an excellent link to a National Interest report on Turkey and is worth the read in this context of the rise and rise of Richard Moore. Thank you AtaBrit.

Caitlin Johnston has recently posted an astute analysis of the current distraction politics and why we should not be distracted by Covid19 rants from seeing the immediate rendition of the great game.

I guess the UK will be less overt re Russia but expect the Libyan war to escalate as UKUSAI use Turkey in Libya to push back against Russia and even Sisi in Egypt. They have a willing US president now and likely continuing in the next few years (be it Trump or Biden). The UK could stage yet another 'Suez incident' with this mendacious confluence of opportunities.

The USA has become the patsy for these thugs, when will they rise?

[Jul 30, 2020] Even the CIA Thought the Steele Dossier Was Crap by Larry C Johnson - Sic Semper Tyrannis

Jul 30, 2020 | turcopolier.typepad.com

30 JULY 2020 Even the CIA Thought the Steele Dossier Was Crap by Larry C Johnson

Well what do you know? John Brennan, the congenital liar and Obama's CIA Chief, actually made the right call when it came to the Steele Dossier. More importantly, we discover that Brennan inadvertently admitted that there was no substance to the Steele Dossier. If he had one shred of supporting evidence, you can be assured he would have been fully on board with the FBI request. But that is not what happened. According to a Senate Intelligence Committee report declassified this week, Brennan pushed back against the FBI's Jimmy Comey and Andy McCabe on the matter of whether to include the allegations reported in the Steele Dossier in the January 2017 Intelligence Community Assessment on Russian Interference in the U.S. Presidential Election. Chuck Ross reports that :

Documents declassified on Tuesday detail an intense debate between the CIA and FBI in late 2016 over the handling of information from Christopher Steele, with one CIA official telling the Senate Intelligence Committee that the former British spy's allegations about Trump-Russia collusion were "very unvetted."

Despite the CIA's concerns about Steele's allegations, the FBI successfully lobbied to include his information in an Intelligence Community Assessment (ICA) regarding Russian interference in the 2016 election. The bureau also continued using information from Steele to conduct surveillance against former Trump campaign aide Carter Page.

Investigators have since debunked several of Steele's allegations.

The newly declassified information is from a Senate Intelligence Committee report released on April 21 that detailed the creation of an ICA released on Jan. 6, 2017. I disputed the validity of Steele's work way back in January 2017, after BuzzFeed published the dossier. The errors and outlandish claims were so flagrant that even renowned Helen Keller, were she still alive, could see the problems. But I was wrong in believing that the media were capable of honest analysis or following simple logic. As a result, Steele's claims went virtually unchallenged by meme makers for more than two years and the American public was bombarded with the gargantuan lie that Russia's meddling in the 2016 Presidential Election paved the road for Donald Trump's victory. Democrats and media cretins insisted that Trump is nothing more than Putin's prison bitch.

But cold, hard facts began to emerge that exposed the falsehoods of the Steele document. The biggest blow came courtesy of DOJ Inspector General Horowitz's revelation that the FBI had identified and interviewed Steele's Russian sub-source and learned that he could not corroborate any of the wild, scurrilous claims made by Steele.

Now we have learned the identify to that source--Igor Danchenko. He is a Russian-born analyst living in the United States and was the primary source for Christopher Steele. More importantly, he is directly linked to prominent Democrats closely tied to Hillary Clinton. In particular, Strobe Talbott :

According to information he put online, Danchenko attended high schools in the United States in the 1990s as part of a student exchange program. He graduated from Perm State University in Russia and received a master's degree from the University of Louisville in 2005.

He worked for five years at the Brookings Institution as a Russia analyst. While there, he wrote a paper with Fiona Hill, who joined the Trump White House in 2017 as its top Russia expert.

Brookings has played a large role in the dossier saga. In 2016, it's then-president, Strobe Talbott, contacted Steele seeking a copy of the dossier. Hill told Congress last year that Talbott shared a copy of the dossier with her on Jan. 9, 2017, a day before BuzzFeed published the document online.

Christopher Steele's veracity and judgment took another hit in early July when a British Judge ruled he was guilty of libel in his claim that Russia's Alfa bank was part of an elaborate money laundering scheme that enriched Donald Trump.

The latest revelation from the Senate Intelligence Committee makes it clear that l'affaire Steele was an FBI creation. I assumed previously that the CIA also was involved in helping feed and prop up the Steele Dossier. But the Senate Report makes it very clear that the CIA put no stock whatsoever in Steele's claims. Shocking as it may be, the congenital miscreant, John Brennan, actually did the right thing and resisted repeated efforts by the FBI leaders--Jim Comey and Andy McCabe--to insert Steele's findings into the Intelligence Community Assessment on Russia's meddling.

This really puts Jim Comey and Andy McCabe in the trick box. If the CIA had facilitated the Steele Dossier and corroborated its claims, then Comey and McCabe could argue that they were relying on intelligence community findings in their acceptance of the Steele Dossier. That cannot go that route. They are fully exposed.

Comey and McCabe committed a fraud on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court by repeatedly submitting an application to spy on Carter Page that affirmed the allegations in the Steele Dossier as truthful. They knew by the end of January 2017 that Steele's claims were unfounded and not corroborated. But instead of fessing up to the FISC Judge, they opted to lie.

This is not to suggest that John Brennan and Jimmy Clapper, the former DNI Chief, are exonerated of illegal conduct. Au contraire. They oversaw a massive intelligence collection operation, which included covert actions designed to ensnare George Papadopoulos, Michael Flynn, Roger Stone and others and to promote the meme that Trump was a creature of Moscow.

One of the most important takeaways from this week's revelations is the tacit admission that the intelligence community did not have a damn piece of compromising information on Donald Trump. Consider this--we know that John Brennan had access to parts of the Steele dossier in August 2016 and he briefed Democrat Senator Harry Reid on its contents. And there is no doubt that the members of Brennan's Trump Task Force at the CIA was tasked to scour all intelligence for proof that would transform Steele's trash into pure gold. But that did not happen. Instead, come December 2016, even John Brennan had to concede that Christopher Steele's wild claims could nor be corroborated nor verified.

[Jul 30, 2020] Meet the Steele Dossier's 'Primary Subsource'- Fabulist Russian From Democrat Think Tank Whose Boozy Past the FBI Ignored - RealClearInvestigations

Jul 30, 2020 | www.realclearinvestigations.com

By Paul Sperry, RealClearInvestigations
July 24, 2020

The mysterious "Primary Subsource" that Christopher Steele has long hidden behind to defend his discredited Trump-Russia dossier is a former Brookings Institution analyst -- Igor "Iggy" Danchenko, a Russian national whose past includes criminal convictions and other personal baggage ignored by the FBI in vetting him and the information he fed to Steele, according to congressional sources and records obtained by RealClearInvestigations. Agents continued to use the dossier as grounds to investigate President Trump and put his advisers under counter-espionage surveillance.

The 42-year-old Danchenko, who was hired by Steele in 2016 to deploy a network of sources to dig up dirt on Trump and Russia for the Hillary Clinton campaign, was arrested, jailed and convicted years earlier on multiple public drunkenness and disorderly conduct charges in the Washington area and ordered to undergo substance-abuse and mental-health counseling, according to criminal records.

Fiona Hill: She worked at the Brookings Institution with dossier "Primary Subsource" Igor "Iggy" Danchenko (top photo), and testified against President Trump last year during impeachment hearings. AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta

In an odd twist, a 2013 federal case against Danchenko was prosecuted by then-U.S Attorney Rod Rosenstein, who ended up signing one of the FBI's dossier-based wiretap warrants as deputy attorney general in 2017.

Danchenko first ran into trouble with the law as he began working for Brookings -- the preeminent Democratic think tank in Washington -- where he struck up a friendship with Fiona Hill, the White House adviser who testified against Trump during last year's impeachment hearings. Danchenko has described Hill as a mentor, while Hill has sung his praises as a "creative" researcher.

Hill is also close to his boss Steele, who she'd known since 2006. She met with the former British intelligence officer during the 2016 campaign and later received a raw, unpublished copy of the now-debunked dossier.

It does not appear the FBI asked Danchenko about his criminal past or state of sobriety when agents interviewed him in January 2017 in a failed attempt to verify the accuracy of the dossier, which the bureau did only after agents used it to obtain a warrant to surveil Trump campaign adviser Carter Page. The opposition research was farmed out by Steele, working for Clinton's campaign, to Danchenko, who was paid for the information he provided.

A newly declassified FBI summary of the FBI-Danchenko meeting reveals agents learned that key allegations in the dossier, which claimed Trump engaged in a "well-developed conspiracy of cooperation" with the Kremlin against Clinton, were largely inspired by gossip and bar talk among Danchenko and his drinking buddies, most of whom were childhood friends from Russia.

The FBI memo is heavily redacted and blacks out the name of Steele's Primary Subsource. But public records and congressional sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity, confirm the identity of the source as Danchenko.

In the memo, the FBI notes that Danchenko said that he and one of his dossier sources "drink heavily together." But there is no apparent indication the FBI followed up by asking Danchenko if he had an alcohol problem, which would cast further doubt on his reliability as a source for one of the most important and sensitive investigations in FBI history.

The FBI declined comment. Attempts to reach Danchenko by both email and phone were unsuccessful.

The Justice Department's watchdog recently debunked the dossier's most outrageous accusations against Trump, and faulted the FBI for relying on it to obtain secret wiretaps. The bureau's actions, which originated under the Obama administration, are now the subject of a sprawling criminal investigation led by special prosecutor John Durham.

Rod Rosenstein: In an odd twist, a 2013 drunkenness case against Danchenko was prosecuted by then-U.S Attorney Rod Rosenstein, who ended up signing one of the FBI's dossier-based wiretap warrants as deputy attorney general in 2017. (Greg Nash/Pool via AP)

One of the wiretap warrants was signed in 2017 by Rosenstein, who also that year appointed Special Counsel Robert Mueller and signed a "scope" memo giving him wide latitude to investigate Trump and his surrogates. Mueller relied on the dossier too. As it happens, Rosenstein also signed motions filed in one of Danchenko's public intoxication cases, according to the documents obtained by RCI.

In March 2013 -- three years before Danchenko began working on the dossier -- federal authorities in Greenbelt, Md., arrested and charged him with several misdemeanors, including "drunk in public, disorderly conduct, and failure to have his [2-year-old] child in a safety seat," according to a court filing . The U.S. prosecutor for Maryland at the time was Rosenstein, whose name appears in the docket filings .

The Russian-born Danchenko, who was living in the U.S. on a work visa, was released from jail on the condition he undergo drug testing and "participate in a program of substance abuse therapy and counseling," as well as "mental health counseling," the records show. His lawyer asked the court to postpone his trial and let him travel to Moscow "as a condition of his employment." The Russian trips were granted without objection from Rosenstein. Danchenko ended up several months later entering into a plea agreement and paying fines.

In 2006, Danchenko was arrested in Fairfax, Va., on similar offenses, including "public swearing and intoxication," criminal records show. The case was disposed after he paid a fine.

At the time, Danchenko worked as a research analyst for the Brookings Institution, where he became a protégé of Hill. He collaborated with her on at least two Russian policy papers during his five-year stint at the think tank and worked with another Brookings scholar on a project to uncover alleged plagiarism in Russian President Vladimir Putin's doctoral dissertation -- something Danchenko and his lawyer boasted about during their meeting with FBI agents. (Like Hill, the other scholar, Clifford Gaddy, was a Russia hawk. He and Hill in 2015 authored "Mr. Putin: Operative in the Kremlin," a book strongly endorsed by Vice President Joe Biden at the time.)

"Igor is a highly accomplished analyst and researcher," Hill noted on his LinkedIn page in 2011. "He is very creative in pursuing the most relevant of information and detail to support his research."

Strobe Talbott of Brookings with Hillary Clinton: He connected with Christopher Steele and passed along a copy of his anti-Trump dossier to Fiona Hill. AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster Hill also vouched for Steele, an old friend and British intelligence counterpart. The two reunited in 2016, sitting down for at least one meeting. Her boss at the time, Brookings President Strobe Talbott, also connected with Steele and passed along a copy of his anti-Trump dossier to Hill. A tough Trump critic, Talbott previously worked in the Clinton administration and rallied the think tank behind Hillary.

Talbott's brother-in-law is Cody Shearer, another old Clinton hand who disseminated his own dossier in 2016 that echoed many of the same lurid and unsubstantiated claims against Trump. Through a mutual friend at the State Department, Steele obtained a copy of Shearer's dossier and reportedly submitted it to the FBI to help corroborate his own.

In August 2016, Talbott personally called Steele, based in London, to offer his own input on the dossier he was compiling from Danchenko's feeds. Steele phoned Talbott just before the November election, during which Talbott asked for the latest dossier memos to distribute to top officials at the State Department. After Trump's surprise win, the mood at Brookings turned funereal and Talbott and Steele strategized about how they "should handle" the dossier going forward.

During the Trump transition, Talbott encouraged Hill to leave Brookings and take a job in the White House so she could be "one of the adults in the room" when Russia and Putin came up. She served as deputy assistant to the president and senior director for European and Russian affairs on the National Security Council from 2017 to 2019.

She left the White House just before a National Security Council detailee who'd worked with her, Eric Ciaramella, secretly huddled with Democrats in Congress and alleged Trump pressured the president of Ukraine to launch an investigation of Biden and his son in exchange for military aid. Democrats soon held hearings to impeach Trump, calling Hill as one of their star witnesses.

Congressional investigators are taking a closer look at tax-exempt Brookings, which has emerged as a nexus in the dossier scandal. As a 501(c)(3) non-profit, the liberal think tank is prohibited from lobbying or engaging in political campaigns. Gryffindor/Wikimedia

Under questioning by Republican staff, Hill disclosed that Steele reached out to her for information about a mysterious individual, but she claimed she could not recall his name. She also said she couldn't remember the month she and Steele met.

"He had contacted me because he wanted to see if I could give him a contact to some other individual, who actually I don't even recall now, who he could approach about some business issues," Hill told the House last year in an Oct. 14 deposition taken behind closed doors.

Congressional investigators are reviewing her testimony, while taking a closer look at tax-exempt Brookings, which has emerged as a nexus in the dossier scandal.

Registered with the IRS as a 501(c)(3) non-profit, the liberal think tank is prohibited from lobbying or engaging in political campaigns. Specifically, investigators want to know if Brookings played any role in the development of the dossier.

"Their 501(c)(3) status should be audited, because they are a major player in the dossier deal," said a congressional staffer who has worked on the investigation into alleged Russian influence.

Hill, who returned to Brookings as a senior fellow in January, could not be reached for comment. Brookings did not respond to inquiries.

Ghost Employee

As a former member of Britain's secret intelligence service, Steele hadn't traveled to Russia in decades and apparently had no useful sources there. So he relied entirely on Danchenko and his supposed "network of subsources," which to its chagrin, the FBI discovered was nothing more than a "social circle."

It soon became clear over their three days of debriefing him at the FBI's Washington field office -- held just days after Trump was sworn into office -- that any Russian insights he may have had were strictly academic.

Danchenko confessed he had no inside line to the Kremlin and was "clueless" when Steele hired him in March 2016 to investigate ties between Russia and Trump and his campaign manager.

Christopher Steele, former British spy, leaving a London court this week in a libel case brought against him by a Russian businessman. Dossier source Danchenko's drinking pals fed him a tissue of false "rumor and speculation" for pay -- which Steele, in turn, further embellished with spy-crafty details and sold to his client as "intelligence." (Victoria Jones/PA via AP)

Desperate for leads, he turned to a ragtag group of Russian and American journalists, drinking buddies (including one who'd been arrested on pornography charges) and even an old girlfriend to scare up information for his London paymaster, according to the FBI's January 2017 interview memo, which runs 57 pages. Like him, his friends made a living hustling gossip for cash, and they fed him a tissue of false "rumor and speculation" -- which Steele, in turn, further embellished with spy-crafty details and sold to his client as "intelligence."

Instead of closing its case against Trump, however, the FBI continued to rely on the information Danchenko dictated to Steele for the dossier, even swearing to a secret court that it was credible enough to renew wiretaps for another nine months.

One of Danchenko's sources was nothing more than an anonymous voice on the other end of a phone call that lasted 10-15 minutes.

Danchenko told the FBI he figured out later that the call-in tipster, who he said did not identify himself, was Sergei Millian, a Belarusian-born realtor in New York. In the dossier, Steele labeled this source "an ethnic Russian close associate of Republican U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump," and attributed Trump-Russia conspiracy revelations to him that the FBI relied on to support probable cause in all four FISA applications for warrants to spy on Trump adviser Carter Page -- including the Mueller-debunked myth that he and the campaign were involved in "the DNC email hacking operation."

Danchenko explained to agents the call came after he solicited Millian by email in late July 2016 for information for his assignment from Steele. Millian told RCI that though he did receive an email from Danchenko on July 21, he ignored the message and never called him.

"There was not any verbal communications with him," he insisted. "I'm positive, 100%, nothing what is claimed in whatever call they invented I could have said."

Millian provided RCI part of the email, which was written mostly in Russian. Contact information at the bottom of the email reads:

Igor Danchenko
Business Analyst
Target Labs Inc.
8320 Old Courthouse Rd, Suite 200
Vienna, VA 22182
+1-202-679-5323

At the time, Danchenko listed Target Labs, an IT recruiter run by ethnic-Russians, as an employer on his resumé. But technically, he was not a paid employee there. Thanks to a highly unusual deal Steele arranged with the company, Danchenko was able to use Target Labs as an employment front.

It turns out that in 2014, when Danchenko first started freelancing regularly for Steele after losing his job at a Washington strategic advisory firm, he set out to get a security clearance to start his own company. But drawing income from a foreign entity like Steele's London-based company, Orbis Business Intelligence, would hurt his chances. He was desperate to find a salaried position with a U.S.-based firm, he told the FBI.

So Steele agreed to help him broker a special "arrangement" with Target Labs, where a Russian friend of Danchenko's worked as an executive, in which the company would bring Danchenko on board as an employee but not put him officially on the payroll. Danchenko would continue working for Steele and getting paid by Orbis with payments funneled through Target Labs. In effect, Target Labs served as the "contract vehicle" through which Danchenko was paid a monthly salary for his work for Orbis, the FBI memo reveals.

Though Danchenko had a desk available to use at Target Labs, he did most of his work for Orbis from home and did not take direction from the firm. Steele continued to give him assignments and direct his travel. Danchenko essentially worked as a ghost employee at Target Labs.

Asked about it, a Target Labs spokesman would only say that Danchenko "does not work with us anymore."

Brian Auten: He wrote the memo on the FBI's interview with the Primary Subsource, which is silent about Danchenko's criminal record. Patrick Henry College

Some veteran FBI officials worry Moscow's foreign intelligence service may have planted disinformation with Danchenko and his network of sources in Russia. At least one of them, identified only as "Source 5" in the FBI memo, was described as having a Russian "kurator," or handler.

"There are legions of 'connected' Russians purveying second- and third-hand -- and often made-up -- due diligence reports and private intelligence," said former FBI assistant director Chris Swecker. "Putin's intelligence minions use these people well to plant information."

Danchenko has scrubbed his social media account. He told the FBI he deleted all his dossier-related electronic communications, including texts and emails, and threw out his handwritten notes from conversations with his subsources.

In the end, Steele walked away from the dossier debacle with at least $168,000, and Danchenko earned a large undisclosed sum.

The FBI interview memo, which is silent about Danchenko's criminal record, was written by FBI Supervisory Intelligence Analyst Brian Auten, who was called out in the Justice inspector general report for ignoring inconsistencies, contradictions, errors and outright falsehoods in the dossier he was supposed to verify.

It was also Auten's duty to vet Steele and his sources. Auten sat in on the meetings with Danchenko and also separate ones with Steele. He witnessed firsthand the countless red flags that popped up from their testimony. Yet Auten continued to tout their reliability as sources, and give his blessing to agents to use their dossier as probable cause to renew FISA surveillance warrants to spy on Page.

As RCI first reported, Auten teaches a national security course at a Washington-area college on the ethics of such spying .

[Jul 26, 2020] Steele's -Primary Subsource- Was Alcoholic Russian National Who Worked With Trump Impeachment Witness At Brookings

Jul 26, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

Steele's "Primary Subsource" Was Alcoholic Russian National Who Worked With Trump Impeachment Witness At Brookings by Tyler Durden Sat, 07/25/2020 - 16:50 Twitter Facebook Reddit Email Print

Authored by Paul Sperry via RealClearInvestigations.com,

The mysterious "Primary Subsource" that Christopher Steele has long hidden behind to defend his discredited Trump-Russia dossier is a former Brookings Institution analyst -- Igor "Iggy" Danchenko, a Russian national whose past includes criminal convictions and other personal baggage ignored by the FBI in vetting him and the information he fed to Steele , according to congressional sources and records obtained by RealClearInvestigations. Agents continued to use the dossier as grounds to investigate President Trump and put his advisers under counter-espionage surveillance.

The 42-year-old Danchenko, who was hired by Steele in 2016 to deploy a network of sources to dig up dirt on Trump and Russia for the Hillary Clinton campaign, was arrested, jailed and convicted years earlier on multiple public drunkenness and disorderly conduct charges in the Washington area and ordered to undergo substance-abuse and mental-health counseling, according to criminal records.

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Fiona Hill: She worked at the Brookings Institution with dossier "Primary Subsource" Igor "Iggy" Danchenko (top photo), and testified against President Trump last year during impeachment hearings. AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta

In an odd twist, a 2013 federal case against Danchenko was prosecuted by then-U.S Attorney Rod Rosenstein, who ended up signing one of the FBI's dossier-based wiretap warrants as deputy attorney general in 2017.

Danchenko first ran into trouble with the law as he began working for Brookings - the preeminent Democratic think tank in Washington - where he struck up a friendship with Fiona Hill, the White House adviser who testified against Trump during last year's impeachment hearings. Danchenko has described Hill as a mentor, while Hill has sung his praises as a "creative" researcher.

Hill is also close to his boss Steele, who she'd known since 2006 . She met with the former British intelligence officer during the 2016 campaign and later received a raw, unpublished copy of the now-debunked dossier.

It does not appear the FBI asked Danchenko about his criminal past or state of sobriety when agents interviewed him in January 2017 in a failed attempt to verify the accuracy of the dossier, which the bureau did only after agents used it to obtain a warrant to surveil Trump campaign adviser Carter Page. The opposition research was farmed out by Steele, working for Clinton's campaign, to Danchenko, who was paid for the information he provided.

https://lockerdome.com/lad/13084989113709670?pubid=ld-dfp-ad-13084989113709670-0&pubo=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.zerohedge.com&rid=www.zerohedge.com&width=890

A newly declassified FBI summary of the FBI-Danchenko meeting reveals agents learned that key allegations in the dossier, which claimed Trump engaged in a "well-developed conspiracy of cooperation" with the Kremlin against Clinton, were largely inspired by gossip and bar talk among Danchenko and his drinking buddies, most of whom were childhood friends from Russia.

The FBI memo is heavily redacted and blacks out the name of Steele's Primary Subsource. But public records and congressional sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity, confirm the identity of the source as Danchenko.

In the memo, the FBI notes that Danchenko said that he and one of his dossier sources "drink heavily together." But there is no apparent indication the FBI followed up by asking Danchenko if he had an alcohol problem, which would cast further doubt on his reliability as a source for one of the most important and sensitive investigations in FBI history.

The FBI declined comment. Attempts to reach Danchenko by both email and phone were unsuccessful.

The Justice Department's watchdog recently debunked the dossier's most outrageous accusations against Trump, and faulted the FBI for relying on it to obtain secret wiretaps. The bureau's actions, which originated under the Obama administration, are now the subject of a sprawling criminal investigation led by special prosecutor John Durham.

Rod Rosenstein: In an odd twist, a 2013 drunkenness case against Danchenko was prosecuted by then-U.S Attorney Rod Rosenstein, who ended up signing one of the FBI's dossier-based wiretap warrants as deputy attorney general in 2017. (Greg Nash/Pool via AP)

One of the wiretap warrants was signed in 2017 by Rosenstein, who also that year appointed Special Counsel Robert Mueller and signed a "scope" memo giving him wide latitude to investigate Trump and his surrogates. Mueller relied on the dossier too. As it happens, Rosenstein also signed motions filed in one of Danchenko's public intoxication cases, according to the documents obtained by RCI.

In March 2013 -- three years before Danchenko began working on the dossier -- federal authorities in Greenbelt, Md., arrested and charged him with several misdemeanors, including "drunk in public, disorderly conduct, and failure to have his [2-year-old] child in a safety seat," according to a court filing . The U.S. prosecutor for Maryland at the time was Rosenstein, whose name appears in the docket filings .

The Russian-born Danchenko, who was living in the U.S. on a work visa, was released from jail on the condition he undergo drug testing and "participate in a program of substance abuse therapy and counseling," as well as "mental health counseling," the records show. His lawyer asked the court to postpone his trial and let him travel to Moscow "as a condition of his employment." The Russian trips were granted without objection from Rosenstein. Danchenko ended up several months later entering into a plea agreement and paying fines.

In 2006, Danchenko was arrested in Fairfax, Va., on similar offenses, including "public swearing and intoxication," criminal records show. The case was disposed after he paid a fine.

At the time, Danchenko worked as a research analyst for the Brookings Institution, where he became a protégé of Hill. He collaborated with her on at least two Russian policy papers during his five-year stint at the think tank and worked with another Brookings scholar on a project to uncover alleged plagiarism in Russian President Vladimir Putin's doctoral dissertation -- something Danchenko and his lawyer boasted about during their meeting with FBI agents. (Like Hill, the other scholar, Clifford Gaddy, was a Russia hawk. He and Hill in 2015 authored "Mr. Putin: Operative in the Kremlin," a book strongly endorsed by Vice President Joe Biden at the time.)

"Igor is a highly accomplished analyst and researcher," Hill noted on his LinkedIn page in 2011.

"He is very creative in pursuing the most relevant of information and detail to support his research."

Strobe Talbott of Brookings with Hillary Clinton: He connected with Christopher Steele and passed along a copy of his anti-Trump dossier to Fiona Hill. AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster

Hill also vouched for Steele, an old friend and British intelligence counterpart. The two reunited in 2016, sitting down for at least one meeting. Her boss at the time, Brookings President Strobe Talbott, also connected with Steele and passed along a copy of his anti-Trump dossier to Hill. A tough Trump critic, Talbott previously worked in the Clinton administration and rallied the think tank behind Hillary.

Talbott's brother-in-law is Cody Shearer, another old Clinton hand who disseminated his own dossier in 2016 that echoed many of the same lurid and unsubstantiated claims against Trump. Through a mutual friend at the State Department, Steele obtained a copy of Shearer's dossier and reportedly submitted it to the FBI to help corroborate his own.

In August 2016, Talbott personally called Steele, based in London, to offer his own input on the dossier he was compiling from Danchenko's feeds. Steele phoned Talbott just before the November election, during which Talbott asked for the latest dossier memos to distribute to top officials at the State Department. After Trump's surprise win, the mood at Brookings turned funereal and Talbott and Steele strategized about how they "should handle" the dossier going forward.

During the Trump transition, Talbott encouraged Hill to leave Brookings and take a job in the White House so she could be "one of the adults in the room" when Russia and Putin came up. She served as deputy assistant to the president and senior director for European and Russian affairs on the National Security Council from 2017 to 2019.

She left the White House just before a National Security Council detailee who'd worked with her, Eric Ciaramella, secretly huddled with Democrats in Congress and alleged Trump pressured the president of Ukraine to launch an investigation of Biden and his son in exchange for military aid. Democrats soon held hearings to impeach Trump, calling Hill as one of their star witnesses.

Congressional investigators are taking a closer look at tax-exempt Brookings, which has emerged as a nexus in the dossier scandal. As a 501(c)(3) non-profit, the liberal think tank is prohibited from lobbying or engaging in political campaigns. Gryffindor/Wikimedia

Under questioning by Republican staff, Hill disclosed that Steele reached out to her for information about a mysterious individual, but she claimed she could not recall his name. She also said she couldn't remember the month she and Steele met.

"He had contacted me because he wanted to see if I could give him a contact to some other individual, who actually I don't even recall now, who he could approach about some business issues," Hill told the House last year in an Oct. 14 deposition taken behind closed doors.

Congressional investigators are reviewing her testimony, while taking a closer look at tax-exempt Brookings, which has emerged as a nexus in the dossier scandal.

Registered with the IRS as a 501(c)(3) non-profit, the liberal think tank is prohibited from lobbying or engaging in political campaigns. Specifically, investigators want to know if Brookings played any role in the development of the dossier.

"Their 501(c)(3) status should be audited, because they are a major player in the dossier deal," said a congressional staffer who has worked on the investigation into alleged Russian influence.

Hill, who returned to Brookings as a senior fellow in January, could not be reached for comment. Brookings did not respond to inquiries.

Ghost Employee

As a former member of Britain's secret intelligence service, Steele hadn't traveled to Russia in decades and apparently had no useful sources there . So he relied entirely on Danchenko and his supposed "network of subsources," which to its chagrin, the FBI discovered was nothing more than a "social circle."

It soon became clear over their three days of debriefing him at the FBI's Washington field office - held just days after Trump was sworn into office - that any Russian insights he may have had were strictly academic.

Danchenko confessed he had no inside line to the Kremlin and was "clueless" when Steele hired him in March 2016 to investigate ties between Russia and Trump and his campaign manager.

Christopher Steele, former British spy, leaving a London court this week in a libel case brought against him by a Russian businessman. Dossier source Danchenko's drinking pals fed him a tissue of false "rumor and speculation" for pay -- which Steele, in turn, further embellished with spy-crafty details and sold to his client as "intelligence." (Victoria Jones/PA via AP)

Desperate for leads, he turned to a ragtag group of Russian and American journalists, drinking buddies (including one who'd been arrested on pornography charges) and even an old girlfriend to scare up information for his London paymaster, according to the FBI's January 2017 interview memo, which runs 57 pages. Like him, his friends made a living hustling gossip for cash, and they fed him a tissue of false "rumor and speculation" -- which Steele, in turn, further embellished with spy-crafty details and sold to his client as "intelligence."

Instead of closing its case against Trump, however, the FBI continued to rely on the information Danchenko dictated to Steele for the dossier, even swearing to a secret court that it was credible enough to renew wiretaps for another nine months.

One of Danchenko's sources was nothing more than an anonymous voice on the other end of a phone call that lasted 10-15 minutes.

Danchenko told the FBI he figured out later that the call-in tipster, who he said did not identify himself, was Sergei Millian, a Belarusian-born realtor in New York. In the dossier, Steele labeled this source "an ethnic Russian close associate of Republican U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump," and attributed Trump-Russia conspiracy revelations to him that the FBI relied on to support probable cause in all four FISA applications for warrants to spy on Trump adviser Carter Page -- including the Mueller-debunked myth that he and the campaign were involved in "the DNC email hacking operation."

Danchenko explained to agents the call came after he solicited Millian by email in late July 2016 for information for his assignment from Steele. Millian told RCI that though he did receive an email from Danchenko on July 21, he ignored the message and never called him.

"There was not any verbal communications with him," he insisted. "I'm positive, 100%, nothing what is claimed in whatever call they invented I could have said."

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Millian provided RCI part of the email, which was written mostly in Russian. Contact information at the bottom of the email reads:

Igor Danchenko
Business Analyst
Target Labs Inc.
8320 Old Courthouse Rd, Suite 200
Vienna, VA 22182
+1-202-679-5323

At the time, Danchenko listed Target Labs, an IT recruiter run by ethnic-Russians, as an employer on his resumé. But technically, he was not a paid employee there. Thanks to a highly unusual deal Steele arranged with the company, Danchenko was able to use Target Labs as an employment front.

It turns out that in 2014, when Danchenko first started freelancing regularly for Steele after losing his job at a Washington strategic advisory firm, he set out to get a security clearance to start his own company. But drawing income from a foreign entity like Steele's London-based company, Orbis Business Intelligence, would hurt his chances.

So Steele agreed to help him broker a special "arrangement" with Target Labs, where a Russian friend of Danchenko's worked as an executive, in which the company would bring Danchenko on board as an employee but not put him officially on the payroll. Danchenko would continue working for Steele and getting paid by Orbis with payments funneled through Target Labs. In effect, Target Labs served as the "contract vehicle" through which Danchenko was paid a monthly salary for his work for Orbis, the FBI memo reveals.

Though Danchenko had a desk available to use at Target Labs, he did most of his work for Orbis from home and did not take direction from the firm. Steele continued to give him assignments and direct his travel. Danchenko essentially worked as a ghost employee at Target Labs.

Asked about it, a Target Labs spokesman would only say that Danchenko "does not work with us anymore."

Brian Auten: He wrote the memo on the FBI's interview with the Primary Subsource, which is silent about Danchenko's criminal record. Patrick Henry College

Some veteran FBI officials worry Moscow's foreign intelligence service may have planted disinformation with Danchenko and his network of sources in Russia. At least one of them, identified only as "Source 5" in the FBI memo, was described as having a Russian "kurator," or handler.

"There are legions of 'connected' Russians purveying second- and third-hand -- and often made-up -- due diligence reports and private intelligence," said former FBI assistant director Chris Swecker. "Putin's intelligence minions use these people well to plant information."

Danchenko has scrubbed his social media account. He told the FBI he deleted all his dossier-related electronic communications, including texts and emails, and threw out his handwritten notes from conversations with his subsources.

In the end, Steele walked away from the dossier debacle with at least $168,000, and Danchenko earned a large undisclosed sum.

The FBI interview memo, which is silent about Danchenko's criminal record, was written by FBI Supervisory Intelligence Analyst Brian Auten, who was called out in the Justice inspector general report for ignoring inconsistencies, contradictions, errors and outright falsehoods in the dossier he was supposed to verify.

It was also Auten's duty to vet Steele and his sources. Auten sat in on the meetings with Danchenko and also separate ones with Steele. He witnessed firsthand the countless red flags that popped up from their testimony. Yet Auten continued to tout their reliability as sources, and give his blessing to agents to use their dossier as probable cause to renew FISA surveillance warrants to spy on Page.

As RCI first reported, Auten teaches a national security course at a Washington-area college on the ethics of such spying .

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[Jul 23, 2020] Fred Weir- Steele Dossier

This is a very primitive take of Steele dossier. It was part of obama color revolution attempt against Trump.
Jul 23, 2020 | eastwestaccord.com

About the Steele Dossier. From the beginning I was nagged by the question of whether anyone had seriously dug into its provenance? I mean, the chain of custody is critical in evaluating evidence, isn't it? But that didn't seem to matter to most conversations about it for the longest time. The impression was left hanging that Christopher Steele, crackerjack agent, had got the inside stuff straight from people in or near the Kremlin.

Now we learn that the FBI did interview Steele's main conduit for all those claims -- "Primary Sub-source" -- intensively, for three days, early in the Trump administration. They just never bothered to release any of their findings to the public, even as the dossier's main claim -- Trump is a Kremlin agent of long standing, beholden to Putin due to some pee tape kompromat -- took hold in the American political mind and became an article of faith for some. Still is.

The FBI notes of that interview were released just a few days ago. And they reveal the "dossier" had zero original reporting. It was concocted entirely from rumors picked up second-or-third hand, inventive guesses, drunken conversations with persons of no particular expertise, pillow talk between the main sub-source and his dependent Russian lady friend, and fragments of a garbled phone call with a "source" whose identity could not be even approximately established.

In other words, it's way worse than even I thought. And regular readers of this page know pretty well what I thought about the likely veracity of the Steele Dossier. That such a pathetic tissue of speculation, delirium and outright falsehood could capture the American political imagination and drive debate -- for years! -- is simply astounding.

"Much of the Crossfire Hurricane investigation into Donald Trump was built on the premise that Christopher Steele and his dossier were to be believed. This even though, early on, Steele's claims failed to bear scrutiny. Just how far off the claims were became clear when the FBI interviewed Steele's "Primary Subsource" over three days beginning on Feb. 9, 2017. Notes taken by FBI agents of those interviews were released by the Senate Judiciary Committee Friday afternoon."

[Jul 21, 2020] The praetorian guard has become indistinguishable from the yellow journalist

Jul 21, 2020 | www.realclearinvestigations.com

debard 1 day ago

The praetorian guard has become indistinguishable from the yellow journalists. Indict them all for treason.

russellremmert 1 day ago

is steel in prison yet Reply 12

DonEstif -> russellremmert 1 day ago

Almost, he's an expert pundit used by CNN

Ban-me Fagggot 1 day ago

If Russia stole the election when Obama was President, why wouldn't they steal the election when Trump is President? Democrats should protest by not voting. It wont make a difference.

TGrade1 1 day ago

Behind all of this, hidden behind the curtain, is a pants suit...

Justis -> TGrade1 11 hours ago

And more importantly, the then leader of the free world, Obama...

[Jul 21, 2020] This Skripal thing smelled to high heaven from day 1. My opinion is that Sergei Skripal was involved (to what degree is open to speculation) with the Steele dossier.

Highly recommended!
Apr 20, 2019 | theduran.com
Marcus April 20, 2019

There is something rotten in the state .. of England.

This Skripal thing smelled to high heaven from day 1. My opinion is that Sergei Skripal was involved (to what degree is open to speculation) with the Steele dossier. He was getting homesick (perhaps his mother getting older is part of this) for Russia and he thought that to get back to Russia he needed something big to get back in Putin's good graces. He would have needed something really big because Putin really has no use for traitors. Skripal put out some feelers (perhaps through his daughter though that may be dicey). The two couriers were sent to seal or move the deal forward. The Brits (and perhaps the CIA) found out about this and decided to make an example of Sergei. Perhaps because they found out about this late, the deep state/intelligence people had to move very quickly. The deep state story was was extremely shaky (to put it mildly) as a result. Or they were just incompetent and full of hubris.

Then they were stuck with the story and bullshit coverup was layered on bullshit coverup. 7 Reply FlorianGeyer Reply to Marcus April 20, 2019

@ Marcus.

To hope to get away with lies, one must have perfect memory and a superior intellect that can create a lie with some semblance of reality in real life, as opposed to the digital 'reality' in a Video game. And a rather corny video game at that.

MI5/6 failed on all parts of Lie creation 2 Reply Mistaron April 21, 2019

If Trump was so furious about being conned by Haspel, how come he then went on to promote her to becoming the head of the CIA? It's quite perplexing.

[Jul 20, 2020] Who was Steele's primary Subsource and who belong his circle of heavily drinking buddies who brainstormed the set of myth which Steele put in the dossier

Did Skripal played any role in this mess. In this case his poisoning looks more logical as an attempt to hide him from Russians, who might well suspect him in playing a role in creating Steele dossier by some myths that were present in it.
Notable quotes:
"... Even Beria would laugh at this kind of "evidence". ..."
Jul 20, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Eric Felten via RealClearInvestigations.com,

Much of the Crossfire Hurricane investigation into Donald Trump was built on the premise that Christopher Steele and his dossier were to be believed. This even though, early on, Steele's claims failed to bear scrutiny. Just how far off the claims were became clear when the FBI interviewed Steele's "Primary Subsource" over three days beginning on Feb. 9, 2017. Notes taken by FBI agents of those interviews were released by the Senate Judiciary Committee Friday afternoon.

The Primary Subsource was in reality Steele's sole source, a long-time Russian-speaking contractor for the former British spy's company, Orbis Business Intelligence. In turn, the Primary Subsource had a group of friends in Russia. All of their names remain redacted. From the FBI interviews it becomes clear that the Primary Subsource and his friends peddled warmed-over rumors and laughable gossip that Steele dressed up as formal intelligence memos.

Paul Manafort: The Steele dossier's "Primary Subsource" admitted to the FBI "that he was 'clueless' about who Manafort was, and that this was a 'strange task' to have been given." AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File

Steele's operation didn't rely on great expertise, to judge from the Primary Subsource's account. He described to the FBI the instructions Steele had given him sometime in the spring of 2016 regarding Paul Manafort: "Do you know [about] Manafort? Find out about Manafort's dealings with Ukraine, his dealings with other countries, and any corrupt schemes." The Primary Subsource admitted to the FBI "that he was 'clueless' about who Manafort was, and that this was a 'strange task' to have been given."

The Primary Subsource said at first that maybe he had asked some of his friends in Russia – he didn't have a network of sources, according to his lawyer, but instead just a "social circle." And a boozy one at that: When the Primary Subsource would get together with his old friend Source 4, the two would drink heavily. But his social circle was no help with the Manafort question and so the Primary Subsource scrounged up a few old news clippings about Manafort and fed them back to Steele.

Also in his "social circle" was Primary Subsource's friend "Source 2," a character who was always on the make. "He often tries to monetize his relationship with [the Primary Subsource], suggesting that the two of them should try and do projects together for money," the Primary Subsource told the FBI (a caution that the Primary Subsource would repeat again and again.) It was Source 2 who "told [the Primary Subsource] that there was compromising material on Trump."

And then there was Source 3, a very special friend. Over a redacted number of years, the Primary Subsource has "helped out [Source 3] financially." She stayed with him when visiting the United States. The Primary Subsource told the FBI that in the midst of their conversations about Trump, they would also talk about "a private subject." (The FBI agents, for all their hardnosed reputation, were too delicate to intrude by asking what that "private subject" was).

