Thursday, December 12, 2019

It's About Pressure Points

First off, a big hat tip to Thomas Lifson at AmThinker for bringing these two memes together in his WSJ’s Kimberly Strassel catches Glenn Simpson contradicting his own sworn testimony. Lifson starts his blog by quoting a terrific article by Charles Lipson, Unraveling the Criminal Web at Comey's FBI and Beyond. What Lipson is writing about is the most basic of investigative strategies when confronted with a criminal conspiracy: identify the weak link(s) and apply pressure. Lipson expresses it very well:

The way to unravel a criminal conspiracy is to begin with the weakest links, the ones already doomed by convincing evidence. Knowing they face serious jail time, these “weak links” have powerful reasons to cooperate with law enforcement. Flipping on their fellow conspirators is the best way, perhaps the only way, to lessen their own sentences. 
This tried-and-true law enforcement technique is available to U.S. Attorney John Durham as he tries to unravel the FBI’s illegal surveillance of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, transition to office, and early presidency. ... 
So, who are the weakest links as Durham’s investigation moves forward? One is surely Kevin Clinesmith, a lawyer in Comey’s FBI who is highlighted in the Horowitz Report (pages 186-190). ... Clinesmith not only altered official documents, he completely changed their meaning. The altered documents painted Carter Page as a foreign spy; the originals said there was no evidence for that. The exculpatory evidence was hidden from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Courts. The lies helped gain a secret warrant to spy on Page.

It's no news that Kevin Clinesmith is perhaps the most identifiable weak link in the Carter Page FISA fiasco. But the Carter Page FISA was also central to the larger Russia Hoax, the plot against the president, as Lee Smith says. And Clinesmith was also a central player in the rest of the Russia Hoax, including the Mueller witchhunt--not just a bit player in the Carter Page FISA. There's a lot he could tell Durham's investigators, if he's properly motivated to do so. Durham's job is to provide Clinesmith with the proper motivation--Clinesmith knows that and everybody he came in contact with during the entire run of the Russia Hoax, all the way up to the issuance of the Mueller Dossier, knows that, too. And so Lipson concludes:

Clinesmith, for one, has compelling incentives to say who knew what and when. He was apparently caught red-handed changing official documents. His lawyer ought to be seeking ways to lessen the criminal consequences. The only way to do that is to come clean. 
Anybody who worked with Clinesmith should be thinking the same thing. It would be good for them and it would be good for the country.

From there Lifson moves on to an interesting point that Kim Strassel of the WSJ makes on Twitter. Strassel's point is that there appears to be a clear conflict between what Chris Steele told investigators about his hiring by Fusion GPS and what Glenn Simpson told the Senate on the same topic. Simpson says he hired Steele in May, 2016, 'to look at Trump's "business activities" in Russia' but that then 'Steele just sort of stumbled on this much "broader" "political conspiracy"'--meaning, the Russia Hoax.

Steele, on the other hand, has a different recollection. According to Steele, it was always about "finding" linkage between the Trump campaign and Russia and and the 2016 election. Here's Strassel:

3) Fusion GPS's Glenn Simpson, meanwhile, in Senate testimony, "stress[ed]" he hired Steele in May to look at Trump's "business activities" in Russia....By Simpson's telling (under penalty of perjury), Steele just sort of stumbled on this much "broader" "political conspiracy." 
4) But here is what Steele told the IG: That in May 2016, Simpson approached Steele to "assist in determining Russia's actions related to the 2016 election"; "whether Russia was trying to achieve a particular election outcome"; and... 
5) "whether there were any ties between the Russian government and Trump and his campaign." (Page 93) Seems Simpson had a pretty good bead on the "narrative" long before the govt. claims to have had it and before even his own source had reported it to him. Huh.

From an investigative and prosecutive standpoint this may not be the slam dunk that the Clinesmith situation presents, but the possible upside to pressuring Simpson is difficult to over estimate. I've always stressed the importance, as I see it, of the Trump Tower meeting in June, 2016, that featured the Russian lady lawyer Veselnitskaya. I continue to regard that as an early attempt to involve Trump in a quid pro quo with "Russia." That's right, just like the Dems with their Impeachment Theater are trying to buffalo us with in regard to the Ukraine Hoax. It's well known that Simpson was in close contact with Veselnitskaya immediately before and immediately after that meeting. What is not often realized is that Simpson was also in touch with other members of the Clinton inner circle at the same time.

