=========
=========
Promoted from the diaries by streiff. Promotion does not imply endorsement.
=========
=========

(AP Photo/Khalil Senosi)

While the Democrats, CNN and Don Lemon continue to harp on the Trump-Russia collusion story, they bury their collective heads in the sand about the real collusion that took place between Russia and eventual Democratic presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton.  As with all things Clinton, their Foundation and Bill are at the center of the controversy and it all starts with that infamous reset back in 2009.

In an effort to create a Russian Silicon Valley, then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton met with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and president Dmitri Medvedev.  The result was a sprawling campus known as Skolkovo.  Spearheading the Russian effort was oligarch Viktor Vekselberg.  He, in turn, had been a major donor to the Clinton Foundation who had donated at least $100,000.  Additionally, several American donors to the Foundation got involved as investors in the effort.

This initiative which included an invitation by Clinton to Medvedev to visit Silicon valley as well as setting up meetings with the CEOs of Boeing and Cisco occurred around the same time Bill was invited to Russia to deliver a speech.  He was paid a whopping $500,000 for that speech.  The trip, the speech and the honorarium raised eyebrows in Clinton’s State Department, but it occurred nevertheless.  In his request to visit Russia, Clinton had requested permission to speak to Vekelsberg as well as Arkady Dvorkovich, the head of Russia’s nuclear agency, Rosatom.  At the time, Rosatom was seeking permission to purchase Uranium One, a Canadian company with massive domestic uranium reserves in the US.  Long after the fact, it was revealed that both Skolkovo and the Uranium One deals raised serious concerns among senior security officials in the State and Justice Departments.

As early as 2013, US intelligence officials were sounding the alarm that Skolkovo may be involved in industrial and military espionage.  For example, in 2011 the FBI had warned MIT and Boston area tech firms about the possibility that Russia was using Skolkovo for espionage purposes.

Equally disturbing was an undercover operation by the FBI where an agent worked within Rosatom gathering extensive evidence of money laundering, bribery, kickbacks and other financial crimes on US soil.  That agent also obtained proof that Putin was directing the Uranium One acquisition in order to gain a monopoly in the uranium market and thus gain leverage over the United States.  While the Uranium One deal was pending before the State Department, a major donor to the Clinton Global Initiative was also on the payroll of Rosatom.

As bad as these transgressions, the real Russian collusion between the Democratic Party in general and Hillary Clinton in particular is also now documented.    Working through the law firm of Perkins Coie, the Clinton campaign contracted with Fusion GPS to do opposition research on candidate Donald Trump.  They, in turn, hired Michael Steele who wrote the infamous dossier on Trump- actually a series of memos based on his contacts within Russia.  They- Fusion GPS, Glenn Simpson and the Clinton campaign- essentially walked the unsubstantiated allegations against Trump to the FBI.

The whole GPS Fusion research effort relied heavily on a current or former Russian intelligence official.  Bruce Ohr’s own notes indicate as much.  Those notes specifically state: “Much of the collection about the Trump campaign ties to Russia comes from a former Russian intelligence officer (? not entirely clear) who lives in the U.S.”

Further, Steele- the vaunted ex-intelligence officer from England- relied on another Russian operative: Sergei Millian who overstated his ties to Trump and his business ventures.  It is believed Millian was behind the accusation that the Russians were blackmailing Trump over video they had of Trump’s sexual trysts while visiting Russia.  Millian is such an unreliable source that even Glenn Simpson doubted the allegations.

Equally important is the fact that Steele had worked for another Russian oligarch often seen with Putin- Oleg Deripaska.  Steele tried to leverage his ties with the Russian aluminum magnate to try to implicate Paul Manafort as coordinating the Trump campaign with Russian operatives.  After meeting with Bruce Ohr, who was a friend of Steele, Deripaska told Ohr there was no such collusion.

Finally, Glenn Simpson in 2016 worked for Prevezon which was involved in a massive money laundering scheme and trying, at the time, to avoid US prosecution.  The lawyer for Denis Katsyv, an official with Prezevon and who was in danger of being sanctioned under the Magnitsky Act, was Natalia Veselnitskaya.  She is the infamous femme fatale who shows up in Trump Tower under the ruse of offering up dirt on Clinton, but really to make a plea about the Magnitsky Act.  Simpson admitted in Congressional testimony that he met with Veselnitskaya and dined with her the day before and day after that Trump Tower meeting.  He insists, however, they did not talk about the meeting.  Evidently, Simpson had an intense interest in the weather in Moscow.

All this points to the fact that perhaps Russian operatives tried to influence or infiltrate the Trump campaign in 2016, but it was actually the Democrats and Hillary Clinton who were playing footsies with the Russians.  More importantly, in her official capacity as Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton took two important actions that threatened the actual national security of the United States– the Uranium One deal and her hand in Skolkovo.  There are Russian fingerprints all over Hillary Clinton’s State Department and 2016 presidential campaign.  In the case of the former, money was the motivating factor since many of those who benefited by her decisions were donors to the Clinton Foundation.  In the latter, it was political and motivated by her zeal to achieve what she thought was rightfully her’s- the Presidency.  One doesn’t know which is worse: three years of investigations looking in the wrong place for collusion, or not investigating the Achilles heel of Clinton- the foundation that bears her name.