That said, the Opening EC--a Peter Strzok production--is as absurd as expected. Here's the gist of it, actually a very lightly edited paraphrase. It really is as threadbare in terms of predication as this summary indicates:
The [Redacted - but presumed to be Australian] government had been seeking prominent members of the Donald Trump campaign in which to engage to prepare for potential post-election relations should Trump be elected U.S. President. One of the people identified was George Papadopoulos. Mr. Papdopoulos was located in [Redacted - presumed London] so the [Redacted - presumed to be Alexander Downer] met with him on several occasions, with [Redacted] attending at least one of the meetings.
Note what's being said there. Against all odds, this Australian/US operative who claimed to be seeking "prominent members of the Trump campaign" came up with George Papadopoulos. (It tells you something about our Embassy/CIA staff that they were unable to identify the correct spelling of such a common Greek name.) We're supposed to believe that after active consideration of the possible candidates in the Trump campaign one of the top Australian diplomats decide to spend his time cultivating the likes of George Papadopoulos. Not only that, but it's clear from a quick read between the lines that Papadopoulos was not a target of opportunity--he had to be "located". IOW, Downer, or his US handlers, went looking for Papadopoulos, a sort of Quest for the Ideal Fallguy.
During the meetings Mr. Papadopolous made statements suggesting that THE RUSSIANS could assist the Trump campaign with the anonymous release of information during the campaign that would be damaging to Hillary Clinton.
Now, the next paragraph is the exact text of the "information/reporting" supposedly derived from the conversations with Papadopoulos, as reproduced in the EC:
(S/ [Redacted]) 5. Mr. Papadopolous [Redacted] also suggested 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). It was unclear whether he or the Russians were referring to material acquired publicly of through other means. It was also unclear how Mr. Trump’s team reacted to the offer. We note the Trump team’s reaction could, in the end, have little bearing of what Russia decides to do, with or without Mr. Trump’s cooperation.
So there's the predication:
- Papadopoulos supposedly "suggested" that anonymous person in the "Trump team" had received "some kind of suggestion" from "Russia";
- The suggestion was that there could be an anonymous release of damaging information against Clinton;
- Origin of such information was unknown;
- Reaction of the Trump team to the supposed "some sort of suggestion" from "Russia" also not known.
THEREFORE, the EC concludes:
(S/ / CC/NF) Based on the information provided by Legat [Redacted] this investigation is being opened to determine whether individual(s) associated with the Trump campaign are witting of and/or coordinating activities with the Government of Russia.
Note that well. Based on information that we and Downer's US handlers know/knew to be false, and which in any event was basically nothing but rumor, the FBI decided to open an investigation that was essentially an open ended Counterintelligence of the entire Trump Campaign. I say "the FBI" rather than "Peter Strzok" because Strzok's EC was approved at levels above him--those names are redacted. As in any bureaucracy, decisions of this magnitude are not made at Strzok's level.
Based on this "information" what would have been a logical response by the FBI? Perhaps the FBI could have opened a Preliminary Investigation to first determine 1) Who is George Papadopoulos? and 2) Who is this "Russia" or "the Russians" with whom Papadopoulos is supposedly in contact? That might be a logical start. Instead the FBI opened an umbrella investigation on the entire Trump Campaign and populated that umbrella investigation with pretty obviously pre-selected subjects--interestingly, omitting such an obvious candidate as Michael Caputo, who had far better Russian connections than any of the others.
But what of those logical investigative steps regarding Papadopoulos? We know that Papadopoulos had NO Russian connections--they had to be fabricated by Intel operatives. Did the FBI also know that Papadopoulos had NO Russian connections. I'm not a betting kinda guy, but that's a proposition that I'd be willing to bet on, because we know that the FBI really did have an interest in Papadopoulos--as a possible Israeli agent. And the first thing "the FBI" would have done upon receipt of this "information" would have been to check Papadopoulos' name through their own records and perhaps through those of other US agencies to which the FBI would have access. In a logical investigation, those negative results would have led to the conclusion: Woops! This "information" looks like it could be questionable. We'd better look at Papadopoulos a bit more closely before we go running after the entire Trump Campaign.
Instead, as we know, the FBI's virtually immediate reaction was not to take a deep dive into the whole subject of George Papadopoulos but instead to begin the pursuit of Carter Page and a FISA on Page. Funny how that worked, right? It's almost as if the FISA was the goal all along and the Papadopoulos derived opening of Crossfire Hurricane was more like a simple "placeholder"--and administrative step to deflect attention from the FBI's true intentions in all this.
Here's another important consideration regarding the purpose of the Opening EC. The EC's appeal to information from a Friendly Foreign Government (FFG) for purposes of predication actually served two purposes. The first, of course, was--if the predication were ever to be later questioned--to deflect attention from the dodgy nature of the predication by citing it to a very high level diplomat in the government of a key US "ally." The second purpose was to deflect attention to some degree from the equally dodgy predication for the investigations of the "four Americans" subsumed under the Crossfire Hurricane umbrella. But sourcing Crossfire Hurricane to such a seemingly impeccable point of origin, the FBI (and the other plotters) could count on achieving the benefit of a presumption of good faith in what they undertook.
All of the above is interesting, but the really important point is this. This bogus Crossfire Hurricane investigation was the foundation for everything that came later--and especially for Team Mueller. Rod Rosenstein's authorizing letter for the Special Counsel quite explicitly assures us that the Mueller Witchhunt is to be a continuation of Crossfire Hurricane. The important point, therefore, is this: Who, of all the DoJ officials and FBI officials who participated in the approval of the Special Counsel decision, read this Opening EC--and if they really didn't, why did they not read it? It goes without saying that the threesome of Comey, Brennan, and Clapper were all involved in the planning for this. Nevertheless, the main point must be that as surely as this EC was the only predication for Crossfire Hurricane, it was also the predication for the later fake and abusive Mueller Witchhunt and the fake impeachment that followed.
Rod Rosenstein is the one guy most clearly in the crosshairs for all this, but there is no lack of others--beginning with Robert "Bob" Mueller. We've seen how the Flynn case has led investigators right into the Oval Office as well as into Team Mueller. The next question is: Can Durham find a connection between Crossfire Hurricane itself and the Oval Office? At a lower level we have the Page/Strzok text on how the POTUS wanted to know everything--all the way back in August, 2016. What will Comey, Brennan, and Clapper have to say about that?
Interesting days ahead.