Tag: Spygate

SPYGATE: The Characters You Need to Know

Authored by: Matt Palumbo

Preorder Now: Spygate: The Attempted Sabotage of Donald J. Trump

“Spygate” has been the big story of 2018, but that doesn’t mean it has been easy to follow. The scandal has more characters than a Harry Potter novel, and with our 24/7 news cycle, has more moving parts than the average person has time to keep track of.

One of the most common requests Dan and I receive is to put out some informational content to help keep track of all the relevant characters in the “Spygate” scandal, and how they intersect. To do that, I thought it would make the most sense to show all the most relevant connections in flowcharts, with brief explanations of each bubble and their connections to the others below.

Obama’s campaign arm Organizing for Action paid $972,000 to the law firm Perkins Coie, which funneled that money to Fusion GPS. The Clinton campaign paid Perkins Coie $5.1 million in 2016, while the DNC shelled out $4.5 million. Most funds were for legal services, but at least $168,000 of it made its way to Christopher Steele so he could commission his anti-Trump dossier.

Former MI6 spy Christopher Steele was simultaneously working for Fusion GPS where he was researching Russian collusion, and the FBI, where he was presenting his faux evidence. Meanwhile, Fusion had some interesting Russian connections of their own. Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya (from the infamous “Trump Tower” meeting with Donald Trump Jr.) was working with Fusion to defend the firm Prevezon, which had been accused of laundering money for the Russian government. At least one person worked on the Prevezon case and also aided Steele with his dossier, a man named Ed Baumgartner.

It appears as if Veselnitskaya’s meeting with Trump Jr. was just to give the mere appearance of Russian collusion – as evidenced by the fact that she met with Fusion GPS founder Glenn Simpson the day of, and day after the Trump Tower meeting. Simpson claims the two never discussed the meeting, but are we to really believe he was helping Steele “prove” Russian collusion while working with a Russian who just met with Trump’s son, and this meeting didn’t come up in conversation?

Even more suspicious, during the Trump Tower meeting, Veselnitskaya was accompanied by translator Anatoli Samochornov, who was previously an interpreter for Hillary Clinton, John Kerry and Barack Obama.

And then there’s who helped organize the meeting; publicist Rob Goldstone at the request of Aras and Emin Agalarov, a father and son duo who knew Trump through the Miss Universe pageants. It was during a 2013 Moscow trip for those pageants that Trump would stay at a Ritz-Carlton (as did the Agalarovs), which would be the location where the fictitious “golden showers” story in Christopher Steele’s dossier allegedly occurred. It’s thus highly likely that the “golden showers” lie originated with the Agalarovs.

Steele also had an “in” to the DOJ through Bruce and Nellie Ohr, a married couple. Nellie worked with Fusion on the dossier, while Bruce was employed at the DOJ. Their relationship was not disclosed when the dossier was presented as evidence to surveil Carter Page. Nellie worked with Fusion since 2015, which makes it possible she was one of the FBI contractors illegally mining NSA databases for information on Republican presidential candidates. When Robert Mueller’s Special Counsel would begin in 2017, Bruce kept Mueller’s right-hand-man Andrew Weissman “in the loop” regarding his continued contact with Steele.

Steele had friends in the Clinton State Department through Victoria Nuland and Jonathan Winer. Nuland was Obama’s Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs, and claims to have received the Steele dossier at the State Department and then passed it on to the FBI before their investigation into the Trump campaign started.

Nuland told CBS that “in the middle of July [2016], when [Steele] was doing this other work [on Trump] and became concerned . . . he passed two to four pages of short points of what he was finding and our immediate reaction to that was, this is not our purview. This needs to go to the FBI if there is any concern here that one candidate or the election as a whole might be influenced by the Russian Federation. That’s something for the FBI to investigate. And that was our reaction when we saw this.”

The dossier made its way to Nuland through a mutual contact, Jonathan Winer, also a State Department employee. Winer later admitted to doing pro bono work for the Clinton Global Initiative while he was working at the State Department and exchanging information with Steele.

While Steele passed on his dossier to Winer, Winer had one to give Steele. There was a second dossier, authored by Cody Shearer, a long-time fixer for the Clintons. Shearer’s dossier is suspiciously similar to Steele’s, and even contains the same bogus “golden showers” story.  According to The Guardian, Steele passed the Shearer memo on to the FBI in October 2016, because it “corroborated” what he had learned from his independent sources. Garnering the same information from separate sources seems like a slam-dunk in verifying a claim, but Steele and Shearer had the same bogus information fed to them. What are the chances of that?

