Will Christopher Steele Be Charged in the UK as a Spy? by Publius Tacitus [UPDATE]


Do you want to know why the FBI continued to insist that the Nunes' memo not be declassified and released to the public? The answer is right there on page 2, (see 1b) in the discussion about what was excluded from the application to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court:

The application does not mention Steele was ultimately working on behalf of-and paid by-the DNC and Clinton campaign, or that the FBI had separately authorized payment to Steele for the same information.

I believe that the part in bold is what the FBI wanted out of the memo because it exposes the uncomfortable fact that Christopher Steele was (and had been for some time) a paid asset of the FBI. That is huge news. In other words, Steele was not a mere consultant or sub-contractor for the FBI. He was being paid to provide information/intelligence to the FBI. There are two classes of FBI "informants." One is serving as a "criminal informant" and the other is as an "intelligence asset." Information from "criminal informants" can be used in a U.S. judicial proceeding and the informant called as a witness. Getting money under that circumstance can be problematic because the source's credibility can be impeached by defense counsel, who can argue that the testimony is purloined.

You do not have to worry about that with an "intelligence asset." In that case the priority is protecting the identity of the source. The fact that Steele had been on the FBI payroll for a while sheds new light on Glen Simpson's testimony (which was leaked by Senator Feinstein) to the U.S. Senate. Simpson testified that Steele told him in late September 2016 that the FBI wanted to meet him in Rome to discuss the dossier.  That struck me initially as quite odd. If Steele was just acting as an average "foreign" citizen who was trying to help the FBI then he could easily have met with the Bureau in London. That city hosts the largest number of FBI agents in the world outside of the U.S. But Steele was asked to go meet in Rome. That's what you do when you are meeting an intelligence asset that the Brits do not know about.

That is the problem.

The United States and Great Britain have had a long standing "understanding" or informal agreement to not recruit each others intelligence and law enforcement personnel as intelligence assets. I chatted yesterday with an old intelligence hand (a U.S. person) who was approached by British MI 6 during a TDY to London. My friend rejected the come on and reported the approach to the CIA Chief of Station (aka COS).  The COS was angry with the Brits. They were not supposed to do that, nor are we.  But sometimes a target is so attractive that very high level permissions to break the agreements are given.

The real irony here is that the Schiff memo is likely to compound the problem for Steele because it is likely to highlight Steele's prior activities on behalf of the Bureau that predate the 2016 election cycle (remember, Steele was hired by Fusion GPS in June 2016). This is the issue that had FBI Director Wray's panties in a knot. When you sign up a foreign source you vow to protect them. When you expose such a source you make it more difficult to recruit new sources.

There may be another twist to this. Was Steele actually operating as an FBI intel asset with the secret knowledge of the Brits? In other words, was he a double agent or an agent of influence? One way to tell will be watching the reaction of the U.K. authorities now that they know that Steele was a paid FBI informant. Imagine the outrage here if one of the former CIA or FBI talking heads that are appearing on punditry circuit was exposed as someone getting paid by the Russian version of the FBI or CIA. It would be ugly.

The media (and the trolls on this blog) are working feverishly to ignored the uncomfortable truths exposed by the so-called Nunes memo. But facts are stubborn things and more facts will be exposed.

UPDATE–Based on some confused comments by our friend The Twisted Genius aka TTG, I need to provide more of the Nunes memo to establish that Steele in fact was a source. According to that memo:

. . .Steele was suspended and then terminated as an FBI source for what the FBI defines as the most serious of violations-an unauthorized disclosure to the media of his relationship with the FBI in an October 30, 2016, Mother Jones article by David Corn. 

If this was a simple matter of Steele, having no official relationship with the FBI, simply reaching out to an old friend to pass on information, then TTG would be right to assert that Steele was not a source. But that is clearly not the case. The FBI can only suspend and terminate a source relationship if that person is a source. Very simple.

Let's take a quick look at the article by Corn that got Steele terminated. The Corn piece was part of an orchestrated media campaign (we know that from Simpson's testimony that was leaked by Diane Feinstein) in order to put pressure on the FBI and James Comey, who had just announced that new Clinton emails had been found on Anthony Weiner's laptop. Corn wrote:

  • On Sunday, Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid upped the ante. He sent Comey a fiery letter saying the FBI chief may have broken the law and pointed to a potentially greater controversy: “In my communications with you and other top officials in the national security community, it has become clear that you possess explosive information about close ties and coordination between Donald Trump, his top advisors, and the Russian government…The public has a right to know this information.”. . .
  • But Reid’s recent note hinted at more than the Page or Manafort affairs. And a former senior intelligence officer for a Western country who specialized in Russian counterintelligence tells Mother Jones that in recent months he provided the bureau with memos, based on his recent interactions with Russian sources, contending the Russian government has for years tried to co-opt and assist Trump—and that the FBI requested more information from him. . . .
  • [A] senior US government official not involved in this case but familiar with the former spy tells Mother Jones that he has been a credible source with a proven record of providing reliable, sensitive, and important information to the US government.
  • In June, the former Western intelligence officer—who spent almost two decades on Russian intelligence matters and who now works with a US firm that gathers information on Russia for corporate clients—was assigned the task of researching Trump’s dealings in Russia and elsewhere, according to the former spy and his associates in this American firm. . . .
  • “It started off as a fairly general inquiry,” says the former spook, who asks not to be identified. But when he dug into Trump, he notes, he came across troubling information indicating connections between Trump and the Russian government. According to his sources, he says, “there was an established exchange of information between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin of mutual benefit.” . . .
  • This was, the former spy remarks, “an extraordinary situation.” He regularly consults with US government agencies on Russian matters, and near the start of July on his own initiative—without the permission of the US company that hired him—he sent a report he had written for that firm to a contact at the FBI, according to the former intelligence officer and his American associates, who asked not to be identified. . . .
  • The former intelligence officer says the response from the FBI was “shock and horror.” The FBI, after receiving the first memo, did not immediately request additional material, according to the former intelligence officer and his American associates. Yet in August, they say, the FBI asked him for all information in his possession and for him to explain how the material had been gathered and to identify his sources. The former spy forwarded to the bureau several memos—some of which referred to members of Trump’s inner circle. After that point, he continued to share information with the FBI.

There you have it. The story was right in front of us. What is reported in the Nunes memo is consistent with David Corn's article and with what Glen Simpson testified under oath to the Senate Judiciary Committee.

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91 Responses to Will Christopher Steele Be Charged in the UK as a Spy? by Publius Tacitus [UPDATE]

  1. Walrus says:

    I am concerned that things may get so hot that Steele (and others) are “suicided” a practice that has happened before. Steele, McCabe and other operatives need to be in protective custody.
    To put that another way, removing two sequential links in the chain leading to the Clinton/DNC cabal will stymie the investigation.

  2. steve says:

    “The application does not mention Steele was ultimately working on behalf of-and paid by-the DNC and Clinton campaign, or that the FBI had separately authorized payment to Steele for the same information.”
    Has this been confirmed, or is this just what Nunes says? I often find myself in a minority on this issue, but I am reticent to take the word of a politician.

  3. You’re kidding, right? It is confirmed. If it was not true then the Democrats would be citing that factoid chapter and verse, along with the FBI, as an example of the so-called ERRORS in this memo. They haven’t.

