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05 February 2018

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Sid Finster

Honestly, I don't think it matters. Steele and Strzok could give sworn public testimony that they invented Russiagate out of whole cloth and fabricated all of the so-called "evidence" and those who want to believe in Russiagate will, stagger, spin frantically, and go right back to believing.

I talka bout "cognitive dissonance" a lot and believe me, I wish I knew what it takes to make people wake the [FAMILY BLOG] up, but there are entire religions based on cognitive dissonance.

Sid Finster

Power attracts sociopaths the way catnip attracts cats, or cocaine attracts addicts.

To put it another way: if power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely, absolute power also attracts the kind of people who have no business having power.

People will try to get around any law, even a law made in the best and most nobly-intentioned faith. This includes those responsible for enforcing the law.

Cvillereader

I would not exclude the possibility that Page, as well as Manafort and Papadopoulos, were plants.

The previous FBI case that Page was involved with did not end until May 2016, which I think is after he became involved with the Trump campaign.

Manafort and Papadopoulos both have connections to shady figures in Ukraine.

And now we are beginning to hear that Victoria Nuland May have steered Steele toward the FBI.

I have no doubt that Obama’s State Department might have been concerned about damaging information held by Putin on its activities.

turcopolier

Dr. Puck

They may lie to cover their own previous participation in such activities. pl

Flavius

Steele's credibility and reliability are peripheral to appraising the quality of the PC in the affidavit. The critical question has to do with whether Steele's alleged Russian sources were credible and reliable. It would be mind boggling if the Agents handling Steele did not demand to know the identities of his sources so that the information could be characterized for the purposes of the affidavit. Regardless of who was paying Steele, and how many times he was being paid for the same info, and how and to whom he was distributing the info, the quality of his information can not be properly assessed until it is known from whom it came, how it came to be known, and the circumstances under which it was acquired. Unless that was known, it never ahould have been considered to be actionable.
This raises the interesting question of whether our Gov't has any obligation of confidentiality with respect to Steele's alleged sources - off the top of my head, I would think not.
With respect to the Carter Page info, deficient probable cause can be multiplied endlessly by events and by sources and it still doesn't come to pass the threshold of probable cause. In fact, I would look on throwing in the kitchen sink as a sign of something disingenuous going on.
I can think of no valid reason why the FBI and the DoJ would not want to charge Steele with lying to the FBI if it can be demonstrated that he lied to them, particularly in so important a matter. With regard to investigating the provenance of his alleged sources to sustain the charge, there will surely be some severe practical difficulties. Steele is likely relying on those. Possibly they might consider Steele to be a material witness in a wider prosecutorial framework.
It is all very much a mess.

SmoothieX12

She was identified in Swiss court as an SVR officer who recruited a high level Swiss law enforcement officer.

Identified by who? From what is known about her--a typical murky raider lawyer with pretty well-off hubby. Do you use "recruitment" instead of bribing or corrupting? While not mutually exclusive, one has to really question motivations.

RK

Re: "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."

In which case, why all these, why all these Title I vs Title VII vs whatever?!

https://theconservativetreehouse.com/2018/02/05/in-march-2016-carter-page-was-an-fbi-employee-in-october-2016-fbi-told-fisa-court-hes-a-spy/

and this?!

https://theconservativetreehouse.com/2018/02/06/carter-page-interview-with-laura-ingraham/

Anna

Schiff is comical? -- Yes. "http://theduran.com/adam-schiff-exposed-putin-puppet-2013-rt-interview-video/ "Adam Schiff exposed as Putin puppet in 2013 RT interview" (Video)
Who would think that Adam Schiff is a progeny of the main financier of the Bolshevik revolution, Jakob Schiff: http://www.wildboar.net/multilingual/easterneuropean/russian/literature/articles/whofinanced/whofinancedleninandtrotsky.html
"One of the greatest myths of contemporary history is that the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia was a popular uprising of the downtrodden masses against the hated ruling class of the Tsars. As we shall see, however, the planning, the leadership and especially the financing came entirely from outside Russia, mostly from financiers in Germany, Britain and the United States. ... This amazing story begins with the war between Russia and Japan in 1904. Jacob Schiff, who was head of the New York investment firm Kuhn, Loeb and Company, had raised the capital for large war loans to Japan. It was due to this funding that the Japanese were able to launch a stunning attack against the Russians at Port Arthur and the following year to virtually decimate the Russian fleet. In 1905 the Mikado awarded Jacob Schiff a medal, the Second Order of the Treasure of Japan, in recognition of his important role in that campaign... On March 23, 1917 a mass meeting was held at Carnegie Hall to celebrate the abdication of Nicolas II, which meant the overthrow of Tsarist rule in Russia. Thousands of socialists, Marxists, nihilists nand anarchists attended to cheer the event. The following day there was published on page two of the New York Times a telegram from Jacob Schiff, which had been read to this audience. He expressed regrets, that he could not attend and then described the successful Russian revolution as "...what we had hoped and striven for these long years". In the February 3, 1949 issue of the New York Journal, American Schiff's grandson, John, was quoted by columnist Cholly Knickerbocker as saying that his grandfather had given about $20 million for the triumph of Communism in Russia."-- What a family!

