Patterico's Pontifications


Russian Propaganda TV Loves the Durham Report

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 10:23 pm

Keep spewing that Russian propaganda, you stupid morons.

You are total suckers promoting evil. You disgust me.

90 Responses to “Russian Propaganda TV Loves the Durham Report”

  1. Gee, I’d sure hate to moderate a bunch of moronic Putin fans. That would be terrible.

    Except my finger slipped just now by accident and that may have happened whoops

    Patterico (e04e46)

  2. Assholes

    Patterico (e04e46)

  3. The wolves are devouring each other. Darkness at noon. Damn right! rubishev.

    asset (b359de)

  4. On a related propaganda note…

    You can know Bellingcat, in part, by their enemies — the Kremlin and its supporters around the world, hard and soft. Bellingcat people are incredibly brave, sometimes risking life and limb. Grateful for their work. And if the Putinists (hard and soft) can refute it — let them.

    I would put Musk under “and its supporters”, what his “psyops” comments about bellingcat, even though they absolutely nailed the neo-Nazi beliefs of the Allen TX shooter.

    Paul Montagu (8f0dc7)

  5. Of course the borscht-boys like it. Durham said what Trump said Putin said at Helsinki.

    nk (f89e15)

  6. I’m really sorry that happened, Patterico. But I am pleased you eject people who don’t follow your rules. Your site, your rules.

    Simon Jester (ca4340)

  7. Putin probably loves that the 51 intelligence officials were revealed to be lying liars about Russian misinformation, so it’s best just to believe them.

    JF (a24dc0)

  8. The Russians see Trump, and his supporters, as their best hope for retribution for the collapse of the Soviet Union. And they’re not wrong.

    nk (3740d5)

  9. “I like what Sean Hannity said”: On a page marked “Russian Disinfo” Odd.

    Which is it? Gospel truth from Kremlin or disinfo? Feel free to pick and choose, the Russians are in people’s heads.

    I am a fan of Julia Davis’ twitter except when she flip flops to a default position that fits her political views. My opinion is that the Russians are agnostic about how they stir up trouble. The Biden Administration is hitting them the hardest but they are leaving Biden alone on purpose. Why? What might their purpose be? Is it easier to sow discontent and bitterness by applauding the Biden Contrarians at Fox. It seems to be working.

    steveg (bc0815)

  10. Russians are happy that Americans are being led by corrupt individuals and cheering our discontent and division.

    If only we had good leaders running our nation instead of liars and propagandists.

    NJRob (998f49)

  11. I hope to live to see the day when whole weeks go by without anyone mentioning Trump.

    Kevin M (213cd6)

  12. Russians are happy that Americans are being led by corrupt individuals and cheering our discontent and division.

    They’re not only cheering it, they’ve been sowing discontent and division, for years.

    Paul Montagu (8f0dc7)

  13. Trump is the Putin-loving liar, Rob. And Putin knows that Trump is the only one that can save him now.

    I doubt everything from both parties when it comes to Clinton, Biden and Trump. Even small things. For instance: Durham asked the Russian hotel manager if Trump had ever stayed there, and the manager said No. The Russians undoubtedly vetted and directed everyone what to say before Durham even asked. Clearly, Durham had an agenda.

    DRJ (853949)

  14. Request for clarification: who are the “total suckers spewing evil”; I wasn’t sure whether that referred to Fox News or some other people. I don’t watch Fox News but can believe that is an accurate characterization of at least some of the people there, judging by the disingenuously soft-on-Russia statements they’ve made that have been quoted here and elsewhere. Whether they work for Fox or have some other platform, it’s impossible to respect any of these pro-Russian Wormtongues.

    But isn’t it also possible to believe that Durham got it right about FBI excesses/mistakes etc but also believe that Putin is evil and needs to be defeated? These are not mutually exclusive propositions. It seems obvious that the FBI was part of an effort to defeat Trump and/or cripple his administration if he somehow won, based on false statements and innuendo about Russian influence. If anything, in a broader sense the Durham report should provide even more reasons to oppose Russia and bring down Putin (not that more reasons are necessary) because of his attempts to destabilize the US.

    It’s also obvious that Putin is a monstrous aggressor. My main quarrel with US policy is that we’re not doing enough to help Ukraine. The only decent reason I can see for any limitation on military aid is that we retain sufficient supplies for our own military, but otherwise give the Ukrainians what they need to defeat Russia. Maybe if the Russian military starts to crack the result for Putin will be something like what happened to the Kaiser in November 1918, if he can find any country willing to take him.

    RL formerly in Glendale (7a2d64)

  15. “retribution for the collapse of the Soviet Union”

    I think Trump started out with just an economic interest in Russia: building Trump Tower Moscow and needing to attract Russian financing. I don’t think he really thought he would win the general and wanted to keep the real estate venture viable.

    I also think Trump greatly admires power and success and is not offended by the ruthlessness required to secure it, especially if it’s just on the back of the little people. Is Putin rich? Does he have an attractive wife? Is he feared by his rivals? Is he fawned over by his lackies? Trump identifies with Putin, not the average Russian who has to survive a kleptocracy. The rabble is there to milk and exploit.

    As a casino developer, he knows the con and how to sell it to the masses. Populism! Blame everything on Mexicans, Chinese, bad trade deals, and Muslims and don’t look back. Always have a fall guy to blame and sic the masses on: Fauci, Mueller, Sessions, Mattis, Cohen, Comey, McCabe, and the list goes on. He may even believe some of the schtick but more likely it’s just a means to an end: securing power, making money, being the center of attention. In the process, hollow out the Republican Party and make it become as ruthless and amoral as he is.

    Putin loves Trump’s GOP precisely because it agitates against the rule of law and core institutions like the FBI and justice department. It’s attacked election integrity to a point where most Republicans believe there were serious problems with the 2020 vote despite the lack of evidence. Trump also stokes divisiveness and discord with the culture wars because his base loves it. As we get more and more divided, we see an institution like Congress is completely paralyzed and can’t accomplish basic functions. This pushes more power grabbing by the Courts and the President. Yes, Putin does smile. We yap about “elite” while the less serious congress critters take more and more of the oxygen. Good people leave or are chased out. Putin loves that Trump attacks NATO and wants to pull us out. Of course Putin wants Trump and will have his propagandists push as hard as possible for him.

    AJ_Liberty (ec7f74)

  16. DRJ,

    if you are willing to ignore all of the evidence Durham presented including testimony that was under oath while knowing that Hillary’s team created the dossier to October surprise her political opponent, I don’t know what to say.

    Look at the harm being done to the nation under the current administration while trying to save it from Trump.

