Tuesday, April 13, 2021

In Bull Durham News

You've probably seen some of the stories that are floating around about Bull Durham. He's issuing subpoena's to Brookings--OMG! He's suspicious about the FBI's turning a blind eye to Chris Steele's use of Igor Danchenko as a primary source--Holy Cow!

If this excites you, I recommend Shipwreckedcrew's article:

Russian Hoax Prosecutor John Durham Issues Subpoena to Democrat Party Think Tank "Brookings Institute"

For my money, I'm still not impressed. SWC notes--way at the end of his article:

The continued use of information from Danchenko has always been a huge “red-flag” problem in my review of the FBI’s conduct.  There was simply too much information known to the FBI by December 2016 and January 2017 to press forward with the investigation while continuing to rely on earlier judgments that there was some substance to the Russia Hoax allegations.

Guess what? That information was also known to IG Michael Horowitz very early on in his investigation. Did Horowitz really just sit on that information until his report came out in December, 2019--no heads up to Bull Durham or Bluto Barr? I find that hard to believe. Anyway, what stood in the way of the incredibly competent and legendarily aggressive Dynamic Duo finding out that really basic information on their own? Nothing that I can think of. For example, couldn't they have asked Kevin Clinesmith about sources for the Dossier? Or any of several other FBI employees? And yet ...

Durham didn't issue a subpoena to Danchenko's employer, the Brookings Institute, until ... December 2020? A year after Horowitz's report came out? Puh-leeze! Look--if that had been my case I would have served Brookings with a subpoena for all documentation regarding Danchenko the day after I found out he was Steele's source--maybe even the same day. From where I'm sitting, none of this passes the sniff test. Were they investigating or were they not? What's so hard about issuing subpoenas for documents? Delays due to Covid? What BS. And now SWC thinks that Durham will try to flip Danchenko? Sounds to me that, now, in 2021, Durham is just getting started. So what was all the BS Barr was putting out about the supposed investigation?

ADDENDUM: Yeah, I can see this:

Also this:

It's just so hard for me to believe at this point that Durham is really trying to get the big story out. We all know what it was about, and it's taken Durham over a year to get just very, very basic records? C'mon, man!


  1. One thought: IIRC Danchencko stopped working as an employee of Brookings around 2010, so there's no way personnel records from Brookings will directly illuminate what went on between Danchenko and Steele regarding dirt on Trump and the Dossier.

    And that perhaps explains why Durham felt no urgency to subpoena the Brooking's records.

    But that raises the question: what does Durham and his team expect to find in those employee records?

    One possibility would be things like travel or vacation time that might illuminate falsehoods Danchenko told the FBI when they interviewed him in 2017. If that's true and the records reveal falsehoods, then Durham has a "false statement" case to leverage Danchenko.

    (there is also the matter of Danchenko's lawyer getting some sort of immunity deal before the FBI interviewed his client. It's not clear to me if the agreement is enforceable or not. Also, IIRC that if the Danchenko LIED during his interview, the immunity deal is nullified -- that could be why Durham wanted Brooking's employee records on Danchenko -- to put him over the barrel.)

    Intriguing point: Danchenko was apparently used by Steele fairly regularly before he used him on the Dossier -- so much so that Steele's firm, Orbis, actually put Danchenko on salary (or retainer,) but had it laundered through a business run by a friend of Danchenko's in the US, where Danchenko was living. Danchenko never came to the Orbis offices, apparently because Steele want to keep other employees from knowing about Danchenko.

    That alone suggests Steele needed Danchenko for some sort of nefarious work, which he dared not share with his own employees.

    It's reminiscent of the arrangement Karla uses in "Smiley's People" to employ a Russian spy (the ape, Oleg Kirov) recruited from outside his own directorate to handle the arrangements to set up his daughter's psychiatric treatment in Switzerland. He had blackmail material on Kirov, so his loyalty was not in question, but Karla dared not share these tasks with his own people he trained himself. It was too risky.

    And here we see signs that Steele was possibly using Danchenko as his own "Oleg Kirov," while hiding his employment from his own people. Durham may be pulling a long but interesting thread ...

    1. "And that perhaps explains why Durham felt no urgency to subpoena the Brooking's records."

