Mid-Morning Open Thread | Main | Tucker Carlson: A Former Senior Operative at the Podesta Group Came Forward to Tell Us That There Was Russian Collusion -- But with the Podesta Group and the Hillary Clinton Camp, Not Trump
October 25, 2017

Byron York: Now That the Clinton/DNC Connection to the FusionGPS Info Op is Established, The FBI Is the Next Cog in the Machine That Needs to be Confirmed
Update: Paul Ryan Adds His Weight to Subpeona

The information op is coming from inside the house.


And why did the story break when it did? Credit the much-maligned Rep. Devin Nunes, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee. Nunes has been pursuing the dossier more aggressively than anyone else, and it was his October 4 subpoena for the bank records of Fusion GPS, the opposition research firm that handled the dossier, that finally shook loose the information.

But knowing that the Clinton campaign, the DNC, and Perkins Coie supported the dossier is not the end of the story. The most important next step is the FBI.

Sometime in October 2016 -- that is, at the height of the presidential campaign -- Christopher Steele, the foreign agent hired by Fusion GPS to compile the Trump dossier, approached the FBI with information he had gleaned during the project. According to a February report in the Washington Post, Steele "reached an agreement with the FBI a few weeks before the election for the bureau to pay him to continue his work."

It was an astonishing turn: the nation's top federal law enforcement agency agreeing to fund an ongoing opposition research project being conducted by one of the candidates in the midst of a presidential election. "The idea that the FBI and associates of the Clinton campaign would pay Mr. Steele to investigate the Republican nominee for president in the run-up to the election raises further questions about the FBI's independence from politics, as well as the Obama administration's use of law enforcement and intelligence agencies for political ends," wrote Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Charles Grassley.

In the end, according to reports the FBI did not pay Steele.

I wouldn't say reports; I'd say "claims." See this Mollie Hemingway piece for shifting claims on whether or not the FBI paid Steele.

...

In recent months, Nunes has been trying to force the FBI to reveal just what it did in the dossier matter. The intel chairman issued a subpoena to the FBI on August 24, and in the time since, not a single document has been produced to the committee. The FBI, and the Justice Department, have spent most of that time talking about talking about possibly complying with this or that part of the subpoena. But so far -- nothing.

The same is true of Grassley's inquiries.

That may no longer be a viable position to take.

Jeff Sessions has recused himself from these matters, but if Ron Rosenstein does not order his underlings to respond to Congress' very reasonable questions, Trump should fire his fucking ass. For cause.

Update: The House subpeona to the FBI had been issued by the Judiciary Committee. But now Paul Ryan has put the whole weight of the House itself behind that subpeona, saying he stands behind it and slamming FBI "stonewalling."


Nunes subpoenaed the FBI for information on the dossier on Aug. 24. So far the bureau has not provided any information.

That is why Ryan's support is critical. For a House committee's subpoena to have maximum effect, it must have the power of the House of Representatives, in the person of the speaker of the House, behind it.

Which is what Ryan did Wednesday morning. "We've had these document requests with the administration, the FBI in particular, for a long time, and they've been stonewalling," Ryan said in an interview with Reuters. "The FBI and the Justice Department need to give Congress the documents it has been requesting, and they need to do so immediately."

Why Would the FBI Pay Steele? Sean Davis offers up this speculation -- it was part of an attempt to deceive the court as to the dossier's provenance, to make it an untainted "official FBI dossier" instead of a tainted rival candidate oppo dump dossier.



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posted by Ace at 12:11 PM

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