The New York Times “Crossfire Hurricane” Story — Let Me Count the Lies

Originally published May 17, 2018

Since some inconvenient truth is on the verge of coming out, it’s clear that some Deep State sources have decided to get out ahead of the story to be sure that their spin is put on it. Voila:

This is the first report to reveal that the codename of the Deep State counterinsurgency investigation of the Trump campaign, formally initiated in mid-2016, was “Crossfire Hurricane” (a reference to a Rolling Stones lyric, probably intended to twit Trump’s fondness for playing Stones songs during his campaign rallies).

Let’s scope out some highlights.

Within hours of opening an investigation into the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia in the summer of 2016, the FBI dispatched a pair of agents to London on a mission so secretive that all but a handful of officials were kept in the dark.

Their assignment, which has not been previously reported, was to meet the Australian ambassador, who had evidence that one of Donald Trump’s advisers knew in advance about Russian election meddling. After tense deliberations between Washington and Canberra, top Australian officials broke with diplomatic protocol and allowed the ambassador, Alexander Downer, to sit for an FBI interview to describe his meeting with the campaign adviser, George Papadopoulos.

To clarify, while sitting at a bar with Downer and getting a bit sloshed, Papadopoulos told Downer that he had met recently with a Maltese professor in London, who had told him that someone had told him that the Russian government had Hillary emails. (The precise language in P’s indictment is: “”They [the Russians] have dirt on her”; “the Russians had emails of Clinton”; “they have thousands of emails.”) Presumably, this was a reference to emails hacked from the private server which Hillary had used as SOS; a number of retired intelligence experts had been opining on TV that Russia, China, and perhaps other powers had been able to hack these. In other words, two FBI agents flew to London, after preparing the way with significant negotiations, to meet with someone who had fourth degree hearsay claiming that the Russians had done something that half the pundits on TV thought they had done. Nor was there any evidence that P had played any role in the alleged hacking. That this was the key basis for initiating a counterintelligence investigation against a rival political campaign, must be considered both paranoid and politically corrupt.

The fact that Wikileaks released its trove of DNC emails soon afterwards, has been spun by the press as evidence that P had indeed been tipped off to a the fact that the Russians had hacked these emails. In fact, it is clear that, in his interviews with the FBI, P was referring to Hillary Clinton emails, not DNC or Podesta emails. (Indeed, the meeting between P and Downer occurred on May 10th; the DNC emails subsequently released by Wikileaks in late July were written as late as May 25th.) Whether or not the Russian government did obtain Clinton’s SOS private server emails, we still don’t know. Though if they did, the fact that they didn’t release them publicly before the election is prima facie evidence that they had no intent to help Trump.

As to the article’s contention that P “knew in advance about Russian election meddling”, there in fact is no compelling evidence for “election meddling” on behalf of Trump by the Russian government. The evidence for this “meddling” appears to have been concocted by Crowdstrike, which had been hired by DNC (while the DNC refused to turn its server over to the FBI). And the activity of the Russian “troll farm” the Internet Research Agency, claimed to be a Russian plot to aid Trump’s election and/or “sow chaos” in the American electorate (that journalists can state that with a straight face never ceases to amaze me), was in fact a capitalist scheme to generate ad revenue by driving American eyes to provocative and diverse websites that the Russians had created.

And if the Russians have indeed obtained Hillary’s SOS emails, it was an act of ordinary espionage, not election meddling.

But the investigation soon went further than P:

Flynn, a top adviser, was paid $45,000 by the Russian government’s media arm for a 2015 speech and dined at the arm of the Russian president, Vladimir Putin. Manafort, the campaign chairman, had lobbied for pro-Russia interests in Ukraine and worked with an associate who has been identified as having connections to Russian intelligence.

In other words, Flynn and Manafort had had business contacts with Russians or Russian interests in Ukraine, none of which pointed to any collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russian government with respect to election interference. (And need I mention that a Kremlin-affiliated bank had paid $500,000 to Hillary’s husband?)

Page, a foreign policy adviser, was well known to the FBI. He had previously been recruited by Russian spies and was suspected of meeting one in Moscow during the campaign.

Note the artful use of the verb “recruited”, which will leave many readers with the impression that Page assented to participation in some nefarious scheme. In fact, a Russian spy had attempted to enlist Page’s help several years previously; Page reported this to the FBI, and then served as an undercover source for the FBI in an attempt to ensnare the Russian spy. None of this suggested that Page was acting as other than a sincere patriot — and yet the Russiagate investigation operated on the premise that Page was indeed a Russian spy, and eventually obtained a FISA warrant on Page by asserting that there was compelling evidence (primarily the fantasy Steele dossier commissioned by the Clinton campaign) to this effect.

Lastly, there was Papadopoulos, the young and inexperienced campaign aide whose wine-fueled conversation with the Australian ambassador set off the investigation. Before hacked Democratic emails appeared online, he had seemed to know that Russia had political dirt on Clinton. But even if the FBI had wanted to read his emails or intercept his calls, that evidence was not enough to allow it. Many months passed, former officials said, before the FBI uncovered emails linking Papadopoulos to a Russian intelligence operation.

In fact, the emails referred to here are the ones describing P’s interaction with Joseph Mifsud, the Maltese professor. As we have seen, the only thing that P “knew” about a Russian intelligence operation against Hillary was the hearsay that Mifsud had told him about. Furthermore, the claim that the DNC emails had been hacked, rather than leaked, is highly dubious.

