Looks Like FBI or McCain May Have Paid for the 17th Report of the Steele Dossier by Publius Tacitus


Looks like the FBI is in big trouble thanks to John McCain. They may have paid Christopher Steele, either directly or through Fusion GPS, for the 16th report of the now infamous Steele Dossier. If you have not been paying attention, there were 17 reports in the Steele Dossier–the first is dated 20 June 2016 and the last is dated 13 December 2016. Only one problem. The Clinton campaign only paid for 16 of the 17 reports. Their contract with Fusion GPS ran until the end of October 2016:

Marc E. Elias, a lawyer representing the Clinton campaign and the DNC, retained Fusion GPS, a Washington firm, to conduct the research.

After that, Fusion GPS hired dossier author Christopher Steele, a former British intelligence officer with ties to the FBI and the U.S. intelligence community, according to those people, who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

Elias and his law firm, Perkins Coie, retained the company in April 2016 on behalf of the Clinton campaign and the DNC. Before that agreement, Fusion GPS’s research into Trump was funded by an unknown Republican client during the GOP primary.

The Clinton campaign and the DNC, through the law firm, continued to fund Fusion GPS’s research through the end of October 2016, days before Election Day.

Fusion GPS gave Steele’s reports and other research documents to Elias, the people familiar with the matter said. It is unclear how or how much of that information was shared with the campaign and the DNC and who in those organizations was aware of the roles of Fusion GPS and Steele. One person close to the matter said the campaign and the DNC were not informed by the law firm of Fusion GPS’s role.

Now enter John McCain. After Trump won the election, McCain got a hold of the 15 reports in the dossier:

1. 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. 
2. David Kramer and Christopher Steele met in Surrey on 28 November 2016, where Kramer was briefed on the contents of the memos.
3. 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.
But that was not the end. According to an affidavit submitted in the law suit filed in Britain we find this fascinating tidbit on page 3:
17. On behalf of Senator McCain, Mr. Kramer requested to be provided with any further intelligence gathered by the Defendants about alleged Russian interference in the U.S. Presidential election.
A new report was prepared by Christopher Steele and carries the date, 13 December 2016 (that was a Tuesday). According to the court filing that document, dated 13 December, was sent to Senator McCain via David Kramer sometime on or after the 13th of December. Now we know why the House Intelligence Committee is going to question Mr. Kramer under oath. Why would Christopher Steele prepare a new report for free? Was he paid? If so, by whom? 
We know from press reports that McCain took the reports to FBI Director James Comey:

“McCain was sufficiently disturbed by what he read to take it to FBI director James Comey himself personally, they had a five-minute meeting, very little was said, McCain turned it over to him and is now awaiting what the FBI’s response is to that information.”

Here's the problem for the FBI and John McCain. McCain, based on the first 15 reports was "alarmed." When did John McCain first meet with Jim Comey to discuss the dossier? Was it before McCain was given the 16th report?

Why is the 16th report important? Because it was that report that was used as principal justification for the FISA court application to spy on Donald Trump and his people. Let me remind you what was in that report:


SOURCES: Blacked out/Not Identified

TRUMP's representative COHEN accompanied to Prague in August/September 2016 by 3 colleagues for secret discussions with Kremlin representat ives and associated operators/hackers

Agenda included how to process deniable cash payments to operatives; contingency plans for covering up operations; and action in event of a CLINTON election victory

Some further details of Russian representatives/ operatives involved; Romanian hackers employed; and use of Bulgaria as bolt hole to "lie low»

Anti-CLINTON hackers and other operatives paid by both TRUMP team and Kremlin, but with ultimate loyalty to Head of PA, IVANOV and his successor/s

I think the House Intelligence Committee will discover that the 13 December memo was the foundation for their submission to the FISA court. At a minimum, Jim Comey is a moron. How could he accept  this information without asking about the sourcing and then use it as the justification for a FISA submission?