    NJRob (998f49)

  17. Putin loves Trump’s GOP

    I shall whatabout…

    “In early 2007, I called Dad and asked him if he would invite President Vladimir Putin of Russia to Walker’s Point (the Bush family home in Kennebunkport, Maine),” Bush writes in his new book 41: A Portrait Of My Father.

    Reflecting on his father’s life and leadership, former President George W. Bush describes how the pair hosted Putin for a weekend of boating and discussions about missile defense systems in Poland and the Czech Republic.

    Former president George H.W. Bush was thrilled to process the request. “Just let me know what you need, son,” he said.

    “When Putin arrived on July 1, 2007, Dad met his plane at the airport in New Hampshire and accompanied him on the helicopter ride to Walker’s Point. Then he took both of us for a speedboat ride,” Bush writes.

    The Good OL’ GOP…

    BuDuh (eb14b0)

  18. Be sure to check out the photos at the link. Some nice family photo stuff for whichever album page is dedicated to entertaining a murderer.

    BuDuh (eb14b0)

  19. Putin officially announced his hostility toward the West and the USA in his April 2008 Bucharest speech, followed by his August 2008 invasion and partial conquest of Georgia, all of which were after his 2007 visit with Bush.
    Was Bush fooled into thinking that Putin was a respectable good-faith leader? Yes, and that’s yet another black mark that historians will put his record.

    Paul Montagu (8f0dc7)

  20. Certainly Bush was wrong about the “soul” of Putin and it’s obviously embarrassing to be seen palling around with him in 2007. By that point, he had been involved in killing rivals, journalists, likely blowing up his countrymen in 1999, and sending foes to work camps in Siberia. But it was before Putin’s grander foreign policy endeavors.

    Bush meeting with Putin post Cold War was prior to Russia’s invasions of Georgia (2008), Crimea (2014), and now the whole of Ukraine (2022)….and before its support of all levels of awfulness in Syria (2011). In 2008, McCain warned about both Crimea and Ukraine during a debate with Obama ( Romney famously warned about Russia and its quest for empire in 2012. In the VP debate in 2016, even Pence derided Putin as a “small and bullying” man who had invaded two neighbors and helped prop up Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad. A stark contrast with Trump’s depiction of Putin being great and that our history is checkered with people killing. Should Trump know better or is it the same situation that W was in?

    AJ_Liberty (ec7f74)

  21. Putin probably loves that the 51 intelligence officials were revealed to be lying liars about Russian misinformation, so it’s best just to believe them.

    Missed one. Fixed.

    Patterico (7d4d5c)

  22. I shall whatabout…


    Patterico (8d1bb4)

  23. Russians are happy that Americans are being led by corrupt individuals and cheering our discontent and division.

    If only we had good leaders running our nation instead of liars and propagandists.

    Good leaders like Trump?

    Could you please tell me what is new in this Durham report that you find compelling, with specifics? I don’t want to hear anything that I already knew from reading the Inspector General’s report. And I don’t want to hear handwaving generalities. I’m looking for very specific new things with links where I can verify them, preferably citations to the report itself. Because my impression is that it’s a retread. But I haven’t read it and am not likely to, because I consider him a hack. So I come to you, evidently one of his biggest fans, for specifics, if you have them.

    I’m trying to evaluate whether you have anything to add to this or any discussion, so this is kind of important to get right. I’m getting rid of a lot of sarcastic whiners in recent hours, at least for a while, to see how things work without people who annoy me using my site to annoy me. But I want to keep anyone who has some actual substance to offer. You have made a challenge to DRJ claiming that there is something momentous and new in this report. I’d like to see you tell me what it is.

    Patterico (8d1bb4)

  24. I’m pretty much done with people who a) appear to support very evil people and b) can’t bring themselves to make actual arguments that make sense as to why they do so.

    Again, I’m not sure if this moderation will last, but I want to see if I can rid the site of people who annoy the hell out of me and see what happens if I do. Presenting actual arguments, with facts and specific links, that challenge my views does not annoy me. Alleging the opposite of what I just said in the previous sentence does. These are hints for anyone who wants to try actual discussion from another viewpoint. Very strong hints.

    Patterico (8d1bb4)

  25. In oddly related news, the Supreme Court leaves section 230 of the CDA intact.

    Kevin M (213cd6)

  26. I am very happy that I did not get all involved in the whole Russia/Mueller/Durnam/FBI clusterinvestigations. I basically wrote all that stuff off when they let Hillary walk for things I would have done 30 years in prison for.

    Kevin M (213cd6)

  27. Patterico,

    You’ve done this to me several times now and I’ve answered respectfully eqch time. I do not understand why you feel the need for ke to jump through hoops as you threaten me?

    I already mentioned on the open thread that statements used in the Steele report against Manafort were retracted under oath.

    I think knowing that Obama, Biden and Clinton were all in on the Steele Report is especially damning. That the FBI used Hillary’s propaganda to start up and intelligence investigation that was used to hamper the administration for 4 years and cloud the 2016 election with the air of illegitimacy speaks for itself.

    NJRob (998f49)

  28. When viewing official DC ethics investigations, rife with special pleading and littered with gored oxen, I find the Serenity Prayer to be useful. Shorter: sewers are full of sh1t. Get over it.

    Kevin M (213cd6)

  29. Mueller report

    NJRob (998f49)

  30. NJRob,

    Could you link me to the parts of the Durham report (and ideally quote them) so I can see for myself? The problem I have is that in this age of hyperpartisan media and willingness to make things up, for all I know you are repeating things other people have said that are not true. You can always tell me it’s my job to educate myself but you have a chance here to persuade me and the best way to do that is to give me links and quotes. You’ll notice that’s how I operate when I try to persuade others.

    I can tell you this: if you refuse to give me links and quotes and admit that maybe what you’re saying is not entirely true, no harm no foul. If you refuse to give me links and quotes and tell me that I have to hunt all this down myself, and then I do, and then I find out you’re wrong, I’ll likely a) write it up because if I have to take all that time I might as well get a post out of it, and b) I will not be favorably disposed towards you.

    If I have to chase it all down and you’re right, I’ll likely still write the post, but I will wonder why you didn’t just give me the quotes, links, and or pinpoint citations.

    I’m looking for original sources, not some right-wing loudmouth who asserts stuff without backing it up.

    Help a brother out.

    Patterico (3fbade)

  31. I’m at work, but will be happy to do so.

    I did used the Washington Examiner’s site for many of my previous comments due to their use of sourcing for their conclusions.

    NJRob (998f49)

  32. I was pointing out that the GOP hasn’t done much to prove they are solidly in an anti-Putin camp, Patterico.

    I certainly am not making a pro-Putin or pro-Trump argument. Merely that this cooperation with thugs seems to be baked into the conservative leaderships’s cake for decades.

