Are The Clintons Behind The Whole Trump-Russia Collusion Story?
“It’s all a hoax.” That’s what my 62-year-old father, a Cruz-Rubio supporter, has been telling me since the very first time the media uttered, “Trump may have colluded with Russia to win the 2016 election.”
I wasn’t so sure he was right. After news broke indicating Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner, and then-Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort had met with Kremlin-linked lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya in June 2016 to get “dirt” on the Clinton camp, the situation for Trump looked worse than ever.
“It’s a hoax,” my father reassured me. “Maybe Trump Jr. did meet with the Russian lawyer, but there was no collusion. This is a plan put into place by the Clintons. You’ll see.”
“How can you possibly know that?” I responded. “You have absolutely no reason to believe it’s a hoax.”
“I’ve been watching the Clintons work for 30 years. That’s all the evidence I need,” he answered.
In the rollercoaster ride since word of the Veselnitskaya meeting first reached the public, there have been numerous ups and downs. Like most Americans, I’ve been left wondering exactly how far the Trump team was willing to go to win the 2016 election. Were they really open to trading away American interests, as the Clintons appeared to have done many times, to capture the White House?
Although there remains a possibility someoneon the Trump team struck a deal with Russian operatives in an effort to win the election, new revelations about the role the Clintons may have played in the infamous Christopher Steele dossier seem to suggest a large portion—and perhaps all—of the Trump-Russia narrative was invented by the Clintons, the Hillary Clinton campaign, or their sycophants.
The Steele Dossier Included Clinton Campaign Gossip
On Tuesday, Fox News reported that a recently unclassified (but still heavily redacted) memo from Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) claimed, “Clinton associates were ‘feeding’ allegations to former British spy Christopher Steele at the same time he was compiling the controversial anti-Trump dossier paid for by the Democratic National Committee and Clinton campaign.”
We already know Steele’s work on the dossier was being funded by Democrats and the Clinton campaign in the middle of the 2016 election, and a recent memo made public by the House Intelligence Committee says the FBI relied on Steele’s memo to obtain an important Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act warrant from a federal judge.
The House memo also claimed the FBI did not disclose to the court that Democrats and Clinton had paid for the dossier. Further, the House memo showed the FBI relied in part on a news story to corroborate the findings of the Steele dossier, even though that report had also been based on information fed to reporters by Steele himself.
That’s Nowhere Near the End of It, Either
As damning as all this is—and it’s clearly damning—there’s even more evidence pointing to the Clintons’ involvement in the FBI’s investigation and the creation of the dossier. On Jan. 30, The Guardian reported its sources claim the FBI has also relied (and may still be depending on) a second dossier, this time written by Cody Shearer, a long-time Clinton associate who has ties to past Clinton campaign efforts to destroy opponents. Those efforts include California Gov. Jerry Brown (D), who ran against Bill Clinton for the Democratic Party presidential nomination in the 1990s; Ross Perot, also a Clinton opponent from the 1992 election; and Gennifer Flowers, who accused Bill Clinton during the 1992 primaries of having an affair with her.
Additionally, although it’s unclear how many people connected to the Clintons may have been “feeding” information to Steele for his dossier, we know Obama State Department official Jonathan Winer received from Clinton associate Sidney Blumenthal in September 2016 at least some of Shearer’s information and passed it along to Steele, who was then still working closely with the FBI. Winer also admitted he passed the information to another State Department official, who then gave it to Secretary of State John Kerry.
Blumenthal’s role in both dossiers is not an insignificant detail. Not only is Blumenthal an extremely close ally to Hillary Clinton, he is also closely linked to Shearer. Shearer worked with Blumenthal to help tear down Clinton opponents in the 1990s, and reportedly helped Blumenthal provide Hillary Clinton intelligence about the Libyan revolution in 2011.
According to Winer, who wrote an opinion article about his experiences for the Washington Post on Thursday, Steele said at the time Winer gave him the information from Blumenthal that the Shearer report and his own research had a lot of similarities. But, of course, there’s no way to know Winer is telling the truth. He was, after all, an important member of Obama’s State Department who says Blumenthal is an “old friend.”
So Here’s the Quick and Dirty Summary
Piecing all this together is difficult, but the broad strokes are as follows: (1) Much of the Trump-Russia collusion evidence comes from the Steele dossier. (2) The Steele dossier was created during the 2016 election, at the behest and funding of Democrats and Hillary Clinton’s campaign.
(3) Grassley and Graham’s memo and Winer’s op-ed show Steele was given some information from at least one source tied directly to the Clintons. (4) The FBI is likely using a second dossier in its investigation, one authored by Cody Shearer. (5) Shearer has close ties to Blumenthal and the Clintons.