  4. blue peacock says:

    PT, TTG, et al
    Could Carter Page too have been a FBI accomplice?
    It wouldn’t be too far fetched if he was sent to be a volunteer in the Trump campaign to gain retroactive authorization on the surveillance of the campaign. Maybe that’s why they had to resort to the Fusion GPS dossier in their FISA Title I warrant application.
    The DOJ/FBI seem to be rather desperate to hide something. That’s the only explanation I can see for their stalling and obstruction tactics here. This notion of creating a precedent for disclosure seems like a red herring to me.

  5. Eric Newhill says:

    The allegation is actually worse than just payments from Clinton to Steele. It is also that the Clinton campaign was feeding Steele information on Trump and members of his team.
    Presumably, if Clinton had made the allegations against Trump, it wouldn’t have been taken seriously. However, having the allegations routed through Steele and then appearing as intelligence gathered by his impeccable personage would cause the allegations to be taken seriously and to be used for warrants and so on and so forth.
    Clinton paying Steele is very bad. Clinton feeding Steele information to be included in his “dossier” is much worse. The FBI failing to disclose either during the warrant application is catastrophic for democracy.
    Is it true? I bet it is. This doesn’t feel like empty grandstanding by the Rs and Trump. It doesn’t feel like a desperately flailing counter attack either. It does feel like the Ds and the borg are on their heals at this point.
    We will know soon enough when underlying detail is released. OTOH, maybe we never will. Depends on the Rs’ strategy. They may seek to up the pressure to the point where their enemies see the rope awaiting their necks; at which point they deal. Some Ds and borgs step down/retire, some are sacrificed to satisfy the public’s need for justice to be done, others may stay around, but must concede things of value to the Rs (content of and passing of bills amongst those things?). Then again, maybe the entire swamp just gets drained in the course of a righteous crusade.
    I find the resistance to the concept of a coup attempt to be interesting. It’s like they think demons that drove Cassius and Brutus got locked in hell, permanently, 2,000 years ago.

  6. Keith Harbaugh says:

    PT, I would be interested in how you would rebut, if you should care to, this:
    “The Smearing of Christopher Steele”
    By JOHN SIPHER, Politico Magazine, 2018-02-05
    BTW, Sipher describes himself as
    “a career intelligence officer who worked on Russian espionage issues overseas,
    and in support of FBI counterintelligence investigations domestically”.
    Of course, that does not mean that he does not have political biases.

  7. Sylvia 1 says:

    This is from an interview in Politico with Victoria Nuland. It seems Mr. Steele was accustomed to dropping by the State Department–and did so in the Summer of 2016 with news of “Russian interference” Since he was already a paid asset of the FBI wouldn’t hey have also known of his “work” by then. This may be relevant to the issue of what caused the FBI to open a counter intelligence investigation in July 2016–Mr. Steele/Fusion GPS or a drunken Papadopolus?
    “In the interview, Nuland said she was familiar with Steele’s work through regular reports he had passed on to her office over the previous several years dealing with political maneuverings in Russia and Ukraine. When presented by an intermediary with the startling information about “linkages” between Trump and Russia that summer, “what I did was say that this is about U.S. politics,” Nuland recounted, “and not the business of the State Department, and certainly not the business of a career employee who is subject to the Hatch Act, which requires that you stay out of politics. So, my advice to those who were interfacing with him was that he should get this information to the FBI, and that they could evaluate whether they thought it was credible.””

  8. IF Steele has been spying on the Brits on behalf of the FBI then he’s gone. If he was working his old contacts for non-Brit intel after retiring is that a crime? Hopefully Steele would not approach active assets. Not sure how the spook world sees it.
    To make the dossier watertight Steele would have to select believable contacts that could have supplied the information supposedly fed to him by Clinton. Or to put it the other way round, Clinton would have to know what contacts Steele had to generate the “dirt” to match the contacts. Feasible? Likely?
    Still waiting for Gowdy to state that the warrant was issued illegally.

  9. House Intel Committee has sent the Democratic response to the Memo to the President for his approval for release.
    Interesting times.

  10. Publius Tacitus,
    Half confirmed. Steele was paid by the DNC and Clinton campaign, but only through Fusion GPS and that DNC law firm. There’s no indication Steele knew he was doing work for the DNC or that the DNC knew Steele was working for them. I’m sure they both eventually figured that out. I’ve seen nothing credible saying Steele was a paid source of the FBI. You’ve hinted at some of the reasons that is improbable. John Sipher’s article of today goes deeper into that. Perhaps that why the Nunes memo say the FISA application fails to say the “FBI had separately authorized payment to Steele for the same information.” I’m sure the application also fails to say Steele was a Timelord from the planet Gallifrey.

  11. blue peacock,
    If Page was an FBI accomplice, there would have been no need for a FISA warrant. Page would have just worn a wire or the digital equivalent of a wire. I covered that in a comment in my last post. Colonel Lang also chimed in on that point.
    The FBI’s loathing for creating a precedent is anything but a red herring. Do you know of any case where they shared a FISA application or warrrant? Defense lawyers and privacy advocates have been fighting in the courts for access to that stuff for years. With the release of the Nunes memo (and maybe the Schiff memo) there is a good possibility of that log jam being broken.

  12. Sorry, wrong again. Please read the memo. It clearly states, as quoted above, “the FBI had separately authorized payment to Steele for the same information.”
    But then you have finish reading the memo, which notes that “Steele was suspended and then TERMINATED AS AN FBI SOURCE.”
    Your hatred of Trump blinds you to seeing and understanding simple facts. Sad.
    If Steele had only been paid for a one off job, by the Bureau, then he would not have been in a position to be “SUSPENDED” and then “TERMINATED.”
    Hope this helps you.

  13. When Steele was still in MI6, he worked with the FBI’s Eurasian Joint Organized Crime Squad. He reached out to an FBI Special Agent who he worked with on that team when he first decided in August 2016 to contact the FBI about his findings on Trump. That FBI SA was stationed in Rome and that’s where Steele met him for that first meeting in August. It’s only logical that the same SA who already had rapport with Steele would be in the subsequent meeting in September and Rome would be the logical place for that meeting. It would also be less problematic for the FBI to meet a now private UK citizen outside of the UK because of that special relationship between US and UK spy agencies.

  14. You need to re-read the source documents. Steele told Simpson in late June that he was going to report to the FBI. Simpson subsequently claimed that Steele met with the FBI in JULY not AUGUST. But, again, you are ignoring what the cleared memo, which the FBI read, states–STEELE WAS A SOURCE WHO WAS SUSPENDED AND THEN TERMINATED.

