Our Man in London: The Scandal of the 35-Page ‘Intelligence

Gathered together in one place, for easy access, an agglomeration of writings and images relevant to the Rapeutation phenomenon.

Re: Our Man in London: The Scandal of the 35-Page ‘Intellige

Postby admin » Wed Aug 16, 2017 10:03 pm

Dmitry Medvedev Twitter account hacked: Hoaxers post messages saying Russian PM is resigning to become a photographer, and subverting Crimea hashtag
Alec Luhn in Moscow
14 August 2014

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The Russian prime minister Dmitry Medvedev's well-known love for technology led to embarrassment on Thursday as hackers reportedly accessed his Twitter account and unleashed a barrage of hoax tweets.

"I'm resigning. I'm ashamed by the actions of the government. Forgive me," read one message from Medvedev's account that was retweeted thousands of times before it was removed.

The tweets also purported to reveal that the prime minister planned to become a freelance photographer (Medvedev is a keen amateur), as well as what he really thinks of Vladimir Putin, for whom he kept the presidential seat warm from 2008 to 2012: "I've wanted to say this for a long time. Vova, you're wrong!"

Another tweet read: "#CrimeaIsNotOurs please retweet," playing on the Russian-language hashtag #CrimeaIsOurs that became popular after Moscow annexed the Ukrainian peninsula. Medvedev and Putin are currently on an official visit to Crimea.


The government's press service said on Thursday that Medvedev's account had been hacked and that the account's security had since been strengthened.

"It's obvious that this was a hooligan hacker prank," the presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on the radio station Ekho Moskvy. "It shows once again the need to constantly observe the necessary level of security."

A group called Shaltay Boltay ("Humpty Dumpty" in Russian) appeared to claim credit, tweeting a screenshot of Medvedev's resignation tweet with the caption: "Ahha, well you understood ;)".

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Shaltay Boltay @b0ltai
Ахха, ну вы поняли ;)
11:14 PM - Aug 13, 2014


Last month, Shaltay Boltay published leaked emails that it said came from the account of the deputy prime minister and former Medvedev aide Arkady Dvorkovich, after which Russia's communications watchdog blocked its blog and Twitter account.

The group also claimed to have "several emails including a Gmail and the contents of three iPhones of a certain prime minister", and tweeted photographs of a government meeting from the vantage point of where Medvedev would have chaired it.

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Shaltay Boltay @b0ltai
Совершенно случайно эти интересные фото попали к нам. Видимо из личного айфона кем-то взломанного @MedvedevRussia
12:27 AM - Aug 14, 2014


In a subsequent blogpost, it published emails from several accounts that it said belonged to Medvedev, including receipts for technology purchases and a picture of him in a peasant shirt.

While Putin is a proud luddite, saying he doesn't own a mobile phone and rarely goes on the internet, Medvedev is famous for embracing social media and gadgets. He first joined Twitter on a visit to the company's headquarters in Silicon Valley in 2010.

In 2013, Medvedev's page on the Russian social network VKontakte was broken into and songs full of obscenities were posted to it.

In the wake of the Dvorkovich emails leak, the Russian parliament has been discussing legislation to make sending official information through non-governmental email services a crime.

Anton Nosik, a blogger and web entrepreneur, said it would not have been difficult for someone to steal the password to Medvedev's account, since it was likely that several staffers had access to it and did not use additional security measures linked to one person's phone number.

He said Shaltay Boltay could be claiming credit for publicity purposes. While the group may have obtained data from Medvedev's email accounts and iPhones, Nosik said some other phishing operation probably hacked the Twitter account, since the jokes seemed spontaneous and the damage was easy to reverse.

"They illegally access info and share it. What they never do is deface something," Nosik said, comparing the group to whistleblowers like Julian Assange. "They have access to many accounts. If they were into impersonation, they could have impersonated the entire government. They have usernames and passwords and access to the emails to which those accounts are registered."

Nosik was sceptical of attempts to improve security by forcing officials to use a government email system. "Once you are using servers that are not compatible with the rest of world and maintained by federal agencies, you are offering an unidentified number of our homegrown spies a chance to spy on you," he said. "I believe [officials are] more afraid of their rivals within than they're afraid of the NSA and so forth."
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Re: Our Man in London: The Scandal of the 35-Page ‘Intellige

Postby admin » Wed Aug 16, 2017 10:17 pm

‘Getting Trump’ with the New McCarthyism
by Robert Parry
May 24, 2017

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Special Report: Many Democrats and progressives are embracing a New McCarthyism in their drive to negate last November’s election and remove President Trump from office, but is that right, asks Robert Parry.

Yes, I get it. A lot of people want to remove Donald Trump from the presidency for a lot of understandable reasons: his breathtaking incompetence, his relentless narcissism, his destructive policies, etc. But he was elected under the U.S. constitutional system. He may have lost the popular vote to Hillary Clinton by nearly three million ballots but he did prevail in the Electoral College.

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Sen. Joseph McCarthy with lawyer Roy Cohn (right).

And, unlike George W. Bush, who also lost the popular vote, Trump didn’t have to steal Florida – and thus the White House – by enlisting Republican justices on the U.S. Supreme Court to stop the vote count prematurely. We now know that if all the ballots considered legal under Florida law had been counted Al Gore would have won regardless of which standard of “chad” was used. But Trump didn’t have to resort to such bald-faced cheating.

And, yes, of course, there were many other problems with the election, such as Republican efforts to suppress African-American and other minority votes. But it’s not as if the U.S. electoral process has ever been the gold standard of democracy that some Americans like to believe. The system has now – and always has had – serious shortcomings, but it also has enabled the diverse United States to function for more than two centuries without major political violence, with the exception of the Civil War when the process broke down over the South’s insistence on slavery.

So, whether one likes it or not – and many people really don’t like it – Donald Trump is the constitutionally elected President of the United States. And, despite the many imperfections in that electoral process, the idea of negating a presidential election is very serious business.

Whatever the hurt feelings of the editors at The New York Times and The Washington Post, whatever snarky jokes are told on late-night TV, whatever connect-the-dots conspiracy theories are popular on MSNBC, the idea of telling 63 million Americans that their votes don’t count, that the elites know best, that the President who won under the rules of the game must be ridden out of Washington on a rail will not go down as easily as some people think.


New McCarthyism

National Democrats and many progressives are also embracing a troubling New McCarthyism to justify what amounts to a “soft coup” against Trump.

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Gen. Jack D.Ripper, played by actor Sterling Hayden in “Dr. Strangelove.”

In a normal world – after Tuesday’s testimony before the House Intelligence Committee – former CIA Director John Brennan would have been led away in a straitjacket or given the role of General Jack D. Ripper in a remake of the Cold War dark comedy, “Dr. Strangelove.” Instead, Brennan’s Russo-phobic ramblings were made the lead story in the Times, the Post and other major American newspapers.

While General Ripper worried about Russian operatives polluting our “precious bodily fluids,” Brennan warned that any conversation with a Russian or some Russian intermediary might put Americans on a treasonous path even if they “do not even realize they are on that path until it gets too late.”

He also testified, “I know what the Russians try to do. They try to suborn individuals and try to get individuals, including U.S. individuals, to act on their behalf, wittingly or unwittingly.” In other words, any American who has some contact with Russia or Russians may be a spy or mole whether he or she knows it or not. Subversion or possible subversion is everywhere. Trust no one.

Yes, I’m sure those devious Russ-kies do what all intelligence agencies, including the CIA, seek to do. And, in many cases, there is nothing wrong with the process. Unofficial give-and-take between adversaries can increase understanding – and that can be especially important to the future of humankind when the United States and Russia are still armed to the teeth with nuclear weapons.

Indeed, such informal contacts may have helped avert nuclear war during the Cuban Missile Crisis when Washington-based KGB station chief Aleksandr Feklisov approached ABC News correspondent John Scali with a plan to dismantle missile bases in Cuba in return for a U.S. pledge not to invade Cuba. Though there remain historical questions about the significance of that initiative, it shows the value that such contacts can have despite the alarmist concerns raised by the likes of Brennan. In the New Cold War, we’d have to investigate Scali’s loyalty.

Despite the paranoid fantasies, Brennan’s testimony was widely praised as he suggested that any dealing with Russia or Russians or Russian businesses or possible Russian cutouts could put an American under counterintelligence suspicions because, hey, you never know.

“We see that Russian intelligence agencies do not hesitate at all to use private companies and Russian persons who are unaffiliated with the Russian government to support their objectives,” Brennan warned.

No Edward R. Murrow

There was a time when some Democrats, some Republicans and a few courageous journalists objected to this kind of broad-brush challenge to the patriotism of American citizens. CBS News correspondent Edward R. Murrow famously stood up to Sen. Joe McCarthy and his Red Scare in the 1950s. It was then-Arkansas Gov. Bill Clinton who chastised President George H.W. Bush during a 1992 presidential debate for making an issue of Clinton’s student trip to Moscow during the Cold War.

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Legendary CBS News’ correspondent Edward R. Murrow.

After Bush referenced Clinton’s Moscow visit, Clinton hit back: “When Joe McCarthy went around this country attacking people’s patriotism, he was wrong. He was wrong, and a senator from Connecticut stood up to him, named Prescott Bush. Your father was right to stand up to Joe McCarthy. You were wrong to attack my patriotism.”

But that was then. These days, Hillary Clinton and her Democratic allies have led the smearing of Trump supporters as possible Kremlin agents, albeit without proof of the so-called “collusion” or even clear evidence that Russia did “meddle” in last November’s election.