pj

There's an old lawyer joke that comes to mind as I listen to the D's responses to the Nunes memo. "When the facts are against you, pound the law. If the law is against you, pound the facts. If both are against you, pound the table."

Eric Newhill

Sid,
IMO, It matters that Adam Schiff's sister is married to George Soros' son and that Soros was a major donor to Schiff's campaign.

The big players begin to look like pawns.

SmoothieX12

Regardless of who was paying Steele, and how many times he was being paid for the same info, and how and to whom he was distributing the info, the quality of his information can not be properly assessed until it is known from whom it came, how it came to be known, and the circumstances under which it was acquired. Unless that was known, it never ahould have been considered to be actionable.

Situational and tactical awareness 101. You got that right. Information is not a knowledge--two are totally different things. I do, however, have one objection--NO, it is NOT regardless who were paying Steele, in fact--it is a crucial matter and that is what Nunes Memo was about and did--it anchored the issue where it should be anchored and around which this whole affair will continue to revolve, as it should--preprogrammed fallacy, in fact politics-driven bogus of an "intelligence". The very notion that surveillance was initiated based on the outright fabrication is the real scandal. That is why Dens were going apoplectic. It is damn difficult now to sink the issue in procedural and legalistic BS once the Memo is nailed to the doors of a "cathedral". As for Steele, I hope he is now well-guarded from possible slip on a banana skin and accidentally falling, seven times in a row, on a knife he was carrying, accidentally, of course. But then again, 10-15 shots from 9-mm to own head is also a very popular homicide method.

Thomas

"I have no doubt that Obama’s State Department might have been concerned about damaging information held by Putin on its activities."

Yep, when you are in charge of the state administration there is all sorts of information available to you, such as radar and communication records for a country along your border or all the info gained thanks to a lazy federal official's lack of concern for security over convenience.

Jack

TTG

In your comment #34 you note the DNI claim of Russian interference in the election. That is not the issue here. The issue here is the narrative sold by Clapper, Brennan, Hillary Clinton and the media that Trump colluded with the Russian government to steal the presidential election. And the related issue of surveillance of the Trump campaign.

That and the firing of Comey is the core basis for the appointment of Mueller. Comey claimed he was fired for investigating the Trump collusion, which lead to ginned up hysteria.

Why is everyone conflating Russian interference in the election with the allegations of Trump's collusion with the Russian government? They are two different matters. The question that needs to be answered is if the latter allegations and the subsequent FBI investigation of Trump and his campaign were based on legitimate evidence or for partisan political purposes?

It seems to me that you too are conflating these two matters. What exactly is your position on the collusion allegations and the law enforcement and IC narrative on that matter? Why are the DOJ and FBI obstructing the Congressional investigation into the activities of the FBI, DOJ and the IC relating to their investigation of Trump and his campaign? The Nunes memo and the evidence it is based on is about the FBI and DOJ investigation of the Trump campaign. It has nothing to do with if Russia interfered in our election. In fact other than the DNI report there has been no evidence presented by the IC validating the claim of Russian interference.

If we have to have a more sane discussion and not talk past each other, IMO, we must separate the two issues of Russian interference from Trump's collusion allegation and the resultant IC/law enforcement investigation.

robt willmann

Well, the House Intel Committee memo, Republican version, says on page 2, lines 7-8:

"Steele was a longtime FBI source who was paid over $160,000 by the DNC and Clinton campaign [etc.]..."

