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02 February 2018

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Sid_finster

And it is abundantly obvious that the email fiasco was intended to find no wrongdoing.

Sid_finster

How do you like the fbu allowing the Clinton legal team to destroy hard drives? The lawyers themselves commemted that this would be grounds for a vontempt sanction, if it were anyone else.

The Twisted Genius

English Outsider,

reference your comment at #24

You raise some serious questions that I also have about Steele's activities. He was out of official government service and worked privately as a founding member of Orbis Business Intelligence. What does MI6 think about their former intelligence officers doing this kind of work? It's all too common here in the States. Did Steele use any former MI6 sources as his Orbis sources? I would think that would be highly problematic if that was the case. I would expect a knock on my door by several FBI Special Agents if I contacted any of my former sources. So your question about the relationship between Steele's activities and his former MI6 masters is interesting to say the least. Did MI6 actually support and encourage Steele? Did they merely tolerate his activities after the fact? Or did they privately frown on his activities? Is MI6 now sanctioning him in some quiet way? Perhaps Steele is now cut off from his former employer and coworkers. I'd like to know his present situation.

Steele was contracted to Fusion GPS, another private entity. I don't think he knew his ultimate paymaster was the DNC. Nor is there any indication that the DNC knew Steele was the source of the info they received from Fusion GPS. By all accounts Ive seen, the FBI did not become aware of Steele's dossier-related activities until July 2016. He went to the press with his info after coming to the conclusion that the FBI wasn't going to do anything with his information. The FBI dropped him after blabbing to the press. It appears to me that Steele was acting very much independently of both the UK and US governments. You are right, though. This is a critical question.

Sid_finster

There has been no evidence that russia funnelled "hacked" emails to WikiLeaks.

Laura

Thank you, TTG -- This is a great help to my understanding of this matter.

SmoothieX12

Back in the 70s the word was that ONI interviewed hookers after visits by Soviet nuclear-powered submarine crews to red light districts.

Never happened--an urban legend from people who know very little of Soviet Navy. The only theoretical "red light" district which Soviet officer could (they never did)visit, should such district have existed to start with, was in Vietnam in the naval base Kamrahn where some Soviet nuclear powered submarines operating in support of 8th Operational Squadron would stop for replenishment and rest. Plus, there were many free and willing local sluts who would do it for free anyway but this is not how things worked.

SmoothieX12

Fox just reported that next Nunes memo is about State Department--that is when this whole story will begin to grow meat around bones. US-Russian intelligence royalty meeting in Washington this week: Pompeo-Bortnikov-Naryshkin-Korobov was certainly more than just about coordination in fighting terrorism. This could have been coordinated on the level of Directorate heads. In fact, such a summit:

1. Is unprecedented in representation;
2. Couldn't have been possible even a month ago. This time this was done completely ignoring Dems' and their media hysteria.

Let's not forget, again, the whole thing still is about Russia and is just a part of a much larger scheme. The clue is late 2013-2014 in Kiev.

Fred

TTG,

I’m aware of the value of what is heard in bars and even of overheard conversations elsewhere. There is no telling just what a broadly cast net will turn up. I distinctly recall one of my shipmate's spending an enjoyable hour and 45 minutes with NCIS last century as a result of the "broadly cast net". The best part of that was all the “collateral damage” that happened when a subsequent third party – namely the ship’s XO - jumped to conclusions when he knew nothing other than “so you got called in to talk to NCIS”. The collateral damage being done by the ongoing investigations launched because of the machinations of Clapper, Brennan and the Borg is far more consequential. I’ll have to tell you the tale some time over a cold beer. And mighty bored you’ll be.

Thanks for the compliment on the writing. I’ll see if I can put another piece together soon.

walrus

'Drunk guys in bars?" The Australian High Commissioner. Alexander Downer, is not the sort of person to enter a mere "bar", nor talk (let alone drink) with anyone he considers below his "station". i'm afraid the Downer referral has as much credibility as the Steele dossier.

Donald

Anna— I don’t have the background many others have here, which is why I mostly lurk rather than post, but anyway, in my amateur view Russiagate is in large part a Borg operation to justify a new Cold War with Russia. I think that motive is part of the picture whatever the truth about Russiagate turns out to be.

The irony is that up until a few years ago it was the Democrats who ridiculed Republicans for being paranoid about Russia. Now it is the Democrats and some of their more crazed supporters that see a Russian under every bed.

Richardstevenhack

TTG's post is mostly hand-waving of the sort he's been doing here for ages.

