Category: Russiagate

When The FBI Does It, That Means That It’s Not Illegal.

Victoria Taft, PJ Media;

The special counsel tasked with chasing down the origins of the Russia collusion conspiracy perpetrated against candidate and President Donald Trump reportedly has issued more criminal indictments in federal court. […]

Techno Fog has been connecting dots between this additional reported indictment and the reporting from the New York Times alleging that “Tech Executive-1” is Rodney Joffe, who’s also a Perkins Coie client. Joffe tried to frame Trump with DNS data he allegedly lifted from the Defense Department.

Ready to get into the weeds a bit?

Good.

Reporter Chuck Ross of the Washington Free Beacon opined on Twitter that these new additional indictments, which are still under wraps, could explain why another Democrat attorney, Marc Elias, quit Perkins Coie right before Sussman’s indictment prompted his ouster from the same law firm.

Elias is the Clinton lawyer who hired Fusion GPS, which then hired former MI6 spy Christopher Steele, to create “evidence” of the Russia collusion scandal “dossier” and shop it to reporters and intelligence operatives.

Some believe the plan to smear Trump with the fake Russia scandal was hatched to distract from the Hillary Clinton email and server scandal, which was huge in the months leading to the election. Clinton deleted thousands of emails against the House Select Committee on Benghazi’s legal order to preserve them. Clinton destroyed the emails and used a service to “bleach bit” her computers and server.

And don’t forget the alleged DNC server “hack,” which also fueled the Russia collusion story line. Former Perkins Coie attorney Sussmann was also the attorney for the company CrowdStrike, which was brought in by Sussmann to check the DNC servers. The same day the company was hired to look at the DNC servers, CrowdStrike proclaimed the Russians were responsible. The FBI, which was never allowed to look at the computers at the DNC, took their word for it.

At Substack, Techno Fog provides some additional background on what surely looks like a conspiracy.

When The FBI Does It, That Means That It’s Not Illegal

Never-Trumper Ed Morrissey, via Instapundit;

Over the weekend, I spoke with a senior Trump administration official with access to intelligence regarding the significance of the Sussmann indictment. He pointed to House Intelligence Committee transcripts declassified in a fight between the White House and Adam Schiff last year. Pay attention to those transcripts, the former official advised, because those made it clear that the FBI knew the Alfa Bank theory was nonsense — but used it to push forward nonetheless on the Russia-collusion theory. That was one reason Schiff tried to stop declassification of the transcripts, and those are the reason that Durham could get the grand jury indictment on Sussmann at all. Some of the agents that worked with Sussmann remain in the bureau, he also said, and that will go to McCarthy’s larger point about the “deep state” and the effort to push Trump out of office. There may also be a broader scope involving former officials in the Obama administration regarding politicization of intelligence, a few of whom have returned in the Biden administration — notably in the State Department. Stay tuned.

Clearly, more is happening than a mop-up for Durham.

More: Jonathan Turley thinks one person in the White House should be very, very worried.

Another good summary by Glenn Greenwald here.

The lie that Sussman allegedly told the FBI occurred in the context of his mid-2016 attempt to spread a completely fictitious story: that there was a “secret server” discovered by unnamed internet experts that allowed the Trump organization to communicate with Russia-based Alfa Bank. In the context of the 2016 election, in which the Clinton campaign had elevated Trump’s alleged ties to the Kremlin to center stage, this secret communication channel was peddled by Sussman — both to the FBI and to Clinton-friendly journalists — as smoking-gun proof of nefarious activities between Trump and the Russians. Less than two months prior to the 2016 election, Sussman secured a meeting at the FBI’s headquarters with the Bureau’s top lawyer, James Baker, and provided him data which he claimed proved this communication channel.

It was in the course of trying to lure the FBI into investigating this scam conspiracy theory when Sussman allegedly lied to Baker, by concealing the fact — outright denying — that he was peddling the story in his role as lawyer for the Hillary Clinton campaign as well as a lawyer for a “tech executive” hoping to be appointed as the top cybersecurity official in the soon-to-be-inaugurated Clinton administration. Sussman’s claims that he was just acting as a concerned private citizen were negated by numerous documents obtained by Durham’s investigation, including billing records where he charged the Clinton campaign for his work in trying to disseminate this story, including his meeting with Baker at FBI’s headquarters.

