Thursday, December 26, 2019

Horowitz Unearthed More Steele Conspiracy Tales

IG Michael Horowitz's FISA report continues to be scrutinized and mined for relevant new facts that shed light on the origins and development of the Russia Hoax. Today at the Washington Examiner Rowan Scarborough lays out new facts that demonstrate that the Russia Hoax was rooted in cynically contrived conspiracy theories emanating from the Clinton camp.

In Trump conspiracy theories beyond the Steele dossier were passed to FBI Scarborogh documents from the FISA report that Christopher Steele provided the FBI with at least three additional anti-Trump conspiracy stories, all of which were as untrue as those contained in his "dossier" memos. We can leave to another time the whole question of who actually wrote these materials and simply note that Steele spread them.

Scarborough provides a usefull account of Steele's connections to the Hillary campaign through Fusion GPS, his meetings with reporters and with FBI officials, as well as his provision of materials to political figures such as John McCain. IG Horowitz put together a timeline for Steele's activities and, in doing so, discovered that there was more to Steele's involvement in the election than merely the dossier. Here are the three new items presented in the FISA report.

Carter Page's Supposed Russian handler

Mr. Steele provided the FBI in Rome the name of a Russian intelligence officer whom he said may be the handler for Mr. Page, a name that Mr. Steele also told Mr. Ohr. 

"The FBI in Rome" means, of course, Andy McCabe's friend and collaborator Michael Gaeta.

If true, this would bolster Mr. Steele’s reporting that Mr. Page, while on a trip to Moscow in July 2016, met with two Kremlin insiders and discussed taking bribes in exchange for relief from U.S. economic sanctions should Mr. Trump become president. 
But that supposed meeting was never substantiated and neither was the Steele supposition that Mr. Page had a Russian handler.
The FBI told the IG that “Steele’s allegations about the Russian national were investigated, but no information was uncovered to substantiate the allegations.”

Of course this business of the FBI supposedly attempting to verify Steele's tales is almost certainly an after the fact, self serving CYA subterfuge. The truth was well known--Carter Page had for years been a trusted source for both the FBI and the CIA.

Putin's Supposed Intervention In Trump's Secretary of state Appointment

Recall that Bruce Ohr received a thumb drive from Fusion GPS co-founder Glenn Simpson. Ohr later testified that he delived the thumb drive to the FBI, but the full contents have never been disclosed. Ohr himself claims not to have known what the contents were.

The Horowitz report said the drive contained more Steele dossier memos.
There was also a document the Crossfire Hurricane team had never seen, the IG said.
That document, the report said, “recounted that a senior official in the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs had reported that a rumor was circulating that President-elect Trump’s delay in appointing a new Secretary of State was the result of an ‘intervention’ by Putin and the Kremlin, and that they had requested Trump appoint a ‘Russia-friendly’ figure who was prepared to lift sanctions against Russia.”

Yeah, right. Not verified.

Azeri cash

The third allegation was that Trump had received illegal campaign cash from an Azerbaijani family with whom Trump had worked during the 2013 Miss Universe pageant, in Moscow.

This information came to Mr. Steele not from his prime source inside the Kremlin but from two longtime Hillary Clinton operatives and liberal former journalists, Sidney Blumenthal and Cody Shearer. 
The chain of custody went this way: Mr. Shearer collected his anti-Trump data from a Turkish businessman and a source inside Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB). Mr. Shearer gave the report to Mr. Blumenthal, who had a friend at the State Department. 
That friend was Jonathan Winer, a former adviser to Secretary of State John Kerry. Mr. Winer gave the Shearer dossier to Mr. Steele who in turn passed it on to the FBI. 
“Trump’s compromise by the FSB, and the Kremlin’s funding of the Trump campaign by way of the Azerbaijani family,” is the way the IG report described the Shearer accusation. 
Like the dossier, the Azerbaijani angle remains unverified. There is no hint of such payments in special counsel Robert Mueller’s report and his team’s two years’ worth of FBI investigating any links between Mr. Trump, his allies and Russia.

Scarborough has more details on all this. The bottom line appears to be that Steele's role was probably to led some sort of "intel" cred to these tales and to purvey them far and wide, with the hope that a media buzz would be created. There was an effort to make it look like the information was coming from multiple sources, but the probability is that there was actually one main source for it all: Fusion GPS. After all, they got paid the most.


  1. At some point, the blizzard of bulls*** from Steele probably became a problem rather than a help to the Crossfire Hurricane team. This is why all of this nonsense went unmentioned in the Mueller Dossier- you put it all together and it is laugh your ass off ridiculous.

    1. That's a really good point, and yet ...

      The media continues to push this BS.

    2. Mark, can you list the MSM outfits/ talking-heads, who are still pushing this the hardest?

    3. I don't follow the liberal media that closely, but I saw just the other day, within the past week, that a reporter asked Trump what told him to make think that Ukraine had been involved in the 2016 election. Everywhere you turn these days it seems they'r labeling Barr/Durham as motivated by "conspiracy theories," and what they're referring to are theories that challenge the Russia Hoax. They report Nadler's claims of GOPers parroting "Russian propaganda" with a straight face. No criticism of Hillary when she accuses Gabbard and others of being Russian agents. Etc.

    4. The MSM practice what Limbaugh calls "drive-by" journalism. A half-truth here, a casual lie there all to obscure and confuse. They can get away with it because of the ever shifting news cycle. Mueller would have to have tried to make a cohesive narrative out of the whole mess. Not possible, even in a turgid tome like he produced. Best choice for them, just pretend some parts didn't exist.

    5. UGH! Should have been "a reporter asked Trump what PUTIN told him to make TRUMP think that Ukraine had been involved in the 2016 election."

      Yes, drive by journalism. There has been no retraction, the Russia narrative is still out there.

    6. The obvious remedy - or whatever passes for one - will be winnng the election, including both houses. In the meantime the media, fed by the rabid Dems, will keep the Russia collusion story and that repulsive “Orange Man Bad” mantra and all the rest going. Unless Barr/Durham come in with home runs galore and blow the whole thing wide open. That would be a massive game changer. Dare we hope? I see change here in California. I see my very smart female dentist, a Trump supporter, with a petition in her office to put Gavin Newsom’s recall on the ballot. Those who formerly would talk a lot but not do much are becoming more outspoken and more likely to take action rather than just keeping their own counsel. Pendulums move slowly, but we have been pushed to the limit. Even the Dems have to see how much good has been done in our country during the last three years. Not the wrongheaded ones, but the ones like those who became Reagan Democrats way back when no one thought he had a chance. No one can look at an Adam Schiff or a Jerry Nadler - nor a Nancy Pelosi - and see someone they can admire. Someone who is accomplishing something for our country and its people. Just a crazed bloodlust to “get” President Trump… So I will hope and I will pray and I’ll spread the word via sharing this blog and others… And I will hope so more.

    7. Yeah, Reagan Dems, and Dersh-type Dems, should be moved, if Barr/Durham can hit homers, to the point of it being obvious, that the Obama Admin. was an outright Criminal Enterprise.
      Add to that, greater publicity of the photo of Obummer, beaming right next to Farrakhan (c. 2005)?

  2. That document, the report said, “recounted that a senior official in the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs had reported that a rumor was circulating that President-elect Trump’s delay in appointing a new Secretary of State was the result of an ‘intervention’ by Putin and the Kremlin, and that they had requested Trump appoint a ‘Russia-friendly’ figure who was prepared to lift sanctions against Russia.”

    That senior official was Oleg Smolenkov, who was John Brennan's super-secret spy "close to Putin".

    How did Christopher Steele know what Smolenkov was reporting to Brennan?