Tag Archives: Andrew McCabe

I have to debate a co-worker on Trump-Russia collusion, here are my notes

The media spent two years parroting a fake news story paid for by Democrats
The media spent 2 years pushing a fake news story paid for by Democrats

Well, now that the Mueller report is out, I am dealing with a bunch of angry progressives at work. They want to know how why their favorite mainstream media sources got the Trump-Collusion story so wrong. One of them even asked me to go to lunch so that I could explain why the story fell apart. I made some notes in preparation for the lunch, and I’ve written them up below.

So, basically I wanted to get a bunch of articles together that trace the whole narrative from start to finish. Let’s see an outline first.

The Trump-Russia collusion story that was trumpted by the progressive media for the last two years was a joint effort between the Hillary Clinton campaign and high-ranking members of the FBI during the Obama administration.

The goal was to get the government to spy on the Trump campaign, in order neutralize his administration, if he won the 2016 election.

Here’s the left-leaning The Hill, reporting on an important finding from October 2018:

Congressional investigators have confirmed that a top FBI official met with Democratic Party lawyers to talk about allegations of Donald Trump-Russia collusion weeks before the 2016 election, and before the bureau secured a search warrant targeting Trump’s campaign.

Former FBI general counsel James Baker met during the 2016 season with at least one attorney from Perkins Coie, the Democratic National Committee’s private law firm.

That’s the firm used by the DNC and Hillary Clinton’s campaign to secretly pay research firm Fusion GPS and Christopher Steele, a former British intelligence operative, to compile a dossier of uncorroborated raw intelligence alleging Trump and Moscow were colluding to hijack the presidential election.

The article notes that Perkins Coie is the “Democratic National Committee’s private law firm”.

The Federalist reports that the Obama presidential election campaign also paid $972,000 to Perkins Coie in 2016 alone:

Former president Barack Obama’s official campaign organization has directed nearly a million dollars to the same law firm that funneled money to Fusion GPS, the firm behind the infamous Steele dossier. Since April of 2016, Obama For America (OFA) has paid over $972,000 to Perkins Coie, records filed with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) show.

[…]Federal records show that Hillary Clinton’s official campaign organization, Hillary For America, paid just under $5.1 million to Perkins Coie in 2016. The DNC paid nearly $5.4 million to the law firm in 2016.

[…]The Washington Post reported last week that Perkins Coie, an international law firm, was directed by both the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and Hillary Clinton’s campaign to retain Fusion GPS in April of 2016 to dig up dirt on then-candidate Donald Trump. Fusion GPS then hired Christopher Steele, a former British spy, to compile a dossier of allegations that Trump and his campaign actively colluded with the Russian government during the 2016 election. Though many of the claims in the dossier have been directly refuted, none of the dossier’s allegations of collusion have been independently verified. Lawyers for Steele admitted in court filings last April that his work was not verified and was never meant to be made public.

In addition, Fox News reports that the FBI paid Christopher Steele ELEVEN TIMES in 2016. So this dossier was funded by Democrats from many different groups. They probably thought that no one would ever find out who was behind it.

But why would the FBI and the FISA court accept the Democrat-funded dossier as a basis to spy on the Democrat’s main political rival? Answer: there were Democrats in the FBI who covered up the source of funding for the Steele dossier, as well as the anti-Trump bias of the dossier’s author.

The Washington Examiner reported on the released text messages from highly-placed anti-Trump Democrat Lisa Page within the FBI in March 2019:

The text messages, between then-Deputy Director of the FBI Andrew McCabe, who was later fired, and former FBI attorney Lisa Page — who was having an affair with FBI agent Peter Strzok — were obtained by Fox News.

They reveal that Stuart Evans, deputy assistant attorney general of DOJ’s National Security Division at the time, had “continued concerns” about the “possible bias” of a source being used in the FISA application but that Lisa Page had a sense of urgency about the FISA application being submitted quickly and was considering ending “the hold up” with “a high-level push.”

