Caricature by DonkeyHotey flic.kr/p/Ct4G4K https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

The Hill, for a distributor of leftwing agitprop as its main line of business, has done one helluva job of committing journalism this past week. See:
Bill Clinton sought State’s permission to meet with Russian nuclear official during Obama uranium decision
Senate seeks to interview FBI informant in Russian nuclear bribery case
FBI informant blocked from telling Congress about Russia nuclear corruption case, lawyer says
Senate Judiciary opens probe into Obama-era Russian nuclear bribery case
Obama’s DOJ slow-walked probe despite national security concerns
FBI uncovered Russian bribery plot before Obama administration approved controversial nuclear deal with Moscow

As the titles hint, there are a lot of questions about how Hillary Clinton was able to approve a deal selling rights to a substantial portion of US uranium mining while the Clinton Foundation was getting money from the guy befitting from the decision. Read the stories. There is a lot of really interesting stuff in there and it is made all the more interesting by the fact that Robert Mueller, Rod Rosenstein, and Andrew McCabe were intimately involved in making sure the federal charges never touched Team Clinton.

Now they’ve published another story detailing how the Russians nearly planted someone in Clinton’s inner circle and unanswered questions about Bill Clinton’s speaking engagements.

A female Russian spy posing as an American accountant, for instance, used a false identity to burrow her way into the employ of a major Democratic donor in hopes of gaining intelligence on Hillary Clinton’s department, records show. The spy was arrested and deported as she moved closer to getting inside the secretary’s department, agents said.

Other activities were perfectly legal and sitting in plain view, such as when a subsidiary of Russia’s state-controlled nuclear energy company hired a Washington firm to lobby the Obama administration. At the time it was hired, the firm was providing hundreds of thousands of dollars a year in pro bono support to Bill Clinton’s global charitable initiative, and it legally helped the Russian company secure federal decisions that led to billions in new U.S. commercial nuclear business, records show.

Agents were surprised by the timing and size of a $500,000 check that a Kremlin-linked bank provided Bill Clinton with for a single speech in the summer of 2010. The payday came just weeks after Hillary Clinton helped arrange for American executives to travel to Moscow to support Putin’s efforts to build his own country’s version of Silicon Valley, agents said.

There is no evidence in any of the public records that the FBI believed that the Clintons or anyone close to them did anything illegal. But there’s definitive evidence the Russians were seeking their influence with a specific eye on the State Department.

The Russian spy was not skin mag star and Putin mistress, Anna Chapman but a woman going under the alias of Cynthia Murphy.

And there is ample evidence of the folly of relying upon anonymous sources:

“There is not one shred of doubt from the evidence that we had that the Russians had set their sights on Hillary Clinton’s circle, because she was the quarterback of the Obama-Russian reset strategy and the assumed successor to Obama as president,” said a source familiar with the FBI’s evidence at the time, speaking only on condition of anonymity, because he was not authorized to speak to the news media.

That source pointed to an October 2009 communication intercepted by the FBI in which Russian handlers instructed two of their spies specifically to gather nonpublic information on the State Department.

This story reveals that assessment was false, it was probably leaked by someone trying to protect Hillary Clinton, and it covered up the fact that the FBI was working very hard to stamp out Russian influence in Hillary Clinton’s State Department while keeping the root cause, Hillary Clinton’s greed and absence of boundaries, off limits.

But this gives us an interesting glimpse into how the FBI reacts in cases where it fears foreign intelligence services are trying to work their way into the circle of American officials, even, as in this case, someone one step removed from Hillary Clinton and not actually in government. They don’t sit back and wait. They act. And it brings this question from Charles Grassley into sharper focus: GOP senator questions whether FBI warned Trump about Russia during campaign. And all indications are that, no, the FBI did not warn Trump about any potential danger posed by Paul Manafort or Mike Flynn or Carter Page. As two of these men were under FISA surveillance, one has to wonder why the FBI elected not to warn him. Did they think Trump didn’t have a chance and decided to not warn him because they didn’t want to divulge the investigation? Or did they know there was no there there and decided to not warn Trump because they didn’t want to reveal they had FISA warrants? Or, always my favorite, were they just stupid and lackadaisical?