Horowitz recounts in his report the unusual, and unwarranted, involvement of Andrew Weissmann (who later basically ran the Mueller witchhunt) and Bruce Swartz--another longtime Clintonista at DoJ. Bruce Ohr's involvement also fell outside his DoJ responsibilities. These three communicated throughout the election campaign about the Russia Hoax. And we know that Weissmann and Ohr had ties, even close ties, to Glenn Simpson. And there's more. As I wrote in Why Andrew Weissmann?:

The appeal of having Weissmann "in the loop" of the Russia hoax is obvious--he would be a trusted contact with the top levels of the FBI and would have a wide range of other useful contacts.
But Weissmann's connections to the FBI would not have been the end of his usefulness. Weissmann was well known to be a Hillary Clinton partisan, and even attended the Clinton election night celebration--which turned into a wake. Just how extensive were Weissmann's contacts with the Clinton campaign? Here the waters are murky. Nevertheless, Weissmann is known to have had contacts with Mary Jacoby, the wife of Glenn Simpson, as well as with Simpson himself. Further, others in the Clinton circle also had contacts. Aaron Klein has detailed remarkable new information involving contacts of Edward Lieberman with the Russians involved in the famous Trump Tower meeting on the days surrounding that meeting--including the very day of the meeting. Edward Lieberman is a lawyer and an associate of Madeline Albright whose expertise involves “multi-billion dollar privatizations of oil and gas assets in Eastern Europe, Central Asia and Russia.” He was also the husband of the late Evelyn Lieberman, a Deputy Chief of Staff in the Clinton White House.
Was Bruce Ohr "in the loop" regarding the Trump Tower meeting--which I regard as a clear attempt to set up Donald Trump Jr. and/or Jared Kushner in a quid pro quo arrangement for supposed "dirt" on Hillary Clinton? If Ohr knew of this attempted setup of the Trump campaign, there would seem to be little to no doubt that Weissmann also knew. Further, since both would have known of the connection of Fusion GPS to the Clinton campaign, was there possibly a more direct connection to the Clinton campaign, through Weissman?
Finally, when it came time to select a Special Counsel, would not Weissmann have been a logical person to sound out Mueller on returning to government--or should we say Deep State--work? It's telling that Weissmann jumped on board the Mueller train as soon as the Special Counsel was established. Had there been preliminary discussions? 
We now know that Weissman was a more integral part of the Russia Hoax/conspiracy than previously suspected--probably from the very beginning. The question is, just how extensive was his involvement? Did it extend to contact with the Clinton campaign itself? Did it extend beyond the election to strategizing with FBI efforts to ensnare and use George Papadopoulos? Did it extend to reaching out to his mentor Mueller during the early months of the Trump administration, planning for a Special Counsel?

As if all that weren't enough, recall this: The person who hired Simpson and Fusion GPS to do oppo research for the Clinton campaign and laundered the payments to Simpson through his law firm was none other than Michael Sussman. Michael Sussman is the evil legal genius of the Dem party. He was at the time Hillary Clinton's lawyer as well as the DNC's lawyer. He also helped peddle Simpson's falsehoods to the FBI through the FBI's General Counsel, James Baker.

Simpson's cooperation would, IMO, bring the entire Russia Hoax/Team Mueller house of cards down. But it might also lead to the very heart of the Clinton organization.


  1. I speculate that the initiation of the FBI's Crossfire Hurricane investigation involves the CIA's Russian informant Oleg Smolenkov. He was an assistant to Yuri Ushankov, who was a foreign-policy advisor in the Russian Government's Presidential Administration. In that position, Ushankov communicated regularly and directly with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

    The CIA believed that Ushankov was telling Smolenkov what Putin was saying about meddling in the USA's 2016 Presidential election. Thus, Smolenkov was able to report Putin's meddling intentions and activities to the CIA.

    I suspect that Smolenkov was fabulating sensational yarns to the CIA in order to make himself valuable to the CIA. In particular, Smolenkov reported to the CIA that Putin told Ushakov that Russian Intelligence intended to collaborate with someone on Donald Trump's campaign staff to publish some of Hillary Clinton's embarrassing or incriminating e-mails.


    I speculate further that CIA Director John Brennan manipulated this situation to cause the FBI to investigate Trump's campaign staff. Brennan perhaps informed a very few top FBI officials about Smolenkov's reports. At least, the CIA whipped up a hysteria in the FBI and the rest of the Intelligence Community about Russia's alleged meddling in the USA's election.


