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The stuff you won't see in the liberal media (click "Replies" for top stories)
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lawyer12

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Expose these Demon Rats aka Democrats.
Beckwith

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Bombshell dropped on the "Russia, Russia, Russia" mantra

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Garth Kant (WND) says something very odd but extremely significant just happened in American politics, in practically the blink of an eye.

The establishment media have gone from virtual 24/7 coverage of the narrative that President Trump colluded with Russia to crickets, and they did it overnight.

How far has Russia fallen off the media's radar? So far, that, in a jaw-dropping role-reversal, it is actually the White House now pushing the story on the media.

And why is the White House suddenly embracing the Russia story? Because it is now poised to boomerang on the Democrats, big time, following a pivotal Senate Judiciary committee hearing on Thursday.

At the end of Thursday's daily press briefing, a visibly bemused White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders chided reporters, "You guys love to talk about Russia, and there's been nonstop coverage. And the one day that there might have been a question on Russia, there wasn't."

So she raised the topic herself, noting:

"[T]here was public testimony that further discredited the phony dossier that's been the source of so much of the fake news and conspiracy theories. And we learned that the firm that produced it was also being paid by the Russians."

That revelation didn't just chill mainstream media interest. The Democrats also suddenly stopped uttering their Russia mantra.

That's because Thursday's testimony indicated the entire Russia collusion story may be turned on its head in fantastic fashion.

While there is still no evidence the president or his associates colluded with Russia against Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, evidence may be emerging that there was collusion by Democrats with Russians against Trump.

The FBI investigation into possible Trump team collusion with Russia seems to have been based entirely, as WND has reported, on an infamous dossier of dubious veracity.

After the Senate hearing, a Capitol Hill source with knowledge of the investigations told WND, "Democrats have peddled the dossier's claims, but if it turns out Democrat groups actually cooperated with Kremlin-linked individuals in compiling the dossier or funding its compilation, they may have to explain that under oath."

That would make it the Democrats who colluded with Russia.

Not Trump.

And that would turn upside down the Democrats' entire six-month relentless and vociferous effort to discredit the Trump presidency.

That dossier is key. As are its origins.

Filled with errors and discredited salacious allegations against Trump, the dossier was compiled by former British spy Christopher Steele, who wildly claimed the hackers who obtained the leaked Democratic Party emails were "paid by both Trump's team and the Kremlin."

The dossier was commissioned and peddled by a company called Fusion GPS.  Aimed at Trump, it is now backfiring on Democrats.

As WND has reported in depth, top Democrats on investigative committees and former Obama administration intelligence official have had to admit repeatedly they have seen no evidence of collusion between the Trump presidential campaign or administration and Moscow.

But Thursday's hearing revealed evidence possibly tying Democrats behind the dossier to Russia.

As former WND Washington bureau chef Paul Sperry outlined in the New York Post in June, although Fusion GPS describes itself as a "research and strategic intelligence firm," congressional sources said it's actually an opposition-research group for Democrats.

As Sperry documented:

  • Clinton allies "bankrolled" Fusion GPS.
  • An unidentified Democratic ally of then-presidential candidate Hillary Clinton was paying Fusion GPS when it hired Steele "to dig up dirt on Trump."
  • Co-founder Peter R. Fritsch contributed at least $1,000 to the Hillary Victory Fund in September 2016, "while Fusion GPS was quietly shopping the dirty dossier on Trump around Washington."
  • Co-founder Glenn Simpson did opposition research for a former Clinton White House operative before joining Fusion GPS.

Simpson refused to testify before the Senate Judiciary committee Thursday.

The Wall Street Journal's Kimberley Strassel reported, "Word is Mr. Simpson has made clear he will appear for a voluntary committee interview only if he is not specifically asked who hired him to dig dirt on Mr. Trump."

And, "Democrats are going to the mat for him over that demand. Those on the Judiciary Committee pointedly did not sign letters in which Mr. Grassley demanded that Fusion reveal who hired it."

Strassel also observed that although the left was "salivating at the prospect of watching two Trump insiders," Donald Trump Jr. and Paul Manafort, "being grilled about Russian ‘collusion,'" suddenly Democrats on the committee "meekly and noiselessly retreated," and let both men speak to the committee in private.

Why?

"Turns out Democrats are willing to give up just about anything -- including their Manafort moment -- to protect Mr. Simpson from having to answer that question," Strassel surmised.

However, a witness who did testify publicly made the potentially game-changing disclosure that Fusion GPS is also on the payroll of the Russians.

Investor William Browder testified that Fusion GPS should have registered as a foreign agent because it was acting on the behalf of the Russians.

Seemingly taken aback by that bombshell disclosure, Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., asked Browder, "The group that did the dossier on President Trump hired this British spy, wound up getting it to the FBI, you believe they were working for the Russians?"

Affirming that, Browder replied, "And in the Spring and Summer of 2016 they were receiving money indirectly from a senior Russian government official."

Browder said Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya had hired Fusion GPS, via a lobbying firm, to lobby against the 2012 Magnitsky Act.

That law was designed to punish Russian officials thought to be responsible for the death of tax-fraud whistleblower Sergei Magnitsky by prohibiting their entrance to the United States and denying their use of the American banking system.

Veselnitskaya met in June 2016 with Donald Trump Jr., which Democrats initially claimed proved collusion by his father's campaign with Russia.

But Trump Jr. said when he quickly found Veselnitskaya had no opposition research on Clinton and only wanted to talk about the Magnitsky Act, he deemed it a complete "waste of time" and devised an excuse to abruptly leave the meeting.

Browder said he believed that meeting was just part of a massive Russian effort to lobby against the Magnitsky Act.

But the key revelation at the hearing was the depth of the ties of Fusion GPS to the Russians.

And as those ties begin to come more into public view, Strassel wondered:

"What if, all this time, Washington and the media have had the Russia collusion story backward? What if it wasn't the Trump campaign playing footsie with the Vladimir Putin regime, but Democrats? The more we learn about Fusion, the more this seems a possibility."

She noted it was also revealed that present at the meeting between Veselnitskaya and Trump Jr. was former Soviet counterintelligence officer Rinat Akhmetshin, who has "acknowledged in court documents that he makes his career out of opposition research, the same work Fusion does. And that he's often hired by Kremlin-connected Russians to smear opponents."

That led Strassel to an increasingly plausible conjecture that would turn the entire Russia collusion story on its head, and explain why Democrats and the media are suddenly treating it as radioactive.

"Here's a thought," she mused:

"What if it was the Democratic National Committee or Hillary Clinton's campaign? What if that money flowed from a political entity on the left, to a private law firm, to Fusion, to a British spook, and then to Russian sources? Moreover, what if those Kremlin-tied sources already knew about this dirt-digging, tipped off by Mr. Akhmetshin? What if they specifically made up claims to dupe Mr. Steele, to trick him into writing this dossier?"

Strassel speculated that if Russia were really looking to meddle in the 2016 election and sow chaos, "few things could have been more effective than that dossier," which drove the FBI investigation, congressional investigations and deeply wounded the president, all of which worked to the benefit of Russian President Putin.

The question, she added, "Is whether Russia engineered it."

WND has long documented the suspicious nature of the dossier, reporting:

  • Not one of the charges in the dossier against Trump or his aides has ever been publicly verified.
  • The charge that Trump attorney Michael Cohen met in August in Prague with Russian agents to cover up payments to Russian hackers was disproved when he produced his passport and travel documents.
  • Four other targets of Steele's allegations have denied them, including a Russian diplomat formerly stationed in Washington.
  • Obama's former National Intelligence Director, James Clapper, said his agency could not confirm Steel's charges or identify his sources.
  • According to the Washington Times, Obama's former acting CIA director, Mike Morrell, said, "Steele paid intermediaries to talk to former Russian intelligence officers who are noted for peddling ‘innuendo and rumor.'"
  • Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward called the dossier "garbage."

Yet, when former FBI Director James Comey testified before the Senate Intelligence committee on June 8, it became clear there was no evidence of potential collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign other than the dossier.

"There simply has been no evidence of collusion whatsoever," a congressional source familiar with the Russia investigation confirmed to WND.

The dossier was published on Jan. 10 by Buzzfeed and included such salacious allegations against then-President-elect Trump that Democrats initially claimed it would make him susceptible to blackmail.

The dossier accused the Trump campaign of conspiring with Russia to hack Democratic Party computers and leak politically embarrassing emails, but it was the bizarre and unseemly allegations that made so many find it entirely suspect.

Trump called an accusation that he engaged in perverse behavior in a Moscow hotel "horribly made up," and "disgusting."

A parade of Democrats in a position to know have since said they have seen no evidence of collusion between the Trump team and Russia, including Sens. Dianne Feinstein, Mark Warner and Joe Manchin of the intelligence committee, Obama's former spy chiefs, CIA Director John Brennan and Director of National Intelligence James Clapper.

So, if there never was any real evidence of collusion, how did the FBI's Russia investigation ever get started back in July 2016?

As WND reported, Brennan testified before the House Intelligence Committee on May 23 that he saw no signs of collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign. But he saw some contacts. And he was worried that might lead to collusion. So he recommended the FBI launch an investigation.

"I know what the Russians try to do," testified Brennan. "They try to suborn individuals and they try to get individuals, including U.S. persons, to act on their behalf, either wittingly or unwittingly."

He continued: "And I was worried by a number of the contacts that the Russians had with U.S. persons and so, therefore, by the time I left office on Jan. 20, I had unresolved questions in my mind as to whether or not the Russians had been successful in getting U.S. persons, involved in the campaign or not, to work on their behalf, again, either in a witting or unwitting fashion."

Former federal prosecutor Andrew McCarthy said, "That's a weasel's way of saying he's got nothing."

Nonetheless, Brennan then concluded, "And so, therefore, I felt as though the FBI investigation was certainly well-founded and needed to look into those issues."

Following that testimony, McCarthy suggested in National Review that Trump should flip the script on his inquisitors in three bold moves that would turn Democrats from hunters into the hunted.  And, following Thursday's testimony by Browder, McCarthy's suggestions may be a more plausible-than-ever:

1) Appoint a special counsel to investigate political spying, including unmasking and leaks to the media.

2) Have Congress hold hearings on whether the Obama Justice Department colluded with the Hillary Clinton campaign to influence the outcome of the 2016 presidential election.

3) Have Congress hold hearings on collusion between the Clinton Foundation and Russia.

McCarthy contended those investigations could succeed where the Trump-Russia collusion investigation failed, because, unlike the latter, there is evidence of actual wrongdoing.



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beadaniel

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That is a lot of uranium.
Beckwith

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Wikileaks just dropped the MOAB on Mueller that could end it all

Amy Moreno (TruthFeed) is reporting that the special counsel, probing the phony Trump-Russia obstruction and collusion is on the verge of collapse.

Rumors have been swirling that President Trump may find a way to remove Robert Mueller, the former FBI director who is leading the so-called investigation.

As has been endlessly reported, Mueller, a close friend of disgraced former FBI Director James Comey, is stacking his investigative team with anti-Trump Hillary and Obama donors and is crossing the line by delving into the trump family finances.

However, it gets even worse.

Now, Wikileaks just dropped the "Mother of all bombs" on Mueller that could end it all.

Wikileaks is reporting that Robert Mueller went to Moscow and gave the Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation (FSB) 10 grams of highly enriched uranium in 2009.

How on EARTH can this man still be considered "fair and balanced?"

He needs to go, ASAP.

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Beckwith

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Fusion GPS -- the Democrat-Russian assassination lobby

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Doug Ross (DirectorBlue) has posted William Browder's testimony in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee on the Democrat/Russian violations of federal law connected to the anti-Magnitsky Campaign by the Russian government and its proxies:

Chairman Grassley, Ranking Member Feinstein and members of the committee, thank you for giving me the opportunity to testify today on the Russian government's attempts to repeal the Magnitsky Act in Washington in 2016, and the enablers who conducted this campaign in violation of the Foreign Agents Registration Act, by not disclosing their roles as agents for foreign interests.