Michael Cohen: The bogus story of the Trump fixer's trip to Prague seems to have originated with "Source 3," a woman friend of the Primary Subsource, who was "not sure if Source 3 was brainstorming here." AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File

One day Steele told his lead contractor to get dirt on five individuals. By the time he got around to it, the Primary Subsource had forgotten two of the names, but seemed to recall Carter Page, Paul Manafort and Trump lawyer Michael Cohen. The Primary Subsource said he asked his special friend Source 3 if she knew any of them. At first she didn't. But within minutes she seemed to recall having heard of Cohen, according to the FBI notes. Indeed, before long it came back to her that she had heard Cohen and three henchmen had gone to Prague to meet with Russians.

Source 3 kept spinning yarns about Michael Cohen in Prague. For example, she claimed Cohen was delivering "deniable cash payments" to hackers. But come to think of it, the Primary Subsource was "not sure if Source 3 was brainstorming here," the FBI notes say.

The Steele Dossier would end up having authoritative-sounding reports of hackers who had been "recruited under duress by the FSB" -- the Russian security service -- and how they "had been using botnets and porn traffic to transmit viruses, plant bugs, steal data and conduct 'altering operations' against the the Democratic Party." What exactly, the FBI asked the subject, were "altering operations?" The Primary Subsource wouldn't be much help there, as he told the FBI "that his understanding of this topic (i.e. cyber) was 'zero.'" But what about his girlfriend whom he had known since they were in eighth grade together? The Primary Subsource admitted to the FBI that Source 3 "is not an IT specialist herself."

And then there was Source 6. Or at least the Primary Subsource thinks it was Source 6.

Ritz-Carlton Moscow: The Primary Subsource admitted to the FBI "he had not been able to confirm the story" about Trump and prostitutes at the hotel. But he did check with someone who supposedly asked a hotel manager, who said that with celebrities, "one never knows what they're doing." Moscowjob.net/Wikimedia

While he was doing his research on Manafort, the Primary Subsource met a U.S. journalist "at a Thai restaurant." The Primary Subsource didn't want to ask "revealing questions" but managed to go so far as to ask, "Do you [redacted] know anyone who can talk about all of this Trump/Manafort stuff, or Trump and Russia?" According to the FBI notes, the journalist told Primary Subsource "that he was skeptical and nothing substantive had turned up." But the journalist put the Primary Subsource in touch with a "colleague" who in turn gave him an email of "this guy" journalist 2 had interviewed and "that he should talk to."

With the email address of "this guy" in hand, the Primary Subsource sent him a message "in either June or July 2016." Some weeks later the Primary Subsource "received a telephone call from an unidentified Russia guy." He "thought" but had no evidence that the mystery "Russian guy" was " that guy." The mystery caller "never identified himself." The Primary Subsource labeled the anonymous caller "Source 6." The Primary Subsource and Source 6 talked for a total of "about 10 minutes." During that brief conversation they spoke about the Primary Subsource traveling to meet the anonymous caller, but the hook-up never happened.

Nonetheless, the Primary Subsource labeled the unknown Russian voice "Source 6" and gave Christopher Steele the rundown on their brief conversation – how they had "a general discussion about Trump and the Kremlin" and "that it was an ongoing relationship." For use in the dossier, Steele named the voice Source E.

When Steele was done putting this utterly unsourced claim into the style of the dossier, here's how the mystery call from the unknown guy was presented: "Speaking in confidence to a compatriot in late July 2016, Source E, an ethnic Russian close associate of Republican US presidential candidate Donald TRUMP, admitted that there was a well-developed conspiracy of co-operation between them and the Russian leadership." Steele writes "Inter alia," – yes, he really does deploy the Latin formulation for "among other things" – "Source E acknowledged that the Russian regime had been behind the recent leak of embarrassing e-mail messages, emanating from the Democratic National Committee [DNC], to the WikiLeaks platform."

All that and more is presented as the testimony of a "close associate" of Trump, when it was just the disembodied voice of an unknown guy.

Perhaps even more perplexing is that the FBI interviewers, knowing that Source E was just an anonymous caller, didn't compare that admission to the fantastical Steele bluster and declare the dossier a fabrication on the spot.

But perhaps it might be argued that Christopher Steele was bringing crack investigative skills of his own to bear. For something as rich in detail and powerful in effect as the dossier, Steele must have been researching these questions himself as well, using his hard-earned spy savvy to pry closely held secrets away from the Russians. Or at the very least he must have relied on a team of intelligence operatives who could have gone far beyond the obvious limitations the Primary Subsource and his group of drinking buddies.

But no. As we learned in December from Inspector General Michael Horowitz, Steele "was not the originating source of any of the factual information in his reporting." Steele, the IG reported "relied on a primary sub-source (Primary Sub-source) for information, and this Primary Sub-source used a network of [further] sub-sources to gather the information that was relayed to Steele." The inspector general's report noted that "neither Steele nor the Primary Sub-source had direct access to the information being reported."

One might, by now, harbor some skepticism about the dossier. One might even be inclined to doubt the story that Trump was "into water sports" as the Primary Subsource so delicately described the tale of Trump and Moscow prostitutes. But, in this account, there was an effort, however feeble, to nail down the "rumor and speculation" that Trump engaged in "unorthodox sexual activity at the Ritz."

While the Primary Subsource admitted to the FBI "he had not been able to confirm the story," Source 2 (who will be remembered as the hustler always looking for a lucrative score) supposedly asked a hotel manager about Trump and the manager said that with celebrities, "one never knows what they're doing." One never knows – not exactly a robust proof of something that smacks of urban myth. But the Primary Subsource makes the best of it, declaring that at least "it wasn't a denial."

If there was any denial going on it was the FBI's, an agency in denial that its extraordinary investigation was crumbling.

bh2, 23 minutes ago

Even Beria would laugh at this kind of "evidence".


[Jul 14, 2020] A British court decision unmasks new evidence of FBI abuses in the Russia collusion probe.

Jul 14, 2020 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

ET AL July 10, 2020 at 12:22 pm

JustTheNews.com : New Steele evidence strengthens Durham prosecution as frustration over inaction grows
https://justthenews.com/accountability/russia-and-ukraine-scandals/new-steele-evidence-strengthens-durham-prosecution

A British court decision unmasks new evidence of FBI abuses in the Russia collusion probe.

Warby's lengthy ruling unearthed a gem of new evidence to answer the question: Steele kept his own notes of what he told FBI agents the first time he met them on July 5, 2016 in London to discuss his anti-Trump Russia research.

And, Warby revealed, the notes make clear that Steele told his FBI handlers from the get-go that the dossier's "ultimate client were (sic) the leadership of the Clinton presidential campaign."

And after Trump won the election, the judge added, Steele disclosed he gave copies of his dossier to longtime Clinton friend Strobe Talbot in hopes it would get to the top of the State Department
####

Plenty more at the link.

BiDumb has to win in November to make all this go away.

[Jul 14, 2020] I'd bet a dollar to a doughnut Skripal was the source of the Russian 'intelligence', and that he was bumped off afterward to make sure he stayed quiet about Steele dossier.

Notable quotes:
"... If Skripal is involved with all the Clinton stuff, then he would want an insurance policy for example on an USB drive that he could leave for someone to pick up, and leak if something foreshortened his life ..."
Jul 14, 2020 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

MARK CHAPMAN July 8, 2020 at 8:08 pm

"The judge also concluded that Steele's notes of his first interaction with the FBI about the dossier on July 5, 2016 made clear that his ultimate client for his research project was Hillary Clinton's campaign as directed by her campaign law firm Perkins Coie. The FBI did not disclose that information to the court."

Finally we are getting down to where the cheese binds. Hillary Clinton's campaign, with Mrs. Clinton's knowledge, commissioned the Steele dossier to try to torpedo Trump's election prospects. She never thought he could win, but the Dems wanted to make sure.

I'd bet a dollar to a doughnut Skripal was the source of the Russian 'intelligence', and that he was bumped off afterward to make sure he stayed quiet.

The whole Russiagate scandal was just Democrat bullshit, and they kept up with it long after they all knew they were lying. And Biden thinks he's going to get elected, after that revelation? The Democrats deserve to be expelled from politics en masse. Leading with that wretched prick Schiff.

JEN July 8, 2020 at 9:42 pm

It would seem likely that had the Klintonator won the 2016 Presidential election, Sergei Skripal might have been left alone mouldering with his guinea pigs and cats in his Salsibury home. Perhaps he had to take the fall for HRC's loss in the election, for whatever reason (not shovelling enough shit into the dossier to bring down Trump perhaps); someone had to take the blame and of course HRC will never admit responsibility for her own failure.

MARK CHAPMAN July 9, 2020 at 8:43 am

Well, you never know – Russians are kind of an endangered species in the UK. They turn up dead whenever a public accusation of another Putin 'state hit' would be a useful feature in the papers.

ET AL July 9, 2020 at 12:34 am

What I want to know is if the paths of the Skripals passed with those of the supposed Russian assassins (which I assume to be possible decoys) or anyone else in space, but not necessarily time. If Skripal is involved with all the Clinton stuff, then he would want an insurance policy for example on an USB drive that he could leave for someone to pick up, and leak if something foreshortened his life

It could well have been a simple dead-drop and when alerted by their phones being turned off and batteries removed, the priority was to immobilize/incapacitate them. A bit tricky in public, but not at all impossible by a near/passer by to their bench with an aerosol, say a cyclist walking with his bike After all, they did also have the Chief nurse of the BA on hand just in case it went wrong as things sometimes do. Which leads to the question, was it just the Brits alone, together with the Americans, or watching the Americans and then cleaning up their mess? 2 or more likely 3 seem most likely if we look at sheer brazeness.

That concludes my speculation for the day! Maybe I should be a journalist. I could be paid for this!

MARK CHAPMAN July 9, 2020 at 9:01 am

Yes, you never know, but it's certainly hard to believe Occam was English. It seems pretty clear the simplest explanation is "MI6 bumped him off and blamed it on Russia". When you are trying to arrange a death which is bound to be suspicious, you want to do it in a way that when it becomes public knowledge, the first people the public thinks of is not you. means, motive and opportunity all strongly favour the English side. It seems to be be fairly common knowledge that Skripal wanted to return to Russia; we have no way of knowing if he planned to live there or just visit, more likely the latter. But Putin decides to send an assassination team to England to rub him out. Instead of welcoming him home to Russia, where he could prevent the British from investigating, and then killing him. Presumably in a much more prosaic fashion – say, running him down with a car – rather than employing some exotic poison or isotope which will scream 'Russia!!' How long would the British have been investigating the Skripals' deaths (if they had died) had they been run down with a 7.5 ton lorry which was subsequently found burned to a shell several counties away? Would the British papers have been shrieking "Putin's Truck!!!" next morning? But no – Russian assassins always have to 'send a message', which must inspire Britain to 'send a message' of its own by punishing the entire country. Maybe it's just me, but flash-cooking Skripal in the High Street with a flamethrower in broad daylight would send a message. And then say to the police, "Keep your hands where I can see 'em, unless you want a couple of shashliks, comrade", before speeding away in an Aurus Senat limousine. That would send a message, too.


[Jul 11, 2020] -British court rules against Christopher Steele ...- just the news - Sic Semper Tyrannis

Jul 11, 2020 | turcopolier.typepad.com

"British court rules against Christopher Steele ..." just the news

"Justice Mark Warby of the High Court of England and Wales ordered Steele's firm, Orbis Business Intelligence, to pay a modest 18,000 English pounds – about $22,596 in American currency – each to Petr Aven and Mikhail Fridman as compensation for a violation of Britain's Data Protection Act 1998 .

Warby ruled that while Steele had a national security interest to share his intelligence with U.S. and British authorities, several of the allegations in Memo 112 of the Steele dossier were "inaccurate or misleading as a matter of fact. "" just the news

*********

"The judge ruled that in Memo 112, one of several that made up Steele's dossier, there were six factually inaccurate or unproven claims that Steele provided from his alleged intelligence sources including that:

**********

"The ruling further accentuates that much of the Steele dossier contained unproven Internet rumor or false information , some possible from Russian intelligence, as the Justice Department inspector general concluded last December. Nonetheless, the FBI used evidence from Steele's dossier to support a warrant targeting Trump campaign figures in four occasions, claiming to the court that agents had verified the information.' j ust the news

*****

"The judge also concluded that Steele's notes of his first interaction with the FBI about the dossier on July 5, 2016 made clear that his ultimate client for his research project was Hillary Clinton's campaign as directed by her campaign law firm Perkins Coie . The FBI did not disclose that information to the court.

"The supposition that the Clinton campaign was the ultimate client "is in line with the FBI Note of 5 July 2016, which records Mr. Steele telling the FBI that Orbis had been instructed by Mr. [Glenn] Simpson of Fusion and 'Democratic Party Associates' but that 'the ultimate client were (sic) the leadership of the Clinton presidential campaign.' The FBI Note also indicates that Mr Steele had been told by that stage that Mrs Clinton herself was aware of what Orbis had been commissioned to do," Warby concluded." just the news

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

Justice Sir Mark Warby is, I take it, something like a SCOTUS justice in the US. His decision makes it clear that the "Steele Dossier" is a work of fiction constructed by Steele for the express purpose of helping Clinton defeat Trump.

For this to have taken so much time to emerge indicates to me that the present FBI director is neither loyal to President Trump nor to the truth. Who is the idiot or political enemy who suggested him as FBI Director to Trump. Pence maybe? No, it was Chris Christie. pl

https://justthenews.com/accountability/russia-and-ukraine-scandals/british-court-rules-against-christopher-steele-orders


Harry , 11 July 2020 at 03:36 PM

I noticed the story. Not that any of that is proof. But I think in this case the burden of proof was on Mr. Steel and he failed to meet it.

In looking at the damages, I think Mr. Steele got off very lightly, which makes sense for someone who was probably carrying water only after having been given explicit permission to carry that water by the British intelligence elite.

I remember Chris Steele from college. His hair was always impeccable.

BillWade , 11 July 2020 at 03:45 PM

I've heard informally that AG Barr is wanting to hold the Durham investigation past election so as not to interfere in it. I hope this isn't true.

fakebot , 11 July 2020 at 04:03 PM

Could it have been Chris Christie? He led Trump's transition team at one stage.

https://www.politico.com/story/2017/06/07/trump-fbi-director-nominee-christopher-wray-239238

Wray acted as New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's personal attorney during the federal investigation into lane closures leading to the George Washington Bridge that were put in place by members of Christie's administration as political retribution for a mayor who did not support Christie's reelection campaign.

...

Chris Christie said last week he thought Wray "would provide great leadership at the FBI," though he declined to say whether he had recommended him to the president. The two met when Christie was a U.S. attorney in New Jersey and Wray was at the Justice Department. They collaborated on a criminal investigation into the accounting practices of Bristol-Myers Squibb.

plantman , 11 July 2020 at 04:18 PM

So the Steele Dossier was fake, just like many similar smear campaigns.

But who decided to use it after the election to attack Trump?
I don't think Comey, Clapper or even Obama led the charge.

That leaves Brennan, the most likely suspect in this case.

I just hope Durham has the guts to expose these creeps.

haiku222 , 11 July 2020 at 06:13 PM

> According to the company's last financial account, [2] there isn't enough money to pay the legal bills. Steele's business is bust.

http://johnhelmer.net/the-reputation-of-mikhail-fridman-and-pyotr-aven-is-worth-18000-each-but-it-cost-sixteen-times-that-much-to-defend-enough-to-bankrupt-christopher-steele/print/

johnf , 11 July 2020 at 06:57 PM

The Daily Mail (print edition) recently splashed all over its front page that Christopher Steele has now produced another "dossier" claiming that a lot of Britain's top influential people, including politicians, are being bribed by the Chinese company Huawei to support Huawei's involvement in the construction of Britain's 5G.

The BBC reports on the Mail story:

"For its main story, the Daily Mail says the diplomatic war over Huawei's involvement in Britain's 5G network has taken an extraordinary twist, after a dossier accused China of trying to manipulate key establishment figures in the UK to back the telecoms giant.

It says the report, commissioned by a New York film producer, names several prominent individuals, claiming the aim was to make them China's "useful idiots".

The paper says those identified in the report have issued statements strenuously denying knowledge of or involvement in any such operation.

A Huawei spokesman is quoted as saying the company categorically rejects the unfounded allegations, which it says are the latest in a long-running American campaign against it."

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/blogs-the-papers-53315418

(A New York film producer????)

Looks as though MI6/CIA are abandoning Steele and Orbis as the Russia-gate scam collapses.

Wonder if the other Orbis-involved fake, Skripal and the Salisbury poisonings, is also doomed?

Salisbury and Russia-gate are also probably linked through the figure of Skripal.

[Jul 10, 2020] FBI Man At The Heart Of Surveillance Abuses Is A Professor Of Spying Ethics by Paul Sperry

Notable quotes:
"... Auten, identified by congressional sources who spoke on condition of anonymity, never confirmed the most explosive allegations in the dossier compiled by ex-British intelligence officer Christopher Steele, cutting a number of corners in the verification process, Justice Inspector General Michael Horowitz pointed out in his December report on FBI abuses of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. ..."
Jul 10, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

Submitted by Paul Sperry of RealClearInvestigations

The unnamed FBI "Supervisory Intelligence Analyst" cited by the Justice Department's watchdog for failing to properly vet the so-called Steele dossier before it was used to justify spying on the Trump campaign teaches a class on the ethics of spying at a small Washington-area college, records show.

Above, Brian J. Auten, the FBI analyst who vetted applications to spy on Carter Page, has taught a course on spying ethics at Patrick Henry College since 2010

The senior FBI analyst, Brian J. Auten, has taught the course at Patrick Henry College since 2010, including the 11-month period in 2016 and 2017 when he and a counterintelligence team at FBI headquarters electronically monitored an adviser to the Trump campaign based on false rumors from the dossier and forged evidence.

Auten, identified by congressional sources who spoke on condition of anonymity, never confirmed the most explosive allegations in the dossier compiled by ex-British intelligence officer Christopher Steele, cutting a number of corners in the verification process, Justice Inspector General Michael Horowitz pointed out in his December report on FBI abuses of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.

By January 2017, the lead analyst had ample evidence the dossier was bogus. Auten could not get sources who provided information to Steele to support the dossier's allegations during interviews. And collections from the wiretaps of Trump aide Carter Page failed to reveal any confirmation of the claims. Auten even came across exculpatory evidence indicating Page was not the Russian asset the dossier alleged, but was in fact a CIA asset helping the U.S. spy on Moscow.

Nonetheless, he and the FBI continued to use the Steele material as a basis for renewing their FISA monitoring of Page, who was never charged with a crime.

Auten did not respond to requests for comment, and the FBI declined to comment.

Christopher Steele: The most explosive allegations in the dossier compiled by this ex-British spy were never confirmed by the person responsible for vetting them, FBI analyst Brian Auten.

In his report, Horowitz wrote that the analyst told his team of inspectors that he did not have any "pains or heartburn" over the accuracy of the Steele reports. As for Steele's reliability as an FBI informant, Horowitz said, the analyst merely "speculated" that his prior reporting was sound and did not see a need to "dig into" his handler's case file, which showed that past tips from Steele had gone uncorroborated and were never used in court.

According to the IG report, Auten also wasn't concerned about Steele's anti-Trump bias or that his work was commissioned by Trump's political opponent, calling the fact he worked for Hillary Clinton's campaign "immaterial." Perhaps most disturbing, the analyst withheld the fact that Steele's main source disavowed key dossier allegations from a memo Auten prepared summarizing a meeting he had with that source.

Auten appears to have violated his own stated "golden rule" for spying. A 15-year supervisor at the bureau, Auten has written that he teaches students in his national security class at the Purcellville, Va., college that the FBI applies "the least intrusive standard" when it considers surveilling U.S. citizens under investigation to avoid harm to "a subject's reputation, dignity and privacy."

At least three Senate oversight committees are seeking to question Auten about fact-checking lapses, as well as "grossly inaccurate statements" he allegedly made to Horowitz, as part of the committee's investigation of the FBI's handling of wiretap warrants the bureau first obtained during the heat of the 2016 presidential race.

Department of Justice Inspector General Michael Horowitz: His team learned from Auten that the FBI analyst had no "pains or heartburn" over the accuracy of the Steele reports. AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin

FBI veterans worry Auten's numerous missteps signal a deeper rot within the bureau beyond top brass who appeared to have an animus toward Donald Trump, such as former FBI Director James Comey and his deputy Andrew McCabe, as well as subordinates Lisa Page and Peter Strzok. They fear these main players in the scandal enlisted group-thinking career officials like Auten to ensure an investigative result.

"Anyone in his position has tremendous access to information and is well-positioned to manipulate information if he wanted to do so," said Chris Swecker, a 24-year veteran of the FBI who served as assistant director of its criminal investigative division, where he oversaw public corruption cases.

"Question is, was it deliberate manipulation or just rank incompetence?" he added. "How much was he influenced by McCabe, Page, Strzok and other people we know had a deep inherent bias?"

Auten is a central, if overlooked, figure in the Horowitz report and the overall FISA abuse scandal, though his identity is hidden in the 478-page IG report, which refers to him throughout only as "Supervisory Intelligence Analyst" or "Supervisory Intel Analyst." In fact, the 51-year-old analyst shows up at every major juncture in the FISA application process.

Bruce Ohr (center): FBI analyst Auten met with this Justice official and processed the dirt Ohr fed the FBI from Glenn Simpson of Fusion GPS.

Auten was assigned to the Crossfire Hurricane investigation from its opening in July 2016 and supervised its analytical efforts throughout 2017. He played a key supportive role for the agents preparing the FISA applications, including reviewing the probable-cause section of the applications and providing the agents with information about Steele's sub-sources noted in the applications. He also helped prepare and review the renewal drafts.

Auten assisted the case agents in providing information on the reliability of Steele and his sources and reviewing for accuracy their information cited in the body of the applications, as well as all the footnotes. His job was also to fill gaps in the FISA application or bolster weak areas.

In addition, Auten personally met with Steele and his "primary sub-source," reportedly a Russian émigré living in the West, as well as former MI6 colleagues of Steele. He also met with Justice Department official Bruce Ohr and processed the dirt Ohr fed the FBI from Glenn Simpson, the political opposition research contractor who hired Steele to compile the anti-Trump dossier on behalf of the Clinton campaign.

Auten was involved in the January 2017 investigation of then-Trump National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, according to internal emails sent by then-FBI counterintelligence official Strzok.

Michael Flynn: Auten was involved in the January 2017 investigation of then-Trump National Security Adviser Flynn, according to Peter Strzok emails.

What's more, the analyst helped draft a summary of the dossier attached to the January 2017 Intelligence Community Assessment on Russian interference, which described Steele as "reliable." Other intelligence analysts argued against incorporating the dossier allegations -- including rumors about potentially compromising sexual material -- in the body of the report because they viewed them as "internet rumor."

According to the IG report, "The Supervisory Intel Analyst was one of the FBI's leading experts on Russia." Auten wrote a book on the Russian nuclear threat during the Cold War, and has taught graduate courses about U.S. and Russian nuclear strategy.

Still, he could not corroborate any of the allegations of Russian "collusion" in the dossier, which he nonetheless referred to as "Crown material," as if it were intelligence from America's closest ally, Britain.

To the contrary, "According to the Supervisory Intel Analyst, the FBI ultimately determined that some of the allegations contained in Steele's election reporting were inaccurate," the IG report revealed. Yet the analyst and the case agents he supported continued to rely on his dossier to obtain the warrants to spy on Page -- and by extension, potentially the Trump campaign and presidency -- through incidental collections of emails, text messages and intercepted phone calls.

Steele Got the Benefit of the Doubt

According to the IG report , the supervisory intelligence analyst not only failed to corroborate the Steele dossier, but gave Steele the benefit of the doubt every time sources or developments called into question the reliability of his information or his own credibility. In many cases, he acted more as an advocate than a fact-checker, while turning a blind eye to the dossier's red flags. Examples:

Senators Want to Question Auten

Sen. Ron Johnson: "Deeply troubled by the grossly inaccurate statements by the supervisory intelligence analyst."

Senate Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman Ron Johnson and Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley recently questioned the analyst's candor and integrity in a letter to the FBI. "We are deeply troubled by the grossly inaccurate statements by the supervisory intelligence analyst," they wrote.

The powerful senators have asked the FBI to provide additional records shedding light on what the analyst and other officials knew about Russian disinformation as they were drafting the FISA applications.

Meanwhile, Auten's name appears on a list of witnesses Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham recently gained authorization to subpoena to testify before his own panel investigating the FISA abuse scandal. Graham intends to focus on the investigators, including the lead analyst, who interviewed Steele's primary sub-source in January 2017 and discovered the Steele allegations were nothing more than "bar talk," as Graham put it in a recent interview, and should never have been used to get a warrant in the first place, to say nothing of renewing the warrant.

In a Dec. 6 letter to Horowitz, FBI Director Christopher Wray informed the inspector general he had put every employee involved in the 2016-2017 FISA application process through "additional training in ethics." The mandatory training included "an emphasis on privacy and civil liberties."

Wray also assured Horowitz that he was conducting a review of all FBI personnel who had responsibility for the preparation of the FISA warrant applications and would take any appropriate action to deal with them.

It's not immediately known if Auten has undergone such a review or has completed the required ethics training. The FBI declined comment.

"That analyst needs to be investigated internally," Swecker said.

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Auten appears to have violated the ethics training he provides his students at Patrick Henry College.

Sen. Lindsey Graham: Auten's name appears on a list of witnesses the Senate Judiciary Chairman recently gained authorization to subpoena.

"When I teach the topic of national security investigations to undergraduates, we cover micro-proportionality, discrimination, and the 'least intrusive standard' via a tweaked version of the Golden Rule -- namely, if you were being investigated for a national security issue but you knew yourself to be completely innocent, how would you want someone to investigate you?" Auten wrote in a September 2016 article in Providence magazine, headlined "Just Intelligence, Just Surveillance & the Least Intrusive Standard."

He wrote the six-page paper to answer the question: "Is an intelligence operation, national security investigation or act of surveillance being initiated under the proper authorities for the right purposes? Will an intelligence operation, national security investigation or act of surveillance achieve the good it is meant to? And, in the end, will the expected good be overwhelmed by the resulting harm or damage arising out of the planned operation, investigation or surveillance act?"

"National security investigations are not ethics-free," he asserted, advising that a federal investigator should never forget that "the intrusiveness or invasiveness of his tactics places a subject's reputation, dignity and privacy at risk and has the ability to cause harm."

At the same time, Auten said more intrusive methods such as electronic eavesdropping may be justified -- "If it is judged that the threat is severe or the targeted foreign intelligence is of key importance to U.S. interest or survival." National security "may necessitate collection based on little more than suspicion." In these cases, he reasoned, the harm to the individual is outweighed by the benefit to society.

"Surveillance is not life-threatening to the surveilled," he said.

However, Page, a U.S. citizen, told RealClearInvestigations that he received "numerous death threats" from people who believed he was a "traitor," based on leaks to the media that the FBI suspected he was a Russian agent who conspired with the Kremlin to interfere in the 2016 election.

Auten also rationalized the risk of "incidental" surveillance of non-targeted individuals, writing: "If the particular act of surveillance is legitimately authorized, and the non-liable subject has not been intentionally targeted, any incidental surveillance of the non-liable subject would be morally licit."

A member of the International Intelligence Ethics Association, Auten has lectured since 2010 on "intelligence and statecraft" at Patrick Henry College, where he is an adjunct professor . He also sits on the college's Strategic Intelligence Advisory Board.

FBI veterans say the analyst's lack of rigor raises alarms.

"I worked with intel analysts all the time working counterintelligence investigations," said former FBI Special Agent Michael Biasello, a 25-year veteran of the FBI who spent 10 years in counterintelligence. "This analyst's work product was shoddy, and inasmuch as these FISA affidavits concerned a presidential campaign, the information he provided [to agents] should have been pristine."

He suspects Auten was "hand-picked" by Comey or McCabe to work on the sensitive Trump case, which was tightly controlled within FBI headquarters.

"The Supervisory Intel Analyst must be held accountable now, particularly where his actions were intentional, along with anyone who touched those fraudulent [FISA] affidavits," Biasello said.

[Jul 08, 2020] British Judge Orders Christopher Steele To Pay Damages To Russian Bankers Over Dossier Lies by John Solomon

Notable quotes:
"... The judge ruled Steele violated the law by failing to aggressively check the accuracy of one claim accusing Aven and Fridman of making illicit payments to Russia President Vladimir Putin before distributing it to various U.S. and British figures, including the FBI. ..."
"... The ruling involves a long-discredited claim in Steele's dossier – repeatedly used by U.S. news media – that Russia's Alfa Bank, connected to Aven and Fridman, was transmitting secret messages between Moscow and the Trump campaign during the 2016 election. ..."
Jul 08, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by John Solomon via JustTheNews.com,

A British judge ruled Wednesday that Christopher Steele violated a data privacy law by failing to check the accuracy of information in his infamous dossier, ordering the former spy's firm to pay damages to two businessmen he wrongly accused of making illicit payments in Russia.

Justice Mark Warby of the High Court of England and Wales ordered Steele's firm, Orbis Business Intelligence, to pay a modest 18,000 English pounds – about $22,596 in American currency – each to Petr Aven and Mikhail Fridman as compensation for a violation of Britain's Data Protection Act 1998 .

Warby ruled that while Steele had a national security interest to share his intelligence with U.S. and British authorities, several of the allegations in Memo 112 of the Steele dossier were "inaccurate or misleading as a matter of fact."

https://www.scribd.com/embeds/468448754/content?start_page=1&view_mode=scroll&access_key=key-Q9WAS2JHy9YhvpYYXlxu

The judge ruled Steele violated the law by failing to aggressively check the accuracy of one claim accusing Aven and Fridman of making illicit payments to Russia President Vladimir Putin before distributing it to various U.S. and British figures, including the FBI.

"That is an allegation of serial criminal wrongdoing, over a prolonged period. Even in the limited and specific context of reporting intelligence for the purposes I have mentioned, and despite all the other factors I have listed, the steps taken to verify that proposition fell short of what would have been reasonable ," Warby ruled.

"The allegation clearly called for closer attention, a more enquiring approach, and more energetic checking," the judge added.

The ruling involves a long-discredited claim in Steele's dossier – repeatedly used by U.S. news media – that Russia's Alfa Bank, connected to Aven and Fridman, was transmitting secret messages between Moscow and the Trump campaign during the 2016 election.

The FBI concluded the computer pings were not nefarious messages but rather routine behavior most likely connected to email spam. Special Counsel Robert Mueller told Congress last year he did not believe the allegations.

Fridman hailed the ruling in a statement.

" We are delighted with the outcome of this case and that Mr Justice Warby has determined what we have always known to be the case – that the contents of Memorandum 112 are inaccurate and misleading ," he said. "Ever since these odious allegations were first made public in January 2017, my partners and I have been resolute and unwavering in our determination to prove that they are untrue, and through this case, we have finally succeeded in doing so."

Developing...

[May 22, 2020] Flynn Targeted By Christopher Steele After FBI Offered To Pay Ex-Spook 'Significantly'

May 22, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

In the weeks leading up to the 2016 election, the FBI offered to pay former British spy Christopher Steele "significantly" for collecting intelligence on Michael Flynn, according to the Daily Caller 's Chuck Ross.

The FBI's proposal - made during an October 3, 2016 meeting in an unidentified European city, and virtually ignored by the press - has taken on new significance in light of recent documents exposing how the Obama administration targeted Flynn before and after president Trump's upset victory over Hillary Clinton in 2016.

The inspector general's report, released on Dec. 9, 2019, said that FBI agents offered to pay Steele "significantly" to collect intelligence from three separate "buckets" that the bureau was pursuing as part of Crossfire Hurricane , its counterintelligence probe of four Trump campaign associates.

One bucket was "Additional intelligence/reporting on specific, named individuals (such as [Carter Page] or [Flynn]) involved in facilitating the Trump campaign-Russian relationship," the IG report stated.

FBI agents also sought contact with "any individuals or sub sources" who Steele could provide to "serve as cooperating witnesses to assist in identifying persons involved in the Trump campaign-Russian relationship."

Steele at the time had provided the FBI with reports he compiled alleging that members of the Trump campaign had conspired with the Kremlin to influence the 2016 election. - Daily Caller

Of note, Steele was promoting a discredited rumor that Flynn had an extramarital affair with Svetlana Lokhova, a Russian-British academic who studied at the University of Cambridge. This rumor was amplified by the Wall Street Journal and The Guardian in March, 2017.

According to the Inspector General's report, the FBI gave Steele a "general overview" of their Crossfire Hurricane probe - including their efforts to surveil Trump campaign aides George Papadopoulos and Carter Page, along with Paul Manafort and Flynn. In fact - some FBI agents questioned whether the lead agent told Steel too much about the operation , according to the IG report.

Via the Daily Caller

In recent weeks, the release of two documents raise questions about potential links between the FBI's request of Steele and the Lokhova rumor .

One of the documents is a transcript of longtime John McCain associate David Kramer's interview with the House Intelligence Committee. Kramer testified on Dec. 17, 2017, that Steele told him in December 2016 that he suspected that Flynn had an extramarital affair with a Russian woman .

"There was one thing he mentioned to me that is not included here, and that is he believed that Mr. Flynn had an extramarital affair with a Russian woman in the U.K .," Kramer told lawmakers.

Kramer said that Steele conveyed that Flynn's alleged mistress was a "Russian woman" who "may have been a dual citizen."

An FBI memo dated Jan. 4, 2017, contained another allegation regarding Flynn and a mysterious Russian woman.

The memo, which was provided to Flynn's lawyers on April 30, said that an FBI confidential human source (CHS) told the bureau that they were present at an event that Flynn attended while he was still working in the U.S. intelligence community . - Daily Caller

Lokhova and Flynn have denied the rumors - with Lokhova's husband telling the Daily Caller News Foundation that he picked his wife up after the Cambridge dinner where an FBI informant said they 'left together in a cab.'

Meanwhile, a DIA official who was at the Cambridge event with Flynn also told the WSJ in March 2017 that there was nothing inappropriate going on between Flynn and Lokhova.

Read the rest of the report here .

[May 20, 2020] Russiagate skunk Evelyn Farkas is emotionally exhausted by correct claims that she blatantly lied to Mika Brzezinski

Was it Crowdstrike that had shown her the forensics data? This McCarthyist dog just keeps lying and keeps digging. The Obama administration was as shameless as they were crooked.
"They all sound like kids that got caught raiding the cookie jar making up wild tales of innocence with cookie crumbs all over their faces."
Notable quotes:
"... Opening your eyes wider while speaking doesn't make you look more intense, credible, and believable... ..."
"... (((They))) are taught from birth to "lie to, cheat, rob, enslave, and kill, with impunity" all Americans they call "Goyim, a mindless herd of cattle, sub-human animals." ..."
"... Ah Evelyn, Evelyn! You're just an exposed resistance tool HRC campaign hack doubling downer unemployed TDS afflicted congress woman wannabe who has no shame no principals and no alibi. Lots of love and kisses to Bezos/WaPo for letting them share your pain with us. Here at the disinfo clearinghouse you couldn't get elected dog catcher. ..."
May 18, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

...Meanwhile, Poor Evelyn's campaign staff has become " emotionally exhausted " after her Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts have been "overwhelmed with a stream of vile, vulgar and sometimes violent messages" in response to the plethora of conservative outlets which have called her out for Russia malarkey.

There is evidence that Russian actors are contributing to these attacks. The same day that right-wing pundits began pumping accusations, newly created Russian Twitter accounts picked them up. Within a day, Russian " disinformation clearinghouses " posted versions of the story . Many of the Twitter accounts boosting attacks have posted in unison, a sign of inauthentic social media behavior.

We assume Zero Hedge is included in said ' disinformation clearinghouses ' Farkas fails to expound on.

She closes by defiantly claiming "I wasn't silenced in 2017, and I won't be silenced now."

No Evelyn, nobody is silencing you. You're being called out for your role in the perhaps the largest, most divisive hoax in US history - which was based on faulty intelligence that includes CrowdStrike admitting they had no proof of that Russia exfiltrated DNC emails, and Christopher Steele's absurd dossier based on his 'Russian sources.'


MrAToZ, 1 minute ago

What's with the bug eyes on these crooks?

Kurpak, 27 seconds ago

Opening your eyes wider while speaking doesn't make you look more intense, credible, and believable...

It makes you look ******* insane.

iAmerican10, 8 minutes ago (Edited)

(((They))) are taught from birth to "lie to, cheat, rob, enslave, and kill, with impunity" all Americans they call "Goyim, a mindless herd of cattle, sub-human animals."

... ... ...

otschelnik, 35 minutes ago

Ah Evelyn, Evelyn! You're just an exposed resistance tool HRC campaign hack doubling downer unemployed TDS afflicted congress woman wannabe who has no shame no principals and no alibi. Lots of love and kisses to Bezos/WaPo for letting them share your pain with us. Here at the disinfo clearinghouse you couldn't get elected dog catcher.

[May 17, 2020] Apparently, the FBI, and not the CIA, are the real government.

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... According to these transcripts of congressional testimony by some of the participants, the FBI decided all by itself after Comey was fired to consider acting against Trump by pursuing him for suspicion of conspiracy with Russia to give the Russians the president of the US that they supposedly wanted. ..."
"... Following these seditious and IMO illegal discussions the FBI and Sessions/Rosenstein's Justice Department sought FISA Court warrants for surveillance against associates of Trump and members of his campaign for president. ..."
"... IMO this collection of actions when added to whatever Clapper, Brennan and "the lads" of the Deep State were doing with the British intelligence services amount to an attempted "soft coup" against the constitution and from the continued stonewalling of the FBI and DoJ the coup is ongoing ..."
Jan 15, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com

Just to review the situation:

  1. The president of the US was made head of the Executive Branch (EC) of the federal government by Article 2 of the present constitution of the US. He is also Commander in Chief of the armed forces of the federal government. As head of the EC, he is head of all the parts of the government excepting the Congress and the Federal courts which are co-equal branches of the federal government. The Department of Justice is just another Executive Branch Department subordinate in all things to the president. The FBI is a federal police force and counter-intelligence agency subordinate to the Department of Justice and DNI and therefore to the president in all things. The FBI actually IMO has no legal right whatever to investigate the president. He is the constitutionally elected commander of the FBI. Does one investigate one's commander? No. The procedures for legally and constitutionally removing a president from office for malfeasance are clear. He must be impeached by the House of Representatives for "High Crimes and Misdemeanors" and then tried by the US Senate on the charges. Conviction results in removal from office.
  2. According to these transcripts of congressional testimony by some of the participants, the FBI decided all by itself after Comey was fired to consider acting against Trump by pursuing him for suspicion of conspiracy with Russia to give the Russians the president of the US that they supposedly wanted. Part of the discussions among senior FBI people had to do with whether or not the president had the legal authority to remove from office an FBI Director. Say what? Where have these dummies been all their careers? Do they not teach anything about this at the FBI Academy? The US Army lectures its officers at every level of schooling on the subject of the constitutional and legal basis and limits of their authority.
  3. Following these seditious and IMO illegal discussions the FBI and Sessions/Rosenstein's Justice Department sought FISA Court warrants for surveillance against associates of Trump and members of his campaign for president. Their application for warrants were largely based on unsubstantiated "opposition research" funded by the Democratic Party and the Clinton campaign. The judge who approved the warrants was not informed of the nature of the evidence. These warrants provided an authority for surveillance of the Trump campaign.
  4. IMO this collection of actions when added to whatever Clapper, Brennan and "the lads" of the Deep State were doing with the British intelligence services amount to an attempted "soft coup" against the constitution and from the continued stonewalling of the FBI and DoJ the coup is ongoing. pl

https://www.cnn.com/2019/01/14/politics/trump-fbi-debate-investigation/index.html

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Article_Two_of_the_United_States_Constitution#Clause_4:_Receiving_foreign_representatives

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Federal_Bureau_of_Investigation#Organization

[May 07, 2020] There's No Question It's A Fraud Fmr Trump Attorney Says Mueller Badly Misled White House, Schiff Is Nancy's Liar Zero

Highly recommended!
May 07, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com
Former Trump attorney John Dowd says it's "staggering" that former Special Counsel Robert Mueller's "so-called Dream Team would put on such a fraud," after the Wednesday release of the investigation's "scope memo" revealed that Mueller was tasked with investigating accusations from Clinton-funded operative Christopher Steele which the DOJ already knew were debunked . "In the last few days, I have been going back through my files and we were badly misled by Mueller and his senior people , particularly in the meetings that we had," Dowd told Fox News Radio host Brian Kilmeade on Thursday.

The scope memo also revealed that Mueller's authority went significantly beyond what was previously known - including "allegations that Carter Page committed a crime or crimes by colluding with Russian government officials with respect to the Russian government's efforts to interfere with the 2016 election for President of the United States, in violation of United States law," yet as John Solomon of Just The News noted on Wednesday - the FBI had already:

" There's no question it's a fraud I think the whole report is just nonsense and it's staggering that the so-called 'Dream Team' would put on such a fraud ," Dowd said, according to Fox News .

Dowd also discussed Connecticut U.S. Attorney John Durham's investigation into the origins of the Russia probe , which is expected to be wrapped up by the end of the summer.

"Durham has really got a load on his hands tracking all this down," Dowd said.

Durham was appointed last year by Attorney General Bill Barr to review the events leading up to Trump's inauguration. However, Durham has since expanded his investigation to cover a post-election timeline spanning the spring of 2017, when Mueller was appointed as special counsel. - Fox News

"Nancy's Liar"

Dowd also circled back to a claim by House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff that there was "direct evidence" that the Trump campaign colluded with Russia during the 2016 election, despite the fact that transcripts of House Intelligence Committee interviews proving otherwise .

