The full details of the plot to take out Donald Trump remain to be revealed. But there should now be no doubt that this effort was not the work of a few rogue intelligence and law enforcement officials acting on their own. This was a full blown covert action undertaken with the full knowledge and blessing of Barack Obama.
As I have written previously, the claim that Russia tried to hijack our election is a damn lie. But you do not have to take my word for it. Just listen to Barack Obama speaking in October 2016 in response to Donald Trump’s expressed concerns about election meddling:
“There is no serious person out there who would suggest that you could even rig America’s elections, in part because they are so decentralized. There is no evidence that that has happened in the past, or that there are instances that that could happen this time,” the president said to the future president in October 2016.
“Democracy survives because we recognize that there is something more important than any individual campaign, and that is making sure the integrity and trust in our institutions sustains itself. Becasue Democracy works by consent, not by force,” Obama said.
“I have never seen in my lifetime or in modern political history, any presidential candidate trying to discredit the elections and the election process before votes have even taken place. It is unprecedented. It happens to be based on no fact. Every expert regardless of political party… who has ever examined these issues in a serious way will tell you that instances of significant voter fraud are not to be found. Keep in mind elections are run by state and local officials.”
It is important to remember what had transpired in the Trump/Russia collusion case by this point. Operation Crossfire Hurricane was launched the end of July 2016. CIA Director John Brennan briefed key Democrat members of Congress in early August on allegations that Donald Trump was colluding with Vladimir Putin. And Peter Strzok traveled to London in early August 2016 to meet with the CIA and with Alexander Downer, who was claiming that George Papadopolous was talking up the Russians. Following that trip Strozk texted the following to his mistress, Lisa Page:
Strzok: And hi. Went well, best we could have expected. Other than [REDACTED] quote: “the White House is running this.” My answer, “well, maybe for you they are.” And of course, I was planning on telling this guy, thanks for coming, we’ve got an hour, but with Bill [Priestap] there, I’ve got no control….
Page: Yeah, whatever (re the WH comment). We’ve got the emails that say otherwise.
The White House clearly knew. But Strzok’s text is not the only evidence. We also know that Senior Obama Administration officials, such as NSC Director Susan Rice and UN Ambassdor Samantha Power, were pushing to “unmask” Trump campaign officials who were named in US intelligence documents.
There are only two possibilities: 1) Obama was being briefed by Susan Rice and DNI James Clapper and CIA Director about the project to take out Trump, or 2) Obama was kept in the dark.
Let us look at this from another angle. If the Russians were actually trying to interfere in the 2016 election, then it was known to both US intelligence and law enforcement. Hell, we are told in the Mueller report that the FBI detected the Russians trying to hack the DNC way back in 2015. If there really was intelligence on Russian efforts to meddle why did the Obama Administration do nothing other than sanction FBI’s Crossfire Hurricane?
On what basis did Barack Obama insist it was impossible to rig the US Presidential election?
This is a critical anomaly. Why was the Obama team asleep at the switch, especially on the intel front, if the Russians actually were engaged in rigging the election to install Donald Trump?
My wife was for many years an election official in Virginia. IMO Obama was right in saying that a US presidential election is impossible to “rig.” The US Constitution requires that federal elections be run by the states WITHOUT federal supervision. As a result the methods and equipment in the states and the various parts of the states vary widely and the state systems are not tied together with a national electronic network as, for example, the system is in France where the result of a national election is reported on TeeVee immediately when the polls close.
Bill H says
Asking the question, “Can you cite one specific case where a single vote was definitively changed by Russian meddling?” causes panic in a person who is declaiming about the evils of Russian meddling in our elections.
When you ask that question, the invariable retort is that the Russians are so clever that you wouldn’t know that you were being gulled; or, when I say that I have never seen a Russian produced facebook ad, the rejoinder is that the Russians concentrated on Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Ohio and, of course, I would have been privy to the bot-sent emails and facebook ads generated by the Internet Research Agency.
The Twisted Genius says
Yes, Obama and the White House were running this. Obama directed the Gang of 8 be briefed in August and September 2016 on Russian election meddling efforts and her clear effort to assist Trump. In September 2016, Obama sent CT adviser Lisa Monaco, FBI Director Comey, and Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson to brief the Gang of 12 and obtain support for a bipartisan address to the nation warning of the Russian manipulation efforts. Moscow Mitch scotched that idea, just like he’s stymieing current efforts to secure elections from foreign meddling. Instead, Obama was left with generically assuring the public that they can have faith in their election process and personally confronting Putin.
Jim Ticehurst says
Yes Larry The Obama Cartel over reached..Were Over confident in That Roosters have come Home Coup…When they ran Barrack through the well connected Pipeline..from Hawaii to California..to New York..to Chicago..and The Bill..Ayers Group of Roachs..then to Harvard for His Bones…They and The Media did the Real Muddling..Hillay got her piece of the Pie..and her Group waited it out..Chocking down Their Support..But bThe Monery was good…So..The Polls and Data assured It was Then Hillarys turn and The Opposition looked Weak…Well..Along Came Mr. Trump..At than Point “Who could Have Anticipated” ?? So Over Confident…The Emails and Paper Trails prove the Over Confidence..So What Hillarys Going to Win..Right..? Oh Oh SNAFU…Actually a FUBAR Sudden lack of ant Professiona;l Judgement…that got Childish..The BIG TAKE DOWN..Comey proves Hes an Idiot..Runs Stupid Overt Operations..Take Down Trump…? Sure “The Russian..The Russian..’ Youe can even Manipulate a Southern Cracker Like Mr Sessions with That One..Well…The Bear Shits in The Woods..The Muller Obama Team Shits On America…and to Their Surprise…We don’t Have Hillary Clinton New World Order..and They cant even Say…”At This Point…What does all This Matter..?.
I continue to be astounded by the outrage at “Russian meddling”. So some Russians used the internet to post true or false information on candidates in a election…. so what?…millions of American partisan trolls were doing the same thing for or against a candidate. We had tons of fake info written by American bloggers and posters all over the net, Facebook, twitter etc..
Its not like Putin came to the US and gave a speech to congress in favor of Trump …as Netanyahu did in appearing before the US congress and urging them to go against President Obama’s Syria policy for heaven’s sake.
It is so ridiculous I have given up hope of finding enough IQs above that of a cabbage to form a sane government.