Before I get into the actions of the agents who conducted the anti-Magnitsky campaign in Washington for the benefit of the Russian state, let me share a bit of background about Sergei Magnitsky and myself.

I am the founder and CEO of Hermitage Capital Management. I grew up in Chicago, but for the last 28 years I've lived in Moscow and London, and am now a British citizen. From 1996 to 2005, my firm, Hermitage Capital, was one of the largest investment advisers in Russia with more than $4 billion invested in Russian stocks.

Russia has a well-known reputation for corruption; unfortunately, I discovered that it was far worse than many had thought. While working in Moscow I learned that Russian oligarchs stole from shareholders, which included the fund I advised. Consequently, I had an interest in fighting this endemic corruption, so my firm started doing detailed research on exactly how the oligarchs stole the vast amounts of money that they did. When we were finished with our research we would share it with the domestic and international media.

For a time this naming and shaming campaign worked remarkably well and led to less corruption and increased share prices in the companies we invested in. Why? Because President Vladimir Putin and I shared the same set of enemies. When Putin was first elected in 2000 he found that the oligarchs had misappropriated much of the president's power as well. They stole power from him while stealing money from my investors. In Russia your enemy's enemy is your friend, and even though I've never met Putin, he would often step into my battles with the oligarchs and crack down on them.

That all changed in July 2003 when Putin arrested Russia's biggest oligarch and richest man, Mikhail Khodorkovsky. Putin grabbed Khodorkovsky off his private jet, took him back to Moscow, put him on trial and allowed television cameras to film Khodorkovsky sitting in a cage right in the middle of the courtroom. That image was extremely powerful because none of the other oligarchs wanted to be in the same position. After Khodorkovsky's conviction the other oligarchs went to Putin and asked him what they needed to do to avoid sitting in the same cage as Khodorkovsky. From what followed, it appeared that Putin's answer was, "Fifty per cent." He wasn't saying 50% for the Russian government or the presidential administration of Russia, but 50% for Vladimir Putin personally. From that moment on Putin became the biggest oligarch in Russia and the richest man in the world, and my anti-corruption activities would no longer be tolerated.

The results of this change came very quickly. On November 13th, 2005 as I was flying into Moscow from a weekend away, I was stopped at Sheremetyevo airport, detained for 15 hours, deported and declared a threat to national security.

Eighteen months after my expulsion a pair of simultaneous raids took place in Moscow. Over 25 Interior Ministry officials barged into my Moscow office and the office of the American law firm that represented me. The officials seized all the corporate documents connected to the investment holding companies of the funds that I advised. I didn't know the purpose of these raids so I hired the smartest Russian lawyer I knew, a 35-year old named Sergei Magnitsky. I asked Sergei to investigate the purpose of the raids and try to stop whatever illegal plans these officials had.

Sergei went out and investigated. He came back with the most astounding conclusion of corporate identity theft: the documents seized by the Interior Ministry were used to fraudulently re-register our Russian investment holding companies to a man named Viktor Markelov, a known criminal convicted of manslaughter. After more digging, Sergei discovered that the stolen companies were used by the perpetrators to misappropriate $230 million of taxes that our companies had paid to the Russian government in the previous year.

I had always thought Putin was a nationalist. It seemed inconceivable that he would approve of his officials stealing $230 million from the Russian state. Sergei and I were sure that this was a rogue operation and if we just brought it to the attention of the Russian authorities, the "good guys" would get the "bad guys" and that would be the end of the story.

We filed criminal complaints with every law enforcement agency in Russia, and Sergei gave sworn testimony to the Russian State Investigative Committee (Russia's FBI) about the involvement of officials in this crime.

However, instead of arresting the people who committed the crime, Sergei was arrested. Who took him? The same officials he had testified against. On November 24, 2008 they came to his home, handcuffed him in front of his family, and threw him into pre-trial detention.

Sergei's captors immediately started putting pressure on him to withdraw his testimony. They put him in cells with 14 inmates and eight beds, leaving the lights on 24 hours a day to impose sleep deprivation. They put him in cells with no heat and no windowpanes and he nearly froze to death. They put him in cells with no toilet, just a hole in the floor and sewage bubbling up. They moved him from cell to cell in the middle of the night without any warning. During his 358 days in detention he was forcibly moved multiple times.

They did all of this because they wanted him to withdraw his testimony against the corrupt Interior Ministry officials, and to sign a false statement that he was the one who stole the $230 million — and that he had done so on my instruction.

Sergei refused. In spite of the grave pain they inflicted upon him, he would not perjure himself or bear false witness.

After six months of this mistreatment Sergei's health seriously deteriorated. He developed severe abdominal pains, he lost 40 pounds, and he was diagnosed with pancreatitis and gallstones and prescribed an operation for August 2009. However, the operation never occurred. A week before he was due to have surgery, he was moved to a maximum security prison called Butyrka, which is considered to be one of the harshest prisons in Russia. Most significantly for Sergei there were no medical facilities there to treat his medical conditions.

At Butyrka his health completely broke down. He was in agonizing pain. He and his lawyers wrote 20 desperate requests for medical attention, filing them with every branch of the Russian criminal justice system. All of those requests were either ignored or explicitly denied in writing.

After more than three months of untreated pancreatitis and gallstones, Sergei Magnitsky went into critical condition. The Butyrka authorities did not want to have responsibility for him, so they put him in an ambulance and sent him to another prison that had medical facilities. But when he arrived there, instead of putting him in the emergency room they put him in an isolation cell, chained him to a bed, and eight riot guards came in and beat him with rubber batons.

That night he was found dead on the cell floor.

Sergei Magnitsky died on November 16, 2009 at the age of 37, leaving a wife and two children.

I received the news of his death early the next morning. It was by far the most shocking, heart-breaking and life-changing news I've ever received.

Sergei Magnitsky was murdered as my proxy. If Sergei had not been my lawyer, he would still be alive today.

That morning I made a vow to Sergei's memory, to his family and to myself that I would seek justice and create consequences for the people who murdered him. For the last seven and a half years I've devoted my life to this cause.

Even though this case was characterized by injustice all the way through, the circumstances of Sergei's torture and death were so extreme that I was sure some people would be prosecuted. Unlike other deaths in Russian prisons, which are largely undocumented, Sergei had written everything down. In his 358 days in detention, Sergei wrote over 400 complaints detailing his abuse. In those complaints he described who did what to him, as well as where, how, when and why. He was able to pass his hand-written complaints to his lawyers, who dutifully filed them with the Russian authorities. Although his complaints were either ignored or rejected, copies of them were retained. As a result, we have the most well documented case of human rights abuse coming out of Russia in the last 35 years.

When I began the campaign for justice with this evidence, I thought that the Russian authorities would have no choice but to prosecute at least some of the officials involved in Sergei Magnitsky's torture and murder. It turns out I could not have been more wrong. Instead of prosecuting, the Russian authorities circled the wagons and exonerated everybody involved. They even went so far as to offer promotions and state honors to those most complicit in Sergei's persecution.

It became obvious that if I was going to get any justice for Sergei Magnitsky, I was going to have to find it outside of Russia.

But how does one get justice in the West for a murder that took place in Russia? Criminal justice is based on jurisdiction: one cannot prosecute someone in New York for a murder committed in Moscow. As I thought about it, the murder of Sergei Magnitsky was done to cover up the theft of $230 million from the Russian Treasury. I knew that the people who stole that money wouldn't keep it in Russia. As easily as they stole the money it could be stolen from them. These people keep their ill-gotten gains in the West, where property rights and rule of law exist. This led to the idea of freezing their assets and banning their visas here in the West. It would not be true justice but it would be much better than the total impunity they enjoyed.

In 2010, I travelled to Washington and told Sergei Magnitsky's story to Senators Benjamin Cardin and John McCain. They were both shocked and appalled and proposed a new piece of legislation called The Sergei Magnitsky Rule of Law Accountability Act. This would freeze assets and ban visas for those who killed Sergei as well as other Russians involved in serious human rights abuse.

Despite the White House's desire to re-set relations with Russia at the time, this case shined a bright light on the criminality and impunity of the Putin regime and persuaded Congress that something needed to be done. In November 2012 the Magnitsky Act passed the House of Representatives by 364 to 43 votes and later the Senate 92 to 4 votes. On December 14, 2012 President Obama signed the Sergei Magnitsky Act into law.

Putin was furious. Looking for ways to retaliate against American interests, he settled on the most sadistic and evil option of all: banning the adoption of Russian orphans by American families.

This was particularly heinous because of the effect it had on the orphans. Russia did not allow the adoption of healthy children, just sick ones. In spite of this, American families came with big hearts and open arms, taking in children with HIV, Down syndrome, Spina Bifida and other serious ailments. They brought them to America, nursed them, cared for them and loved them. Since the Russian orphanage system did not have the resources to look after these children, many of those unlucky enough to remain in Russia would die before their 18th birthday. In practical terms, this meant that Vladimir Putin sentenced his own, most vulnerable and sick Russian orphans to death in order to protect corrupt officials in his regime.

Why did Vladimir Putin take such a drastic and malicious step?

For two reasons. First, since 2012 it's emerged that Vladimir Putin was a beneficiary of the stolen $230 million that Sergei Magnitsky exposed. Recent revelations from the Panama Papers have shown that Putin's closest childhood friend, Sergei Roldugin, a famous cellist, received $2 billion of funds from Russian oligarchs and the Russian state. It's commonly understood that Mr. Roldugin received this money as an agent of Vladimir Putin. Information from the Panama Papers also links some money from the crime that Sergei Magnitsky discovered and exposed to Sergei Roldugin. Based on the language of the Magnitsky Act, this would make Putin personally subject to Magnitsky sanctions.

This is particularly worrying for Putin because he is one of the richest men in the world. I estimate that he has accumulated $200 billion of ill-gotten gains from these types of operations over his 17 years in power. He keeps his money in the West and all of his money in the West is potentially exposed to asset freezes and confiscation. Therefore, he has a significant and very personal interest in finding a way to get rid of the Magnitsky sanctions.

The second reason why Putin reacted so badly to the passage of the Magnitsky Act is that it destroys the promise of impunity he's given to all of his corrupt officials.

There are approximately ten thousand officials in Russia working for Putin who are given instructions to kill, torture, kidnap, extort money from people and seize their property. Before the Magnitsky Act, Putin could guarantee them impunity and this system of illegal wealth accumulation worked smoothly. However, after the passage of the Magnitsky Act, Putin's guarantee disappeared. The Magnitsky Act created real consequences outside of Russia and this created a real problem for Putin and his system of kleptocracy.

For these reasons, Putin has stated publicly that it was among his top foreign policy priorities to repeal the Magnitsky Act and to prevent it from spreading to other countries. Since its passage in 2012, the Putin regime has gone after everybody who has been advocating for the Magnitsky Act.

One of my main partners in this effort was Boris Nemtsov. Boris testified in front of the US Congress, the European Parliament, the Canadian Parliament and others to make the point that the Magnitsky Act was a "pro-Russian" piece of legislation because it narrowly targeted corrupt officials and not the Russian people. In 2015 Boris Nemtsov was murdered on the bridge in front of the Kremlin.

Boris Nemtsov's protégé, Vladimir Kara-Murza, also travelled to law-making bodies around the world to make a similar case. After Alexander Bastrykin, the head of the Russian Investigative Committee, was added to the Magnitsky List in December of 2016, Vladimir was poisoned. He suffered multiple organ failure, went into a coma and barely survived.

The lawyer who represented Sergei Magnitsky's mother, Nikolai Gorokhov, has spent the last six years fighting for justice. This spring, the night before he was due in court to testify about the state cover up of Sergei Magnitsky's murder, he was thrown off the fourth floor of his apartment building. Thankfully he survived and has carried on in the fight for justice.