"Schiff doesn't release these interviews because they're going to make him a liar," said Dowd, adding "They're going to expose him and he'll be run out of town."

"He lied for months in the impeachment inquiry. He's essentially Nancy [Pelosi]'s liar and he's now going to be exposed."

[May 02, 2020] Those dastardly Russians!

May 02, 2020 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

Cortes April 27, 2020 at 10:24 pm

I suppose that once in a while vital documentation (Apollo Moon missions, anyone?) goes astray, slipping down the back of the couch or misfiled on the wrong shelf in the library annexe. And occasionally the dog really did eat the homework.

https://www.theblaze.com/news/christopher-steele-dossier-emails-documents-wiped

Those dastardly Russians!

Mark Chapman April 28, 2020 at 8:12 am
Cretins like Steele openly flout the law, and are let away with it. There must be a law that directs government personnel – and he was government – to take such steps as are reasonable to preserve records they know or should know would constitute evidence, whether condemnatory or exculpatory. Steele had to be well aware there was intense interest in this material, and it is not difficult to imagine what the western reaction would be if some pivotal Russian figure deleted all his records and then did the smiling palms-up thing in court, so sorry, all gone.

It is likewise easy to imagine the information in the records was damning, because nobody willfully wipes evidence they know will put them in the clear. And he will be allowed to get away with it without any punishment because the people who would have to punish him are likely the same people who told him to get rid of it.

Just like Hillary, and her self-appointed deletion of tens of thousands of emails she deemed 'personal', although they were government property. No ordinary mook would be allowed to get away with that. And they wonder – or pretend to – why the people are sick to death of western corruption.

[May 02, 2020] Dossier Author Christopher Steele Had Previously Undisclosed Meetings With Lawyers for DNC, Clinton Campaign

May 02, 2020 | www.legitgov.org

Marc Elias . Steele disclosed the previously unreported meetings with Sussmann and Elias during testimony in a defamation lawsuit filed against him by the Alfa Bank founders, according to a court transcript obtained by the Daily Caller News Foundation.

[Apr 18, 2020] Endless NYT Propaganda War on Russia by Stephen Lendman

Apr 18, 2020 | stephenlendman.org

Endless NYT Propaganda War on Russia

by Stephen Lendman ( stephenlendman.orgHome – Stephen Lendman )

The Times long ago abandoned journalism the way it's supposed to be. All the news it claims fit to print isn't fit to read.

Its daily editions feature state-approved managed news misinformation and disinformation -- notably against sovereign independent nations on the US target list for regime change.

Russia notably has been a prime target since its 1917 revolution, ending its czarist dictatorship.

Except during WW II and Boris Yeltsin's 1990s rule, Times anti-Russia propaganda was and remains relentless, notably throughout the Vladimir Putin era, the nation's most distinguished ever political leader.

When Yeltsin died in April 2007, the Times shamefully called him "a Soviet-era reformer the country's democratic father and later a towering figure of his time as the first freely elected leader of Russia, presiding over the dissolution of the Soviet Union and the demise of the Communist Party (sic)."

He presided over Russia's lost decade. Under him, over half the population became impoverished.

His adoption of US shock therapy produced economic genocide. GDP plunged 50%. Life expectancy fell sharply.

Democratic freedoms died. An oligarch class accumulated enormous wealth.

Western interests profited at the expense of millions of exploited Russians.

Yeltsin let corruption and criminality flourish. One scandal followed others. Grand theft became sport. So did money laundering.

Billions in stolen wealth were secreted in Western banks and offshore tax havens.

A critic reviled him, saying throughout much of his tenure, he "slept, drank, was ill, relaxed, didn't show his face before the people and simply did nothing," adding:

"Despised by the majority of (Russians, he'll) go down in history as the first president of Russia, having corrupted (the country) to the breaking point, not by his virtues and or by his defects, but rather by his dullness, primitiveness, and unbridled power lust of a hooligan."

He was a Western/establishment media favorite, notably by the Times, mindless of the human misery and economic wreckage he caused.

Putin is a preeminent world leader, towering over his inferior Western counterparts, especially in the US, why the Times reviles him.

On Monday, its propaganda machine falsely accused him of waging a long war on US science, claiming he's promoting disinformation to "encourage the spread of deadly illnesses (sic)."

Not a shred of evidence was presented because none exists. The Times' disinformation report was slammed in a preceding article.

On Wednesday, the self-styled newspaper of record was at it again -- reactivating the Big Lie that won't die, saying with no corroborating evidence that "Russia may have sown disinformation in a dossier used to investigate a former Trump campaign aide (sic)," adding:

"Carter Page, a former Trump campaign aide with numerous links to Russia was probably a Russian agent (sic)."

Disinformation the Times cited came from former UK intelligence agent Christopher Steele's dodgy dossier, financed by the DNC and Hillary campaign.

Its spurious accusations were exposed as fake news, notably phony accusations of Russian US election interference that didn't happened.

Probes by Robert Mueller, House and Senate committees found no credible evidence of an illegal or improper Trump campaign connection to Russia or election interference by the Kremlin -- because there was none of either.

According to the Times, Steele's dodgy dossier "was potentially influenced by a 'Russian disinformation campaign to denigrate US foreign relations,' " citing FBI Big Lies as its source.

Another article on Russia this week claimed "many people who don't work for the government or in deep-pocketed state enterprises face economic devastation," adding:

Domestic violence increased because of social distancing and sheltering in place.

Not mentioned in the article is that mass unemployment and other COVID-19 fallout affect Western and other countries adversely.

Putin was slammed for sending COVID-19 aid to the US, calling it "a propaganda coup for the Kremlin -- tempered by an intensifying epidemic at home."

Outbreaks in Russia are a small fraction of US numbers, around 21,000 through Wednesday -- compared to nearly 650,000 in the US and over 28,000 deaths.

Spain, Italy, France, Germany and Britain have five-to-eightfold more outbreaks than Russia.

NYC has over 110,000 cases. In the NY, NJ, CT tristate area, around 300,000 cases were reported, almost as many COVID-19 deaths as outbreaks in Russia -- through Wednesday.

Putin is dealing with what's going on responsibly, stressing "we certainly must not relax, as long as outbreaks occur.

A paid holiday is in effect through end of April for Russian workers, likely to be extended if needed.

Essential workers continue on the job -- at home if able, otherwise operating as before.

National efforts continue to control outbreaks, aid ordinary Russians at a time of duress, and work to restore more normal conditions.

While dealing with outbreaks at home, Russia supplied Italy, Serbia, and the US with aid to combat the virus.

Yet Pompeo falsely accused Russia, China, and Iran with spreading disinformation about COVID-19.

Gratitude and good will aren't US attributes, just the opposite.

[Apr 17, 2020] Declassified Horowitz Footnotes Show Obama Officials Knew Steele Dossier Was Russian Disinfo Designed To Target Trump Zero He

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Authored by Sara Carter via SaraACarter.com, ..."
"... "Having reviewed the matter, and having consulted the heads of the relevant Intelligence Community elements, I have declassified the enclosed footnotes." ..."
"... , and that they were the product of RIS (Russian Intelligence Services) ..."
Apr 17, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Sara Carter via SaraACarter.com,

Systemic FBI Effort To Legitimize Steele and Use His Information To Target POTUS

Newly declassified footnotes from Department of Justice Inspector General Michael Horowitz's December FBI report reveals that senior Obama officials, including members of the FBI's Crossfire Hurricane team knew the dossier compiled by a former British spy during the 2016 election was Russian disinformation to target President Donald Trump.

Further, the partially declassified footnotes reveal that those senior intelligence officials were aware of the disinformation when they included the dossier in the Obama administration's Intelligence Communities Assessment (ICA).

As important, the footnotes reveal that there had been a request to validate information collected by British spy Christopher Steele as far back as 2015, and that there was concern among members of the FBI and intelligence community about his reliability. Those concerns were brushed aside by members of the Crossfire Hurricane team in their pursuit against the Trump campaign officials, according to sources who spoke to this reporter and the footnotes.

The explosive footnotes were partially declassified and made public Wednesday, after a lengthy review by the Director of National Intelligence Richard Grenell's office. Grenell sent the letter Wednesday releasing the documents to Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa and Sen. Ron Johnson, R- Wisconsin, both who requested the declassification.

"Having reviewed the matter, and having consulted the heads of the relevant Intelligence Community elements, I have declassified the enclosed footnotes." Grenell consulted with DOJ Attorney General William Barr on the declassification of the documents.

Grassley and Johnson released a statement late Wednesday stating "as we can see from these now-declassified footnotes in the IG's report, Russian intelligence was aware of the dossier before the FBI even began its investigation and the FBI had reports in hand that their central piece of evidence was most likely tainted with Russian disinformation."

"Thanks to Attorney General Barr's and Acting Director Grenell's declassification of the footnotes, we know the FBI's justification to target an American Citizen was riddled with significant flaws," the Senator stated. "Inspector General Michael Horowitz and his team did what neither the FBI nor Special Counsel Mueller cared to do: examine and investigate corruption at the FBI, the sources of the Steele dossier, how it was disseminated, and reporting that it contained Russian disinformation."

The Footnotes

A U.S. Official familiar with the investigation into the FBI told this reporter that the footnotes "clearly show that the FBI team was or should have had been aware that the Russian Intelligence Services was trying to influence Steele's reporting in the summer of 2016, and that there were some preferences for Hillary; and that this RIS [Russian Intelligence Services] sourced information being fed to Steele was designed to hurt Trump."

The official noted these new revelations also "undermines the ICA on Russian Interference and the intent to help Trump. It undermines the FISA warrants and there should not have been a Mueller investigation."

https://www.scribd.com/embeds/456702034/content?start_page=1&view_mode=scroll&access_key=key-FfQY6LojXtyOnkGw6OiJ

Russian's Appeared To Have Preferred Clinton

The footnotes also reveal a startling fact that go against Brennan's assessment that Russia was vying for Trump, when in fact, the Russians appeared to be hopeful of a Clinton presidency.

"The FBI received information in June, 2017 which revealed that, among other things, there were personal and business ties between the sub-source and Steele's Primary Sub-source, contacts between the sub-source and an individual in the Russian Presidential Administration in June/July 2016 [redacted] and the sub source voicing strong support for candidate Clinton in the 2016 U.S. election. The Supervisory Intel Analyst told us that the FBI did not have a Section 702 vicarage on any other Steele sub-source."

Steele's Lies

The complete four pages of the partially redacted footnotes paint a clear picture of the alleged malfeasance committed by former FBI Director James Comey, former DNI James Clapper and former CIA Director John Brennan, who were all aware of the concerns regarding the information supplied by former British spy Christopher Steele in the dossier. Steele, who was hired by the private embattled research firm Fusion GPS, was paid for his work through the Hillary Clinton campaign and Democratic National Committee. The FBI also paid for Steele's work before ending its confidential source relationship with him but then used Obama DOJ Official Bruce Ohr as a go between to continue obtaining information from the former spy.

In footnote 205, for instance, payment documents show that Steele lied about not being a Confidential Human Source.

"During his time as an FBI CHS, Steele received a total of $95,000 from the FBI," the footnote states. "We reviewed the FBI paperwork for those payments, each of which required Steele's Signed acknowledgement. On each document, of which there were eight, was the caption 'CHS payment' and 'CHS Payment Name.' A signature page was missing for one of the payments."

Footnote 350

In footnote 350, Horowitz describes the questionable Russian disinformation and the FBI's reliance on the information to target the Trump campaign as an attempt to build a narrative that campaign officials colluded with Russia. Further, the timeline reveals that Comey, Brennan and Clapper were aware of the disinformation by Russian intelligence when they briefed then President-elect Trump in January, 2017 on the Steele dossier.

"[redacted] In addition to the information in Steele's Delta file documenting Steele's frequent contacts with representatives for multiple Russian oligarchs, we identified reporting the Crossfire Hurricane team received from [redacted] indicating the potential for Russian disinformation influencing Steele' election reporting," stated the partially declassified footnote 350. "A January 12, 2017 report relayed information from [redacted] outlining an inaccuracy in a limited subset of Steele's reporting about the activities of Michael Cohen. The [redacted] stated that it did not have high confidence in this subset of Steele's reporting and assessed that the referenced subset was part of a Russian disinformation campaign to denigrate U.S. foreign relations.

A second report from the same [redacted] five days later stated that a person named in the limited subset of Steele's reporting had denied representations in the reporting and the [redacted] assessed that the person's denials were truthful. A USIC report dated February 27, 2017, contained information about an individual with reported connections to Trump and Russia who claimed that the public reporting about the details of Trump's sexual activities in Moscow during a trip in 2013 were false , and that they were the product of RIS (Russian Intelligence Services) 'infiltrate[ing] a source into the network' of a [redacted] who compiled a dossier of that individual on Trump's activities. The [redacted] noted that it had no information indicating that the individual had special access to RIS activities or information," according to the partially declassified footnote.

Looming Questions

Another concern regarding Steele's unusual activity is found in footnote 210, which states "as we discuss in Chapter Six, members of the Crossfire Hurricane Team were unaware of Steele's connections to Russian Oligarch 1."

The question remains that "Steele's unusual activity with 10 oligarch's led the FBI to seek a validation review in 2015 but one was not started until 2017," said the U.S. Official to this reporter. "Why not? Was Crossfire Hurricane aware of these concerns? Was the court made aware of these concerns? Didn't the numerous notes about sub sources and sources having links or close ties to Russian intelligence so why didn't this set off alarm bells?"

More alarming, it's clear, Supervisory Intelligence Agent Jonathan Moffa says in June 17, that he was not aware of reports that Russian Intelligence Services was aware of Steele's election reporting and influence efforts.

"However, he should have been given the reporting by UCIS" which the U.S. Official says, goes back to summer 2016.

Footnote 342 makes it clear that "in late January, 2017, a member of the Crossfire Hurricane team received information [redacted] that RIS [Russian Intelligence Services] may have targeted Orbis."

[Apr 17, 2020] Barr just said the Russia collusion probe was a travesty, had no basis and was intended to sabotage Trump.

Highly recommended!
Apr 17, 2020 | turcopolier.typepad.com

AMERICA-HYSTERICA. US Attorney General Barr just said the Russia collusion probe was a travesty, had no basis and was intended to sabotage Trump . All true of course. May we take this as a sign that at last (at last!) Durham is ready to go with indictments? Or will it prove to be another false alarm? There's certainly a lot to reveal: A recent investigation showed that every FISA application (warrant to spy on US citizens) examined had egregious deficiencies. It's not just Trump.

MEANINGLESSNESS. Remember the Steele dossier? Now it's being spun as Russian disinformation . So we're now supposed to believe that Putin smeared Trump because he really wanted Clinton to win? Gosh, that Putin guy is so clever that it's impossible to figure out what he's doing!

COVID BLAME I. Back in the day I read a certain amount of Soviet propaganda about the wicked West. And, while it was quite often over the top, pretty monotonous and probably – judging from what ex-Soviets have told me – not all that effective in the long run, it usually had, buried deep inside, a tiny kernel of reality. Western anti-Russia propaganda, on the other hand, is nothing but free-association nonsense. Take the NYT's latest: the headline alone tells you it's crap: " Putin's Long War Against American Science: A decade of health disinformation promoted by President Vladimir Putin of Russia has sown wide confusion, hurt major institutions and encouraged the spread of deadly illnesses ." Another difference was that Soviet propaganda at least ran on the assumption that the Soviet system was preferable: this, on the other hand, is a pitiful attempt to blame the US COVID failure on somebody else. Nonetheless, this is not rock-bottom for the NYT's anti-Russian fantasies: that target was hit a couple of years ago with " Trump and Putin: A Love Story ". (But, the goalposts keep moving: if you accuse a Dem of Trumpish grabbing, you're probably a Putinbot .) I guess it will only get more: " The old world is dying, and the new world struggles to be born; now is the time of monsters ."

COVID BLAME II. Maybe it's not Putin or Xi who's to blame: maybe it's your own propaganda outlet: " VOA too often speaks for America's adversaries -- not its citizens... VOA has instead amplified Beijing's propaganda. "

[Feb 27, 2020] Because You d Be In Jail! - The Real Reason Democrats Are Pushing Trump Impeachment by Robert Bridge

Notable quotes:
"... Due to the non-stop action in Washington of late, few believe that the present state of affairs between the Democrats and Donald Trump are exclusively due to a telephone call between the US leader and the Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. That is only scratching the surface of a story that is practically boundless. ..."
"... In March 2016, the DOJ found that "the FBI had been employing outside contractors who had access to raw Section 702 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) data, and retained that access after their work for the FBI was completed," as Jeff Carlson reported in The Epoch Times. ..."
"... That sort of foreign access to sensitive data is highly improper and was the result of "deliberate decision-making," according to the findings of an April 2017 FISA court ruling ( footnote 69 ). ..."
"... On April 18, 2016, then-National Security Agency (NSA) Director Adm. Mike Rogers directed the NSA's Office of Compliance to terminate all FBI outside-contractor access. Later, on Oct. 21, 2016, the FBI and the DOJ's National Security Division (NSD), and despite they were aware of Rogers's actions, moved ahead anyways with a request for a FISA warrant to conduct surveillance on Trump campaign adviser Carter Page. The request was approved by the FISA court, which, apparently, was still in the dark about the violations. ..."
"... Now James Comey is back in the spotlight as one of the main characters in the Barr-Durham investigation, which is examining largely out of the spotlight the origins of the Trump-Russia conspiracy theory that dogged the White House for four long years. ..."
Dec 29, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Robert Bridge via The Strategic Culture Foundation,

In the time-honored tradition of Machiavellian statecraft, all of the charges being leveled against Donald Trump to remove him from office – namely, 'abuse of power' and 'obstruction of congress' –are essentially the same things the Democratic Party has been guilty of for nearly half a decade : abusing their powers in a non-stop attack on the executive branch. Is the reason because they desperately need a 'get out of jail free' card?

Due to the non-stop action in Washington of late, few believe that the present state of affairs between the Democrats and Donald Trump are exclusively due to a telephone call between the US leader and the Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. That is only scratching the surface of a story that is practically boundless.

Back in April 2016, before Trump had become the Republican presidential nominee, talk of impeachment was already in the air.

"Donald Trump isn't even the Republican nominee yet," wrote Darren Samuelsohn in Politico. Yet impeachment, he noted, is "already on the lips of pundits, newspaper editorials, constitutional scholars, and even a few members of Congress."

The timing of Samuelsohn's article is not a little astonishing given what the Department of Justice (DOJ) had discovered just one month earlier.

In March 2016, the DOJ found that "the FBI had been employing outside contractors who had access to raw Section 702 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) data, and retained that access after their work for the FBI was completed," as Jeff Carlson reported in The Epoch Times.

That sort of foreign access to sensitive data is highly improper and was the result of "deliberate decision-making," according to the findings of an April 2017 FISA court ruling ( footnote 69 ).

On April 18, 2016, then-National Security Agency (NSA) Director Adm. Mike Rogers directed the NSA's Office of Compliance to terminate all FBI outside-contractor access. Later, on Oct. 21, 2016, the FBI and the DOJ's National Security Division (NSD), and despite they were aware of Rogers's actions, moved ahead anyways with a request for a FISA warrant to conduct surveillance on Trump campaign adviser Carter Page. The request was approved by the FISA court, which, apparently, was still in the dark about the violations.

On Oct. 26, following approval of the warrant against Page, Rogers went to the FISA court to inform them of the FBI's non-compliance with the rules. Was it just a coincidence that at exactly this time, the Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and Defense Secretary Ashton B. Carter were suddenly calling for Roger's removal? The request was eventually rejected. The next month, in mid-November 2016 Rogers, without first notifying his superiors, flew to New York where he had a private meeting with Trump at Trump Towers.

According to the New York Times, the meeting – the details of which were never publicly divulged, but may be guessed at – "caused consternation at senior levels of the administration."

Democratic obstruction of justice?

Then CIA Director John Brennan, dismayed about a few meetings Trump officials had with the Russians, helped to kick-start the FBI investigation over 'Russian collusion.' Notably, these Trump-Russia meetings occurred in December 2016, as the incoming administration was in the difficult transition period to enter the White House. The Democrats made sure they made that transition as ugly as possible.

Although it is perfectly normal for an incoming government to meet with foreign heads of state at this critical juncture, a meeting at Trump Tower between Michael Flynn, Trump's incoming national security adviser and former Russian Ambassador to the US, Sergey Kislyak, was portrayed as some kind of cloak and dagger scene borrowed from a John le Carré thriller.

Brennan questioning the motives behind high-level meetings between the Trump team and some Russians is strange given that the lame duck Obama administration was in the process of redialing US-Russia relations back to the Cold War days, all based on the debunked claim that Moscow handed Trump the White House on a silver platter.

In late December 2016, after Trump had already won the election, Obama slapped Russia with punitive sanctions, expelled 35 Russian diplomats and closed down two Russian facilities. Since part of Trump's campaign platform was to mend relations with Moscow, would it not seem logical that the incoming administration would be in damage-control, doing whatever necessary to prevent relations between the world's premier nuclear powers from degrading even more?

So if it wasn't 'Russian collusion' that motivated the Democrats into action, what was it?

From Benghazi to Seth Rich

Here we must pause and remind ourselves about the unenviable situation regarding Hillary Clinton, the Secretary of State, who was being grilled daily over her use of a private computer to communicate sensitive documents via email. In all likelihood, the incident would have dropped from the radar had it not been for the deadly 2012 Benghazi attacks on a US compound.

In the course of a House Select Committee investigation into the circumstances surrounding the attacks, which resulted in the death of US Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other US personnel, Clinton handed over some 30,000 emails, while reportedly deleting 32,000 deemed to be of a "personal nature". Those emails remain unaccounted for to this day.

I want the public to see my email. I asked State to release them. They said they will review them for release as soon as possible.

-- Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) March 5, 2015

By March 2015, even the traditionally tepid media was baring its baby fangs, relentlessly pursuing Clinton over the email question. Since Clinton never made a secret of her presidential ambitions, even political allies were piling on. Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), for example, said it's time for Clinton "to step up" and explain herself, adding that "silence is going to hurt her."

On July 24, 2015, The New York Times published a front-page story with the headline "Criminal Inquiry Sought in Clinton's Use of Email." Later, Jennifer Rubin of the Washington Post candidly summed up Clinton's rapidly deteriorating status with elections fast approaching: "Democrats still show no sign they are willing to abandon Clinton. Instead, they seem to be heading into the 2016 election with a deeply flawed candidate schlepping around plenty of baggage -- the details of which are not yet known."

Moving into 2016, things began to look increasingly complicated for the Democratic front-runner. On March 16, 2016, WikiLeaks launched a searchable archive for over 30 thousand emails and attachments sent to and from Hillary Clinton's private email server while she was Secretary of State. The 50,547-page treasure trove spans the dates from June 30, 2010 to August 12, 2014.

In May, about one month after Clinton had officially announced her candidacy for the US presidency, the State Department's inspector general released an 83-page report that was highly critical of Clinton's email practices, concluding that Clinton failed to seek legal approval for her use of a private server.

"At a minimum," the report determined, "Secretary Clinton should have surrendered all emails dealing with Department business before leaving government service and, because she did not do so, she did not comply with the Department's policies that were implemented in accordance with the Federal Records Act."

The following month brought more bad news for Clinton and her presidential hopes after it was reported that her husband, former President Bill Clinton, had a 30-minute tête-à-tête with Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch, whose department was leading the Clinton investigations, on the tarmac at Phoenix International Airport. Lynch said Clinton decided to pay her an impromptu visit where the two discussed "his grandchildren and his travels and things like that." Republicans, however, certainly weren't buying the story as the encounter came as the FBI was preparing to file its recommendation to the Justice Department.

The summer of 2016, however, was just heating up.

I take @LorettaLynch & @billclinton at their word that their convo in Phoenix didn't touch on probe. But foolish to create such optics.

-- David Axelrod (@davidaxelrod) June 30, 2016
Hack versus Leak?

On the early morning of July 10, Seth Rich, the director of voter expansion for the Democratic National Committee (DNC), was gunned down on the street in the Bloomingdale neighborhood of Washington, DC. Rich's murder, said to be the result of a botched robbery, bucked the homicide trend in the area for that particular period; murders rates for the first six months of 2016 were down about 50 percent from the same period in the previous year.

In any case, the story gets much stranger. Just five days earlier, on July 5th, the computers at the DNC were compromised, purportedly by an online persona with the moniker "Guccifer 2.0" at the behest of Russian intelligence. This is where the story of "Russian hacking" first gained popularity. Not everyone, however, was buying the explanation.

In July 2017, a group of former U.S. intelligence officers, including NSA specialists, who call themselves Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS) sent a memo to President Trump that challenged a January intelligence assessment that expressed "high confidence" that the Russians had organized an "influence campaign" to harm Hillary Clinton's "electability," as if she wasn't capable of that without Kremlin support.

"Forensic studies of 'Russian hacking' into Democratic National Committee computers last year reveal that on July 5, 2016, data was leaked (not hacked) by a person with physical access to DNC computer," the memo states (The memo's conclusions were based on analyses of metadata provided by the online persona Guccifer 2.0, who took credit for the alleged hack). "Key among the findings of the independent forensic investigations is the conclusion that the DNC data was copied onto a storage device at a speed that far exceeds an Internet capability for a remote hack."

In other words, according to VIPS, the compromise of the DNC computers was the result of an internal leak, not an external hack.

At this point, however, it needs mentioned that the VIPS memo has sparked dissenting views among its members. Several analysts within the group have spoken out against its findings, and that internal debate can be read here . Thus, it would seem there is no 'smoking gun,' as of yet, to prove that the DNC was not hacked by an external entity. At the same time, the murder of Seth Rich continues to remain an unsolved "botched robbery," according to investigators. Meanwhile, the one person who may hold the key to the mystery, Julian Assange, is said to be withering away Belmarsh Prison, a high-security London jail, where he is awaiting a February court hearing that will decide whether he will be extradited to the United States where he 18 charges.

Here is a question to ponder: If you were Julian Assange, and you knew you were going to be extradited to the United States, who would you rather be the sitting president in charge of your fate, Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump? Think twice before answering.

"Because you'd be in jail"

On October 9, 2016, in the second televised presidential debates between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, Trump accused his Democratic opponent of deleting 33,000 emails, while adding that he would get a "special prosecutor and we're going to look into it " To this, Clinton said "it's just awfully good that someone with the temperament of Donald Trump is not in charge of the law in our country," to which Trump deadpanned, without missing a beat, "because you'd be in jail."

Now if that remark didn't get the attention of high-ranking Democratic officials, perhaps Trump's comments at a Virginia rally days later, when he promised to "drain the swamp," made folks sit up and take notice.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/slLCjLcgqbc

At this point the leaks, hacks and everything in between were already coming fast and furious. On October 7, John Podesta, Clinton's presidential campaign manager, had his personal Gmail account hacked, thereby releasing a torrent of inside secrets, including how Donna Brazile, then a CNN commentator, had fed Clinton debate questions. But of course the crimes did not matter to the mendacious media, only the identity of the alleged messenger, which of course was 'Russia.'

By now, the only thing more incredible than the dirt being produced on Clinton was the fact that she was still in the presidential race, and even slated to win by a wide margin. But perhaps her biggest setback came when authorities, investigating Anthony Weiner's abused laptop into illicit text messages he sent to a 15-year-old girl, stumbled upon thousands of email messages from Hillary Clinton.

BREAKING NEWS: @jasoninthehouse : @HillaryClinton email - "Case reopened." pic.twitter.com/feVlU2aNP9

-- Fox News (@FoxNews) October 28, 2016

Now Comey had to backpedal on his conclusion in July that although Clinton was "extremely careless" in her use of her electronic devices, no criminal charges would be forthcoming. He announced an 11th hour investigation, just days before the election. Although Clinton was also cleared in this case, observers never forgave Comey for his actions, arguing they cost Clinton the White House.

Now James Comey is back in the spotlight as one of the main characters in the Barr-Durham investigation, which is examining largely out of the spotlight the origins of the Trump-Russia conspiracy theory that dogged the White House for four long years.

In early December, Justice Department's independent inspector general, Michael E. Horowitz, released the 400-page IG report that revealed a long list of omissions, mistakes and inconsistencies in the FBI's applications for FISA warrants to conduct surveillance on Carter Page. Although the report was damning, both Barr and Durham noted it did not go far enough because Horowitz did not have the access that Durham has to intelligence agency sources, as well as overseas contacts that Barr provided to him.

With AG report due for release in early spring, needless to say some Democrats are very nervous as to its finding. So nervous, in fact, that they might just be willing to go to the extreme of removing a sitting president to avoid its conclusions.

Whatever the verdict, 2020 promises to be one very interesting year.

[Feb 27, 2020] Russiagate Investigation Now Endangers Obama by Eric Zuesse

Notable quotes:
"... The Russiagate investigation, which had formerly focused against the current US President, has reversed direction and now targets the prior President. ..."
"... In order to appreciate the seriousness of that misconduct and its implications, it is useful to understand certain procedural and substantive requirements that apply to the government's conduct of electronic surveillance for foreign intelligence purposes. Title I of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA ), codified as amended at 50 USC. 1801-1813, governs such electronic surveillance. It requires the government to apply for and receive an order from the FISC approving a proposed electronic surveillance. When deciding whether to grant such an application, a FISC judge must determine among other things, whether it provides probable cause to believe that the proposed surveillance target is a "foreign power" or an agent a foreign power. ..."
"... The government has a heightened duty of candor to the FISC in ex parte proceedings, that is, ones in which the government does not face an adverse party, such as proceedings on electronic surveillance applications. The FISC expects the government to comply with its heightened duty of candor in ex parte proceedings at all times. Candor is fundamental to this Court's effective operation. ..."
"... On December 9, 2019, the government filed, with the FISC, public and classified versions of the OIG Report. It documents troubling instances in which FBI personnel provided information to NSD ..."
"... which was unsupported or contradicted by information in their possession. It also describes several instances in which FBI personnel withheld from NSD information in their possession which was detrimental to their case for believing that Mr. ..."
"... Page was acting as an agent of a foreign power. ..."
"... MACCALLUM: Were you surprised that he ..."
"... seemed to give himself such a distance from the entire operation? ..."
"... "JAMES COMEY: As the director sitting on top of an organization of 38,000 people you can't run an investigation that's seven layers below you. You have to leave it to the career professionals to do." ..."
"... MACCALLUM: Do you believe that? ..."
"... BARR: No, I think that the -- one of the problems with what happened was precisely that they pulled the investigation up to the executive floors, and it was run and bird dogged by a very small group of very high level officials. And the idea that this was seven layers below him is simply not true. ..."
"... Allegedly, George Papadopoulos said that "Halper insinuated to him that Russia was helping the Trump campaign" , and Papadopoulos was shocked at Halper's saying this. Probably because so much money at the Pentagon is untraceable, some of the crucial documentation on this investigation might never be found. For example, the Defense Department's Inspector General's 2 July 2019 report to the US Senate said "ONA personnel could not provide us any evidence that Professor Halper visited any of these locations, established an advisory group, or met with any of the specific people listed in the statement of work." ..."
"... very profitable business ..."
"... Schultz and other members of the DNC staff had exercised bias against Bernie Sanders and in favor of Hillary Clinton during the 2016 Democratic primaries -- which favoritism had been the reason why Obama had appointed Shultz to that post to begin with. She was just doing her job for the person who had chosen her to lead the DNC. Likewise for Comey. In other words: Comey was Obama's pick to protect Clinton, and to oppose Trump (who had attacked both Clinton and Obama). ..."
"... Nowadays, Obama is telling the Party's billionaires that Elizabeth Warren would be good for them , but not that Sanders would -- he never liked Sanders. ..."
"... and, so, Trump now will be gunning against Obama ..."
"... Whatever the outcome will be, it will be historic, and unprecedented. (If Sanders becomes the nominee, it will be even more so; and, if he then wins on November 3rd, it will be a second American Revolution; but, this time, a peaceful one -- if that's even possible, in today's hyper-partisan, deeply split, USA.) ..."
"... There is no way that the outcome from this will be status-quo. Either it will be greatly increased further schism in the United States, or it will be a fundamental political realignment, more comparable to 1860 than to anything since. ..."
"... Reform is no longer an available option, given America's realities. A far bigger leap than that will be required in order for this country to avoid falling into an utter abyss, which could be led by either Party, because both Parties have brought the nation to its present precipice, the dark and lightless chasm that it now faces, and which must now become leapt, in order to avoid a free-fall into oblivion. ..."
"... The problem in America isn't either Obama or Trump; it's neither merely the Democratic Party, nor merely the Republican Party; it is instead both; it is the Deep State . ..."
Dec 29, 2019 | www.strategic-culture.org
Former US President Barack Obama is now in severe legal jeopardy, because the Russiagate investigation has turned 180 degrees; and he, instead of the current President, Donald Trump, is in its cross-hairs.

The biggest crime that a US President can commit is to try to defeat American democracy (the Constitutional functioning of the US Government) itself, either by working with foreign powers to take it over, or else by working internally within America to sabotage democracy for his or her own personal reasons. Either way, it's treason (crime that is intended to, and does, endanger the continued functioning of the Constitution itself*), and Mr. Obama is now being actively investigated, as possibly having done this.

The Russiagate investigation, which had formerly focused against the current US President, has reversed direction and now targets the prior President. Although he, of course, cannot be removed from office (since he is no longer in office), he is liable under criminal laws, the same as any other American would be, if he committed any crime while he was in office.

A December 17th order by the FISA (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act) Court severely condemned the performance by the FBI under Obama, for having obtained, on 19 October 2016 (even prior to the US Presidential election), from that Court, under false pretenses, an authorization for the FBI to commence investigating Donald Trump's Presidential campaign, as being possibly in collusion with Russia's Government. The Court's ruling said:

In order to appreciate the seriousness of that misconduct and its implications, it is useful to understand certain procedural and substantive requirements that apply to the government's conduct of electronic surveillance for foreign intelligence purposes. Title I of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA ), codified as amended at 50 USC. 1801-1813, governs such electronic surveillance. It requires the government to apply for and receive an order from the FISC approving a proposed electronic surveillance. When deciding whether to grant such an application, a FISC judge must determine among other things, whether it provides probable cause to believe that the proposed surveillance target is a "foreign power" or an agent a foreign power.

The government has a heightened duty of candor to the FISC in ex parte proceedings, that is, ones in which the government does not face an adverse party, such as proceedings on electronic surveillance applications. The FISC expects the government to comply with its heightened duty of candor in ex parte proceedings at all times. Candor is fundamental to this Court's effective operation.

On December 9, 2019, the government filed, with the FISC, public and classified versions of the OIG Report. It documents troubling instances in which FBI personnel provided information to NSD [National Security Division of the Department of Justice] which was unsupported or contradicted by information in their possession. It also describes several instances in which FBI personnel withheld from NSD information in their possession which was detrimental to their case for believing that Mr. [Carter] Page was acting as an agent of a foreign power.

On December 18th, Martha McCallum, of Fox News, interviewed US Attorney General Bill Barr , and asked him (at 7:00 in the video ) how high up in the FBI the blame for this (possible treason) goes:

MACCALLUM: Were you surprised that he [Obama's FBI Director James Comey] seemed to give himself such a distance from the entire operation?

"JAMES COMEY: As the director sitting on top of an organization of 38,000 people you can't run an investigation that's seven layers below you. You have to leave it to the career professionals to do."

MACCALLUM: Do you believe that?

BARR: No, I think that the -- one of the problems with what happened was precisely that they pulled the investigation up to the executive floors, and it was run and bird dogged by a very small group of very high level officials. And the idea that this was seven layers below him is simply not true.

The current (Trump) A.G. there called the former (Obama) FBI Director a liar on that.

If Comey gets heat for this possibly lie-based FBI investigation of the US Presidential nominee from the opposite Party of the sitting US President (Comey's own boss, Obama), then protecting himself could become Comey's top motivation; and, in that condition, protecting his former boss might become only a secondary concern for him.

Moreover, as was first publicly reported by Nick Falco in a tweet on 5 June 2018 (which tweet was removed by Twitter but fortunately not before someone had copied it to a web archive ), the FBI had been investigating the Trump campaign starting no later than 7 October 2015. An outside private contractor, Stefan Halper, was hired in Britain for this, perhaps in order to get around laws prohibiting the US Government from doing it. (This was 'foreign intelligence' work, after all. But was it really ? That's now being investigated.) The Office of Net Assessment (ONA) "through the Pentagon's Washington Headquarters Services, awarded him contracts from 2012 to 2016 to write four studies encompassing relations among the US, Russia, China and India" .

Though Halper actually did no such studies for the Pentagon, he instead functioned as a paid FBI informant (and it's not yet clear whether that money came from the Pentagon, which spends trillions of dollars that are off-the-books and untraceable ), and at some point Trump's campaign became a target of Halper's investigation. This investigation was nominally to examine "The Russia-China Relationship: The impact on US Security interests."

Allegedly, George Papadopoulos said that "Halper insinuated to him that Russia was helping the Trump campaign" , and Papadopoulos was shocked at Halper's saying this. Probably because so much money at the Pentagon is untraceable, some of the crucial documentation on this investigation might never be found. For example, the Defense Department's Inspector General's 2 July 2019 report to the US Senate said "ONA personnel could not provide us any evidence that Professor Halper visited any of these locations, established an advisory group, or met with any of the specific people listed in the statement of work."

It seems that the Pentagon-contracted work was a cover-story, like pizza parlors have been for some Mafia operations. But, anyway, this is how America's 'democracy' actually functions . And, of course, America's Deep State works not only through governmental agencies but also through underworld organizations . That's just reality, not at all speculative. It's been this way for decades, at least since the time of Truman's Presidency (as is documented at that link).

Furthermore, inasmuch as this operation certainly involved Obama's CIA Director John Brennan and others, and not only top officials at the FBI, there is no chance that Comey would have been the only high official who was involved in it. And if Comey was involved, then he would have been acting in his own interest, and not only in his boss's -- and here's why: Comey would be expected to have been highly motivated to oppose Mr. Trump, because Trump publicly questioned whether NATO (the main international selling-arm for America's 'defense'-contractors) should continue to exist, and also because Comey's entire career had been in the service of America's Military-Industrial Complex, which is the reason why Comey's main lifetime income has been the tens of millions of dollars he has received via the revolving door between his serving the federal Government and his serving firms such as Lockheed Martin . For these people, restoring, and intensifying, and keeping up, the Cold War , is a very profitable business . It's called by some "the Military-Industrial Complex," and by others "the Deep State," but by any name it is simply agents of the billionaires who own and control US-based international corporations, such as General Dynamics and Chevron. As a governmental official, making decisions that are in the long-term interests of those investors is the likeliest way to become wealthy.

Consequently, Comey would have been benefitting himself, and other high officials of the Obama Administration, by sabotaging Trump's campaign, and by weakening Trump's Presidency in the event that he would become elected. Plus, of course, Comey would have been benefitting Obama himself. Not only was Trump constantly condemning Obama, but Obama had appointed to lead the Democratic National Committee during the 2016 Presidential primaries, Debbie Wasserman Schultz , who as early as 20 February 2007 had endorsed Hillary Clinton for President in the Democratic Party primaries, so that Shultz was one of the earliest supporters of Clinton against even Obama himself. In other words, Obama had appointed Shultz in order to increase the odds that Clinton -- not Sanders -- would become the nominee in 2016 to continue on and protect his own Presidential legacy. Furthermore, on 28 July 2016, Schultz became forced to resign from her leadership of the DNC after WikiLeaks released emails indicating that Schultz and other members of the DNC staff had exercised bias against Bernie Sanders and in favor of Hillary Clinton during the 2016 Democratic primaries -- which favoritism had been the reason why Obama had appointed Shultz to that post to begin with. She was just doing her job for the person who had chosen her to lead the DNC. Likewise for Comey. In other words: Comey was Obama's pick to protect Clinton, and to oppose Trump (who had attacked both Clinton and Obama).

Nowadays, Obama is telling the Party's billionaires that Elizabeth Warren would be good for them , but not that Sanders would -- he never liked Sanders. He wants Warren to get the voters who otherwise would go for Sanders, and he wants the Party's billionaires to help her achieve this (be the Party's allegedly 'progressive' option), so that Sanders won't be able to become a ballot option in the general election to be held on 3 November 2020.

He is telling them whom not to help win the Party's nomination. In fact, on November 26th, Huffington Post headlined "Obama Said He Would Speak Up To Stop Bernie Sanders Nomination: Report" and indicated that though he won't actually say this in public (but only to the Party's billionaires), Obama is determined to do all he can to prevent Sanders from becoming the nominee. In 2016, his choice was Hillary Clinton; but, today, it's anyone other than Sanders; and, so, in a sense, it remains what it was four years ago -- anyone but Sanders.

Comey's virtually exclusive concern, at the present stage, would be to protect himself, so that he won't be imprisoned. This means that he might testify against Obama. At this stage, he's free of any personal obligation to Obama -- Comey is now on his own, up against Trump, who clearly is his enemy. Some type of back-room plea-bargain is therefore virtually inevitable -- and not only with Comey, but with other top Obama-appointees, ultimately. Obama is thus clearly in the cross-hairs, from now on. Congressional Democrats have opted to gun against Trump (by impeaching him); and, so, Trump now will be gunning against Obama -- and against the entire Democratic Party (unless Sanders becomes its nominee, in which case, Sanders will already have defeated that Democratic Party, and its adherents will then have to choose between him versus Trump; and, so, too, will independent voters).