    Brennan arranged for Joseph Mifsud to tell George Papadopoulos -- and for Papadopoulos to tell Alexander Downer -- the essence of Smolenkov's reports. No matter Papadopoulos actually said, the FBI was told, in late July 2016, something along these lines:

    [quote from the Horowitz report, page 52]

    [Papadopoulos] suggested [to Downer that] the Trump team had received some kind of suggestion from Russia that it could assist this process with the anonymous release of information during the campaign that would be damaging to Mrs. Clinton (and President Obama).

    [end quote]

    I will continue my speculation in my following comment.

    1. Before you can continue, let me interject--What about Brennan's trip to Moscow to meet with the FSB?

    2. What about Brennan's trip to Moscow to meet with the FSB?

      I don't have any ideas about that.

    3. At the risk of belaboring the obvious; neither Clinesmith nor Simpson should take any strolls in Ft. Marcy Park.

    4. They should both be on suicide watch. Like Epstein.

      Mike: John Brennan's Secret Trip to Moscow

    5. "...there is evidence that Brennan, the man who voted for communist Gus Hall for president, did make the trip in March 2016 for purposes unknown"

      "In a March 2016 campaign meeting at the Trump International Hotel in Washington, DC, Papadopoulos offered to set up a meeting between Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin."

      "Mangiante seemed fishy to [Tawil]. He thought she was much older than the 30 years she claimed to be. He doubted she was from Naples, Italy. The accent was off — he thought she seemed Slavic — and her ties to European socialist politics made her an unlikely match for an ardent Trump supporter like Papadopoulos."

  2. Continuing from my previous comment:


    The Horowitz report says (page 51):


    On July 26, 2016, 4 days after Wikileaks publicly released hacked emails from the DNC, the FFG official [Alexander Downer] spoke with a U.S. government (USG) official [CIA Station Chief Gina Haspel] in the European city [London] about an "urgent matter" that required an in-person meeting. At the meeting, the FFG official informed the USG official of the meeting with Papadopoulos. .....

    On July 27, 2016, the USG official [Haspel] called the FBI's Legal Attache (Legat) and in the European city to HER office and provided them with the FFG information.

    [end quote]

    Thus, CIA Director Brennan arranged for Smolenkov's yarn to be passed through London Station Chief Haspel to the FBI's Legat in London on July 28, 2016.


    The Horowitz report does not provide the exact text that the FBI Headquarters received. The Horowitz report provides only a gist about "suggestions".

    I speculate that the exact text said something along the lines that some unidentified member of Trump's campaign staff was involved in this Russian election- meddling plot. Supposedly, Papadopoulos did not know which staff member was involved. Therefore, the FBI itself would have to figure out which campaign staff member was involved.

    (Of course, Papadopoulos actually said nothing like that.)

    Soon, FBI Headquarters figured out that the colluder must be one or more of the following three staff members:

    1) Paul Manafort

    2) Michael Flynn

    3) Carter Page

    1. Thanks Mike. It's fascinating and fertile ground for Durham to be investigating. We've all heard that he wants to "interview" Haspel. And of course we know of the Barr/Durham trip to London--which might not have been limited to talking to Brits.

      The implications of all this are pretty stunning, pravda? It almost certainly means Clinton/Putin/Obama collusion to help guarantee the election for Clinton. Which fits with my source who says the Dems very early realized how dangerous a candidate Trump would be.

    2. The Horowitz report indicates that the FBI received Downer's report about his conversation with Papadopoulos from the Australian Government ("FFG").

      The route was as follows:

      * FBI Headquarters received Downer's report from the FBI Legat in London.

      * The FBI Legal received Downer's report from CIA's London Station Chief Ginal Haspel in HER office in London.

      * CIA London Station Chief Haspel received Downer's report from the Australian Government ("FFG").


      Or maybe "FFG" is the British Government? If so, then how did the British Government get a report written by the Australian citizen Downer?


      I speculate that there might not actually be Friendly Foreign Government ("FFG") in the route from Downer to FBI Headquarters.

      I speculate that CIA official Haspel was Downer's case officer. As such, Haspel received the report directly from her source Downer.

      In other words, Downer's report never passed through any "Friendly Foreign Government" at all.

