Tag Archives: Russiagate

Russiagate’s Last Gasp, by Ray McGovern

Just think, for three years Washington obsessed about Russiagate while the rest of the country couldn’t have cared less. It’s time to give Russiagate a quick burial and move on to other fake news. From Ray McGovern at consortiumnews.com:

One can read this most recent flurry of Russia, Russia, Russia paid the Taliban to kill GIs as an attempt to pre-empt the findings into Russiagate’s origins.

U.S. Army helicopter pilots fly near Jalalabad, Afghanistan, April 5, 2017. (U.S. Army, Brian Harris, Wikimedia Commons)

On Friday The New York Times featured a report based on anonymous intelligence officials that the Russians were paying bounties to have U.S. troops killed in Afghanistan with President Donald Trump refusing to do anything about it.  The flurry of Establishment media reporting that ensued provides further proof, if such were needed, that the erstwhile “paper of record” has earned a new moniker — Gray Lady of easy virtue.

Over the weekend, the Times’ dubious allegations grabbed headlines across all media that are likely to remain indelible in the minds of credulous Americans — which seems to have been the main objective. To keep the pot boiling this morning, The New York Times’ David Leonhardt’s daily web piece, “The Morning” calls prominent attention to a banal article by a Heather Cox Richardson, described as a historian at Boston College, adding specific charges to the general indictment of Trump by showing “how the Trump administration has continued to treat Russia favorably.” The following is from Richardson’s newsletter on Friday:

— “On April 1 a Russian plane brought ventilators and other medical supplies to the United States … a propaganda coup for Russia;

— “On April 25 Trump raised eyebrows by issuing a joint statement with Russian President Vladimir Putin commemorating the 75th anniversary of the historic meeting between American and Soviet troops on the bridge of the Elbe River in Germany that signaled the final defeat of the Nazis;

— “On May 3, Trump called Putin and talked for an hour and a half, a discussion Trump called ‘very positive’;

— “On May 21, the U.S. sent a humanitarian aid package worth $5.6 million to Moscow to help fight coronavirus there.  The shipment included 50 ventilators, with another 150 promised for the next week; …

— “On June 15, news broke that Trump has ordered the removal of 9,500 troops from Germany, where they support NATO against Russian aggression. …”

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Why the Obama intelligence assessment on Russia collusion is under investigation, by John Solomon

There was a criminal conspiracy to depose the president, and it’s now clear who the conspirators were. The main unanswered question is whether or not any of them will see the inside of a courtroom or a prison. From John Solomon at justthenews.com:

John Durham, the special prosecutor, is examining the Intelligence Community Assessment as evidence that conflicts with one of its key conclusions keeps mounting.

recently declassified annex to the Obama administration’s intelligence report on Russian election interference took great pains to make clear it did not use Christopher Steele’s deeply flawed dossier to make any assessments about Moscow’s intentions.

The Intelligence Community Assessment (ICA) found Steele’s evidence “highly politically sensitive” and minimally corroborated and thus not worthy of including in its analysis of Russian election interference, the annex stated.

“We have only limited corroboration of the source reporting in this case and did not use it to reach the analytic conclusions of the CIA/FBI/NSA assessment,” the memo added.

In retrospect, the exclusion of the Steele dossier in assessing Russian intentions may have been a consequential mistake, since evidence emerged just two weeks after the assessment was made public in early January 2017 that directly conflicted with one of the ICA’s key conclusions.

The outgoing Obama administration’s intelligence community leaders — FBI Director James Comey, CIA Director John Brennan, NSA Director Mike Rogers and Director of National Intelligence James Clapper — declared on July 5, 2017 that Moscow was specifically trying to help Donald Trump win the 2016 election and to defeat Hillary Clinton.

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Lisa Page Hired By NBC and MSNBC As Legal Analyst, by Jonathan Turley

You can probably count on one hand the number of SLL readers who regularly watch NBC or MSNBC, and this article demonstrates why. From Jonathan Turley at jonathanturley.com:

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Lisa Page, the former FBI lawyer who resigned in the midst of the Russian investigation scandal, has been hired a NBC and MSNBC as a legal analyst.  The move continues a trend started by CNN in hiring Trump critics, including officials terminated for misconduct, to offer legal analysis on the Trump Administration. We have previously discussed the use by CNN of figures like Andrew McCabe to give legal analysis despite his being referred for possible criminal charges by the Inspector General for repeatedly lying to federal investigators.  The media appears intent on fulfilling the narrative of President Trump that it is overly biased and hostile in its analysis. Indeed, it now appears a marketing plan that has subsumed the journalistic mission.

Page appeared with Rachel Maddow and began her work as the new legal analyst by discussing her own controversial work at the FBI. Page is still part of investigation by various committees and the investigation being conducted by U.S Attorney John Durham.

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‘Somebody cooked up the plot’: The hunt for the origins of the Russia collusion narrative, by John Solomon

Somebody indeed cooked up a plot to depose Trump with a phony Russian collusion narrative, but to date, nobody’s gone to jail for it. From John Solomon at justthenews.com:

Key GOP senators are firing off subpoenas in a concerted effort to identify those who helped sustain a Russia collusion probe without the supporting evidence.

