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I love how the NYT is just now having to do what journalists are supposed to do when it comes to this investigation... only took them 3 years. Sorry, your credibility is no better than MSNBC or CNN at this point.
Blazer Bob wrote: Oh snap.
"Now the dossier — financed by Hillary Clinton’s campaign and the Democratic National Committee, and compiled by the former British intelligence agent Christopher Steele — is likely to face new, possibly harsh scrutiny from multiple inquiries.
We must remind everyone again that this was funded by republicans before it was funded by democrats because that really matters.
It seems significant that the Special Counsel’s report on Trump and the Russians in 2016 barely mentions Steele and his dossier. In its admittedly highly redacted version, the report never implies that the dossier had any impact on the Department of Justice’s investigation into the president. That assessment is starkly at odds with volumes of Trumpian mythology, tweeted regularly by the president himself, that Steele’s “phony and corrupt dossier” was the cause of Robert Mueller’s “witch hunt” (a term tweeted by the president 182 times) in the first place.
Of course, none of that is true. The prime mover of the FBI’s counterintelligence investigation into then-candidate Trump wasn’t the Steele dossier, rather highly classified signals intelligence from American and allied spy agencies back in late 2015, which portrayed Trump’s relationship with Moscow in a troubling light, as I reported nearly a year ago. Steele’s dossier wasn’t completed until the end of the following year.
At last, the mainstream media is waking up to the reality that the Steele dossier—which it has obsessed over nearly as much as Planet Trump has for more than two years—just isn’t that big of a story.
The dossier, being unfiltered intelligence, some of it derived from second-hand sources in Russia, is best considered lead information only, that is, a jumping-off point for additional investigation—not the final word on anything. As a stand-alone report, its uses are limited for any seasoned intelligence analyst.
Not to mention that there have always been good reasons to doubt some of Steele’s revelations. While the dossier’s depiction of Kremlin politics—what spies call “atmospherics”—are undeniably true, many of the specifics are unverifiable. When the dossier appeared in January, veteran Kremlin-watcher David Satter observed that the whole exercise reeked of a Russian provocation, making a case that’s plausible to those who understand Chekists.
Satter noted that the dossier nicely met Vladimir Putin’s overall objectives, in particular making American politics as bitter, divided, and unpleasant as possible, while not revealing very much substance.
The Steele dossier should be treated with caution. The Kremlin has long run complex spy stories together—creating “faction” by mixing bona fide information with disinformation—to confuse Western intelligence, and they may very well have done it again here. Those seeking the truth of Donald Trump’s relationship with Moscow should view the dossier as a jumping-off point for more investigation and no more.
Let me put my cards on the table: The counterintelligence investigation of Donald Trump was kicked off by not one, not two, but multiple SIGINT reports which set off alarm bells inside our Intelligence Community. This has been publicly known, in a general way, for some time. A little over a year ago, the Guardian reported, based on multiple intelligence sources, that the lead was taken by Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ – Britain’s NSA), which “first became aware in late 2015 of suspicious ‘interactions’ between figures connected to Trump and known or suspected Russian agents, a source close to UK intelligence said. This intelligence was passed to the U.S. as part of a routine exchange of information.”
NSA isn’t just the world’s most powerful intelligence agency, it’s the hub of the whole Western spy system. In late 2015, based on GCHQ reports, the word went out to NSA’s close friends and partners to be on the lookout for any intercepts touching on Russian efforts to infiltrate the Trump campaign. They found plenty. As the Guardian explained, in the first half of 2016, as Trump’s presidential bid gained unexpected steam, Australia, Germany, Estonia, and Poland all had SIGINT hits that indicated a troubling relationship between Trump and Moscow. So, too, did the French and the Dutch—the latter being an especially savvy SIGINT partner of NSA’s.
This means that top-secret Washington possessed a detailed understanding of Kremlin hacks of our country as they happened. Why the Obama administration did so little to counter these nefarious activities—a troubling question that has lingered as the extent of Russian espionage against our 2016 election has come into clearer focus—now must be answered if we hope to avert future Kremlin hacks of our democracy.
President Barack Obama’s lethargy about admitting—much less confronting—Russian espionage and propaganda is a matter of record. Why the Obama White House shut down the State Department’s tiny effort to counter weaponized Kremlin lies in late 2015 has never been properly explained. Now, Congress should ask why the previous administration did so little to defend our democracy from Russian espionage and subversion—an inaction that did grave damage to Obama’s own party.
That fateful failure lies exclusively with the executive branch and demands explanation. With each passing day, the Obama administration’s non-response to Vladimir Putin’s SpyWar against America looks increasingly like the run-up to the 9/11 attacks, when repeated intelligence warnings were ignored by policymakers who hewed to wishful thinking right until disaster struck. Congress needs to find out what went wrong here so it never happens again.