And the backdrop for this New Cold War is that since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 – and the end of the Old Cold War – many Americans have done business in Russia and many Russians have invested in the United States. A Russian oligarch, Mikhail Prokhorov, even owns the Brooklyn Nets of the National Basketball Association.

The recent tensions are also not entirely the making of Russia or its President Vladimir Putin. The past several U.S. administrations have exploited the disarray from the Soviet collapse to push NATO up to Russia’s borders.

U.S. officials also encouraged the violent 2014 putsch in Ukraine that overthrew elected President Viktor Yanukovych. Actively involved in Yanukovych’s overthrow were senior U.S. officials, including Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs Victoria Nuland, U.S. Ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt, and Sen. John McCain. Several weeks before the coup, Nuland and Pyatt were caught on an unsecure phone line discussing who should take over the Ukrainian government and musing how to “midwife” or “glue this thing.”

The coup also followed the specific targeting of Ukraine as “the biggest prize” by neocon Carl Gershman, the president of the U.S.-government-funded National Endowment for Democracy, which sponsored scores of political and media operations inside Ukraine. (Gershman is now calling for regime change in Russia.)

But the U.S. mainstream media essentially ignored this evidence of U.S. complicity in the Ukraine coup and accepted the State Department’s propaganda line that the post-coup resistance to Yanukovych’s overthrow among ethnic Russians in Crimea and eastern Ukraine was simply the result of “Russian aggression.” The New York Times even denied that there had been a coup in an article that studiously ignored the evidence that there had been a coup, including the Nuland-Pyatt phone call.


Swallowing U.S. Propaganda

Similarly, the mainstream U.S. media has swallowed every evidence-free claim from the Obama administration’s intelligence agencies without any skepticism. Indeed, the MSM has hyped those claims beyond even what the Obame team says by ignoring factual admissions from former CIA Director Brennan and former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper about the limited nature of the intelligence “assessment” on Russian election interference.

The MSM has so enjoyed claiming that the Russian “meddling” allegations are the consensus judgment of all 17 U.S. intelligence agencies that a blind eye and a deaf ear have been turned to Brennan and Clapper contradicting that beloved groupthink.

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Director of National Intelligence James Clapper (right) talks with President Barack Obama in the Oval Office, with John Brennan and other national security aides present. (Photo credit: Office of Director of National Intelligence)

In recent testimony, Clapper and Brennan acknowledged that the Jan. 6 report alleging Russian “meddling” was actually the work of hand-picked analysts from only four agencies – the Central Intelligence Agency, National Security Agency and Federal Bureau of Investigation under the oversight of the DNI’s office. But that fact continues to be ignored by the MSM, with the Post on Wednesday castigating Trump for refusing “to fully accept the unanimous conclusion of U.S. intelligence agencies.”

If a non-MSM news outlet had published such a misleading claim from a different perspective – after U.S. senior officials had denied it – we would be hearing charges of “fake news” or perhaps accusations of “Russian disinformation.” But clearly the Post doesn’t want to give up on this formulation of unanimity among the 17 intelligence agencies even if it’s not true.

The Post must feel that it’s less impressive to say that the Russia-did-it conclusion was reached by “hand-picked” analysts at four agencies while other intelligence agencies, which could have supplied important context, such as the State Department’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research, were excluded.

What has also been remarkable about the months-long investigations into alleged Russian “meddling” is how little evidence has been evinced to support the accusations. While there has been a parade of Obama appointees testifying before Congress – making broad accusations while demurring whenever evidence is requested on the grounds of secrecy or privacy – we haven’t heard from any of the people accused of having these untoward contacts with Russians, even though some have volunteered to testify.

“I’m not going to identify the individuals [under suspicion] because this is information that, again, is based on classified sources and intelligence,” Brennan said on Tuesday, although the identities of the suspected “traitors” have been widely publicized through leaks to the major U.S. news media.

Speaking Up

One of those Americans, onetime Trump foreign policy adviser Carter Page, responded to Brennan’s testimony in a letter to the House Intelligence Committee.

Page noted he was “an unpaid, informal” adviser to the campaign and “throughout my interactions with the Russians in 2016, I consistently made it crystal clear that all of my benign statements and harmless actions in Moscow as well as elsewhere overseas were solely made as a scholar and a business person speaking only on behalf of myself. In other words, in no way connected to then-candidate Trump. Both in Russia and in countries around the world, this was precisely the same position I had maintained stretching back over a decade.”

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Former Trump foreign policy adviser Carter Page.

Regarding Brennan’s demurral about naming names, Page pointed out that it has been widely reported that he was put under a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act warrant. According to press accounts, that was, in part, because of a speech he made in Moscow in 2016. His identity, in communications intercepted by U.S. intelligence, had already been “unmasked” or exposed to the public, but whatever evidence there is against him has been hidden.

Page wrote: “underscoring what a complete mockery this process has become, my identity has already been publicly revealed in the wake of the felonies committed [by the Obama administration, including] baseless FISA warrant, Male-1 unmasking, etc.).

“Serving as a loyal Clinton/Obama regime surrogate, Brennan’s spineless practice of hiding behind this lame confidentiality excuse rather than taking any responsibility for their illegal actions only stirs up more misunderstanding and illegitimate fears which continue to damage our great country. This further underscores the urgent need for the public disclosure of these related documents.”

Joining the Stampede

Yet, congressional Democrats have recognized the political gain that they can extract from this New McCarthyism, as reflected in an exchange between Rep. Jim Himes, D-Connecticut, and Brennan at Tuesday’s hearing. Himes cited a report by the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a leading think tank for the Military-Industrial Complex.

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CIA Director John Brennan addresses officials at the Agency’s headquarters in Langley, Virginia. (Photo credit: CIA)

Himes said: “I want to use my five minutes to try to paint a more specific picture around the methods and mechanisms that the Russians used to suborn … our democracy and our electoral process. And I want to start with a quote by a report I know you’re familiar with, CSIS’ report, ‘The Kremlin Playbook’ in which they say that Russia, quote, ‘Seeks to corrode democracy from within by deepening political divides,’ unquote.

“The Russians stir the pot, heighten anxieties and know that when they trigger chaos, even if it ends up negatively affecting them, that they are serving the purpose of weakening us. I want to talk about people because you made reference to people and I don’t want to do it specifically, I want to do it in the abstract.

“‘The Kremlin Playbook’ … says further that Russia looks to corrode democracy by, quote, ‘Investing in rising politicians, cultivating relationships with prominent businessmen, or helping to ensure that its business affiliates become well-positioned in government.’

“Mr. Brennan, assuming that you agree with that, how specifically has the Kremlin gone about cultivating relationships with key Americans in an effort … to influence our policy?”

Brennan: “It is traditional intelligence collection tradecraft … to identify individuals that you think are either very influential or rising stars, and you will try to develop a relationship with them and the Russians frequently will do that through cutouts or through false-flag operations. They won’t identify themselves as Russians or as members of Russian government. They will try to develop a personal relationship and then over time they will try to get individuals to do things on their behalf.

“And that’s why again, having been involved in a lot of counterintelligence cases over the years and seeing this pattern over and over again, my radar goes up when I see that the Russians are actively involved in a particular intelligence operational campaign and that U.S. persons are being contacted by Russian officials. … these are contacts that might’ve been totally, totally innocent and benign as well as those that might have succumbed somehow to those Russian efforts. …”

Himes: “do Americans who are suborned in such a way … do they necessarily need to know that they are doing Russia’s bidding?”

Brennan: “No, many times they do not. They do not even know that the person that they’re interacting with is a Russian. Many times they know that individuals may be Russian officials, but they don’t know that there is an intelligence connection or intelligence motive for behind it. …”

No Doubts

Himes: “There’s hardly anyone left today who doubts that Russia attacked us, but we have to realize the true thrust of the Russian attack is what they have triggered in us, the partisanship. Every time we refuse to face facts, every time we attack the messenger rather than confront the actions that happened, every time we undercut our allies in our alliances and our values, I think we’re playing precisely in the Russians fondest hopes.

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A scene from “Dr. Strangelove,” in which the bomber pilot (played by actor Slim Pickens) rides a nuclear bomb to its target in the Soviet Union.

“We’re doing something about that in my opinion, the gray, cold warriors, be it Ronald Reagan or Harry Truman would never have allowed.”

Responding to Hines’s comments, Page wrote: “This offers a precise depiction of the Clinton/Obama regime’s playbook based on their continued false evidence regarding former Trump campaign supporters such as myself, in the wake of their sad disappointment as sore losers. Immediate disclosure of their falsified FISA warrant documents upon which these same tactics were based last year is an essential way to cease this process which has been weakening all Americans.”

Page added, “Other gray, cold warriors of bygone eras had J. Edgar Hoover and Joseph McCarthy to do precisely this dirty work: attacking the messengers. In other words, attacking those who wanted to see positive changes in their country’s policies based on realistic strategies which can benefit all citizens while creating a viable pathway to increased peace around the world.”

A core problem with what Brennan and other Obama administration officials have set in motion is that the suspicions are so vague at this point – even some 10 months into the investigation – that a paranoia has taken over. There is a McCarthyistic element to these allegations, including guilt by association regarding any contact with any Russian or even some intermediary who might somehow be a Russian “false-flag.” Anyone or everyone might be a Russian “mole.”

So, yes, I get the desire to get rid of Trump because of his unfitness and ineptness. But the “Russia thing” – as Trump calls it – is unleashing an ugliness that many of us thought was a thing of the past, an era of evidence-free accusations of disloyalty and a crazed hostility toward the other nuclear superpower that could end in a miscalculation that could end life on the planet. Is this really what Democrats and progressives want to embrace?

