A Web Untangled

The investigation into the “Russia hoax” is but a memory in the minds of many Americans, especially the more casual political observers. With inflation, supply chain issues, utter embarrassment overseas and the myriad other issues wrought by the Biden administration, it’s easy to put yesterday’s news on the back burner.

Unfortunately, this was not a mere ‘hoax.’ It was an orchestrated attempt by a political campaign—a political party even—to use the power of government and its propaganda media arm to sway the balance of power in this country. This is not a minor issue; it’s a serious one, and one we’d better understand fully lest it be used further and to greater effect by the entrenched powers that be to stop any challenge to their rule.

When U.S. Special Counsel John Durham was assigned to this case, many on the Right were ecstatic. His reputation preceded him as a methodical, apolitical and unrelenting prosecutor. If anyone would block out the noise from the Swamp to focus on the truth, it was Durham. Then, a lot of time passed — years even. This led to a feeling of here-we-go-again, yet another promising probe that would ultimately lead nowhere. But this episode has been a bit different. As time has gone by, indictments have begun to pile up and a picture is emerging. Maybe—just maybe—we will get to the bottom of this thing and (some measure of) justice will be done.

While we still lack the entire picture of what happened, we do have many more pieces to the puzzle thanks to John Durham and his team. In this piece, we’ll put these pieces together to see how much of the picture is coming together. When reading, it’s important to remember that this all revolves around the so-called Steele Dossier, the political document that was used in an effort to bring down the campaign. But this was not merely political propaganda, it was used to literally spy on members of the Trump campaign using our own government’s vast surveillance apparatus. Durham’s mission is to uncover everyone who had a hand in bringing that dossier to life and thus using the government against a presidential candidate and ultimately a President of the United States.

This is not a small story, and don’t allow the legacy media to convince you otherwise. This is about no less than the fair and legal functioning of our Republic.

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The First Pieces Emerge

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It began back in September of this year when a cybersecurity attorney known for his work advising Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign was indicted for lying to the FBI as part Durham’s probe into the origins of the FBI investigation of ties between Russia and the Trump campaign.

The culprit was Michael Sussmann, a former partner with Clinton law firm Perkins Coie, who also represented the Democratic National Committee — but I repeat myself. He was smack dab in the middle of Russia’s hack of the organization, thereby making him a subject matter expert of sorts as to what happened during that supposed hack. It’s quite curious, then, that he stands accused of making false statements during a Sept. 19, 2016, meeting with former FBI General Counsel James Baker. One would think that a cybersecurity attorney would be completely forthcoming in an effort to protect his client, who had supposedly been the victim of this heinous attack. That is, unless the attack was seen as a possible vehicle for creating an anti-Trump narrative.

The indictment accuses Sussmann of falsely telling Baker he did not represent any client when he met him to give the FBI white papers and other data files containing evidence of questionable cyber links between the Trump Organization and a Russian-based bank.

Perhaps you remember when the mainstream media reported breathlessly about a “possible link” between the Trump campaign and Alfa Bank, who apparently had servers connected to Trump Tower, which left-wing conspiracy theorists and their enablers in the legacy media heralded as the smoking gun of Trump/Russia collusion. The Russians hacked Hillary and the Alfa Banks servers proved Trump was behind it, at least in the minds of Trump-deranged resisters who would stop at nothing to justify their paranoid delusions.

And they had no shortage of help.

The indictment alleges that Sussmann turned over that information not as a “good citizen” but as an attorney representing a U.S. technology executive, an internet company and Clinton’s presidential campaign, details that he kept conspicuously quiet, and for good reason. Why would he omit that he was submitting this questionable ‘evidence’ as part of the Clinton campaign, if it were not part of a larger operation to sic the FBI on Trump?

Sussmann set up the meeting on behalf of a cyber-expert client, according to a statement put out by his lawyer. “Mr. Sussmann met with Mr. Baker because he and his client believed that the information raised national security concerns,” it said.

But if Sussman was genuinely and solely concerned about national security, why all the lies by omission?

We get our answer here. The indictment says the technology executive client who helped assemble the data Sussmann presented to the FBI had “exploited his access to non-public data at multiple Internet companies to conduct opposition research concerning Trump.”

And that connection to Alfa Bank that Sussman about which Sussman pretended to be so concerned? The FBI investigated, but ultimately concluded there was insufficient evidence of a “secret communications channel” between the Trump organization and Alfa. It was all nonsense.

What wasn’t nonsense, though, was that Sussman and his cyber “client” used the tools at their exposure to pry into private data in an effort to dig dirt on Trump. It was an opposition research operation from the word go and one that failed miserably. And now Sussman, who has now been forced to acknowledge he was acting on behalf of the Clinton campaign the entire time, needed an indictment bearing his name to come clean.

