Monday, August 10, 2020

Russiagate: A New Player on the Board

I'm sure his name has come up before; who hasn't, but he was certainly never important enough to make a tag for. Matt Taibibi has the report from Steven Schrage, a politico who studied under, and worked for Stephan Halper, aka "the Walrus" at Cambridge, and was deeply involved in the Russiagate shenanigans around Michael Flynn, Carter Page and George Papadop. The Spies Who Hijacked America
Global scandals now labeled Russiagate, Spygate, and what President Trump calls “Obamagate” shook the political world, but hit me closer to home. I’m the reason the so-called FBI “spy” at the center of Spygate, Stefan Halper, met Carter Page, the alleged “Russian Asset” in Russiagate’s Crossfire Hurricane investigation.

On May 19, 2018, this realization blindsided me in London as I was about to fly out for my wedding. The New York Times, NBC News and other sources had outed my PhD supervisor, Stefan Halper, as a spy known to the UK’s MI6 intelligence service as “The Walrus.”

It didn’t seem real. Could a former professor I once trusted as a mentor have betrayed his word, profession, and country to start these disasters? I had moved to England to pursue an academic career and leave DC’s politics behind, only to have my PhD supervisor throw me back into the most outrageous political firestorms I could imagine. Just my luck. Then an even worse question began nagging at me. Did I unintentionally light the match that started it all?

As I started to piece together what happened over the next few months, I realized something. The stories that The New York Times, Washington Post, and others were pushing didn’t add up. Many seemed planted to cover up or advance the agendas of several individuals whose tentacles secretly ran through these scandals, and who each had longstanding ties to intelligence services like the FBI, CIA, and MI6. I call these individuals the Cambridge Four.

Strangely, all four were linked through that sleepy British academic town thousands of miles from the alleged “ground zeroes” of Russiagate’s conspiracies, Moscow and DC. In addition to the central “Spygate” figure Halper, they include the central source of “Russiagate’s” fake conspiracy theories, Christopher Steele; former MI6 Director Sir Richard Dearlove; and Halper’s and Dearlove’s partner in a Cambridge Intelligence Seminar linked to titillating — but false — tales of a “Russian spy” seducing Trump’s top national security advisor. My years of work with Halper provided an inside view of how their four networks interconnected.

The more I dug up new pieces of this puzzle, the more I saw how these individuals’ seemingly separate acts might fit together in an absurd picture of how these scandals really started.

Armed with first-hand knowledge and evidence, I quietly sought to help federal investigators uncover these scandals’ mysteries. It wasn’t my first rodeo. After witnessing the plane that hit the Pentagon on 9/11, I led G8 and State Department international crime and terrorism efforts with Department of Justice (DOJ), FBI, and intelligence officials and had worked for decades in White House, Congressional, and presidential campaign roles.

This helped me keep a stiff upper lip when I was falsely accused in 2019 by the House Intelligence Committee’s Ranking Republican and others on television as being part of a secret anti-Trump cabal. As much as I wanted to defend myself, I knew our best shot of exposing the real forces behind these scandals was for me to remain publicly silent and not let those under investigation know what I knew or was willing to say.

Yet a few weeks ago, I asked to speak to the DOJ lead investigator John Durham to give his team a heads up. I would continue to offer help, but my time for waiting for government to act was over. Recently, I had discovered and flagged for Durham disturbing recordings. One involved one of the Cambridge Four, Halper, and raised serious questions about the origins of what has been called the “kill shot” against Trump’s first national security advisor, General Michael Flynn.
OK it goes on (and on) from there. Remember, this is not a friend; this is someone desperately trying to get away from the bus that's about to hit him, named Durham. He didn't write this under oath, so take statements of fact with a grain of salt, but he clearly has some good info. He knows for a fact that Flynn was targeted by the FBI before the leak of the Kislyak phone call: Chuck Ross at Da Caller has a pretty good summary of the article, and the AUDIO: FBI Informant Stefan Halper Said Michael Flynn Was Not ‘Going To Be Around Long’. Schrage also did an interview with Maria Bartiromo:

Like myself, Sundance is mistrustful of his motives and honesty: Sunday Talks: Steven Schrage Appears to Discuss His Role in “Spygate”…
First, in an article to accompany his media effort, Schrage waxes philosophical and woefully about how his years-long good friend and phd supervisor, Stephan Halper, the one-legged character in the metaphor, turned out to be a politically motivated snake and spy. Oh, but all the years previous this wasn’t noticed? Not buying it.

Second, Schrage sat and watched Michael Flynn and Svetlana Lokhova get raked over the coals for three+ years only now, right now, to find his conscience bothered by his participation in assisting the lies pushed by his friend against them? Isn’t that convenient timing?… Yeah, sure. I might have been born at night, but I wasn’t born last night.