You’ve maintained all along that the Russians interfered in the election, yet I believe it is your position that the Russians did not change a single vote. Is that correct or do you believe the Russians changed the votes before tabulation?
What did the Russians do that the Trump and Hillary campaigns did not do? Did they also turnout the tens of thousands who showed up for Trump rallies that Hillary could never muster? Are they still turning out thousands at recent Trump rallies? I’m curious how come Brennan and Clapper could not turn out thousands to Hillary’s rallies when according to our German friend “b”, the omnipotent US Intel services just turned out a quarter of the population of Hong Kong to protest CCP authoritarianism?
Did the Israeli, Saudi and Chinese governments interfere in the election? How would you compare what they did to what you believe the Russians did?
The meddle started after the erection.
Obama seemed to have got a taste for spying on his domestic political opponents from monitoring Israeli attempts to block the Iran nuclear deal. I think the lock her up stuff really scared the Obama people, who had much to hide.
You mean the kindly grandmother, Loretta Lynch, Attorney General of the United States, did not inform President Obama that the FBI had obtained a FISA warrant to surveil the Republican candidate for the presidency and members of his staff becasue he was working with Russians? Or do you mean that James Comey failed to tell his boss, Loretta Lynch; or do you mean John Brennan failed to tell Obama about that Steele dossier from Fusion GPS that Mueller know anything about; or do you mean that James Clapper failed to tell Jeh Johnson about that too? The Russians made them do all those things as part of an interference campaign, right? It couldn’t have been they were corrupt and incompetant.
“Instead, Obama….” made an “If you like your doctor, you can keep you doctor” statement that he knew was completely false. Trump didn’t win, Russians influenced Americans to vote for Trump, just ask the losers of the election, their paid sources and their colleagues in Congress. In fact Americans love Hilary so much she’s just where in the polls right now?
The Twisted Genius says
Jack, that’s true. I’ve always maintained the Russians mounted an elaborate IO against the US election, but I know of no single instance of them changing a single vote. It’s my opinion they decided deliberately not to go so far as to attempt to change votes.
What the Russians did was insert misattributed information and disinformation into the election cycle. In none of that information did the Russians say it was a product of the IRA or other Russian group. They faked the origin of their product, classic black propaganda. That is what separates the Russian IO from anything Clinton, Trump or any of their supporters did. To do so would violate US campaign and election laws. The same goes for the idea of Brennan and Clapper trying to turn out thousands for Clinton rallies. It would be egregiously illegal. USI may be doing something to encourage/support demonstrators in HK around the edges and they certainly had a heavy hand in Kiev’s Maidan Square, but in the 2016 US election? Certainly not.
The Israelis influence our elections and governance primarily through AIPAC and other pro-Israeli groups. They don’t hide who they are when they push their pro-Israeli agenda. They’re quite open about it. They also funnel money to candidates and elected officials fairly openly. The Saudis also “buy” candidates and officials, but they’re a lot quieter about it. All that is very different from the absolute covert nature of the Russian IO in the 2016 election. I have no idea what China did or is doing.
The Twisted Genius says
Fred, a FISA warrant to surveil the Republican candidate for the presidency? Where did you get that? QAnon? I’m not sure if or when Obama was specifically informed of the FISA warrant on Page or of the intel garnered from that thrice renewed warrant, but I’m sure he was told about the Steele dossier. He was the one who directed Comey to brief Trump on the contents of the dossier in January 2017.
Hillary in the polls? Is that more QAnon stuff? I didn’t know she was in the running for 2020. You can compare Trump with Biden in the current polls. Seems Trump does that and then proceeds to rage tweet about it.
Larry Johnson says
You have no evidence for the so-called Russian IO. It is a fabrication. The lies on this are enormous. If the FBI really had detected GRU hacking of the DNC in 2015, which is claimed in the fabricated meme, then you would expect the FBI and the other counter intel elements of the USG to take action. THEY DID NOTHING.
The issue of Russian hacking only emerged when Hillary and the DNC learned that DNC emails were going to be put out by WIKILEAKS. Again, not one shred of actual evidence that the Russians did it, but blaming the Russians became a convenient excuse in a bid to divert attention from the real story–i.e,. Hillary and the DNC colluded to defeat Bernie Sanders.
The only real solid evidence of colluding with foreigners, in this case the Ukraine, comes courtesy of Hillary and her campaign. Hiring a foreign intel officer (ie. Steele) who then takes info from Russians of questionable background and spread it around as “truth”. That was not a Russian IO. Pure Clinton IO.
This has shown two things IMO — 1. The FBI cannot be trusted to uphold defend and protect our Constitution, as they sought actively to overturn a duly elected POTUS.; and 2 – Mueller’s incompetence is astounding.
Is the only entity of the Defense Department called the U.S. Army the only ones left actually upholding, defending, and protecting our Constitution and our Constitution processes? I don’t see the other entities of the DOD called Navy and Air Force doing their jobs upholding our Constitution!
Thumbs up to the Army, thumbs down to the Navy and Air Force!
blue peacock says
“What the Russians did was insert misattributed information and disinformation into the election cycle…That is what separates the Russian IO from anything Clinton, Trump or any of their supporters did.”
I believe supporters of both candidates did exactly what you say the Russians did – insert misattributed information & disinformation into the media stream. If you watch MSNBC or Fox on any given day there is much assertion & opinion masquerading as news. And the Twitter & Facebook and blog universe are teeming with stories and innuendo that are more fiction than fact all from anonymous accounts.
The Russia Collusion hysteria is replete with examples of “misattributed information and disinformation”. It seems that yellow journalism is as American as apple pie.
The whole opaque PAC structure with names like “Americans for Democracy” funded by chain structures hiding the real financiers and calling up down is something that we see growing in every election cycle and is already of significant scale both in terms of financing and dubiousness.
It is also rather common that “experts” who are called upon to opine on issues routinely never disclose their conflicts of interest. Jeffrey Sachs and so many others on the payroll of CCP entities never disclose those payments as they extoll the virtues of offshoring our industrial base to China and are apologists for CCP espionage.
I believe Larry Johnson is right when he says:
“You have no evidence for the so-called Russian IO. It is a fabrication.” In fact, Putin rejects the claim many times publicly saying that Russia does not meddle in foreign elections as a matter of policy. Maybe I’m gullible, but I find his disclaimer pretty convincing….