      No it doesn't explain anything. In an investigation you collect records just because you might find something--not because you have a feeling of urgency. It takes a few minutes to issue a subpoena.

    2. Remains to be seen, if ever. However, there could be links to other names in these records that either solidify a lead or extend to others. Just a thought.

  2. I am not so cynical about Durham's subpoena for Brookings' records about Danchenko. Perhaps Durham recently obtained new information that a significant person arranged for Danchenko to get hired and employed at Brookings.

    In other words, the recent timing of the subpoena does not indicate Durham's incompetence, but rather Durham's continuing effort.


    BookTV recently broadcast an hour-long interview of Craig Unger, the author of the new book American Kompromat: How the KGB Cultivated Donald Trump, and Related Tales of Sex, Greed, Power, and Treachery. Included in the interview was former Soviet Intelligence officer Yuri Shvets, the prime source of information for Unger's book.

    Shvets, a KGB officer from 1980 to 1990, claims to recognize indications that the KGB began to recruit Donald Trump as an influence agent during those years. Shvets eventually broke with the KGB and settled in the USA in 1993. I am not sure that he "defected", but he certainly has been debriefed extensively by the CIA and FBI.

    In this regard, Shvets's interaction with the FBI (not the CIA) seems to be more significant. It's likely that the most enthusiastic consumer of Shvets's accusations about Trump was FBI Counterintelligence.

    I speculate that there might be some relationship between Shvets, Danchenko and Brookings. Perhaps Shvets's involvement in Unger's recent book attracted Durham's attention to that relationship recently. Perhaps Durham is investigating whether Brookings ever employed Shvets too.

    1. Nothing to do with cynicism. In an investigation of this sort--and investigation where there are voluminous records--you subpoena ALL records that are conceivably relevant and sort through them later. You do not wait a year or--almost certainly--longer to do so.

    2. But that raises the question how would Durham conceivably think employment records that ended in 2010 (AFAIK)could be relevant to what Danchenko was doing vis-a-vis the 2016 election?

      Hind sight is 20/20, but how why would Durham think this is relevant to the 2016 election if Danchenko's employment at Brookings ended by 2010?

    3. No, no quetions are raised. He didn't have to THINK the docs were relevant--all he had to do was WONDER whether he might POSSIBLY learn something from the records. With all the info re Danchenko and the FBI already floating around from Horowitz etc. any minimally competent investigator would want to learn EVERYTHING POSSIBLE re Danchenko. What do you think it takes to subpoena records?

  3. As I watched the BookTV hour-long interview of Craig Unger and Yuri Shvets, I was very skeptical about the evidence they presented there that the KGB had recruited Trump as an agent of influence. I have not read the book yet, but I intend to do so and to write about it.

    Although I myself might find the book to be ludicrous, I can imagine that FBI Counterintelligence officials began interviewing Shvets about this many years ago and found him to be convincing. Perhaps some of those FBI officials helped Shvets to earn a good living by recommending him effectively for various consulting jobs (e.g. at Brookings?).

    Perhaps when Danchenko worked at Brookings, he interviewed or even collaborated with Shvets on some Brookings project. Durham might be investigating something along those lines.

    1. Unger is a slippery, agenda driven guy.

    2. You and I might agree about Unger.

      However, he apparently is able to write profitable books because he receives inside information from FBI officials.

  4. In regard to Glenn Simpson, he was only one of many who "pitched the concept" that Trump was an agent for Russian Intelligence.

    Trump Tower was a location of an international gambling ring that bet corruptly on soccer matches, beauty pageants, etc. The possible participation of Trump himself in that gambling ring was investigated by the FBI no later than in the year 2015.

    Christopher Steele involved himself in that FBI investigation, and it's likely that Simpson involved himself too.

    So, the concept that Trump was an agent of Russian Intelligence was being "pitched" among FBI officials, Steele, Simpson, and certainly Democrat Party leaders no later than 2015.

    See my blog article on this topic.

  5. A lot of this, as Mark noted, was out there in the public domain. It’s not new, which makes the lack action, ie subpoenas, arrests, etc soo infuriating.

    I personally think the “interagency,” deep state, etc, thought that they had Hillary Clinton in the bag even on the eve of the election. Trump was not supposed to win, period, but he did and the “resistance” in our government was born, sedition.

