The Trump Dossier Timeline, A Democrat Disaster Looming by Publius Tacitus


When the entire episode about the creation of the Trump dossier (by former Brit spy, Christopher Steele) and its dissemination (by Steele and the Democrat hired contractor, FUSION GPS,) to the FBI and the press, is fully exposed, the American people will be confronted with the stark dilemma of how to deal with the fact that there was a failed domestic coup attempted by members of the U.S. intel and law enforcement community. The facts will show that the Director of National Intelligence, the Director of the CIA and the FBI conspired and meddled in the 2016 Presidential election. They lied to a Federal judge about the origins of the dossier and used those lies to get permission to spy on Trump and members of his campaign staff.

Here are the facts as we know them now. (Please note, these facts are sourced and are not my opinion).

  1. Fusion GPS approached Perkins Coie (a Seattle based law firm) and sought an engagement to continue research it had started on Donald Trump. Perkins Coie retained Fusion GPS on behalf of the Hillary Clinton campaign and the DNC in April 2016. ( 
  2. The Hillary Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee funded the research that resulted in a now-famous dossier containing allegations about President Trump’s connections to Russia and possible coordination between his campaign and the Kremlin. (,
  3. Christopher Steele (Orbis Business Intelligence Ltd) was hired by Fusion GPS in May or June of 2016 (Glen Simpson testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee 0n 22 August 2017, p. 77)
  4. The first report of the Dossier was dated 20 June 2017 and made the following allegations:
    1. Russian regime had been cultivating, supporting and assisting TRUMP for at least 5 years.
    2. TRUMP declined various business deals offered him in Russia but accepted a regular flow of intelligence from the Kremlin, including on his Democratic and other political rivals.
    3. Russian intelligence officer claims FSB has material to blackmail TRUMP.
    4. The Russians had a dossier on Clinton but "nothing embarrassing."
  5. Christopher Steele tells Glen Simpson that he wants to take the info in the 20 June report to the FBI (this conversation occurred late June/early July  according to Glen Simpson testimony before Senate Judiciary Committee, p. 161, 165
  6. July 2016, Christopher Steele meets with FBI (name of contact unknown) and passes on content from the 20 June memo.
  7. Third report, dated 19 July 2016, claims that TRUMP advisor Carter PAGE held secret meetings in Moscow with SECHIN and senior Kremlin Internal Affairs official, DIVYEKIN. (See dossier).
    1. But U.S. officials have since received intelligence reports that during that same three-day trip, Page met with Igor Sechin, a longtime Putin associate and former Russian deputy prime minister who is now the executive chairman of Rosneft, Russian’s leading oil company, a well-placed Western intelligence source tells Yahoo News.
  8. 15 August 2016 FBI Agent Strzok’s text about the meeting in McCabe’s office is dated August 15, 2016. . . According to Agent Strzok, with Election Day less than three months away, Page, the bureau lawyer, weighed in on Trump’s bid: “There’s no way he gets elected.”
  9. According to David Corn, Christopher Steele was sending all of his subsequent reports to the FBI:
    1. The response to the information from the FBI, he recalled, was “shock and horror.” After a few weeks, the bureau asked him for information on his sources and their reliability and on how he had obtained his reports. He was also asked to continue to send copies of his subsequent reports to the bureau. These reports were not written, he noted, as finished work products; they were updates on what he was learning from his various sources.
  10. 27 August 2016. Senate and House leaders briefed by "intelligence community" on the contents of the Steele memos–A letter from Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, dated 27 August 2017 states:
    1. "I have recently become concerned that the threat of the Russian government tampering in our presidential election is more extensive than widely known and may include the intent to falsify official election results. The evidence of a direct connection between the Russian government and Donald Trump's presidential campaign continues to mount. . ."
    2. Michael Isikoff referenced those briefings: "The activities of Trump adviser Carter Page, who has extensive business interests in Russia, have been discussed with senior members of Congress during recent briefings about suspected efforts by Moscow to influence the presidential election, the sources said. After one of those briefings, Senate minority leader Harry Reid wrote FBI Director James Comey, citing reports of meetings between a Trump adviser (a reference to Page) and “high ranking sanctioned individuals” in Moscow over the summer as evidence of “significant and disturbing ties” between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin that needed to be investigated by the bureau."
  11. September 2016. FBI used the Steele memos as part of the basis for requesting a FISA warrant according to reports by the NY Times and the Washington Post:
    1. We do not know exactly when the FISA warrant was granted, but the New York Times and the Washington Post have reported, citing U.S. government sources, that this occurred in September 2016 (see here, here, and here).

      1. After Mr. Page, 45 — a Navy veteran and businessman who had lived in Moscow for three years — stepped down (26 September 2016) from the Trump campaign in September, the F.B.I. obtained a warrant from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court allowing the authorities to monitor his communications on the suspicion that he was a Russian agent.
      2. The Justice Department obtained a secret court-approved wiretap last summer on Carter Page, a foreign policy adviser to Donald J. Trump’s presidential campaign, based on evidence that he was operating as a Russian agent, a government official said Wednesday. The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court issued the warrant, the official said, after investigators determined that Mr. Page was no longer part of the Trump campaign, which began distancing itself from him in early August.

      3. The FBI and the Justice Department obtained the warrant targeting Carter Page’s communications after convincing a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court judge that there was probable cause to believe Page was acting as an agent of a foreign power, in this case Russia, according to the officials.
      4. Loretta Lynch, Attorney General under President Obama, approved the FISA application. (Note–federal law requires that the attorney general approve every application to the FISA court.)
  12. End of September–Steele revealed in a London court filing earlier this year that he was directed by Fusion GPS to brief reporters at outlets like The New York Times, The Washington Post, CNN, Yahoo! News and Mother Jones about his Trump findings.
  13. End of September–Steele informs Simpson (i.e. Fusion GPS) that the FBI wants to meet him in Rome. (Senate Judiciary Committee 0n 22 August 2017, p. 171)
  14. 8 November 2016, 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. 
  15. David Kramer and Christopher Steele met in Surrey on 28 November 2016, where Kramer was briefed on the contents of the memos.
  16. 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.
  17. 13 December 2016, Christopher Steele prepares, on his own, the 17th report in the dossier and sends it to Senator McCain via David Kramer.
  18. 6 January 2017–FBI Director Comey briefs Trump on the Steele dossier, which Comey describes as "salacious and UNVERIFIED.":
    1. The IC leadership thought it important, for a variety of reasons, to alert the incoming President to the existence of this material, even though it was salacious and unverified. Among those reasons were: (1) we knew the media was about to publicly report the material and we believed the IC should not keep knowledge of the material and its imminent release from the President-Elect; and (2) to the extent there was some effort to compromise an incoming President, we could blunt any such effort with a defensive briefing. (Comey's statement before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, 8 June 2017)

 One of the more interesting developments in the dossier case came as a result of depositions and testimony in the defamation case that Aleksej Gubarev filed against Christoper Steele in the United Kingdom last year. When pressed to defend the authenticity and accuracy of the dossier and the allegations against President Trump, Christopher Steele became a British version of Michael Jackson and moon-walked backwards. Andy McCarthy describes the situation beautifully:

Describing his reports in the Mother Jones interview, Steele asserted, “This was something of huge significance, way above party politics.” Things changed, though, when Steele was sued for libel after the dossier was published in early 2017. Suddenly, when he was in a forum where it was clear to him that making exaggerated or false claims could cost him dearly, he decided his allegations were not of such “huge significance” after all . . . .According to Steele’s courtroom version, the dossier is merely a compilation of bits of “raw intelligence” that were “unverified” and that he passed along because they “warranted further investigation” — i.e., not because he could vouch for their truthfulness.  (kudos to Rowan Scarborough who initially broke the story).

 There are some very interesting unanswered questions. Here are some that I believe are most relevant:

  1. Why does a former MI-6 officer reach out on his own to the FBI when the normal point of contact would be the CIA?
  2. Who did Steele contact at the FBI?
  3. Who at the FBI asked Steele to travel to Rome in October 2016? [Note–this request is quite odd given the fact that the FBI has a very large presence in London and, if the purpose was simply to inform the FBI about possible nefarious Russian activity, could have easily walked over to the US Embassy at Grosvenor Square rather than travel to Rome.]

The failure of the FBI and the CIA to disclose to members of Congress and the President that the information they briefed from the dossier had been paid for by the Clinton campaign is much more than gross negligence and incompetence. It is prima facie evidence of collusion and meddling in a U.S. domestic election. Only the culprits weren't the Russians. As Pogo once said, "we have met the enemy and he is us." 

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113 Responses to The Trump Dossier Timeline, A Democrat Disaster Looming by Publius Tacitus

  1. blue peacock says:

    Thanks for spurring my interest on this monumental deceit with your many posts.
    I knew nothing about FISA & mass surveillance other than our government was collecting all communications of every American, before you began posting on this topic. I’ve learned more since and it is revolting if one is a staunch believer in the Bill of Rights as what makes America different.
    IG Mike Horowitz was barred from investigating the DOJ National Security Division by the Obama administration. It required an act of Congress and Obama signed it after the election, to allow the IG the ability to investigate all of DOJ. The DOJ NSD and FBI CounterIntelligence had a big role to play in all this as all the FISA applications originated there. What we know about Peter Strzok & Lisa Page, Bruce & Nellie Ohr and the Clinton exoneration all came from the IG. In testimony to Congress, Rosenstein used the IG investigation to stall the production of documents and witness interviews. It seems the IG report will become available in a few weeks. That will hopefully shed more light.
    Considering that in our country the rule of law does not apply to high officials in government, I am not holding my breath that any of these miscreants will be held accountable or there will be any changes to the surveillance laws.

  2. DC says:

    Your analysis becomes less damning according to the degree that Steele’s raw intelligence may turn out to be an accurate reflection of facts. We also don’t know if, or how much, US intelligence was able to corroborate Steele’s raw intelligence with our own external sources. I’m willing to withhold convicting anyone until we get a full report of investigation concerning the dossier’s “findings”…

  3. M. Smyth says:

    So, is IG Michael Horowitz one of the honorable guys in this whole thing? You’d never guess judging by his bio. And his ties to the Democrats and Comey. I’ve lost all respect for the FBI. And the IC.

