Sunday, April 19, 2020

A Tale Of Three Dossiers

A tale of three dossiers--that's what Devin Nunes says the Russia Hoax investigation largely boils down to, and it's hard to disagree with him. Here are the three dossiers, all of which involve, says Nunes, "lots of lies and omissions":

The Steele Dossier - We're familiar with that one, which involved the Clinton campaign and Fusion GPS (a sub-set of the Clinton campaign). Nunes says it also involves the FBI, so I'll leave readers to decide how the FBI fits in with the other two. To be fair, I'd very much want to include the CIA in this.

The Brennan Dossier - That would be the Intelligence Community Assessment (ICA), and is the CIA Dossier par excellence. Says Nunes: "that was the document that said, oh yeah, the Russians were trying to help Trump" and, in doing so, "not only misled Congress but misled the American people

The Mueller Dossier - Popularly known as the "Mueller Report". Also a tissue of "lies and omissions.

Nunes insists that all three must be investigated to get to the bottom of the Russia Hoax, but he also adds that he and others in Congress are focusing currently on "three Russians" or, properly speaking, Russian-Americans.

Nunes didn't name those three and I'm not entirely sure who he's talking about. I can offer two guesses.

One of the Russians might be Anatoli Samochornov, the translator for Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya at the famous Trump Tower meeting--Mueller’s hidden evidence: Translator exonerated Don Jr. in Trump Tower meeting:

In Robert Mueller’s final report on the Russia investigation, a little-known translator named Anatoli Samochornov played a bit role, a witness sparsely quoted about the infamous Trump Tower meeting he attended in summer 2016 between Donald Trump Jr. and a mysterious Russian lawyer. 
The most scintillating information Mueller’s team ascribed to Samochornov in the report was a tidbit suggesting a hint of impropriety: The translator admitted he was offered $90,000 by the Russians to pay his legal bills, if he supported the story of Moscow attorney Natalia Veselnitskya. He declined. 
But recently released FBI memos show that Samochornov, a translator trusted by the State Department and other federal agencies, provided agents far more information than was quoted by Mueller, nearly all of it exculpatory to the president’s campaign and his eldest son. 
Despite learning the translator's information on July 12, 2017, just a few days after the media reported on the Trump Tower meeting, the FBI would eventually suggest Donald Trump Jr. was lying and that the event could be seminal to Russian election collusion. 
Samochornov’s eyewitness account entirely debunks the media’s narrative, the FBI memos show. 
“Samochornov was not particularly fond of Donald Trump Jr., but stated Donald Trump Jr.’s account with Veselnitskya as portrayed in recent media report, was accurate,” according to the FBI 302 report on its interview of the translator. “Samachornov concurred with Donald Trump Jr.’s accounts of the meeting. He added ‘they’ were telling the truth.”

I for one would certainly like to know what Veselnitskaya's "story" was going to be, if Samochornov knew. I'd also like to question Samochornov about his conversations with the FBI and with the Team Mueller prosecutors--in great detail.

The other Russian who comes to mind is Hank Greenberg, the Russian American FBI asset who approached Michael Caputo and Roger Stone and offered to sell "dirt" on Hillary Clinton--a deal which Caputo and Stone rejected out of hand. That happened in May of 2016, long before Crossfire Hurricane. FBI guidelines require that some sort of case be open before an asset can be used in that way. I'd like to discuss all that with Greenberg.

Who can name the third Russian?


  1. I'd think there would be some interest in Akhmetshin.

    1. As long as everyone is still pretending Steele assembled that raft of refuse, give 'em all a colonoscopy.

    2. 3 Russians, The CIA And The FBI...

  2. I don't think Nunes had Samochomov in mind.

    Yes, Hank Greenberg (Gennady Vostretsov) is one of the three.

    A second would be Sergei Millian.

    I hope the third is Dmitri Alperovitch.

  3. Mr. Wauck,

    Could it be Felix Sater?

    1. He should be, but I get the impression that he'll be left alone.

    2. Sater would have one helluva story to tell.

  4. Replies
    1. Mike, there's an important typo in your blog. In the third paragraph below the dossier timeline you write:

      "Steele's reasoning was ..." when it should be "Gaeta's reasoning was ..."

      As it happens, I've been puzzling over some of these same matters for much of the past week.

      Re your conclusions ...

      The problem with the Horowitz report is that Bruce Ohr testified to the House that after breakfasting with Steele (and Nellie Ohr) in DC the last week of July he (Ohr) went to FBIHQ and met with McCabe and McCabe's counsel (Lisa Page) and briefed them on the dossier material.

      That same weekend Strzok opened Crossfire Hurricane--using the Downer/Papadopoulos stuff. Previous to that, there would have been non "Crossfire Hurrican" team to send the dossier reports too, although he could have sent them to Strzok in CD (as the Legat assumed had happened).

      My assumption re Gaeta sending the material to NYFO is that Gaeta checked indices and saw that NYFO had an open case on Carter Page (since about April) and believed that was the case the reporting should go to. That was logical and correct, but the Legat was also right that a copy should have gone to CD at the same time.

      All this appears to be typical Bureaucratic confusion. There is nothing whatsoever in Horowitz to suggest that anyone from NYFO met "secretly" with Steele. Gaeta, in the Legat office in Rome, was attached to FBIHQ, not NYFO.

