06.17.2019 0

Democrats don’t care a whit about foreign influence, to get Trump they used foreign intel who lied that the President was a Russian agent

By Robert Romano

Democrats criticizing President Donald Trump for suggesting he would listen if foreign sources had information on his opponents (he also suggested he might call the FBI) really don’t care a whit about foreign influence in our political process.

In 2016, not only did the Hillary Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee pay for foreign intelligence on President Trump — which was later found to contain false information that he was a bought and paid-for Russian agent — they trafficked it to the FBI and the Justice Department to have Trump investigated for the false allegations.

So, it was not something the party merely used to, say, listen and hear rumors, no, it was a deliberate operation to gather intelligence on foreign soil to deliver a pre-conceived narrative that Trump was in cahoots in Russia — and then convince the American people it was real by serving it up under the guise of an official investigation.

Former British spy Christopher Steele — note the UK is a foreign country — and Fusion GPS were hired by the Clinton campaign and the DNC, specifically, to gather foreign intelligence on Trump. Steele, using a network of foreign informants, began reporting in June 2016 that the “Russian regime has been cultivating, supporting and assisting Trump for at least 5 years… he and his inner circle have accepted a regular flow of intelligence from the Kremlin, including on his Democratic and other political rivals.”

Steele also alleged that Russia hacked the DNC (although this was already public knowledge) and put the emails on Wikileaks and that Trump and his campaign helped with “full knowledge and support” of the operation. Former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort and campaign advisor Carter Page (when he traveled to Moscow in July 2016), were both named by Steele as the key intermediaries to the Kremlin. Steele said then-Trump personal attorney Michael Cohen had traveled to Prague in Aug. or Sept. 2016 to meet with Russian agents to mop up the fallout of the supposed operation. Former Trump campaign advisor Carter Page was said to have met with Rosneft executive Igor Sechin and offered a 19 percent stake in Rosneft, Russia’s state oil company, worth billions of dollars.

Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrants were taken out against the Trump campaign beginning in October 2016 that relied on the dossier by Steele. The warrants gave the FBI and intelligence agencies access to the Trump campaign’s emails, phone calls, text messages and other documents, and then communications into the transition after the election, and finally even the presidential administration after Trump was sworn in beginning in Jan. 2017.

Steele said his sources were Russian — note Russia is a foreign country — Source A was a “former top Russian intelligence officer”; Source B was a “senior Russian Foreign Ministry figure”; Source C was a “senior Russian financial official”; Source D was a “close associate of Trump” (golden showers source); Source E was an “ethnic Russian close associate” of Trump (golden showers source); Source F was a “female staffer of the hotel”; and source G was a “senior Kremlin official”.

And you know what? With all those sources, when it was given to the FBI, they didn’t find anything. The Mueller report stated, “In particular, the Office did not find evidence likely to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Campaign officials such as Paul Manafort, George Papadopoulos, and Carter Page acted as agents of the Russian government — or at its direction, control or request — during the relevant time period.”

Manafort was brought up on unrelated tax and bank fraud charges. Cohen has had his own set of problems with the law but he was no Russian agent. Per the Mueller report, “Cohen had never traveled to Prague…” And so, he very well could not have been there meeting with Russian intelligence officials. Page was not charged with anything and there is no mention of a meeting with Sechin in the Mueller report by Page.

As for Papadopoulos, he is alleging that the foreigners he was set up with were at the urging of the FBI, and not linked to Russian intelligence, but to Western intelligence. In a Wall Street Journal oped published on April 18, Papadopoulos named Australian diplomat Alexander Downer — note Australia is a foreign country — and Joseph Mifsud, the Maltese professor— Malta is overseas, too — as all being individuals who spied on him to hurt the Trump campaign as a part of this plot. Good grief.

Overall, the Mueller report said, “[T]he investigation did not establish that members of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities,” and “the evidence does not establish that the President was involved in an underlying crime related to Russian election interference.”


 

Now, Attorney General William Barr is investigating these foreign sources. In a CBS News interview with Jan Crawford in May, Barr said, “I just think it has to be carefully looked at because the use of foreign intelligence capabilities and counterintelligence capabilities against an American political campaign to me is unprecedented and it’s a serious red line that’s been crossed.”

There could be a lot for Barr to unravel. After all, it wasn’t just Steele and his supposed Russian sources that were involved with feeding false information about Trump into the U.S.

The National Review’s Andrew McCarthy notes in his latest column that “In the 2016 election, Estonia did call President Obama’s administration to provide opposition research — specifically, to convey unverified intelligence that Russia might be channeling money into the Trump campaign. The Brits provided information too. So did the Aussies. So, according to former CIA director John Brennan, did a number of European governments. To be sure, these countries are our allies. But that hardly means they were concerned only for our well-being. Like Brennan, they had their own anti-Trump agendas… Europeans did not like [Trump’s foreign policy agenda], not one little bit. Next thing you knew, there were streams of anti-Trump intelligence being channeled into the CIA — none of which, it turns out, established a Trump–Russia ‘collusion’ conspiracy.”

But are Democrats concerned about this obvious foreign interference in not just our elections but our system of government? McCarthy notes, “I know you’ll be shocked that Democrats are not only unconcerned; they are outraged that the Justice Department is investigating.”

And then there’s this whole nonsense about notifying the FBI about foreign interference. When Democrats get foreign lies about their opponents, they alert the FBI, not to investigate the foreign sources, but to investigate their opponents. They acted on the foreign intelligence and used it to destroy their political opponents, and we’re supposed to be concerned about Trump hypothetically listening to it?

What are they going to say when Attorney General Barr comes back with findings that the foreign intelligence gathered by the DNC and the Clinton campaign to be used against Trump, including by the FBI, was improperly handled and probably concocted? Probably nothing. What a joke.

Robert Romano is the Vice President of Public Policy at Americans for Limited Government.

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