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05 February 2018

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Walrus

I am concerned that things may get so hot that Steele (and others) are "suicided" a practice that has happened before. Steele, McCabe and other operatives need to be in protective custody.

To put that another way, removing two sequential links in the chain leading to the Clinton/DNC cabal will stymie the investigation.

steve

"The application does not mention Steele was ultimately working on behalf of-and paid by-the DNC and Clinton campaign, or that the FBI had separately authorized payment to Steele for the same information."

Has this been confirmed, or is this just what Nunes says? I often find myself in a minority on this issue, but I am reticent to take the word of a politician.

Steve

Publius Tacitus

You're kidding, right? It is confirmed. If it was not true then the Democrats would be citing that factoid chapter and verse, along with the FBI, as an example of the so-called ERRORS in this memo. They haven't.

blue peacock

PT, TTG, et al

Could Carter Page too have been a FBI accomplice?

It wouldn't be too far fetched if he was sent to be a volunteer in the Trump campaign to gain retroactive authorization on the surveillance of the campaign. Maybe that's why they had to resort to the Fusion GPS dossier in their FISA Title I warrant application.

The DOJ/FBI seem to be rather desperate to hide something. That's the only explanation I can see for their stalling and obstruction tactics here. This notion of creating a precedent for disclosure seems like a red herring to me.

Eric Newhill

Steve,
The allegation is actually worse than just payments from Clinton to Steele. It is also that the Clinton campaign was feeding Steele information on Trump and members of his team.

Presumably, if Clinton had made the allegations against Trump, it wouldn't have been taken seriously. However, having the allegations routed through Steele and then appearing as intelligence gathered by his impeccable personage would cause the allegations to be taken seriously and to be used for warrants and so on and so forth.

Clinton paying Steele is very bad. Clinton feeding Steele information to be included in his "dossier" is much worse. The FBI failing to disclose either during the warrant application is catastrophic for democracy.

Is it true? I bet it is. This doesn't feel like empty grandstanding by the Rs and Trump. It doesn't feel like a desperately flailing counter attack either. It does feel like the Ds and the borg are on their heals at this point.

We will know soon enough when underlying detail is released. OTOH, maybe we never will. Depends on the Rs' strategy. They may seek to up the pressure to the point where their enemies see the rope awaiting their necks; at which point they deal. Some Ds and borgs step down/retire, some are sacrificed to satisfy the public's need for justice to be done, others may stay around, but must concede things of value to the Rs (content of and passing of bills amongst those things?). Then again, maybe the entire swamp just gets drained in the course of a righteous crusade.

I find the resistance to the concept of a coup attempt to be interesting. It's like they think demons that drove Cassius and Brutus got locked in hell, permanently, 2,000 years ago.

Keith Harbaugh

PT, I would be interested in how you would rebut, if you should care to, this:

"The Smearing of Christopher Steele"
By JOHN SIPHER, Politico Magazine, 2018-02-05
https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2018/02/05/christopher-steele-dossier-smearing-216940

BTW, Sipher describes himself as
"a career intelligence officer who worked on Russian espionage issues overseas,
and in support of FBI counterintelligence investigations domestically".
Of course, that does not mean that he does not have political biases.

Sylvia 1

This is from an interview in Politico with Victoria Nuland. It seems Mr. Steele was accustomed to dropping by the State Department--and did so in the Summer of 2016 with news of "Russian interference" Since he was already a paid asset of the FBI wouldn't hey have also known of his "work" by then. This may be relevant to the issue of what caused the FBI to open a counter intelligence investigation in July 2016--Mr. Steele/Fusion GPS or a drunken Papadopolus?
"In the interview, Nuland said she was familiar with Steele’s work through regular reports he had passed on to her office over the previous several years dealing with political maneuverings in Russia and Ukraine. When presented by an intermediary with the startling information about “linkages” between Trump and Russia that summer, “what I did was say that this is about U.S. politics,” Nuland recounted, “and not the business of the State Department, and certainly not the business of a career employee who is subject to the Hatch Act, which requires that you stay out of politics. So, my advice to those who were interfacing with him was that he should get this information to the FBI, and that they could evaluate whether they thought it was credible.”"
https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2018/02/05/global-politico-victoria-nuland-obama-216937

wisedupearly Ceo

IF Steele has been spying on the Brits on behalf of the FBI then he's gone. If he was working his old contacts for non-Brit intel after retiring is that a crime? Hopefully Steele would not approach active assets. Not sure how the spook world sees it.
To make the dossier watertight Steele would have to select believable contacts that could have supplied the information supposedly fed to him by Clinton. Or to put it the other way round, Clinton would have to know what contacts Steele had to generate the "dirt" to match the contacts. Feasible? Likely?
Still waiting for Gowdy to state that the warrant was issued illegally.

wisedupearly Ceo

House Intel Committee has sent the Democratic response to the Memo to the President for his approval for release.
Interesting times.