Former UN ambassador Samantha Powers, in the words of the Washington Free Beacon, “appears to be central to efforts by top Obama administration officials to identify individuals named in classified intelligence community reports related to Trump and his presidential transition team, according to multiple sources.” Power revealed the names of at least 260 people during her last year as UN ambassador and increased her pace to one per day in the final months of Obama’s presidency. She would later deny making those requests, meaning that she’s either lying, or someone else was unmasking members of the Trump campaign in her name.

It wasn’t just Democrats finding themselves acquainted with Steele.  British ambassador Andrew Wood knew both Chris Steele, and John McCain. In November 2016, he participated in a Canadian conference also attended by McCain and his associate David Kramer. At this conference, McCain and Kramer were briefed by the British Ambassador Andrew Wood about making contact with Steele regarding the dossier. Kramer would later obtain the materials from Steele and deliver it to McCain.

George Papadapoulos was a key target of those looking to frame the Trump campaign in giving the appearance of Russian collusion.

Papadopoulos’ story began in March 2016 when he was named a foreign policy adviser to the Trump campaign with a supposed emphasis on improving U.S. relations with Russia. During this time, Papadopoulos traveled to Italy and met Joseph Mifsud, a Maltese professor of diplomacy based in London. On April 26, 2016, Mifsud met with Papadopoulos in London and told him he had damaging information from the Russians on Hillary Clinton. One contact he claimed to know well was Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.

Interestingly, one connection we know that Mifsud has is with the Clinton Foundation, whom he’s donated to in the past.

In May, after Mifsud falsely told Papadopoulos about the Russians having dirt on Clinton—something Mifsud now claims he never said—Papadopoulos went to the Kensington Wine Rooms in London to meet with Australia’s top diplomat in the United Kingdom, Alexander Downer (at Downer’s request). Downer was previously part of Hakluyt, a secretive British intelligence firm founded by former MI6 members. Downer remained associated with the firm following their departure, and this connects Downer to the British intelligence actors in this drama.

During their discussion, Papadopoulos told Downer (allegedly while drunk) about the Russians having material that would damage Clinton, which Downer later reported to the FBI. That bogus claim, of course, was planted in Papadapoulos’ head by Mifsud. The FBI has used this as cover for why they opened a counterintelligence operation into the Trump campaign. After reports of this meeting surfaced, The New York Times commented, “It is unclear whether Mr. Downer was fishing for that information that night in May 2016.” Unclear to only the New York Times, perhaps.

Like Mifsud, Downer is connected to the Clinton Foundation, but to an overwhelmingly greater extent. Downer used his influence as ambassador to broker a $25 million donation from the Australian government to the Clinton Foundation in 2007. Downer also potentially has a connection to Fusion, as Glenn Simpson described the “Downer/Papadpoulos” meeting in Senate testimony before news of the meeting was made public.

Meanwhile, FBI spy Stefan Halper had met with Papadaopoulos two months prior to the election, and immediately asked him if he’d known anything about Hillary’s emails. In other words, he was trying to fish out information that Downer didn’t. Papadopoulos says Halper wasn’t the only suspicious person to approach him. There were two others. Papadopoulos’ wife, Simona Mangiante, told The Daily Caller that one of the contacts offered to pay him $30,000 a month during his time with the Trump team. Papadapoulos’ wife said that one of the people who contacted Papadapoulos was Sergei Millian, a businessman that’s cited in Steele’s dossier as “Source D.” “Source D” is where Steele claims to have sourced the “golden showers” story from. How it was communicated from the Agalarovs to Millian is a mystery.

British intelligence agency GCHQ was headed by Robert Hannigan, who resigned shortly after Trump was inaugurated without any notice. During the campaign, Hannigan intercepted communications of the Trump team, and passed them onto the CIA’s John Brennan, who then passed them on to the FBI. Brennan takes responsibility for sparking the FBI’s counterintelligence operation, in direct contradiction to the thesis that Papadapoulos was responsible.

As previously mentioned, Stefan Halper was the FBI’s spy in the Trump campaign. He’d worked for the CIA decades prior, and had connections to the British intelligence agency MI6 (where Steele previously worked) through a man named Sir Richard Dearlove. Halper believed that a Hillary victory would be better for U.S/U.K. relations, and given the number of actors from British intelligence, perhaps they shared similar motives.

In 2012, Joseph Mifsud worked with Claire Smith, a member of the U.K. Joint Intelligence Committee. As a member of the Joint Intelligence Committee, Smith participated in overseeing all British intelligence agencies, thus meaning she’s a high ranking member in British intelligence. This makes it unlikely that Mifsud was a Russian spy – and makes it more likely he’s part of the world of Halper, Steele, and others.

