Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Brennan's Task Force--The Heart Of The Russia Hoax

Mark Meadows is promising us indictments in the Russia Hoax "this month"--June, 2019. In the meantime, while Bill Barr plays his cards close to the vest and the Dems play at impeachment theater, it may be worth our while to review some matters that we haven't looked at for a while. Barr talks about getting to the "origins" of the Russia Hoax, which we know could go back well into 2015. However, in a compelling article dating back to March, 2018, J. E. Dyer makes the case that the period July - Mid-October of 2016 is crucial (The heart of Russiagate: Probes by Nunes, Grassley, and Graham will point to Obama task force).

To illustrate her point, Dyer constructs a timeline for that period. What develops from the timeline is that all the major players come together during this period, and the common element that ties them together is the Steele dossier. Additionally, Dyer draws attention to the Russia Hoax task force that Brennan formed toward the beginning of this period. Obviously Barr's and John Durham's prosecutors and investigators won't focus solely on this time period but, because of the way that the various players interact during these three months, thanks to our knowledge of the task force, a focus on this period has the advantage of pointing toward those exercised overall direction of the Russia Hoax. That knowledge, in turn, will help focus all other investigation.

We know that the first installment in what became known as the Steele dossier turned up dated June 20, 2016. How long the project had been in preparation is difficult to say, but once started events began in earnest--on both sides of the Atlantic. Let's run down a few of them:

On July 5, 2016, FBI agent Michael Gaeta, stationed in Rome, having previously received permission from Department of State's (DoS) Victoria Nuland, traveled to London to discuss the dossier with his old friend, Steele. This is the FBI's first official contact with the dossier.

On July 7 and 8, 2016, Carter Page gave a presentation on “The Future of the World Economy” in Moscow, and the next day, gives the commencement address for the New Economic School at the World Trade Center. (Does this sound strangely like some sort of setup to you, too? I mean, with all due respect, who wanted to hear Page's views on the World Economy?)

On his return trip, Carter Page stopped at Cambridge on July 11 and 12, 2016, to attend a two-day conference called "2016's Race to Change the World", and who do you think were also in attendance? Stefan Halper and Chris Steele. As Mark Steyn amusingly remarks, "Today, Mr Page is better known as the endlessly surveilled "person of interest" whose eternally renewable FISA warrant was the FBI's gateway into the Trump campaign," but then Page was rubbing elbows with the likes of former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and a select group of certified Deep State denizens. And Steele and Halper.

By July 19, 2016, strangely or not so strangely, Carter Page's Moscow trip was a hot topic in the latest installment of the Steele dossier, along with the "information" that Page had met "secretly" with Putin insiders and been offered vast sums of money.

Next comes an interesting item. Sometime in "summer 2016" (I've been unable to nail this down to a specific date) Robert Hannigan, head of the UK's GCHQ (their NSA) traveled to Washington, DC, for a "director to director" confab with John Brennan at CIA. Not, be it noted, with his actual US counterpart, Adm. Mike Rogers at NSA. Nevertheless, this trip is said to have occurred before Brennan briefed Obama, so it fits well in this time frame. The topic of the meeting was "information" on clandestine Trump - Russia communications that was Hannigan's-mouth-to-Brennan's-ear sensitive.

Speculation is that the subject of this meeting was simply dossier material on the

"well-developed conspiracy of co-operation between [Trump] and the Russian leadership. This was managed on the TRUMP side by the Republican candidate’s campaign manager, Paul MANAFORT, who was using foreign policy advisor, Carter PAGE, and others as intermediaries."

It may also have included the long since debunked "information" about the Alfa Bank server communicating clanestinely with a server in Trump Tower, given that there may have been as many as two FISA applications that were rejected during the summer of 2016 in that regard.

So, July alone was a busy month for Russia Hoaxers, and it ended with a bang: In response to an EC from Brennan, Peter Strzok opened the Crossfire Hurricane case on July 31, 2016. That all this activity was essentially dossier-driven should be clear enough, but Dyer observes:

"Brennan made a subsequent claim that he never actually saw the dossier until December 2016. ...  Brennan’s own brief to Obama got the high-level task force started.  Besides the facts that the dossier’s contents were known to news outlets as early as July 2016, and the media were asking Brennan about them by August 2016, the dossier’s contents were also known to the task force spearheaded by Brennan.