    The election of 2020 was supposed to reset the government back to the normal, non-elected power players and it’’s not really working with barely there Biden.

    So, the masses have to be given a meat treat and maybe a scratch behind the ear.

    Problem is, this collective dog has been kicked too many times from owners and others alike to trust anyone or anything.

    1. "... it’’s not really working with barely there Biden."
      In what respects does it *need* to 'work'?
      Who is in any position to slow the SJW juggernaut, to any more than a trivial extent?

  6. There was a big "to do" a few months back about Durham wading into the nonprofit / NGO arena... I said then it was a distraction and golly gee, the village idiot has gone and done it.

    I wonder if we'll see him wading through Fusion GPS and their classified network? Probably nothing to see there.

    IMHO... From all that I've read about Danchenko he probably doesn't deserve what's going to come crawling at him. He was treated like a pet you didn't want, chained to a tree in the back corner of the yard. I guessing varstool tongue in cheek conversations turned into a Russki counter intelligence operation in 3.2.1. It would be a great *face saving* event for Steel, FBI, Fusion etc...

  7. Perhaps the subpoena is to show Durham is doing something? I’m not sure anyone cares anymore.

    After Clinesmith’s wrist slap, It seems the Durham investigation is being used to hide the corruption and incompetence of the fbi, doj, and other deep state components.

    I’m surprised they are even continuing the investigation. Or perhaps they hope to drag it on till past the 2024 election?

  8. I want to believe and I gotta believe Durham's not done. IMO I feel he's taking a comprehensive view to solidify his case. Again, I want to believe this. It's not over yet. Also, perhaps he's dotting the I's and crossing the T's to be sure follow-on discovery doesn't "disprove" his theories and indictments. Again, just a thought.

    1. @AmericanCardigan

      I'd also be very happy to be wrong but I've been saying for years the "tell" to Durham is the lack of "subpoena" news.

      Meaning if he had been investigating all of this time we would have seen these "subpoena" stories time and time again. Not from Durham or his team but from the respondents like The Brookings Institute. (aka the Lawfare group) They immediately they went running to the NY Times to dump this story.

      You'd also would have seen attorney after attorney crying about their clients "unfair" treatment, client harassment claims, fighting subpoenas, etc, etc. There's been NONE of that and these people are known loudmouths!

    2. @devilman: I'm holding out for wildly surprised. Again, I have a feeling Durham is dotting I's and crossing T's to be prepared for the counterattack once everything becomes more public. Plus, he's been known to keep things quiet notwithstanding your suggestion that there would be "stories" leaked by others. I just don't get the sense many want any of this very public.

  9. I'd be pleased to be wrong, but I can't see how Danchenko could lead to bigger fish after Clinesmith--who was at the center of the plot against the president--was let off the hook.

    1. I find it hard (impossible?) to believe that Clinesmith's crime was not directed and/or approved by a superior in the FBI, who is thus equally, if not more so, guilty as Clinesmith.

      I find it hard (impossible?) to believe that Clinesmith was not required to give evidence against this superior in return for his plea bargain.

      But what do I know?

    2. @ Cassandar

      "But what do I know?" ... I believe you know a good bit!!!

      The Clinesmith charging docs set me back when they were filed. That was what I called another "tell" in a big way for two reasons.

      When reading them I remember thinking they were written from an alternate universe. (Turns out it was just planet Bluto) I kept checking the case file number thinking I'd pulled the wrong document.

      The second red flag was the lacking of cooperative docs in the case. I'm obviously not an attorney but federal rules are pretty simple where plea deals and cooperative disclosure to the judge is an absolute requirement. (If someone knows a way around this please show me, I'm still hoping I'm wrong) There's just no way (I've found) around that. My disbelief had me hinging on sealed docs or something of the likes but nothing ever came up.

      I also believe his sentencing would have been held / delayed (like we saw in Flynn's case) where his cooperation would had been your typical carrot on a stick... Nup, they couldn't get that closed, gone, fast enough!

      People say Durham is known for being quiet, that's true. But he is also known for having massive Government fraud / abuse cases (FBI, Boston PD, Irish mob and CIA torture/waterboarding) that have outrageous public implications and all ended in whimpers. He has a history of pigeon holing where gov "official cases" are in play.