Related: The FBI’s Incurable Rot

When The FBI Does It, That Means That It’s Not Illegal

Jonathan Turley, for The Hill;

The 26-page indictment of former cybersecurity attorney and Hillary Clinton campaign lawyer Michael Sussmann by special counsel John Durham is as detailed as it is damning on the alleged effort to push a false Russia collusion claim before the 2016 presidential campaign. One line, however, seems to reverberate for those of us who have followed this scandal for years now: “You do realize that we will have to expose every trick we have in our bag.”

That warning from an unnamed “university researcher” captures the most fascinating aspect of the indictment in describing a type of Nixonian dirty tricks operation run by — or at least billed to — the Clinton campaign. With Nixon, his personal attorney and the Committee to Re-Elect the President (CREEP) paid for operatives to engage in disruptive and ultimately criminal conduct targeting his opponents. With Clinton, the indictment and prior disclosures suggest that Clinton campaign lawyers at the law firm of Perkins Coie helped organize an effort to spread Russia collusion stories and trigger an investigation.

Durham accuses Sussmann of lying to the general counsel of the FBI in September 2016 when Sussmann delivered documents and data to the FBI supposedly supporting a claim that Russia’s Alpha Bank was used as a direct conduit between former President Trump’s campaign and the Kremlin. According to Durham, Sussman told the FBI general counsel that he was not delivering the information on behalf of any client. The indictment not only details multiple billings to the Clinton campaign as the data was collected and the documents created; it claims Sussman billed the campaign for the actual meeting with the FBI. At the time, Perkins Coie attorney Marc Elias was general counsel for the Clinton campaign. Both men have since left the firm.

The big trick in 2016 was the general effort to create a Russia collusion scandal with the help of Justice Department insiders and an eager, enabling media.

It was only last October, for instance, that we learned that then-President Obama was briefed by his CIA director, John Brennan, on an intelligence report that Clinton planned to tie then-candidate Trump to Russia as “a means of distracting the public from her use of a private email server.” That was on July 28, 2016 — three days before the Russia investigation was initiated.

On a local note, I’ve heard nothing about this indictment on Rawlco news-talk radio, despite their moment-by-moment coverage of the Russian collusion hoax at the time. But maybe they haven’t heard.

Help them out by emailing the story to their alleged news department here. Click early, click often.

Russia, Russia, Russia

Sedition, sedition, sedition;

The Biden administration on Thursday walked back one of the biggest bombshell campaign-season revelations of last year: that the Russian government had put bounties on the heads of US troops in Afghanistan.
 
Oh, how convenient.
 
A senior official told The Daily Beast that the administration had only “low to moderate” confidence in a story Team Biden was more than happy to use against former President Donald Trump for months. Candidate Joe Biden cited the Russian bounties on the campaign trail, calling Trump’s failure to act a “dereliction of duty.” […]
 
The easy marks who fell for it on the Republican side are a little harder to forgive, like Sen. Lindsey Graham, Rep. Dan Crenshaw and the ranking member of the Foreign Affairs Committee, Rep. Michael McCaul.
 
“We need answers,” Crenshaw said at the time, retweeting Liz Cheney.
 
McCaul, during the Foreign Affairs Committee hearing on the bounties story, admitted that the intelligence community was still doing a “deep dive” but nevertheless treated the allegation as if it was true, calling for further sanctions against Moscow and asking if the likely untrue story called into question the good-faith negotiating of the Taliban.
 
One more detail is worth considering here: The New York Times reported days after its initial story that the bounties intelligence had been inserted into President Trump’s written briefing on Feb. 27. Two days later, the peace deal with the Taliban was signed.
 
Given the Biden administration’s disavowal, this now looks like an effort to sabotage the peace process. The most charitable reading is someone let low-quality intelligence rise up the chain of command much too quickly. At worst, someone put it in there intending to damage Trump. It wouldn’t be the first time.

Related: How To Start A War

Biden vs Putin

This sounds fun!

Russian President Vladimir Putin challenged President Biden to an on-air conversation to discuss Biden’s latest warning that Putin would “pay a price,” following a report containing evidence of attempted Russian-interference in the 2020 election.

“I’ve just thought of this now,” Putin told a reporter in Moscow Thursday. “I want to invite President Biden to continue our discussion, but on the condition that we do it actually live. But with no delays, directly in an open, direct discussion.”

Although it looks like he might have to get in line.

Elections have consequences. Fortified elections more so.

Update- Things are escalating.