I've received many death threats from Russia. The most notable one came from Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, in 2013. When asked by a group of journalists about the death of Sergei Magnitsky, Medvedev replied, "It's too bad that Sergei Magnitsky is dead and Bill Browder is still alive and free." I've received numerous other death threats from Russian sources through text messages, emails and voicemails. US government sources have warned me about a planned Russian rendition against me. These threats were in addition to numerous unsuccessful attempts that the Russian government has made to arrest me using Interpol or other formal legal assistance channels.

The Russian government has also used its resources and assets to try to repeal the Magnitsky Act. One of the most shocking attempts took place in the spring and summer of last year when a group of Russians went on a lobbying campaign in Washington to try to repeal the Magnitsky Act by changing the narrative of what had happened to Sergei. According to them, Sergei wasn't murdered and he wasn't a whistle-blower, and the Magnitsky Act was based on a false set of facts. They used this story to try to have Sergei's name taken off of the Global Magnitsky Act that passed in December 2016. They were unsuccessful.

Who was this group of Russians acting on behalf of the Russian state? Two men named Pyotr and Denis Katsyv, a woman named Natalia Veselnitskaya, and a large group of American lobbyists, all of whom are described below.

Pyotr Katsyv, father to Denis Katsyv, is a senior Russian government official and well-placed member of the Putin regime; Denis Katsyv was caught by US law enforcement using proceeds from the crime that Sergei Magnitsky uncovered to purchase high-end Manhattan real estate (the case recently settled with the Katsyv's paying $6 million to the US government). Natalia Veselnitskaya was their lawyer.

In addition to working on the Katsyv' s money laundering defense, Ms. Veselnitskaya also headed the aforementioned lobbying campaign to repeal the Magnitsky Act. She hired a number of lobbyists, public relations executives, lawyers and investigators to assist her in this task.

Her first step was to set up a fake NGO that would ostensibly promote Russian adoptions, although it quickly became clear that the NGO's sole purpose was to repeal the Magnitsky Act. This NGO was called the Human Rights Accountability Global Initiative Foundation (HRAGI). It was registered as a corporation in Delaware with two employees on February 18, 2016. HRAGI was used to pay Washington lobbyists and other agents for the anti-Magnitsky campaign. (HRAGI now seems to be defunct, with taxes due.)

Through HRAGI, Rinat Akhmetshin, a former Soviet intelligence officer naturalised as an American citizen, was hired to lead the Magnitsky repeal effort. Mr Akhmetshin has been involved in a number of similar campaigns where he's been accused of various unethical and potentially illegal actions like computer hacking.

Veselnitskaya also instructed US law firm Baker Hostetler and their Washington, DC-based partner Marc Cymrot to lobby members of Congress to support an amendment taking Sergei Magnitsky's name off the Global Magnitsky Act. Mr. Cymrot was in contact with Paul Behrends, a congressional staffer on the House Foreign Affairs Committee at the time, as part of the anti-Magnitsky lobbying campaign.

Veselnitskaya, through Baker Hostetler, hired Glenn Simpson of the firm Fusion GPS to conduct a smear campaign against me and Sergei Magnitsky in advance of congressional hearings on the Global Magnitsky Act. He contacted a number of major newspapers and other publications to spread false information that Sergei Magnitsky was not murdered, was not a whistle-blower and was instead a criminal. They also spread false information that my presentations to lawmakers around the world were untrue.

As part of Veselnitskaya's lobbying, a former Wall Street Journal reporter, Chris Cooper of the Potomac Group, was hired to organise the Washington, DC-based premiere of a fake documentary about Sergei Magnitsky and myself. This was one the best examples of Putin's propaganda.

They hired Howard Schweitzer of Cozzen O'Connor Public Strategies and former Congressman Ronald Dellums to lobby members of Congress on Capitol Hill to repeal the Magnitsky Act and to remove Sergei's name from the Global Magnitsky bill.

On June 13, 2016 they funded a major event at the Newseum to show their fake documentary, inviting representatives of Congress and the State Department to attend.

While they were conducting these operations in Washington, DC, at no time did they indicate that they were acting on behalf of Russian government interests nor did they file disclosures under the Foreign Agent Registration Act.

United States law is very explicit that those acting on behalf of foreign governments and their interests must register under FARA so that there is transparency about their interests and their motives.

Since none of these people registered, my firm wrote to the Department of Justice in July, 2016 and presented the facts.

I hope that my story will help you understand the methods of Russian operatives in Washington and how they use US enablers to achieve major foreign policy goals without disclosing those interests. I also hope that this story and others like it may lead to a change in the FARA enforcement regime in the future.



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Beckwith

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Shady research firm Fusion GPS, behind fake Trump dossier, was being paid by the DNC and Russians

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Jim Hoft (GatewayPundit) is reporting that GPS Fusion founder, Glenn Simpson, among other Democrats were on the payroll of the Russian lawyer who met with Donald Trump Jr. in June of 2016.

Fusion GPS is the company that reportedly commissioned the garbage dossier compiled by former British spy Christopher Steele which was subsequently published by Buzzfeed. The debunked dossier was a hit piece on Trump with outrageous stories about his encounters with Russian prostitutes.

Fusion has a sordid history and links to several questionable research products.

Now there is more evidence that links Fusion GPS to both the Democrat Party and Russia

To summarize the web of connections outlined below… we now know a Russian backed, Democrat connected research firm, with a history of smearing individuals and pitching fake information to reporters, was hired by opponents of President Trump to compile a "dossier" of supposed Trump ties to Russia.

The information that was compiled was taken seriously by the highest levels of our intelligence community along with our media, despite obvious signs that the firm behind it was tied to Russia.

As a reminder, this phony "dossier" helped spark the investigation now led by Special Counsel Mueller.

Frightening. This issue deserves A LOT more reporting and interest. To recap:

  • Fusion GPS is the firm that hired ex-British spy Christopher Steele to put together a phony dossier during the 2016 campaign on supposed Trump ties to Russia.
  • The dossier, full of Russian sourced information, was shopped to dozens of U.S. journalists during and immediately after the 2016 campaign, and eventually reported on despite obvious red flags to its accuracy.
  • The dossier's claims made it into the hands of U.S. intelligence officials, and were included in a top secret intelligence briefing for President Obama.
  • The dossier's claims of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia helped spark the FBI investigation now supervised by Special Counsel Robert Mueller.
  • We now know the dossier is full of bogus, false information.  Christopher Steele even admitted in a lawsuit recently that most of his work in the dossier was never fully verified.
  • Fusion GPS is deeply connected to Democrat The co-founder of Fusion GPS is reportedly a Hillary Clinton donor.  Fusion GPS allegedly was retained by Planned Parenthood, and did work for Democrats to investigate Mitt Romney in 2012.

In recent days, we have learned more about Fusion GPS:

  • Fusion GPS has deep ties to Russia.
  • According to the testimony of William Browder this morning, along with other reporting, Fusion GPS was hired by Russians to defend Russian government connected officials from allegations of fraud.
  • Fusion GPS was also employed by Russians to fight against the Magnitsky Act and has worked on issues with Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya.
  • Browder spoke this morning about Fusion GPS' tactics to work over reporters, and its efforts to run smear campaigns on behalf of their clients.
  • It is troubling to hear about allegations that a Russian-backed opposition research firm, with a history of smearing individuals and pitching fake information to reporters, was then hired by opponents of President Trump and the information that was compiled was taken seriously by the highest levels of our intelligence community along with our media.

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Senate Democrats delay witness from testifying against Fusion GPS


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Kristina Wong (Breitbart) is reporting that Senate Democrats cut short a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Wednesday, delaying the widely-anticipated testimony of a witness who would have cast aspersion on the company responsible for creating the Trump dossier.

Using a parliamentary maneuver, Senate Democrats invoked a two-hour limit on the hearing before Bill Browder, CEO and co-founder of Hermitage Capital, could testify on how he was targeted by Fusion GPS and its co-founder Glenn Simpson, on behalf of Russian interests.

Fusion GPS has come under intense Congressional scrutiny -- for its role in targeting Browder and undermining the Magnitsky Act on behalf of Russia, but at the same time creating a salacious and discredited dossier on Trump paid for by his political enemies claiming he colluded with Russia.

That dossier was reportedly used by the FBI to open an investigation on Trump campaign associates. At one point, the FBI had made arrangements to pay the author of the dossier, but that arrangement reportedly later fell through.

Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA) has long called for answers on Fusion GPS's failure to register as a foreign agent under the Foreign Agent Registration Act, and its creation of the Trump dossier.

"It is vital for the Committee to fully understand Fusion's failure to register under FARA and its role in the creating and spreading of the dossier," he said at the opening of the hearing.

Browder, according to his opening statement released in advance of his testimony, was set to say Fusion GPS ran a smear campaign against him, orchestrated by Natalia Veselnitskaya, the same Russian lawyer who met with Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner, and then-campaign chairman Paul Manafort in June 2016.

Browder's testimony claims that Veselnitskaya hired Fusion GPS through lobbying firm Baker Hostetler to undermine the Magnitsky Act on behalf of Russian interests, and that the firm helped to organize a Washington D.C.-based premiere of a "fake documentary" about himself as well as his lawyer Sergei Magnitsky.

"While they were conducting these operations in Washington D.C., at no time did they indicate that they were acting on behalf of Russian government interests, nor did they file disclosures under the Foreign Agent Registration Act," he said in prepared testimony.

Senate Republicans who were eager to question Browder slammed the Democrats' decision to limit the hearing to two hours, which was reportedly in protest of GOP efforts to repeal ObamaCare. Browder is now scheduled to testify Thursday at 9:00 a.m.

Here's more on the Democrat's dirty tricks guys:



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NSA whistleblower says he has proof the DNC hack was a leak," not a "hack"

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S.Noble (IndependentSentinel) is reporting that in early January, NSA whistleblower, Bill Binney, wrote an editorial for the Baltimore Sun in which he explained why the report that the DNC emails were hacked, not leaked, was unconvincing. He has this week forwarded a memorandum to the President put together by several other cyber experts stating that they have concluded a thorough analysis indicating the DNC emails were leaked, not hacked.

Binney, a member of the Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity, an anti-war group, is comprised of former officers of the United States Intelligence Community. They formed in 2003 and have made predictions that have been both correct and incorrect.

In this latest analysis, they stated that on July 5, 2016, data was leaked (not hacked) by a person with physical access to DNC computers.

They examined metadata of the Guccifer 2.0 intrusion into the DNC server.

Key findings indicate that the DNC data was copied onto a storage device at a speed that far exceeds an Internet capability for a remote hack. Of equal importance, the forensics show that the copying and doctoring were performed on the East coast of the U.S. Thus far, mainstream media have ignored the findings of these independent studies [see here and here].

A more detailed technical report titled, "Cyber-Forensic Investigation of 'Russian Hack' and Missing Intelligence Community Disclaimers," has been sent to the Office of the Special Counsel for the Attorney General.

As part of their evidence, they issued the timeline they used:

The Time Sequence

June 12, 2016: Assange announces WikiLeaks is about to publish "emails related to Hillary Clinton."

June 15, 2016: DNC contractor Crowdstrike, (with a dubious professional record and multiple conflicts of interest) announces that malware has been found on the DNC server and claims there is evidence it was injected by Russians.

June 15, 2016: On the same day, "Guccifer 2.0" affirms the DNC statement; claims responsibility for the "hack;" claims to be a WikiLeaks source; and posts a document that the forensics show was synthetically tainted with "Russian fingerprints."

We do not think that the June 12 & 15 timing was pure coincidence. Rather, it suggests the start of a pre-emptive move to associate Russia with anything WikiLeaks might have been about to publish and to "show" that it came from a Russian hack.

