The first indictments and arrests by special counsel Robert Mueller’s prosecutors dominated the headlines at the start of the week, but other developments have cast serious doubt on the validity of the Russia-Trump collusion theory, which is the basis of Mueller’s investigation. Evidence is being uncovered that suggests that the Clintons and the Democrat National Committee may be far guiltier than Trump of collusion with the Russians, with the wrongdoing going back to Mrs. Clinton’s role as Obama’s secretary of state in the sale of 20% of U.S. uranium to Russia. It was also revealed that Clinton and the Democrats secretly paid $9 million through their lawyers for the creation and distribution of the notorious Trump dossier and its Russian-sourced lies.
Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and his business associate, Rick Gates, were indicted for failing to register as lobbyists for the previous Ukrainian government and trying to hide the money they were paid by the Ukrainians to avoid paying taxes on it. The White House reacted to the indictment by noting that the charges were totally unrelated to the accusations which triggered the special council investigation of Trump-Russia collusion during last year’s election.
The special counsel also announced it had secured a guilty plea from George Papadopoulos, an unpaid Trump campaign foreign policy advisor. He admitted to lying to federal agents about the timing of his contacts with Russian agents who asked him to set up a meeting with Trump campaign officials to share “dirt” on Hillary Clinton from “thousands of emails.” Trump campaign officials, including Manafort, flatly rejected the offer, and no such meeting was ever held.
The flurry of activity from the special counsel came at a time when it appeared Mueller’s search for solid evidence of Russian collusion with the Trump campaign was going nowhere. While there were isolated contacts between members of the Trump campaign and Russian agents who were offering information that could be used against Hillary Clinton, in the end, no such information was provided. Trump campaign officials were curious about the information, but showed no interest in colluding with the Russians.
The indictments of Manafort and Gates for financial crimes completely unrelated to the influence of the Russians on the election and the superficial basis for the arrest of Papadopoulos means Mueller hasn’t got much to show for a 16-month-long investigation. He is still searching for proof there was a Trump-Russian conspiracy.
POLITICAL MONEY LAUNDERING
Meanwhile, evidence of a Democrat-Russian conspiracy to influence the outcome of the election continues to grow. It was recently revealed that in April 2016, the Clinton campaign and the Democrat National Committee (DNC) hired Fusion GPS to create the notorious “Trump dossier” which was used to stoke the Trump-Russia collusion hysteria. The hiring was camouflaged by payments to Perkins Coie, the law firm of Clinton campaign lawyer Marc Elias, who served as the main intermediary between the Democrats and Fusion GPS. In their filings with the Federal Election Commission (FEC), the DNC and the Clinton campaign reported giving $12.4 million to the law firm as payments for “legal services.” In fact, three-quarters of that money went to Fusion GPS.
This revelation prompted the Campaign Legal Center, a non-partisan election watchdog, to submit a complaint to the FEC to investigate the “misleading” payments by the DNC and the Clinton campaign. They were a form of money laundering to evade campaign finance laws.
During the same period, President Obama’s political organization paid Fusion GPS more than $900,000, through the same law firm, but Obama’s group refuses to say why the money was paid.
Leading Democrats were brazen in their efforts to cover up their connection to Fusion GPS. In recent closed-door interviews, Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta and former DNC chairman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz told the Senate Intelligence Committee that they did not know who had funded the Trump dossier. Republican Senator Susan Collins says she now wants Podesta and Wasserman-Schultz to return to the committee and explain why they lied to it the first time.
Podesta was asked specifically whether the Clinton campaign had a contractual agreement with Fusion GPS. He responded by saying he was not aware of one, while sitting next to Marc Elias, the lawyer who arranged to hire and pay Fusion GPS on behalf of the DNC and the Clinton campaign.
ANGRY REPORTERS LET THEMSELVES BE MISLED
Other victims of the dossier conspiracy were the New York Times reporters who complained that Elias had repeatedly lied to them about the Democrats’ involvement with the dossier.
Maggie Haberman wrote, “Folks involved in funding this lied about it, and with sanctimony, for a year.”
Kennth Vogel wrote, “When I tried to report this story, Clinton campaign lawyer Marc Elias pushed back vigorously, saying ‘You (or your sources) are wrong.’”
