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August 15, 2018

Julie Kelly: Why Was the Weekly Standard Pushing Bullet-Points from the Steele Dossier Two Days Before Operation Crossfire Hurricane Began?

I've been waiting all day for this article.

In his online appeal for money after being fired this week, disgraced former FBI agent Peter Strzok credited an unlikely source to vouch for his victim status: The Weekly Standard.

At one time a leading conservative magazine, the Standard declared last month that Strzok's plight was merely an "overwrought tale of bias" and the case against him is "just sound and fury." The article brushed off Strzok's actions as “several bad judgment calls” and blasted Congressional Republicans for continuing a criminal investigation into the now-unemployed G-man.

Strzok is following only 32 people on his newly-verified Twitter account. Bill Kristol, the editor-at-large of the Standard, is one of them.

So, what’s with the fanboying between the Standard--an allegedly serious publication dedicated to advancing conservative principles--and a corrupt government bureaucrat who embodies everything the conservative movement fought against for decades?

I found an article in the Standard archives this week that might explain why. On July 24, 2016, just days before Strzok helped launch a counterintelligence probe into the Trump campaign, Kristol gave Strzok and the Obama Justice Department a big assist from the anti-Trump Right by posting a flawed and questionably-sourced article. "Putin's Party" is compelling evidence that Kristol and the Standard were far from mere sideline observers as the Trump-Russia collusion scam took shape in the summer of 2016.

At the very least, the timing of the article suggests there was careful coordination between the central players--including the Hillary Clinton campaign--and Bill Kristol to derail Trump's candidacy just weeks before the [election. But the article’s content also serves to raise alarming questions about the claims by many Republicans that “conservatives” had no knowledge of or involvement with the Christopher Steele dossier.

She notes that Kristol's article hits all the major bullet points of the Hillary-Clinton-financed oppo hit, from Russian Water Sports to Trump being involved in the DNC hacking and all the rest of it.

I figure, maybe Kristol, a fake conservative corporatist chiefly a Republican to make the world safe for the Import-Export Bank, got the dossier from McCain, who of course is the same kind of Republican.

Or maybe, as Kelly suggests, he just got it from Glenn Simpson, who his son in law had hired originally to gather dirt on Cruz and Trump for the Free Beacon. Though the Free Beacon says it had terminated its relationship long before the Steele dossier was, um, supposedly written by Steele, maybe Simpson just knew that Cap'n Bill had a strong interest in seeing this master spy's alleged work.

There's nothing necessarily sinister in that -- except that people who allegedly serve us by providing us with the truth have been lying about it for, what, more than two years now?

Why doesn't the Weekly Standard disclose its links, whatever they might be, to the people behind the dossier and Fusion GPS?

Two things to keep in mind:

First, Lee Smith was fired very shortly after simply offering an article about Fusion GPS to the Weekly Standard. He merely offered it to them.

And then the Weekly Standard suddenly decided things aren't working out between themselves and Smith.

I wonder why that was. RealClearInvestigations certainly thinks that Smith is a valuable reporter. What was it about Smith that made the Weekly Standard decide he just wasn't making the grade any longer?

Second, The Weekly Standard has been very reluctant to even mention Fusion GPS. In the year of revelations about Fusion, The Weekly Standard only has ten articles tagged as "Fusion GPS," and one of those, a simple accounting of the claims made in the Nunes Memo, doesn't even mention the forbidden words "Fusion GPS." The only mention of Fusion GPS comes at the article's bottom -- in the tags.

The only other mentions are: three articles by Eric Felten, one of the few writers permitted to write about this story, four by Mark Hemingway, another writer who used to be permitted to write about Fusion, but who seems to have been sidelined from political reporting and now mostly writes about cultural matters.

Another article only makes this snarky reference about a dog named Nemo pissing at a meeting of junior ministers at the Elysium in France:

It seems that during the meeting, Nemo took the opportunity to relieve himself on one of the palace’s ornamental fireplaces. We know this not because of a helpful Fusion GPS dossier, but because TV cameras happened to be there for a photo op.

Que drole!

The last article mentions it in reporting the reasons some Republicans argue that Mueller should be fired, without breaking any actual news about Fusion GPS. Let's just say the author of this piece, like virtually everyone at the Weekly Standard, is pretty supportive of Robert Mueller's endless probe.

Oh by the way, that last article is by Michael Warren, who was approvingly quoted by Peter Strzok in his GoFundMe pitch.

Just seems to me that The Weekly Standard is very protective of Fusion GPS, and they've never quite explained why that should be.

Certainly circumstances raise questions about possible collusion here, and, by the Weekly Standard's own rules, these questions must be ruthlessly investigated.

It seems to me that a magazine which claims to be interested in serving the truth to its readers, all thirty of them, should be candid about what it knew and when it knew it and who it knew it from.

Oh -- and do please read the Julie Kelly article. I excerpted just a bit to get you interested.

Update: I said originally that I'd guess Kristol got the dossier (or a preview of it) from McCain, but Kelly's piece suggests a more direct route. I changed that section to include the possibility of getting it from McCain, or maybe just from Simpson, who'd know that Cap'n Bill would be interested in it, given that his son-in-law Matthew Continetti had commissioned Fusion GPS to dig dirt on Rubio's competitors Cruz and Trump for the Free Beacon.

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posted by Ace of Spades at 07:55 PM

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