The Russian Conspiracy as RI subject

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Re: The Russian Conspiracy as RI subject

Postby JackRiddler » Thu May 23, 2019 11:08 am

liminal, I don't get it?

Trump pulled the stunt day ago of walking out on a Schumer & Pelosi meeting again, demanding they stop all investigations if they want legislative compromises, etc.

Given the childish psychology, this illustrates what Trump really wants. The calculation is that the investigations will benefit him. I agree, if they continue along the line of #Russiagate. The real business frauds and real illegal policy stuff and human rights violations and especially the planning and sparking of new wars need to be emphasized. There also must be a consideration of what will actually work, both in the institutional case and above all with the people. This is unavoidable. Vast majorities don't give a shit about the #Russiagate cult and its obsessions, especially now that Saint Mueller confirmed it was bullshit except the obstruction (which is very fucked up but also remarkably routine for this Rogue Nation).

Unfortunately that is not the case. Those pushing for investigations seem to want to walk in to yet another round of losing to this bozo on the Red Scare fantasy, which has become central to his reelection campaign. The endless electoral malpractice of the Clintonistas continues.

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Re: The Russian Conspiracy as RI subject

Postby liminalOyster » Thu May 23, 2019 1:07 pm

JackRiddler » Thu May 23, 2019 11:08 am wrote:liminal, I don't get it?

Trump pulled the stunt day ago of walking out on a Schumer & Pelosi meeting again, demanding they stop all investigations if they want legislative compromises, etc.

Given the childish psychology, this illustrates what Trump really wants. The calculation is that the investigations will benefit him. I agree, if they continue along the line of #Russiagate. The real business frauds and real illegal policy stuff and human rights violations and especially the planning and sparking of new wars need to be emphasized. There also must be a consideration of what will actually work, both in the institutional case and above all with the people. This is unavoidable. Vast majorities don't give a shit about the #Russiagate cult and its obsessions, especially now that Saint Mueller confirmed it was bullshit except the obstruction (which is very fucked up but also remarkably routine for this Rogue Nation).

Unfortunately that is not the case. Those pushing for investigations seem to want to walk in to yet another round of losing to this bozo on the Red Scare fantasy, which has become central to his reelection campaign. The endless electoral malpractice of the Clintonistas continues.

.


Was thinking of your comment that Israeli election interference would receive an iota (if that) of the volume of RG news/promotion, and how the Putin Octopus images on cover of time etc are perfectly acceptable but that a version similarly implicating Israel would be obviously (and rightly in historical context) seen as anti-semitic. Which had me wondering for a moment about the base similarity to old-timey anti-ZOG prats. I just liked the idea of a desperate Robbie Mook c July 2016 proposing that maybe such a CT was ripe for appropriation. Nothing more.
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Re: The Russian Conspiracy as RI subject

Postby JackRiddler » Thu May 23, 2019 5:55 pm

I didn't think any more, certainly not from you! Merely didn't get what you meant.

I expect the origins of #Russiagate go back a bit before its full activation, at least as a contingency plan that was activated after the data captures from DNC. Also, since the FBI was doubtless spying on campaigns as it always has, "Russia" may have initially served as well as any excuse for the warrant.

This one goes into speculative detail on possible origins.

https://consortiumnews.com/2019/05/07/h ... s-election

consortiumnews.com
How US and Foreign Intel Agencies Interfered in a US Election

By Larry C. Johnson
Sic Semper Tyrannis

The preponderance of evidence makes this very simple–there was a broad, coordinated effort by the Obama Administration, with the help of foreign governments, to target Donald Trump and paint him as a stooge of Russia.

The Mueller Report provides irrefutable evidence that the so-called Russian collusion case against Donald Trump was a deliberate fabrication by intelligence and law enforcement organizations in the United States and the United Kingdom and organizations aligned with the Clinton Campaign.

The New York Times reported that a man with a long history of working with the CIA, and a female FBI informant, traveled to London in September of 2016 and tried unsuccessfully to entrap George Papadopolous. The biggest curiosity is that U.S. intelligence or law enforcement officials fully briefed British intelligence on what they were up to. Quite understandable given what we now know about British spying on the Trump Campaign.

The Mueller investigation of Trump “collusion” with Russia prior to the 2016 Presidential election focused on eight cases:

Proposed Trump Tower Project in Moscow
George Papadopolous
Carter Page
Dimitri Simes
Veselnetskya Meeting at Trump Tower (June 16, 2016)
Events at Republican Convention
Post-Convention Contacts with Russian Ambassador Kislyak
Paul Manafort
One simple fact emerges–of the eight cases or incidents of alleged Trump Campaign interaction with the Russians investigated by the Mueller team, the proposals to interact with the Russian Government or with Putin originated with FBI informants, MI-6 assets or people paid by Fusion GPS, and not Trump or his people.

There is not a single instance where Donald Trump or any member of his campaign team initiated contact with the Russians for the purpose of gaining derogatory information on Hillary or obtaining support to boost the Trump campaign. Not one.

Simply put, Trump and his campaign were the target of an elaborate, wide ranging covert action designed to entrap him and members of his team as an agent of Russia.

Let’s look in detail at each of the cases.

THE PROPOSED TRUMP TOWER PROJECT IN MOSCOW, according to Mueller’s report, originated with an FBI Informant–Felix Sater. Here’s what the Mueller Report states:

“In the late summer of 2015, the Trump Organization received a new inquiry about pursuing a Trump Tower project in Moscow. In approximately September 2015, Felix Sater . . . contacted Cohen (i.e., Michael Cohen) on behalf of I.C. Expert Investment Company (I.C. Expert), a Russian real-estate development corporation controlled by Andrei Vladimirovich Rozov. Sater had known Rozov since approximately 2007 and, in 2014, had served as an agent on behalf of Rozov during Rozov’s purchase of a building in New York City. Sater later contacted Rozov and proposed that I.C. Expert pursue a Trump Tower Moscow project in which I.C. Expert would license the name and brand from the Trump Organization but construct the building on its own. Sater worked on the deal with Rozov and another employee of I.C. Expert.” (see page 69 of the Mueller Report).



Sater: FBI informant

Mueller, as noted previously, is downright dishonest in failing to identify Sater as an FBI informant. Sater was not just a private entrepreneur looking to make some coin. He was a fully signed up FBI informant. Sater’s status as an FBI snitch was first exposed in 2012. Sater also was a boyhood chum of Michael Cohen, the target being baited in this operation. Another inconvenient fact excluded from the Mueller report is that one of Mueller’s Chief Prosecutors, Andrew Weissman, signed the deal with Felix Sater in December 1998 that put Sater into the FBI Informant business.

All suggestions for meeting with the Russian Government, including Putin, originated with Felix Sater. The use of Sater on this particular project started in September 2015.

[For more on Sater please see my previous posts, Felix Sater–The Rosetta Stone for the FBI/CIA Conspiracy Against Trump?, Felix Sater and the Steele Dossier.]

GEORGE PAPADOPOLOUS



Papadopolous

Papadopolous was targeted by British and U.S. intelligence starting in late December 2015, when he is offered out of the blue a job with the London Centre of International Law and Practice Limited (LCILP)?. The LCILP has all of the hallmarks of an intelligence front company. LCILP began as an offshoot from another company?—?EN Education Group Limited?—?which describes itself as “a global education consultancy, facilitating links between students, education providers and organisations with an interest in education worldwide”.

EN Education and LCILP are owned and run by Nagi Khalid Idris, a 48-year-old British citizen of Sudanese origin. For no apparent reason Idris offers Papadopolous a job as the Director of the LCILP’s International Energy and Natural Resources Division. Then in March of 2016, Idris and Arvinder Sambei (who acted as an attorney for the FBI on a 9-11 extradition case in the UK), insist on introducing Joseph Mifsud to Papadopolous.

It is Joseph Mifsud who introduces the idea of meeting Putin following a lunch in London (from Papadopolous’s book “Deep State Target: How I Got Caught in the Crosshairs of the Plot to Bring Down President Trump”):

“The lunch is booked for March 24 at the Grange Holborn Hotel,. . . . “When I get there, Mifsud is waiting for me in the lobby with an attractive, fashionably dressed young woman with dirty blonde hair at his side. He introduces her as Olga Vinogradova.” (p. 76)

“Mifsud sells her hard. “Olga is going to be your inside woman to Moscow. She knows everyone.” He tells me she was a former official at the Russian Ministry of Trade. Then he waxes on about introducing me to the Russian ambassador in London.” (p. 77)

“On April 12, “Olga” writes: “I have already alerted my personal links to our conversation and your request. The embassy in London is very much aware of this. As mentioned, we are all very excited by the possibility of a good relationship with Mr. Trump. The Russian Federation would love to welcome him once his candidature would be officially announced.”