      This whole thing was "too big" and the Government's history on issues that are too big has always been to narrow the focus to the obscure and leave it at that.

      I realize I seem incredibly cynical but there are issues in our history like Pearl Harbor, JFK and even WMDs in Iraq that dwarf (tens of thousands of US deaths) the IC spying on political opposition which is what the nuts and bolts of this case is really about. Everything else were left discussing about Russiagate are just the symptoms of the larger disease. The IC just not going to allow another Church Committee type stain on their table cloth.

    3. I wish I could say you sounded cynical.

  10. But then again, the coverup is worse than the crime...

    Durham is either still honestly investigating with a view towards uncovering the whole truth and bringing charges (which is certainly possible notwithstanding widespread cynicism), or he's covering up (which is disconcertingly, and perhaps increasingly so, also possible).

    But it can't be both.

    Which ever it is, I think its highly likely we'll eventually find out.

    1. @Cassander; I'm still hedging on the former versus the latter. I have to have some faith in the system. Mark has been great about keeping us informed of more "uplifting" things going on in the past few weeks. I hold out hope and faith.

    2. Bet the farm that the DURHAM REPORT (as Mark Steyn likes to shout) will be more of a nothing burger than the Mueller Report and the Horowitz Report. If any prosecutions of any even medium fish were contemplated you'd see the Propaganda Media conducting spoiling actions by now. No, we need to accept the fact that our government is a corrupt Kleptocracy. What to do with this fact is the great question of our time.

      -Minsk Pinsk

    3. But the old saw that justice delayed is justice denied has truth in it. And no matter what, this is an outrageous delay. Two massively fraudulent elections aimed at one man and no justice yet. Even if Durham is really on the case--and I remain doubtful, the delay is outrageous.

    4. @Minsk Pinsk: verbal quibble. We shouldn't "accept it" but we do need to recognize it.

  11. I'm so over Durham and the whole cynical pageant I can hardly rouse myself to comment. THE RULE OF LAW IS DEAD we just haven't let ourselves acknowledge it yet. Friend of mine made the observation that every single one of the members of our elite culture, especially the ones under the age of about 45 are WAY more progressive than me , my friend , and anyone here at Meaning. Its not even that they're brainwashed anymore than you and I are brainwashed, they were brought up and educated leftist and we've gotten to a point in our history where if you are a person who wants to go work for the government or a thinktank or a media outlet or a big law firm or the CIA or the FBI your going to be and you have to be left leaning of mind. They all think alike and have no compunction about bending and distorting the institutions and traditions they are charged with upholding to align with their beliefs. Don't believe me? Think there are a bunch of 30- year closet conservatives in the DOJ biding their time for the great Conservative reset? It's cynical to say but it really is no use trying to convince them that they are politically mistaken. The only thing that is going to matter to them is power. Conservatives, to the extent we have power (in our numbers?) have to find it and wield it somehow. Perhaps it starts by understanding that elite cultural is left and non-elite culture is right. Our power is not in our control of institutions or in the exercise of those institutions, our power is in our population. Pretending otherwise is a waste of time. Mark A

  12. I see two possibilities. Either this is a gigantic cover-up or a tiger trap of monumental proportions, not yet ready to spring. Is it possible that despite lack of evidence Russiagate is entirely plausible to those themselves involved in Chinagate?

  13. Sundance of "Conservative Treehouse" posits that the whole Steele dossier was a laundering of NSA spying on Obama/Clinton opponents. There were "contractors" that were given access to the NSA database. Though not called out specifically Nellie Ohr seems to be one of them. Also Comey's friend seems another contractor. Sundance also calls out CROWDSTRIKE.

    Admiral Rodgers found out about the illegal surveillance and kicked out the contractors on April 18th. The next day Glenn Simpson's wife Mary Jacoby visits the White House. Coincidence?

    I believe him. He backs up his assertions with documents.
    Thus I think the whole Durham investigation is another shiny object to distract us like HUBER was. It is continuing so that more information cannot be released due to "on-going" investigation.

    It is sad to think this but the Deep State has proven what it is capable of. Please note that the FISA judges could have extracted penalties and didn't. It is a big club and we ain't in it.

    The article is very long and detailed but worth the read.


    1. Laundering of NSA spying? No doubt the NSA databases were being used for domestic--including political campaign--spying, but in re the Dossier I think most of it was simply made up, not laundered.