My question for Larry Johnson requires some speculation on his part: How did the claims of “Russia meddling” which began with the DNC and Hillary campaign, take root at the FBI, CIA and NSA???
Is there an unseen connection between the Democrat leadership and the Intel agencies??? And –if there is– does that mean we are headed for a one-party system???
The Twisted Genius says
J, the whole charge of coup or soft coup has been puzzling to me. Exactly how was the FBi and other coup plotters planning on removing Trump? Were they going to take the White House by force of arms and physically drag Trump out like the Brits did to Assange? Were they going to declare the election null and void? Instead USI and the FBI emphatically stated that no votes were changed. Obama made a point out of declaring our electoral system solid. It’s not like anyone was trying to claim Trump was an illegitimate candidate not born in the US. Were the birthers trying to engineer a coup against candidate Obama? Were the Republicans trying to engineer a coup by declaring they will do anything in their power to make Obama a one term president? There was no coup attempt against Trump or Obama. Any effort to impeach either individual would be in accordance with our Constitution. That’s not a coup. All this talk of a coup is just hysterics and hyperbole.
I don’t understand your point about the Navy and Air Force not upholding and defending our Constitution. What do you mean by that.
You’re right, Page wasn’t running for president, just, acording to the news, working for his campaign. I’m know the legal distinction; however that would give indirect access to anybody that call/texted/communicated with Page; which was discussed ad nauseum in the press for a couple of years. Thus the shorthand phrase “spied on Trump”. Obama didn’t bother to warn the Republican candidate that the Russians were trying to interfere in his election prior to 2017, after Trump won? That is certainly helpful and timely advice from the party of his political opponent.
Hilary’s not running? No S$$$. I wonder why. So much for her perseverence. QAnon, that’s quite funny. Almost as stimulating reading as Vox Day or NeonRevolt. Other press reports are indicating that Comey lied to Trump. Perhaps the House can decalssify all his testimony so the citizens of the Republic can make up thier own minds rather than resorting to QCNN or FoxAnon or another of the other ‘news’ services for information.
The Twisted Genius says
Blue peacock, supporters of Clinton and Trump did not put out misattributed info. They both put out truth, innuendo, exaggerations, misleading info and even outright lies, but they put it out as themselves. They didn’t represent themselves as someone other than who they were. The PAC structure comes close to skirting this requirement for truthful attribution, but a quick internet search blows away the facades of these PACs. What the Russians did was pure black propaganda.
Larry, sorry to nitpick, but I have such regard for your work that it pains me to see the typographical error in your second sentence, where you say “his error” shortly after referring to Trump. I’m guessing that you meant to say “this error”, but it reads as if it means “Trump’s error”.
And while I’m at it, your last sentence has “it” instead of “if”.
Keep up your great work for this excellent website.
Mark Logan says
I’m a little more charitable to the FBI. The Trumps lied their asses off to the FBI about their foreign contacts. Which IMO, wrong or right, left the FBI all but no recourse but to investigate those lies. Even if the lies were simply based in long-seated personal habits, it takes investigation to prove that is the case.
Sadly naive in that you think the conspirators were actually acting in good faith. You think they were right when they used the Steele Dossier in applying for a FISA warrant in Colyyer’s Star Chamber? Steele was a paid informant for the FBI as was Page.
How do you know “they lied their asses off?” Mueller’s report stated that no American had conspired with the Russians,
Mark Logan says
I said the Trunps lied their asses off to the FBI about their foreign contacts, and that in itself could have been the cause for further investigation of the Trumps.
I had no intention of implying that means the Trumps conspired with the Russians.
Larry Johnson says
Thanks. Not a nit pick. A legit criticism. Thank you very much.
Larry Johnson says
More mindless nonsense. To repeat the Colonel’s critique of your original comment, what is your “evidence” that they lied their asses off to the FBI. If that was true they would have been charged for lying to the FBI. Hell, even Andy McCabe conceded that Michael Flynn did not lie.
The Twisted Genius says
Larry, I assume you haven’t perused the collection of twitter and facebook posts coming from the IRA masquerading as Americans such as the Tennessee GOP, Pamela_Moore13, Born Liberal, Woke Blacks and many more. The FBI warned the DNC several times Russian hackers appeared to be in their systems. The DNC sysadmin attested to that as did the FBI agent involved. The sysadmin thought the warnings were a hoax for quite a while. These half-assed telephonic warnings were a clear screw up. The FBI should have sent a higher level supervisory agent in person. Beyond that, the FBI could not do anything beyond that unless invited in by the DNC. As a private entity, the FBI could not barge into the DNC without their invitation. This is the same situation as any other private entity. The FBI could not take up the Experian, Equifax and countless other hacks until called in by the victims.
You got the timing wrong on WikiLeaks/DNC hack publication. Crowdstrike and the DNC announced the Russian hack just before the DCLeaks/WikiLeaks publication of the DNC data. I’ll give you the Clinton/DNC collusion to defeat Sanders. That happened. It was sleazy, underhanded and disingenuous. It was not illegal. They could have anointed Clinton in a smoke filled room if they chose to do so. It’s no different than the current RNC efforts to eliminate any challenge to Trump for the Republican nomination.
I notice you left out the fact that both Republicicans and Democrats of the gang of 8 and gang of 12 were briefed in August and September 2016 on the IC/FBI findings of Russian interference. Did that fact not fit your coup narrative?
Mark Logan says
Actually, Flynn plead guilty to that charge.
Larry Johnson says
Yes I have and they pale in comparison to the actual Facebook efforts of both Trump and Clinton. This is such horseshit. You accept without any benchmark that the Russian effort amounted to something more than a cup of warm spit. It is a lie.
Larry Johnson says
That does not mean that the charge was true. I think there is a good chance that Flynn will withdraw the plea in light of the evidence of Brady violations that have emerged.
blue peacock says
In researching a company with explosive DAUs (daily active users), I spoke to two online marketers about this phenomenon with this company. They told me it is very common that clickbait farms create thousands of “fake” accounts to create perceived momentum for the clickbait. Why do you think the Trump & Hillary campaigns and their supporters wouldn’t do this? If they staffed with people knowledgeable about online marketing this would have been one of their tactics to both generate lists of those with a propensity to certain messages and to create self-reinforcing messaging. After all social media is all about reinforcing one’s own prejudices. My point being that the Russians and the IRA could not be the only folks using clickbait marketing with misattribution since this is par for the course in online marketing.