      * If you guess that "FFG" is the Australian Government, then you might be mistaken because "FFG" is the British Government.

      * If you guess that "FFG" is the British Government, then you might be mistaken because "FFG" is the Australian Government.

      In this story that is being told to the US public, "FFG" is an imaginary character, covering up the fact that Haspel was the CIA's case officer collecting intelligence information directly from Downer.

    3. My gut told me that Trump was a big threat to the Dems but I was self-chastened in that I thought Romney would beat Obama in 2012. I was super confident about Romney. Thus, that experience overrode by confidence that Trump would win.

      Still, there was evidence to me in that a blue collar union sewer worker and a small businessman who owned a mom and pop pizza store both supported Trump.

      Trump is plainspoken and I like that. He's a little crude at times, but to me, that is a reflection of our times. Thus, I have broken from George Will, Bill Kristol and David French and, in fact, can't stand them anymore.

      In my mind, I can't help but think of Trump and the parable of the two sons as found in Matthew 21: 28-32. Trump seems to me to be doing the Lord's work. I'm not claiming he's an anointed one but in his own way, he has impressed me very much. French and his ilk strike me as modern-day Scribes, Pharisees, Sadducees and Chief Priests.

      Maybe the Dems are the Scribes and the Reps are the Pharisees but they sure like to control the masses and tell us how to think.

    4. @Joe

      It may be that we dodged a bullet w Romney. I met him recently and, based on that meeting and where my thinking had been heading, concluded that he is a total phoney.

      I'm not sure that that makes him worse than Obama, but it doesn't make him good in any way. And, would we have ever gotten Trump if Romney had won...

      I continue to think that Trump, flawed as he (and we all) are, is an absolute godsend.

    5. Cassander, thank you for the comments and I agree. I was only making the point that because I was wrong about Romney, I didn't trust my instincts on Trump.

      I think that Romney is a snake in the grass and I agree that Trump is a godsend.

      I'm hoping the public wants more politicians like Trump in 2024.

  3. The following three things might not be the same:

    * What Papadopoulos said to Downer

    * What Downer wrote in his report about the conversation

    * What Haspel gave to the FBI Legat in London

    These three things should be compared publicly.

    1. Yeah, could be some very interesting conversations between Durham and Haspel. I wonder how the notion of foreign "diplomats" being run by the CIA goes down in their home countries? Try to fathom the recklessness of the people behind this--Brennan, Obama, Clinton.

  4. I want to summarize my previous comments.

    Brennan valued very highly his source Smolenkov, who supposedly reported to the CIA Putin's secret plots.

    In order to protect Smolenkov as a source, Brennan laundered Smolenkov's reports. An example of such laundering was the arrangement where Papadopoulos told Downer who told Haspel who told the FBI Legat who told FBI Headquarters.

    By this convoluted route, Brennan informed FBI Headquarters what Smolenkov was reporting to Brennan.

    Smolenkov was reporting that he had learned, through Ushakov, that Putin was saying that Russian Intelligence was colluding with someone on Trump's campaign staff to publish Clinton's e-mails most advantageously for Trump.

    Smolenkov did not know which campaign staff member was doing this.

    Therefore the FBI had to figure it out. The FBI figured that the staff member most likely was Manafort, Flynn or Page.

    1. Correction:

      An example of such laundering was the arrangement where Mifsud told Papadopoulos who told Downer who told Haspel who told the FBI Legat who told FBI Headquarters.


      Brennan got the ball rolling by arranging for Mifsud to tell Papadopoulos.


      I think Smolenkov was a fabricator. Smolenkov was telling Brennan what Brennan wanted to hear.

    2. "Putin was saying that Russian Intelligence was colluding with someone on Trump's campaign staff"

      I'm frankly more than skeptical that Putin would say anything to anyone, much less that thing.

    3. Mike's not saying that Putin actually said that.

    4. Wasn't directed at Mike but at wherever such suggestion originates. Chatty Vlady is a non-starter.

    5. He's not saying Chatty Vlad, he's saying Chatty Vlad is a fiction that Brennan swallowed.

    6. I understood that from go. But I'm not so certain that Brennan bought it as much as sold it.

    7. I'm with you on Brennan selling, not buying.

  5. Steele got around… ABC has decided to come out with this story, which they found in IG Horowitz’s report:

    Nearly a decade before the 2016 presidential campaign, Donald Trump’s daughter Ivanka met a British intelligence officer who ran the Russia desk -- and when the agent left his covert service and moved into private practice in 2010, she stayed in touch, ABC News has learned.