  4. You are either a troll, a non-native speaker/reader of English, or a moron. You either neglected to read the entire piece or you simply don’t understand what you’ve read. When James Comey testified in June of 2017 that the dossier was “SALACIOUS AND UNVERIFIED,” he made it very clear that Steele’s so-called “raw intelligence” had no value nor corroboration. If Comey had said, “WE HAVE VERIFIED KEY ELEMENTS OF THE DOSSIER BUT WILL HAVE TO DISCUSS THAT IN CLOSED SESSION,” then Trump would have been a dead man walking. That did not happen. There are no other “facts” to support this piece of sewage produced by Steele. Hell, even Steele disavowed the factual basis of what he provided.
    So I repeat, you are a troll, don’t know English, or just a full blown moron.

  5. Anna says:

    “… according to the degree that Steele’s raw intelligence may turn out to be an accurate reflection of facts.”
    Perhaps you need to re-read what Steele tells about the “raw intelligence” when the “intelligence” became a focus of litigation. Also, to what extend you believe in professionalism of the FBI brass? — how come that the DNC computers had not been investigated by the US national security services and instead were “studied” exclusively by the likes of Alperovitch, an openly Russophobic Ukrainian Jew.
    There are other damning aspects that came to light precisely because the national security agencies were put on a spot due to the sensational and unsupported statements like “all 17 intel agencies have agreed that Russia tried to influence the 2016 election to benefit Donald Trump…” The most damning is the Awan affair, the greatest breach in the US national cyber-security. A simple Q—where the CIA and FBI had been while the Awans were surfing the congressional computers containing highly classified information? Why we hear nothing about investigation of Debbie Wasserman-Shultz and about investigation of Seth Rich murder?
    Again, “Who did Steele contact at the FBI? Who at the FBI asked Steele to travel to Rome in October 2016?” If the national security agencies have been used for partisan ends, then the Russiagate story is about treason.

  6. blue peacock says:

    M. Smyth
    I think one has to start with the assumption that everyone at the highest levels of the federal government, especially the national security apparatus, is a swamp creature. They just don’t get there unless they are one. Weasels like Clapper, Brennan, Hayden. Of course that does not mean a person with honor & integrity doesn’t get up there. Just far and few between.
    I don’t have any basis to judge Michael Horowitz since I didn’t even know about him until a few weeks ago. What we know in this case is he has allowed us to learn about some of the activities of Peter Strozk & Lisa Page as well as Bruce & Nellie Ohr which has helped further understand Russiagate.
    It is extremely difficult to uncover malfeasance in government in the best of circumstances and it is practically impossible within the national security apparatus as they have the ever present shield of “state secrets”. In this context we have to be thankful for small gifts of transparency coming from inside like these disclosures by IG Horowitz as well as by whistleblowers like Snowden.

  7. blue peacock says:

    Both Christopher Wray and Rosenstein in separate testimony were unable to confirm that any of the contents in the Steele dossier was verified, with the exception of Carter Page’s visit to Russia.

  8. doug says:

    It’s becoming quite clear that Trump, as President, appeared to be such an appalling concept amongst some highly placed functionaries that “insurance” was needed to deal with the possibility. And these people had contacts with the media, which, by and large, were as appalled. Thus the current situation.
    Quite unfortunately, Trump’s unbounded hubris has played into this mess. Trump is very fortunate that his party is in control of the legislative branches. One thinks of Hercules and the Aegean stables.

  9. Newmarket says:

    Great compilation and analysis of the available facts. No need to publish the following, but I would suggest that your work is important enough to correct a couple of typos and provide a clarification which I will identify by paragraph number.
    1. Perkins Coie (a Seattle Law Firm)–you get the name right in #2.
    9. Put “Lisa” in front of “Page” in order to let the reader know you are referring to Lisa Page.
    19. Rowan Farrow, I think, not Rowan Scarborough.
    Keep posting and keep up the good work. Bob Randolph

  10. DC says:

    Well, thanks. And, we’ll see. I appreciate your analysis, however. Your assessment might turn out to be 100% accurate prediction of reality, but for now your conclusion is just that, conclusory.

  11. Cvillereader says:

    Are you sure the”insurance policy” referred to a way to destroy Trump if he were to be elected?
    What if FBI counterintelligence agents were involved in illegal surveillance activities that could possibly come to light if Trump were president? The dossier in fact was the insurance policy that they retroactively used to launder previous illegal searches that would have been covered up if Hillary had won.
    The primary purpose of the “insurance policy” was to protect FBI agents against accusations of malfeasance, which at present, appears to be an accurate description of their behavior.

  12. Stonevendor says:

    I check in with this site from time to time because I find coverage of the Middle East that I will not find elsewhere. It has always been informative. But it is curious to find this remarkable devotion to Trumpism. In my book you have to really be bad to make Shrub look better. When he left office I was convinced the Iraq fiasco, with the attendant waste of blood and treasure would go down as the worst debacle in the foreign policy of the republic and Bush would be consigned to the bottom of the presidency. But with Trump we get someone who makes Bush and Cheney look reasonable and prudent. Oh my. For those who are interested here is the Simpson (Fusion GPS) testimony from last week.
    Warning: It is long, over 300 pages.

  13. Reggie says:

    DC, It is quite simple:
    The ENTIRE SYSTEM of FISA-702 surveillance and data collection was weaponized against a political campaign. The DOJ and FBI used the FISA Court to gain access to Trump data, and simultaneously justify earlier FISA “queries” by their contractor, Fusion GPS. FISA-702 queries were used to gather information on the Trump campaign which later became FBI counterintelligence surveillance on the officials therein.

  14. blue peacock says:

    Here’s something that’s puzzling.
    The FBI directly or indirectly through Fusion GPS or another a subcontractor, began querying the NSA database around March 2016 as per the FISC ruling. That’s pretty early in the primary. I don’t think anyone at that point was thinking Trump was going to clinch the GOP nomination.
    Do you think they were doing this on other candidates too? Bernie? Were they already an arm of the Clinton campaign? Or just snooping on all or some of the candidates communications?

  15. Publius Tacitus,
    Here’s a stab at your relevant unanswered questions.
    “Why does a former MI-6 officer reach out on his own to the FBI when the normal point of contact would be the CIA?”
    “Who did Steele contact at the FBI?”
    “Who at the FBI asked Steele to travel to Rome in October 2016?”
    Steele’s CIA contacts were probably more of the bureaucratic liaison variety. Hardly memorable. However, he worked closely with the FBI Eurasian Joint Organized Crime Squad on several operations. He formed strong friendships doing these “heady things” as Steele describes . When he decided to bring his concerns to the FBI, he found one of these old FBI friends stationed in Rome. This FBI friend is who he reached out to. This FBI Special Agent seems to be identified in Steele’s Judicial Committee testimony, but the name and position is redacted. Someone in Comey’s Russian investigation team probably decided to continue this established relationship and venue for the October 2016 meeting. Perhaps it was Comey himself.

  16. Walrus says:

    DC you are entitled to your own opinion but you are not entitled to your own facts. Both the FBI and Steele in his court case have stated that there is no confirmation of anything in the reports. They are purely hearsay at absolute best and more likely a deliberate fabrication for political purposes in the opinion of far more knowledgeable people than you.
    To put that another way, the chances of your opinion being valid are judged as zero.

  17. Keep your eyes tightly closed. Your hatred of Trump blinds you to what is really going on. Deal with these two indisputable facts: 1) Comey, under oath, almost one year after the info became available, still said it was UNVERIFIABLE; 2) Steele, himself, also under oath, now disavows the importance of what he originally claimed was so essential.
    You should write a novel. You’re very good at spinning a tale without having a shred of evidence to go on.

  18. confusedponderer says:

    Yesterday I read in Die Zeit that in ‘Fire and Fury’ Michael Wolff has written that Whitehouse employees see it is their job to protect America from Trump. Text about an inverview with Wolff is in German but anyway:
    Der Autor Michael Wolff hat sich im Gespräch mit der ZEIT zu seinem Enthüllungsbuch Fire and Fury geäußert. “Ich denke, die meisten wollen einfach das Schlimmste verhindern”, beschreibt Wolff das Verhältnis von US-Präsident Donald Trump zu seinen engsten Mitarbeitern. “Sie sind da, um diesen Typen irgendwie auf einem engen, klaren Pfad zu halten. Die Mitarbeiter versuchen, Trump zu kontrollieren, obwohl sie wissen, dass sie ihn nicht kontrollieren können.” Sie seien “keine Menschen, die den Mann, für den sie arbeiten, bewundern. Seine Mitarbeiter sehen ihren Job mehr oder weniger darin, das Land vor ihm zu beschützen”, sagt Wolff.
    In seinem Bestseller Fire and Fury spricht Wolff dem amtierenden US-Präsidenten die geistigen Fähigkeiten zur Führung des Landes ab. Angesprochen auf die mentalen Probleme, die er bei Trump beobachtete, erklärt Wolff: “Wenn Sie mit einem Menschen sprechen, der sich immer und immer wieder wiederholt, dann ist das meiner Meinung nach alarmierend.” Auf die Frage, ob er glaube, der US-Präsident leide an Demenz, antwortet Wolff: “Das kann ich nicht sagen, ich bin kein Arzt.”
    The article says that the ‘white housers’ are there to keep the man on a narrow, straight path, and are trying to control Trump even though they know they cannot and that what they do is to try to protect the country of him.
    If true, that’s simply scaring and it speaks for itself.
    It is also speaking for itself that apparently Trump just made a deal with Norway and sold them magical “F-52” aircraft that only exist in the computer game „Call of Duty“. Ah well …
    … in the latest gaffe to befall the US President, Mr Trump managed to suggest the US was selling Norway a type of fighter aircraft that does not actually exist.
    The President claimed Norway had started receiving the first American-made “F-52s” . ​“In November, we started delivering the first F-52s and F-35 fighter jets,” he said.
    The F-52 is a fictional aircraft that features prominently in the successful Call of Duty video game series.
    The former real estate mogul was supposed to be speaking at the White House to announce Norway’s purchase of 52 F-35 jets from American aerospace firm Lockheed Martin.
    F35? Ah. But F52, B52 or B52 coctails … details, schmetails. Spaking of that ‘Cheers’ (with coffee, that is).