I have also investigated some PACs and believe me it is not easy to determine who are really funding the PAC. There are many shell organizations who in turn are funded by other shell organizations and the ostensible “officers” of the PAC are like Directors for Hire for the many foreign domiciled shell corporations in the Virgin islands and Panama.
My own belief from my limited investigations of this space leads me to believe that the Russians are not the only ones engaged in black propaganda. There are many domestically as well as in Israel & China who are rather adept at this and have the motive and the expertise to practice it.
At the end of the day where I come down on this is that Hillary was a poor candidate who couldn’t connect with many voters including in highly Democratic states and Trump was extremely media savvy and took advantage even with the majority of media stories being negative towards him. He was relentless especially in the mid-west and it was clear that he had the ability to draw people to his rallies. He generated enough enthusiasm to win by a slim margin in Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania. I don’t buy that Russian black propaganda swayed the election considering the sea of propaganda in the election.
Andrei Martyanov (aka SmoothieX12) says
Here are some insights into the minds of many movers and shakers in Russiagate:
Key US officials behind the Russia investigation have made no secret of their animus towards Russia. “I do always hate the Russians,” Lisa Page, a senior FBI lawyer on the Russia probe, testified to Congress in July 2018. “It is my opinion that with respect to Western ideals and who it is and what it is we stand for as Americans, Russia poses the most dangerous threat to that way of life.” As he opened the FBI’s probe of the Trump campaign’s ties to Russians in July 2016, FBI agent Peter Strzok texted Page: “fuck the cheating motherfucking Russians… Bastards. I hate them… I think they’re probably the worst. Fucking conniving cheating savages.” Speaking to NBC News in May 2017, former director of national intelligence James Clapper explained why US officials saw interactions between the Trump camp and Russian nationals as a cause for alarm: “The Russians,” Clapper said, “almost genetically driven to co-opt, penetrate, gain favor, whatever, which is a typical Russian technique. So we were concerned.” In a May interview with Lawfare, former FBI general counsel Jim Baker, who helped oversee the Russia probe, explained the origins of the investigation as follows: “It was about Russia, period, full stop.… When the [George] Papadopoulos information comes across our radar screen, it’s coming across in the sense that we were always looking at Russia.… we’ve been thinking about Russia as a threat actor for decades and decades.”
It was always about Russians no matter what they do or don’t do. Large strata of US so called “elite” is obsessed with Russia. Not even China.
One thing that has struck me about the discussions on Le Affaire Russia Collusion even here on SST is around the point that no one has ever disputed the veracity of the DNC and Podesta emails that were disclosed by Wikileaks. So one must assume that those emails were truthful. It points to two facts. One, the DNC and Hillary campaign colluded to deny Bernie the Democratic nomination. And second the first Obama administration was handpicked by Wall St with Podesta as chief of the transition team.
Why do you think the Democratic base and all the progressives and of course the millions that voted & campaigned for Bernie and Bernie himself have not made this into a major topic of discussion? It would seem that these two revelations from the leaked emails should have been the main focus of discussions since it points to a deeply corrupt Democratic establishment.
Instead everyone has latched on to allegations of the nefarious Russians “meddling” in our democracy when it has been shown that one of our duopoly did make a complete mockery of our democracy. I’m not saying that the other half of the duopoly is not equally corrupt. It would seem to me that we should shine a spotlight right here at home at our own political parties and their deep seated and cynical manipulation of our democracy.
Has it crossed anyone’s mind that the reason the FBI weren’t allowed to view the DNC servers was because they would discover evidence of massive DNC illegality in the form of unattributable clickbait operations and suchlike? Perhaps evidence as well of direct collusion between the DOJ and IC community to destroy Trumps campaign as well? Perhaps evidence of direct communication between clapper, brennan, steele, Downer and the British IC in preparation for the attack on the Trump campaign?
What if the russiagate campaign was planned to go ahead BEFORE the DNC was actually hacked, using faked evidence? What if Seth Rich became aware of this operation and tried to spike it? What if the DNC planned to fake the Russian penetration evidence themselves, but Seth Rich dumped the real stuff?
Of course the FBI wasn’t allowed to see the actual evidence nor did they request a subpeona to obtain it.
The Twisted Genius says
Blue peacock, Brad Parscales had a good grasp of the possibilities of social media, especially FaceBook, in a political campaign. I feel his use of modern analytics and messaging techniques was a contributing factor to Trump’s victory. I don’t think the Clinton campaign had a clue about this new phenomenon. The Democratic party has learned since then and tried some of these techniques during the last Alabama senate race as a test run. My guess is that what both parties will do in 2020 will dwarf the 2016 Russian effort in scope if not in nature. Election law and campaign finance law have not caught up to advances in social media, big data and AI so both parties are free to pretty much do as they please.
The Twisted Genius says
Jack, neither one of those revelations were news. It didn’t take the hacked emails to realize that the DNC was rigging the selection process for their anointed candidate. Gabbard quit her position in the DNC over just this issue. It stunk, especially for us Bernie supporters, and it was a stupid, sleazy, disingenuous decision. However, it was well within the DNC’s right to choose their candidate in whatever way they saw fit. They didn’t throw an election, they picked a candidate. That Podesta was instrumental in choosing members of the Obama administration was also old news. Obama’s policies enjoyed fairly wide support so how his administration was chosen years ago didn’t matter much. It mattered far less than even the DNC’s treatment of Bernie. Beyond some embarrassing comments and the fact of having been hacked, it just didn’t matter that much in the election.
I share your opinion of both political parties. They’re corrupt. I believe the most corrosive factor in their corruption is the idea that money is free speech. And now that social media, big data and AI have far outstripped our campaign finance laws, the 2020 election is going to be a doozy.
The Twisted Genius says
Walrus, the flaw in your scenario is that the real stuff dumped by Seth Rich had nothing of the massive DNC illegality you laid out in your conspiracy theory. It is also unlikely the IC and DOJ would use the poorly protected DNC system to discuss such a sinister conspiracy.