Investigative reporter Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories for The Associated Press and Newsweek in the 1980s. You can buy his latest book, America’s Stolen Narrative, either in print here or as an e-book (from Amazon and barnesandnoble.com).
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Re: Our Man in London: The Scandal of the 35-Page ‘Intellige

Postby admin » Wed Aug 16, 2017 10:49 pm

Poll: Mass Media Has Duped Democrats Into Believing Russia Hacked Voting Machines
by Caitlin Johnstone
May 30, 2017

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A recent YouGov poll shows that most Democrats believe it is “definitely true” or “probably true” that Russia tampered with vote tallies in order to get Donald Trump elected. These poll results have been out for more than a week, so naturally one could expect a Google search to turn up a bunch of articles by the Washington Post, the New York Times, CNN and other mainstream media outlets hastening to correct this widespread misinformation.

Right?

Of course not. There are precisely zero establishment outlets correcting this completely evidence-free belief that has become so widespread, despite the fact that corporate media outlets have been directly responsible for its promulgation by their repeated use of the phrase “election hacking” in their headlines and reports in the months following the November election.

WikiLeaks ✔ @wikileaks
59% of Democrats say that Russia tampered with vote tallies despite no evidence and FBI, DHS denials #journalism http://d25d2506sfb94s.cloudfront.net/cu ... Report.pdf
6:28 AM - May 27, 2017


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This proves intent. These corporate media outlets fell all over themselves last week in a mad scramble to make sure that everyone in America felt dirty and ashamed if they took any interest in the Seth Rich case, but they have expended exactly zero energy correcting an outrageous, xenophobia-inducing fact-free conspiracy theory that they themselves helped promulgate, and which is far more widespread than interest in the Seth Rich case has ever been. This proves beyond a doubt that the false belief that Russia literally hacked America’s voting system has been intentionally inflicted upon the public by the mass media propaganda machine.

In late 2003, half a year after US and coalition forces invaded Iraq, a poll by USA Today found that 70 percent of Americans still believed that Saddam Hussein was responsible for 9/11. They didn’t believe this because the mass media was directly saying “Saddam did 9/11”; they would have lost the public’s trust if they’d directly promulgated such an outrageous falsehood. The public subscribed to this false belief because corporate media reporters consistently mentioned the September 11 terrorist attacks in the same breath as they mentioned the falsified intelligence reports stating that the Iraqi government had weapons of mass destruction and intended to facilitate their use on American soil. This misperception successfully manufactured public support for a regime change invasion that claimed the lives of a million innocent Iraqis.

In exactly the same way, reports and headlines marrying the words “election” and “hacking” have deliberately created this misperception among liberal Americans. Establishment politicians have been using their mass media-aided platforms to advance this false narrative as well, with corporate Democrats like Cory Booker openly claiming that Russia directly undermined the ability of Americans to express their opinions at the polls, as in this Facebook video which received over a million views:



Mass media outlets could correct this widespread false perception, but they choose not to. The fact that a week has gone by without a single mainstream outlet lifting a finger to address the misperception that this poll highlighted should prove to any doubters that these mass media corporations are not your friend. They don’t publish reports to help create an informed citizenry, they publish reports to manipulate the public into consenting to the establishment agenda. They weren’t telling us to shut up about Seth Rich because they love us and don’t want people to be misguided, they were telling us to shut up about Seth Rich because it was an unauthorised story outside the establishment narrative. They aren’t telling us that Putin is out to get us because they want us to know what’s going on, they’re telling us that Putin is out to get us because they don’t want us to know what’s going on.

America’s unelected power establishment has been trying to get its shriveled corporatist dick into Syria for a long, long time, and Russia’s direct military involvement in that strategically crucial nation has thrown a major monkey wrench in those plans. The fact that Putin is taking such bold actions, as well as annexing the strategically valuable Crimean peninsula from America’s puppet regime in Ukraine and collaborating with China to undermine the hegemony of the US dollar in the east means the US power establishment must push for regime change not just in Damascus, but in Moscow as well. And it is openly admitting to its desire to do this; Congressman Eric Swalwell told Fox’s Tucker Carlson in March that the plan for Russia is to “squeeze their economy” with “tougher sanctions” to the point that it “cuts off Russia from the rest of the world” in order to “hurt [Putin’s] popularity”.



In order to escalate tensions with a nuclear superpower for nothing but geopolitical power that benefits no one other than a few plutocrats, America’s power establishment needs to manufacture the consent of the governed. Without that consent, they’d be dealing with 320 million angry, heavily-armed Americans who’ve got a problem with the way their government is risking their lives by playing nuclear brinkmanship with NATO troop amassment long the Russian border and a needless military presence in Syria.

Without the mass media propaganda machine, it would never in a million years occur to any American that any of this is normal. It would never occur to normal Americans that they should worry about some icy potato patch on the other side of the planet unless the media was constantly telling them it’s attacking their democracy. It would never occur to normal Americans that their government should be involving itself in the affairs of other nations while they themselves face growing poverty and go without healthcare. The insane behaviors of the US oligarchs would never be consented to without the constant assurance of the oligarch-owned media conglomerates that this is all a perfectly normal and healthy way to go about life.

Caitlin Johnstone @caitoz
If you live in a corporatist state like the US, then corporate media IS state media. The ruling class controls the media. It is propaganda.
6:57 AM - May 19, 2017


The majority of Democrats believe that Russia directly manipulated America’s vote tallies because the ruling class wants the majority of Democrats to believe that Russia directly manipulated America’s vote tallies. The more fear and hostility they can generate toward Russia, the more escalation and confrontation the public will unquestioningly consent to.



Neoconservatism first emerged in the 1970s in the US because some Americans wanted a more hawkish stance toward the USSR, and it originally surfaced within the Democratic party. Using the mass media, the American deep state has successfully pulled the Democratic party back into neoconservatism and pointed it right back at Russia, right where they were a few decades ago. Using a nonstop barrage of mass media psy-ops, they’ve successfully transformed liberal Democrats into a bunch of McCarthyist, xenophobic neocons who unquestioningly support insane world-threatening escalations.

The alternative media threatens the establishment’s ability to do things like this, which is why they completely lose their shit whenever the public gets interested in a narrative that the establishment didn’t authorize, like pedogate or Seth Rich. If the American people should ever become capable of deciding for themselves what the major story of the day should be, the ability of the mass media machine to corral them all into a specific narrative will fall apart. So let’s keep refusing to play along with their stories and keep pushing what we want to talk about. They will push back hard, and it will force them to overextend themselves, where they’ll make mistakes and expose gaping plot holes. Join the media war and help bring these unelected bastards down.
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Re: Our Man in London: The Scandal of the 35-Page ‘Intellige

Postby admin » Wed Aug 16, 2017 11:31 pm

A New Report Raises Big Questions About Last Year’s DNC Hack: Former NSA experts say it wasn’t a hack at all, but a leak—an inside job by someone with access to the DNC’s system.
by Patrick Lawrence
The Nation
August 9, 2017

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It is now a year since the Democratic National Committee’s mail system was compromised—a year since events in the spring and early summer of 2016 were identified as remote hacks and, in short order, attributed to Russians acting in behalf of Donald Trump. A great edifice has been erected during this time. President Trump, members of his family, and numerous people around him stand accused of various corruptions and extensive collusion with Russians. Half a dozen simultaneous investigations proceed into these matters. Last week news broke that Special Counsel Robert Mueller had convened a grand jury, which issued its first subpoenas on August 3. Allegations of treason are common; prominent political figures and many media cultivate a case for impeachment.

The president’s ability to conduct foreign policy, notably but not only with regard to Russia, is now crippled. Forced into a corner and having no choice, Trump just signed legislation imposing severe new sanctions on Russia and European companies working with it on pipeline projects vital to Russia’s energy sector. Striking this close to the core of another nation’s economy is customarily considered an act of war, we must not forget. In retaliation, Moscow has announced that the United States must cut its embassy staff by roughly two-thirds. All sides agree that relations between the United States and Russia are now as fragile as they were during some of the Cold War’s worst moments. To suggest that military conflict between two nuclear powers inches ever closer can no longer be dismissed as hyperbole.

All this was set in motion when the DNC’s mail server was first violated in the spring of 2016 and by subsequent assertions that Russians were behind that “hack” and another such operation, also described as a Russian hack, on July 5. These are the foundation stones of the edifice just outlined. The evolution of public discourse in the year since is worthy of scholarly study: Possibilities became allegations, and these became probabilities. Then the probabilities turned into certainties, and these evolved into what are now taken to be established truths. By my reckoning, it required a few days to a few weeks to advance from each of these stages to the next. This was accomplished via the indefensibly corrupt manipulations of language repeated incessantly in our leading media.

We are urged to accept the word of institutions and senior officials with long records of deception.

Lost in a year that often appeared to veer into our peculiarly American kind of hysteria is the absence of any credible evidence of what happened last year and who was responsible for it. It is tiresome to note, but none has been made available. Instead, we are urged to accept the word of institutions and senior officials with long records of deception. These officials profess “high confidence” in their “assessment” as to what happened in the spring and summer of last year—this standing as their authoritative judgment. Few have noticed since these evasive terms first appeared that an assessment is an opinion, nothing more, and to express high confidence is an upside-down way of admitting the absence of certain knowledge. This is how officials avoid putting their names on the assertions we are so strongly urged to accept—as the record shows many of them have done.

We come now to a moment of great gravity.

