The story of the Trump “Dossier.”

Dan Bongino is a former Secret Service agent who is prominent commentator on Fox News.

His presentation at the David Horowitz meeting is worth watching.

He has a book out and I have ordered it on Kindle.

He also says that he thinks Bill Priestep is working with the people investigating this scandal.

The link at Conservative Tree House has some additional suggestions.

One of the key points Bongino highlights is how none of the paper-trail; nothing about the substance of the conspiracy; can possibly surface until *after* Robert Mueller is no longer in the picture. Until Robert Mueller is removed, none of this information can/will surface.

That’s why every political and media entity are desperate to protect Mueller; and also why Mueller’s investigation will never end.

This may well be true and it is depressing.

The source of the famous Fusion GPS “Dossier” on Trump is probably a 2007 article in the Wall Street Journal where Simpson worked at the time.

Simpson and Jacoby co-wrote a Journal article in April 2007, “How Lobbyists Help Ex-Soviets Woo Washington.” In it, Smith notes, they identified Paul Manafort as a key player in introducing Russians to Beltway circles. They kept reporting on him over the years. When Manafort was hired to manage the Trump campaign, Simpson — by now running Fusion GPS — made him a focus of his research, and knew enough background information to build a plausible case.

The reporter who dug up this story, which you will never see in the New York Times, is named Lee Smith and writes for Tablet Magazine.

A Tablet investigation using public sources to trace the evolution of the now-famous dossier suggests that central elements of the Russiagate scandal emerged not from the British ex-spy Christopher Steele’s top-secret “sources” in the Russian government—which are unlikely to exist separate from Russian government control—but from a series of stories that Fusion GPS co-founder Glenn Simpson and his wife Mary Jacoby co-wrote for The Wall Street Journal well before Fusion GPS existed, and Donald Trump was simply another loud-mouthed Manhattan real estate millionaire. Understanding the origins of the “Steele dossier” is especially important because of what it tells us about the nature and the workings of what its supporters would hopefully describe as an ongoing campaign to remove the elected president of the United States. Yet the involvement of sitting intelligence officials—and a sitting president—in such a campaign should be a frightening thought even to people who despise Trump and oppose every single one of his policies, especially in an age where the possibilities for such abuses have been multiplied by the power of secret courts, wide-spectrum surveillance, and the centralized creation and control of story-lines that live on social media while being fed from inside protected nodes of the federal bureaucracy.

Anyway, the story is there and I am beginning to read Bongino’s book.

Now Dershowitz is saying the Mueller investigation will soon be out and “devastating.”

“I think the report is going to be devastating to the president and I know that the president’s team is already working on a response to the report,” Dershowitz said on “This Week” Sunday.

Dershowitz added that he believes the report, although it will have a strong political impact, is unlikely to result in criminal charges.

Devastating for who ?

34 thoughts on “The story of the Trump “Dossier.””

  1. Mark Steyn had an interesting take on the “Dossier” fandango some time ago, which is still worth a read.

    “Oddly enough, that’s exactly how James Comey and Andrew McCabe and John Brennan work. At the FISA court, the FBI, to bolster their reliance on the Steele dossier, pointed to newspaper stories appearing to corroborate aspects of it – even though, as he subsequently testified under oath at the Old Bailey, those stories were in fact fed to those reporters by Steele himself.”

  2. Codevilla on the cold war we are having.

    2016’s voters expected that their elected President and Congress would protect them, acting on their behalf with unrestrained power. But Congressional Republicans mostly joined Democrats, and Trump complained while mostly complying. Knowing that some good judges are being appointed raises hopes but does nothing now to protect Americans from what a host of hostile officials of government, corporations, education, in league with what the media are doing to whomever steps out of line.

    The revolutionary spiral.

  3. We live in evil times, and it is perhaps hard to have been raised as Americans in an era with exaggerated belief that the truth will eventually come out and justice as least partially triumph, even if at high cost. People outside the Anglosphere hold no such illusions.

  4. AVI, Richard Fernandez posted that he wanted to be Spengler when he grew up.

    That essay is devastating. He dates it to 2008 but I think that was just the incident that proved how incompetent the elites are.

  5. So I understand the motive behind the “dossier” (a term I hate because it was made up explicitly to lend that piece of garbage official sounding weight), which was to use Chicago machine gangster tactics to keep Trump out of power. What I don’t understand is the Dems current plan–Trump is president and so he knows everything. Your only hope is not to threaten him too much. Keep things between the lines, politics as usual, etc., and he’ll do the same. Come at him too hard so he has nothing to lose and you risk him destroying everything. I’m not sure that reason will prevail here. Where are the grownups?

  6. “Your only hope is not to threaten him too much. Keep things between the lines, politics as usual, etc., and he’ll do the same. Come at him too hard so he has nothing to lose and you risk him destroying everything. I’m not sure that reason will prevail here. Where are the grownups?”