  15. Fred says:

    The Democrats on the committee knew the content of the Nunes memo before it was released. Nancy Pelosi said it must be withheld as a matter of national security. Now she says it is a constitutional crisis. Reading the piece you linked to just raises the question of just whom at the FBI Mr. “Cipher” was helping with “counterintelligence investigations”?
    Sylvia 1,
    I have to wonder just what Mrs. Robert Kagan, aka Victoria Nuland, is so afraid that she had Susan Glasser – the former Editor of Foreign Affairs and “longtime foreign correspondent and editor for the Washington Post… ….. spent four years as co-chief of the Post’s Moscow bureau” – do this CYA puff piece now.
    Now while it isn’t illegal for an American Citizen who has no security clearance and isn’t authorized access to government secrets, and isn’t employed by the government, to talk to Russians, I distinctly recall reading in the NYT that talking to Russians, especially in Moscow, is the worst possible thing and apparently all the FBI needs to get a FISA warrant. Because maybe the SVR RF (the successor of the First Chief Directorate of the KGB) might “approach” you. Now wouldn’t recruiting someone with access to top State Department officials like Victoria Nuland and with close connections (i.e. married to) someone with direct access to the White House be an irresistible recruitment target to the SVR? Curious minds might ask “did the SVR ever approach Mrs. Glasser or her husband, “New York Times White House correspondent Peter Baker.”?”
    I wonder if FBI Director Comey or the FBI head of counter intelligence, Peter Strzok, ever bothered to get a FISA warrant to surveil those two. It’s not like anyone in Russia would ever want to plant information in the NYT or Foreign Affairs magazine; or pass suggestions on to State Department officials through that channel. Maybe the FBI just targets people running for political office. Which would create, as Nancy Pelosi so correctly points out, a Constitutional Crisis.
    Here’s the link to the politico article’s author:

  16. different clue says:

    Eric Newhill,
    ( reply to comment 5)
    If all these Clintonites and Borgists inside and outside of government are indeed the bad actors this interpretation of events considers them to be, then it would be better for us if they were all found and punished and all their structures and so forth torn out and burned.
    If they are allowed to save themselves in return for “deals” of fleeting material or legislative benefit, that would be just another “Ford pardons Nixon” event, leaving those kind of people unpunished and unrepentant and ready to train new cadres of young proteges to try it all over again in the fullness of time.

  17. Seems like March 2009 is when Steele retired and went private.

  18. Eric Newhill says:

    Incidently, the Schiff memo should really be an “interesting” study in madness. Here is Schiff taking the TTG theory about Russians sowing chaos to an extreme – apparently the Russians are behind the second amendment. They want us all to shoot each other. My god. This man is a member of the intelligence committee?

  19. Anna says:

    “John Sipher’s article of today goes deeper into that.”
    You should read the comments section of the Sipher’s article to “appreciate” admirers of the article and their religious belief in Obama-Clinton righteousness and Trump’s perfidy. The admirers are not interested in facts of the investigation because the facts, particulalry in Steele’s case, have a pro-Putin bias.

  20. J says:

    The screw up and move up syndrome is alive and well.
    Brennan the DCI screw up is set to make more bucks as a screw up.
    Brennan has been hired by NBC as an analyst.

  21. Could the experts provide some clarity.
    There are some people who believe that the dossier must be accepted or rejected in toto.
    The poisoned tree concept. If one item in the dossier is salacious and unverified then all items must be rejected.
    Would the FBI subject the dossier as an entity or a FISA court would agree with that argument?

  22. Comey testified in June 2017 that the Dossier was “salacious and unverified.” If they actually had corroborated some of the dossier then Comey never would have testified this way under oath. It is fruit of the poisonous tree.

  23. Publius Tacitus,
    You’re right about the meeting in July rather than August. I was doing that from memory.
    You quoted the memo as saying “The application does not mention… or that the FBI had separately authorized payment to Steele for the same information.” What is the reason the application did not mention that? And why does it not say he was actually paid? Perhaps because both statements are not facts. Given that the FBI did talk to him and take his dossier, I agree that Steele was some kind of source/informant from July to October. I don’t know the FBI terminology. I also don’t doubt the FBI cut their ties with him after he blabbed to the press.
    The Nunes memo is a document with a political purpose, not a source document. If it was oversight, the HPSCI would be raking the FBI over the coals in hearings right now. I don’t see the FBI review of the memo as a vouching for its accuracy, just a vouching that it doesn’t contain anything that would cause grievous damage to their ongoing cases, sources and methods. It was more of a standard FBI Glomar response. I also don’t think the Schiff response memo will be much different. None of this is a Constitutional crisis. Trey Gowdy’s recent comments were refreshingly knowledgeable, reasonable and calming. I hope he continues. He may be the best chance to right the HPSCI ship.

  24. Bandit says:

    “Then again, maybe the entire swamp just gets drained in the course of a righteous crusade.”
    Nice thought, but both parties have too much skin in the game to want to bring the whole house down. These scrimmages are just theater to be settled by the corporate or elitist profiteers in whatever way leaves the swamp intact.

  25. jpb says:

    “Still waiting for Gowdy to state that the warrant was issued illegally.”
    Contempt of court is defined as follows:
    “It manifests itself in willful disregard of or disrespect for the authority of a court of law, which is often behavior that is illegal because it does not obey or respect the rules of a law court. … A judge may impose sanctions such as a fine or jail for someone found guilty of contempt of court.” Wikipedia
    The GOP memo is largely written by Tray Gowdy, according to Alexander Mercouris in a piece at The Duran. You can read the GOP memo and Mercouris’s analysis of the GOP memo, which may relieve your wait for Gowdy to step down the legal jargon from his brief advocating for the conclusion the FISA warrant perpetrated a ‘fraud on the court’.

  26. RC says:

    The Conservative Treehouse had a revelation today about another FBI undercover agent.
    Turns out the Carter Page, who the FBI certified as a Russian Spy to the FISA court in October 2016, was an undercover FBI agent used to trap and act as state witness in a trial against a real spy between 2013 and May 2016.
    You better believe the FISA court was not told that Carter Page was a trusted FBI undercover operative — until he became a VEHICLE to spy on the whole Trump Campaign, in October 2016 and three subsequent times at 90-day intervals.

  27. JamesT says:

    I really appreciate all of your writing on these topics. I must admit that I am emotionally tilted to believe that the memo is a “smoking gun”, but reading you helps to keep me from slipping to far into confirmation bias.

  28. plantman says:

    I’m really stuck.
    Here’s the deal: Comey and Co used the dossier to gat the FISA judge to approve a warrant for spying on Page.
    But why Page?
    Page was just a small fish who had already left the campaign.
    Besides, even if they got dirt on Page, it probably wouldn’t be sufficient to nail Trump (which is what they really wanted)
    My guess is that Page just provides the first clue in a much bigger criminal investigation that will uncover massive surveillance on people closer to Trump.
    That, at least, would make sense.
    If they were just spying on page, it doesn’t make any sense.
    Were Samantha power and susan rice using their connections with the NSA (and “unmasking”) to get secret electronic info on other Trump campaign members without even getting a FISA warrant?
    How big is this thing and how widespread?
    Clapper MUST have a hand in this, and maybe Brennan too.
    your thoughts?

    Summary has 3 points.
    PAGE has secret meetings in Moscow
    SECHIN raises lifting of Western Sanctions
    DIVEYKIN discusses release of kompromat of Hillary Clinton.
    Not sure why this memo is deemed salacious. How much supporting evidence would the FBI need for the FSIA court to issue the warrant on just this memo?

  30. Gowdy has said in a tweet about the warrant that he was “deeply disturbed” that is it.
    Mercouris should talk to Nunes. Nunes has said that Gowdy “summarized” source material and that he, Nunes, had the memo written by his aides.
    NYT claims that the key aide is Kashyap Patel, been an aid for less than 1 year. No prior intel experience.
    Contempt of court applies only to to participants in proceedings before a sitting judge? Not sure of your mention here. So await your reply.

  31. jpb says:

    The FBI obtained a warrant omitting the fact the Steele Dossier had a paid political origin. This omission was pertinent in assessing the creditably of the source of information used to establish ‘probable cause’ to issue the search warrant(FISA warrant). Is this omission ‘contempt of court’?
    Please read the GOP memo and Mercouris’s analysis of the memo for other omissions and misrepresentations before the FISA court. I do not know if Mercouris’s assertion that Trey Gowdy is the primary author is correct, but he make’s the case the GOP memo is a legal document and not a political document. Trey Gowdy is a trial lawyer who likely authored the legal document attacking the FISA warrant.
    Hopefully we will soon see the FISA warrant application!