There has been a long effort to counter the official narrative we now call “Russiagate.” This effort has so far focused on the key events noted above, leaving numerous others still to be addressed. Until recently, researchers undertaking this work faced critical shortcomings, and these are to be explained. But they have achieved significant new momentum in the past several weeks, and what they have done now yields very consequential fruit. Forensic investigators, intelligence analysts, system designers, program architects, and computer scientists of long experience and strongly credentialed are now producing evidence disproving the official version of key events last year. Their work is intricate and continues at a kinetic pace as we speak. But its certain results so far are two, simply stated, and freighted with implications:

There was no hack of the Democratic National Committee’s system on July 5 last year—not by the Russians, not by anyone else. Hard science now demonstrates it was a leak—a download executed locally with a memory key or a similarly portable data-storage device. In short, it was an inside job by someone with access to the DNC’s system. This casts serious doubt on the initial “hack,” as alleged, that led to the very consequential publication of a large store of documents on WikiLeaks last summer.

Forensic investigations of documents made public two weeks prior to the July 5 leak by the person or entity known as Guccifer 2.0 show that they were fraudulent: Before Guccifer posted them they were adulterated by cutting and pasting them into a blank template that had Russian as its default language. Guccifer took responsibility on June 15 for an intrusion the DNC reported on June 14 and professed to be a WikiLeaks source—claims essential to the official narrative implicating Russia in what was soon cast as an extensive hacking operation. To put the point simply, forensic science now devastates this narrative.


This article is based on an examination of the documents these forensic experts and intelligence analysts have produced, notably the key papers written over the past several weeks, as well as detailed interviews with many of those conducting investigations and now drawing conclusions from them. Before proceeding into this material, several points bear noting.

One, there are many other allegations implicating Russians in the 2016 political process. The work I will now report upon does not purport to prove or disprove any of them. Who delivered documents to WikiLeaks? Who was responsible for the “phishing” operation penetrating John Podesta’s e-mail in March 2016? We do not know the answers to such questions. It is entirely possible, indeed, that the answers we deserve and must demand could turn out to be multiple: One thing happened in one case, another thing in another. The new work done on the mid-June and July 5 events bears upon all else in only one respect. We are now on notice: Given that we now stand face to face with very considerable cases of duplicity, it is imperative that all official accounts of these many events be subject to rigorously skeptical questioning. Do we even know that John Podesta’s e-mail address was in fact “phished”? What evidence of this has been produced? Such rock-bottom questions as these must now be posed in all other cases.

Two, houses built on sand and made of cards are bound to collapse, and there can be no surprise that the one resting atop the “hack theory,” as we can call the prevailing wisdom on the DNC events, appears to be in the process of doing so. Neither is there anything far-fetched in a reversal of the truth of this magnitude. American history is replete with similar cases. The Spanish sank the Maine in Havana harbor in February 1898. Iran’s Mossadegh was a Communist. Guatemala’s Árbenz represented a Communist threat to the United States. Vietnam’s Ho Chi Minh was a Soviet puppet. The Sandinistas were Communists. The truth of the Maine, a war and a revolution in between, took a century to find the light of day, whereupon the official story disintegrated. We can do better now. It is an odd sensation to live through one of these episodes, especially one as big as Russiagate. But its place atop a long line of precedents can no longer be disputed.

Forensic investigators, prominent among them people with decades’ experience at high levels in our national-security institutions, have put a body of evidence on a table previously left empty.

Three, regardless of what one may think about the investigations and conclusions I will now outline—and, as noted, these investigations continue—there is a bottom line attaching to them. We can even call it a red line. Under no circumstance can it be acceptable that the relevant authorities—the National Security Agency, the Justice Department (via the Federal Bureau of Investigation), and the Central Intelligence Agency—leave these new findings without reply. Not credibly, in any case. Forensic investigators, prominent among them people with decades’ experience at high levels in these very institutions, have put a body of evidence on a table previously left empty. Silence now, should it ensue, cannot be written down as an admission of duplicity, but it will come very close to one.

It requires no elaboration to apply the above point to the corporate media, which have been flaccidly satisfied with official explanations of the DNC matter from the start.

Qualified experts working independently of one another began to examine the DNC case immediately after the July 2016 events. Prominent among these is a group comprising former intelligence officers, almost all of whom previously occupied senior positions. Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS), founded in 2003, now has 30 members, including a few associates with backgrounds in national-security fields other than intelligence. The chief researchers active on the DNC case are four: William Binney, formerly the NSA’s technical director for world geopolitical and military analysis and designer of many agency programs now in use; Kirk Wiebe, formerly a senior analyst at the NSA’s SIGINT Automation Research Center; Edward Loomis, formerly technical director in the NSA’s Office of Signal Processing; and Ray McGovern, an intelligence analyst for nearly three decades and formerly chief of the CIA’s Soviet Foreign Policy Branch. Most of these men have decades of experience in matters concerning Russian intelligence and the related technologies. This article reflects numerous interviews with all of them conducted in person, via Skype, or by telephone.

The customary VIPS format is an open letter, typically addressed to the president. The group has written three such letters on the DNC incident, all of which were first published by Robert Parry at http://www.consortiumnews.com. Here is the latest, dated July 24; it blueprints the forensic work this article explores in detail. They have all argued that the hack theory is wrong and that a locally executed leak is the far more likely explanation. In a letter to Barack Obama dated January 17, three days before he left office, the group explained that the NSA’s known programs are fully capable of capturing all electronic transfers of data. “We strongly suggest that you ask NSA for any evidence it may have indicating that the results of Russian hacking were given to WikiLeaks,” the letter said. “If NSA cannot produce such evidence—and quickly—this would probably mean it does not have any.”

The day after Parry published this letter, Obama gave his last press conference as president, at which he delivered one of the great gems among the official statements on the DNC e-mail question. “The conclusions of the intelligence community with respect to the Russian hacking,” the legacy-minded Obama said, “were not conclusive.” There is little to suggest the VIPS letter prompted this remark, but it is typical of the linguistic tap-dancing many officials connected to the case have indulged so as to avoid putting their names on the hack theory and all that derives from it.

Until recently there was a serious hindrance to the VIPS’s work, and I have just suggested it. The group lacked access to positive data. It had no lump of cyber-material to place on its lab table and analyze, because no official agency had provided any.

Donald Rumsfeld famously argued with regard to the WMD question in Iraq, “The absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.” In essence, Binney and others at VIPS say this logic turns upside down in the DNC case: Based on the knowledge of former officials such as Binney, the group knew that (1) if there was a hack and (2) if Russia was responsible for it, the NSA would have to have evidence of both. Binney and others surmised that the agency and associated institutions were hiding the absence of evidence behind the claim that they had to maintain secrecy to protect NSA programs. “Everything that they say must remain classified is already well-known,” Binney said in an interview. “They’re playing the Wizard of Oz game.”

New findings indicate this is perfectly true, but until recently the VIPS experts could produce only “negative evidence,” as they put it: The absence of evidence supporting the hack theory demonstrates that it cannot be so. That is all VIPS had. They could allege and assert, but they could not conclude: They were stuck demanding evidence they did not have—if only to prove there was none.

Research into the DNC case took a fateful turn in early July, when forensic investigators who had been working independently began to share findings and form loose collaborations.

Research into the DNC case took a fateful turn in early July, when forensic investigators who had been working independently began to share findings and form loose collaborations wherein each could build on the work of others. In this a small, new website called http://www.disobedientmedia.com proved an important catalyst. Two independent researchers selected it, Snowden-like, as the medium through which to disclose their findings. One of these is known as Forensicator and the other as Adam Carter. On July 9, Adam Carter sent Elizabeth Vos, a co-founder of Disobedient Media, a paper by the Forensicator that split the DNC case open like a coconut.

By this time Binney and the other technical-side people at VIPS had begun working with a man named Skip Folden. Folden was an IT executive at IBM for 33 years, serving 25 years as the IT program manager in the United States. He has also consulted for Pentagon officials, the FBI, and the Justice Department. Folden is effectively the VIPS group’s liaison to Forensicator, Adam Carter, and other investigators, but neither Folden nor anyone else knows the identity of either Forensicator or Adam Carter. This bears brief explanation.

The Forensicator’s July 9 document indicates he lives in the Pacific Time Zone, which puts him on the West Coast. His notes describing his investigative procedures support this. But little else is known of him. Adam Carter, in turn, is located in England, but the name is a coy pseudonym: It derives from a character in a BBC espionage series called Spooks. It is protocol in this community, Elizabeth Vos told me in a telephone conversation this week, to respect this degree of anonymity. Kirk Wiebe, the former SIGINT analyst at the NSA, thinks Forensicator could be “someone very good with the FBI,” but there is no certainty. Unanimously, however, all the analysts and forensics investigators interviewed for this column say Forensicator’s advanced expertise, evident in the work he has done, is unassailable. They hold a similarly high opinion of Adam Carter’s work.

Forensicator is working with the documents published by Guccifer 2.0, focusing for now on the July 5 intrusion into the DNC server. The contents of Guccifer’s files are known—they were published last September—and are not Forensicator’s concern. His work is with the metadata on those files. These data did not come to him via any clandestine means. Forensicator simply has access to them that others did not have. It is this access that prompts Kirk Wiebe and others to suggest that Forensicator may be someone with exceptional talent and training inside an agency such as the FBI. “Forensicator unlocked and then analyzed what had been the locked files Guccifer supposedly took from the DNC server,” Skip Folden explained in an interview. “To do this he would have to have ‘access privilege,’ meaning a key.”


What has Forensicator proven since he turned his key? How? What has work done atop Forensicator’s findings proven? How?

Forensicator’s first decisive findings, made public on July 9, concerned the volume of the supposedly hacked material and what is called the transfer rate.

