Tag Archives: Russiagate

Conspiracies as Realities, Realities as Conspiracies, by Victor Davis Hanson

The Democrats project their hall-of-mirrors mental processes into reality and convert reality into their hall-of-mirrors in an endless loop. From Victor Davis Hanson at amgreatness.com:

Conspiracy projection has split apart the country. The Left has fought efforts to learn the full truth, as they project conspiracies to disguise conspirators.

American politics over the last half decade has become immersed in a series of conspiracy charges leveled by Democrats against their opponents that, in fact, are happening because of them and through them. The consequences of these conspiracies becoming reality and reality revealing itself as conspiracy have been costly to American prestige, honor, and security. As we move away from denouncing realists as conspiracists, and self-pronounced “realists” are revealed as the true conspirators, let’s review a few of the more damaging of these events.

Russians on the Brain

Consider that the Trump election of 2016, the transition, and the first two years of the Trump presidency were undermined by a media-progressive generated hoax of “Russian collusion.”

The “bombshell” and “walls are closing in” mythologies dominated the network news and cable outlets. It took five years to expose them as rank agit-prop.

Robert Mueller and his “dream team” consumed $40 million of Americans’ money and 22 months of our time—to find the nothingburger that most of the country already knew was nothing. Yet the subtext of the 2018 Democratic takeover of the House was the media narrative that Trump, as Hillary Clinton put it, was an “illegitimate” president, due to Russian collusion.

Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper claimed on national television that Trump was a “Russian asset.” Former CIA head John Brennan assured the nation that the president was “treasonous,” due to his supposed “lies to the American people.”

All sorts of politicians, retired military, and news anchors echoed the charges. The lies and myths of has-been British spy Christopher Steele made him a leftist hero. They were repeated ad nauseam as truth.

FBI grandees like James Comey, Andrew McCabe, Peter Strzok, Lisa Page, Kevin Clinesmith, and others destroyed their careers in their obsessions over Trump. In the process of destroying themselves, they also nearly wrecked the reputation of the FBI. The Pentagon has the lowest popular support in modern memory. The CIA is more feared by millions of Americans than by our enemies.

Steele could not produce any evidence to back up his scurrilous charges. The inspector general of the Department of Justice found little evidence to substantiate any of the charges. James Comey and Robert Mueller under oath both pleaded either memory problems or denied any knowledge about the FBI’s use of Steele and the role his fake dossier played.

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It’s official: Durham is investigating the Clinton Campaign. By Technofog

The Clinton campaign (and that includes Hillary) is up to its eyeballs in the plot to depose Trump known as Russiagate. From Technofog at technofog.substack.com:

Enter the Clinton Campaign Lawyers

The latest filings by Special Counsel John Durham reveal that lawyers for the Hillary Clinton Campaign now represent Christopher Steele primary subsource Igor Danchenko. In doing so, Durham tips us off to something else: that the Hillary Clinton Campaign and multiple former employees of the Hillary Clinton Campaign are under investigation.

Let’s walk through the latest developments.

Background

Igor Danchenko, the primary subsource of Christopher Steele, was arrested on November 3, 2021 for giving multiple false statements to federal officials during his 2017 interviews with the FBI. These included lies about Danchenko’s sources, his travels to Russia, and his falsified contacts with Sergei Millian. We laid out Danchenko’s indictment here.

Notably, Special Counsel John Durham alleges that one of Danchenko’s real “sources” was Charles Dolan, Jr. (perhaps first identified by Aaron Mate), who served in various leadership positions to elect Bill Clinton in the 1992 and 1996 campaigns and was an advisor to Hillary Clinton in her 2016 campaign for president. With Dolan’s involvement, the obvious question becomes whether he was the intermediary between the Clinton Campaign and Danchenko.

The Involvement of the Hillary Clinton Campaign

After all, we know that the Hillary Clinton Campaign paid for the Steele dossiers and the work by Fusion GPS. This was arranged through their attorneys (and the DNC attorneys) at Perkins Coie – notably Mark Elias and Michael Sussmann. Elias left the firm this summer. Sussmann was indicted in September 2021 by Special Counsel Durham for giving false statements to the FBI as he was pushing them to investigate the Alfa Bank/Trump hoax.

