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.