Conclusion

These are just the characters in the “set-up” stage of the Spygate scandal. For the tangled web of actors in the Robert Mueller special counsel, stay tuned for our next series of flowcharts.

And in the meantime, preorder a copy of “Spygate: The Attempted Sabotage of Donald Trump.”

 

 

Who Was Stefan Halper?

Authored by: Matt Palumbo

Preorder Now: Spygate: The Attempted Sabotage of Donald J. Trump

Just two months before the 2016 election, former Trump foreign policy adviser George Papadopoulos received a random meeting request from Stefan Halper, a University of Cambridge professor and member of the Cambridge Intelligence Seminar (CIS), which was founded by officers from British intelligence agencies. Halper was involved in a CIA spying scandal in the 1980s to benefit Ronald Reagan’s campaign, and while his history is as a Republican, he publicly supported Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election.

So why was he speaking to Papadapoulos? Because Halper was the FBI’s inside source to infiltrate the Trump campaign.

Halper asked Papadopoulos to fly to London to discuss international relations and the possibility of Papadopoulos writing a policy paper on a gas field in the Mediterranean for $3,000. This was all cover so Halper could try to fish information out of Papadapous. Once they met, Halper was quick to turn to the subject of Russia, asking Papadopoulos, “You know about hacking the emails from Russia, right?” Papadopoulos didn’t offer up any information, and contact with Halper didn’t extend much past that trip. Papadapoulos would finish and submit his policy paper to Halper, but there’s no evidence it was ever used for anything. 

So where did that comment about Hillary’s emails come from?

Months prior, Papadapoulos had a serious of meetings with Joseph Mifsud, a Maltese professor who at one point claimed to have Hillary Clinton’s hacked emails (he didn’t), and Alexander Downer, an Australian diplomat whom Papadopoulos would (allegedly drunkenly) tell he (falsely) had possession of Hillary’s emails. Mifsud reportedly only became interested in Papadapoulos after learning of his role within the Trump campaign, while Downer requested his meeting with Papadapoulos. Both are of note because Mifsud is on record having donated to the Clinton Foundation, and Downer helped broker a $25 million donation from the Australian government to the Clinton Foundation. Neither were political allies of Papadapoulos, but had their sights on him. 

Why? To help further a narrative about Russian collusion with the Trump campaign, which Halper was well aware of.

Downer would later go to the FBI to report Papadapoulos’ claim, which would later be the claimed justification for the FBI’s counterintelligence operation into the Trump campaign (though John Brennan claims it was actions he took which sparked the investigation). Regardless, the FBI now had a reasonable excuse to spy on the Trump campaign (regardless of their actual motive, to secure Hillary Clinton’s presidential victory).

Papadopoulos says Halper wasn’t the only suspicious person to approach him. There were two others. Papadopoulos’ wife, Simona Mangiante, told The Daily Caller that one of the contacts offered him $30,000 a month during his time with the Trump team to work as a consultant. According to Mangiante:

It looks to be one among a series of attempts to entrap George. The question today to me [is whether] these people are simply shady businessmen or are they part of a greater attempt to entrap George in illegal activity.

And speaking of entrapment, while Papadapoulos didn’t do anything legally wrong, he’d later be charged with lying to the FBI about his conversations. That’s the same charge that Michael Flynn faced, even though the FBI agents who interviewed him didn’t believe that he lied. Unsurprisingly, Halper also spread a bogus warning to American authorities that Flynn was at risk of being compromised by Russian intelligence because of his relationship with a female journalist named Svetlana Lokhova. Why? Because in 2014 Flynn sat next to her at a dinner hosted by CIS. Lokhova said she thought the allegations were a joke, adding “In Britain, I am now being accused of being a Russian spy. In Russia, some think I am a British spy. And I am neither.”

In addition to Papadapoulos, Halper also made contact with Trump campaign co-chair Sam Clovis and Carter Page, who was surveilled by the FBI.

Halper and the Steele Dossier

Fusion GPS co-founder Glenn Simpson first hinted at the existence of Halper when he testified to Congress that the information in Christopher Steele’s dossier mirrored that of an FBI informant in the Trump campaign. Simpson told Congress, the FBI believed “Chris’ information might be credible because they had other intelligence that indicated the same thing and one of those pieces of intelligence was a human.”

Who else could that have been except Halper?

Page and Halper first met at a conference in London on July 11th and 12th, which was when Page was on his returning trip from Moscow (a detail included in Steele’s dossier). The two then remained in contact during the following months. That conference was also attended by former MI6 head Sir Richard Dearlove, an associate of both Halper and dossier author Christopher Steele, who was working with the FBI at the time of Halper’s spying. Dearlove and Steele met in early fall of 2016, so Steele could get his advice on how to move forward with the information in his dossier.

