Thu Jan 17th, 2019 at 08:31:27 AM EST
I have been blogging since the fall of 2004 to express my views in favor of John Kerry and as much against the tyranny of George Bush and his Republican henchmen. @BooMan I considered myself an independent researcher and analyst of politics. In the approach to the Nov. 2016 election, the cross-section of bloggers changed and Democrats were divided in tribes: for or against candidate Hillary Clinton in the primaries. From that time troll rating became a new norm which made writing your view a new adventure.
As soon as the Steele dossier was introduced in the media and discussed on the blog, division hardened. My analysis was plenty of skepticism from the start, especially as I started to look at where the dossier was coming from. My view on the matter was not appreciated. Two years have passed and still not all details have come out.
Reading this article published by The Hill, I agree with the headline: SHOCKING!
This item will be making all the headlines in the coming hours.
○ Dossier Shocker: Top DOJ Official Sounded Alarm, Warned Of Clinton Connection And Possible Bias | Zero Hedge |
FISA shocker: DOJ official warned Steele dossier was connected to Clinton, might be biased | The Hill - Jan. 16, 2019 |
When the annals of mistakes and abuses in the FBI's Russia investigation are finally written, Bruce Ohr almost certainly will be the No. 1 witness, according to my sources.
The then-No. 4 Department of Justice (DOJ) official briefed both senior FBI and DOJ officials in summer 2016 about Christopher Steele's Russia dossier, explicitly cautioning that the British intelligence operative's work was opposition research connected to Hillary Clinton's campaign and might be biased.
Ohr's briefings, in July and August 2016, included the deputy director of the FBI, a top lawyer for then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch and a Justice official who later would become the top deputy to special counsel Robert Mueller.
Continued below the fold ...
At the time, Ohr was the associate attorney general. Yet his warnings about political bias were pointedly omitted weeks later from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant that the FBI obtained from a federal court, granting it permission to spy on whether the Trump campaign was colluding with Russia to hijack the 2016 presidential election.
Ohr's activities, chronicled in handwritten notes and congressional testimony I gleaned from sources, provide the most damning evidence to date that FBI and DOJ officials may have misled federal judges in October 2016 in their zeal to obtain the warrant targeting Trump adviser Carter Page just weeks before Election Day.
They also contradict a key argument that House Democrats have made in their formal intelligence conclusions about the Russia case.
Since it was disclosed last year that Steele's dossier formed a central piece of evidence supporting the FISA warrant, Justice and FBI officials have been vague about exactly when they learned that Steele's work was paid for by the law firm representing the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee (DNC).
A redacted version of the FISA application released last year shows the FBI did not mention any connection to the DNC or Clinton. Rather, it referred to Steele as a reliable source in past criminal investigations who was hired by a person working for a U.S. law firm to conduct research on Trump and Russia.
The FBI claimed it was "unaware of any derogatory information" about Steele, that Steele was "never advised ... as to the motivation behind the research" but that the FBI "speculates" that those who hired Steele were "likely looking for information to discredit" Trump's campaign.
Yet, in testimony last summer to congressional investigators, Ohr revealed the FBI and Justice lawyers had no need to speculate: He explicitly warned them in a series of contacts, beginning July 31, 2016, that Steele expressed biased against Trump and was working on a project connected to the Clinton campaign.
Ohr had firsthand knowledge about the motive and the client: He had just met with Steele on July 30, 2016, and Ohr's wife, Nellie, worked for Fusion GPS, the same firm employing Steele.
The article ends with the stark reminder ...
And the FBI knew the motive of the client and did not have to speculate: Ohr told agents the Democratic nominee's campaign was connected to the research designed to harm Trump's election chances.
Such omissions are, by definition, an abuse of the FISA system.
Don't take my word for it. Fired FBI Director James Comey acknowledged it himself when he testified last month that the FISA court relies on an honor system, in which the FBI is expected to divulge exculpatory evidence to the judges.
The ugly battle of the blogs to get beyond the headlines, to get at the truth!
Why belief the work of spooks? My focus was especially on the background of [former] MI-6 asset Christopher Steele [British Orbis Business Intelligence] and his connections with the British spy agency. As expected, the British Embassy in Moscow was a centre for espionage ... what's new? These persons do today what they were qualified for in the years of the Cold War or its aftermath in the years of president Yeltsin. Bringing capitalism to Russia and steeling the state's assets bringing anguish and poverty to its people.
Related reading ...
○ British Intelligence Delivers Another 'Dodgy Dossier' by Oui @BooMan on Jan. 12th, 2017
○ 'Sir' Andrew Wood as spy chief in Moscow
○ A Gordian Knot: IC-Gate
○ UK Issued a DA-Notice On My Diary Result
○ Steele's Dodgy Dossier and Dems' Train Wreck
Fusion GPS also worked on the Magnitski case and worked for HRC's State Department and Victoria Nuland doing intelligence on Ukraine oligarchs and the Maidan Revolt of 2014.