In fact, it was the reporters’ anti-Trump bias that enabled them to be misled by accepting the Democrat-funded dossier accusations at face value.
Prominent Democrats began scrambling to distance themselves from the revelations. The DNC released a carefully-worded statement noting that its “new leadership” was not involved with the dossier. It also carefully avoided mention of former DNC leaders Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Donna Brazile, who were forced to step down last year after revelations that they conspired to give Mrs. Clinton an unfair advantage over Bernie Sanders in the race for the Democrat nomination.
Nobody in the DNC or the Clinton campaign has admitted to knowing what Fusion GPS was doing with their money, and nobody has admitted to approving the disguised payments.
TRUMP DOSSIER LIES
Fusion GPS hired former British MI6 intelligence agent Christopher Steele, who began to produce the Trump dossier in June 2016, based upon unverifiable information from paid, unnamed Russian sources.
The dossier claimed that Russian officials had been setting up Trump as a potential target for blackmail “for at least five years,” and that the Kremlin had been providing members of Trump’s inner circle with damaging intelligence on Hillary Clinton. The FBI investigation into Russian interference in the election began in late July, and the FBI used the accusations in the Trump dossier, provided to them by Steele, as a “roadmap” for its probe.
Steele no longer works for British intelligence. He now runs a private security-and-investigations firm. The FBI considered him to be a reliable source because he had previously supplied them with accurate information.
Former Clinton campaign spokesman Brian Fallon, now a CNN commentator, said Hillary Clinton “may” have known about her campaign’s role in funding the dossier. “I have no idea what Fusion or Steele were paid,” Fallon added, “but if even a shred of that dossier ends up helping Mueller, it will prove money well spent.”
FBI Director Comey insisted on including a summary of the dossier’s accusations in a presidential intelligence briefing on January 10, even though he knew the charges could not be verified.
CNN then publicly reported the dossier’s existence for the first time. The dossier itself was published a few hours later on the Buzzfeed website, setting off a media frenzy over the Russia-Trump collusion story.
At one point, the FBI offered to pay Steele to continue his investigations into Trump after the election. Reports disagree as to whether any payments were made, but the FBI dropped the idea after details of the dossier became public.
DEMOCRAT EFFORTS TO USE THE LIES TO DISCREDIT TRUMP
During the last months of the campaign, Steele had been circulating the dossier to media outlets, U.S. intelligence agencies and government officials, but its unprovable accusations were so explosive that no respectable media outlet would publish them.
On August 27, then-Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid indirectly referred to it in a letter to Comey demanding full investigation and public disclosure of “the evidence of a direct connection between the Russian government and Donald Trump’s presidential campaign.” On October 30, Reid sent Comey another letter repeating the demand and citing the existence of “explosive information” that the FBI had in its possession.
Less than 24 hours after Mrs. Clinton made her post-election concession speech, her campaign chairman John Podesta and campaign manager Robby Mook assembled their team at the Clinton headquarters in Brooklyn to plot an effort to convince the public that “Russian hacking was the major unreported story of the campaign,” according to a recently published book called “Shattered: Inside Hillary Clinton’s Doomed Campaign.”
The strategy succeeded, as proven by a recent media survey which shows that major network news networks have devoted 20% of their reports on Trump since he took office to the bogus Russian collusion conspiracy. Another interesting statistic from the same survey is that one-third of the Russian conspiracy stories were based on information from anonymous sources who once worked in the Obama administration.
CLINTON CAMP UNAPOLOGETIC
More than 16 months after the FBI investigation began, there is still no hard evidence to support the Trump-Russia election collusion theory. There is growing reason to believe Trump’s claim that the Russian collusion conspiracy theory was just a politically inspired Democrat effort to divert blame for Clinton’s loss.
The Clinton camp is unapologetic about this campaign, and makes no attempt to conceal its ultimate goal. In a March op-ed column published in the Washington Post, former Clinton campaign communications director Jennifer Palmieri compared “Russiagate” to Watergate and encouraged the media and other Democrats to continue to use “the Russia story against Trump” in an effort to force him out of office.
The media has been happy to comply with the open conspiracy against the president, with major outlets such as CNN and the Washington Post seemingly incapable of crediting Trump for any of his administration’s accomplishments.
