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November 05, 2021

Kimberly Strassel: Durham and the Clinton Dossier

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Strassel says it's not the Steele Dossier and never was -- it was always the Hillary Clinton Dossier.

Never forget the original claim. According to the FBI, Democrats and the media, Mr. Trump harbored secret and nefarious ties with Russia. We knew that because--as Mother Jones explained in a 2016 article that became the reigning story line-- Christopher Steele was a "credible source with a proven record of providing reliable, sensitive, and important information to the U.S. government." He had come across "troubling" evidence of Trump collusion and brought it to U.S. law enforcement.

It took a year for congressional investigators to reveal the dossier had in fact been commissioned by the opposition-research firm Fusion GPS, working for the Democratic Party and Hillary Clinton's campaign. It took two more years for Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz to expose that Mr. Steele had relied on a Russian source who said he'd never expected Mr. Steele to present his info as facts, since most of it was "hearsay." Two more years on, Mr. Durham's indictment says this source--Mr. Danchenko--obtained material from a longtime Democratic operative who was active in the 2016 Clinton campaign. Clintonites here, Clintonites there, Trump "scandals" everywhere.

The revelation shouldn't surprise us, given that Mr. Danchenko was never some high-level Russian in Moscow. From 2005 through 2010 he worked at the Washington-based Brookings Institution, a center-left think tank. Around the end of that employment, the indictment asserts, he was introduced to "PR Executive-1," a Clinton crony who the New York Times confirmed is Charles Dolan.

Mr. Dolan has long been in Clinton circles, having served seven years as head of the Democratic Governors Association and state chairman of Bill Clinton’s 1992 and 1996 presidential campaigns. President Clinton appointed him to a State Department advisory commission, and the indictment notes he was an active "volunteer" on Mrs. Clinton's 2016 campaign. He also had far more ties to Russians than anyone in Mr. Trump's circle, having for eight years helped handle "global public relations for the Russian government" and throughout 2016 interacted frequently with senior Russian officials and Russian Embassy staff.

The indictment reveals that in August 2016, Mr. Danchenko asked Mr. Dolan for any "thought, rumor or allegation" regarding the summer’s resignation of Paul Manafort as Mr. Trump's campaign manager. Mr. Danchenko explained he was working on a "project against Trump." Mr. Dolan replied that he’d had a drink with a "GOP friend of mine who knows some of the players" and provided gossip. Sentences of this email appear nearly verbatim in the Steele dossier, though they are (hilariously) sourced to a "close associate of TRUMP." To add farce to fantasy, the indictment says the Mr. Dolan later told the FBI he'd fabricated meeting a GOP friend and had simply passed on info he'd read in the press.

The indictment notes Mr. Dolan was connected to yet other people and events that appear in the dossier. He traveled to Moscow in June 2016 to plan a conference. He stayed at the Moscow Ritz-Carlton, where he met the general manager and staff and toured the presidential suite. The dossier's ugliest accusation against Mr. Trump, which involves disgusting sexual acts, happens to be set in the Ritz-Carlton's presidential suite and to mention the hotel manager and staff. Mr. Danchenko met with Mr. Dolan at the Moscow hotel on that trip. He flew soon after to London to provide information to Mr. Steele for his dossier.

Strassel reveals that "Russian Sub-Source-1," the one promised a job in Hillary Clinton's happily non-existent State Department, is a Russian named Olga Galinka.

Dolan claims he wasn't "directed" by the Clinton campaign.

But virtually every claim these guys make about who their clients are, and who their sources are, is a lie.

So we'll just have to see, won't we?

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posted by Ace at 04:05 PM

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