Forensicator’s first decisive findings, made public in the paper dated July 9, concerned the volume of the supposedly hacked material and what is called the transfer rate—the time a remote hack would require. The metadata established several facts in this regard with granular precision: On the evening of July 5, 2016, 1,976 megabytes of data were downloaded from the DNC’s server. The operation took 87 seconds. This yields a transfer rate of 22.7 megabytes per second.

These statistics are matters of record and essential to disproving the hack theory. No Internet service provider, such as a hacker would have had to use in mid-2016, was capable of downloading data at this speed. Compounding this contradiction, Guccifer claimed to have run his hack from Romania, which, for numerous reasons technically called delivery overheads, would slow down the speed of a hack even further from maximum achievable speeds.


Time stamps in the metadata indicate the download occurred somewhere on the East Coast of the United States—not Russia, Romania, or anywhere else outside the EDT zone.

What is the maximum achievable speed? Forensicator recently ran a test download of a comparable data volume (and using a server speed not available in 2016) 40 miles from his computer via a server 20 miles away and came up with a speed of 11.8 megabytes per second—half what the DNC operation would need were it a hack. Other investigators have built on this finding. Folden and Edward Loomis say a survey published August 3, 2016, by http://www.speedtest.net/reports is highly reliable and use it as their thumbnail index. It indicated that the highest average ISP speeds of first-half 2016 were achieved by Xfinity and Cox Communications. These speeds averaged 15.6 megabytes per second and 14.7 megabytes per second, respectively. Peak speeds at higher rates were recorded intermittently but still did not reach the required 22.7 megabytes per second.

“A speed of 22.7 megabytes is simply unobtainable, especially if we are talking about a transoceanic data transfer,” Folden said. “Based on the data we now have, what we’ve been calling a hack is impossible.” Last week Forensicator reported on a speed test he conducted more recently. It tightens the case considerably. “Transfer rates of 23 MB/s (Mega Bytes per second) are not just highly unlikely, but effectively impossible to accomplish when communicating over the Internet at any significant distance,” he wrote. “Further, local copy speeds are measured, demonstrating that 23 MB/s is a typical transfer rate when using a USB–2 flash device (thumb drive).”

Time stamps in the metadata provide further evidence of what happened on July 5. The stamps recording the download indicate that it occurred in the Eastern Daylight Time Zone at approximately 6:45 pm. This confirms that the person entering the DNC system was working somewhere on the East Coast of the United States. In theory the operation could have been conducted from Bangor or Miami or anywhere in between—but not Russia, Romania, or anywhere else outside the EDT zone. Combined with Forensicator’s findings on the transfer rate, the time stamps constitute more evidence that the download was conducted locally, since delivery overheads—conversion of data into packets, addressing, sequencing times, error checks, and the like—degrade all data transfers conducted via the Internet, more or less according to the distance involved.

“It’s clear,” another forensics investigator wrote, “that metadata was deliberately altered and documents were deliberately pasted into a Russianified [W]ord document with Russian language settings and style headings.”

In addition, there is the adulteration of the documents Guccifer 2.0 posted on June 15, when he made his first appearance. This came to light when researchers penetrated what Folden calls Guccifer’s top layer of metadata and analyzed what was in the layers beneath. They found that the first five files Guccifer made public had each been run, via ordinary cut-and-paste, through a single template that effectively immersed them in what could plausibly be cast as Russian fingerprints. They were not: The Russian markings were artificially inserted prior to posting. “It’s clear,” another forensics investigator self-identified as HET, wrote in a report on this question, “that metadata was deliberately altered and documents were deliberately pasted into a Russianified [W]ord document with Russian language settings and style headings.”

To be noted in this connection: The list of the CIA’s cyber-tools WikiLeaks began to release in March and labeled Vault 7 includes one called Marble that is capable of obfuscating the origin of documents in false-flag operations and leaving markings that point to whatever the CIA wants to point to. (The tool can also “de-obfuscate” what it has obfuscated.) It is not known whether this tool was deployed in the Guccifer case, but it is there for such a use.

It is not yet clear whether documents now shown to have been leaked locally on July 5 were tainted to suggest Russian hacking in the same way the June 15 Guccifer release was. This is among several outstanding questions awaiting answers, and the forensic scientists active on the DNC case are now investigating it. In a note Adam Carter sent to Folden and McGovern last week and copied to me, he reconfirmed the corruption of the June 15 documents, while indicating that his initial work on the July 5 documents—of which much more is to be done—had not yet turned up evidence of doctoring.

In the meantime, VIPS has assembled a chronology that imposes a persuasive logic on the complex succession of events just reviewed. It is this:

On June 12 last year, Julian Assange announced that WikiLeaks had and would publish documents pertinent to Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign.

On June 14, CrowdStrike, a cyber-security firm hired by the DNC, announced, without providing evidence, that it had found malware on DNC servers and had evidence that Russians were responsible for planting it.

On June 15, Guccifer 2.0 first appeared, took responsibility for the “hack” reported on June 14 and claimed to be a WikiLeaks source. It then posted the adulterated documents just described.

On July 5, Guccifer again claimed he had remotely hacked DNC servers, and the operation was instantly described as another intrusion attributable to Russia. Virtually no media questioned this account.


It does not require too much thought to read into this sequence. With his June 12 announcement, Assange effectively put the DNC on notice that it had a little time, probably not much, to act preemptively against the imminent publication of damaging documents. Did the DNC quickly conjure Guccifer from thin air to create a cyber-saboteur whose fingers point to Russia? There is no evidence of this one way or the other, but emphatically it is legitimate to pose the question in the context of the VIPS chronology. WikiLeaks began publishing on July 22. By that time, the case alleging Russian interference in the 2016 elections process was taking firm root. In short order Assange would be written down as a “Russian agent.”

By any balanced reckoning, the official case purporting to assign a systematic hacking effort to Russia, the events of mid-June and July 5 last year being the foundation of this case, is shabby to the point taxpayers should ask for their money back. The Intelligence Community Assessment, the supposedly definitive report featuring the “high confidence” dodge, was greeted as farcically flimsy when issued January 6. Ray McGovern calls it a disgrace to the intelligence profession. It is spotlessly free of evidence, front to back, pertaining to any events in which Russia is implicated. James Clapper, the former director of national intelligence, admitted in May that “hand-picked” analysts from three agencies (not the 17 previously reported) drafted the ICA. There is a way to understand “hand-picked” that is less obvious than meets the eye: The report was sequestered from rigorous agency-wide reviews. This is the way these people have spoken to us for the past year.

Behind the ICA lie other indefensible realities. The FBI has never examined the DNC’s computer servers—an omission that is beyond preposterous. It has instead relied on the reports produced by Crowdstrike, a firm that drips with conflicting interests well beyond the fact that it is in the DNC’s employ. Dmitri Alperovitch, its co-founder and chief technology officer, is on the record as vigorously anti-Russian. He is a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council, which suffers the same prejudice. Problems such as this are many.

“We continue to stand by our report,” CrowdStrike said, upon seeing the VIPS blueprint of the investigation. CrowdStrike argues that by July 5 all malware had been removed from the DNC’s computers. But the presence or absence of malware by that time is entirely immaterial, because the event of July 5 is proven to have been a leak and not a hack. Given that malware has nothing to do with leaks, CrowdStrike’s logic appears to be circular.

In effect, the new forensic evidence considered here lands in a vacuum. We now enter a period when an official reply should be forthcoming. What the forensic people are now producing constitutes evidence, however one may view it, and it is the first scientifically derived evidence we have into any of the events in which Russia has been implicated. The investigators deserve a response, the betrayed professionals who formed VIPS as the WMD scandal unfolded in 2003 deserve it, and so do the rest of us. The cost of duplicity has rarely been so high.

I concluded each of the interviews conducted for this column by asking for a degree of confidence in the new findings. These are careful, exacting people as a matter of professional training and standards, and I got careful, exacting replies.

All those interviewed came in between 90 percent and 100 percent certain that the forensics prove out. I have already quoted Skip Folden’s answer: impossible based on the data. “The laws of physics don’t lie,” Ray McGovern volunteered at one point. “It’s QED, theorem demonstrated,” William Binney said in response to my question. “There’s no evidence out there to get me to change my mind.” When I asked Edward Loomis, a 90 percent man, about the 10 percent he held out, he replied, “I’ve looked at the work and it shows there was no Russian hack. But I didn’t do the work. That’s the 10 percent. I’m a scientist.”

Editor’s note: In its chronology, VIPS mistakenly gave the wrong date for CrowdStrike’s announcement of its claim to have found malware on DNC servers. It said June 15, when it should have said June 14. VIPS has acknowledged the error, and we have made the correction.

Editor’s note: After publication, the Democratic National Committee contacted The Nation with a response, writing, “U.S. intelligence agencies have concluded the Russian government hacked the DNC in an attempt to interfere in the election. Any suggestion otherwise is false and is just another conspiracy theory like those pushed by Trump and his administration. It’s unfortunate that The Nation has decided to join the conspiracy theorists to push this narrative.”
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Re: Our Man in London: The Scandal of the 35-Page ‘Intellige

Postby admin » Tue Oct 24, 2017 1:57 am

Partners of firm behind ‘Trump dossier’ plead the Fifth during congressional hearing
by lynx.media
October 20, 2017

NOTICE: THIS WORK MAY BE PROTECTED BY COPYRIGHT

YOU ARE REQUIRED TO READ THE COPYRIGHT NOTICE AT THIS LINK BEFORE YOU READ THE FOLLOWING WORK, THAT IS AVAILABLE SOLELY FOR PRIVATE STUDY, SCHOLARSHIP OR RESEARCH PURSUANT TO 17 U.S.C. SECTION 107 AND 108. IN THE EVENT THAT THE LIBRARY DETERMINES THAT UNLAWFUL COPYING OF THIS WORK HAS OCCURRED, THE LIBRARY HAS THE RIGHT TO BLOCK THE I.P. ADDRESS AT WHICH THE UNLAWFUL COPYING APPEARED TO HAVE OCCURRED. THANK YOU FOR RESPECTING THE RIGHTS OF COPYRIGHT OWNERS.