Third, Schrage notes he was interviewed by John Durham. Horsepucky. Durham doesn’t interview anyone; someone else does, someone very specific; and the fact that Schrage has no clue who that person is implies an aspect to the side-show he now presents as total nonsense. In short, this is a distraction story…. Look over there…. shiny things.
 Also, an interesting twitter thread from Brian Cates,
Ah, Lindsey 2.1? 'Shipwrecked Crew' at Red State, New FBI Document Released by Senate Judiciary Comm Shows FBI — AND Mueller — Deliberately Misled Senate About Steele Memos (UPDATED). Long after Danchenko pretty much dismissed the evidence he gave Steele for the dossier as drunken nonsense to the FBI, the FBI and Mueller went to the Senate and told them how reliable it all was.
But the most outrageous parts of the memo comes at the end when the FBI offers its assessment of Danchenko and the impact of his interview on the allegations of the memos — which by this time have been used 4 times to secure FISA warrants on Carter Page.
How have discussions with Danchenko affected the FBl’s understanding of or confidence in the Steele dossier? At MINIMUM, our discussions with Danchenko confirm that the dossier was not fabricated by Steele. Our discussions with Danchenko confirmed that he operates within high level academic and government circles, maintains trusted relationships with individuals who are capable of reporting on the material he collected for Steele, and that Steele and utilized reasonably sound intelligence tradecraft.
Coming a year after Danchenko had been interviewed, and after none of the most meaningfully claims made in the Steele memos based on Danchenko’s reporting had been verified or independently corroborated, to tell the Senate that the FBI had confidence in Danchenko’s information, that his sources had access to the type of information he was attributing to them, and that his work constituted reasonably sound tradecraft is duplicitous and dishonest beyond comprehension.
Again, a better boiled down version by Chuck Ross at Da Caller, Lindsey Graham: Memo Shows FBI Lied To Senate About Dossier Source
According to Graham, the newly declassified FBI memo shows that the bureau did not disclose any of the dossier’s red flags in the Senate Intelligence briefing document.

“Somebody needs to go to jail for this,” Graham said Sunday.

“They lied to the FISA court. They got rebuked, the FBI did in 2019, by the FISA court putting in doubt all FISA applications, the FISA court just ripped a new one for the FBI, a year before they’re lying to the Senate Intel committee. It’s just amazing, the compounding of the lies.”
Sundance acknowledges Lindsey in  Senator Lindsay Graham Releases FBI Talking Points for SSCI Briefing February 14, 2018 – Graham Positioned to Defend SSCI…  blames Andy McCabe, FBI False Dossier Talking Points Feb 14, 2018, to SSCI – Same Day As Andrew McCabe SSCI Testimony…, but continues to criticize Lindsey, Sunday Talks: Senator Graham Defends The Senate Role in Trying to Remove President Trump…

Methinks Graham doth protest too much. The more he spoke of his honor, the faster we counted the spoons.
At ET, Roger L. Simon wonders Why Do Our Intelligence Agencies Keep Lying to Us? Because we keep letting them get away with it.

NPR whines that Democrats Worry Attorney General Has An 'October Surprise' In The Making. We can only hope.
When Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell, D-Fla., asked Barr whether he would commit to not releasing any report by Durham before the November election, Barr said bluntly, "No."
Insty, VIDEO: AG Barr: Democrats were ‘afraid to let me speak’, politics is their ‘secular religion’. I watched the Mark Levin interview with AG Barr last night, and the more I see Barr the more I like him. Unfortunately, he's too old and smart to want to run for President.

From Da Hill, Ukrainian president warns citizens against election interference. But Democrats still swear that Ukrainians didn't interfere against Trump. Meanwhile, David Krayden at Human Events reports that Alexander Vindman Is Still Whining.
Of course, most of us are waiting with bated breath for Vindman to get his payoff from the Democratic Party, or perhaps even a reinstatement and promotion if Joe Biden takes office. “Thanks for ignoring all this nonsense about my boy Hunter and that job he had with Burisma,” Biden could well tell Vindman. “That’s what makes you a real American hero.”
Sophia Mann at JTN, State Department pings cell phones in Russia and Iran, hoping to root out election meddling
The U.S. government on Thursday sent text messages to cellphones across Russia and Iran, alerting users about a new State Department rewards program of up to $10 million for information about foreign entities attempting to interfere with the U.S. election.

The effort is the latest in Trump administration's attempt to root out 2020 election meddling and show that it takes the threat of foreign interference seriously. Investigations have shown Russia attempted to disrupt the 2016 elections.

Some Russians and Iranians joked that for $10 million they would be willing to tell the United States government anything it wanted to hear, or stage a hack and provide information about it to collect on the government's offer.
Do we have enough money?

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