      The curious thing is that Horowitz reports that Steele had "meetings"--suggesting face-to-face--with the FBI beginning "in or about" June. Meetings with whom? Gaeta had to have his travel approved by two Legats--Rome and London--as well as Victoria Nuland at State. I've always assumed that the travel would have also had to be approved at FBIHQ, although I may be wrong about that--since the Legats work out of embassies, they may have been able to go directly to Nuland through the relevant Ambassador(s).

      However Steele was already traveling back and forth between London and DC, as we know from Ohr's testimony. Was Steele already meeting someone in the FBI in June (as Horowitz reports)--in DC?

      I believe that makes sense, but we know nothing about that. McCabe, I think, would know, but he's not talking for now.

    2. This morning I realized that Footnote 8 might refer only to Steele's meetings with Gaeta.

      I did not have good cause to insinuate that Steele met with any official of the NY Field Office.

      Therefore, I unpublished my blog article.

      However, I still am mystified about what the NYFO did with its Dossier reports between July 28 and September 19, 2016.

    3. Mike, your blog does point to real issues. As I noted in my long comment above, we know that the NYFO--after consulting with FBIHQ--had opened a case against Carter Page. We also know that as soon as Page was announced as an FP adviser to the Trump campaign that came to Comey's personal attention (and no doubt McCabe's). So what was going on with the Steele reporting, routed to NY by Gaeta and then stuck there?

      Here I can only speculate--along with you. Since the entire Russia Hoax was fairly tightly managed by a "small group" at the very highest levels at FBIHQ, that small group may have been leery of appearing at such an early stage to be running the operation directly. It's possible that Gaeta--having received what could be bombshell info--consulted with that top level, perhaps not realizing how aware they already were, or that Steele's DC end of the operation (through Ohr and Fusion GPS) may already have been known to FBIHQ. In that situation, the small group (operationally directed by McCabe) might have thought it was more discrete to have Gaeta route the info through the NYFO case on Carter Page so that it would appear that any FBIHQ actions were a result of info filtering up from the Field level. Recall, that's usually how things work--cases are run at the Field level instead of from the top down.

      My speculation. There are definitely things we need to understand, as you point out.

    4. The hangup in NYFO would then have been usual bureaucratic ineptitude resulting from NYFO's top level not being in the know. Had Gaeta sent the reporting direct to the Carter Page case agent, rather than a top NYFO manager, it probably would have reached FBIHQ on a timely basis. Miscalculation.

    5. As a result of these screwups, and Stelle probably not understanding FBIHQ concerns about covering their tracks, Steele reached out to Ohr in DC to help him get his dossier to the top of FBIHQ. Even then, McCabe didn't want to be opening a case based on contact with the Clinton campaign (Steele being a contractor). Again, McCabe could tell us.

    6. Your explanations, above, seem plausible. You are familiar with FBI procedures.

      I wish Horowitz would have explained what NYFO did with Steele's reports before forwarding them belatedly to FBI HQ on September 19.

      Horowitz should understand that ordinary people trying to understand this history are very cynical about the FBI's explanations.

      When some obvious discrepancy (i.e. NYFO keeping Dossier reports until Sep 19) is not explained satisfactorily, then people suspect funny business.

    7. Well, it IS all funny business, one way or the other. The reason I say that is because the "small group"--the real insiders to the Russia Hoax--have to pretend to be following procedure to con the others along. The result is that on the more granular level some of the actions are quite "by the book," but viewed in the Big Picture they're being directed toward an end that the lower level actors aren't fully cognizant of. That's because of the complicated nature of our bureacracy. Top down directives would expose the plotters to too much risk, since there's bound to be leaks if you operate that way.

    8. So what I'm saying is that you're not wrong to suspect funny business. As you say, I have an advantage based on past experience--although that experience is not infallible. Some things have changed and I sometimes find myself challenged trying to sort it all out. That's why I spent so much time with your blog, because it helped clarify things for me in certain ways.

    9. @Mike

      Horowitz doesn't give a whit about "ordinary people" understanding anything. Not a factor.

  5. I have unpublished my blog article about Steele being interviewed by the FBI's New York Field Office during June-August 2016.

    Having thought about it some more, I now think that the footnote refers only to Steele's meetings with Gaeta during those months.

  6. They are all illegal.

    They exist to serve nefarious purposes. They are/were an ends to a means that has nothing to do with country or justice.

    Not long ago, people doing this would be hung or shot.

    1. It's all part of the permanent civil war that's been ongoing for getting close to a century.

  7. Mark - I’m looking forward to your blog post explaining what you mean by a permanent civil war that’s been ongoing for About a 100 years.

    1. I suspect he's referring to the introduction of "progressivism" in American politics.

    2. It's simple. I'm talking about the Progressive era that began in the late 19th century, when the American elite (think Woodrow Wilson, etc.) drank deeply of German Idealist philosophy, Hegelianism. Fred Siegel traces the movements from its early roots:

      The Revolt Against The Masses

  8. Mark - thanks for the explanation. I had assumed Wilson’s ideals had come out of the New England Religious Culture. Hegelianism Is new to me. Interesting Marxism /Communism also claims to be based on rational ideas, and Communism has a small group that nurtures / leads the Proletariat To the utopia of a classless society. And the influence the Frankfurt School had on elite culture in the US. Hmm, three German originated ideologies.

    1. "I had assumed Wilson’s ideals had come out of the New England Religious Culture."

      He was a Scotch Irish Southerner, born and bred.