Tag Archives: Fusion GPS

Deep State FBI and DOJ Operatives Briefed that Steele Dossier Was Questionable | Jan 20 2019

Bruce Ohr: FBI, DOJ Knew Dossier Was Dirty from the Beginning

|| PJ Media

“Virtually everyone at the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Justice Department involved in the FBI’s counterintelligence probe of candidate Donald Trump knew from the beginning that the investigation, dubbed “Crossfire Hurricane,” was based on shaky opposition research compiled by a Trump-hating former British spy and funded by Hillary Clinton’s campaign.

Bruce Ohr, the demoted associate attorney general, testified to Congress last August that he repeatedly warned top officials at the FBI and DOJ about Steele’s bias and Fusion GPS’s conflicts of interest, yet this information was kept hidden from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court.

And to add insult to injury, instead of investigating the officials who actively participated in the dossier hoax, Special Counsel Robert Mueller hired several of them to be on his team to investigate President Trump.

Steele, a former MI6 operative, was hired by Fusion GPS to find dirt on Trump after he clinched the Republican nomination.

The FBI fired him in the Fall of 2016 for lying, but the FBI and Justice Department officials nevertheless wrote in the FISA application that he was a reliable source.

Ohr kept top officials at both the FBI and Department of Justice apprised of his conversations with Steele both before and after the former British spy was fired as an informant.

On July 5, the very day of then-FBI Director James Comey’s press conference on Hillary Clinton’s emails, Steele flew to Rome to meet an old FBI contact, according to reports.

Later that month, he met with Ohr, the Wall Street Journal’s Kimberley Strassel reported, based on leaked transcripts confirmed by congressional sources.

Mr. Ohr testified that he sat down with dossier author Christopher Steele on July 30, 2016, and received salacious information the opposition researcher had compiled on Mr. Trump. Mr. Ohr immediately took that to the FBI’s then-Deputy Director Andy McCabe and lawyer Lisa Page. In August he took it to Peter Strzok, the bureau’s lead investigator. In the same month, Mr. Ohr believes, he briefed senior personnel in the Justice Department’s criminal division: Deputy Assistant Attorney General Bruce Swartz, lawyer Zainab Ahmad and fraud unit head Andrew Weissman. The last two now work for special counsel Robert Mueller.

Former FBI special agent Peter Strzok and FBI lawyer Lisa Page were also hired to work on Mueller’s team after being involved with Crossfire Hurricane, but had to be removed after the DOJ inspector general discovered their extreme anti-Trump bias in text messages.

Ohr testified that he stressed that the information he was sharing came from Trump’s political opponents in the Clinton camp and warned that it was unverified and likely biased.

“When I provided [the Steele information] to the FBI, I tried to be clear that this is source information,” he testified. “I don’t know how reliable it is. You’re going to have to check it out and be aware. These guys were hired by somebody relating to—who’s related to the Clinton campaign, and be aware.”

He also told the team that Steele was “desperate that Donald Trump not get elected” and that his own wife, Nellie Ohr, worked for Fusion GPS, the opposition research firm that compiled the dossier.

According to a leaked transcript of Ohr’s closed-door testimony to the joint House Judiciary and Oversight and Government Reform Committees last Aug. 28, he waved all these red flags well before the FBI filed its October application for a surveillance warrant against Carter Page.”

….read more @ PJ Media

Wall Street Journal Calls for Robert Mueller to Resign | Oct 26 2017

With FBI Actions Now Under Suspicion, WSJ Editors Call on Special Counsel Mueller to Resign

|| Townhall

“In my earlier analysis of the latest dossier/collusion developments — which have taken an abrupt turn in the last week, to the dismay of many liberals — I wrote that newly-revealed and -confirmed details raise serious and uncomfortable questions for both the Democratic Party and the FBI.  In a house editorial published today, the Wall Street Journal’s editors explicate several of those questions that demand a full accounting. First, on the Democrats:

The Washington Post revealed Tuesday that the Hillary Clinton campaign and Democratic National Committee jointly paid for that infamous “dossier” full of Russian disinformation against Donald Trump. They filtered the payments through a U.S. law firm (Perkins Coie), which hired the opposition-research hit men at Fusion GPS. Fusion in turn tapped a former British spook, Christopher Steele, to compile the allegations, which are based largely on anonymous, Kremlin-connected sources. Strip out the middlemen, and it appears that Democrats paid for Russians to compile wild allegations about a U.S. presidential candidate. Did someone say “collusion”? This news is all the more explosive because the DNC and Clinton campaign hid their role, even amid the media furor after BuzzFeed published the Steele dossier in January. Reporters are now saying that Clinton campaign officials lied to them about their role in the dossier.Current DNC Chair Tom Perez and former Chair Debbie Wasserman-Schultz deny knowing about the dossier arrangement, but someone must have known. Perhaps this explains why Congressional Democrats have been keen to protect Fusion from answering dossier questions—disrupting hearings, protesting subpoenas and deriding Republican investigators.

