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Steele dossier: the case study in politically motivated blackmail

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

Hat tip to The Last Refuge

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

Introduction

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

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

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

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

The Last Refuge

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Here is the summary of Christopher Steele biography

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Also

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

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

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

That is the problem.

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

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

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

Several commenters offered additional thought on this complex issue:

Sylvia 1 said...

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

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

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

wisedupearly Ceo said...

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

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

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

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

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

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

Joe100,

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

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

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

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

State Department role in creation of the dossier

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I was right.

Sidney Blumenthal role in creation of the dossier

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

This is a classic Machiavellian trick

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

... ... ...

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

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

... ... ...

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

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

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

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

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

Chronology

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    ... ... ...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Peter Strzok, AUG 15,2016

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

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

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

... ... ...

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

... ... ...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cui Bono?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Yes, the dossier was funded by Democrats

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

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

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

Russians blame MI6 for Steele dossier

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

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

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

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

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

... ... ...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

... ... ...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

... ... ...

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

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

Was British government involved in color revolution against Trump?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Did FBI or Justice Department pay Steele?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What was in the dossier?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

— Mother Jones, October 31, 2016[10]

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

... ... ...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

 


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Old News ;-)

[Aug 17, 2018] Brennan Goes Nuclear After Losing Security Clearance, Pens Furious Screed In NYT

Aug 17, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Trump revoked Brennan's clearance for what he called "unfounded and outrageous allegations" against his administration, while also announcing that the White House is evaluating whether to strip clearances from other former top officials.

Trump later told the Wall Street Journal his decision was connected to the ongoing federal probe into alleged Russian interference in the 2016 election and allegedly collusion by his presidential campaign.

"I call it the rigged witch hunt, (it) is a sham," Trump said in an interview with the newspaper on Wednesday. "And these people led it."

"It's something that had to be done," Trump added. - Reuters

[Aug 14, 2018] Republicans call Justice Department's Bruce Ohr to testify, but where is British Spy Steele (Video)

Notable quotes:
"... "DOJ official Bruce Ohr will come before Congress on August 28 to answer why he had 60+ contacts with dossier author Chris Steele, as far back as January 2016. He owes the American public the full truth." ..."
"... So here you have information flowing from the Clinton campaign from the Russians, likely -- I believe was handed directly from Russian propaganda arms to the Clinton campaign, fed into the top levels of the FBI and Department of Justice to open up a counter-intelligence investigation into a political campaign that has now polluted nearly every top official at the DOJ and FBI over the course of the last couple years. It is absolutely amazing, ..."
"... Emails handed over to Congress by the Justice Department show that Ohr, Steele, and Simpson communicated throughout 2016, as Steele and Simpson were being paid by the Clinton campaign and the DNC to dig up dirt on Trump. ..."
"... why the most central of figures in the Trump-Russia collusion hoax, British spy for hire Christopher Steele, is not sitting before Congress, testifying to the real election collusion between the UK, the Obama White House, the FBI and the DOJ. ..."
Aug 14, 2018 | theduran.com

Representative Mark Meadows tweeted Friday

"DOJ official Bruce Ohr will come before Congress on August 28 to answer why he had 60+ contacts with dossier author Chris Steele, as far back as January 2016. He owes the American public the full truth."

DOJ official Bruce Ohr will come before Congress on August 28 to answer why he had 60+ contacts with dossier author, Chris Steele, as far back as January 2016.

He owes the American public the full truth.

-- Mark Meadows (@RepMarkMeadows) August 10, 2018

Lawmakers believe former Associate Deputy Attorney General Bruce Ohr is a central figure to finding out how the Hillary Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee paid PR smear firm Fusion GPS and British spy Christopher Steele to fuel a conspiracy of Trump campaign collusion with Russians at the top levels of the Justice Department and the FBI.

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-CA) said Sunday to Fox News' Maria Bartiromo

So here you have information flowing from the Clinton campaign from the Russians, likely -- I believe was handed directly from Russian propaganda arms to the Clinton campaign, fed into the top levels of the FBI and Department of Justice to open up a counter-intelligence investigation into a political campaign that has now polluted nearly every top official at the DOJ and FBI over the course of the last couple years. It is absolutely amazing,

According to Breitbart , during the 2016 election, Ohr served as associate deputy attorney general, and as an assistant to former Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates and to then-Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. His office was four doors down from Rosenstein on the fourth floor. He was also dual-hatted as the director of the DOJ's Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force.

Ohr's contacts with Steele, an ex-British spy, are said to date back more than a decade. Steele is a former FBI informant who had helped the FBI prosecute corruption by FIFA officials. But it is Ohr and Steele's communications in 2016 that lawmakers are most interested in.

Emails handed over to Congress by the Justice Department show that Ohr, Steele, and Simpson communicated throughout 2016, as Steele and Simpson were being paid by the Clinton campaign and the DNC to dig up dirt on Trump.

The Duran's Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris examine the role Bruce Ohr played in Hillary Clinton's Deep State attack against the Presidency of Donald Trump, and why the most central of figures in the Trump-Russia collusion hoax, British spy for hire Christopher Steele, is not sitting before Congress, testifying to the real election collusion between the UK, the Obama White House, the FBI and the DOJ.

[Aug 14, 2018] Trump may need to step in, declassify documents, House Intel Committee Chair Nunes says

Aug 12, 2018 | www.legitgov.org
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes said on Sunday President Trump may need to step in and declassify documents related to the Russia investigation. "I think he really has no choice because...You're going to end up with a situation with half of America, including many, almost nearly every Republican member of Congress, who will have zero confidence in the Department of Justice and FBI and that just can't be," Nunes, R-Calif., told "Sunday Morning Futures."

Trump said in a tweet Saturday that he "may have to get involved," since the FBI isn't providing texts from Andrew McCabe, the agency's former deputy director, to conservative government activist group Judicial Watch.

[Aug 14, 2018] Peter Strzok Fired From The FBI

Aug 13, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com
Peter Strzok, who spearheaded the FBI's investigations into both the Clinton email "matter" and the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, has been fired from the agency over anti-Trump texts, according to The Washington Post .

Aitan Goelman, Strzok's lawyer, said FBI Deputy Director David L. Bowdich ordered the firing on Friday -- even though the director of the FBI office that normally handles employee discipline had decided Strzok should face only a demotion and 60-day suspension. Goelman said the move undercuts the FBI's repeated assurances that Strzok would be afforded the normal disciplinary process. - Washington Post

" This isn't the normal process in any way more than name ," Goelman said.

Strzok's termination follows a June report that he was physically escorted out of an FBI building despite still being employed by the agency.

me title=

In response Goelman said in a statement: " Pete has steadfastly played by the rules and respected the process , and yet he continues to be the target of unfounded personal attacks, political games and inappropriate information leaks."

In the same June letter, Goelman complained about the " impartiality of the disciplinary process, which now appears tainted by political influence ."

In other words, Peter Strzok - who vowed in a text message to his FBI mistress to "stop" Trump, was the victim of political bias - according to his attorney.

Goelman also wrote that "instead of publicly calling for a long-serving FBI agent to be summarily fired, politicians should allow the disciplinary process to play out free from political pressure." We are confident that everyone will be very interested in watching the "impartial" disciplinary process play out fully in the coming months.

Goelman's conclusion: "Despite being put through a highly questionable process, Pete has complied with every FBI procedure, including being escorted from the building as part of the ongoing internal proceedings."

Strzok's anti-Trump sentiment came to light after an internal investigation revealed he and his FBI mistress Lisa Page had exchanged 50,000 text messages, many of which contained clear animus towards then-candidate Donald Trump.

Strzok's position in the bureau had been precarious since last summer, when Inspector General Michael E. Horowitz told Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III that the lead agent on his team had been exchanging anti-Trump messages with an FBI lawyer. The next day, Mueller expelled Strzok from the group.

The lawyer, Lisa Page, had also been a part of Mueller's team, though she left a few weeks earlier and no longer works for the FBI. She and Strzok were having an affair. - Washington Post

Perhaps the most alarming of the exchanges mentions an "insurance policy" in the event Trump is elected.

" I want to believe the path you threw out for consideration in Andy's office - that there's no way he [Trump] gets elected - but I'm afraid we can't take that risk." Strzok wrote to Page, adding " It's like a life insurance policy in the unlikely event you die before you're 40 ."

In another text exchange, Strzok tells Page: "I am riled up. Trump is a f*cking idiot, is unable to provide a coherrent answer," and "I CAN'T PULL AWAY, WHAY THE F*CK HAPPENED TO OUR COUNTRY (redacted)??!?! "

Page then messages Strzok, saying "And maybe you're meant to stay where you are because you're meant to protect the country from that menace . (links to NYT article), to which Strzok replied " I can protect our country at many levels ."

me title=

The text messages made abundantly clear that Strzok - the man who downgraded the FBI's assessment of Hillary's email mishandling from "grossly negligent" to "extremely careless," and used a largely unfounded Trump-Russia dossier to launch a counterintelligence operation - holds a deep disdain for Donald Trump.

In response to the discovery of Strzok and Page's texts, President Trump derided the pair as "FBI lovers." On Sunday, Trump tweeted "Will the FBI ever recover it's once stellar reputation, so badly damaged by Comey, McCabe, Peter S and his lover, the lovely Lisa Page, and other top officials now dismissed or fired? So many of the great men and women of the FBI have been hurt by these clowns and losers!"

me title=

Strzok testified at a Congressional earing last month, asserting that there was "no evidence of bias in my professional actions," and that his testimony was "just another victory notch in [Russian President Vladimir] Putin's belt and another milestone in our enemies' campaign to tear America apart."

The now-former FBI agent also creeped people out with a weird smirk during the session, as well as the generally creepy faces he made:

me title=

We're looking forward to hearing Strzok's side of the story wherever he lands next - which we assume will either be CNN or MSNBC.


Hobbleknee -> DeadFred Mon, 08/13/2018 - 11:22 Permalink

He probably gets to keep his security clearance though.

vaporland -> Hobbleknee Mon, 08/13/2018 - 11:25 Permalink

Pete has steadfastly played by the rules and respected the process

the crooked rules and rigged process?

Gatto -> vaporland Mon, 08/13/2018 - 11:34 Permalink

PS tried to influence a US election! He should be made an example of to put fear in the 'Russians' or anyone else that ever tries to throw an election, a sentence of life in a hard labor camp will be fair!

NvrGivUp -> MagicHandPuppet Mon, 08/13/2018 - 12:11 Permalink

The lawyer professing his clients innocence: https://www.zuckerman.com/people/aitan-d-goelman

Gen. Ripper -> Harry Lightning Mon, 08/13/2018 - 11:43 Permalink

They didn't issue a firearm to him. He was not a graduate of FLETC nor a law enforcement agent/officer. He is not an 1811 criminal investigator. He was a CIA puke shipped to FBI for detail by Brennan. This is all lies.

Banana Republican -> Gaius Frakkin' Mon, 08/13/2018 - 11:17 Permalink

Assume he's already talking to decorators about his new office at CNN.

38BWD22 -> City_Of_Champyinz Mon, 08/13/2018 - 11:43 Permalink

Or MSNBC.

Boxed Merlot -> RafterManFMJ Mon, 08/13/2018 - 11:55 Permalink

...PAID to lie...see reported what "so and so's lawyer said"...

Really.

And in an unrelated matter Mr. Goelman raged at the severity of the court's handling of the orphaned Menendez brothers sentencing.

Just enough "truth" to get caught in one's craw.

Seriously though, what kind of name is "Strzok"?

Never mind, I just read Mr. Strzok's, (pronounced like struck), Wikipedia entry: "This page was last edited on 13 August 2018, at 15:17 (UTC)."

I wonder how many more updates will be needed before this sordid affair runs it's course?

carbonmutant -> Bill of Rights Mon, 08/13/2018 - 11:20 Permalink

I think the Deep State is throwing Trump a bone...

aqualech -> carbonmutant Mon, 08/13/2018 - 11:35 Permalink

I think that the Deep State could not come up with any possible alternative.

Promethus -> aqualech Mon, 08/13/2018 - 11:54 Permalink

Agreed. It is the very least they could do.

Sounds like my lib brother who says there is no need to go after Hillary because she lost. I told him by that logic we shouldn't have tried the Nazis because they lost.

tmosley -> BabaLooey Mon, 08/13/2018 - 11:16 Permalink

I highly doubt this will be the end of it.

He was kept on because he was a cooperating witness. He decided not to cooperate, so now he's gone.

DeadFred -> tmosley Mon, 08/13/2018 - 11:29 Permalink

Firing him only means he is of no more use. Lisa Page was fired after she had no more use other than testifying. I'll be interested to see what happens to PS. He represents an interesting mix of factors. His background is pure Deep State yet he is personally well and truly screwed. Will he flip to save his hide or will he go down with the globalist ship? I personally think he turned on them but that is just a guess. The demon-possessed kabuki testimony was just an act he was told to portray for optics IMHO. Tie will tell

SRV -> DeadFred Mon, 08/13/2018 - 11:41 Permalink

He played a big role in the CIA infiltration of the FBI (to get around that annoying policy of no spying on Americans in the CIA... officially of course). He doesn't even show up as completing the FBI Academy program... same for McCabe...

But why is he not being charged for conspiracy to take down a sitting president using official government agency tools?

CRM114 -> DeadFred Mon, 08/13/2018 - 11:42 Permalink

I doubt PS has any dirt on anyone who hasn't already been fired.

No, his best bet personally is to make a truckload of cash for appearances, talks and book advances (no one will buy them, of course). The Deep State look after their own.

enough of this -> BabaLooey Mon, 08/13/2018 - 11:51 Permalink

Strzok thought he would be safe towing the FBI party line during his congressional hearing, where he behaved like a useful idiot. Now that he is on record defending the FBI, it was no longer necessary to keep him on the payroll, so the FBI fired him. That's how the deep-state closes ranks after they discard one of their own who stupidly embarrassed them by leaving text messages that showed FBI corruption in exonerating Clinton and framing Trump.

SummerSausage Mon, 08/13/2018 - 11:41 Permalink

Not to worry. Strzok's wife is a top SEC lawyer. The Deep State will still try to manufacture garbage on Trump.

Kool Kat Mon, 08/13/2018 - 11:43 Permalink

" In other words, Peter Strzok - who vowed to "stop" Trump, was the victim of political bias according to his attorney."

Everything I say is a lie. But, if everything I say is a lie, then, I'm lying as I say this. Therefore, everything I say is truth. But, if everything I say is true, and I'm telling you that I am lying

Hmmmn

1971 Mon, 08/13/2018 - 11:50 Permalink

Does he get to keep his job at the CIA?

Zero-Hegemon Mon, 08/13/2018 - 11:50 Permalink

This is awesome because Team Mueller & Co. won't be able to resist from pulling at the threads of this latest twist, as in "was Stroke's firing politically motivated...", and will further unravel the DNC's, Democrats and Fusion GPS collusion at all levels of government.

Fucking genius move, and most well deserved (though he got off easy). If he's smart he'll stay out of the public eye.

arrowrod Mon, 08/13/2018 - 12:09 Permalink

How will the FBI operate without Strzok? He was everywhere. Russia, Hillary, Trump Tower, White House, China, Comey, Brennan.

Writing all of the warrants. Over 50,000 text messages in less than a year.

The FBI is going to have to hire 500 "special" agents, to do the work that Strzok did.

hooligan2009 Mon, 08/13/2018 - 12:14 Permalink

and the question nobody is answering.

who at the FBI awarded immunity from prosecution to Clintons lawyers et al?

was it Comey, Strzok, McCabe?

why does that immunity still stand if the FBI officers that granted it were poltical hacks fucking on government time and using federal/taxpayers money?

koan Mon, 08/13/2018 - 12:20 Permalink

LOL "he's been stationed in Human Resources" anyone that's dealt with HR knows this is a fate worse than death.

William Dorritt Mon, 08/13/2018 - 12:22 Permalink

The FBI packed with Ivy Leaguers, Friends and Relatives of Wall Street, Social Justice Warriors, and Govt types who know they are above the Law.

The real question is, is the FBI worth saving ?

or can it even be saved and made back into a beacon of integrity?

The best policy would be to close it, terminate everyone and transfer any law enforcement or national secutiry work that it might have inadvertently been doing, to the various other myriad of Law Enforcement Agencies, like Homeland, US Marshals, Treasury, ATF etc etc etc.....

CStanford -> William Dorritt Mon, 08/13/2018 - 12:28 Permalink

The FBI has never been a beacon of integrity, far from it.

[Aug 14, 2018] US Intelligence Community is Tearing the Country Apart from the Inside by Dmitry Orlov

Highly recommended!
This is an interesting analysis shedding some light on how the US intelligence services have gone rogue...
Notable quotes:
"... Most recently, British "special services," which are a sort of Mini-Me to the to the Dr. Evil that is the US intelligence apparatus, saw it fit to interfere with one of their own spies, Sergei Skripal, a double agent whom they sprung from a Russian jail in a spy swap. They poisoned him using an exotic chemical and then tried to pin the blame on Russia based on no evidence. ..."
"... the Americans are doing their best to break the unwritten rule against dragging spies through the courts, but their best is nowhere near good enough. ..."
"... That said, there is no reason to believe that the Russian spies couldn't have hacked into the DNC mail server. It was probably running Microsoft Windows, and that operating system has more holes in it than a building in downtown Raqqa, Syria after the Americans got done bombing that city to rubble, lots of civilians included. When questioned about this alleged hacking by Fox News, Putin (who had worked as a spy in his previous career) had trouble keeping a straight face and clearly enjoyed the moment. ..."
"... He pointed out that the hacked/leaked emails showed a clear pattern of wrongdoing: DNC officials conspired to steal the electoral victory in the Democratic Primary from Bernie Sanders, and after this information had been leaked they were forced to resign. If the Russian hack did happen, then it was the Russians working to save American democracy from itself. So, where's the gratitude? Where's the love? Oh, and why are the DNC perps not in jail? ..."
"... The logic of US officials may be hard to follow, but only if we adhere to the traditional definitions of espionage and counterespionage -- "intelligence" in US parlance -- which is to provide validated information for the purpose of making informed decisions on best ways of defending the country. But it all makes perfect sense if we disabuse ourselves of such quaint notions and accept the reality of what we can actually observe: the purpose of US "intelligence" is not to come up with or to work with facts but to simply "make shit up." ..."
"... The objective of US intelligence is to suck all remaining wealth out of the US and its allies and pocket as much of it as possible while pretending to defend it from phantom aggressors by squandering nonexistent (borrowed) financial resources on ineffective and overpriced military operations and weapons systems. Where the aggressors are not phantom, they are specially organized for the purpose of having someone to fight: "moderate" terrorists and so on. ..."
"... "What sort of idiot are you to ask me such a stupid question? Of course they are lying! They were caught lying more than once, and therefore they can never be trusted again. In order to claim that they are not currently lying, you have to determine when it was that they stopped lying, and that they haven't lied since. And that, based on the information that is available, is an impossible task." ..."
"... "The US intelligence agencies made an outrageous claim: that I colluded with Russia to rig the outcome of the 2016 presidential election. The burden of proof is on them. They are yet to prove their case in a court of law, which is the only place where the matter can legitimately be settled, if it can be settled at all. Until that happens, we must treat their claim as conspiracy theory, not as fact." ..."
"... But no such reality-based, down-to-earth dialogue seems possible. All that we hear are fake answers to fake questions, and the outcome is a series of faulty decisions. Based on fake intelligence, the US has spent almost all of this century embroiled in very expensive and ultimately futile conflicts. ..."
"... Thanks to their efforts, Iran, Iraq and Syria have now formed a continuous crescent of religiously and geopolitically aligned states friendly toward Russia while in Afghanistan the Taliban is resurgent and battling ISIS -- an organization that came together thanks to American efforts in Iraq and Syria. ..."
"... Another hypothesis, and a far more plausible one, is that the US intelligence community has been doing a wonderful job of bankrupting the country and driving it toward financial, economic and political collapse by forcing it to engage in an endless series of expensive and futile conflicts -- the largest single continuous act of grand larceny the world has ever known. How that can possibly be an intelligent thing to do to your own country, for any conceivable definition of "intelligence," I will leave for you to work out for yourself. While you are at it, you might also want to come up with an improved definition of "treason": something better than "a skeptical attitude toward preposterous, unproven claims made by those known to be perpetual liars. ..."
Jul 28, 2018 | russia-insider.com
In today's United States, the term "espionage" doesn't get too much use outside of some specific contexts. There is still sporadic talk of industrial espionage, but with regard to Americans' own efforts to understand the world beyond their borders, they prefer the term "intelligence." This may be an intelligent choice, or not, depending on how you look at things.

First of all, US "intelligence" is only vaguely related to the game of espionage as it has been traditionally played, and as it is still being played by countries such as Russia and China. Espionage involves collecting and validating strategically vital information and conveying it to just the pertinent decision-makers on your side while keeping the fact that you are collecting and validating it hidden from everyone else.

In eras past, a spy, if discovered, would try to bite down on a cyanide capsule; these days torture is considered ungentlemanly, and spies that get caught patiently wait to be exchanged in a spy swap. An unwritten, commonsense rule about spy swaps is that they are done quietly and that those released are never interfered with again because doing so would complicate negotiating future spy swaps.

In recent years, the US intelligence agencies have decided that torturing prisoners is a good idea, but they have mostly been torturing innocent bystanders, not professional spies, sometimes forcing them to invent things, such as "Al Qaeda." There was no such thing before US intelligence popularized it as a brand among Islamic terrorists.

