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November 13, 2017

Did the Cooked-Up Steele Dossier Trigger the Entire Russia Probe?

Here's another question that needs answering: Did James Clapper leak word of the Comey briefing about the dossier to CNN? And did he advise Comey to give that briefing so that he could leak the news of the briefing to CNN, and thus manufacture newsworthiness of a dossier that the media wasn't able to verify and publish about?

The FBI opened a counterintelligence investigation into the Trump-Russia affair shortly after receiving the first installment of an anti-Trump dossier from a former British spy working for the Hillary Clinton campaign. What congressional investigators want to know is whether that was a coincidence or not.

The first report in the dossier compiled by former MI6 agent Christopher Steele was dated June 20, 2016.


Steele told the left-leaning publication Mother Jones that he took the first part of his dossier to the FBI "near the start of July."

James Comey, when he was FBI director, told members of the House Intelligence Committee the Trump-Russia investigation began "in late July."

So the timeline is: The first dossier report was June 20, Steele approached the FBI near the start of July, and the FBI began its investigation in late July.

Steele's first dossier installment, the June 20 document, cited a "senior Russian Foreign Ministry figure" and a "former top level Russian intelligence officer still active inside the Kremlin." It reported that "Russian authorities had been cultivating and supporting US Republican presidential candidate, Donald TRUMP for at least 5 years" and that "the TRUMP operation was both supported and directed by Russian President Vladimir PUTIN." Also citing a "senior Russian financial official" and a "close associate of TRUMP who had organized and managed his recent trips to Moscow," the dossier said Russians had been feeding Trump "valuable intelligence" on Clinton "for several years." The report also said "TRUMP's (perverted) conduct in Moscow included hiring the presidential suite of the Ritz Carlton hotel, where he knew President and Mrs. OBAMA (whom he hated) had stayed on one of their official trips to Russia, and defiling the bed where they had slept by employing a number of prostitutes to perform a 'golden showers' (urination) show in front of him." The action was all captured by hidden cameras, the dossier said.

The FBI was very interested in Steele's report, according to Mother Jones' David Corn, who was personally briefed by Steele...

Also see Kim Strassel on this point. She also disproves the media/Hillary Clinton narrative (so hard to tell them apart) that the Steele dossier wasn't a media/political hit operation because the dossier didn't come out until after the election.

Well, they certainly tried. Steele briefed David Corn personally, and Hillary pushed the idea of Russian "collusion" before the November 8th vote.

The dossier amounts to one of the dirtiest tricks in U.S. political history. It was perpetrated by Team Clinton and yielded a vast payoff for Hillary’s campaign.

The Democratic National Committee and the Clinton campaign hired the opposition-research firm Fusion GPS in April 2016 to dig up dirt on Donald Trump. Fusion in turn hired former U.K. spook Christopher Steele to assemble the (now largely discredited) dossier. That full dossier of allegations wasn't made public until after the election, in January 2017. And the media and Democrats continue to peddle the line that it played no role during the election itself....

This is utterly untrue. In British court documents Mr. Steele has acknowledged he briefed U.S. reporters about the dossier in September 2016. Those briefed included journalists from the New York Times , the Washington Post, Yahoo News and others. Mr. Steele, by his own admission (in an interview with Mother Jones), also gave his dossier in July 2016 to the FBI.

Among the dossier’s contents were allegations that in early July 2016 Carter Page, sometimes described as a foreign-policy adviser to Candidate Trump, held a "secret" meeting with two high-ranking Russians connected to President Vladimir Putin. It even claimed these Russians offered to give Mr. Page a 19% share in Russia’s state oil company in return for a future President Trump lifting U.S. sanctions. This dossier allegation is ludicrous on its face. Mr. Page was at most a minor figure in the campaign and has testified under oath that he never met the two men in question or had such a conversation.

Yet the press ran with it [pre-election].

The Clinton campaign jumped all over it, spinning its own oppo research as a government investigation into Mr. Trump...

The Isikoff piece publicly launched the Trump-Russia collusion narrative--only 1½ months from the election-and the whole dossier operation counts as one of the greatest political stitch-ups of all time. Most campaigns content themselves with planting oppo research with media sources. The Clinton campaign commissioned a foreign ex-spy to gin up rumors, which made it to U.S. intelligence agencies, and then got reporters to cite it as government-sourced. Mrs. Clinton now dismisses the dossier as routine oppo research, ignoring that her operation specifically engineered the contents to be referred to throughout the campaign as "intelligence" or a "government investigation."

And of course that last part may be true -- the Steele document may have in fact been used as a pretext by Comey to begin an investigation.

Oddly, the FBI refuses to tell the public the truth on this point. They just refuse to answer. Like law enforcement agencies accountable to the public are supposed to refuse.


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posted by Ace at 04:52 PM

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