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Why the Russiagate Scandal Outranks the Rest, by J. Peder Zane

It can be argued that the Kennedy assassination was worse than the attempt to depose Trump, but apparently J. Peder Zane doesn’t consider the former a scandal, certainly an arguable conclusion. From Zane at realclearpolitics.com:

Why the Russiagate Scandal Outranks the Rest

(AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

Russiagate is the biggest scandal in American history.

Nothing comes close in size, scope or harm to the republic than the years-long effort to cripple Donald Trump’s presidency by claiming he conspired with an enemy state to steal the 2016 election and then do its bidding as commander-in-chief.

Why the Russiagate Scandal Outranks the Rest

(AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

Russiagate is the biggest scandal in American history.

Nothing comes close in size, scope or harm to the republic than the years-long effort to cripple Donald Trump’s presidency by claiming he conspired with an enemy state to steal the 2016 election and then do its bidding as commander-in-chief.

Its notorious predecessors – L’Affaire Lewinsky, Iran-Contra, Watergate, Teapot Dome, Crédit Mobilier, the XYZ Affair – involved relatively small numbers of malefactors engaged in specific acts of illegality and corruption (we still don’t know who, if anyone, planned the Jan. 6 assault on the U.S. Capitol)

Russiagate, by contrast, is a vast conspiracy involving innumerable powerful forces, including the Democratic Party, NeverTrump Republicans, the Obama administration, the FBI, Department of Justice and the nation’s most prestigious news outlets.

Where previous scandals often ended with public accountability for the perpetrators – Watergate saw the imprisonment of top White House aides and President Nixon’s resignation – and public reforms, Russiagate has produced no such reckoning.

Russiagate began with a kernel of truth: Someone – probably Russians, though we still don’t know for sure – hacked the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton’s private server. Fearful of what might be released, the Clinton campaign tried to discredit any damaging material by raising dark questions about its source. (Joe Biden executed this same strategy to great effect when he falsely described the evidence of corruption found on his son Hunter’s laptop as “Russian disinformation.”)

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Americans Need a Conspiracy Theory They Can All Agree on, by Patrick Armstrong

You can tell a lot about people by the conspiracy theories they subscribe to. From Patrick Armstrong at strategic-culture.org:

A deeply divided country: there is no common conversation in the United States today – one person’s conspiracy theory is another’s truth.

No subtlety of thought survives in the culture of unreason. Public space is populated with poseurs, cutouts, and imposters. Public discourse, with some exceptions, is much of the time not worth bothering with.

Patrick Lawrence: Obituary for Russiagate.

There is a conspiracy theory that the CIA put the very expression into general use to discredit alternate theories about the murder of President Kennedy. Perhaps that’s true – there is a CIA document – but the expression has been around for a long time. At any event it has become a slur to discredit political opponents. The accusation replaces rational discussion.

There have been actual conspiracies in history. There was a conspiracy to murder Caesar. And to murder Anwar Sadat. The Bolsheviks did conspire to take power and so did Guy Fawkes. Sometimes they succeeded – often surprising the conspirators – and sometimes they didn’t. Many times the conspirators thought the deed itself was all that needed to be done but Caesar was succeeded by Caesar and Sadat by his chosen successor. There are probably fewer conspiracies than people imagine but they do exist.

Conspiracy theories abound in the USA today. But, it should be made clear from the outset of this discussion that there are two different kinds of conspiracy theories – unacceptable ones and acceptable ones. An example of the first kind is the assertion that Trump was cheated of victory by vote-faking in key areas. The assertion is “baseless”, pushed by the “far-right-wing” and the “deluded“; has been “debunked” in detail; its so-called arguments are “bogus, none credible“; there is “no evidence” and so on. The full weight of the corporate media stands against this idea and it flourishes only in the undergrowth. Nonetheless, 29% of Americans in a March survey “completely” or “mostly” agreed that the election had been stolen from Trump (66% of Republicans, 27% of independents and 4% (!) of Democrats). So that particular conspiracy theory has significant support.

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Obituary for Russiagate, by Patrick Lawrence

Russiagate is dying its slow death, but its culture of lies and power as god lives on. From Patrick Lawrence at consortiumnews.com:

The fraudulent fable has died, but its consequences live on.

 TV coverage of 2016 U.S. election results. (U.S. embassy, Kyiv)

Russiagate, that fraudulent fable wherein Russian President Vladimir Putin personally subverted American democracy, Russian intelligence pilfered the Democratic Party’s email, and Donald Trump acted at the Kremlin’s behest, is at last dead.