  32. Eric Newhill says:

    W.U.E. #28
    Maybe b/c it was known that the meeting never happened b/c they were watching him (and via others methods and sources)? Maybe something as simple as Sechin was somewhere else at the time. Also, the part about Sechin offering Page something like $19 billion to help close the deal was kind of over the top wasn’t it? Would you believe that? And there’s the problem that Page wasn’t really a Trump advisor. He never met Trump and never communicated with him by other means. He was a very fringe volunteer on the campaign in a group that met a couple of times hoping to get an in and build a resume.
    How would a nobody like Page help get sanctions lifted?
    Steele’s work is pretty poor, IMO. You’d think he would have assembled better, more believable, stories. The golden showers thing is another example.
    The story is silly on its face.

  33. wisedupearly Ceo,
    The only salacious stuff in the Steele dossier (actually a series of raw reports, as you know), is the pee pee tape report. I happened to be watching Twitter the night the report came out and that was the only thing talked about for 24 hours. Everything else was lost in the snickering. Given the Stormy Daniels story and the ensuing payoff and cover up, even the pee pee tape doesn’t sound as crazy as it first did.
    A number of the individual reports by Steele were corroborated in full or part over time like the report you pointed out. If you accept the DNI ICA on Russian interference in the election a lot Steele’s stuff has panned out. Of course if you deny the concept of Russian interference, those reports of Steele are just part of the vast left wing conspiracy.
    An interesting item that was recently revealed concerned Natalia Veselnitskaya, the “adoption lawyer” who met Trump jr, Manafort and others at Trump Tower in June 2016. She was identified in Swiss court as an SVR officer who recruited a high level Swiss law enforcement officer. I’d love to hear the tapes of that Trump Tower meeting in light of this.

  34. jpb says:

    Apologies to PT for drifting off topic…..
    “The FISA Court Memorandum and Order was released prior to the House Intelligence Committee report and has been completely ignored by the utterly corrupt press prostitutes. The FISA Court Memorandum and Order, relying on the confessions of the FBI and DOJ, verifies the House Intelligence Committee report that the FBI and DOJ illegally obtained spy warrants for partisan politial purposes.”

  35. blue peacock says:

    I understand what you’re saying and would agree that would normally be how its done. Wearing a wire. But…I am speculating that Carter Page was used to get a FISA warrant specifically to gain retroactive authorization of earlier surveillance on some members of the Trump team. My speculation is that surveillance on Team Trump began earlier without any warrants leading to FISA violations that Admiral Rogers discovered in April 2016. Carter Page was the perfect accomplice to cover their surveillance tracks by getting the FISA Title I warrant in October 2016 on him and consequently every one he was in contact with.
    My contention that “setting a precedent” is a red herring is because the IC routinely disclose sources and methods when it serves their interest. For example I believe recalling Col. Lang writing that the IC disclosed we had decrypted secure communications of the Russian ambassador, apparently to nail Gen. Flynn. So, hiding behind precedence is precisely to prevent disclosure of malfeasance. It is like Clapper denying under oath that there is no mass surveillance. IMO, disclosing the FISA application may implicate Comey, Yates, Rosenstein, et al. and that’s the only reason why they are stalling. Just like the hysteria from Comey and Brennan prior to the release of the Nunes memo. And why they redact so much from the Grassley memo. There are no sources and methods in any of these memos.
    IMO, they better insure IG Horowitz’s report be like the Owens investigation in the UK that David Habakkuk has written about. Or else, if it turns out to be a doozy, the pressure from the Republicans in Congress will become very intense for the appointment of a second special counsel.

  36. blue peacock says:

    TTG #24

    The Nunes memo is a document with a political purpose, not a source document. If it was oversight, the HPSCI would be raking the FBI over the coals in hearings right now.

    The Nunes memo was never a source document and if you listen to the many interviews of Reps. Jordan, Gaetz & Meadows they never claim that it was a source doc. They have characterized it as a summary of the evidence around the specific topic of FISA abuse. This was their way around the classification and obstruction by the DOJ/FBI. Yes, it is political because it is going to be political pressure that takes it to the next step of either disclosure of the source documents or the appointment of another special counsel. Wray, Rosenstein, McCabe have already testified several times. Peter Strzok, Bill Priestap, Bruce Ohr, et al are all on deck. It has taken Nunes, Grassley and Goodlatte over a year in the face of all the obstruction to get this far. The Nunes memo was designed to play a very specific role. Bring forth allegations into the public square of malfeasance and a potential conspiracy. Schiff’s memo will counter that by stating the Republicans are attacking our law enforcement & IC. This type of response, IMO, is exactly what the Republicans want. This then leads to the next step. This is just the beginning of discovery.

    None of this is a Constitutional crisis.

    It can become one, if in the process of discovery they find sufficient evidence of a conspiracy, or if the IG report notes that there was a concerted effort to undermine Trump. The DOJ & FBI are doing their darndest to prevent discovery.

  37. Tom says:

    @TTG and Publius Tacitus Thanks to both of you. You are doing a great service to the public. I tend to go with Tacitus though. The reason being that nobody who has any knowledge of Russia could but come to the conclusion that the Steele dossier is utter nonsense. Therefore any use of the dossier could only have been taken in bad faith. Or else the Borg is really totally stupid.

  38. Tel says:

    “There are two classes of FBI “informants.” One is serving as a “criminal informant” and the other is as an “intelligence asset.”

    Looks like now we have a third category where a guy perfectly known to be a partisan hack gets paid a token payment by the FBI to give the appearance of being a real “intelligence asset” thus decorating the pantomime set in preparation for the FISA court where they can befuddle the good Judge.
    In other words, the FBI guys were well aware that Steele was no real “asset”, just wanted it to look that way.
    And you go make a law in good faith, believing that people will do the right thing and obey said law… but instead they go to extraordinary lengths to find a way to get around it, then you need a new law to fix that problem. Tsk tsk.

  39. Tel says:

    “But why Page?”

    Because the trick of intelligence gathering is to accidentally-on-purpose scoop up quite a bit more than you intended and then send it to AG Lynch so the key people can be “unmasked” before some completely unknown and unknowable “leak” parcels it up with unmasked names and speaks to the press, on condition of anonymity because they solemnly promised never to speak to the press.
    You are thinking in terms of a legitimate investigation, which this was never intended to be.

  40. JW says:

    Is there any evidence that Mr Steele actually exists, other than the word of some who are sure they’ve seen him, and an empty but still warm coffee cup, etc ? If his existence is questionable, then so too would be the provenance of his ‘dossier’.

  41. steve says:

    So the FISA application has been released and people have read it? Have you read it? Your trust in our politicians is interesting, but I think that trust and verify is better. I don’t really trust the Democrats either as they have already claimed that most of what is in the memo is false, but they don’t have the application either, and they also have not released the McCabe testimony.

  42. Eric Newhill says:

    I posted a comment a little past my “good until” hour last night. I erroneously stated how much Page was allegedly offered, Sechin, to end sanctions. Still, it was an eye raising amount of $. I think it strained credibility.
    Why Page? I think it’s all about perception management; putting a fig leaf on the coup for the public’s sake. Goes like this. Trump was getting bashed for allegedly knowing nothing about foreign policy and not having a team. This was especially damaging compared to Clinton, who had been Sec State. Trump has his people quickly look everywhere for people and organize as many “advisors” as possible (more perception management). Then he fires back at critiques that he has all kinds of advisors. Page had a PhD, Naval Academy grad. That looked good. Page Makes the team Trump list. The FBI has been circling, waiting for something to seize upon to damage Trump on Clinton’s behalf. Bingo! Calls are made and Steele is directed to include inflammatory “intel” on Page and Page +Trump in his reports. He does. It is possible that FBI did not fully realize at the time that Page and Trump never talk. Poor Page. Everyone uses him and no one takes him seriously.

