As “FISAgate” continues to be exposed, the 44th President of the United States of America, Barack Hussein Obama, and his Administration are making Warren Harding and his Teapot Dome Scandal look like an afternoon tea with Dr. Ducky Mallard in the morgue of NCIS.
Fox News reported that an Obama State Department official had regular contact with the author of the anti-Trump dossier.
In a Washington Post column posted late Thursday, Jonathan Winer detailed an extensive exchange of documents with ex-British spy Christopher Steele, a friend of his since 2009.
He said he shared “more than 100 of Steele’s reports with the Russia experts at the State Department” over a period of two years. These weren’t related to American politics – but he would later share information about the Trump dossier with the top levels of the Obama-era State Department.
Further, Winer said he shared separate Trump-related material passed on by a Clinton contact with Steele – filling in the blanks regarding an exchange that was mentioned earlier this week in a Senate memo. And he acknowledged that material, originally from Clinton-tied activist/journalist Cody Shearer, made its way to the FBI.
“Given that I had not worked with Shearer and knew that he was not a professional intelligence officer, I did not mention or share his notes with anyone at the State Department. I did not expect them to be shared with anyone in the U.S. government,” wrote Winer, a former U.S. deputy assistant secretary of state and former Libya special envoy. “But I learned later that Steele did share them — with the FBI, after the FBI asked him to provide everything he had on allegations relating to Trump, his campaign and Russian interference in U.S. elections.”
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, and Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., sent that criminal referral in early January to FBI Director Christopher Wray and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. They said the surveillance applications “relied heavily on Mr. Steele’s dossier claims” and “failed to disclose” that the Clinton campaign and DNC helped fund the research.
And the referral apparently referenced Winer – though his name was redacted. As Fox News previously reported, the referral said Steele got a report from someone at the State Department – with information that came from “a foreign sub-source who ‘is in touch with (redacted), a contact of (redacted), a friend of the Clintons, who passed it to (redacted).”
It has since emerged – and the Winer Op-Ed confirmed – that the Clinton contact was longtime confidant Sidney Blumenthal. Winer was apparently involved from the State Department.
The information Blumenthal shared was separate from the Trump dossier Steele was already compiling. Winer said Blumenthal showed him notes gathered by Shearer that, similarly, alleged the Russians had compromising information on Trump “of a sexual and financial nature.” Winer shared a copy with Steele.
“I agreed to let him keep a copy of the Shearer notes,” Winer wrote.
Further, Winer said that Steele alerted him in the summer of 2016 about “disturbing information regarding possible ties between Donald Trump, his campaign and senior Russian officials.” The two met in Washington in September 2016 to discuss what is now known as the “dossier”.
He reviewed the material and prepared a two-page summary he shared with top diplomatic official Victoria Nuland, “who indicated that, like me, she felt that the secretary of state needed to be made aware of this material.”
Kimberley A. Strassel, in an article published on Thursday, February 8th in The Wall Street Journal, states that the FBI swallowed whole the story pushed by a paid political operative of a subcontractor for Hillary Clinton’s campaign for President.
To be sure, the FBI should have known better. Even if Mr. Steele had previously been helpful, the bureau had every reason to be wary in 2016. This wasn’t like prior collaborations. He was coming to the FBI as a paid political operative, hired by Fusion, as a subcontractor for Hillary Clinton’s campaign. Opposition researchers are not retained to present considered judgment. They are retained to slime an opponent and benefit a client.
The FBI also had reason to view his research with skepticism—on grounds of its tabloid-like allegations, and also on the near-fantastical claim of skill that underlay it. To wit, that a man who had been out of official spy rings for seven years was nonetheless able, in a matter of weeks and with just a few calls from London, where he lives, to unravel an international conspiracy that had eluded the CIA, FBI, MI6 and every other Western intelligence agency, all of which have access to the globe’s most sophisticated surveillance tools.