Getting the FBI on board with a Full Investigation was crucial to advancing the Russia Hoax. FBI involvement provided essential legal cover for the Russia Hoax as well as the promise of legal cover for advanced investigative techniques, such as FISA. None of that would be possible as long as matters remained at the level of an FBI Preliminary Investigation and agency to agency international cooperation. The FBI Full Investigation put it all on steroids.

So, with FBI involvement--and therefore legal cover--in place, Brennan felt able to obtain official White House and NSC involvement. This was done through formation of an interagency Task Force coordinated with the White House and NSC. For that, Dyer points us to an important Washington Post article: Obama’s secret struggle to punish Russia for Putin’s election assault, by Greg Miller, Ellen Nakashima and Adam Entous. The article, please note, follows closely on the heels (June 23, 2017) of the Mueller Inquisition startup--part of a coordinated Deep State effort to build up the inquisition's credibility.

For the Deep State to reveal publicly, through the WaPo, the involvement of Obama and his closest advisers is remarkable on the face of it. Of course, it follows on the expulsion action taken against Russian diplomats in the closing days of the Obama administration--undermining Trump's nascent foreign policy--and seeks to reconfirm and reinforce the narrative of Obama struggling manfully against the evil Russian threat, in the face of probably Trump collusion. Nevertheless, to confirm Obama's personal involvement at an early date--August, 2016--suggests the desperation behind the revelation as well as the bottom line motive for the Mueller Inquisition: CYA for Obama and his top advisers.

Brennan, in 2017, confirmed the formation of the Task Force. Dyer summarizes the import of it:

... if the Washington Post is right – we already know that that’s when the highest officials in the Executive Office of the President, the intelligence community, the State Department, the DOJ, and the FBI began working together on a special task force to “analyze” whether Trump and his associates were “colluding” with Russia, and decide what to do about it. 
The agencies, in other words, in which there was, verifiably, “separate” knowledge of the Steele dossier, were working together on a special task force convened on Obama’s order, meeting in the White House Situation Room, and accountable to the Oval Office. 
The task force included the highest-level officials.  But it also included “several dozen” hand-picked analysts from the CIA, NSA, and the FBI.  The assembling of this band of analysts makes it impossible that the dossier – and other key elements of the putative brief against “Trump” and “Russia,” whatever they may have been – were known only within agency compartments, from which information was not being shared.  It makes it impossible for the FBI to have been pursuing an “FBI investigation” that no one else had visibility on – about the very subject for which the task force had been convened.

This highly melodramatic excerpt from the WaPo article describes the physical circumstances and security restrictions of the Task Force, which in turn suggests just how important the effort was--even if the importance was really purely political rather than national security related:

Early last August, an envelope with extraordinary handling restrictions arrived at the White House. Sent by courier from the CIA, it carried “eyes only” instructions that its contents be shown to just four people: President Barack Obama and three senior aides. 
Inside was an intelligence bombshell, a report drawn from sourcing deep inside the Russian government that detailed Russian President Vladi­mir Putin’s direct involvement in a cyber campaign to disrupt and discredit the U.S. presidential race. 
But it went further. The intelligence captured Putin’s specific instructions on the operation’s audacious objectives — defeat or at least damage the Democratic nominee, Hillary Clinton, and help elect her opponent, Donald Trump. 
Brennan convened a secret task force at CIA headquarters composed of several dozen analysts and officers from the CIA, the NSA and the FBI. 
The unit functioned as a sealed compartment, its work hidden from the rest of the intelligence community. Those brought in signed new non-disclosure agreements to be granted access to intelligence from all three participating agencies. 
They worked exclusively for two groups of “customers,” officials said. The first was Obama and fewer than 14 senior officials in government. The second was a team of operations specialists at the CIA, NSA and FBI who took direction from the task force on where to aim their subsequent efforts to collect more intelligence on Russia. 
The secrecy extended into the White House. 
Susan Rice, Avril Haines (Deputy national security adviser and former deputy director of the CIA under Brennan) and White House homeland-security adviser Lisa Monaco convened meetings in the Situation Room [i.e., in the White House] to weigh the mounting evidence of Russian interference and generate options for how to respond. At first, only four senior security officials were allowed to attend: Brennan, Clapper, Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch and FBI Director James B. Comey. Aides ordinarily allowed entry as “plus-ones” were barred.
Gradually, the circle widened to include Vice President Biden and others. Agendas sent to Cabinet secretaries — including John F. Kerry at the State Department and Ashton B. Carter at the Pentagon — arrived in envelopes that subordinates were not supposed to open. Sometimes the agendas were withheld until participants had taken their seats in the Situation Room.

