The secrets of RussiaGate, and what it all means

Summary: An update on RussiaGate. Who is winning? What does it all mean?

A mysterious figure, dimly seen.

Let’s be clear about RussiaGate, repeating what I said one year ago: The bottom line about RussiaGate: no explanation makes sense.

(1) “Trump has been bought or blackmailed by Putin”

“There’s really no question about Trump/Putin collusion, and Trump in fact continues to act like Putin’s puppet.”
— Paul Krugman at the NYT on 17 November 2017.

Trump has boosted the military budget to the moon, granting almost all the top items on DoD’s multi-trillion dollar wish list. He has continued the Bush-Obama policy of expanding our wars – into Africa, into Afghanistan, into Yemen, into Syria (directly taunting Putin: “Get ready Russia“). His national security team consists of generals plus a few neocon warmongers.

The accusations of Krugman and his fellow leftists are without foundation. Which is why they are usually stated without explanation or supporting evidence.

(2)  Russia “hacked” the election

For months after the election the media overflowed with lurid articles about vulnerable voting machines and massive social media advertising – Russian operations that helped Trump win. All were eventually debunked, and now have been put down the memory hole, replaced by new and equally exciting stories. They are still believed only by the true Trump-haters who (like all extremists) are immune to fact and logic.

For details see Exposing the farcical claims about Russian hacking of the election.

(3) The Steele dossier

The story as told to us makes no sense. Since its sources were Russian, it makes more sense as a deception op run by Russians against Trump.

The Left greeted stories about “Piss Trump” as gospel (literally “good news from God”). The lack of supporting evidence after two years does not disturb them.

(4) The FBI’s involvement in the election

The evidence shows that key FBI agents wanted to bring Trump down, either before or after the election. The FBI — and the former FBI Director as Special Prosecutor — have pursued the RussiaGate investigation with great energy, but no visible results. We are approaching the two year mark on the FBI’s investigation, with nothing substantial yet revealed to the public. Just rumors, sustained by aggressive leaks to the media.

Unless this something happens soon, the RussiaGate investigation will be unlike Watergate (Nixon resigned 26 months after the Watergate burglary). It might closely resemble Mueller’s four-year long persecution (not prosecution) of Steven Hatfill for the anthrax (see the LAT summary and the Wikipedia entry). This was so maliciously conducted that Hatfill achieved the almost-impossible: winning a $4.6 million award from the Federal government.

(5) The latest strange story

About That FBI ‘Source’

An op-ed in the WSJ by Kimberley A. Strassel (journalist, columnist).

“Did the bureau engage in outright spying against the 2016 Trump campaign?”

“The Department of Justice lost its latest battle with Congress Thursday when it allowed House Intelligence Committee members to view classified documents about a top-secret intelligence source that was part of the FBI’s investigation of the Trump campaign. Even without official confirmation of that source’s name, the news so far holds some stunning implications. …

“Thanks to the Washington Post’s unnamed law-enforcement leakers, we know Mr. Nunes’s request deals with a “top secret intelligence source” of the FBI and CIA, who is a U.S. citizen and who was involved in the Russia collusion probe. …Ergo, we might take this to mean that the FBI secretly had a person on the payroll who used his or her non-FBI credentials to interact in some capacity with the Trump campaign.

“This would amount to spying, and it is hugely disconcerting. It would also be a major escalation from the electronic surveillance we already knew about, which was bad enough. Obama political appointees rampantly “unmasked” Trump campaign officials to monitor their conversations, while the FBI played dirty with its surveillance warrant against Carter Page, failing to tell the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court that its supporting information came from the Hillary Clinton campaign. Now we find it may have also been rolling out human intelligence, John Le Carré style, to infiltrate the Trump campaign. …

{It} is clear is that we’ve barely scratched the surface of the FBI’s 2016 behavior, and the country will never get the straight story until President Trump moves to declassify everything possible. It’s time to rip off the Band-Aid.

Updates about this strange and potentially explosive story.

Lots of disturbing information here that does not fit the media narrative about the FBI-Mueller probe of Trump: “Did the FBI Have a Spy in the Trump Campaign?” by Andew McCarthy at National Review.

(6) Conclusions

The bottom line: we know almost nothing after two years of headlines. What we have are pieces of a puzzle that do not fit together without the kind of imagination possessed by political extremists of the Left or Right. Each month we get new pieces, but with no visible progress at seeing the full picture.

At some point Strassel’s recommendation might become the only way for the public to gain closure on RussiaGate, lest it become an endless pursuit of the great white whale Trump – distorting American public policy. Release it all for the public to see. So far the investigation has generated little but rumors — daily stories that either Mueller is about to indict Trump or Trump is about to fire Mueller (both predictions often stated with mad confidence).

More broadly, since Reagan these attempts to overturn elections by investigations have grown in frequency and intensity. These are symptoms of the deterioration of America’s political machinery.

(7) For More Information

Ideas! For some shopping ideas, see my recommended books and films at Amazon.

If you liked this post, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. See all posts about Russiaabout RussiaGate, and especially these…

  1. What Trump told Russia, why it matters, and why journalists ignore the smartest man in Washington.
  2. Trump and the Democrats stumble into a ‘Wilderness of Mirrors’.
  3. Debunking the Reality Winner leak about Russia hacking the election.
  4. The verdict on the stories of Russian hacking in the 2016 election.
  5. The WaPo strikes another blow for the Deep State against Russia.
  6. A review of Russiagate, its propaganda and hysteria.
  7. Secrets untold about the DNC hack, the core of RussiaGate.
  8. The exposés in the Nunes memo: big, but not as advertised.
  9. Debunking RussiaGate, attempts to stop the new Cold War.