When The FBI Does It, That Means That It’s Not Illegal

Real Clear Investigations;

For the past year, defenders of the FBI have consistently downplayed the significance of an FBI staff lawyer falsifying evidence in the government’s investigation into Donald Trump’s relationship with Russia. They argue Kevin Clinesmith’s crime of altering a CIA document to obscure the fact that former Trump campaign aide Carter Page worked for U.S., not Russian, intelligence was a rare lapse in judgment by an overworked bureaucrat. It was not, his apologists say, part of any broader conspiracy to conceal exculpatory information from surveillance court judges, who never learned of Page’s history with the CIA before approving FBI warrants to wiretap him as a suspected Russian agent.
 

But such explanations are challenged by new revelations from court papers filed in the case, which some civil libertarians call the most egregious violation and abuse of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) since it was enacted more than 40 years ago.
 
The little-noticed documents, which include never-before-seen exhibits, were submitted by Special Counsel John Durham and lawyers for Page, who has been granted time to address the court as a victim when it sentences Clinesmith Jan. 29 as part of a plea agreement. Page and his attorneys argue that the FBI obtained his electronic communications, both written and oral, based on fraudulent warrants in violation of his Fourth Amendment rights. He is suing Clinesmith and the FBI for $75 million in damages.
 
The court filings reveal, among other things, that Clinesmith knew much earlier than has been reported about Page’s cooperation with the U.S. government, and was not alone in knowing that he had provided information on the Russians to the CIA — or in covering up that knowledge.

When The FBI Does It, That Means That It’s Not Illegal

The real foreign election interference: Christopher Steele’s 2017 confession to the FBI

Dossier author Christopher Steele admitted to the FBI that he leaked the Russia collusion story during the height of the 2016 election to help Hillary Clinton overcome her lingering email scandal and because he believed Donald Trump’s election would be bad for U.S. relations with his home country of Britain, according to documents declassified by the president in his final full day in office.
 
The FBI report of an interview agents conducted with Steele in September 2017, nearly a year after he had been terminated as an informant, provided explosive information about his motives in working simultaneously for the FBI and the opposition research firm for Clinton’s campaign. The document was obtained by Just the News and at times reads like a confession from the now-infamous former MI6 agent and author of the anti-Trump dossier.
 
Steele told agents that then-FBI Director James Comey’s decision to reopen the Clinton email investigation in fall of 2016 became his tipping point for leaking the anti-Trump collusion research that his company Orbis Intelligence had gathered and given to the FBI.

Yes, we will continue to follow this story as the facts are unraveled. It’s the fundamental purpose of the blogosphere — to help document that which the mainstream refuses to.

When The FBI Does It, That Means That It’s Not Illegal

Report President Trump Schedules Extensive Declassification Prior To Departure – Chris Steele Interview Likely Included

According to the London Financial Times, the former MI6 intelligence operative was willing to talk to U.S. investigators regarding his contact with corrupt DOJ and FBI officials during the 2016 campaign and seditious aftermath. It appears a key part of the declassification “trove” will be records from these Steele statements to Durham investigators. […]
 

Steele’s testimony could be a key issue to expose corruption within the FBI that was previously identified by Senator Chuck Grassley. The FBI said Christopher Steele never told them he was shopping his dossier to the media; however, Christopher Steele told a British court the FBI was fully aware of all his media contacts, and they used the dossier anyway.
 
Christopher Steele had no motive to lie to the FBI about his media contacts; the FBI had tons of motive to lie about their knowing Steele talked to the media. It’s just common sense.
 
Christopher Steele wasn’t meeting in secret with the media, it was well known. He was traveling around to meet them in August and September 2016. Why would he lie to the FBI about such transparently well known action in October? Answer: He wouldn’t.

Update: Chairman Graham released 11 transcripts of interviews conducted during the Senate Judiciary Committee’s inquiry into the origins and aftermath of the Crossfire Hurricane Investigation. Shocker: The transcripts are suddenly unavailable.

Katie Pavich at Townhall has a summary.

When The FBI Does It, That Means That It’s Not Illegal

Barr has resigned. It seems, amicably.

Barr touted Trump’s achievements, saying that he is “proud to have played a role in the many successes and unprecedented achievements you have delivered for the American people.” He also referenced the president’s fight against the Democrats’ Russiagate hoax.
 
“The nadir of this campaign was the effort to cripple, if not oust, your Administration with frenzied and baseless accusations of collusion with Russia,” he wrote. “Few could have weathered these attacks, much less forge ahead with a positive program for the country.”

More: Durham Expands Russian Collusion Hoax Investigation

When The FBI Does it, That Means That It’s Not Illegal

FBI Has Files From Seth Rich’s Laptop Computer;

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has files from the laptop computer belonging to Seth Rich, a Democratic National Committee (DNC) employee who was killed in 2016, according to a new email.
 
