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May 18, 2018

Was It All a Set-Up, From the Very Start?

First, let's check in with Kim Strassel.

Was Trump's Campaign 'Set Up'?

At some point, the Russia investigation became political. How early was it?

By Kimberley A. Strassel
May 17, 2018 7:06 p.m. ET

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes appeared on "Fox & Friends" Tuesday, where he provided a potentially explosive hint at what's driving his demand to see documents related to the Federal Bureau of Investigation's Trump-Russia probe. "If the campaign was somehow set up," he told the hosts, "I think that would be a problem."

Or an understatement. Mr. Nunes is still getting stiff-armed by the Justice Department over his subpoena, but this week his efforts did force the stunning admission that the FBI had indeed spied on the Trump campaign. This came in the form of a Thursday New York Times apologia in which government "officials" acknowledged that the bureau had used "at least one" human "informant" to spy on both Carter Page and George Papadopoulos. The Times slipped this mind-bending fact into the middle of an otherwise glowing profile of the noble bureau--and dismissed it as no big deal.

...

She notes that in March 2016, Comey claimed there were "counterintelligence" concerns with some Trump personnel, probably referring to both Paul Manafort and Carter Page, who had just joined the Trump campaign.

And lo and behold:

Sometime in April, the law firm Perkins Coie (on behalf the Clinton campaign) hired Fusion GPS, and Fusion turned its attention to Trump-Russia connections. The job of any good swamp operator is to gin up a fatal October surprise for the opposition candidate. And what could be more devastating than to paint a picture of Trump-Russia collusion that would provoke a full-fledged FBI investigation?

...

The question Mr. Nunes's committee seems to be investigating is what other moments--if any--were engineered in the spring, summer or fall of 2016 to cast suspicion on Team Trump..

I would remind everyone that Hillary Clinton had an FBI criminal investigation on her -- oh, I mean a "matter" -- and she was desperate for a Narrative Changers where she could say "Oh, well the FBI is investigating Trump, too!"

And Comey, of course, complied.

Now, as far as the "set up," what she's surely referring to is the strange and sudden interest of people connected with the CIA and MI-6 in becoming pals with fringe players like Carter Page, George Papadopolous, and a third unnamed Trump staffer.

Some of these people even told George Papadopolous things like "The Russians have Hillary's emails." Maybe to encourage him to reach out to the Russians; maybe to get him to mention that fact to an Australian diplomat.

But there's another possible "set-up," too.

Chuck Ross reports on the connections between the man who accompanied the Russian lawyer/Fusion GPS client Natalia Veselnitskya to the the Trump Tower meeting and... Hillary Clinton, if you can believe such a thing.

Remember, Veselnitskya was initially denied a visa to come to the US. Probably because she's a known Russian intelligence operator.

And yet someone in the State Department that Hillary Clinton had only recently departed from re-reviewed the matter and issued this known Russian operator a visa.

Now why would Hillary Clinton's friends in the State Department grant a visa to a known Russian agent after lower-level people had denied it for cause?

Let's take a look at how Veselnitskya might have rated that kind of pull in the State Department:

The Russian-American lobbyist who attended the infamous Trump Tower meeting had contacts with members of Hillary Clinton's inner circle and knew Clinton herself, he told the Senate Judiciary Committee in 2017.

"I knew [Clinton]; I knew some people who worked on her campaign," the lobbyist, Rinat Akhmetshin, told the Senate Judiciary Committee in closed-door testimony on Nov. 14.

A transcript of the testimony was released along with other meeting attendees on May 16.


Akhmetshin, a former Soviet military intelligence officer, also said his attorney, Edward Lieberman, knows Clinton well. Lieberman's late wife, Evelyn Lieberman, was a close confidante of Clinton's. At one point, Akhmetshin said he was not a fan of President Donald Trump's family.

The revelation of Akhmetshin's Clinton links are significant because he has been portrayed as a possible conspirator in a collusion scheme between Trump's campaign and Russian government.

If it's illegal for Trump Jr. to meet with Akhmetshin, why is it not illegal for Clinton to meet with him? He says he "knows" her; that means they've met.

For what purpose?

To talk about yoga routines and planning her daughter's wedding? You know, the usual code for Illegal Schemes?

Could it be that this Soviet military intelligence officer was helping Clinton in her scheme to set up Trump's associates?

No one knows for certain but the answer is Yes Definitely Of Course.


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posted by Ace of Spades at 05:13 PM

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