from forbes magazine, no less

Is Russiagate Really Hillarygate?
P R Gregory, Forbes.com, Jul 16 2017

According to an insider account, the Clinton team put together the Russiagate narrative within 24 hours of her defeat. The Clinton account explained that Russian hacking and election meddling caused her unexpected loss. Her opponent Donald Trump was a puppet of Putin. Trump, they said, “encourages espionage against our people.” The scurrilous Trump dossier prepared by a London opposition research firm called Orbis and paid for by unidentified Demagog donors formed a key part of the Clinton narrative: Trump’s sexual and business escapades in Russia had made him a hostage of the Kremlin, ready to do its bidding. That was Hillary’s way of saying that Trump is really not POTUS, a siren call adopted by the Demoagog party and media. The most under-covered story of Russiagate is the connection between the Clinton campaign, an unregistered foreign agent of Russia headquartered in DC (Fusion GPS), and the Christopher Steele firm, Orbis dossier. This connection has raised the question of whether the Kremlin prepared the dossier as part of a disinformation campaign to sow chaos in the Pindo political system. If ordered and paid for by Hillary Clinton’s associates, Russiagate is turned on its head, and is revealed as consisting of collusion between Clinton operatives (not Trump operatives) and Russian intelligence. Russiagate becomes Hillarygate. Neither the NYT, the WaPo nor CNN has covered this explosive story. Two op-eds have appeared in the WSJ (Holman Jenkins and David Satter). The possible Russian intelligence origins of the Steele dossier have been raised only in conservative publications such as in The Federalist and National Review. The Fusion story has been known since Sen Chuck Grassley sent a heavily-footnoted letter to the DoJ on Mar 31 2017 demanding for his Judiciary Committee all relevant documents on Fusion GPS, the company that managed the Steele dossier against then-candidated Trump. Grassley writes to justify his demand for documents:

The issue is of particular concern to the Committee given that when Fusion GPS reportedly was acting as an unregistered agent of Russian interests, it appears to have been simultaneously overseeing the creation of the unsubstantiated dossier of allegations of a conspiracy between the Trump campaign and the Russians.

Comey refused to answer questions about Fusion and the Steele dossier in his May 3 testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee. Comey responded to Lindsey Graham’s questions about Fusion GPS’s involvement “in preparing a dossier against Donald Trump that would be interfering in our election by the Russians” with “I don’t want to say.” Perhaps he will be called on to answer in a forum where he cannot refuse to answer. The role of Fusion GPS and one of its key associates, a former Soviet intelligence officer, must raise the question as to whether the Steele dossier, which was orchestrated by a suspected unregistered agent of Russia, was a plant by Russian intelligence to harm Donald Trump. David Satter, one of our top experts on Russia and himself expelled by the Kremlin, writes:

Perhaps most important, Russian intelligence also acted to sabotage Mr Trump. The Trump dossier, full of unverified sexual and political allegations, was published in January by BuzzFeed, despite having all the hallmarks of Russian spy agency ‘creativity.’ The dossier was prepared by Christopher Steele, a former British intelligence officer. It employed standard Russian techniques of disinformation and manipulation.

Much of the credibility of the Orbis dossier hinges on Steele’s reputation as a former M16 agent, but Satter writes:

After the publication of the Trump dossier, Mr Steele went into hiding, supposedly in fear for his life. On Mar 15, however, former acting DCI Morell told NBC that Steele had paid the Russian intelligence sources who provided the information and never met with them directly. In other words, his sources were not only working for pay, but furthermore, Mr Steele had no way to judge the veracity of their claims.

If Steele disappeared for fear of his life, we must suspect that he feared murder by Russian agents. The only secret he might have had to warrant such a drastic Russian action would be knowledge that Russian intelligence prepared the dossier. According to a Vanity Fair article, Fusion GPS was first funded by anti-Trump Thug sources, but after Trump’s nomination, Fusion and Steele were paid by Demagog sources whose identity remains secret. Satter writes:

Perhaps the time has come to expand the investigation into Russia’s meddling to include Mrs Clinton’s campaign as well.

As someone who has read every word of the Steele Trump dossier and has studied the Soviet Union aka Russia for almost half a century, I can say that the Steele dossier consists of raw intelligence from informants identified by capital letters, who claim improbably to have access to the highest levels of the Kremlin. The dossier was not, as the press reports, written by Steele. No matter how experienced (or gullible) Steele might be, there is no way for him to know whether his sources are clandestine Russian intelligence agents. In Stalin’s day, some of the most valued KGB (then NKVD) agents were jokingly referred to as “novelists” because of their ability to conjure up fictional plots and improbable tales to use against their enemies. Some of Steele’s sources claim detailed knowledge of the deepest Kremlin secrets, such as Putin’s personal control of Clinton emails or negotiations with Putin’s head of the national oil company. If they truly had such knowledge, why would they “sell” it to Steele? The most likely explanation is that the Steele dossier is the work of Russian intelligence “novelists” charged by the Kremlin with the task defaming Trump and thus adding chaos to the Pindo political system. While leaks from within the investigation focus on possible obstruction of justice, Robert Mueller’s writ to investigate Russian interference in the 2016 election requires him to consider “matters” that Dems would prefer be left alone. Mueller has been given a broad charge and no deadline, a formula for trouble. He is supposed to “investigate Russia’s intervention in the 2016 election.” Given the many accounts of Russian contacts with Trump campaign boxtops and hangers-on, Mueller must follow these leads, which apparently have lead nowhere over a nine-month investigation, as reported even by Trump-unfriendly sources like CNN.