  19. blue peacock says:

    If you look at the FISC ruling that has been declassified but heavily redacted, you will notice the FBI provided a sub-contractor “unauthorized” access to the NSA database in March 2016. This access to the raw FISA data was discontinued on April 18, 2016.
    So, the snooping began much before Steele was hired by Fusion GPS. Sundance for example believes that the FBI provided this “unauthorized” access to its subcontractor Fusion GPS. This is how Fusion GPS was paid by the FBI.
    When the time line and interactions are put together it seems that it all begins at the FBI during March 2016, pretty early in the primary season, possibly with Fusion GPS as the subcontractor. Steele only comes on the scene, after the meeting of Mary Jacoby, Glen Simpson’s wife at the White House and Fusion is hired by the Clinton campaign.

  20. Peter AU says:

    Not being an academic, mathematician, nor pollster, I simply run an image search on both Clinton and Trump election rallies. These showed that Trump would win. Early in the campaign, there were several pics of large crowds at Clinton rallies, but from about six months out, the images all showed her speaking to fifty to hundred people, whereas Trump images always showed packed stadiums.
    The Dossier. A person as portrayed in the Steele would be corrupt/dishonest in most everyday business dealings. With the attacks against Trump, by intelligence and investigative agencies, any dishonesty, breaking the law in business dealings, would have been brought up. This tells me he has always operated within the letter of the law. Perhaps sharp and ruthless, but within the letter of the law.
    Trump’s ideology/culture is USA through and through. Russia has no ideology, and its own culture.
    There is no ideology nor religion involved, so why would a man like Trump that has always operated within the letter of the law be nefariously colluding with a foreign state?
    Needs to be a lot more digging like you are doing PT, as the saying goes “Without fear or favor”.

  21. blue peacock says:

    Here’s a timeline based on Sundance’s work to supplement PT’s timeline. I did this for my benefit so likely contain errors. Others here at SST can correct.
    – Before March 2016: a)Fusion GPS hired by Washington Free Beacon to do oppo research on Trump. I have read elsewhere that it was billionaire fund manager Paul Singer who paid for this, presume to provide GOP candidate he supported in the primary oppo research. b) FBI provides unauthorized FISA 702 access to a subcontractor who conducts numerous FISA 702(16)(17) searches on NSA database, which lead to FISA 702 violations. Speculation subcontractor is Fusion GPS. The subcontractor’s name is redacted in declassified FISC ruling.
    – March 9, 2016: DOJ oversight personnel learn that FBI has disclosed raw FISA information to a subcontractor that went well beyond what was necessary to respond to FBI’s request.
    – Early April 2016: Admiral Rogers learns of FISA 702 violations and orders compliance review at NSA.
    – April 18, 2016: Access to raw FISA information by subcontractor ended presume after FBI learns that Admiral Rogers is on to the FISA violations.
    – April 19, 2016: White House log shows Mary Jacoby, wife of Glenn Simpson of Fusion GPS visits White House.
    – Later in April 2016: Clinton campaign hires Fusion GPS to do oppo research on Trump. See PT’s timeline.
    – March/April 2016: Fusion GPS hires Nellie Ohr, who also works with CIA and is the the wife of DOJ Deputy Bruce Ohr.
    – May 2016: Fusion GPS hires Christopher Steele. See PT’s timeline. Presume that Steele receives whatever prior oppo research the Fusion GPS did which may include info obtained from FISA 702 searches (if Fusion GPS is the FBI subcontractor) and whatever stuff Nellie Ohr has written up until then.
    – May 23, 2016: Mary Jacoby applies for ham radio license. Presume to communicate with Steele without getting “collected” in NSA hoover.
    – June 2016 on: Steele dossier dissemination. See PT’s timeline for more detail.
    – August 2016: Peter Strzok’s “insurance policy” text message. See PT’s timeline.
    – October 2016: a) NSA compliance review completed and Admiral Rogers goes to FISC to report FISA 702 violations and ends FISA 702(17) searches. b) DOJ NSD prepares FISA application that in part includes content from Steele dossier. c) FISC grants warrant.
    – A week after election: a) Admiral Rogers goes to Trump Tower and spills the beans b) Next day Trump transition moves out of Trump Tower to Trump Golf Club in Bedminster.

  22. Publius Tacitus: “When James Comey testified in June of 2017 that the dossier was “SALACIOUS AND UNVERIFIED,” he made it very clear that Steele’s so-called “raw intelligence” had no value nor corroboration. If Comey had said, “WE HAVE VERIFIED KEY ELEMENTS OF THE DOSSIER BUT WILL HAVE TO DISCUSS THAT IN CLOSED SESSION,” then Trump would have been a dead man walking.”
    Then Trump is in big trouble. In the June 2017 transcript, Senator Burr questions first. After about a dozen questions:
    “BURR: In the public domain is this question of the “Steele dossier,” a document that has been around out in for over a year. I’m not sure when the FBI first took possession of it, but the media had it before you had it and we had it. At the time of your departure from the FBI, was the FBI able to confirm any criminal allegations contained in the Steele document?
    COMEY: Mr. Chairman, I don’t think that’s a question I can answer in an open setting because it goes into the details of the investigation.”

  23. Lars says:

    If you have to use that kind of rhetoric against even mild criticism, obviously something is not as solid as claimed. This, as so much else written, to justify Donald Trump is questionable and seems to largely be invented.
    Most people know very well what kind of man he is and you can try to change that perception, but it will take very solid evidence to do so and none is forthcoming.
    There are several investigations going on and hopefully at some point we will all know what has happened and who did what.
    But if you have to use language like that in response, your credibility is suspect.

  24. LeaNder says:

    Pilot44236 said,
    would you love to be summarizing Sundance’s relevant findings?
    Maybe I should be but I am not surprised he surfaces here so frequently lately as the ultimate go to source.

  25. Barbara Ann says:

    This post and PT’s previous ones on the same topic, concern what many here suspect to be an orchestrated attempt to remove the Constitutionally-elected head of state via extra Constitutional means. In other words a soft coup. Rather than “Trumpism”, I think the motivations for exploring this possibility here, by and large, come from feelings of patriotism. Particularly from those who swore to defend the Constitution (not the President) from enemies, both foreign and domestic.
    This said, if Trump actually does go to war with Iran (rather than just threaten it) I will agree with your comparison re Bush and the neocons of his era.

  26. Nice try Lee, but he still does not contradict his sworn testimony, i.e. UNVERIFIED. Not being able to discuss “details of the investigation” could have opened up questions about when the FBI first learned of the reports in the dossier. That would have raised even more uncomfortable questions about the FBIs conduct.

  27. “I check in with this site from time to time because I find coverage of the Middle East that I will not find elsewhere. It has always been informative. But it is curious to find this remarkable devotion to Trumpism.”
    Right on the first point. Wrong on the second. To my occasional regret the dream of 2016 had and has few all-in adherents here.
    The merits of what you term “Trumpism” are examined from time to time on the Colonel’s site. The question of whether the Rule of Law, or the observance of contitutional propriety, is being upheld is what is being examined here. That second issue is independent of the first. That is as it should be. If it were so that the FBI had played politics against Mrs Clinton that would be as disturbing as if they had played politics against Mr Trump.
    From my point of view – I’m English, as you might notice – the question of whether the UK Security Services helped play politics in a US presidential election is relevant whoever the target was. I like to think that our Security Services work as part of our defence forces, not as political hit men.

  28. Fred says:

    The Kremlin targeted “educated youth”? Which ones, the Bernie supporters who were going to be screwed by the rigged democratic primary? How did they do the targeting, by that $100K ad spend with Zuckerberg? Isn’t he then also guilty by association or is he still the good billionaire? Which other US citizens maintain ties to rich businessmen from Axerbaijan? Which law does that violate?

  29. Annem says:

    Two small points:
    When the MSM was all a-flutter with coverage of Simpson’s testimony in the Capitol, I heard none of the TV hosts mention that it was the Clinton folks who hired Fusion. If that is not the case, please let me know.
    In his testimony, Simpson supposedly said that Russia was just one country that research into Trump’s business contacts were conducted, the others being the likes of South East Asia and Latin America. We have heard nothing about the outcome of that research.

  30. Dr. Puck says:

    It will be most interesting to see Trump’s most devoted congressional supporters and ‘swamp beast fighters’ utilize the timeline and verified facts and (unknown-to-indy investigators) details in the ‘private’ source, to bring justice to bear on this extremely serious matter.
    Why hasn’t the DOJ appointed a special prosecutor; considering what PT and many others here and elsewhere are “piecing together?”
    If Trump wanted to do so, he could have all this factual stuff published on the WH web site; yes? If he did so the counter-narrative would be instantly annihilated, right?

  31. Terry says:

    I didn’t vote Trump but I was shocked by the obvious coup d’etat to overthrow Trump after the election. You see some of us support the rule of law, our constitution, and established process for political change. Just because someone is elected that is unpopular with the losing side doesn’t mean you throw away everything and become a willing banana Republic. While this was going on I predicted that if they had succeeded they would have over a million angry people in Washington and I would have been one of them
    What I find remarkable isn’t Trumpism – but rather the blind emotional partisanship that drives far too many people and how willing so many people are to commit treason and tear apart constitutional law just to “win”.

  32. Greco says:

    Good points.

  33. Greco says:

    Further to your points:
    – November 2016: Clapper recommended that Rogers be fired. This was soon after Rogers’ meeting with Trump.
    – March 2017: Trump tweeted that Trump Tower had it’s “wires tapped.”
    Sundance’s theory is very interesting. Given the circumstances and the timeline of events, it seems plausible to say the least that Rogers tipped off Trump.

  34. Anna says:

    “But it is curious to find this remarkable devotion to Trumpism.”
    —You mean that the facts about the malfeasance of the US national security apparatus have pro-Trump bias? Do you check a party affiliation of a medical doctor before taking your child for important surgery? What makes you so sure that this discussion is an apologia for POTUS? — This discussion is about the FBI/CIA brass — Hayden, Morell, Brennan, Clapper, and Mueller and their opportunistic stuffers – that is, about the sorry state of the national security apparatus used for partisan ends. Inform yourself about Awan affair, for a starter.
    “But with Trump we get someone who makes Bush and Cheney look reasonable and prudent.”
    — Your are a propagandist and not a subtle one. After the pink pussies parades that have revived the stories of Lolita Express (in relation to such glorious names as Epstein, Dershowitz, and Clinton), the “progressives” should have become more careful by using the words “reasonable and prudent.”

  35. raven says:

    Hahahah, that is hilarious.