“OI [Office of Intelligence] now has a robust explanation re any possible bias of the chs [Confidential Human Source] in the package,” Page texted McCabe on Oct. 12, 2016. “Don’t know what the holdup is now, other than Stu’s continued concerns. Strong operational need to have in place before Monday if at all possible, which means to ct tomorrow. I communication you and boss’s green light to Sty earlier, and just sent an email to Stu asking where things stood. This might take a high-level push. Will keep you posted.”

Page said she would press the issue with Evans by “invoking” McCabe’s name. Further texts show that a meeting would eventually be set up including then-Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates at the direction of the White House. The FISA application, relaying heavily on Steele’s dossier, would be submitted to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court just days later.

Then-Director of the FBI James Comey ultimately signed off on the application to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court for approval to surveil Carter Page. It was dated nine days after the Page-McCabe texts: Oct. 21 2016.

The specific funding of Steele’s dossier was never mentioned to the FISA court, either during that first application or during three subsequent FISA renewals. Steele’s anti-Trump fervor and determination to provide his dossier to the media and members of the U.S. government later became well known.

I think there’s enough information in this post to show why the mainstream media ought to have known better than to push a “collusion” narrative on the strength of the Steele dossier and the FBI spying on the Trump campaign. The whole collusion plot was funded lock, stock and barrel by Democrats. The reason why the mainstream media reported on a #FakeNews story for two years was because they wanted to sway voters away from Trump in the 2018 elections. It’s only now that they are trying to step away from it so they can pretend to be unbiased.

FBI and DOJ used Democrat-funded Steele dossier to justify wiretapping of Trump campaign

Left to right: Comey, Lynch, Clinton, McCabe
Left to right: Comey, Lynch, Clinton, McCabe

Wow, so for some time, the mainstream media had been telling me that the FBI and DOJ, during the Obama administration, never did any surveillance of the Trump campaign at the request of the Democrats. But whenever anyone asked them to release information about the basis for their investigations of Trump, they wouldn’t reveal anything.

But Judicial Watch was on the case, and they finally managed to get heavily redacted copies of documents showing what the FBI and DOJ were doing during the election.

The basis of the FBI and DOJ surveillance of Trump campaign personnel was the Steele dossier, which was collected for Fusion GPS, a Democrat opposition research firm.

Fox News explains:

On four occasions, the FBI told the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance (FISA) court that it “did not believe” former British spy Christopher Steele was the direct source for a Yahoo News article implicating former Trump aide Carter Page in Russian collusion, newly released documents reveal.

Instead, the FBI suggested to the court, the September 2016 article by Michael Isikoff was independent corroboration of the salacious, unverified allegations against Trump in the infamous Steele Dossier. Federal authorities used both the Steele Dossier and Yahoo News article to convince the FISA court to authorize a surveillance warrant for Page.

But London court records show that contrary to the FBI’s assessments, Steele briefed Yahoo News and other reporters in the fall of 2016 at the direction of Fusion GPS — the opposition research firm behind the dossier.

The revelations are contained in heavily-redacted documents released over the weekend after a Freedom of Information lawsuit by the organization Judicial Watch.

The materials released by the DOJ include an October 2016 application to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to wiretap Page as well as several renewal applications.

So, there was only one source used as the basis for the surveillance warrant request: Steele’s dossier. The articles that appeared in the mainstream media was all based on Steele himself.

Conservative Review has more on what was in the released FBI and DOJ memos:

Over 400 pages of documents related to the FISA court warrant applications to surveil former Trump campaign operative Carter Page have been released. Now we know for certain: The unverified “Steele dossier” was used as evidence to get a warrant to spy on Page.

Though heavily redacted, the documents make clear that the FBI told the FISA court Page is a Russian agent who was betraying the United States. The dossier, which was funded by the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign, served as the first piece of evidence cited to allege Page coordinated with the Russians to influence the election. The FBI cited additional evidence, an article written by Michael Isikoff for Yahoo news, but failed to disclose that Isikoff received his information from Christopher Steele, the ex-British spy who authored the dossier.

What does that mean? It means that the FBI presented unverified campaign opposition research to FISA court judges to spy on Page, and the judges signed off on the applications.

So, who paid for the Steele dossier?