THE MEDIA POWER OF FUSION GPS
Some Trump supporters believe that the disclosure that the Trump dossier was manufactured by the Clinton campaign and the DNC should discredit the entire Russia-collusion investigation which it helped trigger. But the mainstream media has been reluctant to accept that conclusion, and continues to promote the Russian collusion theory. Some say this is the result of the widespread contacts of Fusion GPS and its operatives within the media establishment. For example, CNN’s justice correspondent, Evan Perez, used to collaborate on national security stories with Fusion GPS co-founder, Glenn Simpson, when they both worked for the Wall Street Journal. Two other former employees of the Wall Street Journal, Tom Catan and Peter Fritcsh, also served as Fusion GPS cofounders, and Wall Street Journal reporter Neil King joined them last year.
While working for CNN, Perez has maintained his personal friendship with Simpson, Fritsch and King, which the Daily Caller believes has influenced his recent reporting on Fusion GPS. The Wall Street Journal has also suggested a “coverup abetted by Glenn Simpson’s media buddies.”
Many Beltway journalists have apparently allowed their news coverage to be manipulated by Fusion GPS in exchange for prime access to its information and the praise of their media peers, while others have been intimidated by the threat of retaliation by the firm, which has proven itself to be unafraid to go after its critics.
MEDIA ANTI-TRUMP BIAS MADE THE JOB EASIER
In the case of its attack on the reputation of Donald Trump, Fusion GPS has been greatly aided by open hostility to the president by most members of the liberal media establishment. Progressive journalist Glenn Greenwald, no fan of Donald Trump, debunked and mocked many of the Russia-Trump stories because they couldn’t stand up to serious scrutiny or meet fair journalism standards.
Greenwald told Fox News, “I think at best what you can say for [those journalists] is they’re willingly and eagerly being manipulated. What you see over and over is that they publish really inflammatory stories that turn out to be totally false, and what happens in those cases? Nothing.
“They get enormous benefits when they publish recklessly,” Greenwald said. “They get applause on social media from their peers, they get zillions of retweets, huge amounts of traffic, they end up on TV, they get applauded across the spectrum because people are so giddy and eager to hear more about this Russia and Trump story. And when their stories get completely debunked, everybody agrees to ignore [it] and moves on, and they pay no price.”
Fusion GPS is also not shy about its influence. Simpson’s wife claimed in a June Facebook post that “some people still don’t realize what Glenn’s role was in exposing Putin’s control of Donald Trump.” This suggests that Fusion GPS viewed its creation and distribution of the Trump dossier as more than just another paid assignment.
Fusion GPS is notorious for its ruthlessness in going after the reputations of the people it has been paid to discredit. Thor Halvorssen, the founder of the Human Rights Foundation, described Fusion GPS as “highly paid smear experts” in testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee. He says the firm went after him several years ago because he criticized a corrupt Venezuelan power company called Derwick Associates that hired Fusion GPS to attack its critics.
Fusion GPS has also been willing to work for the Russians. Bill Browder, a human rights activist who has been a vocal critic of Vladimir Putin, told the same committee that Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya, who famously met with Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner and Paul Manafort last year at Trump Tower, used Fusion GPS to run a smear campaign against him.
Browder said that Glenn Simpson “contacted a number of major newspapers and other publications to spread false information. . . that my presentations to lawmakers around the world were untrue.”
It has also been suggested that Fusion GPS is desperate to avoid the full release of its financial records because that would reveal even deeper connections to Russian clients.
THE EVIDENCE OF A CLINTON CONSPIRACY
The irony of the Clinton “Russiagate” strategy is that there is more evidence that her campaign conspired with Russia by funding the Trump dossier, based upon unidentified Russian sources, than that the Trump campaign did. The FBI also found evidence that the Russians had a team of agents dedicated to exploiting the influence the Clintons were peddling.
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich has predicted that the absence of any provable collusion with the Russians by the Trump camp makes it more likely that Mueller’s probe will ultimately uncover an unprecedented level of financial corruption and influence peddling by the Clinton camp. That would be a most appropriate punishment of the Democrats for launching an investigation based on a knowingly false accusation.