Sussman’s meeting with Baker was the predicate on which the FBI searched for connections between Trump, the Alfa Bank and Russia. The indictment details materials handed over to the FBI by Sussman that were prepared by an investigative firm. The name of that investigative firm? You guessed it — Fusion GPS. The same smear firm hired by the Clinton campaign via the law firm Perkins Coie to dig and dissimenate dirt on Trump.

Sussman got the FBI to launch a serious investigation into the Trump campaign that served as little more than an addition to the opposition research push that was already underway. The real question here, in my opinion, is how hard they really had to twist the arm of the FBI. Given other facts we know about what the bureau was up to at that time, I’m forced to assume that the FBI knew exactly what Sussman and co. were up to and gladly joined the operation.

It’s sad that I must make that assumption, but after following this story for several years, logic and pattern recognition leave me no choice.

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The Centerpiece

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Durham did a fine job of revealing how Clinton World got the FBI to conduct official investigations based on their homemade disinformation. Now, he’s getting to the bottom of how the infamous Steele Dossier was assembled in the first place.

Durham has now brought false-statement charges against a Washington-based foreign policy researcher and Russian emigre who was a key source for the dossier on which the unconstitutional and un-American surveillance of the Trump presidential campaign was based.

The researcher, Igor Danchenko, 43, was arrested last Thursday in Northern Virginia on an indictment that Durham obtained charging the Russian-born operative with five felony counts of making false statements to the FBI. Danchenko was a key figure in the compilation of the dossier which was itself the key document that led to the entire phony investigation into Trump/Russia collusion, which we now know held the classified title of “Crossfire Hurricane.” But Danchenko, a Russian emigre living in the U.S., seems unlikely to be the Durham investigation’s apex defendant. In fact, Durham describes him as more of a shill than a spy, an “investigator” who was fed what to report by Clinton operatives, namely Charles Dolan.

And who is Charles Dolan?

Short answer: A Clinton lackey. Long answer: a Clinton lackey up to his neck in this Russia scam.

Formerly a top aide to Hillary, Dolan is identified in the latest indictment only as “PR-Executive 1.”

Dolan cut his teeth in Dem politics back in the 70’s but rose to prominence in 1983, when he was named the founding executive director of the Democratic Governors Association.

After leaving the DGA, Dolan was a member of Bill Clinton’s presidential exploratory committee, then served as Virginia state chairman for the Clinton-Gore campaign in both 1992 and 1996. (On both occasions, Clinton won the election, but lost the commonwealth.) After winning his second term, Clinton appointed Dolan to two four-year terms as the vice-chairman of the State Department’s Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy.

Dolan returned to the Democratic campaign trail in 2004, serving as a senior communications consultant for John Kerry’s unsuccessful White House bid. Four years later, he advised Hillary Clinton in Iowa and New Hampshire during her unsuccessful campaign for the Democratic nomination.

Suffice it to say, Dolan and the Clintons are thick as thieves. And their thievery would be brought to new heights after Dolan left the Clintons for, shall we say, ‘greener’ pastures in the mid-2000’s. It was around that time that Dolan began cultivating connections in Russia.

In 2006, the Kremlin had signed a deal with Ketchum, the PR firm where Dolan rose to become senior vice president for public affairs. As part of the agreement, according to the indictment, Ketchum was to “handle global public relations for the Russian government” as well as state-owned energy company Gazprom.

As a result, the indictment states, Dolan “frequently interacted with senior Russian Federation leadership whose names would later appear” in the dossier, such as Putin spokesman Dmitry Peskov and then-Russian ambassador to the US Sergey Kislyak.

According to the indictment, Dolan and Danchenko were on speaking terms by April 2016, having discussed a “potential business collaboration” involving Dolan’s new PR firm, kglobal.

Danchenko ran into trouble, however, when he intentionally misled the FBI by denying in a 2017 interview that he had spoken to Dolan about any material contained in the file, according to the charging document. As it turned out, Dolan was Danchenko’s primary source for a section of the dossier that analyzed Paul Manafort’s resignation as Trump’s campaign chairman in August of 2016.

Dolan’s apparent stenographer, Igor Danchenko, appeared before a magistrate judge at the federal courthouse in Alexandria, Va., on last Thursday afternoon. His defense lawyer tried to enter a plea of not guilty, but the judge said that was premature before releasing him on bond. The lawyer said nothing afterward.

The indictment said Danchenko falsely told the FBI that he had not discussed the claims in the dossier with Dolan — an odd lie to tell considering Danchenko was supposedly a mere conduit for Dolan’s info. But, the indictment said, the executive (Dolan) — who in his professional career frequently interacted with Eurasian clients, with a particular focus on Russia — was a source for some of the claims, including gossip about the ouster of Paul Manafort as Trump’s campaign chairman.