    My prediction is that calmer heads have prevailed with Trump up to now. The House committees, in particular, were digging out the scandal. But that is about to change abruptly in January, with the new Dem controlled House, which has vowed to essentially investigate everything Trump. He appears, to me, to be a vicious counterpuncher. And that suggests to me that at some point, he is likely going to start hitting back, and I see two different things that he could, and I think may very well do. One is to greatly expedite declassifying everything. As I understand it, he pulled back with declassifying the FISA applications in response to strong entreaties by the British and Australian governments. Sources and Methods be damned -,we need to know what their part was too. And most of the rest of the refusal to declassify was that it would embarrass high ranking people in and formerly in the govt. I think this forbearance ends with the first House subpoena of personal Trump information. It’s personal then. And secondly, I expect a special prosecutor be appointed. Bongino asserts that as things are going right now, he expects a number of career DoJ and FBI people to be ultimately prosecuted, but that the politically connected will be left alone. I think that is where a special prosecutor would come in. Brennan, Clapper, Yates, Lynch, etc, have been untouched. But we know that the Obama WH was in the loop. Does it go all the way up to Obama himself (as did the Crooked Hillary email scandal), or does it only get as far as Valarie Jarrett? I don’t think that Obama himself is indictable, but everyone else below him surely is, unless, of course, he gave them secret pardons, but that itself would be bad politically for him too, when that came out.

  7. One of the underreported parts of the scandal is the involvement of the CIA in the plot. Working backwards, as Bongino points out, there is a paper trail a mile wide. The DoJ and FBI are big, old, govt. bureaucracies. There is paperwork for everything from getting more paper clips to trips to London. Every meeting that Bruce Ohr had with Steele, Simpson, etc had to have been documented. And there are rules for everything. Sitting around Andrew McCabe’s $70,000 conference room table one day, Peter Strzok couldn’t just ask, when discussing their insurance plan, why not just open up a counterintelligence investigation into a Trump associate, in order to get a FISA warrant, and, voila, it happened. Instead, as I understand it, they have to fill out some forms, specifying the evidence they have against their target, and if approved, a matter can be opened. Then with some more evidence, in another form or so, and the matter can become an investigation. And from that, they can fill out a lot more paperwork, and apply for a FISA warrant. What was in that original matter initiation paperwork? What evidence allowed them to upgrade it to an investigation? Some of it had to come from outside the executive suites at the FBI, and that is where, I think, the CIA, as well as British and Australian intelligence, come in. I believe that they provided the FBI with the legal predicates, the evidence, to support opening the Crosswind Hurricane matter, and then investigation. What we know of it so far is that Maltese academic Joseph Misfyp met with Carter Page, and suggested that the Russians had Clinton’s emails. Then, his friend, Australian ambassador Alexander Downer met with him, and got him to admit to him that Page had been told that the Russians had those emails. And then British spy, Stefan Halper, their handler, pulled it together and got it relayed to the FBI – probably formally during that trip by Peter Strzok to London in the summer of 2016. The same Peter Strzok who ended up heading Crosswind Hurricane, and was so busy running it in September that year, that he didn’t have time to review the trove of Clinton emails discovered on the Weiner laptop. The point though is that this was very clearly a CIA operation. The FBI seems to have known what the CIA was up to, but the reason that the London trip was so critical was that it was the formal pass off, from the CIA to the FBI, via the British and Australians, of the information that formed the legal predicate for the Crosswind Hurricane investigation. And being a CIA operation, that very, very likely means that it was a John Brennan operation.

  8. EVERYTHING about this is underreported.

    The main fear I have is that even the plausible “good guys” (the internet crazies spin a very plausible story that Adm. Rogers stopped the bad guys from abusing the NSA databases and so they had to resort to the FISA courts, and that he gave Trump the head’s up he was being spied on after the election) think that the system must be preserved, and that is more important than revealing and punishing abuses.

  9. Brian says : Where are the grownups?

    I think we Republicans/conservatives underestimate two things – how much the Democrat Party is a wholly owned subsidiary of Clinton Inc., and how much it relies on Presidential power to implement its policies. There just doesn’t seem to be any power base beyond Hillary and her allies. Even Bill seems to have been shunted aside, post #MeToo. Obama has neither the inclination nor the horsepower to seriously challenge her. The 2008-2016 saw the party decimated outside of the executive branch. They recovered some in 2018, getting back the House, a slew of state legislative seats, and a couple of governor’s mansions but they lost or never had a chance in several significant states (OH, FL, TX). Failure to recapture the Senate hurts them by giving Trump and the GOP more opportunities to confirm judges as well as further staff the administration. Control of the underlying bureaucracy counts for something but the more people Trumps puts in the top slots the more he’ll control the overall government agenda.