But, regardless of what happens, Obama now is in the cross-hairs. That's not just political cross-hairs (such as an impeachment process); it is, above all, legal cross-hairs (an actual criminal investigation). Whereas Trump is up against a doomed effort by the Democratic Party to replace him by Vice President Mike Pence, Obama will be up against virtually inevitable criminal charges, by the incumbent Trump Administration. Obama played hardball against Trump, with "Russiagate," and then with "Ukrainegate"; Trump will now play hardball against Obama, with whatever his Administration and the Republican Party manage to muster against Obama; and the stakes this time will be considerably bigger than just whether to replace Trump by Pence.

Whatever the outcome will be, it will be historic, and unprecedented. (If Sanders becomes the nominee, it will be even more so; and, if he then wins on November 3rd, it will be a second American Revolution; but, this time, a peaceful one -- if that's even possible, in today's hyper-partisan, deeply split, USA.)

There is no way that the outcome from this will be status-quo. Either it will be greatly increased further schism in the United States, or it will be a fundamental political realignment, more comparable to 1860 than to anything since.

The US already has a higher percentage of its people in prison than does any other nation on this planet. Americans who choose a 'status-quo' option will produce less stability, more violence, not more stability and a more peaceful nation in a less war-ravaged world. The 2020 election-outcome for the United States will be a turning-point; there is no way that it will produce reform.

Americans who vote for reform will be only increasing the likelihood of hell-on-Earth. Reform is no longer an available option, given America's realities. A far bigger leap than that will be required in order for this country to avoid falling into an utter abyss, which could be led by either Party, because both Parties have brought the nation to its present precipice, the dark and lightless chasm that it now faces, and which must now become leapt, in order to avoid a free-fall into oblivion.

The problem in America isn't either Obama or Trump; it's neither merely the Democratic Party, nor merely the Republican Party; it is instead both; it is the Deep State .

That's the reality; and the process that got us here started on 26 July 1945 and secretly continued on the American side even after the Soviet Union ended and Russia promptly ended its side of the Cold War. The US regime's ceaseless thrust, since 26 July 1945, to rule the entire world, will climax either in a Third World War, or in a US revolution to overthrow and remove the Deep State and end its dictatorship-grip over America. Both Parties have been controlled by that Deep State , and the final stage or climax of this grip is now drawing near. America thus has been having a string of the worst Presidents -- and worst Congresses -- in US history. This is today's reality.

Unfortunately, a lot of American voters think that this extremely destabilizing reality, this longstanding trend toward war, is okay, and ought to be continued, not ended now and replaced by a new direction for this country -- the path toward world peace, which FDR had accurately envisioned but which was aborted on 26 July 1945. No matter how many Americans might vote for mere reform, they are wrong. Sometimes, only a minority are right. Being correct is not a majority or minority matter; it is a true or false matter. A misinformed public can willingly participate in its own -- or even the world's -- destruction. That could happen.

Democracy is a prerequisite to peace, but it can't exist if the public are being systematically misinformed. Lies and democracy don't mix together any more effectively than do oil and water.

[Feb 26, 2020] On Steele dossier

Feb 26, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

Freespeaker , 55 minutes ago

Steele dossier. Fruit of the Poisonous Tree .

Wow72 , 52 minutes ago

Fruit of the Poisonous Urinating Tree.. Its beyond...

[Feb 16, 2020] John Brennan Under DOJ Scrutiny, As John Durham's Criminal Investigation Expands

Notable quotes:
"... However, DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz confirmed in his report that the dossier was used in the Obama administration's 2017 Intelligence Community Assessment (ICA). As stated in the IG report, there were discussions by top intelligence officials as to whether the Steele dossier should be included in the ICA report. ..."
"... But upon careful inspection of Horowitz's report, on page 179, investigators ask former FBI Director James Comey if he discussed the dossier with Brennan and whether or not it should be given to President Obama. According to the report, Comey told investigators that Brennan said it was "important" enough to include in the ICA -- clearly part of the "corpus of intelligence information" they had. ..."
"... "Mr. Durham appears to be pursuing a theory that the C.I.A., under its former director John O. Brennan, had a preconceived notion about Russia or was trying to get to a particular result -- and was nefariously trying to keep other agencies from seeing the full picture lest they interfere with that goal, the people said." ..."
"... Brennan's assessment stated that Putin wanted to "undermine public faith in the U.S. democratic process, denigrate former Secretary of State [Hillary] Clinton, and harm her electability and potential presidency." It also stated that Putin "developed a clear preference for President-elect Trump." ..."
"... Durham's investigation appear to have many tentacles. For example, he has expanded his probe to the Pentagon's Office of Net Assessment. According to sources who spoke to SaraACarter.com he is carefully scrutinizing money paid through the office to former FBI confidential informant Cambridge academic Stefan Halper. Halper, who worked in previous U.S. administrations and is an academic, is connected to three of President Donald Trump's campaign officials that were wrapped up into the FBI's probe, most notably Carter Page. ..."
"... Halper, along with others such as former MI6 Chief Sir Richard Dearlove, founded the Cambridge Intelligence Seminar, in England at Cambridge University. According to several sources, Durham has questioned officials at the Office of Net Assessment about Halper's contracts, how the money was utilized and what agency actually awarded the contract. ..."
"... Durham's criminal investigation into the FBI , CIA, as well as private entities is ongoing. Known by its acronym ONA, the secretive office is run by Director James Baker, who has been in the role since being appointed by the Obama Administration in 2015. In a January letter to Baker, Grassley asks a litany of questions as to Halper's role within ONA, his contracts, his foreign contacts and whether the FBI, or CIA, used the ONA office to pay Halper for spying on Trump campaign personnel. ..."
"... "Can ONA state for certain that Halper did not use taxpayer money provided by DoD to recruit, or attempt to recruit, sources for the FBI investigation into the now-debunked theory of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia," Grassley asks Baker. ..."
"... Ironically, documents obtained by SaraACarter.com suggest that during Halper's tenure with the seminar, he had also invited senior Russian intelligence officials to co-teach his course on several occasions. Further, according to news reports, he also accepted money to finance the course from a top Russian oligarch with ties to Putin. ..."
"... Several course syllabi from 2012 and 2015 obtained by this outlet reveal Hapler had invited and co-taught his course on intelligence with the former Director of Russian Intelligence Gen. I. Vyacheslav Trubnikov. ..."
"... However, there is evidence that Halper had similar sources to former MI6 spy Christopher Steele, who compiled the dossier. Based on hand written notes from an interview the State Department's Kathleen Kavalec states two of Steele's dossier sources; "Trubnikov" and "Surkov." ..."
Feb 16, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com
Authored by Sara Carter via SaraACarter.com,

U.S. Attorney John Durham – charged with the criminal probe into the FBI's Russia investigation of the Trump campaign – has been questioning CIA officials closely involved with John Brennan's 2017 intelligence community assessment regarding direct Russian interference in the 2016 election, according to U.S. officials.

In May 2017, Brennan denied during a hearing before the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence that its agency relied on the now debunked Christopher Steele dossier for the Intelligence Community Assessment report. He told then Congressman Trey Gowdy "we didn't" use the Steele dossier.

"It wasn't part of the corpus of intelligence information that we had," Brennan stated.

"It was not in any way used as a basis for the Intelligence Community assessment that was done. It was -- it was not."

However, DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz confirmed in his report that the dossier was used in the Obama administration's 2017 Intelligence Community Assessment (ICA). As stated in the IG report, there were discussions by top intelligence officials as to whether the Steele dossier should be included in the ICA report.

But upon careful inspection of Horowitz's report, on page 179, investigators ask former FBI Director James Comey if he discussed the dossier with Brennan and whether or not it should be given to President Obama. According to the report, Comey told investigators that Brennan said it was "important" enough to include in the ICA -- clearly part of the "corpus of intelligence information" they had.

According to a recent report by The New York Times, Durham's probe is specifically looking at that January 2017 intelligence community assessment, which concluded with "high confidence" that Russian President Vladimir Putin "ordered an influence campaign in 2016."

From the New York Times

"Mr. Durham appears to be pursuing a theory that the C.I.A., under its former director John O. Brennan, had a preconceived notion about Russia or was trying to get to a particular result -- and was nefariously trying to keep other agencies from seeing the full picture lest they interfere with that goal, the people said."

Sources with knowledge have said CIA officials questioned by Durham's investigative team "are extremely concerned with the investigation and the direction it's heading."

Brennan's assessment stated that Putin wanted to "undermine public faith in the U.S. democratic process, denigrate former Secretary of State [Hillary] Clinton, and harm her electability and potential presidency." It also stated that Putin "developed a clear preference for President-elect Trump."

But not everyone agreed with Brennan. The NSA then under retired Adm. Mike Rogers stated it only had "moderate confidence" that Putin tried to help Trump's election. As stated in the New York times Durham is investigating whether Brennan was keeping other intelligence agencies out of the loop to keep his narrative that Putin was helping Trump's campaign public.

"I wouldn't call it a discrepancy, I'd call it an honest difference of opinion between three different organizations, and, in the end, I made that call," Rogers told the Senate in May 2017.

"It didn't have the same level of sourcing and the same level of multiple sources."

According to The Times Durham is reviewing emails from the CIA, FBI, and National Security Agency analysts who worked on the January, 2017 Intelligence Community Assessment on Russia's interference in the election.

Durham's office could not be reached for comment. DOJ spokesperson Kerri Kupec also could not be reached for comment.

However, Brennan told MSNBC's "Hardball" last week, that Durham's questioning is dangerous.

"It's kind of silly," he said.

"Is there a criminal investigation now on analytic judgments and the activities of C.I.A. in terms of trying to protect our national security? I'm certainly willing to talk to Mr. Durham or anybody else who has any questions about what we did during this period of 2016 ."

Durham And FBI Spy Stefan Halper

Durham's investigation appear to have many tentacles. For example, he has expanded his probe to the Pentagon's Office of Net Assessment. According to sources who spoke to SaraACarter.com he is carefully scrutinizing money paid through the office to former FBI confidential informant Cambridge academic Stefan Halper. Halper, who worked in previous U.S. administrations and is an academic, is connected to three of President Donald Trump's campaign officials that were wrapped up into the FBI's probe, most notably Carter Page.

Halper, along with others such as former MI6 Chief Sir Richard Dearlove, founded the Cambridge Intelligence Seminar, in England at Cambridge University. According to several sources, Durham has questioned officials at the Office of Net Assessment about Halper's contracts, how the money was utilized and what agency actually awarded the contract.

Further, Sen. Chuck Grassley, chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, is also investigating the over $1 million in contracts Halper received from the ONA, as first reported at SaraACarter.com. It is, of course, a separate investigation from Durham's but on the same issues.

The Office Of Net Assessment, according to sources with knowledge, is sometimes used as a front to pay contractors, like Halper, who are conducting work for U.S. intelligence agencies. It is for this reason, that Durham is investigating the flow of money that Halper received and whether or not agencies other than the FBI were involved in the investigation into Trump's campaign and whether or not, the contracts were accurately accounted for in the reports received by Grassley.

Durham's criminal investigation into the FBI , CIA, as well as private entities is ongoing. Known by its acronym ONA, the secretive office is run by Director James Baker, who has been in the role since being appointed by the Obama Administration in 2015. In a January letter to Baker, Grassley asks a litany of questions as to Halper's role within ONA, his contracts, his foreign contacts and whether the FBI, or CIA, used the ONA office to pay Halper for spying on Trump campaign personnel.

"Can ONA state for certain that Halper did not use taxpayer money provided by DoD to recruit, or attempt to recruit, sources for the FBI investigation into the now-debunked theory of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia," Grassley asks Baker.

But it is Halper's role overseas and concern that the CIA may have been involved that is leading to more questions than answers. In 2016, in what appeared to be an unexpected move, Halper left the Cambridge Intelligence Seminar. He told papers in London – at the time – that it was due to "unacceptable Russian influence."

Ironically, documents obtained by SaraACarter.com suggest that during Halper's tenure with the seminar, he had also invited senior Russian intelligence officials to co-teach his course on several occasions. Further, according to news reports, he also accepted money to finance the course from a top Russian oligarch with ties to Putin.

Several course syllabi from 2012 and 2015 obtained by this outlet reveal Hapler had invited and co-taught his course on intelligence with the former Director of Russian Intelligence Gen. I. Vyacheslav Trubnikov.

Moreover, the New York Times recent report suggests that Durham's probe into Brennan is also looking closely at an alleged secret source said to have direct ties to the Kremlin. It is not certain if the same secret Kremlin source discussed by Brennan is the same source used by Halper in his reports.

However, there is evidence that Halper had similar sources to former MI6 spy Christopher Steele, who compiled the dossier. Based on hand written notes from an interview the State Department's Kathleen Kavalec states two of Steele's dossier sources; "Trubnikov" and "Surkov."

Interesting, isn't it.

Surkov is Vladislav Surkov, an aide of Vladimir Putin who is on the U.S.'s list of sanctioned individuals, and Trubnikov is none other than Vyacheslav Trubnikov. Trubnikov was the First Deputy of Foreign Minister of Russia and he formally served as the Director of Foreign Intelligence Service. He is also a source of Halper.

[Jan 30, 2020] Carter Page Sues DNC Over Steele Dossier In Opening Salvo

Jan 30, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

Carter Page is suing the DNC and the Perkins Coie law firm for their roles in funding the infamous Steele dossier, which was used as the foundation for controversial surveillance warrants used by the Obama administration to spy on him during and after the 2016 US election. The former Trump campaign adviser filed a lawsuit Thursday in the Northern District of Illinois' Eastern Division, which his attorneys described as the "first of multiple actions in the wake of historic" Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) abuse, according to Fox News .

"Defendants developed a dossier replete with falsehoods about numerous individuals associated with the Trump campaign -- especially Dr. Page . Defendants then sought to tarnish the Trump campaign and its affiliates (including Dr. Page) by publicizing this false information," reads the lawsuit, which adds "Even the DOJ and the FISC have recognized that the false information spread by Defendants led to invalid FISA warrants against Dr. Page. "

Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz announced in a December report that the FBI made repeated errors and misrepresentations to the FISA court in the agency's ham-handed efforts to surveil Page and those in his orbit in 2016 and 2017.

Horowitz confirmed that the FBI's FISA applications to monitor Page heavily relied on the dossier and news reports rooted in Steele's unverified research.

Just last week, the FISC released a newly declassified summary of a Justice Department assessment revealing at least two of the FBI's surveillance applications to monitor Page lacked probable cause. -Fox News

" This is a first step to ensure that the full extent of the FISA abuse that has occurred during the last few years is exposed and remedied," said attorney John Pierce on Thursday, adding "Defendants and those they worked with inside the federal government did not and will not succeed in making America a surveillance state."

" This is only the first salvo. We will follow the evidence wherever it leads, no matter how high. The rule of law will prevail. "

Page first filed a defamation suit on his own against the parties in October 2018 in federal court in Oklahoma, but that suit was dismissed in January 2019 after the judge ruled the court lacked jurisdiction over the case because neither Page nor the DNC had strong enough ties to the state.

Page is now represented by Pierce, the global managing partner of Pierce Bainbridge Beck Price & Hecht LLP. They filed in Illinois because they allege the relationship with the firm behind the dossier, Fusion GPS, was "orchestrated" through law firm Perkins Coie's Chicago office. The suit also claims the DNC "has a historical pattern" of making Chicago its principal place of business . - Fox News

Read the complaint

[Jan 29, 2020] Top GOP Senators Say Horowitz Report Misled Public, Demand AG Barr Declassify Some Footnotes

Jan 29, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

Top GOP Senators Say Horowitz Report "Misled Public", Demand AG Barr Declassify Some Footnotes by Tyler Durden Tue, 01/28/2020 - 21:35 0 SHARES Authored by Sara Carter via SaraACarter.com,

Chairman of the Senate Homeland Security Committee and Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee have formerly requested that Attorney General William Barr declassify four footnotes in Department of Justice Inspector General Michael Horowitz's report on the FBI's FISA abuse investigation. The letter states that the classified footnotes contradict information in Horowitz's report that appears to have misled the public.

U.S. Sens. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., and Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, sent the classified letter Tuesday evening and questioned the contradiction between the footnotes and what was made public by Horowitz's team regarding the bureau's Crossfire Hurricane investigation.

However, the Senator's did not disclose what section of the December FISA report contradicts the footnotes in their findings.

The Senator's state in their letter to Barr that certain sections of Horowitz's report on the FBI are misleading the public.

Part of the classified letter, which was obtained by SaraACarter.com states:

"We have reviewed the findings of the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) with regard to the FBI's Crossfire Hurricane investigation, and we are deeply concerned about certain information that remains classified ," the letter states.

"Specifically, we are concerned that certain sections of the public version of the report are misleading because they are contradicted by relevant and probative classified information redacted in four footnotes.

This classified information is significant not only because it contradicts key statements in a section of the report , but also because it provides insight essential for an accurate evaluation of the entire investigation.

The American people have a right to know what is contained within these four footnotes and, without that knowledge, they will not have a full picture as to what happened during the Crossfire Hurricane investigation. "

Johnson and Grassley's office noted that "for maximum public transparency, the senators wrote a separate unclassified cover letter to describe their request."

Full text of the unclassified letter to Barr below:

Tags Politics


dustinwind , 1 hour ago link

I wonder what kind of back room deals are going on right now that got the establishment working so hard to make sure the people are distracted from?

The impeachment is a giant nothing burger considering democrats lack the votes and any reasonable person knows that Barr was destined to return a giant nothing burger from the beginning so there must be something important the establishment wants to keep hidden by keeping these nothing burgers alive and in our faces.

MadelynMarie , 1 hour ago link

Didn't NeoCon puppet Trump order Barr to declass the Russia hoax docs?? Then deep state/CIA Barr and dirty corrupt DOJ turned everything around on Trump, and said Barr was ordered to determine IF anything needed to be declassified, which means, it will NEVER HAPPEN!!!

Trump had leverage over the domestic/global swamp when he held the thread of declassification over their heads, but once he ordered Barr to do it, and Barr turned it around on him, he lost all of his leverage/power. More here on leverage and declassification:

https://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2018/10/trump_declassification_and_leverage.html

GreatSunnyDays , 1 hour ago link

.Horowitz discredited himself in an earlier report and Congress testimony when he said "there was no bias in the FBI's efforts to surveil Trump"

He's a Democrat. Wanna know why some businesses fail? They let 'qualified' but sabotaging people stay around.

Governments can fail too. Looks like Horowitz has proven once again he's not neutral. I actually emailed the White House, I believe after he testifyied in that hearing, to get rid of him. Barr is likewise useless in terms of protecting the government and citizens from the deep state.

ScratInTheHat , 1 hour ago link

The US government is for the US government. The system protects the system! It does not matter who it looks like is running it because the system is running the system and the system is covering for everyone in the system that needs to be protected to protect the system.

SRV , 1 hour ago link

If they were Democrats the footnotes would already be splashed all over the front page of today's NYTs

[Jan 27, 2020] UK Espionage Historian Says Steele Dossier on Trump Was Highly Likely 'Fabricated'

Jan 27, 2020 | sputniknews.com

The controversial dossier served as the pretext for the FBI to start spying on Donald Trump's campaign members. A 2019 probe into the agency's activities didn't rule that is actions were inappropriate, but still criticised the FBI over how it handled FISA surveillance requests. Former Conservative lawmaker Rupert Allason, also known under his alias, Nigel West, is the author of numerous fiction spy books based on historical research, and has concluded in a 2017 research paper that the so-called Steele Dossier was largely made-up by its author, rather than being based on reliable sources, The Sunday Times reported citing the paper which they obtained. He assembled the report at the request of a Republican law firm after the Steele Dossier had been published by the Buzzfeed media outlet.

The former British lawmaker opined that "there is [...] a strong possibility that all Steele's material has been fabricated" after studying the former MI6 spy's findings and 11 sources he used to draft them.

"From a professional intelligence perspective, the dossier as a whole is profoundly troubling and cannot be taken at face value", Allason said.

Allason said that he was "frankly stunned" by what he saw in Steele's reports, whom he took for a respected former intelligence officer. He specifically cast doubt on one of the more notorious allegations made by Steele – that the Russian government had a compromising video, dubbed a "pee tape", in order to blackmail Trump.

"The content has such explosive implications that there is an added responsibility on a reporting officer to be entirely unambiguous as to precisely who has said what, and when, while explaining the status of each individual", the former lawmaker noted.

Rupert Allason, who is believed to be an expert in identifying pristine intelligence reports after he wrote an entire book devoted to identifying fake spy stories, reportedly went on to explain that the authors of made-up papers sometimes confuse themselves and attribute information to the wrong source. In the document, cited by the Times, Allason pointed out that Steele attributes too many of his findings about alleged ties between Trump and Russia to a single source, which appears "unprofessional" to the former lawmaker.

"Source E is credited with access to Ritz-Carlton staff, knowledge of Russian government involvement with WikiLeaks and the abuse of Russian diplomatic facilities in the United States. This appears to be an extraordinarily wide area of expertise. The apparent lapses bear the hallmarks of invention", Allason said.

Findings attributed to Source E in Steele's Dossier on Trump paved the road to the FBI's notorious probe, which included espionage on the then presidential candidate's campaign. The FBI later learned that most of information came from a businessman, Sergei Millian (although it's not clear if he was in fact Source E), who claimed that info, which he gave to Steele, was "just talk" one conveys "with friends over beers" and not more than "rumour and speculation" in some cases.

Christopher Steele, former British intelligence officer in London Tuesday March 7, 2017 where he has spoken to the media for the first time . Steele who compiled an explosive and unproven dossier on President Donald Trump's purported activities in Russia has returned to work © AP Photo / Victoria Jones/PA MI6 Assessed Discredited 'Trump-Russia' Dossier Author Steele to Have Questionable Judgment - Report

The FBI still failed to notify the FISA court that it considered its own source of information unreliable when it requested the prolongation of surveillance over Carter Page, a member of Trump's campaign team. Such handling of FISA warrants received harsh condemnation from the US justice department's inspector-general Michael Horowitz, who probed the FBI for misconduct but found no grave violations or bias against Trump in the process.

The Steele Dossier was initially funded by Trump's GOP opponents, but eventually the Democratic National Committee and its candidate in 2016 election, Hillary Clinton, became its main sponsors.

[Jan 09, 2020] It looks like UK and the USA intelligences agencies run the contest to see who can come up with the most surreal anti-Russian propaganda psy-ops

Highly recommended!
For MI6 this level of detachment from reality is stunning
Notable quotes:
"... "The UK's Secret Intelligence Service, otherwise known as MI6, has been scrambling to prevent President Trump from publishing classified materials linked to the Russian election meddling investigation. ... much of the espionage performed on the Trump campaign was conducted on UK soil throughout 2016." ..."
"... "Gregory R. Copley, editor and publisher of Defense & Foreign Affairs, posited that Sergei Skripal is the unnamed Russian intelligence source in the Steele dossier. ... In Skripal's pseudo-country-gentleman retirement, the ex-GRU-MI6 double agent was selling custom-made "Russian intelligence"; he had fabricated "material" that went into the Steele dossier..." ..."
Nov 24, 2018 | turcopolier.typepad.com
Likbez,

It looks like UK and USA are engaged in the contest to see who can come up with the most surreal anti-Russian propaganda psy-ops.

British Government Runs Secret Anti-Russian Smear Campaigns

That shed some light on the common origin of MH17, Russiagate and Scripal propaganda campaigns connecting all three with British government's psy-op operation called The ' Integrity Initiative ' which builds 'cluster' or contact groups of trusted journalists, military personal, academics and lobbyists within foreign countries. These people get alerts via social media to take action when the British center perceives a need.

And among others participants, William Browder is listed too:

Members of the Atlantic Council, which has a contract to censor Facebook posts , appear on several cluster lists. The UK core cluster also includes some prominent names like tax fraudster William Browder , the daft Atlantic Council shill Ben Nimmo and the neo-conservative Washington Post columnist Anne Applebaum. One person of interest is Andrew Wood who handed the Steele 'dirty dossier' to Senator John McCain to smear Donald Trump over alleged relations with Russia. A separate subcluster of so-called journalists names Deborah Haynes, David Aaronovitch of the London Times, Neil Buckley from the FT and Jonathan Marcus of the BBC.
Here is one interesting comment from MoA:

Anya, Nov 24, 2018 11:57:00 AM

The British government has been running a serious meddling into the US affairs:

https://www.zerohedge.com/n...

"The UK's Secret Intelligence Service, otherwise known as MI6, has been scrambling to prevent President Trump from publishing classified materials linked to the Russian election meddling investigation. ... much of the espionage performed on the Trump campaign was conducted on UK soil
throughout 2016."
A Steele & Skrupal's anti-Russian / anti-Trump saga: https://spectator.org/big-d...
"Gregory R. Copley, editor and publisher of Defense & Foreign Affairs, posited that Sergei Skripal is the unnamed Russian intelligence source in the Steele dossier. ... In Skripal's pseudo-country-gentleman retirement, the ex-GRU-MI6 double agent was selling custom-made "Russian intelligence"; he had fabricated "material" that went into the Steele dossier..."
For M16 to expose this level of stupidity is stunning.

[Dec 22, 2019] The Long, Dark History of Russia's Murder, Inc. Up next: The bright, sunny history of the CIA

Notable quotes:
"... The Long, Dark History of Russia's Murder, Inc. New York Review of Books ..."
Dec 22, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Stormcrow , December 21, 2019 at 11:54 am

The Long, Dark History of Russia's Murder, Inc. New York Review of Books

Up next: The bright, sunny history of the CIA

Carolinian , December 21, 2019 at 1:27 pm

Speaking of that.

https://www.counterpunch.org/2019/12/20/gladio-the-story-of-a-conspiracy/

Acacia , December 22, 2019 at 12:15 am

No surprise. NYRB has had a b*ner for Muh Russia since the early days of the hysteria.

[Dec 17, 2019] History Doesn t Repeat, But It Often Rhymes: Wilson in UK was subjected to the similar attack by rogue elements in MI5 as Trump in the USA

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... an inquiry by cabinet secretary Lord Hunt in 1996 concluded that "a few, a very few, malcontents in MI5" had "spread damaging malicious stories". ..."
"... Well, if a cabinet secretary says that it must be true. MI5, not MI6 - I think MI5's the heavy mob - but I just wondered if our spooks had passed these tricks on to the lads who put the Steele dossier about. ..."
Dec 14, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com

English Outsider

Massive win, Colonel, that as far as I know nobody predicted. Not the polls, not the political blogs. But I didn't follow it that closely so that's just a general impression.

My man, Nigel Farage, got squeezed mercilessly. I was looking around the BBC site to find out how mercilessly when I came across a picture of the bete noir of my father's time, Harold Wilson. Wilson was convinced that MI something was out to get him - bugged his office, spread smear stories about him around the press, even a possible coup.

The odd rumour of all this had spread to my corner of the English provinces and I'd always wondered if there was anything in it. So I clicked on the BBC article -

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/stories-49939123

- and came across this -

" .. A 1987 inquiry concluded the allegations of a security service plot against Wilson were untrue. However, an inquiry by cabinet secretary Lord Hunt in 1996 concluded that "a few, a very few, malcontents in MI5" had "spread damaging malicious stories".

Well, if a cabinet secretary says that it must be true. MI5, not MI6 - I think MI5's the heavy mob - but I just wondered if our spooks had passed these tricks on to the lads who put the Steele dossier about.

On another security matter I note with concern above - "Those are Jacobite tribesmen at the top. Some of my ancestors were such as they." I thought so. '15 and '45 caused us a lot of trouble and just in case the tradition remained in your family I'm opening a file. We're very happy with our present Queen, thank you, and we don't want you replacing her with some Stuart relic you might happen to have dug up.

Though I suppose it would only be poetic justice. We've just had a go at toppling your President so why shouldn't you return the compliment and topple Her Majesty.

14 December 2019 at 07:07 AM

[Dec 14, 2019] Full Interview: Barr Criticizes Inspector General Report On The Russia Investigation

Highly recommended!
Clapper and Brennan will be shaking in their boots after watching Barr's interview: done in "bad faith" = SEDITION !!!! Deep State operatives...ie, Brennan, Clapper, Comey, Stork, Lisa, McCabe, should be held accountable. Obama should probably be impeached.
The hard fact is, that the top of the FBI knew, in advance, that the "dossier" was just bs invented by Russian liars, for money, to be used as political lies for kilary's campaign. It Wasn't evidence and Comey knew far in advance of crossfire hurricane. I can't see less than 20 years in comey's future. That same includes barak, brennan and clapper, who were all informed, willing accomplices in this crime.
10:30 Whoever in FBI that intentionally misled the court using the Steele dossier knowing that the dossier was "total rubbish" as Barr states, needs to be inditing immediately. Why we are continuing to investigate instead of inditimg while continuing to investigate. Until these people are held accountable I don't think our country will begin to heal and media and others apologize to the country for the damage they have done.
7:49 - "Comey refused to sign back up for his security clearance, and therefore couldn't be questioned about classified matters." Well now, isn't that interesting. Haven't heard that one before.
Dec 14, 2019 | www.youtube.com

In an exclusive interview, Attorney General William Barr spoke to NBC News' Pete Williams about the findings on the Justice Department Inspector General's report on the Russia investigation and his criticisms of the FBI.


grabir01 , 3 days ago

It appears that none of AG Barr's answers were what Pete Williams wanted to hear.

Gary Ellis , 2 days ago

I sincerely hope that the Durham investigation brings people to justice for what they have done to our country.

greg j , 2 days ago

The man just admitted "this may be the biggest conspiracy in U.S Political History." Ouch!

Jeremy Elice , 3 days ago

Shame we didn't get to see Pete William's face during Barr's answer accusing "an irresponsible press of fanning the flames."

JOHN DRUMHELLER , 2 days ago

Here's the adult in the room. Look out children.

Hart , 1 day ago

This is like if Watergate was on steroids and then some. Everyone involved should be prosecuted including the person who bought the dossier

Russell McAfee , 1 day ago (edited)

The FBI never got the actual DNC server. Crowdstrike has it. The FBI got a 'forensic copy'

Richard McLeod , 1 day ago

The FBI has now been proven to be corrupt at its' highest levels.

King Eris , 1 day ago

I could listen to AG Barr talk for hours. He's so calm and professional.

Noble Victory , 1 day ago

Barr is so intelligent and just. He's smoothe like the way he plays the Bagpipes. Pretty amazing! 🇺🇸👍

Nolan Gleason , 3 days ago

Death to the swamp

ctafrance , 1 day ago

The press is hopelessly corrupt. If we didn't know it already, this interview proves it.

Roman King , 1 day ago (edited)

I'm So glade we have a competent attorney General pushing back on the massive disinformation narrative that comes from Giant News outlets of which are used to being unchallenged, unchecked by today's "journalistic standards"

Clarion Call , 2 days ago

I so respect and admire this man's brain and logical thinking. His vocabulary is great as well.

wkcw1 , 2 days ago

NBC realizing they need to take a bath on this whole thing. Probably a bit too late now.

barbandrob1 , 1 day ago

Barr just basically clarified and justified Fox news reporting over the last 2 years.. Thanks NBC

Faris Hamarneh , 3 days ago

I love Barr's nonchalant style. But this is real big and heads are going to roll

Craig Bigelow , 2 days ago

Obama spied on Trump. Obama should have known about the FISA warrant!

Luis Santiago , 1 day ago

so this guy really asked Bahr"why not open an investigation even with little evidence?" because is a violation of civil liberties to invade the privacy of law abiding citizens. You need compelling evidence for something so huge

macfan128 , 1 day ago

17:44 "Why should the Attorney General care that the FBI was spying on a presidential candidate?" LOLOLOLOL Our media is a jooooooooke.

David , 3 days ago

NBC did a straight up interview??? This is shocking. Who told them that they could start doing journalism again?

Bill the Cat , 2 days ago

Clapper and Brennan will be shaking in their boots after watching Barr's interview.

Alan Sullivan , 1 day ago

Horowitz should be instructed to edit or update his Report to discuss The Question of Bias and Evidence of Bias. He has clearly misguided Americans with his choice of words and has omitted important facts underpinning bias.

MegaTrucker65 , 1 day ago

I haven't looked into Ukraine YET.

Gamer John3:18 , 1 day ago

AG Barr is an outstanding role model, a man of integrity and wisdom, calm in a raging political storm. I have full confidence he will make those who fabricated evidence and hid exculpatory evidence finally face justice. AG Barr for President 2024!

Yo Mama , 2 days ago

Barr is a straight shooter and I love it. It sounds like we will get to the real truth eventually through Durhams investigation I just hope it doesnt take another year to get to the prosecutions.


Direbear Coat , 1 day ago

So, I watched the interview... The video is called, "Full Interview: Barr Criticizes Inspector General Report On The Russia Investigation." Not once did I hear him criticize the I.G.'s report. In fact, A.G. Barr clarified that the I.G.'s report was limited in scope because of the limitations put on the I.G. He said that the report was appropriate.

Wolverines Fight , 1 day ago

It's scary to see how powerful the corruption of the Democratic Party has grown. It represents a serious threat to all our personal freedom. The Democratic Party has to be stopped.

Benny .Burmeister Jørgensen , 3 days ago

Ok after watching this interview its quite clear that Barr and Durham is going after these criminals and people are going to jail. Maybe there is hope for US yet becuase this dane consider US atm a banana republic. Spying on political candidates? Forging documents? You FBI behaving like Stalins secret police. Lets see what happen.

Mike Dorsey , 1 day ago

God Bless Bill Barr. I'm glad there's still some adults in government that will speak their mind intelligently, rationally and unabashedly.

protochris , 1 day ago

This guy is brilliant; he's clearly exposing the FBI and the barking dogs on the alphabet networks.

Dan Kuo , 1 day ago

Amazing for the AG to go in deep into enemy territory at the heart of the opposition media to lay out a case for the criminal activities that undermined our country prior to and after the 2016 election. The deep state is trembling at the prospect of being held accountable after all the facts are laid out to the american people that these activities cannot be brushed aside or swept under the carpet if we are to continue as a country.

Jbyrd Texas , 2 days ago

The corrupt media is trying to act like they have not been involved in this treasonous scam since the beginning working directly with the treasonous cabal. The media has been lying and pushing fake news for 3 years calling Trump a Russia agent and called him treasonous. I knew the whole time that they were lying there was evidence from day one that this was all lies and if I can see that from the public then they can definitely see that from the inside they are purposefully lying.

Stephan Coutts , 1 day ago

I dare anyone on here to research Barr's History back to his involvement in the assignation of JFK, the cover up, defending Nixon, Epstein, and many other illegal and immoral activities. After reviewing the evidence, I walked away believing that Barr is trying to cover up his tracks so he does do jail time. No need to reply. Either take my dare or not. God Bless America and ALL her people, Stephan

Worlds Best Metal Detectorist , 2 days ago

The public are sick of waiting . I find myself skipping through a half hour news show in 5 minutes flat looking for arrests ,whereas before I was rivited to every minute of the half hour show but it goes on and on and at the there is Nothiing .The Democrats are the masters , it's obvious . If they break the law they get off scott free . If you are republican wave bye bye , you will be in jail for years . America is not the free and fair country it is all cracked up to be . It is corrupted by the democrats who have peoiple in high places that thwart real justice.

Right Thinking , 3 days ago

Mifsud approached George! Who was Mifsud working for (western asset) and why did he approach George? He’s the one who offered George dirt on Hill. Then invited him to meet the fake “niece”, of Putin, in England! What about this information? Someone set George up to make this happen outside the US, because of EO 12333. It had to happen outside the US so they could go to the fisa court!

dethtrk Jones , 3 days ago

I dont trust Christopher Wrey. He keeps slow-walking all the FBI documents and declassifications. He also fights judicial watch and judges that rule in their favor and continue not giving over what is ordered! This last judge was ready to hold him in contempt for refusing to cooperate with court ordered documents.

Brad Brown , 2 days ago

Why did the FBI continue to investigate Trump after January when the case collapsed? To try and find a way to impeach Trump. Remember the Washington Post headlined article right after the inauguration "The effort to impeach President Donald John Trump is already underway." The FBI "insurance" policy was essential!

[Dec 12, 2019] The FBI - Pushed By John Brennan - Lied To The Court Seven Times To Spy On The Trump Campaign

Highly recommended!
And behind Brennan we can can see the Nobel Peace Price winner.
Notable quotes:
"... A major role in directing the plot has fallen to Obama's consigliere John Brennan, the current director of the CIA. ..."
"... One part of the still ongoing deligitimization campaign was the FBI investigation of alleged Russian connections of four members of the Trump election campaign. ..."
"... The FBI agents and lawyers intentionally lied to the court. Their violations were not mistakes. All 51 of them were in favor of further spying on members of the Trump campaign and on everyone they communicated with. ..."
"... The FBI has used the Steele dossier to gain further FISA application even after it had talked with Steele's 'primary source' (who probably was the later 'buzzed' Sergei Skripal ) and after it had learned that the allegations in the dossier were no more than unconfirmed rumors. ..."
"... That the dossier was mere dreck was quite obvious to any sober person who read it when it was first published ..."
"... That summer, GCHQ's then head, Robert Hannigan, flew to the US to personally brief CIA chief John Brennan. The matter was deemed so important that it was handled at "director level", face-to-face between the two agency chiefs. ..."
"... (This is a Moon of Alabama fundraiser week. Please consider to support our work .) ..."
"... Occam's razor: CIA-MI6, with approval of US Deep State (Clintons, Bush, McCain, Brennan, Mueller, etc.), meddled to elect Trump and pointed fingers at Russia to initiate a new McCarthyism. ..."
"... "Sergey Lavrov: In my opinion, Congress sounds rather obsessed with destroying our relations. It continues pursuing the policy started by the Obama administration. As I mentioned, we are used to this kind of attack. We know how to respond to them. I assure you that neither Nord Stream-2 nor Turkish Stream will be halted." ..."
"... ... the current anti-Russian idiocy was started by Obama's team and was designed for Clinton to escalate ... ..."
"... It's Kissinger's WSJ Op-Ed of August 2014 that provides the answer. In this Op-Ed, Kissinger calls for a restored US Empire that is essentially Trump's MAGA. Kissinger is writing immediately after the Donbas rebels have won. The Russians refused to heed Kissinger's advice (to back down) and it has become apparent that Russia's joining the West is no longer an inevitability as the US elite had assumed. ..."
"... Good chance Steele had little to do with writing the Dossier. "Simpson-Ohr Dossier", anyone? Steele was needed as a credible looking intelligence officer with Russia ties and a past working relationship with US Intel, as cover to sell to FBI, FISA Court, and the public (meeting with Isikoff, Yahoo News story). ..."
"... Glenn Simpson and wife Mary Jacoby had written articles for the WSJ in 2007 and 2008 with a script and language similar to the Dossier. Devin Nunes seems to believe this scenario, and it is discussed in detail in books by Dan Bongino and Lee Smith, among others. ..."
"... physchoh @ 60; The difference, at least in my mind, is that, the "Russia did it" meme, is the weakest of all cases against DJT. Corbyn, on the other hand, may actually be hurt by the bogus charges. IMO, what this shows is coordination between the elites to bring down a progressive in the UK, who fancies public control over major finances instead of private concerns. ..."
"... So Horowitz was technically correct when he did not find bias. What he might have been reluctant to spell out is that he did find malice. ..."
Dec 11, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

On January 6 2017 this author concluded :

When Hillary Clinton was defeated in the U.S. presidential election the relevant powers launched a campaign to delegitimize the President elect Donald Trump.

The ultimate aim of the cabal is to kick him out of office and have a reliable replacement, like the Vice-President elect Pence, take over. Should that not be possible it is hoped that the delegitimization will make it impossible for Trump to change major policy trajectories especially in foreign policy. A main issue here is the reorientation of the U.S. military complex and its NATO proxies from the war of terror towards a direct confrontation with main powers like Russia and China.

...

A major role in directing the plot has fallen to Obama's consigliere John Brennan, the current director of the CIA.

One part of the still ongoing deligitimization campaign was the FBI investigation of alleged Russian connections of four members of the Trump election campaign.

The Inspector General of the U.S. Justice Department Michael Horowitz has investigated the FBI operation against the election campaign of Donald Trump. Yesterday he published his report, Review of Four FISA Applications and Other Aspects of the FBI's Crossfire Hurricane Investigation (pdf). It is 480 pages long and quite thorough but unfortunately very limited in its scope.

Horowitz finds that the FBI was within the law when it opened the investigation but that the FBI's applications to the FISA court, which decides if the FBI can spy on someone's communications, were based on lies and utterly flawed.

Your host unfortunately lacked the time so far to read more than the executive summary. But others have pointed out some essential findings.

Matt Taibbi remarks :

The Guardian headline reads: " DOJ Internal watchdog report clears FBI of illegal surveillance of Trump adviser ."

If the report released Monday by Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz constitutes a "clearing" of the FBI, never clear me of anything. ...

Much of the press is concentrating on Horowitz's conclusion that there was no evidence of "political bias or improper motivation" in the FBI's probe of Donald Trump's Russia contacts, an investigation Horowitz says the bureau had "authorized purpose" to conduct.

...

However, Horowitz describes at great length an FBI whose "serious" procedural problems and omissions of "significant information" in pursuit of surveillance authority all fell in the direction of expanding the unprecedented investigation of a presidential candidate (later, a president).

...

There are too many to list in one column, but the Horowitz report show years of breathless headlines were wrong. Some key points:

The so-called "Steele dossier" was, actually, crucial to the FBI's decision to seek secret surveillance of Page. ...

...