Halper would also met with  Sam Clovis, but only once. Halper would later pitch himself as an ambassador to China for the Trump team after his presidential victory. In other words, even after Trump’s victory, the FBI looked to keep a spy planted within the presidency.

Given the excess number of leaks from the Trump White House during the first two years of the presidency, I wouldn’t be surprised if there were others who did manage to make their way in.

For more on the unprecedented infiltration of the Trump campaign, pre-order our forthcoming book “Spygate: The Attempted Sabotage of Donald J. Trump.” 

August 15, 2018: Ep. 785 Rachel Maddow Drops a Bombshell and Doesn’t Even Know It

Rachel Maddow dropped a bombshell about the Russian collusion hoax this week yet, she seems unaware of the consequences of what she’s asking for. I also address new information about the framing of the Trump team which will blow up the insane media narratives.

Listen Now...

What the Media Never Told You About the Russia Investigation Hoax

Authored by: Matt Palumbo

We heard a lot about Russian collusion with the Trump campaign over the past couple of years, but as is often the case, it’s what the media left out that’s more damning than what they reported. Dan Bongino’s new book “Spygate: The Framing of Donald J. Trump” exposes the truth of what happened during the 2016 presidential election.

Fusion GPS Has Russian Connections of Their Own

Remember the controversial meeting between Donald Trump Jr. and Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya? What most in the media conveniently left out of their coverage was that Veselnitskaya was also working with the firm behind the anti-Trump dossier at the time of the meeting. Veselnitskaya met with Fusion GPS co-founder Glenn Simpson the day of and the day after her meeting with Trump Jr.

Veselnitskaya was working with Fusion GPS on an unrelated case to advance Russian interests, while Fusion was funded by the Clinton campaign to allege a conspiracy between Trump and the Russians. We know that at least one person worked on both cases, a man named Ed Baumgartner.

The DNC Didn’t Want the FBI To Investigate Their “Hacked” Servers

If you heard that the DNC was hacked by the Russians, that’s only because it’s exactly what the DNC wants you to believe.

Rather than have the FBI examine the DNC’s servers, they instead hired the private company CrowdStrike to conduct the investigation. CrowdStrike is connected to the Obama administration and the DNC. After examining the servers for a mere day, CrowdStrike concluded two Russian groups were responsible for the cyberattack. Meanwhile, neither FBI nor any other law enforcement agency has looked at their servers—and still hasn’t to this day.

British Intelligence Hated Trump and the Ukrainians Feared Him

American and British intelligence were determined to preserve their “Special Relationship” of intelligence sharing, which they thought would be threatened by a Trump presidency, so they passed information to the CIA to help with the Trump collusion investigation.

Robert Hannigan, the head of British intelligence agency GCHQ, gave documents to CIA director John Brennan during in the summer of 2016. The matter was deemed so sensitive it was handled at “director level.” Brennan used GCHQ information and intelligence from other partners to launch a major inter-agency investigation.

Hannigan, who took over the agency in 2014, stepped down just four days after Trump was inaugurated. He told staffers only hours before making his decision public.

As for the Ukrainians, a Politico headline puts it best: “Ukrainian efforts to sabotage Trump backfire.” Ukrainians chose a side in the 2016 election, and it was Hillary Clinton. Their target was Paul Manafort.

Some Supposed Pro-Trump Conspirators Have Clinton Connections

Two characters involved in one of the main events that supposedly set off the Trump collusion investigation had connections to the Clinton Foundation. Joseph Mifsud, the professor who promised campaign adviser George Papadopoulos compromising information on Hillary Clinton, has personally donated to the Clinton Foundation.

Papadopoulos told Australia’s ambassador to the UK, Alexander Downer, about Mifsud’s promised information. The contents of Papadopoulos and Downer’s conversation eventually ended up on the desk of the FBI. Downer had a history with the Clinton Foundation, having brokered a $25 million donation during uranium transfers.

Why Yes, There Was a Spy After All

For all the mockery Trump has received for tweeting that Obama spied on his campaign, there was indeed spying going on. A man with Deep State connections covertly gathered information on both George Papadopoulos and Trump campaign adviser Carter Page.

The Russia collusion narrative was a setup from the beginning. If you’d like to learn more, preorder a copy of Bongino’s new book, co-authored with D.C. McAllister and myself, Matt Palumbo, “Spygate: The Attempted Sabotage of Donald J. Trump.”