    The two exchanged emails but never worked together, and the man, Christopher Steele, would one day re-emerge in a most unexpected way, taking a central role in the Russia scandal that consumed the early years of her father’s presidency, according to a source familiar with their past contacts.

    The prior relationship came to light as investigators with the Department of Justice Inspector General’s office was looking into allegations of political bias at the origins of the Russia investigation since May 2018. (Snip)

    In 2007, Ivanka Trump met Steele at a dinner and they began corresponding about the possibility of future work together, the source said. The following year, the two exchanged emails about meeting up near Trump Tower, according to several emails seen by ABC News. And the two did meet at Trump Tower according to the source. The inspector general’s report mentions a meeting with a "Trump family member" there. They suggest Ivanka Trump and Steele stayed in touch via emails over the next several years. In one 2008 exchange they discussed dining together in New York at a restaurant just blocks from Trump Tower.

    Ivanka Trump worked as an executive vice president at the Trump Organization, managing a range of foreign real estate projects, including in parts of the world where Steele’s firm, Orbis Business Intelligence touted expertise. She and Steele discussed services Orbis could offer to the Trump Organization regarding its planned expansion into foreign markets, according to two sources familiar with the meetings.

    1. "Christopher Steele told a US justice official before the 2016 election that he was “passionate” about stopping Mr Trump winning," -- Telegraph of London 2 Feb 2018

      With friends like Christopher Steele, who needs enemies?

      As I have observed elsewhere, I believe the statements thrown around regarding who Steele liked and din't like are worthless.

      Steele was a mercenary. Period. And this disclosure about Ivanka proves it.

    2. Steele's status (along with 116 other operatives) as a MI6 officer was blown in 1999--so the ABC reference to his covert status is in error. If he was covert at the time, disclosing his status to Ivanka Trump in 2006 would be a gross dereliction of duty. His disclosure as the Russian desk officer is probably a similar dereliction. Spooks are not supposed to be blabbing their position, irrespective.

  6. Horowitz report, page 52


    On Jul 27 2016 the USG official [CIA Station Chief] called the FBI's Legal Attache (Legat) and REDACTED in the European city [London] to HER office and provided them with the FFG [Australian? or British?] information.

    [end quote]

    I am guessing that REDACTED is the USA's Assistant Legal Attache (ALAT) for Counterintelligence in London.

    The above quote on Page 52 continues:


    The Legat told us he was not provided any other information about the meetings between the FFG and Papadopoulos. The Legat also told us that he did not know under what FBI case number the FFG information should be documented and transmitted. At the recommendation of the European city [London] Assistant Legal Attache (ALAT) for Counterintelligence, the Legat contacted a former ALAT who at the time was an Assistant Special Agent in Charge (ASAC) in the FBI's Philadelphia Field Office.

    [This ALAT must be the other person invited into Haspel's office.]

    The ASAC told the Legat that he believed the FFG information was related to the hack of DNC emails and identified a case number for that investigation for the Legat to use to transmit the information. The following day, on July 28, 2016, the Legat sent an EC documenting the FFG information to the Philadelphia Field Office ASAC.


    The same day, the information in the EC was emailed to the Section Chief of the Cyber Counterintelligence coordination Section at FBI Headquarters.

    [End quote]


    If Brennan could determine what Haspel told the FBI's Legat and the ALAT in her London office, then it didn't matter much what Mifsud told Papadopoulos told Downer.

    What mattered was only what Haspel told the Legat and the ALAT. Mifsud, Papadopoulos and even Downer were only in this story for the laundering of Smolenkov's yarns.

  7. @Mike

    I'm a bit confused. (Frequent problem for me.)

    Are you saying that Brennan is correct?

    That Brennan honestly believed (because he heard it from a source he trusted) that Putin and Russian Intel were in fact colluding with someone on Trump's campaign staff to publish Clinton's e-mails most advantageously for Trump?

    If so, why wasn't this Exhihit A in the Weissmann/Mueller Dossier?

  8. ... Brennan honestly believed (because he heard it from a source he trusted) that Putin and Russian Intel were in fact colluding with someone on Trump's campaign staff to publish Clinton's e-mails most advantageously for Trump?