The Mueller Report Was My Tipping Point
If Donald Trump weren’t president of the United States, he would have been charged with obstruction of justice, over 400 former federal prosecutors and Justice Department officials said Monday in an extraordinary public letter.
The joint statement, which had 417 signers by early afternoon, rebuts Attorney General William Barr’s assertion that the evidence of potential obstruction uncovered by special counsel Robert Mueller was “not sufficient” to establish that Trump committed a crime.
“Each of us believes that the conduct of President Trump described in Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report would, in the case of any other person not covered by the Office of Legal Counsel policy against indicting a sitting President, result in multiple felony charges for obstruction of justice,” the statement reads.
The Full Story of Trump’s Russia Ties Will Come Out—But It’ll Take Time
Let’s start at the end of this story. This weekend, I read Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report twice, and realized that enough was enough—I needed to do something. I’ve worked on every Republican presidential transition team for the past 10 years and recently served as counsel to the Republican-led House Financial Services Committee. My permanent job is as a law professor at the George Mason University Antonin Scalia Law School, which is not political, but where my colleagues have held many prime spots in Republican administrations.
If you think calling for the impeachment of a sitting Republican president would constitute career suicide for someone like me, you may end up being right. But I did exactly that this weekend, tweeting that it’s time to begin impeachment proceedings.
Let’s go back to the beginning.
The big problem with getting to the bottom of President Donald Trump’s Kremlin ties isn’t just secrecy and classification—it’s that practically nobody in Washington wants to know the messy and complex truth.
From a counterintelligence viewpoint, the Mueller report portrays a Trump campaign that was guilty as hell of colluding with the Kremlin to damage Hillary Clinton and the Democrats in 2016, to the benefit of Donald Trump (and, let’s not forget, Vladimir Putin). While that may not meet prosecutorial threshold—the Espionage Act being devilishly difficult to apply in practice—it meets any intelligence standard of colluding with the enemy.
Of course, this is hardly the first time that a major Washington espionage scandal involving the White House stalled politically even though the Intelligence Community knew the full, unpleasant truth—which Congress failed to unmask despite making a lot of noise about doing so.
ScienceChic wrote: "Patriotism is supporting your country all the time, and your government when it deserves it." -Mark Twain
I don't know if any of you have been following the development of this, but the allegations have continued to expand from not just the Trump campaign colluding with the Russians for monetary gain and future policy changes if elected but actually formally requesting they interfere in the election to help Trump win, and actively partnering with them/providing data. There is supposedly evidence that foreign interests conducted a massive data hacking and manipulation through social media to sway public opinion through propaganda, and possibly even worse (hacking of voting results? money laundering?).
This is a very troubling time for our nation. This isn't about disliking someone who was voted in that isn't of your party, this is about a possible act of war against the very basis of our democracy by an enemy of our state if these allegations prove true. If not only Trump but Pence and Paul Ryan are caught up in this, as has been alluded to, then we are sitting at the precipice of an unprecedented upcoming power vacuum at the highest levels should impeachment mean the clearing of the entire White House Cabinet and some in Congress - our enemies will undoubtedly try to take advantage during these confusing times.
We need to put country first, party second, and come together as one nation behind truth and justice, whatever that may be.
Donald Trump Sealed Indictment Started With Eric Schneiderman
We have New York State Attorney Eric Schneiderman to thank for the genesis of the sealed indictment against Donald Trump currently being held in the Eastern District of Virginia, which has formed the basis of the case of impeachment already begun against him. This is how that happened:
AG Schneiderman began a case of Enterprise Corruption, the state name for RICO, against Donald Trump. The case was based on the activities of Russian mobsters like Semion Moglievich who lived in Trump Tower, Russian oligarchs, and others.
Upon his own judgement and belief, Scheiderman decided that his case touched both Federal issues, and issues of National Security. He took his case to the Federal authorities.
FISC provided evidence under seal to a Grand Jury, drawn from the Eastern District of Virginia, who read the evidence in a SCIF, a secure facility in the building sealed away from the public.
We reported as fact that the case was intended by prosecutors to form the basis of impeachment. Following the granting of the indictment on Trump, DAG Rosenstein took the matter to the Senate and presented it to lawmakers including Lindsey Graham in closed session.
Trump was then notified by both the other branches that a case of impeachment was commenced against him. I can report as fact that the Sergeant At Arms of the Senate, Frank Larkin, went to the White House on that Wednesday night.
An Overview of the Impeachment Process: www.senate.gov/reference/resources/pdf/98-806.pdf