Most recently, British "special services," which are a sort of Mini-Me to the to the Dr. Evil that is the US intelligence apparatus, saw it fit to interfere with one of their own spies, Sergei Skripal, a double agent whom they sprung from a Russian jail in a spy swap. They poisoned him using an exotic chemical and then tried to pin the blame on Russia based on no evidence.

There are unlikely to be any more British spy swaps with Russia, and British spies working in Russia should probably be issued good old-fashioned cyanide capsules (since that supposedly super-powerful Novichok stuff the British keep at their "secret" lab in Porton Down doesn't work right and is only fatal 20% of the time).

There is another unwritten, commonsense rule about spying in general: whatever happens, it needs to be kept out of the courts, because the discovery process of any trial would force the prosecution to divulge sources and methods, making them part of the public record. An alternative is to hold secret tribunals, but since these cannot be independently verified to be following due process and rules of evidence, they don't add much value.

A different standard applies to traitors; here, sending them through the courts is acceptable and serves a high moral purpose, since here the source is the person on trial and the method -- treason -- can be divulged without harm. But this logic does not apply to proper, professional spies who are simply doing their jobs, even if they turn out to be double agents. In fact, when counterintelligence discovers a spy, the professional thing to do is to try to recruit him as a double agent or, failing that, to try to use the spy as a channel for injecting disinformation.

Americans have been doing their best to break this rule. Recently, special counsel Robert Mueller indicted a dozen Russian operatives working in Russia for hacking into the DNC mail server and sending the emails to Wikileaks. Meanwhile, said server is nowhere to be found (it's been misplaced) while the time stamps on the files that were published on Wikileaks show that they were obtained by copying to a thumb drive rather than sending them over the internet. Thus, this was a leak, not a hack, and couldn't have been done by anyone working remotely from Russia.

Furthermore, it is an exercise in futility for a US official to indict Russian citizens in Russia. They will never stand trial in a US court because of the following clause in the Russian Constitution: "61.1 A citizen of the Russian Federation may not be deported out of Russia or extradited to another state."

Mueller may summon a panel of constitutional scholars to interpret this sentence, or he can just read it and weep. Yes, the Americans are doing their best to break the unwritten rule against dragging spies through the courts, but their best is nowhere near good enough.

That said, there is no reason to believe that the Russian spies couldn't have hacked into the DNC mail server. It was probably running Microsoft Windows, and that operating system has more holes in it than a building in downtown Raqqa, Syria after the Americans got done bombing that city to rubble, lots of civilians included. When questioned about this alleged hacking by Fox News, Putin (who had worked as a spy in his previous career) had trouble keeping a straight face and clearly enjoyed the moment.

He pointed out that the hacked/leaked emails showed a clear pattern of wrongdoing: DNC officials conspired to steal the electoral victory in the Democratic Primary from Bernie Sanders, and after this information had been leaked they were forced to resign. If the Russian hack did happen, then it was the Russians working to save American democracy from itself. So, where's the gratitude? Where's the love? Oh, and why are the DNC perps not in jail?

Since there exists an agreement between the US and Russia to cooperate on criminal investigations, Putin offered to question the spies indicted by Mueller. He even offered to have Mueller sit in on the proceedings. But in return he wanted to question US officials who may have aided and abetted a convicted felon by the name of William Browder, who is due to begin serving a nine-year sentence in Russia any time now and who, by the way, donated copious amounts of his ill-gotten money to the Hillary Clinton election campaign.

In response, the US Senate passed a resolution to forbid Russians from questioning US officials. And instead of issuing a valid request to have the twelve Russian spies interviewed, at least one US official made the startlingly inane request to have them come to the US instead. Again, which part of 61.1 don't they understand?

The logic of US officials may be hard to follow, but only if we adhere to the traditional definitions of espionage and counterespionage -- "intelligence" in US parlance -- which is to provide validated information for the purpose of making informed decisions on best ways of defending the country. But it all makes perfect sense if we disabuse ourselves of such quaint notions and accept the reality of what we can actually observe: the purpose of US "intelligence" is not to come up with or to work with facts but to simply "make shit up."

The "intelligence" the US intelligence agencies provide can be anything but; in fact, the stupider it is the better, because its purpose is allow unintelligent people to make unintelligent decisions. In fact, they consider facts harmful -- be they about Syrian chemical weapons, or conspiring to steal the primary from Bernie Sanders, or Iraqi weapons of mass destruction, or the whereabouts of Osama Bin Laden -- because facts require accuracy and rigor while they prefer to dwell in the realm of pure fantasy and whimsy. In this, their actual objective is easily discernible.

The objective of US intelligence is to suck all remaining wealth out of the US and its allies and pocket as much of it as possible while pretending to defend it from phantom aggressors by squandering nonexistent (borrowed) financial resources on ineffective and overpriced military operations and weapons systems. Where the aggressors are not phantom, they are specially organized for the purpose of having someone to fight: "moderate" terrorists and so on.

One major advancement in their state of the art has been in moving from real false flag operations, à la 9/11, to fake false flag operations, à la fake East Gouta chemical attack in Syria (since fully discredited). The Russian election meddling story is perhaps the final step in this evolution: no New York skyscrapers or Syrian children were harmed in the process of concocting this fake narrative, and it can be kept alive seemingly forever purely through the furious effort of numerous flapping lips. It is now a pure confidence scam. If you are less then impressed with their invented narratives, then you are a conspiracy theorist or, in the latest revision, a traitor.

Trump was recently questioned as to whether he trusted US intelligence. He waffled. A light-hearted answer would have been:

"What sort of idiot are you to ask me such a stupid question? Of course they are lying! They were caught lying more than once, and therefore they can never be trusted again. In order to claim that they are not currently lying, you have to determine when it was that they stopped lying, and that they haven't lied since. And that, based on the information that is available, is an impossible task."

A more serious, matter-of-fact answer would have been:

"The US intelligence agencies made an outrageous claim: that I colluded with Russia to rig the outcome of the 2016 presidential election. The burden of proof is on them. They are yet to prove their case in a court of law, which is the only place where the matter can legitimately be settled, if it can be settled at all. Until that happens, we must treat their claim as conspiracy theory, not as fact."

And a hardcore, deadpan answer would have been:

"The US intelligence services swore an oath to uphold the US Constitution, according to which I am their Commander in Chief. They report to me, not I to them. They must be loyal to me, not I to them. If they are disloyal to me, then that is sufficient reason for their dismissal."

But no such reality-based, down-to-earth dialogue seems possible. All that we hear are fake answers to fake questions, and the outcome is a series of faulty decisions. Based on fake intelligence, the US has spent almost all of this century embroiled in very expensive and ultimately futile conflicts.

Thanks to their efforts, Iran, Iraq and Syria have now formed a continuous crescent of religiously and geopolitically aligned states friendly toward Russia while in Afghanistan the Taliban is resurgent and battling ISIS -- an organization that came together thanks to American efforts in Iraq and Syria.

The total cost of wars so far this century for the US is reported to be $4,575,610,429,593. Divided by the 138,313,155 Americans who file tax returns (whether they actually pay any tax is too subtle a question), it works out to just over $33,000 per taxpayer. If you pay taxes in the US, that's your bill so far for the various US intelligence "oopsies."

The 16 US intelligence agencies have a combined budget of $66.8 billion, and that seems like a lot until you realize how supremely efficient they are: their "mistakes" have cost the country close to 70 times their budget. At a staffing level of over 200,000 employees, each of them has cost the US taxpayer close to $23 million, on average. That number is totally out of the ballpark! The energy sector has the highest earnings per employee, at around $1.8 million per. Valero Energy stands out at $7.6 million per. At $23 million per, the US intelligence community has been doing three times better than Valero. Hats off! This makes the US intelligence community by far the best, most efficient collapse driver imaginable.

There are two possible hypotheses for why this is so.

First, we might venture to guess that these 200,000 people are grossly incompetent and that the fiascos they precipitate are accidental. But it is hard to imagine a situation where grossly incompetent people nevertheless manage to funnel $23 million apiece, on average, toward an assortment of futile undertakings of their choosing. It is even harder to imagine that such incompetents would be allowed to blunder along decade after decade without being called out for their mistakes.

Another hypothesis, and a far more plausible one, is that the US intelligence community has been doing a wonderful job of bankrupting the country and driving it toward financial, economic and political collapse by forcing it to engage in an endless series of expensive and futile conflicts -- the largest single continuous act of grand larceny the world has ever known. How that can possibly be an intelligent thing to do to your own country, for any conceivable definition of "intelligence," I will leave for you to work out for yourself. While you are at it, you might also want to come up with an improved definition of "treason": something better than "a skeptical attitude toward preposterous, unproven claims made by those known to be perpetual liars."

[Aug 13, 2018] Carter Page was a plant, just like Manafort and Papadapolous

Aug 13, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

trentusa Mon, 08/13/2018 - 11:32 Permalink

ZH is just as bad as cnn and fox news these days. Report the REAL NEWS you fucks. Tylers i am so sorry what happened to this website, nothing but russian propoganda anymore.

Prove me wrong. Do a story on the reason Carter Page was never charged w/ a crime is bc he was a cooperating fbi witness in 2016 and the fbi knew CP wasnt a spy bc he just finished helping them, the fbi, bust up a REAL russian spy ring, or does that not fit into your narrative? https://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2018/02/02/the-fbi-knew-carter-page-m

detached.amusement -> trentusa Mon, 08/13/2018 - 12:04 Permalink

stfu, anyone who has been paying attention knows goddam well that Carter Page was giving testimony of behalf of the gov just a couple months before he magically became a russian agent so that they could justify all the spying they'd already been doing on team trump. Carter Page was a plant, just like Manafort and Papadapolous.

[Aug 10, 2018] Who is "Our Guy" by Dan Bongino

Aug 10, 2018 | www.bongino.com

The entire Spygate scandal is finally being exposed. In this episode I address the scandalous beginnings of the FBI investigation into Trump and the sources they may be hiding.

News Picks:

[Aug 10, 2018] The Frothing Right Prefers Oleg Deripaska as an FBI Asset to Christopher Steele

Critique of Deripaska connection to Steelw from Clintonite media.
Notable quotes:
"... "how three FBI agents showed up to persuade Deripaska to help them create a phony Russiagate narrative" ..."
May 15, 2018 | www.emptywheel.net

If John Solomon were still doing journalism, the lede of this piece would be that the FBI interviewed Oleg Deripaska in September 2016, even as the Russian operation to tamper in the election was ongoing.

Two months before Trump was elected president, Deripaska was in New York as part of Russia's United Nations delegation when three FBI agents awakened him in his home; at least one agent had worked with Deripaska on the aborted effort to rescue Levinson. During an hour-long visit, the agents posited a theory that Trump's campaign was secretly colluding with Russia to hijack the U.S. election.

"Deripaska laughed but realized, despite the joviality, that they were serious," the lawyer said. "So he told them in his informed opinion the idea they were proposing was false. 'You are trying to create something out of nothing,' he told them." The agents left though the FBI sought more information in 2017 from the Russian, sources tell me. Waldman declined to say if Deripaska has been in contact with the FBI since Sept, 2016.

Telling that story would make it clear that the FBI pursued an investigation into Russian tampering at the source, by questioning Russians suspected of being involved. Republicans should be happy to know the FBI was using such an approach.

But Solomon isn't doing journalism anymore -- even his employer now acknowledges that that's true. After complaints about his propaganda (in part, attacking the Mueller investigation) he has been relegated to the opinion section of The Hill.

Not before his last effort to impugn Mueller, though, claiming that because the FBI used Deripaska as a go-between in a 2009 effort to rescue Robert Levinson, Mueller is prevented from investigating him now.

In 2009, when Mueller ran the FBI, the bureau asked Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska to spend millions of his own dollars funding an FBI-supervised operation to rescue a retired FBI agent, Robert Levinson, captured in Iran while working for the CIA in 2007.

[snip]

Deripaska's lawyer said the Russian ultimately spent $25 million assembling a private search and rescue team that worked with Iranian contacts under the FBI's watchful eye. Photos and videos indicating Levinson was alive were uncovered.

Then in fall 2010, the operation secured an offer to free Levinson. The deal was scuttled, however, when the State Department become uncomfortable with Iran's terms, according to Deripaska's lawyer and the Levinson family.

FBI officials confirmed State hampered their efforts.

"We tried to turn over every stone we could to rescue Bob, but every time we started to get close, the State Department seemed to always get in the way," said Robyn Gritz, the retired agent who supervised the Levinson case in 2009, when Deripaska first cooperated, but who left for another position in 2010 before the Iranian offer arrived. "I kept Director Mueller and Deputy Director [John] Pistole informed of the various efforts and operations, and they offered to intervene with State, if necessary."

FBI officials ended the operation in 2011, concerned that Deripaska's Iranian contacts couldn't deliver with all the U.S. infighting.

Even assuming Solomon's tale -- which is that offered by Deripaska's lawyer -- is factually correct, what this means is that the FBI used Deripaska as an asset, just like they've used Christopher Steele as a source. Of course, using ex-MI6 officer Steele, for the frothy right, is a heinous crime. But using a Russian billionaire, according to a propagandist who has been regurgitating Trump spin since he was elected, is heroic. Perhaps that's why a Trump crony, Bryan Lanza, is also trying to help Deripaska's company beat the sanctions recently imposed on him.

Of course, Solomon doesn't consider the possibility that FBI and State balked in 2011 because Deripaska himself had proven unreliable. Which would explain a lot of what transpired in the years since. Nor does he consider -- nor has the frothy right generally -- the possibility that any damning disinformation in the Steele dossier ended up there in part via Deripaska.

Certainly, Deripaska's own asset, Paul Manafort, seemed prepared to capitalize on that disinformation.

As the Mueller investigation has proceeded, we've gotten just a glimpse of how the spooks trade in information, involving allies like Steele and Stefan Halper, and more sordid types like George Nader (who appears to have traded information to get out of consequences for a child porn habit), Felix Sater (who claims, dubiously, to be offering full cooperation with Mueller based on years of working off his own mob ties), and even Deripaska.

Curiously, it's Deripaska that propagandists spewing the White House line seem most interested in celebrating.

Update: Chuck Ross did a story based on Solomon's report, and did note that the FBI questioned Deripaska in September 2016. But, fresh off complaining that I had called him out for doing this in another story, turns a story about Manafort and his long-time Russian associate into a story about the dossier (in which Deripaska is not named).

In September 2016, FBI agents approached Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska to ask about allegations President Donald Trump's campaign was colluding with the Russian government to influence the election, according to a new report.

Deripaska, who was at his apartment in New York City for the interview, waved the three agents off of the collusion theory, saying there was no coordination between the Trump team and Kremlin, The Hill reported Monday.

The agents, one of whom Deripaska knew from a previous FBI case, said they believed former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort was involved in the conspiracy, an allegation made in the infamous Steele dossier.

Ross then continues on, dossier dossier dossier dossier dossier, including this claim not supported by any public evidence.

It is also an indicator of how they investigated some of the allegations made in the dossier.

By the time September 2016 rolled around, it had been two months since Deripaska go-between Konstantin Kilimnik emailed ( probably via a PRISM service ) Manafort about paying off his debt to Deripaska by giving inside dirt on the campaign. There were meetings in NYC. In September 2016, Alex Van der Zwaan was actively covering up the ongoing efforts to hide Manafort's involvement in Ukraine's persecution of Yulia Tymoshenko, and doing so in the servers of a law firm going to pains to clear their name.

And all that's before you consider what hasn't been shared with Congress and leaked to the press.

Meanwhile, the only mention of Deripaska in the dossier by September was an undated July report claiming that Manafort was happy to have the focus on Russia because the Trump corruption in China was worse (and also suggesting that Manafort used Carter Page as a go-between with Russia); given reports about when Steele shared reports with the FBI, it's not clear the Bureau would have had that yet. In any case, the more extensive discussion of Manafort comes later, after the Deripaska interview.

Had Manafort been a surveillance focus solely for the dossier (something that wasn't even true for Page), you'd have heard that by now.

Every time Mueller submits a filing explaining how the Manafort Ukraine investigation came out of the Russia investigation, he has mentioned Deripaska. Trump's own team leaked questions suggesting that Mueller is sitting on information that Manafort reached out to Russians asking for help (and Deripaska was among those we know he was in touch with).

And yet, after competently noting that the FBI interviewed Deripaska, Ross made the crazypants suggestion that any suspicion of Manafort would arise from the dossier and not abundant other known evidence.

JacobLadder says: May 15, 2018 at 12:06 pm

I fail to see how Solomon is saying Mueller isn't allowed to investigate Deripaska because he once recruited him for the Levinson rescue operation. Perhaps if you were doing honest blogging, the lede of your piece would be how three FBI agents showed up to persuade Deripaska to help them create a phony Russiagate narrative. Or isn't this line obvious enough: 'You are trying to create something out of nothing.'

You might also want to be asking why Mueller omitted any mention of Deripaska in his Manafort indictment. Strange, huh?

Trip says: May 15, 2018 at 2:12 pm

Well, I give him/her props for pulling this out of his/her ass, like a magic trick:

"how three FBI agents showed up to persuade Deripaska to help them create a phony Russiagate narrative"

Because if THAT actually happened, like it wouldn't be on Russian propaganda TV 24/7 and early on.

JacobLadder says: May 15, 2018 at 2:22 pm

Excuse me? What part of 'You are trying to create something out of nothing' didn't you get? I'm sorry, but this is the elephant in the room. Three agents show up to tell a Russian oligarch to go along with their tale of collusion -- I guess because he's been so cooperative in the past. Not only that, they suggest to him "keep an open mind" about things. What does that mean?

Forget R-TV, this should be on every American news network not to mention every major newspaper. But of course we know it won't be, for obvious reasons. So ignore this if you wish, but please, spare me the suggestion this is tin-foil stuff. It's right there in the open.

harpie says: May 15, 2018 at 1:11 pm

New: Mueller: Secret Court Order Suspended Statute Of Limitations On Manafort Charge May 15, 2018 11:03 am

Special Counsel Robert Mueller obtained a secret order from a federal magistrate judge to suspend the statute of limitations on one of the charges he ultimately brought against Paul Manafort, a court filing revealed Monday evening.

Mueller did not inform Manafort of the secret order until after the former Trump campaign chairman had requested that charge be thrown out, the filing said. [ ]

Mueller also disclosed in the Monday court filing that, as recently as April 30 of this year, the government of Cyprus was still turning over documents related to the special counsel's Manafort investigation. [ ]

harpie says: May 15, 2018 at 1:58 pm
TPM from last week Deripaska/Manafort/Cyprus:
*
Why A Powerful Russian Oligarch Was Furious With Paul Manafort 5/7/18

[Editor's note: The following article is an excerpt from investigative journalist Seth Hettena's new book, "Trump / Russia: A Definitive History."]
*
[quote] [ ] In April of 2008, Deripaska paid nearly $19 million to fund the acquisition of Chorne More, then paid Manafort an additional $7.35 million in fees. Years later, Deripaska learned that the purchase price of Chorne More was $1.1 million less than Manafort and Gates had led him to believe. Gates and Manafort had simply pocketed the difference, laundering it through accounts in Cyprus that the two men used as "their personal piggy banks," the oligarch said in a lawsuit. [ ] [end quote]

SpaceLifeForm says: May 15, 2018 at 7:52 pm
"In April of 2008, Deripaska paid nearly $19 million to fund the acquisition of Chorne More, then paid Manafort an additional $7.35 million in fees."

Steep underwriting fees. So many shells, so little money.

[Aug 10, 2018] DOJ gives Congress emails between Ohr, Steele, Simpson - suggesting ties to 'Putin ally' oligarch Deripaska

Notable quotes:
"... Russian Roulette ..."
Aug 10, 2018 | www.sott.net

This post was originally published on this site

Emails in 2016 between former British spy Christopher Steele and Justice Department official Bruce Ohr suggest Steele was deeply concerned about the legal status of a Putin-linked Russian oligarch, and at times seemed to be advocating on the oligarch's behalf , in the same time period Steele worked on collecting the Russia-related allegations against Donald Trump that came to be known as the Trump dossier. The emails show Steele and Ohr were in frequent contact, that they intermingled talk about Steele's research and the oligarch's affairs, and that Glenn Simpson , head of the dirt-digging group Fusion GPS that hired Steele to compile the dossier, was also part of the ongoing conversation.

The emails, given to Congress by the Justice Department, began on Jan. 12, 2016, when Steele sent Ohr a New Year's greeting. Steele brought up the case of Russian aluminum magnate Oleg Deripaska (referred to in various emails as both OD and OVD), who was at the time seeking a visa to attend an Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation meeting in the United States. Years earlier, the U.S. revoked Deripaska's visa, reportedly on the basis of suspected involvement with Russian organized crime. Deripaska was close to Paul Manafort , the short-term Trump campaign chairman now on trial for financial crimes, and this year was sanctioned in the wake of Russian involvement in the 2016 presidential election.

"I heard from Adam WALDMAN [a Deripaska lawyer/lobbyist] yesterday that OD is applying for another official US visa ice [sic] APEC business at the end of February," Steele wrote in the Jan. 12 email. Steele said Deripaska was being "encouraged by the Agency guys who told Adam that the USG [United States Government] stance on [Deripaska] is softening." Steele concluded: "A positive development it seems."

Steele also asked Ohr when he might be coming to London, or somewhere in Europe, "as I would be keen to meet up here and talk business." Ohr replied warmly the same day and said he would likely travel to Europe, but not the U.K., at least twice in February.

Steele emailed again on Feb. 8 to alert Ohr that "our old friend OD apparently has been granted another official [emphasis in original] visa to come to the US later this month." Steele wrote, "As far as I'm concerned, this is good news all round although as before, it would be helpful if you could monitor it and let me know if any complications arise." Ohr replied that he knew about Deripaska's visa, and "to the extent I can I will keep an eye on the situation." Steele again asked to meet anytime Ohr was in the U.K. or Western Europe.

Steele wrote again on Feb. 21 in an email headlined "Re: OVD – Visit To The US." Steele told Ohr he had talked to Waldman and to Paul Hauser, who was Deripaska's London lawyer. Steele reported that there would be a U.S. government meeting on Deripaska that week – "an inter-agency meeting on him this week which I guess you will be attending." Steele said he was "circulating some recent sensitive Orbis reporting" on Deripaska that suggested Deripaska was not a "tool" of the Kremlin . Steele said he would send the reporting to a name that is redacted in the email, "as he has asked, for legal reasons I understand, for all such reporting be filtered through him (to you at DoJ and others)."

Deripaska's rehabilitation was a good thing, Steele wrote: "We reckon therefore that the forthcoming OVD contact represents a good opportunity for the USG." Ohr responded by saying, "Thanks Chris! This is extremely interesting. I hope we can follow up in the next few weeks as you suggest."

Steele was eager to see Ohr face to face. On March 17, Steele wrote a brief note asking if Ohr had any update on plans to visit Europe "in the near term where we could meet up." Ohr said he did not and asked if Steele would like to set up a call. It is not clear whether a call took place.

There are no emails for more than three months after March 17. Then, on July 1, came the first apparent reference to Donald Trump, then preparing to accept the Republican nomination for president. "I am seeing [redacted] in London next week to discuss ongoing business," Steele wrote to Ohr, "but there is something separate I wanted to discuss with you informally and separately. It concerns our favourite business tycoon!" Steele said he had planned to come to the U.S. soon, but now it looked like it would not be until August. He needed to talk in the next few days, he said, and suggested getting together by Skype before he left on holiday. Ohr suggested talking on July 7. Steele agreed.

Ohr's phone log for July 7 notes, "Call with Chris Steele" from 8:00 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. eastern time.

(A caution here: It is possible the "favourite business tycoon" could be Deripaska, or perhaps even someone else, and not Trump. But no one referred to Deripaska in that way anywhere else in the communications. Also, Steele made it clear the "tycoon" subject was separate from other business. And July 1 was just before Steele met with the FBI with the first installment of the Trump dossier . So it appears reasonable, given Steele's well-known obsession with Trump, and unless information emerges otherwise, to see the "favourite business tycoon" as Trump.)

On the morning of Friday, July 29, Steele wrote to say that he would "be in DC at short notice on business" later that day and Saturday. He asked if Ohr and wife Nellie were free for breakfast on Saturday morning. They were, and agreed to meet for breakfast at the Mayflower Hotel in downtown Washington.

Ohr's log of contacts with Steele lists a meeting with Steele on July 30. Steele finished installments of the dossier on July 19 and 26.

On Aug. 22, Ohr received an email from Simpson with the subject line "Can u ring." There was no message beyond a phone number. Ohr's log lists some sort of contact – it's not specified what – with Simpson on Aug. 22.

Steele finished an installment of the dossier on Aug. 22.

Steele dated three installments of the dossier on Sept. 14. On Sept. 16, Steele wrote Ohr to say that he would be back in Washington soon "on business of mutual interest." Ohr said he would be out of town Sept. 19-21. On Sept. 21, Steele wrote to say he was in Washington and was "keen to meet up with you." The two agreed to have breakfast on Sept. 23. Meeting on that date would be "more useful," Steele said, "after my scheduled meetings" the day before. It's not clear what those scheduled meetings were. Ohr's log lists a meeting with Steele on Sept. 23.

On October 18, Steele emailed Ohr at 6:51 a.m. with a pressing matter. "If you are in Washington today, I have something quite urgent I would like to discuss with you, preferably by Skype (even before work if you can)." Steele wrote. Ohr suggested they do it immediately. "Thanks Bruce. 2 mins," Steele replied. Ohr's log lists a call with Steele on Oct. 18.

There is no note on what they discussed. But a few hours later, still on Oct. 18, Steele emailed Ohr again, and the subject was related to Deripaska. "Further to our Skypecon earlier today," Steele wrote, Hauser had asked Steele to forward to Ohr information about a dispute between the government of Ukraine and RUSAL, Deripaska's aluminum company. "Naturally, he [Hauser] wants to protect the client's [Deripaska's] interests and reputation," Steele wrote. "I pass it on for what it's worth."

After another few hours had passed, Ohr asked if Steele had time for a Skype call. Steele said, let's do it now. Ohr's log lists calls with Steele on Oct. 18 and 19.

Steele finished dossier installments on Oct. 18, 19, and 20. The installment on Oct. 18 was the infamous Russians-offer-Carter-Page-millions-of-dollars allegation, and the ones on Oct. 19 and 20 concerned Manafort's alleged role in an alleged collusion scheme.

On Nov. 21, other players entered the conversation. Ohr received an an email from Kathleen Kavalec, a deputy assistant secretary of state in the Bureau of European Affairs in the State Department. (Kavalec is now President Trump's nominee to be ambassador to Albania.) Kavalec sent Ohr information on Simon Kukes, a Russian-born executive who contributed more than $250,000 to Trump-supporting organizations after Trump won the Republican nomination. Kavalec said she met Kukes around 2014, when "Tom Firestone brought him in," a reference to former Justice Department official Thomas Firestone, now a partner at the Washington law firm BakerHostetler. Kavalec also linked to a Mother Jones article about Kukes.

Ohr responded by saying, "I may have heard about him from Tom Firestone as well, but I can't recall for certain." Then Kavalec answered by saying she was "just re-looking at my notes from my convo with Chris Steele" and that "I see that Chris said Kukes has some connection to Serge Millian, an emigre who is identified by FT as head of the Russian-American Chamber of Commerce." [In the book Russian Roulette , authors Michael Isikoff and David Corn wrote that Millian claimed to have some sort of business relationship with the Trump organization – which the Trumps denied. More importantly, Millian went on to become Steele's source for the infamous "golden showers" allegation that Donald Trump had engaged in a kinky sex scene in a Moscow hotel room in 2013.]

Ohr's phone log indicates that he called Simpson on Dec. 8 to set up a meeting for coffee the next day, Dec. 9.

There is not another email until Dec. 11. Simpson sent Nellie Ohr a link to an article in the left-wing ThinkProgress headlined, "Why has the NRA been cozying up to Russia?" The article focused on now-indicted Russian agent Maria Butina and Russian Alexander Torshin. Nellie Ohr responded, "Thank you!" to which Simpson, the next day, answered, "Please ring if you can." Nellie Ohr forwarded the Simpson message to Bruce Ohr, saying, "I assume Glenn means you not me."

Ohr's phone log on Dec. 13 said, "Glenn Simpson. Some more news. Yesterday 9:27 a.m. Spoke with him."

Steele dated a dossier installment Dec. 13.

On Jan. 20, 2017, inauguration day, Bruce Ohr received an email from Simpson that said simply, "Can you call me please?"

The emails raise a clear question of whether Steele was working, directly or indirectly, with Oleg Deripaska at the same time Steele was compiling the dossier – and whether the Justice Department, along with Simpson and Fusion GPS, was part of the project. Given Deripaska's place in the Russian power structure, what that means in the big picture is unclear.

On Feb. 9 of this year, Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Charles Grassley wrote a letter to Hauser, the London lawyer, and asked, "Is it the case that Mr. Steele, through you, works or has worked on behalf of Mr. Deripaska or businesses associated with him?"

Hauser refused to answer, claiming such information was privileged. But he added: "I can confirm that neither my firm nor I was involved in the commissioning of, preparation of or payment for the so-called 'Steele Dossier.' I am not aware of any involvement by Mr. Deripaska in commissioning, preparing or paying for that document."

On Feb. 14, at an open hearing of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Republican Sen. Tom Cotton asked FBI Director Christopher Wray about Deripaska.

"Is it fair to call him a Putin-linked Russian oligarch?" asked Cotton.

"Well, I'll leave that characterization to others, and certainly not in this setting," Wray said.

"Chuck Grassley, the chairman of the Judiciary Committee, last week sent a letter to a London-based lawyer who represents Mr. Deripaska," Cotton continued, "and asked if Christopher Steele was employed, either directly or indirectly, by Oleg Deripaska at the time he was writing the so-called Steele dossier. Do you know if Christopher Steele worked for Oleg Deripaska?'

"That's not something I can answer," Wray said.

"Could we discuss it in a classified setting?"

"There might be more we could say there," Wray answered.

The newly-released Ohr-Steele-Simpson emails are just one part of the dossier story. But if nothing else, they show that there is still much for the public to learn about the complex and far-reaching effort behind it.

from https://www.sott.net/article/393095-DOJ-gives-Congress-emails-between-Ohr-Steele-Simpson-suggesting-ties-to-Putin-ally-oligarch-Deripaska

[Aug 10, 2018] Emails Show Christopher Steele Lobbied DOJ Official On Behalf Of Russian Oligarch

Aug 10, 2018 | dailycaller.com
  • Christopher Steele was working on the Trump dossier at the same time he was lobbying DOJ official Bruce Ohr on behalf of a Russian oligarch linked to Putin.
  • Newly revealed emails show Steele thought the U.S. government should grant visas to Deripaska, who had been barred from traveling to the U.S.
  • Steele asked Ohr to "keep an eye" on Deripaska's visa case.

At the same time Christopher Steele was compiling a dossier accusing the Trump campaign of colluding with the Russian government, the former British spy was lobbying Department of Justice official Bruce Ohr on behalf of a Russian oligarch with close ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The connection between Steele and the oligarch, Oleg Deripaska, is laid out in emails the Justice Department recently provided Congress.

The emails show that Steele, a former British spy, advocated for Deripaska in negotiations over his visa status with the U.S. government. Deripaska, an aluminum magnate, had been blocked from traveling to the U.S. in 2006 because of suspected ties to Russian mobsters. Deripaska hired an American lawyer named Adam Waldman in 2009 to lobby the U.S. government to obtain a visa for the billionaire.

The Washington Examiner detailed the exchanges, which show Steele discussing Deripaska with Ohr, the former No. 4 official at the Justice Department.

Steele's relationship with Deripaska has been one of the more bizarre aspects of the dossier saga, mainly because it raises the possibility that the Putin-connected businessman was a source for the salacious document. Steele's unverified 35-page dossier relies heavily on information from anonymous Kremlin insiders who claimed that the Russian government was colluding with the Trump campaign to defeat Hillary Clinton. (RELATED: Oleg Deripaska's Lawyer Goes On The Record About His Senate Testimony)

"I heard from Adam WALDMAN [a Deripaska lawyer/lobbyist] yesterday that OD is applying for another official US visa ice [sic] APEC business at the end of February," Steele wrote in a Jan. 12, 2016, email to Ohr, according to The Examiner.

Steele claimed that Deripaska had been "encouraged by the Agency guys who told Adam that the USG [United States Government] stance on [Deripaska] is softening."

"A positive development it seems," Steele added.

Steele emailed Ohr again on Feb. 8, 2016, to say that Deripaska had been granted a visa to travel to the U.S. later that month. He also made a request of Ohr in the email.

"As far as I'm concerned, this is good news all round although as before, it would be helpful if you could monitor it and let me know if any complications arise," he wrote.

Ohr said that "to the extent I can I will keep an eye on the situation."

In a Feb. 21, 2016, email Steele said he was circulating reporting that he had done on Deripaska that suggested the oligarch was not a "tool" of the Kremlin.

"We reckon therefore that the forthcoming [Deripaska] contact represents a good opportunity for the [U.S. Government]," said Steele.

Links between the Steele and Deripaska began to emerge earlier in 2018 after Republican lawmakers began inquiring about a possible relationship between the two.

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley has pressed Steele, Waldman and a London-based lawyer named Paul Hauser about Steele's possible links to Deripaska.

FBI Director Christopher Wray was also asked about the relationship during a Senate Select Committee on Intelligence hearing on Feb. 13.

"Do you know if Christopher Steele worked for Oleg Deripaska?" Arkansas Republican Sen. Tom Cotton asked Wray.

"That's not something I can answer," Wray replied, adding added that "there might be more" that he could say in a classified setting.

It is still not clear whether Steele was working for Deripaska or interested in his visa status for other reasons.

Steele's support for Deripaska would seem to undercut one of Trump critics' theories about possible collusion: that Deripaska conspired with Paul Manafort.

Deripaska's business ties to the longtime Republican political operative have come under intense scrutiny from Democrats and the media, leading to some speculation that Manafort and Deripaska may have colluded during the 2016 presidential campaign. (RELATED: Chuck Grassley Connects Dossier Dots)

In one July 7, 2016, email, Manafort told a Ukraine-based associate that he would be willing to provide briefings about the campaign to Deripaska.

"If he needs private briefings we can accommodate," Manafort wrote to his associate, Konstantin Kilimnik.

At the time, Manafort and Deripaska were in a dispute over a failed business deal involving Ukrainian cable companies.

Manafort is currently on trial in Virginia for tax evasion and money laundering related to his political work in Ukraine.

Steele and Ohr maintained contact throughout the presidential campaign and beyond, according to Ohr's emails.

On July 1, 2016, Steele reached out to Ohr in hopes of discussing "our favourite business tycoon!" It is unclear if Steele was referring to Deripaska or Donald Trump. Steele met with Ohr and his wife, a Russia expert named Nellie Ohr, on July 30, 2016, at a Washington, D.C., hotel. (RELATED: Christopher Steele Was 'Concerned' About Senate Inquiries Into Dossier, Text Messages Show)

Nellie Ohr also happened to work at the time for Fusion GPS, the opposition research firm that hired Steele.

Bruce Ohr and Fusion GPS founder Glenn Simpson also appear to have had contact prior to the election. Simpson emailed Ohr on Aug. 22, 2016, asking to speak by phone.

It is not clear whether the two spoke, but Simpson did not disclose that contact when he discussed Ohr during a Nov. 14, 2017, deposition before the House Intelligence Committee.

During that interview, Simpson said he met with Ohr for coffee after the election to discuss the Trump investigation. Simpson did not tell the House panel that Ohr's wife worked for Fusion GPS.

[Aug 09, 2018] Now national during elections The FBI and CIA set the preferable candidate and call the shots

That's a clear exaggeration: after the neoliberal ideology went source in 2008, the power of CIA and friends to brainwash public greatly diminished...
Aug 09, 2018 | www.unz.com

prusmc , Website Next New Comment August 8, 2018 at 2:07 pm GMT

@Gordo

Chittum's work makes more sense than either of the books reviewed here. The two books discussed above are good for the Harry Potter set but in no way conform to 2018 reality.
I frequently reread Chittum's work and am amazed at how he correctly analyzed the future into what is contemporary USSA.
LOOK NO further, than the incipient election of a reparation Democrat governor in Georgia and a like minded legislature,come November, for validation of Chittum's hypotheses. The one weakness in his predictions is the belief that there will be a patriotic core in the local police and national military that could be relied on to protect the lives and property of traditional Americans. This just won't happen. The FBI, CIA, ATFE, Homeland Security Police and like activities set the pace, call the shots and control the funds and the locals provide a conditioned response.
Chittum writing 20 years back could not see the rise of the mass surveillance and correct thought propagation that we increasingly welcome or endure today.
My bet is Unz Review will totally access denied after the massive Democrat election gains in November.

[Aug 07, 2018] Does the Russiagate Narrative Protect Those with Power and Influence Q A (Pt 2-5)

Notable quotes:
"... There are too many lucrative salaries on the line that depend on that trillion dollars a year military budget to allow Russia to end up being bogeyman number one. ..."
"... They are fighting for their own lifestyles. And I think that speaks to a broader point that the Russiagate narrative is one that sustains privilege because, really, who does it threaten? ..."
"... And of course, Russia has no huge, powerful lobby in Washington. Russia has no major economic power in the U.S. So attacking Russia really hurts nobody domestically in a position of privilege and influence. And meanwhile, attacking Russia serves a double benefit of allowing people to deflect from other interests much more powerful than Russia that are doing real damage here at home, as Paul has been talking about. ..."
"... While the importance of the existential threat of Russia, the importance of that narrative to the military-industrial complex, is I think that's only one piece of why the American state and large sections of the American oligarchy see Russia so much as a threat. They keep using the word 'adversary.' ..."
"... The United States wants what they call in some of their documents Full Spectrum Dominance. They want global hegemony. Global hegemony means hegemony in every region of the world. They do not like it when any power emerges. The challenges for regional hegemonic because that's obviously part of global hegemony. So they don't like the fact that Russia has a major economy; and not one of the biggest economies, by any means, but a major economy. A big army. Of course, nuclear weapons. So they don't like that it has, kind of, independent will in this region. It's not a global competitor. ..."
"... In the 1990s after the collapse of the Soviet Union, there was a free-for-all plundering of all the natural resources and state resources, privatization mania. And the U.S., the Americans thought they'd get a much bigger piece of this. I don't think they thought, after all these years of trying, they thought, bringing down the Soviet Union, in truth the Soviet Union fell mostly for internal reasons. And bureaucrats within the party and the state became the oligarchs, became the billionaires. They seized a lot of these assets, not the West and the Americans. ..."
"... And the out of the chaos emerges a Russian state, led by Putin, to create some sense of normalcy, turn it into a kind of a normal capitalist country, with laws, to some extent, so you can do business and commerce. And one of the things that state did is it didn't allow the West to just hocus pocus, I forget the term, they didn't just allow the West to come in and pick up all these resources and privatization directly themselves. ..."
"... So different parts of the U.S. state have different agendas connected to different sections of capital that have their other agendas, but none of this justifies this McCarthyite level of Cold War rhetoric. ..."
"... And Kissinger observed to Nixon, he says: In 20 years your successor, if he's as wise as you, will wind up leaning towards the Russians against the Chinese. And then he went on to say: Right now we need the Chinese to correct the Russians, and to discipline the Russians. ..."
"... The, the metaphysical vision of the world- and don't forget, Hitler had quite a metaphysical vision of the world. The, the role of, the mission of the aryan nation to take over the world and march into a new era of civilization and all this was all intertwined with, with a metaphysical, quasi-fanatical religious view of the world. ..."
"... Putin is very close to the Russian Orthodox Church. He's been promoting this kind of nationalism intertwined with religious messaging through the church. He promotes this kind of stuff in Western Europe. Putin has been nurturing the far right in Western Europe. So this jives, the agenda of the people around Trump and Putin have similar views of the world. ..."
"... So yeah, the idea of some kind of accommodation with Russia because of the coming trade war, and who knows what kind of war, with China, yeah, this is definitely, I think, part of the equation. The shorter-term play is Iran. They are, this group, this cabal in Washington, is fixated on regime change in Iran. I actually am not sure how they, why they see that fits the China strategy, but I don't know that it matters, because that's their play. And they've been talking about it for years, since the late night 1990s. And this document, Project for a New American Century. Undoing the Iranian revolution has been absolutely at the core of these people's foreign policy. ..."
Jul 18, 2018 | therealnews.com

Watch Part 2 of Paul Jay and Aaron Mate's interactive discussion with viewers about the controversy over Trump's visit to Helsinki – From a live recording on July 18th, 2018

AARON MATE: I want to read a comment from a viewer, Kristen Lee, who writes: There are too many lucrative salaries on the line that depend on that trillion dollars a year military budget to allow Russia to end up being bogeyman number one. To not end up-. To have Russia not end up being boogeymen number one, I believe. They are fighting for their own lifestyles. And I think that speaks to a broader point that the Russiagate narrative is one that sustains privilege because, really, who does it threaten? I mean, yes, it threatens Trump. But we already know that there's a huge cross-section of the elite that despises Trump, including many Republicans who campaigned against him during the campaign.

And of course, Russia has no huge, powerful lobby in Washington. Russia has no major economic power in the U.S. So attacking Russia really hurts nobody domestically in a position of privilege and influence. And meanwhile, attacking Russia serves a double benefit of allowing people to deflect from other interests much more powerful than Russia that are doing real damage here at home, as Paul has been talking about.

PAUL JAY: Could I just, could I just then-.

AARON MATE: Let me ask you about China, first. Because we're-.

PAUL JAY: Before we do China, before we do China, let me just add one thing to this, which I think-. While the importance of the existential threat of Russia, the importance of that narrative to the military-industrial complex, is I think that's only one piece of why the American state and large sections of the American oligarchy see Russia so much as a threat. They keep using the word 'adversary.' .

And the reason why I think there's a several pieces to it, and I said this in the interview the other day, one, the United States does not like regional powers that are not under the American thumb. They don't want anyone, they-. The United States wants what they call in some of their documents Full Spectrum Dominance. They want global hegemony. Global hegemony means hegemony in every region of the world. They do not like it when any power emerges. The challenges for regional hegemonic because that's obviously part of global hegemony. So they don't like the fact that Russia has a major economy; and not one of the biggest economies, by any means, but a major economy. A big army. Of course, nuclear weapons. So they don't like that it has, kind of, independent will in this region. It's not a global competitor.

But there's another piece to this. Russia has oil. They don't like an oil state, a country that has such massive oil supply, not being under the U.S. umbrella, U.S. hegemony. That's, that's number two. Number three, they don't like the way Putin and that state emerged. You know, if people are watching the series that I'm doing of interviews with Alexander Buzgalin, we're telling the whole story of the emergence of Putin out of the collapsed Soviet state, Soviet system. In the 1990s after the collapse of the Soviet Union, there was a free-for-all plundering of all the natural resources and state resources, privatization mania. And the U.S., the Americans thought they'd get a much bigger piece of this. I don't think they thought, after all these years of trying, they thought, bringing down the Soviet Union, in truth the Soviet Union fell mostly for internal reasons. And bureaucrats within the party and the state became the oligarchs, became the billionaires. They seized a lot of these assets, not the West and the Americans.

And the out of the chaos emerges a Russian state, led by Putin, to create some sense of normalcy, turn it into a kind of a normal capitalist country, with laws, to some extent, so you can do business and commerce. And one of the things that state did is it didn't allow the West to just hocus pocus, I forget the term, they didn't just allow the West to come in and pick up all these resources and privatization directly themselves.

So this Putin's state's been to some extent blocking the U.S. from turning this Russia, as they have with most most other areas of the world- of course the other big exception is China and Iran- under, into the American global capitalist system, where the Americans are the dominant power. And they even had ways to do that. But these things jive, don't always jive, I should say, which is the economic incorporation of Russia into, into global capitalism, into, even into the EU, for example, or something, some structure like that, does not jive with the narrative of an existential threat that serves this massive military expenditure.

So different parts of the U.S. state have different agendas connected to different sections of capital that have their other agendas, but none of this justifies this McCarthyite level of Cold War rhetoric.

AARON MATE: Right. So in terms of China, as we're talking about other possible explanation for Trump's desire to work with Russia that go beyond him being a potential intelligence asset, or that Putin has kompromat on Trump, which really is right now the dominant corporate media narrative and question. You've been laying out some- I want to focus on China for a second, and actually read to you, Paul, a quote. This is John Pomfret. He's a historian. And he writes about Kissinger talking to Nixon after Kissinger returned from China as part of the Nixon administration's overture to China in the early '70s. And Kissinger observed to Nixon, he says: In 20 years your successor, if he's as wise as you, will wind up leaning towards the Russians against the Chinese. And then he went on to say: Right now we need the Chinese to correct the Russians, and to discipline the Russians.

So I find that interesting, because it's a way to help understand what might have motivated Nixon's overtures to China back then. But also I think that might help us understand what might motivate Trump's overtures to Russia. Now, obviously China has been a huge obsession of Trump. He talks about it constantly. He's launching a trade war right now. And it's quite likely, I think, he recognizes that if he really wants to confront China, a far bigger world power than Russia is, especially, obviously, economically, that he might need to enlist Russia for that task.

PAUL JAY: I certainly think there's part of it. How conscious Trump himself is of these kind of geostrategic assessments and plans, I don't know. Trump's a very smart con man. I don't know that he has a big geopolitical brain. But that being said, he's got people around him, including John Bolton, who are actually quite smart and have real geopolitical brains, and are fanatics.

The, my guess is the short-term play, and I don't see this- I think it's ridiculous that Trump is Putin's stooge, and all of this. The agenda of this group that's in power and that Trump represents the interests of, this isn't just a one man band, even if he flies off the handle in a one-man way. But this agenda of Iran and China, this was very well articulated by Steve Bannon before and after the victory of Trump in the election. This has economic interests which they, of course, China is the real economic competitor in the world that's a threat to American dominance. But it also has an ideological framing for it. And that's the defense of Western Christian civilization. And I think they believe in this stuff. Bannon himself is connected to Opus Dei in the Catholic Church. He's connected to Cardinal Burke. They're waging a war against Pope Francis. They want to overthrow the Pope. And it's really as open as that. They don't like, they're shocked that they've got a pope that's a social democrat. The, the metaphysical vision of the world- and don't forget, Hitler had quite a metaphysical vision of the world. The, the role of, the mission of the aryan nation to take over the world and march into a new era of civilization and all this was all intertwined with, with a metaphysical, quasi-fanatical religious view of the world.

Well I think they have this. So China does not fit the plan of saving Western civilization. But Russia does. And Putin is very close to the Russian Orthodox Church. He's been promoting this kind of nationalism intertwined with religious messaging through the church. He promotes this kind of stuff in Western Europe. Putin has been nurturing the far right in Western Europe. So this jives, the agenda of the people around Trump and Putin have similar views of the world. And it is a far right, far right view of the world.

So yeah, the idea of some kind of accommodation with Russia because of the coming trade war, and who knows what kind of war, with China, yeah, this is definitely, I think, part of the equation. The shorter-term play is Iran. They are, this group, this cabal in Washington, is fixated on regime change in Iran. I actually am not sure how they, why they see that fits the China strategy, but I don't know that it matters, because that's their play. And they've been talking about it for years, since the late night 1990s. And this document, Project for a New American Century. Undoing the Iranian revolution has been absolutely at the core of these people's foreign policy.

So there are, all these things are interconnected. And you know, dividing Russia from China, and having clearly some kind of alliance there, it's also in the interests of Putin, and it's very much in the interest of this, of this cabal. I think we should even stop talking and being so focused on Trump. Because if they bring down Trump the individual, they'll find some other, some other individual to come play a similar role. And he won't, this, whoever he or she is won't be such a clown.

[Aug 07, 2018] Mueller, Russia and Oil Politics by Rob Urie

Notable quotes:
"... The Great Satin (sic) ..."
"... Source: gulfbusiness.com ..."
"... Chart: Demonization of Russia centers on competition for oil and gas revenues. Pipelines to deliver oil and gas from the Middle East to Europe run through North Africa (Libya) and Syria and / or Turkey. These pipelines are substantially controlled by Western interests with imperial / colonial ties to the U.S., Britain and 'developed' Europe. Russian oil and gas did run through Ukraine, which is now negotiating to join NATO, or otherwise hits a NATO wall before entering Europe. ..."
Feb 19, 2018 | www.counterpunch.org

The indictments are a major political story, but not for the reasons given in mainstream press coverage. Once Mr. Mueller's indictment is understood to charge the exploitation of existing social tensions (read it and decide for yourself), the FBI, which Mr. Mueller directed from 2001 – 2013, is precisely the wrong entity to be rendering judgment. The FBI has been America's political police since its founding in 1908. Early on former FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover led legally dubious mass arrests of American dissidents. He practically invented the slander of conflating legitimate dissent with foreign agency. This is the institutional backdrop from which Mr. Mueller proceeds.

In the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s the FBI's targets included the civil rights movement, the antiwar movement, the American Indian Movement (AIM), the Black Panther Party and any other political organization Mr. Hoover deemed a threat. The secret (hidden) FBI program COINTELPRO was intended to subvert political outcomes outside of allegations of criminal wrongdoing and with no regard for the lives of its targets . Throughout its history the FBI has sided with the powerful against the powerless to maintain an unjust social order.

Robert Mueller became FBI Director only days before the attacks of September 11, 2001. One of his first acts as Director was to arrest 1,000 persons without any evidence of criminal wrongdoing. None of those arrested were ever charged in association with the attacks. The frame in which the FBI acted -- to maintain political stability threatened by 'external' forces, was ultimately chosen by the George W. Bush administration to justify its aggressive war against Iraq.

It is the FBI's legacy of conflating dissent with being an agent of a foreign power that Mr. Mueller's indictment most insidiously perpetuates. Russians are 'sowing discord,' and they are using Americans to do so, goes the allegation. Black Lives Matter and Bernie Sanders are listed in the indictment as roadblocks to the unfettered ascension of Hillary Clinton to the presidency. Russians are sowing discord, therefore discord is both suspect in itself and evidence of being a foreign agent.

The posture of simple reporting at work in the indictment -- that it isn't the FBI's fault that the Russians (allegedly) inserted themselves into the electoral process, runs against the history of the FBI's political role, the tilt used to craft criminal charges and the facts put forward versus those put to the side. Given the political agendas of the other agencies that the FBI joined through the charges, they are most certainly but a small piece of a larger story.

In the aftermath of the indictments it's easy to forget that the Pentagon created the internet , that the NSA has its tentacles in all of its major chokepoints, that the CIA has been heavily involved in funding and 'using' social media toward its own ends and that the FBI is only reputable in the present because of Americans' near-heroic ignorance of history. The claim that the Russian operation was sophisticated because it had corporate form and function is countered by the fact that it was, by the various agencies' own claims, ineffectual in changing the outcome of the election.

I Have a List

While Robert Mueller was busy charging never-to-be-tried Russians with past crimes, Dan Coats, the Director of National Intelligence, declared that future Russian meddling has already cast a shadow over the integrity of the 2018 election. Why the Pentagon that created the internet, the NSA that has its tentacles in all of its major chokepoints, the CIA that has been heavily involved in funding and 'using' social media toward its own ends and the FBI that just landed such a glorious victory of good over evil would be quivering puddles when it comes to precluding said meddling is a question that needs to be asked.

The political frame being put forward is that only these agencies know if particular elections and candidates have been tainted by meddling, therefore we need to trust them to tell us which candidates were legitimately elected and which weren't. As generous as this offer seems, wouldn't the creation of free and fair elections be a more direct route to achieving this end? Put differently, who among those making the offer, whether personally or as functionaries of their respective agencies, has a demonstrated history of supporting democratic institutions?

The 2016 election was apparently a test case for posing these agencies as the meddling police. By getting the bourgeois electocracy -- liberal Democrats, to agree that the loathsome Trump is illegitimate, future candidates will be vetted by the CIA, NSA and FBI with impunity. It's apparently only the pre-'discord, ' the social angst that the decade of the Great Recession left as its residual, that shifts this generous offer from the deterministic to the realm of the probable. The social conditions that led to the Great Recession and its aftermath are entirely home grown.

More broadly, how do the government agencies and people that spent the better part of the last century undermining democracy at home and abroad intend to stop 'Russian meddling?' If the FBI couldn't disentangle home grown 'discord' from that allegedly exploited and exacerbated by the Russians, isn't the likely intention to edit out all discord? And if fake news is a problem in need of addressing, wouldn't the New York Times and the Washington Post have been shut down years ago?

The Great Satin (sic)

While Russia is the villain of the day, week and year due to alleged election 'meddling,' the process of demonization that Russia has undergone has shown little variation from (alleged) villain to villain. It is thanks to cable news and the 'newspaper of record' that the true villainy of Vladimir Putin, Muammar Gadhafi, Saddam Hussein, Nicolas Maduro and the political leadership of Iran has been revealed. In the face of such monsters, questions of motivation are moot. Why wouldn't Mr. Putin 'sow discord?'

The question as yet unasked, and therefore unanswered is: is there something besides base villainy that brought these national leaders, and the nations they lead, into the crosshairs of America's fair and wise leadership? This question might forever go unanswered were it not for the secret list from which their names were apparently drawn. No, not that secret list. This one is publicly available -- hiding in plain sight, as it were. It is the list of proven oil reserves by country (below). This is no doubt unduly reductive -- evil is as evil does, but read on.

The question of how such a list could divide so evenly between heroes and villains I leave to the philosophers. On second thought, no I won't. The heroes are allies of a small cadre of America's political and economic elite who have made themselves fabulously rich through the alliances. The villains have oil, gas, pipelines and other resources that this elite wants. Reductive, yes. But this simple list certainly appears to explain American foreign policy over the last half-century quite well.

Source: gulfbusiness.com

It's almost as if America's love for humanity, as demonstrated through humanitarian interventions, is determined by imperial competition for natural resources -- in this case oil and gas. Amongst these countries, only one (Canada) is 'democratic' in the American sense of being run by a small cadre of plutocrats who use the state to further their own interests. Two -- Iraq and Libya, were recently reduced to rubble (for the sake of humanity) by the U.S. Nigeria is being 'brought' under the control of AFRICOM. What remains are various and sundry petro-states plus Venezuela and Russia.

Following the untimely death of Hugo Chavez of Venezuela, the horrible tyrant kept in office via free and fair elections , who used Venezuela's petro-dollars to feed, clothe and educate his people and was in the process of creating a regional Left alliance to counter American abuse of power, the CIA joined with local plutocrats to overthrow his successor, Nicolas Maduro. The goal: to 'liberate' Venezuela's oil revenues in their own pockets. At the moment Mr. Maduro is down the list of villains, not nearly the stature of a 'new Hitler' like Vladimir Putin. But where he ends up will depend on how successfully the CIA (with Robert Mueller's help) can drum up a war against nuclear armed Russia.

What separates Russia from the other heroes and villains on the list is its history as a competing empire as well as the manner in which Russian oil and gas is distributed. Geography placed it closer to the population centers of Europe than to Southeastern China where Chinese economic development has been concentrated. This makes Europe a 'natural' market for Russian oil and gas.

The former Soviet state of Ukraine did stand between, or rather under, Russian pipelines and Europe until Hillary Clinton had her lieutenants engineer a coup there in 2014. In contrast to the 'new Hitler' of Mr. Putin (or was that Trump?) Mrs. Clinton and her comrades demonstrated a preference for the old Hitler in the form of Ukrainian fascists who were the ideological descendants of 'authentic' WWII Nazis. But rest assured, not all of the U.S.'s allies in this affair were ideological Nazis .

Chart: Demonization of Russia centers on competition for oil and gas revenues. Pipelines to deliver oil and gas from the Middle East to Europe run through North Africa (Libya) and Syria and / or Turkey. These pipelines are substantially controlled by Western interests with imperial / colonial ties to the U.S., Britain and 'developed' Europe. Russian oil and gas did run through Ukraine, which is now negotiating to join NATO, or otherwise hits a NATO wall before entering Europe.

In contrast to the alternative hypotheses given in the American press, NATO, the geopolitical extension of the U.S. military in Europe, admits that the U.S. engineered coup in Ukraine was 'about' oil geopolitics with Russia. The American storyline that Crimea was seized by Russia ignores that the Russian navy has had a Black Sea port in Crimea for decades. How amenable, precisely, might Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats and his friends be if Russia seized a major U.S. naval port given their generous offer to take over the U.S. electoral system because of a few Russian trolls?

Although Russia is toward the bottom of the top ten countries in terms of oil reserves, it faces a problem of distribution that the others don't. Imperial ties and recent military incursions have left the distribution of oil and gas from the Middle East to Europe largely under Western control. Syria, Turkey and North Africa are necessary to moving this oil and gas through pipelines to Europe. That Syria, Libya and Turkey are now, or recently have been, militarily contested adds credence to the contention that the 'international community's' heroes and villains are largely determined by whose hands their oil and gas resources are currently in.

Democratic Party loyalists who see Putin, Maduro et al as the problem first need to answer for the candidate they put forward in 2016. Hillary Clinton led the carnage in Libya that murdered 30,000 – 50,000 innocents for Western oil and gas interests. Russia didn't force the U.S. into its calamitous invasion of Iraq. Russia didn't take Americans' jobs, houses and pensions in the Great Recession. Russia didn't reward Wall Street for causing it. Democrats need to take responsibility for their failed candidates and their failed Party.

Part of the point in relating oil reserves to American foreign entanglements is that the countries and leaders involved are incidental. Vladimir Putin certainly seems smarter than the American leadership. But this has no bearing on whether or not his leadership of Russia is broadly socially beneficial. The only possible resolution of climate crisis requires both Russia and the U.S. to greatly reduce their use of fossil fuels. Reports have it that Mr. Putin has no interest in doing so. And once the marketing chatter is set to the side, neither do the Americans.

By placing themselves as arbiters of the electoral process, the Director of National Intelligence and the heads of the CIA, NSA and FBI can effectively control it. Is it accidental that the candidate of liberal Democrats in the 2016 election was the insiders' -- the intelligence agencies' and military contractors,' candidate as well? Implied is that these agencies and contractors are now 'liberal.' Good luck with that program if you value peace and prosperity.

There are lots of ways to create free and fair elections if that is the goal. Use paper ballots that are counted in public, automatically register all eligible voters, make election days national holidays and eliminate 'private' funding of electoral campaigns. But why make elections free and fair when fanciful nonsense about 'meddling' will convince the liberal class to deliver power to grey corpses in the CIA, NSA and FBI for the benefit of a tiny cabal of stupendously rich plutocrats. Who says America isn't already great?

[Aug 07, 2018] Does the Russiagate Narrative Protect Those with Power and Influence Q A (Pt 2-5)

Notable quotes:
"... And of course, Russia has no huge, powerful lobby in Washington. Russia has no major economic power in the U.S. So attacking Russia really hurts nobody domestically in a position of privilege and influence. And meanwhile, attacking Russia serves a double benefit of allowing people to deflect from other interests much more powerful than Russia that are doing real damage here at home, as Paul has been talking about. ..."
"... While the importance of the existential threat of Russia, the importance of that narrative to the military-industrial complex, is I think that's only one piece of why the American state and large sections of the American oligarchy see Russia so much as a threat. They keep using the word 'adversary.' ..."
"... The United States wants what they call in some of their documents Full Spectrum Dominance. They want global hegemony. Global hegemony means hegemony in every region of the world. They do not like it when any power emerges. The challenges for regional hegemonic because that's obviously part of global hegemony. So they don't like the fact that Russia has a major economy; and not one of the biggest economies, by any means, but a major economy. A big army. Of course, nuclear weapons. So they don't like that it has, kind of, independent will in this region. It's not a global competitor. ..."
"... In the 1990s after the collapse of the Soviet Union, there was a free-for-all plundering of all the natural resources and state resources, privatization mania. And the U.S., the Americans thought they'd get a much bigger piece of this. I don't think they thought, after all these years of trying, they thought, bringing down the Soviet Union, in truth the Soviet Union fell mostly for internal reasons. And bureaucrats within the party and the state became the oligarchs, became the billionaires. They seized a lot of these assets, not the West and the Americans. ..."
"... And the out of the chaos emerges a Russian state, led by Putin, to create some sense of normalcy, turn it into a kind of a normal capitalist country, with laws, to some extent, so you can do business and commerce. And one of the things that state did is it didn't allow the West to just hocus pocus, I forget the term, they didn't just allow the West to come in and pick up all these resources and privatization directly themselves. ..."
"... So different parts of the U.S. state have different agendas connected to different sections of capital that have their other agendas, but none of this justifies this McCarthyite level of Cold War rhetoric. ..."
"... And Kissinger observed to Nixon, he says: In 20 years your successor, if he's as wise as you, will wind up leaning towards the Russians against the Chinese. And then he went on to say: Right now we need the Chinese to correct the Russians, and to discipline the Russians. ..."
"... The, the metaphysical vision of the world- and don't forget, Hitler had quite a metaphysical vision of the world. The, the role of, the mission of the aryan nation to take over the world and march into a new era of civilization and all this was all intertwined with, with a metaphysical, quasi-fanatical religious view of the world. ..."
"... Putin is very close to the Russian Orthodox Church. He's been promoting this kind of nationalism intertwined with religious messaging through the church. He promotes this kind of stuff in Western Europe. Putin has been nurturing the far right in Western Europe. So this jives, the agenda of the people around Trump and Putin have similar views of the world. ..."
"... So yeah, the idea of some kind of accommodation with Russia because of the coming trade war, and who knows what kind of war, with China, yeah, this is definitely, I think, part of the equation. The shorter-term play is Iran. They are, this group, this cabal in Washington, is fixated on regime change in Iran. I actually am not sure how they, why they see that fits the China strategy, but I don't know that it matters, because that's their play. And they've been talking about it for years, since the late night 1990s. And this document, Project for a New American Century. Undoing the Iranian revolution has been absolutely at the core of these people's foreign policy. ..."
Aug 07, 2018 | therealnews.com

Watch Part 2 of Paul Jay and Aaron Mate's interactive discussion with viewers about the controversy over Trump's visit to Helsinki – From a live recording on July 18th, 2018

AARON MATE: I want to read a comment from a viewer, Kristen Lee, who writes: There are too many lucrative salaries on the line that depend on that trillion dollars a year military budget to allow Russia to end up being bogeyman number one. To not end up-. To have Russia not end up being boogeymen number one, I believe. They are fighting for their own lifestyles. And I think that speaks to a broader point that the Russiagate narrative is one that sustains privilege because, really, who does it threaten? I mean, yes, it threatens Trump. But we already know that there's a huge cross-section of the elite that despises Trump, including many Republicans who campaigned against him during the campaign.

And of course, Russia has no huge, powerful lobby in Washington. Russia has no major economic power in the U.S. So attacking Russia really hurts nobody domestically in a position of privilege and influence. And meanwhile, attacking Russia serves a double benefit of allowing people to deflect from other interests much more powerful than Russia that are doing real damage here at home, as Paul has been talking about.

PAUL JAY: Could I just, could I just then-.

AARON MATE: Let me ask you about China, first. Because we're-.

PAUL JAY: Before we do China, before we do China, let me just add one thing to this, which I think-. While the importance of the existential threat of Russia, the importance of that narrative to the military-industrial complex, is I think that's only one piece of why the American state and large sections of the American oligarchy see Russia so much as a threat. They keep using the word 'adversary.' .

And the reason why I think there's a several pieces to it, and I said this in the interview the other day, one, the United States does not like regional powers that are not under the American thumb. They don't want anyone, they-. The United States wants what they call in some of their documents Full Spectrum Dominance. They want global hegemony. Global hegemony means hegemony in every region of the world. They do not like it when any power emerges. The challenges for regional hegemonic because that's obviously part of global hegemony. So they don't like the fact that Russia has a major economy; and not one of the biggest economies, by any means, but a major economy. A big army. Of course, nuclear weapons. So they don't like that it has, kind of, independent will in this region. It's not a global competitor.

But there's another piece to this. Russia has oil. They don't like an oil state, a country that has such massive oil supply, not being under the U.S. umbrella, U.S. hegemony. That's, that's number two. Number three, they don't like the way Putin and that state emerged. You know, if people are watching the series that I'm doing of interviews with Alexander Buzgalin, we're telling the whole story of the emergence of Putin out of the collapsed Soviet state, Soviet system. In the 1990s after the collapse of the Soviet Union, there was a free-for-all plundering of all the natural resources and state resources, privatization mania. And the U.S., the Americans thought they'd get a much bigger piece of this. I don't think they thought, after all these years of trying, they thought, bringing down the Soviet Union, in truth the Soviet Union fell mostly for internal reasons. And bureaucrats within the party and the state became the oligarchs, became the billionaires. They seized a lot of these assets, not the West and the Americans.

And the out of the chaos emerges a Russian state, led by Putin, to create some sense of normalcy, turn it into a kind of a normal capitalist country, with laws, to some extent, so you can do business and commerce. And one of the things that state did is it didn't allow the West to just hocus pocus, I forget the term, they didn't just allow the West to come in and pick up all these resources and privatization directly themselves.

So this Putin's state's been to some extent blocking the U.S. from turning this Russia, as they have with most most other areas of the world- of course the other big exception is China and Iran- under, into the American global capitalist system, where the Americans are the dominant power. And they even had ways to do that. But these things jive, don't always jive, I should say, which is the economic incorporation of Russia into, into global capitalism, into, even into the EU, for example, or something, some structure like that, does not jive with the narrative of an existential threat that serves this massive military expenditure.

So different parts of the U.S. state have different agendas connected to different sections of capital that have their other agendas, but none of this justifies this McCarthyite level of Cold War rhetoric.

AARON MATE: Right. So in terms of China, as we're talking about other possible explanation for Trump's desire to work with Russia that go beyond him being a potential intelligence asset, or that Putin has kompromat on Trump, which really is right now the dominant corporate media narrative and question. You've been laying out some- I want to focus on China for a second, and actually read to you, Paul, a quote. This is John Pomfret. He's a historian. And he writes about Kissinger talking to Nixon after Kissinger returned from China as part of the Nixon administration's overture to China in the early '70s. And Kissinger observed to Nixon, he says: In 20 years your successor, if he's as wise as you, will wind up leaning towards the Russians against the Chinese. And then he went on to say: Right now we need the Chinese to correct the Russians, and to discipline the Russians.

So I find that interesting, because it's a way to help understand what might have motivated Nixon's overtures to China back then. But also I think that might help us understand what might motivate Trump's overtures to Russia. Now, obviously China has been a huge obsession of Trump. He talks about it constantly. He's launching a trade war right now. And it's quite likely, I think, he recognizes that if he really wants to confront China, a far bigger world power than Russia is, especially, obviously, economically, that he might need to enlist Russia for that task.

PAUL JAY: I certainly think there's part of it. How conscious Trump himself is of these kind of geostrategic assessments and plans, I don't know. Trump's a very smart con man. I don't know that he has a big geopolitical brain. But that being said, he's got people around him, including John Bolton, who are actually quite smart and have real geopolitical brains, and are fanatics.

The, my guess is the short-term play, and I don't see this- I think it's ridiculous that Trump is Putin's stooge, and all of this. The agenda of this group that's in power and that Trump represents the interests of, this isn't just a one man band, even if he flies off the handle in a one-man way. But this agenda of Iran and China, this was very well articulated by Steve Bannon before and after the victory of Trump in the election. This has economic interests which they, of course, China is the real economic competitor in the world that's a threat to American dominance. But it also has an ideological framing for it. And that's the defense of Western Christian civilization. And I think they believe in this stuff. Bannon himself is connected to Opus Dei in the Catholic Church. He's connected to Cardinal Burke. They're waging a war against Pope Francis. They want to overthrow the Pope. And it's really as open as that. They don't like, they're shocked that they've got a pope that's a social democrat. The, the metaphysical vision of the world- and don't forget, Hitler had quite a metaphysical vision of the world. The, the role of, the mission of the aryan nation to take over the world and march into a new era of civilization and all this was all intertwined with, with a metaphysical, quasi-fanatical religious view of the world.

Well I think they have this. So China does not fit the plan of saving Western civilization. But Russia does. And Putin is very close to the Russian Orthodox Church. He's been promoting this kind of nationalism intertwined with religious messaging through the church. He promotes this kind of stuff in Western Europe. Putin has been nurturing the far right in Western Europe. So this jives, the agenda of the people around Trump and Putin have similar views of the world. And it is a far right, far right view of the world.

So yeah, the idea of some kind of accommodation with Russia because of the coming trade war, and who knows what kind of war, with China, yeah, this is definitely, I think, part of the equation. The shorter-term play is Iran. They are, this group, this cabal in Washington, is fixated on regime change in Iran. I actually am not sure how they, why they see that fits the China strategy, but I don't know that it matters, because that's their play. And they've been talking about it for years, since the late night 1990s. And this document, Project for a New American Century. Undoing the Iranian revolution has been absolutely at the core of these people's foreign policy.

So there are, all these things are interconnected. And you know, dividing Russia from China, and having clearly some kind of alliance there, it's also in the interests of Putin, and it's very much in the interest of this, of this cabal. I think we should even stop talking and being so focused on Trump. Because if they bring down Trump the individual, they'll find some other, some other individual to come play a similar role. And he won't, this, whoever he or she is won't be such a clown.

[Aug 01, 2018] Trump Tells Jeff Sessions To End Mueller Investigation Right Now

Aug 01, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

President Trump was later then normal to take to his Twitter account this morning, but nevertheless provided a triumvirate of tweets that doubled down on his views of the Russia probe and what should be done about it.

Trump began with a two-fer tweet, quoting Alan Dershowitz:

" FBI Agent Peter Strzok (on the Mueller team) should have recused himself on day one. He was out to STOP THE ELECTION OF DONALD TRUMP. He needed an insurance policy. Those are illegal, improper goals, trying to influence the Election. He should never, ever been allowed to remain in the FBI while he himself was being investigated. This is a real issue. It won't go into a Mueller Report because Mueller is going to protect these guys. Mueller has an interest in creating the illusion of objectivity around his investigation. "

And then Trump took aim at his own AG, demanding the probe be shut down "right now"...

Sessions, who has recused himself from supervising the Mueller investigation, didn't immediately respond to the president's tweet. Sarah Isgur Flores, a spokeswoman for the Justice Department, declined to comment.

Trump said last summer he would have chosen a different attorney general had he known Sessions would recuse himself from supervising the investigation of election interference. Trump has periodically launched barrages of public attacks on Sessions related to the special counsel's investigation.

Trump's tweet was immediately condemned by some Democratic lawmakers as a blatant attempt to obstruct justice:

"The President of the United States just called on his Attorney General to put an end to an investigation in which the President, his family and campaign may be implicated," Representative Adam Schiff of California, the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, said on Twitter. "This is an attempt to obstruct justice hiding in plain sight. America must never accept it."

However, Trump was not done as he made sure the American public understand his relationship with Paul Manafort... "These old charges have nothing to do with Collusion - a Hoax!"

And once again pinned the blame on the real colluders..." The Democrats paid for the phony and discredited Dossier which was, along with Comey, McCabe, Strzok and his lover, the lovely Lisa Page, used to begin the Witch Hunt. Disgraceful! "


NugginFuts -> DanDaley Wed, 08/01/2018 - 09:38 Permalink

Profound silence in 3.....2......1......

AG Sessions is deep state. Why else would he sit back and let them win every time?

NoDebt -> 847328_3527 Wed, 08/01/2018 - 09:45 Permalink

Sessions is the single biggest staffing mistake Trump ever made, alongside keeping Comey around way too long instead of firing him on Day 1.

Boing_Snap -> NoDebt Wed, 08/01/2018 - 09:47 Permalink

What about getting Browder and his fraudulent crime gang to Putin as a symbol good faith? Great movie about Browder's actual goings on in Russia. Banned of course, can't have a spook enterprise revealed.

https://thedailycoin.org/2018/07/31/banned-documentary-the-magnitsky-ac

GoFuqYourself -> Reality_checkers Wed, 08/01/2018 - 10:08 Permalink

Rotten to the core. History will quickly expose Sessions for the sellout he is. Horses ass face Mueller is so blatantly obviously corrupt, it's amazing he is even tolerated.

IridiumRebel -> GoFuqYourself Wed, 08/01/2018 - 10:19 Permalink

Chaffetz on Sessions this AM: "I don't know what he does all day." Neither do we.

inosent -> The New Feudalism Wed, 08/01/2018 - 10:56 Permalink

I agree with the President on this one.

sanctificado -> Mr. Universe Wed, 08/01/2018 - 11:55 Permalink

In every AMERICAN politician's closet is hidden the UGLIEST skeleton of ALL. APARTHEID Israhell and its CRIMES vs Humanity. WARNING: Graphic Images

BuddyEffed -> inosent Wed, 08/01/2018 - 12:37 Permalink

But there must be very strong evidence yet undisclosed. Something serious enough to raid Cohens office. Nobody signs up for that without utmost serious and extremely powerful material evidence. Ecuador dumping Assange points to some powerful evidence connected to him too.

The undisclosed evidence likely pins Sessions pawn, as the chess analogy goes. Some top Republicans must know of the strength of the undisclosed evidence, as they have repeatedly validated the investigation as having merit.

the artist -> DocMims Wed, 08/01/2018 - 11:16 Permalink

Exactly... "The lovely Lisa Paige" She must have made a deal and is singing like a bird.

CJgipper -> the artist Wed, 08/01/2018 - 11:20 Permalink

Or he knows she didn't actually do anything other than exchange some texts and is therefore leaving her out of it.

Gen. Ripper -> the artist Wed, 08/01/2018 - 12:04 Permalink

Page wasnt fucking Strzok. He's a fag and a psychopath.

Gaius Petronius -> DocMims Wed, 08/01/2018 - 12:39 Permalink

Sessions knows he f'd up recusing himself, but he feels he can't take it back. I disagree, I think he can. Rosenstein's conflict on the FISA warrant gives him plenty of reason, not to mention the manor of Mueller's appointment. Sessions is a man of integrity, one of the few in the DC swamp that actually has it. Trump needs to declassify those FISA warrants. I suspect he's going to play that card soon. I don't know if it will be this month, next, or an October surprise..but you have to figure it's coming. Remember he knows more about this than any of us.

MK ULTRA Alpha -> IridiumRebel Wed, 08/01/2018 - 12:43 Permalink

Trump's correct, it's causing serious disruption to the social fabric of the nation.

Sessions has proven he's really an ignorant hillbilly from Alabama catering to the Jews. He's now preaching about his religion, that no one is taking his religion seriously. There is supposed to be a separation between Church and State.

He's a Zionist Christian. Israel over America and he only supported Trump to administer his Zionist hate for people of color. It's a racial caste system of Jews on top, then whites like Sessions and people of color and whites who don't follow this mutated religion of hate on the bottom.

Another insane Sessions policy was to ramp up stealing people's money based only on suspicion. Another one is cannabis, he had a man who was the first drug Csar who now works in the drugs testing business make a public recommendation to drug test everybody.

So we have many constitutional laws broken, using the office of USAG forcing his religious belief, confiscation of people's money when Congress had to vote to say no(the government is doing it anyway because they know Sessions will do nothing to them), and an insane drugs testing policy for some low life doctor who's making a fortune on it.

Sessions is a real low life and we can all see. This is another Republican forced pick on Trump.

There are Republicans behind the scenes and it's in our face trying to destroy Trump, like Bush, because we can't have a 9/11 investigation, recall Trump questioned the government's version of 9/11. If Trumps success and power grows then later maybe a second term the question of 9/11 could be opened back up since the majority don't believe the governments version.

So everyone who is guilty is trying to take Trump out. Is Mueller guilty of crimes? yes. Is Rosenstein guilty of crimes? yes and so on, from Bennan to Clapper.

They're all guilty. So we can see, Sessions is as crooked as they come and he professes to being a Christian and whined just recently that his religion is no longer accepted.

He believes it's because of a loss of religious freedom, no it's because less than 10% attend church. See, he thinks he can use the government to force his belief system on us.

chunga -> GoFuqYourself Wed, 08/01/2018 - 10:21 Permalink

It's unprecedented. If the majority reds in congress managed to find some balls they would hold Irrelevant General Sessions in contempt. The will not because they are afraid of 17 angry blues...on the opposing fucking team! Tick tock - midterms are coming.

CatInTheHat -> bunkers Wed, 08/01/2018 - 10:54 Permalink

Democrats are ANGRY at the wrong people. This Trump derangement syndrome means they need help & a little look within. We wouldn't have Trump right now if Democrats had not stolen the primary from Sanders and forced a war criminal sociopath down our throats .

Why is no one saying anything about the FBI LYING to the FISA court Judge in that they didn't tell him that the dossier was a political hit piece paid for by Clinton & the DNC??

VZ58 -> bunkers Wed, 08/01/2018 - 11:07 Permalink

tht is where you are wrong because you think they act like conservatives when they are pissed. They will have loonie tantrums and scream and tweet and say meaningful "hurtful things" about the other side, but won't do anything because they are lazy, limp, wet noodles.

[Jul 31, 2018] Is not the Awan affair a grave insult to the US "Intelligence Community?

Highly recommended!
Jul 31, 2018 | consortiumnews.com

Nik , July 28, 2018 at 9:22 am

Is not the Awan affair a grave insult to the US "Intelligence Community?" http://turcopolier.typepad.com/sic_semper_tyrannis/2017/07/what-are-the-democrats-hiding-by-publius-tacitus.html

For several years, a family of foreign nationals (and not only Wassermannn-Schultz) has been surfing the congressional computers while having no security clearance.

Then there was a criminal negligence by H. Clinton who made her emails, filled with the highest-level classified information, available to Chinese (not the Russians). http://turcopolier.typepad.com/sic_semper_tyrannis/2018/07/httpstruepunditcomfbi-lisa-page-dimes-out-top-fbi-officials-during-classified-house-testimony-bureau-bos.html

Both Debbie and Hillary should be in federal prison already. Clinton used to be fond of droning Assange for divulging the criminal and illegal activities of the state. What Debbie and Hillary did has been much more dangerous to the US national security.

[Jul 29, 2018] Watch Bob Mueller Lie to Congress About Iraq s Weapons of Mass Destruction in 2003 When He Ran the FBI (Video)

Notable quotes:
"... Why anyone believes a thing this man says or does is a mystery. He is obviously a Deep State tool who was perfectly willing to go along with the Big Lie back then, resulting in 1 million dead Iraqis, $1 trillion is squandered money, the rise of ISIS, and the destabilization of the Middle East, resulting in millions of refugees. ..."
"... He is protected by the US media which are the mouthpiece of the Deep State. ..."
"... 'Truth is to WASHINGTON DC, as Sunlight is To Dracula' http://www.johnccarleton.or... ..."
"... he lied the US people into the genocidal war against Iraq is a fitting centerpiece to the bookends provided by The Mueller Inquiry and the WTC demolition. ..."
"... Politics is the profession where scum rises to the top faster than all the others combined. ..."
Jul 23, 2018 | https://russia-insider.com

Why anyone believes a thing this man says or does is a mystery. He is obviously a Deep State tool who was perfectly willing to go along with the Big Lie back then, resulting in 1 million dead Iraqis, $1 trillion is squandered money, the rise of ISIS, and the destabilization of the Middle East, resulting in millions of refugees.

He's a public disgrace and should be behind bars, not running a bogus Russian Meddling investigation that is pure hoax and political conspiracy.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/uTDO-kuOGTQ


Chi • 12 hours ago ,

He is protected by the US media which are the mouthpiece of the Deep State.

Franklin Wisman Chi 6 hours ago ,

He's protected all the way around.

John C Carleton 10 hours ago ,

'Truth is to WASHINGTON DC, as Sunlight is To Dracula' http://www.johnccarleton.or...

Washington Post John C Carleton 5 hours ago ,

Democracy dies in our darkness.

Franz Kafka 11 hours ago ,

Mueller is a professional liar, traitor and scumbag. He is not even a good liar but he is a prolific one. ... That he lied the US people into the genocidal war against Iraq is a fitting centerpiece to the bookends provided by The Mueller Inquiry and the WTC demolition.

The fact that he is not only at large, but in charge of the coup against Donald Trump is a tragedy of immeasurable proportions for the long-suffering US people. The good news is, one way or another, it may be their final tragedy.

ALTERNATE HISTORY 6 hours ago ,

Once a lying sack of shit, always a lying sack of lying shit.

hmmm ALTERNATE HISTORY 5 hours ago ,

Politics is the profession where scum rises to the top faster than all the others combined.

wilmers13 Billy Brown 8 hours ago ,

17 intelligence agencies ensure they publish what leads to more war in other people's streets. Ugly American reincarnation.

Franklin Wisman wilmers13 6 hours ago ,

Please, keep the anti-American thing down to a roar. Ya'll by now see that the people do not control their gov at all. They, the cabal, did 9-11 on us and spy on us. It's the cabal at the top which does us in too - Pearl Harbor another e.g.

[Jul 29, 2018] It s Official The US is in a Constitutional Crisis

Notable quotes:
"... AG Sessions allowed a special investigation into the new President while allowing rogue actors from the Obama Administration to lead the investigation. ..."
"... Former FBI Director and Dirty Cop Robert Mueller was selected to lead the investigation. Mueller had a history of allowing Clinton and Obama related scandals to dissolve. ..."
"... arose or may arise ..."
Jul 29, 2018 | www.thegatewaypundit.com

It's Official: The US is in a Constitutional Crisis – Only President Trump Can Save the Nation Now! The US is now in a constitutional crisis. Yesterday Attorney General Sessions announced that he was refusing to set up a special investigation into FBI and DOJ wrongdoing even though the evidence of corruption, illegalities and cover ups of Obama and Clinton scandals is rampant. A year ago Sessions had no problem with the creation of an unconstitutional investigation into President Trump when no crimes were committed.

Mueller's illegal Trump-Russia investigation moves on while investigations into obvious corruption and criminal activities in Obama's FBI, DOJ and State Department are ignored. We asked in October what does the deep state have on AG Sessions causing him to ignore the constitution and his duty to serve the American people? It's now clear that Sessions must go and a new team be brought in to clean up the FBI, DOJ and other deep state led government departments.

How did we get here?

During the 2016 election one of the biggest chants at Trump rallies was – Drain the swamp!

https://www.youtube.com/embed/ZDGJB_jXK_o

Americans were tired of the corruption and criminal acts perpetrated by the government under the Obama administration but no one guessed how corrupt it really was. The sinister Obama administration had the audacity to spy on the Trump campaign using the entire apparatus of the US government and then framed the incoming President once he won.

AG Sessions allowed a special investigation into the new President while allowing rogue actors from the Obama Administration to lead the investigation.

https://lockerdome.com/lad/10519515222215526?pubid=ld-5132-3666&pubo=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.thegatewaypundit.com&rid=duckduckgo.com&width=820

Former FBI Director and Dirty Cop Robert Mueller was selected to lead the investigation. Mueller had a history of allowing Clinton and Obama related scandals to dissolve. Emailgate, Fast and Furious, the Clinton Foundation, Clinton emails, Uranium One, and the IRS scandal all fizzled with no wrong doing identified over Mueller's years with the FBI. Mueller also was best friends with disgraced and fired leaker former FBI Director James Comey. Mueller should have never taken the job to lead the investigation due to his numerous conflicts of interest.

We know that the FBI had an investigation into the Clintons and money they received from Russia in return for giving Russia 20% of all US uranium. Prior to the Obama administration approving the very controversial Uranium One deal in 2010, the FBI had evidence that Russian nuclear industry officials were involved in bribery, kickbacks, extortion and money laundering in order to benefit Vladimir Putin. The FBI approved the deal anyway. We also know that Rosenstein and Mueller were the ones who allowed the Uranium One deal to go forward. This was the real Russia collusion story involving the US government.

Mueller brought in a team of Obama and Clinton lackeys to form his investigative team who had no intention of performing an independent and objective investigation. The entire team is corrupt lefties who have represented the Clinton Foundation or let Hillary go in her obvious crimes related to her email scandal. This included the texting FBI scoundrels Peter Strzok and Lisa Page. Some suspect that their efforts are as much to cover past wrong doings as to frame the current President for unethical acts.

https://video.insider.foxnews.com/v/video-embed.html?video_id=5670575240001&loc=thegatewaypundit.com&ref=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.thegatewaypundit.com%2F2018%2F03%2Fits-official-the-us-is-in-a-constitutional-crisis-only-president-trump-can-save-the-nation%2F&_xcf=

We know that Mueller's team illegally obtained emails related to the Trump transition team as reported in December and these emails were protected under attorney-client privilege. Mueller and his entire team should have resigned after this but the investigation moves on.

Unconstitutionality of the Mueller Investigation

Not only is the Mueller investigation corrupt, it is unconstitutional. We learned in January that Paul Manafort was suing Mueller, Rosenstein and Sessions as Head of the DOJ due to the Mueller investigation being unconstitutional.

Gregg Jarrett at FOX News wrote when initially Mueller brought charges against Manafort that Mueller is tasked with finding a crime that does not exist in the law. It is a legal impossibility. He is being asked to do something that is manifestly unattainable. In addition Jarrett stated-

As I pointed out in a column last May, the law (28 CFR 600) grants legal authority to appoint a special counsel to investigate crimes. Only crimes. He has limited jurisdiction. Yet, in his order appointing Mueller as special counsel (Order No. 3915-2017), Rosenstein directed him to investigate "any links and/or coordination between the Russian government and individuals associated with the campaign of President Donald Trump." It fails to identify any specific crimes, likely because none are applicable.

Manafort sued the DOJ, Mueller and Rosenstein because what they are doing is not supported by US Law as noted previously by Jarrett. Manafort's case argues in paragraph 33 that the special counsel put in place by crooked Rosenstein gave crooked and criminal Mueller powers that are not permitted by law –

But paragraph (b)(ii) of the Appointment Order purports to grant Mr. Mueller further authority to investigate and prosecute " any matters that arose or may arise directly from the investigation." That grant of authority is not authorized by DOJ's special counsel regulations. It is not a "specific factual statement of the matter to be investigated." Nor is it an ancillary power to address efforts to impede or obstruct investigation under 28 C.F.R. § 600.4(a).

In addition to Jarrett and Manafort's arguments above, Robert Barnes wrote this past week at Law and Crimes that –

Paul Manafort's legal team brought a motion to dismiss on Tuesday, noting that Rosenstein could not appoint Mueller to any investigation outside the scope of the 2016 campaign since Sessions did not recuse himself for anything outside the campaign. I agree with this take on Mueller's authority. If we follow that argument that would mean Sessions himself has exclusive authority to appoint a special counsel for non-collusion charges, and Sessions has taken no such action. Sessions himself should make that clear to Mueller, rather than await court resolution. Doing so would remove three of the four areas of inquiry from Mueller's requested interview with President Trump.

Sessions formally notifying Mueller that he does not have authority to act outside of campaign-related cases and cases related to obstruction of Mueller's investigation would be doing what the Constitution compels: enforcing the Appointments Clause of the Constitution. Additionally, Sessions notifying Mueller that he does not have authority to act outside of campaign-related cases would be exercising Sessions' court-recognized Constitutional obligation to "direct and supervise litigation" conducted by the Department of Justice. Furthermore, Sessions notifying Mueller that he does not have authority to act outside of campaign-related cases protects against the inappropriate use of the federal grand jury that defendant Manafort now rightly complains about.

Sessions limiting Mueller to the 2016 campaign would also be restoring confidence in democratic institutions, and restore public faith that democratically elected officials.

One thing to remember about Sessions' recusal : Sessions only recused himself from "any existing or future investigations of any matters related in any way to the campaigns for President of the United States." This recusal letter limits the scope of Sessions' recusal to the 2016 campaigns; it does not authorize Sessions' recusal for anything beyond that. Constitutionally, Sessions has a " duty to direct and supervise litigation" conducted by the Department of Justice. Ethically, professionally, and legally, Sessions cannot ignore his supervisory obligations for cases that are not related to the "campaigns for President."

Not only is the Mueller investigation run by former FBI and DOJ criminals and bad cops but it is unconstitutional in the way it was created and in the way it is currently being managed outside the scope of Sessions' recusal while incorporating Sessions duties as AG.

The only solution

There's a lot of speculation from some Americans and Trump supporters who believe that AG Sessions is behind the scenes working on cleaning the swamp, but this is all speculation. Little if any evidence supports these hopes.

We must look at the facts. Sessions recused himself from the Russia investigation. Rosenstein was somehow recommended and hired as Assistant AG. With a background of multiple conflicts of interest related to Uranium One and having signed off on at least one FISA warrant to spy on candidate and future President Trump, Rosenstein never should have been appointed. In spite of his conflicts, Rosenstein hired Mueller to investigate President Trump and continues in his oversight role. Sessions', Rosenstein's and Mueller's actions are unethical, illegal and unconstitutional.

We are currently in a constitutional crisis. AG Sessions will not uphold the law. He must be replaced with an aggressive, competent and fair AG who will uphold the constitution. This is something we haven't had in at least a decade.

Only President Trump can save America. Only President Trump can replace AG Sessions and now it's time.

jacobum Lee Lilly 4 months ago ,

You're right. But the reality is being right doesn't do squat for Sessions very little credibility. For good reason...his actions merit distrusting him. It's the height of arrogance and simply smells to high heaven that a "Man of the highest integrity"...would knowingly allow himself to be confirmed one day and recuse himself the next day......without first telling his boss the POTUS.

That excuse dog is not going to hunt no matter how long or whomever blows that dog whistle. It's an insult to not only the intelligence of folks but their common sense as well.
Bluntly, he is a disaster for the country and POTUS. The problem is NO THINKING ADULT TRUST SESSIONS ANY FARTHER THAN THEY CAN THROW HIM! What he did disqualifies him for the position he took under false pretenses. That is is Deception...not...Integrity. PERIOD!

We are in a war. Nice guys don't win wars. They clean up afterwards. He acts like Mr Magoo and not the nations Chief Law Enforcement Officer. We are in a war and the equivalent of the Military Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff of Law Enforcement has gone missing.
Sessions is the classical..."Fool me once..your fault; Fool me twice, my fault"
My deadline for him is June 20, 2018 at the maximum. Nothing significant by then....it will be a confirmation he is part of the problem....and always has been....a plant of the "Deep State"

LEEPERMAX Susieq 4 months ago ,

"Bush Family Plant"
#FireSessions now.

Alti LEEPERMAX 4 months ago ,

Tom Fitton: "When you read the letter its pretty clear Huber isn't charged with prosecuting anyone. Sessions is not going to appoint a special counsel to investigate anything having to do with the Obama FBI or Hillary Clinton. I don't think [Huber] has empaneled a grand jury or is doing a prosecution, he's just looking at the record and may suggest additional resources. Nothing is going to be done. There is no public indication of any serious investigation by the DOJ."

Lee Lilly jacobum 4 months ago ,

Had I not come across the following, I would absolutely agree with you. But below is what is really occurring behind the scenes. They ARE fighting the Deep State which has existed for decades, but rest assured POTUS and his team of patriots are on it. If you take the time to really go through it, you can almost predict what POTUS will do next.

qanon.pub or qanonposts.com

It seems unbelievable at first but it checks out as the story unfolds and Q predicts things before they happen... Also, Trump has signalled the truth of it; do you think he said "tip top tippety top" just for the heck of it at Easter speech? (He was asked by an anon to use this in something to verify validity of Q.) It won't make sense unless you start at the beginning in Oct and read posts from there. (And disregard MSM reports that Q is false; if he was, why even bother trying to discredit?)

Think about it - is it like POTUS to keep someone so "obviously inept" around as Sessions? Does that really sound like POTUS? Trump and team have handled this beautifully...they even have conservatives screaming for Sessions' head. He is neither uninvolved nor clueless as is being portrayed. It's the Art of the Deal. Many are going down and POTUS and Q team are bringing us to it live through the posts.

I promise you, this will open your eyes to the long game that POTUS and Sessions are playing out. Check it out - it will be the best read of your life. So many things that never made sense, so many lies, massive corruption...be prepared.

Once you've gone through Q, you will truly know that POTUS meant every single word, literally, in this short link.

Every. Single. Word. ~ Enjoy, my friend

Play Hide
Sir_Tanly jacobum 4 months ago ,

Don knew of the recusal before the nomination. Betcha.

Alti Guest 4 months ago ,

After diligent study, I have come to the conclusion that this letter is a deceptively worded masterpiece (if you like being deceived).

robert v g Alti 4 months ago ,

I have a hunch you're right. Isn't Sessions just a long- time swamp politician/lawyer?

John Jensen Lee Lilly 4 months ago ,

Biggest problem after watching the video of Lou Dobbs tonight is that Rod Rosenstein is still acting in an oversite position. He will never let anyone be convicted of any crime because he is a sitting member of almost every crime that was committed. I don't think Sessions is that smart in the first place, I believe that Rosenstein is running the show and that is all it is a Dog and Pony show for the masses. All of them should be fired

Molon labe Lotsa Snuggs 4 months ago ,

Au contraire-All you Sessions sycophants are the ones who'll have an uncomfortably full stomach! That man's public actions are NOT those of a sly old law and order prosecutor maintaining "radio silence" while tirelessly working behind the scenes! They're the actions of a compromised Attorney General who is NOT performing his Constitutional duties and is actively covering for known lawbreakers and Obstructing Justice--NOT demanding it!!

[Jul 28, 2018] Colluding with Foreign Spies--It Apparently Ain't the Trumps by Publius Tacitus

Notable quotes:
"... " So here's what I want you to tell every politician: If you get a call from somebody suggesting that a foreign government wants to help you by disparaging your opponent, tell us all to call the FBI." ..."
"... https://youtu.be/VzawbjQc4iM?t=1m34s ..."
"... McCain is not the only one guilty here. The work of Fusion GPS was paid for by unnamed Democrats (and one unnamed Republican). And this is not the only instance of collusion with a foreign intelligence organization. Hillary Clinton and her campaign reportedly consorted with Ukrainian operatives: ..."
"... Ukrainian government officials tried to help Hillary Clinton and undermine Trump by publicly questioning his fitness for office. They also disseminated documents implicating a top Trump aide in corruption and suggested they were investigating the matter, only to back away after the election. And they helped Clinton's allies research damaging information on Trump and his advisers, a Politico investigation found. ..."
"... I am with PT on this issue. McCain is the bigger jerk. In my opinion, he can't stand it that more Americans voted for Trump than voted for McCain (this American included--though I did hold my nose and vote for McCain simply because my stomach would not take voting for BHO. I was not a birther, but I was fully aware of things in regard to his past that I didn't like and his ideology that I despised and his friendships with people I found reprehensible. I could go on, but won't). ..."
"... "Sir Robert Owen's report into the death of Alexander Litvinenko is a flagrant cover-up." ..."
"... This is in addition to attracting more attention to Magnitsky Act (and to a documentary by Nekrasov), ..."
"... no western country dares to show "The Magnitsky Act – Behind The Scenes," because the presented facts are not fitting the ziocons' sensibilities. ..."
"... Which reminds me what about all those dirty little wars, Libya, Syria, Yemen, etc that Obama and the Clintonist queen involved the US in on the basis of an AUM signed back in 2001, and how was Gadaffi, Assad and the Houthis, all sworn enemies of the jihadists, "associated force" of those responsible for 9/11. ..."
"... Also, a report on 'McClatchy' on 11 July, entitled 'John McCain faces questions in Trump-Russia dossier case', linked to the response of Steele and Orbis dated 18 May to the request by Gubarev's lawyers for further information in response to the 'Defence' in the London suit to which you linked. ..."
"... At the moment, both sets of legal proceedings are a hostage to fortune, for many reasons, including the possibility that they could make people for the first time actually notice that Sir Robert Owen's report into the death of Alexander Litvinenko is a flagrant cover-up ..."
"... Although the claims made about Steele's involvement in that affair are a hopeless mess of contradictions, what would seem reasonably clear is that he was a key figure in orchestrating proceedings. (Whether Fusion were involved, at the American end, is an interesting question.) ..."
"... The whole anti-Trump bruha-ha has been about his alleged collusion with a foreign government. Here we have a documented case of a collusion of clintonistas with the foreign intelligence organization (UK) and foreign government (Ukraine). The "progressives" (including McCain and the most rabid ziocons) have been waling like sirens about alleged "treason." Well. It seems that their wish was heard. This is not about Trump. This is about the law. ..."
"... Obama's "we scam" was a powerful instrument of breeding both lawlessness and cynicism. ..."
"... The latter is an effort to assert US power over the legitimate interests of a nuclear-armed Russia, to continue to act provocatively against Russia, and to kill any attempts at a rapprochement ..."
"... he efforts of neocons in tying Trump's hands regarding peaceful relations with Russia is crossing a far more dangerous line. ..."
"... Birtherism was one of many things that discredited Trump as a huckster from receiving my vote. Warmongering, among other matters, also disqualified Hillary. ..."
Jul 13, 2017 | turcopolier.typepad.com
When it comes to meeting with foreign spies to dish dirt on a Presidential candidate (or a President elect), John McCain is more at fault than anyone connected to Donald Trump. McCain was directly involved in spreading unverified slanderous material regarding President-elect Donald Trump as he consorted with operatives linked to a foreign government--in this case, the United Kingdom.

This should give Lindsay Graham pause after watching his his exchange with FBI nominee Christopher Wray at Wednesday's Senate Judiciary hearing. Graham, who rhetorically fell on a fainting couch overwhelmed by outrage from the news that an obscure Russian lawyer had sought a meeting with Donald Trump Jr. in order to dish dirt on Hillary Clinton, admonished the FBI nominee to deal harshly with his colleagues on the following :

" So here's what I want you to tell every politician: If you get a call from somebody suggesting that a foreign government wants to help you by disparaging your opponent, tell us all to call the FBI." https://youtu.be/VzawbjQc4iM?t=1m34s

But Donald Trump Jr. is not guilty of doing this. Instead, it is Senator John McCain. He is the one who was fooling around with a foreign intelligence organization.

What did McCain do? He twice received material generated by a foreign intelligence operative and passed this along as if it was valuable, verified intelligence. Here is the proof, thanks to Rowan Scarborough of the Washington Times .

Aleksej Gubarev , a Cypriot based chief executive of the network solutions firm XBT Holdings, filed suit against Christopher Steele and Orbis Business Intelligence Ltd, for defamation over their role in the publication of an unproven dossier (which appeared in Buzzfeed) on President Donald Trump's purported activities involving Russia and allegations of Russian interference during last year's U.S. election.

The businessman, Aleksej Gubarev , claims he and his companies were falsely linked in the dossier to the Russia-backed computer hacking of Democratic Party figures. Gubarev , 36, also is seeking unspecified damages from Buzzfeed and its top editor, Ben Smith, in a parallel lawsuit filed in Miami. Lawyers for Christopher Steele and Orbis Business Intelligence in the United Kingdom filed a response with the British court. Rowan Scarborough obtained a copy of the document and posted it on-line in April. The defense document is both illuminating and damning (I don't know how I missed this when it came out in April). This is like a statement under oath and it presents the following facts: 1. Orbis Business Intelligence was engaged by Fusion GPS sometime in early June 2016 to prepare a series of confidential memorandum based on intelligence concerning Russian efforts to influence the U.S. Presidential election process and links between Russia and Donald Trump (the first memo was dated 20 June 2016). 2. Fusion GPS is run by three former Wall Street Journal reporters: Glenn Simpson; Tom Catan; and Peter Fritsch. ( According to the New York Times, Fusion GPS was originally hired by a Republican donor – who has not been publicly identified – to dig up dirt on Trump in 2015. After Trump won the nomination, the firm began working with Democrats and honed in on Trump's links to Russia.) 3. Senator John McCain, accompanied by David Kramer (a Senior Director at Senator McCain's Institute for International Leadership), met in London with an Associate of Orbis, former British Ambassador Sir Andrew Wood, to arrange a subsequent meeting with Christopher Steele in order to read the now infamous Steele Dossier. 4. David Kramer and Christopher Steele met in Surrey on 28 November 2016, where Kramer was briefed on the contents of the memos. 5. Once Senator McCain and David Kramer returned to the United States, arrangements were made for Fusion GPS to provide Senator McCain hard copies of the memoranda. 6. After Donald Trump was elected, Christopher Steele prepared an additional memorandum (dated 13 December 2016) that made the following claims:
  • Michael Cohen held a secret meeting in Prague, Czechoslovakia in August 2016 with Kremlin operatives.
  • Cohen, allegedly accompanied by 3 colleagues (Not Further Identified), met with Oleg SOLODUKHIM to discuss on how deniable cash payments were to be made to hackers who had worked in Europe under Kremlin direction against the Clinton campaign and various contingencies for covering up these operations and Moscow's secret liaison with the Trump team more generally.
  • In Prague, Cohen agreed (sic) contingency plans for various scenarios to protect the operation, but in particular what was to be done in the event that Hillary Clinton won the Presidency.
  • Sergei Ivanov's associate claimed that payments to hackers had been made by both Trump's team and the Kremlin.

[Note--Michael Cohen denies he was ever in Prague.]

7. Christopher Steele passed a copy of the December memo to a senior UK Government national security official and to Fusion GPS (via encrypted email) with the instruction to give a hard copy to Senator McCain via David Kramer.

Sometime between December 14, 2016 and December 31, 2016, Senator McCain passed this salacious material to FBI director, James Comey.

As I pointed out in my previous piece ( Trump Jr. Emails Prove No Collusion . . . ), the Steele Dossier now stands completely discredited because the Trump Jr. emails provide prima facie evidence that there was no regular, sustained contact with Kremlin operatives. If there had been then there was no need to meet with an unknown lawyer peddling anti-Hillary material that, per the Steele Dossier, already had been delivered to the Trump team.

The role of Fusion GPS in this whole sordid affair needs to be thoroughly investigated. Circumstantial evidence opens them to charges of facilitating and enabling sedition. What they did appears to go beyond conventional opposition research and dirty tricks. Spreading a lie that Donald Trump and his team are Russian operatives crosses a line and, as we have witnessed over the last six months, roiled and disrupted the American political system.

McCain is not the only one guilty here. The work of Fusion GPS was paid for by unnamed Democrats (and one unnamed Republican). And this is not the only instance of collusion with a foreign intelligence organization. Hillary Clinton and her campaign reportedly consorted with Ukrainian operatives:

Ukrainian government officials tried to help Hillary Clinton and undermine Trump by publicly questioning his fitness for office. They also disseminated documents implicating a top Trump aide in corruption and suggested they were investigating the matter, only to back away after the election. And they helped Clinton's allies research damaging information on Trump and his advisers, a Politico investigation found.

You can read the full story here . The hysteria on the part of Democrats over alleged Russian meddling and collusion with the Trumps shows a growing potential for blowback. As more actual evidence emerges of anti-trumpets receiving intelligence and sharing that intelligence in underhanded back channels, the greater the risk that public attention will hone in on the real actions as opposed to unsubstantiated allegations. Such a development would leave the Democrats very vulnerable and very exposed. × Comments for this thread are now closed.


DianaLC , a year ago
We can argue the merits of a Trump presidency all we want. We can continue to be distracted by new intelligence about shenanigans during the presidential election until Trump's first term is up. That is the plan.

I understand that foreign governments--and probably mostly Russia--try desperately to influence our elections in their favor. Just as I understand that our government officials do the same in foreign elections. It's disgusting behavior for someone who really, really believes the high principles on which our government was founded. I admit it: I am a Pollyanna in that regard.

But I also KNOW my tendencies to be more idealistic than realistic in regard to human nature. At my age, the reality of human nature has caused me more heartbreak than I care to remember.

Therefore, I have to prioritize my worries. And so, here again, I am with PT on this issue. McCain is the bigger jerk. In my opinion, he can't stand it that more Americans voted for Trump than voted for McCain (this American included--though I did hold my nose and vote for McCain simply because my stomach would not take voting for BHO. I was not a birther, but I was fully aware of things in regard to his past that I didn't like and his ideology that I despised and his friendships with people I found reprehensible. I could go on, but won't).

The people I admire the most are, in many cases, people who did champion Trump from the beginning. I was originally flabbergasted by that fact. I was, and still am, a Cruz person. But.....I am also an American and do put much faith in the everyday, working, Americans who live in the Middle, where I live. These are truly the "salt of the earth" and the "light of the world" people. Their votes were given mostly because, I think, Trump declared that he wanted to "drain the swamp." We knew what that meant. We know now that avoiding the machinations of swamp people is harder than we might have guessed. So I am willing to give the Trump boys some grace, but not the smarmy "bomb, bomb, bomb. Bomb, bomp Iran" McCain.

Nothing came from this juvenile and inept attempt to "collude." Let's forget it, get the swamp drained and the leaks plugged and get on with making campaign promises come true. Take the NYT and WaPo copies and find some way to use them for good: birdcage liners, shredded packaging stuffing, even cat litter. Let CNN become a memory as you avoid watching it or any news story about it. Heck, don't even watch Fox except to get the news without listening to the commentary. Write your senators and representatives about your views of the issues; then go on with leading good American lives, while saying your daily prayers to the only One who is in charge.

Anna , a year ago
"Sir Robert Owen's report into the death of Alexander Litvinenko is a flagrant cover-up."

This is in addition to attracting more attention to Magnitsky Act (and to a documentary by Nekrasov), and, by association, to another important documentary, "Two hundreds years together" by Solzhenitsyn. Both authors used to be the darlings of the west for their harsh critique of the Soviet Union (by Solzhenitsyn) and Putin (by Nekrasov). No publishing house in the US and UK dares to publish "Two hundreds years together," and no western country dares to show "The Magnitsky Act – Behind The Scenes," because the presented facts are not fitting the ziocons' sensibilities.

blowback , a year ago
What subversion is that? Nothing came of Donald Jr's stupidity but there were real effects from the Fusion GPS garbage. As for Trump making gooey eyes at Putin, it was one part of his election platform that Trump was clear and open about and as the president pretty much gets to decide foreign policy, rather than McCain, Graham, the Clintonists, etc. so what?

Which reminds me what about all those dirty little wars, Libya, Syria, Yemen, etc that Obama and the Clintonist queen involved the US in on the basis of an AUM signed back in 2001, and how was Gadaffi, Assad and the Houthis, all sworn enemies of the jihadists, "associated force" of those responsible for 9/11.

Greco , a year ago
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4690834/Don-Trump-Jr-lawyer-linked-dirty-dossier-firm.html

Apparently the Russian lawyer who met with Don Jr was lobbying on behalf of a Russian oligarch who was sanctioned as a result of the Magnitsky Act.

That same oligarch was also faced with a $230 million fine for money laundering. He tried to cut a deal back in 2015 whereupon he would act as an informant to US authorities. The $230 million fine was later reduced to only $6 million days before his case was set for trial this past May.

Sam Peralta , a year ago
David

" In Britain, when the intelligence services make an unholy mess of things, it is usually possible to find the right kind of judge, or former senior official, to apply the appropriate degree of 'whitewash'. "

This is exactly what breeds cynicism. I don't believe it is any different in the US as the judiciary always gives a pass when the "state secrets" defense is mounted. This is a perfect legal doctrine as it can be used to cover up all kinds of malfeasance and misfeasance. There's a reason why support exists for whistleblowers like Snowden and Wikileaks among the general public.

What was the reaction of the average person in Britain to the Lord Hutton "inquiry"?

I continue to be baffled by the Trump Administration's response to the continued attacks by former and possibly current high officials in the IC. There seems to be no overt investigation by the AG. They seem to be just reacting as the media go to town manufacturing hysteria.

David Habakkuk , a year ago
PT,

There is a further lawsuit against BuzzFeed, brought by the Alfa Group oligarchs, Mikhail Fridman, Petr Aven, and German Khan. The summons, dated 26 May 2017 is at

http://www.courthousenews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/buzzfeed.pdf

Also, a report on 'McClatchy' on 11 July, entitled 'John McCain faces questions in Trump-Russia dossier case', linked to the response of Steele and Orbis dated 18 May to the request by Gubarev's lawyers for further information in response to the 'Defence' in the London suit to which you linked.

(See http://www.mcclatchydc.com/news/nation-world/national/article160622854.html .)

Whether the fact that the lawyer who prepared the response, Nicola Cain, was until recently a senior barrister at the BBC is of any relevance I do not know.

There is a lot in this which is not at the moment making a great deal of sense. It is absolutely basic journalistic 'tradecraft' to get a piece like the dossier 'lawyered' before publication. The question in my day would have been 'is it a fair business risk?'

A lawyer competent in the law of defamation – as Ms Cain clearly is – would I think have almost certainly said that the memorandum on the Alfa oligarchs was in no way a 'fair business risk.'

Moreover, it is hard to see any compelling reason why it should not have simply been omitted from the published version of the dossier – particularly as this would not have materially reduced the 'information operations' impact of the document.

As to the reference to Gubarev, a simple redaction would have reduced the risk of his suing to zero, and again, would not have materially reduced the impact of the dossier.

Indeed, even if the BuzzFeed journalists are amateurish, former WSJ journalists like those who run Fusion – and one of the company's partners, Thomas Catan, is also a former 'Financial Times' journalist – should have been aware they were on a sticky wicket without needing to consult a lawyer.

At the moment, both sets of legal proceedings are a hostage to fortune, for many reasons, including the possibility that they could make people for the first time actually notice that Sir Robert Owen's report into the death of Alexander Litvinenko is a flagrant cover-up.

Although the claims made about Steele's involvement in that affair are a hopeless mess of contradictions, what would seem reasonably clear is that he was a key figure in orchestrating proceedings. (Whether Fusion were involved, at the American end, is an interesting question.)

Perhaps unsurprisingly, we end up with a situation where people are stabbing each other in the back. So Steele is trying to rescue himself, by suggesting that the memoranda were not intended for publication at all, and that the reason for their publication was a violation of a confidentiality agreement by Fusion.

Meanwhile, the former British Moscow Ambassador Sir Andrew Wood has already directly contradicted the 'Defence', claiming that, contrary to what it says, he was never an 'associate' of Orbis.

(See http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2017/06/09/comey-testimony-leaves-questions-unanswered-about-anti-trump-dossier.html .)

In Britain, when the intelligence services make an unholy mess of things, it is usually possible to find the right kind of judge, or former senior official, to apply the appropriate degree of 'whitewash'. It was Lord Hutton's application of a lavish quantity of this substance to the Joint Intelligence Committee, MI6, and the Blair Government in his inquiry into the death of Dr David Kelly which played a non-trivial role to reducing the BBC to its present status as a kind of imitation of the Brezhnev-era Radio Moscow.

The acceptance of patently fabricated evidence by Owen took the 'whitewash' process to new heights. It would seem to me unlikely that those involved are optimistic that, by selecting the right kind of judge and organising another propaganda 'barrage' on the BBC and other outlets, they can contain the damage done by the lawsuits brought over the dossier. But I could be wrong.

Anna , a year ago
More on the same, this time on the infamous Magnitsky Act: https://consortiumnews.com/2017/07/13/how-russia-gate-met-the-magnitsky-myth/#comment-274252
Anna , a year ago
The whole anti-Trump bruha-ha has been about his alleged collusion with a foreign government. Here we have a documented case of a collusion of clintonistas with the foreign intelligence organization (UK) and foreign government (Ukraine). The "progressives" (including McCain and the most rabid ziocons) have been waling like sirens about alleged "treason." Well. It seems that their wish was heard.
This is not about Trump. This is about the law.

"...if there was any line, it was crossed a long time ago." Sigh. Obama's "we scam" was a powerful instrument of breeding both lawlessness and cynicism.

iowa steve , a year ago
Yeah, Trump's birtherism was odious but I don't see the equivalence between that and the current Russiaphobia.

The latter is an effort to assert US power over the legitimate interests of a nuclear-armed Russia, to continue to act provocatively against Russia, and to kill any attempts at a rapprochement. Birtherism crossed a line of political rhetoric, but the efforts of neocons in tying Trump's hands regarding peaceful relations with Russia is crossing a far more dangerous line.

Birtherism was one of many things that discredited Trump as a huckster from receiving my vote. Warmongering, among other matters, also disqualified Hillary.

[Jul 27, 2018] Actually, insofar as Steele himself has sources, rather than simply inventing, many of these are likely to be involved with the 'information operations' networks surrounding the erstwhile oligarch the late Boris Berezovsky – which may indeed have been responsible for the recruitment of Sergei Skripal, which in turn may have resulted in the winding up of much of the GRU network in Europe

Notable quotes:
"... Obviously, breaking up GRU networks is something which it made eminent sense for MI6 to attempt. A central problem is that Berezovsky was – as Bill Browder is – himself a colossal fraud, as are so many of the figures in the network which grew up around him, such as Yuri Shvets, Vladimir Rezun (aka "Viktor Suvorov"), and the late Alexander Litvinenko. ..."
"... Those who get involved with fraudsters, without being knowledgeable and/or wordly-wise enough to see through them, are inherently prone to end up as fraudsters themselves. ..."
"... "Those who get involved with fraudsters, without being knowledgeable and/or wordly-wise enough to see through them, are inherently prone to end up as fraudsters themselves." ..."
"... The US security agencies with tens of billions of dollars in budgets could not prevent the Chinese from stealing the personnel information of all federal government employees. ..."
"... What we observe however, is that they're mired in all sorts of domestic political intrigue including spinning and manipulating media narratives along with their close associates in the media. As the IG report on Hillary email investigation notes, many were willing recipients of graft from these media personalities. ..."
Jul 27, 2018 | turcopolier.typepad.com

Publius Tacitus -> TTG , 17 hours ago

Yep, you're a real James Bond. So they've been recruiting Trump for 21 years? Not 5? Not 8? Did you even read the damn dossier? Not a word about "duping." The claim is that Trump was actively collaborating and that Putin's press guy was the mastermind in this bullshit.
David Habakkuk -> Publius Tacitus , 11 hours ago
PT,

Absolutely.

One of my favourite comments on the dossier was made immediately after its publication by Professor Paul Robinson, one of the best British experts on Russia. In a rational world, he would have been back here advising his erstwhile Eton and Oxford contemporary Boris Johnson, now our ex-Foreign Secretary. As it is, he is teaching in Ottawa.

Unlike Johnson, who after Oxford went into a media 'bubble', Robinson spent five years in Army Intelligence. That this and later experiences have made him almost as sceptical of many MI6 people as I am is I think clear from the title of his post on the dossier: 'Top Secret Credulous Eyes Only.'

The approach he goes on to adopt has I think been too little used – taking the piss, as we say in England. So Robinson writes:

'Human intelligence compiled from anonymous sources is known to be the most reliable basis on which to form judgements about important events. Nothing else provides such detailed insider information from the very heart of enemy institutions.

'It is time people knew the truth. I have decided that it is necessary to reveal my own notes from underground (scribbled on a table napkin in invisible ink this morning and just now squirted with lemon juice). I cannot, of course, identify my sources, but I might suggest that you look up Richard Meinertzhagen's "dirty paper method" (see footnote). I can also claim that I have access to the highest echelons of the Russian government through somebody who knows somebody, who is related to somebody, who went to school with somebody, whose neighbour sharpens Vladimir Putin's hockey skates.

'These sources of mine tell me that the plot to place Donald Trump in the White House was hatched not five years ago as claimed in the BuzzFeed report, but 13 years ago at an exclusive banya in Sokolniki.

'According to Source BS, the concept for what became known as Operatsiia Tuz emerged during a sweaty discussion over a dozen bottles of vodka, when oligarch Viktor Bogatyi announced that he had an idea for a new television show. Aspiring kleptocrats would audition for a job as Bogatyi's assistant and the losers would be eliminated one by one with his famous catchphrase 'You're shot!' Hearing this, a senior GRU agent, Max Otto von Stierlitz, after a pause of seventeen moments, suggested an alternative. Why not, said Stierlitz, pass the idea for the TV show on to Donald Trump to use as a vehicle for making himself popular among the American people? It would be the perfect mechanism to gradually push the Donald into a position from which he could become President of the United States of America. The rest, as they say, is history.'

(See https://irrussianality.word... .)

As to the 'dirty paper method', some of Colonel Meinertzhagen's claims about his exploits in the First World War ran as follows:

"I ... found that the contents of German officers' latrines were a constant source of filthy though accurate information as odd pieces of paper containing messages, notes on enciphering and decoding, and private letters were often used where lavatory paper did not exist... By June 1915 I had collected, through captured documents and DPM, the signatures and occupations of almost every German employed in German East. These were reproduced and distributed to every officer, so that when a paper with a signature came into their hands they would know who it was and what his job was."

(See https://www.maggs.com/intel... .)

A biography of Meinertzhagen by Brian Garfield, published back in 2007, was entitled 'The Meinertzhagen Mystery: The Life and Legend of a Colossal Fraud.' For a summary, see http://scienceblogs.com/grr...

A moral of the tale, perhaps, is that barefaced impudence can get one a very long way, particularly as people hate to admit they have been fooled.

Actually, insofar as Steele himself has sources, rather than simply inventing, many of these are likely to be involved with the 'information operations' networks surrounding the erstwhile oligarch the late Boris Berezovsky – which may indeed have been responsible for the recruitment of Sergei Skripal, which in turn may have resulted in the winding up of much of the GRU network in Europe.

A corollary of this is that these sources will also be those of MI6, and can only be used with their consent.

Obviously, breaking up GRU networks is something which it made eminent sense for MI6 to attempt. A central problem is that Berezovsky was – as Bill Browder is – himself a colossal fraud, as are so many of the figures in the network which grew up around him, such as Yuri Shvets, Vladimir Rezun (aka "Viktor Suvorov"), and the late Alexander Litvinenko.

Those who get involved with fraudsters, without being knowledgeable and/or wordly-wise enough to see through them, are inherently prone to end up as fraudsters themselves.

This is, quite patently, what happened with Steele, and those on both sides of the Atlantic who have cooperated with him. While I have no evidence to believe that – as appears may have been the case with Meinertzhagen – he has been involved in murdering anybody, there is very strong evidence that he has been involved in producing bogus allegations of murder against the Russian authorities, in relation to Litvinenko and others.

And it is a serious possibility that, in relation to Berezovsky, MI6 have been involved in covering up a murder by others. There were many people who could not afford to run the risks involved in his making terms with Putin and returning to Russia, for reasons rather similar to those which may have impelled Meinertzhagen to commit murder – the fear of being exposed.

Equally, there were massive risks involved in the possibility of Berezovsky being exposed at the then upcoming Inquest – later Inquiry – to the kind of devastating exposure of the contradictions in his claims which Lord Sumption had provided when he successfully defended Roman Abramovich against the suit by which MI6's favourite oligarch had hoped to recoup his fortunes.

Even although Sir Robert Owen, the Lord Hutton substitute chosen to whitewash MI6, clearly ignored a mass of evidence about these, much of it drawn to his attention by myself, he still had to display remarkable ingenuity in avoiding these contradictions coming to light.

Frankly, nobody who takes anything in the dossier seriously should now have, or should have had in the past, any role whatsoever in intelligence analysis relating to the post-Soviet space. They simply are not good enough at assessing murky and ambiguous evidence.

blue peacock -> David Habakkuk , 10 hours ago

"Those who get involved with fraudsters, without being knowledgeable and/or wordly-wise enough to see through them, are inherently prone to end up as fraudsters themselves."

Yes, indeed!

The US security agencies with tens of billions of dollars in budgets could not prevent the Chinese from stealing the personnel information of all federal government employees. They did not disrupt a bunch of Saudi citizens who were learning to fly with no interest in takeoff and landings from flying commercial jets into the WTC. But...they had their hands full with renditions and torture all round the world.

What we observe however, is that they're mired in all sorts of domestic political intrigue including spinning and manipulating media narratives along with their close associates in the media. As the IG report on Hillary email investigation notes, many were willing recipients of graft from these media personalities.

There is a common refrain that yes, there may be some bad apples at the top but they were doing their best considering the circumstances and they have served for decades safeguarding the nations security. And don't ever impugn the character of the "rank and file". They are straight as arrows, honorable people of integrity.

Is it possible for the rank & file to work with integrity in a command climate of "fraud"? What compromises does one make to climb the ladder of such a bureaucracy?

[Jul 26, 2018] Taking a New Look at the Unverified Steele Dossier by Publius Tacitus

Notable quotes:
"... Marc Elias, a lawyer representing the Clinton campaign and the DNC, retained Fusion GPS, a Washington, D.C., firm, to conduct the research. Fusion GPS hired dossier author Christopher Steele, a former British intelligence officer with ties to the FBI and the U.S. intelligence community. ..."
"... The Clinton campaign and the DNC, through the law firm, continued to fund Fusion GPS' research through the end of October 2016, days before Election Day. ..."
"... well developed conspiracy of cooperation ..."
Jul 26, 2018 | turcopolier.typepad.com

The revelations following the release last Saturday of the FISA application, requires an update to a piece I wrote last December on the so-called Steele Dossier. I am going to focus on those reports that were generated by Christopher Steele prior to the submission of the first FISA application. The key thing you should be asking is whether or not the information was verified. (I would encourage you to read Andy McCarthy's outstanding review of this matter .) The FBI had a duty and an obligation to only use VERIFIED information in the application. The FBI failed to do so.

There now is no doubt that FBI and DOJ officials collaborated with the Intelligence Community, which was led by Jim Clapper at the time, in misleading members of Congress and feeding the media about alleged collusion between Donald Trump's campaign and the Russians. With the publication of the FISA applications, we now know for certain that the FISA judges were informed that a significant source of the evidence claiming that Carter Page was a Russian agent came from information gathered by a former British intelligence officer who had by hired by Hillary Clinton's campaign. How those judges could acquiesce to such blatant partisan bullshit is grist for another day.

There also is no dispute that the Clinton campaign, using intermediaries, hired a foreign intelligence operative to target Donald Trump. The Washington Post reported in October 2016 that:

Marc Elias, a lawyer representing the Clinton campaign and the DNC, retained Fusion GPS, a Washington, D.C., firm, to conduct the research. Fusion GPS hired dossier author Christopher Steele, a former British intelligence officer with ties to the FBI and the U.S. intelligence community.

Elias and his law firm, Seattle-based Perkins Coie , retained the firm in April 2016 on behalf of the Clinton campaign and the DNC. Before that agreement, Fusion GPS' research into Trump was funded by a still unknown Republican client during the GOP primary.

The Clinton campaign and the DNC, through the law firm, continued to fund Fusion GPS' research through the end of October 2016, days before Election Day.

The partisan effort to take out Trump spilled over into the Department of Justice. Nellie Ohr, the wife of a senior DOJ official Bruce Ohr , had worked for the CIA and was working with Fusion GPS on Russian matters related to Trump at the same time as Steele. We learned from Peter Strzok in recent testimony before the House that Bruce Ohr gave the Steele dossier to the FBI. Which is very odd given the fact that Strzok swore under oath in the FISA warrant application that Steele gave the report to the FBI. Nothing was said of Ohr in that application.

The final report (which was passed to Senator John McCain) was commissioned by Daniel J. Jones , head of the Penn Quarter Group (PQG) and a former Democrat Senate staffer on the Intelligence Committee. (See footnotes on p. 113 of https://intelligence.house.gov/uploadedfiles/final_russia_investigation_report.pdf )

The dossier was created for one purpose--portray Donald Trump as a collaborator of the Russians and Vladimir Putin. I am sure you have heard some claim that the dossier has been validated as "true." That is a lie. You do not have to rely on my opinion. Instead, I am going to take you through the 17 reports chronologically, you can read for yourself and see the most egregious errors and disinformation with your own eyes.

Let's start with a broad overview. There are 17 reports that comprise the dossier. Report 2016/86 carries the date "26 July 2016." I believe that is a mistake. The author of the report should have written June instead of July. Report 2016/95 does not have a date, but was produced between 19 July and 30 July:

  • 2016/80--20 June 2016 -- US PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION: REPUBLICAN CANDIDATE DONALD TRUMP'S ACTIVITIES IN RUSSIA AND COMPROMISING RELATIONSHIP WITH THE KREMLIN
  • 2016/86--26 July 2015 (sic)-- RUSSIA/CYBER CRIME: A SYNOPSIS OF RUSSIAN STATE SPONSORED AND OTHER CYBER OFFENSIVE (CRIMINAL) OPERATIONS
  • 2016/94--19 July 2016 -- RUSSIA: SECRET KREMLIN MEETINGS ATTENDED BY TRUMP ADVISOR, CARTER PAGE IN MOSCOW
  • 2016/95--(UNDATED) -- RUSSIA/US PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION: FURTHER INDICATIONS OF EXTENSIVE CONSPIRACY BETWEEN TRUMP'S CAMPAIGN TEAM AND THE KREMLIN
  • 2016/97--30 July 2016 -- RUSSIA-US PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION: KREMLIN CONCERN THAT POLITICAL FALLOUT FROM DNC E-MAIL HACKING AFFAIR SPIRALLING OUT OF CONTROL
  • 2016/100--5 August 2016 -- RUSSIA/USA: GROWING BACKLASH IN KREMLIN TO DNC HACKING AND TRUMP SUPPORT OPERATIONS
  • 2016/101--10 August 2016 -- RUSSIA/US PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION: SENIOR KREMLIN FIGURE OUTLlNES EVOLVING RUSSIAN TACTICS IN PRO-TRUMP, ANTI-CLINTON OPERATION
  • 2016/102--10 August 2016 -- RUSSIA/US PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION: REACTION IN TRUMP CAMP TO RECENT NEGATIVE PUBLICITY ABOUT RUSSIAN INTERFERENCE AND LIKELY RESULTING TACTICS GOING FORWARD
  • 2016/105--22 AUGUST 2016 -- RUSSIA/UKRAINE: THE DEMISE OF TRUMP'S CAMPAIGN MANAGER PAUL MANAFORT
  • 2016/111--14 September 2016 -- RUSSIA/ US: KREMLIN FALLOUT FROM MEDIA EXPOSURE OF MOSCOW'S INTERFERENCE IN THE US PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN
  • 2016/112--14 September 2016 -- RUSSIA/US PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION: KREMLIN-ALPHA GROUP CO­OPERATION
  • 2016/113--14 September 2016 -- RUSSIA/US PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION- REPUBLICAN CANDIDATE TRUMP'S PRIOR ACTIVITIES IN ST PETERSBURG
  • 2016/130--12 October 2016 -- RUSSIA: KREMLIN ASSESSMENT OF TRUMP AND RUSSIAN INTERFERENCE IN US PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION
  • 2016/134--18 October 2016 -- RUSSIA/US PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION: FURTHER DETAILS OF KREMLIN LIAISON WITH TRUMP CAMPAIGN
  • 2016/135--19 October 2016-- RUSSIA/US PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION: THE IMPORTANT ROLE OF TRUMP LAWYER, COHEN IN CAMPAIGN'S SECRET LIAISON WITH THE KREMLIN
  • 2016/136--19 October 2016 --US/RUSSIA: FURTHER DETAILS OF SECRET DIALOGUE BETWEEN TRUMP CAMPAIGN TEAM, KREMLIN AND ASSOCIATED HACKERS IN PRAGUE
  • 2016/166--13 December 2016 -- US/RUSSIA: FURTHER DETAILS OF SECRET DIALOGUE BETWEEN TRUMP CAMPAIGN TEAM, KREMLIN AND ASSOCIATED HACKERS IN PRAGUE

Now for the details:

Let us start at the beginning. The first report is a deliberate blockbuster. It clearly was intended to provide the foundation for constructing the lie that Trump was under the control of Vladimir Putin. How could you read this report without being both shocked and alarmed?