    BuDuh (eb14b0)

  33. I was wondering if you could state in your own words what is new and compelling to you, and provide original sourcing for it. Doesn’t have to be right now. I don’t need to read again about how the FBI misused the Steele dossier to get FISA warrants on Carter Page. We knew that ages ago. Where does the Durham report itself say the things you allege, and what of that is new?

    Patterico (377059)

  34. I mean, NJRob, you’re the one who was appalled DRJ was ignoring this stuff. So you ought to be able to give us chapter and verse on what specifically she is ignoring and where it can be found. Not some super long retread from the Washington Examiner.

    Patterico (377059)

  35. When news about the Steele dossier came out, I recognized that it was a collection of what is commonly called “raw intelligence”. And that there was no way I could either disprove — or verify — most of the items in it. (Including, of course, the notorious “pee tape” story.)

    That uncertainty is unsatisfactory to me and, I hope, to most of you. But that’s the world we live in.

    We do know that the Loser’s open admiration for the evil Putin is wrong, and that should be enough for anyone who values democracy, and peace.

    (In theory, our intelligence agencies might be able to disprove or verify items in the dossier. But I am not sure they should, publicly, even if they could, since that might force them to reveal sources and methods.)

    Jim Miller (0e46f9)

  36. I think Rob was trying to say “I already mentioned on the open thread that statements used in the Steele Mueller report against Manafort were retracted under oath,” but his WA Examiner link doesn’t say anything about the Mueller report.
    Most of the info that came from Danchenko in the Steele reports is worthless crap. Steele is mentioned only 14 times in the Mueller report, to describe Comey’s briefing to Trump, to conclude that Cohen didn’t visit Prague, etc.

    Paul Montagu (8f0dc7)

  37. #20 Back in March David Ignatius wrote a column arguing that things began to go really wrong between Bush and Putin, after the 1004 Beslam massacre. (Before then, Putin had given us much practical help in the war on terror.)

    You can argue that Bush was wrong not to recognize the change in the relationship, after that event. But that doesn’t require concluding that Bush was wrong to seek a better relationship with Russia before then. After all, that would be in Russia’s best interests, and ours, as histry shows.

    Jim Miller (0e46f9)

  38. 2004, not 1004, of course.

    Jim Miller (0e46f9)

  39. And Beslan, not “Beslam”.

    Jim Miller (0e46f9)

  40. #33, 34

    I know the challenge to NJ Rob was not directed at me and I don’t presume to speak for anyone. But since all I knew about the Durham report was the obviously biased news reports (pro and anti Trump, all have their agenda) it seemed like a good idea to actually review it. The following excerpt from p. 88 of the Durham report (p. 98 of the pdf) contains information that is new to me (maybe old hat to others) and it seems to be fairly presented. It discusses the so-called “Clinton Plan” which the report defines (at p. 81, 91 of the pdf) as a plan, purportedly approved by Hillary Clinton on July 26, 2016, to distract attention from the controversy about Hillary’s emails by vilifying “Donald Trump by stirring up a scandal claiming interference by the Russian security services.” The parts of the Durham report I’ve read so far don’t say there actually was a “Clinton Plan” but only that US intelligence had heard that there was. The CIA apparently discovered intelligence about this on July 28, 2016, and Brennan very soon thereafter briefed the President about it. Apparently this intelligence was considered good or significant enough to discuss even if not verified as being accurate. The CIA later shared this information with the FBI but the excerpt below indicates that the individuals conducting the “Crossfire Hurricane” investigation were not given that information.

    “The Office showed portions of the Clinton Plan intelligence to a number of individuals who were actively involved in the Crossfire Hurricane investigation. Most advised they had never seen the intelligence before, and some expressed surprise and dismay upon learning of it. For example, the original Supervisory Special Agent on the Crossfire Hurricane investigation, Supervisory Special Agent-1, reviewed the intelligence during one of his interviews with the Office.428 After reading it, Supervisory Special Agent-I became visibly upset and emotional, left the interview room with his counsel, and subsequently returned to state emphatically that he had never been apprised of the Clinton Plan intelligence and had never seen the aforementioned Referral Memo. 429 Supervisory Special Agent-1 expressed a sense of betrayal that no one had informed him ofthe intelligence. When the Office cautioned Supervisory Special Agent-1 that we had not verified or corroborated the accuracy of the intelligence and its assertions regarding the Clinton campaign, Supervisory Special Agent-I responded firmly that regardless of whether its contents were true, he should have been informed of it.430
    Former FBI General Counsel Baker also reviewed the Clinton Plan intelligence during one of his interviews with the Office.431 Baker stated that he had neither seen nor heard ofthe Clinton Plan intelligence or the resulting Referral Memo prior to his interview with the Office. He acknowledged the significance ofthe reporting and explained that had he known of it during the Crossfire Hurricane investigation, he would have viewed in a different and much more skeptical light (i) information the FBI received from Steele concerning Trump’s purported ties to Russia and (ii) information received from attorney Michael Sussmann that purported to show a secret communications channel between the Trump Organization and Alfa Bank.432”

    The reasons the “Clinton Plan” info wasn’t shared may well have been benign, such as mere negligence. Or perhaps there’s a good reason for superiors to keep certain information from investigators even if the investigators believe they should have received it; all that is way beyond my level. But you could also interpret this as showing malfeasance by higher-ups at the FBI because the meta-purpose, if you will, of the investigation was to hurt Trump and keeping this information from the investigators might further that purpose.

    Apologies to all if the above is old news, didn’t mean to waste your time. But it seems to me you can be anti-Trump and still think the persistent Russian collusion investigation was at bottom a political dirty trick that at least some at the FBI participated in.

    RL formerly in Glendale (7a2d64)

  41. Hi Paul

    Those neo nazi views seem intellectually inconsistent, or should I say “mental health inconsistent” In Dave Chapelle’s skit on the Black White Supremacist, Chapelle felt he had to use blindness to make it work. I think they only way to make a hispanic neo nazi skit work (v.USA) is mental illness. I knew/worked with a hispanic guy who stirred paraquat with an oar for a living and also passed out John Birch Society literature on the weekends at the only grocery store in his town.

    steveg (49509d)

  42. steve, I would agree about “mental health inconsistent”, but the Allen TX shooter isn’t the only example. Nick Fuentes is another hispanic neo-Nazi. You can also make a larger argument that, in 2020s America, neo-Nazis in general have mental health issues.

    I think part of the issue is that “hispanic” is an ethnic group, not a race, so hispanics can be as white as Tino Martinez, brownish as Alex Rodriguez or black as Roberto Clemente.