Further proof of Dolan as the primary dossier-whisperer is an earlier declaration by Olga Galkina, one of Danchenko’s sources, as someone to whom Danchenko had introduced her; the indictment also said that the executive and a source who appears to be Ms. Galkina had regular interactions, including in ways that indicated they supported Hillary’s campaign.

The fools just couldn’t help praising Hillary, even while executing her latest shady deed.

The indictment linked Dolan to Danchenko in several other ways. It said he had lunch with Danchenko in Moscow in June 2016. At the time, Mr. Dolan was staying in the same Moscow hotel where the dossier claimed that Russian intelligence made a blackmail tape involving Mr. Trump and prostitutes.

Yes, you read that correctly: the hotel where Trump supposedly paid prostitutes to pee on Obama’s bed is the same hotel in which the dossier was concocted. Ain’t that sumpin’.

Dolan toured the presidential suite, the indictment said, and a hotel staff member told him that Trump had stayed there — but Dolan and another person on the tour told the FBI that the staff member did not mention any salacious activity.

Given that Dolan was present at places and events where Mr. Danchenko collected information for the dossier, the indictment said, the researcher’s “subsequent lie” about Dolan’s connection to it “was highly material to the FBI’s investigation of these matters.”

The other four false-statement charges concern Danchenko’s claims to the FBI about purported interactions with Sergei Millian, a former president of the Russian-American Chamber of Commerce, as a potential source for the dossier. (The indictment did not explicitly name Mr. Millian, who has previously said that Danchenko reached out to him but that he never responded.)

Danchenko told the FBI that he received a phone call in late July 2016 from a Russian-sounding person who did not identify himself but whom Danchenko took to be Millian, and that he had arranged to meet the businessman in New York but Millian did not show up.

But the indictment said it was not true that Danchenko believed he had spoken to Millian in late July. It cited an email Danchenko sent to Millian in August, following up on an earlier email to which Millian had apparently not responded. The wording of that August email was inconsistent with the claim of a recent phone call, the indictment said.

The flaws in the Steele dossier and Danchenko’s 2017 interviews with FBI agents played a central role in a high-profile 2019 report by the Justice Department’s inspector general, although the IG at the time lacked the intestinal fortitude to declare anyone to be a liar.

If you’ll recall, that IG report cited the myriad ways in which Danchenko’s description of his sourcing suggested the material was thinner and more speculative than how Christopher Steele later drafted them, and it faulted the FBI for continuing to cite material from the dossier in wiretap renewal applications without alerting judges that a reason had arisen to doubt its credibility, as if it was all just some sort of big “oopsie” moment and not a blatant lie used to spy on American citizens.

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Big Picture

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So, for those keeping score at home: The primary source of the ‘information’ in the dossier was a Democrat operative who personally worked for the Clintons. And the law firm who paid for said dossier was hired by the Clintons. The dossier may as well have been printed and published at Clinton Foundation Headquarters.

But you already knew that. It’s not as if this is some sort of huge secret. The shady origins of the insultingly political dossier were apparent to anyone capable of formulating critical thought. Now, there are but two stages left in this saga: details and accountability. The equal parts laughable and outrageous comments of those perpetrating this travesty lead me to believe that the latter may be out of reach.

In an interview with The Failing New York Times in 2020, Danchenko defended the integrity of his work, saying he had been tasked to gather “raw intelligence” and was simply passing it on to Mr. Steele. This is the same Igor Danchenko, mind you, that made his name as a Russian analyst by nitpicking and exposing the dubious origins of every written and oral presentation ever given by Vladimir Putin. But when it comes to the veracity of comically absurd info regarding Putin collaborating with Donald Trump, well, how would he know what’s real and what’s not? Don’t ask him — he just works here.

Perhaps the most telling item—or damning, depending on one’s perspective—is a book given to Danchenko by his good friend, the oft-mentioned Clinton operative Charles Dolan. Inside the front cover of the book is a message written to Danchenko from Dolan himself: “To my good friend … A Great Democrat.”

The book in question? An autobiography of none other than Hillary Clinton.

Perhaps the grand jury that has issued Durham’s indictments thus far will be naive enough to think that message like that are simple and innocent. Perhaps they will see Danchenko and Dolan as innocent men fooled by the Clinton campaign into doing their election year dirty work. I suppose it’s plausible. I mean, partisan fervor can give way to profound cognitive dissonance in certain circumstances. After all, that Trump fellow seemed like he was up to no good. Who’s to say Putin wasn’t up to no good right there with them?

Perhaps Danchenko was used by Dolan. Perhaps both Dolan and Danchenko were used by the Clintons. I suppose a case can be made, though it won’t be by me. I am thrilled to see these men answering for their deeds. I look forward to hearing the excuses their lawyers drum up in a court of law.

But one burning question still remains:

What is the FBI’s excuse?

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treysoldier

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