Founders of the research firm that compiled the dossier that alleged numerous still-unproven links between the president and Russia have pleaded the Fifth during a congressional hearing.

Thomas Catan and Peter Fritsch were subpoenaed earlier this month and appeared Wednesday before the House Intelligence Committee.

But they reportedly invoked the Fifth Amendment, which prevents someone from incriminating oneself, “to every question asked of them,” a source familiar with the hearing told The Daily Caller.

Their third business partner, Glenn Simpson, was also subpoenaed but did not appear with Catan and Fritsch — although he previously attended a 10-hour session with the Senate Judiciary Committee in August. All three men worked for The Wall Street Journal before founding opposition research firm Fusion GPS/

Attorneys for Fusion had previously suggested that the men would not cooperate with House investigators, in part because of prior confidentiality agreements.

“No American should be required to appear before Congress simply to invoke his constitutional privileges,” company lawyer Josh Levy told The DC this week.

“But that is what [Intelligence Committee] Chairman [Rep. Devin] Nunes did today with our clients at Fusion GPS, breaking with the practice of his committee in this investigation.

“The committee has not imposed this requirement on any other witness, including the president’s men,” Levy added.

“Any attempt to change either the narrative or a congressional committee’s focus will not change the facts, which we hope all serious investigators will learn.”

The former Journal reporters were hired by an ally of Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton during last year’s election cycle.

Working with the British ex-spy Christopher Steele, the firm produced a 35-page document full of allegations about Donald Trump’s supposed business and personal contacts in Russia.

Although the FBI has dismissed several of its more sensational claims as untrue and warned that many others are unprovable, the bureau has continued to cite the dossier as a source in its probe into whether Trump and his associates colluded with Russian agents to meddle in the election.


Republican legislators have questioned that reliance and also pressed investigators to confirm which Clinton backer hired Fusion.

Trump has suggested collusion allegations of his own over the dossier, tweeting this week that “workers of firm involved with the discredited and Fake Dossier take the 5th. Who paid for it, Russia, the FBI or the Dems (or all)?”
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Re: Our Man in London: The Scandal of the 35-Page ‘Intellige

Postby admin » Fri Oct 27, 2017 3:03 am

Clinton Campaign and Democratic Party Helped Pay for Russia Trump Dossier
by Kenneth P. Vogel
New York Times
October 24, 2017

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The Deep State Goes to War With President-Elect, Using Unverified Claims, as Democrats Cheer
by Glenn Greenwald
January 11, 2017

ALMOST IMMEDIATELY AFTER it was published, the farcical nature of the “dossier” manifested. Not only was its author anonymous, but he was paid by Democrats (and, before that, by Trump’s GOP adversaries) to dig up dirt on Trump. Worse, he himself cited no evidence of any kind but instead relied on a string of other anonymous people in Russia he claims told him these things.



Our Man in London: The Scandal of the 35-Page ‘Intelligence Dossier’ Directed against Donald Trump
by Prof Michael Keefer
Global Research
January 15, 2017

Within a day of BuzzFeed‘s publication of the document, the author’s identity was revealed by the Wall Street Journal.[11] He is one Christopher Steele, a former MI6 agent who is now co-principal of a consulting firm, Orbis Business Intelligence—and who has gone into hiding, leaving his neighbour in Surrey to feed the family cats and his partner in Orbis to make unrevealing statements to the press.[12]

According to Julian Borger of The Guardian, Steele’s writings about Trump “were initially commissioned as opposition research”—a polite term for scandal-mongering—“during the presidential campaign, but its author was sufficiently alarmed by what he discovered to send a copy to the FBI.”[13]

It seems more likely that his employers invited him to pass it on. The Democratic Party and the Clinton campaign inherited work by Steele that was initially paid for by Jeb Bush, who was steamrollered by Trump in the Republican primaries. They were desperate to divert attention away from the scandalous substance of the emails of the Democratic National Committee and of John Podesta ...


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WASHINGTON — The presidential campaign of Hillary Clinton and the Democratic National Committee paid for research that was included in a dossier made public in January that contained salacious claims about connections between Donald J. Trump, his associates and Russia.

A spokesperson for a law firm said on Tuesday that it had hired Washington-based researchers last year to gather damaging information about Mr. Trump on numerous subjects — including possible ties to Russia — on behalf of the Clinton campaign and the D.N.C.

The revelation, which emerged from a letter filed in court on Tuesday, is likely to fuel new partisan attacks over federal and congressional investigations into Russia’s attempts to disrupt last year’s election and whether any of Mr. Trump’s associates assisted in the effort.

The president and his allies have argued for months that the investigations are politically motivated. They have challenged the information contained in the dossier, which was compiled by a former British spy who had been contracted by the Washington research firm Fusion GPS.

The letter that was filed in court said that Fusion GPS began working for the law firm, Perkins Coie, in April 2016. Written by the firm’s managing partner Matthew J. Gehringer, the letter said that Fusion GPS had already been conducting the research “for one or more other clients during the Republican primary contest.”

Perkins Coie was paid $12.4 million to represent the Clinton campaign and the D.N.C. during the 2016 campaign, according to filings. The role of the Clinton campaign and the national party in funding the research for the dossier was first reported on Tuesday by The Washington Post.

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Marc Elias outside the Supreme Court in Washington last year. Credit J. Scott Applewhite/Associated Press

At the time that Democrats began paying for the research, Mr. Trump was in the process of clinching the Republican presidential nomination, and Ms. Clinton’s allies were scrambling to figure out how to run against a candidate who had already weathered attacks from Republican rivals about his shifting policy positions, his character and his business record.

Fusion GPS hired Christopher Steele, a respected former British spy with extensive experience in Russia, to conduct research into any possible connections between Mr. Trump, his businesses, campaign team and Russia.

... Steele, who as Hopkins and Harding inform us is unable to travel to Russia and has not set foot in that country for twenty years ...

-- Our Man in London: The Scandal of the 35-Page ‘Intelligence Dossier’ Directed against Donald Trump, by Prof Michael Keefer


Mr. Steele produced a series of memos that alleged a broad conspiracy between the Trump campaign and the Russian government to influence the 2016 election on behalf of Mr. Trump. The memos also contained unsubstantiated accounts of encounters between Mr. Trump and Russian prostitutes, and real estate deals that were intended as bribes.

The contents of the memos circulated in Washington in late 2016, and were briefed to Mr. Trump by senior American intelligence officials during the presidential transition. The memos, which became known as the “Steele Dossier,” were made public by Buzzfeed — sparking an ongoing debate about their accuracy and about who funded the research.

Fusion GPS was started by three former Wall Street Journal employees. The firm worked directly with Perkins Coie and its lead election lawyer, Marc Elias, according to the law firm spokesperson, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive information about confidential business relationships. The law firm’s payments to Fusion GPS for the Russia research ended just before Election Day, the spokesperson said.

The spokesperson said that neither the Clinton campaign, nor the D.N.C., was aware that Fusion GPS had been hired to conduct the research.

Earlier this year, Mr. Elias had denied that he had possessed the dossier before the election.

Anita Dunn, a veteran Democratic operative working with Perkins Coie, said on Tuesday that Mr. Elias “was certainly familiar with some of, but not all, of the information” in the dossier. But, she said “he didn’t have and hadn’t seen the full document, nor was he involved in pitching it to reporters.” And Mr. Elias “was not at liberty to confirm Perkins Coie as the client at that point,” Ms. Dunn said.

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Hillary Clinton with Brian Fallon, her campaign’s national press secretary, last year. On Tuesday, Mr. Fallon said he did not know that the author of a dossier on Mr. Trump was working on behalf of Mrs. Clinton’s campaign. Credit Brendan Smialowski/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Brian Fallon, who served as a spokesman for the Clinton campaign, on Tuesday wrote on Twitter that he did not know that Mr. Steele had been working on behalf of the Clinton campaign before the election.

“If I had, I would have volunteered to go to Europe and try to help him,” Mr. Fallon wrote.


A lawyer and spokeswoman for Fusion GPS did not respond to requests for comment.

A spokeswoman for the D.N.C. sought to distance the national party from the work, noting that the party’s chairman, Tom Perez, was elected only after last year’s election. He and his leadership team “were not involved in any decision-making regarding Fusion GPS, nor were they aware that Perkins Coie was working with the organization,” said Xochitl Hinojosa, the D.N.C. spokeswoman.

The work by Fusion GPS on the dossier has come under scrutiny from congressional investigators, who have questioned one of its founders and subpoenaed its banking records to try to determine who funded the research.

Fusion GPS is fighting the subpoena in federal court, and Mr. Gehringer’s letter was produced in connection with that legal case.


In the letter, Mr. Gehringer praised Fusion GPS for its “efforts to fulfill your obligation to maintain client confidentiality. In the circumstances, however, we believe it is appropriate to release Fusion GPS from this obligation as it relates to the identity of Perkins Coie.”

Mr. Gehringer added that, “given the interest in this issue, we believe it would be appropriate for all parties who hired Fusion GPS in connection with the 2016 presidential campaign to release Fusion GPS from this obligation as well.”

