December 23rd, 2017

Was the Steele dossier the FBI’s “insurance policy”?

That’s the question asked by Andrew C. McCarthy, who so far has written the most consistently insightful and in-depth articles on the subject of the investigations of Trump by various government agencies.

It’s another of those “read the whole thing even though it’s long” articles. But I’ll offer some excerpts anyway:

According to the now-infamous text message sent by FBI agent Peter Strzok to his paramour, FBI lawyer Lisa Page, it was in McCabe’s office that top FBI counterintelligence officials discussed what they saw as the frightening possibility of a Trump presidency.

That was during the stretch run of the 2016 campaign, no more than a couple of weeks after they started receiving the Steele dossier — the Clinton campaign’s opposition-research reports, written by former British spy Christopher Steele, about Trump’s purportedly conspiratorial relationship with Vladimir Putin’s regime in Russia.

Was it the Steele dossier that so frightened the FBI?

I think so.

So, the timing was right. But it wasn’t just the timing:

The Obama-era FBI and Justice Department had great faith in Steele because he had previously collaborated with the bureau on a big case. Plus, Steele was working on the Trump-Russia project with the wife of a top Obama Justice Department official, who was personally briefed by Steele. The upper ranks of the FBI and DOJ strongly preferred Trump’s opponent, Hillary Clinton, to the point of overlooking significant evidence of her felony misconduct, even as they turned up the heat on Trump. In sum, the FBI and DOJ were predisposed to believe the allegations in Steele’s dossier. Because of their confidence in Steele, because they were predisposed to believe his scandalous claims about Donald Trump, they made grossly inadequate efforts to verify his claims. Contrary to what I hoped would be the case, I’ve come to believe Steele’s claims were used to obtain FISA surveillance authority for an investigation of Trump.

The rest of McCarthy’s article contains the details of why he says what he says.

19 Responses to “Was the Steele dossier the FBI’s “insurance policy”?”

  1. AesopFan Says:

    McCarthy’s article is comprehensive and meticulous; I think it should be taken as the definitive list of known connections to date.
    I particularly liked his summary of the McCabe testimony:
    “It appears, however, that the bureau corroborated few of Steele’s claims, and at an absurdly high level of generality — along the lines of: You tell me person A went to place X and committed a crime; I corroborate only that A went to X and blithely assume that because you were right about the travel, you must be right about the crime.”

    (Please not that it parallels the usual Democrat MO for all scandals as touching Republicans. In Moore’s case, for instance, it would be that corroborating the known instances of dating young (but not underage) girls means the charges of molesting a younger girl must be true.)

    However, neither McCarthy or Rosen (to whom he links) have so far addressed this further connection of the players in the Clinton Game. Essential knowledge: Glenn Simpson is married to Mary Jacoby, the daughter of Jon Jacoby. (I made a long excerpt of a much longer article because (a) I hate the ads at LU; and (b) the dots being connected are important.

    https://libertyunyielding.com/2017/12/22/really-big-clue-close-clinton-connection-fusion-gps-founder-glenn-simpson/

    “The Fortune brief in 1990 (link above) called [Jon] Jacoby “Jack Stephens’s right hand.” According to the Stephens Inc history, Jacoby introduced Stephens co-founder Jackson Stephens in 1968 to the proprietor (Walter Smiley) of a hopeful startup, Systematics, which became one of the firm’s early big successes. It was ultimately bought by a major holding of Stephens, Alltel.

    And why does this matter? Because the Rose Law Firm represented Stephens – one of its biggest clients – for many years. Stephens was involved with virtually every familiar name from the multifarious Whitewater investigation: Worthen Bank, Bank of Credit & Commerce International (BCCI), Mochtar Riady, the Lippo Group, Harken Energy (and those are just the big ones; see next link).

    And in 1977, Hillary Rodham herself was involved in representation for Systematics – shepherded into Stephens by Jon Jacoby:

    I wrote about it January, right after the dossier was published by BuzzFeed. At the time of that contract (2009), Simpson was working through a separate company he had just founded, SNS Global, and was subcontracted by California Strategies, which was working for a UAE sheikh:

    “California Strategies was the principal in the lobbying arrangement with Sheikh Khalid. Khalid apparently first reached out to the company in 2008 – and that’s when he got his first one-on-one with candidate Hillary Clinton, through the good offices of California Strategies’ top men: … There was at least one more meeting with the sheikh when Hillary was secretary of state. …”

    I thought at the time that Simpson looked awfully connected to the old Clinton crony club:

    “It shouldn’t be a surprise, then, that when Glenn Simpson moved on to found Fusion GPS, he promptly got high-level oppo work with the Obama 2012 reelection campaign.