And it is Mifsud who raises the possibility of getting dirt on Hillary:

“Then Mifsud returns from the Valdai conference. On April 26 we meet for breakfast at the Andaz Hotel, near Liverpool Street Station, one of the busiest train stations in London. He’s in an excellent mood and claims he met with high-level Russian government officials. But once again, he’s very short on specifics. This is becoming a real pattern with Mifsud. He hasn’t offered any names besides Timofeev. Then, he leans across the table in a conspiratorial manner. The Russians have “dirt” on Hillary Clinton, he tells me. “Emails of Clinton,” he says. “They have thousands of emails.”

Here again we encounter the lying and obfuscation of the Mueller team. They falsely characterize Mifsud as an agent of Russia. In fact, he has close and longstanding ties to both British and U.S. intelligence (Disobedient Media lays out the Mifsud mystery in detail).



Mifsud: Ties to UK intelligence. (Flickr)

Mifsud was not alone. The FBI and the CIA also were in the game of trying to entrap Papadopolous. In September of 2016, Papadopolous was being wined and dined by Halper (who has longstanding ties to the U.S. intelligence community) and Azra Turk, an FBI Informant/researcher (see New York Times).

The FBI disingenuously claims they ran Azra Turk at Papadopolous because they were alarmed ostensibly by Russia’s attempts to disrupt the 2016 election. But Papadopolous was not seeking out Russian contacts. He was being baited. It was Mifsud and others tied to British and U.S. intelligence who were bringing up the “opportunity” to work with the Russians.

CARTER PAGE

The section of the Mueller report that deals with Carter Page is a total travesty. Mueller and his team, for example, initially misrepresent Page’s status with the Trump campaign—he is described as “working” for the campaign, which implies a paid position, when he was in fact only a volunteer foreign policy advisor. Mueller also paints Page’s prior experience and work in Russia as evidence that Page was being used by Russian intelligence, but says nothing about the fact that Page was being regularly debriefed by the CIA and the FBI during the same period. In other words, Page was cooperating with U.S. intelligence and law enforcement. But this fact is omitted in the Mueller report.



Page: Cooperated with US intel.

Mueller eventually accurately describes Page’s role in the Trump campaign as follows:

“In January 2016, Page began volunteering on an informal, unpaid basis for the Trump Campaign after Ed Cox, a state Republican Party official, introduced Page to Trump Campaign officials. Page told the Office that his goal in working on the Campaign was to help candidate Trump improve relations with Russia. To that end, Page emailed Campaign officials offering his thoughts on U.S.-Russia relations, prepared talking points and briefing memos on Russia, and proposed that candidate Trump meet with President Vladimir Putin in Moscow.

“In communications with Campaign officials, Page also repeatedly touted his high-level contacts in Russia and his ability to forge connections between candidate Trump and senior Russian governmental officials. For example, on January 30, 2016, Page sent an email to senior Campaign officials stating that he had “spent the past week in Europe and had been in discussions with some individuals with close ties to the Kremlin” who recognized that Trump could have a “game-changing effect . .. in bringing the end of the new Cold War. The email stated that ” [t]hrough [his] discussions with these high level contacts,” Page believed that “a direct meeting in Moscow between Mr. Trump and Putin could be arranged.”

The Mueller presentation portrays Carter Page in a nefarious, negative light. His contacts with Russia are characterized as inappropriate and unjustified. Longstanding business experience in a particular country is not proof of wrong doing. No consideration is given at all to Page’s legitimate concerns raising about the dismal state of U.S./Russia relations following the U.S. backed coup in the Ukraine and the subsequent annexation of Crimea by Russia.

Page’s association with the Trump campaign was quite brief—he lasted seven months, being removed as a foreign policy advisor on Sept. 24. Page was not identified publicly as a Trump foreign policy advisor until March of 2016, but the evidence presented in the Mueller report clearly indicates that Page was already a target of intelligence agencies, in the U.S. and abroad, long before the FISA warrant of Oct. 2016.

While serving on the foreign policy team Page continued his business and social contacts in Russia, but was never tasked by the Trump team to pursue or promote contacts with Putin and his team. In fact, Page’s proposals, suggestions and recommendations were either ignored or directly rebuffed.

The timeline reported in the Mueller report regarding Page’s trip to Russia in early July raises questions about the intel collected on that trip and the so-called “intel” revealed in the Steele Dossier with respect to Page. Carter admits to meeting with individuals, such as Dmitry Peskov and Igor Sechin, who appear in the Steele Dossier. Page’s meetings in Moscow turned out to be innocuous and uneventful. Nothing he did resembled clandestine activity. Yet, the Steele report on that visit suggested just the opposite and used the tactic of guilt by association to imply that Page was up to something dirty.

The bottomline for Mueller is that Page did not do anything wrong and no one in the Trump Campaign embraced his proposals for closer ties with Russia.

DMITRI SIMES



Dmitri Simes

The targeting and investigation of Dmitri Simes is disgusting and an abuse of law enforcement authority. Full disclosure. I know Dmitri. For awhile, in the 2002-2003 time period, I was a regular participant at Nixon Center events. For example, I was at a round table in December 2002 on the imminent invasion of Iraq. Colonel Pat Lang sat on one side of me and Ambassador Joe Wilson on the other. Directly across the table was Charles Krauthammer. Dmitri ran an honest seminar.

The entire section on Dmitri Simes, under other circumstances, could be viewed as something bizarre and amusing. But the mere idea that Simes was somehow an agent of Putin and a vehicle for helping Trump work with the Russians to steal the 2016 election is crazy and idiotic. Those in the FBI who were so stupid as to buy into this nonsense should have their badges and guns taken away. They are too dumb to work in law enforcement.

Dmitri’s only sin was to speak calmly, intelligently and rationally about foreign policy dealings with Russia. We now know that in this new hysteria of the 21st Century Russian scare that qualities such as reason and rationality are proof of one’s willingness to act as a puppet of Vladimir Putin.

TRUMP TOWER MEETING (JUNE 9, 2016)

This is the clearest example of a plant designed to entrap the Trump team. Mueller, once again, presents a very disingenuous account:

“On June 9, 2016, senior representatives of the Trump Campaign met in Trump Tower with a Russian attorney expecting to receive derogatory information about Hillary Clinton from the Russian government. The meeting was proposed to Donald Trump Jr. in an email from Robert Goldstone, at the request of his then-client Emin Agalarov, the son of Russian real-estate developer Aras Agalarov. Goldstone relayed to Trump Jr. that the “Crown prosecutor of Russia … offered to provide the Trump Campaign with some official documents and information that would incriminate Hillary and her dealings with Russia” as “part of Russia and its government’s support for Mr. Trump.” Trump Jr. immediately responded that “if it’s what you say I love it,” and arranged the meeting through a series of emails and telephone calls.” …

The Russian attorney who spoke at the meeting, Natalia Veselnitskaya, had previously worked for the Russian government and maintained a relationship with that government throughout this period oftime. She claimed that funds derived from illegal activities in Russia were provided to Hillary Clinton and other Democrats. Trump Jr. requested evidence to support those claims, but Veselnitskaya did not provide such information.”



Natalia Veselnitskaya (Wikimedia)

Ignore for a moment that no information on Hillary was passed or provided (and doing such a thing is not illegal). The real problem is with what Mueller does not say and did not investigate. Mueller conveniently declines to mention the fact that Veselnitskaya was working closely with the firm Hillary Clinton hired to produce the Steele Dossier. NBC News reported on Veselnitskaya:

“The information that a Russian lawyer brought with her when she met Donald Trump Jr. in June 2016 stemmed from research conducted by Fusion GPS, the same firm that compiled the infamous Trump dossier, according to the lawyer and a source familiar with the matter.

In an interview with NBC News, Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya says she first received the supposedly incriminating information she brought to Trump Tower — describing alleged tax evasion and donations to Democrats — from Glenn Simpson, the Fusion GPS owner, who had been hired to conduct research in a New York federal court case.”

Even a mediocre investigator would recognize the problem of the relationship between the lawyer claiming to have dirty, damning info on Hillary with the firm Hillary hired to dig up dirt on Donald Trump. This was another botched set up and the Trump folks did not take the bait.

EVENTS AT THE REPUBLICAN NATIONAL CONVENTION

This portion of the Mueller report is a complete farce. Foreign ambassdors, including the Russian (and the Chinese) attend Republican and Democrat Conventions. Presidential candidates and their advisors speak to those ambassadors. So, where is the beef? Answer. There isn’t any. That this “event” was considered something worthy of a counter intelligence investigation is just one more piece of evidence that law enforcement and intelligence were weaponized against the Trump campaign.

POST-CONVENTION CONTACTS WITH RUSSIAN AMBASSADOR KISLYAK

Ditto. As noted in the previous paragraph, trying to criminalize normal diplomatic contacts, especially with a country where we share important, vital national security interests, is but further evidence of the crazy anti-Russian hysteria that has infected the anti-Trumpers. Pathetic.