Hollywood once gave us the Cold War thriller called “The Hunt for Red October.” And now the U.S. Senate and its Republican committee chairmen in Washington have launched a different sort of hunt made for the movies.

Armed with subpoenas, Sens. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., and Ron Johnson, R-Wis., want to interrogate a slew of Obama-era intelligence and law enforcement officials hoping to identify who invented and sustained the bogus Russia collusion narrative that hampered Donald Trump’s early presidency.

And while Graham and Johnson aren’t exactly Sean Connery and Alec Baldwin, they and their GOP cohorts have a theory worthy of a Tom Clancy novel-turned-movie: The Russia collusion investigation was really a plot by an outgoing administration to thwart the new president.

“What we had was a very quiet insurrection that took place,” Sen. Marsha Blackburn, the Tennessee Republican, told Just the News on Thursday as she described the theory of Senate investigators. “And there were probably dozens of people at DOJ and FBI that knew what was going on.

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The FBI documents that put Barack Obama in the ‘Obamagate’ narrative, by John Solomon

Will a Democratic ex-president ever be indicted? Obama should be, but don’t hold your breath. From John Solomon at justthenews.com:

Agents fretted sharing Flynn intel with departing Obama White House would become fodder for ‘partisan axes to grind.’

Just 17 days before President Trump took office in January 2017, then-FBI counterintelligence agent Peter Strzok texted bureau lawyer Lisa Page, his mistress, to express concern about sharing sensitive Russia probe evidence with the departing Obama White House.

Strzok had just engaged in a conversation with his boss, then-FBI Assistant Director William Priestap, about evidence from the investigation of incoming National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, codenamed Crossfire Razor, or “CR” for short.

The evidence in question were so-called “tech cuts” from intercepted conversations between Flynn and Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak, according to the texts and interviews with officials familiar with the conversations.

Strzok related Priestap’s concerns about the potential the evidence would be politically weaponized if outgoing Director of National Intelligence James Clapper shared the intercept cuts with the White House and President Obama, a well-known Flynn critic.

“He, like us, is concerned with over sharing,” Strzok texted Page on Jan. 3, 2017, relating his conversation with Priestap. “Doesn’t want Clapper giving CR cuts to WH. All political, just shows our hand and potentially makes enemies.”

Page seemed less concerned, knowing that the FBI was set in three days to release its initial assessment of Russian interference in the U.S. election.

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Trump’s ‘Keyboard Warriors’ Get the Story While the Legacy Media Ignores #Obamagate, by Thomas J. Farnan

The alternate media started poking holes in Russiagate early and got it right. The mainstream media peddled nonstop lies and got it embarrassingly wrong. They keep ignoring evidence and refuse to ask the hard questions about their own culpability. From Thomas J. Farnan at thenationalpulse.com:

CrowdStrike – the forensic investigation firm hired by the Democratic National Committee (DNC) to inspect its computer servers in 2016 – admitted to Congressional investigators as early as 2017 that it had no direct evidence of Russian hacking, recently declassified documents show.

CrowdStrike’s president Shawn Henry testified, “There’s not evidence that [documents and emails] were actually exfiltrated [from the DNC servers]. There’s circumstantial evidence but no evidence that they were actually exfiltrated.”

This was a crucial revelation because the thousand ships of Russiagate launched upon the positive assertion that CrowdStrike had definitely proven a Russian hack

This sworn admission has been hidden from the public for over two years, and subsequent commentary has focused on that singular outrage.

The next deductive step, though, leads to an equally crucial point: Circumstantial evidence of Russian hacking is itself flimsy and collapses when not propped up by a claim of conclusive forensic testing.

THE COVER UP.

On March 19, 2016, Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman, John Podesta, surrendered his emails to an unknown entity in a “spear phishing” scam. This has been called a “hack,” but it was not.  Instead, it is was the sort of flim-flam hustle that happens to gullible dupes on the internet.

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Turn Out the Lights, Russiagate is Over, by Ray McGovern

It’s long past time to put Russiagate to bed. There never should have been a Russiagate. From Ray McGovern at consortiumnews.com:

The possibility that Trump will not chicken out this time, and rather will challenge the Security State looms large since he felt personally under attack.

Seldom mentioned among the motives behind the persistent drumming on alleged Russian interference was an over-arching need to help the Security State hide their tracks.

The need for a scapegoat to blame for Hillary Clinton’s snatching defeat out of the jaws victory also played a role; as did the need for the Military-Industrial-Congressional-Intelligence-Media-Academia-Think-Tank complex (MICIMATT) to keep front and center in the minds of Americans the alleged multifaceted threat coming from an “aggressive” Russia. (Recall that John McCain called the, now disproven, “Russian hacking” of the DNC emails an “act of war.”)

But that was then. This is now.