NO EVIDENCE THE TRUMP CAMP ACCEPTED RUSSIAN HELP
The most recently uncovered evidence confirms that the Trump campaign never got any information from Russia that was usable against Clinton.
The Trump campaign officials were justifiably curious when they were offered such information by Russian agents, they refused to break the law or to engage in collusion with the Russians in order to obtain it. When Donald Trump Jr. brought Paul Manafort and Jared Kushner to a meeting with a Russian lawyer, who claimed to have damaging information on Clinton from the Kremlin, the Trump people quickly concluded that she had nothing of value to offer them. They rejected her request for help in lifting U.S. sanctions on Russia in return for her cooperation, and cut off all further contact. Despite the media uproar over the suspicious circumstances of that meeting, it stopped well short of collusion, and it eventually became clear that nothing illegal had taken place.
WHERE ARE CLINTON’S MISSING EMAILS?
Similarly, nothing illegal came from a reported request to WikiLeaks by Cambridge Analytica, a data-analytics firm used by the Trump campaign, for access to Hillary Clinton’s 33,000 missing emails. In a tweet, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange acknowledged that he had been “approached” by Cambridge Analytica and had “rejected” the approach, but Assange refused to disclose any further details.
According to a report by the Daily Beast, first contact with WikiLeaks was made in August 2016 in an email sent by Alexander Nix, CEO of Cambridge Analytica, to Assange. Nix offered to provide WikiLeaks with technical assistance to make the information released on its website more searchable by Internet users. That email made no specific mention of the missing Clinton emails, but the company was reported to be actively interested in finding them.
The Wall Street Journal reported that Republican activist Peter W. Smith told one of its reporters that he had been offered a batch of the missing Clinton emails by hacker groups last fall. Because he had no way to verify that the emails were authentic, Smith said he told the hackers to give them to WikiLeaks instead. The story is hard to verify because WikiLeaks never published any of those missing emails, and Mr. Smith died at age 81 in May.
Cambridge Analytica began the 2016 campaign by working for Senator Ted Cruz. It started working for Trump after he secured the Republican nomination in July 2016.
The company is partly owned by billionaire Robert Mercer, whose family began its contributions of about $2 million to the Trump campaign at that time. It is also significant to note that former Trump chief strategist Steve Bannon was a member of the board of Cambridge Analytica before he joined the Trump administration.
The Trump campaign denies that it used Clinton emails obtained through Cambridge Analytica. Michael Glassner, the Trump campaign’s executive director, issued a statement declaring, “We as a campaign made the choice to rely on the voter data of the Republican National Committee to help elect President Donald J. Trump. Any claims that voter data from any other source played a key role in the victory are false.”
It is also apparent from the court statement of George Papadopoulos that Trump campaign officials had no interest in dirt against Clinton that the Russians encouraged Papadopoulos to offer them.
REPUBLICAN FUSION GPS CLIENT COMES FORWARD
Last week, lawyers for the conservative Washington Free Beacon informed the House Intelligence Committee that it funded the original Fusion GPS opposition research against Donald Trump during the GOP primary contest in October 2015. The Free Beacon says it hired Fusion GPS to collect information against Trump from public sources, which is considered to be fair political practice. That support ended when the never-Trump campaign failed in April 2016, when he secured the GOP nomination.
After that, Fusion GPS switched clients to the DNC and the Clinton campaign to continue digging up dirt on Donald Trump.
GROWING QUESTIONS ABOUT COMEY’S ROLE
The special counsel investigation has also served the personal agenda of James Comey, as revenge against Trump for firing him as FBI director in May. In congressional testimony, Comey admitted that he orchestrated the appointment of Mueller by leaking a memo of a conversation he had with the president which implied that Trump had fired him in an attempt to obstruct justice.
A recent revelation suggests that Comey’s actions should become even more important to the probe into Russian meddling in the electoral process than before. Mrs. Clinton has often claimed that the immediate cause of her loss last November was Comey’s decision to announce that he was re-opening the FBI probe into her emails just 11 days before the election. It has always been widely assumed that Comey was originally prompted to intervene inappropriately into the email investigation by former Attorney General Loretta Lynch’s improper private meeting with Bill Clinton on the tarmac of the Phoenix airport last June. It now emerges that in a closed hearing Comey, said his intervention last July was actually prompted by planted, fake Russian intelligence about a nonexistent email between then-DNC chief Debbie Wasserman-Schultz and George Soros-employed activist Leonard Benardo.