The article goes on with more "details," all ever more absurd in describing the supposed security measures. Follow the link for a good laugh.

I know what you're wondering at this point. What happened to this "intelligence bombshell"? How is it that Mueller ultimately conceded "no collusion"? Are those pathetic indictments of a few Russians engaged in a piddling amount of internet activity--is that really the sum total of the "mounting evidence of Russian interference"?

Good questions. All of them and more, and we'll return to the topic. But for now, let's note the date of this meeting: "Early August." In fact, within days of the FBI opening the Crossfire Hurricane full investigation on "four Americans" connected to the Trump campaign:

The WaPo story ... indicates that Obama’s order to convene the task force was given in the week before he went on vacation to Martha’s Vineyard, which he departed for on Saturday, 6 August 2016.

There can be no doubt whatsoever that all this was dossier driven--if nothing else has surfaced, then those sealed envelopes "for eyes only" contained Steele's creatively written narratives. And that means that the Task Force that arose from all that dossier driven activity could only have been focused on the Trump campaign. Not the nonsensical "Russian meddling."

As Dyer notes:

Susan Rice’s email for the record from 20 January 2017 serves as a reminder that the task force existed – and thus as a mental corrective for any depiction of the Obama administration’s actions as decentralized, with offices and agencies unaware of what others were doing.

Which again leads us to the conclusion that public confirmation of Obama's personal at this early date--the first week of August, 2016--speaks to the desperation that led to the Mueller Inquisition and high profile media campaign.

So, let's continue with the timeline. What happened after the Task Force was launched, what intelligence can we glean? Nine days or less after the Task Force launching comes the "insurance policy" text between Strzok (a task force member) and Lisa Page. Here I quote Dyer and add the content of the text--note how Dyer's observation regarding what may have been in their minds takes on added significance when viewed in the context of the timeline:

Next in the timeline is the “insurance policy” text between Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, on 15 August 2016 after a meeting with (then) deputy FBI director Andrew McCabe.  The events in the WaPo article suggest that some allusion to the task force of which the FBI formed an integral part, and to which it contributed some of the “several dozen” analysts, had to be on Strzok’s mind when he sent that text. 
[August 15, 2016. Strzok texted Page, “I want to believe the path you threw out for consideration in [deputy FBI director Andrew McCabe’s] office that there's no way he gets elected -- but I'm afraid we can't take that risk. It's like an insurance policy in the unlikely event you die before you're 40…”]

Could they not have been thinking of the Task Force?

Brennan, of course, remained active. Ten days after the "insurance policy" text, on August 25, Brennan briefed former Senator Harry Reid (at that time Senate minority leader, a member of the Intelligence Gang of Eight) on the supposed “interference” information from John Brennan. In fact, once again, we know that the "information" passed to Reid was dossier "information." Brennan as always is the key figure in disseminating the dossier around Washington among the political classes and Deep State operators.

Reid then sent a letter to James Comey at the FBI on 27 August 27 demanding action--and, not in the least coincidentally, providing the FBI with additional cover for opening the Full Investigation. This letter confirms that the "briefing" from Brennan was, as always, dossier driven. It was not "interference" information.