Here's another bombshell (ignored by the mainstream media) courtesy of Rowan Scarborough. The contents of the dossier were briefed on background to the media:

At the request of Fusion GPS, the investigative firm hired by Democrats to handle and pay Mr. Steele, the former spy said he briefed The New York Times, The Washington Post, Yahoo News, The New Yorker and CNN in person. He later briefed Mother Jones magazine via Skype.

Stay tuned. This will get ugly for Comey and McCain and any others involved with this act of sedition.

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37 Responses to Looks Like FBI or McCain May Have Paid for the 17th Report of the Steele Dossier by Publius Tacitus

  1. Huckleberry says:

    On McCain: This traitor’s overlords will claim that patriotism motivated his treason.

  2. Barbara Ann says:

    Thanks for the update PT. If Steele comes out of this with nothing more than a libel judgement against him, he should consider himself extremely fortunate. The Comey & McCain similarly so, if they avoid criminal charges.
    Interesting that the affidavit seems to clearly throw Steele under the bus by stating that he prepared the confidential December memorandum “on his own initiative” (section 19). I’m guessing MI6 and UK Govt. had some input there. The previous section also seems to attempt to head off allegations of Orbis being under paid employ for the last memo by rather laughably stating that the memo was prepared based only on “unsolicited intelligence” – what a wonderful phrase.
    Another oddity: Section 21b says Steele sent the memo to Kramer “by enciphered email” – to Fusion – despite making it clear in section 18 that Orbis’ assignment from Fusion was at an end.. Section 38 then seems to imply that the involvement of Fusion was necessary for security – i.e. that the chair of the Senate Armed Services Committee is apparently incapable of receiving encrypted email.
    Section 37 is astonishing too. In what way could a private UK intelligence firm be under a “duty” of any kind to a US Senator – unless he was indeed a client of Orbis. Does the UK usually handle highly sensitive matters of “national security” in this way?
    The affidavit just digs a bigger hole for all parties involved IMO.

  3. TV says:

    Like Investors Business Daily just said – it’s not a swamp, it’s an ocean of corruption, waste, thievery all designed to protect and enrich the incumbent establishment.
    And it’s all covered with a phony patina of patriotism and expertise.
    “WE know how to govern. You fools go back to that wasteland (outside the beltway).”

  4. Lefty says:

    Remember that we have not seen the entire dossier. Parts of it were classified. Presume we’ve seen all the particularly salacious bits.

  5. blue peacock says:

    …it’s an ocean of corruption, waste, thievery all designed to protect and enrich the incumbent establishment

    Thanks Publius Tacitus for keeping attention on this lawlessness by the FBI, DoJ and the IC!
    What I find interesting is how the NeverTrumpers believe this collusion by law enforcement & the IC to manipulate a presidential election in a partisan manner and when that failed, to attempt a coup against a legitimately elected POTUS, is all par for the course and perfectly acceptable because the actions were against Trump who they hate with a passion. What they don’t want to get, is if this type of behavior by law enforcement is given a pass now, it is a high probability, that the tables could be turned quite easily and their sorry “liberal” asses could be getting waterboarded and sodomized just for having their PC views.

  6. blue peacock says:

    A good example of how disinformation is peddled unless countered aggressively.
    As David Habakkuk has noted here at SST before, disinformation peddler extraordinaire Luke Harding who acts in his “journalistic” endeavors as a mouth-piece for disinformation and propaganda by the intelligence agencies was “debated” in a short form made for TV interview.

    …Luke Harding is a journalist for The Guardian where he has been writing prolifically in promotion of the Russiagate narrative, and is the author of New York Times bestseller Collusion: Secret Meetings, Dirty Money, and How Russia Helped Donald Trump Win…..The term Gish gallop, named after a Young Earth creationist who was notoriously fond of employing it, refers to a fallacious debate tactic in which a bunch of individually weak arguments are strung together in rapid-fire succession in order to create the illusion of a solid argument and overwhelm the opposition’s ability to refute them all in the time allotted. Throughout the discussion the Gish gallop appeared to be the only tool that Luke Harding brought to the table….