Nobody wants the FBI rummaging around in their IT systems. With the FBI’s investigation of Clinton’s email server, the DNC had reason to keep them at arms length. My guess is that the FBI, if given free reign in the DNC system, could have found something far more damaging than what was released. It’s much like Trump’s financial and business records. The truth those records would reveal is probably extremely damaging. That’s why he’s fighting tooth and nail to keep those records secret. That’s also why he’s not releasing much of the IC and DOJ classified data which he can do with the snap of his fingers.
The Russians trying to rig the elections meme was a fallback for the failure of the “trump is a russianstooge meme.
Larry Johnson says
Once again. You are as wrong as can be. Devin Nunes was the Head of the House Intelligence Committee. HE WAS NOT BRIEFED ON THE FINDINGS OF SO-CALLED RUSSIAN INTERFERENCE. He was given a different brief than what Harry Reid received. We know this because of the letter Reid sent to Comey.
It is really sad that you have abandoned your objectivity and rationality on this. You keep citing “Russian” meddling. Please give me a list of just two issues that were pushed by Russian “disinformation” campaigns that then became central to the Presidential campaign and shifted the debate. Hell, just give me one?
Regarding the Air Force, [active] Gen. John Hyten STRATCOM CC in 2017 opened his mouth and inserted the Air Force’s foot with his comment he would not follow POTUS orders if given. The Air Force Chief of Staff should have Immediately relieved Hyten of his Command, as it was not Hyten’s place to become a political advocate. Active duty are to remain apolitical and not be a butt-head in public as with Hyten’s behavior.
The Navy’s Admiral McRaven’s public reproachment of Trump erodes the Chain of Command. There was not one word by the Navy’s CNO regarding McRaven’s Anti-POTUS comments.
Such actions by Admirals and Generals erodes the Chain of Command, and serves as a bad example for the junior grades. For good or bad, Trump was duly elected by the U.S. voters as our nation’s POTUS.
The FBI’s actions were way outside investigation, bordering on treason with some of their hierarchy actively seeking to subvert a sitting duly-elected POTUS. The FBI Special Agent, the Agent swears to support and defend the Constitution against all enemies foreign and domestic. To actively seek to subvert a sitting duly-elected POTUS violates their Constitutional Oath. Those FBI Directors and their subordinates who actively engaged in activities against POTUS, IMO belong in prison cells wearing prison orange.
Larry has documented over and over again their subversive actions. Their subversion is also now a matter of official records.
Larry Johnson says
Why the lies on your part? Please show me the “lies” told by the Trumps. If they really lied to the FBI they would have been indicted for doing so.
What is the probable cause to investigate Trump’s financial and business records?
David Habakkuk says
Over the past months, Larry has informed us at intervals about the progress of the lawsuits brought by Ed Butowsky and the two lawyers who have been acting for him, Ty Clevenger and Steven S. Biss.
(The latter has also acted for Devin Nunes, and filed the suit on behalf of Svetlana Lokhova against Stefan Halper and selected MSM organisations in relation to the conspiracy to use the notion of her as a Russian ‘honeypot’ against Lieutenant-General Flynn.)
I would strongly recommend anyone who is interesting in seeing the conspiracy against the Constitution exposed, and its perpetrators get their due deserts, to subscribe to Clevenger’s ‘LawFlog’ blog, and also occasionally to check out the progress of these lawsuits on the ‘Court Listener’ site.
(See http://lawflog.com .)
Sometimes, the most interesting information turns up in the ‘small print.’ At the end of a post by Clevenger I found in my inbox this morning, I read the following:
‘I’m in the early stages of organizing a LARGE racketeering lawsuit on behalf of Mr. Buowsky (sic), and we will likely name the major players in the whole Russian collusion fraud, e.g., John Brennan, Andrew McCabe, the Democratic National Committee, Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, et al. If you are a civil litigator and you are interested, shoot me an email at tyclevenger dot yahoo dot com. It doesn’t matter where you are licensed.’
It was a little disappointing to see no British names on his list, but then, it may turn out that this is a case where, as the prophet said, everything comes to him who waits.
(Also, while I have enormous respect for Clevenger – I think he is an absolutely first-class ‘ferret’, which is one of the stronger compliments I can make – I do often wish he would proof-read his stuff more carefully or get someone to do it for him.)
Also at the end of his new post there was a link to a letter which he had just written to the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Texas in response to a request for an explanation of his reasons for issuing a subpoena to the FBI on behalf of Butowsky.
An interesting paragraph relates to key evidence about the life, and death, of Seth Rich, which is the central matter at issue in the lawsuits his client has brought:
‘Mr. Butowsky tells me that he was informed by someone with access to FBI records that the FBI’s Computer Analysis and Response Team (“CART”) took custody of Seth’s electronic devices and downloaded evidence from those devices. He was further told that the evidence included communications between Mr. Rich and Wikileaks.’
Two lawsuits in relation to claims that Butowsky had disseminated ‘conspiracy theories’ about the death of Seth Rich are involved in this subpoena.
The initial suit was filed on his behalf by Clevenger and Biss on 21 June last year against David Folkenflik and his NPR colleagues, and it was followed up on 12 March this year by one filed by Clevenger against Michael Gottlieb, and other key legal players, various other MSM organisations, and the DNC.
Meanwhile, on 23 March, Biss filed a suit on behalf of Lokhova against Dow Jones, as owners of the WSJ, the Washington Post, the New York Times, and MSNBC.
All of these cases can be followed on the invaluable ‘Court Listener’ site. Much of the material requires a PACER subscription, but key documents in all three are freely available.
(See https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/7244731/butowsky-v-folkenflik/ ; https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/14681570/butowsky-v-gottlieb/ ; https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/15671580/unknown-case-title/ .)
Among the material now publicly available is the report rejecting the Motion to Dismiss filed by Folkenflik and his associates by Magistrate Judge Caroline M. Craven, which was not accessible when Larry discussed it here on SST shortly after it was issued on 17 April.
It is well worth reading in full. Briefly, confronted by Butowsky’s responses to NPR’s repeated suggestions that he had been involved in disseminating false claims about Rich’s death, Folkenflik and his associates attempted to use a combination of legal technicalities and sleazy equivocation to avoid confronting the substantive issues involved.
Among the technicalities was the ‘fair report’ privilege, which was successfully used by ‘BuzzFeed’ in the case bought against them over the dossier attributed to Steele by Aleksej Gubarev to avoid having to defend the claims they had made.
