The wonderful thing about insurance is that you can cover just about anything, so long as you are prepared to pay the premium.
Model Heidi Klum insured her legs for $2.2 million, twice the amount of the insurance on fabled actress Betty Grable’s limbs. Lloyd’s of London once insured a 12-foot cigar. KISS bassist Gene Simmons’ tongue ($1 million), Pittsburgh Steeler Troy Polamalu’s hair ($1 million), Bruce Springsteen’s vocal cords ($6 million), even Rolling Stone Keith Richards’ middle finger ($1.6 million) — all insured.
But what about an election?
According to former British spy Christopher Steele, that was precisely the concern of the Clinton campaign when it paid him and research firm Fusion GPS to compile his controversial dossier on Donald Trump. Despite being widely declared the shoo-in for the White House, the Clinton campaign wanted insurance — and Steele and Fusion were there, as one insurer famously says, “like a good neighbor.”
Steele was recently called for a deposition in London in a defamation action filed by three Russian bankers for allegedly false claims in the dossier. Steele’s statements included some surprising admissions, particularly regarding the purpose of his contract with the U.S. law firm of Perkins Coie.
Throughout the campaign, and for many weeks after, the Clinton campaign denied any involvement in the creation of the dossier that was later used to secure a secret surveillance warrant against Trump associates during the Obama administration. Journalists later discovered that the Clinton campaign hid the payments to Fusion as a “legal fees” among the $5.6 million paid to the law firm. New York Times reporter Ken Vogel at the time said that Clinton lawyer Marc Elias had “vigorously” denied involvement in the anti-Trump dossier. When Vogel tried to report the story, he said, Elias “pushed back vigorously, saying ‘You (or your sources) are wrong.’” Times reporter Maggie Haberman likewise wrote: “Folks involved in funding this lied about it, and with sanctimony, for a year.” Even when Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta was questioned by Congress on the matter, he denied any contractual agreement with Fusion GPS. Sitting beside him was Elias, who helped devise contract.
Later, confronted with the evidence, Clinton and her campaign finally admitted that the dossier was a campaign-funded document that was pushed by Steele and others to the media.
In one of his answers to an interrogatory, Steele explained: “Fusion’s immediate client was law firm Perkins Coie. It engaged Fusion to obtain information necessary for Perkins Coie LLP to provide legal advice on the potential impact of Russian involvement on the legal validity of the outcome of the 2016 U.S. Presidential election. Based on that advice, parties such as the Democratic National Committee and HFACC Inc. (also known as ‘Hillary for America’) could consider steps they would be legally entitled to take to challenge the validity of the outcome of that election.”
Steele’s testimony suggests that the dossier was not just a political hit job but a type of insurance for a catastrophic political event.
The dossier ultimately found its way from a Fusion GPS employee, Nellie Ohr, to her husband, Justice Department official Bruce Ohr. From there, it became the basis of Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrants targeting figures like Trump campaign adviser Carter Page, signed off by the Obama administration with the involvement of later-fired FBI director James Comey and his deputy, Andrew McCabe. (Ohr was later demoted over his involvement.) Page was never charged with a crime while key players like Fusion GPS co-founder Glenn Simpson invoked the Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination to refuse to answer further questions from Congress.
Mueller should have issued a report a year ago that the investigation of Trump’s Russian collusion was over and NO evidence of ANY collusion between Russians and Trump or any of his associates has been found. Of course, they would continue to investigate every time Trump farted and where, looking for any possible assault charges, but if they have given up on collusion, they should state such.
If they had any credibility or integrity, they would also confirm that they have known from the beginning there never was any and no one actually thought there was.
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