The bureau also has tens of thousands of documents mentioning Rich.

The FBI originally claimed they’d searched but couldn’t find any.

The first sign that the testimony was erroneous came earlier this year when the nonprofit watchdog Judicial Watch received emails exchanged between FBI agent Peter Strzok and Department of Justice lawyer Lisa Page. The production included several emails mentioning Rich.

When The FBI Does It, That Means That It’s Not Illegal

What to make of this?

More: Grassley and Johnson release a trove of FBI/DOJ/State Dept documents related to Crossfire Hurricane, the dossier, etc.

They may be referencing the Awan IT scammers who were working for Wasserman-Schultz.

When The FBI Does It, That Means That It’s Not Illegal

Barr appoints John Durham as special counsel to investigate origins of Russia probe;

“On May 13, 2019, I directed John Durham, U.S. Attorney for the District of Connecticut, to investigate certain intelligence and law-enforcement activities surrounding the 2016 presidential election,” Barr wrote. “Although I had expected Mr. Durham to complete his work by the summer of 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as additional information he uncovered, prevented him from doing so.”
 
“In advance of the presidential election, I decided to appoint Mr. Durham as a Special Counsel to provide him and his team with the assurance that they could complete their work, without regard to the outcome of the election,” Barr wrote, adding that he appointed Durham with “the powers and authority of a Special Counsel” on Oct. 19.

When The FBI Does It, That Means That It’s Not Illegal

A pardon for the ages.

Today, President Donald J. Trump signed an Executive Grant of Clemency granting a Full Pardon to General Michael T. Flynn. The President has pardoned General Flynn because he should never have been prosecuted. An independent review of General Flynn’s case by the Department of Justice—conducted by respected career professionals—supports this conclusion. In fact, the Department of Justice has firmly concluded that the charges against General Flynn should be dropped. This Full Pardon achieves that objective, finally bringing to an end the relentless, partisan pursuit of an innocent man.
 
General Flynn should not require a pardon. He is an innocent man. Even the FBI agents who interviewed General Flynn did not think he was lying. Multiple investigations have produced evidence establishing that General Flynn was the victim of partisan government officials engaged in a coordinated attempt to subvert the election of 2016. These individuals sought to prevent Donald Trump from being elected to the Presidency, to block him from assuming that office upon his election, to remove him from office after his inauguration, and to undermine his Administration at every turn.
 
The prosecution of General Flynn is yet another reminder of something that has long been clear: After the 2016 election, individuals within the outgoing administration refused to accept the choice the American people had made at the ballot box and worked to undermine the peaceful transition of power. These efforts were enabled by a complicit media that willingly published falsehoods and hid inconvenient facts from public view, including with respect to General Flynn. They amounted to a brazen assault on our democracy and a direct attack on our fundamental political values.
 
While today’s action sets right an injustice against an innocent man and an American hero, it should also serve as a reminder to all of us that we must remain vigilant over those in whom we place our trust and confidence. The people who sit atop our intelligence and law enforcement agencies have tremendous power to affect the lives of their fellow citizens. The American people must always take care to scrutinize their actions, to hold them accountable, and to ensure that they use their immense power to uphold the rule of law rather than to harass, persecute, and jail their political opponents in pursuit of partisan political agendas.
 
Happy Thanksgiving to General Flynn and his family, and thank you all for your great service to our Nation!

More from John Yoo.

When The FBI Does It, That Means That It’s Not Illegal

It is all a big circle of planting and laundering the same originating false material; aka a “wrap up smear.”

CBS News Catherine Herridge has obtained a 94-page spread sheet (pdf here) showing dates of media reports, dates of Steele reports on the same material, and the FBI effort to verify or validate the circular process. […]
 
Former SSCI staffer Dan Jones, former Wall Street Journal reporter Glenn Simpson, and Simpson’s crew at Fusion-GPS, pitched and planted phony Trump-Russia evidence with the media and simultaneously gave those fake points to Chris Steele to supplement the dossier. Using the same method of Ezra Klein’s “JournOList” replication, Dan Jones and Fusion-GPS paid the journalists to run the stories.

Steve McIntyre (Climate Audit): like many readers, I’m reading and dismayed by the FBI spreadsheet purportedly summarizing their analysis of Steele dossier… if incompetence, laziness and stupidity were crimes, then Comey’s “right people” would all be in jail long ago.

Lots there to go with your morning coffee.

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