  43. Joe100 says:

    I am getting really confused here. According to then NYT (via a “former intelligence officer”) Carter Page was the FBI Undercover Employee (UCE-1) in the Buryakov case (2013) and that (apparently according to court records) he continued to support the case through March 2016.
    So how does this (if accurate and ten description of UCE-1 certainly fits Page) relate to an October 2016 FISA warrant on him??
    For details see: https://theconservativetreehouse.com/2018/02/05/in-march-2016-carter-page-was-an-fbi-employee-in-october-2016-fbi-told-fisa-court-hes-a-spy/#more-145498

  44. Eric Newhill says:

    In bringing up Stormy Daniels I think you did us all a favor by reminding that it is incorrect to think about this as a legitimate investigation where facts and procedures matter. It isn’t. It is, IMO, much more of a perception operation engaged in by Obama/Clinton loyal bureaucrats and partners in the mainstream media.
    Examining each tree causes us to forget about the forest. The forest – the legend – is that we have elected a crooked buffoon conman that colluded w/ Russians to win an election for the purpose of making himself wealthier and to sell out America to our most deadly adversary. The proof of this is the Steele dossier and that the impeccable FBI has him under investigation!!!
    Maybe the FBI gets to scoop something up w/ their spying, but it’s not as important as we think it would be (as in a real investigation).
    To keep the fires burning hot, Stormy Daniels and other salacious material is trotted out on a regular schedule. The salacious material, if you notice, self-reinforces. Steele is true b/c Daniels is true and vice versa etc., etc. ad nauseum. Clapper and brennan make regular appearances denouncing Trump as do other Unquestionables.
    That’s all this is, IMO. Keeping the heat on Trump until he quits or until public opinion is sufficiently aroused that he can be impeached on something…anything.

  45. Charles says:

    It is well known that Catherine The Great wrote the second amendment, Thomas Jefferson was an agent of Czarist Russia as the second amendment clearly shows.

  46. turcopolier says:

    One explanation might be that the left hand did not know what the right hand was doing. Another might be that the FBI wanted the warrant and that CP was a convenient vehicle. pl

  47. Dr. Puck says:

    Why would massive surveillance need to be uncovered?
    The Trump administration has its appointees at the top of, and, running the DOJ & IC. What do you suppose happens when the boss asks his employee a straightforward question about prior activities?

  48. Dr. Puck says:

    thank you TTG for helping with the difference between validated fact and everything else short of that standard.
    …bonus appreciation for pithiness, “if you deny the concept of Russian interference, those reports of Steele are just part of the vast left wing conspiracy”

  49. Sid Finster says:

    Regardless of any law that he may have violated, Steele will not be charged in the US or the UK as long as he was doing what the Deep State wishes.

  50. Sid Finster says:

    No better way to suicide a man that law enforcement wants suicided than to put him in protective custody.

  51. Sid Finster says:

    Honestly, I don’t think it matters. Steele and Strzok could give sworn public testimony that they invented Russiagate out of whole cloth and fabricated all of the so-called “evidence” and those who want to believe in Russiagate will, stagger, spin frantically, and go right back to believing.
    I talka bout “cognitive dissonance” a lot and believe me, I wish I knew what it takes to make people wake the [FAMILY BLOG] up, but there are entire religions based on cognitive dissonance.

  52. Sid Finster says:

    Power attracts sociopaths the way catnip attracts cats, or cocaine attracts addicts.
    To put it another way: if power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely, absolute power also attracts the kind of people who have no business having power.
    People will try to get around any law, even a law made in the best and most nobly-intentioned faith. This includes those responsible for enforcing the law.

  53. Cvillereader says:

    I would not exclude the possibility that Page, as well as Manafort and Papadopoulos, were plants.
    The previous FBI case that Page was involved with did not end until May 2016, which I think is after he became involved with the Trump campaign.
    Manafort and Papadopoulos both have connections to shady figures in Ukraine.
    And now we are beginning to hear that Victoria Nuland May have steered Steele toward the FBI.
    I have no doubt that Obama’s State Department might have been concerned about damaging information held by Putin on its activities.

  54. turcopolier says:

    Dr. Puck
    They may lie to cover their own previous participation in such activities. pl

  55. Flavius says:

    Steele’s credibility and reliability are peripheral to appraising the quality of the PC in the affidavit. The critical question has to do with whether Steele’s alleged Russian sources were credible and reliable. It would be mind boggling if the Agents handling Steele did not demand to know the identities of his sources so that the information could be characterized for the purposes of the affidavit. Regardless of who was paying Steele, and how many times he was being paid for the same info, and how and to whom he was distributing the info, the quality of his information can not be properly assessed until it is known from whom it came, how it came to be known, and the circumstances under which it was acquired. Unless that was known, it never ahould have been considered to be actionable.
    This raises the interesting question of whether our Gov’t has any obligation of confidentiality with respect to Steele’s alleged sources – off the top of my head, I would think not.
    With respect to the Carter Page info, deficient probable cause can be multiplied endlessly by events and by sources and it still doesn’t come to pass the threshold of probable cause. In fact, I would look on throwing in the kitchen sink as a sign of something disingenuous going on.
    I can think of no valid reason why the FBI and the DoJ would not want to charge Steele with lying to the FBI if it can be demonstrated that he lied to them, particularly in so important a matter. With regard to investigating the provenance of his alleged sources to sustain the charge, there will surely be some severe practical difficulties. Steele is likely relying on those. Possibly they might consider Steele to be a material witness in a wider prosecutorial framework.
    It is all very much a mess.

  56. SmoothieX12 says:

    She was identified in Swiss court as an SVR officer who recruited a high level Swiss law enforcement officer.
    Identified by who? From what is known about her–a typical murky raider lawyer with pretty well-off hubby. Do you use “recruitment” instead of bribing or corrupting? While not mutually exclusive, one has to really question motivations.

  57. RK says:

    Re: “If Page was an FBI accomplice, there would have been no need for a FISA warrant. Page would have just worn a wire or the digital equivalent of a wire. I covered that in a comment in my last post.”
    In which case, why all these, why all these Title I vs Title VII vs whatever?!
    and this?!