MANAFORT



Manafort at 2016 RNC Convention. (Wikimedia Commons)

If Paul Manafort had rebuffed Trump’s offer to run his campaign, he would be walking free today and still buying expensive suits and evading taxes along with his Clinton buddy, Greg Craig. Instead, he became another target for DOJ, the intel community and the DNC, which were desperate to portray Trump as a tool of the Kremlin. Thanks to John Solomon of The Hill, we now know the impetus to target Manafort came from the DNC:

The boomerang from the Democratic Party’s failed attempt to connect Donald Trump to Russia’s 2016 election meddling is picking up speed, and its flight path crosses right through Moscow’s pesky neighbor, Ukraine. That is where there is growing evidence a foreign power was asked, and in some cases tried, to help Hillary Clinton.

In its most detailed account yet, Ukraine’s embassy in Washington says a Democratic National Committee insider during the 2016 election solicited dirt on Donald Trump’s campaign chairman and even tried to enlist the country’s president to help.

In written answers to questions, Ambassador Valeriy Chaly’s office says DNC contractor Alexandra Chalupa sought information from the Ukrainian government on Paul Manafort’s dealings inside the country, in hopes of forcing the issue before Congress.

Manafort was not colluding, but the Clinton campaign and the Obama Administration most certainly were.

Take these eight events as a whole a very clear picture emerges—U.S. and foreign intelligence (especially the UK) and U.S. law enforcement collaborated in a broad effort to bait the Trump team with ostensible Russian entreaties in order to paint Trump as a tool of the Kremlin. That effort is now being exposed and those culpable will hopefully face justice. This should sicken and alarm every American regardless of political party. Will justice be served?

Larry C. Johnson is a former CIA analyst and counterterrorism official at the State Department. This article first appeared on Sic Semper Tyrannis.
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Re: The Russian Conspiracy as RI subject

Postby Elvis » Fri May 24, 2019 1:52 am

^^^^
Mueller, as noted previously, is downright dishonest in failing to identify Sater as an FBI informant. Sater was not just a private entrepreneur looking to make some coin. He was a fully signed up FBI informant. Sater’s status as an FBI snitch was first exposed in 2012. Sater also was a boyhood chum of Michael Cohen, the target being baited in this operation. Another inconvenient fact excluded from the Mueller report is that one of Mueller’s Chief Prosecutors, Andrew Weissman, signed the deal with Felix Sater in December 1998 that put Sater into the FBI Informant business.

All suggestions for meeting with the Russian Government, including Putin, originated with Felix Sater. The use of Sater on this particular project started in September 2015.


I must say, it does get interesting.

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Re: The Russian Conspiracy as RI subject

Postby JackRiddler » Fri Jun 07, 2019 9:36 pm

Sater is the long-term FBI asset, and now it's suddenly acceptable to say Kilimnik is the CIA's. Oh, sorry, a "State Department intelligence source."

Anyway, warning that this is The Hill.

https://thehill.com/opinion/white-house ... department

thehill.com

Key figure that Mueller report linked to Russia was a State Department intel source

In a key finding of the Mueller report, Ukrainian businessman Konstantin Kilimnik, who worked for Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort is tied to Russian intelligence.

But hundreds of pages of government documents — which special counsel Robert Mueller possessed since 2018 — describe Kilimnik as a “sensitive” intelligence source for the U.S. State Department who informed on Ukrainian and Russian matters.

Why Mueller’s team omitted that part of the Kilimnik narrative from its report and related court filings is not known. But the revelation of it comes as the accuracy of Mueller’s Russia conclusions face increased scrutiny.

The incomplete portrayal of Kilimnik is so important to Mueller’s overall narrative that it is raised in the opening of his report. “The FBI assesses” Kilimnik “to have ties to Russian intelligence,” Mueller’s team wrote on Page 6, putting a sinister light on every contact Kilimnik had with Manafort, the former Trump campaign chairman.

What it doesn’t state is that Kilimnik was a “sensitive” intelligence source for State going back to at least 2013 while he was still working for Manafort, according to FBI and State Department memos I reviewed.

Kilimnik was not just any run-of-the-mill source, either.

He interacted with the chief political officer at the U.S. Embassy in Kiev, sometimes meeting several times a week to provide information on the Ukraine government. He relayed messages back to Ukraine’s leaders and delivered written reports to U.S. officials via emails that stretched on for thousands of words, the memos show.

The FBI knew all of this, well before the Mueller investigation concluded.

Alan Purcell, the chief political officer at the Kiev embassy from 2014 to 2017, told FBI agents that State officials, including senior embassy officials Alexander Kasanof and Eric Schultz, deemed Kilimnik to be such a valuable asset that they kept his name out of cables for fear he would be compromised by leaks to WikiLeaks.

“Purcell described what he considered an unusual level of discretion that was taken with handling Kilimnik,” states one FBI interview report that I reviewed. “Normally the head of the political section would not handle sources, but Kasanof informed Purcell that KILIMNIK was a sensitive source.”

Purcell told the FBI that Kilimnik provided “detailed information about OB (Ukraine’s opposition bloc) inner workings” that sometimes was so valuable it was forwarded immediately to the ambassador. Purcell learned that other Western governments relied on Kilimnik as a source, too.

“One time, in a meeting with the Italian embassy, Purcell heard the Italian ambassador echo a talking point that was strikingly familiar to the point Kilimnik had shared with Purcell,” the FBI report states.

Kasanof, who preceded Purcell as the U.S. Embassy political officer, told the FBI he knew Kilimnik worked for Manafort’s lobbying firm and the administration of former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, whose Party of Regions hired Manafort’s firm.

Kasanof described Kilimnik as one of the few reliable insiders the U.S. Embassy had informing on Yanukovych. Kilimnik began his relationship as an informant with the U.S. deputy chief of mission in 2012–13, before being handed off to the embassy’s political office, the records suggest.

“Kilimnik was one of the only people within the administration who was willing to talk to USEMB,” referring to the U.S. Embassy, and he “provided information about the inner workings of Yanukovych’s administration,” Kasanof told the FBI agents.

“Kasanof met with Kilimnik at least bi-weekly and occasionally multiple times in the same week,” always outside the embassy to avoid detection, the FBI wrote. “Kasanof allowed Kilimnik to take the lead on operational security” for their meetings.

State officials told the FBI that although Kilimnik had Ukrainian and Russian residences, he did not appear to hold any allegiance to Moscow and was critical of Russia’s invasion of the Crimean territory of Ukraine.

“Most sources of information in Ukraine were slanted in one direction or another,” Kasanof told agents. “Kilimnik came across as less slanted than others.”

“Kilimnik was flabbergasted at the Russian invasion of Crimea,” the FBI added, summarizing Kasanof’s interview with agents.

Three sources with direct knowledge of the inner workings of Mueller’s office confirmed to me that the special prosecutor’s team had all of the FBI interviews with State officials, as well as Kilimnik’s intelligence reports to the U.S. Embassy, well before they portrayed him as a Russian sympathizer tied to Moscow intelligence or charged Kilimnik with participating with Manafort in a scheme to obstruct the Russia investigation.

Kasanof’s and Purcell’s interviews are corroborated by scores of State Department emails I reviewed that contain regular intelligence from Kilimnik on happenings inside the Yanukovych administration, the Crimea conflict and Ukrainian and Russian politics. For example, the memos show Kilimnik provided real-time intelligence on everything from whose star in the administration was rising or falling to efforts at stuffing ballot boxes in Ukrainian elections.

Those emails raise further doubt about the Mueller report’s portrayal of Kilimnik as a Russian agent. They show Kilimnik was allowed to visit the United States twice in 2016 to meet with State officials, a clear sign he wasn’t flagged in visa databases as a foreign intelligence threat.

The emails also show how misleading, by omission, the Mueller report’s public portrayal of Kilimnik turns out to be.

For instance, the report makes a big deal about Kilimnik’s meeting with Manafort in August 2016 at the Trump Tower in New York.

By that time, Manafort had served as Trump’s campaign chairman for several months but was about to resign because of a growing controversy about the millions of dollars Manafort accepted as a foreign lobbyist for Yanukovych’s party.

Specifically, the Mueller report flagged Kilimnik’s delivery of a peace plan to the Trump campaign for settling the two-year-old Crimea conflict between Russia and Ukraine.

“Kilimnik requested the meeting to deliver in person a peace plan for Ukraine that Manafort acknowledged to the Special Counsel’s Office was a ‘backdoor’ way for Russia to control part of eastern Ukraine,” the Mueller report stated.

But State emails showed Kilimnik first delivered a version of his peace plan in May 2016 to the Obama administration during a visit to Washington. Kasanof, his former handler at the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine, had been promoted to a top policy position at State, and the two met for dinner on May 5, 2016.