○ The Story Behind Chris Steele - Ukraine and Nuland
○ C-Span video: Jim Jordan Connects the Dots It's a F.B.I. Inside Job! – Dec. 7, 2017
○ MSNBC: Jim Jordan to Peter Strzok Q: who is Corn and Simpson in your email
Did FBI get bamboozled by multiple versions of Trump dossier? | The Hill |
Like dandelions in an untreated lawn, the now infamous Russian dossier apparently multiplied in numbers — and emissaries delivering it to the FBI — the closer Donald Trump got to the White House.
We know from public testimony that dossier author and former British intelligence agent Christopher Steele shared his findings with the FBI in summer and fall 2016 before he was terminated as a confidential source for inappropriate media contacts.
And we learned that Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) provided a copy to the FBI [source from Orbis affiliated Sir Wood - Oui] after the November 2016 election — out of a sense of duty, his office says.
Now, memos the FBI is turning over to Congress show the bureau possessed at least three versions of the dossier and its mostly unverified allegations of collusion.
Each arrived from a different messenger: McCain, Mother Jones reporter David Corn, Fusion GPS founder (and Steele boss) Glenn Simpson.
That revelation is in an email that disgraced FBI counterintelligence agent Peter Strzok wrote to FBI executives around the time BuzzFeed published a version of the dossier on Jan. 10, 2017.
“Our internal system is blocking the site,” Strzok wrote of the document posted on BuzzFeed. “I have the PDF via iPhone but it’s 25.6MB. Comparing now. The set is only identical to what McCain had. (it has differences from what was given to us by Corn and Simpson.)”
The significance of Strzok’s email is obvious to investigators who reviewed it in recent days. The FBI is supposed to be immune to manipulation by circular information flows, especially with sensitive investigations such as evaluating whether a foreign power tampered with an American election.
○ Did GRU Learn that Democrats Had Hired Christopher Steele When They Hacked DNC’s Email Server? | Emptywheel |
[some links added are mine – Oui]
Emails show 2016 links among Steele, Ohr, Simpson — with Russian oligarch in background | Washington Examiner – Aug. 8, 2018 |
Emails in 2016 between former British spy Christopher Steele and Justice Department official Bruce Ohr suggest Steele was deeply concerned about the legal status of a Putin-linked Russian oligarch, and at times seemed to be advocating on the oligarch's behalf, in the same time period Steele worked on collecting the Russia-related allegations against Donald Trump that came to be known as the Trump dossier.
The emails show Steele and Ohr were in frequent contact, that they intermingled talk about Steele's research and the oligarch's affairs, and that Glenn Simpson, head of the dirt-digging group Fusion GPS that hired Steele to compile the dossier, was also part of the ongoing conversation.
The emails, given to Congress by the Justice Department, began on Jan . 12, 2016, when Steele sent Ohr a New Year's greeting. Steele brought up the case of Russian aluminum magnate Oleg Deripaska (referred to in various emails as both OD and OVD), who was at the time seeking a visa to attend an Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation meeting in the United States. Years earlier, the U.S. revoked Deripaska's visa, reportedly on the basis of suspected involvement with Russian organized crime.
"I heard from Adam WALDMAN [a Deripaska lawyer/lobbyist] yesterday that OD is applying for another official US visa ice [sic] APEC business at the end of February," Steele wrote in the Jan . 12 email. Steele said Deripaska was being "encouraged by the Agency guys who told Adam that the USG [United States Government] stance on [Deripaska] is softening." Steele concluded: "A positive development it seems."
Steele also asked Ohr when he might be coming to London, or somewhere in Europe, "as I would be keen to meet up here and talk business."
○ Congressmen: Bruce Ohr went 'rogue,' acted as 'conduit' between Fusion GPS, FBI
So Glenn Simpson of Fusion GPS first build a dossier funded by donors of Florida Republican Marco Rubio to find dirt on primary candidate Donald Trump. After the Republican convention, the dossier was sold to a lawyer representing the DNC and Hillary Clinton. Glenn Simpson had hired Bruse Ohr’s spouse Nellie. Glenn Simpson and Fusion GPS already had ties with the U.S. State Department to work dossiers on Russia related oligarchs in Ukraine. For added “legitimacy” on the Trump dossier for the Democrats, Glenn Simpson hired former British spy Christopher Steele. Steele went rogue [?] and spread the dossier to outside stakeholders: the media, Republican John McCain who in turn forwarded it once again to the FBI.
Of course there was no collusion or conspiracy by State institutions to get Hillary elected.