  7. blowback says:

    The Guardian was forced to admit that Luke Harding was a plagiarist for lifting articles written by the one and only Mark Ames for the Exile website. Mention this in a comment on The Guardian website, and your comment will be deleted because it’s against the rules. The same happens if you mention that The Guardian credited a news agency called Ahrar al-Sham as a source for a number of reports on the war in Syria.
    An Irish journalist, Danielle Ryan, has a piece up on RT that explains what happens in Moscow:

    But Ohr hasn’t lived in Russia for decades either — and she isn’t a spy or a journalist, as Smith notes. This presumably is why much of the ‘reporting’ in the dossier is based on rumor and hearsay; the kind of information that gets bandied around in Moscow’s expat circles where everyone is trying to one-up each other by claiming to have ‘insider’ knowledge.
    This phenomenon is actually key to understanding not just Russiagate, but Western reporting on Russia in general. It’s almost a kind of Cold War nostalgia. Journalists are lured by the prospect of appearing to be ‘in on’ the latest Kremlin intrigue or, even better, the appearance that they are so important that the Kremlin is out to get them; that they are truly living on the edge.
    It’s why journalists like Luke Harding and Anne Applebaum want their readers to believe they are part of James Bond-style events in Moscow, where KGB agents are breaking in their windows and stealing their purses. More than anything else, those dubious tales are about confirming their own relevance and making sure their readers know how ‘important’ they are: Look at me, I was brave enough to venture into the Russian abyss, please acknowledge my efforts with endless praise and adulation.


  8. rexl says:

    A funny observation, after hearing numerous times that before the research was funded by an “unknown Republican” really? At this level how does one stay anonymous exactly?

  9. VietnamVet says:

    Thanks. Today’s word is cabal. They are all interconnected. Party affiliation is only for identification. Law and morality are for the little people. As long as, Donald Trump is President; his tweets make this stink hard to hide. That is the allure of Mike Pence for the establishment. He would be assured the blackwater stays hidden.

  10. Augustin L says:

    In the meantime, between front goy and Sayanims no chance to make America great again… What comes of the host when the parasite is done ? http://www.businessinsider.com/us-israel-iran-secret-pact-2017-12

  11. Walrus says:

    After reading some of the dossier, one thing stands out as far as I am concerned. Each detailed allegation in each report contains an explanation, implied or explicit, of why corroboration from other sources is unavailable. There is no second sourcing, not once. To me, that makes it obvious that the documents are fake.

  12. I have watched the video posted above by “Blue Peacock” twice. This is the video of a Guardian journalist, Luke Harding, explaining why he believes Trump to be compromised by the Russians and why he believes the Russians interfered in the American Presidential election.
    As far as I could make out the interview consisted of proof by inference. It was proof based on a large number of statements such as:- the Russians are not good people; they are known to do this sort of thing and Trump is the sort of person they do it to; the Russians interfere in elections so they interfered in the American elections; if we spoke to Russians or to intelligence experts that Mr Harding has spoken to we would ourselves be convinced that this was the case.
    But if for the sake of argument we agree with all Mr Harding’s statements including the last we are still left with no direct proof of Mr Harding’s thesis emerging from the interview. Such proof by inference could as well have been used in the interview to prove that any American was compromised by the Russians, or that the Russians interfered in any election.
    It was a fairly long interview and Mr Harding was given ample opportunity to put any facts he wished forward. Were there any facts at all put forward that directly proved Mr Harding’s thesis, or was this interview indeed all proof by inference?