(6) Top officials at the FBI and Department of Justice, including members of the team working on the Trump-Russia collusion investigation, had ties to the Democratic Party; or the dossier; or expressed their dislike of Donald Trump, a conflict of interest for their work; or all three. For instance, DOJ official Bruce Ohr’s wife worked for Fusion GPS, which paid Steele to make the dossier while it was being created.
(7) The FBI used the Steele dossier and maybe even information from Shearer to get a FISA warrant to spy on the Trump campaign team, but it failed to tell the FISA court of the dossier’s connection to the Clintons or that Blumenthal’s information reached Steele. (8) The vast majority of “evidence” supposedly linking Trump to Russia resulted directly or indirectly from the FISA warrant and the investigation that followed.
Hillary Clinton’s Fingerprints Are All Over The FBI’s Investigation Into Trump’s Russia Ties
Her campaign is linked to at least three separate pieces of information fed to the FBI, including the dossier the FBI used as a pretext to spy on a Trump campaign associate.
A significant part of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s basis for investigating the Trump campaign’s Russia ties is looking more and more like a political hit job carried out by the Democratic National Committee and the Hillary Clinton campaign. Her campaign’s fingerprints are on at least three separate pieces of information fed to the FBI, including the Christopher Steele dossier Republicans say formed the basis of a secret warrant obtained to spy on Trump campaign associate Carter Page.
A former State Department official confirmed on the record Thursday that Clinton associates were funneling information to Steele as he was compiling a dossier commissioned and paid for by the Clinton campaign and DNC. That’s on top of the recent revelation that a top Department of Justice official fed the FBI information compiled by his wife, who was working for the firm Clinton and the DNC were paying to dig up dirt on Trump, Fusion GPS.
The dossier was quoted “extensively” in the FBI’s application to obtain a warrant to spy on the Trump campaign, according to a memo released by Republicans on the House intelligence committee. In a January letter to the FBI made public this week, two Senate Republicans also said Steele’s information formed a “significant portion” of the warrant application.
“It is troubling enough that the Clinton Campaign funded Mr. Steele’s work, but that these Clinton associates were contemporaneously feeding Mr. Steele allegations raises additional concerns about his credibility,” Sens. Chuck Grassley, who chairs the Judiciary Committee, and Lindsey Graham wrote in the letter referring Steele to the FBI for a criminal investigation.
Taken together, here’s what we know so far about the extent of Clinton’s involvement in the FBI’s case.
1. Clinton ally Sidney Blumenthal funneled information to the FBI through a contact at the State Department.
In an account published by The Washington Post, former State Department official Jonathan Winer describes how research compiled by a Clinton ally made its way into his hands and then to the FBI. Winer was in charge of combating transnational organized crime at the State Department under Bill Clinton in the 1990s, and returned under the Obama administration to work on international law enforcement. Between his two gigs, he became friends with Steele, who as a result began feeding information to the State Department, and tipped Winer off in Sept. 2016 to the Trump dossier he was compiling.
That same month, Winer met Blumenthal, who provided him with notes on Trump and Russia compiled by another Clinton insider, Cody Shearer. “What struck me was how some of the material echoed Steele’s but appeared to involve different sources,” Winer writes in The Washington Post. He decided to show the notes to Steele, who told him the information could be used to corroborate his dossier. Steele walked away with a copy of the notes, which he provided to the FBI.
Shearer and Blumenthal, known respectively as “Mr. Fixer” and “Vicious Sid” in Clinton world, are staunch allies of the Clintons. Winer notes he didn’t know whether the information Blumenthal fed him was accurate, but says he fed it to Steel anyway because he was “alarmed at Russia’s role in the 2016 election.”
Grassley and Graham express concern in their criminal referral that Steele was “vulnerable to manipulation” while compiling his dossier on Trump, as he has admitted to meeting with at least four different news outlets during that time (in violation of an agreement he had with the FBI), and indicated he received unsolicited and unverified tips on Trump and included them in his dossier. “Simply put, the more people who contemporaneously knew that Mr. Steele was compiling his dossier, the more likely it was vulnerable to manipulation,” they wrote in their letter.
Of course, the Clinton network knew to some extent about the dossier, since Hillary’s campaign and the DNC had commissioned and funded the effort through Fusion GPS. Whether Blumenthal was planting bogus information to manipulate Steele or passing along what he regarded as a legitimate tip is unclear, but it’s certainly not a good look.
Regardless, this second unverified and unsolicited dossier made its way to the FBI thanks to the Clinton camp.