The day after the dinner, Kilimnik sent an email to Kasanof’s official State email address recounting the peace plan they had discussed the night before.

Russia wanted “a quick settlement” to get “Ukraine out of the way and get rid of sanctions and move to economic stuff they are interested in,” Kilimnik wrote Kasanof. The email offered eight bullet points for the peace plan — starting with a ceasefire, a law creating economic recovery zones to rebuild war-torn Ukrainian regions, and a “presidential decree on amnesty” for anyone involved in the conflict on both sides.

Kilimnik also provided a valuable piece of intelligence, stating that the old Yanukovych political party aligned with Russia was dead. “Party of Regions cannot be reincarnated. It is over,” he wrote, deriding as “stupid” a Russian-backed politician who wanted to restart the party.

Kasanof replied the next day that, although he was skeptical of some of the intelligence on Russian intentions, it was “very important for us to know.”

He thanked Kilimnik for the detailed plan and added, “I passed the info to my bosses, who are chewing it over.” Kasanof told the FBI that he believed he sent Kilimnik’s peace plan to two senior State officials, including Victoria Nuland, President Obama’s assistant secretary of State for European and Eurasian affairs.

So Kilimnik’s delivery of the peace plan to the Trump campaign in August 2016 was flagged by Mueller as potentially nefarious, but its earlier delivery to the Obama administration wasn’t mentioned. That’s what many in the intelligence world might call “deception by omission.”

Lest you wonder, the documents I reviewed included evidence that Kasanof’s interview with the FBI and Kilimnik’s emails to State about the peace plan were in Mueller’s possession by early 2018, more than a year before the final report.

Officials for the State Department, the FBI, the Justice Department and Mueller’s office did not respond to requests for comment. Kilimnik did not respond to an email seeking comment but, in an email last month to The Washington Post, he slammed the Mueller report’s “made-up narrative” about him. “I have no ties to Russian or, for that matter, any intelligence operation,” he wrote.

Kilimnik holds Ukrainian and Russian citizenship, served in the Soviet military, attended a prestigious Russian language academy and had contacts with Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska. So it is likely he had contacts over the years with Russian intelligence figures. There also is evidence Kilimnik left the U.S.-funded International Republican Institute (IRI) in 2005 because of concerns about his past connections to Russia, though at least one IRI witness disputed that evidence to the FBI, the memos show.

Yet, omitting his extensive, trusted assistance to the State Department seems inexplicable.

If Mueller’s team can cast such a misleading portrayal of Kilimnik, however, it begs the question of what else might be incorrect or omitted in the report.

Attorney General William Barr has said some of the Mueller report’s legal reasoning conflicts with Justice Department policies. And former Trump attorney John Dowd made a compelling case that Mueller’s report wrongly portrayed a phone message he left for a witness.

A few more such errors and omissions, and Americans may begin to wonder if the Mueller report is worth the paper on which it was printed.

John Solomon is an award-winning investigative journalist whose work over the years has exposed U.S. and FBI intelligence failures before the Sept. 11 attacks, federal scientists’ misuse of foster children and veterans in drug experiments, and numerous cases of political corruption. He serves as an investigative columnist and executive vice president for video at The Hill. Follow him on Twitter @jsolomonReports.
Last edited by JackRiddler on Sat Jun 08, 2019 7:09 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The Russian Conspiracy as RI subject

Postby The Consul » Sat Jun 08, 2019 2:43 am

Trump himself may have been an asset to anyone who'd tell him he is a genius with fantastic hair. Sader will be easier to melt the ice under, than Nader. Imagine how descriptions of the child abuse he found so irresistibly entertaining will square with his involvement with Trumpco. Still, gateway punditry may ensure Kilimnik is never seen in public again, but Sader is a dappling fish who wants his moment in history to shine above the waves whether he twists free of the hook that brought him there or not.
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Re: The Russian Conspiracy as RI subject

Postby JackRiddler » Sat Jun 08, 2019 7:59 am

.

Aaron Maté is always the ablest communicator on this issue.

At this point the report by the former WMD conspirator Mueller is the bait on a crude trap set for the branded "Resistance" and the Democrats. Anyone taking it at this point has no more excuses, whether of alleged trauma due to 2016 or of the plain ignorance of the over-educated: they are working for the Trump reelection strategy. Continuing Trump/Russia into the "obstruction" phase is the only wrong investigation, when nearly every other investigation of Trump businesses, the Trump cabinet, and the illegalities and atrocities of the Trump-Pence-GOP regime is warranted. Of course he should be impeached, as they all should have been; except for precisely the matter of non-existent Russian meddling and trolling dressed up as "obstruction." Trump couldn't be more obvious in his attempts to bait the Democrats into following this path so that he can crush them again by repeating the battle he already won. It's pretty gross to make me agree with Pelosi.

https://www.thenation.com/article/muell ... ate-trump/

www.thenation.com

It’s Time to Move on From Mueller

By Aaron Maté
June 5, 2019

Mueller doesn’t want to testify, and the public wants Democrats to focus on the issues that matter to them.

The prevailing view among prominent Democratic and media voices is that special counsel Robert Mueller, with his closing remarks last week, has referred President Trump’s impeachment to Congress. This consensus is worthy of careful consideration in light of what the investigation found, what Mueller said, and what the consequences of an impeachment attempt could be.

It is important to recall that Mueller did not indict anyone for a Trump-Russia conspiracy and that his investigation “did not establish” that such a plot occurred. The Mueller report’s first volume provides an exhaustive account of Trump campaign officials interacting with people who either hail from Russia or claim to have ties to it. None of these interactions offer any evidence of a conspiracy—in fact, they cumulatively undermine the case for it. On top of finding no evidence for a conspiracy prior to the election, Mueller reports in the aftermath that “Russian government officials and prominent Russian businessmen…appeared not to have preexisting contacts and struggled to connect with senior officials around the President-Elect.” If top Russian officials and elites had really conspired with the Trump campaign before the election, it’s likely that they would have known whom to contact—and how to reach them—after their supposed plot succeeded.

Now that it has become no longer tenable to call Trump a Russian agent or accomplice, the goalposts have shifted. The main issue is no longer collusion, but Trump’s alleged obstruction of justice. Mueller’s choice of words at his closing news conference has been widely interpreted to endorse the narrative that Trump is guilty of an impeachment-worthy effort to interfere with the probe. But it is far from clear that that’s what Mueller meant. And even if that were a fair reading of Mueller’s remarks, it is another matter entirely whether that should spur congressional action.

For some the view that it is Congress’s duty to act rests on the assumption that Mueller would have otherwise indicted him if not for Department of Justice guidelines. Because the Office of Legal Counsel has determined that a president cannot be charged or prosecuted while in office, Mueller said that his team could “not reach a determination one way or the other about whether the president committed a crime.” But indicting someone for a crime is not the same as reaching a determination on whether they committed one. If Mueller believed that Trump was guilty of obstruction, he could have said so, and then let the Justice Department decide how to proceed.

Moreover, despite interpretations to the contrary, Mueller did not outright say he would have indicted Trump if not for the DOJ guidance. Mueller was explaining his decision to “not reach a determination one way or the other.” The point was reasserted in a joint statement from Mueller and Barr’s offices shortly after Mueller’s remarks. The statement reinforced Barr’s previous claim that Mueller had “repeatedly affirmed that he was not saying that, but for the [Office of Legal Counsel] opinion, he would have found the President obstructed justice.” If that is the case, then Mueller’s ambiguous invocation of DOJ guidelines could be interpreted as less of an appeal for Congress to act and more an excuse for his own decision not to.

Also hurting the case for congressional action against Trump is that Mueller’s most damning line against him was based on an inversion of a basic legal principle. Rather than determining whether or not Trump committed a crime, Mueller, in both his report and in his public statement, framed the issue around whether or not the evidence exonerates him of one. “If we had had confidence that the president clearly did not commit a crime, we would have said so,” Mueller said last week. But given that the US justice system is supposed to grant everyone the presumption of innocence, Mueller was under no obligation—and in fact, had no mandate—to clear Trump of a crime. His job was only to decide whether or not to accuse Trump of committing one.

With Mueller failing at his most basic task, it is difficult to see on what grounds Democrats would pick up where he left off. The baton he has passed them is weighed down by a final report that acknowledges it “did not establish that the President was involved in an underlying crime” related to election interference, punts on whether Trump obstructed the investigation, and offers up a head-spinning explanation for its indecision.

If that weren’t enough to dim impeachment hopes, Mueller erected more hurdles. He deflated a critical Democratic Party talking point since the close of his investigation: that Trump and Barr were engaged in a “cover-up” so dire that it had caused a “Constitutional crisis.” How exactly the “cover-up” occurred has always been unclear. The most embarrassing and possibly incriminating details of Trump’s behavior were learned from the testimony of his White House Counsel Don McGahn and other key aides. McGahn and company were able to relay those details to Mueller because Trump allowed them to testify. Trump did not assert executive privilege over any part of the report before Barr released it, allowing the public to consume all the details that Mueller included. In adherence to the law, Barr only withheld grand-jury material that was impossible to release publicly, a point conceded by legal experts summoned by Democrats for congressional testimony. According to Barr, Mueller’s team even caused a delay in the report’s release, because they ignored a request to highlight the grand-jury material that would need to be redacted.