Maggie Haberman contributed reporting.

A version of this article appears in print on October 25, 2017, on Page A17 of the New York edition with the headline: Clinton Campaign and D.N.C. Helped to Pay for Russia Dossier on Trump.
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Re: Our Man in London: The Scandal of the 35-Page ‘Intellige

Postby admin » Fri Oct 27, 2017 3:15 am

Trump slams Democrats as 'disgrace' for helping to fund dossier
by Brian Ross, Matthew Mosk, and Cheyenne Haslett
Oct 25, 2017, 6:54 PM ET

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President Donald Trump lashed out at Democrats on Wednesday after a lawyers for Hillary Clinton’s campaign and the Democratic National Committee acknowledged helping fund the infamous dossier of alleged links between the Trump campaign and Russia.

“I think it's a disgrace,” Trump said. “It's a very sad commentary on politics in this country.”

On Tuesday, The Washington Post reported that Marc E. Elias, a lawyer who represented both the Clinton campaign and the DNC, retained the Washington-based investigative firm Fusion GPS to conduct research.

In a letter obtained by ABC News addressed to an attorney for Fusion GPS, Matthew Gehringer, general counsel for Perkins Coie, detailed his firm’s arrangement with Fusion GPS.

“To assist in its representation of the DNC and Hillary for America, Perkins Coie engaged Fusion GPS in April of 2016, to perform a variety of research services during the 2016 election cycle,” Gehringer wrote. “By its terms, the engagement concluded prior to the November 2016 Presidential election.”

A full copy of the letter can be read below.

In August, ABC News reported that Fusion GPS was paid during the heated Republican primaries by a still unknown Republican and then later worked for Democrats, all of whom wanted to dig up dirt on Trump and plant negative news stories, according to political operatives.

The Democratic Party and the Clinton campaign inherited work by Steele that was initially paid for by Jeb Bush, who was steamrollered by Trump in the Republican primaries. They were desperate to divert attention away from the scandalous substance of the emails of the Democratic National Committee and of John Podesta, the chair of Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, that Wikileaks was releasing to the public—the DNC emails in two batches on July 22 and November 6, and the Podesta emails on a daily basis beginning on October 7. They had fixed on a McCarthyite smearing of ‘Trump-the-Kremlin-puppet’ as the most efficacious way of doing so;[14] and they must have been sufficiently impressed by Steele’s work to hope that it might induce the FBI to give further momentum to their own previous claims.[15]

-- Our Man in London: The Scandal of the 35-Page ‘Intelligence Dossier’ Directed against Donald Trump, by Prof Michael Keefer, January 15, 2017


The 35-page dossier, prepared by a former British spy and Moscow station chief named Christopher Steele, alleges the Trump campaign colluded with the Russians, and includes uncorroborated, salacious allegations about Trump himself, which he has repeatedly denied.

“It’s all fake news,” Trump said. “It’s phony stuff. It didn’t happen.”

Between June 2015 to December 2016, the Clinton campaign paid Perkins Coie $5.6 million in legal fees, according to campaign finance records examined by the Washington Post. And since November 2015, the DNC paid the firm $3.6 million in “legal and compliance consulting.” It is not possible to know how much of those funds were passed on to Fusion GPS.

As Trump fumed, Democrats defended the campaign and the committee. Former Clinton campaign spokesperson Brian Fallon said the Democrats did nothing wrong.

“I think it's important to remember that opposition research happens all the time in the campaign,” Fallon said on CNN.

Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-Calif., said the content of the document is more important than the circumstances behind its creation.

“It’s important to know who paid for it,” Swalwell told ABC News. “But it is also important to know if what’s in the dossier is true.”

The DNC, meanwhile, distanced itself from the reported revelation, saying its new leaders were not involved in the decision to retain the investigative firm.

“Tom Perez and the new leadership of the DNC were not involved in any decision-making regarding Fusion GPS, nor were they aware that Perkins Coie was working with the organization. But let’s be clear, there is a serious federal investigation into the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia, and the American public deserves to know what happened,” said DNC communications director Xochitl Hinojosa.

Morell said he had learned that the former officer, Christopher Steele, paid his key Russian sources, and interviewed them through intermediaries.

"On the question of the Trump campaign conspiring with the Russians here, there is smoke, but there is no fire, at all," Morell said at an event sponsored by the Cipher Brief, an intelligence web site.

"There’s no little campfire, there’s no little candle, there’s no spark. And there’s a lot of people looking for it."

-- Clinton Ally Says Smoke, But No Fire: No Russia-Trump Collusion, by Ken Dilanian


The identity of the initial Republican funder of the dossier, however, remains a mystery.

Republican House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes approved a subpoena earlier this month that would force the bank handling finances for Fusion GPS to open up its books, which could force the identity of that initial client into public view.

In response to questions today from ABC’s Cecilia Vega, President Trump hinted that the identity might not remain a mystery for much longer.

“I think I would have, if I were to guess, I have one name in mind,” Trump said. “It will probably be revealed.”

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Matthew J. Gehringer
MGehringer@perkinscoie.com
D +13123248655
F +13123249655

October 24, 2017

VIA EMAIL

William W. Taylor, III
Zuckerman Spaeder LLP
1800 M Street, NW
Suite 1000
Washington, DC 20036

RE: FUSION GPS

Dear Mr. Taylor:

I write on behalf of Perkins Coie LLP as its General Counsel. We understand that your client, Fusion GPS, has received a number of requests for information regarding the identity of clients who engaged Fusion GPS to conduct research during the 2016 Presidential campaign. We further are aware that Fusion GPS is currently engaged in litigation in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia in an effort to prevent the compelled disclosure of its bank records which would reveal confidential client information.

We recognize the important principle of client confidentiality, and we appreciate your efforts to fulfill your obligation to maintain client confidentiality. In the circumstances, however, we believe it is appropriate to release Fusion GPS from this obligation as it relates to the identity of Perkins Coie. Further, given the interest in this issue, we believe it would be appropriate for all parties who hired Fusion GPS in connection with the 2016 presidential campaign to release Fusion GPS from this obligation as well. Finally, now that the appropriate client representatives have been informed of the specifics of our engagement with Fusion GPS, and with their consent, Perkins Coie therefore authorizes you to disclose the following:

-- Fusion GPS approached Perkins Coie in early March of 2016 and, aware that Perkins Coie represented the Democratic National Committee ("DNC") and HFACC, Inc. ("Hillary for America") with respect to the 2016 elections, expressed interest in an engagement with the Firm in connection with the 2016 presidential election to continue research regarding then-Presidential candidate Donald Trump, research that Fusion GPS had conducted for one or more other clients during the Republican primary contest.

-- To assist in its representation of the DNC and Hillary for America, Perkins Coie engaged Fusion GPS in April of 2016, to perform a variety of research services during the 2016 election cycle. By its terms, the engagement concluded prior to the November 2016 Presidential election.


Nothing in this consent to the disclosure above authorizes Fusion GPS to disclose or waive any privilege with respect to communications or other information otherwise protected by this Firm's or its clients' attorney-client privilege and work product protections, nor does this authorization constitute a waiver of any applicable privilege of this Firm or its clients.

Very truly yours,

Matthew J. Gehringer
General Counsel
Perkins Coie LLP

MJG:jmg
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Re: Our Man in London: The Scandal of the 35-Page ‘Intellige

Postby admin » Fri Oct 27, 2017 4:00 am

John Podesta, Whose Lawyer Paid For Dossier, Told Senate He Didn’t Know Who Funded It
by Chuck Ross
5:54 PM 10/26/2017

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Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman, John Podesta, recently denied to Senate Intelligence Committee investigators that he knew who had funded the infamous Steele dossier on Donald Trump.

But when he issued that denial, Podesta happened to be sitting next to the man who did pay for the salacious document: Marc Elias, the general counsel for the Clinton campaign and Democratic National Committee.

Elias was in the Senate meeting in his capacity as Podesta’s personal attorney,
CNN reported on Thursday. But the lawyer, a partner at the firm Perkins Coie, apparently did not reveal during the interview that he was involved in the dossier, which was commissioned by opposition research firm Fusion GPS and written by former British spy Christopher Steele.

The Senate interview with Podesta was conducted before it was revealed that the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee jointly funded the dossier. The Washington Post reported that Elias, a longtime Democratic party “fixer,” paid Fusion GPS through Perkins Coie.

Podesta’s denial raises questions about how much control the campaign had over the anti-Trump project. Nobody affiliated with the campaign — including Clinton herself — have come forward to say that they were aware of the full extent of Elias’ and Fusion’s activities.

It was reported on Wednesday that Clinton told associates that she did not hear of the dossier until it was published in January by BuzzFeed. Clinton campaign spokesman Brian Fallon also said he was not aware of the campaign’s role in funding the dossier until earlier this week.

Top officials at the DNC also say they were unaware of Elias’ dossier efforts. CNN reported that former DNC chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz also told the Senate panel that she did not know who paid Fusion for the dossier.

Fusion had been investigating Trump since Sept. 2015 as part of a contract it had with a Republican donor who opposed the real estate tycoon. Fusion approached Perkins Coie in March 2016 after the Republican client dropped from the project. The following month, Perkins Coie hired Fusion to continue its investigation of Trump. Fusion hired Steele in June, and the former British spy would go on to write the 35 page dossier on Trump.