The Key Event

July 5, 2016: In the early evening, Eastern Daylight Time, someone working in the EDT time zone with a computer directly connected to the DNC server or DNC Local Area Network, copied 1,976 MegaBytes of data in 87 seconds onto an external storage device. That speed is many times faster than what is physically possible with a hack.

It thus appears that the purported "hack" of the DNC by Guccifer 2.0 (the self-proclaimed WikiLeaks source) was not a hack by Russia or anyone else, but was rather a copy of DNC data onto an external storage device. Moreover, the forensics performed on the metadata reveal there was a subsequent synthetic insertion -- a cut-and-paste job using a Russian template, with the clear aim of attributing the data to a "Russian hack." This was all performed in the East Coast time zone.

The entire memorandum can be found at Zerohedge and several other websites.

There's plenty of evidence -- from the people that know -- that the DNC emails were downloaded by someone in Washington, DC.

The entire Russian hacking story is an intelligence community dirty trick.



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Glenn Simpson of Fusion GPS has fled the country to avoid testifying

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Pacific Pundit is reporting that Glenn Simpson, founder of Fusion GPS, the firm behind Trump's "peepee dossier" has reportedly fled the country in an attempt to avoid testimony on the so called "Russia probe." Simpson, through his attorney has said that even if he were forced to testify, he would just please the fifth anyway.

As far as I can find out, this is a single source report. If true, it's a big deal.



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"Can u pls call me on my cell? Need excuse to get out of meeting"

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Fox News is reporting that President Trump's son-in-law and key adviser Jared Kushner released a rare public statement Monday ahead of expected Congressional testimony, denying that he colluded with Russia during Trump's campaign and calling the meeting hehad with a Russia-linked attorney a "waste of our time."

In a prepared statement to the committees obtained by Fox News, Kushner laid out his dealings with foreign leaders and said none constitute campaign collusion.

"I did not collude, nor know of anyone else in the campaign who colluded, with any foreign government," reads a section of his statement. "I had no improper contacts. I have not relied on Russian funds to finance my business activities in the private sector. I have tried to be fully transparent with regard to the filing of my SF-86 form [security clearance], above and beyond what is required. Hopefully, this puts these matters to rest."

Kushner detailed four contacts he had with Russians during the presidential campaign and transition.

"With respect to my contacts with Russia or Russian representatives during the campaign, there were hardly any," he said in the statement, before recalling when he was at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington in April 2016, when his father-in-law delivered a  speech on foreign policy and he was introduced to four ambassadors at the event, which included then Russian ambassador to the U.S., Sergey Kislyak.

"With all the ambassadors, including Mr. Kislyak, we shook hands, exchanged brief pleasantries and I thanked them for attending the event and said I hoped they would like candidate Trump’s speech and his ideas for a fresh approach to America’s foreign policy," Kushner recalled. "The ambassadors also expressed interest in creating a positive relationship should we win the election. Each exchange lasted less than a minute; some gave me their business cards and invited me to lunch at their embassies. I never took them up on any of these invitations and that was the extent of the interactions."

Kushner denied reports he took two calls with Kislyak between April and November 2016.

"I had no ongoing relationship with the ambassador before the election, and had limited knowledge about him then. In fact, on Nov. 9, the day after the election, I could not even remember the name of the Russian ambassador," he said.

In the statement, Kushner detailed the June 2016 meeting with a Russian-American lawyer, news of which emerged ealier this month and gave new momentum to Democrat claims the Trump administration secretly worted with the Kremlin to game the election.

"I arrived at the meeting a little late. When I got there, the person who has since been identified as a Russian attorney was talking about the issue of a ban on U.S. adoptions of Russian children. I had no idea why that topic was being raised and quickly determined that my time was not well-spent at this meeting," he recalls in the statement. "Reviewing emails recently confirmed my memory that the meeting was a waste of our time and that, in looking for a polite way to leave and get back to my work, I actually emailed an assistant from the meeting after I had been there for ten or so minutes and wrote "Can u pls call me on my cell? Need excuse to get out of meeting."

"I had not met the attorney before the meeting nor spoken with her since. I thought nothing more of this short meeting until it came to my attention recently."

Emails released this month show Donald Trump Jr. accepted the meeting at Trump Tower with the idea that he would receive damaging information about Hillary Clinton, but Kushner says he hadn't seen those emails until he was recently shown them by his lawyers. Kushner says in his statement that Trump Jr. invited him to the meeting.

The release of the statement comes just hours before he is to be interviewed by a Senate committee investigating Russia's meddling in the 2016 election and any possible collusion by Trump associates.

The interview with the Senate intelligence committee will be behind closed doors.



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Signs seen at the Moscow Airport

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Hillary Clinton ordered Mueller to deliver uranium to Russians in "secret tarmac meeting"

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Joshua Caplan (GatewayPundit) says it's no secret Special Counsel Robert Mueller's Russia probe is one of the greatest Witch Hunts in U.S. political history.

On his radio program this week, Rush Limbaugh fittingly called Mueller's investigation one of "the biggest, most massive opposition research operations ever conducted in American politics."

The mainstream media and D.C. elites would like you to believe Robert Mueller is as straight as they come, but the truth is, he is every bit the swamp creature, just like Obama, Comey, Holder and Hillary Clinton. In fact, while she was Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton ordered then FBI Director Robert Mueller to deliver a uranium sample to the Russians.

The Gateway Pundit previously reported per U.S. diplomatic cables provided by WikiLeaks, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speared headed the transfer of highly enriched uranium that was previously confiscated by the U.S. Department of Energy in a 2006 smuggling sting operation.

Background to the story via Wikileaks cable:

Background: Over two years ago Russia requested a ten-gram sample of highly enriched uranium (HEU) seized in early 2006 in Georgia during a nuclear smuggling sting operation involving one Russian national and several Georgian accomplices. The seized HEU was transferred to U.S. custody and is being held at a secure DOE facility.

In response to the Russian request, the Georgian Government authorized the United States to share a sample of the material with the Russians for forensic analysis. Director Mueller previously planned to deliver the sample in April (Ref A), but due to a scheduling conflict the trip was canceled.

Embassy Moscow LegAtt informed the FSB prior to Mueller's intended April delivery and received confirmation that the FSB would take custody of the sample after the Director's plane landed. EST Moscow also informed Rosatom of the planned transfer and that the U.S. placed a high priority on completing this transfer (Ref B). Once the LegAtt told FSB counterparts the April trip had been canceled, Ambassador Beyrle informed Igor Neverov (Ref C), who said that he understood but was disappointed the trip was postponed.

Zerohedge has more:

The FBI Director was originally scheduled to "return" a sample from the DOE stockpile to the Russians in April but the trip was postponed until September 21.

Paragraph number 6 of the leaked cable confirms Dir. Mueller's Sept. 21 flight to Moscow.

"(S/Rel Russia) Action request: Embassy Moscow is requested to alert at the highest appropriate level the Russian Federation that FBI Director Mueller plans to deliver the HEU sample once he arrives to Moscow on September 21. Post is requested to convey information in paragraph 5 with regard to chain of custody, and to request details on Russian Federation's plan for picking up the material. Embassy is also requested to reconfirm the April 16 understanding from the FSB verbally that we will have no problem with the Russian Ministry of Aviation concerning Mueller's September 21 flight clearance."

But possibly even more shocking is the fact that the State Department wanted the transfer of the HEU to take place on an "airport tarmac" which is rather reminiscent of the infamous Loretta Lynch/Bill Clinton meeting which occurred on a Phoenix, Arizona, tarmac back in June of 2016.

Past dealings with the Russians were also mentioned in the cable, signifying that previous deals have taken place.



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Fusion GPS founder Glenn Simpson refuses to testify before Senate

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Joshua Caplan (GatewayPundit) is reporting that just days before Glenn Simpson was set to testify in front of Congress, the Fusion GPS founder's rep said his client has chosen not to do so, blaming the ‘partisan hearing' process.

Senator Grassley threatened to subpoena Donald Trump Jr., Paul Manafort and Glenn Simpson if they did not make contact with his office by 3:30 pm est Friday.

POLITICO reports:

The co-founder of a political and corporate intelligence firm behind an explosive dossier alleging Russian intelligence influence over President Donald Trump will not testify next week before the Senate Judiciary Committee, according to two sources familiar with his plans.

The committee on Wednesday announced a July 19 hearing that listed Fusion GPS co-founder Glenn Simpson, a former Wall Street Journal investigative reporter, as a witness. His inclusion raised the specter of public testimony about the dossier's seamy and contested claims of sexual misconduct and a years-long Kremlin conspiracy to get Trump elected.

But the request for Simpson to appear was voluntary, and it's unclear whether the committee will seek to compel his testimony.

Spokespeople for Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley of Iowa and ranking member Dianne Feinstein of California did not respond to requests for comment.

During the 2016 campaign, Simpson's firm hired the British spy Christopher Steele, who ultimately produced the infamous dossier, which suggests Trump took part in an intricate Kremlin-backed plot to ascend to the White House. He and the White House have strenuously denied the allegations in the document.

GPS Fusion is linked to the infamous "Trump-Russia" dossier, falsely alleging President Trump engaged in a series of lewd acts while in Russia.



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Constitutional attorney shreds Russia-conspiracy obsessed Democrats

Truth Feed says the enemies of President Trump are unable to let go of the ridiculous, overplayed Russian narrative, and now they're beating the long-dead horse even further.

Apparently, because Trump spoke with Russian President Vladimir Putin at a dinner in Germany, his butt-hurt detractors are yet again trying to use that as "evidence" of collusion between the two.

Professor Jonathan Turley, a DC resident who is quite familiar with "The Swamp," went on Fox News to discuss the latest fake news regarding the (non existent) Trump-Russian collusion.

Turley explained that President Trump and his family committed no crimes, but their enemies are so absolutely desperate to pin something on them, that they're grasping at straws and blurring the lines between criminal action and simple mistake.

"People are so eager to bag a Trump that they are willing to take these crimes and take them well beyond their legal moorings," said Professor Turley, clearly fed up with the Left's latest false allegations against our president.


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The checklist -- what we demand that Robert Mueller tell us about Russian collusion

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Lloyd Billingsley (DirectorBlue) says Christopher Wray, President Trump's nominee for FBI Director is drawing bipartisan approval and appears headed for confirmation. Wray does not doubt the intelligence community on Russian interference in the 2016 election and he does not consider Special Counsel Robert Mueller's probe a witch hunt. As FBI director he would provide Mueller with all appropriate resources for his investigation.

Senator Ted Cruz describes Mueller as a "good and honorable man," and Sen. John Thune calls the former FBI boss "a man of integrity" and perfect for the Russia probe. "He is going to get to the bottom and he is going to find the facts," Thune told MSNBC. The Special Counsel should start at the very beginning of Russian intervention in American elections.

As Harvey Klehr noted in the New York Times, the Communist Party USA was a Russian project from the beginning, managed by the Comintern, which Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov, also known as Lenin, set up way back in 1919. This Russian political party intervened in American elections by running candidates, and one is still around.

Angela Davis was the keynote speaker at the Women's March in January but back in 1979 Russia gave Davis the International Lenin Peace Prize. In 1980 Davis was the vice-presidential candidate of the Communist Party USA, on a ticket with white Stalinist Gus Hall. This duo also lost to Ronald Reagan in 1984 but it hasn't emerged how much money Russia poured into the contest.

Were any Americans colluding with Russia to launder the funds? Special Counsel Mueller, with all the counterintelligence resources at his command, should get to the bottom of that. Perhaps Angela Davis can enlighten him.

During that election cycle, Senator Ted Kennedy was reaching out to Russia. A May 14, 1983 letter from KGB boss Viktor Chebrikov to Yuri Andropov confirms that Kennedy sought to stop not only Reagan's defense buildup but his bid for re-election. The plan was to connect dictator Andropov, with whom Kennedy was "very impressed," with media big shots Walter Cronkite and Barbara Walters.