No, nothing sudden. It has been a slow, painful death of the sort this destructive beast richly deserved. But its demise is now definitive — in the courts and on paper. We await the better historians to see this properly into the record.

Three key operatives in the construction of the Russiagate edifice are indicted for lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigation about aspects of the Russiagate tale.  The Steele dossier, the document on which much of the case against former President Trump rested, is now exposed as a Nixonesque “dirty trick” authorized and paid for by Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign.

Some mainstream newspapers — certainly not all — are busy in their archives, editing out the worst of the falsehoods they reported in 2016 and 2017 as unassailable fact.

This is a wholesale collapse now.

There are, as one would expect, those who seem determined to hold out no matter what the factual evidence. These go well beyond MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow, whose record I will let speak for itself.

I am thinking of people such as David Corn, the Mother Jones correspondent in Washington, and David Frum, a staff writer at The Atlantic. Both invested big time into the Russiagate junk, and both published books filled with the ridiculous, evidence-free piffle of which it was made.

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The Steele Dossier and the End of Shame In American Politics, by Jonathan Turley

Adam Schiff is pond scum and it appears not to bother him that he’s pond scum. From Jonathan Turley at jonathanturley.com:

The famous philosopher and mathematician Blaise Pascal once declared that “the only shame is to have none.” The problem with shame is that it requires a sense of guilt over one’s actions. In the age of rage, there appear fewer and fewer actions that are beyond the pale for politics. Take Adam Schiff and the Steele dossier. While even the Washington Post has admitted that it got the Russian collusion story wrong in light of the findings of Special Counsel John Durham, House Intelligence Committee Chair Adam Schiff, D-Calif., is still insisting that he was absolutely right to promote the discredited Steele dossier. Schiff’s interview on NBC’s Meet the Press may be the final proof of the death of shame in American politics.

Schiff was one of the greatest promoters of the Steele dossier despite access to briefings casting doubt about Steele and the underlying claims. However, Schiff recently has attempted to defend himself by claiming that Steele was a respected former spy and that he was lied to by a Russian source.

Schiff told host Chuck Todd:

“I don’t regret saying that we should investigate claims of someone who, frankly, was a well-respected British intelligence officer. And we couldn’t have known, of course, years ago that we would learn years later that someone who is a primary source lied to him. [Igor] Danchenko lied to Christopher Steele and then lied to the FBI. He should be prosecuted. He is being prosecuted. And I’ll tell you this, if he’s convicted, he should not be pardoned the way Donald Trump pardoned people who lied to FBI agents, like Roger Stone and Mike Flynn. There ought to be the same standard in terms of prosecuting the liars. But I don’t think there ought to be any pardon, no matter which way the lies cut.”

Schiff’s spin is enough to cause permanent vertigo.

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The Russiagate Whitewash Era Begins, by Matt Taibbi

The Russiagate hoax had a cast of hundreds, maybe thousands, but rest assured, the search for a few good scapegoats has begun and the rest will thrive, getting off scot-free. From Matt Taibbi at taibbi.substack.com:

After the WMD mess, Judith Miller got the blame, while a long list of just-as-guilty media villains failed upward. Now, a nervous press is looking for Russiagate’s fall guys

“There is an old saying in journalism: You’re only as good as your sources,” wrote Washington Post fact-checker Glenn Kessler, in a piece about the indictment of “Steele Dossier” source Igor Danchenko. The latter is being set up to take the rap as the dirty Russian rat who hoodwinked poor civic-minded Christopher Steele, the FBI, and the entire American press corps into propping up the biggest hoax since the WMD affair.

After America invaded Iraq and failed to turn up weapons of mass destruction, the press went into CYA mode. Pundits who’d panted for war now cooked up a new narrative, that the WMD “mistake” had been caused by a combination of faulty intelligence, over-confident officials in the George W. Bush White House, and one New York Times writer named Judith Miller. Everyone else who so forcefully screwed the pooch on that story, from New Yorker editor David Remnick to New York columnist Jonathan Chait to current Atlantic editor Jeffrey Goldberg, emerged either unscathed, or draped in awards and promoted.

Now, the Russiagate tale many of those same people hyped is falling apart, and the industry is again building battlements to protect careers from a cascade of humiliating revelations. This time, a combination of Danchenko, Buzzfeed editor Ben Smith, and perhaps a few organizations like McClatchy will be tossed out of the lifeboat. If you’re ever tempted to think there’s honor among thieves, check out this recent flurry of Russiagate finger-pointing.

