Reading the Weissman Report* can be rewarding if you’re familiar with a lot of the other documents publicly available and know how to interpret the tortured verbiage of the report which is designed to imply all sorts of things that the authors would have liked to be able to prove but were unable to do so.
Remember the Steele Dossier that became a big media splash when it leaked the day after Comey briefed President-elect Trump on selective portions (only the salacious parts involving his personal behavior) in January 2017? The Dossier that was the basis for the four FISA Warrants issued regarding Carter Page? The predicate on which this entire Russia collusion story was based?
There is no mention of the Steele Dossier in Volume 1 of the report, the section dealing with collusion!**
There is a passing mention to the Steele Dossier in Volume 2, the obstruction section, when it refers to it containing unverified allegations. Most of the other references in Volume 2 concern how angry President Trump was about the allegations in the dossier. And who can blame him since they were false!
However, there is one very intriguing reference to the dossier on Page 246 concerning a private dinner Comey had with the President in late January of 2017. Here’s what the report states:
The President brought up the Steele report that Comey had raised in the January 6, 2017 briefing and stated that he was thinking about ordering the FBI to investigate the allegations to prove they were false. Comey responded that the President should think carefully about issuing such an order because it could create a narrative that the FBI was investigating him personally, which was incorrect.
Some thoughts on this:
If you are wondering what the source is for this conversation, it is, according to the report, Comey’s memo of January 28, 2017, written to himself!
Pretty clever 5-D move by Trump in his campaign to obstruct justice! (Just joking.)
Most importantly, it demonstrates it was very likely Comey knew the Steele Dossier allegations were false way back in January 2017. Why else would he be trying to persuade the President of the United States not to pursue an investigation of the allegations about him personally, allegations Trump knew to be false?
Because an investigation would have defused the ongoing campaign of Comey and his associates to find something, anything, to pin on Trump or at least seriously disrupt the new administration.
Because an investigation also ran the risk of bringing into the open that the dossier was paid for by the Clinton campaign, done at the direction of Fusion GPS (which at the same time was lobbying on behalf of Russian oligarchs tied to Putin), and compiled by Steele who used his contacts to get information directly from Russian intelligence!
Because an investigation would have also undermined the basis for the continued wiretaps of Carter Page and anyone associated with him.
And if the truth became known about the dossier, the Special Counsel would not have been appointed.
*I refer to it as the Weissman Report because he was running the show on a day to day basis. Robert Mueller was a figurehead. He was safe in that role because of his institutional devotion to protecting DOJ and the FBI and preventing any criticism of those agencies (a trait many who’ve dealt with him have recognized for many years) and he’s also proven, possibly because of that institutional devotion, to be easily duped by those working for him, whether it be the grossly corrupt Boston FBI office in the 80s, or the HQ FBI which relentlessly pursued an innocent man in the anthrax investigation during the 2000s.
Both Mueller and Weissman’s involvement in this investigation has also been unethical. Mueller is a long time colleague of Comey and an ally of his during the Cheney Wars and should have been recused from the investigation, and the same for Weissman, with his record of unethical conduct, his blatant partisanship on behalf of Hillary and the Democratic Party, and his involvement on briefings on the Steele Dossier in the fall of 2016.
** It is simply astonishing and a demonstration of the bad-faith with which the investigation was conducted that in Volume 1, which purports to be about Russian efforts to influence the 2016 election, there is no mention of the only documented instance of collusion and coordination between Russia and an American presidential candidate, even though the contents of the document were leaked to the American press and used by the Obama Administration to obtain a FISA warrant to access the communications of a Trump adviser.
A further example of bad-faith is in the report’s treatment of the Trump Tower meeting of June 9, 2016 to which it devotes 12 pages. This was when Donald Trump Jr and Jared Kushner met with Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya who had promised damaging information on Hillary Clinton but instead lobbied for their support in repealing the Magnitsky Act which sanctioned some Putin supporters in Russia. Trump J and Kushner took no action on the request. This would have been a natural place to bring in the Steele Dossier since Veselnitskaya had retained Fusion GPS, the firm retained by Perkin Coie on behalf of the Clinton campaign, and which, in turn, hired Christopher Steele to assemble the dossier, to lobby for repeal of the Magnitsky Act and Veselnitskaya met with Fusion GPS head Glenn Simpson right before, and right after the Trump Tower meeting! Instead, the report contains no reference in the text or footnotes to Fusion GPS, Glenn Simpson, or Steele.Published in