This became the subject of media reports in Europe but not America. With all the resources at his disposal, Special Counsel Robert Mueller should be able to tell us what U.S. counterintelligence made of this blatant attempt at collusion with a hostile foreign power. Kennedy acted against American interests and during perhaps the most dangerous time in the Cold War.

After the fall of the Berlin Wall, Russia remained a danger to the West but Barack Obama canceled missile defense for U.S. allies in Western Europe, allowed Russia to build up its nuclear arsenal, and did nothing when Russia began gobbling up Ukraine, where Stalin had killed millions.

In March of 2012, apparently unaware of a "hot" microphone, Obama told Russian president Dimitry Medvedev that Vladimir Putin should give him more "space."

"Yeah, I understand," Medvedev responded. "I understand your message about space."

"This is my last election," the president responded. "After my election I have more flexibility."

 "I understand," said Medvedev. "I will transmit this information to Vladimir, and I stand with you."

Was Obama colluding with Putin and Russia to make more concessions that would strengthen a hostile foreign power and leave the USA in a weaker position? That was the same thing his fellow Democrat Ted Kennedy had tried to do.

With all the resources at his disposal, and Christopher Wray in his corner, the good and honorable Robert Mueller should be able to enlighten Congress and the public. After all, this was at the very highest level.

The Russia probe should also be diverse and inclusive. Special Counsel Mueller should have a look at the matters explored in Clinton Cash, about the Clinton Foundation and transfers of uranium to Russia. Was any collusion going on there? And did that play into the 2016 election in any way?

Speaking of elections, in 1976, year of the American Bicentennial, the Communist Party USA ticket was Gus Hall and Jarvis Tyner. It has not emerged now much money the Russian government spent on the race, nor the Americans with whom they colluded. On the other hand, it is known that the Russian-backed party got 58,992 votes, one from college student John Brennan, who wanted the Stalinist Gus Hall to be president instead of Jimmy Carter or Gerald Ford.

Special Counsel Mueller might explain how John Brennan came to head the Central Intelligence Agency. After all, former Clinton National Security Adviser Anthony Lake failed to become CIA director because he thought Alger Hiss might be innocent, which he wasn't. Might the Stalinist-voting Brennan not have been sufficiently vetted? Did Russian agents run a disinformation campaign on his behalf? What did the FBI know and when did they know it?

We know that Donald Trump Jr. talked to a Russian woman, and that it didn't amount to much, if anything. If Special Counsel Mueller is going to "get to the bottom" of Russian interference, he needs to tell us more of what we didn't know and why we didn't know it.



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Dershowitz on Trump Jr. meeting -- "a candidate has the right to get information from whatever source"

Trent Baker (Breitbart) is reporting that Saturday on Fox News Channel's "Justice," Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz defended President Donald Trump's son, Donald Trump Jr., for meeting with Russian attorney Natalia Veselnitskaya to do opposition research.

According to Dershowitz, there is nothing wrong with a candidate getting information on his opponent from any type of source. He argued:

"If it were to be prosecuted, the First Amendment would trump. A candidate has the right to get information from whatever source the information comes."

Dershowitz also pointed out:

"If the material was obtained unlawfully, you prosecute, if you can, the people who obtain the material. But there is a First Amendment right of a candidate to use information. You can't include information under the campaign finance law. That would be unconstitutional."


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Translator at Donald Jr.'s now-infamous meeting worked for Hillary Clinton and Obama's FBI

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S. Noble (IndependentSentinel) is reporting that State Department contractor Anatoli Samochornov also attended the Donald Jr. meeting with Natalia Veselnitskaya and Rinat Akhmetshin. He came as the translator but he is also against the Magnitsky Act. In addition, he's very left-wing with some interesting credentials.

This might be a good time to remind people that Natalia Veselnitskaya, the other Russian at the meeting had attended an anti-Trump rally on January 22nd and posted anti-Trump Facebook messages.

The Daily Beast reports that Samochornov seemed to dislike Republicans like Trump on social media. In 2013, he shared a meme about restarting America in "safe mode," with free health care and without guns. In another post, he shared a Rachel Maddow post critical of Karl Rove.

He's an NGO who worked as a translator for the Secretary of State and other VIP's including the FBI under the Obama administration.

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The man has very liberal views:

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Pacific Pundit is reporting that there's yet another amazing "coincidence" about the new person of interest Rinat Akhmetshin who the media claimed worked for the Kremlin. Turns out Rinat Akhmetshin also worked for Fusion GPS, the authors of the debunked peepee diary. Not only that but Rinat Akhmetshin also just happened to meet with Obama before the meeting of Trump Jr. and the Russian lawyer. I'm sure it's purely an yet another amazing coincidence.

Akhmetshin, described by the #FakeNews media as a Kremlin spy, was a fifth and previously undisclosed attendee who met with Donald Trump Jr., Paul Manafort, Jared Kushner, and Russian attorney Natalia Veselnitskaya in the Trump campaign–Russian meeting at Trump Tower on June 9, 2016

And yet again, more evidence of Russian collusion is revealed. The problem is, the Russian collusion is by Obama and the Russians. Funny, how the media completely ignores this story about the big, bad scary Russian spy Rinat Akhmetshin.

Why was he at the White House? What was Obama doing with the Russians behind our backs?

If the media and Democrats are so concerned about Russian "interfering" in our elections, then why aren't they investigating Obama for colluding with the Russians?

With the exception of Team Trump, everybody at that meeting was closely related to members of the Democratic hierarchy.



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"A red herring the size of a whale"

In the video, Krathammer refers to the emails related to this incident.

This is the email from Goldstone that initiated Trump Jr.'s meeting with Russian attorney Veselnitskaya.

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This email is filled with misrepresentations. It says that "official documents and information" was from the "Crown Prosecutor of Russia." That's nonsense!

It further states that the information "is part of Russia and its government's support for Mr. Trump" -- also nonsense.

Goldstone is an entertainment promoter -- a man who makes his living selling bullshit -- and in this email he is misrepresenting the reason for the meeting and the people behind the "information."

The meeting he is trying to arrange was about Russian adoption laws and he dangled the Russian connection to interest Team Trump -- and it worked.

When Russian attorney Veselnitskaya -- who has no official link to the Russian government -- showed up and Team Trump realized the reason for the meeting had been misrepresented, they left.

Veselnitskaya is Russian. Veselnitskaya is a lawyer. Veselnitskaya is not a "Russian lawyer" -- an implication that she is employed by the Russian government of represents the Russian government.

Whether Trump Jr. should have taken the meeting is a different matter, but it certainly wasn't illegal in any way.

The entire meeting lasted less than 20 minutes.

Joel B. Pollak supports my assessment, saying that in the three days since Donald Trump, Jr. released the emails he exchanged with British publicist Rob Goldstone about a "Russian government attorney" and the opposition research she might provide on Hillary Clinton, there have been no additional "scoops" -- just an endless stream of cable news talking heads offering more speculation.

Absent any further information, there is still no evidence of "collusion" between the Trump campaign and Russia.

In fact, the emails tend to suggest the opposite.

First, there is nothing in the emails that refers to the alleged Russian hacking of the Democratic National Committee email server, which had already happened and has been the basis for claims of Russian interference in the 2016 election. (Notably, the hackers had also targeted the Republican National Committee, but the RNC's defenses were apparently strong enough to withstand the hacking attempt.)

Second, the emails suggest that there was no pre-existing channel between the Trump campaign and Russia. It is highly unlikely that if the Russian government did want to work with Trump, it would use a pop star publicist as an intermediary. Regardless, the emails make no reference to any other kind of existing communication with Russians.

Third, the Russian lawyer provided no information to Donald Trump, Jr. and the others at the meeting, at least according to those present, including the lawyer herself. (Ironically, the information that the publicist claimed the lawyer was going to provide dealt with alleged collusion by Hillary Clinton and the Democrats with the Russians.)

Cristina Laila (GatewayPundit) says Veselnitskaya brought with her a plastic folder with printed-out documents that detailed what she believed was the flow of illicit funds to the Democrats. Veselnitskaya presented the contents of the documents to the Trump associates and suggested that making the information public could help the campaign.

Trump Jr. asked the attorney if she had sufficient evidence to back up her claims, including whether she could demonstrate the flow of the money, but Veselnitskaya said the Trump campaign would need to research it more. After that, Trump Jr. lost interest.

So there was no collusion, based on what is known thus far. In the absence of any evidence of collusion, the media and the Democrats are talking about an "attempt to collude," which is a meaningless term, legally and literally.

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines "collusion" as "secret agreement or cooperation especially for an illegal or deceitful purpose." There was no agreement, no cooperation, and neither the meeting nor its purpose was illegal.

The mere fact that Trump, Jr. was willing to meet with the lawyer, Natalia Veselnitskaya -- who also worked with Democrats and a Democrat-linked opposition research firm, Fusion GPS -- is being described as nefarious. But there is no evidence that Veselnitskaya was linked to the Kremlin -- a charge that the mainstream media continues to repeat as established fact, despite her denials, a complete lack proof, and significant evidence to the contrary.

The fact that the publicist represented her as a "Russian government attorney" seems mere puffery. So, too, does his claim that the Russian government supported Trump, which is typical PR flattery. Goldstone seems to have had no idea what he was talking about with regard to Russia: he referred, for example, to a "Crown prosecutor of Russia," an office that does not exist. Notably, Donald Trump, Jr. did not acknowledge the suggestion of Russian support.

There are some legitimate questions that the emails raise, such as why the meeting was not acknowledged earlier. That has a reasonable answer -- namely, that it is easy to forget a short, inconsequential meeting among hundreds if not thousands of meetings -- but the question is not unfair. Similarly, while the emails suggest no collusion before June 2016, they do not say what happened later -- although there is no evidence yet of collusion afterwards, either.

Thus, three days in, the story of Donald Trump, Jr.'s emails provides no evidence of "collusion" with the Russians, and is just the latest example of the solipsistic hysteria of Trump's critics, still desperate to undo the 2016 election.


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Reply with quote  #19 

Fusion GPS's fingerprints are all over this deal

Circa is reporting that the president's legal team said Saturday they believe the entire meeting may have been part of a larger election-year opposition effort aimed at creating the appearance of improper connections between Trump family members and Russia that also included a now-discredited intelligence dossier produced by a former British intelligence agent named Christopher Steele who worked for a U.S. political firm known as Fusion GPS.

"We have learned from both our own investigation and public reports that the participants in the meeting misrepresented who they were and who they worked for," said Mark Corallo, a spokesman for President Trump's legal team. "Specifically, we have learned that the person who sought the meeting is associated with Fusion GPS, a firm which according to public reports, was retained by Democratic operatives to develop opposition research on the President and which commissioned the phony Steele dossier."

"These developments raise serious issues as to exactly who authorized and participated in any effort by Russian nationals to influence our election in any manner," Corallo said.

Veselnitskaya is identified in court documents as a former Russian prosecutor and private lawyer in Moscow who had been representing the Russian businessman Denis Katsyv and his Prevezon Holdings, against a U.S. Department of Justice a civil asset forfeiture case. In one document, she described having trouble getting a visa from the U.S.

The Justice Department alleges Prevezon received money from a money-laundering scheme in Russia that was uncovered by a Russian attorney and auditor named Sergei Magnitsky.

Magnitsky became a cause celeb in the United States after he claimed in 2008 to uncover a major international money laundering scheme centered in Russia. He was imprisoned by Putin, reportedly tortured and died in 2009 in a Moscow prison, then tried and convicted posthumously by the Russian government in 2011.

But in 2012 the U.S. Congress passed and President Barack Obama signed a law in his honor, the Magnitsky Act, which punished Russian officials alleged to be responsible for the lawyer's death by keeping them from entering the United States or using the American banking system.