    2. Peeing on the bed with hookers, yes. Michael Cohen going to Prague - NSA data so I think it was a combo. British Intelligence was drawn in. And who was the CIA London Station Chief? Gina Haspel. We need to disband the CIA and FBI and disburse their function. The culture of these organization is too corrupted to be fixed.


    3. I'll grant you the Cohen to Prague part, but offhand I can't think of anything else.

    4. @Mark
      "in re the Dossier I think most of it was simply made up, not laundered."

      I agree.

      This is part of why I hope (believe?) the Hoax ultimately unravels and is definitively discredited (if it hasn't been already). It is just too hard to cover up a broad conspiracy based on totally made up stuff.

    5. "We need to disband the CIA and FBI and disburse their function."

      @Spartacus, I was just thinking about this today. Obviously, Congress doesn't have the spine for this action, so...I would like to see Trump '24* gather the Secret Service and Special Forces personnel loyal to the constitution** and have them conduct a midnight raid of all IC facilities, expelling staff, barricading compounds, plundering databases, docs, etc. And on-the-spot declassifying everything improperly classified.

      (A man can dream...)

      *Note 1: Trump '24 is shorthand. I don't see him running again.

      **Note 2: don't ask me whether anyone remains loyal or how they might be vetted.

  14. This is another interesting theory because Cody Shearer was shopping his dossier to the media as early as April 2016.

    Shearer’s first report shows that the story was circulating through the press corps for months, and no one was able to confirm it.

    Shearer tried to drum up interest in the collusion narrative but no one in the press was biting. No one was willing to sink time and prestige on material sourced to unnamed Russian intelligence officials that was provided by a Clinton political operative whose partner, Sidney Blumenthal, had an even more controversial reputation.

    But it would be different if it came from someone else, an intelligence operative whose American handlers worked up a suitable legend of his exploits in a glamorous, allied clandestine service, and his deep knowledge of all things Russian. So what did it matter if Steele had become an executive in a corporate intelligence firm whose official cover had been blown a decade before and who hadn’t been to Russia in years? The byline of a former MI6 agent could credential a compendium of unsubstantiated rumors when the names of Clinton confederates Cody Shearer and Sidney Blume could not.”

  15. Would like to see a story on this.

    Patrick Byrne 2020 Election Fraud China Cyber Attacks Won 5 Swing States

  16. Okay all you crypto-critics who've given up. My glass is half full today. Give it time. It'll be a bombshell I'm sure. Go team Durham. Note: (Don't anyone share my previous posts with me today where I bashed Durham please).

    1. @ AmericanCardigan

      "Note: (Don't anyone share my previous posts with me today where I bashed Durham please)."

      I'll hold your seat on the "I hate Durham" bus. I mean, we literally have Mark co-chairing the "I hate Barr" fan club these days!!! 😂🤣😂

      So yes, there is always optimism and hope... That you'll be dismally disappointed and dragged right down with the rest of us miserable critics!!! 😁

  17. To quote Surber: "No excitement without indictment."

    Consider it buried.

  18. As Hillary infamously said, “What difference at this point does it make?”

    Yeah, let’s say the 2020 election is all exposed as a massive fraud.


    Not many care, and if you do, you might get a visit from the FBI.

    1. True - if the DOJ is only working for one half of the country then there will be now relief. The Capitol Police decision is interesting. Wonder if we are going to get to see all the info on the 'investigation of the Babbit shooting. I am not now, nor have I ever been in law enforcement so maybe she is a stupid question but, shouldn't the first shot have been some kind of warning shot? Why the kill shot from 10 feet away?

  19. No, cops are taught to eschew warning shots, and save ammo for when lives/limbs are actually at risk.
    Seeing as she posed no remotely-clear threat to either, the failure to bring *any* charges was a gross injustice.
    A jury should've had the chance to hear the evidence, as to whether the threat she posed was sufficiently grave, to warrant use of deadly force.

    1. And, shooter's counsel should have to explain in court, why non-lethal alternatives (e.g. trying to push her back from the window thru which she was crawling) weren't deployed first.
      As she was not a blimp, pushing her shouldn't have been so hard to do.
      Had she been antiFa or BLM, the uproar would've been deafening.