  13. Meanwhile, evidence has popped up suggesting that it was indeed infosec firm CrowdStrike that planted malware on the DNC servers to prop up its “determination” that Russia hacked the DNC. It appears that several pieces of malware have compile times that are AFTER CrowdStrike was called in and installed their whiz-bang Falcon software which was supposed to keep out hackers and malware. Some DNC emails alleged to be hacked were taken AFTER CrowdStrike was called in.
    How CrowdStrike placed malware in DNC “hacked” servers
    This piece is based mostly on this one:
    Fancy Frauds, Bogus Bears & Malware Mimicry?!
    The article also references Thomas Rid’s assertion that German Intelligence fingered Russia for the hack of the German Parliament. I posted this comment at The Duran:
    One additional point: Thomas Rid and most of the mainstream media keeps saying that German intelligence fingered Russia for the German Parliament attacks. While this is partly true, German intelligence in fact never said directly that APT 29 or “Fancy Bear” WAS DEFINITELY Russian state sponsored. They said they ASSUMED Russia was conducting hacks on Germany.
    See here:
    Digital Attack on German Parliament: Investigative Report on the Hack of the Left Party Infrastructure in Bundestag
    Jeffrey Carr made this point early on in his Medium article:
    Can Facts Slow The DNC Breach Runaway Train?
    Thomas Rid wrote:
    One of the strongest pieces of evidence linking GRU to the DNC hack is the equivalent of identical fingerprints found in two burglarized buildings:a reused command-and-control address — 176.31.112[.]10 — that was hard coded in a piece of malware found both in the German parliament as well as on the DNC’s servers. Russian military intelligence was identified by the German domestic security agency BfV as the actor responsible for the Bundestag breach. The infrastructure behind the fake MIS Department domain was also linked to the Berlin intrusion through at least one other element, a shared SSL certificate.
    This paragraph sounds quite damning if you take it at face value, but if you invest a little time into checking the source material, its carefully constructed narrative falls apart.
    Problem #1:
    The IP address 176.31.112[.]10 used in the Bundestag breach as a Command and Control server has never been connected to the Russian intelligence services. In fact, Claudio Guarnieri, a highly regarded security researcher, whose technical analysis was referenced by Rid, stated that “no evidence allows to tie the attacks to governments of any particular country.”
    Problem #2: The Command & Control server ( was using an outdated version of OpenSSL vulnerable to Heartbleed attacks. Heartbleed allows attackers to exfiltrate data including private keys, usernames, passwords and other sensitive information.
    The existence of a known security vulnerability that’s trivial to exploit opens the door to the possibility that the systems in question were used by one rogue group, and then infiltrated by a second rogue group, making the attribution process even more complicated. At the very least, the C2 server should be considered a compromised indicator.
    Problem #3: The BfV published a newsletter in January 2016 which assumes that the GRU and FSB are responsible because of technical indicators, not because of any classified finding; to wit: “Many of these attack campaigns have each other on technical similarities, such as malicious software families, and infrastructure — these are important indicators of the same authorship. It is assumed that both the Russian domestic intelligence service FSB and the military foreign intelligence service GRU run cyber operations.”
    Professor Rid’s argument depended heavily on conveying hard attribution by the BfV even though the President of the BfV didn’t disguise the fact that their attribution was based on an assumption and not hard evidence.
    End Quote

  14. Ingolf Eide says:

    “Why is the 16th report important? Because it was that report that was used as principal justification for the FISA court application to spy on Donald Trump and his people.”
    I’m puzzled (or perhaps just confused). Weren’t the FISA applications made in summer and autumn of 2016? If so, how could the 16th report (dated December 13, 2016) have been used in support of any of them?

  15. plantman says:

    Great report. Thank you.
    You say, ” Jim Comey is a moron. How could he accept this information without asking about the sourcing and then use it as the justification for a FISA submission.”
    I disagree. Comey knew the report was bogus from the beginning. Keep in mind, he had already read the other reports (urinating prostitutes etc) But the report created plausible deniability for what he planned to do , that is, seek FISA warrants to spy on Trumps lieutenants.
    In other words, if he got caught, he could point to the report and say it sounded credible.
    Brennan is in the same boat.
    Remember, Brennan prepped Obama on the Russia threat way back when. He merely narrowed his focus when the dossier appeared.
    Read some of Brennan’s testimony where he very deliberately says, “I have seen intelligence that confirms this or that, instead of saying , “our people have discovered intelligence that such and such” In other words, he is carefully avoiding saying that the CIA generated the intel, rather he saw the Intel that came from a different source (Chris Steele)