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Please Stop Trusting Anything The Mainstream Media ‘Report’, by the I & I Editorial Board

It’s been slow in coming, but millions of Americans now realize that the mainstream media is full of shit. From the Issues and Insights editorial board at issuesinsights.com:

pxhere.com

America’s mainstream, or legacy, media have an agenda. It’s not to subjectively report the truth but to further leftist ideas and policies, all of which are toxic. The press’ disinformation campaign to prop up critical race theory is yet another example of its effort to deceive, manipulate, and divide on behalf of the party it is constantly shilling for.

A new study from the American Enterprise Institute found the media focus on schools teaching the history of slavery and racism, and largely ignore the “bedrock assumptions of CRT, including its explicit rejection of rationality and objectivity.”

AEI’s Frederick M. Hess “examined all news accounts addressing CRT published over a one-year period by four major newspapers (the New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today),” and several “influential education press outlets.” All are news accounts. None are opinion pieces.

“Given that this admittedly revolutionary worldview is what motivates many objections to CRT-influenced pedagogy, one would expect news accounts to routinely address it,” Hess writes in “Media’s Misleading Portrayal of the Fight over Critical Race Theory.”

“Remarkably, however, CRT’s guiding assumptions were rarely mentioned in mainstream media or education press news accounts.”

Continues Hess:

Only a tiny sliver of news accounts even mentioned the substantive concerns about CRT or sought to explore the actual tensions. This is a grave disservice to parents, communities, and educators interested in finding productive ways to debate these heated issues.

Media bias has also infected coverage of the Kyle Rittenhouse trial, which is now in the jury deliberation stage. The bias has been so severe that several on the left are “now willing to admit they were duped” by the press’ Rittenhouse reporting, says Legal Insurrection.

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The biggest loser of the Durham indictments: James Comey’s FBI, by John Solomon

Russiagate demonstrated blatant corruption by the FBI. From John Solomon at justthenews.com:

Special Counsel John Durham’s latest criminal case is as much an indictment of James Comey’s FBI as it is of the primary source of the Steele dossier, whom Durham accuses of repeatedly lying to agents.

The Steele dossier was the central evidence used by the FBI to win four consecutive FISA warrants targeting Trump’s campaign — and in 39 pages of painstaking detail the indictment lays out just how flawed and fake central elements of the dossier were.

Those FISA warrants allowed the bureau to spy on former Trump adviser Carter Page and his many contacts in Trump world for nearly a year.

Igor Danchenko, Steele’s primary source for the dossier, contrived an entire source for key allegations in the dossier and relied on a longtime Hillary Clinton-supporting public relations executive for other intelligence without telling the FBI, the indictment charges. That PR executive had extensive ties to Russian government officials, even as he provided Danchenko information that landed in the dossier.

For some reason, Comey’s FBI couldn’t detect these serious flaws even though a group of civil lawyers was able to locate several Russians suspected of being Danchenko’s sub-sources, interviewing each of them and securing declarations that the information attributed to them in the dossier was wrong or contrived.

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Arrest Of Steele Dossier Source A “Seismic Development”, by Tyler Durden

The arrest of Igor Danchenko is a classic prosecutorial move: arrest to smaller fish to work up to the bigger ones. From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:

Shining further light on today’s arrest of Igor Danchenko – the primary source for the debunked Steele dossier – is constitutional scholar Jonathan Turley, who calls it a “seismic development.

More via Jonathanturley.org:

The office of Special Counsel John Durham has confirmed that Igor Danchenko, a key source for British ex-spy Christopher Steele, has been arrested. This is the third arrest by Durham who is moving toward the prosecution stage of his investigation into the origins of the Russian collusion scandal. Durham is variously described as either painfully methodical or positively glacial as a prosecutor.  But he is widely credited with being a dogged and absolutely apolitical prosecutor. Danchenko’s arrest is a seismic development and confirmed Durham is far from done with his investigation.

Washington was recently rocked by the indictment of Michael Sussman, former counsel for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign and the Democratic National Committee, for his alleged role in spreading a false Russia conspiracy theory.

Now Danchenko is being charged with lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Danchenko is widely referenced as the sub-source for former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele for his controversial dossier. That dossier, funded by the Clinton campaign, served as the basis for Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrants against Trump campaign aide Carter Page.

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