The allegations of a cover-up peaked after the disclosure that Mueller had complained that Barr’s summary “did not fully capture the context, nature, and substance” of the report. But Mueller did not accuse Barr of misrepresenting his findings, and Barr testified that Mueller had told him that he believed Barr presented his conclusions accurately.

In his closing remarks, Mueller put the matter to rest when he confirmed that his dispute with Barr was indeed minor: “I requested that certain portions of the report be released”—the Mueller team’s summaries of each section—”and the attorney general preferred to make the entire report public all at once.” In the end, the dispute was not only negligible, but now meaningless: The full report was released minus the redactions required by law. It is for this reason, Mueller added, that “we appreciate that the attorney general made the report largely public,” which he acknowledged had been done in “good faith.”

So much for the cover-up. And like a first domino, Mueller’s comments knocked down adjacent speculation that his findings are being suppressed. After rampant fears that Barr and Trump would stop him from testifying, Mueller himself made clear that he has little interest in appearing before Congress. Even if he were to appear, he explained, “any testimony from this office would not go beyond our report,” and he personally “would not provide information beyond that which is already public.”

Mueller’s reluctance to testify not only torpedoes the theory that he is being thwarted but also the idea—we might say the hope—that he has something explosive yet to share. Prominent advocates of the Trump-Russia conspiracy theory still speculate that Mueller and his investigators uncovered reams of evidence that Trump is compromised by Putin, which have yet to see the light of day. The charge that Mueller and other top officials have somehow withheld something like this from Congress is laughable. If that weren’t obvious enough, the fact that Mueller himself feels no further need to comment about his investigation “beyond that which is already public” should put the remaining innuendo to rest.

In the absence of public evidence confirming the conspiracy theory, proponents have tried to reframe what’s available into something equally as damning. It is now considered suspect, even incriminating, that Trump and his associates supposedly welcomed Russia’s help and encouraged it publicly. But the strongest evidence for this charge is derived from a combination of fiction and humor. Yes, Donald Trump Jr. was enthusiastically receptive to an offer from Rob Goldstone, a British music publicist, for “official documents and information that would incriminate Hillary and her dealings with Russia.” But Goldstone was not actually speaking on behalf of the Russian government, and the “official documents and information” he offered were, in his words, “publicist puff”—in other words, lies.

On top of the indignation over Don Jr.’s accepting the Trump Tower meeting, pundits continue to harp on the fact that Trump encouraged Russian hacking at a July 2016 news conference. But Trump’s “Russia if you’re listening” comment was clearly a joke. If some of the most damaging evidence against the Trump campaign comes via a fake private offer and a public joke, it is difficult to see how seriously we can take the demands to hold them to account.

Mueller’s resistance to appearing before Congress offers yet one more hint: It is long past time for Democrats to stop relying on him. The savior figure was a role that Mueller did not deserve and could not fulfill. His tenure as FBI director included promoting the Iraqi WMD hoax and presiding over the mass arrest of hundreds of Muslim immigrants after 9/11. In his current post, Mueller was expected to validate a nonexistent Trump-Russia conspiracy and bring Trump’s presidency to an end. The best he could do was return a series of indictments of Trump associates on unrelated charges.

This is the background that Democrats have to grapple with as they decide whether to continue the investigation that Mueller has closed, or even intensify it with the opening of an impeachment process based on his report. Like Mueller, they too face political pressures, but unlike Mueller, those pressures are self-generated and carry political consequences—including whether or not they keep their jobs in 2020. It was Democratic leaders who chose to promote a conspiracy theory that Trump colluded with Russia and make it the centerpiece of the #Resistance. It is true that they now have to answer to their riled-up base, but it is equally true, and arguably more pressing, that they will soon have to contest a presidential and congressional election.

Success in 2020 will depend on Democrats’ ability to win over voters who either selected Trump in 2016 or who remain on the sidelines today. At this juncture, it is difficult to imagine that enough voters in swing states will choose the opposition party that prioritized a Russia conspiracy investigation that found no Russia conspiracy and an obstruction investigation that failed to reach a conclusion. Polls continue to show that Trump’s approval ratings remain steady in the aftermath of Mueller’s probe. Perhaps most significantly, voters continue to care very little about the Trump-Russia saga compared to issues that materially affect their lives. Meanwhile, Mueller has not only completed his investigation but has made clear that he does not want to take part in the ensuing political dogfight. After spending two years counting on Mueller to deliver, those who profess to care about defeating Trump may wish to focus their energies elsewhere.
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Re: The Russian Conspiracy as RI subject

Postby PufPuf93 » Sat Jun 08, 2019 2:48 pm

The Democratic party never needed the Mueller investigation to impeach Trump.

The Mueller investigation turned about just about how I expected only more byzantine in detail. Lots of cable news fodder too.

There were all sorts of cockroach Trumpians, right wing conservatives, greed heads, and Russians scurrying about as opportunists, individual actors with chaotic personal interests, but not a State-sponsored, coordinated, and pre-mediated effort. Just an unusual upswing in assholes being assholes.

So Mueller wasted time and made the effort murky and Trumpians can have the view that it is Democratic nonsense.

Yet the Democratic leadership refuses to start the impeachment process and worse clings to Mueller as the path to impeachment when there is a multitude of other more straight forward paths (financial crimes, political crimes, governing malfeasance.
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Re: The Russian Conspiracy as RI subject

Postby JackRiddler » Sat Jun 08, 2019 5:41 pm

PufPuf93 » Sat Jun 08, 2019 1:48 pm wrote:The Democratic party never needed the Mueller investigation to impeach Trump.

The Mueller investigation turned about just about how I expected only more byzantine in detail. Lots of cable news fodder too.

There were all sorts of cockroach Trumpians, right wing conservatives, greed heads, and Russians scurrying about as opportunists, individual actors with chaotic personal interests, but not a State-sponsored, coordinated, and pre-mediated effort. Just an unusual upswing in assholes being assholes.

So Mueller wasted time and made the effort murky and Trumpians can have the view that it is Democratic nonsense.

Yet the Democratic leadership refuses to start the impeachment process and worse clings to Mueller as the path to impeachment when there is a multitude of other more straight forward paths (financial crimes, political crimes, governing malfeasance.)


Hard to say if it was all intentional or if the original intents (such as to shift blame for the election) predictably led here.

Regarding this:

There were all sorts of cockroach Trumpians, right wing conservatives, greed heads, and Russians scurrying about as opportunists, individual actors with chaotic personal interests, but not a State-sponsored, coordinated, and pre-mediated effort. Just an unusual upswing in assholes being assholes.


Clearly, if the focus had been not "Russian" corruption but corruption generally, the "Russian" part would have been a small part of it and Trump Org would be exposed to prosecution as the criminal enterprise that it is.

Clearly, if the focus had been not on "Russian" election meddling but on election meddling of all kinds, foreign and domestic, there too clearly multiple jackpots would have been hit - just not the hoped-for Russian state meddling, which clearly had no effect on an otherwise highly manipulated election. But many people now believe this shit.

Yet the Democratic leadership refuses to start the impeachment process and worse clings to Mueller as the path to impeachment when there is a multitude of other more straight forward paths (financial crimes, political crimes, governing malfeasance.


Again, if Pelosi is blocking impeachment based on Mueller, good for her. It's a disaster. Insofar as she or others are blocking investigations and possible impeachment on the rest of these items, Mueller may have been meant to have this effect (or was taken as the right way to get this effect).

Taibbi has picked up the story in The Hill.

The Kilimnik stuff is just amazing. This was supposed to be the smokingest of smoking guns, the bit about Manafort passing polling data (obviously useless) to this guy as if he's the very eyes of Putin, and he's a State Department "intel informant."

Taibbi, by e-mail:

(Edit: It's also online at https://taibbi.substack.com/p/expos-in- ... es-mueller)


Exposé in "The Hill" Challenges Mueller, Media

Claim that would-be key Russiagate figure Konstantin Kilimnik is a longtime American informant might be a game-changing story – in a country with a real press corps


Jun 8
Public post


John Solomon of The Hill just came out with what could be a narrative-changing story. If news organizations that heavily covered Russiagate don’t at least check out this report – confirm it or refute it – few explanations other than bias will make sense.

In “Key figure that Mueller report linked to Russia was a State Department intel source,” Solomon asserts that Konstantin Kilimnik, the mysterious Ukrainian cohort of former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort, has been a “sensitive” source for the U.S. State department dating back to at least 2013, including “while he was still working for Manafort.”