  36. TimmyB says:

    Americans should be able to put their personal beliefs about Trump aside and realize that our country has a serious problem when one-sided opposition research containing little more than rumors is used as the basis for starting a FBI investigation on a presidential candidate during an election. This is especially true when, as we all know, the “news” of such an investigation would soon be leaked to the press.
    Personally, I have a very low opinion of Trump and his policies. However, this whole “Russiagate” thing, from what evidence I’ve seen, is complete bullshit. To see that such obvious bullshit was used to start an FBI spying operation and witch hunts by both the press and a special prosecutor against Trump is outrageous. It is also a crime under our laws. If it can happen to Trump, it can happen to anyone.
    One would think the great harm caused by allowing our government intelligence agencies to spy on political candidates and then leak both true and false information about those candidates to the press would be obvious. I hope the people who caused this outrage are prosecuted for the many crimes they committed.

  37. Flavius says:

    Very, very well done. Andy McCarthy’s and Publius Tacitus’s combined work in clearing the political and MSM smoke from around this Beltway debacle alone is more than is needed to predicate a full criminal investigation.
    In my opinion, another Special Counsel is neither needed nor desirable: a competent apolitical United States Attorney with a special Grand Jury and a couple of squads of FBI Agents brought in from some place like Chicago should be adequate to the job; or the American taxpayer has not been getting its money’s worth. A not inconsiderable side benefit would be that our system of justice and the FBI might start to reclaim some of their reputation that is lying in tatters.
    The only thing I would add is that I would integrate into the design of the case the multiple unmaskings and unfettered leaks. This case points directly towards the Obama White House and it is reasonable to suspect that it may include Obama himself.

  38. Publius Tacitus: “…he still does not contradict his sworn testimony, i.e. UNVERIFIED. Not being able to discuss “details of the investigation” could have opened up questions about when the FBI first learned of the reports in the dossier. That would have raised even more uncomfortable questions about the FBIs conduct.”
    Comey says he cannot discuss details of the investigation in “an open setting”. That MEANS it would have to be discussed in a closed-door session later.
    Also, you keep inferring that the whole dossier was unverified. But in the June 2017 transcript Comey NEVER says that the ENTIRE dossier is “salacious and unverified”.
    Senator Collins asks Comey about Comey’s Jan 6 meeting with Trump. Comey says 1. he told Trump about the dossier because the media told the FBI they were about to release it, and Comey didn’t want the President to be caught unawares by a document already possessed by the in FBI. And Comey says 2. he told the President he was not under investigation because he didn’t want the President to think the FBI had something hanging over him, J. Edgar Hoover-style.
    In context of Comey’s January meeting with Trump, the phrase “salacious and unverified” may only refer to the dossier material that mentions Trump. Because Comey had just told Burr in the same transcript that what was verified in the dossier would have to be discussed in closed door session. (Verified by the time of Comey’s firing, which was in May.)
    Here is the transcript of that answer to Collins:
    “COLLINS: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Mr. Comey, let me begin by thanking you for your voluntary compliance with our request to appear before this committee and assist us in this very important investigation. I want first to ask you about your conversations with the president, three conversations in which you told him that he was not under investigation. The first was during your January 6th meeting, according to your testimony, in which it appears that you actually volunteered that assurance. Is that correct?
    COMEY: That’s correct.
    COLLINS: Did you limit that statement to counterintelligence investigations, or were you talking about any FBI investigation?
    COMEY: I didn’t use the term counterintelligence. I was briefing him about salacious and unverified material. It was in a context of that that he had a strong and defensive reaction about that not being true. My reading of it was it was important for me to assure him we were not person investigating him. So the context then was actually narrower, focused on what I just talked to him about. It was very important because it was, first, true, and second, I was worried very much about being in kind of a J. Edgar Hoover-type situation. I didn’t want him thinking I was briefing him on this to sort of hang it over him in some way. I was briefing him on it because, because we had been told by the media it was about to launch. We didn’t want to be keeping that from him. He needed to know this was being said. I was very keen not to leave him with an impression that the bureau was trying to do something to him. So that’s the context in which I said, sir, we’re not personally investigating you.”

  39. In my view, the deep state……… CIA, FBI, NSA……. had the opportunity to prove
    their commitment to the welfare of the nation…… given they had the means and opportunity to sway the election.
    I’m speaking of Sanders……..
    There was enough dirt on HRC to blackmail her into giving the nomination to Sanders.
    There was enough dirt on DT to show him as the plaything of the Zionists/ Russians
    They had both the Post and Times in their pockets, not to mention Fox and CNN.
    Only Sanders had a domestic program which could put money into households and thus grow demand and the economy, and Sanders was/is a hawk.
    They didn’t. Their loyalty to HRC trumped the nation….
    The question left un asked……… WHY??? What did they have to gain from HRC that no one else offered?

  40. Given that the FBI made no serious effort to analyze the DNC servers after the alleged “hack” and, according to Seymour Hersh, are sitting on an FBI report that fingers murdered DNC staffer Seth Rich as the supplier of the DNC emails to Wikileaks, these two facts also support the conclusion that the FBI at the highest levels are in a criminal conspiracy to overthrow Trump.
    This should come as no surprise to anyone who is familiar with the FBI’s history of conducting illegal, criminal activities against various dissident groups in the US and covering up evidence of criminal activity by their own informants – including murder – and also covering up evidence of criminal activity by other law enforcement agencies such as the Bureau of Prisons.
    The FBI IS a criminal enterprise.

  41. Clueless Joe says:

    There’s one simple reason why any normal democracy-loving citizen should be very wary of the moves to undermine, oust or impeach Trump, just like he should’ve been wary of the moves to impeach Clinton or to claim Obama wasn’t American-born.
    If the Intelligence goons manage to land such a big hit that they can basically overthrow a (quite loathed by many) president, what’s to stop them from doing it again in the future? Any Dem should be terrified by what’s going on right now, because it should be obvious to them that the GOP would try to do the same to the next Democrat president.
    There’s a growing trend to contest under any pretense the results of legitimate democratic elections in the USA, and considering how things spiral out of control, one can’t totally rule out that the next election might end up in the kind of troubles we’ve seen in Ukraine, Georgia and other countries where vast parts of the people considered the elections illegitimate enough to overthrow with mass (and at times quite violent) protests the freshly-elected leader.

  42. MRW says:

    Could not agree with Publius Tacitus more so than what he put out. Bravo.

    Publius Tacitus said in reply to DC…

  43. And now we have this…
    Mueller adds DOJ cybercrime prosecutor to his team
    If any of Trump’s associates knew about and encouraged the hacking of Democrats’ emails and computer servers, they could be charged under the statute.
    In November, The Wall Street Journal reported that Mueller’s team was letting the original DOJ prosecutors retain the investigation of the actual cyber intrusions into the DNC and other targets.
    End Quote
    This is beyond ridiculous.
    The FBI never investigated the DNC servers because they decided to accept CrowdStrike’s analysis despite CrowdStrike being run by a Russian ex-pat who hates Russia and sees Russians under every bed. Now they want to try to accuse Trump associates of “hacking”? Seriously?
    Second, according to Seymour Hersh, the FBI is sitting on a report that explicitly fingers murdered DNC staffer Seth Rich as the source for the DNC emails received by Wikileaks.
    These two facts – along with the compromised FBI personnel involved in the Fusion GPS scandal – demonstrate that the FBI at the highest levels were involved in a criminal conspiracy to prevent Trump from winning the election.
    This establishes that the entire “Russiagate” investigation is nothing but more of the same. The real scandal is that the FBI, the CIA, and other intelligence agencies are involved in a “soft coup” against an elected President.

  44. Dude,
    You are desperate and blind. You are ignoring what Steele has now said under oath about his own work. In total contradiction to what he told David Corn in January 2017, Steele has reversed course and disavowed his work as based on solid, verified intelligence. The dossier is a piece of bullshit political propaganda bought and paid for by the Clinton campaign. You obviously are a Trump hater because you fail to see or concede the highly dubious nature of the impetus for this collection of, to quote Comey, SALACIOUS AND UNVERIFIED reports.

  45. Publius Tacitus: “In total contradiction to what he told David Corn”
    Corn’s article Oct. 2016 said that the dossier contained “allegations” that have not been confirmed nor denied.
    The Buzzfeed leak in Jan. 2017 later stated that the contents of the dossier were “unverified” and “unconfirmed”.
    Steele told the London court in the May 2017 filing that the dossier was “raw intelligence which had identified a range of allegations that warranted investigation given their potential national security implications”.
    Where are the contradictions?

  46. I can keep smacking you around all day. Here’s what Corn reported in January 2017 about his first conversations with Steele:
    The former spy said he soon decided the information he was receiving was “sufficiently serious” for him to forward it to contacts he had at the FBI. He did this, he said, without permission from the American firm that had hired him. “This was an extraordinary situation,” he remarked.
    The response to the information from the FBI, he recalled, was “shock and horror.” After a few weeks, the bureau asked him for information on his sources and their reliability and on how he had obtained his reports. He was also asked to continue to send copies of his subsequent reports to the bureau. These reports were not written, he noted, as finished work products; they were updates on what he was learning from his various sources. But he said, “My track record as a professional is second to no one.”
    When I spoke with the former spy, he appeared confident about his material—acknowledging these memos were works in progress—and genuinely concerned about the implications of the allegations. He came across as a serious and somber professional who was not eager to talk to a journalist or cause a public splash. He realized he was taking a risk, but he seemed duty bound to share information he deemed crucial. He noted that these allegations deserved a “substantial inquiry” within the FBI.
    Of course, if you had actually read carefully what I wrote you would have known this.

  47. bks says:

    Sorry. Our overlords don’t like the truth and have 86’ed my message. C’est la vie.

  48. Dr. Puck says:

    So, why isn’t this happening?

  49. I read that too. So now we have 5 or 6different places where Steele never said the dossier was presented to anyone as verified. Where is the contradiction?