It is unclear how much the Clinton campaign and DNC ultimately paid for the dossier. They paid Perkins Coie a total of $12 million during the 2016 election cycle.
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Re: Our Man in London: The Scandal of the 35-Page ‘Intellige

Postby admin » Fri Oct 27, 2017 4:54 am

When Scandals Collide
by Andrew C. McCarth
October 25, 2017 9:44 AM

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As Rich noted last night, we have learned finally, courtesy of the Washington Post, that Fusion GPS, the research firm that produced the notorious “Trump Dossier,” was funded by the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign and the Democratic National Committee. Of course, the Clinton campaign and the DNC always want layers of deniability and obfuscation – and let’s note that it has served them well – so they hire lawyers to do the icky stuff rather than doing it directly. Then, when the you-know-what hits the fan, outfits like Fusion GPS try to claim that they can’t share critical information with investigators because of (among other things) attorney-client confidentiality concerns.

Here, the Clinton campaign and the DNC retained the law firm of Perkins Coie; in turn, one of its partners, Marc E. Elias, retained Fusion GPS. We don’t know how much Fusion GPS was paid, but the Clinton campaign and the DNC paid $9.1 million to Perkins Coie during the 2016 campaign (i.e., between mid-2015 and late 2016).

A friend draws my attention to an intriguing coincidence.

In its capacity as attorney for the DNC, Perkins Coie – through another of its partners, Michael Sussman – is also the law firm that retained CrowdStrike, the cyber security outfit, upon learning in April 2016 that the DNC’s servers had been hacked.

Interesting: Despite the patent importance of the physical server system to the FBI and Intelligence-Community investigation of Russian meddling in the 2016 election, the Bureau never examined the DNC servers. Evidently, the DNC declined to cooperate to that degree, and the Obama Justice Department decided not to issue a subpoena to demand that the servers be turned over (just like the Obama Justice Department decided not to issue subpoenas to demand the surrender of critical physical evidence in the Clinton e-mails investigation).

Instead, the conclusion that Russia is responsible for the invasion of the DNC servers rests on the forensic analysis conducted by CrowdStrike. Rather than do its own investigation, the FBI relied on a contractor retained by the DNC’s lawyers.


The most significant pressing question about the so-called Trump Dossier is whether it was used by the FBI and the Obama Justice Department to get a warrant from the FISA court to conduct national-security surveillance on people connected to the Trump campaign. As I have previously pointed out, this would not be as scandalous as it sounds if (a) the Justice Department had a good faith basis to believe the people the Bureau wanted to surveil were acting as agents of Russia, and (b) the FBI first corroborated whatever information it took from the dossier before presenting it to the FISA court.

But it certainly is interesting that we are once again, in a case involving alleged Russian espionage, reviewing a situation in which the FBI relied on a contractor retained by the DNC’s and the Clinton campaign’s lawyers at Perkins Coie.
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Re: Our Man in London: The Scandal of the 35-Page ‘Intellige

Postby admin » Fri Oct 27, 2017 5:12 am

Clinton campaign, DNC paid for research that led to Russia dossier
by Adam Entous, Devlin Barrett and Rosalind S. Helderman
Washington Post
October 24, 2017

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The Hillary Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee helped fund research that resulted in a now-famous dossier containing allegations about President Trump’s connections to Russia and possible coordination between his campaign and the Kremlin, people familiar with the matter said.

Marc E. Elias, a lawyer representing the Clinton campaign and the DNC, retained Fusion GPS, a Washington firm, to conduct the research.

After that, Fusion GPS hired dossier author Christopher Steele, a former British intelligence officer with ties to the FBI and the U.S. intelligence community, according to those people, who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

Elias and his law firm, Perkins Coie, retained the company in April 2016 on behalf of the Clinton campaign and the DNC. Before that agreement, Fusion GPS’s research into Trump was funded by an unknown Republican client during the GOP primary.

The Clinton campaign and the DNC, through the law firm, continued to fund Fusion GPS’s research through the end of October 2016, days before Election Day.

Fusion GPS gave Steele’s reports and other research documents to Elias, the people familiar with the matter said. It is unclear how or how much of that information was shared with the campaign and the DNC and who in those organizations was aware of the roles of Fusion GPS and Steele. One person close to the matter said the campaign and the DNC were not informed by the law firm of Fusion GPS’s role.

According to the Post, a source "close to the matter" said the Clinton campaign and the DNC were told of Fusion GPS’s role by the law firm.

-- Clinton Campaign, DNC Helped Fund Research That Became Notorious Trump ‘Dossier’, by Monica Alba, Ken Dilanian and Phil Helsel, nbcnews.com


The dossier has become a lightning rod amid the intensifying investigations into the Trump campaign’s possible connections to Russia. Some congressional Republican leaders have spent months trying to discredit Fusion GPS and Steele and tried to determine the identity of the Democrat or organization that paid for the dossier.

Trump tweeted as recently as Saturday that the Justice Department and FBI should “immediately release who paid for it.”

Elias and Fusion GPS declined to comment on the arrangement.

A DNC spokeswoman said “[Chairman] Tom Perez and the new leadership of the DNC were not involved in any decision-making regarding Fusion GPS, nor were they aware that Perkins Coie was working with the organization. But let’s be clear, there is a serious federal investigation into the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia, and the American public deserves to know what happened.”

Brian Fallon, a former spokesman for the Clinton campaign, said he wasn’t aware of the hiring during the campaign.

“The first I learned of Christopher Steele or saw any dossier was after the election,” Fallon said. “But if I had gotten handed it last fall, I would have had no problem passing it along and urging reporters to look into it. Opposition research happens on every campaign, and here you had probably the most shadowy guy ever running for president, and the FBI certainly has seen fit to look into it. I probably would have volunteered to go to Europe myself to try and verify if it would have helped get more of this out there before the election.”

Some of the details are included in a Tuesday letter sent by Perkins Coie to a lawyer representing Fusion GPS, telling the research firm that it was released from a ­client-confidentiality obligation. The letter was prompted by a legal fight over a subpoena for Fusion GPS’s bank records.

People involved in the matter said that they would not disclose the dollar amounts paid to Fusion GPS but that the campaign and the DNC shared the cost.

Steele previously worked in Russia for British intelligence. The dossier is a compilation of reports he prepared for Fusion GPS. The dossier alleged that the Russian government collected compromising information about Trump and that the Kremlin was engaged in an effort to assist his campaign for president.

U.S. intelligence agencies later released a public assessment asserting that Russia intervened in the 2016 election to aid Trump. The FBI has been investigating whether Trump associates helped the Russians in that effort.

Trump has adamantly denied the allegations in the dossier and has dismissed the FBI probe as a witch hunt.

Officials have said that the FBI has confirmed some of the information in the dossier. Other details, including the most sensational accusations, have not been verified and may never be.

Fusion GPS’s work researching Trump began during the Republican presidential primaries, when the GOP donor paid for the firm to investigate the real estate magnate’s background.

Fusion GPS did not start off looking at Trump’s Russia ties but quickly realized that those relationships were extensive, according to the people familiar with the matter.

When the Republican donor stopped paying for the research, Elias, acting on behalf of the Clinton campaign and the DNC, agreed to pay for the work to continue. The Democrats paid for research, including by Fusion GPS, because of concerns that little was known about Trump and his business interests, according to the people familiar with the matter.

Those people said that it is standard practice for political campaigns to use law firms to hire outside researchers to ensure their work is protected by attorney-client and work-product privileges.

The Clinton campaign paid Perkins Coie $5.6 million in legal fees from June 2015 to December 2016, according to campaign finance records, and the DNC paid the firm $3.6 million in “legal and compliance consulting’’ since November 2015 — though it’s impossible to tell from the filings how much of that work was for other legal matters and how much of it related to Fusion GPS.

At no point, the people said, did the Clinton campaign or the DNC direct Steele’s activities. They described him as a Fusion GPS subcontractor.

Steele's sources provided the bulk of the dossier, but Fusion co-founder Glenn Simpson and his partners were involved in the investigation, people familiar with the matter have told NBC News.

-- Clinton Campaign, DNC Helped Fund Research That Became Notorious Trump ‘Dossier’, by Monica Alba, Ken Dilanian and Phil Helsel, nbcnews.com


Some of Steele’s allegations began circulating in Washington in the summer of 2016 as the FBI launched its counterintelligence investigation into possible connections between Trump associates and the Kremlin. Around that time, Steele shared some of his findings with the FBI.

After the election, the FBI agreed to pay Steele to continue gathering intelligence about Trump and Russia, but the bureau pulled out of the arrangement after Steele was publicly identified in news reports.

The dossier was published by BuzzFeed News in January. Fusion GPS has said in court filings that it did not give BuzzFeed the documents.

Current and former U.S. intelligence officials said that Steele was respected by the FBI and the State Department for earlier work he performed on a global corruption probe.

In early January, then-FBI Director James B. Comey presented a two-page summary of Steele’s dossier to President Barack Obama and President-elect Trump. In May, Trump fired Comey, which led to the appointment of Robert S. Mueller III as special counsel investigating the Trump-Russia matter.

Congressional Republicans have tried to force Fusion GPS to identify the Democrat or group behind Steele’s work, but the firm has said that it will not do so, citing confidentiality agreements with its clients.

Last week, Fusion GPS executives invoked their constitutional right not to answer questions from the House Intelligence Committee. The firm’s founder, Glenn Simpson, had previously given a 10-hour interview to the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Over objections from Democrats, the Republican leader of the House Intelligence Committee, Rep. Devin Nunes (Calif.), subpoenaed Fusion GPS’s bank records to try to identify the mystery client.

Fusion GPS has been fighting the release of its bank records. A judge on Tuesday extended a deadline for Fusion GPS’s bank to respond to the subpoena until Friday while the company attempts to negotiate a resolution with Nunes.

Julie Tate contributed to this report.
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