  16. There may have been earlier FISA request, but the critical one was made in December is my understanding

  17. Ingolf Eide says:

    I haven’t followed this closely but as far as I can tell one FISA warrant was granted last summer (for Carter Page) and another, somewhat broader one on October 15, 2016.
    Very happy to be corrected if you (or anyone) has all the details.

  18. What is your source? The reality is that no one in the public arena has seen the actual FISA warrant. Other reports indicate the first couple of FISA requests were denied.

  19. Ingolf Eide says:

    Wikipedia. Somewhat surprisingly, to me at least, it was the best summary I could find.
    It too suggests the first few applications failed. Their tentative conclusions, for what they’re worth, are based on reports from the BBC, Washington Post and a website called Heat Street.
    I don’t know how accurate these conclusions are but they do broadly fit with my (sketchy) recollection. Let’s hope someone out there in SST land has a clearer picture.

  20. Jack says:

    Several inter-related matters need to be exposed.
    One is the FISA warrant. It would be useful to know the contents of the applications. It is unusual that the law enforcement and intelligence agencies believed that a foreign power was acting in concert with a national political campaign to steal an election, and moved the FISA court to grant it surveillance rights over the national campaign. What did these agencies know and how did they decide to obtain warrants? Why did Clapper and Brennan go on national media to publicly claim our democracy was at threat? How did they come to this judgment?
    Then there is the matter of the machinations at the highest levels of the FBI. Who participated in the meeting in McCabe’s office where an “insurance policy” was discussed? What was this policy and who managed its execution? Who were on the investigative team on Clinton’s mishandled of classified information? What are the contents of the reports? What conclusions did they arrive at? How? Who edited the final public communication? What edits did they make? Why? Were any payments made to Christopher Steele and Glenn Simpson? Who were involved in the interactions among the FBI and these individuals? What were they? Were there any discussions between Comey and Lynch on the Clinton investigation and the Trump campaign?
    Another matter is the creation of the Trump Dossier. Who paid whom and who wrote what? What was corroborated by the FBI and the IC? What role did Bruce and Nellie Ohr play in this? What is the document trail at Fusion GPS? What role did Christopher Steele play? Who in British intelligence knew about his partisan involvement in a presidential campaign? What did they know?
    There is also the decision by Obama to expel Russian diplomats and close some of their facilities ostensibly in retaliation for their intervention in the election. How did he arrive at that decision?
    A key thread is to know what is the evidence that caused the Obama administration to claim with near certainty that there was an attack by Russia to manipulate the US election? This is important because there is now a strong suspicion that the threat was hyped up on largely fabricated intelligence allegations in order for certain elements in the administration to interfere as a partisan in the election?
    The scale of deceit in these matters is what makes this different? Is there rule of law? The issue of sovereignty is at stake.

  21. LondonBob says:

    From what I have read they were spying from earlier but the first FISA targetting Trump in October with another done, the critical one as you say, in December. It has been reported that a FISA for Carter Page was done in the summer but given how peripheral he was some might be discounting that as from being particularly newsworthy (or even perhaps that it was justified).
    Either this guy knows what he is talking about, or he does a very good impression of someone who does. Explains why Adm Rogers is still there anyway.
    Anyway anonymous internet sources are all we have to go on.