  50. Chill out, PT. Those are your “relevant unanswered questions.” If my attempt to answer them upsets you, you shouldn’t ask them. This is an excerpt from the Simpson interview with the Judiciary Committee where he names Steele’s initial FBI contact. Too bad it’s redacted. At least the Judiciary Committee knows who it was.
    Q. And do you know who it is that Mr. Steele contacted and talked with at the FBI?
    A. I did not know at the time. I believe I know now, but I don’t have authoritative
    information on that. I didn’t — yeah. I didn’t know who it was in July.
    Q. And do you now know who that was?
    A. I think I know, but Chris never told me. I figured it out eventually based on other sources and other information, but that was not until December or November.
    Q. December of — November or December 2016?
    A. November, December 2016. It was after the election.
    Q. And what is your understanding from what you’ve been able to put together of who that would have been?
    A. My understanding of?
    Q. Of who Mr. Steele would have talked to at the FBI.
    A. I believe it was a [redacted], an official named [redacted]
    Steele offered more details of his first FBI contact in an interview with Howard Blum published on 30 March 2017.
    “In the end, Steele found the rationale that is every whistle-blower’s sustaining philosophy: the greater good trumps all other concerns. And so, even while he kept working his sources in the field and continued to shoot new memos to Simpson, he settled on a plan of covert action.
    The F.B.I.’s Eurasian Joint Organized Crime Squad—“Move Over, Mafia,” the bureau’s P.R. machine crowed after the unit had been created—was a particularly gung-ho team with whom Steele had done some heady things in the past. And in the course of their successful collaboration, the hard-driving F.B.I. agents and the former frontline spy evolved into a chummy mutual-admiration society
    It was only natural, then, that when he began mulling whom to turn to, Steele thought about his tough-minded friends on the Eurasian squad. And fortuitously, he discovered, as his scheme took on a solid operational commitment, that one of the agents was now assigned to the bureau office in Rome. By early August, a copy of his first two memos were shared with the F.B.I.’s man in Rome.”

  51. Jack says:

    Why hasn’t the DOJ appointed a second special counsel, even after many members if Congress have requested it? I suggest you look at Rosenstein’s response to that in Congressional testimony. You could ask a further question why has DOJ stalled production of documents and witness testimony to Congressional subpoena?
    Trump could just publish all this on the White House website? Are you serious? Have you already forgotten the shitstorm that ensued after he fired Comey? Imagine the hysterics of the media and the Democrats and all the Borgists in the GOP and DC in general if he published all the FBI, DOJ and CIA emails, let alone all those FISA searches.

  52. Richardstevenhack – This starts to remind me of MH17, where there was clearly masses of information available but little could be put forward or examined. I understand why but such restrictions mean that any public investigation becomes little more than shadow boxing. Better to have no investigation at all than to undertake one that is going to lack credibility.
    You point out – “The FBI never investigated the DNC servers because they decided to accept CrowdStrike’s analysis despite CrowdStrike being run by a Russian ex-pat who hates Russia and sees Russians under every bed.”
    Yes, it always looked odd. But on the question of how the DNC files were leaked doesn’t the NSA monitor communications if foreign countries might be involved?:-
    “3. What Defines the Intelligence Role of NSA/CSS?
    Executive Order 12333 (EO 12333) authorizes agencies of the Intelligence Community to obtain reliable intelligence information, consistent with applicable Federal law and EO 12333, with full consideration of the rights of U.S. persons. Pursuant to EO 12333, NSA is authorized to collect, process, analyze, produce, and disseminate Signals Intelligence information and data for foreign intelligence and counterintelligence purposes to support national and departmental missions,…”
    From –
    Add to that the shared information collection capability of GCHQ Cheltenham and either the NSA was asleep at the wheel or they have the material needed to put all such questions of foreign interference to bed.

  53. No, you are wrong. Steele started passing the memos to his FBI contact in July, for starters. The decision to go to Rome came about in the end of September, according to Simpson (you actually should take time to read the original material).
    Here are some more curiosities–if Steele actually shared the material he claimed in July 2016 with an FBI contact, that would have generated an internal FBI report. Where is that report? And then we have multiple sources reporting that the first application for a FISA warrant came in August 2016. That means the Attorney General and the FBI Director had been briefed on the memos. At a minimum, that should have triggered a full blown inter-agency intel gathering effort to validate the claims in the Steele memos. That never happened. How do I know? Spoke with an old friend who would have been right in the middle of such action. It never happened.

  54. Jack says:

    Thank you PT and blue peacock for the timelines. I haven’t been following this story closely so these timelines are very helpful. I agree with many who have posted here that this is not about Trumpism or Clintonism but goes to the heart of if we have a constitutional republic with the rule of law anymore. It is rather amazing that so many can’t get out of their partisan bias and can only see events through a partisan lens.
    I recall well when the Patriot Act and then FISA were enacted that only a small fringe minority who did not ascribe to any partisan leaning but were civil libertarians warned how on the face of it they were unconstitutional and would inevitably lead to abuse. They were laughed at and scorned by the partisans. We have learned that the courts are not in the business of interpreting the constitution when it comes to the national security apparatus but aid in the justification of these draconian laws. We have also learned that these laws enable complete lawlessness by the national security apparatus since they can’t be held accountable by the perceived imperative that they propagate that any disclosure is harmful to national security interests.
    We are where we are precisely due to partisanship which only perpetuates this kind of mindless if my side does it, its all good. The Democrats need to be careful here because the tables could be easily turned. And then these agencies will become a law unto themselves.

  55. No one, including myself, denies Steele passed his first two reports to the FBI in July. That excerpt referred to Simpson not becoming aware of the identity of the FBI agent Steele met until November or December. Steele did not tell Simpson who his contact was or any particulars of the meeting. It doesn’t appear that he even told him where they met. That’s in the testimony, pages 164 to 169.
    Concerning the September meeting in Rome, Simpson said, “Essentially what he told me was they had other intelligence about this matter from an internal Trump campaign source and that — that they — my understanding was that they believed Chris at this point — that they believed Chris’s information might be credible because they had other intelligence that indicated the same thing and one of those pieces of intelligence was a human source from inside the Trump organization.” (page 175) The FBI obviously did some kind of corroboration of Steel’s reports to say that.

  56. blue peacock says:

    Thanks Barbara for the correction. Yes, it was Nellie Ohr with the ham radio license.

  57. blue peacock says:

    Thanks Greco for adding to the timeline. I find the timeline of what we know as facts, very helpful in gaining perspective on the chain of events as well as the various actors, and to know what we don’t know yet as it prompts so many questions.
    PT’s timeline got the ball rolling here!

  58. blue peacock says:

    While the production of the Steele report and the role of the FBI in it are an important facet, IMO, the FISA 702 searches by the FBI and its subcontractor, preceding Steele by several months is even more interesting.
    – Who at FBI launched these searches?
    – Why?
    – Why did they get a subcontractor to be part of this? Who was the subcontractor?
    – Why wasn’t this authorized?
    – Why did it generate FISA 702 violations?
    – Was there an approval chain at FBI to do this?
    This seems to be the genesis if you look at the timeline. If this genesis was prompted by a suspicion of a true Russian intelligence operation, why weren’t others like the NSA involved? Clearly, the NSA has all the SIGINT resources and Admiral Rogers wouldn’t have had to run a complete compliance review of all FISA 702(16)(17) when he discovered the violations. Instead the NSA could have assisted the FBI in uncovering the “Russian operation”. This whole “unauthorized” FBI with subcontractor FISA 702 searches is very fishy. The declassified FISC ruling while heavily redacted provides the basis for a lot of inquiry. I assume the Gangof8 in Congress have the unredacted version and they could possibly start to answer these questions.
    Do you have a speculation on this matter?

  59. Just keep ignoring the fact that Comey testified under oath that the dossier was UNVERIFIED. If they actually had a corroborating source then Comey would have testified that the dossier was backed up by another source. He did no such thing. Just admit the fact that the dossier is a fraud bought and paid for by Hillary and facilitated by a corrupt FBI.

  60. blue peacock says:

    Sid Finster
    I think bulk collection of every American’s domestic communications is a gross violation of the Fourth Amendment. This is the basis for abuse of FISA 702 for domestic political purposes.

    Amendment IV
    The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

    I don’t think one needs to be a Harvard credentialed constitutional law expert to know that tapping and storing communications of Americans not even suspected of a potential crime violates this amendment. Yet the federal courts have found with all the sophistry they can muster that it is perfectly constitutional. And the vast majority of Americans would rather spend their political energy being on one side or the other in the fight between Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum.

  61. Flavius says:

    That is a question that is in the forefront of my mind.
    There is more than sufficient predicate to begin the investigation. The jurisdiction and venue is perfectly clear. The air needs to be cleared, justice needs to be done (and seen to be done), and it is an opportunity to demonstrate that the wheels of justice can operate normally within a government that over the past two years has been signaling gross incompetence at best and at worst, has been demonstrating a pervasive malfeasance that very well may put Watergate in the shade.
    This decision is on Trump and Sessions, either of whom could order this up on Monday morning. Perhaps they are waiting for the results of the internal DoJ investigation, a delay which in my opinion is unnecessary and imprudent because confidence in the integrity of the system is fast eroding away.
    This case needs to be taken both out of the hands of the DoJ and away from anyone who could be remotely associated with the Beltway swamp.

  62. Flavius says:

    I would make the general observation that it is very unlikely that the FBI had the assets in place to verify the credibility and reliability of Steele’s alleged sources. I haven’t seen any reporting that the FBI even knew the identities of Steele’s sources in order to assess their access let alone the circumstances of their receiving the information, their motives, whether they were being paid and by whom, etc. As far as I have been able to tell, the information was washed through Steele. This seems incomprehensibly incompetent, or corrupt, or an intermix of the two, but there it is. Nevertheless, answers to this question should be discoverable within 3 days of launching a proper investigation.
    This raises some unaddressed, as far as I am aware, questions as to what, if any, involvement Brennans Agency
    had in the matter; also I would be interested in the pattern of leaks and unmaskings that came along in the wake, post installation – whether those developed in the manner of a lynch mob piling in for the ride or whether there was more control and organization.
    This case needs a lot of attention and it needs it now.

  63. blue peacock,
    You bring up a very interesting area of focus. I started looking for some of the items you mentioned and found that there is an annual review of all FISC activities. All problem areas are examined and solutions agreed upon. I am actually fairly impressed by the reports I looked at. The 2016 Certifications Submissions, as the report is known, is 99 pages long and was filed on 26 April 2017. The largest part of that one dealt with the NCTC rather than the FBI and established new targeting and minimization procedures for that agency. It also described procedures for NCTC to obtain access to unminimized material. Something they did not have prior to this. There is also a finding eliminating the “about” search queries from 702 targeting. That’s a big win for the Constitution as I see it. Seems to me that the primary purpose of these annual reports is to ensure FISC activities are in compliance with Constitutional protections. This latest report is not something Rogers initiated on his own.
    I see no indication that FBI’s searches undertaken in 2016 (one in April, one in October) with contractors was definitely related to any particular Russian collection objective. Judging by the unredacted wording, the contractors involved seemed to be employed by a government office, not FBI, largely manned by contractors. The two cases involved seemed to technical rather than anything Fusion GPS would do, possibly a computer crime. These were violations of established FISC procedures involving granting access to raw FISA information to contractors. I also got the impression that the FBI was doing this prior to 2016.
    Given the annual requirement of these reviews and the full year covered by this 99 page report, I don’t see any reason to believe these FBI violations are related to the Trump-Russia investigation. But you have to remember, I suffer from TDS and I know firsthand that the Russians have done worse to us in the past than anything they did in the 2016 election.