    Paul Montagu (8f0dc7)

  43. Some things in the Steele Dossier rang true to me. Some didn’t. But it is not surprising to see the federal government and its leaders politicized, as I am sure they always have been.

    However … it is as disappointing to see people accept the Durham Report as gospel as it was the Steele Dossier.

    DRJ (853949)

  44. steveg (bc0815) — 5/18/2023 @ 8:14 am

    The Biden Administration is hitting them the hardest but they are leaving Biden alone on purpose. Why?

    Biden is stopping some European countries, particularly the UK, from helping Ukraine more.

    The Latest Flash Point Among Ukraine’s Allies Is Whether to Send F-16s

    The United States is resisting a European push for the powerful fighters. But will it relent, as it did before with tanks, rocket launchers and air defense missiles?

    On the other hand the US is devising good military strategy – destroy Russia logistical ability d first – standard U.S. strategy sine 1991 before an offensive

    Biden is just afraid of what will happen if Ukraine is too victorious. This means the Putin can afford to take risks because he can alwqays get a ceasefire, he thinks, before he loses his naval base in Crimea.

    It’s don’t rock the boat.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  45. In Nashville, the shooter was anti transgender opposition apparently, and the media didn’t want t demonize those beliefs

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  46. Thanks, RL formerly in Glendale, that is very helpful. I note that, with your helpful pinpoint cite to a page in the actual Durham report, I was able to understand that when you said this:

    The parts of the Durham report I’ve read so far don’t say there actually was a “Clinton Plan” but only that US intelligence had heard that there was.

    That U.S. intelligence had “heard” this from . . . Russian intelligence services.

    In late July 2016, U.S. intelligence agencies obtained insight into Russian intelligence analysis alleging that U.S Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton had approved a campaign plan to stir up a scandal against U.S. Presidential candidate Donald Trump by tying him to Putin and the Russians’ hacking of the Democratic National Committee. The IC does not know the accuracy of this allegation or the extent to which the Russian intelligence analysis may reflect exaggeration or fabrication.

    So wait. Russian intelligence had an anti-Hillary theory that Hillary was trying to smear Trump by tying him to Putin?

    via GIPHY

    To me, that sounds like: Hillary was learning that Trump was tied to Putin and Russian intelligence (a bunch of fucking evil liars) decided to fight that by portraying it as a nefarious scheme by Hillary.

    The idea that someone would get all upset and emotional that he had not been told about such a steaming pile of horseshit, I find risible. YMMV. But I truly do appreciate your pointing me to the allegation.

    I kinda doubt I’m going to get any chapter and verse like this from NJRob. It’s just not his style. Maybe I can ask you, then, RL formerly in Glendale, or Paul Montagu, who seems similarly well-informed and conversant in primary source materials, whether either of you (or anyone else) is familiar with what NJRob is talking about when he says:

    I already mentioned on the open thread that statements used in the Steele report against Manafort were retracted under oath.

    I think knowing that Obama, Biden and Clinton were all in on the Steele Report is especially damning.

    I have a decent amount more to say about the whole thing where Russians gave disinformation to Steele. Suffice it to say, I don’t think they did it to help Hillary.

    Patterico (8d1bb4)

  47. I have DCSCA in moderation calling me “Putinrico.”

    Gee, he really makes me feel like a made a mistake trying the experiment of putting him temporarily in moderation.

    It should have been permanent from the start.

    Patterico (7d4d5c)

  48. The Kremlin is well served by the core doctrine of Trumpism, which is the bizarre notion that Donald Trump – a sociopath whose indifference to facts is revealed in such transparently absurd pronouncements as “Nobody reads the Bible more than me,” and whose indifference to law is revealed in his claim that he has an “absolute right” to keep whatever national-security documents he wants and do whatever he chooses with them — is actually the most honest patriot in the land and zealously committed to “draining the swamp” and valiantly battling “corruption.”
    Because Trump has contempt for legal and institutional and ethical restraints, while Trumpites regard him as the chief arbiter of truth and goodness, a sizeable portion of the American public view American institutions and the law itself as deeply corrupt. They imagine that Durham proved a massive conspiracy by corrupt law-enforcement agencies against their cult leader — though he did no such thing. It’s simply what they want to believe.
    When Trump said he trusted Putin more than all the U.S. intelligence agencies, MAGAs were no more offended than they were when he boasted that they would all still support him even if he shot someone on 5th Avenue.
    That’s all very good for a hostile power that wants to weaken our institutions and our constitutional order.
    On top of that are the apologetics for Putin’s style of rule, with its “Christian” veneer, that have come from New Right/tradcon/natcons, and from Trump himself. Some in MAGAland have been disposed to see America as the real force of evil (against Russia) in Ukraine.
    There is definitely an overlap between the people who are taking Russia’s side and the people who insist that Durham proved Trump to be an innocent victim of monstrous institutional corruption. And it does nothing to Make America Great.

    Radegunda (6652a4)

  49. It should have been permanent from the start.

    Patterico (7d4d5c) — 5/18/2023 @ 9:15 pm

    I think he enjoys being a turd in the punch bowl. Not once have I seen him say, “Gee, you have a good point. Going forward, I’ll take that into account when formulating my opinions.” He just blows the same horn over and over, while accusing others–who are much more reasonable–of doing exactly that.

    He is impervious to reason. He refused to acknowledge that voters have a choice in the primaries, and CAN be blamed for choosing bad candidates when better options are available.

    norcal (15fce4)

  50. Great comment, Radegunda. Just the other day, I was thinking about how long you’ve been absent.

    norcal (15fce4)

  51. Patterico #47: your website, and your rules. But I do think that insulting the person who creates a place to post about a gazillion comments is…unwise.

    I wonder if the conversations here will be more polite and substantive in nature.

    “He chose…poorly.”
    The Grail Knight to Indiana Jones, “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade” (1989).

    Simon Jester (ca4340)

  52. Patterico, I don’t have much more to add on sourcing, particularly since you already mentioned the “Russian intelligence analysis”. The bottom line is that Durham took a shot at Sussman regarding Hillary and FusionGPS and Steele, and a jury of Sussman’s peers would have none of it, so Durham basically ended his line of investigation.

    This doesn’t mean Hillary wasn’t being a sleazehag, digging up slime on Trump using a hired gun like FusionGPS and washing the payments through Perkins Coie, but aside from the FEC violation (and slap-of-the-wrist fine), her brand of dirty politics wasn’t illegal, it was just dirty, typical dirty Clinton scheming. If it were me in charge, she’d have been hit with a low eight-figure fine (which would’ve sent a proper deterrent message), not the low six figures she was levied.