  58. Anna says:

    Schiff is comical? — Yes. “http://theduran.com/adam-schiff-exposed-putin-puppet-2013-rt-interview-video/ “Adam Schiff exposed as Putin puppet in 2013 RT interview” (Video)
    Who would think that Adam Schiff is a progeny of the main financier of the Bolshevik revolution, Jakob Schiff: http://www.wildboar.net/multilingual/easterneuropean/russian/literature/articles/whofinanced/whofinancedleninandtrotsky.html
    “One of the greatest myths of contemporary history is that the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia was a popular uprising of the downtrodden masses against the hated ruling class of the Tsars. As we shall see, however, the planning, the leadership and especially the financing came entirely from outside Russia, mostly from financiers in Germany, Britain and the United States. … This amazing story begins with the war between Russia and Japan in 1904. Jacob Schiff, who was head of the New York investment firm Kuhn, Loeb and Company, had raised the capital for large war loans to Japan. It was due to this funding that the Japanese were able to launch a stunning attack against the Russians at Port Arthur and the following year to virtually decimate the Russian fleet. In 1905 the Mikado awarded Jacob Schiff a medal, the Second Order of the Treasure of Japan, in recognition of his important role in that campaign… On March 23, 1917 a mass meeting was held at Carnegie Hall to celebrate the abdication of Nicolas II, which meant the overthrow of Tsarist rule in Russia. Thousands of socialists, Marxists, nihilists nand anarchists attended to cheer the event. The following day there was published on page two of the New York Times a telegram from Jacob Schiff, which had been read to this audience. He expressed regrets, that he could not attend and then described the successful Russian revolution as “…what we had hoped and striven for these long years”. In the February 3, 1949 issue of the New York Journal, American Schiff’s grandson, John, was quoted by columnist Cholly Knickerbocker as saying that his grandfather had given about $20 million for the triumph of Communism in Russia.”– What a family!

  59. pj says:

    There’s an old lawyer joke that comes to mind as I listen to the D’s responses to the Nunes memo. “When the facts are against you, pound the law. If the law is against you, pound the facts. If both are against you, pound the table.”

  60. Eric Newhill says:

    IMO, It matters that Adam Schiff’s sister is married to George Soros’ son and that Soros was a major donor to Schiff’s campaign.
    The big players begin to look like pawns.

  61. SmoothieX12 says:

    Regardless of who was paying Steele, and how many times he was being paid for the same info, and how and to whom he was distributing the info, the quality of his information can not be properly assessed until it is known from whom it came, how it came to be known, and the circumstances under which it was acquired. Unless that was known, it never ahould have been considered to be actionable.
    Situational and tactical awareness 101. You got that right. Information is not a knowledge–two are totally different things. I do, however, have one objection–NO, it is NOT regardless who were paying Steele, in fact–it is a crucial matter and that is what Nunes Memo was about and did–it anchored the issue where it should be anchored and around which this whole affair will continue to revolve, as it should–preprogrammed fallacy, in fact politics-driven bogus of an “intelligence”. The very notion that surveillance was initiated based on the outright fabrication is the real scandal. That is why Dens were going apoplectic. It is damn difficult now to sink the issue in procedural and legalistic BS once the Memo is nailed to the doors of a “cathedral”. As for Steele, I hope he is now well-guarded from possible slip on a banana skin and accidentally falling, seven times in a row, on a knife he was carrying, accidentally, of course. But then again, 10-15 shots from 9-mm to own head is also a very popular homicide method.

  62. Thomas says:

    “I have no doubt that Obama’s State Department might have been concerned about damaging information held by Putin on its activities.”
    Yep, when you are in charge of the state administration there is all sorts of information available to you, such as radar and communication records for a country along your border or all the info gained thanks to a lazy federal official’s lack of concern for security over convenience.

  63. Jack says:

    In your comment #34 you note the DNI claim of Russian interference in the election. That is not the issue here. The issue here is the narrative sold by Clapper, Brennan, Hillary Clinton and the media that Trump colluded with the Russian government to steal the presidential election. And the related issue of surveillance of the Trump campaign.
    That and the firing of Comey is the core basis for the appointment of Mueller. Comey claimed he was fired for investigating the Trump collusion, which lead to ginned up hysteria.
    Why is everyone conflating Russian interference in the election with the allegations of Trump’s collusion with the Russian government? They are two different matters. The question that needs to be answered is if the latter allegations and the subsequent FBI investigation of Trump and his campaign were based on legitimate evidence or for partisan political purposes?
    It seems to me that you too are conflating these two matters. What exactly is your position on the collusion allegations and the law enforcement and IC narrative on that matter? Why are the DOJ and FBI obstructing the Congressional investigation into the activities of the FBI, DOJ and the IC relating to their investigation of Trump and his campaign? The Nunes memo and the evidence it is based on is about the FBI and DOJ investigation of the Trump campaign. It has nothing to do with if Russia interfered in our election. In fact other than the DNI report there has been no evidence presented by the IC validating the claim of Russian interference.
    If we have to have a more sane discussion and not talk past each other, IMO, we must separate the two issues of Russian interference from Trump’s collusion allegation and the resultant IC/law enforcement investigation.

  64. robt willmann says:

    Well, the House Intel Committee memo, Republican version, says on page 2, lines 7-8:
    “Steele was a longtime FBI source who was paid over $160,000 by the DNC and Clinton campaign [etc.]…”
    That is pretty clear: “Steele was a longtime FBI source ….” How long, one might wonder?
    Carter Page does appear to be a little odd. He enthusiastically shows up for multiple television interviews grinning quite a bit and seemingly without a care in the world.
    The memo has obviously been edited down. The first neon sign I saw was on page 1: “The FBI and DOJ obtained one initial FISA warrant targeting Carter Page and three FISA renewals from the FISC”. A FISA order must be renewed every 90 days. Four times 90 is 360 days. Day one was 21 October 2016, the memo tells us. Donald Trump was elected president on 8 November 2016. He was sworn in on 20 January 2017. Carter Page was under surveillance until October 2017, a little over three months ago. On what grounds? Who was he talking to or communicating with, other than the hosts of television shows?
    The memo creates the impression that the Steele paper was used in each of the four FISA applications, but that is not completely clear.
    Furthermore, the memo clearly says that James Comey signed three FISA applications in question and Andrew McCabe signed one. But when it comes to the Justice Department lawyers, the language gets vague: Sally Yates, Dana Boente, and Rod Rosenstein “each signed one or more FISA applications on behalf of DOJ”. Why not say the exact number each one signed? Is the memo talking only about the four Carter Page applications or other additional applications with respect to the DOJ lawyers?

  65. Second the recommendation to read Mercouris’ piece which I referred to in an earlier thread. It’s a masterpiece which is very precise in analyzing the exact legal words of the GOP memo.
    Today Alexander has posted a more speculative analysis of the Lindsay/Grassley referral letter which asks the DoJ if Steele should be hit with possible criminal charges.
    Grassley’s, Lindsey Graham’s referral on Steele: did US media, Clinton campaign provide content for Trump Dossier?
    The referral letter – which is heavily redacted and thus set out in full in Alexander’s piece – suggests that not only did Steele use unverifiable information allegedly from Russia, but ALSO very likely received additional unverified information along the course of the production of his reports which may – may not – have originated from associates of the Clintons. Alexander points to the Cory Shearer “second dossier” as a likely example.
    Steele may also have received and included in his reports unsolicitied information from media sources.
    Mercouris points out that all this – if proven – would render the Steele dossier even less credible than it is. And it would tar both the media and the Clinton campaign as having contributed to the “constitutional crisis” it seems to be shaping up to.

  66. “If you accept the DNI ICA on Russian interference in the election a lot Steele’s stuff has panned out.”
    Of course, if one accepts the DNI ICA after Scott Ritter ripped it a new one, one is obviously willing to believe anything Clapper, Brennan and the rest of these serial liars tell one.
    Denying the concept of a “vast Russain conspiracy to use Pokemon to influence the election” is just common sense.
    See, I can write snark, too.