It is that law that has been reviled by Putin and his allies in Russia and which came up in the meeting between Veselnitskaya and Donald Trump Jr., according to the lawyers.

The Prevezon case that Veselnitskaya worked on was filed by the Justice Department in 2013 and dragged on for four years before it was settled this May. Prevezon paid about $6 million but did not admit wrongdoing.

The connection drawn by the president's lawyers between Veselnitskaya and Fusion GPS comes from a letter this spring by the Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Charles Grassley, who disclosed that Fusion GPS also provided litigation support in the Prevezon case.

Prevezon also apparently lobbied against the Magnitsky Act, according to Grassley's letter.

"Prevezon's lobbying efforts were reportedly commissioned by Mr. Katsyv, who organized them through a Delaware non-profit he formed and through the law firm then representing Prevezon in the asset forfeiture case, Baker Hostetler. Among others, the efforts involved lobbyist Rinat Akhmetshin and Fusion GPS, a political research firm led by Glenn Simpson," the letter said.

Grassley has asked the Justice Department to look at all the connections and is seeking information from Fusion GPS on whether opponents of Trump funded the creation of a salacious intelligence dossier to hurt his presidential bid. The FBI has said it has been unable to corroborate many of the allegations in the dossier that involved Trump.

Check out these related stories. I just stumbled across them just now. I haven't read them yet and can't testify to their accuracy:

Sen. Grassley says Democratic opposition research firm Fusion GPS behind Trump dossier was funded by Russia

Multiple U.S. senators are now demanding that FBI Director James Comey disclose whether Fusion GPS, the Democratic opposition research firm that produced the Trump "dossier" was funded by Russia.

Trump dossier firm evading congessional inquiry -- Congress to subpoena Fusion GPS records

Sketchy firm behind Trump dossier is stalling investigators.

Comey comments on Fusion GPS

Secretive Washington firm behind "Trump dossier" likely DNC cutout

A secretive Washington firm that commissioned the dubious intelligence dossier on Donald Trump is stonewalling congressional investigators.

The Trump-Russia story just fell apart

So much for conspiracy theories.

Trump dossier firm evades congressional rpobe

TRUMP RUSSIA DOSSIER FIRM Evades Congress Probe: Congress To Subpoena Fusion GPS Records.

Fake "Trump dossier" (used by Obama-Comey for FISA) tied to Democrats and Fusion GPS

All roads lead to Kenya #ObamaGate.

Democrats with ties To Clinton campaign paid for the "Trump Dossier"

BREAKING: Fake "Trump Russia Dossier" bought and paid for by Democrats with ties to Hillary Clinton campaign.

Trump just got the best news ever this Sunday -- this will end the Democrats forever

Hot News source photo and content.

Fusion GPS / Democrats connected to Russian lawyer plant at Trump Tower

Katsyv Veselnitskaya: Fusion has been a major focal point of the FBI and Congress because it hired a former British intelligence agent named Christopher Steele.

Report: Pro-Clinton group behind Russian dossier on Trump

A Clinton-backed group was reportedly behind the promotion of the unverified Russian dossier that contained scurrilous allegations against President Trump.

Donald Trump Jr. is being set up by Fusion GPS

Sara Carter with Circa News describes possibility that Donald Trump Jr was SETUP by Fusion GPS.

TowerGate -- day 128 -- Did Fusion GPS collude with the Deep State to set up Trump?

Now I know why Fusion GPS doesn't want to talk. It seems that they were much more involved in the plot to take down Trump than what we knew.

Meet the espionage firm that ordered the Trump "dirty dossier"

Fusion GPS of Washington is run by three ex-Wall Street Journal reporters, including Glenn Simpson. It commissioned a company run by ex-spies to write the dossier.

Please let me know if any of these links are broken. Thanks!


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Reply with quote  #20 

Russian lawyer who met with Trump Jr. says she has no connection to Kremlin

Natalia Veselnitskaya was interviewed by NBC reporter Keir Simmons in Moscow about the meeting reported by the New York Times. The newspaper reported Trump Jr. took the meeting with the impression that he would get compromising information about Hillary Clinton. The Times also described her as "Kremlin-connected."

"Have you ever worked for the Russian government? Do you have connections to the Russian government?" Simmons asked.

"No," she said.

Whoever set up the Donald Trump Jr./Natalia Veselnitskaya meeting is either a dirty-trickster or a stooge.

His name is Rob Goldstone.

Mr. Goldstone represents the Russian pop star Emin Agalarov, whose father was President Trump’s business partner in bringing the Miss Universe pageant to Moscow in 2013. In an interview Monday, Mr. Goldstone said he was asked by Mr. Agalarov to set up the meeting with Donald Trump Jr. and the Russian lawyer, Natalia Veselnitskaya.

In the interview, he said it was his understanding that Ms. Veselnitskaya was simply a "private citizen" for whom Mr. Agalarov wanted to do a favor. He also said he did not know whether Mr. Agalarov’s father, Aras Agalarov, a Moscow real estate tycoon known to be close to President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia, was involved. The elder Mr. Agalarov and the younger Mr. Trump worked together to bring a Trump Tower to Moscow, but the project never got off the ground.

Veselnitskaya said she was there to lobby against U.S. legislation that imposes sanctions on Russian individuals. Trump Jr. said she was there specifically to argue against the Magnitsky Act, an American law that blacklists Russians suspected of human rights abuses.

She said she got a phone call from a man she didn't know and was invited to Trump Tower, where the Trump team wanted information that she didn't have about the Clinton campaign.

She also summarized her recollections of the meeting, which also included Jared Kushner, the president's son-in-law, and then-campaign chairman Paul Manafort.

"I never knew who else would be attending [the] meeting," Veselnitskaya said through a translator. "All I knew [is] that Mr. Donald Trump Jr. was willing to meet with me. I could recognize the young gentleman who was only present in [the] meeting for probably the first seven to 10 minutes, and then he stood up and left the room. It was Mr. Jared Kushner, and he never came back by the way."

"And the other individual who was at the same meeting was always looking at his phone," she added. "He was reading something. He never took any active part in the conversation. That was Mr. [Paul] Manafort."

"The impression, it appears that they were going to be told some information that you had about the DNC," Simmons said.

The question is, "how did they get that impression?


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How to manufacture a scandal

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Jeff (GayPatriot) say another piece falls into place, of a mosaic in which Democrats set out in 2016 to create a false appearance of collusion between President Trump and Russia. It's pretty devious.

First, you need to know about something called the Magnitsky Act.

  • Congress passed it in 2012, "intending to punish Russian officials responsible for the death of Russian lawyer Sergei Magnitsky in a Moscow prison in 2009." (Wiki; or BBC's account here.)
  • It prevents 18 Russian officials from entering the U.S. and freezes their assets.
  • The Russian government (Putin regime) disputes how Magnitsky died and therefore, furiously disputes the act's appropriateness.
  • Russia responded in 2012 with their own blacklist on 18 U.S. officials.
  • The list included Preet Bharara, former US Attorney for the Southern District of New York. Bharara went on to be fired earlier this year by Trump, then hired by Special Counsel Mueller to investigate Trump.
  • Russia also responded by banning U.S. adoptions of Russian children.
  • Natalia Veselnitskaya is a lawyer connected to the Russian government, who lobbies against the Magnitsky Act (e.g., to get it repealed).

The report is that on June 9, 2016, Jared Kushner and Donald Trump, Jr. met briefly with Veselnitskaya. Per The New York Times, Trump Jr. said: "We primarily discussed a program about the adoption of Russian children…there was no follow up. I was asked to attend the meeting by an acquaintance, but was not told the name of the person I would be meeting with beforehand."

Guess what? The name Fusion GPS pops up again.

Mark Corallo, a spokesman for President Trump's legal team, told Circa:

We have learned from both our own investigation and public reports that the participants in the meeting misrepresented who they were and who they worked for. Specifically, we have learned that the person who sought the meeting is associated with Fusion GPS, a firm which according to public reports, was retained by Democratic operatives to develop opposition research on the President and which commissioned the phony Steele dossier.

I'm not taking a position on the Magnitsky Act, here. (It may be a reasonable response to Putin regime corruption or murder.) The point is the intrigue.

  • Democrats pay Fusion GPS to dirty-up Trump. Among other things, they create that fake Trump dossier, alleging a variety of non-existent Trump-Russia connections.
  • As part of it (and this is the new bit), a Fusion GPS operative gets Kushner and Trump Jr. to take a brief meeting -- probably "for the children" or something -- with someone who turns out to be Veselnitskaya.
  • I'm guessing that Fusion GPS adds the meeting to the Steele dossier, making it seem Trump could be involved with Veselnitskaya/Putin to undermine the Magnitsky Act. I'm guessing that the meeting also alienates Preet Bharara, when he hears of it.
  • Then the dossier is used as a basis for getting the NSA and FBI to investigate or surveil candidate Trump.
  • Which is then a basis for Susan Rice "unmasking", leaks to create constant suspicion in the media, etc.

I admit that, if Fusion GPS weren't involved, I'd be less sanguine. The Veselnitskaya meeting could seem suspicious, but, on current information, Fusion GPS IS involved. That screams "election dirty tricks"; the more so as it fits into a known pattern of Democrat agitation and misdirection on Russia.

So much for the Veselnitskaya meeting. The larger questions remain:



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Russian lawyer who got inside Donald Trump's inner circle had been denied US visa

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John Solomon and Sara A. Carter (Circa) are reporting that, by her own account, the Russian lawyer that managed to slide her way into Trump Tower last year and meet with President Donald Trump's eldest son, his campaign manager and son-in-law is a former Moscow prosecutor who had been denied a visa to enter the United States.

Natalia Veselnitskaya filed an affidavit in a federal case in New York describing how she managed to get special permission to enter the United States after the visa denial to help represent a Russian company called Prevezon Holdings owned by the Russian businessman Denis Katsyv in a case brought against it by U.S. prosecutors.

"I represent victims in many criminal cases involving economic crimes. I have been retained by Denis Katsyv and the defendants in this action to assist their attorneys in the United States, Baker & Hostetler LLP to prepare their defense," she wrote in the January 2016 affidavit filed in court in New York City.

"As counsel to Defendants, it is important that I be able to participate in the defense of this action by traveling to the United States. For that reason, I applied for a visa to enter the United States, but was denied," she added. "I also applied for entry visas for my children, so that they could be together with me over the Christmas holiday while I was working in New York on this lawsuit, but this was also denied. However, the United States did issue a parole letter for me to enter the United States in order to help defend this lawsuit."

It was apparently during the time she was in the United States on that parole entry that she arranged to meet with Donald Trump Jr., Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner and former campaign manager Paul Manafort on June 9, 2016 at Trump Tower.

During the meeting Veselnitskaya raised the issue of restoring U.S. adoptions inside Russia if the United States would repeal the Magnitsky Act, a law passed in 2012 punishing Moscow for human rights violations in connection with the death of a lawyer who had discovered a massive money laundering scheme inside the country.

 Vladimir Putin has long reviled the Magnitsky Act and fought to have it repealed. And according to letter from Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Charles Grassley, the Kremlin's main fight against the law was led by Veselnitskaya's client, Katsyv.

Another player in the Russian influence scandal, the U.S.-based political firm Fusion GPS, was also involved in helping Prevezon, Katsyv and Baker Hostetler, according to the Grassley letter. Fusion has been a major focal point of the FBI and Congress because it hired a former British intelligence agent named Christopher Steele to produce a salacious intelligence dossier that made wild and still unsubstantiated claims about Trump ties to Russia.

Congressional investigators involved in the Russian influence case told Circa on Sunday that they are almost certain to probe if Veselnitskaya used her parole entry status to contact the Trump family and whether there is any connection to the Steele dossier and Fusion GPS.

"This is new information that raises all sorts of new questions and we are digging into it as we speak," one congressional investigator told Circa, speaking only on condition of anonymity.