This brings us up to September. On September 2 Strzok and Lisa Page texted. The context of this text is all important. Strzok and Page had been tasked with preparing talking points for James Comey because Obama apparently wanted to be kept abreast of the case.

Strzok and Lisa Page then had their next famous text exchange ... in which they referred to an upcoming meeting Strzok would attend – apparently about “Russiagate” – and Page stated that “potus wants to know everything we are doing.” The meeting in question took place on 7 September.

Can there be any doubt that this was a Task Force related meeting, and that Obama was maintaining a hands on posture toward the Russia Hoax?

Interestingly, virtually every single account of this text that I've come across (with one exception) maintains that this text, Obama's desire to "know everything we are doing," related to the Hillary email case. But that makes no sense. The Hillary email case had been closed in July and was yet to be reopened. The briefing strongly suggests Obama staying on top of a developing situation, as does the circumstance of Strzok's meeting. The one exception I found was from a lefty site, which reproduces Lisa Page's testimony. Page makes it abundantly clear that Obama wanted to "know everything" the FBI was doing about Russia:

Mr. Ratcliffe. Let me move on to a text message on September 2nd of 2016. It’s a series of texts that you exchanged with Agent Strzok. And at one point you text him: Yes, because POTUS wants to know everything we are doing. 
Ms. Page. It’s not about the Midyear investigation, [i.e., Hillary email] if that’s the question. It has to do with Russia. It does not have to do with the Clinton investigation at all.
Mr. Ratcliffe. Okay. It does have to do with Russia, the Russia investigation? 
Ms. Page. No, not the Russia investigation. It has to do with the broader look at Russian active measures. 
Meadows; I think early on, August 5th, there’s the first original what we called at that time the Russia investigation briefing that happened. Peter Strzok comes back from [London], makes it just in time for you to have that. There’s a briefing that occurs on August 8th. And there’s a briefing with Denis McDonough at the White House where Jonathan Moffa and others attended. 
Page: But those were not about the Crossfire. To the best of my knowledge those were not — 
Meadows: So they had nothing to do with any potential collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign? That was never mentioned? 
Page: Not to my knowledge. It was always about the Russian active measures effort.

And here I have to say that I just am not buying what Lisa Page is selling. All these briefings on Russian "active measures", and yet the evidence is absolutely threadbare? To this point everything appears to be verifiably dossier driven. I simply don't believe that these briefings did not involve Crossfire Hurricane. It was always cover.

In the meantime ...

Christopher Steele was coordinating with Glenn Simpson at Fusion GPS, with Jonathan Winer and Kathleen Kavalec at DoS (who, in turn, we now know, was coordinating with the FBI and others at a high level), with Michael Isikoff at Yahoo! and with the New York Times, the Washington Post, the New Yorker, and CNN.

And yet Steele still had time to meet with Bruce Ohr, and assorted other FBI and DoJ officials in late September or early October, 2016. Strangely--or maybe not--these officials were able to take time off from preparing presidential briefings on Russian interference to pursue the matter of FISA applications in Crossfire Hurricane. Here's how I described the meeting in The FBI: Working Hand In Glove With Clinton Operatives:

When Ohr met Steele again in either late September or early October, 2016 he did so in company with quite a group: Peter Strzok and Lisa Page from the FBI, and three DOJ career officials from the criminal division, Bruce Swartz, Zainab Ahmad, and Andrew Weissman--currently Robert Mueller's deputy. Note that while Crossfire Hurricane was a CI case and Strzok was second in charge of Counterintelligence at the FBI, the DoJ officials were all from the Criminal Division. For prosecutors to meet with an asset at this early stage strongly suggests they were planning strategy. But this also probably means that they were planning for the FISA application, given that the application was submitted on October 21, 2016, immediately after Steele's October 20 report--the report in which Michael Cohen's famous trip to Prague for a "clandestine" meet superseded the clandestine Moscow meet of Carter Page, who was no longer with the Trump campaign. Which leads to the supposition that this meeting with Steele was to tell him, inter alia, that more detailed information was needed for the FISA application--which Steele duly provided, in the form of the now famous Cohen-Prague miscue. 
All in all, it's an interesting picture: three officials from DoJ's Criminal Division meeting with the second in command of the FBI's CI division (accompanied by the Deputy Director's counsel) to plan for a FISA on--in effect--a candidate for the presidency. Coaching the asset on what was now needed for the FISA to go through, which would be typical Weissman tactics. And all this without informing the Acting AG, Sally Yates. Or so they say.