But Caroline Craven treated this with the contempt it deserved.
Although the suit against Gottlieb, the DNC et al was issued before her ruling, the hearing on which it was based was held back in February, and I suspect that it may have been this, together with the first ‘discovery’ produced by the defendants, that gave Butowsky, Clevenger and Biss the confidence to launch the other two lawsuits.
In general, the response of the ‘Fakestream Media’ to all this has been to say nothing.
However, in what was probably a reaction to the second suit, Michael Isikoff, whose role in disseminating the ludicrous assertions in the dossier attributed to Steele, and subsequent qualified retreat, are alike well known, then entered the fray.
On 9 July, he published a long piece attempting to locate the claims Butowsky and others had made in the ‘Russiagate’ narrative.
(See https://news.yahoo.com/exclusive-the-true-origins-of-the-seth-rich-conspiracy-a-yahoo-news-investigation-100000831.html .)
On the background to Isikoff’s piece, Butowsky has provided his version, in interviews with, among others, Peter Santilli and Sharon Rondeau.
To the former, he claimed that Isikoff contacted him prior to the publication of his piece, and been told that a principal source was Ellen Ratner, sister of the late Michael Ratner, who was an attorney for Assange.
According to Butowsky, despite a pledge to keep Ratner’s involvement “off the record,” Isikoff contacted her about Butowsky’s claim and she said Butowsky “was lying.”
At that point, according to this version, inhibitions about protecting Ratner which had caused Butowsky to refrain from playing some of the strongest cards in his hand disappeared.
As a result, on 15 July, Clevenger had filed an ‘Amended Complaint’, which ‘outed’ Ratner, and provided a significantly more detailed version of the whole history of the Seth Rich affair, and Butowsky’s involvement in it, which included claims about her role in enlisting him as an intermediary with the Rich family, as well what she said about her contact with Asssange.
And on 21 July, Clevenger ‘tweeted’ a link to a video interview from November 2016, in which Ratner described how Assange had told her face to face that he did not get the emails from a Russian source.
(On all this, see https://www.thepostemail.com/2019/07/17/exclusive-amended-complaint-claims-prominent-journalist-relayed-message-from-assange-on-seth-rich/ ; https://www.thepostemail.com/2019/07/17/exclusive-amended-complaint-claims-prominent-journalist-relayed-message-from-assange-on-seth-rich/ ; https://www.shiftfrequency.com/butowsky-lawsuit-blows-seth-rich-case-wide-open/ ; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bhY81uKyRr8 .)
This, I think, may turn out to be a David and Goliath story, not simply in that it confronts the apparently weak against the portentously mighty, but in its outcome.
And although I concede that Butowsky is a bit portly for the David role, unless what appears from the documents is cast into doubt by some serious evidence, I think his credentials as an heroic giant-slayer may end up looking rather good.
Without being unduly optimistic, I think there is now a real possibility that in these civil cases we may see ‘slingshots’ fired, that finally do for the conventional ‘narrative’ on ‘Russiagate’, so that those who created it may indeed walk the ‘perp walk’, and those who have continued to defend it can sink into the ground in shame (if they have any.)
Meanwhile, a very interesting aspect of the Lokhova case is again in the ‘small print’, and relates to what has not happened. (A ‘dog that has not barked’ – yet at least?)
On 26 June, a summons drafted by Biss on behalf of Lokhova was issued, which if I understand correctly, gave Halper and his co-defendants 21 days to produce a response to the complaint, failing which, judgement by default would be entered against them.
As of the last recorded entry on the ‘Court Listener’ site, on 22 July, motions for ‘extension of time to answer’ had been requested and granted on behalf of all the defendants – with the singular exception of the figure alleged to have been the one most seriously implicated in the conspiracy: Halper.
Unless some remarkable evidence surfaces when the responses are finally ‘in’, the story of the framing of Lokhova as the supposed instrument of a Russian conspiracy to entrap Flynn, and the suggestions he fell for this non-existent plot, and the collusion of the ‘Fakestream Media’ in this nonsense, has to be one of the most sheerly sordid parts of this whole ‘Russiagate’ conspiracy.
And, obviously, the whole ‘narrative’ is under radical threat, unless Halper can produce a coherent account of what happened, which will survive 1. the ‘discovery’ process, and 2. his cross-examination in court.
Much more, I suspect, may be going to come out – possibly including the role of the ‘Office of Net Assessment’ in all this, both before and after the late Andrew Marshall’s final, decades overdue, departure from his ‘perch’ there.
Unless Lokhova’s complaint is countered with serious evidence, the role of Cambridge (UK) professor Christopher Andrew would appear particularly sordid. Again, I am disappointed that people in the U.K. have not – yet at least – been sued.
Also of interest – and here, the role of Andrew becomes particularly interesting – is the possibility that in the Lokhova case we are dealing with a kind of epitome of the tragedy of a part of ‘liberalism’ in Russia: decent people in that country, as opposed to the ‘Masha Gessen tendency’, who used to admire and want to emulate the West, and have learnt from harsh experience how naive they were.
David Habakkuk says
I posted quite a long comment on what has been happening in relation to the cases bought by Ed Butowsky, who I think may be acquiring the mantle of hero – justifiably.
Of course, I could be wrong about this, but so far, his opponents are using familiar ‘information operations’ tactics, including both the kind of exploitation of legal technicalities, and also bullying, bribery, and blackmail, which become easy if you have ‘open door’ access to ‘krysha’, as the Russians term it.
Also, to declare an interest, in my own undistinguished, and mildly irreverent, student career at Cambridge (UK), I heard Christopher Andrew give an – actually interesting and useful – series of lectures.
It thus dispirits me to conclude that, unless he can provide a coherent answer to the claims made in the complaint filed by Biss on behalf of Lokhova, he should feel utterly and unalterably ashamed of himself.
(The Cam is a small river, ill-adapted for suicide. By contrast, at GCHQ, based in Cheltenham, particularly as the nearby Severn flows into the Avon, there are various options, if one wishes to face up to what one has done.)
Thank you TTG I haven’t an answer for you
Yes, the DNC is a private organization just like the RNC and can setup whatever rules they choose. However, while the Hillary campaign essentially captured the DNC and stacked the deck in their favor by giving a large number of delegate votes to super delegates who had pledged to her even before the Iowa caucuses, they still had rules for the primary. The revelations were big news because it showed unprecedented collusion between the DNC and the Hillary campaign making a mockery of the primary. The fact that Bernie and his supporters did not make a big deal about this corruption does not detract from the fact that many Bernie supporters did not show up to the polls in the general and contributed to Trump’s narrow victory in the handful of mid-western states.
