I wonder how many Ethics Alarms readers know about this, thanks to the responsible reporting on the news media?
Jonathan Turley, who is only called a conservative because he refuses to bow to the extreme Left like most of his law prof colleagues, provided an interesting a crucial update to the Steele Dossier scandal. You should read the whole thing, but he reveals,
- British spy Christopher Steele was recently called for a deposition in London in a defamation action filed by three Russian bankers for allegedly false claims in the dossier. He siad that the Clinton campaign paid him and research firm Fusion GPS to compile his controversial dossier on Donald Trump as “insurance” against his being elected.
- Though the Clinton campaign denied any involvement in the creation of the dossier that was later used to secure a secret surveillance warrant against Trump associates during the Obama administration, the campaign hid the payments to Fusion as a “legal fees” among the $5.6 million paid to the U.S. law firm of Perkins Coie. Times reporter Maggie Haberman wrote: “Folks involved in funding this lied about it, and with sanctimony, for a year.”
- When Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta was questioned by Congress on the matter, he denied any contractual agreement with Fusion GPS. Sitting beside him was Elias, who helped devise contract. Later, confronted with the evidence, Clinton and her campaign finally admitted that the dossier was a campaign-funded document that was pushed by Steele and others to the media.
- In one of his answers to an interrogatory, under oath,Steele said: “Fusion’s immediate client was law firm Perkins Coie. It engaged Fusion to obtain information necessary for Perkins Coie LLP to provide legal advice on the potential impact of Russian involvement on the legal validity of the outcome of the 2016 U.S. Presidential election. Based on that advice, parties such as the Democratic National Committee and HFACC Inc. (also known as ‘Hillary for America’) could consider steps they would be legally entitled to take to challenge the validity of the outcome of that election.”
- “The dossier ultimately found its way from a Fusion GPS employee, Nellie Ohr, to her husband, Justice Department official Bruce Ohr. From there, it became the basis of Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrants targeting figures like Trump campaign adviser Carter Page, signed off by the Obama administration with the involvement of later-fired FBI director James Comey and his deputy, Andrew McCabe. (Ohr was later demoted over his involvement.) Page was never charged with a crime while key players like Fusion GPS co-founder Glenn Simpson invoked the Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination to refuse to answer further questions from Congress.”
- “The FBI knew the dossier was part of a Clinton campaign operation but told the secret FISA court that it was only speculating about a possible political motive for the material.
- “In the 412-page application, the FBI buries the issue in a footnote, stating that Steele was hired by Fusion GPS to conduct research on Trump and that “The identified U.S. person never advised [Steele] as to the motivation behind the research into [Trump] ties to Russia. The FBI speculates that the identified U.S. Person was likely looking for information that could be used to discredit Candidate #1’s campaign.”
- “We now know that Steele and Fusion GPS aggressively shopped the dossier with any reporter who would listen, while also pitching it to Ohr and the FBI. Notably, the dossier story was broken by investigative journalist Michael Isikoff who recently admitted, “When you actually get into the details of the Steele dossier, the specific allegations, we have not seen the evidence to support them, and, in fact, there’s good grounds to think that some of the more sensational allegations will never be proven and are likely false.”
Ultimately, the dossier was used for precisely the purpose described by Steele: It led to the special counsel investigation, which quickly diverted to other criminal allegations unrelated to the dossier’s most sensational claims, like hacking or coordination with WikiLeaks and Russian trolling operations. Indeed, Democratic leaders’ new claims of a “massive fraud” in the election is the alleged violation of campaign finance laws to pay hush money to a porn star and former Playboy bunny….Some of us have long criticized the secret court as operating below the constitutional standard set out in the Fourth Amendment for searches and seizures. In this case, using that secret court, a dossier funded by the Democratic presidential candidate was given to the outgoing Democratic administration to investigate advisers to the Republican challenger and his business dealings. That alone should be deeply troubling, even without the unproven allegations.
I have written about this over the last year, because the facts were out there for anyone with the integrity to examine them. Now that the results are in, the conclusion should be unavoidable that the Obama administration and the Clinton campaign violated law and breached ethics standards to spy on the Trump campaign, and to create a foundation for removing him as President should the worst occur and Hillary somehow miss her planned coronation. It does not take a genius or a conspiracy theorist to see the connection between what Turley describes and the texts between the FBI lovebirds on the Mueller team about contingency plans should Trump win. No, that connection has not been proven. It is, however, suspicious.
It is also fascinating to me that an alleged and unproven “collusion” with Russia on the part of the Trump campaign is somehow considered more heinous than proven collusion between the Obama Justice Department and the Clinton campaign to undermine the campaign and, if necessary, the Presidency of the opposing party’s candidate.