    In the clubby world of lobbying and partisan activism, he and Fusion GPS don’t seem to have been just some random private intelligence resource – either for a deep-pocketed anti-Trump Republican in late 2015, or for Hillary Clinton’s campaign in 2016.”

    Turns out they weren’t.”

  2. Matt_SE Says:

    McCarthy still puts the best possible spin on motives (concern for the country, etc. that I’m not convinced are in evidence), but this is so bad now that it hardly matters.

    And of course, McCabe just announced his retirement (at age 50!) in about 90 days. I say, no mercy. Don’t allow rats to flee, hunt them down.

  3. Ymar Sakar Says:

    This is getting more and more, structurally similar to the conspiracy world on youtube. The next gen of conspiracy theories and facts has gotten quite the upgrade.

    Red vs Blue. Red conspiracies vs blue conspiracies. The red doesn’t trust the blue and vice a versa.

    However, what convinces the Blue isn’t going to be the same thing as what convinces the Red.

    This event has gotten so Byzantine, I can’t easily break it down. Then again, maybe that’s because I wasn’t paying attention to all the details.

  4. Ymar Sakar Says:

    FBI, btw, is investigating Trum for the same reason why the FBI was using COINTELPRO on Nixon and set up the bloodless coup de tat that got rid of Nixon and convinced Americans it was due to what they were told at Watergate.

    Now that was a complicated operation, but in hindsight easy to crack through.

    Trum is in much the same situation as Nixon was in. People fell for the Nixon op, so the FBI probably thought they could pull a second gen.

  5. n.n Says:

    This is what Watergate was supposed to be. Progress.

  6. J.J. Says:

    The evidence that some in the FBI (Comey, McCabe, Strzok, Page, & ?), the Intel community (Clapper, Brennan, & ?), and the DOJ (Lynch, Yates, & ?) were actively favoring Hillary and actively anti-Trump is growing stronger everyday. That those people were alarmed at the prospect of a Donald Trump Presidency does not surprise me. A perusal of Neo’s posts and comments to the posts during the campaign and transition period showed that there were many reasonable and honorable people who were, and still are, alarmed by Trump’s Presidency.

    The bureaucrats who were alarmed realized that they were in a position to actually do something to thwart a Trump Presidency. With all good intentions and high moral purpose they set out to make sure he wasn’t elected (Which seemed highly unlikely to them), but hatched a plan to take his Presidency down in the unlikely event he was elected. What they have tried to do is criminalize normal political activity and to demoralize Trump’s supporters. In their zeal to do their jobs, they have themselves committed crimes. To wit: Obtaining FISA warrants based on flimsy evidence in the dossier, unmasking of the names of U.S. citizens for political purposes, and continuing to use law enforcement/intelligence assets to negate the results of the election.

    I’m quite sure the conspirators are convinced they are doing the Lord’s work to save the Republic. All they have to do is stonewall the Congressional investigations and let Mueller continue to dredge up any and all dirt he can to heap on Trump and his team. Eventually they hope to find something that will create a charge of high crimes and misdemeanors in the minds of enough citizens that it will bring the Trump agenda to a halt while the nation wrestles with the possible impeachment of President Trump. I’m sure they believe they have the time and numbers on their side – Trump’s poll numbers are low, the GOP is fractured over his style of leadership, Mueller has plenty of money to continue on, Trump is loathe to fire Mueller, the conspirators don’t worry about losing their jobs, and the longer the charge of collusion lingers, the more people who are going to accept that premise. LIVs don’t read Andrew McCarthy, Liberty Unyielding, Neoneocon, or any outlet that provides Trump’s side of the story. It’s a propaganda battle and the MSM has the upper hand. If we had some GOP solidarity and Jeff Sessions was a lion-hearted man, Trump might have a chance. Things don’t look good right now. The annulment of the election is proceeding as planned by the high-minded bureaucrats of the Deep State.