The "Steele dossier" was "Internet rumor," and corroboration for the pee tape story was "zero." ...

John Solomon finds :

Appendix 1 identifies the total violations by the FBI of the so-called Woods Procedures, the process by which the bureau verifies information and assures the FISA court its evidence is true.

The Appendix identifies a total of 51 Woods procedure violations from the FISA application the FBI submitted to the court authorizing surveillance of former Trump campaign aide Carter Page starting in October 2016.

A whopping nine of those violations fell into the category called: "Supporting document shows that the factual assertion is inaccurate."

For those who don't speak IG parlance, it means the FBI made nine false assertions to the FISA court. In short, what the bureau said was contradicted by the evidence in its official file.

The FBI agents and lawyers intentionally lied to the court. Their violations were not mistakes. All 51 of them were in favor of further spying on members of the Trump campaign and on everyone they communicated with.

The FBI has used the Steele dossier to gain further FISA application even after it had talked with Steele's 'primary source' (who probably was the later 'buzzed' Sergei Skripal ) and after it had learned that the allegations in the dossier were no more than unconfirmed rumors.

That the dossier was mere dreck was quite obvious to any sober person who read it when it was first published . Here is what we wrote about it at that time:

The anonymous former British operator hears from an anonymous compatriot that two anonymous sources, asserted to have access to inner Russian circles, claimed to have heard somewhere that something happened in the Kremlin.

They assert that Trump was supported and directed by Putin himself five years ago while even a year ago no one would have bet a penny on Trump gaining any political significant position or even the presidency.

There is a lot more of such nonsense in these new Hitler diaries. It is bonkers from a to z.

Those who thought otherwise should question their judgment.

It is now claimed that the FBI is exculpated because the Horowitz report did not find "political bias or improper motivation". But that omits the fact that at least four high ranking people in the FBI and Justice Department who were involved in the case were found to be politically biased and were removed from their positions.

It also omits that the scope of Horowitz's investigation was limited to the Justice Department. He was not able to investigate the CIA and its former director John Brennan who was alleging Russia-Trump connections months before the FBI investigation started:

Contrary to a general impression that the FBI launched the Trump-Russia conspiracy probe, Brennan pushed it to the bureau – breaking with CIA tradition by intruding into domestic politics: the 2016 presidential election. He also supplied suggestive but ultimately false information to counterintelligence investigators and other U.S. officials.

The current CIA director Gina Haspel was CIA station chief in London during that time and while several of the entrapment attempts of Trump campaign staff by the FBI investigation happened. Horowitz spoke with neither of them.

Peter Van Buren concludes :

The current Horowitz Report, read alongside his previous report on how the FBI played inside the 2016 election vis-a-vis Clinton, should leave no doubt that the Bureau tried to influence the election of a president and then delegitimize him when he won. It wasn't the Russians; it was us.

That is correct, but the whole conspiracy was even deeper. It was not the FBI which initiated the case.

My hunch is still that the FBI investigation was a case of parallel construction which is often used to build a legitimate case after a suspicion was found by illegitimate means. In this case it was John Brennan who in early 2016 contacted the head of the British GCHQ electronic interception service and asked him to spy on the Trump campaign. GHCQ then claimed that something was found that was deemed suspicious :

That summer, GCHQ's then head, Robert Hannigan, flew to the US to personally brief CIA chief John Brennan. The matter was deemed so important that it was handled at "director level", face-to-face between the two agency chiefs.

The FBI was tipped off on the issue and on July 31 2016 started an investigation to construct a parallel legal case. It send out British and U.S. agents to entrap Trump campaign members. It used the obviously fake Steele dossier to gain FISA court judgments that allowed it to spy on the campaign. Downing Street was informed throughout the whole affair. A day after Trump's inauguration the UK's then Prime Minister Theresa May fired GHCQ chief Robert Hannigan.

One still open question is to what extend then President Barack Obama was involved in the affair.

There is another ongoing investigation by U.S. Prosecutor John Durham. That investigation is not limited to the Justice Department but will involve all agencies and domestic as well as foreign sources. Durham has the legal rights to declassify whatever is needed and he can indict persons should he find that they committed a crime. His report will hopefully go much deeper than the already horrendous stuff Horowitz delivered.

(This is a Moon of Alabama fundraiser week. Please consider to support our work .)

Posted by b on December 11, 2019 at 16:16 UTC | Permalink


Antoinetta III , Dec 11 2019 16:27 utc | 1

Do we have any idea when the Durham report will be coming out?

Antoinetta III

casey , Dec 11 2019 16:30 utc | 2
Anyone taking bets on Durham/Barr making indictments in this mess? My guess is a whole lot of horse trading is going on behind the scenes now, as in, "I'll trade you a censure for all potential indictments going down the memory hole."
Kabobyak , Dec 11 2019 16:54 utc | 3
Typical dog and pony show which will change nothing relating to interventionist foreign policy and the new cold war with Russia. Too many saw benefits from the corruption in Ukraine to dig deep there; the Bidens were just the most blatant, Lindsey Graham and others from both parties were involved so don't expect much from the Senate hearings. The bipartisan major goals are a fait accompli; universal acceptance that Russia worked to undermine our elections (and to destroy our "Democracy") and are thus an enemy we must fight, and it's universally accepted by all that we MUST provide Ukraine with Javelin missiles and other lethal aid to fight "Russian Aggression" (with little mention that even Obama balked at that reckless option). All of these proceedings are great distractions, but the weapons of war will not be diminished.
c1ue , Dec 11 2019 17:08 utc | 4
@Kabobyak #3

Very possibly, but the Afghanistan papers have made an impact on some people: American Conservative editor is outraged, including militating against his children serving in the military and taxpayers funding it

jayc , Dec 11 2019 17:10 utc | 5
Another candidate for Steele's "primary source" is Stefan Halper. Svetlana Lhokova suggested that this past Sunday.
Jackrabbit , Dec 11 2019 17:12 utc | 6
Unfortuneately, few will question the findings of these investigations or consider the possibility that the investigations themselves are misdirection/cover-up.

Repeating my comment from yesterday on the Open Thread :

IMO the Lavrov-Pompeo presser is notable mostly for Lavrov's discussion of Russiagate (about 6 minutes in).

Lavrov tells us that the Russian's repeatedly sought to clarify their noninterference by publishing correspondence - which the Trump Administration didn't respond to. And he actual mentions McCarthyism!

Wait, wot?

Yeah, during the worst of the Russiagate accusations, Trump wouldn't do things that would've helped to prove that Russiagate was a farce!!

So, during the election, Trump called on Putin to publish Hillary's emails (the very act of making such a request is likely illegal because at the time it was known that her emails contained highly classified info) but he wouldn't accept Russia's publication of exculpatory info about Russiagate?!?!

This would cause cognitive dissonance galore in an Americans that hear it - so one can be sure that it will not be reported.

Occam's razor: CIA-MI6, with approval of US Deep State (Clintons, Bush, McCain, Brennan, Mueller, etc.), meddled to elect Trump and pointed fingers at Russia to initiate a new McCarthyism.

Meanwhile in bizarroland (aka USA), Barr says Russiagate is a fantasy based on FBI "bad faith" - yet Pompeo still presses on with the "Russia meddled" bullshit.

!!

james , Dec 11 2019 17:24 utc | 7
thanks b... i like your example in the comment - ''those who thought otherwise should question their judgment''.. good example!

i am a bit concerned like @ 2 casey, that most of this is going to go down the memory hole and there will be that made in america stamp on it - ''no accountability''... i wish i was wrong, but getting worked up at the idea anyone is going to be held accountable for any actions of the usa, or the insiders playing the usa, is clearly a fools game at this point.. all i mostly see is the needed collapse and waiting for that to happen..

Kabobyak , Dec 11 2019 17:27 utc | 8
@c1ue #4

Thanks for that, there are definitely cracks in the armor and we should promote that narrative as you do in your link. Tulsi Gabbard has also expanded the awareness, hopefully she will make the upcoming debates despite strong efforts to silence her. I'll try more to focus on the positive!

james , Dec 11 2019 17:27 utc | 9
@ 6 jr.. there is a press release on all what was said here for anyone interested..

lavrov quote and etc. etc.. "We suggested to our colleagues that in order to dispel all suspicions that are baseless, let us publish this closed-channel correspondence starting from October 2016 till November 2017 so it would all become very clear to many people. However, regrettably, this administration refused to do so. But I'd like to repeat once again we are prepared to do that, and to publish the correspondence that took place through that channel would clear many matters up, I believe. Nevertheless, we hope that the turbulence that appeared out of thin air will die down, just like in 1950s McCarthyism came to naught, and there'll be an opportunity to go back to a more constructive cooperation."

evilempire , Dec 11 2019 17:44 utc | 10
I continue to believe that the FBI and Horowitz perjured themselves in the FISA report. To correct a mistake in a previous post I made, I believe they lied when the claimed the Steele Dossier was not a predicate for opening crossfire hurricane. How can the Steele dossier not be instrumental in the opening of the investigation when bruce ohr's wife nellie ohr was working at fusion gps when bruce ohr met with steele to discuss the dirty dossier.

In other words, the FBI was concocting Operation Crossfire Hurricane prior to the time they had any knowledge of the phony Papadopoulus predicate that the russians were proferring the clinton emails to the trump campaign.

The FISA report claim that Operation Crossfire Hurricane was predicated solely on the Papadopolous allegations is therefore a lie. There was, in fact, no real predicate for Operation Crossfire Hurricane. The predications cited were all fictions and inventions fabricated in a conspiracy between MI6(the FFC or

friendly foreign country cited in the Horowitz report), the DOJ and the FBI. Operation Crossfire Hurricane was a massive Psyop from its inception.

Jackrabbit , Dec 11 2019 18:19 utc | 12
james @9

What major publications have picked up this info from the State Dept PR? Which of them are questioning why Trump didn't agree to let the Russians publish the exonerating information? And how many of those are linking this strange fact to other strange facts and thus raising troubling questions about the 2016 election?

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

It's not just that Trump refused to publish exculpatory material. Anyone that's been reading my comments (and/or my blog) knows that Trump also:

- hired Manafort - whose work for pro-Russian candidates in Ukraine had drawn the ire of CIA - despite Manafort's having no recent experience with US elections;

- helped Pelosi to be elected Speaker of the House by inviting her to attend a White House meeting about his border wall (along with Chuck Schumer) prior to the House vote to elect a Speaker.

- initiated Ukrainegate by talking with Ukraine's President about investigating an announced candidate - he didn't have to do this(!) he could've let subordinates work behind the scenes .

And then there's a set of suspicious activity that is difficult to explain, such as: ...

- Kissinger's having called for MAGA in August 2014 (Trump announced his campaign 10 months later and he was the ONLY MAGA candidate and the ONLY populist in the Republican primary) ;

- London as a nexus for the US 2016 campaign (Cambridge Analytica; GPS Fusion; Halper, etc.) ;

- Hillary's making mistakes in the 2016 campaign that no seasoned politician would make;

- the settling of scores via entrapments of Flynn, Manafort, and Wikileaks/Assange (painted as a hostile intelligence agency and Russian agent).

All of these and more support the conclusion that CIA-MI6 elected MAGA Trump and initiated Russiagate.

!!

Piotr Berman , Dec 11 2019 18:28 utc | 13
The anonymous former British operator hears from an anonymous asserted compatriot what two anonymous sources, asserted to have access to inner Russian circles, claim to have heard somewhere that something happened in the Kremlin. <-- Perhaps it is too much to add that the entire conversation happen in a pub, like an eyewitness account of a trout caught by an angler that was larger than a tiger shark [the trout was so large, not the angler].

Really?? , Dec 11 2019 18:31 utc | 14
James #11

I am a great fan of Dmitri Orlov and have just read a large portion of his linked post.

What I do not see Orlov doing is taking into account--in his takedown of "scientific" models---evidence of global warming/change such as *actual* observations of *actual, current* phenomena that are being measured today, such as the condition of the world's coral reefs; the rate of melting of permafrost and release of methane gas; the melting of Greenland (and other) glaciers and release of fresh water into the oceans; acidification of oceans; and quite a lot of evidence for sea level rise, such as saltwater intrusion into freshwater swamps, aquifers, etc.

karlof1 , Dec 11 2019 18:38 utc | 15
More can be gleaned by the manner in which BigLie Media spin the investigation's results. At The Hill , Jonathon Turley makes that clear in the first paragraph:

"The analysis of the report by Justice Department inspector general Michael Horowitz greatly depends, as is often the case, on which cable news channel you watch. Indeed, many people might be excused for concluding that Horowitz spent 476 pages to primarily conclude one thing, which is that the Justice Department acted within its guidelines in starting its investigation into the 2016 campaign of President Trump."

The further he goes the worse it gets for the Ds. And he's 100% correct about the biases present in reporting about the Report. Remarks made by Lavrov at the presser were likely done prior to anyone from Russia's delegation having digested any of the Report. What I found important was the following revelation by Lavrov:

"Let me remind you that at the time of the first statements on this topic, which was on the eve of the 2016 US presidential election, we used the communications channel that linked back then Moscow and the Obama administration in Washington to ask our US partners on numerous occasions whether these allegations that emerged in October 2016 and persisted until Donald Trump's inauguration could be addressed. The reply never came. There was no response whatsoever to all our proposals when we said: look, if you suspect us, let's sit down and talk, just put your facts on the table. All this continued after President Trump's inauguration and the appointment of a new administration. We proposed releasing the correspondence through this closed communications channel for the period from October 2016 until January 2017 in order to dispel all this groundless suspicion. This would have clarified the situation for many. Unfortunately, this time it was the current administration that refused to do so. Let me reiterate that we are ready to disclose to the public the exchanges we had through this channel . I think that this would set many things straight. Nevertheless we expect the turbulence that appeared out of thin air to calm down little by little, just as McCarthyism waned in the 1950s, so that we can place our cooperation on a more constructive footing." [My Emphasis]

Lavrov on Mueller Report: "It contains no confirmation of any collusion." End of story. But we do have all this compiled evidence within our communications we're ready to publish is the USA

agrees.

The Fairness and Accuracy In Reporting (FAIR) organization has yet to publish anything about the report. However, Matt Taibbi often writes for that outlet, so his reporting at Rolling Stone ought to be seen as a proxy FAIR report.

Michael Droy , Dec 11 2019 18:42 utc | 16
Great stuff as ever. How useful is it that Skripal is Unavailable but not Dead? For example does it affect redaction of material linked to him?
Jon Carter , Dec 11 2019 18:59 utc | 17
Now that we know Carter Page was working for the CIA as an informant in 2016, is it reasonable to speculate that Page was planted in the Trump campaign by the CIA?
GeorgeV , Dec 11 2019 19:11 utc | 18
The Inspector General of the Department of Justice, Micheal Horowitz's report on the move to delegitimize the election of Donald Trump to the Presidency is clear proof of the massive rot that lies at the heart of the US' political system. If this matter is whitewashed over by the MSM, then one more step will have been taken to a violent and bloody revolution in the US of A.
JR , Dec 11 2019 19:41 utc | 20
By now Steele's credibility is zero. Time to revisit Steele's involvement with the debunked "Russia bought the soccer World Champion games", the Litvinenko polonium poisening and the Skripal novichok poisening. The timing of the Skripal matter deserves some scrutiny in relation to Skripal possibly being Steele's source for the infamous Trump dossier. There might be a motive hidden there.
Jackrabbit , Dec 11 2019 19:44 utc | 21
Jon Carter @17:
... is it reasonable to speculate that Page was planted in the Trump campaign by the CIA?

And then there's Simon Bracey Lane in the Sanders campaign as described here: British Spies Infiltrated Bernie Sanders' Campaign?

Plus we have the strange goings-on of Halper and Mifsud as well as Gina Haspel in London also.

!!

uncle tungsten , Dec 11 2019 20:04 utc | 22
karlof1 #15

Thank you for posting Lavrov's words. Between those words and the IG report the kabuki farce is revealed. Why was Trump ignoring the Russian offer you might ask. Because it suited him to have this nonsense dominate the news cycle, you might conclude. Trump and Comey and Brennan deserve each other.

Lavrov's words condemn the three of them.

S , Dec 11 2019 20:25 utc | 24
Twitter account @Techno_Fog lists MSM shills who assured the public the FISA warrant on Page was not based on Steele dossier (h/t Zero Hedge).
james , Dec 11 2019 20:26 utc | 25
just like 9-11... this is an inside job... does anyone really think the truth is going to come to light in any of it?? i'm still with @ 2 caseys view...
karlof1 , Dec 11 2019 20:48 utc | 27
uncle tungsten @22--

Thanks for your reply! Yes, agreed, and I'd add Obama and Clinton. Lavrov also held another presser at the conclusion of his visit that provides additional info not covered in the first. The following is one I thought important:

"Question: The day before, US Congress agreed on a draft military budget, which includes possible sanctions against Nord Stream-2 and Turkish Stream. Have you covered this topic? The Congress sounds very determined. How seriously will the new restrictions affect the completion of our projects?

"Sergey Lavrov: In my opinion, Congress sounds rather obsessed with destroying our relations. It continues pursuing the policy started by the Obama administration. As I mentioned, we are used to this kind of attack. We know how to respond to them. I assure you that neither Nord Stream-2 nor Turkish Stream will be halted."

I must emphatically agree with Lavrov's opinion and was very pleased he answered forthrightly. What seems quite clear is the current anti-Russian idiocy was started by Obama's team and was designed for Clinton to escalate, with bipartisan Congressional backing. That she lost didn't stop the anti-Russian wheel from being turned. So, logic tells us to discover the reason for Obama to alter policy. Over the years I've written here why I think that was done--to continue the #1 policy goal of attaining Full Spectrum Dominance over the planet and its people regardless of its impossibility given the Sino-Russo Alliance made reality by that policy goal. That a supermajority in Congress remain deluded is clearly a huge problem, and those continuing to vote for the War Budget need to be removed.

ben , Dec 11 2019 21:03 utc | 28
b posted, in part;"When Hillary Clinton was defeated in the U.S. presidential election the relevant powers launched a campaign to delegitimize the President elect Donald Trump."

It doesn't take HRC and her resident scum-bag sycophants to deligitimize DJT, his sorry life-style, and his past record do that quite nicely, IMO.

karlof1 , Dec 11 2019 21:07 utc | 29
This tweet sums up things nicely in ways BigLie Media won't:

With only 9% approval, it ought to be easy to toss out most Congresscritters, excepting that part of the Senate not up for reelection.

ben , Dec 11 2019 21:18 utc | 30
Jrabbit @ 12 said; "All of these and more support the conclusion that CIA-MI6 elected MAGA Trump and initiated Russiagate."

YEP!!!!!

Paul Damascene , Dec 11 2019 21:24 utc | 32

Karlof1 @ 29--

Are you aware of any means by which a member of congress or of a congressional committee can be impeached or otherwise censured for the misconduct of official duties? That would at least be Schiff...

Posted by: Paul Damascene | Dec 11 2019 21:24 utc | 32

james , Dec 11 2019 21:25 utc | 33
@ 31 john.. i didn't know i had to read the orlov article to say what i did to you!! your post @11 never make any internet link to orlov... what am i missing? does this mean i can only speak with you after i have read another orlov article? lol...
james , Dec 11 2019 21:27 utc | 34
i see it now.. my comment still stands though... people seem especially pugnacious today..
William Gruff , Dec 11 2019 21:27 utc | 35
"It doesn't take HRC and her resident scum-bag sycophants to deligitimize DJT, his sorry life-style, and his past record do that quite nicely, IMO." --ben @28

Ah, but that would be legitimate deligitimization, like attacking his actual policies. Those are rocks that would break the Democrats' own windows as well as Trump's.

karlof1 , Dec 11 2019 21:30 utc | 36
29 Cont'd--

And Congress continues to alienate allies :

"So far on Dec 11:

1. Senate Foreign Relations Comm passed Turkey sanctions bill

2. Pentagon Chief warned Turkey moving away NATO

3. U.S. lawmakers introduce legislation to curb Turkey's nuclear weapon obtainment"

Finally, the pretense of being nice to Turkey has come to an end. It will now intensify its looking East, and pursue its national interests. IMO, the Eastern Med's energy issues will now become a major headache.

ben , Dec 11 2019 21:40 utc | 37
karlof @ 29: The head Dems know their pushing the " Russia did it"meme is weak, but the PTB

insist on it, to keep the MIC funds flowing.

The "no-brainer" charges should be; "Obstruction" and "Emoluments" violations. Charges the public can grasp.

What happens if you, or any average person, ignores a summons to appear? They are arrested.

Funneling govt. funds for personal gain is a violation of law, if you are POTUS.

These are violations average Americans can grasp, not the current circus of he said, she said, going on in D.C. lately.

Guess my point is, this hearings are built to fail, because most of our so-called leaders like things the way they are. The rape of the workings classes will continue.

karlof1 , Dec 11 2019 21:41 utc | 38
Paul Damascene @32--

Yes. The impeachment process is the same as for Trump. Censuring is much easier but doubt it will occur as too many are deserving. We're seeing the reason Congressional elections are held every two years--vote 'em out if they're no good!

Jackrabbit , Dec 11 2019 22:01 utc | 40
karlof1 @27:

... the current anti-Russian idiocy was started by Obama's team and was designed for Clinton to escalate ...

I don't agree that the baton would be passed to Clinton. The Deep State uses the two-party system as a device. It's not tied to partisan concerns. If the Deep State and the establishment really wanted Clinton elected, they would've made that happen. Few expected Trump to win and few would've been outraged if he had lost. Yet he won. Against all odds. Furthermore, Clinton wasn't the MAGA candidate as called for by Kissinger - Trump was. And he was from the beginning of his candidacy.

Russiagate was based on suspicions of a populist that was compromised by Russia. Hillary has too much baggage to play populist or nationalist - including Bill's involvement with Epstein.

Also, you're forgetting the set ups of Manafort, Flynn, and Wikileaks/Assange - which were important parts of Russiagate and also a convenient way of settling scores. These set-ups required the Russiagate-tainted candidate (Trump) to win.

And Trump's beating Hillary makes him the classic come-from-behind hero - giving Trump a certain legitimacy that an establishment candidate wouldn't have. That's important when contemplating taking the country to war in the near future.

It's strange to me that people can think that Hillary was the 'chosen candidate', and be OK with that but find a possible selection of a different candidate (Trump, as it turns out) to be outrageous and inconceivable.

=

... with bipartisan Congressional backing . That she lost didn't stop the anti-Russian wheel from being turned.

Since the Deep State and the Establishment desired an effort to restore the Empire, they would turn to whomever could most effectively accomplish that task.

Once again: It didn't have to be Hillary that was selected. In fact, for many reasons (that I've previously expressed) Hillary would have been a poor choice.

=

So, logic tells us to discover the reason for Obama to alter policy. Over the years I've written here why I think that was done--to continue the #1 policy goal of attaining Full Spectrum Dominance over the planet and its people ...

FSD is US Mil policy, not a political goal. It states that US Mil will strive to have superiority in weapons and capability in every sphere of combat.

Politically, FSD is just one of several means to an end. IMO that end is the maintenance and expansion of the Anglo-Zionist Empire (aka New World Order).

Also, your dominance theory doesn't answer the question of WHY NOW? (more on that below)

... regardless of its impossibility given the Sino-Russo Alliance ...

Firstly, US Deep State believes that it is possible. And I personally don't buy the notion that Russia and China are fated to prevail. If that were obvious, then the moa bar would have no patrons.

Secondly (and again), WHY NOW? The Sino-Russo Alliance was long in the making. Why did USA suddenly take note?

It's Kissinger's WSJ Op-Ed of August 2014 that provides the answer. In this Op-Ed, Kissinger calls for a restored US Empire that is essentially Trump's MAGA. Kissinger is writing immediately after the Donbas rebels have won. The Russians refused to heed Kissinger's advice (to back down) and it has become apparent that Russia's joining the West is no longer an inevitability as the US elite had assumed.

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

I've written many times of Kissinger's Op-Ed and of indications that the Deep State selected MAGA Trump to be President while also initiating a new McCarthyism. Why is it STILL so difficult to believe a theory that makes so much sense?

!!

karlof1 , Dec 11 2019 22:08 utc | 41
ben @37--

Yes, the status quo is very generous to the Current Oligarchy and its tools, but not so for the vast public majority which is clamoring for change. IMO, much can be learned from the UK election tomorrow, of which there's been very little discussion here despite its importance. I suggest following the very important developments from the past few days at Criag Murray's Twitter and at his website , the linked article being a scoop of sorts.

Also harder to follow but important as well are ballot initiatives within the states. This site has current listing . I just looked over those for California where there are a few good ones, but the threshold for signatures is getting higher, close to one million are now needed in CA.

Cortes , Dec 11 2019 22:34 utc | 43
Lavrov's comments about the offers to open up normally closed communications really only highlight two obvious issues:
AshenLight , Dec 11 2019 22:38 utc | 44
@ Posted by: karlof1 | Dec 11 2019 21:07 utc | 29
With only 9% approval, it ought to be easy to toss out most Congresscritters, excepting that part of the Senate not up for reelection.

You'd think so, but somehow the numbers pretty much reverse when these same people consider their own rep, and the incumbency reelection rate is shockingly high (haven't looked recently but IIRC it has hovered around 90% for decades). Apparently it is amazingly easy to convince the masses that their guy is the one good apple in the bunch.

karlof1 , Dec 11 2019 22:39 utc | 45
Jon Schwartz reminds me why I don't stop and peruse magazine stands anymore. Seeing the words and this picture would've sparked lots of unpleasant language:

"The best part of Michelle Obama explaining she shares the same values as George W. Bush is she was being interviewed on network TV by Bush's daughter. There's nothing more American than our ruling class making us watch them discuss how great they all are."

And the escalation wasn't rigged for Clinton to initiate--yeah, sure, whatever the rabbit says.

steven t johnson , Dec 11 2019 22:42 utc | 46
Until there is some comparison of how the FISA court usually works, none of this chatter means a thing. Violations of Woods procedures and assertions not supported by documents are SOP. The FISA court is always a joke.

Delgeitimizing Trump, reversing the election, all simple-minded drviel, as only nitwits see Trump as anything but the loser.

Jackrabbit , Dec 11 2019 23:08 utc | 48
Jen, that's a really interesting post. Thanks.

Skripal knows something that US-UK either 1) don't want the Russians to know OR 2) don't want ANYONE to know.

What could that be? 1) That Steele dossier is bullshit? We know that. 2) That Steele dossier was meant to be bullshit ? Well, that raises a whole host of questions, doesn't it?

!!

Kabobyak , Dec 12 2019 0:45 utc | 51
Good chance Steele had little to do with writing the Dossier. "Simpson-Ohr Dossier", anyone? Steele was needed as a credible looking intelligence officer with Russia ties and a past working relationship with US Intel, as cover to sell to FBI, FISA Court, and the public (meeting with Isikoff, Yahoo News story).

Glenn Simpson and wife Mary Jacoby had written articles for the WSJ in 2007 and 2008 with a script and language similar to the Dossier. Devin Nunes seems to believe this scenario, and it is discussed in detail in books by Dan Bongino and Lee Smith, among others.

daffyDuct , Dec 12 2019 2:26 utc | 56
c1ue @4

The Afghanistan report outlines a *massive fraud*. $14 billion/month, 90% of the world's opium, no "progress", oh, and lying to Congress for two decades.

ben , Dec 12 2019 3:24 utc | 59
OT, but this seems to be going around..Eh?

https://thegrayzone.com/2019/12/11/jeremy-corbyn-faces-russiagate-smear-campaign-before-uk-vote/#more-17822

ben , Dec 12 2019 4:47 utc | 62
physchoh @ 60; The difference, at least in my mind, is that, the "Russia did it" meme, is the weakest of all cases against DJT. Corbyn, on the other hand, may actually be hurt by the bogus charges. IMO, what this shows is coordination between the elites to bring down a progressive in the UK, who fancies public control over major finances instead of private concerns.
Piotr Berman , Dec 12 2019 5:03 utc | 63
Fox News, now: Biden blames staff, says nobody 'warned' him son's Ukraine job could raise conflict. In a TV comedy Seinfeld, one of the main characters, George, is a compulsive liar with a knack of getting in trouble. Sometimes he has a job. Final scene of one of those jobs:
evilempire , Dec 12 2019 5:34 utc | 64
I have theory about why Horowitz did not bias in the FBI. The definition of bias is to harbor a deeply negative feeling that clouds one's judgement about a person or subject. However, the conspirators' judgement was not clouded in this case. Their negative feelings focused their intent to destroy the object of

their feeling. The precise term for this is malice.

So Horowitz was technically correct when he did not find bias. What he might have been reluctant to spell out is that he did find malice.

Perimetr , Dec 12 2019 6:03 utc | 65
Re Really?? | Dec 11 2019 18:31 utc | 14 and AshenLight | Dec 11 2019 19:36 utc | 19

I agree with you. Orlov is a brilliant, insightful analyst, who is also very funny. But he is off the mark with his dismissal of global warming and also with his endorsement of nuclear power. The immense amounts of waste from uranium mining all the way to hundreds of thousands of tons of high-level waste in spent fuel pools pose a huge threat to current and future generations . . . like the next 3000 generations of humans (and all other forms of life) that will have to deal with this. Mankind has never built anything that has lasted a fraction of the 100,000 years required for the isolation of high-level wastes from the biosphere. Take a look at Into Eternity which is a great documentary on the disposal of nuclear waste in Finland.

Orlov's analysis is superficial, unfortunately, in these areas.

[Dec 10, 2019] Carter Page may have just let slip that he's an FBI and CIA informant by Bill Palmer

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... In other words, Carter Page just admitted that he's supplied information about his Russian interactions to the FBI and CIA. That means that at one point, at least, he was a de facto informant. When did that begin? Was it in 2013, after the U.S. busted the Russian spy ring that had sucked him in? Was that why he wasn't prosecuted? How long did he remain an FBI informant? Was he one during the Trump campaign? Is he still one? Is that why he acts in interviews as if he has no fear of getting in trouble, even as he willingly incriminates himself with his answers? ..."
"... This casts new light one another already-documented piece of information about Carter Page: the FBI obtained a FISA warrant on him back in the summer of 2016 ( Washington Post ), not long after he went to work for the Donald Trump campaign. Usually a FISA warrant is aimed at spying on that person. But if Page was already a willing FBI informant, it's possible the warrant was obtained so the FBI could surveil the conversations Page was having with the rest of the Trump campaign. ..."
Apr 21, 2017 | www.palmerreport.com

CNN is confirming today what a wide barrage of evidence has long pointed to: that Russia tried to use Donald Trump's campaign adviser Carter Page to infiltrate the campaign from within ( link ). But while that's not really news in and of itself, the real story here may be what Page just told CNN in response – because he may have just given away everything .

It's already been established that a Russian spy ring tried to turn Carter Page into an asset back in 2013. Page went as far as giving the Russians some unspecified documents ( NY Times ). When the spy ring was busted, authorities in the U.S. notably took no known legal action against Page. It's led some to speculate that perhaps they turned Page into an informant right then and there. The response Page gave to CNN for its story today sounds a lot like he's confirming as much:

"My assumption throughout the last 26 years I've been going [to Russia] has always been that any Russian person might share information with the Russian government as I have similarly done with the CIA, the FBI and other government agencies in the past."

In other words, Carter Page just admitted that he's supplied information about his Russian interactions to the FBI and CIA. That means that at one point, at least, he was a de facto informant. When did that begin? Was it in 2013, after the U.S. busted the Russian spy ring that had sucked him in? Was that why he wasn't prosecuted? How long did he remain an FBI informant? Was he one during the Trump campaign? Is he still one? Is that why he acts in interviews as if he has no fear of getting in trouble, even as he willingly incriminates himself with his answers?

This casts new light one another already-documented piece of information about Carter Page: the FBI obtained a FISA warrant on him back in the summer of 2016 ( Washington Post ), not long after he went to work for the Donald Trump campaign. Usually a FISA warrant is aimed at spying on that person. But if Page was already a willing FBI informant, it's possible the warrant was obtained so the FBI could surveil the conversations Page was having with the rest of the Trump campaign.

Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report

Contribute to Palmer Report

[Nov 03, 2019] Growing Indicators of Brennan's CIA Trump Task Force by Larry C Johnson - Sic Semper Tyrannis

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... The Task Force also could carry out other covert actions, such as information operations. A nice sounding euphemism for propaganda, and computer network operations. There has been some informed speculation that Guccifer 2.0 was a creation of this Task Force. ..."
Nov 03, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com

Growing Indicators of Brennan's CIA Trump Task Force by Larry C Johnson Larry Johnson-5x7

The average American has no idea how alarming is the news that former CIA Director John Brennan reportedly created and staffed a CIA Task Force in early 2016 that was named, Trump Task Force, and given the mission of spying on and carrying out covert actions against the campaign of candidate Donald Trump.

This was not a simple gathering of a small number of disgruntled Democrats working at the CIA who got together like a book club to grouse and complain about the brash real estate guy from New York. It was a specially designed covert action to try to destroy Donald Trump.

A "Task Force" is a special bureaucratic creation that provides a vehicle for bring case officers and analysts together, along with admin support, for a limited term project. But it also can be expanded to include personnel from other agencies, such as the FBI, DIA and NSA. Task Forces have been used since the inception of the CIA in 1947. Here's a recently declassified memo outlining the considerations in the creation of a task force in 1958. The author, L.K. White, talks about the need for a coordinating Headquarters element and an Operational unit "in the field", i.e. deployed around the world.

A Task Force operates independent of the CIA " Mission Centers " (that's the jargon for the current CIA organization chart).

So what did John Brennan do? I am told by an knowledgeable source that Brennan created a Trump Task Force in early 2016. It was an invitation only Task Force. Specific case officers (i.e., men and women who recruit and handle spies overseas), analysts and admin personnel were recruited. Not everyone invited accepted the offer. But many did.

This was not a CIA only operation. Personnel from the FBI also were assigned to the Task Force. We have some clues that Christopher Steele's FBi handler, Michael Gaeta, may have been detailed to the Trump Task Force ( see here ).

So what kind of things would this Task Force do? The case officers would work with foreign intelligence services such as MI-6, the Italians, the Ukrainians and the Australians on identifying intelligence collection priorities. Task Force members could task NSA to do targeted collection. They also would have the ability to engage in covert action, such as targeting George Papadopoulos. Joseph Mifsud may be able to shed light on the CIA officers who met with him, briefed on operational objectives regarding Papadopoulos and helped arrange monitored meetings. I think it is highly likely that the honey pot that met with George Papadopoulos, a woman named Azra Turk, was part of the CIA Trump Task Force.

The Task Force also could carry out other covert actions, such as information operations. A nice sounding euphemism for propaganda, and computer network operations. There has been some informed speculation that Guccifer 2.0 was a creation of this Task Force.

In light of what we have learned about the alleged CIA whistleblower, Eric Ciaramella, there should be a serious investigation to determine if he was a part of this Task Force or, at minimum, reporting to them.

When I described this to one friend, a retired CIA Chief of Station, his first response was, "My God, that's illegal." We then reminisced about another illegal operation carried out under the auspices of the CIA Central American Task Force back in the 1980s. That became known to Americans as the Iran Contra scandal.

I sure hope that John Durham and his team are looking at this angle. If true it marks a new and damning indictment of the corruption of the CIA. Rather than spying on genuine foreign threats, this Task Force played a critical role in creating and feeding the meme that Donald Trump was a tool of the Russians and a puppet of Putin.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

' Considerable efforts'

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Guardian, however, remained uncowed.

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

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

GCHQ and laptops

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A new editor

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Decline in critical reporting

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Getting Julian Assange

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Acting for the establishment

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A reliable publication?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Guardian did not respond to a request for comment.

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

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

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

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

Sep 10, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

librul , Sep 10 2019 19:54 utc | 19

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

Don't touch those doorknobs, Oleg!

for future reference: this post was for amusement purposes only

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

REASON FOR THE EXFILTRATION :

Let's start with the Washington Post:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

First the NY Times:

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

The Washington Post provides a more fulsome account:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


blue peacock , 10 September 2019 at 02:34 PM

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[Aug 23, 2019] Spygate The Inside Story Behind the Alleged Plot to Take Down Trump by Jeff Carlson

Highly recommended!
Images removed. See the original for full version.
Much more plausible explanation of Russiagate then Mueller report that cost probably 1000 times less. Mueller and his team should commit hara-kiri in shame.
It contains more valuable information about Russiagate and color revolution against Trump initiatesd by Obama and Brennan. And what is important it is much shorter and up to the point. In other words, Jeff Carlson beat the whole Mueller team to the punch.
An excellent reporting by Jeff Carlson !!! Bravo!!!
Notable quotes:
"... Horowitz continued to push Congress for oversight access and encouraged passage of the Inspector General Empowerment Act . Horowitz would ultimately win his battle, but only as President Barack Obama was leaving office. On Dec. 16, 2016, Obama finally signed the Inspector General Empowerment Act into law. ..."
"... The IGs' memo included an assessment that Clinton's email account contained hundreds of classified emails, despite Clinton's claims that there was no classified information present on her server. ..."
"... On July 30, 2015, within weeks of the FBI's opening of the Clinton investigation, McCabe was suddenly promoted to the No. 3 position in the FBI. With his new title of associate deputy director, McCabe was transferred to FBI headquarters from the Washington Field Office, and his direct involvement in the Clinton investigation began. ..."
"... Strzok was one of the agents selected, and in late August 2015, he was assigned to the Mid-Year Exam team and transferred to FBI headquarters. Strzok, in his comments to lawmakers, acknowledged that the newly formed investigative team was largely made up of hand-picked personnel from the Washington Field Office and FBI headquarters. ..."
"... On Jan. 29, 2016, Comey appointed McCabe as FBI deputy director, replacing the retiring Giuliano, and McCabe assumed the No. 2 position in the FBI, after having held the No. 3 position for just six months. ..."
"... By early 2016, the three participants in the infamous "insurance policy" meeting -- McCabe, Strzok, and Page -- were now in place at the FBI. ..."
"... Priestap, who testified that he was unaware of the frequency of meetings between McCabe, Strzok, and Lisa Page, seems to have been kept in the dark regarding many of the actions taken by Strzok, who appeared to be exercising significant investigative control. ..."
"... It sounds like Peter Strzok was kind of driving the train here. Would you agree with that?" ..."
"... Peter and Jon, yeah." ..."
"... Do you know if Mr. McCabe was aware that some of his agent executives were concerned that they were being bypassed on information on what, by all accounts, was a sensitive, critical investigation?" ..."
"... My understanding was that he was aware." ..."
"... Notably, Comey had been convinced to remove the term "gross negligence" to describe Clinton's actions from his prepared statement by, among others, Page, Strzok, Anderson, and Moffa. ..."
"... While GCHQ was gathering intelligence, low-level Trump campaign foreign-policy adviser George Papadopoulos appears to have been targeted, after a series of highly coincidental meetings. Most of these meetings with Papadopoulos -- whose own background and reasons for joining the Trump campaign remain suspicious -- occurred in the first half of 2016. Maltese professor Josef Mifsud, Australian diplomat Alexander Downer, FBI informant Stefan Halper, and officials from the UK's Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) all crossed paths with Papadopoulos -- some repeatedly so. ..."
"... As this foreign intelligence -- unofficial in nature and outside of any traditional channels -- was gathered, Brennan began a process of feeding his gathered intelligence to the FBI. Repeated transfers of foreign intelligence from the CIA director pushed the FBI toward the establishment of a formal counterintelligence investigation. ..."
"... The last major segment of Brennan's efforts involved a series of three reports. The first, titled the "Joint Statement from the Department Of Homeland Security and Office of the Director of National Intelligence on Election Security ," was released on Oct. 7, 2016. The second report, "GRIZZLY STEPPE -- Russian Malicious Cyber Activity ," was released on Dec. 29, 2016. The third report, "Assessing Russian Activities and Intentions in Recent U.S. Elections " -- also known as the intelligence community assessment (ICA) -- was released on Jan. 6, 2017. ..."
"... On July 5, 2016, Gaeta traveled to London and met with Steele at the offices of Steele's firm, Orbis. At some point in early July, Steele passed his initial report to Nuland and the State Department. Nuland later said these documents were passed on at some point to both the FBI and then-Secretary of State John Kerry. ..."
"... Prior to joining Fusion GPS, Nellie had worked as an independent contractor for an internal open-source division of the CIA, Open Source Works, from 2008 to at least June 2010; it appears likely she remained in that role into 2014. ..."
"... Additionally, email communications between her and Bruce Ohr show that she routinely sent her husband at the DOJ articles on Russia -- most carrying a similar negative slant. The emails continued through the duration of Nellie's employment with Fusion GPS and usually contained a brief, often one-line comment from Nellie. ..."
"... In her testimony, Nellie described her work as online open-source efforts that utilized "Russian sources, media, social media, government, you know, business registers, legal databases, all kinds of things." Ohr said that she would "write occasional reports based on the open-source research that I described about Donald Trump's relationships with various people in Russia." ..."
"... Steele had produced eight reports from June 20, 2016, through the end of August 2016 (there also is one undated report included in the dossier). No further reports were generated by Steele until Sept. 14, when he suddenly wrote three separate memos in one day. One of the memos referenced a Russian bank named Alfa Bank, misspelled as "Alpha" in his memo. Steele's sudden burst of productivity was likely done in preparation for his Sept. 19 meeting in Rome with the FBI. ..."
"... The impact of Brennan's potential knowledge of the dossier in August 2016 should not be underestimated. As Brennan testified to Congress, his briefing to the Gang of Eight was done in consultation with the Obama administration: ..."
"... Halper, who has been outed as an FBI informant, stayed in contact with Carter Page for the next 14 months, severing ties exactly as the final FISA warrant on Page expired. ..."
"... Following the publication of the Isikoff article, the Hillary for America campaign released a statement on the same day that touted Isikoff's "bombshell report," with the full article attached. ..."
"... Winer had received a separate dossier , very similar to Steele's, from longtime Clinton confidant Sidney Blumenthal. This "second dossier" had been compiled by another longtime Clinton operative, former journalist Cody Shearer, and echoed claims made in the Steele dossier. Winer gave Steele a copy of the "second dossier." Steele then shared this second dossier with the FBI, which may have used it as a means to corroborate Steele's own dossier. ..."
"... Steele also met with U.S. media during his visit to Washington, doing so "at Fusion's instruction." According to UK Court documents , Steele testified that he "briefed" The New York Times, The Washington Post, Yahoo News, The New Yorker, and CNN at the end of September 2016. Steele would engage in a second round of media contact in mid-October 2016, meeting again with The New York Times, The Washington Post, and Yahoo News. Steele testified that all these meetings were "conducted verbally in person." ..."
"... Sometime in late 2016, his wife, Nellie Ohr, provided him with a memory stick containing all of her research that she had compiled while employed at Fusion GPS. Bruce Ohr testified he gave the memory stick to Pientka. Nellie Ohr had left Fusion in September 2016. Through Pientka, Strzok now had all of Nellie Ohr's Fusion research in his possession. ..."
"... Flynn's 2015 dinner in Moscow was initially used to implicate the Trump campaign's ties to Russia. It was then used as a means to cast doubts on Flynn's ability as Trump's national security adviser. Following Flynn's resignation, it was then used as a means to pursue the ongoing collusion narrative that gained full strength in the early days of the Trump administration. ..."
"... On April 18, 2016, Rogers moved aggressively in response to the disclosures. He abruptly shut down all FBI outside-contractor access. At this point, both the FBI and the DOJ's NSD became aware of Rogers's compliance review. They may have known earlier, but they were certainly aware after outside-contractor access was halted. ..."
"... Carlin filed the government's proposed 2016 Section 702 certifications on Sept. 26, 2016. Carlin knew the general status of the compliance review by Rogers. The NSD was part of the review. Carlin failed to disclose a critical Jan. 7, 2016, report by the NSA inspector general and associated FISA abuse to the FISA court in his 2016 certification. Carlin also failed to disclose Rogers's ongoing Section 702-compliance review. ..."
Mar 28, 2019 | www.theepochtimes.com

Updated: July 7, 2019

Efforts by high-ranking officials in the CIA , FBI , Department of Justice ( DOJ ), and State Department to portray President Donald Trump as having colluded with Russia were the culmination of years of bias and politicization under the Obama administration.