  64. VietnamVet says:

    Thanks. I don’t think there will be a real investigation and publication of the facts. The DOJ IG will be restrained. Each faction will harp at each other and kick the can down the road; a replay of the earlier Clinton investigations. The Dodgy Dossier is after the fact and is important to document that there is an intelligence community/media counter coup underway to get rid of that Ugly American. A political bomb will hit DC if the 25th amendment attempt is fruitful or alternatively if the whole truth ever comes out.
    Of all the allegations from Facebook on only the release of the DNC e-mails maybe had an effect on the election. Perhaps it was the Russians. There is the earlier case of Victoria Nuland’s FU** EU phone-call out in the wild. More likely, it was Seth Rich. If Russians are to have any effect here, they must dispense the truth.
    The contradictions and consequences are so great that the Democrat Establishment can’t seriously look at themselves. They are the global Empire’s lackeys. Their leaders are ancient. Both political parties have purposefully degraded the well-being of the American people. The GOP admits that it is to make the rich richer.

  65. blue peacock,
    Please excuse my sloppy grammar throughout my last reply to you. I composed it while keeping track of the Caps-Canes game. Caps won tonight at the last second of the last period. Ovi scored his 28th goal and leads the NHL… but Kutcherov is right behind him.

  66. jjc says:

    Does this story not confirm that all communications, worldwide including USA, are vacuumed and stored by the NSA in searchable databases?

  67. ex-PFC Chuck says:

    Stonevendor at #13, I concur with Barbara Anne, English Outsider, and by now perhaps others who have posted comments stating their agreement about your first assessment regarding SST but not the second. Although PT, the writer of this post, appears to lean somewhat partisanly toward Trump and there others who lean in the other direction, it’s my sense that most of the SST commentariat don’t lean much in either direction. One thing most of us do agree on, I believe, is that we vehemently oppose the military-focused, confrontational direction USA foreign policy has taken since it came under the dominance of the neoconservatives. When Trump was elected I for one was cautiously hopeful (“optimistic” was too strong a word) that he would follow through on his campaign rhetoric advocating a less confrontational foreign policy, only to be greatly dispirited last summer when he appeared to enthusiastically jump on the neocon band wagon. However now that a number of months have passed it’s becoming apparent that if you pay attention to what he does, as well as what he does not do on the foreign policy front, what he said then might have been a tactical move to misdirect his neocon opponents. Just a few days ago TTG put up a post here suggesting that his recent tweet dissing Pakistan might just have been a similar subtle move. I’ve come to suspect that most of his over-the-top tweets are intentional distractions to draw media attention away from what he is doing. Or not doing, which is just as important.
    Lest you think that I’m a knee-jerk Trump supporter, I disagree stridently with almost all of his domestic initiatives. Three examples will suffice. First, there’s no way he can come through for the people on the economic margins who have bet their hopes on him without directly confronting the financial sector, whose predatory business models are the root cause of the evisceration of the American economy. Not only is he from that community but considering most of his wealth is tied up in real estate, which is almost certainly heavily leveraged, there are too many ways the financiers could get back at him if he were to confront them. In short, there’s too much personal risk and we all know how completely he’s decoupled his personal affairs from those of the government. (/snark) As for the soaring stock markets, that’s an asset price inflation bubble driven by the Fed’s quantitative easing, which CEOs and CFOs take advantage of it by looting their employers. They use the profits they should be investing in American plants and people and instead are buying up their companies’ stock in order to boost the earnings per share figures to which their own bonuses are tied. It’s like the legendary Oozlum bird that starts out flying straight but once it turns left for the first time it continues in ever tightening circles until it flies up into its own ass and disappears. With it will disappear the bull market, perhaps not to reemerge for a decade or more.
    Next on the list is our low-bang-for-the-buck healthcare system. Bush44CareObamaCare, which was designed mainly to entrench a revenue stream for insurance companies, was a piece of junk but nevertheless marginally better than what went before. Gutting it, and now also allowing states to boot unemployed people off of Medicaid, is just kicking people when they’re down.
    Finally there’s the across-the-board trashing of environmental protections, one instance of which I take personally. One of the jewels of this country is the Boundary Waters Canoe Area wilderness in northeastern Minnesota, which is adjacent to the similarly undeveloped and protected Quetico Provincial Park in Ontario. My first venture into the area was 65 years ago as a 13 year old boy scout. The waters there are among the most pristine in North America, but also among the most fragile. Back then and through the 1960s we had no hesitation about drinking it right out of the lakes. In recent decades that’s become a bit riskier, but some people still do it. Since then I’ve been in there at least 25 times, the majority of which were trips from a few days to a week on a one-to-one basis with each of my three kids. They’re all in their 40s now, and those canoe and camping outings are constant sources of reminiscences for us when we get together. One of the few things Bush44Obama did that I heartily approved of was his 2016 refusal to renew an expired lease that a mining company, Twin Metals, had on land for a copper mine and processing facility for sulfide ore immediately adjacent to the south side of the BWCA. All Trump had to do was . . . nothing. Instead, he supports a bill before Congress to renew the lease. It has passed the House and is now before the Senate. To my knowledge a detailed plan for the mine and related facilities has not yet been released. Suffice it to say that disposing of the waste of sulfide ore is an extremely messy process. See for yourself at the Wikipedia link below regarding the Berkeley Pit near Butte, Montana. Also below is a link to a Wilderness News Blog post about the mine and its controversial politics, complete with a map. The squiggly gray line is the continental divide between the Laurentian and Arctic watersheds, and note that the red areas denoting the Twin Metals lease areas are uphill from and immediately adjacent to the BWCA boundary. As they say, shit flows down hill.

  68. blue peacock says:

    Thanks for your response. I don’t care about your TDS. I am surrounded by it in my daily life. But, you are an old intel hand and I’m sure you don’t want the institutions you served for so long, dragged through the mud because they were possibly hijacked for partisan purposes.
    It is the timeline that brings up the question of what was going on at the FBI in the period leading up to April 18, 2016 when these FISA 702 searches were ended and Admiral Rogers orders up a full compliance review at the NSA.
    I am just learning that legislatively determined national security agencies like the FBI CI division and the DOJ NSD division really have no roadblocks in querying the bulk collected data. They don’t have to get authorizations as long as it is for national security reasons like preventing a terrorist attack. So, the fact that there were these FISA violations imply that these FISA 702 queries did not have national security implications. I assume that is what got Admiral Rogers attention – that these FISA 702 (17) queries were not for national security purposes and he ordered the compliance review of all the FISA 702 (17) queries and then went to FISC to report these violations in October 2016.
    As I spend time contemplating the timeline the more it seems to me that the Russia collusion narrative was developed as a cover & consequence of these earlier FISA 702 violations. And the Steele dossier was an outcome of the earlier FBI activity and was then circulated back to create at least in part the basis for the FBI investigation.
    To put it another way, a possible scenario is that FBI CI (Bill Priestap & Peter Strzok, and we don’t know who else in the chain) began the FBI’s Trump oppo research effort by using FISA 702 queries in the February/March 2016 timeframe. There was no Russia investigation at that time as that would not have triggered a FISA 702 violation. Fusion GPS (Simpson, Jacoby & Nellie Ohr) & Christopher Steele were later brought onboard to help package some of the facts derived from these FISA queries and then stitched together with other known and fabricated elements to create the dossier. This dossier was then laundered back to the FBI and the media to create both the narrative, the formal FBI CI investigation & the FISC authorization for the Trump/Russia collusion.
    Please ponder this fundamental question: What could have possibly created these FISA 702 violations that caused Admiral Rogers to order a full compliance review in early April 2016 and when it was completed in October 2016, report it to FISC by providing them a full personal briefing? This is serious stuff for Admiral Rogers to go personally to FISC to present the findings of the NSA compliance review. And then after the election to go to Trump Tower to brief the President-elect without informing his boss, DNI Clapper.
    There would have been no FISA 702 violations if it were to investigate a Russian intelligence operation. It had to be something that did not have national security purposes like acquiring information on a presidential candidate and his campaign. When you watch a press briefing of Nunes after he goes to the White House to review PDBs at the WH SCIF, he says, I saw information about Trump but nothing about Russia in the PDB.
    I am convinced that if you can crack the reason for the FISA 702 violations during the period before April 2016 you can know the genesis of Russiagate.

  69. mariner says:

    Only in contractorland
    There are two traditions in 5eyes. When his cover as a field agent in the diplomatic stream was blown Steele’s sources became useless. He becomes virtual persona non grata with his employer and when he gets sick of not being allowed to do what’s he’s good at he goes to private enterprise. Thereafter his former employer will have no relationship with him at all – he’s a security risk. Even before his cover was blown, it would have taken half a lifetime to develop a network of good sources. Afterwards, impossible. He can’t start again because nobody trusts him, his cover is blown and everyone knows it. Intelligence is information that others don’t want us to know. Any information now given/sold to Steele is suspect, as are those who passed it. He no longer operates with immunity – bribery and blackmail are illegal and carry real risk to his safety. US agencies are obviously aware of all this but the US does things differently. Anywhere else Steele’s dossier would have been chucked in the bin.