  22. Virginia Slim says:

    Let’s see here:
    – Steele travels to Rome to brief FBI on initial findings
    – Steele briefs press
    – Steele associate (and former UK Ambassador to RU) dangles Dossier to McCain just after the 2016 election
    – Brennan briefs Harry Reid (and others in Congress) on Dossier
    – etc.
    Maybe I’m a simpleton, but this certainly looks like a plan to saturate multiple channels with disinformation. What’s interesting is that the initial attempt to plant the information with FBI appears to have failed (i.e. it did not impact the election, as apparently planned). Thereafter, the urgency to put the (dis)information into as many hands as possible seems to have increased as the focus shifted to hobbling Trump the POTUS (rather than Trump the candidate).
    The lingering question is: whence did this plan originate? In Washington? In London? In Moscow?

  23. Walrus,
    You should read the Steele reports as raw intelligence information and not as finished analytical products. Any corroboration or refutation will have to come from other sources. Some of the Steele information has proved correct over the last year. Here’s a take on that angle.

  24. blowback says:

    Various news sources are now reporting that the FBI investigation was opened in July 2016 following the Australian High Commisioner reporting comments made to him in a wine bar by George Popadopoulos:

    During a night of heavy drinking at an upscale London bar in May 2016, George Papadopoulos, a young foreign policy adviser to the Trump campaign, made a startling revelation to Australia’s top diplomat in Britain: Russia had political dirt on Hillary Clinton.
    About three weeks earlier, Mr. Papadopoulos had been told that Moscow had thousands of emails that would embarrass Mrs. Clinton, apparently stolen in an effort to try to damage her campaign.
    Exactly how much Mr. Papadopoulos said that night at the Kensington Wine Rooms with the Australian, Alexander Downer, is unclear. But two months later, when leaked Democratic emails began appearing online, Australian officials passed the information about Mr. Papadopoulos to their American counterparts [what an unusual idea! –ed.], according to four current and former American and foreign officials with direct knowledge of the Australians’ role.
    The hacking and the revelation that a member of the Trump campaign may have had inside information about it were driving factors that led the F.B.I. to open an investigation in July 2016 into Russia’s attempts to disrupt the election and whether any of President Trump’s associates conspired.

    What puzzles me is why would the Russians tell anyone they had collected this material because of the damage that their involvement being made public would cause? Unlike the Steele dossier where Steele wanted to be paid for his work, the Russians would not be looking for payment so all the Russians would need to do, if they actually had them, was to anonymously pass the documents to whoever could make best use of them.

  25. jjc says:

    This NY Times story appears rather sketchy, dependent on the usual anonymous sources and specifically determining that this new information blunts the importance of the Steele dossier to the FBI investigation:
    “The information that Mr. Papadopoulos gave to the Australians answers one of the lingering mysteries of the past year: What so alarmed American officials to provoke the F.B.I. to open a counterintelligence investigation into the Trump campaign months before the presidential election?
    It was not, as Mr. Trump and other politicians have alleged, a dossier compiled by a former British spy hired by a rival campaign. Instead, it was firsthand information from one of America’s closest intelligence allies.”
    Why was this Australian connection, deemed the lynchpin to all that followed, never mentioned or even hinted at by FBI officials to the Senate Intelligence committee at the recent hearings? Big media – NY Times, Washington Post, CNN, etc – doubled down on insisting the Russian hack / collusion was certified fact after information of the FBI’s handling of the Steele dossier became public. That the Times is now running an anonymously sourced story designed to blunt a serious challenge to the integrity of their pet narrative suggests a bit of panic. Notably, no one beyond the anonymous sources could speak to, let alone confirm, this information.

  26. I’ve allowed your misguided post to remain up in order to correctly inform the other readers of SST that you are grasping at straws and that it is clear you have not taken time to actually read the so-called dossier. You are wrong in your claim that “some of the Steele info has proved correct.” Bullshit.
    None of the substantive info alleging collusion and cooperation between Trump and the Russians has proved correct. To the contrary. There are egregious errors throughout.
    You compound your obvious bias by citing as a source of refutation the dreck published by John Sipher. Hell, Sipher can’t get even basic facts right. For example, he writes, “Let me illustrate what the reports contain by unpacking the first and most notorious of the seventeen Orbis reports, and then move to some of the other ones. ”
    What is truly sad is that you are relying on the credibility of someone like Christopher Steele. Habbakuk has provided extensive information detailing how unreliable Steele actually is in various erudite comments at SST. But we don’t have to take his word for it. Just read the court documents from the case filed against Buzzfeed in Miami and the case in London. Steele is disavowing the reports as unverified.