The far-left Washington Post explains:

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.

The FBI and DOJ didn’t tell the FISA court about who was funding the Steele dossier when they applied for the warrant. Because if they had, they would have been denied the warrant. No FISA court would approve surveillance of the Republican party if the sole basis for the warrant was uncorroborated opposition research funded by the Democrat party. In order to get the FISA warrant, the request had to be written in such a way that the funding of the Steele dossier was not revealed, and Steele was not declared to be the source of the news articles used as corroborating evidence.

There is evidence of collusion to get a presidential candidate elected

Left to right: Comey, Lynch, Clinton, McCabe
Left to right: Comey, Lynch, Clinton, McCabe

Nobody knows American politics better than Michael Barone. In this article for Real Clear Politics, he explains what we now know about collusion during the 2016 presidential election. This piece was tweeted by Brit Hume AND Hugh Hewitt (of MSNBC) so you know it’s fair and balanced.

First, here’s the status of the Russia collusion investigation:

The Russia collusion charge had some initial credibility because of businessman Donald Trump’s dealings in Russia and candidate Trump’s off-putting praise of Vladimir Putin.

It was fueled by breathless media coverage of such trivial events as Jeff Sessions’ conversation with the Russian ambassador at a Washington reception — and, of course, by the appointment of former FBI Director Robert Mueller as special counsel. But Mueller’s prosecutions of Trump campaign operatives were for misdeeds long before the campaign, and his indictment of 13 Russians specified that no American was a “knowing participant” in their work.

Now there’s talk that Mueller is winding up his investigation. It seems unlikely that whatever he reports will fulfill the daydreams so many liberals have of making Trump go the way of Richard Nixon.

So much for that story. Just think of how much the mainstream media talked about a story that turned out to be a big nothingburger.

But here’s another collusion story that’s emerging:

Meanwhile, the evidence builds of collusion by Obama administration law enforcement and intelligence personnel in trying to elect Hillary Clinton and defeat and delegitimize Trump in and after the 2016 election.

The investigation of Clinton’s illegal email system was conducted with kid gloves. FBI Director James Comey accepted Attorney General Loretta Lynch’s order to call it a “matter” rather than an “investigation.” Clinton aides were allowed to keep her emails and destroy 30,000 of them, plus cellphones. They were not subject to grand jury subpoenas, and a potential co-defendant was allowed to claim attorney-client privilege.

On June 27, 2016, Lynch clandestinely met with Bill Clinton on his plane at the Phoenix airport — a meeting that became known only thanks to an alert local TV reporter. Lynch supposedly left the decision on prosecution to Comey, who on July 5 announced publicly that Clinton had been “extremely careless” but lacked intent to violate the law, even though the statute punishes such violations whether they are intentional or not.

Contrast that with the collusion of Obama officials with the Clinton campaign-financed Christophe Steele/Fusion GPS dossier alleging Trump ties with Russians. Comey and the Justice Department used it, without divulging who paid for it, to get a FISA warrant to surveil former Trump campaign operative Carter Page’s future and past communications — the “wiretap” Trump was derided for mentioning.

Similarly, when Comey informed Trump in January 2017 of the contents of the then-unpublished Steele dossier, he didn’t reveal that the Clinton campaign had paid for it. Asked on his iatrogenic book tour why not, he blandly said he didn’t know. And maybe he doesn’t actually realize he was employing J. Edgar Hoover-like tactics to keep his job. Maybe.

In any case, after he was fired, he immediately sent four of his internal memos, at least one of them classified, to a law professor friend to leak them to the press, with the intent of getting a special counsel appointed — who turned out to be his longtime friend and ally Robert Mueller. Collusion, anyone?

I wonder if the mainstream media will be as excited about reporting on this one? The mainstream media seems intent on presenting Comey as some kind of superstar public servant. But the truth is very different.

Trump needs to appoint people to these law enforcement agencies who will investigate actual crimes that were committed by the previous administration and their allies in the media. I’d like to see people who use government as a weapon put behind bars. We have to know for certain that using the government as a weapon to influence elections has consequences.