  70. RK says:

    Re: “human source from inside the Trump organization”
    This is supposed to be a “mischaracterization.” Senator Grassley has already sent a letter to Simpson’s lawyer asking why the testimony was not corrected:

  71. integer says:

    Not much to add to what has been said already. I agree with the opening paragraph of this article 100%. One thing I haven’t seen mentioned here is the role of Alexander Downer, the Australian diplomat who apparently relayed the contents of a conversation he had with Papadopoulos to the Aus. govt, which apparently then informed the FBI of this conversation, albeit two months after it originally took place.
    As an Aussie, I can verify that Alexander Downer is entirely untrustworthy. He is an honorary member of the borg and was one of, if not the, most ardent Australian supporters of the Iraq war, even after having been provided with information from Australian intelligence members detailing the flimsiness of the pretense on which it was based (i.e. weapons of mass destruction).
    Here’s an MSM article detailing his efforts to smear a Andrew Wilkie, an Australian intelligence analyst who was the lead author of this document (that was critical of the premises on which the Iraq war was based), and who subsequently resigned in protest to Australia decision to become involved. Wilkie has since become an independent politician, and now holds a seat in Australian Parliament.
    TLDR: Alexander Downer has zero credibility.

  72. LeaNder says:

    Chill out, PT. Those are your “relevant unanswered questions.”
    Appreciated, TTG. I felt I had to come to your help. Admittedly I am getting a little tired of labels lately. 😉
    Beyond that my standard setting is this will end:
    Not with a bang but a whimper
    T.S. Eliot

  73. LondonBob says:

    Was Brennan just an approving onlooker is the CIA just better at covering their tracks and/or protecting themselves institutionally? The focus seems to be just on the cabal at the FBI and DoJ.

  74. turcopolier says:

    “Quebecois?” What is the Northway? pl

  75. Morongobill says:

    Any thoughts on Patrick Fitzgerald being appointed as special prosecutor for this investigation being discussed here, if it happens?

  76. GeneO says:

    Interstate 87?

  77. DC says:

    Comey did NOT, in fact, testify that the entire Dossier was unverified:
    “So this latest argument that the FBI relied on a document that Comey has already testified was wholly unverified seems to conflate one claim in the dossier with the entire dossier.” —

  78. blue peacock says:

    What we know is that both Brennan and Clapper were very active in selling the “narrative”, in particular after the election. We also know that Clapper recommended firing Admiral Rogers in November 2016.
    What role, if any, they played earlier in the timeline, is yet to be known?
    The only reason we know about the FBI/DOJ cabal is because the IG released that information. Consequently we shouldn’t conclude they are the only actors in this story. I am willing to bet that both Clapper and Brennan played a significant role. Where in the timeline is more difficult to guess with the limited information that we have.

  79. blue peacock says:

    Yes, Patrick Fitzgerald will be an excellent choice as the second special counsel investigating the national security apparatus. He prosecuted Scooter Libby at the height of the dominance of W, Cheney & Karl Rove in DC.

  80. You could make your own case better if you start from the fact that law enforcement has had Trump on its radar for decades before 2016. He kept showing up in the vicinity of questionable real estate transactions and known money launderers. The question then would be, how could the FBI ignore the dossier? You are putting yourself through contortions to prove that the dossier was started by Hillary Clinton, and that the dossier put the chain of events in motion, and that “unverified” means “false”, and that Comey would have stated in public testimony if there were verifications. All wrong.
    This may not be some “Deep State” conspiracy, but the wheels of justice finally creaking around to catch a bad guy.
    You’re right I’m no fan of Trump, but I’m no fan of Clinton either. I wrote in comments here not long after the election that the Democrats will end up happier by getting a new slate of people while Trump destroys the Republicans. I predicted that Trump would make the Obama-Hillary foreign policy more warlike, Trump would let Wall Street gouge the middle class again, and Trump would surrender foreign trade and the economic future of the U.S. to China. I took heat here for these comments, and I upset both my Democratic friends and my Republican friends with these predictions. And a year later, I am still right about every one of these.

  81. blue peacock says:

    US agencies are obviously aware of all this but the US does things differently. Anywhere else Steele’s dossier would have been chucked in the bin.

    Unless the Steele dossier was the collaborative work product with partisan elements at the highest levels of US law enforcement & the IC. I suggest those interested in this story focus on the timeline and in particular the period of March/April 2016. The Steele dossier only started to show up around June 2016. The ball got rolling earlier.

  82. That is precisely William Binney’s point (the ex-NSA tech director who developed many of the NSA’s programs during his time there.)
    NSA was able to claim in the Sony hacking case that they directly observed North Korean hackers inside Sony (begging the question of why didn’t the NSA intervene).
    The fact that NSA in the January 2017 report on “Russian meddling” could only claim “moderate confidence” in the conclusions clearly shows they don’t have any data on the alleged “DNC hack”.
    Based on Craig Murray’s statements, whoever was the leaker of the DNC emails may or may not have transferred them across the Internet. They could have been transferred manually via flash drive or hard disk. In that case, the NSA wouldn’t have any data on it.
    Based on Sy Hersh’s audio tape, if Seth Rich was the leaker he apparently used a Dropbox account to which Wikileaks had access. In that case, the NSA could establish the movement of files from that server to Wikileaks IF that server was used in that manner.
    In either case, that fact that NSA has nothing concrete to say indicates they don’t know. They could easily claim they do without revealing any sources or methods, but they haven’t.

  83. Seymour Hersh in his audio tape explicitly said that Russiagate is entirely a CIA disinformation operation being run by Brennan.
    Clearly the CIA has been getting help from the FBI – or perhaps Brennan has explicitly used – with their cooperation – the FBI as the “patsy” in this to cover his agency’s butt.

  84. Just try reading the actual testimony of Comey rather than pretend to be some OCD Hasidic Rabbi parsing the Torah.

  85. blue peacock says:

    ….I was worried very much about being in kind of a J. Edgar Hoover-type situation.

    What did Comey mean by a J. Edgar Hoover-type situation in response to a question by Sen. Collins that Lee A. Arnold posted above?

  86. ex-PFC Chuck says:

    People here might like to know that Marcy Wheeler at Emptywheel is at the investigation from the PoV of whether anything shows whether Trump or any of his associates is vulnerable. Her post yesterday offers a pretty good summary of the state of play in that regard.

  87. Greco says:

    It’s a great credit to PT for his meticulousness and sense on the matter. And it’s fine to raise questions and to debate it. That said, this discussion is going in circles when we can simply explain this away as a sham.
    Rationalizing the Russian collusion narrative is like rationalizing Birtherism. Both are ridiculous theories backed without a shred of hard evidence that would have us believe a foreign agent occupies the Oval Office. And both theories stipulate that once the candidate’s illegitimacy is proven, we would have constitutional crisis resulting in a new election: in other words, Hillary Clinton would be president. It’s a fantasy for people who can’t come terms with the election of a president they find disagreeable. And as far as I can tell, the only ones conspiring to do anything malicious are the ones who continue to perpetuate these frauds.

  88. pl,
    The Northway is I-87 from Albany, NY to Montreal. It’s named the Adirondack Northway. SWMBO worked at Macys in Albany while in college. She and her coworkers always complained about all the visiting Quebecois trying to pass their money off as equal in value to our dollar. When they were told to go to customer service to exchange their money, they got pissy in a most French way.

  89. mariner says:

    ‘the role of Alexander Downer’
    The information obtained by Downer was overt not covert and would’ve been reported and processed in the overt stream. It is, apparently, information that somebody wants us to know. Standard gossip for diplomatic drinkiepoos. Of far more interest is Alexander’s beguiling, trustworthy, hermaphroditic honey-trap like countenance – you can lean into me George. This must be studied and weaponised. The term for Papadopoulos is Spion Melayu. George thinks he’s just bedded the most beautiful woman in the world and simply must tell someone, anyone.
    “Sweet creature!” said the spider, “you’re witty and you’re wise;
    How handsome are your gauzy wings; how brilliant are your eyes!
    I have a little looking-glass upon my parlor shelf;
    If you’d step in one moment, dear, you shall behold yourself.”
    The Spider And The Fly

  90. J says:

    Uncomfortable questions such as what the FBI thought of the credibility of a ‘report’ from a ‘British agent’, with no classification, unlimited distribution, and not conforming to any format, and disclosing high level Russian sources by name ?
    I would suggest that the only reason they did not push it out of the window with a broom was because they were ordered to treat it as credible.

  91. J says:

    “..unless the Steele dossier was the collaborative work product with partisan elements at the highest levels of US law enforcement & the IC”.
    That may be a possibility, but the document contains such dross that I doubt anyone at that level would author it. I suggest that it was something that escaped into the wild by accident, or that Hillary herself was the author, thus presenting all with a fait accompli 🙂

  92. J says:

    Integer, yes, Alexander Downer is, shall we say, not the sharpest tool in the shed ? If he had a drunken conversation with someone he may have lodged an unclassified report on it, which therefore found it’s way to US agencies. I doubt he actually understood the significance of the conversation.

  93. turcopolier says:

    My wife who is 100% French Canadian in heritage would like to know what “pissy in a very French way” means. pl

  94. DianaLC says:

    I try not to comment here, as I am just a rube when it comes to the twisted working of our national government, but give me a break.
    Bernie doesn’t even have the intelligence to live like a true socialist. Does anyone with any intelligence–especially in regard to human nature–really believe that socialism and/or communism would ever work for the long run of any government. Please, study some history to discover what became of many of those attempts and what it’s like living in the ones still existing.
    His young followers are probably the most uneducated/mis-educated generation I have ever dealt with as a teacher.
    My bias against Bernie’s stated idea of governance is personal, as my great-grandparents and grandparents were smart enough to escape the Bolshevicks to come here.
    Why go after Bernie–it would have been a waste of time, money, and effort. His followers would have had a hard time really figuring out how to register to vote or tearing themselves away from their useless endeavors to occupy their time to find out where and how to vote.

  95. blue peacock says:

    Papadapoulos is at best a peripheral player in the Trump campaign. There is a possibility that he was a plant. Apparently he sent out an email as he became an advisor to the campaign about setting up meetings with Putin’s advisor’s in Russia. No different than Natalia Veselnitskaya who met with Glenn Simpson before and after her meeting at Trump Tower with Don Jr, which now seems like an attempt to ensnare Trump associates to further bolster the Russia collusion narrative.
    In any case, IMO, when looking at the timeline, all the minutiae around these later events are less important than the period of February/March 2016 when the FISA violations took place. IMO, Russiagate began then. Trump had already won a third of the delegates to the GOP nomination and he was looking strong in the upcoming Ohio and Florida primaries. An insurance policy was needed.
    Knowing who the players were then including the subcontractors, why there were these 702 violations, what were these 702 queries that triggered Admiral Rogers full compliance review, will aid the understanding of the genesis of Russiagate.
    Since this is all so sensitive from the perspective of the national security apparatus, the drive to obfuscate must be intense. That is why there will be a lot of resistance both in Congress and at the DOJ to appoint someone like Patrick Fitzgerald as a special counsel to investigate this.