  7. John Guilfoyle Says:

    The most awesome part of their “insurance” policy against Mr Trump…IT FAILED!

    It failed spectacularly & wonderfully. And President Trump is in the Oval Office making America great again and Hillary will NEVER be President.

    And if the chickens come home to roost and some of those rotten scheming leftist SOBs end up in jail…even better.

    I’m with Matt_SE — “no mercy. Don’t allow rats to flee, hunt them down.”

  8. neo-neocon Says:

    J.J.:

    Yes, my impression is that most people don’t read these sources, and they are still convinced of Trump collusion with Russia and all that. The Democrat leadership knows this and counts on it.

    I’m a tiny bit more optimistic than you about it, but only a tiny bit.

    And I also agree with you that a lot of people believe they are saving the republic in taking down Trump, and that therefore the usual rules are suspended.

  9. Oldflyer Says:

    JJ, the people who wore Swastikas on their arms were also convinced they were doing the “Lord’s work”; i.e., whatever Lord was they worshiped.

    I know you didn’t mean to condone their actions; and I trust you didn’t mean to condone their motives. These are educated, sophisticated people; so I can only assume that they are acutely aware that the best way to destroy this country is to create distrust for the institutions and apparatus of government. They didn’t care. They started that process; and should be accorded no mercy now that they have been exposed.

  10. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    McCarthy’s presumptions are certainly possible but I suspect the rot and treason goes much deeper and is much more widespread than he is currently willing to credit. These people came in under Bill Clinton and advanced up the ladder during Obama’s 8 years. Does anyone imagine that political loyalty was not a litmus test for promotion?

    We already know these are not men who ‘play by the rules’. So it won’t come as a surprise should it emerge that Strok’s “insurance policy” was instituting active preparations to derail Trump’s Presidency by whatever means are necessary.

    They’re not going to let one man stand in their way. If impeachment proves impossible and Trump’s job approval #s rise making his defeat in 2020 unlikely, more ‘serious’ measures will be taken.

    Those who lust for power are constitutionally incapable of willingly releasing control and for the Left its always been about the power to control. That includes the “idealists” on the left too, who simply lack the self-honesty to examine and acknowledge that inner motivation.

  11. MollyNH Says:

    Trump is smarter than the whole crummy bunch & He will prevail.

  12. TommyJay Says:

    I am continuing to worry about the lack of prosecution and accountability of these various unethical or criminal deep state actors. I am beginning to worry that it is now reaching a tipping point.

    Matt_SE and J. Guilfoyle may be expressing their anger (me too), but more important is the genuine deterrence factor. If no one ends up in jail over this stuff, why not go crazy and ramp it way up?

    Peter Strzok may not be a great example because of a lack of clear criminality (?), but notice he wasn’t fired, just demoted to HR. So if Cory Booker is elected President in 2020, then Strzok can be put right back where he was.

    The IG’s do a good or great job of digging up dirt, like Lois Lerner; and years later almost none of the conservative groups seeking tax permits got them. Meanwhile IRS head Koskinen was overseeing the destruction of hard drives containing the details.

  13. om Says:

    J.J.

    Wise comment.

  14. AesopFan Says:

    Matt_SE Says:
    December 23rd, 2017 at 5:23 pm

    And of course, McCabe just announced his retirement (at age 50!) in about 90 days. I say, no mercy. Don’t allow rats to flee, hunt them down.
    * * *
    Saw the McCabe thing, his reason is that his pension vests in March. At age 50?!? No wonder the government is broke.
    http://thehill.com/policy/national-security/366312-mccabe-to-leave-fbi-in-coming-months-report
    * * *

    TommyJay Says:
    December 23rd, 2017 at 8:56 pm
    “If no one ends up in jail over this stuff, why not go crazy and ramp it way up?”

    Geoffrey Britain Says:
    December 23rd, 2017 at 7:50 pm
    “Those who lust for power are constitutionally incapable of willingly releasing control and for the Left its always been about the power to control.

    Oldflyer Says:
    December 23rd, 2017 at 7:29 pm
    “These are educated, sophisticated people; so I can only assume that they are acutely aware that the best way to destroy this country is to create distrust for the institutions and apparatus of government. They didn’t care. They started that process; and should be accorded no mercy now that they have been exposed.”