President Trump's lawyers said Saturday they feared Veselnitskaya's meeting at Trump Tower may have been part of a broader election opposition effort to smear the Republican by creating the impression he and his family had extensive ties to Russia as the Kremlin was interfering in the 2016 election.

"We have learned from both our own investigation and public reports that the participants in the meeting misrepresented who they were and who they worked for," said Mark Corallo, a spokesman for President Trump's legal team. "Specifically, we have learned that the person who sought the meeting is associated with Fusion GPS, a firm which according to public reports, was retained by Democratic operatives to develop opposition research on the President and which commissioned the phony Steele dossier. "

"These developments raise serious issues as to exactly who authorized and participated in any effort by Russian Nationals to influence our election in any manner," Corallo said.

In her affidavit, Veselnitskaya described her path to becoming a successful private attorney in Moscow, starting with working as a Russian government prosecutor in Moscow,

"I have been practicing law since 1998. I am the founder and managing partner of the law offices of Kamerton Consulting. In 1998, I graduated with distinction from the Moscow State Legal Academy with a degree in jurisprudence," she wrote. "Upon graduation from the Academy, I started working at the Prosecutor's Office. I worked there for three years, overseeing the legality of statutes that were adopted by legislators of Moscow Oblast. After that I moved into private business."

She also swore in the affidavit she did not speak English. Trump lawyers said she brought a Russian translator to the June meeting. Veselnitskaya also claimed U.S. government officials so distrusted her that they had her stopped and searched in London on her way back to New York in late 2015.

"I was detained for two hours by Heathrow Airport officials who specifically targeted me on the basis of the parole number that the United States Government had assigned to me. During this detention I was unjustifiably subjected to a strip search, for no apparent reason. I should not be subjected to such humiliation when I have been promised entry into the United States to defend against the scandalous accusations in this lawsuit on behalf of my clients."

This looks like Fusion GPS took an opportunity to connect this Russian attorney -- who was working on a case unrelated to the campaign -- to Team Trump for the explicit purpose of later alleging that the Trump campaign was colluding with the Russians.

Veselnitskaya thought she was going to the meeting to advance some criminal cases she was working on. Team Trump  was under the impression that they were going to get dirt on Hillary. It appears Fusion GPS was the middleman.

This is nothing but another dirty trick.

I am going to try and find a connection between Fusion GPS, its principals and the DNC, Obama or Jeb Bush.

If you find anything about Fusion GPS, please send it to me via email.


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How CNN fueled the discredited "peeing Russian prostitutes" anti-Trump dossier

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Aaron Klein (Breitbart) is reporting that CNN played a critical role in originally publicizing the existence of a 35-page dossier on President Donald Trump that would later become largely discredited.

The dossier in question was authored by former intelligence agent Christopher Steele, who was reportedly paid by Democrats and anti-Trump Republicans (Jeb Bush) to investigate Trump. Steele recently conceded in court documents that part of his work still needed to be verified.

The dossier contains wild and unproven claims that the Russians had information regarding Trump and sordid sexual acts, including the widely mocked claim that Trump hired prostitutes and had them urinate on a hotel room bed.

On January 10, CNN was first to report the leaked information that the controversial contents of the dossier were presented during classified briefings inside classified documents presented one week earlier to then-President Obama and President-elect Trump.

The news network cited "multiple US officials with direct knowledge of the briefings" -- in other words, officials leaking information about classified briefings -- revealing the dossier contents were included in a two-page synopsis that served as an addendum to a larger report on Russia's alleged attempts to interfere in the 2016 presidential election.

The documents were given to the politicians during the briefings delivered by Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, FBI Director James Comey, CIA Director John Brennan, and NSA Director Admiral Mike Rogers, the officials told CNN.

The network reported the documents state that "Russian operatives claim to have compromising personal and financial information about Mr. Trump" and contain "allegations that there was a continuing exchange of information during the campaign between Trump surrogates and intermediaries for the Russian government."

Those allegations, made within the dossier, remain unsubstantiated following numerous public hearings.

Indeed, Brennan made clear in May testimony that after viewing all of the evidence that was available to him on the Russia probe he is not aware of any collusion between Russia and members of Trump's 2016 presidential campaign.

CNN gives media an opening on the dossier

Just after CNN's January 10 report on the classified briefings about the dossier, meanwhile, BuzzFeed famously published the dossier's full unverified contents.

The New York Times used CNN's story to report some contents of the dossier the same day as CNN's January 10 report on the briefings.

After citing the CNN story, the Times reported:

The memos describe sex videos involving prostitutes with Mr. Trump in a 2013 visit to a Moscow hotel. The videos were supposedly prepared as "kompromat," or compromising material, with the possible goal of blackmailing Mr. Trump in the future.

The memos also suggest that Russian officials proposed various lucrative deals, essentially as disguised bribes in order to win influence over Mr. Trump.

The memos describe several purported meetings during the 2016 presidential campaign between Trump representatives and Russian officials to discuss matters of mutual interest, including the Russian hacking of the Democratic National Committee and Mrs. Clinton's campaign chairman, John D. Podesta.

Immediately following CNN's article, National Intelligence Director Clapper added fuel to the media fire about the dossier by releasing a statement that he spoke to Trump to express "my profound dismay at the leaks that have been appearing in the press" -- referring to the leaks to CNN about the classified briefing. He called the leaks "extremely corrosive and damaging to our national security."

Clapper's statement generated fresh media coverage of the dossier briefing.

Prior to CNN's report, which was picked up by news agencies worldwide, the contents of the dossier had been circulating among news media outlets, but the sensational claims were largely considered too risky to publish.

All that changed when the dossier contents were presented to Obama and Trump during the classified briefings. In other words, the briefings themselves and the subsequent leak to CNN about those briefings by "multiple US officials with direct knowledge," seem to have given the news media the opening to report on the dossier's existence as well as allude to some of the document's unproven claims.

In an updated version of CNN's report, the network revealed that it had reviewed the 35-page dossier and would not report "on details of the memos, as it has not independently corroborated the specific allegations."

CNN reported that the classified briefings to Obama and Trump demonstrated the dossier information was "credible enough" to be included in such high-level briefings:

Some of the memos were circulating as far back as last summer. What has changed since then is that US intelligence agencies have now checked out the former British intelligence operative and his vast network throughout Europe and find him and his sources to be credible enough to include some of the information in the presentations to the President and President-elect a few days ago.

When it published the full dossier, BuzzFeed reported that the contents had circulated "for months" and were known to journalists.

The website reported, "The documents have circulated for months and acquired a kind of legendary status among journalists, lawmakers, and intelligence officials who have seen them. Mother Jones writer David Corn referred to the documents in a late October column."

In his statement following the leaks to CNN about the dossier briefings to Obama and Trump, Clapper also said the dossier contents had been "widely circulated in recent months among the media, members of Congress and Congressional staff even before the IC became aware of it."

It seems the news media waited for the leak about the dossier briefings first reported by CNN before publicizing on the dossier's existence and some of its contents.

Yet in his testimony, the FBI's Comey claimed the opposite was the case. He claimed that he and other U.S. officials briefed Obama and Trump about the dossier contents because they wanted to alert the president and president-elect that the news media were about to release the material. It is not the usual job of the U.S. intelligence community to brief top officials about pending news media coverage.

In his prepared remarks before the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence in June, Comey detailed why he claimed the Intelligence Community briefed Obama and Trump on the "salacious material" -- a clear reference to the dossier.

Comey wrote:

The IC leadership thought it important, for a variety of reasons, to alert the incoming President to the existence of this material, even though it was salacious and unverified. Among those reasons were: (1) we knew the media was about to publicly report the material and we believed the IC should not keep knowledge of the material and its imminent release from the President-Elect; and (2) to the extent there was some effort to compromise an incoming President, we could blunt any such effort with a defensive briefing.

Dossier discredited

Major questions have been raised as to the veracity of the dossier, large sections of which have been discredited.

Citing a "Kremlin insider," the dossier, which misspelled the name of a Russian diplomat, claimed that Trump lawyer Michael Cohen held "secret meetings" with Kremlin officials in Prague in August 2016.

That charge unraveled after Cohen revealed he had never traveled to Prague, calling the story "totally fake, totally inaccurate." The Atlantic confirmed Cohen's whereabouts in New York and California during the period the dossier claimed that Cohen was in Prague. Cohen reportedly produced his passport showing he had not traveled to Prague.

In testimony in May, the FBI's Comey confirmed that the basis for the intelligence community's assessment that Russia allegedly wanted Trump in office was not because the billionaire was, as Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) claimed during a hearing, "ensnared in" Russia's "web of patronage" -- just as the dossier alleged. Instead, the FBI chief provided two primary reasons for Russia's alleged favoring of Trump over Clinton during the 2016 presidential race.

One reason, according to Comey, was that Putin "hated" Clinton and would have favored any Republican opponent. The second reason, Comey explained, was that Putin made an assessment that it would be easier to make a deal with a businessman than someone from the political class.

Comey's statements are a far cry from the conspiracies fueled by the dossier alleging Putin held blackmail information over the billionaire.

Citing current and former government officials, the New Yorker reported the dossier prompted skepticism among intelligence community members, with the publication quoting one member saying it was a "nutty" piece of evidence to submit to a U.S. president.

Steele's work has been questioned by former acting CIA Director Michael Morell, who currently works at the Hillary Clinton-tied Beacon Global Strategies LLC.

According to the BBC, the dossier served as a "roadmap" for the FBI's investigation into claims of coordination between Moscow and members of Trump's presidential campaign.

In April, CNN reported that the dossier served as part of the FBI's justification for seeking the FISA court's reported approval to clandestinely monitor the communications of Carter Page, the American oil industry consultant who was tangentially and briefly associated with Trump's presidential campaign.

Senior Republican members of the Senate Judiciary Committee have reportedly requested that the FBI and Department of Justice turn over applications for any warrants to monitor the communications of U.S. citizens associated with the investigation into alleged Russia interference in the 2016 presidential election.

In testimony last month, Comey repeatedly refused to answer questions about his agency's ties to the dossier.

In testimony last month to the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, Comey admitted he pushed back against a request from President Donald Trump to possibly investigate the origins of "salacious material" that the agency possessed in the course of its investigation into alleged Russian interference.

Author and journalist Paul Sperry reported in the New York Post last week that this month, the Senate Judiciary Committee threatened to subpoena Fusion GPS, the secretive firm that hired Steele to produce the dossier because the firm reportedly refused to answer questions about who financed the dossier.

Sperry raised further questions regarding possible connections between Fusion GPS and Hillary Clinton:

Fusion GPS was on the payroll of an unidentified Democratic ally of Clinton when it hired a long-retired British spy to dig up dirt on Trump. In 2012, Democrats hired Fusion GPS to uncover dirt on GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney. And in 2015, Democratic ally Planned Parenthood retained Fusion GPS to investigate pro-life activists protesting the abortion group.

Moreover, federal records show a key co-founder and partner in the firm was a Hillary Clinton donor and supporter of her presidential campaign.

In September 2016, while Fusion GPS was quietly shopping the dirty dossier on Trump around Washington, its co-founder and partner Peter R. Fritsch contributed at least $1,000 to the Hillary Victory Fund and the Hillary For America campaign, Federal Election Commission data show. His wife also donated money to Hillary's campaign.

CNN under fire

CNN, meanwhile, has been under fire for several weeks, after the network retracted a story that relied on one anonymous source to allege ties between a Trump ally and a Russian investment bank.  Three CNN staffers reportedly resigned in the wake of the scandal. The network abruptly deleted and then retracted the story after Breitbart News's Matt Boyle questioned the narrative.

CNN faced more controversy after Project Veritas founder James O'Keefe released a video in which the network's supervising producer, John Bonifield, who works for the medical and health section, referred to the Russia interference story as "mostly bullshit" while indicating the story was being pumped for ratings.