  67. blue peacock says:

    You make an important distinction that is being lost in these discussions.
    It is well known that Russia runs intelligence operations in the US, just like the US does in Russia. I assume Col. Lang, TTG and Publius Tacitus ran spooks & intelligence operations in the Soviet bloc. And probably Putin did the same in the NATO bloc. This has been going on for decades and is nothing new.
    What is new is the hysteria surrounding the loss of the election by Hillary Clinton and the attempt to explain the loss to Trump’s collusion with the Russian government. This narrative as you point out was sold hard by Clapper, Brennan, et al and the complicit media who were convinced of Hilary’s win.
    This controversy is about very specific questions around the investigation of Trump and his campaign for their alleged collusion with the Russian government. And additionally, there are specific questions about the FBI investigation into Hillary Clinton’s mishandling of classified information. That is the crux. How were these two separate investigations by the same people at the FBI & DOJ run?
    The Congressional Republicans want to learn more about these two investigations. The DOJ, FBI, the IC, the Democrats and the media want to sweep the truth of these two investigations under the rug. What many Americans want to know is, was there a conspiracy against a national presidential candidate and a legitimately elected POTUS by a previous administration from a rival party? What role if any did partisan bias play in these two investigations?
    I agree with you that we ought to have two separate discussions. One, did the Russians interfere in our election and if so, how did they do it and what impact did it have? Two, was there a conspiracy against presidential candidate Trump and a President-elect Trump by the Obama administration? If so, who participated in it and how did they do it?

  68. SmoothieX12 says:

    Mercouris points out that all this – if proven – would render the Steele dossier even less credible than it is.
    I would go on a limb here and even state that Steele’s “contacts” or “network”, rezidentura or whatever in Russia where he was stationed in 1990-92 are almost predictable and they are worthless by now. So, whenever the term “sources” in Russian “government” are used I kinda have a feeling that those are the same “sources” who constitute main foreign contributors to American (and British) “Russian Studies” field–rather a wasteland of propaganda cliches and memes. There is also a really interesting Ukrainian angle in all that. But you see, even Lindsey Graham could be sometimes of some utility, not that it is his integrity speaking.;-)

  69. Cvillereader says:

    There is definitely something off about Carter Page’s demeanor.
    His life story, as has been reported, also seems bereft of a lot of details.
    We know that he has a master’s degree from Georgetown, an MBA from NYU, and a PhD from University of London.
    He reportedly worked for Merrill Lynch in Moscow, and then started his own consulting firm.
    The press hasn’t been able to find one person that either remembers him, or has anything positive to say about him. And there are no reports of a family of any type.
    All of this seems out of place for someone who did very well at the Naval Academy, and was s member of the CFR.
    In an interview last week, Nunes said that Page should never have been the subject of a FISA warrant, and had not held a job for several years.
    How exactly has Page supported himself, including his extensive obtaining multiple advanced degrees?
    He almost sounds like a caricature of the gray man.

  70. Barbara Ann says:

    This cannot be said enough. The ‘Russian interference’ narrative was a non story right from the beginning. The ‘Trump collusion’ narrative on the other hand is the mother of all stories; both for those who take it at face value and in a different sense, for those of us who question its origin and motivations. Conflation of the two must not be tolerated.

  71. VietnamVet says:

    I second the thanks for the public service that PT & TTG are providing by sharing their expertise. I admit I am confused. I’ve decided that is the intention. The GOP memo documents that the FISA court is a highly unjust Star Chamber. The same congressmen who declassified this memo passed the FISA extension just weeks before knowing this. No wonder the author Trey Gowdy is not seeking re-election. If there had been any factual basis to Russiagate, it would have been released by now, a year later. This supports the contention that there is an intelligence community/media counter coup underway against Donald Trump. The Memo joins the list of proofs that the rule of law is dead in America.

  72. DianaLC says:

    Hmmmm…..with this group of Democrats, especially their last candidate for POTUS, I think you might be thinking “shades of Vince Foster.”
    I know, I know….he killed himself.

  73. Keith Harbaugh says:

    Regarding Susan B. Glasser,
    I think it is worth noting that she seems to be a real Putin-hater,
    as indicated in this book review:
    “Putin’s Russia, guided by its totalitarian past, has no future”
    review by Susan B. Glasser of Masha Gessen’s The Future Is History: How Totalitarianism Reclaimed Russia.
    Washington Post Book World, 2017-10-24
    Further, although some will no doubt think this should not be mentioned,
    I think it is worth noting that Ms. Glasser is Jewish.
    Not that there is anything wrong with that,
    but it is worth noting how many of the Russophobes in America seem to be of that ethnicity.
    More than one would expect by random chance.

  74. So many rabbit holes and apparently all that guides which hole is taken is personal bias.
    Has GOWDY stated that the warrant was issued illegally?
    Would the one memo 2016/94 be sufficient to issue a warrant? I am assuming that at least some part of that memo could be verified.
    Remember that the submission is not to find PAGE guilty of some crime and jail him.
    One point. STEELE is a known MI5 officer. He has a track record. He is reporting what his contacts told him. If he is lying, if the “information/disinformation” in even just one of the memos was provided by a third party and STEELE does not know the sources claimed in the memo, then all of the dossier must be dropped. If one of STEELE’s sources lied to him, does that render the remaining items suspect? I think not.
    This is not like the CURVEBALL scandal where all key “proof” for WMD was derived from the testimony of one source, STEELE claims that there were many sources.
    Would not want to be the FBI’s contact with STEELE, or indeed anyone in the intel community. Its damned if you do act and damned if you don’t act.

  75. turcopolier says:

    Wised up early CEO
    You alaways have a choice. pl

  76. NancyK says:

    Your shocked that Schiff is a member of the intelligence community, I’m shocked that Trump is the president. We live in shoving times.

  77. fanto says:

    Cvillreader at #54 – Victoria Nuland was on Face the Nation on Sunday, the host was a Ms. Brennan (if I remember correctly)(any relations?) who called Ms Nuland by the admiring “Toria” or “Tory” – and Ms. Nuland was talking about Steele talking to her and her telling to FBI… so the story goes.
    Anna at #59 and Eric Newhill #61 – Armand Hammer was another benefactor and beneficiary of Lenin and Soviet Revolution.
    And VV – I was confused , but I see now…And it is not a pretty sight. I love your comments as always.

  78. Fred says:

    re: comment 74. The Borg have no transcendent religous moral foundation and are only loyal to the collective.

  79. Eric Newhill says:

    You are probably already aware – the Senate memo released last night states that Steele either lied to the FBI or the FBI lied to the FISA court.
    Steele will have to be dragged in for questioning. He could be charged, minimally, w/ lying to the FBI (it’s not like the FBI is going to confess to lying to the FISA at this stage of the game). I would not want to be his life insurance company. IMO, they are headed for a payout. This is clearly leading to Obama and Clinton and Steele will be squeezed to get the dominoes falling.

  80. Rhondda says:

    In a previous thread I had asserted that perhaps Page is no idiot, but rather an intelligence asset of some sort operating without official cover.
    Colonel Lang replied with a question: “That he was a US NOC working the Russia target?”
    I answered: “Yes. Or perhaps as TTG puts it (…) “an OFCO (offensive counterintelligence operations) dangle.”
    As news has broken and rumors surfaced, I now wonder if maybe Russia was not the target of ‘the dangle’ after all.
    What if the target was the FBI?
    Based on the chain of events that culminated in Clapper and Ash Carter calling for Adm Rogers to be fired, we might deduce that the NSA and/or military side of the intel/cyber house had discovered a multi-pronged operation of ’domestic spying for political gain using the organs of the national security state’ collusion between FBI-DOJ / other non-mil IC / British assets / ObamaAdmin+Brennan+Clinton.
    Page is ex Navy Intel. It seems possible he is still Navy intel, undercover for the DIA…or similar?
    Thinking about this scenario I found I had a grin on my face like The Grinch Who Stole Christmas when he conceives his evil pan to rob the Whos. Impressively dastardly!
    Perhaps I’m wrong, but it fits the facts insofar as I can see them and gave me hope that perhaps the swamp will be drained after all.