    * * *
    Nothing will happen to them, and the Republic will be broken by the people who always believe they alone have the right to destroy the village in order to save it.

  15. J.J. Says:

    Neo, glad we agree. Makes me feel like the blind squirrel that found an acorn. 🙂

    Oldflyer: “These are educated, sophisticated people; so I can only assume that they are acutely aware that the best way to destroy this country is to create distrust for the institutions and apparatus of government.”

    I wonder if they have really considered that. Among such people there’s such a disgust for the deplorable Trump supporters and Trump himself. I wonder if they care if the deplorables lose trust in our institutions.

    I agree they should be held accountable. I fear they won’t be. Only the DOJ can go after them in any meaningful way. Sessions is on the sidelines. Rosenstein appears to be one of the conspirators. The FBI is protecting its own. Congress is toothless. The bureaucrats can’t be turned out of office by the voters. They are the new “untouchables.”

    My guess is that most of the conspirators, even after being convicted by a jury, would maintain that their cause was a just one. That is how deep the hatred/distrust/misunderstanding of Trump goes.

    Geoffrey Britain: “If impeachment proves impossible and Trump’s job approval #s rise making his defeat in 2020 unlikely, more ‘serious’ measures will be taken.”

    That’s a major reason why I think this is more serious and dangerous than most think – and, because these bureaucrats feel untouchable, extreme measures may be contemplated. I hope we’re wrong and that something will occur that will turn the tide.

  16. Matt_SE Says:

    TommyJay Says:

    Matt_SE and J. Guilfoyle may be expressing their anger (me too), but more important is the genuine deterrence factor. If no one ends up in jail over this stuff, why not go crazy and ramp it way up?

    The thing that swung me into the Trump camp, the thing that made me vote for him was his (unfulfilled!) promise to prosecute Hillary.
    Neither that, nor my comment above were taken out of revenge. They were necessary steps for the rule of law and justice to be upheld in this country.

    If these people are allowed to escape, they will regroup and attack again. No matter how smart anyone thinks Trumps is, he only has to be wrong once and it could be fatal for his administration. Meanwhile, the rest of the country is losing faith in their institutions like the FBI/DoJ.

    If we want to stop the slide of this country into a banana republic, people MUST go to jail.

  17. Matt_SE Says:

    J.J. Says:

    Sessions is on the sidelines. Rosenstein appears to be one of the conspirators. The FBI is protecting its own. Congress is toothless. The bureaucrats can’t be turned out of office by the voters.

    The most interesting question here is why Sessions still has a job. He’s quite obviously the linchpin holding this conspiracy together, wittingly or not:
    Congress is toothless as you say, and cannot prosecute. The AG is the man who can end Mueller’s team, or even better, appoint another special counsel to investigate the first one. All of this rests on Sessions, but he refuses to act even in the face of mounting evidence that the whole system is corrupt.

    So why hasn’t Trump fired him? I think the GOPe (mostly in the form of McConnell) has told Trump they won’t allow it. Which begs the question of why they are sticking their necks so far out for Sessions.

    I think Trump climbed into bed with a serpent during the election. I think he needed the establishment’s backing to win, but they did so in order to cripple his administration (and prevent an even bigger threat of Cruz winning).

    We are now witnessing what happens when you lie down with dogs.

    This is why I’m always so down on McConnell. I’m convinced he’s been sabotaging the GOP base for years. I know he’s been sabotaging other Senate elections.

  18. Dave Says:

    You know how Hillary will go to jail? Only if you have 1 million conservatives matching in the street of D.C. demanding the prosecution, but no, conservatives don’t protest, conservatives are too busy working, conservatives don’t sink to the level of liberals blah blah blah. The only way one side can demonstrate political power is to match on the street,

  19. Mike K Says:

    As far as McCabe retiring, my daughter is an agent and will be eligible at 20 years but thinks she will stay until 57 which is mandatory retirement. She is 50 this year. She is a lawyer and is already planning her next career after the FBI. There are people who are honest and capable below the DC level and the rot probably does not go below the top 15%. The FBI top echelon has been corrupt since Hoover.

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Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.
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