    Paul Montagu (8f0dc7)

  53. There are those I disagree with.
    There are those who I think favor evil.
    And then there is DCSCA, who favors raw noise. It really doesn’t matter what he believes or who he favors — he presents himself in such a way that even if I agreed with 90% of what he posts, he’d still stink up the site irredeemably.

    Kevin M (213cd6)

  54. #46

    Thanks for your kind words, but I feel much more ignorant than “well informed and conversant in primary source materials” — a truly undeserved compliment. Mainly got into the Durham report today because it was more interesting than the commercial lease I was supposed to be reading.

    Anyway, I don’t know on what NJRob based the statement that “Obama, Biden and Clinton were all in the Steele Report”; he’ll have to explain that.

    But to follow up on the points I did make previously, the tone of what I’ve read of the Durham report struck me as pretty straightforward and evenhanded. Not having been in the interview room with the FBI agent I have no way to actually know if the report accurately described his reactions, but the description didn’t seem “risible” to me. You’ve probably examined many more witnesses than I have (although I could probably take the deposition of a personal injury plaintiff, defendant, or expert witness in my sleep by now) and so may discount this but in my experience sometimes witnesses react in strange ways, and I don’t see any reason to believe that the FBI agent necessarily must not have reacted as the Durham report said he did.

    One thing that did trouble me a bit in the excerpt quoted before was the statement that “most” of the Crossfire Hurricane investigators they interviewed had not heard of the “Clinton Plan” — does that imply that some had heard of it? Possibly, not sure, but if they had, it would undercut the report’s argument about the FBI’s treatment of the “Plan” intelligence. But overall, nothing in the Durham report set off the alarm bells you get when reading, say, the report of an obviously biased expert witness. For example, the report, at the bottom of p. 88 (98 of the pdf) summarizes an interview with a Clinton campaign foreign policy advisor with words to the effect that while she might have proposed some ideas along the lines of what the report calls the “Clinton Plan” she doesn’t know if they were ever acted on, which sounds pretty evasive. If there was no such plan, you would expect her to have been a lot less equivocal. But then the report follows up with another page or so of unequivocal denials of the existence of any such plan by various Clinton campaign people, which is the sort of thing you should include if you’re trying to be evenhanded.

    So it seems to me inaccurate to describe the Durham report as necessarily some sort of pro-Trump special pleading, even if Russian propagandists are seizing on it as something that helps them. My understanding is that the FBI has not labeled the report’s descriptions of what happened as false, but has merely said that any problems it identified have now been corrected. But like you I’m prepared to be convinced by contrary evidence, such as what would show a reason to discount the accuracy of what Durham says. Looking forward to the “decent amount more to say” that you have on these issues.

    RL formerly in Glendale (7a2d64)

  55. #46, 54

    Should not have said or implied that “pro-Trump special pleading” accurately characterizes your view of the Durham report, I apologize for using such a strawman-argument phrase.

    RD formerly in Glendale (7a2d64)

  56. Maybe I can ask you, then, RL formerly in Glendale, or Paul Montagu, who seems similarly well-informed and conversant in primary source materials, whether either of you (or anyone else) is familiar with what NJRob is talking about when he says:

    I already mentioned on the open thread that statements used in the Steele report against Manafort were retracted under oath.

    I think knowing that Obama, Biden and Clinton were all in on the Steele Report is especially damning.

    @29 he said “Mueller Report.” I’m guessing he meant that as a correction to one or both of his prior references to “Steele Report.” Of course it’s too cryptic to be sure which, both, or neither he had in mind.

    lurker (cd7cd4)

  57. “I have DCSCA in moderation calling me “Putinrico.””


    AJ_Liberty (36071a)

  58. @52

    Patterico, I don’t have much more to add on sourcing, particularly since you already mentioned the “Russian intelligence analysis”. The bottom line is that Durham took a shot at Sussman regarding Hillary and FusionGPS and Steele, and a jury of Sussman’s peers would have none of it, so Durham basically ended his line of investigation.

    This doesn’t mean Hillary wasn’t being a sleazehag, digging up slime on Trump using a hired gun like FusionGPS and washing the payments through Perkins Coie, but aside from the FEC violation (and slap-of-the-wrist fine), her brand of dirty politics wasn’t illegal, it was just dirty, typical dirty Clinton scheming. If it were me in charge, she’d have been hit with a low eight-figure fine (which would’ve sent a proper deterrent message), not the low six figures she was levied.

    Paul Montagu (8f0dc7) — 5/18/2023 @ 10:12 pm

    This. All of this.

    We all ought to separate those who engages in dirty tactics, that skirts just below breaking the law in politics from any animus you may have of the intended target.

    Meaning, we should be able to denounce all-things-Trump AND at the same time denounce the dirty tactics his opponents.

    Politics has very long memory, and we should encourage either sides from setting new bad precedents nor breaking conventional wisdoms, just because either side despises each other.

    whembly (d116f3)

  59. Ugh… we really need an edit button. 🙁

    Last para above should be:

    Politics has very long memory, and we should NOT encourage either sides from setting new bad precedents nor breaking conventional wisdoms, just because either side despises each other.

    whembly (d116f3)

  60. Durham seems to have been targeting the FBI, even at the expense of getting convictions in the criminal cases. Why would he bring criminal cases if he thought the FBI was corrupt? Why not just release the report?

    On the other hand, he did bring 4 criminal cases and lost all but one charge for lying in an email. To me, those results undermine my ability to completely trust in his judgment. Losing cases happens but he basically lost every major charge he brought against multiple people.

    DRJ (b9bade)

  61. Losing cases happens but he basically lost every major charge he brought against multiple people.

    So did Kenneth Starr. That doesn’t mean that Starr was wrong. It could be that the fix was in.

    Kevin M (213cd6)

  62. Durham brought cases knowing he was testing a legal boundary that he felt the FBI was tip toeing along. When Durham lost in court, he realized that there had been things done he felt were unethical, but that were not convictable. My opinion is that fix was in and here is how I have come to believe that. Everyone in the case that “retired” had Democrats rushing to save them.
    Twitter and other tech hired some for cash and stock options, others got book deals for a version of the story that would only play to democrats (and not many of them either). Icing on the cake was FBI guy Clinesmith who tampered with a document in the sneakiest of ways, got his license suspended for only one year. The DC Bar issued a series of “fake but accurate” statements about Clinesmith without directly defending him, but their feeling were soon made clear. Clinesmith had his law license reinstated before he completed his terms of probation, his community service hours were thought to have been a sham at Street Sense Media, a very leftist non-profit. Clinesmith continued to fail upward and landed a job as a lawyer immediately after reinstatement.