Solomon describes Kilimnik meeting “several times a week” with the chief political officer of the U.S. Embassy in Kiev. Kilimnik “relayed messages back to Ukraine’s leaders and delivered written reports to U.S. officials via emails that stretched on for thousands of words,” according to memos Solomon reviewed.

Solomon’s report, which raises significant questions about an episode frequently described as the “heart” of the Mueller investigation (and was the subject of thousands of news stories), came out on June 6th. As of June 8th, here is the list of major news organizations that have followed up on his report:

The Washington Examiner

Fox News

That’s it. Nobody else has touched it.

Solomon is a controversial figure, especially to Democratic audiences. The Columbia Journalism Review has hounded him in the past for what it called “suspect” work, especially for pushing “less than meets the eye” stories that turned into right-wing talking points. The Washington Post has done stories citing Hill staffers who’ve complained that a trail of “Solomon investigations” that “veers rightward” was also misleading and lacking “context.” The Post likewise quoted staffers who complained that Solomon was making too much of texts between Lisa Page and Peter Strzok of the FBI.

On the Russiagate story, however, Solomon clearly has sources, as he’s repeatedly broken news about things that other reporters have heard about, but didn’t have in full. He reported about former British spy and FBI informant Christopher Steele speaking to Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Kathleen Kavelec before the 2016 election, among other things admitting he’d been speaking to the media. Solomon also reported that Kavelec’s notes about Steele had been passed to the FBI, eight days before the FBI described Steele as credible in a FISA warrant application.

It would be one thing if other outlets were rebutting his claims about Kilimnik, as people have with some of this other stories. But this has attracted zero response from non-conservative media, despite the fact that Kilimnik has long been one of the most talked-about figures in the whole Russiagate drama.

This story matters for a few reasons. If Kilimnik was that regular and important a source, it would deal a blow to the credibility of Special Counsel Robert Mueller.

Kilimnik’s relationship with Manafort was among the most damaging to Donald Trump in the Mueller report. Here was Trump’s campaign manager commiserating with a man Mueller said was “assessed” to have “ties to Russian intelligence.”

In one of the most lurid sections of the Mueller report, Manafort is described writing to Kilimnik after being named Trump’s campaign manager to ask if “our friends” had seen media coverage about his new role.

“Absolutely. Every article,” said Kilimnik. To this, Manafort replied: “How do we use to get whole. Has Ovd operation seen?” referring to Deripaska.

The implication was clear: Manafort was offering to use his position within the Trump campaign to “get whole” with the scary metals baron, Deripaska. Manafort believed his role on the campaign could help “confirm” Deripaska would drop a lawsuit he had filed against Manafort.

When Manafort later sent “internal polling data” to Kilimnik with the idea that it was being shared with Ukrainian oligarchs and Deripaska, this seemed like very damaging news: high-ranking Trump official gives inside info to someone with “ties” to Russian intelligence.

Mueller didn’t just describe Kilimnik as having ties to Russian intelligence. He said that while working in Moscow between 1998 and 2005 for the International Republican Institute– that’s an American think-tank connected to the Republican Party, its sister organization being the National Democratic Institute – IRI officials told the FBI he’d been fired because his “links to Russian intelligence were too strong.”

In other words, Mueller not only made a current assessment about Kilimnik, he made a show of retracing Kilimnik’s career steps in a series of bullet points, from his birth in the Dnieprpetrovsk region in 1970 to his travel to the U.S. in 1997, to his effort in 2014 to do PR work defending Russia’s move into Crimea.

Mueller left out a bit, according to Solomon, who says he “reviewed” FBI and State Department memos about Kilimnik’s status as an informant. He even went so far as to name the U.S. embassy officials in Ukraine who dealt with Kilimnik:

Alan Purcell, the chief political officer at the Kiev embassy from 2014 to 2017, told FBI agents that State officials, including senior embassy officials Alexander Kasanof and Eric Schultz, deemed Kilimnik to be such a valuable asset that they kept his name out of cables for fear he would be compromised by leaks to WikiLeaks.

“Purcell described what he considered an unusual level of discretion that was taken with handling Kilimnik,” states one FBI interview report that I reviewed. “Normally the head of the political section would not handle sources, but Kasanof informed Purcell that KILIMNIK was a sensitive source.”

This relationship was described in “hundreds of pages of government documents” that Solomon reports Mueller “possessed since 2018.” The FBI, he added, knew all about Kilimnik’s status as a State Department informant before the conclusion of Mueller’s investigation.

This is one of a growing number of examples of people whose status as documented U.S. informants goes unmentioned in the Mueller report, where they are instead described under the general heading, “Russian government links to, and contact with, the Trump campaign.”

One of the first such “Russian-government connected individuals” is Felix Sater, described in Mueller’s report as a “New York based real estate advisor” who contacted Cohen with a “new inquiry about building a Trump Tower project in Moscow.”

It’s Sater who initiates the inquiry and Sater who wrote the most oft-quotedemails to Cohen, like “Buddy our boy can become President of the USA” and “I will get all of Putin’s team to buy in.” Sater in the report encourages Cohen to keep the project alive and keeps promising he can deliver meetings with the likes of Putin and aide Dmitry Peskov.

But nowhere in the report is it disclosed that Sater, as reported by the Intercept, has been a registered FBI informant since 1998, when after racketeering and assault cases he signed a cooperation agreement. The document was signed on the government side by Mueller’s future chief investigator, Andrew Weissman, another detail no one seems to find odd.

Similarly there is a section in the report involving a character named Henry Oknyansky (a.k.a. Henry Greenberg). Oknyansky-Greenberg (he has other aliases) is a Miami-based hustler who approached former Trump aide Michael Caputo in May of 2016, ostensibly offering “derogatory information” on Hillary Clinton. Mueller lists the Greenberg case under a header about “potential Russian interest in Russian hacked materials.”

He leaves out the part where any idiot with a PACER account can run a search on Greenberg and find the series of court documents in which the oft-arrested figure claims, “I cooperated with the FBI for 17 years, often put my life in danger.”

Of course, anyone bold enough might claim to be an FBI informant in an effort to stave off deportation. But in this case, in an effort to prove to he was in fact a government tipster, Greenberg submitted a Freedom of Information Request to the FBI about himself – and actually got the documentation!

California court records show Oknyansky/Greenberg received a series of “significant public benefit” parole visas of varying lengths from the U.S. government between 2008 and 2012. The documents even list the name and phone number of his FBI case officer.

Mueller’s failure to identify the U.S. government links to either Greenberg or Sater was suspicious (there are other head-scratching omissions as well), but failing to do so in the case of Kilimnik would be mind-boggling. Manafort’s interactions with Kilimnik were described by Judge Amy Jackson as the “undisputed core of the Office of Special Counsel’s investigation.”

Much was made of the fact that Kilimnik visited the Trump Tower in August of 2016 to present a plan for resolving the Russian-Ukrainian conflict. In the Mueller report was described in a way that suggested the possibility of a quid pro quo:

Kilimnik requested the meeting to deliver in person a peace plan for Ukraine that Manafort acknowledged to the Special Counsel’s Office was a ‘backdoor’ way for Russia to control part of eastern Ukraine; both men believed the plan would require Trump assent to succeed.

But Solomon’s report indicates Kilimnik traveled to the U.S. twice in 2016 to meet with State officials, and delivered the same “peace plan” to Obama administration officials. Kilimnik appeared to have discussed the plan in Washington with former embassy official Alexander Kasanof – who’d since been promoted to a senior State position – at a dinner on May 5, 2016.

Not that anyone much cares, but Kilimnik has angrily denied the characterization of him as a spy. As Solomon writes:

Officials for the State Department, the FBI, the Justice Department and Mueller’s office did not respond to requests for comment. Kilimnik did not respond to an email seeking comment but, in an email last month to The Washington Post, he slammed the Mueller report’s “made-up narrative” about him. “I have no ties to Russian or, for that matter, any intelligence operation,” he wrote.

The Manafort-Kilimnik tale is a fundamentally different news story if Kilimnik is more of an American asset than a Russian one.

If Kilimnik was giving regular reports to the State Department through 2016, if his peace plan was not a diabolical Trump-Manafort backdoor effort to carve up Ukraine, if Kilimnik was someone who could be “flabbergasted at the Russian invasion of Crimea,” as Solomon says the FBI concluded, then this entire part of the Russiagate story has been farce.

It would become a more ambiguous story that was made to look diabolical through inference and omission. Though it might not absolve Paul Manafort of lying or thinking he was doing something wrong, it could change the complexion of the actual narrative, how we should understand the story.

“Trump campaign manager gives polling data to longtime U.S. government informant” doesn’t have the same punch as “Manafort Suggests He Gave Suspected Russian Spy 2016 Polling Data,”as the oft-hyperventilating Daily Beast put it.