    I imagine that Brennan simply supposed that Trump somehow had been compromised by Russian Intelligence and thus was compelled or lured into some collusion when he was running for President.

    Then Brennan got this source Smolenkov and asked Smolenkov lots of questions trying to prove Brennan's suppositions. (I man that Brennan asked through the CIA case officer.)

    Receiving such questions endlessly, Smolenkov figured out soon that the CIA mostly wanted to know what Russian Intelligence might be doing in collusion with Trump to affect the US election.

    Eventually Smolenkov began telling Brennan what Brennan wanted to hear -- that Putin was meddling in the election in order to help Trump win and in order to undermine Americans' faith in their Democracy.

    Brennan got Smolenkov to confirm Brennan's own suppositions.

    In return, Smolenkov later got a big, expensive house and a generous pension in the USA.

    1. Mike, I think there's some very interesting stuff here, but where I disagree is this: "I imagine that Brennan simply supposed that Trump somehow had been compromised by Russian Intelligence". I don't believe he really believed that at all.

  9. So, CIA's London Station Chief Gina Haspel invites the FBI's London Legat and London ALAT into HER office in London and gives them Alexander Downer's report about his conversation with George Papadopoulos.

    Right after the meeting, the Legat tells the ALAT he does not known what case number to assign to the report and where to send the report in the FBI. The ALAT tells the Legat to callthe ASAC in Philadelphia, who recently had been the previous ALAT in London. The Philadelphia guy tells the Londong Legat the case number and the FBI recipient office.

    Then the next day, the Legat sends the Downer report, with the correct case number ("the hack of the DNC emails), to the Philadelphia guy.

    I have the impression that both the Legat and the ALAT were very new in their London positions. Neither of them knew what to do with the Downer report they had received from Haspel. The Legat and ALAT had to ask the previous ALAT (now in Philadelphia) what to do with the report.

    The Philadelphia guy said, "just send it to me in Philadelphia", and so that is what the Legat and ALAT did.

    I wonder when that Philadelphia guy transfered from London to Philadelphia. Had he transfered very recently and so had been involved in this scheme until his recent departure?

    I wonder also why Horowitz discusses the Legat quite openly (without naming the Legat) but makes a half-ass effort to conceal the ASAT's involvement in the reception and transfer of Downer's report from Haspel to the FBI in the USA.

    Also, why was Downer's report sent to the Philadelphia guy rather than to FBI Headquarters.

    Why was Downer's report transfered from the CIA to the FBI in Haspel's London office?

    If the "FFG" was Australia, then why wasn't Downer's report transfered in Canberra or in Washington DC?

    If the "FFG" was Britain, then how did the British Government get this report from this Australian big-shot and give it to the CIA in London?

    1. As Comey likes to say: "So many questions."

      Hopefully we'll get some answers. My sense is that Barr/Durham think it was a setup by Brennan. Brennan's publi behavior has done nothing to dispel that notion. He has never ever suggested that "mistakes were made." Recall his insane comments after the Helsinki meeting.

    2. Putin probably told Trump in Helsinki that Smolenkov was an idiot or that Putin knew and had proof that Smolenkov was in Brennan's pocket or some such. In other words he blew Brennan's collusion story and Trump, rationally, believed Putin. Based on what I've seen, I would.

      Brennan knew this would happen and went ballistic.

    3. LOL - Brennan says "mistakes were made"...blames FBI.

    4. Hopefully some of these creeps are about to find out just how major their mistakes were.

  10. Page 52


    The following day, on July 28, 2016, the Legat sent an EC documenting the FFG information to the Philadelphia Field Office ASAC. The same day, the information in the EC was emailed to the Section Chief of the Cyber Counterintelligence Coordination Section at FBI Headquarters.

    [end quote]

    The Philadelphia guy told the London Legat to send the report to himself in Philadelphia, and then the Philadelphia guy sent the report to Cyber Counterintelligence Coordination Section at FBI Headquarters.

    Why didn't the Philadelphia guy simply tell the London Legat to send Downer's report directly to that section in FBI Headquarters?

    What role did the FBI's Cyber Counterintelligence Coordination Section play in the subsequent investigation?

    1. That's just really weird or, as Barr says, "inexplicable." The Philly guy had absolutely no need to know, and what could be easier than telling the Legat, hey, send your EC to the Section Chief of the Cyber Counterintelligence Coordination Section at FBI Headquarters. Sending it through Philly makes no sense to me at all and would seem to violate basic need to know principles.

