We have been fed an endless diet of Trump-Russia collusion by the media. It is based on the dossier compiled by one Christopher Steele. The more we learn about it, the more curious it becomes.
The dossier was the basis for the FBI to secure a warrant to spy on Carter Page. That in itself is very curious. Page has been on the FBI radar since at least 2014. Page is thought to have helped the FBI snare Russian spies in 2013 back then although he denies it. You’d think that the FBi would be able to determine if Page was a spy in all the time. I’ll have more to say about Page soon.
The Nunes memo made several key claims:
- The FBI used an unverified, allegedly biased document known as the “Steele dossier”to get a warrant in October 2016 to surveil Carter Page, a former Trump campaign adviser. The dossier, prepared by former British spy Christopher Steele, alleges the existence of a conspiracy between Donald Trump and the Russian government. The Steele dossier was partially financed by the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee (DNC).
- Senior FBI and Justice Department officials knew that the Steele dossier was indirectly funded by a lawyer for the Clinton campaign and the DNC, but didn’t disclose this in their application to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) court — a court that approves surveillance warrants pertaining to national security and foreign intelligence. They also didn’t disclose it when renewing their applications requesting additional time for surveillance.
- In September 2016, Steele spoke with Deputy Attorney General Bruce Ohr. Steele told Ohr that he “was desperate that Donald Trump not get elected and was passionate about him not being president.” Ohr’s wife worked for the research firm, Fusion GPS, that hired Steele on behalf of the DNC/Clinton lawyer.
- The head of the FBI’s Counterintelligence Division Bill Priestap apparently said corroboration of the Steele dossier was in its “infancy” at the time of the FISA application.
Additionally, the memo also noted:
“McCabe testified before the committee in December 2017 that no surveillance warrant would have been sought from the [FISA court] without the Steele dossier information”
Steele lied to the FBI
The narrative is laid out in the Nunes memo. It notes that at the time the FBI sought the Page warrant on Oct. 21 “the FBI had separately authorized payment to Steele” for the same information the bureau submitted to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act court for the warrant. Mr. Steele wrote his last election dossier memo on Oct. 19, apparently ending his $160,000 in payments from Fusion GPS, the investigative firm that had hired him to produce the dossier.
The Nunes memo later states, “Steele was suspended and then terminated as an FBI source for what the FBI defines as the most serious of violations — an unauthorized disclosure to the media of his relationship with the FBI in an October 30, 2016 Mother Jones article by David Corn.”
The FBI called him a “less than reliable source.”
For your amusement- read this
Donald Trump dossier: intelligence sources vouch for author’s credibility
But that was back in January 2017. Things change.
Steele admitted that his dossier was “unverified.”
Then there’s the circular sourcing:
Third, the FISA warrant application cited as corroborating evidence an article in Yahoo News written by Michael Isikoff that was published on Sept. 23, 2016 and focused on a trip to Moscow made by Page in July 2016.
But that Yahoo News article couldn’t really be considered “corroboration” of the dossier compiled by Steele, as it was revealed that Steele himself had provided the information upon which this article was based to Isikoff. This tactic is known as circular sourcing, or making a single source of information appear as though it is coming from multiple independent sources.
So now “multiple sources” are dwindling. Now on to the second dossier, written by Clinton hack Cody Shearer.
Frightened out of his wits by Devin Nunes’ promise of the next memo exposing the corruption of the DOJ, Jonathan Winer, a DOJ official under John Kerry, came out as the person passing on propaganda against Donald Trump prior to the election:
Around that same time, Winer happened to speak with “old friend” and long-time Clinton operative Sidney Blumenthal, whom he met 30 years ago. He and Blumenthal “discussed Steele’s reports” — an admission that Blumenthal, a close Clinton friend, knew about the Steele dossier as early as September 2016 (even though Clinton herself denied knowing about it until January 2017).
Winer said during that meeting Blumenthal gave him notes from a “journalist” he “did not know,” Cody Shearer, that corroborated the salacious allegation in Steele’s dossier that Trump had hired prostitutes to urinate on a bed. “What struck me was how some of the material echoed Steele’s but appeared to involve different sources,” Winer wrote.
So first it went Steele -> Winer -> Nuland -> Kerry
Then it went Shearer -> Blumenthal -> Winer -> Steele
See how it works?
In his confessional Winer said something interesting:
That same month, Winer met Blumenthal, who provided him with notes on Trump and Russia compiled by another Clinton insider, Cody Shearer. “What struck me was how some of the material echoed Steele’s but appeared to involve different sources,” Winer writes in The Washington Post. He decided to show the notes to Steele, who told him the information could be used to corroborate his dossier. Steele walked away with a copy of the notes, which he provided to the FBI.
The same information from different sources? You mean like the first dossier and the circular sourcing?
The Guardian reports that the Shearer dossier “corroborates” the Steele dossier based on Shearer’s “independent sources.”
The FBI was unable to verify anything in the dossier other than Carter Page traveling to Russia.
One has to wonder- did it go Kerry -> obama? Nunes stated that both Kerry and Lynch were briefed.
Then we learn that Sen. Mark Warner (D) was engaged in back channel communications with a Russian agent to get dirt on Trump:
A lobbyist who served as a back channel between Christopher Steele and Virginia Democratic Sen. Mark Warner served as legal counsel to Russia’s foreign minister and lobbied on behalf of a Russian oligarch with ties to Paul Manafort.
Documents filed with the Department of Justice show that Adam Waldman of Endeavor Law Firm, served as counsel to Sergey Lavrov, Russia’s foreign minister, from 2010 until last year. He has also worked for Oleg Deripaska, a billionaire aluminum magnate with close ties to Putin, since 2009.
The connection between Waldman and Steele is somewhat surprising given the former British spy’s work on the dossier, which purports to expose a Kremlin conspiracy with the Trump campaign.
And he didn’t want to leave a paper trail.
John Solomon suggests that all the FBI sources will be tied to Clinton:
It’s likely that all four sources the FBI used to start spying on President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign have connections to Bill and Hillary Clinton, according to a top investigative journalist.
Cody Shearer and Sidney Blumenthal, both longtime political hit men for the couple, are tied to a “pipeline of Clinton-related information” that led into the Department of State, forming a second “dossier” of dirt on that was used to get spy warrants.
Another source of information to the FBI was Fusion GPS, which was being paid by a prominent Washington, D.C., law firm, using funds from Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign and the Democratic National Committee.
“When that is all put together … four out of four things the FBI used to start listening in on the Trump campaign comes back to the Clinton family,” said John Solomon, an award-winning investigative journalist and executive vice president of The Hill.
The FBI may be guilty of some politics in the so-called Trump-Russia collusion case, said former Utah Republican Rep. Jason Chaffetz, sitting in Friday night for host Laura Ingraham on Fox News’ “The Ingraham Angle.”
Sens. Grassley and Graham have sent a criminal referral for Christopher Steele to the DOJ. Steele lied to the FBI.
All of this makes me wonder- were there any Russians involved in any of this or was it all a fabrication of the Clinton campaign?