The Twisted Genius

Publius Tacitus,

Half confirmed. Steele was paid by the DNC and Clinton campaign, but only through Fusion GPS and that DNC law firm. There's no indication Steele knew he was doing work for the DNC or that the DNC knew Steele was working for them. I'm sure they both eventually figured that out. I've seen nothing credible saying Steele was a paid source of the FBI. You've hinted at some of the reasons that is improbable. John Sipher's article of today goes deeper into that. Perhaps that why the Nunes memo say the FISA application fails to say the "FBI had separately authorized payment to Steele for the same information." I'm sure the application also fails to say Steele was a Timelord from the planet Gallifrey.

The Twisted Genius

blue peacock,

If Page was an FBI accomplice, there would have been no need for a FISA warrant. Page would have just worn a wire or the digital equivalent of a wire. I covered that in a comment in my last post. Colonel Lang also chimed in on that point.

The FBI's loathing for creating a precedent is anything but a red herring. Do you know of any case where they shared a FISA application or warrrant? Defense lawyers and privacy advocates have been fighting in the courts for access to that stuff for years. With the release of the Nunes memo (and maybe the Schiff memo) there is a good possibility of that log jam being broken.

Publius Tacitus

Sorry, wrong again. Please read the memo. It clearly states, as quoted above, "the FBI had separately authorized payment to Steele for the same information."
But then you have finish reading the memo, which notes that "Steele was suspended and then TERMINATED AS AN FBI SOURCE."
Your hatred of Trump blinds you to seeing and understanding simple facts. Sad.
If Steele had only been paid for a one off job, by the Bureau, then he would not have been in a position to be "SUSPENDED" and then "TERMINATED."
Hope this helps you.

The Twisted Genius

When Steele was still in MI6, he worked with the FBI's Eurasian Joint Organized Crime Squad. He reached out to an FBI Special Agent who he worked with on that team when he first decided in August 2016 to contact the FBI about his findings on Trump. That FBI SA was stationed in Rome and that's where Steele met him for that first meeting in August. It's only logical that the same SA who already had rapport with Steele would be in the subsequent meeting in September and Rome would be the logical place for that meeting. It would also be less problematic for the FBI to meet a now private UK citizen outside of the UK because of that special relationship between US and UK spy agencies.

Publius Tacitus

You need to re-read the source documents. Steele told Simpson in late June that he was going to report to the FBI. Simpson subsequently claimed that Steele met with the FBI in JULY not AUGUST. But, again, you are ignoring what the cleared memo, which the FBI read, states--STEELE WAS A SOURCE WHO WAS SUSPENDED AND THEN TERMINATED.

james

thanks pt... good post...

blue peacock - this question on page as fbi accomplice has been asked before... i think ttg made some comments on it as well.. as i see it, it seems like he would be worthless, but maybe the fbi would see it differently...

and as wisedupearly mentions.. i don't know if it is a crime for an ex m16 guy to work for the fbi.. was steele retired or not?

Fred

Keith,

The Democrats on the committee knew the content of the Nunes memo before it was released. Nancy Pelosi said it must be withheld as a matter of national security. Now she says it is a constitutional crisis. Reading the piece you linked to just raises the question of just whom at the FBI Mr. "Cipher" was helping with "counterintelligence investigations"?

Sylvia 1,

I have to wonder just what Mrs. Robert Kagan, aka Victoria Nuland, is so afraid that she had Susan Glasser - the former Editor of Foreign Affairs and "longtime foreign correspondent and editor for the Washington Post... ..... spent four years as co-chief of the Post's Moscow bureau” - do this CYA puff piece now.

