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January 4, 2018

More Evidence the FBI Fixated on Trump, Fixed for Clinton

This is how banana republics operate, not republics defined by constitutional Rule of Law.

The never-ending story of Donald Trump, Russia, Hillary Clinton and the FBI continues. Today’s highlights include some important markers.

On Aug. 24, 2017, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and FBI Director Christopher Wray received subpoenas from the House Intelligence Committee to turn over any documents related to the phony anti-Donald Trump dossier produced by British spook Christopher Steele for Fusion GPS. The same dossier that was funded by Hillary Clinton and the DNC. The exceedingly generous deadline for subpoena compliance was yesterday, so, naturally, these officials filled the interim with delays and excuses, waiting until Wednesday evening to agree to a deal with Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes to provide the requested information. Nunes last week threatened the pair with contempt charges if they failed to do so. We’ll see what revelations we learn.

Speaking of Fusion GPS, its founders, former Wall Street Journal reporters Glenn Simpson and Peter Fritsch, penned a New York Times op-ed claiming victim status in Republicans’ “fake investigations.” The pair seek to rebut the charge at the center of it all — that the dossier prompted the FBI’s investigation into Trump/Russian “collusion” in the first place: “We don’t believe the Steele dossier was the trigger for the F.B.I.‘s investigation into Russian meddling.”

However, as former federal prosecutor Andrew McCarthy outlines in what we consider an indispensable timeline of the dossier and the FBI, their claim is less than believable. While the FBI and Justice Department continue to stonewall on their use of the dossier, McCarthy asserts, “Contrary to what I hoped would be the case, I’ve come to believe Steele’s claims were used to obtain FISA surveillance authority for an investigation of Trump.”

The Wall Street Journal responded to the Fusion GPS op-ed in an editorial thoroughly debunking its claims: “Let’s see. The Clinton campaign hires Fusion GPS, an opposition research firm, to investigate the Trump campaign. Fusion hires a former British spy, Christopher Steele, who produces a dossier based on Russian sources full of rumor, hearsay and an occasional fact to allege collusion between the Kremlin and Trump campaign. The dossier gets to the FBI, which uses it to justify opening a counterintelligence probe of the Trump campaign, perhaps including a judicial warrant to spy on Trump officials. Then Fusion has Mr. Steele privately brief select media reporters, ensuring that the dossier’s contents become public before the election. And now Fusion GPS complains about being a victim? Only in Washington, folks.”

Meanwhile, there’s the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s illegal activities with her private email server. Republican investigators say they’ve uncovered hard evidence that the FBI knew Clinton broke the law and that at least one witness lied to the FBI — in this case the technical expert who worked for Bleach Bit and wiped Clinton’s server (“like with a cloth or something”) after a congressional subpoena. His admission of lying came one day after James Comey began drafting his statement exonerating Clinton. That and other outstanding FBI evidence gathering, plus interviews with 17 witnesses including Clinton herself, meant that damning information was still coming to light even as Comey was letting Clinton off the hook. The lying witness wasn’t prosecuted; he was given an immunity deal.

All of the above is how banana republics operate, not republics defined by constitutional Rule of Law. And yet somehow, nothing is surprising any longer.

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