7 thoughts on “The secrets of RussiaGate, and what it all means

    1. Peter,

      GOP appointees have controlled the Dept of Justice for 15 months. If there was something to investigate, I’d bet that they would be one it.

  1. I don’t know who’s winning here. I’m pretty sure that the country as a whole isn’t. if there’s a big loser so far, it may be the FBI. If the FBI doesn’t find Vladimir Putin hiding under Trump’s bed, then either he was there all along and they failed to find him, or they could never admit they got scammed, or they obtained a FISA warrant under false pretenses. Other three letter agencies have had scandals that basically cost them their reputation. For the NSA that was Snowden. For the CIA it was maybe Aldrich Ames. The FBI, despite the Steven Hatfill, Richard Jewell, and host of other problems, has always been politically more or less bulletproof. The Teflon may be wearing thin.

    It’s not true that we have no explanations that make sense. This makes perfect sense if you assume that the FBI got caught up in some combination of sedition and coverup, That may not be an explanation that either of us likes, but it makes sense. I keep half expecting this all to just peter out because no one really wants to know, but it hasn’t happened yet and there’s a hint of Dreyfus in the air. The honor of the FBI, like that of the French army, must be protected. God only knows what stupid and borderline treasonous thing these people will feel themselves compelled to do.

    1. The Man,

      “This makes perfect sense if you assume that the FBI got caught up in some combination of sedition and coverup”

      First, what’s the motive? Second, why the last minute attack on Hillary — against FBI policy? Third, if this was a deliberate program — why the incompetence? One guy has gotten fired. Several have quite, probably ahead of the axe. Lots of bad publicity for the FBI. No results after two years.

  2. “First, what’s the motive? Second, why the last minute attack on Hillary — against FBI policy?”

    If you’re referring to reopening the email investigation, that’s not an attack, that’s the FBI doing the job it never got round to doing the first time, but whatever. My speculation (And I shall be careful to label it as such, since there are in fact things we don’t know) is that there was a longstanding assumption in the FBI that Clinton would win, but that there would eventually have to be some sort of reckoning over that server.IComey said he was concerned that her election should seem “legitimate”, but what he was really worried about was the FBI being seen as having taken a hand in the election and being in the tank for Mrs Clinton. (Because, let’s face it, they had, and they were.) I don’t think they knew in advance how they were going to deal with that, they just assumed they’d burn that bridge when they came to it

    “why the incompetence? ”

    Because they were incompetent? OK, enough of that. Well, Clinton was incompetent anyway, and afterwards she and Obama wouldn’t shut up. (Neither would John Brennan, and you’d think the DCI would be a man who knew how to keep his mouth shut.) The narrative they kept pushing about her defeat had a lot of flaws in it, and it had the effect of calling attention to its own flaws. A gang who pulls off a major heist is forever after hostage to its stupidest member.

    Your questions are reasonable, and I can’t answer them. There are people who can, and might, if they ever find themselves facing an indictment. Gordon Liddy doesn’t live here anymore. And maybe that’s why no one ever gets indicted. For anything.

  3. The whole thing is baffling. I can only assume there’s a general mess of competing motivations and events that have combined to make this whole thing resistant to reasoned analysis.

    Trump campaign have some contact with Russian ‘unofficial’ officials.
    Obama gets nervous and asks FBI to peek at Trump campaign more closely.
    FBI, given an inch take a yard and overstep the mark as agencies are wont to do.
    Another bit of the FBI gets twitchy about the Clinton FOIA evasion techniques, apparent anti Trump bias and makes an ill timed statement about investigations into Clinton.
    Clinton loses and blames everyone and everything all the while not looking in the mirror
    Some of the press and those on the left think they’ve got a way to protest/impeach Trump out of office because of his ‘involvement’ with Russia.
    Some Republican groups come over all Manchurian Candidate and start seeing reds under the bed again.
    The ‘Remora fish’ of the media all see something to gain from pursuing one angle or another.

    I’m sure there are many more and that there’s really no single answer, it’s like some sort of emergent event with no discernible cause, purpose or likely conclusion except a very gradual fade out. It’ll still be feeding conspiracy theories a decade from now…

    Welcome to the internet age, where nothing truly dies and the zombie is king.

    1. Steve,

      (1) As you say, there is much more. Some of the most significant are not on your list.

      There is much much more to this story than on that list. For example, the murky origins of the Steele dossier. The large scale “unmasking” of Trump campaign officials by Obama officials (often non-intel officials), so their communications could be monitored).

      The behavior of FBI officials — prompting one firing and several resignations so far — seems more than “overstepping as agencies are wont to do.” The texts between Lisa Page and Peter Strzok show clear anti-Trump intent. Ditto McCabe.

      More broadly, the national security establishment showed signs of hysteria at Trump’s skeptical statements about the endless WOT and the new Cold War — projects on which they had lavished so much work.

      (2) “I’m sure there are many more and that there’s really no single answer, it’s like some sort of emergent event with no discernible cause, purpose or likely conclusion except a very gradual fade out.”

      Perhaps. We don’t know enough to say now. The other possibility is that this is like syphilis. Many unrelated symptoms, but one underlying cause.

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