Maybe it was the brain tumor. Maybe that explains why John McCain decided to play a small part in an attempted coup against Donald Trump. Maybe the cancer in his head accounts for his bizarre actions in the aftermath of Donald Trump's election in November 2016. But John McCain was not acting alone. He was played a role in a bizarre charade that involved James Comey, Andrew McCabe, Peter Strzok, Bruce Ohr and Christopher Steele. The plan behind the coup is becoming more transparent with each passing day–the intelligence community and the FBI conspired to create the false meme that Donald Trump was a puppet of the Russians and that Vladimir Putin stole the election from Hillary Clinton.
My initial piece on McCain's collusion with foreign spies (13 July 2017) needs to be updated in light of what we have learned about Christopher Steele and his relationship with the FBI and the Department of Justice.
Let's review the new chronology of events.
From June 2016 thru 1 November 2016, Christopher Steele was under contract to Fusion GPS to prepare memoranda on "intelligence concerning Russian efforts to influence the US presidential election process and links between Russia and Donald Trump. Steele produced 16 reports during that time frame.
Christopher Steele was terminated as an FBI confidential informant on 1 November 2016. Here is what he was told at that "final" meeting (I've substituted Steele's name for the acronym, CHS to make your reading of this easier):
Christopher Steele confirmed to an outside third party that he has a confidential relationship with the FBI. Stele was used as a source for an online article. In the article, Steele revealed his relationship with the FBI as well as information that he obtained and provided to FBI. On November 1, 2016, Steele confirmed all of this to the handling agent. At that time, handling agent advised Steele that the nature of the relationship between the FBI and him would change completely and that it was unlikely that the FBI would continue a relationship with Steele. Additionally, handling agent advised that Steele was not to operate to obtain any intelligence whatsoever on behalf of the FBI.
After Donald Trump's election (November 8, 2016), Senator John McCain, accompanied by David Kramer (a longtime aide), met in London with Sir Andrew Wood, a business associate of Christopher Steele. Senator McCain was shown the 16 memoranda that had already been shared/given to the FBI and other members of the US media.
David Kramer subsequently met on 28 November in London with Christopher Steele as given copies of the 16 pre-election memoranda and asked by Steele to give these to Senator McCain. Kramer, acting on behalf of Senator McCain, asked Steele to provide the Senator with any additional intelligence about alleged Russian interference.
Christopher Steele prepared a final memo (it was dated 13 December) that made the following fantastic 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.
John McCain took all of this information and gave it to FBI Director James Comey sometime in late December 2016:
McCain recounts how he put the dossier in a safe in his office and called Comey’s office to request a meeting: “I went to see him at his earliest convenience, handed him the dossier, explained how it had come into my possession.
“I said I didn’t know what to make of it, and I trusted the FBI would examine it carefully and investigate its claims. With that, I thanked the director and left. The entire meeting had probably not lasted longer than ten minutes. I did what duty demanded I do,” McCain concludes.
I will try to be charitable towards John McCain at this point. Maybe the brain tumor was clouding his judgment. What is Comey's excuse? Does he have a brain tumor?
Comey apparently failed to inform Senator McCain that the FBI was already aware of 16 of the 17 reports and that the source of those reports had been terminated as a confidential informant. But then Comey then signed off on two more FISA warrants and included information from the 13 December report in those warrants. We now know that the information flow to Comey and the FBI was not coming via only John McCain. DOJ's number four guy, Bruce Ohr, also was forwarding information to the FBI.
In light of what we now know about the supposed firing of Christopher Steele and the persistent choice of the FBI to continue to use information from Steele, a proven liar, raises more questions about the integrity and competence of all FBI personnel involved in this sordid affair.
McCain's bizarre behavior can be excused as a by-product of a brain tumor. How do we explain the FBI?