  27. marku52 says:

    What I don’t get is that no one in the Clinton camp has ever disavowed any of the “leaked emails” that somehow cheated her out of the election. None of what has been leaked has been disputed as false or invented.
    So the “Russians” allegedly interfered with our election by releasing true information, that if our news media was worth anything, we would have known anyway?
    If it had all been made up, I could see the outrage. But it was all true, so far as we know. We owe the leakers a debt of journalistic gratitude, as far as I can see.

  28. mariner says:

    Hi Walrus. Like you I give little weight to the Steele dossier, but for different reasons.
    Intelligence is information others don’t want us to know. It’s not journalism. Multisourcing in humint is always extremely difficult, and multisourcing from truly independent sources even more so. To expect multisourcing from a single field agent is a task too far and careers have been destroyed by those with no field experience pushing agents outside the comfort zone of their network. A large agency can task other agents, better still multisource with sigint from a partner agency. That’s the dream. Steele seems to have been a field agent working in the protected diplomatic stream with immunity. When his cover was blown his sources became useless and he is probably friendless. There are many of that type infesting agencies as so much deadwood. He can take nothing of value with him and he goes into private enterprise with no useful network in Russia. That is the real reason he cannot multisource nor be expected to.

  29. Greco says:

    I think we should take stock of two more considerations:
    1) What if Hillary had won? Hillary seemed intent on destroying the “vast right-wing conspiracy” that nearly ruined her husband. In my estimation, this narrative would have served as fodder for her to then go after her political enemies or at least goad them into submission. Simultaneously, it would have allowed her to paint the Wikileaks revelations, as well as claims that her foundation was a pay-for-play scheme/slush fund, as Russian propaganda.
    2) Much of this Russian collusion narrative is reminiscent of the Birther narrative in that both narratives not only put into question the legitimacy of the elected President, but also threatened to reverse any efforts the President undertook once he would have been theoretically removed for being “illegitimate.” Both narratives, perhaps by no coincide, have origins with Hillary Clinton’s camp.
    Everything about this narrative reeks of a plot against the President. Perhaps Trump brought upon himself to a certain extent for headlining the Birther movement, but it should be plainly evident that this Russian collusion narrative is simply that, a narrative bearing little to no witness to reality.

  30. blue peacock says:

    It seems others have ridiculed the NYT “expose” of Papadopoulos as the trigger for the FISA warrant.

    According to the New York Times, the FBI investigation into Russian collusion began after drunken Trump campaign volunteer, George Papadopoulos, reportedly told Australian diplomat Alexander Downer at a London bar in May, 2016 that “Russia had political dirt on Hillary Clinton.” When DNC emails began to leak, Australia apparently contacted US intelligence to report the drunken admission by Papadopoulos – igniting the Russia probe…..Unfortunately for the New York Times – much like CNN’s botched “Bombshell” report from a few weeks ago that Donald Trump Jr. was told about the WikiLeaks emails before their release, only to issue a major correction because Trump Jr. was told after they were made public (by a random person), this “startling revelation” ny the NYT that Papadopoulos spilled the beans about Russia having dirt on Clinton was already public information.
    Cue the NYT getting split like a cord of wood by the Conservative Treehouse’s TheLastRefuge, who dressed down the entire Papadopoulos narrative in a 21-tweet dissertation…

  31. A more appropriate name for Marcy is Empty Head. What nonsense!! Trying desperately to knit the silk purse out of pig testicles.

