It’s always an interesting exercise to take new and confirmed information and go back to see the claims from the key stakeholders when the initial trail of the information was discovered. This is one such example from July 2017.
Now that Chairman Devin Nunes, Chuck Grassley and the key players themselves, have discovered and admitted the U.S. State Department was heavily involved in passing along Clinton opposition research to Chris Steele to create the “Clinton-Steele Dossier”, it’s interesting to look at how the former State Department spokesperson -in place during all the events- responded last year when the Clinton-Steele Dossier was thought to be part of the underlying evidence for the DOJ/FBI FISA application.
Former State Department spokesperson Marie Harf, a person in direct and continuous contact with all the principle agents during the 2016 information flow, was confronted in July 2017 and adamantly denied the dossier was part of the FISA application. WATCH:
Looking beyond the transparent lying and subsequent collapse of credibility, the key takeaway here is how State Department officials knew what was going on in 2016, recognized the risk presented by that action in 2017, and were willing to walk the plank because they were certain none of it would ever come to light.
Jonathan Winer – […] In 2013, I returned to the State Department at the request of Secretary of State John F. Kerry, whom I had previously served as Senate counsel. Over the years, Steele and I had discussed many matters relating to Russia. He asked me whether the State Department would like copies of new information as he developed it.
I contacted Victoria Nuland, a career diplomat who was then assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian affairs, and shared with her several of Steele’s reports. She told me they were useful and asked me to continue to send them. Over the next two years, I shared more than 100 of Steele’s reports with the Russia experts at the State Department, who continued to find them useful. None of the reports related to U.S. politics or domestic U.S. matters, and the reports constituted a very small portion of the data set reviewed by State Department experts trying to make sense of events in Russia. (read more)
Mr Winer – WaPo: […] In September 2016, Steele and I met in Washington and discussed the information now known as the “dossier.” Steele’s sources suggested that the Kremlin not only had been behind the hacking of the Democratic National Committee and the Hillary Clinton campaign but also had compromised Trump and developed ties with his associates and campaign.
I was allowed to review, but not to keep, a copy of these reports to enable me to alert the State Department. I prepared a two-page summary and shared it with Nuland, who indicated that, like me, she felt that the secretary of state needed to be made aware of this material.
[…] In late September, I spoke with an old friend, Sidney Blumenthal … While talking about that hacking, Blumenthal and I discussed Steele’s reports. He showed me notes gathered by a journalist I did not know, Cody Shearer, that alleged the Russians had compromising information on Trump of a sexual and financial nature. … On my own, I shared a copy of these notes with Steele, to ask for his professional reaction. … I agreed to let him keep a copy of the Shearer notes. … I did not expect them to be shared with anyone in the U.S. government. … But I learned later that Steele did share them — with the FBI (link)
The bigger story behind the 2017 interview with Marie Harf, when contrast against 2018 reality, is recognition of how vast the network of people were within the entire effort to launder political campaign opposition research -provided by Hillary Clinton- to create surveillance upon the Trump campaign.
Officials at the top of the FBI and Department of Justice; officials in the intelligence apparatus of the ODNI, CIA and NSA; and officials at the top of the U.S. Department of State – to include Secretary John Kerry; were all working in common political cause.
Beyond the political talking points, when you simply point out the provable facts the Director of the FBI, Attorney General of the United States and the Secretary of State, were all deeply within the information loop there’s no way possible to extract President Obama from the network. This is how the collapsing house of cards eventually brings down the office of the presidency.
What would be the fall-back, or alternative, narrative?
The talking points are still a few weeks away, but there’s only one possible angle: The President was unaware of the action of his Attorney General, FBI Director, Director of National Intelligence, CIA Director and Secretary of State?