Now while it isn't illegal for an American Citizen who has no security clearance and isn't authorized access to government secrets, and isn’t employed by the government, to talk to Russians, I distinctly recall reading in the NYT that talking to Russians, especially in Moscow, is the worst possible thing and apparently all the FBI needs to get a FISA warrant. Because maybe the SVR RF (the successor of the First Chief Directorate of the KGB) might “approach” you. Now wouldn't recruiting someone with access to top State Department officials like Victoria Nuland and with close connections (i.e. married to) someone with direct access to the White House be an irresistible recruitment target to the SVR? Curious minds might ask “did the SVR ever approach Mrs. Glasser or her husband, "New York Times White House correspondent Peter Baker.”?”

I wonder if FBI Director Comey or the FBI head of counter intelligence, Peter Strzok, ever bothered to get a FISA warrant to surveil those two. It’s not like anyone in Russia would ever want to plant information in the NYT or Foreign Affairs magazine; or pass suggestions on to State Department officials through that channel. Maybe the FBI just targets people running for political office. Which would create, as Nancy Pelosi so correctly points out, a Constitutional Crisis.

Here's the link to the politico article's author:
https://foreignpolicy.com/author/susan-b-glasser/

different clue

Eric Newhill,

( reply to comment 5)

If all these Clintonites and Borgists inside and outside of government are indeed the bad actors this interpretation of events considers them to be, then it would be better for us if they were all found and punished and all their structures and so forth torn out and burned.

If they are allowed to save themselves in return for "deals" of fleeting material or legislative benefit, that would be just another "Ford pardons Nixon" event, leaving those kind of people unpunished and unrepentant and ready to train new cadres of young proteges to try it all over again in the fullness of time.

wisedupearly Ceo

Seems like March 2009 is when Steele retired and went private.

Eric Newhill

Incidently, the Schiff memo should really be an "interesting" study in madness. Here is Schiff taking the TTG theory about Russians sowing chaos to an extreme - apparently the Russians are behind the second amendment. They want us all to shoot each other. My god. This man is a member of the intelligence committee?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yM3whD7y83c

Anna

"John Sipher's article of today goes deeper into that."
You should read the comments section of the Sipher's article to "appreciate" admirers of the article and their religious belief in Obama-Clinton righteousness and Trump’s perfidy. The admirers are not interested in facts of the investigation because the facts, particulalry in Steele’s case, have a pro-Putin bias.

J

The screw up and move up syndrome is alive and well.

Brennan the DCI screw up is set to make more bucks as a screw up.

Brennan has been hired by NBC as an analyst.

wisedupearly Ceo

Could the experts provide some clarity.
There are some people who believe that the dossier must be accepted or rejected in toto.
The poisoned tree concept. If one item in the dossier is salacious and unverified then all items must be rejected.
Would the FBI subject the dossier as an entity or a FISA court would agree with that argument?

Publius Tacitus

Comey testified in June 2017 that the Dossier was "salacious and unverified." If they actually had corroborated some of the dossier then Comey never would have testified this way under oath. It is fruit of the poisonous tree.

The Twisted Genius

Publius Tacitus,

You're right about the meeting in July rather than August. I was doing that from memory.

You quoted the memo as saying "The application does not mention... or that the FBI had separately authorized payment to Steele for the same information." What is the reason the application did not mention that? And why does it not say he was actually paid? Perhaps because both statements are not facts. Given that the FBI did talk to him and take his dossier, I agree that Steele was some kind of source/informant from July to October. I don’t know the FBI terminology. I also don’t doubt the FBI cut their ties with him after he blabbed to the press.

The Nunes memo is a document with a political purpose, not a source document. If it was oversight, the HPSCI would be raking the FBI over the coals in hearings right now. I don’t see the FBI review of the memo as a vouching for its accuracy, just a vouching that it doesn’t contain anything that would cause grievous damage to their ongoing cases, sources and methods. It was more of a standard FBI Glomar response. I also don’t think the Schiff response memo will be much different. None of this is a Constitutional crisis. Trey Gowdy’s recent comments were refreshingly knowledgeable, reasonable and calming. I hope he continues. He may be the best chance to right the HPSCI ship.

Bandit

"Then again, maybe the entire swamp just gets drained in the course of a righteous crusade."

Nice thought, but both parties have too much skin in the game to want to bring the whole house down. These scrimmages are just theater to be settled by the corporate or elitist profiteers in whatever way leaves the swamp intact.

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