<img class="size-large wp-image-2855920" src="https://img.theepochtimes.com/assets/uploads/2019/03/27/DOJ-FBI_infographic_3_Epoch-Times-1200x630.png" alt="" width="640" height="336" /> Click on image to enlarge.

The weaponization of the intelligence community and other government agencies created an environment that allowed for obstruction in the investigation into Hillary Clinton and the relentless pursuit of a manufactured collusion narrative against Trump.

A willing and complicit media spread unsubstantiated leaks as facts in an effort to promote the Russia-collusion narrative.

The Spygate scandal also raises a bigger question: Was the 2016 election a one-time aberration, or was it symptomatic of decades of institutional political corruption?

This article builds on dozens of congressional testimonies, court documents, and other research to provide an inside look at the actions of Obama administration officials in the scandal that's become known as Spygate.

<img class=" wp-image-2833768" src="https://img.theepochtimes.com/assets/uploads/2019/03/11/Michael-Horowitz-1200x1239.jpg" alt="" width="160" height="165" /> Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz . (MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)

To understand this abuse of power, it helps to go back to July 2011, when DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz was appointed.

From the very start, Horowitz found his duties throttled by Attorney General Eric Holder, who placed limitations on the inspector general's right to have unobstructed access to information. Holder used this tactic to delay Horowitz's investigation of the failed sting operation known as Operation Fast and Furious.

"We got access to information up to 2010 in all of these categories. No law changed in 2010. No policy changed. It was simply a decision by the General Counsel's Office in 2010 that they viewed, now, the law differently. And as a result, they weren't going to give us that information," Horowitz told members of Congress in February 2015.

On Aug. 5, 2014, Horowitz and other inspectors general had sent a letter to Congress asking for unimpeded access to all records. Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates responded on July 20, 2015, with a 58-page memorandum, titled " Memorandum for Sally Quillian Yates Deputy Attorney General ," written by Karl R. Thompson, the principal deputy assistant attorney general of the Office of Legal Counsel (OLC).

<img class=" wp-image-2833772" src="https://img.theepochtimes.com/assets/uploads/2019/03/11/sally-yates-1200x1188.jpg" alt="" width="161" height="159" /> Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

The July 20, 2015, opinion was widely criticized . But it accomplished what it was intended to do. The opinion limited IG Horowitz's oversight from extending to any information collected under Title III -- including intercepted communications and national security letters. (Notably, The New York Times disclosed that national security letters were used in the surveillance of the Trump 2016 presidential campaign.)

In response, on Aug. 3, 2015, IG Horowitz sent a blistering letter to Congress. The letter was signed not only by Horowitz but by all other acting inspectors general as well:

"The OLC opinion's restrictive reading of the IG Act represents a potentially serious challenge to the authority of every Inspector General and our collective ability to conduct our work thoroughly, independently, and in a timely manner. Our concern is that, as a result of the OLC opinion, agencies other than DOJ may likewise withhold crucial records from their Inspectors General, adversely impacting their work.

Horowitz continued to push Congress for oversight access and encouraged passage of the Inspector General Empowerment Act . Horowitz would ultimately win his battle, but only as President Barack Obama was leaving office. On Dec. 16, 2016, Obama finally signed the Inspector General Empowerment Act into law.

It is against this backdrop of minimal oversight that Spygate took place.

Ironically, the Clinton email server investigation, known as the "Mid-Year Exam," originated from a disclosure contained in a June 29, 2015, memo sent by the inspectors general for both the State Department and the Intelligence Community to Patrick F. Kennedy, then-undersecretary of state for management.

The IGs' memo included an assessment that Clinton's email account contained hundreds of classified emails, despite Clinton's claims that there was no classified information present on her server.

On July 6, 2015, the IG for the Intelligence Community made a referral to the FBI, which resulted in the official opening of an investigation into the Clinton email server by FBI officials Randall Coleman and Charles Kable on July 10, 2015.

<img class="size-large wp-image-2833204" src="https://img.theepochtimes.com/assets/uploads/2019/03/11/Andrew-McCabe-Lisa-Page-Peter-Strzok-1200x720.jpg" alt="peter strzok andrew mccabe and lisa page" width="640" height="384" /> (L-R) FBI agent Peter Strzok, FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe , and FBI lawyer Lisa Page. (Getty Images/Epoch Times)

A Hand-Picked Team

At this time, Peter Strzok was an assistant special agent in charge at the FBI's Washington Field Office. The assistant director in charge at the Washington Field Office during this period was Andrew McCabe, a position he assumed on Sept. 14, 2014.

On July 30, 2015, within weeks of the FBI's opening of the Clinton investigation, McCabe was suddenly promoted to the No. 3 position in the FBI. With his new title of associate deputy director, McCabe was transferred to FBI headquarters from the Washington Field Office, and his direct involvement in the Clinton investigation began.

Strzok would follow shortly. Less than a month after McCabe was transferred, FBI headquarters reached out to the Washington Field Office, saying it needed greater staffing and resources "based on what they were looking at, based on some of the investigative steps that were under consideration," Strzok told congressional investigators in a closed-door hearing on June 27, 2018.

Strzok was one of the agents selected, and in late August 2015, he was assigned to the Mid-Year Exam team and transferred to FBI headquarters. Strzok, in his comments to lawmakers, acknowledged that the newly formed investigative team was largely made up of hand-picked personnel from the Washington Field Office and FBI headquarters.

Starting in October 2015 and continuing into early 2016, FBI Director James Comey made a series of high-profile reassignments that resulted in the complete turnover of the upper-echelon of the FBI team working on the Clinton email investigation:

Comey is the only known senior FBI leadership official who remained involved throughout the entire Clinton email investigation. McCabe had the second-longest tenure.

On Jan. 29, 2016, Comey appointed McCabe as FBI deputy director, replacing the retiring Giuliano, and McCabe assumed the No. 2 position in the FBI, after having held the No. 3 position for just six months.

It was at this point that FBI lawyer Lisa Page was assigned to McCabe as his special counsel. This was not the first time that Page worked directly for McCabe. James Baker, the FBI's former general counsel, told congressional investigators that Page had worked for McCabe at various times during McCabe's career, going back as far as 2013.

By early 2016, the three participants in the infamous "insurance policy" meeting -- McCabe, Strzok, and Page -- were now in place at the FBI.

In January 2016, Bill Priestap was named as head of the FBI's Counterintelligence Division, replacing Coleman and inheriting the Clinton email investigation in the process.

<img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-2857145" src="https://img.theepochtimes.com/assets/uploads/2019/03/28/Spygate_Epoch-TImes.jpg" alt="" width="676" height="1280" />

According to Priestap, Coleman had "set up a reporting mechanism that leaders of that team would report directly to him, not through the customary other chain of command" in the Clinton email investigation. Priestap, who said he didn't know why Coleman had "set it up," kept the chain of command in place when he assumed Coleman's position in January 2016.

This new structure resulted in some unusual reporting lines that went outside normal chains of command. Strzok, who would not normally fall under Priestap's oversight, was now reporting directly to him.

As Priestap described it, the team involved in the Clinton investigation comprised three different but intertwined elements: the primary team, the filter team, and the senior leadership team.

While the elements of the day-to-day investigative team differed for the Clinton email investigation and the Trump–Russia investigation, the primary team remained the same throughout both cases -- as did the lines of communication between the FBI and the DOJ. According to testimony by Page, John Carlin, who ran the DOJ's National Security Division (NSD), was receiving briefings on both investigations directly from McCabe.

Priestap Left in the Dark

Priestap, who testified that he was unaware of the frequency of meetings between McCabe, Strzok, and Lisa Page, seems to have been kept in the dark regarding many of the actions taken by Strzok, who appeared to be exercising significant investigative control. Priestap was asked about this by congressional investigators during a June 5, 2018, testimony:

Rep. Meadows: " It sounds like Peter Strzok was kind of driving the train here. Would you agree with that?"

Mr. Priestap: " Peter and Jon, yeah."

<img class=" wp-image-2833249" src="https://img.theepochtimes.com/assets/uploads/2019/03/11/Priestap-1200x1548.jpg" alt="" width="160" height="205" /> Assistant Director of the FBI's Counterintelligence Division Bill Priestap. (Jennifer Zeng/The Epoch Times)

Additionally, Page often circumvented the established chain of command, not only with McCabe, for whom she reportedly served as a conduit for Strzok, but also with Baker. Additionally, there were concerns that Page bypassed both the executive assistant director for the National Security Branch -- first Giacalone, then Steinbach -- and Priestap, the head of counterintelligence. Anderson, the No. 2 lawyer, admitted in her testimony to congressional investigators that she had been aware of these concerns, saying, "Neither of them personally complained to me, but I was aware of their concerns."

A report published by IG Horowitz in June 2018, which reviewed the FBI's investigation of the Clinton email case, included the notable statement that several witnesses had informed the IG that Page "circumvented the official chain of command, and that Strzok communicated important Midyear case information to her, and thus to McCabe, without Priestap's or Steinbach's knowledge." Steinbach, who was the executive assistant director and Priestap's direct supervisor, left the FBI in early 2017.

According to Anderson, McCabe was aware of the ongoing concerns regarding Page's circumventions, but it appears that nothing was done to address them:

Mr. Baker: " Do you know if Mr. McCabe was aware that some of his agent executives were concerned that they were being bypassed on information on what, by all accounts, was a sensitive, critical investigation?"

Ms. Anderson: " My understanding was that he was aware."

DOJ Prevents 'Gross Negligence' Charges

By the spring of 2016, the Clinton email investigation was already winding down. This was due in large part to the fact that the DOJ, under Attorney General Loretta Lynch , had decided to set an unusually high threshold for the prosecution of Clinton, effectively ensuring from the outset that she would not be charged.

In order for Clinton to be prosecuted, the DOJ required the FBI to establish evidence of intent -- even though the gross negligence statute explicitly does not require this.

This meant that the FBI would have needed to find a smoking gun, such as an email or an admission made during FBI questioning, revealing that Clinton or her aides knowingly set up the private email server to send classified information.

According to Page, the DOJ played a far larger role in the Clinton investigation than previously had been known:

"Everybody talks about this as if this was the FBI investigation, and the truth of the matter is there was not a single step, other than the July 5th statement, there was not a single investigative step that we did not do in consultation with or at the direction of the Justice Department," Page told congressional investigators on July 13, 2018.

<img class=" wp-image-2833254" src="https://img.theepochtimes.com/assets/uploads/2019/03/11/GettyImages-545524880-1200x1441.jpg" alt="" width="161" height="193" /> Attorney General Loretta Lynch. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Comey also had hinted at the influence exerted by the DOJ over the Clinton investigation, at a July 5, 2016, press conference , in which he recommended that Clinton not be charged, stating that "there are obvious considerations, like the strength of the evidence, especially regarding intent."

Notably, Comey had been convinced to remove the term "gross negligence" to describe Clinton's actions from his prepared statement by, among others, Page, Strzok, Anderson, and Moffa.

CIA Director Instigates Trump Investigation

As the Clinton investigation wound down, interest from the intelligence community in the Trump campaign was ramping up. Sometime in 2015, it appears former CIA Director John Brennan established himself as the point man to push for an investigation into the Trump campaign. Using a combination of unofficial foreign intelligence compiled by contacts, colleagues, and associates -- primarily from the UK , but also from other Five Eyes members, such as Australia -- Brennan then fed this information to the FBI. Brennan stated this fact repeatedly during a May 23, 2017, congressional testimony :

"I made sure that anything that was involving U.S. persons, including anything involving the individuals involved in the Trump campaign, was shared with the [FBI]."

<img class=" wp-image-2833258" src="https://img.theepochtimes.com/assets/uploads/2019/03/11/GettyImages-687314312-1200x1279.jpg" alt="" width="160" height="171" /> CIA Director John Brennan. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Brennan also admitted that it was his intelligence that helped establish the FBI investigation:

"I was aware of intelligence and information about contacts between Russian officials and U.S. persons that raised concerns in my mind about whether or not those individuals were cooperating with the Russians, either in a witting or unwitting fashion, and it served as the basis for the FBI investigation to determine whether such collusion [or] cooperation occurred."

In late 2015, Britain's Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) was involved in collecting information regarding then-candidate Trump and transmitting it to the United States. The GCHQ is the UK equivalent of the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA).

<img class=" wp-image-2833230" src="https://img.theepochtimes.com/assets/uploads/2019/03/11/George-Papadopoulos.jpg" alt="" width="160" height="192" /> Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos. (MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)

While GCHQ was gathering intelligence, low-level Trump campaign foreign-policy adviser George Papadopoulos appears to have been targeted, after a series of highly coincidental meetings. Most of these meetings with Papadopoulos -- whose own background and reasons for joining the Trump campaign remain suspicious -- occurred in the first half of 2016. Maltese professor Josef Mifsud, Australian diplomat Alexander Downer, FBI informant Stefan Halper, and officials from the UK's Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) all crossed paths with Papadopoulos -- some repeatedly so.

<img class=" wp-image-2833234" src="https://img.theepochtimes.com/assets/uploads/2019/03/11/Alexander-Downer-1200x1391.jpg" alt="" width="160" height="186" /> Australian high commissioner to the UK, Alexander Downer. (GOH CHAI HIN/AFP/Getty Images)

Downer's conversation with Papadopoulos was reportedly disclosed to the FBI on July 22, 2016, through Australian government channels, although it may have come directly from Downer himself.

Details from the conversation between Downer and Papadopoulos were then used by the FBI to open its counterintelligence investigation on July 31, 2016.

In the summer of 2016, Robert Hannigan, the head of the UK's GCHQ, traveled to Washington to meet with Brennan regarding alleged communications between the Trump campaign and Moscow. Around the same time, Brennan formed an inter-agency task force comprising an estimated six agencies and/or government departments. The FBI, Treasury, and DOJ handled the domestic inquiry into Trump and possible Russia connections. The CIA, Office of the Director of National Intelligence, and the NSA handled foreign and intelligence aspects.

During this time, Brennan appeared to have employed the use of reverse targeting , which refers to the targeting of a foreign individual with the intent of capturing data on a U.S. citizen.

Mr. Brennan:

" We call it incidental collection in terms of CIA's foreign intelligence collection authorities. Any time we would incidentally collect information on a U.S. person, we would hand that over to the FBI because they have the legal authority to do it. We would not pursue that type of investigative, you know, sort of leads. We would give it to the FBI. So, we were picking things up that was of great relevance to the FBI, and we wanted to make sure that they were there -- so they could piece it together with whatever they were collecting domestically here."

As this foreign intelligence -- unofficial in nature and outside of any traditional channels -- was gathered, Brennan began a process of feeding his gathered intelligence to the FBI. Repeated transfers of foreign intelligence from the CIA director pushed the FBI toward the establishment of a formal counterintelligence investigation.

The last major segment of Brennan's efforts involved a series of three reports. The first, titled the "Joint Statement from the Department Of Homeland Security and Office of the Director of National Intelligence on Election Security ," was released on Oct. 7, 2016. The second report, "GRIZZLY STEPPE -- Russian Malicious Cyber Activity ," was released on Dec. 29, 2016. The third report, "Assessing Russian Activities and Intentions in Recent U.S. Elections " -- also known as the intelligence community assessment (ICA) -- was released on Jan. 6, 2017.

This final report was used to continue pushing the Russia-collusion narrative following the election of President Donald Trump. Notably, Adm. Mike Rogers of the NSA publicly dissented from the findings of the ICA, assigning it only a moderate confidence level.

Fusion GPS and the Steele Dossier

Meanwhile, another less official effort began. Information paid for by the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and the Clinton campaign targeting Trump made its way to the highest levels of the FBI and the State Department, with a sophisticated strategy relying on the personal connections of hired operatives.

<img class=" wp-image-2833265" src="https://img.theepochtimes.com/assets/uploads/2019/03/11/GettyImages-621958726-1200x1324.jpg" alt="" width="159" height="176" /> Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. (JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)

At the center of the multi-pronged strategy to disseminate the information were Fusion GPS co-founder Glenn Simpson and former British spy Steele.

In early March 2016, Fusion GPS approached Perkins Coie -- the law firm used by the Clinton campaign and the DNC -- expressing interest in an "engagement," according to an Oct. 24, 2017, response letter by Perkins Coie. The firm hired Fusion GPS in April 2016 to "perform a variety of research services during the 2016 election cycle."

Steele's firm, Orbis Business Intelligence, was retained by Fusion GPS during the period between June and November 2016. During this time, Steele produced 16 memos, with the last memo dated Oct. 20, 2016. There is one final memo that Steele wrote on Dec. 13 at the request of Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.).

<img class=" wp-image-2833240" src="https://img.theepochtimes.com/assets/uploads/2019/03/11/GettyImages-634408242-1200x1349.jpg" alt="" width="160" height="180" /> Sen. John McCain commissioned one of Steele's memos. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Steele provided Fusion GPS with something that Simpson's firm was lacking: access to individuals within the FBI and the State Department. These contacts could be traced back to at least 2010, when Steele had provided assistance in the FBI's investigation into FIFA over concerns that Russia might have been engaging in bribery to host the 2018 World Cup.

Sometime in the latter half of 2014, Steele began to informally provide reports he had prepared for a private client to the State Department. One of the recipients of the reports was Victoria Nuland, the assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian affairs.

After Steele's company was hired by Fusion GPS in June 2016, he began to reach out to the FBI through Michael Gaeta, an FBI agent and assistant legal attaché at the U.S. Embassy in Rome who Steele had worked with on the FIFA case. Gaeta also headed up the FBI's Eurasian Organized Crime unit, which specializes in investigating criminal groups from Georgia, Russia, and Ukraine.

Gaeta was later identified as Steele's FBI handler, in a July 16, 2018, congressional testimony before the House Judiciary and Oversight committees by Page.

<img class=" wp-image-2833242" src="https://img.theepochtimes.com/assets/uploads/2019/03/11/victoria-nuland-1200x1373.jpg" alt="" width="160" height="183" /> Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Victoria Nuland. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

On July 5, 2016, Gaeta traveled to London and met with Steele at the offices of Steele's firm, Orbis. At some point in early July, Steele passed his initial report to Nuland and the State Department. Nuland later said these documents were passed on at some point to both the FBI and then-Secretary of State John Kerry.

Exactly what happened with the reports that Gaeta brought back from London, and precisely who he gave them to within the FBI, remains unknown, although some media reports have indicated they might have been sent to the FBI's New York Field Office. During the period following Steele's initial contact with the FBI, there appears to have been no further FBI interaction or contact with Steele.

Former CIA Contractor Worked for Fusion GPS

Notably, eight months before Fusion GPS hired Christopher Steele, Simpson had hired Nellie Ohr, the wife of then-Associate Deputy Attorney General Bruce Ohr, to work for his firm as a researcher in October 2015. It was at this time that Fusion GPS was retained by the Washington Free Beacon to engage in research on the Trump campaign.

Prior to joining Fusion GPS, Nellie had worked as an independent contractor for an internal open-source division of the CIA, Open Source Works, from 2008 to at least June 2010; it appears likely she remained in that role into 2014.

Nellie told congressional investigators, in her Oct. 19, 2018, closed-door testimony, that part of her work for Fusion GPS was to research the Trump 2016 presidential campaign, including campaign associate Carter Page, early campaign supporter Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, and campaign manager Paul Manafort, as well as Trump's family members, including some of his children.

Additionally, email communications between her and Bruce Ohr show that she routinely sent her husband at the DOJ articles on Russia -- most carrying a similar negative slant. The emails continued through the duration of Nellie's employment with Fusion GPS and usually contained a brief, often one-line comment from Nellie.

In her testimony, Nellie described her work as online open-source efforts that utilized "Russian sources, media, social media, government, you know, business registers, legal databases, all kinds of things." Ohr said that she would "write occasional reports based on the open-source research that I described about Donald Trump's relationships with various people in Russia."

The work Nellie conducted for Fusion GPS matches the same skill set used when she worked for Open Source Works, which is a division within the CIA that uses open-source information to produce intelligence products.

When asked how she came to be hired by Fusion GPS and who had approached her, Nellie responded, "Nobody approached me," telling investigators that it was she who had initiated contact and approached Fusion GPS after reading an article on Simpson.

Nellie would continue to work for Fusion GPS until September 2016. By this time, Simpson and Steele already had started working on pushing the Steele dossier into the FBI.

Following the end of her employment with Fusion GPS, Nellie provided Bruce with a memory stick that contained all of the research she had compiled during her time at the firm. Bruce then gave the memory stick to the FBI, through his handler, Joe Pientka.

Bruce Ohr Becomes a Conduit

Nearly a month after Gaeta brought back the reports that Steele provided in London, Simpson and Steele decided to pursue a new channel into the FBI through Bruce Ohr. Bruce had known Steele since at least 2007, when they met during an "official meeting" while Steele was still employed by the British government as an MI6 agent. Steele had already been in contact with Bruce via email in early 2016. Notably, most of these prior communications appeared to discuss Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska and his ongoing efforts to obtain a U.S. visa.

<img class=" wp-image-2833270" src="https://img.theepochtimes.com/assets/uploads/2019/03/11/Bruce-ohr.jpg" alt="" width="160" height="191" /> Department of Justice official Bruce Ohr. (Samira Bouaou/The Epoch Times)

On July 29, 2016, Steele wrote to Bruce, saying that he would "be in DC at short notice on business," and asked to meet with both Bruce and his wife. On July 30, 2016, the Ohrs met Steele for breakfast at the Mayflower Hotel. Also present at the breakfast meeting was a fourth individual, described by Bruce as "an associate of Mr. Steele's, another gentleman, younger fellow. I didn't catch his name." Nellie testified that Steele's associate had a British accent.

The timing of the July 30 breakfast meeting is of particular note, as the FBI's counterintelligence investigation, "Crossfire Hurricane," was formally opened the following day, on July 31, 2016, by FBI agent Peter Strzok.

<img class=" wp-image-2833272" src="https://img.theepochtimes.com/assets/uploads/2019/03/11/Nellie-Ohr.jpg" alt="" width="160" height="183" /> Fusion GPS contractor Nellie Ohr. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

According to a transcript of Bruce's testimony before Congress, Steele relayed information from his dossier at this meeting and claimed that "a former head of the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service, the SVR, had stated to someone that they had Donald Trump over a barrel."

Steele also referenced Deripaska's business dealings with Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and foreign policy adviser Carter Page's meetings in Moscow.

Lastly, Bruce noted that Steele told him he had been in contact with the FBI but now had additional reports. "Chris Steele had provided some reports to the FBI, I think two, but that Glenn Simpson had more," he said.

Immediately following the Ohrs' breakfast meeting with Steele, Bruce Ohr reached out to FBI Deputy Director McCabe and the two met in McCabe's office -- sometime between July 30 and the first days of August. Also present at this meeting was FBI lawyer Page, who had previously worked for Bruce Ohr at the DOJ, where he was her direct supervisor for five to six years.

Bruce Ohr would later testify that during the July/August meeting, he told McCabe that his wife, Nellie, worked for Fusion, noting, "I wanted the FBI to be aware of any possible bias." FBI General Counsel Baker, who reviewed a portion of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) application to spy on Trump campaign adviser Carter Page -- which relied in part on the information from Steele -- told congressional investigators that he was never told of Ohr's concerns regarding possible bias and conflicts of interest.

On Aug. 15, 2016, a week or two following Bruce Ohr's meeting with McCabe, Strzok would send the now-infamous "insurance policy" text referencing McCabe to Lisa Page:

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

On Aug. 22, Bruce Ohr had a meeting with Simpson. Ohr would later discuss that meeting during his testimony:

"I don't know exactly what Chris Steele was thinking, of course, but I knew that Chris Steele was working for Glenn Simpson, and that Glenn might have additional information that Chris either didn't have or was not authorized to prevent [present], give me, or whatever."

It was at this meeting that Simpson first mentioned Belarusan-American businessman Sergei Millian and former Trump attorney Michael Cohen.

Brennan's Briefings to the Gang of Eight <img class=" wp-image-2833280" src="https://img.theepochtimes.com/assets/uploads/2019/03/11/GettyImages-103218413-1200x1585.jpg" alt="" width="160" height="211" /> Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

During this same period in late August 2016, Brennan began briefing members of the Gang of Eight on the FBI's counterintelligence investigation, through a series of meetings in August and September 2016. Notably, each Gang of Eight member was briefed separately, calling into question whether each of the members received the same information. Efforts by Democrats to block the release of transcripts from each meeting are ongoing. Comey, however, did not notify Congress of the FBI investigation until early March 2017, and it's entirely possible he was unaware of Brennan's private briefings during the summer of 2016.

During her testimony, FBI lawyer Lisa Page was questioned by Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) in relation to an Aug. 25, 2016, text message that read, "What are you doing after the CH brief?" CH almost certainly referred to Crossfire Hurricane.

Lisa Page then was asked about an event that took place on the same day as the "CH brief" -- a briefing provided by Brennan to then-Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid:

"You give a brief on August the 25th. Director Brennan is giving a brief. It's not a Gang of Eight brief. It is a one-on-one, from what we can tell, a one-on-one briefing with Harry Reid at that point."

According to Meadows, Brennan briefed Reid on the Steele dossier:

"We have documents that would suggest that in that briefing the dossier was mentioned to Harry Reid and then obviously we're going to have to have conversations. Does that surprise you that Director Brennan would be aware [of the dossier]?"

Lisa Page appeared genuinely surprised that Brennan would have been aware of the dossier's existence at this early point, telling Meadows: "The FBI got this information from our source. If the CIA had another source of that information, I am neither aware of that nor did the CIA provide it to us if they did."

She elaborated further: "As of August of 2016, I don't know who Christopher Steele is. I don't know that he's an FBI source. I don't know what he does. I have never heard of him in all of my life."

This claim by Page seems incongruous when viewed against Bruce Ohr's testimony that he met with Page and McCabe in the first days of August following his July 30, 2016, breakfast with Steele:

"My initial meeting was with Mr. McCabe and with Lisa Page.

"I was telling them about what I was hearing from Chris Steele."

Meanwhile, Brennan's briefing prompted Reid to write not one but two letters to Comey. Both demanded that Comey commence an investigation, with the details to be made public.

Reid's first letter , which touched on Carter Page, was sent on Aug. 27, 2016. Reid's second letter , far angrier and declaring Comey to be in possession of material information, was sent on Oct. 30, 2016.

There had been reports that Comey had been considering closing the FBI investigation of Trump, something Brennan strongly opposed. Now, with Reid's letters sent, that avenue was effectively closed. The termination of the FBI's Trump–Russia investigation would be all but impossible in the face of Reid's public demands.

Perhaps it was in response to Reid's Aug. 27 letter that the FBI suddenly reached out to Steele in September 2016, asking him for all the information in his possession. The team working on Crossfire Hurricane received documents and a briefing from Steele in mid-September, reportedly at a meeting in Rome, where Gaeta also was present.

During Lisa Page's testimony, she appeared to corroborate this account, noting that the team received the "reports that are known as the dossier from an FBI agent who is Christopher Steele's handler in September of 2016." She would later clarify the timing, noting "we received the reporting from Steele in mid-September." A text sent to her by FBI agent Peter Strzok on Oct. 12, 2016, may provide us with the actual date:

"We got the reporting on Sept 19. Looks like [redacted] got it early August."

Steele had produced eight reports from June 20, 2016, through the end of August 2016 (there also is one undated report included in the dossier). No further reports were generated by Steele until Sept. 14, when he suddenly wrote three separate memos in one day. One of the memos referenced a Russian bank named Alfa Bank, misspelled as "Alpha" in his memo. Steele's sudden burst of productivity was likely done in preparation for his Sept. 19 meeting in Rome with the FBI.

The impact of Brennan's potential knowledge of the dossier in August 2016 should not be underestimated. As Brennan testified to Congress, his briefing to the Gang of Eight was done in consultation with the Obama administration:

"Through the so-called Gang-of-Eight process we kept Congress apprised of these issues as we identified them. Again, in consultation with the White House, I personally briefed the full details of our understanding of Russian attempts to interfere in the election to congressional leadership.

"Given the highly sensitive nature of what was an active counter-intelligence case, involving an ongoing Russian effort, to interfere in our presidential election, the full details of what we knew at the time were shared only with those members of Congress."

https://www.youtube.com/embed/PseDla0l9xE?wmode=transparent&wmode=opaque The Carter Page FISA Warrant <img class=" wp-image-2833286" src="https://img.theepochtimes.com/assets/uploads/2019/03/11/Carter-Page.jpg" alt="" width="160" height="207" /> Trump campaign adviser Carter Page. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

As the dossier was making its way into the FBI, the agency began its preparations to obtain a FISA warrant on Trump campaign adviser Carter Page, who was surveilled under Title I of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.

According to Baker's testimony, it appears that the FBI began to set its sights on Carter Page in the summer of 2016. When asked how he had first gained knowledge of the FBI's intention to pursue a FISA warrant on Carter Page, Baker testified that it came through his familiarity with the FBI's investigation:

Mr. Baker: " I learned of -- so I was aware when the FBI first started to focus on Carter Page, I was aware of that because it was part of the broader investigation that we were conducting. So I was aware that we were investigating him. And then at some point in time –"

Rep. Meadows: "But that was many years ago. That was in 2014. Or are you talking about 2016?"

Mr. Baker: " I am talking about 2016 in the summer."

Rep. Meadows: "Okay."

Mr. Baker: " Yeah. And so I was aware of the investigation, and then at some point in time, as part of the regular briefings on the case, the briefers mentioned that they were going to pursue a FISA."

It appears the FBI, and possibly the CIA, began to focus on Carter Page earlier than Baker was aware. Carter Page had been invited some months prior to a July 2016 symposium held at Cambridge regarding the upcoming election. The speaker list was notable:

Carter Page attended the event just four days after his July 2016 Moscow trip, and it was during this time in the UK that he first encountered Stefan Halper. Page's Moscow trip would later figure prominently in the Steele dossier.

Halper, who has been outed as an FBI informant, stayed in contact with Carter Page for the next 14 months, severing ties exactly as the final FISA warrant on Page expired.

Trisha Anderson, the principal deputy general counsel for the FBI and head of the bureau's National Security and Cyber Law Branch, approved the application for a warrant to spy on Carter Page before it went to FBI Director James Comey.

According to Anderson, pre-approvals for the Carter Page FISA warrant were provided by both McCabe and Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates, before the FISA application was ever presented to Anderson for review.

"[M]y boss and my boss' boss had already reviewed and approved this application. And, in fact, the Deputy Attorney General, who had the authority to sign the application, to be the substantive approver on the FISA application itself, had approved the application. And that typically would not have been the case before I did that," said Anderson.

The unusual preliminary reviews and approvals from both McCabe and Yates appear to have had a substantial impact on the normal review process, leading other individuals like Anderson to believe that the warrant application was more vetted than it really was.

Anderson also testified that she had not read the Carter Page FISA application prior to signing off on it and passing it along to Comey for the final FBI signature. According to FBI lawyer Sally Moyer, the underlying Woods file (a document that provides facts supporting the allegations made in a FISA application) was only read by the originating agent and the supervisory special agent in the field. Moyer also noted that the Woods file relating to the Page FISA had not been reviewed or audited by anyone.

The Carter Page FISA application was largely reliant on the Steele dossier, which was unverified at the time of its submission to the FISA court and remains unverified by the FBI to this day. Circular reporting, provided by Steele himself, was used as corroboration of the dossier. Additionally, Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos, whose conversation with Australian diplomat Alexander Downer was used to open the FBI's July 31, 2016, counterintelligence investigation, is referenced in the FISA, yet there "is no evidence of any cooperation or conspiracy between Page and Papadopoulos," according to a House Intelligence Committee memo.

Moyer testified that without the Steele dossier, the Carter Page application would have had a "50/50" chance of achieving the probable cause standard before the FISA court. Notably, the Steele dossier is generally considered to have been largely discredited.

A Perkins Coie Partner and Alfa Bank Allegations

<img class=" wp-image-2679668" src="https://img.theepochtimes.com/assets/uploads/2018/10/05/Michael-Sussmann-Perkins-Coie.jpg" alt="Michael Sussmann Lawyer Perkins Coie" width="160" height="194" /> Michael Sussmann, partner at Perkins Coie. (Courtesy Perkins Coie)

On Sept. 19, shortly after Steele completed his latest three memos, FBI General Counsel James Baker met with Perkins Coie partner Michael Sussmann, the lawyer the DNC turned to on April 28, 2016, after discovering the alleged hacking of their servers.

Sussman, who sought out the meeting, presented Baker with documents that Baker described as "a stack of material I don't know maybe a quarter inch half inch thick something like that clipped together, and then I believe there was some type of electronic media, as well, a disk or something."

The information that Sussmann gave to Baker was related to what Baker described as "a surreptitious channel of communications" between the Trump Organization and "a Russian organization associated with the Russian Government."

Baker was describing alleged communications between Alfa Bank and a server in the Trump Tower. The allegations, which were investigated by the FBI and proven to be false, were widely covered in the media.

Just four days earlier, on Sept. 14, Steele mentioned Alfa Bank (misspelled as Alpha bank) in one of his memos.

According to Baker's testimony, there appears to have been at least three meetings with Sussmann -- the first in person and at least two subsequent meetings by phone. In either the second or third conversation, Baker came to understand The New York Times was also in possession of Sussmann's information. As would become clear later, other members of the media also had this same information.

As Baker was meeting with Sussmann, Steele was back in Washington for a series of meetings that included his DOJ contact, Bruce Ohr.

On Sept. 23, 2016, Bruce Ohr again met with Steele for breakfast, telling lawmakers during testimony, "Steele was in Washington, D.C., again, and he reached out to me, and, again, we met for breakfast, and he provided some additional information." Ohr said this meeting concerned similar topics that were discussed at the July 30, 2016, meeting but did not provide further details.

Bruce Ohr would also meet either that same month or in early October with FBI agent Peter Strzok, FBI lawyer Lisa Page, and DOJ career officials from the criminal division, Bruce Swartz, Zainab Ahmad, and Andrew Weissman (Ohr testified that he was unsure whether Weismann was at this or a later meeting). Both Weissman and Ahmad would later become part of the team assembled by special counsel Robert Mueller.

Steele's Meetings With the Media

On the same day that Bruce Ohr met with Christopher Steele for breakfast, on Sept. 23, 2016, Yahoo News reporter Michael Isikoff published an article about Trump campaign foreign policy adviser Carter Page. The article, headlined " U.S. Intel Officials Probe Ties Between Trump Adviser and Kremlin ," was based on an interview with Steele. Isikoff's article would later be used by the FBI in the FISA spy warrant application on Carter Page as corroborating information.

Following the publication of the Isikoff article, the Hillary for America campaign released a statement on the same day that touted Isikoff's "bombshell report," with the full article attached.

A second lengthy article was published on Sept. 23, by Politico: " Who Is Carter Page? The Mystery of Trump's Man in Moscow ," by Julia Ioffe. This article was particularly interesting as it appeared to highlight media efforts by Fusion GPS:

"As I started looking into Page, I began getting calls from two separate 'corporate investigators' digging into what they claim are all kinds of shady connections Page has to all kinds of shady Russians. One is working on behalf of various unnamed Democratic donors; the other won't say who turned him on to Page's scent. Both claimed to me that the FBI was investigating Page for allegedly meeting with Igor Sechin and Sergei Ivanov, who was until recently Putin's chief of staff -- both of whom are on the sanctions list -- when Page was in Moscow in July for that speech."

Ioffe noted that "seemingly everyone I talked to had also talked to the Washington Post, and then there were these corporate investigators who drew a dark and complex web of Page's connections."

Her article also mentioned rumors regarding Alfa Bank:

"In the interest of due diligence, I also tried to run down the rumors being handed me by the corporate investigators: that Russia's Alfa Bank paid for the trip as a favor to the Kremlin; that Page met with Sechin and Ivanov in Moscow; that he is now being investigated by the FBI for those meetings because Sechin and Ivanov were both sanctioned for Russia's invasion of Ukraine."

It was probably during this same trip to Washington that Steele met with Jonathan Winer, a former deputy assistant secretary of state for international law enforcement and former special envoy for Libya, whom Steele had known since at least 2010.

Winer had received a separate dossier , very similar to Steele's, from longtime Clinton confidant Sidney Blumenthal. This "second dossier" had been compiled by another longtime Clinton operative, former journalist Cody Shearer, and echoed claims made in the Steele dossier. Winer gave Steele a copy of the "second dossier." Steele then shared this second dossier with the FBI, which may have used it as a means to corroborate Steele's own dossier.

Steele also met with U.S. media during his visit to Washington, doing so "at Fusion's instruction." According to UK Court documents , Steele testified that he "briefed" The New York Times, The Washington Post, Yahoo News, The New Yorker, and CNN at the end of September 2016. Steele would engage in a second round of media contact in mid-October 2016, meeting again with The New York Times, The Washington Post, and Yahoo News. Steele testified that all these meetings were "conducted verbally in person."

Alfa Bank Media Leaks

<img class=" wp-image-2679669" src="https://img.theepochtimes.com/assets/uploads/2018/10/05/james-baker.jpg" alt="James Baker FBi Special Counsel" width="160" height="203" /> Former FBI General Counsel James Baker.

As Steele's media meetings were going on, FBI General Counsel James Baker learned that Perkins Coie partner Michael Sussmann was also speaking with reporters from The New York Times regarding the Alfa Bank information that Sussmann had provided to the FBI. After some internal discussion, the FBI approached both Sussmann and The New York Times, asking that any story be held until the FBI had time to complete an investigation into the documents provided by Sussmann. It appears that an agreement was reached, and the FBI began to look into the claims regarding Alfa Bank and the server at Trump Tower.

But Sussman wasn't the only one that Baker, currently the subject of an ongoing criminal leak investigation, was speaking with. According to congressional investigators, beginning sometime in September 2016 -- before the presidential election -- Baker began having conversations with his old friend and journalist, David Corn of Mother Jones.

According to Baker, these conversations were in relation to ongoing FBI matters:

Rep. Jordan: " Did you talk to Mr. Corn prior to the election about anything, anything related to FBI matters? Not -- so we're not going to ask about the Steele dossier. Anything about FBI business, FBI matters?"

Mr. Baker: " Yes."

Rep. Jordan: " Yes. And do you know -- can you give me some dates or the number of times that you talked to Mr. Corn about FBI matters leading up to the 2016 Presidential election?"

Mr. Baker: " I don't remember, Congressman."

By Oct. 31, 2016, the FBI had apparently wrapped up their investigation into the Alfa Bank allegations, finding no evidence of anything untoward in the process. It was on this day that three separate articles on Alfa Bank would be published.

The first, " Investigating Donald Trump, F.B.I. Sees No Clear Link to Russia " by The New York Times, appeared to be an updated version of the article they had intended to publish before the FBI asked them to delay their reporting. It stated the following:

"In classified sessions in August and September, intelligence officials also briefed congressional leaders on the possibility of financial ties between Russians and people connected to Mr. Trump. They focused particular attention on what cyberexperts said appeared to be a mysterious computer back channel between the Trump Organization and the Alfa Bank, which is one of Russia's biggest banks and whose owners have longstanding ties to Mr. Putin."