    I’m confident that the host and other attorneys here would be willing to allow that Clinesmith completed his debt to society and has every right by law to rejoin the bar and practice law…. but they would not have been offering him a job either because principles matter.

    I’m also saying that Durham’s report shows he thinks principles matter more than the culture of “how well can you straddle the law here at the FBI”

    steveg (c02be4)

  63. iMO Starr had a strong legal argument but people wanted to forgive Clinton. Durham had a weak legal argument with defendants the juries probably didnt care about.

    Why do you view Durham as concerned with ethics, steveg? FBI corruption and crimes seem to be his focus.

    DRJ (c15805)

  64. The FBI agents seem careless at best and probably politicized. I am struggling with whether or not Durham’s report will lead to institutional improvements, or more politicization.

    As for Clinesmith, the Judge said his actions were not politically motivated, and there were reports that similar crimes (not involving moral turpitude) by other lawyers were given similar punishments. Returning to a law practice after a suspension is not unusual. It would be unusual to return to being a government attorney, but has he? I see no evidence of it.

    DRJ (c15805)

  65. I think Durham wants the FBI to do a better job internally, he certainly doesn’t seem like he is doing this to make himself a name. Durham and Judge Dabney Friedrich seem to be in agreement when she wrote about Carter Page: “To the extent these allegations are true, there is little question that many individual defendants, as well as the agency as a whole, engaged in wrongdoing.” She went on to find “Page has brought no actionable claim against any individual defendant or against the United States” which I didn’t understand but I’m willing to chalk that up to ignorance on my part as to how the law works.

    On Clinesmith, I think that the opinions of the Judge Boasberg ran contrary to Clinesmith’s actions and his history. Clinesmith was removed from the Mueller investigation for some cause and yet the judge was quite generous to Clinesmith. Maybe someone put a word in for him over cocktails at the club. I understand other lawyers were punished for somewhat similar things, but this was for a FISA court and ruined a good piece of a mans reputation, cost him attorney’s fees. I think that Clinesmith’s punishment was less than the damage he did to Carter Page and that his actions as a DOJ employee were despicable. I know you and I wouldn’t hire him, and if he worked for legal opposition, it would greatly diminish my view of their position on ethics.
    It sets a horrible precedent, makes me feel like maybe a Trump hating IRS auditor who sees I gave $5 to a pro-Trump PAC in 2016 can alter a line on my tax return, then type in a few extra zeros onto my income tax due and get away with no consequences to speak of. I also wonder what would happen to me if I altered an email the DOJ asked me for about a FISA issue, by just a couple letters that changed the context… do I get community service, probation and a Judge running interference for me? why not? The DOJ lawyers should be held to a higher standard, they should know better and if they can’t act better, then they should shunned to the point where their best option is take up smoking and get a job pumping porta potties.

    steveg (c02be4)

  66. Ok. You don’t believe what the Judge said about Clinesmiths motivations. You don’t believe his punishment and readmission to the Bar is consistent with other cases. But you do believe in Durham’s motives and conclusions. Is there some basis for your beliefs other than who shares your political beliefs?

    DRJ (b9bade)

  67. Cleaning porta potties is a job where a sliding scale of ethics on the job would mean an occasional short pump and swiping a roll or two of toilet paper, but on the paperwork side, if you falsify a number on a time sheet, you get fired promptly from the porta potty pumper position and there is rarely a fail up component to the employment trajectory found there. It is a job that can provide a path where hard work, honesty can rehabilitate character

    steveg (244098)

  68. I am sorry if that sounds rude. I don’t mean it that way. I just can’t get my head around your certainty about the motives and judgment of everyone involved.

    DRJ (06e305)

  69. I say Durham was appointed and did not seek the job. I think his motives were to do his job well on taking a long thorough look at peoples actions in a department of the DOJ where the people need to be squeaky clean and political motive-free. I do not think Durham was politically motivated but was motivated to find the political and see if it had led to biased actions or inactions. He did find people who he felt had played too loosely along a hazy line… let me say it this way- if Durham was an NBA referee he’d call travelling if he saw it. He might try to enforce the 3 seconds rule. His time in the NBA would also be very short, rules and motives for upholding rules be damned. I think Durham wrote a very thorough report, took his time and without having read the entire thing, think his conclusions were fair. People in the FBI let politics cloud their judgement. A lot of that we already knew. People were re-assigned, some were released, some resigned to some very cushy landings provided by the people who were “on their team”. In a way these cast offs strike me like Trump, how can a person who says these mean things possibly be honest and fair in their job? The skunk doesn’t stop its stink by walking through the lobby at the office, but its not illegal to be a skunk.
    Of most interest to me is the reaction of Trump haters who seem be of the opinion that this FBI political motivation was done in the search for a greater good and as such is not just forgivable, but laudable, elevational.
    Americans will at times elect very polarizing people. Trump is and hopefully was one. People at the DoJ had to be reminded that the more polarizing the figure, the more they need to rigidly adhere to the structures, rules that are in place to stay fair. There are some other commonsense rules to follow like don’t spend all of Monday night texting, tweeting, emailing, mocking a candidate and their 47% of USA supporters, and then expect them to believe you walked into work Tuesday at 7AM and switched off animus.

    steveg (e5f4ac)

  70. Why do you view Durham as concerned with ethics, steveg? FBI corruption and crimes seem to be his focus.

    Well, there is the legal word “ethics” and the common English word “ethics.” The latter is inclusive of corruption and crimes. The former works off a list.

    Kevin M (213cd6)

  71. But the point of Durhams’ criminal investigation wasn’t to find ethical issues, Kevin M. Ethics are aspirational, not something punishable by law, and he was bringing criminal charges.

    But to the extent Durham found ethical concerns in the FBI, and he probably did, the report also says any problems have already been corrected by the FBI and Durham did not recommend changes.

    DRJ (00ae32)

  72. After all this, I hope that there is a greater willingness to accept people who aren’t Democrats in DC, steveg. But why do you think Durham is so neutral? Do you really think Barr wanted a neutral investigator?

    DRJ (00ae32)

  73. FWIW the DOJ also needs to be reminded that Presidents can and do break laws, so maybe the hands off rule should be revisited.

    DRJ (00ae32)

  74. I know Barr was supposed to be a big believer in the power of the executive branch of government and I think he appointed Durham because Durham wasn’t a man that was reluctant to test the DOJ. I don’t think that tarnishes Barr or Durham. In light of the findings, the appointment of Durham was fair, and the findings were fair as well. Durham did not finish at absolute neutral, but since no one on either side is ecstatic, his findings hit the middle zone. What makes you think Durham was not very close to neutral?