Though the corporate media is trying to bury it, the Russiagate narrative has in the past few weeks finally collapsed with the revelation that CrowdStrike had no evidence Russia took anything from the DNC servers and that the FBI set a perjury trap for Gen. Michael Flynn. There was already the previous government finding that there was no collusion between Trump and Russia and the indictment of a Russian troll farm that supposedly was destroying American democracy with $100,000 in Facebook ads was dropped after the St. Petersburg defendants sought discovery.

All that’s left is to discover how this all happened.

Attorney General William Barr, and U.S. Attorney John Durham, whom Barr commissioned to investigate this whole sordid mess seem intent on getting to the bottom of it. The possibility that Trump will not chicken out this time, and rather will challenge the Security State looms large since he felt personally under attack.

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Ghost of J. Edgar Haunts Flynn Investigation, by Coleen Rowley

What the FBI did to Michael Flynn demands dismissal of the case. From Coleen Rowley at consortiumnews.com:

In this time of unprecedented political polarization, it’s disappointing but not surprising to see the Justice Department’s recent request to dismiss its prosecution of retired General Michael Flynn causing yet another media firestorm to swirl around Attorney General William Barr.

Obama Administration former officials, like the hyperventilating authors of this New York Times op-ed, “The Appalling Damage of Dropping the Michael Flynn Case,” go so far as to claim that dropping the case “embeds into official U.S. policy a shockingly extremist view of law enforcement as the enemy of the American people.”

In stark contrast, other former FBI agents, myself included, are appalled at Bureau and other “national security” officials’ numerous suspicious departures from standard FBI/Department of Justice policies that have finally been brought to light, marking this most bizarre investigation aimed at “get(ting) Flynn to lie.”

Flynn. (US Defense Dept.)

Flynn was asked to “a friendly chat” with the FBI on Jan. 24, 2017, for which he was told he would not need a lawyer present. The interview was part of the FBI’s Russiagate investigation, a purported scandal that has now all but totally collapsed.

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New Documents From the Sham Prosecution of Gen. Michael Flynn Also Reveal Broad Corruption in the Russiagate Investigations, by Glen Greenwald

There’s never just one cockroach, and the cockroaches are scurrying now. From Glen Greenwald at theintercept.com:

GEN. MICHAEL FLYNN, President Obama’s former director of the Defense Intelligence Agency and President Donald Trump’s former national security adviser, pleaded guilty on December 1, 2017, to a single count of lying to the FBI about two conversations he had with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak while Flynn served as a Trump transition team official (Flynn was never charged for any matters relating to his relationship with the Turkish government). As part of the plea deal, special counsel Robert Mueller recommended no jail time for Flynn, and the plea agreement also seemingly put an end to threats from the Mueller team to prosecute Flynn’s son.

Last Thursday, the Justice Department filed a motion seeking to dismiss the prosecution of Flynn based, in part, on newly discovered documents revealing that the conduct of the FBI, under the leadership of Director James Comey and his now-disgraced Deputy Andrew McCabe (who himself was forced to leave the Bureau after being caught lying to agents), was improper and motivated by corrupt objectives. That motion prompted histrionic howls of outrage from the same political officials and their media allies who have spent the last three years pushing maximalist Russiagate conspiracy theories.

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Hidden Over 2 Years: Dem Cyber-Firm’s Sworn Testimony It Had No Proof of Russian Hack of DNC, by Aaron Maté

Aaron Maté is one of a select group of alternative media journalistic superstars who kept digging and digging and helped expose the sham that was Russiagate. From Maté at realclearinvestigations.com:

CrowdStrike, the private cyber-security firm that first accused Russia of hacking Democratic Party emails and served as a critical source for U.S. intelligence officials in the years-long Trump-Russia probe, acknowledged to Congress more than two years ago that it had no concrete evidence that Russian hackers stole emails from the Democratic National Committee’s server.

Crowdstrike President Shawn Henry: “We just don’t have the evidence …”

CrowdStrike President Shawn Henry’s admission under oath,  in a recently declassified December 2017 interview before the House Intelligence Committee, raises new questions about whether Special Counsel Robert Mueller, intelligence officials and Democrats misled the public. The allegation that Russia stole Democratic Party emails from Hillary Clinton, John Podesta and others and then passed them to WikiLeaks helped trigger the FBI’s probe into now debunked claims of a conspiracy between the Trump campaign and Russia to steal the 2016 election. The CrowdStrike admissions were released just two months after the Justice Department retreated from its its other central claim that Russia meddled in the 2016 election when it dropped charges against Russian troll farms it said had been trying to get Trump elected.

Henry personally led the remediation and forensics analysis of the DNC server after being warned of a breach in late April 2016; his work was paid for by the DNC, which refused to turn over its server to the FBI. Asked for the date when alleged Russian hackers stole data from the DNC server, Henry testified that CrowdStrike did not in fact know if such a theft occurred at all: “We did not have concrete evidence that the data was exfiltrated [moved electronically] from the DNC, but we have indicators that it was exfiltrated,” Henry said.

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