  32. DianaLC says:

    And for all of us people out here just trying to lead honest lives, it’s sad to know that the people who are in positions that make it possible for them to determine how they want things to be–whether or not we want them to be as they want them to be–all we can do is put our trust in God.
    That sounds like a platitude, but it ends up being the truth.
    I still am trying to get over the fact that I once had to choose between Obama and McCain when I voted for POTUS. Hmmmm…..Tweedle Dee or Tweedle Dum?
    I can now only hope and pray that there are intelligent, righteous people in Congress involved in all these investigations who will find the truth and set things on a better course for us all.

  33. blue peacock says:

    If Congress wants to get to the bottom of the Trump campaign collusion issues all they need to do is subpoena the FISA warrant applications and read the unredacted versions. That will inform as to what evidence the DOJ & FBI presented to the court and if any of the partisan Trump Dossier content was used and if they informed the court that the dossier was a partisan oppo research product. Additionally, they’d also know what role Page and/or Papadopoulos played in the warrant application. There is really no point in spending much time on the FBI investigation led by Strzok as that was all partisan and can be fully discounted.
    The heart of the matter is to learn the details about the conspiracy among the top echelons in the Obama administration to interfere in a partisan manner in a presidential election on the side of their candidate by using the powers of the state including law enforcement, counter-intelligence and information operations and when the electorate did not comply, to use these powers of the state to delegitimize a duly elected president.
    This is so much bigger than Watergate, the Pentagon Papers, etc. If the law enforcement and intelligence agencies get away with at best a slap on the wrist, then the next time their use of state powers to manipulate an election could include just stealing it outright. The tables could be turned and it just could be the right that does that and the left could only foam at the mouth.

  34. TonyL says:

    A simple assessment about the analysis, i.e. saying you think it is nonensensical, would suffice. No need for the name calling. Emptywheel is a respectable on-line journalist.

  35. You are entitled to your opinion. But you are delusional about her status as “a respectable on-line journalist.” I’ve known Marcy for over 12 years. Nice lady but has zero experience with matters of intelligence. She is an active reader. I stand by “Empty Head.”

  36. blue peacock says:

    I hope you will comment once the OIG report is out. It seems there are many balls in the air and some of them may land on the door-step of the FBI & the IC and even Hillary, which could of course further amplify TDS mania.

    While most of the MSM fixated last week on whether or not President Trump eats McDonald’s in bed while watching Gorilla TV, a flurry of investigative bombshells involving Hillary Clinton, the Clinton Foundation, and conduct by the FBI’s top brass during the 2016 election splashed across the headlines. As a quick review:
    The DOJ is “taking a fresh look” into the Hillary Clinton email ‘matter’
    The FBI has launched a new investigation into the Clinton Foundation the day after the Clinton’s Chappaqua property catches fire
    Former FBI Director James Comey’s full Clinton memo was released, revealing felony evidence of changes which “decriminalized” Hillary Clinton’s behavior. Oh, and every one of the memos he leaked to his Cornell professor buddy was classified, per a sworn statement by the FBI’s “chief FOIA officer” in a sworn declaration obtained by Judicial Watch.
    The House Intelligence Committee will be granted access to “all remaining investigative documents,” unredacted, along with all witnesses sought per a deal reached between Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and Nunes
    Opposition research firm Fusion GPS was forced to hand over banking records detailing various clients and their intermediary law firms, including the Clinton Campaign and a Russian money launderer whose lawyer was none other than Natalia Veselnitskaya of Trump Tower meeting fame
    Most of these wheels which appear to be in motion are the result of corresponding groundwork laid on Capitol Hill you may not be aware of, including what might be the most important document in the entire process, expected in a little over a week.
    On January 15, the DOJ’s internal watchdog – the Office of the Inspector General (OIG), is expected to present their findings to Congressional investigators regarding a wide variety of alleged bias and malfeasance by the FBI, the Clinton campaign, and the Obama Administration – both during and after the 2016 election. Moreover, the man heading up the OIG investigation, Michael Horowitz, fought the Obama Administration to regain investigative powers which were restricted by former Attorney General Eric Holder during the Fast and Furious scandal.

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