Having reviewed much the same data, Dyer concludes:

The date associated with the FBI’s FISA submission on Carter Page was 21 October 2016, three weeks later. 
This was top-organized and cannot have been decentralized in operation or decision-making.
The takeaway from this timeline is that during the entire period when these things were happening, a high-level task force was operating under the direct supervision of the Executive Office of the President, with several dozen analysts from the FBI, the CIA, and NSA. 
Cognizant officials on the NSC staff, at the State Department, at the Justice Department, at the FBI, and at the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) and the CIA were all aware of what the task force was doing.  The FBI, DOJ, and State Department all knew about the Steele dossier.

All of this gives us an interesting take on the now well known Oval Office meeting of January 5, 2017. I suggest that this meeting was, in effect, the last Obama administration Task Force meeting--as well, of course, the first Resistance Task Force meeting. Here's how Dyer describes it:

The meeting [Rice] wrote about occurred immediately after a “briefing by IC leadership on Russian hacking during the 2016 Presidential election.” That means either DNI James Clapper and CIA Director John Brennan, or their high-level deputies, were present for the briefing. Rice’s email recorded that “President Obama had a brief follow-on conversation with FBI Director Jim Comey and Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates in the Oval Office.  Vice President Biden and I were also present.” It was in this follow-on conversation that the question of sharing information with Trump was discussed. 
These are the actors and agencies whose presence clarifies that the “Trump-Russia” topic had the top-level visibility of the Oval Office. 
Any suggestion that such centralized visibility didn’t exist cannot be credible.  This is not a banal observation; it goes to the heart of the long-running, implicit narrative from Democrats and the media that agencies and officials in the Obama administration had little knowledge of what others were doing, and in particular, that no matter who knew about the Steele dossier, the dossier wasn’t a central document and was never really important.

Yes, it takes us to the heart of the Russia Hoax--it's centralized direction. The meeting involved actors who would soon be gone in a new Trump administration as well as several--notably, Comey and possibly Yates--who might well stay on indefinitely and would thus be in a position to direct the Resistance. In fact, we see that continued coordination of Comey and Yates in the Flynn case. With the Yates and Comey firings the Resistance Task Force appears to come to an end, but it took on vastly greater energy with the appointment of Robert Mueller.

But the Mueller Inquisition, too, has come to an end, and the new AG, Bill Barr, seems determined to conduct a search and destroy mission throughout the Intel Community and, indeed, a major part of the federal bureaucracy, to root out the Resistance. Time is of the essence, however. I don't suggest that anything be rushed, but it would be helpful to see some of those indictments Mark Meadows has been talking about. In the meantime, the preceding timeline may offer a useful context in which to view legal and investigative activity--there are some big fish out there. Everyone is rooting to see someone like Strzok indicted. However, conspirators at his level are probably most useful for their cooperation. Plea deals and debriefings take time.


  1. Here are five orientation dates:

    May 3, 2016 -- Donald Trump wins the Indiana primary election, and his last opponent Ted Cruz drops out of the race.

    June 7, 2016 -- The last Republican primary elections.

    June 20, 2016 -- Donald Trump promotes Paul Manafort to campaign manager.

    July 11, 2016 -- Newspapers report that Trump might nominate Michael Flynn as running-mate.

    July 18-21, 2016 -- The Republican Party's convention.

    1. From that standpoint, even recognizing they began preparations almost as soon as Trump announced, they certainly wasted no time getting the thing up and running.

      Another aspect: I realize that presidential runs can take nothing for granted--I assume Obama did some similar things in 2012 that we just haven't heard of--but this Russia Hoax and the task force certainly looks in some ways like a vote of no confidence in Hillary as a candidate.