The story has not been widely reported by the anti-Trump media because it contradicts the claim that the election’s outcome was influenced by Trump’s collusion with the Russians. Instead, the story suggests that Clinton may have lost the election to Trump because of the rash reaction of Comey and the FBI to a clever piece of Russian disinformation.
WILL MUELLER DO THE RIGHT THING?
There is reason to be concerned about Comey’s longstanding relationship with Mueller.
“The federal code could not be clearer: Mueller is compromised by his apparent conflict of interest in being close with James Comey,” said Republican Congressman Trent Franks on Fox News. “The appearance of a conflict is enough to put Mueller in violation of the code. … All of the revelations in recent weeks make the case stronger.”
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, a former federal prosecutor, acknowledged that Mueller appears to have a conflict of interest, but expressed his confidence that Mueller will do the right thing. “If the facts that you just laid out are true, then somebody with Bob Mueller’s integrity will step aside and should,” Christie said.
Former high-ranking Justice Department official James Trusty, who served under the Bush and Obama administrations, says that the longstanding relationship between Comey and Mueller defeats “the whole reason for independent counsels [which] is to have the public trust the professionalism and the diligence of the investigation.”
Trusty suggests that Mueller committed an “unforced error” by appointing too many Democrat supporters to his staff. At least 7 of the 16 prosecutors on Mueller’s team have contributed money to Democrat candidates, suggesting that the Mueller investigation has a built-in anti-Trump bias.
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich suggests that the expansion of Mueller’s mandate to include revealing the forces behind the Trump dossier and the clearance of the Uranium One sale gives Mueller a chance to prove his probe’s political neutrality, but Gingrich admits to being skeptical that Mueller will take advantage of that opportunity.
THE MUELLER-COMEY RELATIONSHIP
Comey’s attorney, David Kelley, disputes the contention that their relationship is too close to permit Mueller to conduct his investigation objectively. He told the Washington Post, “Bob [Mueller] and Jim [Comey] have a congenial relationship as former colleagues. Both served long legal careers that involved overlapping time spent within the Department of Justice, and that’s pretty well documented. But beyond that, they’re not close, personal friends. They’re friends in the sense that co-workers are friends. They don’t really have a personal relationship.”
President Trump has called Mueller’s relationship with Comey “bothersome,” but a White House spokesman insists that Trump is not considering asking for Mueller’s resignation.
Trump views the disclosure that the dossier was bought and paid for by the Clinton campaign and the DNC as convincing proof of his contention that “after many months of costly looking, …there was no collusion between Russia and Trump,” as he tweeted. The collusion by the Russians was with Hillary Clinton to create and disseminate the false charges in the dossier which targeted him as its victim.
DID MUELLER HELP COVER UP THE URANIUM ONE SCANDAL?
There is also reason to be concerned about Mueller’s history as the FBI director during the early years of the Obama administration. The Clinton-Russia connection goes back to the controversial sale of Uranium One, a Canadian mining company which owned the rights to 20% of U.S. uranium deposits to Tenex, a wholly own American subsidiary of Rosatom, the Russian government’s nuclear agency.
Frank Guistra, a long-time Clinton Foundation donor, was a major stockholder in Uranium One. In 2009, Rosatom bought 17% of Uranium One. A year later, Rosatom sought U.S. government permission to purchase a majority stake in the company. Because uranium ore is a strategic commodity, the sale of Uranium One required the approval of the Treasury Department’s Committee on Foreign Investment. Mrs. Clinton cast a vote in favor of the sale as the secretary of state.
The Uranium One sale was raised during the 2016 presidential campaign as an example of how Mrs. Clinton and her husband used the Clinton Foundation for thinly disguised influence peddling. For example, Frank Guistra and other Canadian investors who profited from the sale of Uranium One contributed as much as $145 million to the Clinton Family Foundation. In addition, a Russian bank paid Bill Clinton half a million dollars for making a 90-minute speech in Moscow, after which he met privately with Vladimir Putin. The inside story of how the Clintons profited from the Uranium One deal was revealed in 2015 in a book called “Clinton Cash” by Peter Schweitzer, and confirmed by the New York Times.