The Times did cover some of this ground a while ago, in a story that to me lends credence to the idea that the Hill and the Times were looking at the same Kilimnik documents.

The Times, which has become a dependable venue for the gentle spinning of soon-to-be-released dispositive information about the collusion theory, wrote a long feature on Kilimnik in February: “Russian Spy or Hustling Political Operative? The Enigmatic Figure at the Heart of Mueller’s Inquiry.”

That piece, based on “dozens of interviews, court filings and other documents,” described Kilimnik as an “operator who moved easily between Russian, Ukrainian and American patrons, playing one off the other while leaving a jumble of conflicting suspicions in his wake.”

The Times added:

To American diplomats in Washington and Kiev, [Kilimnik] has been a well-known character for nearly a decade, developing a reputation as a broker of valuable information…

The paper noted that Kilimnik traveled “freely” to the U.S. and appeared to reference the dinner with Kasanof, noting Kilimnik “in May 2016 met senior State Department officials for drinks at the Off the Record bar.”

Only in the last two paragraphs did they get to the point, quoting Caputo:

To buttress this case, Mr. Manafort’s lawyers requested and received records from the government showing that Mr. Kilimnik communicated with officials at the American Embassy in Kiev.

“If he was a Russian intelligence asset, then the State Department officials who met with him over the years should be under investigation,” Mr. Caputo said.

No shit! It’s one thing if Kilimnik was just another hustler who moved back and forth between Western and Russian orbits, trading on connections on both sides. There were countless such figures in Moscow, especially dating back to the nineties, when Kilimnik began working for the IRI.

But it’s a different matter if Kilimnik was meeting multiple times a week with American embassy officials and providing thousands of words of intel on a regular basis. There’s no scenario where Kilimnik is actually a Russian spy and that kind of record doesn’t reflect badly on whoever was regularly downloading and sharing his intelligence on the American side.

There are two big possibilities: either Solomon’s report is wrong somehow, and the nature of Kilimnik’s relationship with the United States government has been misrepresented, or he’s right and this tale at the “heart” of the Mueller probe has been over-spun in an Everest of misleading news reports.

Either way, it has to be looked into. It appears, though, that no one among the usual suspects is interested, just as the press declined to descend upon Italy in search of the ostensible Patient Zero of Russiagate, Maltese professor Joseph Mifsud (who was said to be shacked up in a Rome apartment for seven months after the Russiagate insanity broke before going to ground).

MSNBC burned up countless hours obsessing over the Manafort-Kilimnik relationship. You can find the tale discussed ad nauseum here, here, here, here, and in many other places, with Kilimnik routinely described on air as a “Russian asset” with “ties to Russian intelligence,” who even bragged that he learned his English from Russian spies.

CNN has likewise done a gazillion reports on the guy: see here, here, here, here, and here. Some reports said Manafort’s conduct “hints” at collusion, while Chris Cilizza said his meetings with a “Russian-linked operative” were a “very big deal.” Bloviator-in-chief Jake Tapper wondered if this story was “Game, Set, Match” for the collusion case. Anytime a Democrat spoke about how “stunning” and “damning” was the news that Manafort gave Kilimnik poll numbers, reporters repeated those assertions in a snap.

I could go up and down the line with the Times,the Washington Post, and other print outlets. Every major news organization that covered Russiagate has covered the hell out of this part of the story. But the instant there’s a suggestion there’s another angle: crickets.

Russiagate is fast becoming a post-journalistic news phenomenon. We live in an information landscape so bifurcated, media companies don’t cover news, because they can stick with narratives. Kilimnik being a regular State Department informant crosses the MSNBC-approved line that he’s a Russian cutout who tried to leverage Donald Trump’s campaign manager. So it literally has no news value to many companies, even if it’s clearly a newsworthy item according to traditional measure.

Incidentally, Solomon’s report being true wouldn’t necessarily exonerate either Kilimnik or Manafort. It may just mean a complication of the picture, along with uncomfortable questions for Robert Muller and embassy officials who dealt with Kilimnik. That’s what’s so maddening. We’ve gotten to the point where news editors and producers are more like film continuity editors — worried about maintaining literary consistency in coverage — than addressing newsworthy developments that might move us into gray areas.

Our press sucks. There are third-world dictatorships where newspapers try harder than they do here. We used to at least pretend to cover the bases. Now, we’re a joke.
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Earlier in Untitledgate:

New project: Untitledgate

Russiagate was journalist QAnon (Part 1)

Russiagate was journalist QAnon (Part 2)

The roots of “passive collusion”

Military vs. military

The intelligence community needs a house-cleaning

Also read:

Hate Inc.: How, and Why, the Media Makes Us Hate One Another

The Business Secrets of Drug Dealing: Adventures of an Unidentified Black Male


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Last edited by JackRiddler on Sat Jun 08, 2019 6:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The Russian Conspiracy as RI subject

Postby JackRiddler » Sat Jun 08, 2019 6:18 pm

.

I didn't notice Stephen Cohen weighing in heavily like this.

Worst, most fradulent... yeah yeah we hear that about all of them.

But he's right about this op. Fraud from the go.

https://www.thenation.com/article/how-d ... ate-begin/

www.thenation.com
How Did Russiagate Begin?

By Stephen F. Cohen
May 30, 2019

Why Barr’s investigation is important and should be encouraged.
The John Batchelor Show, May 29

It cannot be emphasized too often: Russiagate—allegations that the American president has been compromised by the Kremlin, which may even have helped to put him in the White House—is the worst and (considering the lack of actual evidence) most fraudulent political scandal in American history. We have yet to calculate the damage Russiagate has inflicted on America’s democratic institutions, including the presidency and the electoral process, and on domestic and foreign perceptions of American democracy, or on US-Russian relations at a critical moment when both sides, having “modernized” their nuclear weapons, are embarking on a new, more dangerous, and largely unreported arms race.

Rational (if politically innocent) observers may have thought that when the Mueller report found no “collusion” or other conspiracy between Trump and Vladimir Putin’s Kremlin, only possible “obstruction” by Trump—nothing Mueller said in his May 29 press statement altered that conclusion—Russiagate would fade away. If so, they were badly mistaken. Evidently infuriated that Mueller did not liberate the White House from Trump, Russiagate promoters—liberal Democrats and progressives foremost among them—have only redoubled their unverified collusion allegations, even in once-respectable media outlets. Whether out of political ambition or impassioned faith, the damage wrought by these Russiagaters continues to mount, with no end in sight.

One way to end Russiagate might be to discover how it actually began. Considering what we have learned, or been told, since the allegations became public nearly three years ago, in mid-2016, there seem to be at least three hypothetical possibilities:

1. One is the orthodox Russiagate explanation: Early on, sharp-eyed top officials of President Obama’s intelligence agencies, particularly the CIA and FBI, detected truly suspicious “contacts” between Trump’s presidential campaign and Russians “linked to the Kremlin” (whatever that may mean, considering that the presidential administration employs hundreds of people), and this discovery legitimately led to the full-scale “counterintelligence investigation” initiated in July 2016. Indeed, Mueller documented various foreigners who contacted, or who sought to contact, the Trump campaign. The problem here is that Mueller does not tell us, and we do not know, if the number of them was unusual.

Many foreigners seek “contacts” with US presidential campaigns and have done so for decades. In this case, we do not know, for the sake of comparison, how many such foreigners had or sought contacts with the rival Clinton campaign, directly or through the Clinton Foundation, in 2016. (Certainly, there were quite a few contacts with anti-Trump Ukrainians, for example.) If the number was roughly comparable, why didn’t US intelligence initiate a counterintelligence investigation of the Clinton campaign?

If readers think the answer is because the foreigners around the Trump campaign included Russians, consider this: In 1986, when Senator Gary Hart was the leading candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination, he went to Russia—still Communist Soviet Russia—to make contacts in preparation for his anticipated presidency, including meeting with Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev. US media coverage of Hart’s visit was generally favorable. (I accompanied Senator Hart and do not recall much, if any, adverse US media reaction.)

2. The second explanation—currently, and oddly, favored by non-comprehending pro-Trump commentators at Fox News and elsewhere—is that “Putin’s Kremlin” pumped anti-Trump “disinformation” into the American media, primarily through what became known as the Steele Dossier. As I pointed out nearly a year and a half ago, this makes no sense factually or logically. Nothing in the dossier suggests that any of its contents necessarily came from high-level Kremlin sources, as Steele claimed. Moreover, if Kremlin leader Putin so favored Trump, as a Russiagate premise insists, is it really plausible that underlings in the Kremlin would have risked Putin’s ire by furnishing Steele with anti-Trump “information”? On the other hand, there is plenty of evidence that “researchers” in the United States (some, like Christopher Steele, paid by the Clinton campaign) were supplying him with the fruits of their research.