  2. Magnificent review, Mark. Thanks. Everything now seems to be going in the direction of disclosure and unraveling of the plot. Barr and Durham will not be stopped or compromised, nor will Sidney Powell in representing Flynn. But time is of the essence, in that everything seems to hinge on the 2020 elections. It's a nail-biter, but hopefully with a happy ending.

    1. Tx. Gosh, I just looked at it--it's pretty long. Lots of quotes, of course. Yeah, I agree: "Everything now seems to be going in the direction of disclosure and unraveling of the plot."

      Hats off to Dyer, who recognized the significance of the task force.

    2. I would just like to chime in with the observation/question that, while 2020 is obviously important, is it critical in terms of concluding investigations? Wouldn't any incoming Democratic administration (heaven help us!) face the same charges of obstruction if it tried to shut down investigations that are already under way? I don't underestimate the importance of political support for any on-going investigations, I'm just thinking that a Democratic president won't be able to simply shut them off...

    3. No. On the contrary, they would continue seeking to put Trump in jail for "collusion" or "obstruction." They are totally invested in that narrative, because to admit the truth undercuts their own legitimacy as the ONLY legitimate party and the arbiter of American "core values." Anyone who disagrees must ultimately be destroyed.

  3. The Task Force excluded the Defense Intelligence Agency and the State Department. I think that they were excluded mainly because they could not be counted on to concur with Brennan's hysterics.

    The NSA likewise could not be counted, but there was no plausible reason to exclude the NSA in this situation.

    The plausible reason to exclude DIA was that Michael Flynn, a recent DIA Director, was being framed as a witting agent in Vladimir Putin's plot to derail the USA's 2016 election. Any DIA analysts on the Task Force might be biased favorably toward Flynn.

    I wonder if the State Department was excluded with a symmetrical justification. Since DIA was excluded from the Task Force since Flynn had been DIA Director, then the State Department should be excluded likewise, since Hillary Clinton had been the Secretary of State. Any State Department analysts on the Task Force might be biased favorably toward Clinton (and so against Flynn).

    Such justifications to exclude DIA and State provided plausible covers for the real reason, which was that analysts assigned to the Task Force from those two agencies could not be counted on to concur with Brennan's hysterics.

    1. Actually, both Dyer and the WaPo authors state that State was brought in very soon--and we know that Steele himself had fairly extensive contacts there. DIA seems to be another story. The authors point out that DefSec Ashton Carter was brought into the "magic circle." OTOH, re DIA, that's unclear. Papadopoulos does recount that two guys stationed at the US Embassy in London reached out to him unsolicited: Terrance Dudley and Gregory Baker. He thought Dudley was a naval attache. I don't know how that would work.

  4. Yes, it was always the Dossier. With the distance of 3 years now, one can now clearly see what the Obama Administration was doing and why:

    One of the arguments I have frequently encountered from the Left is that if this investigation were nefarious, then Obama's people would have leaked its existence before the election, and that some senior person in the DoJ would then have held a press conference to confirm the existence of Crossfire Hurricane- thus killing the Trump Campaign before he had a chance to win. However, I think this greatly underestimates the electorate- something the Obama people would not have done- to have leaked and confirmed this would have backfired massively on the Clinton Campaign- Obama would have been admitting openly that the opposition was being investigated/surveilled, and would have had to immediately disclose the whys and hows. This is why the entire operation was done the way it was- with Steele doing the media contacts, and Brennan getting people like Reed involved- it was all done with plausible deniability about the investigation itself.

    I think what the plan was that you put enough anonymous suspicion on Trump that he loses spectacularly. Conventional wisdom all through the Fall of 2016 was that Trump, if he won at all, would only win by a handful of electoral votes. If by some calamity Trump did win in such a close election, the plan was to then publicly reveal the investigation- maybe as close to the Electoral College certification date as they could just to swing a few Trump electors towards Clinton.

  5. The apologists for John Brennan's Task Force will communicate the impression that one of Vladimir Putin's closest associates was regularly reporting to Brennan the schemes of Putin to meddle in our election.