    While Soros and Steyn do look to promote Democrats into some of the more influential but obscure state agencies, Hillary’s monomaniacal desire to hamstring Trump and become President is letting the Democrat party apparatus flounder.

  10. how much the Democrat Party is a wholly owned subsidiary of Clinton Inc.,

    I think the Clintons are owned by the Goldman Sachs types mentioned by Codevilla and by China.

    There is a lot of big money involved. More even than the Clintons have. Soros is only one member of the team. The Tides Foundation, the Ford Foundation and others that have been taken over by leftist, internationalist administrators. What Codevilla calls “The Davos Group.

  11. “Control of the underlying bureaucracy counts for something but the more people Trumps puts in the top slots the more he’ll control the overall government agenda.”
    No sign of that yet.

    Judges and the bureaucracy are pretty effectively slowing things down to a crawl in most areas.

  12. Trump is very alone there, I suspect his kids are the only ones he can trust.

    Mattis and Kelly may be good guys, and I think Pompeo is, but that is about it.

    If he fails, and he may, that will be the reason. Think of falling into a pit of snakes.

  13. So Trump has complete knowledge of how the Obama administration weaponized the IC against him, and the Dems are going to try to take down Trump and his whole family?

    I don’t think they’ve really thought this through.

  14. I think there are Democrats who know better but they have to feed the fantasies of their base.

    Remember 67% of Democrats in a recent poll think Trump was put into office by Putin.

    67 percent of Democrats believe it is “definitely true” or “probably true” that “Russia tampered with vote tallies in order to get Donald Trump elected.” There is no evidence of Russia tampering with vote tallies.

    That is not even the allegations, which were about the Wikileaks matter.

    The Democrat base is crazy. One reason I left Althouse commenting is that the leftist trolls there are out of control.

  15. If the “Clintons hollowed out the Democratic Party, and current events are a reflection of Hillary’s disturbed mental state” model is not sufficient, my current emerging suspicion is the Chinese.

    The truth of what specifically happened? I dunno. I’m listening to rumors, and do not myself have the first hand knowledge to evaluate the reliable bits and pieces of details I am seeing. Quite disturbing. I think we are still at an early stage, and that it would be really easy to become over-committed to a preliminary theory.

  16. Interestingly, Q seems to be predicting that the FISA applications are going to be declassified as of Dec 5 which I think is also when Comey is supposed to testify in closed session. Should be interesting.

  17. Trump really has to view the next two years as his last two years of service to the American public. If he wins another term that’s great, if not then his only opportunity to act is now. He HAS to blow this thing apart. He should have the entire thing made public, burn whatever sources and methods he has to, they are simply not important next to this level of deep state corruption.

    His efforts will be erased the day he is out of office, no one wants this looked at. Unless the public has all the information before that day, this story will sputter out into irrelevance.

  18. and the centralized creation and control of story-lines that live on social media while being fed from inside protected nodes of the federal bureaucracy.

    So, essentially, endless warfare in the format of Vietnam… :-/

  19. Mike K, where was the Spengler essay mentioned?

    Sorry, here it is.

    I thought I had linked it. I think I did at Neoneocon but not here,

    Link dead… :-(

  20. I have no idea why Trump hasn’t blown the FISA abuses open yet. It always seemed like something that needed to be done pre-midterm-election, both morally and politically. Of course, I don’t actually think Trump cares that much in principle whether Paul Ryan is speaker or Nancy Pelosi is, since he loves conflict, and open conflict is better than suppressed conflict when it comes to getting stuff done. I do think that it’s a huge mistake to think having the Dems in charge of one house is no big deal.
    But I think at this point the Dems have given Trump no option but to reveal everything by 2020, because they’ve made it clear that they’re coming after him, and his family and associates, one way or another, now and forever. Once he leaves office his self-defense weapons are gone.

  21. Trump is concerned about obstruction charges if he tries to declassify. Andy McCarthy has some interesting insights today about Manafort getting shafted by Mueller that are applicable here as well

    Second, Mueller is equally cognizant of Trump’s political bind and concerns about impeachment. Chances are the president would already have issued pardons if his lawyers had not persuaded him that Mueller would investigate grants of clemency to potential witnesses as obstruction of the investigation. Democrats, who now control the House, could use such pardons as a rationale for filing articles of impeachment. (Naturally, Democrats and other Trump antagonists claim that Trump is already obstructing the investigation by dangling the possibility of pardons; but that is weak tea compared to actual pardons.)

    As long as the House is Democrat-controlled Mueller will drag the investigation on and on. No one can stop him.

  22. I find it impossible to believe that anyone would seriously argue that declassifying documentation that the Obama admin was spying on the Trump campaign constitutes obstruction and warrants impeachment. If the Dems are going to impeach him based on that (their base is crazy enough to support it), then let them do it (I’m sure Trump would agree).

