Tag: Steele Dossier

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Ivan Pentchoukov reports on a spreadsheet documenting the FBI’s efforts to corroborate claims in the Steele Dossier in the Epoch Times: The FBI relied heavily on news articles and open sources in its efforts to corroborate claims in the infamous Steele dossier that was used to obtain a spy warrant on members of the Trump […]

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The Epoch Times has taken to calling the shady business surrounding the 2016 election “Spygate”. By this they suggest there is a scandal. To the good, the title is brief and informative. To the bad, it is cliche and unimaginative. Worse is that “Spygate”, derivative from Watergate, appeals to the name to generate outrage. We […]

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President Trump Rocks Out with Real Heavy Metal Band


The afternoon of 20 March 2019, President Trump rocked out with a group that makes real heavy metal. The event was different from other presidential appearances, but featured many of the same themes. Two themes, American defense revival and energy dominance, stood in stark contrast to news from Germany. In the midst of the prepared remarks, with the usual riffs, President Trump elaborated on his criticism of the politician John McCain, who the appointed Senator from Arizona, Martha McSally, is unconditionally defending, raising questions about her viability or suitability in 2020. President Trump’s visit to the Lima Army Tank Plant was a great political messaging success on several levels.

The setting:

The Lima Army Tank Plant, in Lima, Ohio, is where the components of the M1 tank, in all its variations, are assembled into a heavy metal instrument that can rock your world. The plant has a uniformed Army oversight contingent, partnered with a skilled civilian workforce centered around proud UAW workers. President Trump spoke to the assembled plant crew, to repeated cheers from these skilled tradesmen, proud UAW members.

One Person can (In)validate the Steele Dossier and No One Seems to Bother


Christopher Steele.

Christopher Steele deliberately constructed his Trump dossier to be unverifiable. As long as it remains invalidated, it hangs over the Trump administration, even though the Clinton campaign was identified as its funder and Steele refused to vouch for it under oath. Apparently he did not express such doubts when he was peddling the dossier to a skeptical press.

Carter Page: Perhaps an Idiot but No Dummy


Carter Page, the former Merrill Lynch banker, is no doubt very ambitious. He tried to leverage his degree, his business savvy and his Russian Rolodex to untold riches. And while his ambition and naiveté may have led him to be a recruitment target for Russian intelligence in 2013, he’s no dummy. He helped the FBI in their prosecution of Russian intelligence operatives and knew well that he was at least one of the “idiots” that Russian spies had targeted as a source of American intelligence. It defies all logic to assume that subsequent to his FBI cooperation, Page would allow himself to be targeted a second time as an intelligence source by Russian spies, or that Russia would attempt to recruit him. Page may be an idiot, even something of a Russian apologist and Putin fellow traveler, but he’s not stupid

Very early on, Obama and his inner circle were well aware of Page’s Russia background and cooperation with the FBI and the Justice Department. He was implicated in the Steele Dossier and claims these implications are entirely false. We know that this Dossier is uncorroborated and that it was paid by and prepared for the Clinton campaign and the DNC. Yet this Dossier was used to obtain warrants to surveil Page. Page has not been charged with any crime.

The real question is this: why implicate Page in the Dossier? Why?

Richard Epstein analyzes the latest developments in the Russia investigation and delivers a withering judgment as to how the Mueller team has performed thus far.

Steele Dossier Intrigue


In August 2007, it all seemed so easy. Barack Obama announced on the campaign trail that, if elected president, he would banish backroom intrigue with an unprecedented commitment to transparency. By 2016, that promise had been abandoned, as the Obama administration erected barriers to public access to information that surpassed those of previous administrations. That veil of secrecy has been only partially lifted in special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into possible Russian involvement in the 2016 election allegedly in collaboration with the Trump campaign.

On this score, I agree with the Hoover Institution’s Paul Gregory, who has extensively studied Russian propaganda tactics, that the Russians knew that they could not influence the outcome of the election with a few well-timed tweets. But they understood that a disinformation campaign could raise the specter of collusion with either party, which would then weaken the presidency no matter which candidate won. So far, this strategy has worked brilliantly. We now know that the Democratic National Committee, through the research firm Fusion GPS, financed the efforts of British spy Christopher Steele to dredge up dirt, contained in his famous dossier, on a supposedly deep Trump-Russia connection in the run-up to the 2016 election. Opposition research is part of the grand American political tradition, and this tidbit from the opening line of Steele’s dossier was an intended bombshell: “Russian regime has been cultivating, supporting and assisting TRUMP for at least 5 years. Aim, endorsed by PUTIN, has been to encourage splits and divisions in western alliance.”

We also now know from the publication of the Republican memo earlier this month, as well as from the subsequent Grassley-Graham letter, that some information that was contained in that explosive dossier made its way into the hands of the FBI—which, according to the Grassley-Graham letter, “relied heavily” upon it in its applications to the Foreign Intelligence Court to continue the surveillance of Carter Page, a low-level Trump campaign volunteer, who  had some previous contacts with the Russians. Exactly how the dossier was used in the application—and whether the dossier was quoted—is not clear. The initial FBI investigation to monitor Page went as far back as 2013.  The previous applications signed either by James Comey or Deputy Director Andrew McCabe have prompted no criticism. However, to get a fourth FISA warrant, as the FBI did in October 2016 on the heels of the election, the bureau had to show with fresh information that there was probable cause to believe that Page was both acting on behalf of some foreign nation—i.e. Russia—and engaged in some form of criminal activity.  The FBI relied on the Steele dossier in an effort to close the gaps in its probable cause case.