The investigation of movement of Russia money "to influence the election" has zero evidence. It's dredged up because of the obvious distinction between US influence of foreign elections and the alleged Russian influence of the US election, i.e., use of NGO's, and vast sums of money. There has to date been absolutely ZERO evidence of Russians of ANY stripe funneling ANY money into the US, let alone to "influence the election."

The best the social media investigation produced was a couple hundred thousand dollars worth of ads, more than half of whom ran AFTER election, and almost none of them referenced the election or its candidates per se.

We have some lame ads alleged to "sow discord in the US" - which is just pathetic as evidence of propaganda. And then we have the DNI report which spends all its time complaining about RT and Sputnik, which the Washington Post itself reported has ridiculously limited viewing within the US media market.

And then the originators of these ads - The Internet Research Agency - were arrested by Russia as CIA spies!

So now the Deep State has to launch this lame investigation into "Russian money" - because there was no Russian money.

And TTG falls for this like he's fallen for everything else in Russiagate, resorting to hand-waving about "well, this is what intelligence people do" and "trust me, this is all real."

And now "drunk guys in bars"...trying to convince us that the nonsense Papadopoulos was spouting somehow rises to the level of hard intel... It's beyond ephemeral.

There is zero evidence of Russian influence in the election because Russia knows full well there is NO POSSIBILITY of influencing a US election because the US is not a banana republic like Ukraine and so they would never and have never tried. That's the bottom line.

Influence certain persons for certain narrow objectives like the Magnitsky Act? Sure. Influence the outcome of a US election? Ridiculous.

SmoothieX12

in my amateur view Russiagate is in large part a Borg operation to justify a new Cold War with Russia. I think that motive is part of the picture whatever the truth about Russiagate turns out to be.

This is not an amateur view, it is very professional--it is at the very heart of this whole Russiagate affair. It has everything to do with Trump's geopolitical intentions in which Russia plays a central role. Pretty much all of it is in the open, actually.

Jack

I have a question: FBI believed Carter Page was a Russian spy, sometime back but they only got a FISA Title I warrant in October 2016 after he left the Trump team. Why?

And follow up question: Why did they need the Fusion GPS/Steele/Hillary Clinton opposition research dossier to get that warrant? Didn't they have anything more substantial on Page to make them believe he was a Russian spy?

The Twisted Genius

Jack,

Carter Page was the object of a 2013 SVR recruitment attempt by Victor Podobnyy and his two New York compatriots, Sporyshev and Buryakov. Page was unwitting of this attempt. The FBI determined Page did nothing wrong. Podobnyy and Sporyshev left the US under diplomatic immunity. Buryakov was not that fortunate. The FBI arrested him. At Buryakov's trial, he admitted under oath that Page was an idiot. By the time Buryakov was sentenced, Page joined Team Trump as principle advisor on Russia. He now had access that he didn't have before and would have remained in the SVR's sights as a recruitment prospect. Page traveled to Russia inJuly 2016, spouted his pro-Moscow views and met several influential Russians. If I was a Russian intelligence officer in 2016, I would suspect Page was a dangle, and an obvious dangle at that. However, Page's new access would be hard to resist. He wouldn't be the first idiot hired by an intelligence service. The FBI was aware of his new access and vulnerability. They would have been negligent not to keep their eye on this potential CI problem that could cause serious harm to a potential new president, especially since many Trump supporters now insist that Page still had connections to the Trump campaign and transition team long after he officially left the Trump team.

We don't know the probable cause cited by the FBI in the FISA request on Page. The Nunes memo conveniently omitted this critical piece of information. Nor do we know the range of supporting information cited in the FISA request. The Nunes memo never said that either. Unless we see the actual FISA request, I doubt we will ever know this.

turcopolier

TTG

Remind me. Under which US statute is it illegal for a foreign government to establish a relationship with a US citizen who is a private person, does not work for the government or a government contractor, has no personnel security clearance and no access to government information? pl

Richardstevenhack

"Unless we see the actual FISA request, I doubt we will ever know this."

Conveniently, given that 99.8% of FISA warrants are rubber stamped. I agree that Nunes should have released any such evidence.

The fact of a FISA warrant means absolutely nothing without the underlying facts presented in evidence. The fact that it was renewed also means nothing other than someone wanted to continue to pursue Page.

Based on the 2013 incident, the FBI already knew who Page was and what he was about. That this could be used to justify a probe into the Presidential candidate is ludicrous unless someone had their own angle to chase.

Trying to turn Page into some sort of "counterintelligence operation" is weak sauce. Much more likely he was a victim of over-zealous anti-Trump FBI operatives.