  11. @Mike

    Could it be as simple as Brennan thought Orange Man Bad = Trump is a Russian Agent? I have such little remaining respect for Brennan that I suppose anything is possible.

    Unfortunately, it seems unlikely that Brennan was so gullible. Isn't it more likely that Brennan concocted the Collusion story, perhaps even with Smolenkov's acquiescence, to trap Trump? And then rewarded Smolenkov with the 'estate' in Virginia?

    I mean, Occam's Razor, right?

    In any case Brennan has certainly woven himself one big tangled web of you-know-what. If it didn't matter so much I would say I'll be amused at how the one-time communist former head of the CIA tries to wriggle out of all this...

  12. Isn't it more likely that Brennan concocted the Collusion story, perhaps even with Smolenkov's acquiescence, to trap Trump?


    In any case, Trump was not involved in any such collusion.

  13. I am going to speculate further about what happened in relation to the FBI Legat's visit to the London office of CIA Station Chief Gina Haspel.

    In this situation, the proper procedure was that Haspel would meet with the Legat and give him this report. She would discuss the report with him and give it to him.

    The Legat would take the report to his own London office, where he would write a cover letter recounting his discussion. Then we would send his cover letter and the report to FBI Headquarters. More specifically, this particular report should have been sent to the Cyber Counterintelligence Coordination Section in the FBI Headquarters.

    In this situation, a problem was that the Legat was not involved in the anti-Trump plot. His cover letter recounting his conversation with Haspel might cause a screw-up.

    Furthermore, once the Legat's cover letter reached that FBI section, it could not be changed.

    Therefore, the ALAT was brought into the Haspel meeting. After the meeting, the ALAT raised doubts in the Legat's own mind about how the mailing to FBI Headquarters should be done.

    Thus the ALAT manipulated the Legat into sending the package first to the Philadelphia guy, who subseqently made sure that the Legat's cover letter would not cause a screw-up.


    Horowitz apparently interviewed the Legat but did not interview the ALAT or the Philadelphia guy.

  14. These two things should be compared:

    1) The cover letter that the London Legat wrote about his conversation with the CIA's London Chief of Station and that the Legat sent to the Philadelphia guy.

    2) The cover letter that the FBI Cyber Counterintelligence Coordination Section received from the Philadelpia guy.

    The two cover letters might differ.


    Huber should question the ALAT and the Philadelphia guy about their involvement in this Legat situation.

    Question those two separately and see if their stories match.

  15. OK now, getting back to the pressure points raised in Mark's post...

    Part of the question lies in when the Russia hoax began, i.e. Kim Strassel noted that Chris Steele has it originating at least with his hiring by Glenn Simpson in May 2016.

    A better indication might be when Chris Steele was authorized/approved as a Confidential Human Source by the FBI. Wasn't that earlier than May 2016? And for what purpose is Steele engaged upon his approval?

    Presumably there were expectations that Steele was going to be providing source material in support of an investigatory agenda. What was the investigatory agenda? Who sponsored Steele?

    1. It almost certainly goes back further into maybe March. I was just watching Carter Page with Maria B. He said that in March when he was talking to the FBI about possible testimony in a NYC trial against Russians he dropped it that he was thinking of volunteering for the Trump campaign. That was when they called FBIHQ and were told to open an investigation on Page. They apparently weren't even sure if they should open Prelim or Full--just open on him. That's huge to me, huge indication of political intent.

    2. March 2016 was the timeframe I recall for Steele's CHS status with the FBI, but I've no idea where I read that.

  16. New question...

    It has been frequently speculated over the last few days why it was that Horowitz wasn't able to establish motive or bias in respect of the opening of Crossfire Hurricane...when there was obviously bias.

    A frequent response has been that Horowitz simply couldn't find the evidence.

    Which raises the question in my mind...doesn't Horowitz have access to all DOJ and FBI texts, tweets and emails? Can't he pull Weissman, Clinesmith, Ohr, James Baker, McCabe, Lynch, Boente, etc, etc emails and texts?

    Since those guys all thought Hillary would win (until she didn't) its hard to believe they were much more circumspect than were Lisa Page and her friend in their electronic communications.

    Didn't Horowitz look at them?

    Wouldn't Durham have access?

    1. Have you seen Andy McCarthy's reaction to that claim? It's worth watching: