Posted by Curt on 5 November, 2021 at 9:23 am. 3 comments already!


Twitter thread via Chuck Ross

I watched @benjaminwittes’s convo with @petestrzok regarding the Danchenko indictment. It was the joke I expected. Here’s a thread.

One semi-surprise up top was that Strzok said that he agreed that Danchenko’s lies merited criminal charges. But besides that admission, Strzok spends the rest of his analysis criticizing Durham and defending the FBI.
One thing Strzok and Wittes do is downplay the significance of the dossier to the FBI’s overall investigation of Trump-Russia. They acknowledge its role in the Carter Page FISA. They say the FBI chased down the leads, but didn’t really use the dossier that much.
That could be true (who knows), but it misses the point of what the dossier was. It was a PR tool. It was meant to smear Trump in the public eye through leaks to the media. Some of those leaks were that the feds were investigating allegations in the dossier.
Strzok cites the example of the allegations about Alfa Bank’s servers. He said that claim “went nowhere” inside the FBI. But it certainly went somewhere in the media. It was used as more evidence of Trump-Russia collusion.
How the media handled the dossier was much more important politically than how the FBI handled the dossier. Wittes and Strzok and most in the Resistance ignore the media component of this.

Strzok at one point says that the Steele dossier and collusion probe had nothing to do with Section 2 of the Mueller report, which focused on obstruction.
Well, what was Trump allegedly trying to obstruct?
The Resistance treats the two parts of the Mueller probe as if they’re unrelated, as if any of the alleged Trump obstruction had nothing to do with the collusion probe. The dossier played a big role in creating the (false) collusion narrative, which Trump wanted to “obstruct.”
A couple of other inaccuracies by Strzok and Wittes. Strzok suggests that the FBI would have still gotten the initial Page FISA without the dossier. But the IG report disputes that.
For one, FBI/DOJ lawyers denied FBI agent Stephen Somma’s request for a FISA in August 2016. That changed on Sept. 19, 2016, which is when Strzok’s team received Steele dossier. Almost immediately, Strzok’s team started writing up a FISA application, which heavily cited Steele
Wittes also downplays how seriously he took the dossier. He says that he saw the dossier before it was released because he was asked what he thought about it.
Wittes says: “I played no role in significant promotion of it, it’s never been something that I believed was all that significant.”
One thing he leaves out. He emailed James Comey in December 2016 *about the dossier*. It’s true that he did not tout it as gospel, but he shared it *with the head of the FBI*

Lastly, Strzok, as part of his effort to diminish Durham, says that Michael Flynn’s lies to the FBI were “100 times” more material than Danchenko’s lies.
That’s a judgement call, but the thing about the Flynn saga is that Strzok already knew what Flynn told Russia’s ambassador
And compare how the FBI approached the two interviews with Flynn and Danchenko, which happened to occur on the same day. Andy McCabe convinced Flynn to talk to Strzok without a lawyer.
In contrast, FBI entered a proffer agreement with Danchenko during the first round of interviews with him. FBI interviewed him months later (without proffer protection), and he continued to lie.


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