Let’s connect the dots between John Durham, Russiagate, the FBI, and Hillary Clinton. They strongly suggest the Clinton campaign ran a sophisticated, multi-prong coordinated intelligence operation against Trump with either the active or tacit support of the FBI.
In the case of prong one, the dossier, the Clinton campaign hired MI6 intelligence officer Christopher Steele. The hiring was through its law firm, Perkins Coie, which hired Fusion GPS, which hired Steele to hide the funding source. The use of the law firm as a cutout allowed Hillary to deny that she’d funded the dossier, and the media to claim for a year or more that it was actually the Republicans themselves who paid for it. This also set up the distracting he said/she said cover that Clinton would use throughout the operation.
Once they had hired Steele, the Clinton campaign itself fed lies to Steele. Steele used credibility to hide the non-credibility of his pushed sources. They were taken seriously only because Steele was taken seriously, albeit only because he was paid by Clinton to do so. You could not achieve much putting a thug like Igor Danchenko on CNN. This is known as embellishing your sources.
Here are some of Steele’s sources and connections. See if they connect any dots: one of Steele’s key sources is Igor Danchenko, now indicted by Durham. Steele was introduced to Danchenko by Fiona Hill. Hill would go on to play a key role driving the Ukraine-related impeachment of Donald Trump.
When Danchenko did not make up stuff himself, he was spoon-fed lies by Charles Dolan, a long-time Clinton hack (it was Fiona Hill who introduced Dolan to Danchenko). Dolan had close ties not only to the Clintons but to the Russians as well; he did PR work for the Russian government and was registered as a foreign agent for Russia.
Dolan also fed bogus info to Olga Galkina, another Russian who fed info to Danchenko for inclusion in the dossier. Galkina expected Dolan to get her a job in the Hillary administration.
Steele then took his dossier down two tracks. He used his role as a former FBI informant to push the info deep into the Bureau to help trigger the Crossfire Hurricane investigation which would ultimately feed the Mueller Report. When cracks in Steele’s dossier appeared early on, they were taken care of.
For example, one of the Trump staffers Steele accused of being a Russian agent, Carter Page, was actually a CIA agent. Yet when the FBI sought a FISA warrant, the Bureau deleted his association with CIA from the application. Special Counsel Robert Durham prosecuted the man who did that, Kevin Clinesmith, who was found guilty, albeit years after the warrant was issued.
Steele was worth his weight in gold to Clinton: he got the FBI to launch a full-spectrum investigation that included eavesdropping, use of a honey pot dangle, and foreign agents, all of which led to three years of Mueller.
Steele’s second track was the media. Steele set himself up as a source to compliant press outlets about the dossier without revealing to them that he was the author of the dossier. This information loop made it appear that a second entity was confirming the contents of the dossier, when in fact it was Steele surreptitiously confirming himself.
It’s an old spy trick, becoming your own corroborating source. In intelligence work, for the receiver of information, this is known as cross-contamination, an amateur error the FBI seemed okay with. The scam also generated cover for all the politicians and intelligence operatives. They could go to their bosses and say the New York Times had found a source that confirms what they’d been hearing from Steele.
Every element of the dossier job is present in prong two of the broader operation, Clinton’s electronic spying on Trump. As with the dossier, it begins with the statement that Trump is connected to Russia and the job is to create something plausible enough to “confirm” that connection. A cutout was again used to fund things, in this case Clinton lawyer Michael Sussmann and again the firm Perkins Coie.
Sussmann, with the lure of a big job in the Hillary administration, recruited Rodney Jaffe, a tech guy whose company Neustar obtained a contract with the Obama administration to provide DNS servers to the White House. That got the whole op inside the Executive Office. Joffe also had connections deep into the DNS research community, and used them to gain access to DNS data from Trump Tower and other properties (see what you can do with DNS data).
Though the DNS data results were no more credible than the dossier, Sussmann follows Steele’s playbook. Sussmann first takes his story, as an anonymous source, to the New York Times in late August 2016. He then goes to the FBI and CIA on September 16, 2016, misrepresents himself as not working for the Clinton campaign (he is currently under Durham indictment for that) and pitches them the same story that Trump and the Russian Alfa Bank have set up some sort of backdoor communications. Sussmann later adds another unproven tale, that Russian smartphones were connecting regularly with the White House.
The Alfa story then made the press in October 2016 when Slate wrote that an anonymous “benevolent posse of computer scientists spurred by a sense of shared idealism” had discovered data showing secret communications between Trump and Alfa. Even after the FBI had largely abandoned the investigation as fruitless, in October 2018, the New Yorker revived it, attributing the story to anonymous “self-appointed guardians of the Internet.”
The source for the latter article was Joffe, who did not disclose that he was working with Sussmann, who was working with Fusion GPS, who was working for Clinton. That no Alfa connection was ever found is irrelevant; the story that Trump was running with the Russians was headlines for months. Despite knowing it was not true as the ultimate source of the false info, Hillary herself pushed it.
There will be more. But what is clear even at this point is that the Clinton campaign used textbook modern espionage techniques to build a wholly false narrative about Trump and the Russians. It deployed this campaign against Trump the candidate and still got beaten. Clinton then kept it alive, in part with the FBI and Crossfire Hurricane as a proxy, even after Trump took office. Was that simple vengeance? Or part of some even more elaborate campaign to somehow end with Hillary in the Oval Office?
We also know the FBI was likely either in on the conspiracy or at best a willful idiot alongside it. Signs that the dossier was garbage appeared early, and even the slightest investigative efforts by the FBI would have revealed how weak Steele’s sources and methods were, and that Steele was being paid by Clinton. Indeed, when the FBI found one crack, that Carter Page was an American CIA agent, they simply covered it up.
The same with Sussmann and his DNS data. It would have been obvious that White House DNS data could have only come from inside the White House, yet there are no signs the FBI questioned how Sussmann, supposedly a private citizen, came to possess it. And was the FBI really unable to determine that Sussmann was paid by Clinton? It is chilling to remember that FBI agents and illicit lovers Peter Strzok and Lisa Page exchanged texts: “Page: ‘Trump’s not ever going to become president, right?’ Strzok: ‘No. No he’s not. We’ll stop it.’”
“The fact pattern that John Durham is methodically establishing shows what James Comey and Andrew McCabe likely knew from day one, that the Steele dossier was politically-driven nonsense created at the behest of the Clinton campaign,” said Kevin Brock, the FBI’s former intelligence chief. “And yet they knowingly ran with its false information.”
We may now know why Robert Mueller walked so close to the edge of indictment and backed off. If his indictments failed under court scrutiny, the conspiracy would have been exposed. Beyond Clinton and Trump, Mueller was protecting someone in his beloved FBI. This goes deep.