    Whenever Putin ordered the purchase of some Facebook ads showing Hillary Clinton arm-wrestling Satan, then Brennan's spy in Putin's office reported that purchase immediately to Brennan. Then Brennan hand-wrote the spy's statement in English and put his writing into sealed envelopes that were hand-delivered to President Obama and a very few others.

    That's the mental picture that we all are supposed to imagine.

    In this regard, people should read Andrew McCarty's recent, illuminating article titled Was Brennan’s ‘Intelligence Bombshell’ the Steele Dossier?

    McCarthy explains the difference between the US Intelligence Community's expressions Source and Informant.

    Essentially, Putin's close associate in that Kremlin office, who personally heard what Putin said about buying Facebook ads, was the CIA's Source. However, the CIA did not necessarily communicate directly with this Source.

    Rather, the CIA had an Informant who reported to the CIA what the Source supposedly knew. For example, the CIA might have communicated directly only with an Informant (e.g. Christopher Steele), who claimed to learn what was known by the Source who worked next to Putin in the Kremlin.

    In other words, Brennan was receiving second-hand or third-hand reports only from an Informant, such as Christopher Steele, who was perhaps receiving reports only from an intermediary Informant who claimed to communicate directly with the actual Source.

    If you have not read McCarthy's article, then do read it.

    The sealed envelopes that were being hand-delivered to Obama and the few others were filled with second-hand or third-hand (or worse) reports that Putin was ordering the purchase of Facebook ads, etc., in order to help Trump defeat Clinton.

    1. Yes, McCarthy covers just about every conceivable angle. There really seems no doubt that the "intel bombshell" was pure BS and it was all the dossier all along. That's what makes the WaPol article so funny.

    2. This, from MS:
      "Brennan was receiving second-hand or third-hand reports only from an Informant ... who was perhaps receiving reports only from an intermediary Informant who claimed to communicate directly with the actual Source."

      Which means such reports could be/are Russian disinformation, as Steele has a history (working with Western intel, hungry for chickenfeed) that could be "used" for purposes amenable to Russia. Steele has no way to verify, so feed him info that satisfies his confirmation bias.

      What better way to disrupt than to have it appear as inside Kremlin sources have leaked vital decisions straight from Putin mouth--from his lips to your ears. You just have to believe that Steele is operating a world-best Russian counter-intelligence service.

  6. I agree with Yancey Ward's comment that a significant part of the plan -- of the insurance policy -- was to prepare for the possibility that Donald Trump would win the Electoral College by a narrow margin. The necessary number of Electoral College voters might be convinced to switch their votes to Clinton because Trump had won only by colluding with Russia.

    I think that perspective also helps to understand why a FISA warrant was considered to be valuable even though it could not be implemented until late October 2016.

    * The FISA warrant was not preparation for the general election on November 8.

    * Rather, the FISA warrant was preparation for the Electoral College vote on December 19.

    Furthermore, the collusion accusation did not have to be proved convincingly to the US population by December 19. Rather, the collusion accusation merely had to be sufficiently plausible for a small number of Electoral College voters.

    That small number of Electoral College voters would receive the authoritative judgments of the Task Force:

    * The Director of National Intelligence

    * The Director of the Central Intelligence Agency

    * The Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation

    * The Director of the National Security Agency

    These extraordinarily informed and wise men -- supported by "all 17 Intelligence agencies -- would declare a few days before December 19 that Trump had colluded with Putin to defeat Clinton and that he won the Electoral College only because of that collusion.

    After the Electoral College voted on December 19, any counter-arguments would be too late. Clinton would be the President-Elect, according to the US Constitution.

  7. As you've posted a long summary of Dyer's timeline--try this on for size. It's a year old (March 2018), but it's an open source data search that connects most of the major, minor, and subsidiary players in the Russian hoax/Steele dossier. Pretty amazing, I think. Warning: It's very long, but thoroughly documented.