The latest accusation is that the FBI and the Justice Department failed to notify members of Congress or the other members of the Committee on Foreign Investment of the ongoing investigation into charges of bribery, money laundering, kickbacks, extortion, and racketeering against the American subsidiary of Rosatom, and the Putin crony who ran Tenex, Vadim Mikerin.
Robert Mueller was the director of the FBI at the time. That connects the Uranium One sale seven years ago to Mueller’s current investigation of Russian meddling in last year’s election. Suspicion that he succumbed to pressure to let the sale go is added reason to challenge his ability to impartially investigate whether the Clintons used their influence to get Obama to rubber stamp a deal that should never have been approved.
HOW HIGH DID THE URANIUM ONE FIX GO?
Congressional Republicans raised objections to the sale, citing national security concerns as well as Rosatom’s long history of criminal activity, but no congressional oversight hearings were held about the sale.
The Clintons and other members of the Obama administration, including Attorney General Eric Holder, made no mention of the evidence against Tenex uncovered by the Justice Department investigation, even though most were well aware of Rosatom’s criminal history and Clinton connection. They insisted there was no evidence of wrongdoing by Tenex or any national security reason to oppose the sale. This suggests that the corruption behind the Uranium One deal goes beyond the Clinton camp to include many other senior members of the Obama administration, including the president, who approved the deal.
Chuck Grassley, Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, has called for a separate special counsel to investigate the Uranium One deal. This is not a new issue for him. Back in 2015, Grassley complained to then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch about the Uranium One deal receiving federal approval with “record speed.”
Two Republican chairmen of House committees have also promised to launch investigations into the Uranium One deal and the failure of the Obama-era Justice Department to expose and stop it.
GROWING CALLS FOR MUELLER TO RECUSE HIMSELF
The editorial voices of the Wall Street Journal and the New York Post have been raised to demand that Mueller recuse himself because of his long professional association with Comey, as well as the possibility that Mueller will need to testify about why the FBI, under his leadership, failed to intervene in the Uranium One sale.
The Wall Street Journal editorial insisted that, while asking Mueller to step aside, it was not questioning honesty. “It is no slur against Mr. Mueller’s integrity to say that he lacks the critical distance to conduct a credible probe of the bureau he ran for a dozen years,” the editorial said, and added, “he could best serve the country by resigning to prevent further political turmoil over that conflict of interest.”
The editorial also suggested that the most “troubling question is whether the FBI played a role” in aiding a “Russian disinformation campaign.”
Democrats in the House and Senate committees investigating the alleged Russian conspiracy had been trying to block efforts to expose the embarrassing connection between Fusion GPS and the Clinton campaign. They had criticized the early efforts of Congressman Devin Nunes, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, to vigorously defend the Trump White House against charges of collusion with the Russians. The leading Democrat on the committee, Adam Schiff, forced Nunes to recuse himself by filing an ethics charge, accusing him of being too biased to lead the investigation. But Nunes has continued his efforts to look into the illegal “unmasking” of members of the Trump camp and the leaking their names to the media by Obama administration officials to suggest Trump- Russia collusion.
Nunes’ efforts led to a letter from Perkins Coie, the law firm for the Clinton campaign and the DNC, admitting that the firm had made hidden payments on their clients’ behalf to Fusion GPS in order to finance the creation of the dossier. The letter says that about $9 million of the $12.4 million the Clinton campaign and the DNC paid Perkins Coie for legal and compliance services during the 2016 campaign was spent on Steele’s efforts to create and distribute the Trump dossier.
Those efforts led to a copy of the dossier reaching Senator John McCain late last year. He was alarmed by its accusations and passed it along to Comey, unaware that the FBI had been using it for months to guide their own investigation.
The letter was sent to help Fusion GPS fight a subpoena for its banking records which was issued by the committee at Nunes’ request. The fact that Fusion GPS is still trying to hide its financial transactions suggests that its banking records would reveal the identity of additional players who paid it to influence the outcome of last year’s election and perhaps more contact with the Russians.