The reference to "classified sessions in August and September" is likely in relation to the series of Gang of Eight briefings that former CIA Director John Brennan engaged in at that time -- including his briefing to then-Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid. The article continued:

"F.B.I. officials spent weeks examining computer data showing an odd stream of activity to a Trump Organization server and Alfa Bank. Computer logs obtained by The New York Times show that two servers at Alfa Bank sent more than 2,700 'look-up' messages -- a first step for one system's computers to talk to another -- to a Trump-connected server beginning in the spring. But the F.B.I. ultimately concluded that there could be an innocuous explanation, like a marketing email or spam, for the computer contacts."

The second article, "Was a Trump Server Communicating With Russia?" by Slate Magazine, was solely focused on the allegations regarding a server in the Trump Tower that had allegedly been communicating with a server at Alfa Bank in Russia.

Immediately following the publication of the Slate article, Clinton posted a tweet that included a statement from Jake Sullivan, a senior policy adviser:

"Computer scientists have apparently uncovered a covert server linking the Trump Organization to a Russian-based bank."

Sullivan's statement referenced the Slate article and included the following:

"This could be the most direct link yet between Donald Trump and Moscow. Computer scientists have apparently uncovered a covert server linking the Trump Organization to a Russian-based bank.

"This secret hotline may be the key to unlocking the mystery of Trump's ties to Russia. It certainly seems the Trump Organization felt it had something to hide, given that it apparently took steps to conceal the link when it was discovered by journalists."

The Alfa Bank story took off -- despite the same-day story from The New York Times that specifically noted the FBI had investigated that matter and found nothing untoward.

The final article published on Oct. 31, " A Veteran Spy Has Given the FBI Information Alleging a Russian Operation to Cultivate Donald Trump " by Mother Jones reporter -- and Baker's friend -- David Corn, also mentioned Alfa Bank:

"In recent weeks, reporters in Washington have pursued anonymous online reports that a computer server related to the Trump Organization engaged in a high level of activity with servers connected to Alfa Bank, the largest private bank in Russia. On Monday, a Slate investigation detailed the pattern of unusual server activity but concluded, 'We don't yet know what this [Trump] server was for, but it deserves further explanation.' In an email to Mother Jones, Hope Hicks, a Trump campaign spokeswoman, maintains, 'The Trump Organization is not sending or receiving any communications from this email server. The Trump Organization has no communication or relationship with this entity or any Russian entity.'"

More notably, Corn's article also provided the first public reporting on the existence of the Steele dossier:

"A former senior intelligence officer for a Western country who specialized in Russian counterintelligence tells Mother Jones that in recent months he provided the bureau with memos, based on his recent interactions with Russian sources, contending the Russian government has for years tried to co-opt and assist Trump -- and that the FBI requested more information from him."

As it turns out, Corn had detailed, first-hand knowledge of the dossier. According to testimony from Baker, Corn had been provided with parts of the dossier by Fusion GPS head Glenn Simpson. Baker knew of this fact, because within a week of publishing his article, Corn passed these dossier parts on to Baker personally:

Rep. Jordan: " Prior to the election Mr. Corn had a copy of the dossier and was talking to you about giving that to you so the FBI would have it. Is that all right? I mean all accurate."

Mr. Baker: " My recollection is that he had part of the dossier, that we had other parts already, and that we got still other parts from other people, and that -- and nevertheless some of the parts that David Corn gave us were parts that we did not have from another source?"

Steele had written four memos after the FBI team received his information in mid-September. All of the memos were written in October -- on the 12th, 18th, 19th, and the 20th. It is possible that these were the memos passed along to Baker by Corn.

Baker testified that he received elements of the dossier from Corn that were not in the FBI's possession at the time. He said that he immediately turned this information over to leadership within the FBI, noting, "I think it was Bill Priestap," the head of the FBI's Counterintelligence Division.

The use of personal relationships as a mechanism to transmit outside information to the FBI was actually noted by Baker, who said of Corn: "Even though he was my friend, I was also an FBI official. He knew that. And so he wanted to somehow get that into the hands of the FBI."

Bruce Ohr's FBI Handler

Christopher Steele was terminated as a source by the FBI on Nov. 1, 2016, for communicating with the media. Despite this, DOJ official Bruce Ohr and Steele communicated regularly for another full year, until November 2017.

On Nov. 21, 2016, Ohr had a meeting with FBI agent Peter Strzok and FBI lawyer Lisa Page, and was introduced to FBI agent Joe Pientka, who became Ohr's FBI handler. Pientka was also present with Strzok during the Jan. 24, 2017, interview of Trump's national security adviser, Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn .

The next day, Nov. 22, 2016, Ohr met alone with Pientka. Ohr would continue to relay his communications with Steele to the FBI through Pientka, who then recorded them in FD-302 forms. What Ohr didn't know was that Pientka was transmitting all the information directly to Strzok.

Ohr, in his testimony, detailed his interactions with Steele and Glenn Simpson, as well as his communications with officials at the FBI and DOJ. Notably, Ohr repeatedly stated that he never vetted any of the information provided by either Steele or Simpson. He simply turned it over or relayed it to the FBI -- usually to Pientka -- but Ohr also testified that "at least on two occasions I was handed onto a new agent."

Sometime in late 2016, his wife, Nellie Ohr, provided him with a memory stick containing all of her research that she had compiled while employed at Fusion GPS. Bruce Ohr testified he gave the memory stick to Pientka. Nellie Ohr had left Fusion in September 2016. Through Pientka, Strzok now had all of Nellie Ohr's Fusion research in his possession.

On Dec. 10, 2016, Bruce Ohr met with Simpson, who gave him a memory stick that Ohr believed contained a copy of the Steele dossier. Ohr also passed this second memory stick along to Pientka.

On Jan. 20, 2017, Ohr had one final communication with Simpson, a phone call that took place on the same day as Trump's inauguration. Ohr testified that Fusion GPS co-founder Glenn Simpson was concerned that one of Steele's sources was about to be exposed through the pending publication of an article:

Mr. Ohr: " He says something along the lines of, I -- there's going to be some reporting in the next few days that's going to -- could expose the source, and the source could be in personal danger."

Rep. Meadows: " And why was he concerned about that source being exposed?"

Mr. Ohr: " I think he was aware of some kind of article that was likely to come out in the next, you know, few days or something."

Apparently, Simpson's information was at least partly accurate. On Jan. 24, 2017, The Wall Street Journal reported that Sergei Millian, a Belarusan-American businessman and onetime Russian government translator, was both "Source D" and "Source E" in the dossier. It remains unknown exactly how Simpson knew in advance that Millian would be outed as a source.

But there are some questions as to the accuracy of the Journal's reporting. The dossier appears to conflict with the newspaper's article in at least one aspect. According to the dossier, Source E was used as confirmation for Source D -- meaning they can't be the same person.

McCain, the Dossier, and a UK Connection

Simpson and Steele were carefully thorough in their dissemination efforts. The dossier was fed into U.S. channels through several different sources.

One such source was Sir Andrew Wood, the former British ambassador to Russia, who had been briefed about the dossier by Steele. Wood may have previously worked on behalf of Steele's company, Orbis Business Intelligence; he was referenced in a UK court filing as an associate of Orbis. Wood was also referred to as an adviser to Orbis in a deposition by an associate of late Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), David Kramer.

Kramer knew Wood previously from their mutual expertise on Russia. Kramer said in his deposition, which was part of a defamation lawsuit against BuzzFeed News, that Wood told him that "he was aware of information that he thought I should be aware of and that Senator McCain might be interested in."

<img class=" wp-image-2833323" src="https://img.theepochtimes.com/assets/uploads/2019/03/11/kramer-300x300.jpg" alt="" width="160" height="173" /> McCain associate David Kramer. (Courtesy McCain Institute)

McCain, Wood, and Kramer would meet later that afternoon, on Nov. 19, 2016, in a private meeting room at the Halifax International Security Forum in Nova Scotia, Canada.

Wood told both Kramer and McCain that "he was aware of this information that had been gathered that raised the possibility of collusion and compromising material on the president-elect. And he explained that he knew the person who gathered the information and felt that the person was of the utmost credibility," Kramer said.

Kramer ascribed the word "collusion" three times to Wood in his deposition. He also said that Wood mentioned the possible existence of a video "of a sexual nature" that might have "shown the president-elect in a compromising situation." According to Kramer, Wood said that "if it existed, that it was from a hotel in Moscow when president-elect, before he was president-elect, had been in Moscow."

No such video was ever uncovered or given to Kramer.

Kramer testified that following the description of the video, "the senator turned to me and asked if I would go to London to meet with what turned out to be Mr. Steele."

Kramer traveled to London to meet with Steele on Nov. 28, 2016. Kramer reviewed all the memos during his meeting with Steele but wasn't provided with a physical copy of the dossier.

When Kramer returned to Washington, he was provided with a copy of the dossier -- which, at that point, consisted of 16 memos -- during a meeting with Simpson on Nov. 29, 2016. Kramer also testified that there was another individual, "a male," present at the meeting.

<img class=" wp-image-2849229" src="https://img.theepochtimes.com/assets/uploads/2019/03/22/John-McCain-1200x1530.jpg" alt="" width="160" height="204" /> Late Sen. John McCain (R-AZ). (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Interestingly, Kramer testified that Simpson gave him two copies of the dossier, noting that Simpson told him that "one had more things blacked out than the other." Kramer said, "It wasn't entirely clear to me why there were two versions of this, so but I took both versions."

Kramer noted that Simpson, who was aware the dossier was being given to McCain, said the dossier "was a very sensitive document and needed to be handled very carefully."

Despite that warning, Kramer showed the dossier to a number of journalists and had discussions with at least 14 members of the media, along with some individuals in the U.S. government.

Kramer testified that he gave a physical copy of the dossier to reporters Peter Stone and Greg Gordon of McClatchy; to Fred Hiatt, the editor of the Washington Post editorial page; Alan Cullison of The Wall Street Journal; Bob Little at NPR; Carl Bernstein at CNN; and Ken Bensinger at BuzzFeed. It's possible that Kramer gave copies to other reporters as well.

Kramer said that Simpson and Steele were aware of most of these contacts, but that Kramer hadn't told either of them that he gave the dossier to NPR. He also noted that Steele had been in contact with Bernstein at CNN and that the CNN and BuzzFeed meetings occurred at Steele's request. Steele told Kramer that he and Bensinger "had been in touch during the FIFA investigation; they got to know each other that way."

According to Kramer, he didn't believe that Fusion GPS and Simpson were aware of these two meetings with CNN and BuzzFeed.

Kramer testified that he, McCain, and McCain's chief of staff, Christopher Brose, met to review the dossier on Nov. 30, 2016. Kramer suggested that McCain "provide a copy of [the dossier] to the director of the FBI and the director of the CIA." McCain later passed a copy of the dossier to James Comey on Dec. 9, 2016. It isn't known whether McCain also provided a copy to then-CIA Director John Brennan. Notably, Brennan did attach a two-page summary of the dossier to the intelligence community assessment that he delivered to outgoing President Barack Obama on Jan. 5, 2017.

Kramer said that he wasn't aware of the content of McCain's Dec. 9 discussion with Comey, noting that he "did not get any readout from the senator on the meeting, but just that it had happened."

Kramer did, however, provide updates to both Steele and Simpson regarding the status of McCain's meeting with Comey, in subsequent discussions with Simpson and Steele:

"It was mostly just to inform him about whether or not the senator had transfer -- transmitted the document to the FBI. Both he and Mr. Steele were -- I kept them apprised of whether the senator was -- where the senator was in terms of his contact with the FBI."

The implications of this statement are significant. Kramer, a private citizen, was providing updates to a former British spy as to what a sitting senator, and chairman of the Senate Committee on Armed Services, was saying to the director of the FBI.

Other members of the media also had advance knowledge of McCain's intention to meet with Comey. Kramer testified that both Mother Jones reporter David Corn and Guardian reporter Julian Borger came to meet with him. According to Kramer, "They were mostly interested in Senator McCain and his, whether he had given it to Director Comey or not."

Several days after McCain, Brose, and Kramer met to discuss the dossier, Kramer said that McCain instructed him to meet with Victoria Nuland, the assistant secretary of state for Europe and Eurasian Affairs, and Celeste Wallander, the senior director for Russia and Central Asia on the National Security Council.

The purpose of the meeting was to verify whether the dossier "was being taken seriously." Both Nuland and Wallander were previously aware of the dossier's existence, and both officials previously knew Steele, whom "they believed to be credible." Kramer said he didn't physically share the dossier with them at this point, but met again with Wallander "around New Years" and "gave her a copy of the document"

Nuland had actually received a copy of the earlier Steele memos back in July 2016.

Steele produced a final memo dated Dec. 13, 2016. According to UK court documents , Kramer, on behalf of McCain, had asked Steele to provide any further intelligence that he had gathered relating to "alleged Russian interference in the US presidential election." Notably, it appears it was this request from McCain that led Steele to produce his Dec. 13 memo.

Although Kramer didn't provide a date, he said he received the final Steele memo sometime after "Senator McCain had provided the copy to Director Comey." We know that Kramer received the final memo prior to Dec. 29 -- when Kramer met with BuzzFeed's Bensinger.

Kramer testified that Bensinger "said he wanted to read them, he asked me if he could take photos of them on his -- I assume it was an iPhone. I asked him not to. He said he was a slow reader, he wanted to read it. And so I said, you know, I got a phone call to make, and I had to go to the bathroom " Kramer said that he "left him to read it for 20, 30 minutes."

Kramer also testified that besides the reporters, he gave a final copy of the dossier to two other people in early January 2017: Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Il.) and House Speaker Paul Ryan's chief of staff, Jonathan Burks.

James Clapper Leaks Details of Obama–Trump Briefings

The ICA on alleged Russian hacking was released internally on Jan. 5, 2017. On this same day, outgoing president Obama held an undisclosed White House meeting to discuss the assessment -- and the attached summation of the dossier -- with national security adviser Susan Rice, FBI Director James Comey, and Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates. Rice would later send herself an email documenting the meeting.

The following day, CIA Director John Brennan, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, and Comey attached a written summary of the Steele dossier to the classified briefing they gave Obama. Comey then met with President-elect Trump to inform him of the dossier. This meeting took place just hours after Comey, Brennan, and Clapper formally briefed Obama on both the ICA and the Steele dossier.

<img class=" wp-image-2833293" src="https://img.theepochtimes.com/assets/uploads/2019/03/11/James-Clapper-1200x1296.jpg" alt="" width="160" height="173" /> Director of National Intelligence James Clapper. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Comey would only inform Trump of the "salacious" details contained within the dossier. He later explained on CNN in an April 2018 interview that he had done so at the request of Clapper and Brennan, "because that was the part that the leaders of the intelligence community agreed he needed to be told about."

Shortly after Comey's meeting with Trump, both the Trump–Comey meeting and the existence of the dossier were leaked to CNN. The significance of the meeting was material, as Comey noted in a Jan. 7 memo :

"Media like CNN had them and were looking for a news hook. I said it was important that we not give them the excuse to write that the FBI has the material."

The media had widely dismissed the dossier as unsubstantiated and, therefore, unreportable. It was only after learning that Comey briefed Trump on it that CNN reported on the dossier. The House Intelligence Committee report on Russian election interference confirmed that Clapper personally leaked confirmation of the dossier, along with Comey's meeting with Trump, to CNN:

"The Committee's investigation revealed that President-elect Trump was indeed briefed on the contents of the Steele dossier and when questioned by the Committee, former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper admitted that he confirmed the existence of the dossier to the media."

Additionally, the House intelligence report shows Clapper appears to have been the direct source for CNN's Jake Tapper and his Jan. 10 story that disclosed the existence of the dossier:

"When initially asked about leaks related to the ICA in July 2017, former DNI Clapper flatly denied 'discuss[ing] the dossier [compiled by Steele] or any other intelligence related to Russia hacking of the 2016 election with journalists.' Clapper subsequently acknowledged discussing the 'dossier with CNN journalist Jake Tapper,' and admitted that he might have spoken with other journalists about the same topic.

"Clapper's discussion with Tapper took place in early January 2017, around the time IC leaders briefed President Obama and President-elect Trump, on 'the Christopher Steele information,' a two-page summary of which was 'enclosed in' the highly-classified version of the ICA."

On Jan. 10, 2017, CNN published the article "Intel Chiefs Presented Trump With Claims of Russian Efforts to Compromise Him " by Evan Perez, Jim Sciutto, Jake Tapper, and Carl Bernstein. (The article would later be updated and have a Jan. 12, 2017, date.)

The allegations within the dossier were made public, and with reporting of the briefings by intelligence community leaders, instant credibility was given to the dossier's assertions.

Immediately following the CNN story, BuzzFeed published the Steele dossier, and the Trump–Russia conspiracy was pushed into the mainstream.

David Kramer was asked about his reaction when CNN broke the story on the dossier. According to his deposition, Kramer stated, "I believe my words were 'Holy [expletive].'"

Kramer, who was actually meeting with The Guardian's Julian Borger when CNN reported on the dossier, said that he quickly spoke with Steele, who "was shocked."

On the following day, Jan. 11, 2017, Clapper issued a statement condemning the leaks -- without revealing the fact that he was the source of the leak.

On Nov. 17, 2016, Clapper submitted his resignation as director of national intelligence; his resignation became effective on Jan. 20, 2017. Later that year, CNN hired Clapper as its national security analyst.

The Effort to Remove General Flynn

Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, then-national security adviser to President Donald Trump, was interviewed on Jan. 24, 2017, by FBI agents Peter Strzok and Joe Pientka about two December 2016 conversations that Flynn had had with Russian Ambassador Sergei Kislyak.

<img class=" wp-image-2833340" src="https://img.theepochtimes.com/assets/uploads/2019/03/11/Michael-Flynn-1200x1469.jpg" alt="" width="161" height="197" /> National security adviser Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn. (Kevin Hagen/Getty Images)

Details of the phone conversation had leaked to the media. Flynn ultimately pleaded guilty to one count of lying to the FBI regarding his conversations with Kislyak. It remains unknown to this day who leaked Flynn's classified call -- a far more serious felony violation.

The Washington Post reported in January 2017 that the FBI had found no evidence of wrongdoing in Flynn's actual call with the Russian ambassador. The call, and the matters discussed in it, broke no laws.

Flynn has been portrayed in the media as being suspiciously close to Russia; a dinner in Moscow that occurred in late 2015 is frequently cited as evidence of this.

On Dec. 10, 2015, Flynn attended an event in Moscow to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Russian television network RT. Flynn, who was seated next to Russian President Vladimir Putin for the culminating dinner, was also interviewed on national security matters by an RT correspondent. Flynn's speaker's bureau, Leading Authorities Inc., was paid $45,000 for the event and Flynn received $33,000 of the total amount.

Seated at the same table with Flynn was Jill Stein, the Green Party candidate in the 2016 election. By all accounts, including Stein's , Flynn and Putin didn't engage in any real conversation. At the time, Flynn's trip didn't garner significant attention. But it would later be used by the media and the Clinton campaign to push the Russia-collusion narrative.

Notably, as stated by lawyer Robert Kelner, Flynn disclosed his Moscow trip to the Defense Intelligence Agency before he traveled there and provided a full briefing upon his return:

"As has previously been reported, General Flynn briefed the Defense Intelligence Agency, a component agency of the DoD, extensively regarding the RT speaking event trip both before and after the trip, and he answered any questions that were posed by the DIA concerning the trip during those briefings."

Flynn's trip to Russia was first brought to broader attention on July 18, 2016, during a live interview at the Republican National Convention with Yahoo News reporter Michael Isikoff.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/vjvvtuDEQJY?wmode=transparent&wmode=opaque

The Isikoff interview took place on July 18, 2016. Unknown at the time, the matter had also captured the attention of Christopher Steele, who had begun publishing his dossier memos on June 20, 2016.

Contained within an Aug. 10, 2016, memo was this initial reference to Flynn:

"Kremlin engaging with several high profile US players, including STEIN, PAGE and (former DIA Director Michael Flynn) and funding their recent visits to Moscow."

In addition to the obvious questions raised by the timing of Flynn's name appearing in Steele's Aug. 10 memo, is the manner in which Flynn is denoted. All other names are capitalized, in the manner of intelligence briefings. Flynn's name isn't capitalized and, in one case, appears within parentheses.

Steele met with Yahoo News' Isikoff in September 2016 and gave him information from the dossier. The resulting Sept. 23, 2016, article from Isikoff was then cited by the FBI as validating Steele's claims and was featured in the original FISA application , and its three subsequent renewals , for a warrant to spy on Trump campaign foreign policy adviser Carter Page.

Steele wasn't the only person Isikoff was working with. On April 26, 2016, Isikoff published a story on Yahoo News about Paul Manafort's business dealings with Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska. It was later learned from a Democratic National Committee (DNC) email leaked by Wikileaks that Isikoff had been working with Alexandra Chalupa, a Ukrainian-American operative who was doing consulting work for the DNC. Chalupa met with top officials in the Ukrainian Embassy in Washington in an effort to expose alleged ties between Trump, Manafort, and Russia.

The obvious question remains: How did the information on Flynn make its way into the dossier at the time it did, and who provided the information to Steele?

Flynn's 2015 dinner in Moscow was initially used to implicate the Trump campaign's ties to Russia. It was then used as a means to cast doubts on Flynn's ability as Trump's national security adviser. Following Flynn's resignation, it was then used as a means to pursue the ongoing collusion narrative that gained full strength in the early days of the Trump administration.

A Jan. 10, 2017, article in The New York Times, " Trump's National Security Pick Sees Ally in Fight Against Islamists: Russia ," highlighted the efforts:

"In an extraordinary report released last week, the agencies bluntly accused the Russian government of having worked to undermine American democracy and promote the candidacy of Mr. Trump. The report is likely to renew questions about Mr. Flynn's avowed eagerness to work with Russia, and his dismissal of concerns about President Vladimir V. Putin."

Flynn would resign from his position as national security adviser in February 2017. The sequence of events leading to his resignation were both coordinated and orchestrated, with acting Attorney General Sally Yates playing a leading role.

On Jan. 12, 2017, Flynn's Dec. 29, 2016, call with Kislyak was leaked to The Washington Post. The article portrayed Flynn as undermining Obama's Russia sanctions that had been imposed on the same day as Flynn's call with the Russian ambassador.

On Jan. 15, five days before Trump's inauguration, Vice President Mike Pence appeared on "Face the Nation" to defend Flynn's calls.

A few days later, on Jan. 19, Obama officials -- Yates, Clapper, Brennan and Comey -- met to discuss Flynn's situation. The concern they reportedly discussed was that Flynn might have misled Trump administration officials regarding the nature of his call with Kislyak.

<img class="wp-image-2852644 size-full" src="https://img.theepochtimes.com/assets/uploads/2018/10/25/spygate-small.jpg" alt="" width="592" height="724" /> Click on the infographic to enlarge

Yates, Clapper, and Brennan supported informing the Trump administration of their concerns. Comey took a dissenting view. On Jan 23, Yates again pressured Comey, telling the FBI director that she believed Flynn could be vulnerable to blackmail. At this point, according to media reports, Comey relented, despite the FBI finding nothing unlawful in the content of Flynn's calls.

Strzok and Pientka, at the instruction of McCabe, interviewed Flynn the following day. According to court documents, McCabe and other FBI officials "decided the agents would not warn Flynn that it was a crime to lie during an FBI interview because they wanted Flynn to be relaxed." It was during this interview that Flynn reportedly lied to the FBI.

The DOJ was provided with a detailed briefing of the Flynn interview on the following day. On Jan. 26, Yates contacted White House counsel Don McGahn, who agreed to meet to discuss the matter. Yates arrived at McGahn's office, bringing Mary McCord, John Carlin's acting replacement as head of the DOJ's National Security Division.

Yates later testified before Congress that the meeting surrounded Flynn's phone calls and his FBI interview. She also testified that Flynn's call and subsequent interview "was a topic of a whole lot of discussion in DOJ and with other members of the intel community." McGahn reportedly asked Yates, "Why does it matter to the DOJ if one White House official lies to another official?"

McGahn called Yates the following day and asked her to return for a second meeting. Yates returned to the White House without McCord. McGahn asked to examine the FBI's evidence on Flynn. Yates said she would respond by the following Monday.

Yates failed to provide McGahn with the FBI's evidence on Flynn. From that point, the pressure on Flynn and the Trump administration escalated -- with help from media reporting.

Flynn resigned on Feb. 13, after it was reported that he had misled Pence about phone conversations he'd had with Kislyak.

The following day, The New York Times reported that "phone records and intercepted calls show that members of Donald J. Trump's 2016 presidential campaign and other Trump associates had repeated contacts with senior Russian intelligence officials in the year before the election, according to four current and former American officials."

With Flynn gone and the Russian narrative firmly established, the conspirators then turned their attention to Trump's newly confirmed attorney general, Jeff Sessions . On March 1, 2017, The Washington Post reported that Sessions had twice had contact with the Russian ambassador, Kislyak. The following day, March 2, Sessions recused himself from the Russia investigation.

On the same day that Sessions recused himself, Evelyn Farkas, a former deputy assistant secretary of defense, detailed efforts at hampering the newly installed Trump administration, during a March 2, 2017, interview with MSNBC , in which she described how the Obama administration gathered and disseminated intelligence on the Trump team:

"I was urging my former colleagues and, frankly speaking, the people on the Hill 'Get as much information as you can. Get as much intelligence as you can before President Obama leaves the administration.'

"The Trump folks, if they found out how we knew what we knew about the Trump staff's dealing with Russians, [they] would try to compromise those sources and methods, meaning we would no longer have access to that intelligence. That's why you have the leaking."

Note that Farkas said "how we knew," not just "what we knew."

Obama Officials Used Unmasking to Target the Trump Campaign

On Tuesday, March 21, 2017, the chair of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), met a classified source who showed him "dozens" of intelligence reports. Contained within these reports was evidence of surveillance on the Trump campaign. Nunes held a press conference on March 22 highlighting what he had found:

<img class=" wp-image-2849235" src="https://img.theepochtimes.com/assets/uploads/2019/03/22/Devin-Nunes-1200x1522.jpg" alt="" width="160" height="203" /> Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.). (Samira Bouaou/The Epoch Times)

"I recently confirmed that on numerous occasions, the intelligence community incidentally collected information about U.S. citizens involved in the Trump transition. Details about persons associated with the incoming administration, details with little apparent foreign intelligence value were widely disseminated in intelligence community reporting."

In a series of rapid-fire questions and answers, Nunes attempted to elaborate on what he had been shown:

"From what I know right now, it looks like incidental collection. We don't know exactly how that was picked up but we're trying to get to the bottom of it I think the NSA's going to comply. I am concerned – we don't know whether or not the FBI is going to comply. I have placed a call, I'm waiting to talk to Director Comey, hopefully later today.

"I have seen intelligence reports that clearly show the President-elect and his team were at least monitored and disseminated out in intelligence, in what appears to be raw -- well I shouldn't say raw -- but intelligence reporting channels.

"It looks to me like it was all legally collected, but it was essentially a lot of information on the President-elect and his transition team and what they were doing."

The documents Nunes had been shown highlighted the unmasking activities of the FBI, the Obama administration, and CIA Director Brennan in relation to the Trump campaign. Although March 2017 would prove chaotic, the Trump administration had survived the first crucial months, and would now begin to slowly assert its administrative authority.

Comey Testifies No Obstruction by Trump Administration

On May 3, 2017, James Comey testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee. Under oath, Comey stated that his agency -- and the FBI's investigation -- had not been pressured by the Trump administration:

Sen. Hirono: " So if the attorney general or senior officials at the Department of Justice opposes a specific investigation, can they halt that FBI investigation?"

Mr. Comey: " In theory, yes."

Sen. Hirono: " Has it happened?"

Mr. Comey: " Not in my experience. Because it would be a big deal to tell the FBI to stop doing something that – without an appropriate purpose. I mean where oftentimes they give us opinions that we don't see a case there and so you ought to stop investing resources in it. But I'm talking about a situation where we were told to stop something for a political reason. That would be a very big deal. It's not happened in my experience."

<img class="wp-image-2849240" src="https://img.theepochtimes.com/assets/uploads/2019/03/22/Former-FBI-Director-James-Comey-.jpg" alt="" width="160" height="199" /> FBI Director James Comey. (REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst)

Less than a week later, on May 9, Trump fired Comey based on a May 8 recommendation by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein .

Rosenstein would later tell members of Congress: "In one of my first meetings with then-Sen. Jeff Sessions last winter, we discussed the need for new leadership at the FBI. Among the concerns that I recall were to restore the credibility of the FBI, respect the established authority of the Department of Justice, limit public statements and eliminate leaks."

Regarding the recommendation, Rosenstein said: "I wrote it. I believe it. I stand by it."

McCabe's FBI Reaches Out Again to Steele

Within days of Trump's firing of Comey, the FBI, now under the leadership of acting-FBI Director Andrew McCabe, suddenly decided to reestablish direct contact with Christopher Steele through DOJ official Bruce Ohr.

The re-engagement attempt came six months after Steele had been formally terminated by the FBI on Nov. 1, 2016.

The FBI's re-engagement of Ohr was highlighted during a congressional review of some text messages between Ohr and Steele:

Mr. Ohr: " The FBI had asked me a few days before, when I reported to them my latest conversation with Chris Steele, they had had would he -- next time you talk with him, could you ask him if he would be willing to meet again."

Rep. Jordan: " So this is the re-engagement?"

Mr. Ohr: " Yes."

The texts being referenced were sent on May 15, 2017, and refer to a request that Ohr received from the FBI to ask Steele to re-engage with the FBI in the days after Comey had been fired on May 9.

This was the only time the FBI used Ohr to reach out to Steele.

The Battle Between McCabe and Rosenstein

Two days after Comey was fired, on May 11, 2017, McCabe testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee. While the hearing's original intent had been to focus on national security threats, Trump's firing of Comey completely altered the topic of the hearing.

McCabe, who agreed that he would notify the committee "of any effort to interfere with the FBI's ongoing investigation into links between Russia and the Trump campaign," told members of Congress that there had been "no effort to impede our investigation to date." In other words, McCabe testified that he was unaware of any evidence of obstruction from Trump or his administration. Notably, Comey's May 3 testimony may have left McCabe with little choice other than to confirm there had been no obstruction.

<img class="wp-image-2849245 " src="https://img.theepochtimes.com/assets/uploads/2019/03/22/McCabe-1200x1290.jpg" alt="" width="161" height="173" /> Former Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe. (REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque)

McCabe, however, failed to inform the committee that he was actively considering opening an obstruction-of-justice probe of Trump -- a path he would initiate in a meeting with Rosenstein just five days later.

On the morning of May 16, 2017, Rosenstein allegedly suggested to McCabe that he could secretly record Trump. It was at this meeting that McCabe was "pushing for the Justice Department to open an investigation into the president," according to witness accounts reported by The Washington Post.

In addition to McCabe, Rosenstein, and McCabe's special counsel, Lisa Page, there were one or two others present, including Rosenstein's chief of staff , James Crowley, and possibly Scott Schools, the senior-most career attorney at the DOJ and a top aide to Rosenstein.

An unnamed participant at the meeting, in comments to The Washington Post, framed the conversation between McCabe and Rosenstein in an entirely different light, noting that Rosenstein had responded with angry sarcasm to McCabe, saying, "What do you want to do, Andy, wire the president?"

This was just five days after McCabe had publicly testified that there was no obstruction on the part of the Trump administration.

<img class="wp-image-2849247 " src="https://img.theepochtimes.com/assets/uploads/2019/03/22/Rod-Rosenstein-1200x1404.jpg" alt="" width="160" height="187" /> Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. (Samira Bouaou/The Epoch Times)

Sometime later that same day, both Rosenstein and Trump met with former FBI Director Robert Mueller in the Oval Office. The meeting was reported as being for the FBI director position, but the idea that Mueller would be considered for the FBI director role seems highly unlikely.

Mueller had previously served as the FBI director from 2001 to 2013 -- two years beyond the normal 10-year tenure for an FBI director. In 2011, Obama requested that Mueller stay on as FBI director for an additional two years, which required special congressional approval .

Rosenstein appointed Mueller as special counsel the following day, on May 17, 2017, and in doing so, Rosenstein removed control of the Trump–Russia investigation from McCabe and put it in the hands of Mueller.

This was confirmed in a recent statement by a DOJ spokesperson, who said, "The deputy attorney general in fact appointed special counsel Robert Mueller, and directed that Mr. McCabe be removed from any participation in that investigation."

Following the appointment of Mueller as special counsel, it also appears the FBI's efforts to re-engage with Steele abruptly ended.

'There's No Big There There'

We know the FBI hadn't found any evidence of collusion in the May 2017 timeframe. While McCabe was attempting to open an obstruction investigation, Peter Strzok -- who played a key role in the counterintelligence investigation of the Trump campaign -- texted Lisa Page about lacking evidence of collusion:

"You and I both know the odds are nothing. If I thought it was likely, I'd be there, no question. I hesitate, in part, because of my gut sense and concern there's no big there there."

Page, who was asked about this text during her July 2018 testimony, said, "So I think this represents that even as far as May of 2017, we still couldn't answer the question."

James Baker, who was questioned about the Strzok text, was then asked if he'd seen any evidence to the contrary. He stumbled a bit in his reply:

Rep. Meadows: " Do you have any evidence to the contrary that you observed personally in your official capacity?"

Mr. Baker: " So the difficulty I'm having with your question is, what does 'collusion' mean, and what does 'prove' mean? And so I don't know how to respond to that."

FBI Leadership Speculates on New Trump–Russia Collusion Narrative

In his testimony, Baker disclosed the actual substance of discussions taking place at the upper echelons of the FBI immediately following Comey's firing -- that Vladimir Putin had ordered Trump to fire Comey:

Mr. Baker: " We discussed, so to the best of my recollection, with the same people I described earlier: Mr. McCabe, possibly Mr. Gattis [Carl Ghattas, executive assistant director of the National Security Branch], Mr. Priestap, possibly Lisa Page, possibly Pete Strzok. I don't remember that specifically."

Rep. Ratcliffe: " So there was -- there was a discussion between those folks, possibly all of the folks that you've identified, about whether or not President Trump had been ordered to fire Jim Comey by the Russian Government?"

Mr. Baker: " I wouldn't say ordered. I guess I would say the words I sort of used earlier, acting at the behest of and somehow following directions, somehow executing their will, whether -- and so literally an order or not, I don't know. But -- "

Rep. Ratcliffe: " And so -- "

Mr. Baker: " As a -- it was discussed as a theoretical possibility."

Rep. Ratcliffe: " When was it discussed?"

Mr. Baker: "After the firing, like in the aftermath of the firing."

The FBI, with no actual evidence of collusion after 10 months of investigating, began discussing a complete hypothetical at the highest levels of leadership as a means to possibly open an obstruction-of-justice investigation of the president of the United States.

During his testimony, Baker told lawmakers: "I had a jaundiced eye about everything, yes. I had skepticism about all this stuff. I was concerned about all of this. This whole situation was horrible, and it was novel and we were trying to figure out what to do, and it was highly unusual."

McCabe was later fired for lying to the DOJ inspector general and is currently the subject of a criminal grand jury investigation.

The Fixer

Despite the ongoing assault from the intelligence community and holdovers from the Obama administration, Trump was not entirely without allies.

Dana Boente, one of the nation's highest-profile federal prosecutors, served in a series of critical shifting roles within the Trump administration. Boente, who remained the U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia until early 2018, concurrently became the acting attorney general following the firing of Sally Yates. Boente, who was specifically appointed by Trump, was not directly in the line of succession that had been previously laid out under an unusual executive order from the Obama administration.

<img class=" wp-image-2849248" src="https://img.theepochtimes.com/assets/uploads/2019/03/22/Dana-Boente.jpg" alt="" width="160" height="213" /> FBI General Counsel Dana Boente. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

Upon the confirmation of Sessions as attorney general, Boente next served as acting deputy attorney general until the confirmation of Rod Rosenstein as deputy attorney general on April 25, 2017. Boente then became the acting head of the DOJ's National Security Division on April 28, 2017, following the sudden resignation of Mary McCord.

Boente was appointed as FBI general counsel on Jan. 23, 2018, replacing Baker, who was demoted and reassigned. Baker is currently the subject of a criminal leak investigation. Boente remains in his position as FBI general counsel.

On March 31, 2017, the Trump administration asked for the resignations all 46 holdover U.S. attorneys from the Obama administration. Trump refused to accept the resignations of just three of them -- Boente, Rosenstein, and John Huber.

As Sessions noted in a March 29, 2018, letter to congressional chairmen Chuck Grassley, Bob Goodlatte, and Trey Gowdy, Huber was assigned by Sessions to lead a prosecution team and is currently working with DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz:

"I already have directed senior federal prosecutors to evaluate certain issues previously raised by the Committee. Specifically, I asked United States Attorney John W. Huber to lead this effort."

John Carlin's Race With Admiral Rogers

<img class=" wp-image-2833317" src="https://img.theepochtimes.com/assets/uploads/2019/03/11/Mike-Rogers-1200x1435.jpg" alt="" width="160" height="191" /> Director of the National Security Agency Admiral Mike Rogers. (SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)

The Carter Page FISA application has been the subject of significant media attention, but there's another element to the story that, although largely ignored, is equally important. It involved what amounted to a surreptitious race between then-NSA Director Adm. Mike Rogers and DOJ National Security Division (NSD) head John Carlin.

Following a March 9, 2016, discovery that outside contractors for the FBI had been accessing raw FISA data since at least 2015, Rogers directed the NSA's Office of Compliance to conduct a "fundamental baseline review of compliance associated with 702" at some point in early April 2016 ( Senate testimony & pages 83–84 of court ruling).

On April 18, 2016, Rogers moved aggressively in response to the disclosures. He abruptly shut down all FBI outside-contractor access. At this point, both the FBI and the DOJ's NSD became aware of Rogers's compliance review. They may have known earlier, but they were certainly aware after outside-contractor access was halted.

The DOJ's NSD maintains oversight of the intelligence agencies' use of Section 702 authority. The NSD and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) jointly conduct reviews of the intelligence agencies' Section 702 activities every 60 days. The NSD -- with notice to the ODNI -- is required to report any incidents of agency noncompliance or misconduct to the FISA court.

Instead of issuing individual court orders, the attorney general and the director of national intelligence (DNI) are required by Section 702 to provide the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) with annual certifications that specify categories of foreign intelligence information the government is authorized to acquire, pursuant to Section 702.

The attorney general and the DNI also must certify that Intelligence Community agencies will follow targeting procedures and minimization procedures that are approved by the FISC as part of the certification.

Carlin filed the government's proposed 2016 Section 702 certifications on Sept. 26, 2016. Carlin knew the general status of the compliance review by Rogers. The NSD was part of the review. Carlin failed to disclose a critical Jan. 7, 2016, report by the NSA inspector general and associated FISA abuse to the FISA court in his 2016 certification. Carlin also failed to disclose Rogers's ongoing Section 702-compliance review.

On Sept. 27, 2016, the day after he filed the annual certifications, Carlin announced his resignation , which would become effective on Oct. 15, 2016.

<img class=" wp-image-2849255" src="https://img.theepochtimes.com/assets/uploads/2019/03/22/John-Carlin-FBI.jpg" alt="" width="160" height="192" /> John Carlin, DOJ's National Security Division. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

On Oct. 4, 2016, a standard follow-up court hearing was held ( Page 19 ), with Carlin present. Again, he made no disclosure of FISA abuse or other related issues. This lack of disclosure would be noted by the court later in the April 2017 ruling:

"The government's failure to disclose those IG and OCO reviews at the October 4, 2016 hearing [was ascribed] to an institutional 'lack of candor.'"

Rogers appeared formally before the FISA court on Oct. 26, 2016, and presented the written findings of his audit:

"Two days later, on the day the Court otherwise would have had to complete its review of the certifications and procedures, the government made a written submission regarding those compliance problems and the Court held a hearing to address them.

"The government reported that the NSA IG and OCO were conducting other reviews covering different time periods, with preliminary results suggesting that the problem was widespread during all periods under review."

The FISA court was unaware of the FISA "query" violations until they were presented to the court by then-NSA Director Rogers.

Carlin didn't disclose his knowledge of FISA abuse in the annual Section 702 certifications, apparently in order to avoid raising suspicions at the FISA court ahead of receiving the Carter Page FISA warrant.

The FBI and the NSD were literally racing against Rogers's investigation in order to obtain a FISA warrant on Carter Page. FISA Abuse & the FISC

Rogers presented his findings directly to the FISA court's presiding judge, Rosemary Collyer. Collyer and Rogers would work together for the next six months, addressing the issues that Rogers had uncovered.

It was Collyer who wrote the April 26, 2017, FISA court ruling on the entire episode. It also was Collyer who signed the original FISA warrant on Carter Page on Oct. 21, 2016, before being apprised of the many issues by Rogers.

The litany of abuses described in the April 26, 2017, ruling was shocking and detailed the use of private contractors by the FBI in relation to Section 702 data. Collyer referred to it as "a very serious Fourth Amendment issue." The FBI was specifically singled out by the court numerous times in the ruling:

"The improper access previously afforded the contractors has been discontinued. The Court is nonetheless concerned about the FBI's apparent disregard of minimization rules and whether the FBI may be engaging in similar disclosures of raw Section 702 information that have not been reported."