The leaks of Podesta’s emails with top Wall St executives were also big news IMO, as it showed in black & white the degree of influence Wall St had on the selection of the Obama administration, and the consequent non-prosecution of the massive fraud in the mortgage credit crisis and the trillions spent by the Obama government on socialism for the 1%. Highlighting the utter cynicism of the “eloquent” Obama who hoodwinked the working class and the blacks.
This deep seated cynicism of the Democratic establishment is big news because it directly contradicts the media portrayal. And it points to the collusion of the political, financial and media establishment to propagandize the American public. This is the real news not that Russia ran a clickbait operation. Shame on us that our counter-intelligence leadership were political hacks like Peter Strzok and Lisa Monaco and John Brennan who were incompetent that they couldn’t disrupt something as trivial as what blue peacock notes are common tactics by online marketers.
The whole Russia Collusion media hysteria is designed precisely to deflect from the real story of the utter corruption at the highest levels of our political, financial and media establishment.
Larry. where is John Brennan in all this. An audio recording of Seymour Hersh has him saying: “It was a Brennan operation. An American disinformation…at one point they even started telling the press—they were back briefing the press that ‘we even know who in the GRU the Russian and the Russian military intelligence service, who leaked it.’ I mean, all bullshit.” What do you make of this?
JP Billen says
President Trump recently nominated General Hyten to become Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs. Why would he do that if Hyten has been advocating against him?
And McRaven has been out of the Navy for five years, long before Trump threw his hat in the ring for President.
Check out your sources!
different clue says
What if both things are true at the same time? What if there was a Russian IO and also separately a creeping clintobama coup against Trump? What if we have to run two separate trains of thought at the same time? Can we do it? And if we sometimes have to jump from car to car between the two trains of thought, can we do that?
It reminds me of a Venn Diagram. A 2D Venn Diagram offers 2 or more flat circles to show where they overlap. What would a 3D Venn Diagram be like? 2 or more inter-permeable balloons sharing a zone of interlap? I imagine the existence of a Venn creeping-clintobama-coup balloon and a Venn russian-IO balloon partway interlapping eachother. And the Venn Zone of Interlap is filled with all kinds of raging rip-tides, cross-currents, whirl pools, etc.
LJ’s point is tht the Russian IO project was really a triviality ginned up by someone in the Russian IC.
The Twisted Genius says
No, Larry. You are wrong on this one. Nunes was briefed on the IC findings that “Russia was engaged in aggressive and wide-ranging efforts to interfere” and that “persons involved in the Trump campaign” were in contact with Russian officials by Brennan in August or September 2016 as part of a series of one-on-one meetings with the gang of 8. Brennan provided the same briefing to each of the gang of 8 members. Trump was also informed of the Russian interference in a classified briefing on 17 August 2016. Brennan also informed the head of the FSB to knock it off in a telephone call. That’s not the behavior of a diabolical coup plotter, although it doesn’t mean he’s not a conniving never-Trumper.
The Russian IO campaign consisted of both conservative and liberal fake accounts putting out incendiary content on both the left and right. This was in line with their original goal of sowing discord and distrust in the US political system. TEN_GOP was one of the most prolific accounts.
“Some of the Twitter accounts created by the attackers managed to be extraordinarily influential. The most retweeted account within the dataset was TEN_GOP. Created in November 2015, the account masqueraded as a group of Republicans in Tennessee. It appears to have been manually operated. In less than two years TEN_GOP managed to rack up nearly 150,000 followers. Despite only tweeting 10,794 times, the account garnered over 6 million retweets. Only a tiny fraction (1,850) of those retweets came from other accounts within the dataset. In other words, almost all of its retweets came from accounts outside the dataset, meaning many could have been real Twitter users.”
You can see the content created and retweeted by TEN_GOP at this link:
Larry Johnson says
You are the one who is wrong Twisted. Devin is a friend of mine and we have talked about this. You are not a friend of Devin’s and I know you have not communicated with him on this point. So, stop pretending to know shit that you know nothing about.
Read for yourself Hyten refusal to obey the POTUS:
McRaven should have deferred his comments as he is still military and still bound by his Constitutional oath.
blue peacock says
In lawsuits such as this wouldn’t the FBI, CIA and other federal government agencies use the “state secrets” doctrine to essentially stymie discovery?
Why wouldn’t they subpoena Assange? I’m curious why Assange told Rattner that he’d paid Seth & Aaron Rich for the DNC emails since he’s always maintained that he provides absolute privacy of all informants.
Something that has perplexed me on the RCH is why Trump has not declassified? He’s punted on it by passing the buck first to Rosenstein and now to Barr. Can you speculate on what’s held him back?
Or even someone one the sidelines of Russian IC who wanted to pretend, for Russian domestic consumption (chiefly his business rivals), that he is Russian IC without ever directly claiming this publically (doing the latter would piss Russian IC off).
blue peacock says
In this interview with Maria Baritromo, Devin Nunes says Reid was briefed but he wasn’t. Why doesn’t Trump declassify it all? It seems that he too wants to hide what happened. Devin raises interesting questions about why weren’t important figures from the Cambridge group, Svetlana Lokhova, etc not interviewed by the Mueller special counsel and Maria asks a very important question – “who was the mastermind?” as so many people including UK, Australian & Italian intelligence were involved in the possible entrapment and spying of a presidential campaign.
It would seem that the DOJ under Rosenstein and now Barr wants to hide this under the rug and all their investigations by US attorneys Huber and now Durham are designed to go nowhere. Something is clearly odd as Trump will not declassify, will not appoint a real independent special counsel and other than tweet witch hunt does not take any real action to get to the bottom of what actually happened and who orchestrated all the moving parts.
JP Billen says
Reading your link beyond the headlines: Hyten is quoted as saying “if the command was ‘illegal’ he would tell him so, and said that together they would come up with other options.”
As for McRaven:
Keith Harbaugh says
LJ asserts “[T]here should now be no doubt that [the plot to take out Donald Trump] was not the work of a few rogue intelligence and law enforcement officials acting on their own.”
blue peacock quotes Maria Baritromo asking “who was the mastermind” and moots the question of “who orchestrated all the moving parts”.