Are Perez and Wasserman Schultz’s denials credible? As a New York Times reporter notes, Democratic dollars that flowed to Fusion GPS and Steele were effectively laundered through a law firm — but they were still coming out of DNC coffers:

Democrats furtively funding dubious opposition research, then misleading journalists about is a minor scandal. Democrats furtively funding dubious opposition research that allegedly enlisted senior Russian sources to spread salacious disinformation about the Republican presidential nominee, however, is deeply ironic, given the Great Russian Scare they’ve been pumping for months. It appears as though some officials at the highest reaches of the party were at least indirectly facilitating Russian interference in the 2016 election. How intentional or conscious was this loose, once-removed potential collusion? That should be rigorously investigated. Nevertheless, the element of this whole saga that most concerns me is the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s hazy and bizarre role. Back to the Journal editors:

The more troubling question is whether the FBI played a role, even if inadvertently, in assisting a Russian disinformation campaign. We know the agency possessed the dossier in 2016, and according to media reports it debated paying Mr. Steele to continue his work in the runup to the election. This occurred while former FBI Director James Comey was ramping up his probe into supposed ties between the Trump campaign and Russians. Two pertinent questions: Did the dossier trigger the FBI probe of the Trump campaign, and did Mr. Comey or his agents use it as evidence to seek wiretapping approval from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court of Trump campaign aides?

Mr. Comey should already be asked to return to Capitol Hill to testify on his premature decision to draft a memo (controversially) exonerating Hillary Clinton of legal wrongdoing in connection with her email scandal — which he reportedly wrote prior to key witnesses being interviewed, including Clinton herself. He should be compelled to answer questions on this subject, too. Also, if anything, this editorial understates the strangeness of the FBI’s activity here; the Washington Post story confirmed that the Bureau went beyond merely “debating” whether to pay Steele to continue his Democrat-initiated, anti-Trump opposition research. They actually did it. And they only stopped when the media reported this information publicly. In what way was that a sound, politics-free investigative practice?  Because these loaded questions are now a major focus of the Russia interference matter, the FBI itself is now a subject of important scrutiny.  For that reason, the editorial concludes, Robert Mueller must go:

The Fusion news means the FBI’s role in Russia’s election interference must now be investigated—even as the FBI and Justice insist that Mr. Mueller’s probe prevents them from cooperating with Congressional investigators. Mr. Mueller is a former FBI director, and for years he worked closely with Mr. Comey. It is no slur against Mr. Mueller’s integrity to say that he lacks the critical distance to conduct a credible probe of the bureau he ran for a dozen years. He could best serve the country by resigning to prevent further political turmoil over that conflict of interest.”

….Continue reading more @ Townhall

WashPo: Hillary’s Campaign Tied to Fake ‘Russian Dossier’ | Oct 25 2017

Clinton campaign, DNC paid for research that led to Russia dossier

|| Washington Post

“The Hillary Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee helped fund research that resulted in a now-famous dossier containing allegations about President Trump’s connections to Russia and possible coordination between his campaign and the Kremlin, people familiar with the matter said.

Marc E. Elias, a lawyer representing the Clinton campaign and the DNC, retained Fusion GPS, a Washington firm, to conduct the research.

After that, Fusion GPS hired dossier author Christopher Steele, a former British intelligence officer with ties to the FBI and the U.S. intelligence community, according to those people, who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

Elias and his law firm, Perkins Coie, retained the company in April 2016 on behalf of the Clinton campaign and the DNC. Before that agreement, Fusion GPS’s research into Trump was funded by an unknown Republican client during the GOP primary.

The Clinton campaign and the DNC, through the law firm, continued to fund Fusion GPS’s research through the end of October 2016, days before Election Day.

Fusion GPS gave Steele’s reports and other research documents to Elias, the people familiar with the matter said. It is unclear how or how much of that information was shared with the campaign and the DNC and who in those organizations was aware of the roles of Fusion GPS and Steele. One person close to the matter said the campaign and the DNC were not informed by the law firm of Fusion GPS’s role.