Rogers informed Collyer of the ongoing FISA abuses by the FBI and NSD just three days after she personally signed the Carter Page FISA warrant.

Virtually every FBI and NSD official with material involvement in the original Carter Page FISA application would later be removed -- either through firing or resignation.

Correction: A previous version of this article stated the wrong month for Christopher Steele's 2016 meeting with the FBI in Rome. The meeting took place in September 2016.

[Aug 21, 2019] Solomon If Trump Declassifies These 10 Documents, Democrats Are Doomed

Highly recommended!
They are afraid to admin that a color revolution was launched to depose Trump after the elections of 2016. Essentially a coup d'état by intelligence agencies and Clinton wing of Democratic Party.
Notable quotes:
"... The 53 House Intel interviews. House Intelligence interviewed many key players in the Russia probe and asked the DNI to declassify those interviews nearly a year ago, after sending the transcripts for review last November. There are several big reveals, I'm told, including the first evidence that a lawyer tied to the Democratic National Committee had Russia-related contacts at the CIA. ..."
"... The Stefan Halper documents. It has been widely reported that European-based American academic Stefan Halper and a young assistant, Azra Turk, worked as FBI sources . ..."
"... Page/Papadopoulos exculpatory statements. Another of Nunes' five buckets, these documents purport to show what the two Trump aides were recorded telling undercover assets or captured in intercepts insisting on their innocence. Papadopoulos told me he told an FBI undercover source in September 2016 that the Trump campaign was not trying to obtain hacked Clinton documents from Russia and considered doing so to be treason. ..."
"... The 'Gang of Eight' briefing materials. These were a series of classified briefings and briefing books the FBI and DOJ provided key leaders in Congress in the summer of 2018 that identify shortcomings in the Russia collusion narrative. ..."
"... The Steele spreadsheet. I wrote recently that the FBI kept a spreadsheet on the accuracy and reliability of every claim in the Steele dossier. According to my sources, it showed as much as 90 percent of the claims could not be corroborated, were debunked or turned out to be open-source internet rumors. ..."
"... The Steele interview. It has been reported, and confirmed, that the DOJ's inspector general (IG) interviewed the former British intelligence operative for as long as 16 hours about his contacts with the FBI while working with Clinton's opposition research firm, Fusion GPS. It is clear from documents already forced into the public view by lawsuits that Steele admitted in the fall of 2016 that he was desperate to defeat Trump ..."
"... The redacted sections of the third FISA renewal application. This was the last of four FISA warrants targeting the Trump campaign; it was renewed in June 2017 after special counsel Robert Mueller 's probe had started, and signed by then-Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein . It is the one FISA application that House Republicans have repeatedly asked to be released, and I'm told the big reveal in the currently redacted sections of the application is that it contained both misleading information and evidence of intrusive tactics used by the U.S. government to infiltrate Trump's orbit. ..."
"... Records of allies' assistance. Multiple sources have said a handful of U.S. allies overseas – possibly Great Britain, Australia and Italy – were asked to assist FBI efforts to check on Trump connections to Russia. ..."
"... Attorney General Bill Barr's recent comments that "the use of foreign intelligence capabilities and counterintelligence capabilities against an American political campaign, to me, is unprecedented and it's a serious red line that's been crossed." ..."
Aug 21, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

As the Russiagate circus attempts to quietly disappear over the horizon, with Democrats preferring to shift the anti-Trump narrative back to "racist", "white supremacist", "xenophobe", and the mainstream media ready to squawk "recession"; the Trump administration may have a few more cards up its sleeve before anyone claims the higher ground in this farce we call an election campaign.

As The Hill's John Solomon details, in September 2018 that President Trump told my Hill.TV colleague Buck Sexton and me that he would order the release of all classified documents showing what the FBI, the Department of Justice (DOJ) and other U.S. intelligence agencies may have done wrong in the Russia probe.

And while it's been almost a year since then, of feet-dragging and cajoling and deep-state-fighting, we wonder, given Solomon's revelations below, if the president is getting ready to play his 'Trump' card.

Here are the documents that Solomon believes have the greatest chance of rocking Washington, if declassified:

1.) Christopher Steele 's confidential human source reports at the FBI. These documents, known in bureau parlance as 1023 reports, show exactly what transpired each time Steele and his FBI handlers met in the summer and fall of 2016 to discuss his anti-Trump dossier. The big reveal, my sources say, could be the first evidence that the FBI shared sensitive information with Steele, such as the existence of the classified Crossfire Hurricane operation targeting the Trump campaign. It would be a huge discovery if the FBI fed Trump-Russia intel to Steele in the midst of an election, especially when his ultimate opposition-research client was Hillary Clinton and the Democratic National Committee (DNC). The FBI has released only one or two of these reports under FOIA lawsuits and they were 100 percent redacted. The American public deserves better.

2.) The 53 House Intel interviews. House Intelligence interviewed many key players in the Russia probe and asked the DNI to declassify those interviews nearly a year ago, after sending the transcripts for review last November. There are several big reveals, I'm told, including the first evidence that a lawyer tied to the Democratic National Committee had Russia-related contacts at the CIA.

3.) The Stefan Halper documents. It has been widely reported that European-based American academic Stefan Halper and a young assistant, Azra Turk, worked as FBI sources . We know for sure that one or both had contact with targeted Trump aides like Carter Page and George Papadopoulos at the end of the election. My sources tell me there may be other documents showing Halper continued working his way to the top of Trump's transition and administration, eventually reaching senior advisers like Peter Navarro inside the White House in summer 2017. These documents would show what intelligence agencies worked with Halper, who directed his activity, how much he was paid and how long his contacts with Trump officials were directed by the U.S. government's Russia probe.

4.) The October 2016 FBI email chain. This is a key document identified by Rep. Nunes and his investigators. My sources say it will show exactly what concerns the FBI knew about and discussed with DOJ about using Steele's dossier and other evidence to support a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant targeting the Trump campaign in October 2016. If those concerns weren't shared with FISA judges who approved the warrant, there could be major repercussions.

5.) Page/Papadopoulos exculpatory statements. Another of Nunes' five buckets, these documents purport to show what the two Trump aides were recorded telling undercover assets or captured in intercepts insisting on their innocence. Papadopoulos told me he told an FBI undercover source in September 2016 that the Trump campaign was not trying to obtain hacked Clinton documents from Russia and considered doing so to be treason. If he made that statement with the FBI monitoring, and it was not disclosed to the FISA court, it could be another case of FBI or DOJ misconduct.

6.) The 'Gang of Eight' briefing materials. These were a series of classified briefings and briefing books the FBI and DOJ provided key leaders in Congress in the summer of 2018 that identify shortcomings in the Russia collusion narrative. Of all the documents congressional leaders were shown, this is most frequently cited to me in private as having changed the minds of lawmakers who weren't initially convinced of FISA abuses or FBI irregularities.

7.) The Steele spreadsheet. I wrote recently that the FBI kept a spreadsheet on the accuracy and reliability of every claim in the Steele dossier. According to my sources, it showed as much as 90 percent of the claims could not be corroborated, were debunked or turned out to be open-source internet rumors. Given Steele's own effort to leak intel in his dossier to the media before Election Day, the public deserves to see the FBI's final analysis of his credibility. A document I reviewed recently showed the FBI described Steele's information as only "minimally corroborated" and the bureau's confidence in him as "medium."

8.) The Steele interview. It has been reported, and confirmed, that the DOJ's inspector general (IG) interviewed the former British intelligence operative for as long as 16 hours about his contacts with the FBI while working with Clinton's opposition research firm, Fusion GPS. It is clear from documents already forced into the public view by lawsuits that Steele admitted in the fall of 2016 that he was desperate to defeat Trump , had a political deadline to make his dirt public, was working for the DNC/Clinton campaign and was leaking to the news media. If he told that to the FBI and it wasn't disclosed to the FISA court, there could be serious repercussions.

9.) The redacted sections of the third FISA renewal application. This was the last of four FISA warrants targeting the Trump campaign; it was renewed in June 2017 after special counsel Robert Mueller 's probe had started, and signed by then-Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein . It is the one FISA application that House Republicans have repeatedly asked to be released, and I'm told the big reveal in the currently redacted sections of the application is that it contained both misleading information and evidence of intrusive tactics used by the U.S. government to infiltrate Trump's orbit.

10.) Records of allies' assistance. Multiple sources have said a handful of U.S. allies overseas – possibly Great Britain, Australia and Italy – were asked to assist FBI efforts to check on Trump connections to Russia. Members of Congress have searched recently for some key contact documents with British intelligence . My sources say these documents might help explain Attorney General Bill Barr's recent comments that "the use of foreign intelligence capabilities and counterintelligence capabilities against an American political campaign, to me, is unprecedented and it's a serious red line that's been crossed."

These documents, when declassified, would show more completely how a routine counterintelligence probe was hijacked to turn the most awesome spy powers in America against a presidential nominee in what was essentially a political dirty trick orchestrated by Democrats.


rahrog , 2 minutes ago link

America's Ruling Class is laughing at all you fools still falling for the Rs v Ds scam.

Stupid people lose.

LibertyVibe , 3 minutes ago link

I disagree with Solomon. Nothing will "doom" the swamp unless the righteous few are willing to indict, prosecute and carry out sentencing for the guilty. Exposing the guilty accomplishes nothing, because anyone paying attention already knows of their crimes. Those who want to believe lies will still believe them after the truth comes out.
It's ALL A WASTE OF TIME unless we follow through.

#TheDailyNews #DrainTheSwamp

Lord Raglan , 5 minutes ago link

Where's all the other, earlier docs Trump was going to declassify? Just wondering..............

TheFQ , 16 minutes ago link

Does anyone see a pattern here after the 2009 Tea Party movement began?

2009 - Republicans: "If we win back the House, we can accomplish our agenda."

2011 - Republicans: "If we win back the Senate, we can accomplish our agenda." (NOTE: After winning back the House)

2012 - Republicans: "If we win back the Senate, we can accomplish our agenda." (NOTE: 2 YEARS After winning back the House)

2013 - Republicans: "If we win back the Presidency, we can accomplish our agenda." (NOTE: 1 YEAR after winning back the House and the Senate)

2014 - Republicans: "If we win back the Presidency, we can accomplish our agenda." (NOTE: 2 YEARS after winning back the House and the Senate)

2015 - Republicans: "If we win back the Presidency, we can accomplish our agenda." (NOTE: 3 YEARS after winning back the House and the Senate)

2016 - Republicans: "If we win back the Presidency, we can accomplish our agenda." (NOTE: 4 YEARS after winning back the House and the Senate)

2017 - Republicans: "Now that we've won back the Presidency, we can accomplish our agenda." (NOTE: After winning back the House 6 YEARS AGO and the Senate 4 YEARS AGO)

2018 - Republicans: "Now that we've won back the Presidency, we can accomplish our agenda." (NOTE: After winning back the House 7 YEARS AGO and the Senate 5 YEARS AGO)

2019 - John Solomon - "If Trump Declassifies These 10 Documents, Democrats Are Doomed"

I hate to say it, but I DON'T BELIEVE YOU, JOHN.

ALL WE HAVE HEARD OVER THE COURSE OF THIS DECADE IS "IF THIS HAPPENS...THEN THEY ARE DOOMED / WE CAN ACCOMPLISH OUR AGENDA / YADDA YADDA YADDA.

WHEN THE FOLLOWING ARE FOUND GUILTY OF TREASON, THEN AND ONLY THEN WILL I BELIEVE YOU:

WHY ARE THESE TREASONOUS, VILE, CORRUPT CRIMINALS NOT INDICTED FOR TREASON?

WTF?

FFS...

benb , 12 minutes ago link

WHY ARE THESE TREASONOUS, VILE, CORRUPT CRIMINALS NOT INDICTED FOR TREASON?

Because the people doing the indicting are in on it.

enfield0916 , 36 minutes ago link

As if there's any major philosophical difference between the Librtads and Zionist Cocksuckvatives.

Both sides use the .gov agencies to subvert and ignore the Constitution whenever possible. Best example is WikiLeaks and how each party wished Assange would just go away when he revealed damaging information about both sides on multiple occasions.

[Aug 12, 2019] Russiagate is the idea around which varied interests can be organized

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Like the Wolfowitz explanation of the Iraq War, Russiagate is the idea around which varied interests can be organized. Cold Warriors like to hate on Russia. It justifies arms spending and their own importance. Clintonistas need an excuse to distract from her being a loser. The DNC needs an excuse for manipulating the candidate selection in favor of donor interests. "Moderates" need a distraction from their ongoing refusal to address the interests of voters. ..."
Aug 12, 2019 | consortiumnews.com

Mark Thomason , August 12, 2019 at 10:34

Like the Wolfowitz explanation of the Iraq War, Russiagate is the idea around which varied interests can be organized. Cold Warriors like to hate on Russia. It justifies arms spending and their own importance. Clintonistas need an excuse to distract from her being a loser. The DNC needs an excuse for manipulating the candidate selection in favor of donor interests. "Moderates" need a distraction from their ongoing refusal to address the interests of voters.

[May 30, 2019] Whatever you may think of Trump, the people who set out to 'get him' are the scum of the Earth

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... "All political analysis which favors either the Democratic Party or the Republican Party is inherently worthless, because both parties are made of swamp and exist in service of the swamp. If you can't see that the entire system is one unified block of corruption and that ordinary people need to come together and unite against it, then you really don't understand what you're looking at." ..."
May 30, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org
ben , May 29, 2019 10:45:47 PM | 2

SteveK9 , May 29, 2019 6:54:20 PM | 0

Whatever you may think of Trump, the people who set out to 'get him' are the scum of the Earth. I recommend listening to the two-part interview of George Papadopoulos with Mark Steyn, where he describes the convoluted plot to use him to bring down Trump.

What they did to this guy is truly disgusting. Brennan belongs in a prison cell, and he should be sharing it with Mueller. Papadopoulos also has written a book about his experiences called 'Deep State Target, How I got caught in the crosshairs of the plot to bring down President Trump.

And, a final comment. Hillary Clinton proved beyond all doubt that she and not Trump was not fit to be President. To engage in this scheme and then to raise tensions through the roof with a nuclear superpower, which can destroy this country, is about as low and selfish as it is possible to be.

As I stated on the open thread, to paraphrase Muller;

I don't give a s###. figure it out yourself, Im f***ing outta' here.

The whole point of impeachment, is to have a show trial, not actually impeach. If the thing is on TV, the American people may watch it, and that would be interesting.

Not to worry though, Pelosi and Schumer won't let that happen. Appeasing their donors,is all they care about.

psycho @ 2 quoting C. Johnston stated;

"All political analysis which favors either the Democratic Party or the Republican Party is inherently worthless, because both parties are made of swamp and exist in service of the swamp. If you can't see that the entire system is one unified block of corruption and that ordinary people need to come together and unite against it, then you really don't understand what you're looking at."

That, my friends, is the clearest truth of all..

[May 27, 2019] The Campaign to Paint Trump as a Russian Stooge Started on May 4, 2016 by Larry C Johnson

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... The Clinton campaign and the DNC retained the law firm of Perkins Coie; in turn, one of its partners, Marc E. Elias, retained Fusion GPS. We don't know how much Fusion GPS was paid, but the Clinton campaign and the DNC paid $9.1 million to Perkins Coie during the 2016 campaign (i.e., between mid-2015 and late 2016). ..."
"... Fusion GPS then "hired" FBI Informant Christopher Steele in May 2016. More about that later. ..."
"... As Lisa Page and Peter Strzok noted in their text exchange, Ted Cruz dropping out of the race in early May was the catalyst for focusing all resources on Donald Trump. This effort, which I label, the Trump Russia covert action, involved the CIA, the NSA, the FBI and British Intelligence ..."
"... May 4, 2016, George Papadopolous forwarded to Corey Lewandowski an email from Timofeev [who was introduced to Papadopolous by Joseph Mifsud] raising the possibility of a meeting in Moscow ..."
"... May 4, 2016, FBI Informant Felix Sater followed up with Michael Cohen re Trump Tower Moscow Project: ..."
"... John Brennan convened a secret task force at CIA headquarters composed of several dozen analysts and officers from the CIA, the NSA and the FBI. ..."
"... The unit functioned as a sealed compartment, its work hidden from the rest of the intelligence community. Those brought in signed new non-disclosure agreements to be granted access to intelligence from all three participating agencies ..."
"... It was manufactured as part of a broader plan to paint Trump as a tool of Putin and a servant of Russia ..."
"... We must take a new look at the story told about the so-called Russian hack of the DNC. I believe that Crowd Strike is lying about its role and the timeline. Here is the "official" story ..."
"... We are asked to believe that the Russians were in the DNC network on the 6 th of May and that Crowd Strike knew it. But what steps did Crowd Strike take to shut down the "Russians." Short answer -- nothing until June 10 th ..."
"... The DNC emails were taken on the 25 th of May 2016. That is the last date for the DNC emails posted on Wikileaks ..."
"... CrowdStrike effort did not shut down the DNC network until 10 June. If you know on May 6 th that the "Russians" are in the network, why does any credible, competent cyber security company wait until the 10 th of June to shut the system down? ..."
"... Seth Rich, a DNC employee and Bernie Sanders supporter, downloaded the emails and then gave them to Wikileaks. Rich was in contact with Wikileaks. That is not my opinion. We know that courtesy of a FOIA request by lawyer Ty Clevenger to the NSA filed in November 2017, who requested any information regarding Seth Rich and Julian Assange. ..."
"... NSA has records of communications between Seth Rich and Julian Assange. ..."
"... the CIA had a task force set up. I believe this intelligence was communicated to the Clinton campaign and that a bogus story, with Crowd Strike in a starring role, was cooked up. Implausible? ..."
"... It was Crowd Strike with the help of the Washington Post that went public and pinned the blame on the Russians ..."
"... But that was not the only active measure in place. Christopher Steele, a fully signed up FBI informant, was hired by Fusion GPS and produced his first block buster report on June 20 th claiming Trump was under the thumb of Vladimir Putin ..."
"... Things should get very interesting with the declassification in force. Can you see the NSA/Seth Rich/Wikileaks material being made declassified as well (albeit redacted for methods, etc of course)? ..."
"... Can Barr declassify the Rich/Assange material? Also, was Skripal one of Steele's "sources"? ..."
"... Joseph Mifsud is missing in this time line. He always appeared to be the most curious player. Any reason he is left out? ..."
"... This is the second time in the past few weeks I've read about surveillance on Sanders. Is there a link to a reliable source? ..."
"... I believe it's established that a guy from the UK worked in his campaign, and is now on the Integrity Initiative payroll. And the investigation into his wife's role in the financial affairs of the college she works for seems mysteriously to have run into the sands ..."
"... Before joining Manafort in Kiev, Kliminik worked for almost a decade in Moscow for the International Republican Institute, effectively running that office for some of those years. The IRI is part of the NED/USAID network. There is no way an identified "GRU agent" would be permitted as a long time employee of such an organization. ..."
"... To avoid the conflict [of interest] President Trump designates the U.S. Attorney General as arbiter and decision-maker for the purposes of declassifying evidence within the investigation ..."
"... I realize Larry Johnson's already alluded to the existence of NSA files about communications between Seth Rich and Julian Assange, but the implications are finally sinking in as to how evil this whole mess is. ..."
"... I've always been dismissive of those who've made comments about "Arkancide" in connection with the Clintons, but I may have to revise my POV. I wonder who was involved in the process of getting rid of Mr. Rich? ..."
"... Declassify the list of persons "Samantha Powers" asked FISA courts to unmask during the 11th hours of the Obama administration. Or learn who signed her name to these requests, if in fact she did not as she claimed. ..."
"... Redstate reports the 260 FISA unmasking requests in 2016 in Samantha Power name were perhaps for an Israel Settlesment-gate; not Russiagate? https://www.redstate.com/elizabeth-vaughn/2019/05/25/samantha-powers-unmasked-260-americans-2016-soon-well-learn/ ..."
May 24, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com

Forget July 31, 2016 as the alleged start date for the full blown Trump counter intelligence investigation. That day is a sham. The actual campaign to paint Trump as a full fledged stooge of Russia started in early May 2016. We now know the start date thanks to the text messages between star-crossed lovers Strzok and Page and the timeline buried in the Mueller Report:

It is important to understand that the collection of intelligence on U.S. Presidential candidates was not limited to Donald Trump. The collection effort started in the summer of 2015 and included the main Republican candidates and, according to a knowledgeable source, also targeted Bernie Sanders.

Also remember that the Presidential campaign is a dynamic event that changes over time. In the summer of 2015, the conventional wisdom touted Jeb Bush as the likely nominee. But as the months passed the field narrowed. By March of 2016, Donald Trump was the leader and appeared likely to garner the nomination.

April was the turning point where the foundation for attacking Trump was being laid. The law firm, Perkins Coie, hired Fusion GPS on behalf of Hillary Clinton's campaign . Andy McMarthy reported on the details of this arrangement in October 2017:

The Clinton campaign and the DNC retained the law firm of Perkins Coie; in turn, one of its partners, Marc E. Elias, retained Fusion GPS. We don't know how much Fusion GPS was paid, but the Clinton campaign and the DNC paid $9.1 million to Perkins Coie during the 2016 campaign (i.e., between mid-2015 and late 2016).

Fusion GPS then "hired" FBI Informant Christopher Steele in May 2016. More about that later.

As Lisa Page and Peter Strzok noted in their text exchange, Ted Cruz dropping out of the race in early May was the catalyst for focusing all resources on Donald Trump. This effort, which I label, the Trump Russia covert action, involved the CIA, the NSA, the FBI and British Intelligence. How do we know? Just look at the Robert Mueller Report:

Then we have this little tidbit courtesy of the Washington Post that the CIA acted, perhaps as early as June 2016 :

John Brennan convened a secret task force at CIA headquarters composed of several dozen analysts and officers from the CIA, the NSA and the FBI.

The unit functioned as a sealed compartment, its work hidden from the rest of the intelligence community. Those brought in signed new non-disclosure agreements to be granted access to intelligence from all three participating agencies.

They worked exclusively for two groups of "customers," officials said. The first was Obama and fewer than 14 senior officials in government. The second was a team of operations specialists at the CIA, NSA and FBI who took direction from the task force on where to aim their subsequent efforts to collect more intelligence on Russia.

Investigators must get the date that this CIA task force was established. They also need to identify and interview the people who participated and were cleared to work on this task force. President Trump must understand that this was not a legitimate intelligence operation. It was weaponizing the intel community to act against a Presidential candidate. It was manufactured as part of a broader plan to paint Trump as a tool of Putin and a servant of Russia.

We must take a new look at the story told about the so-called Russian hack of the DNC. I believe that Crowd Strike is lying about its role and the timeline. Here is the "official" story

May 6, 2016, Dmitri Alperovitch woke up in a Los Angeles hotel to an alarming email. Alperovitch is the thirty-six-year-old cofounder of the cybersecurity firm CrowdStrike, and late the previous night, his company had been asked by the Democratic National Committee to investigate a possible breach of its network. A CrowdStrike security expert had sent the DNC a proprietary software package, called Falcon, that monitors the networks of its clients in real time. Falcon "lit up," the email said, within ten seconds of being installed at the DNC: Russia was in the network. (From Esquire-- Esquire Magazine offers a different timeline)

We are asked to believe that the Russians were in the DNC network on the 6 th of May and that Crowd Strike knew it. But what steps did Crowd Strike take to shut down the "Russians." Short answer -- nothing until June 10 th .

The DNC emails were taken on the 25 th of May 2016. That is the last date for the DNC emails posted on Wikileaks.

Washington Post reporter Ellen Nakashima and Esquire magazine each reported that that the CrowdStrike effort did not shut down the DNC network until 10 June. If you know on May 6 th that the "Russians" are in the network, why does any credible, competent cyber security company wait until the 10 th of June to shut the system down?

I believe this is a cover story. Here is what I think really happened.

Seth Rich, a DNC employee and Bernie Sanders supporter, downloaded the emails and then gave them to Wikileaks. Rich was in contact with Wikileaks. That is not my opinion. We know that courtesy of a FOIA request by lawyer Ty Clevenger to the NSA filed in November 2017, who requested any information regarding Seth Rich and Julian Assange. The NSA informed Clevenger in a letter dated 4 October 2018 that:

Your request has been processed under the provisions of the FOIA. Fifteen documents (32 pages) responsive to your request have been reviewed by this Agency as required by the FOIA and have found to be currently and properly classified in accordance with Executive Order 13526. These documents meet the criteria for classification as set forth in Subparagraph © of Section 1.4 and remains classified TOP SECRET and SECRET."

Former NSA Technical Director, William Binney commented on this revelation:

Ty Clevenger has FOIAed information from NSA asking for any data that involved both Seth Rich and also Julian Assange. And they responded by saying we've got 15 files, 32 pages, but they're all classified in accordance with executive order 13526 covering classification, and therefore you can't have them.

That says that NSA has records of communications between Seth Rich and Julian Assange. I mean, that's the only business that NSA is in  --  copying communications between people and devices.

We already know, as noted above, that the CIA had a task force set up. I believe this intelligence was communicated to the Clinton campaign and that a bogus story, with Crowd Strike in a starring role, was cooked up. Implausible? Not as implausible as a supposed cracker jack cyber security company waiting almost six weeks before taking common sense steps to shut down and clean the DNC servers.

It was Crowd Strike with the help of the Washington Post that went public and pinned the blame on the Russians.

But that was not the only active measure in place. Christopher Steele, a fully signed up FBI informant, was hired by Fusion GPS and produced his first block buster report on June 20 th claiming Trump was under the thumb of Vladimir Putin.

This is not a complete timeline. More remains to be discovered. But there are key facts that most of the media and punditry have ignored. Donald Trump's announcement tonight (Thursday, 23 May 2019) to start declassifying documents on the Trump counter intelligence investigation and directing the intelligence agencies to cooperate may be the final straw that ends the conspiracy of ignorance.

Posted at 07:53 AM in Larry Johnson , Russiagate | Permalink


Eric Newhill , 24 May 2019 at 10:42 AM

Larry,

Once again, thank you for the good work on this important topic. Looking forward to your future installments.

Things should get very interesting with the declassification in force. Can you see the NSA/Seth Rich/Wikileaks material being made declassified as well (albeit redacted for methods, etc of course)?

O'Shawnessey , 24 May 2019 at 11:22 AM

Can Barr declassify the Rich/Assange material? Also, was Skripal one of Steele's "sources"?

The Twisted Genius -> O'Shawnessey... , 24 May 2019 at 09:49 PM

O'Shawnessey, if the Rich/Assange material establishes communication between the two, I would expect it to be declassified to bolster the "Russia didn't do it" narrative. Even if that communication was't specifically about transferring DNC files or the actual transference of DNC files, it would be useful to Russia and/or Trump supporters.

If, OTOH, the file NSA files consist of Assange discussing the use of Rich as a useful scapegoat, the files will never see the light of day. According to what Larry has written, Clevenger asked for files with information involving Rich and Assange and did not specify communications between Assange and Rich.

Clevenger should have at least specified a cut off date. If the NSA files were produced before Rich's death, it would be a gold mine for Barr and Trump. If the documents covered the time after Rich's death, not so much.

My theory is that the Rich as leaker story is similar to the whole G2 story. They muddy the water and create chaos. Classic maskirovka.

Factotum , 24 May 2019 at 12:14 PM

Joseph Mifsud is missing in this time line. He always appeared to be the most curious player. Any reason he is left out?

Larry Johnson -> Factotum... , 24 May 2019 at 12:47 PM

If you re-read closely I reference Timofeev who was introduced to Papadopolous by MIFSUD. He's there.
Thanks for asking

Doggrotter , 24 May 2019 at 12:44 PM

Siht, I hadn't even thought about classified info on SR. I had thought about how it would be interesting if it turned out Sanders had been spied on. Seriously explosive stuff. Something about Robert Duvall using the other N word, quote from Apocalypse Now.

begob -> Doggrotter... , 25 May 2019 at 02:03 AM

This is the second time in the past few weeks I've read about surveillance on Sanders. Is there a link to a reliable source?

I believe it's established that a guy from the UK worked in his campaign, and is now on the Integrity Initiative payroll. And the investigation into his wife's role in the financial affairs of the college she works for seems mysteriously to have run into the sands.

jjc , 24 May 2019 at 02:41 PM

Before joining Manafort in Kiev, Kliminik worked for almost a decade in Moscow for the International Republican Institute, effectively running that office for some of those years. The IRI is part of the NED/USAID network. There is no way an identified "GRU agent" would be permitted as a long time employee of such an organization.

The Mueller team deliberately seeded the suspicion, and credulous journalists speculated on polling data without pause. Kliminik was, in effect, Manafort's deputy in Kiev, working very closely with him - so again for the Mueller team to suggest there was anything at all sinister in the two men holding meetings, whether tied to campaign events or not, is unfounded speculation, which should have been obvious to all.

Tidewater -> Keith Harbaugh... , 24 May 2019 at 04:32 PM

I've been waiting for that one. Next comes Papadopoulos. I think the British Fraud Act of 2006 is quite relevant to what Halper was doing. Cambridge University, Magdalene College, even Pembroke College would seem to me to be at risk for lawsuits. Fraud Act 2006 Wikipedia explains why litigation is now appropriate.

Please see: Fraud Act 2006 Wikipedia

begob -> Keith Harbaugh... , 25 May 2019 at 02:05 AM

I believe Glenn Greenwald has weighed in on this one. You should be able to find his views in an online search.

Keith Harbaugh , 24 May 2019 at 03:14 PM

Sundance provides quite a bit of information regarding Trump's declassification memorandum:

"President Trump's Declassification Directive Outlines Specific Process and Direction ." , by sundance, 2019-05-24

To avoid the conflict [of interest] President Trump designates the U.S. Attorney General as arbiter and decision-maker for the purposes of declassifying evidence within the investigation
...
[etc.]
akaPatience , 24 May 2019 at 06:41 PM

I realize Larry Johnson's already alluded to the existence of NSA files about communications between Seth Rich and Julian Assange, but the implications are finally sinking in as to how evil this whole mess is.

I've always been dismissive of those who've made comments about "Arkancide" in connection with the Clintons, but I may have to revise my POV. I wonder who was involved in the process of getting rid of Mr. Rich?

It's horrible to even ponder...

joanna -> akaPatience ... , 25 May 2019 at 12:43 PM

Wasn't there a "murder case" in DC itself? In other words do you really need to lead us down to Arkansas, murky real estate deals, drugs, extramarital relationships bordering on rapes and other shady associate networks? But I agree, suicided may not fit all too well.

ex-PFC Chuck , 24 May 2019 at 09:41 PM

I am struck by the irony of the Trump administration is prosecuting Julian Assange under the Espionage Act for actions that are common journalistic practices, while simultaneously conducting an investigation that is closing in on malefactors of high position for probable actions that threaten the very core of our democracy and which in all likelihood would still be unknown to the public were it not for the work of that same heterodox journalist.

Ghost Ship -> ex-PFC Chuck... , 26 May 2019 at 05:56 AM

I suspect that the Trump government really doesn't want Assange extradited but feels it has to be seen to have gone through the motions. 17+ indictments might be effective in the American judicial system but here in good old Blighty it's way too many and they might all be thrown out as being oppressive.
But then again the Conservative government after Brexit will be a bunch of craven shits desperate for a trade deal from Trump and will reply "how high" when he says jump.

Factotum , 24 May 2019 at 10:53 PM

Declassify the list of persons "Samantha Powers" asked FISA courts to unmask during the 11th hours of the Obama administration. Or learn who signed her name to these requests, if in fact she did not as she claimed.

walrus , 25 May 2019 at 07:53 PM

I'm concerned that Assange may not live long enough to stand trial because he is capable of closing too many open investigations.

Factotum , 25 May 2019 at 11:56 PM

Redstate reports the 260 FISA unmasking requests in 2016 in Samantha Power name were perhaps for an Israel Settlesment-gate; not Russiagate? https://www.redstate.com/elizabeth-vaughn/2019/05/25/samantha-powers-unmasked-260-americans-2016-soon-well-learn/

[May 20, 2019] The dirty art of politicians entrapment: Blackmail, smear campaigns, various traps via honey or corruption, hookers, gay sex, pedophilia, or what-have-you, all or in combination

Highly recommended!
That remind me how old Kushner tried to smear his relative...
Notable quotes:
"... They are told that the daughter of a Russian billionaire plans large investments in Austria. It was said that she would like to help his party. The alleged daughter of the Russian billionaire, who is actually also Austrian, and her "friend" serve an expensive dinner. Alcohol flows freely. The pair offers a large party donation but asks for returns in form of mark ups on public contracts. ..."
"... The "Russian" female is notably very attractive with a slender build. There is a honey-trap angle here as well. This would likely inspire the boasting (in order to impress her) on the part of the wingnut politician. ..."
"... The far-right is the Troy Horse of transnational corporations and capital and already discredited neoliberal stablishment which comes now disguised under the softening label of "populists". Beware, there seems to be a coordinated effort at several blogs in the ten previous days of the European elections to whitewash the far-right. ..."
"... So this very much hints something more. Right now there is a debate of cocain being visible on the table but this accusation points more towards schnickle with a babe imho. The babe to his right is not that ugly, admittely. ..."
"... As expected the hysteria of "russian" meddling have now publicized to weaken FPÖ in the EU election. Winners? NATO/US parties. ..."
"... Seems indeed to be a honeypot aspect to the entrapment, and it's quite possible Strache stepped down at once to avoid that part to come to light, so that the public revelations would be limited to the economic shenanigans and influence-peddling level. ..."
"... Also, this goes to show that the bulk of our Western politicians, across all the political spectrum, are a bunch of mediocre and quite corrupt fools. For him not to smell that this was a setup from the very first minute, it must be that such proposals are common place all across the board - which will only reinforce my suspicion that our societies, peoples and mankind as a whole would only benefit if we fully wiped out our economic, financial and political establishment and started from scratches. ..."
"... Blackmail, smear campaigns, various traps via honey or corruption, hookers and blow, gay sex, paedofilia, or what-have-you, - all or in combination. Politicians are "all" compromised in these ways. Buck the system or threaten the status quo - whereby it gets somebody's serious attention and the shite hits the fan. ..."
"... The savages in this neoliberal order use the secret services to subvert democracy. Deception and manipulation are the means used to corrupt the public domain. They would push the most pliable and ruthless leaders into office. Catastrophe and violence and disinformation are their most powerful weapons. But I still think that political processes and elections do matter; and what counts is a struggle to improve and reform the system of government. Doing our best to protect and maintain the integrity of electoral processes is something that requires both protests and political campaigns. ..."
"... The very strong implication certainly seems to be that there may be further video of Strache sleeping with the honey pot. He obviously knows what happened that night. If there were video cameras hidden everywhere, that was obviously one of the intentions behind the sting from the outset. ..."
"... B, please do an article on the Nazi penetration of the German security services, Interior Ministry, Army, CDU etc, and links to the NSU affair, shredding of millions of documents by the Interior Ministry when demanded by the courts as evidence, links with the Board members and advisory board members of German big business especially Siemens and Deutche Bank and Bayer, etc. ..."
"... It is a wonder Strache's remark "Journalists are the biggest whores on the planet" and how he says he can subvert an entire media outlet to his political agenda by even firing the few remaining fringe elements. ..."
"... I don't think Strache is as harmless as you portray him, B. You fall for his defence strategy if you attribute all his statements to the influence of alcohol. At that time, the man was very confident that he would soon be at the levers of power, which then materialized. It remains to be proven whether he did not put into practice anything of what he talked about at that house in Ibiza. After all, he was talking about the by far most influential newspaper in Austria. ..."
"... Of course it is true that it is the neoliberal globalisers who have brought us to where we stand today. But that doesn' make people like Strache and Salvini any less dangerous. If they rise to total power, the result will be a naked dictatorship. Strache was beaten with his own weapons, you don't have to be under any illusions. ..."
"... Who could have ordered such an elaborate sting operation? ..."
"... The sophisticated operation using actors and a villa prepared with hidden cameras and microphones shows that this is hardly a normal case of dirty campaigning by political opponents. Most likely, either it was an action by a secret service or someone with deep pockets hired former secret agents. ..."
"... If it was an action by secret services, the most plausible explanation seems to be that Western secret services targeted Strache because FPÖ is one of the parties who is in favor of restoring normal relations with Russia ..."
"... François Fillon comes to mind, a French conservative candidate who also had a quite a friendly attitude towards Russia - shortly before the elections, it was revealed (at least claimed) that Fillon had given his wife ficticious employment, and Fillon lost popularity, which helped Macron enormously. ..."
"... Probably, some of the things Strache said during this sting operation were inacceptable, and Fillon may also not be innocent, but if there is a systematic selective targeting of European politicians who want to normalize relations with Russia by secret services, that would be a huge problem for democracy. ..."
"... In 2016, Joseph Mifsud invited George Papadopoulos to Rome and introduced him to "Putin's niece" with the intent of smearing Trump as "Russian puppet" and destroying his election chances. In 2017, someone (who?) invited Heinz-Christian Strache to Ibiza and introduced him to "Russian billionaire's niece" with the intent of smearing Strache as "Russian puppet" and destroying his party's election chances. Notice a pattern? ..."
"... This is a clear case of Germany interfering in Austrian elections. Austria should deport 60 German diplomats, shut down German embassy in Vienna, and impose sanctions on Germany. Also put a German girl interested in Austrian politics in jail for 18 months. ..."
"... Thinking about it, after revealing e-mail of HRC, Podesta etc. were published, their core supporters were enraged about the dirty trick and did not pay attention to the disclosed content, while for the core opponents of HRC she was already sufficiently vilified so the net change in voting intentions that can be attributed to that incident was modest. ..."
"... Anyone who does not directly have his or her family's nose in the EU trough at this point knows that the policies espoused by transatlantic puppets like Angela Merkel and Emmanuel Macron push our countries and our continent towards self-destruction. Life in Europe, post-1968 and pre-2013, has been pretty damn good. There's absolutely no good reason for us to rip up our traditions or turn into a continent of immigrants and mobile job seekers. ..."
"... As Strache explains in the video, Austrian dirty tricks are done "via another country". ..."
"... To those who fill that politics of Strache are obnoxious and that justifies entrapment, remembers that methods of that type are not improvised, and that means that there is an apparatus that does it. We noted similarities with provocations against George Papadopoulos. In the latter case the target was cautious, after all, we had to be well aware of such methods. But anyone who is despised by NATO establishment are similar group can be on the receiving end, think about Assange. ..."
May 20, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

During the last days a right wing politician in Austria was taken down by using an elaborate sting. Until Friday Heinz-Christian Strache was leader of the far right (but not fascist) Freedom Party of Austria (FPOe) and the Vice Chancellor of the country. On Friday morning two German papers, the Sueddeutsche Zeitung and Der Spiegel published (German) reports (English) about an old video that was made to take Strache down.

The FPOe has good connections with United Russia, the party of the Russian President Putin, and to other right-wing parties in east Europe. It's pro-Russian position has led to verbal attacks on and defamation of the party from NATO supporting and neoliberal circles.

In July 2017 Strache and his right hand man Johann Gudenus, who is also the big number in the FPOe, get invited for dinner to a rented villa on Ibiza, the Spanish tourist island in the Mediterranean. They are told that the daughter of a Russian billionaire plans large investments in Austria. It was said that she would like to help his party. The alleged daughter of the Russian billionaire, who is actually also Austrian, and her "friend" serve an expensive dinner. Alcohol flows freely. The pair offers a large party donation but asks for returns in form of mark ups on public contracts.

Unknown to Strache the villa is professionally bugged with many hidden cameras and microphones.


A scene from the video. Source: Der Falter (vid, German)

During the six hour long party several schemes get proposed by the "Russian" and are discussed. Strache rejects most of them. He insists several times that everything they plan or do must be legal and conform to the law. He says that a large donation could probably be funneled through an endowment that would then support his party. It is a gray area under Austrian party financing laws. They also discuss if the "Russian" could buy the Kronen Zeitung , Austria's powerful tabloid, and use it to prop up his party.

The evening goes on with several bottles of vodka on the table. Starche gets a bit drunk and boosts in front of the "oligarch daughter" about all his connections to rich and powerful people. He does not actually have these.

Strache says that, in exchange for help for his party, the "Russian" could get public contracts for highway building and repair. Currently most of such contracts in Austria go to the large Austrian company, STRABAG, that is owned by a neoliberal billionaire who opposes the FPOe. At that time Strache was not yet in the government and had no way to decide about such contracts.

At one point Strache seems to understand that the whole thing is a setup. But his right hand man calms him down and vouches for the "Russian". The sting ends with Strache and his companion leaving the place. The never again see the "Russian" and her co-plotter. Nothing they talked about will ever come to fruition.

Three month later Strache and his party win more than 20% in the Austrian election and form a coalition government with the conservative party OeVP led by Chancellor Sebastian Kurz. Even while the FPOe controls several ministries, it does not achieve much politically. It lacks a real program and the government's policies are mostly run by the conservatives.

Nearly two years after the evening on Ibiza, ten days before the European parliament election in which Strache's party is predicted to achieve good results, a video of the evening on Ibiza is handed to two German papers which are known to be have strong transatlanticist leanings and have previously been used for other shady 'leaks'. The papers do not hesitate to take part in the plot and publish extensive reports about the video.

After the reports appeared Strache immediately stepped down and the conservatives ended the coalition with his party. Austria will now have new elections.

On Bloomberg Leonid Bershidsky opines on the case:

Strache's discussion with the Russian oligarch'