"I just feel like they don't really have it, but they want to keep digging. And so I think the president is probably right to say, like, 'Look, you are witch hunting me,'" Bonifield was filmed stating. "You have no smoking gun. You have no real proof."

O'Keefe followed that up with a second video on Wednesday in which CNN commentator Van Jones called the Russia collusion story a "big nothing burger."

A third O'Keefe video caught a producer for CNN's New Day show with Chris Cuomo criticizing Trump and mocking American voters.



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It's time to investigate John Podesta's Russia ties

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Breitbart is reporting that Peter Schweizer, author of the best-selling book "Clinton Cash" and president of the Government Accountability Institute writing at the New York Post, asserts that during an appearance on Fox Business, former Hillary Clinton campaign manager John Podesta made a series of questionable comments that warrant further investigation into his ties with a company that received millions of dollars from the Russian government.

From the New York Post:

Lawmakers failed to seize on an alarming development in the Russia collusion story last week, one that should spark serious and immediate congressional inquiry.

But it didn't involve President Trump or his administration.

During a heated Fox Business interview with Maria Bartiromo, Hillary Clinton's former campaign chief John Podesta made a series of misleading statements when questioned about his involvement in a company that received $35 million from the Russian government while Hillary served as secretary of state

On Jan. 18, 2011, a small green-energy company named Joule Unlimited announced Podesta's appointment to its board. Months later, Rusnano, a Kremlin-backed investment fund founded by Vladimir Putin, pumped $35 million into Joule. Serving alongside Podesta on Joule's board were senior Russian official Anatoly Chubais and oligarch Ruben Vardanyan, who has been appointed by Putin to a Russian economic-modernization council.

You can read the rest of the story here.

Hillary Clinton’s former campaign manager John Podesta Lied to Fox News' Maria Bartiromo last week when confronted about his ties to Russia.

Bartiromo brought up Podesta's ties to the Russians and Podesta said he had none.  Bartiromo also brought up how the Democrats have stronger ties to the Russians.

We know from Podesta’s own emails that Hillary Clinton bragged about being invited to "Putin’s inner sanctum." We also know that Podesta did exercise 75,000 stock options and as a result gained "75,000 common shares" as a result of being a member of the executive board of energy company, Joule Unlimited.  We also know that Joule Unlimited received millions from a Putin-connected Russian government fund and that Podesta did transfer to his daughter, Megan Rouse, his shares of common stock in this company.

We do not know the number of times that Podesta lied in his interview with Maria Bartiromo.


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Five problems with U.S. intelligence agencies' report on "Russian Interference"

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Aaron Klein (Breitbart) is reporting that in recent days, the New York Times and the Associated Press clarified that three major U.S. intelligence agencies -- and not 17, as the news agencies repeatedly reported -- assessed that Russia attempted to interfere in the 2016 presidential election.

While the U.S. Intelligence Community is indeed made up of 17 agencies, the actual January 6, 2017 U.S. Intelligence Community report alleging Russia interference was the product of only three -- the FBI, CIA and National Security Agency.

In its clarification, the Times wrote that the Russia interference conclusion was drawn by "four intelligence agencies" -- including James Clapper's Office of the Director of National Intelligence, which issued the January 6 report although its conclusions were not included in the report itself.

At the time of the assessment, the FBI was led by James Comey, who was fired following controversy over his handling of Hillary Clinton's email probe, and the CIA was headed by Barack Obama appointee John Brennan.

Below are five significant issues with the official assessment as compiled by the CIA, FBI and NSA (and not 17 agencies) regarding alleged Russia interference.

1 -- The NSA did not share the "high confidence" of the CIA and FBI.

The NSA did not share the "high confidence" of the CIA and FBI in the conclusion of the January 6 U.S. Intelligence Community report alleging the Russian government sought to aid Donald Trump's "election chances when possible by discrediting Secretary Clinton and publicly contrasting her unfavorably to him."

The NSA endorsed that conclusion with "moderate confidence."

In testimony in March, former NSA Director Mike Rogers was asked why his agency only had "moderate" confidence in the judgment. He replied:

I'm not going to get into specifics in an unclassified forum but for me, it boiled down to the level and nature of the sourcing on that one particular judgment was slightly different to me than the others.

Asked by Rep. Mike Conaway (R-TX) during the same March hearing about the FBI's "high confidence" judgment that Putin favored Trump and was aiming to help him win against Clinton, Comey stated that part of the conclusion came from "logic."

Here is a transcript of that exchange:

COMEY: I don't know for sure, but I think that was a fairly easy judgment for the community. He -- Putin hated Secretary Clinton so much, that the flipside of that coin was he had a clear preference for the person running against the person he hated so much.

CONAWAY: Yeah and that and that my work on Saturday afternoon when the -- my wife's Red Raiders are playing the Texas Longhorns. She really likes the Red Raiders. But all the rest of the time, I mean the logic is that because he really didn't like president -- the Candidate Clinton, that he automatically liked Trump. That assessment's based on what?

COMEY: Well, it's based on more than that. But part of it is and we're not getting into the details of it here, but part of it is the logic. Whoever the Red Raiders are playing, you want the Red Raiders to win, by definition, you want their opponent to lose.

Further in the exchange, Comey said the Russians tried to undermine Clinton because the polls showed she was ahead:

CONAWAY: So -- and then election then says, the government -- the Russian government aspired to help President-elect Trump election chances. So when did they not think she was going to win?

COMEY: Well, the assessment of the Intelligence Committee was, as the summer went on and the polls appeared to show that Secretary Clinton was gonna win, the Russians sort of gave up and simply focused on trying to undermine her, it's your Red Raiders, you know they're not going to win.

So you kind of hope key people on the other team get hurt so they're not such a tough opponent down the road. And so there was at some point…

In testimony in May, Comey confirmed that the basis for the intelligence community's assessment that Putin allegedly wanted Trump in office was not because the billionaire was, as Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) claimed during a hearing without citing any evidence, "ensnared in" Russia's "web of patronage."

Instead, the FBI chief provided two primary reasons for Russia allegedly favoring Trump over Clinton during the 2016 presidential race.

One reason, according to Comey, was that Putin "hated" Clinton and would have favored any Republican opponent. The second reason, Comey explained, was that Putin made an assessment that it would be easier to make a deal with a businessman than someone from the political class.

Comey's statements are a far cry from the conspiracies, fueled by the controversial, largely discredited 35-page dossier allegedly paid for by Democrats and anti-Trump Republicans, alleging Putin held blackmail information over the billionaire. 

2 -- The Obama administration reportedly relied on an outside country for "critical intelligence" claiming Russian interference.

According to the Washington Post, one reasons the NSA's confidence was lower was because some of the most important technical intelligence used by the Obama administration to allege that Moscow interfered in the 2016 election came from another country.

Those details were buried inside an extensive, 7,700-plus word Washington Post article published two weeks ago entitled, "Obama's secret struggle to punish Russia for Putin's election assault." The piece was based on interviews with over three dozen "current and former U.S. officials in senior positions in government, including at the White House, the State, Defense and Homeland Security departments, and U.S. intelligence services."

A section inside the article contains this revelation:

Some of the most critical technical intelligence on Russia came from another country, officials said. Because of the source of the material, the NSA was reluctant to view it with high confidence.

3 -- A Congressman who reviewed the intelligence disagreed with the CIA's "high confidence" judgement on Russian interference.

During his questioning of former CIA Director John Brennan at a hearing on May 23, Rep. Christopher Stewart (R-UT) raised a red flag regarding the CIA's "high confidence" judgement that Moscow sought to aid Trump in the election by attempting to discredit Clinton.

Stewart stated:

And thank you Mr. Director for, again, your many years of service. I'm going to go very quickly because I want to reserve as much time as I can for our task force and the attorneys. I want to go through and make one point; it's a point worth making. But before I do, I'm just going to add that I've reviewed the raw intelligence of the CIA regarding the analysis of whether they preferred Mr. Trump.

I don't agree with the conclusion, particularly that it's such a high level of confidence. I just think there should've been allowances made for some of the ambiguity in that and especially for those who didn't also share in the conclusion that it was a high degree of confidence. But having said that, I do think we can agree that Russia wants a weakened U.S. president, would you agree with that?

4 -- The Intelligence Community's report on alleged Russian interference was quickly compiled.

That point was driven home during the following exchange between ex-CIA Director Brennan and Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY) during the May testimony:

STEFANIK: Thank you, Mr. Chairman, and thank you, Director Brennan, for your service. My questions will be focused on the process and development of the intelligence community assessment. As you know, the previous administration directed the intelligence community to produce a comprehensive intelligence report assessing Russian activities and intentions on December 9.

The unclassified version of that report incorporated information as of December 29. In your experience as an analyst and as the director, what is the average time that it typically takes to produce an I.C. assessment?

BRENNAN: It can range from days to months to years, in fact, depending on the complexity of the matter, as well as the urgency of getting something out, but it really does vary widely.

STEFANIK: So you noted that the complexity can have an impact on the timeliness to produce a comprehensive report. This report was produced in just 20 days in December. Was there anything about this interagency process that differed the timeline, the approval process, the editing or the staffing?

BRENNAN: I think it followed the general model of how you want to do something like this with some notable exceptions.

It only involved the FBI, NSA and CIA as well as the Office of Director of National Intelligence; it wasn't a full interagency community assessment that was coordinated among the 17 agencies and for good reason, because of the nature the sensitivity of the information trying to, once again, keep them tightly compartmented.

But in terms of the -- the rigor on the -- the (inaudible) tradecraft as well as the sourcing and as you think now, in the classified version there, it's extensively sourced. It tried to adhere to the -- the general standards.

Brennan did not further explain his comment that there were some "notable exceptions" to the Intelligence Community's usual method of compiling such a report.

5 -- The intelligence gathering operation, carried out by individuals from within the CIA, NSA and FBI, was said to have been highly compartmentalized and reported in secret to a select grouping of top Obama administration officials.

Brennan himself referred (see above testimony) to the "tightly compartmented" operation.

The Washington Post, in its extensive article published two weeks ago (also referenced above), reported on details of the compartmentalized operation that indicates a high degree of secrecy involving top Obama administration officials.

According to the newspaper, in the summer of 2016, then-CIA Director Brennan convened a "secret task force at CIA headquarters composed of several dozen analysts and officers from the CIA, the NSA and the FBI."

The Post described the unit as so secretive it functioned as a "sealed compartment" hidden even from the rest of the U.S. intelligence community; a unit whose workers were all made to sign additional non-disclosure forms.

The unit reported to top officials, the newspaper documented:

They worked exclusively for two groups of "customers," officials said. The first was Obama and fewer than 14 senior officials in government. The second was a team of operations specialists at the CIA, NSA and FBI who took direction from the task force on where to aim their subsequent efforts to collect more intelligence on Russia.

The number of Obama administration officials who were allowed access to the Russia intelligence was also highly limited, the Post reported. At first only four senior officials were involved: Brennan, Clapper, Attorney General Loretta Lynch and James Comey. Their aides were all barred from attending the initial meetings, the Post stated.

The newspaper continued :

Gradually, the circle widened to include Vice President Biden and others. Agendas sent to Cabinet secretaries -- including John F. Kerry at the State Department and Ashton B. Carter at the Pentagon -- arrived in envelopes that subordinates were not supposed to open. Sometimes the agendas were withheld until participants had taken their seats in the Situation Room.

Adding another layer of secrecy, the newspaper reported that when the closed Cabinet sessions on Russia began in the White House Situation Room in August, the video feed from the main room was cut off during the meetings. The feed, which allows only for video and not audio, is usually kept on so that senior aides can see when a meeting takes place.

The paper reported:

The blacked-out screens were seen as an ominous sign among lower-level White House officials who were largely kept in the dark about the Russia deliberations even as they were tasked with generating options for retaliation against Moscow.


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