I have been blogging since the fall of 2004 to express my views in favor of John Kerry and as much against the tyranny of George Bush and his Republican henchmen. @BooMan I considered myself an independent researcher and analyst of politics. In the approach to the Nov. 2016 election, the cross-section of bloggers changed and Democrats were divided in tribes: for or against candidate Hillary Clinton in the primaries. From that time troll rating became a new norm which made writing your view a new adventure.
As soon as the Steele dossier was introduced in the media and discussed on the blog, division hardened. My analysis was plenty of skepticism from the start, especially as I started to look at where the dossier was coming from. My view on the matter was not appreciated. Two years have passed and still not all details have come out.
Reading this article published by The Hill, I agree with the headline: SHOCKING!
This item will be making all the headlines in the coming hours.
When the annals of mistakes and abuses in the FBI’s Russia investigation are finally written, Bruce Ohr almost certainly will be the No. 1 witness, according to my sources.
The then-No. 4 Department of Justice (DOJ) official briefed both senior FBI and DOJ officials in summer 2016 about Christopher Steele’s Russia dossier, explicitly cautioning that the British intelligence operative’s work was opposition research connected to Hillary Clinton’s campaign and might be biased.
Ohr’s briefings, in July and August 2016, included the deputy director of the FBI, a top lawyer for then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch and a Justice official who later would become the top deputy to special counsel Robert Mueller.
Continued below the fold …
At the time, Ohr was the associate attorney general. Yet his warnings about political bias were pointedly omitted weeks later from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant that the FBI obtained from a federal court, granting it permission to spy on whether the Trump campaign was colluding with Russia to hijack the 2016 presidential election.
Ohr’s activities, chronicled in handwritten notes and congressional testimony I gleaned from sources, provide the most damning evidence to date that FBI and DOJ officials may have misled federal judges in October 2016 in their zeal to obtain the warrant targeting Trump adviser Carter Page just weeks before Election Day.
They also contradict a key argument that House Democrats have made in their formal intelligence conclusions about the Russia case.
Since it was disclosed last year that Steele’s dossier formed a central piece of evidence supporting the FISA warrant, Justice and FBI officials have been vague about exactly when they learned that Steele’s work was paid for by the law firm representing the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee (DNC).
A redacted version of the FISA application released last year shows the FBI did not mention any connection to the DNC or Clinton. Rather, it referred to Steele as a reliable source in past criminal investigations who was hired by a person working for a U.S. law firm to conduct research on Trump and Russia.
The FBI claimed it was “unaware of any derogatory information” about Steele, that Steele was “never advised … as to the motivation behind the research” but that the FBI “speculates” that those who hired Steele were “likely looking for information to discredit” Trump’s campaign.
Yet, in testimony last summer to congressional investigators, Ohr revealed the FBI and Justice lawyers had no need to speculate: He explicitly warned them in a series of contacts, beginning July 31, 2016, that Steele expressed biased against Trump and was working on a project connected to the Clinton campaign.
Ohr had firsthand knowledge about the motive and the client: He had just met with Steele on July 30, 2016, and Ohr’s wife, Nellie, worked for Fusion GPS, the same firm employing Steele.
The article ends with the stark reminder …
And the FBI knew the motive of the client and did not have to speculate: Ohr told agents the Democratic nominee’s campaign was connected to the research designed to harm Trump’s election chances.
Such omissions are, by definition, an abuse of the FISA system.
Don’t take my word for it. Fired FBI Director James Comey acknowledged it himself when he testified last month that the FISA court relies on an honor system, in which the FBI is expected to divulge exculpatory evidence to the judges.
The ugly battle of the blogs to get beyond the headlines, to get at the truth!
Why belief the work of spooks? My focus was especially on the background of [former] MI-6 asset Christopher Steele [British Orbis Business Intelligence] and his connections with the British spy agency. As expected, the British Embassy in Moscow was a centre for espionage … what’s new? These persons do today what they were qualified for in the years of the Cold War or its aftermath in the years of president Yeltsin. Bringing capitalism to Russia and steeling the state’s assets bringing anguish and poverty to its people.
Related reading …
○ British Intelligence Delivers Another ‘Dodgy Dossier’ by Oui @BooMan on Jan. 12th, 2017
○ ‘Sir’ Andrew Wood as spy chief in Moscow
○ A Gordian Knot: IC-Gate
○ UK Issued a DA-Notice On My Diary Result
○ Steele’s Dodgy Dossier and Dems’ Train Wreck
Fusion GPS also worked on the Magnitski case and worked for HRC’s State Department and Victoria Nuland doing intelligence on Ukraine oligarchs and the Maidan Revolt of 2014.