    I think we agree that Presidents and their family members break laws and that the Secret Service, DOJ should not be in the business of tidying up their messes, recovering guns from trash bins and ignoring drugs, and underage girls, and the DOJ should not be protecting them at these costs. DRJ, are you saying that the DOJ was treating Trump as hands off? I think the DOJ and Trump had one of the most publicly adversarial relationships since Nixon.

    I think we disagree on ethics being exclusively aspirational. Ethics involve principles and principles in practice are not aspirational, they are products of aspiration put rigorously into practice. Let’s talk about ethics vs illegality for a minute using Enron and Weismann as an example. “Hey, I may have ruined lives, careers, put thousands out of their jobs and assassinated characters, but it wasn’t illegal” doesn’t ring as simple misplaced aspirations to me, though it was certainly not principled

    steveg (244098)

  75. I think Barr was partisan because, for example, he used his position to spin the Mueller Report to promote and protect Trump.

    I think Durham was partisan because he used his report to condemn the FBI for confirmation bias in pursuing Trump. Specifically, Durham agreed with the Horowitz and Mueller investigations that there was no FBI investigation into Trump/Russia until the Australian government alerted the US government to the Pappadoupolos claim that Russia had dirt/emails about Hillary, and implied Russia would provide it to Trump. (Trump, of course, later publicly called on Russia to release the emails.) Durham used the fact there was no investigation to argue that starting an investigation that led to the Steele Dossier was proof of confirmation bias.

    DRJ (39fa52)

  76. I believe the FBI should have investigated after receiving the Pappadoupolos information.

    DRJ (39fa52)

  77. Trump opposed any part of the government that viewed its role as anything other than supporting Trump, so that resulted in an adversarial relationship with the DOJ — in addition to any partisanship within the DOJ.

    DRJ (39fa52)

  78. Ethics and morality are the basis for religion and the rule of law. But they are aspirational guides, not a basis for criminal charges.

    DRJ (39fa52)

  79. Much of Western ethics and morality derive from a code of conduct, rules and regulations, imposed on a violent and unruly horde of escaped slaves wending their way from Egypt to Canaan.

    It’s a chicken-and-egg situation, I think. People find ways to live together in communities. We can call them mores and folkways, informal rules of conduct. At some point they become formalized into laws incurring more than community opprobrium for their violation.

    Contemporaneously, “the ruler” enacts rules and regulations which they deem necessary for the orderly conduct of the community. Mala prohibita. Bad only because their violation is against the law.

    Eventually, identification with the common interests of the community, we can call it socialization, makes violation of those mala prohibita into not only mala in se but also the equivalent of moral defects liable to community opprobrium as well as formal punishment.

    Hypocrisy is a necessary reagent in the process. We will get to that in the next lecture.

    nk (33b0c3)

  80. nk, your comment reminds me of Heinlein’s observation of how important courtesy is to civilization—a lubricant to help people with sharp edges work together or at least not attack one another.

    Simon Jester (ca4340)

  81. Some places and professions make it harder to be treated courteously, especially if you are the wrong type of partisan. It’s easy for me where I live and work because most people are conservative. I bet it isn’t so easy for you, Simon.

    DRJ (39fa52)

  82. FWIW the DOJ also needs to be reminded that Presidents can and do break laws, so maybe the hands off rule should be revisited.

    It’s a hands-off rule because the temptation to partisan mischief is too great. Sure, Trump, but if bringing charges against presidents was OK, they would have gone after Gerald Ford as well.

    And see the history of Travis County DA’s charging GOP TX governors for silly stuff.

    Kevin M (213cd6)

  83. Ethics and morality are the basis for religion and the rule of law. But they are aspirational guides, not a basis for criminal charges.

    Lately “ethics” has been codified and violations of “ethics” laws is a criminal matter. Of course, being codified, not all unethical behavior is illegal, but more is of late.

    Kevin M (213cd6)

  84. Good lesson on ethics, nk. I view the Greeks — Socrates and Plato — as the “inventors” of the philosophy of ethics. The Greeks were traders and explorers, I think, and Socrates/Plato wanted to understand the different cultures and values they encountered.

    DRJ (a53c95)

  85. I believe it is better to have open trials if there is suspected wrongdoing. Travis County is a good example. Ronnie Earle was wrong to target Tom Delay, and it cost Delay his leadership. But it exposed Earle and cost him, too.

    Ethics are often the basis of laws, but they aren’t the same. Slavery was unethical but legal.

    DRJ (a53c95)

  86. Slavery was unethical but legal.

    Was it? The institution had been around, pretty much continuously, for all of recorded history. Abraham held slaves. To Romans, slavery was an act of mercy for defeated foes.

    Sure, that attitude animated the abolitionists, but it was a long time incoming. There were few, if any, abolitionists in 1700.

    Kevin M (213cd6)

  87. Sore Loser:

    Somewhat akin to Trump and his allies, who have increasingly attacked the legal system, Durham points a finger at juries.

    Early in his report, Durham seems to suggest his probe didn’t yield more significant prosecutions and convictions because it’s difficult to find juries unbiased enough.

    “There are also reasons why, in examining politically-charged and high-profile issues such as these, the Office must exercise — and has exercised — special care,” Durham writes. “First, juries can bring strongly held views to the courtroom in criminal trials involving political subject matters, and those views can, in turn, affect the likelihood of obtaining a conviction, separate and apart from the strength of the actual evidence and despite a court’s best efforts to empanel a fair and impartial jury.”

    As Politico’s Kyle Cheney noted, this flies in the face of how the Justice Department generally talks about prosecutorial decisions. It could certainly be read as Durham blaming jurors’ “strongly held” political views for his poor record in securing convictions and, perhaps by extension, for his decision not to seek to bring additional cases.
    Stanford University law professor Robert Gordon said this inclusion from Durham was “not unethical, but it does strike me as unseemly whining.”

    Later in the report, Durham addresses the two cases in which he failed to secure convictions: the Michael Sussmann case and the Igor Danchenko case. Both were indicted on charges of making false statements to the FBI.

    But despite juries unanimously rejecting those charges, Durham proceeds to state that both men indeed made false statements. ……….
    Durham also suggests that the blame for the lack of a conviction lies with a judge’s decision not to admit evidence of other “uncharged false statements” by Danchenko. He details those alleged other false statements.

    Durham addresses the Sussmann case similarly.
    …………. Durham elsewhere in the report suggests he still feels the evidence was there and that Sussmann cleared the bar for having made them deliberately.
    “That’s highly improper for a prosecutor after a jury has acquitted you to suggest you lied,” (Bennett L. Gershman, a prosecutorial ethics expert at Pace University law school) said. “Prosecutors can’t do that, because that erodes our confidence, our trust in the system. It’s really a very dangerous thing to do.”