That is pretty clear: "Steele was a longtime FBI source ...." How long, one might wonder?

Joe100,

Carter Page does appear to be a little odd. He enthusiastically shows up for multiple television interviews grinning quite a bit and seemingly without a care in the world.

The memo has obviously been edited down. The first neon sign I saw was on page 1: "The FBI and DOJ obtained one initial FISA warrant targeting Carter Page and three FISA renewals from the FISC". A FISA order must be renewed every 90 days. Four times 90 is 360 days. Day one was 21 October 2016, the memo tells us. Donald Trump was elected president on 8 November 2016. He was sworn in on 20 January 2017. Carter Page was under surveillance until October 2017, a little over three months ago. On what grounds? Who was he talking to or communicating with, other than the hosts of television shows?

The memo creates the impression that the Steele paper was used in each of the four FISA applications, but that is not completely clear.

Furthermore, the memo clearly says that James Comey signed three FISA applications in question and Andrew McCabe signed one. But when it comes to the Justice Department lawyers, the language gets vague: Sally Yates, Dana Boente, and Rod Rosenstein "each signed one or more FISA applications on behalf of DOJ". Why not say the exact number each one signed? Is the memo talking only about the four Carter Page applications or other additional applications with respect to the DOJ lawyers?

Richardstevenhack

Second the recommendation to read Mercouris' piece which I referred to in an earlier thread. It's a masterpiece which is very precise in analyzing the exact legal words of the GOP memo.

Today Alexander has posted a more speculative analysis of the Lindsay/Grassley referral letter which asks the DoJ if Steele should be hit with possible criminal charges.

Grassley’s, Lindsey Graham’s referral on Steele: did US media, Clinton campaign provide content for Trump Dossier?
http://theduran.com/grassley-lindsey-graham-referral-steele-us-media-clinton-campaign-trump-dossier/

The referral letter - which is heavily redacted and thus set out in full in Alexander's piece - suggests that not only did Steele use unverifiable information allegedly from Russia, but ALSO very likely received additional unverified information along the course of the production of his reports which may - may not - have originated from associates of the Clintons. Alexander points to the Cory Shearer "second dossier" as a likely example.

Steele may also have received and included in his reports unsolicitied information from media sources.

Mercouris points out that all this - if proven - would render the Steele dossier even less credible than it is. And it would tar both the media and the Clinton campaign as having contributed to the "constitutional crisis" it seems to be shaping up to.

Richardstevenhack

"If you accept the DNI ICA on Russian interference in the election a lot Steele's stuff has panned out."

Of course, if one accepts the DNI ICA after Scott Ritter ripped it a new one, one is obviously willing to believe anything Clapper, Brennan and the rest of these serial liars tell one.

Denying the concept of a "vast Russain conspiracy to use Pokemon to influence the election" is just common sense.

See, I can write snark, too.

blue peacock

Jack

You make an important distinction that is being lost in these discussions.

It is well known that Russia runs intelligence operations in the US, just like the US does in Russia. I assume Col. Lang, TTG and Publius Tacitus ran spooks & intelligence operations in the Soviet bloc. And probably Putin did the same in the NATO bloc. This has been going on for decades and is nothing new.

What is new is the hysteria surrounding the loss of the election by Hillary Clinton and the attempt to explain the loss to Trump's collusion with the Russian government. This narrative as you point out was sold hard by Clapper, Brennan, et al and the complicit media who were convinced of Hilary's win.

This controversy is about very specific questions around the investigation of Trump and his campaign for their alleged collusion with the Russian government. And additionally, there are specific questions about the FBI investigation into Hillary Clinton's mishandling of classified information. That is the crux. How were these two separate investigations by the same people at the FBI & DOJ run?

The Congressional Republicans want to learn more about these two investigations. The DOJ, FBI, the IC, the Democrats and the media want to sweep the truth of these two investigations under the rug. What many Americans want to know is, was there a conspiracy against a national presidential candidate and a legitimately elected POTUS by a previous administration from a rival party? What role if any did partisan bias play in these two investigations?

I agree with you that we ought to have two separate discussions. One, did the Russians interfere in our election and if so, how did they do it and what impact did it have? Two, was there a conspiracy against presidential candidate Trump and a President-elect Trump by the Obama administration? If so, who participated in it and how did they do it?