  81. blue peacock says:

    Grassley’s & Graham’s criminal referral to the DOJ corroborates the Nunes memo insofar that the Carter Page FISA application “relied heavily” on the Steele dossier.
    This is a very smart referral as it now gives FISC an opportunity to investigate the DOJ’s FISA application while putting them in a spot for rubber-stamping the application with no verification of the evidence and it puts the DOJ & FBI in a tight spot as their application stated that the information from Steele was credible because he had been credible in the past knowing that Steele was briefing the media contradicting what the FBI claimed. This becomes an issue especially when it comes to the FISA extension requests timelines. The other contradiction is the use of the Isikoff story to corroborate the Steele information in the FISA application when Isikoff’s source was Steele himself.
    Today, Sen. Johnson released his memo on the FBI investigation of Clinton’s mishandling of classified information.

  82. Newmarket says:

    What is your take on WAPO’s puff piece today “whitewashing” Christopher Steele. The apparent involvement of Sir Andrew Dearlove and Sir Andrew Wood, the former advising Steele while seated in a winged chair within the cozy confines of the posh and venerable Garrick Club “to work discreetly with a top British government official to pass along information to the FBI”. There are a lot of threads in the pro-Steele article that might be pursued, such as the involvement of the British government to build a case against Trump. After all, the Brits had strong motives to bring down a presidential candidate who cared not a whit for the “special relationship, supported Brexit and was less than lukewarm in his feelings about NATO.

  83. Keith Harbaugh says:

    reply to #59:
    Anna, are you familiar with the tract
    “Russophobia”, 1989
    by the great Russian mathematician Igor Shararevich
    (associate of Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn and Andrei Sakharov,
    as well as his scholarly career)?
    Shafarevich, from his inside knowledge of Russia, in Russophobia discusses at length
    issues congruent with those you raised in your comment 59,
    in particular,
    the attempts by what he calls “The Lesser Nation” (or “Lesser People”, depending on the translator)
    to undermine, attack, and ultimately dissolve
    what he considers mainstream traditional Russian culture.
    A charge which certainly has resonance with the changes in America since, say, 1960,
    driven by the cultural Marxists and their Frankfurt School.
    I really am surprised, amazed, and disappointed that
    “Russophobia” is not more widely available than
    through the military link below,
    and that Americans have not taken advantage of the insights it provides into
    the forces that have shaped Russia.
    BTW, if you want to give Russophobia the attention I think it deserves, let me add a practical suggestion.
    It is a densely written work, one I find difficult to read online.
    If you print it, and your PDF print software allows 2×2 printing,
    i.e., putting four logical pages on each physical sheet of paper,
    that may be a good idea.
    That works well, starting with either (logical) page 1 or 2 and going up to page 39.
    For some discussion between me and Lyttenburgh about this work, see
    Also BTW, Colonel Lang, if you happen to be reading this,
    do you have any comments on the FBIS and/or its JPRS Reports in which Russophobia appeared?

  84. turcopolier says:

    Like Radio Free Europe these institutions were largely manned by soviet exiles who spread the same bile that was inculcated at Garmisch. it has become a collective disease in the US and if not challenged it may kill us all. pl

  85. TV says:

    Very little chance of this, I’d guess.
    This whole mess is the actions of clumsy, sloppy not bright people – the “gang that can’t shoot straight.”
    Just the teen age girl texting between Strzok and Page shows the ineptitude of this bunch.
    “OPS security” – what’s that?
    And Comey (another legend in his own mind) seems to have left a trail of breadcrumbs a rookie cop could follow.

  86. Flavius says:

    Comey. Dunce, liar, or political dancer? Beltway bureaucrat? Likely he’s some combination of all of them. I’ll throw Brennan and Clapper in there with Comey as well. Comey even tried to dance with Trump but couldn”t pull it off, probably because he couldn’t shake off the narrative into which he had gone all in; and no one in that warm little nest of all in deputies could shake it off either to maybe give the truth a chance.
    Comey was done from the moment he let himself, and worse, the Bureau, be played by the DoJ at the outset of the e-mail investigation. The longer the case wore on, sustained strictly on the Bureau’s reputation, the uglier it got. When it was declared over, anyone who knows what an investigation is supposed to look like, saw that it was not an investigation at all. FBI reputation – poof. Throw in being taken in by Steele as a result of clinical Trumpophobia complicated by clinical Russophobia, double poof.
    The russophobia is probably worse over in GB – eases their pangs of nostalgia and gives MI 6 the feeling of the way it had been in the old days. No moving on for them, either.
    All very sad.

  87. Arioch The says:

    Flavius: Steele’s credibility and reliability are peripheral …. whether Steele’s alleged Russian sources were credible and reliable.
    You know… I have an intel that Trump eats Christian newborns every morning. My sources? The best they can ever be, Trump himself. Surely he would deny it if confronted, it is not the public info. See, you don’t have to trust me, but because my source on it is the best that can be imagined you have to trust my intel. Thanks for understanding and cooperation.

  88. Arioch The says:

    > … that the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia was a popular uprising …. against …. the Tsars
    > … American Schiff’s grandson, John, … given about $20 million for the triumph of Communism in Russia.”
    Assuming in this context Communism and Bolshevism mean the same. So far so good.
    > On March 23, 1917 a mass meeting was held at Carnegie Hall to celebrate the abdication of Nicolas II, which meant the overthrow of Tsarist rule in Russia
    Sorry, WUT ?
    > On March 23, 1917 a mass meeting was held at Carnegie Hall to celebrate the abdication of Nicolas II, which meant the overthrow of Tsarist rule in Russia
    Again ???
    > On March 23, 1917 … overthrow of Tsarist rule in Russia
    Oh, yeah, Bolsheviks did it.
    Yep, this American liberal movement was of Bolsheviks, sure.
    ….except that in March 1917 Bolsheviks were no one fools, tiny fringe marginal.
    It was only in October 1917 that incompetence of the liberals allowed two marginal “doers not thinker” parties – Bolsheviks and Social-Revolutionaries together – made the THIRD revolution.
    However it had nothing to do with Tzar and monarchy, which were long sieged and finally finished by the second, Liberal revolution half year before it.

  89. Generalfeldmarschall von Hindenburg says:

    Weren’t they originally Gehlen’s guys? An independent Ukraine as foil to Russia seems to be a consistent project of German foreign policy. And a lot of Gehlen’s ideology was absorbed by the nascent CIA

  90. Just a radioman says:

    Actually it was Victoria Nuland who passed the Steele memo to the FBI after Steele passed it to her. It was Victoria Nuland that arranged and authorized the meeting between Steele and the FBI.
    She actually has stated that herself. “He [Steele] passed two to four pages of short points of what he was finding, and our immediate reaction to that was, ‘This is not in our purview,”
    I have read Glen Simpsons testimony and the interviews that Steele himself have given and both leave out the fact that Steele was actually sharing the Dossier with the State Department first. WHY?
    Was Steele misleading Simpson or were they trying to establish better cover and bona fides of the dossier.

  91. turcopolier says:

    What kinda radioman? I remember Shapiro who stood at my elbow for two years when I led 42 good men and true. pl

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