Mueller should not require much time to rule out coordination between the Trump campaign and Russia state actors. He must be careful to avoid detours into loosely related issue by scalp-hunting investigators. He also must shut down leaks from within his office, if he wishes his reports to be credible to the Pindo sheeple. He must conduct an investigation which is perceived as fair to both sides. On the Clinton or Demagog side, there are a number of unanswered questions related to Russian electoral intervention. Among them is the question of whether the “wiped clean” Clinton e-mails are in Russian hands, as asserted by the Steele dossier; whether the tarmac meeting of Bill Clinton and the Attorney General quashed the investigation of Hillary’s e-mails; and whether the Clintons and Russian uranium interests engaged in quid pro quo and “pay to play” operations. The most important unanswered question is whether the Clinton campaign funded the Orbis smear, and whether they understood that the smear could have been concocted by Russian intelligence. Mueller must question Steele himself on his sources, and some of the sources themselves, investigate whether they could be Russian intelligence agents, and determine the role of Clinton donors and campaign boxtops in the funding of the anti-Trump dossier. The Fusion/Steele matter is explosive because it suggests that Russia’s most damaging intervention in the 2016 campaign may have been its creation of the Steele Dossier, but most remarkably, paid for by the Clinton campaign. If so, the Clinton campaign, not Trump, was the prime sponsor of Russia’s intervention in the 2016 election.

6 Comments

  1. Oisin
    Posted July 17, 2017 at 3:07 pm | Permalink

    The Forbes article smells of limited hangout. It adopts the underlying trick of Brennan’s red scare: obscuring distinctions between Russian nationals and Russian officials. CIA infested Russia with agents as it propped up their Yeltsin puppet regime. Most of those agents were useless or harmless, and many are standing by. The tell is media use of the unsubstantiated catchphrase ‘close ally of Putin.’ What does that mean? Nothing. It’s a term of art used as a metaphor for unspecified association. The only new wrinkle here is conflating these CIA sources with Russian intelligence, an unfalsifiable proposition that sounds slightly less lame than ally.

  2. niqnaq
    Posted July 17, 2017 at 3:17 pm | Permalink

    If the Clinton campaign paid for the dossier, then they score a pretty huge black eye for themselves in PR terms. It just makes it worse if in fact “Russian intelligence agents’ were involved. I don’t see what their motive would be to defame Trump, but still, the very possibility makes the story newsworthy, which is good, I think.

  3. George R King
    Posted July 17, 2017 at 5:39 pm | Permalink

    “CIA infested Russia with agents as it propped up their Yeltsin puppet regime. Most of those agents were useless or harmless……”

    That remains to be seen in its entirety as we see in the “Bill Browder is CIA agent, recruited Navalny. Browder furious! Navalny sues!”

  4. George R King
    Posted July 17, 2017 at 5:52 pm | Permalink

    Russian Film Director censored by EU: Western media are misrepresenting Magnitsky – Browder case. Director Andrei Nekrasov: I am called a traitor for the truth about Magnitsky’s case

    Why an investigative movie of the former Kremlin accuser is banned in the West

    Komsomolka talked with the opposition director Andrei Nekrasov who filmed “The Magnitsky Act – Behind the Scenes”. Surprisingly this investigative movie fell under the harshest censorship in the West – its showings are being cancelled. Even though the film sheds light on why American financier William Browder, who made a fortune in Russia, is now taking revenge on Moscow. He is demanding from Western countries Magnitsky Lists – sanctions against Russian citizens. In the US such “list” is already enacted.

  5. Oisin
    Posted July 17, 2017 at 8:34 pm | Permalink

    A black eye for the spent force of the Clinton campaign would be fun. Though the red scare seems like a Brennan/Haspel show, not Clinton’s.

    http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/did-17-intelligence-agencies-really-come-to-consensus-on-russia/

    In this case Clinton’s agency and initiative might be comparable to a sort of domestic Nguyễn Khánh: the preferred figurehead for the nonce.

    IMO the Brennan/Haspel red scare is entirely nonpartisan. It stems from three threats to CIA impunity converging at a time when CIA lacks a controllable cadre in the President’s slot. The threats are (1) this year’s legally-mandated NARA records release; (2) universal-jurisdiction legal jeopardy for CIA torturers; and (3) civil law challenges to US war and war pretexts including Abdul-Wahid Shannan ar-Ribat v. Blair, Saleh v. Bush, and Ashton v. KSA. Only Trump can stop the first. Squelching the second or third is probably beyond Trump unless he is at war. The CIA commissars’ panic is fully justified.

  6. niqnaq
    Posted July 17, 2017 at 8:54 pm | Permalink

    Dont’ keep changing your email address. Give a sensible email address and stick to it.

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