SmoothieX12

Mercouris points out that all this - if proven - would render the Steele dossier even less credible than it is.

I would go on a limb here and even state that Steele's "contacts" or "network", rezidentura or whatever in Russia where he was stationed in 1990-92 are almost predictable and they are worthless by now. So, whenever the term "sources" in Russian "government" are used I kinda have a feeling that those are the same "sources" who constitute main foreign contributors to American (and British) "Russian Studies" field--rather a wasteland of propaganda cliches and memes. There is also a really interesting Ukrainian angle in all that. But you see, even Lindsey Graham could be sometimes of some utility, not that it is his integrity speaking.;-)

Cvillereader

There is definitely something off about Carter Page’s demeanor.

His life story, as has been reported, also seems bereft of a lot of details.

We know that he has a master’s degree from Georgetown, an MBA from NYU, and a PhD from University of London.

He reportedly worked for Merrill Lynch in Moscow, and then started his own consulting firm.

The press hasn’t been able to find one person that either remembers him, or has anything positive to say about him. And there are no reports of a family of any type.

All of this seems out of place for someone who did very well at the Naval Academy, and was s member of the CFR.

In an interview last week, Nunes said that Page should never have been the subject of a FISA warrant, and had not held a job for several years.

How exactly has Page supported himself, including his extensive obtaining multiple advanced degrees?

He almost sounds like a caricature of the gray man.

Account Deleted

Jack

This cannot be said enough. The 'Russian interference' narrative was a non story right from the beginning. The 'Trump collusion' narrative on the other hand is the mother of all stories; both for those who take it at face value and in a different sense, for those of us who question its origin and motivations. Conflation of the two must not be tolerated.

VietnamVet

All

I second the thanks for the public service that PT & TTG are providing by sharing their expertise. I admit I am confused. I’ve decided that is the intention. The GOP memo documents that the FISA court is a highly unjust Star Chamber. The same congressmen who declassified this memo passed the FISA extension just weeks before knowing this. No wonder the author Trey Gowdy is not seeking re-election. If there had been any factual basis to Russiagate, it would have been released by now, a year later. This supports the contention that there is an intelligence community/media counter coup underway against Donald Trump. The Memo joins the list of proofs that the rule of law is dead in America.

DianaLC

Hmmmm.....with this group of Democrats, especially their last candidate for POTUS, I think you might be thinking "shades of Vince Foster."

I know, I know....he killed himself.

Keith Harbaugh

Regarding Susan B. Glasser,
I think it is worth noting that she seems to be a real Putin-hater,
as indicated in this book review:
"Putin’s Russia, guided by its totalitarian past, has no future"
review by Susan B. Glasser of Masha Gessen’s The Future Is History: How Totalitarianism Reclaimed Russia.
Washington Post Book World, 2017-10-24
https://www.washingtonpost.com/outlook/putins-russia-guided-by-its-totalitarian-past-has-no-future/2017/10/04/0c6a43f8-9fb0-11e7-9c8d-cf053ff30921_story.html

Further, although some will no doubt think this should not be mentioned,
I think it is worth noting that Ms. Glasser is Jewish.
Not that there is anything wrong with that,
but it is worth noting how many of the Russophobes in America seem to be of that ethnicity.
More than one would expect by random chance.

wisedupearly Ceo

So many rabbit holes and apparently all that guides which hole is taken is personal bias.
Has GOWDY stated that the warrant was issued illegally?
Would the one memo 2016/94 be sufficient to issue a warrant? I am assuming that at least some part of that memo could be verified.
Remember that the submission is not to find PAGE guilty of some crime and jail him.

One point. STEELE is a known MI5 officer. He has a track record. He is reporting what his contacts told him. If he is lying, if the "information/disinformation" in even just one of the memos was provided by a third party and STEELE does not know the sources claimed in the memo, then all of the dossier must be dropped. If one of STEELE's sources lied to him, does that render the remaining items suspect? I think not.
This is not like the CURVEBALL scandal where all key "proof" for WMD was derived from the testimony of one source, STEELE claims that there were many sources.

Would not want to be the FBI's contact with STEELE, or indeed anyone in the intel community. Its damned if you do act and damned if you don't act.

turcopolier

Wised up early CEO

You alaways have a choice. pl

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