The Twisted Genius

pl,

This is from the Southern District of New York US Attorney's office:

"BURYAKOV, 41, pled guilty to one count of conspiring to act in the United States as an agent of the Russian Federation without providing notice to the Attorney General, which carries a maximum sentence of five years."

Since his two fellow SVR brothers were declared to the USG, they were just deported. As I wrote the previous comment, I realized the FISA warrant for Page could have been primarily a pure CI operation to identify any more SVR officers (legal or illegal) chasing Page rather than an effort just to root out any possible conspiracy involving USPs surrounding Trump.

BTW, I spent two years as an illegal overseas. It's not a comforting situation.

turcopolier

TTG

" ... conspiring to act in the United States as an agent of the Russian Federation without providing notice to the Attorney General, which carries a maximum sentence of five years." This is basically a FARA violation and carries the same sentence. Any existing law ... Typical. "Illegal?" Ah, a NOC. pl

JPB

Thanx Smoothie!

I suspected as much.

Perhaps those rumors were started back in the 60s after the K-19 Jonah boat?

Babak Makkinejad

JStreet, AIPAC, Jewish Agency, etc. are violating US Law, no?
And so are many members of US Congress as well as Protestant Christians?

Jack

TTG

Thank you!

I am perplexed. If the FBI had all this info why did they tangle with Hillary's Fusion GPS stuff? Why do you think Rosenstein is so dead set against releasing the FISA application if it will help his case? Even Nunes did not see it as they only allowed one person and Nunes chose Gowdy. It is not that the IC never discloses sources and methods when it is convenient like they informed Moscow that we had tapped their secure communications to nail Flynn for a legitimate discussion with Kisylak.

Something stinks here!

The Twisted Genius

Babak,

Reference your comment at #73

Yes. I agree. And I wish the DOJ would go after the lot of them with all the aggressive zealousness that they do in certain other cases.

The Twisted Genius

Jack,

We don't know how much stuff from the Steele dossier was used in the Page FISA application. The Nunes memo and the narrative pushed by Trump supporters wants us to believe it was central to the whole FBI and Mueller investigations. Adam Schiff said it well yesterday in part of his press release:

“The authors of the GOP memo would like the country to believe that the investigation began with Christopher Steele and the dossier and if they can just discredit Mr. Steele, they can make the whole investigation go away regardless of the Russian’s interference in our election or the role of the Trump campaign in that interference. This ignores the inconvenient fact that the investigation did not begin with, or arise from Christopher Steele or the dossier, and that the investigation would persist on the basis of wholly independent evidence had Christopher Steele never entered the picture.”

Maybe the Democratic memo will clear this up if the President and the GOP agree to release it. I doubt it. It will still leave room for partisan interpretation. I think the DOJ will eventually feel forced to release at least this FISA application to settle the matter one way or the other. Trump could declassify it today if he wanted to.

The first part of my post explains why the DOJ doesn't want it released. They don't want to establish a precedent for future cases. Colonel Lang has laid out his experience with the DOJ and FBI penchant for withholding such evidence from defendants. This should end and Congress should legislate its end.

Jack

TTG

I don't think Trump could declassify it even if he wanted to as his lawyers would counsel against that. He can't afford any more hysteria about obstruction of justice in light of the Mueller probe. Rosenstein could however very easily, especially since he is personally implicated in signing the FISA application on Page.

I believe Schiff's memo will be released, but in my opinion it will only add to the confusion, as it will raise further questions.

It would be in the best interests of the country to declassify all the materials surrounding this controversy. Everything relating to the Trump and Clinton investigations. The sooner the better and the best parties to do that will be the DOJ and the IC. There will be more confidence in the institutions if there's more transparency on these controversies. Their acts of stalling and blocking only makes it look like they're hiding something. This is not going away as both sides are engaged in combat. Creating precedents for disclosure is good. As I said earlier these institutiona leak constantly sources and methods. Ordinary Americans like me see them withholding information only when they have something to hide, like malfeasance.

The Twisted Genius

Jack,

Trump is the one person who can declassify all this. I agree with you that eventually it will all have to come out for the good of the country. It will be our truth commission. The alternative is, as you said, continued combat. However, I don't think Trump wants that. He wants the investigation to go away with no more information about himself or his people becoming public. He has stalled and blocked from day one. Mueller has been very disciplined in keeping his investigation to himself. Nothing I wouldn't expect from a seasoned prosecutor. Unless Trump declassifies all and/or squashes the investigation, we will remain in the dark and in combat until the investigation draws to a natural conclusion. Even then, there will be plenty of people who will never accept the conclusions if they do not match their deeply held beliefs.

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