The dossier has become a lightning rod amid the intensifying investigations into the Trump campaign’s possible connections to Russia. Some congressional Republican leaders have spent months trying to discredit Fusion GPS and Steele and tried to determine the identity of the Democrat or organization that paid for the dossier.”

….Continue reading more @ Washington Post

 

Byron York: After Trump dossier revelation, FBI is next

|| Washington Examiner

FBI’s Foray into Partisan Politics Clearly Illegal

“Investigators looking into the so-called “Trump dossier” were not surprised when news broke Tuesday night that the Hillary Clinton campaign and the DNC, working through the Democrats’ law firm, Perkins Coie, financed the “salacious and unverified” compilation of allegations of Trump collusion with Russia in the 2016 presidential campaign. (The “salacious and unverified” description comes from former FBI Director James Comey.)

There had been plenty of talk about the Democrats and Perkins Coie, so much that investigators almost assumed that was the case. But it wasn’t until the Washington Post broke the story that it was confirmed.

“I’m shocked,” one lawmaker joked Tuesday night. “Who could have ever guessed?”

And why did the story break when it did? Credit the much-maligned Rep. Devin Nunes, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee. The California Republican has been pursuing the dossier more aggressively than anyone else, and it was his Oct. 4 subpoena for the bank records of Fusion GPS, the opposition research firm that handled the dossier, that finally shook loose the information.

But knowing that the Clinton campaign, the DNC, and Perkins Coie supported the dossier is not the end of the story. The most important next step is the FBI.

Sometime in October 2016 — that is, at the height of the presidential campaign — Christopher Steele, the foreign agent hired by Fusion GPS to compile the Trump dossier, approached the FBI with information he had gleaned during the project. According to a February report in the Washington Post, Steele “reached an agreement with the FBI a few weeks before the election for the bureau to pay him to continue his work.”

It was an astonishing turn: the nation’s top federal law enforcement agency agreeing to fund an ongoing opposition research project being conducted by one of the candidates in the midst of a presidential election. “The idea that the FBI and associates of the Clinton campaign would pay Mr. Steele to investigate the Republican nominee for president in the run-up to the election raises further questions about the FBI’s independence from politics, as well as the Obama administration’s use of law enforcement and intelligence agencies for political ends,” wrote Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa.

In the end, according to reports, the FBI did not pay Steele. But the dossier did not go away. Indeed, in January 2017, Comey briefed President-elect Trump (and President Obama) on the dossier’s contents.

In recent months, Nunes has been trying to force the FBI to reveal just what it did in the dossier matter. The intel chairman issued a subpoena to the FBI on Aug. 24, and in the time since, not a single document has been produced to the committee. The FBI and the Justice Department have spent most of that time talking about possibly complying with this or that part of the subpoena. But so far — nothing.

The new Clinton/DNC/Perkins Coie revelation will likely increase pressure on the FBI to explain what it did, and did not do, with the dossier. Certainly Nunes hopes that is the case. When I asked Nunes Tuesday night what would happen next with the FBI, he responded, “Their best option at this point is to bring all the documents tomorrow to the Capitol.”

Of course, he won’t be holding his breath.

Republican investigators had two big questions about the dossier. One was who paid for it, and that now seems answered. The other was: Did the FBI or other agencies use any information from the dossier as a basis for warrant requests before the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court? In other words, did, say, the FBI use the dossier’s “salacious and unverified” information to make the case that the bureau should be granted the authority to conduct intercepts?

When the Post story broke Tuesday night, some journalists noted that Democrats involved in the story had been lying about their role. “When I tried to report this story, Clinton campaign lawyer Marc Elias pushed back vigorously, saying ‘You (or your sources) are wrong,'” tweeted the New York Times’ Ken Vogel. “Folks involved in funding this lied about it, and with sanctimony, for a year,” added the Times’ Maggie Haberman.

Yes, they did. But the importance of the Democrats’ involvement in the dossier is that it could be one step on the road to a bigger story. What did the FBI do with the dossier material? Did judges make surveillance decisions in the Trump-Russia investigation based in whole or in part on the dossier? To what degree is the “salacious and unverified” dossier the source of what we think we know about allegations of collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign?

In the end, a House subpoena squeezed the information out of key players in the who-funded-the-dossier side of the story. But so far, the FBI has been much harder to crack.”

….Continue reading more @ Washington Examiner