    (Rebecca Roiphe, a former prosecutor who teaches legal ethics at New York Law School) said that it was “particularly troubling for a prosecutor to voice confidence in an individual’s guilt after he has been acquitted or after a decision not to charge, because the accused does not have the opportunity to defend himself or rebut the allegations.”
    “The use of the report to allege that Sussman and Danchenko made false statements — the very statements for which they had been charged, and acquitted of the charges — seems to me clearly unethical,” Gordon said.

    Rip Murdock (6098c9)

  88. That’s why I think ethics are aspirational, Kevin M. At certain points in history, with certain groups, we can find support (often widespread) for slavery, the Holocaust, vigilantism, abortion, stoning, bullying, whatever. Behaviors that are accepted in a society are a reflection of that culture and its norms. My view is that ethics transcends cultures and is about what we aspire to as humans.

    DRJ (39fa52)

  89. Legal ethics are important to the profession, even though they don’t apply to anyone but lawyers. Our political class has many lawyers who push the ethics envelope, or worse. Both sides do it.

    DRJ (39fa52)

  90. p. 133

    As Auten has stated both in interviews with the Office and as a trial witness in United States v. Danchenko, 21-CR-245(E.D Va.), the game plan for the January 2017 interviews was to (i) have Danchenko identify his sources for the allegations contained in the Steele Reports and (ii) provide evidence to corroborate the allegations contained in the Steele Reports. As Auten testified in Danchenko, during the January 2017 interviews, Danchenko was not able to provide any corroborative evidence related to any substantive allegation contained in the Steele Reports – and critically – was unable to corroborate any of the FBI’s assertions contained in the Carter Page FISA applications.
    Nevertheless, following the January 2017 interviews, Crossfire Hurricane leadership reached out to WFO to begin the recruitment of Danchenko as an FBI CHS. SA Kevin Helson, assigned to a counterintelligence squad at WFO, was selected to serve as Danchenko’s source handler. According to Helson, he was selected because he was a senior agent with knowledge of Russian matters. In early March 2017, Helson prepared the Danchenko source opening documentation. In preparing those documents, Helson incorrectly noted that there was no “derogatory” information associated with Danchenko and that Danchenko who not been a prior subject of an FBI investigation. This was clearly not true as there had previously been the unresolved Baltimore FBI counterespionage investigation of Danchenko that was only closed because it was believed he had left the country and returned to Russia.
    The Office was able to determine that Helson became aware of the counterespionage investigation shortly after completing the source opening documentation, but failed to revise the paperwork because of a purported belief that the prior case on Danchenko was based solely on hearsay.


    “In addition to the serious concern about the prior unresolved counterespionage investigation, the VMU also highlighted numerous problematic areas that warranted attention. For example, Danchenko’s background and employment history had noted inconsistencies and omissions; his assessed motivation for providing information to the FBI had changed; his immigration applications omitted certain derogatory information and contained inconsistencies and falsehoods; and, despite his concerns for his personal safety, he traveled frequently to Russia before becoming a CHS. Danchenko also demonstrated knowledge of tradecraft and made contradictory statements, and much of the information he provided appeared to be hearsay that he was unable, despite requests to validate. The VMU recommended several steps to mitigate these areas, such as administering a polygraph examination, further controls on his reporting, and additional evaluation, but these did not occur. Instead, Helson and WFO ignored nearly all the VMU’s recommendations and continued to operate Danchenko as a CHS until WFO was ordered to close Danchenko in October 2020. In total, the FBI paid Danchenko approximately $220,000 during the 3.5 years that Danchenko was a CHS. FBI counterintelligence personnel at the WFO and in the Counterintelligence Division at the FBI Headquarters opposed efforts to close Danchenko and delayed doing so. Moreover, the Office learned that the FBI proposed making continued future payments to Danchenko, totaling more than $300,000, while the Office was actively investigating this matter, which would have been in addition to the $220,000 he had already received.


    When interviewd by the FBI in June 2017, Dancenko failed to disclose the role a U.S.-based individual named Charles Dolan played in the reporting Danchneko provided for inclusion in the Steele Reports. In particluar, Danchenko denied that Dolan provided any specific information contained in the Steele Reports. However, Dolan acknowledged to the Office that he provided information to Danchenko related to Paul Manafort’s firing as Trump campaign manager. Dolan further admitted to the Office that this allegation, which appears in the Steele Report 2016/105, was fabricated.

    There’s a lot more there in the following pages including documentation discussing the relationship and contacts between Danchenko and Dolan and how Dolan was the likely “source” for the Steele Reports.


    On October 31, 2016 – about one week before the election – multiple media outlets reported that the FBI received and was investigating the allegations concerning a purported secret channel between the Trump Organization and Alfa Bank. For example, Slate published an article that discussed at length the allegations that Sussmann provided to the FBI.
    Also on that day, the New York Times published an article titled Investigating Donald Trump, F.B.I. Sees No Clear Link to Russia. The article discussed the information in the possession of the FBI about “what cyber experts said appeared to be a mysterious computer back channel between the Trump Organization and Alfa Bank. The article further reported that the FBI had “spent weeks examining computer data showing an odd stream of activity to a Trump Organization server,” and that the newspaper had been provided computer logs that evidenced this activity. The article also noted that at the time of the article, the FBI had not found “any conclusive or direct link” between Trump and the Russian government and that “Hillary Clinton’s supporters… pushed for these investigations.
    As noted above, in the months prior to the publication of these articles, Sussmann had communicated with the media and provided them with the Alfa Bank data and allegations. Sussmann also kept Elias apprised of his efforts. Elias, in turn, communicated with the Clinton campaign’s leadership about potential media coverage of these issues.


    “During the meeting, Sussmann provided two thumb drives and four paper documents that, according to Sussmann, supported the allegations. The CIA analyzed the allegations and data that Sussmann provided and prepared a report to reflect its findings. The report explained that the analysis was done to examine whether the materials provided demonstrated “technical plausibility” of the following: “do linkages exist to any Russian foreign intelligence service; do linkages exist to Aplha (sic) Bank; are the provided documents/data based upon open source [] tools/activities; and is the provided information technically conceivable. The CIA ultimately concluded that the materials that Sussmann provided were neither “technically plausible” nor did they “withstand technical scrutiny” and further, that none of the materials showed any linkages between the Trump campaign or Trump Organization and any Russian foreign intelligence service or Alfa Bank. The report also noted that one of the thumb drives contained hidden data, which included Tech Company-2 Executive-1’s name and email address.

    NJRob (eb56c3)

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