On the other hand, sundance seems to suggest that there was simply a “small group” of people united by their anti-Trump views.
See in particular
“Deal or No Deal – There’s a Transparency Within Two Factions of DOJ and FBI Political “Small Group”… ”, 2018-03-30
“Common Question: “How do you square Mueller in all this?”…”, 2018-03-31
“Aftermath of Mueller….”, 2019-07-25
The last article also provides a very useful bulleted list of eight issues, action items as it were, still outstanding after Mueller’s appearance before Congress.
TTG has made two assertions I would like to take exception to.
1. In his response to J, TTG mocks the idea of a soft coup:
Pardon me for my bluntness TTG, but that really seems to me like a series of stupid questions. That there were many in Washington, politics, and the media who have been doing everything possible to, in effect, declare the election null and void should really be quite obvious to any sensible and honest observer.
We are now seeing, and reading about, the results of their efforts.
Whether they will succeed in impeachment, the current effort was surely their aim all along. To deny that, as TTG seems to do, seems incredible to me.
As Pat Buchanan wrote way back on 2017-01-12:
“[Washington] is salivating over another Watergate, another broken president.” That’s the truth and any honest and competent observer, in particular one who reads the Washington Post, should have recognized it long ago.
See also notably
“The Deep State Targets Trump”, 2017-02-16:
2. On another issue, the FBI’s 2015 warning to the DNC that their systems had been penetrated by the Russians, TTG wrote:
Let us recall the situation in late 2015. The OPM data breach was all in the headlines. Given that, the sysadmin didn’t take this warning seriously? If he suspected a hoax, he could have called the FBI himself and asked if they were behind this warning. If he didn’t want to do that, he could and should have brought this to his supervisors attention (in fact, I believe he did do that, but TTG omits mentioning that).
To me, this smacks of the widespread failure of Democrats to fail to assign responsibility where it belongs. To an all too great extent, they are the party of victimhood, rather than responsibility.
The Twisted Genius says
Keith, seeking to remove Trump through the constitutional process of impeachment is not a coup, soft or otherwise. Impeaching Nixon or Clinton were not coup attempts. Now if the IC pushed the idea of Russia changing votes and tried to void the election, that would be a coup attempt. Instead, both the IC and the Obama administration went out of their way to say no votes were changed and our electoral process was solid and secure. Therefore, no coup attempted or otherwise. Do you consider the birther movement to be a coup attempt?
The best account of the early days of the DNC hack was published in December 2016 by the NYT. It details the interactions of FBI SA Adrian Hawkins, Yared Tamene, the tech-support contractor at the DNC, and his boss at the DNC. Serious action wasn’t initiated until the FBI physically met with the Clinton campaign in April 2016. Both the FBI and DNC screwed up. I don’t get your point in trying to deny any of this took place other than as an attempt t deny the DNC was ever hacked in the first place.
I reject your characterization of the present action of the Democratic House of Representatives as other than a campaign of persecution against the constitutionally elected president of the United States. As for the conspiracy in the intelligence community, the DNC and the Clinton campaign to prevent Trump’s election, it will be interesting to view your response of many of the players are indicted.
The Twisted Genius says
The Democratic House of Representatives is also constitutionally elected. The persecution, as you call it, is mutual. As for the conspiracy, we’ll just have to disagree until this all plays out. Heard interesting news from Mark Zaid about his FOIA request for the full Carter Page FISA warrant. The court rejected the DOJ’s claim that Trump rescinded his full declassification of the warrant. Barr has a month to try to explain his position. Trump and Barr do not want the full warrant to get out. I don’t think we’re going to see a lot of intel released by Barr.
Keith Harbaugh says
Thank you for relinking to that NYT article. You linked to it before, and it did and does provide very helpful insight on the situation.
How we assign the burden of responsibility, there we differ.
“I don’t get your point in trying to deny any of this took place other than as an attempt t deny the DNC was ever hacked in the first place.”
I don’t see in my original comment a “point in trying to deny any of this took place”.
Could you clarify where you saw such a point?
Keith Harbaugh says
Regarding the Carter Page situation, I presume you are referring to
“Judge: Trump statements muddle Freedom of Information suit for FISA warrants”.
Just want to mention that for general information, and in case TTG has a better source.
My Google and news.google.com searches on
Mark Zaid Carter Page FOIA
Keith Harbaugh says
Just reread the article you helpfully linked to. It contains the statement:
That alleged claim of Tamene is simply not true.
As I mentioned above, he could have called the FBI himself and asked if “Special Agent Adrian Hawkins” was really who he said he was.
Just want to clarify how the situation could have been handled.
The Twisted Genius says
Keith, You’re right. I read way too much into your comment and wrongly lumped you with the DNC hack deniers. You said no such thing and I apologize. I also agree with you that the DNC was responsible for securing their own systems and they failed to do so. Tamene and his boss should have done a lot more in verifying and following up on the FBI warning. Tamene did not try hard enough. My point was that SA Hawkins didn’t try hard enough either. Given that this was the DNC and there was an upcoming national election, he should have realized this was more important than just another penetration of some private entity’s network. He and his supervisor should have physically met with the DNC leadership back in 2015.
Concerning the partial summary judgement about the Carter Page FISA warrant FOIA request, my source was Mark Zaid and Bradley Moss, a partner in Zaid’s law firm. Zaid runs the James Madison Project which assists a broad range of FOIA requests and is the plaintiff in this case. This particular judgement was over the release of twenty something pages of the FISA warrant that a White House press release indicated Trump had declassified. DOJ is saying this is not so and that the pages remain classified. The judge saw a discrepancy in the DOJ position and gave the DOJ 30 days to show why those pages should not be released under the FOIA statutes. I think Barr and Trump realize releasing the full FISA warrant will not help their narrative and are fighting to keep it under wraps. Here’s a link to the court’s opinion and order on the Page FOIA request.
The Twisted Genius says
Forgot the link:
The judge does not disput the president’s authority on declasification, he has, however, decided that the press release is the exective order and he wants a specific note as to what was directed in regards to the President’s directive on declassification. This kind of lawafre has been going on for a few years now.
“I don’t think the Clinton campaign had a clue about this new phenomenon.”