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Fusion GPS Scandal: The Next Watergate

Over the past several days, major media outlets have reported that the Hillary Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee (DNC) paid out $12.4 million to Perkins Coie, a law firm headquartered in Seattle, Washington.

At least some of this huge sum of money – figures between $6 and $9 million have been cited – was spent with Fusion GPS, a Kremlin-connected research firm, to compile the Steele dossier.

What is the Steele dossier?

The Steele dossier is a collection of memos written by Christopher Steele, a former British intelligence agent. Cited as being a “verified” source by the mainstream media, the dossier’s origins are less than optimal.

Christopher Steele

Some of these sources were high up in the Russian government. According to Mollie Hemingway, a writer for The Federalist, one was a senior Russian Foreign Ministry figure and another was a former top-level intelligence officer still active in the Kremlin.

Steele’s employer, Fusion GPS, also has eerie ties with the Kremlin. They lobbied for the removal of financial sanctions against Russia, which were instituted under the Magnitsky Act.

Natalia Veselnitskaya, the lawyer who met with Donald Trump Jr. concerning adoptions and spurred much controversy, worked for the “same law firm that had engaged Fusion’s services,” according to a report published by The Hill.

The dossier contains lewd accusations against President Donald Trump, effectively making the case that he is beholden by the Russians as a result of sexual indecencies. However, it is unilaterally unverified. For example, the dossier claimed that Michael Cohen (a lawyer for Donald Trump) met a Russian senator in Prague. This basic detail was proven to be a complete falsification, which calls into question the elaborate intricacies that litter the rest of the report.

Why does the Steele dossier mean anything?

The dossier was likely used by the Obama administration to attain FISA warrants to wiretap Trump team officials. Consider Paul Manafort. His communications were snooped on by investigators under “secret court orders” both “before and after the election,” according to a report published by CNN.

Barack Obama & Vladimir Putin

The transcripts of Trump officials’ communications were redacted by the investigators, ensuring that the actual names are removed. However, Obama administration officials (notably Susan Rice), pressured their intelligence community comparts to “unmask” the names so that they would know who was investigated and what they were saying.

How is the media involved in the scandal?

Fusion GPS was founded by reporters for The Wall Street Journal, one of whom had investigated the death of Sergei Magnitsky and presented an account of the death that was favorable to Vladimir Putin.

The media was likely fed two things over the course of the campaign and the transition period: the salacious details found within the dossier and the names of who was investigated as a result of the dossier.

The dossier was eventually published in entirety by BuzzFeed and republished by CNN, which earned them the moniker of “fake news” from Donald Trump, even though it was unverified. It is argued that this is a result of the Clinton campaign leaking it to the press, which now makes a lot of sense. New York Post’s Michael Goodwin writes, “The Clinton camp must have passed [the dossier] out like Halloween candy to its media handmaidens.”

Hillary Clinton now claims that she learned of the dossier only when she saw that it was published by BuzzFeed. However, the fact that her campaign funded it shows that she is either a liar or that she was an oblivious candidate who was completely out-of-touch with the operations of her staff.

Even more strangely, in What Happened, Clinton defended the dossier and its author. She wrote that Steele was a “well-respected former British spy” and bragged that the dossier was taken seriously by the Obama administration’s intelligence.

Becket Adams of the Washington Examiner wrote, “This is to say nothing of the number of people who lied outright about their role in producing the dossier, and there are a few. Whether Clinton is among them is yet to be determined.”

How does the FBI fit into the scandal?

The dossier, which was potentially leaked to the FBI by the Clinton camp, likely spurred the Trump-Russia collusion buzz within the agency. Intended to be a distraction from the actual crimes of the Obama administration, the dossier was pounded into the general consciousness by the media and the Obama administration.

Barack Obama & Jim Comey

The FBI’s connections to the author of the dossier, Christopher Steele, are even more alarming that what they did to advance its contents. According to a report published by CNN, the Obama administration FBI had “sought to reach a payment agreement” with Steele. They even reimbursed some of Steele’s expenses before he backed out.

Over at the Justice Department, the dossier spurred Bob Mueller’s Trump-Russia collusion probe.

To put it more frankly, the DOJ’s probe – which is being completed by a team that now includes fierce Democratic partisans – is being pursued based on an absolute fairy tale.

What should the resolution of the scandal be?

The American people need to stand strong and tell the Justice Department that they seek a resolution to Mueller’s investigation immediately.

It is based on lies, it is being conducted by individuals who have donated heavily to Democrats in the past, and it is distracting the president – and the Congress – from fulfilling their promises to the voters that put them in office.

The resources being spent by Mueller on the probe could be better spent investigating Secretary Clinton’s approval of the Uranium One deal.

Comments

  1. Uranium One is the investigation that should have happened. Great read here!

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