Trump was not under investigation, but his actions perplexed the agents. Days after the stolen Democratic emails became public, he called on Russia to uncover more.

This of course is a bald-faced lie. It is clear that Trump was making a joke in which he asked the Russians — who then were widely suspected to have hacked Hillary’s SOS emails from her private server — to hand them over to authorities to expedite the investigation of Hillary; over 30 thousand of these emails had been illegally bleach-bitted out of existence while under court subpoena. He was NOT requesting further hacking of Hillary’s private server (let alone the DNC or Podesta emails), as her server had been long off-line, and much of their contents obliterated.

The facts, had they surfaced, might have devastated the Trump campaign: Trump’s future national security adviser was under investigation, as was his campaign chairman. One adviser appeared to have Russian intelligence contacts. Another was suspected of being a Russian agent himself.

The fact that the Deep State, under the direction of the rabidly Russophobic Brennan and Clapper, was following up these inane leads as part of a counterintelligence operation against the campaign of the opposition party, will in fact come to be viewed as devastating — to the Obama DOJ, FBI, and CIA.

The article does not mention the Trump Tower meeting between Trump Jr. and Russian attorney Natalia Veselnitskaya. Trump Jr.’s friend Rob Goldstone fed him a line of bull regarding info, allegedly obtained by the Russian government, that was incriminating to Hillary’s campaign, and could be provided to him by Veselnitskaya; in fact, V had no such info, and she spent the time lobbying Trump Jr. about the Magnitsky Act. (Those afflicted with Trump Derangement Syndrome strongly aver that simply attending this meeting at the fervent request of his friend Rob was an indictable offence on Trump Jr.’s part.) There is good reason to suspect that this was a set-up engineered by the DOJ (which mysteriously provided an exceptional visa to V shortly before the meeting), the intent being to concoct more contacts between Trump campaign associates and Russians. It has also been reported by “inside sources” (how reliably, I do not know) that the further intent of the meeting was to provide British intelligence with a legal excuse to surveil the Trump associates who attended the meeting — which intelligence could then be passed on to the U.S.

That’s it — as far as we know to date, that’s the basis for the counterintelligence investigation of the Trump campaign initiated prior to the election. Presumably underneath it all was a paranoid, unwarranted suspicion amounting to certainly in the minds of Brennan and his Deep State co-conspirators that Trump’s campaign had indeed colluded in (likely non-existent) Russian election interference, and that the strands of seemingly innocuous evidence regarding Flynn, Manafort, Page and Papadopoulos would somehow lead back to this point if they were pursued with sufficient vigor — with all the privacy-invading tools which the Deep State had at its command. Which is why a FISA warrant was obtained illegally on Page, using unverified denigratory gossip about Trump assembled at the behest of Hillary’s campaign. The FISA court was not informed that the key evidence submitted to it had not been verified (as by law it must be), or that Trump’s campaign rival had commissioned this “evidence”.

In addition,

The FBI obtained phone records and other documents using national security letters — a secret type of subpoena — officials said. And at least one government informant met several times with Page and Papadopoulos, current and former officials said. That has become a politically contentious point, with Trump’s allies questioning whether the FBI was spying on the Trump campaign or trying to entrap campaign officials.

Here the article refers to the mole which the FBI had placed within the Trump campaign, whose identity has not yet been revealed. Legally dubious electronic surveillance was not enough for the Deep State conspirators — they also had undertaken the (hopefully) unprecedented step of employing a human spy.

Unmasking of the communications of Trump officials with overseas contacts was also widely employed, and the extent to which second-hand spying via British intelligence (GCHQ) played a role remains to be explored.

The article creates the impression that the agents involved were trying to protect Trump by keeping their counterintelligence investigation of the Trump campaign secret prior to the election. No attention is given to the alternative explanation that the conspirators kept it secret because they didn’t want to be required to report to Congress regarding the evidentiary basis for their investigation, which was, to be charitable, a bit squirrely and politically biased.

Many Democrats see rueful irony in this moment. Comey, after all, broke with policy and twice publicly discussed the Clinton investigation. Yet he refused repeated requests to discuss the Trump investigation.

Ah yes, poor Hillary — after the DOJ had bent over backwards for many months to hide the fact that she was under criminal investigation (a “matter”, we were told), bad Comey twice made public reference to her actual crimes — the ones that Comey and the DOJ made sure she was never indicted for.

Nor would the MSM play ball prior to the election:

So as agents tried to corroborate Steele’s information, reporters began calling the bureau, asking about his findings. If the FBI was working against Trump, as he asserts, this was an opportunity to push embarrassing information into the news media shortly before the election.
That did not happen. News organizations did not publish Steele’s reports or reveal the FBI’s interest in them until after Election Day.

In fact, Steele had fed his dossier to leading news organizations prior to the election. But for once the MSM showed a modicum of integrity, and did not print Steele’s claims (at least until after the election), as they were unable to verify their accuracy, and many seemed outlandish on their face — not only the prostitutes episode, but the absurd fantasy that Putin had been grooming Trump as a Manchurian presidential candidate for 5 years prior to the 2016 election.

Now for the comedy highlight, which refers to the text messages exchanged by FBI agents Strzok and Lisa Page:

The inspector general’s upcoming report is expected to criticize those messages for giving the appearance of bias. It is not clear, however, whether inspectors found evidence supporting Trump’s assertion that agents tried to protect Clinton, a claim the FBI has adamantly denied.

Pure comedy gold.

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