2016/80--20 June 2016 -- US PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION: REPUBLICAN CANDIDATE DONALD TRUMP'S ACTIVITIES IN RUSSIA AND COMPROMISING RELATIONSHIP WITH THE KREMLIN

Source A a senior Russian Foreign Ministry figure,

Source B a former top level Russian intelligence officer still active inside the Kremlin,

Source C senior Russian financial official,

Source D a close associate of TRUMP who had organized and managed his recent trips to Moscow,

Source E (unknown),

Source F Female staffer at the Ritz,

Source "8" (sic),

Source G a senior Kremlin official

Summary

Russian regime has been cultivating, supporting and assisting TRUMP for at least 5 years. Aim, endorsed by PUTIN, has been to encourage splits and divisions in western alliance.

So far TRUMP has declined various sweetener real estate business deals offered him in Russia in order to further the Kremlin's cultivation of him. However he and his inner circle have accepted a regular flow of intelligence from the Kremlin, including on his Democratic and other political rivals

Former top Russian intelligence officer claims FSB has compromised TRUMP through his activities in Moscow sufficiently to be able to blackmail him. According to several knowledgeable sources, his conduct in Moscow has included perverted sexual acts which have been arranged/monitored by the FSB

A dossier of compromising material on Hillary CLINTON has been collated by the Russian Intelligence Services over many years and mainly comprises bugged conversations she had on various visits to Russia and intercepted phone calls rather than any embarrassing conduct. The dossier is controlled by Kremlin spokesman, PESKOV, directly on PUTIN's orders. However it has not as yet been distributed abroad, including to TRUMP. Russian intentions for its deployment still unclear

I would like you to look at the substance of the report like an intel analyst would. You should start by asking key questions--does the information ring true? Do the sources have the access they claim? Next, you look for corroborating evidence. Are there other reports that have made similar claims? Finally, you subject

The first scent of bullshit comes from the assertion that Moscow had been cultivating and assisting Trump for five years. Unless a clandestine means of communication was established between Trump and the Russians, there should have been some open communication (i.e., emails or phone calls) that would provided corroborating evidence of such a courtship. Given Trump's proclivity to say almost anything that enters his brain, I find it difficult to believe that such a relationship could have been in place and he would have said nothing about it. I have yet to hear anyone describe Donald Trump as "tight lipped."

How about assistance? Are there any unexplained sources of income flowing into Trump's coffers since 2011? That would be easy for a law enforcement agency to investigate and for an intelligence organization to corroborate.

We also are being asked to believe that the Russians were so prescient that they knew that Trump would be the Republican candidate for President years before he decided to run. Do the Russians really have that kind of predictive ability (or ability to manipulate the future)? If so, they should have foresaw the break up of the Soviet Union? But they did not.

Another curiosity--multiple sources in this report claim the Kremlin was giving Trump and his team "valuable intelligence" on his opponents for SEVERAL YEARS. How can you pass intel on opponents that do not yet exist? That is the kind of question a serious analyst should ask when confronted with these audacious claims.

Then we have the compromising material claim. Multiple sources insist Donald Trump is a sexual pervert who got his jollies from "golden showers" with hookers at a non-Trump hotel. This first report also introduces the claim that there is compromising video of Donald Trump with hookers and urine. But nothing juicy on Hillary. Just tapes of her conversations (probably discussing weddings and yoga).

How is the ostensible Russian plan to blackmail Trump working out for Putin (assuming it exists)? Instead of forcing Trump to drop sanctions he is adding to them. Instead of ending U.S. military exercises along Russia's border, he is pressing on. Those facts strongly suggest that the Russians are either the most inept blackmailers in the world or that no such material exists.

The second report provided by Steele breaks no new ground. It simply feeds the meme of Russian hacking:

2016/86--26 July 2015 (sic) -- RUSSIA/CYBER CRIME: A SYNOPSIS OF RUSSIAN STATE SPONSORED AND OTHER CYBER OFFENSIVE (CRIMINAL) OPERATIONS

Source A former senior intelligence officer,

Source B a Russian IT specialist with direct knowledge

Russia has extensive programme of state-sponsored offensive cyber operations . External targets include foreign governments and big corporations, especially banks. FSB leads on cyber within Russian apparatus. Limited success in attacking top foreign targets like G7 governments, security services and !Fis but much more on second tier ones through IT back doors, using corporate and other visitors to Russia

FSB often uses coercion and blackmail to recruit most capable cyber operatives in Russia into its state-sponsored programmes. Problems however for Russian authorities themselves in countering local hackers and cyber criminals, operating outside state control.

This report could have been written by Captain Obvious and titled, No Shit Analysis. It provides no information not already in the public record. But it does conveniently shows up about a month after Wikileaks unleashed leaked/hacked emails from the DNC. Hillary and her team were quick to blame the Russians (claiming the FBI told them so). Odd. The FBI did not have access to the computers or servers of the DNC. Yet, somehow, they were able to conduct a quickie investigation and conclude that it was Russia.

The third report is the most important of the 17 because it provides alleged intel directly linking a Trump advisor to Russian intelligence operations:

2016/94--19 July 2016 -- RUSSIA: SECRET KREMLIN MEETINGS ATTENDED BY TRUMP ADVISOR, CARTER PAGE IN MOSCOW

(1) A Russian source close to Rosneft President Igor SECHIN,

(2) An official close to Presidential Administration Head S. IVANOV

TRUMP advisor Carter PAGE holds secret meetings in Moscow with SECHIN and senior Kremlin Internal Affairs official, DIVYEKIN

SECHIN raises issues of future bilateral US-Russia energy co-operation and associated lifting of western sanctions against Russia over Ukraine. PAGE non-committal in response

DIVEYKIN discusses release of Russian dossier of 'kompromat' on TRUMP's opponent, Hillary CLINTON, but also hints at Kremlin possession of such material on TRUMP

The bullshit alarms should have been blaring at full volume with this report because Carter Page is described as a "Foreign Affairs Advisor" to Trump. If you are an FBI agent your very first action, upon getting this kind of report, is to verify Page's status with the Trump campaign. Just basic fact checking would have revealed that Carter Page had never met with Donald Trump and was not someone regularly asked for advice that was passed on to the Presidential candidate. He was not someone who had Donald Trump's phone number and never had any personal conversations with the candidate.

This report is a classic example of creating the illusion of guilt by declaring relationships that are unverified. A classic case of disinformation in a covert action campaign in my view.

The fourth report in the dossier tries to put a stake in the heart of the Trump campaign and "prove" that Trump and Putin are doing everything but exchanging bodily fluids. The report is undated but, given the report number, i.e. 2016/95, it was delivered between 19 and 30 July 2016. To someone not accustomed to reading intelligence, the alleged facts in this are alarming:

2016/95--(UNDATED) -- RUSSIA/US PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION: FURTHER INDICATIONS OF EXTENSIVE CONSPIRACY BETWEEN TRUMP'S CAMPAIGN TEAM AND THE KREMLIN

Source E an ethnic Russian close associate of Republican US presidential candidate Donald TRUMP

  • Further evidence of extensive conspiracy between TRUMP's campaign team and Kremlin, sanctioned at highest levels and involving Russian diplomatic staff based in the US
  • TRUMP associate admits Kremlin behind recent appearance of DNC e­ mails on WikiLeaks, as means of maintaining plausible deniability
  • Agreed exchange of information established in both directions . TRUMP's team using moles within DNC and hackers in the US as well as outside in Russia. PUTIN motivated by fear and hatred of Hillary CLINTON.
  • Russians receiving intel from TRUMP's team on Russian oligarchs and their families in US.
  • Mechanism for transmitting this intelligence involves "pension" disbursements to Russian emigres living in US as cover, using consular officials in New York, DC and Miami
  • Suggestion from source close to TRUMP and MANAFORT that Republican campaign team happy to have Russia as media bogeyman to mask more extensive corrupt business ties to China and other emerging countries.

The report kicks off by claiming that Paul Manafort was coordinating a " well developed conspiracy of cooperation " with the Russians (no indication who on the Russian side) and was using Carter Page as his gofer. It was known within the Trump campaign that Carter Page's main contact was the chubby, jovial Sam Clovis. Sam Clovis was not a buddy of Paul Manafort and there was no evidence of any prior contact or relationship between Manafort and Page. How in the world does someone like Manafort run a Russian conspiracy by relying on someone he does not know? The absurdity of this claim would have crinkled the nose of a competent FBI agent.

The report then insists that the DNC hack and dump to Wikileaks was a Russian operation carried out with the full knowledge of the Trump campaign:

In return the TRUMP team had agreed to sideline Russian intervention in Ukraine as a campaign issue and to raise US/NATO defense commitments in the Baltics and Eastern Europe to deflect attention away from Ukraine, a priority for PUTIN who needed to cauterise the subject.

Manafort only started as an advisor at the end of March 2016. He did not become Campaign Chairman until 19 May 2016. Yet, magically, he is able to suddenly start conspiring with the Russians on behalf of Trump. It does not require a big leap in logic to believe that linking Manafort to the DNC leaks was a deliberate ploy to suggest that Manafort became the Chair of Trump's campaign at the direction of his Russian handlers.

This report also introduces the Trump's policy views on the Ukraine as the principal motive driving Russia's alleged manipulation of the campaign:

[the] TRUMP team had agreed to sideline Russian intervention in Ukraine as a campaign issue and to raise US/NATO defense commitments in the Baltics and Eastern Europe to deflect attention away from Ukraine, a priority for PUTIN who needed to cauterise the subject.

In case you forgot, Josh Rogin of the Washington Post published a piece on 18 July 2016 accusing the Trump campaign of trying to sell out traditional Republican policy on the Ukraine :

The Trump campaign worked behind the scenes last week to make sure the new Republican platform won't call for giving weapons to Ukraine to fight Russian and rebel forces, contradicting the view of almost all Republican foreign policy leaders in Washington.

Throughout the campaign, Trump has been dismissive of calls for supporting the Ukraine government as it fights an ongoing Russian-led intervention. Trump's campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, worked as a lobbyist for the Russian-backed former Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych for more than a decade.

I do not believe in coincidence. And it is no coincidence that Steele's late July report comes right on the heels of the Rogin article and is designed to paint Trump as carrying out the foreign policy of Vladimir Putin. If you plant multiple stories on the same topic you can disingenuously claim that you are reporting a fact based on multiple sources when you are the one who created the "fact."

The final curiosity in this report is the backhanded acknowledgement that Trump was never corrupted financially by the Russians. The explanation? He was too busy banging Russian hookers. If you are a competent law enforcement or intelligence officer and you have an informant feeding you this kind of salacious material you would demand some sort of corroborating evidence. None provided in the Steele dossier.

The fifth report tries to paint the picture of the Russians acting like a cad who has awoken in bed after a night of debauchery with a naked, ugly girl:

2016/97--30 July 2016 -- RUSSIA-US PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION: KREMLIN CONCERN THAT POLITICAL FALLOUT FROM DNC E-MAIL HACKING AFFAIR SPIRALLING OUT OF CONTROL

SOURCE: (1) A Russian emigre figure close to the Republican US presidential candidate Donald TRUMP's campaign team,

Kremlin concerned that political fallout from DNC e-mail hacking operation is spiralling out of control. Extreme nervousness among TRUMP's associates as result of negative media attention/accusations

Russians meanwhile keen to cool situation and maintain 'plausible deniability' of existing /ongoing pro-TRUMP and anti-CLINTON operations. Therefore unlikely to be any ratcheting up offensive plays in immediate future

Source close to TRUMP campaign however confirms regular exchange with Kremlin has existed for at least 8 years, including intelligence fed back to Russia on oligarchs' activities in US

Russians apparently have promised not to use 'kompromat' they hold on TRUMP as leverage, given high levels of voluntary co-operation forthcoming from his team

This report is provided at the end of July and introduces the new alleged fact that Trump has been working for Russian intelligence since 2008. What??!! How and why would the Russians recruit Trump in 2008? Ostensibly because he was in close contact with Russian oligarchs who had fled Russia and was now willing to rat them out. Dropping this nuclear bomb of a fact in the middle of this report should have provoked some intense questioning by the FBI agents when they got their hands on the dossier.

We know, thanks to the classified material leaked by Edward Snowden, that the U.S. intelligence community has/had in its archives phone calls and emails from U.S. citizens. This would include Donald Trump. If this report was true then it would have been pretty easy to corroborate contacts between the Russians and the Trump people starting in 2008. The failure to find any corroborating evidence of such a relationship with the Russians is prima facia evidence that this dossier is a total fraud.

It is important to understand that the material in the Steele dossier was being provided to the Clinton campaign. Glen Simpson was not sitting on this information. The Clinton campaign received it. Understanding this point let's take a quick look at the press coverage towards the end of July to see if any of the themes identified by Steele were surfacing in the public.

Here is a sampling of articles from major media outlets:

Is Trump a Russian Stooge? (Foreign Policy 25 July 2016)

Donald Trump Calls on Russia to Find Hillary Clinton's Missing Emails (NY Times 27 July 2016)

Trump invites Russia to meddle in the U.S. presidential race with Clinton's emails (Washington Post 27 July 2016)

Donald Trump's Many, Many, Many, Many Ties to Russia (Time 2 August 2016)

When all of the major media is pushing the same story line one must realize, especially if you are a super sleuth like Peter Strzok or James Comey, that political ax grinding is going on in a very prominent way.

The sixth report claims that the Russians are having more morning after regrets. For a bunch of stone cold killers this report makes the Russian operatives appear like a group of nervous old ladies.

2016/100--5 August 2016 -- RUSSIA/USA: GROWING BACKLASH IN KREMLIN TO DNC HACKING AND TRUMP SUPPORT OPERATIONS

SOURCE : (1) Two well-placed and established Kremlin sources,

(2) a second source, close to premier Dmitriy MEDVEDEV

Head of PA IVANOV laments Russian intervention in US presidential election and black PR against CLINTON and the DNC. Vows not to supply intelligence to Kremlin PR operatives again. Advocates now sitting tight and denying everything

Presidential spokesman PESKOV the main protagonist in Kremlin campaign to aid TRUMP and damage CLINTON . He is now scared and fears being made scapegoat by leadership for backlash in US. Problem compounded by his botched intervention in recent Turkish crisis

Premier MEDVEDEV's office furious over DNC hacking and associated anti-Russian publicity. Want good relations with US and ability to travel there. Refusing to support or help cover up after PESKOV

Talk now in Kremlin of TRUMP withdrawing from presidential race altogether, but this still largely wishful thinking by more liberal elements in Moscow

We now enter bat-shit crazy territory. This report claims that the mastermind of the hacking of the DNC is none other the Vladimir Putin's press spokesman, Dimitri Peskov. What? Put yourself in the position of the FBI people who are reading this crap for the first time. You want to believe that these are reliable sources. But you are now confronted with the claim that Vladimir Putin's version of Sarah Huckabee Sanders was the one who cooked up and executed the hack of the DNC. Who within the U.S. intel community would vouch for such an insane claim? I doubt there are many who would sign on to such absurdity. But Peter Strzok and Jim Comey did. They affirmed to the judge that Steele was providing verified information.

The seventh report is a mess of contradictory "facts" and bizarre claims. For example, the Russians were going to focus on spreading "rumors and misinformation" about the DNC emails. How does one spread rumors and misinformation about actual documents that are posted on line and can be read by anyone with an internet connection?

2016/101--10 August 2016 -- RUSSIA/US PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION: SENIOR KREMLIN FIGURE OUTLlNES EVOLVING RUSSIAN TACTICS IN PRO-TRUMP, ANTI-CLINTON OPERATION

SOURCES: (1) An official close to Presidential Administration Head S. IVANOV,

(2) a Kremlin official involved in US relations

Head of PA, IVANOV assesses Kremlin intervention in US presidential election and outlines leadership thinking on operational way forward

No new leaks envisaged, as too politically risky, but rather further exploitation of (WikiLeaks) material already disseminated to exacerbate divisions

Educated US youth to be targeted as protest (against CLINTON) and swing vote in attempt to turn them over to TRUMP

Russian leadership, including PUTIN, celebrating perceived success to date in splitting US hawks and elite

Kremlin engaging with several high profile US players, including STEIN, PAGE and (former DIA Director Michael Flynn), and funding their recent visits to Moscow

This report comes off like the scribblings of a failed Hollywood script writer. Got to have a villain. Enter, stage right, Boris the Russian. And how do Russians force feeble, weak-minded foreigners to heel? Kompromat, i.e., you black mail them. The Russian's had three goals in their operation:

asking sympathetic US actors how Moscow could help them; gathering relevant intelligence; and creating and disseminating compromising information ('kompromat').

This had involved the Kremlin supporting various US political figures, including funding indirectly their recent visits to Moscow. S/he named a delegation from Lyndon LAROUCHE; presidential candidate Jill STEIN of the Green Party; TRUMP foreign policy adviser Carter PAGE; and former DIA Director Michael Flynn, in this regard and as successful in terms of perceived outcomes.

Do you remember all of the compromising information that was disseminated by against Stein, Page and Flynn? Neither do I. But it must be true because it was written in a report provided by a former British intelligence officer.

Report number eight claims to have all sorts of insider information on the Trump campaign. But there is no direct Russian connection. Nope, just an "insider" who was an ethnic Russian.

2016/102--10 August 2016 -- RUSSIA/US PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION: REACTION IN TRUMP CAMP TO RECENT NEGATIVE PUBLICITY ABOUT RUSSIAN INTERFERENCE AND LIKELY RESULTING TACTICS GOING FORWARD

SOURCES: an ethnic Russian associate of Republican US presidential candidate Donald TRUMP

TRUMP campaign insider reports recent DNC e-maiI leaks were aimed at switching SANDERS (protest) voters away from CLINTON and over to TRUMP

Admits Republican campaign underestimated resulting negative reaction from US liberals, elite and media and forced to change course as result

Need now to turn tables on CLINTON'S use of PUTIN as bogeyman in election, although some resentment at Russian president's perceived attempt to undermine USG and system over and above swinging presidential election

I do not know if Christopher Steele was shooting for highbrow humor, but his decision to present the following as a juicy piece of intel is guffaw worthy. The ethnic Russian buddy of Trump's:

assessed that the problem was that the TRUMP campaign had underestimated the strength of the negative reaction from liberals and especially the conservative elite to Russian interference. This was forcing a rethink and a likely change of tactics. The main objective in the short term was to check Democratic candidate Hillary CLINTON's successful exploitation of the PUTIN as bogeyman/Russian interference story to tarnish TRUMP and bolster her own (patriotic) credentials.

What person who was even vaguely following the 2016 Presidential campaign would want to claim that Trump underestimated the negative reaction from liberals and the conservatives establishment? What campaign was this alleged source watching? Trump was being besieged in the press, as noted above, as a tool or stooge of Russia.

The ninth report directly contradicts the fourth report in the Steele dossier. One of these sources reporting to Steele was a liar and/or fabricator. Remember that the report--2016/95--identified Paul Manafort as the mastermind/coordinator in chief with the Russians of project Make Trump Putin's Puppet. That was then. Now, less than a month later, Manafort is out and the Russians are worried about his historical ties to former Ukrainian President Yanukovych (who was ousted in a non-violent coup in February 2014). If the Russians really were running a broad conspiracy with the cooperation of Trump and the knowledge of Paul Manafort one would think that Putin and company would be worried about many other things than how much ill gotten gain Manafort may have stuffed into foreign banks.

2016/105--22 AUGUST 201 6-- RUSSIA/UKRAINE: THE DEMISE OF TRUMP'S CAMPAIGN MANAGER PAUL MANAFORT

SOURCES : (1) a well-placed Russian figure,

(2) an American political figure associated with Donald TRUMP

Ex-Ukrainian President YANUKOVYCH confides directly to PUTIN that he authorised kick-back payments to MANAFORT, as alleged in western media. Assures Russian President however there is no documentary evidence/trail

PUTIN and Russian leadership remain worried however and sceptical that YANUKOVYCH has fully covered the traces of these payments to TRUMP's former campaign manager

Close associate of TRUMP explains reasoning behind MANAFORT's recent resignation. Ukraine revelations played part but others wanted MANAFORT out for various reasons, especially LEWANDOWSKI who remains influential

The closing paragraph of this so-called intel report is pathetic in both its content and contradiction. It was not the Ukraine revelations that forced Manafort out. Nope. Corey Lewandowski did not like him and Corey was a big buddy of Trump. But wait. I thought Trump had been in the pocket of the Russians for at least five years or eight years and that Manafort, per Steele's report, was the manager of a "well-developed conspiracy of cooperation" between Putin and Trump. This kind of astonishing contradiction demands an explanation. Report nine actually undermines the collusion claim.

The tenth report in the Steele dossier is a real head scratcher and should have given Peter Strzok and James Comey pause in considering the sources reliable and informed. It starts with the claim that Vladimir Putin was really worried about the negative fallout from recent news reports that Russia was intervening in the election in favor of Donald Trump. Negative fallout? Let's look first at the salient points from this report:

2016/111--14 Septem