  96. J says:

    Thus implying that George is less bright, or was a great deal drunker, than Alexander. Of far more interest still is the fact that a large number of people are actually congratulating Downer on his brilliant intel coup.

  97. Adrestia says:

    Maybe TTG meant like this? They were always very able of big tantrums, especially the gendarmerie.
    But to be honest, the last decades they’ve grown more and more mellow. Except when its time for protest and to meet and greet the politician or member of management or just because they oppose government policy

  98. blue peacock says:

    I am not suggesting that at all.
    What I am suggesting however is that partisan elements at the highest levels of US law enforcement and the IC obtained some factual information from querying the bulk collected data. (For example, that Trump’s businesses had some dealings with Russian entities and he visited Russia well before he became a presidential candidate, albeit for legitimate business purposes. Qualitatively different than Slick Willy getting paid for a speech in Russia.) This was made available to certain subcontractors and others maybe including Fusion GPS. They then stitched together the dossier that includes some factual information, other known information and pure fabrication in constructing the dossier, to buttress the Russia collusion narrative.
    Remember that Nellie Ohr had a role to play in this and she would be quite familiar due to her association with CIA and along with her husband, DOJ Deputy Bruce Ohr, on how to construct such a dossier to be used in part to trigger a formal CI investigation and to support the narrative. Glenn Simpson due to his background as a journalist and WSJ reporter would know how to launder “stories” to build a narrative. And of course the Clinton campaign and elements in the White House had a role to play to further fan the flames of the narrative to discredit Trump as the Manchurian Candidate during the election. There were many cogs in the wheel to build and get in motion the narrative. The dossier is one element in this. The attempts to get the Trump campaign linked with shady people in Russia, like the meeting with Natalia Veselnitskaya is another element. The connections with the corporate media to create hysteria is another element.
    That is why I suggest to focus on the genesis, the period of February/March 2016 when the FISA violations took place.

  99. Jack says:

    blue peacock,
    Ray McGovern in his article on Consortium News makes a similar contention. Russiagate had very little to do with Russia and everything to do with preventing Trump from taking and holding the office of POTUS.

  100. mariner says:

    ‘I doubt he actually understood the significance of the conversation’
    Total rot. Downer steered Australia into a potential mess in Timor, and steered us out again with the last minute help of Bill Clinton. It was not guaranteed and required diplomatic skill. I doubt Trump would have done the same for us. Like all politicians Downer tells lies, covers up his failures and ensures others get the blame in the miniscule chance they become public.

  101. mariner says:

    What intelligence coup. It was obtained overtly. It was information Papadopoulos wanted Downer to know.
    ‘Thus implying that George is less bright, or was a great deal drunker’
    No. Implicit in what I wrote is that Papadopoulos may be a man of weak character.

  102. J says:

    The Steele document was definitely one element as you say, and certainly acted to catalyse further processes. My point was that the document appears to be such a rushed amateurish concoction that it risked discrediting the intended narrative as well as those through whose hands it passed. Those points would however be moot without media comment, as indeed was the case.
    I suggest that the author’s expectation was that more credible evidence would become visible during later investigations and render the Steele document irrelevant. Hence, a gamble.

  103. J says:

    The separation of Timor was instigated by the US, not by Howard or Downer. Habibie could not determine the outcome or the timing, and Downer was well down in the chain.
    I think we both agree that Downer is not bright. Consider the converse point of view – that he Did understand the significance. If he had, Turnbull would have forcefully used the information to curry favour with the White House, and that did not happen.

  104. J says:

    I was referring to that fact that some people see Downer as a bit of a hero in this. Neither of them can claim many points for this event, unless of course George used Our Man In London as a well lubricated conduit.

  105. mariner says:

    ‘The separation of Timor was instigated by the US’
    Totally wrong. The Pentagon resisted it to the last, and even after the results of the referendum had been announced continued to predict a failed State.
    ‘I think we both agree that Downer is not bright.’
    We do not. Nor do politicians have to be in the first eleven. We elect them to make deals between competing interests not to invent rockets.

  106. J says:

    A bit off the subject now, but the US was concerned an ongoing East Timor controversy could destabilise the new post-Suharto post-Asian financial crisis government, which was still in the experimental stage. Ted Kennedy also carried much weight.
    Clinton resisted the use of US ground troops in any peacekeeping force before or after the ballot, but threatened Habibie, Wiranto and the rest of TNI with plenty of consequences if they refused to hold the ballot, which is why Habibie offered independence and Wiranto so easily abandoned his position that TNI owned East Timor. Clinton also expected Australia to lead any peacekeeping force, which Howard/Downer initially wanted nothing to do with, so we were dragged in too. Eventually all parties ceased threatening each other and mythology was made.
    No more about Downer, please !

  107. mariner says:

    Wrong again J. US and Aust interests diverged which is why Jenkins, liason to the Pentagon, was instructed not to share certain intelligence. It’s in the public domain what happened next.
    Lobbying by the Jewish left played an important part changing Clinton’s approach.
    Downer and DFAT originally wanted a Noumea Accord model, a 15-20 year transition period before any vote, during which time the parties could find common ground or postpone a vote indefinitely should Indonesia’s democratic transition be successful.
    Habibie is totally responsible for what happened. He and ICMI wanted to get rid of E.Timor.
    In 1945 the Islamic alternative to a secular State, the Piagam [Charter] Jakarta was blocked by Christian Eastern Indonesia. Habibie and ICMI wanted a greater political role for Islam and felt compelled to first weaken and rearrange their enemies in the East. E.Timor was a threat to their strategic goal, they threw it to the international community while they proceeded with the main game. The two Christian power centres in North Sulawesi and Maluku were split to weaken them and, increase Muslim votes in the centre. This is what the jihads in Poso and Maluku were all about. Gorontalo was taken from Manado and Ternate from Ambon, forming new Provinces. With ethnic cleansing, Christians were to concentrated in enclaves in half of Ambon and in Minahasa Manado. Christians in Ternate were forced to flee to North Sulawesi [where sadly they remain] or convert. Manadonese Christians saw what was done in Maluku and formed their own Christian militias in defence. The new province of West Sulawesi was also created.
    In East Timor there were few indigenous Muslims, 5000 in Daisua Same and the east. They were given special, and early, treatment. Sent to Makassar where they were organised by Agus Andi Dwikarna the Jundullah leader and AQ man. They were then sent for resettlement to the new neighbouring Province in formation. Agus Dwi was a confidant of Kalla, the current Vice President. Dwikarna liased with Osama’s pointman Al Farouk. Dwikarna was arrested in the Phillips and jailed, causing a split between his followers and Kalla. Obviously a worried man, Kalla was leaned on to arrange an end to the jihads in Poso and Ambon. Al Farouk was kidnapped and sent for a spot of speech therapy in Bagram. Credit goes to GW Bush for ending those two wars, and to the Australian who escorted a group of US visitors around Poso. Downer and his department couldn’t be interested in this, Timor successfully diverted international focus. Some E.Timorese Christians were also held hostage by Dwikarna at his Mosque in Jalan Racing and the story of how they escaped is yet to be told.
    E.Timorese militia had an incriminating recording of Habibie giving a speech. They camped outside the Habibie Centre threatening to embarrass him if he didn’t pay up. He did, and some of the proceeds were used to fund their guerrilla operations against Interfet and PKF.
    Though the US didn’t put boots on the ground USN sent a carrier that steamed between Dili and Oecussi to intimidate.
    Downer and DFAT misread Habibie badly, Saint Bill of Little Rock hauled us out of the mess. The Pentagon didn’t want an Independent E.Timor but did what their civilian boss told them, albeit whining like bagpipes with bronchitis and predicting a failed State.
    The true history of US Australian relations during this period may one day dribble out, but not before the parties whose reputations stand to be harmed write their official history.

  108. J says:

    Hi mariner, I was trying to keep it brief but I think now we are getting a bit away from commander’s intent 🙂 If we see a comment on ET lets start again.
    Regards J.

  109. Keith Harbaugh says:

    Might be worth giving clickable links to several very worthwhile posts from “sundance” at The Conservative Tree House
    “sundance” has an awesome ability to connect dots.
    Like, e.g., the Trump Transition Team announcing they were moving all transition activity to Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey
    the day after DIRNSA Rogers visited him,
    possibly revealing to Trump the extent to which he was being surveilled.
    Just a coincidence?!?!?!
    (This is pointed out in the first link below.)
    “How The FBI and DOJ Intelligence Units Were Weaponized Around Congressional Oversight…”, 2018-01-08
    “The DOJ and FBI Worked With Fusion GPS on “Operation Trump”…”, 2018-01-11
    “#FusionCollusion – Congress Takes 3-Prong Approach To Surround Corrupt Intelligence and Justice Officials…”, 2018-01-14
    “#FusionCollusion – Thirty Questions and One Answer: “Because Laura Ingraham Wouldn’t Shut Up”…”, 2018-01-17
    Do you care to comment on your opinion of “sundance” and all this reporting, PT?
    Much of it looks impressive, and plausible, to me,
    although I have my doubts about his theory that the Steele dossier
    originated within U.S. intelligence, then was laundered through Steele.
    THAT sounds pretty extreme to me.
    But who knows?

  110. Boronx says:

    The Steele dossier has been verified on several points, including the Russian Govt. passing information on Trump’s political opponents to his campaign, and the laundering of hacked data through Wikileaks.
    “This was something of huge significance, way above party politics.” and “It’s raw intelligence.” are not mutually exclusive ideas. Steele has never claimed that the dossier was anything other than raw intelligence before or after any libel trial.
    You have not presented any evidence that any of the intelligence was fabricated by Steele, or that his employers asked him to fabricate any intelligence, or that the FBI acted improperly by discretely following up on it.
    Prima facie, Steele seems to have engaged in normal oppo research, and decided to elevate his readership when he came to believe his findings showed a serious threat to to the Western alliance. There is zero evidence made public, and certainly none presented by you, that suggests otherwise.
    Strzok should have been more professional in his texting, but the only crime I’ve seen that he’s committed is saying mean things about one of the targets of his investigation in private communication with another FBI employee. Republicans are trying to blow that into a scandal. Are they going to scour the archives for any disparaging comments any agents have made about people suspected of committing major crimes?

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