FBI TO GIVE WITHHELD DOSSIER INFORMATION TO CONGRESS
Persistent demands by House Speaker Paul Ryan that leaders of the FBI stop stonewalling demands by Congressional Republicans to reveal how their agency has been using the Trump dossier and whether the FBI knew that it was Russian propaganda financed by the Democrats have forced the FBI to turn over the requested information.
The FBI’s initial refusal to respond prompted Congressman Nunes to write a letter in September threatening to force FBI director Christopher Wray and Attorney General Jeff Sessions to explain their refusal to turn over the FBI records on Fusion GPS agent Steele and his dossier at a public hearing.
The FBI is probably maintaining two separate files on the case, the first focusing on Steele and the second on efforts by the FBI to confirm or deny the allegations in the dossier.
Normally, the FBI would guard the confidentiality of people like Steele who serve as its sources of information, However, now that Steele has been publicly identified as the author of the dossier, there would appear to be little harm in the FBI releasing its information about him and his claims.
The Wall Street Journal editorial said that Ryan’s next move should be to demand that Nunes be reinstated as the head of the House Intelligence committee probe, “since it appears the Democratic accusations against him were aimed in part at throwing him off the Fusion trail.”
REPUBLICAN COMPLAINTS ABOUT OBSTRUCTION
Republicans have accused Democrats of hiding the truth about the Trump dossier and using its accusations to undermine public confidence in the president. They also say that the FBI and other U.S. intelligence agencies have given too much credibility to the dossier’s unproven accusations and used it improperly to seek a secret FISA (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act) court search warrant against another former Trump campaign advisor, Carter Page.
Republican Congressman Trent Gowdy, a former prosecutor who led the GOP inquiry into the 2012 terrorist attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, complained that Democrats like Adam Schiff “want all the facts to come out, they want all the facts of Russia to come out, except who finance the dossier.”
“I don’t expect the DNC to be objective,” Gowdy continued. “Almost by definition, opposition research is not objective. . . And if they relied on that dossier and they didn’t corroborate it or vet it, then we have a serious issue and that’s the next thing that House Intel is trying to find out, is whether or not the U.S. government relied on it.”
Gowdy noted bitterly, “it’s sometimes hard to tell the difference between the Obama Department of Justice and the current Department of Justice in terms of transparency and their willingness to share information with Congress. . . So, the battle is not just with House Democrats. Unfortunately, it’s also with the Department of Justice, [blocking] the access of the information we need to wrap up this investigation.”
Gowdy also condemned the “absurdity” of Democrats who hired Fusion GPS to create the Trump dossier for “believing that you can launder all of your campaign money by just hiring a law firm. . . I am also interested in sharing some memory tricks with folks at the DNC because no one can remember who paid $10 million to a law firm to do oppo research. I find that stunning. Ten million dollars and no one can remember who authorized it, who approved it, who said, this is a really good idea?”
In her recently published book, “What Happened,” Mrs. Clinton pretends she didn’t know the dossier was bought and paid for at a cost of millions of dollars by the DNC and her own campaign. She tries to legitimize it as the work of “a well-respected former British spy that contained explosive and salacious allegations about compromising information the Russians had on Trump. The Intelligence Community took the dossier seriously enough that it briefed both President Obama and President Elect Trump on its contents before the inauguration.”
The Washington Examiner writes that Mrs. Clinton’s “conniving, calculated, and self-serving” description of the dossier “fit snugly into her 40-year career of corruption and falsehood.” It also explains why “voters chose not to elect Clinton, even though it meant something as extraordinary as choosing Trump.”
TIME TO REDIRECT THE INVESTIGATION
The Wall Street Journal editorial concludes that the Mueller investigation was initially aimed at the wrong target. “It turns out that Russia has sown distrust in the U.S. political system, aided and abetted by the Democratic Party, and perhaps the FBI,” the editorial said. “This is an about-face from the dominant media narrative of the last year, and it requires a full investigation.”
The editorial condemns the Democrats and the Clinton campaign for using their lawyer to pay “for Russians to compile wild allegations about a U.S. presidential candidate.” It adds that it was even more outrageous for the FBI to continue financing the dossier after the election, and concludes that the “FBI’s role in Russia’s election interference must now be investigated.”