But rather than proceed with caution, the FBI swallowed the whole package. According to Sen. Chuck Grassley’s declassified criminal referral, former Director James Comey testified that the bureau couldn’t meaningfully corroborate the dossier, but used it in Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court proceedings anyway because Mr. Steele had previously provided “reliable” information.
Mr. Steele and Fusion GPS’s Glenn Simpson immediately proceeded to use the bureau to advance their client’s interests. They went to the press with a stream of briefings about the FBI investigation into the Trump campaign. Thanks to the FBI, Mr. Steele didn’t have to present the media with crazy-sounding oppo research about sexual perversion; he got to point to a full-on government investigation. The resulting stories were awesome for the Clinton campaign—but not so much for the FBI, since the Fusion crew had publicly tipped off the targets of its probe.
There is no excusing these actions. The FBI had expressly told Mr. Steele not to speak to anybody outside the bureau about the dossier. And Mr. Steele failed to disclose these briefings, or perhaps lied about them, since the FBI assured the FISA court that he was not talking to the press.
Mr. Simpson has claimed he never told Mr. Steele that Fusion was working for Mrs. Clinton, and maybe the ex-spy didn’t know. Though this requires us to believe that the man who unraveled an international conspiracy could not discover the identity of his own ultimate paymaster—or didn’t care. Our super sleuth also didn’t bat an eye over sucking up information from two notorious Clinton political operators, Sidney Blumenthal and Cody Shearer. Either Mr. Steele knew and actively worked to help the Clinton campaign, or he didn’t and was nonetheless willing to undercut the FBI at Mr. Simpson’s behest.
Some Steele supporters have suggested that the motive for his press briefings was his worry that the FBI was not taking his claims seriously enough. Yet by Mr. Simpson’s own sworn testimony, that disillusion didn’t hit until a few days before the election, when the FBI reopened its probe into Mrs. Clinton’s negligent handling of classified emails. At the time of his September and October press blabbings, Mr. Steele was still working with the FBI and even talking to the bureau about a financial arrangement.
Is a reliable and credible source one who defies FBI orders, meets with the press, undercuts a probe, and lies about it? Is a professional someone who refuses to answer questions from congressional investigators, but is happy to spin a tale to friendly journalists?
Watch for the House Democrats, in their memo, to continue defending Mr. Steele despite all this. They have to. No credible Steele, no credible dossier. And no credible dossier means even more reason to worry that the FISA court and surveillance authority were abused in the election.
And, who was responsible for the activities of that State Department? Why the Secretary of State John Kerry and the President.
And now, information has come out that Senator Mark Warner met with a Russian oligarch’s lobbyist extensively in 2017.
“We have so much to discuss u need to be careful but we can help our country,” Warner texted the lobbyist, Adam Waldman, on March 22, 2017.
“I’m in,” Waldman, whose firm has ties to Hillary Clinton, texted back to Warner.
In one text to the lobbyist, Warner wrote that he would “rather not have a paper trail” of his messages.
Gosh, why didn’t Senator Wagner want the rest of the committee to know that he was trying to meet with Steele?
The more time that passes and the more details that come out, it firmly convinces me that this is the biggest federal government scandal in history.
Watergate was a fight between kids in a sandbox compared to this convoluted catastrophe.
The sooner this whole mess is wrapped up and the guilty swamp creatures are exiled from the D.C. swamp, the better off this country will be.
As I have said so many times, it was average Americans who were responsible for Donald J. Trump becoming the 45th President of the United States of America. Not the Russians, not “special interest groups,” and not the aliens in that awful movie “Mars Attacks!”
Seriously, it is past the time for “Dueling Memos.” It is time for indictments and perp walks.
For all of the Democrat party’s protestations, they are like the nervous gunslinger who shoots himself in both feet while trying to get his guns out of their holsters.
The Democrats have shot themselves in both feet and don’t have a leg to stand on.
Until He Comes,