    1. Yes, I've referenced Apelbaum several times. He's got some amazing stuff in there--way ahead of the game on Ukraine.

  8. Consider Hillary Clinton's claim that "all 17 Intelligence agencies" had concurred that the Kremlin was meddling significantly in our election. That claim was known to be false by:

    * The US President and Vice President

    * The Director of National Intelligence

    * The Director of the Central Intelligence Agency

    * The Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation

    * The Director of the National Security Agency

    These officials -- and a few more -- were the participants of the Task Force, and they knew that all other agencies had been excluded from the assessment.

    Furthermore, the directors of the exclude agencies all knew.

    Not one of those officials took any action to inform the electorate that the assessment was being done by only three agencies.

    DCI James Clapper simply could have issued a press release clarifying that issue for the electorate.

    Furthermore, the mass media did not examine Clinton's claim. She was not asked how she knew about the concurrence of all 17 Intelligence agencies. The mass media did not ask Clapper for a clarification.

    To a significant extent, Clinton's false claim -- and the acquiescence of our country's elite in her false claim -- was a test for the "insurance policy".

    Clinton's claim remained unchallenged for the three weeks until Election Day.

    This test demonstrated that a short time before the Electoral College voted -- say, one week beforehand -- Clapper and his consiglieri could announce publicly and jointly that the US Intelligence Community concurred in an assessment, which had to remain secret for now, that Trump had won an Electoral College victory, just narrowly, because he had colluded with Vladimir Putin's meddling in our election.

    Clapper and his consiglieri would suggest that the only Constitutional remedy at this point in time would be for all Electoral College voters to vote their consciences, for the sake of our Democracy, which was under attack from Russia.

    1. Some anonymous smart aleck once wrote: "An educated citizenry is a vital requisite for our survival as a free people."

  9. Excellent summation. Thank you.

    Yes, the rats will turn on one another. for example, does anybody really believe that if Strzok, Page, Ohr or McCabe are charged that they will think to themselves, I'll take the fall for Comey, Clapper or Brennan? If so, I've got some Enron stock to sell you.

    The dominoes will fall; at least I think and hope.

    I'm going to reference a comment from one of your prior posts so that we don't have to go back to old posts. One commenter stated that the press, Democrats and liberals won't accept it when the big shots are charged. How will CNN or Adam Schiff deny it when someone pleads guilty to make a deal to implicate others? That can't be realistically denied.

    If and when this goes up to the Big Cheese Himself, it'll be because Clapper, Brennan, Comey, Yates, Lynch, etc., have sung like the canaries that they're going to become.

    Pretty soon everyone will see that the emperor (CNN, NYT, WaPo, Schiff, Nadler) has no clothes.

  10. Tx. Seems I did it just in time. New post ...

  11. I beg to differ. The corruption and criminality that has occurred during the Obama Administration began shortly after he took the oath of office. It would take an encyclopedia to detail all of it, but if a central crime is needed in order to crystallize the magnitude and severity of the criminal enterprise, then Barr would do well to begin with Spygate. The NSA possesses indisputable proof that the Obama Administration has been illegally spying on private citizens, journalists, and members of Congress since before 2012. This case has already been documented by a FISA court judge and represents a ready-made prosecution. This dragnet would be easy to implement because the culprits have left tons of EC-based incriminating evidence and could be looking a 20+ years of incarceration if they don't cut a deal with Durham.

    1. I don't mind being wrong and if things go the way you say, I'll be very happy. Except that I'd change 20+ years to life.

  12. Mark and Commenters:

    Why is Bruce Ohr still an employee of the Department of Justice?



    1. I think that comes down to IG Horowitz's FISA investigation--Ohr is key to that as he conveyed the dossier to FBI and was Steele's handler. As long as Ohr remains employed at DoJ he's under Horowitz's thumb, so I think some sort of deal for his cooperation was made at a VERY early date. I'll give a link to an article that points out that Ohr gets exactly ONE mention in the Mueller report, and that is simply a cite to a Trump tweet. That has to mean that Mueller never talked to Ohr, but Horowitz has probably been doing so on an ongoing basis:

      Mueller 'Strzok Out' With His Whitewash Report

      I think that also means that when Horowitz is done, Ohr will be talking to Durham.