So here we are now in 2017 and Trump is about to be inaugurated. Tapes of p****-grabbing and other revelations fail to stop the election of Trump. What is an intelligence community and FBI to do? The answer: cash in that insurance policy. If we can’t beat him at the ballot box, we’ll beat him with public opinion and distract and harass this threat to democracy… or our livelihoods.
On January 6, 2017, the intelligence community releases a joint assessment that Russia tried to influence the 2016 election and that they worked diligently to get Trump elected. Many suspected as much since Trump spoke nicely of Russia and Putin during the campaign, plus they had this uncorroborated piece of opposition research in hand. Nobody knows why Trump speaks nicely of Russia, although perhaps he wants to reset the 2009 reset by Hillary Clinton. After all, Clinton’s reset brought about Russian interference in various elections around the globe, little green men in Eastern Ukraine, and the annexation of the Crimea by Russia.
But like any good, convoluted conspiracy, things started to unravel and when that happens, usually the perpetrators adopt an “every man for himself” attitude. Slowly, the web of lies start to unravel. And when called before Congressional committees, discrepancies in the narrative become apparent. Take, for example, the whole thing that started this hoax: the Steele dossier. Within FBI circles, this was referred to as “crown material.” When questioned by Trey Gowdy (R-SC), former FBI director James Comey testified that material from the Steele dossier was definitely used in the January, 2017 IC assessment of Russian interference and support for Trump.
He further testified about a conversation he had with then CIA director John Brennan on how to include material from the Steele dossier into the intelligence assessment. There seemed to be some controversy over whether to include the information as an annex or addendum, or whether to include it in the body of the report. Yet, in sworn testimony by Brennan before the House Intelligence Committee in May 2017, he categorically denied this stating that the dossier “was not in any way used as the basis for the intelligence community’s assessment.” In several media interviews afterwards, Brennan repeatedly denied claims that the Steele dossier was used to form the conclusions of the intelligence assessment.
This, on its face, seems rather strange. After all, hadn’t the dossier been used to obtain a FISA warrant in a counterintelligence operation against an American citizen, and being a counterintelligence operation, wouldn’t Brennan be aware of it considering the fact he was part of the intelligence community? It would appear that Brennan is a bigger and worse liar than James Comey.
But, why should we believe another liar (Comey) on this point? The reason is we have another intelligence official- Mike Rogers- stating in a letter that the Steele dossier did indeed form a large part in the intelligence assessment regarding Russian interference and involvement in the 2016 election. In March, 2018 Rogers informed the House Intelligence Committee that a 2-page summary of the dossier’s contents was added as an appendix after exhaustive review of the assessment before approval.
James Clapper, who was Obama’s Director of National Intelligence, told CNN that the dossier was able to corroborate other evidence of Russian meddling inferring that the Steele dossier indeed played an important role in the assessment’s findings. These are Clapper’s exact words from that CNN interview:
I think with respect to the dossier itself, the key thing is it doesn’t matter who paid for it. It’s what the dossier said and the extent to which it was — it’s corroborated or not. We had some concerns about it from the standpoint of its sourcing which we couldn’t corroborate. But at the same time, some of the substantive content, not all of it, but some of the substantive content of the dossier, we were able to corroborate in our Intelligence Community assessment which from other sources in which we had very high confidence to it.
If Clapper means using the same methods used by Comey’s FBI, then we are in some scary territory. Recall that in the FBI’s warrant application before a FISA court, they relied on the Steele dossier. As corroboration for some of the validity of the Steele dossier, they cited a Yahoo News report fed to that media outlet by the very author or the Steele dossier. In other words, Steele was the corroboration for the Steele dossier!
It is telling that the NSA under Mike Rogers backed the overall intelligence assessment with “moderate confidence,” while the CIA and FBI backed it with a “high confidence” rating.
But it wasn’t just the intelligence community and FBI perpetuating the Trump/Russia collusion hoax. One cannot overlook the shenanigans of the Justice Department leaving aside a mysterious one-on-one between Bill Clinton whose wife is running for president and attorney general Loretta Lynch on a tarmac in Arizona. In 2018, the Inspector General of the Justice Department referred former FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe for criminal prosecution finding that he lied to investigators at least four times, three of them under oath. McCabe further came under scrutiny because of a Peter Strozk text message which referred to an “insurance policy” against Trump’s election. That text referred to a meeting in which McCabe was a participant.
That IG report also noted exceptional bias in the Justice Department’s investigation into Clinton’s e-mail server. The ordinary chain of command was bypassed in that investigation where McCabe and Lisa Page, a former FBI official, communicated with one another about the probe. That method of communication involved Peter Strozk who was romantically involved with Page. Strozk, a key investigator in the Clinton probe, was passing information to McCabe through Page. In other words, it was all hands on deck to insulate Clinton from any charges as she headed into the general election against Trump. The apparent dislike of Trump by McCabe, Strozk and Page are revealed in the many pages of documented messages between the three.