3. The third possible explanation—one I have termed “Intelgate,” and that I explore in my recent book War With Russia?: From Putin & Ukraine to Trump & Russiagate—is that US intelligence agencies undertook an operation to damage, if not destroy, first the candidacy and then the presidency of Donald Trump. More evidence of “Intelgate” has since appeared. For example, the intelligence community has said it began its investigation in April 2016 because of a few innocuous remarks by a young, lowly Trump foreign-policy adviser, George Papadopoulos. The relatively obscure Papadopoulos suddenly found himself befriended by apparently influential people he had not previously known, among them Stefan Halper, Joseph Mifsud, Alexander Downer, and a woman calling herself Azra Turk. What we now know—and what Papadopoulos did not know at the time—is that all of them had ties to US and/or UK and Western European intelligence agencies.

US Attorney General William Barr now proposes to investigate the origins of Russiagate. He has appointed yet another special prosecutor, John Durham, to do so, but the power to decide the range and focus of the investigation will remain with Barr. The important news is Barr’s expressed intention to investigate the role of other US intelligence agencies, not just the FBI, which obviously means the CIA when it was headed by John Brennan and Brennan’s partner at the time, James Clapper, then director of national intelligence. As I argued in The Nation, Brennan, not Obama’s hapless FBI Director James Comey, was the godfather of Russiagate, a thesis for which more evidence has since appeared. We should hope that Barr intends to exclude nothing, including the two foundational texts of the deceitful Russiagate narrative: the Steele Dossier and, directly related, the contrived but equally ramifying Intelligence Community Assessment of January 2017. (Not coincidentally, they were made public at virtually the same time, inflating Russiagate into an obsessive national scandal.)

Thus far, Barr has been cautious in his public statements. He has acknowledged there was “spying,” or surveillance, on the Trump campaign, which can be legal, but he surely knows that in the case of Papadopoulos (and possibly of General Michael Flynn), what happened was more akin to entrapment, which is never legal. Barr no doubt also recalls, and will likely keep in mind, the astonishing warning Senator Charles Schumer issued to President-elect Trump in January 2017: “Let me tell you, you take on the intelligence community, they have six ways from Sunday at getting back at you.” (Indeed, Barr might ask Schumer what he meant and why he felt the need to be the menacing messenger of intel agencies, wittingly or not.)

But Barr’s thorniest problem may be understanding the woeful role of mainstream media in Russiagate. As Lee Smith, who contributed important investigative reporting, has written: “The press is part of the operation, the indispensable part. None of it would have been possible…had the media not linked arms with spies, cops, and lawyers to relay a story first spun by Clinton operatives.” How does Barr explore this “indispensable” complicity of the media in originating and perpetuating the Russiagate fraud without impermissibly infringing on the freedom of the press?

Ideally, mainstream media—print and broadcast—would now themselves report on how and why they permitted intelligence officials, through leaks and anonymous sources, and as “opinion” commentators, to use their pages and programming to promote Russiagate for so long, and why they so excluded well-informed, nonpartisan alternative opinions. Instead, they have almost unanimously reported and broadcast negatively, even antagonistically, about Barr’s investigation, and indeed about Barr personally. (The Washington Post even found a way to print this: “William Barr looks like a toad…”) Such is the seeming panic of the Russiagate media over Barr’s investigation, which promises to declassify related documents, that The New York Times again trotted out its easily debunked fiction that public disclosures will endanger a purported US informant, a Kremlin mole, at Putin’s side.

Finally, but most crucially, what was the real reason US intelligence agencies launched a discrediting operation against Trump? Was it because, as seems likely, they intensely disliked his campaign talk of “cooperation with Russia,” which seemed to mean the prospect of a new US-Russian détente? Even fervent political and media opponents of Trump should want to know who is making foreign policy in Washington. The next intel target might be their preferred candidate or president, or a foreign policy they favor.

Nor, it seems clear, did the CIA stop. In March 2018, the current director, Gina Haspel, then deputy director, flatly lied to President Trump about an incident in the UK in order to persuade him to escalate measures against Moscow, which he then reluctantly did. Several non–mainstream media outlets have reported the true story. Typically, The New York Times, on April 17 of this year, reported it without correcting Haspel’s falsehood.

We are left, then, with this paradox, formulated in a tweet on May 24 by the British journalist John O’Sullivan: “Spygate is the first American scandal in which the government wants the facts published transparently but the media want to cover them up.”

This commentary is based on Stephen F. Cohen’s most recent weekly discussion with the host of The John Batchelor Show. Now in their sixth year, previous installments are at TheNation.com.
We meet at the borders of our being, we dream something of each others reality. - Harvey of R.I.

To Justice my maker from on high did incline:
I am by virtue of its might divine,
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Re: The Russian Conspiracy as RI subject

Postby BenDhyan » Sat Jun 08, 2019 11:22 pm

Thanks for that Jack. Yes, that is what I am waiting to see, how the msm will report that they were complicit in spygate, working as another actor along sde the DNC, FBI, DOJ, SD, CIA, DNI, and Obama WH, to illegally overthrow the Trump Presidency. Of course it is possible that Barr may not succeed in making the case, but I think the evidence is there and the storm is coming. However if DS is as powerful as some say, it's not over yet. Interesting times ahead...
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Re: The Russian Conspiracy as RI subject

Postby Marionumber1 » Sat Jun 08, 2019 11:24 pm

The recent news about Konstantin Kilimnik is pretty funny to me because it illustrates how much of Russiagate is nearly true if you invert the official spin. Michael Flynn was lobbying the Russian ambassador to act in accordance with US (plus Israeli) desires, not the other way around. Paul Manafort had corrupt dealings in Ukraine, but was lobbying for pro-Western interests. Konstantin Kilimnik, to whom Manafort gave the much ballyhooed polling data, was a spy...for US intelligence. And while Trump's links to the Russian mafia and Russian oligarchs are portrayed as direct lines to Vladimir Putin, the fact is that those groups in Russia have frequently worked hand-in-hand with US criminal and corporate elements; see the role of the Russian mafia in supporting CIA asset Osama bin Laden and giving him the PROMIS software which would allow US intelligence to monitor him (described in Crossing the Rubicon by Mike Ruppert), or their role in human trafficking and associating with Mohammed Atta during his spook days in Florida (as was found by Jonathan Elinoff for his aborted 9/11 documentary).
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Re: The Russian Conspiracy as RI subject

Postby JackRiddler » Sun Jun 09, 2019 2:46 pm

BenDhyan » Sat Jun 08, 2019 10:22 pm wrote:Thanks for that Jack. Yes, that is what I am waiting to see, how the msm will report that they were complicit in spygate, working as another actor along sde the DNC, FBI, DOJ, SD, CIA, DNI, and Obama WH, to illegally overthrow the Trump Presidency.


On the contrary, the fabrications about a conspiracy with Russia saved the exceptionally criminal Trump "presidency" from actual threats by diverting attention away from popular resistance movements that people care about and by allowing him to fight against the only accusation raised that he could beat. This was a side effect of the operation's actual functions for the various parties involved in it, which was never to "illegally overthrow the Trump" "presidency."

Also, CIA and FBI are clearly home to factional units and there were groups within both also running plots against Clinton (the "email server" and "Benghazi" diversions) with pretty similar functions of assuring a hold over the target. The first one who should have been hauled in for election meddling after the election was one James Comey.

Of course it is possible that Barr may not succeed in making the case, but I think the evidence is there and the storm is coming.


"Storm," hmmmm.

Whatever, I am not here to service whatever fantastic tales about the fascistoid Caligula as savior or as martyr you may be entertaining, so there's no need to thank me for anything.

(What is a "DS"? Do I really want to know?)

.
We meet at the borders of our being, we dream something of each others reality. - Harvey of R.I.

To Justice my maker from on high did incline:
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Re: The Russian Conspiracy as RI subject

Postby BenDhyan » Sun Jun 09, 2019 7:25 pm

My dear Jacky, this is speculation so far as I am aware, the DS (Deep State aka Swamp, Globalists, Never Trumpers, etc..) action against Trump was the Russia Collusion Spygate operation and that is not speculation, and if you think it was meant to fail, then I expect you have non-speculative real evidence to support it?

If you are suggesting that it is fantasy to entertain the possibility, as a result of the Barr investigation, of severe consequences for some of the DS anti-Trump bad actors involved in Spygate, then all I say is one of us will be proven to be the more realistic...soon. Stay tuned...
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Re: The Russian Conspiracy as RI subject

Postby JackRiddler » Sun Jun 09, 2019 8:30 pm

.

Thanks for reminding me why I avoid engaging with you. You can't read, or don't want to, and I don't care which.

This was a side effect of the operation's actual functions for the various parties involved in it, which was never to "illegally overthrow the Trump" "presidency."
We meet at the borders of our being, we dream something of each others reality. - Harvey of R.I.

To Justice my maker from on high did incline:
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