    My suspicion is that the reason they haven’t been declassified is that unfortunately the bad guys did indeed do just enough to cover their tracks. You can show that members of team Trump were being spied on, and as long as they have anything at all to justify it, no matter how flimsy, even if it was an inside con job, 100% of the Dems and MSM will say it was perfectly reasonable, because Trump is a bad guy. If you ask them if it would be OK for Trump to do the same thing to Kamala Harris, say, they would say of course not because she is not a bad guy.

  23. Brian: “I find it impossible to believe that anyone would seriously argue that declassifying documentation that the Obama admin was spying on the Trump campaign constitutes obstruction and warrants impeachment.

    Executive Order 13526
    Sec 1.7
    “Classification Prohibitions and Limitations. (a) In no case shall information be classified, continue to be maintained as classified, or fail to be declassified in order to:
    (1) conceal violations of law, inefficiency, or administrative error;
    (2) prevent embarrassment to a person, organization, or agency;
    (3) restrain competition; or
    (4) prevent or delay the release of information that does not require protection in the interest of the national security.”

    Seems to me that Trump would be justified in releasing the FISA information, sources and methods aside. And I think that Mueller and Rosenstein are hiding behind that “sources and methods” excuse. Trump should call their bluff.

  24. I think the real Donald Trump is sadly underestimated even by his supporters, friends and acquaintances. I would suggest that he is primarily a ‘doer’ and keeps busy going from one project to another. Serious as are the charges against those who used government agencies politically, there is really no way to prevent future abuses if the general public tolerates them. The sad fact is that maybe half of the country views the President in the worst possible light, and for them uncovering all the abuses will be seen as proof that President Trump is instigating investigations for political purposes.
    What is lost in the shuffle are the real accomplishments he has and is achieving. Dealing with Iran, North Korea and even our European “allies” to further peace and American interests, exercising some control over our borders and above all transforming our economy from negative GNP to solid growth, the real goal of the tax package, are amazing accomplishments given the steady opposition by Democrats, many Republicans and all the Media.
    Whatever happens these coming two years, his re-election in 2020 is far from certain, but I doubt it is his principal preoccupation. He can in no way prevent his successor from undoing his accomplishments, but by not being President his personal life will certainly improve.

  25. It is not that difficult to see what a revolt without a Trump-like figure might look like.

    Those photos are of Paris this weekend as it is deluged with protests by people who, if Americans, would be Trump voters. High fuel taxes are affecting people who drive to work or whose work, like driving trucks, involves driving. Paris residents do not use cars. They take the Metro or walk or take motor scooters to go to work. They, like residents of Washington DC, do not have to live by the rules and taxes they impose on others.

    Macron already had an approval rating of 26% BEFORE this began. The rioters have announced they will not stop before Christmas if the taxes are not rolled back.

  26. Whatever happens these coming two years, his re-election in 2020 is far from certain,

    I think the Democrats are in a self destructive mode and this will run on for a while. Their base have lost their minds. 67% think the Russians stole the election by manipulating votes, somehow.

    The racist arguments by Stacey Abrams, the losing Governor candidate in Georgia is an example.

    There is a possibility that the Democrats could somehow crash the economy or a stock market major correction, long overdue, could result in the election of a Democrat, assuming a viable candidate could survive the primaries.

    Personally, I think the Democrats taking over the House will increase his prospects of winning in 2020. Nothing will get done and they might even go into an impeachment frenzy. A few of the senior Democrats see this and will try to head off the crazies.

    He will have a foil, whereas, if the GOP had held the House, the voters would expect results. The GOP House was NOT interested in Trump’s agenda and did not pass anything important. This might have reflected on him. Now, he has a foil almost like Truman in 1948.

  27. Re Mike K’s comment “It is not that difficult to see what a revolt without a Trump-like figure might look like”…I just mentioned that to someone, and she disagreed that the US would have gone in that direction; in her view, those people losing out big-time under Obama/Hillary-type policies would be more likely to continue to withdraw into opioids than to engage in violence or activism. (To ‘opioids’, I would add videogames and alcohol)

  28. American conservatives don’t riot, or get violent. What you will see when the left gets in power next is the bulk of the country do what the left has pioneered with their “sanctuary city” nonsense. Who exactly do they think is going to take away people’s guns? The sheriffs of the counties that vote overwhelmingly against anything like that?
    No one will turn in their bump stocks, which are pointless and silly:
    Who do they think is going to turn in their AR-15, and who is going to take point in confiscating them?

    I’ve said before that I am certain that the next time the Dems have Congress and the White House, on Day 1 they will abolish the legislative filibuster and legalize all the illegals. Then in the next election they’ll get pulverized, same as after Obamacare, but they’ll think the short term loss is worth what they expect to be long-term gain. Of course, they’ll just further radicalize more of the public. Who comes after Trump won’t be nearly so nice and well behaved.

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