October 7, 2019

USA: Hillary Clinton Defended Paying FOREIGN ex-British Spy and Russian Spy For MADE UP Dossier That Claimed Trump Russia Collusion During 2016 Election. GPS Fusion Colluded With DOJ Official.

The Daily Show with Trevor Noah published Nov 1, 2017: defeated Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton admits that she paid for the fake dossier written by a FOREIGN British ex-spy and a Russian spy that the FBI and Obama administration used to get the FISA court to approve wiretapping Hillary Clinton's political opponent citizen Donald J. Trump and his entire presidential campaign.
ABC News
written by Karma Allen
November 2, 2017

Former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton on Wednesday defended paying for a controversial dossier that alleged ties between President Donald Trump and Russia during the 2016 election.

In a late-night interview on “The Daily Show with Trevor Noah,” Clinton said there was a difference between her campaign paying for legal opposition research and Trump's team possibly working with Russia to influence the election.

The research effort expanded in March 2016 under financing from Democrats. The Washington Post first reported last Tuesday that the Democratic National Committee and Clinton campaign later retained Fusion GPS to conduct research.

ABC News reported in August that Fusion GPS was paid during the GOP primaries by a Republican and later by Democrats to dig up dirt on Trump and plant negative news stories.

Clinton downplayed the impact of the dossier during the Wednesday interview, highlighting that it came out after the election.
No, the dossier did not come out after the election. She even states in the paragraph below that the Obama's FBI was helping her investigate her political opponent, the Trump presidential campaign in the summer of 2016. Hillary even had her friends in the DOJ and the media help her spread the fake dossier Trump-Russia collusion lie. (emphasis mine)
"And what also didn't come out -- which I think is an even bigger problem as I write in the book -- is that the American people didn't even know that the FBI was investigating the Trump campaign because of connections with Russia starting in the summer of 2016," she said.

"So I know that voters should have had that information. That's something that may have influenced some people."
The Washington Examiner
written by Todd Shepherd
November 21, 2017

Newly filed court documents confirm that Fusion GPS, the company mostly responsible for the controversial “Trump dossier” on presidential candidate Donald Trump, made payments to three journalists between June 2016 until February 2017.

The revelation could be a breakthrough for House Republicans, who are exploring whether Fusion GPS used the dossier, which was later criticized for having inaccurate information on Trump, to feed anti-Trump stories to the press during and after the presidential campaign. The three journalists who were paid by Fusion GPS are known to have reported on "Russia issues relevant to [the committee's] investigation," the House Intelligence Committee said in a court filing.

But the recipients' names, the amounts, and purposes of those payments were either redacted from the documents that Fusion GPS filed to the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia or were not disclosed.

Fusion has asked the court to issue a restraining order against the House committee, which is demanding documents from the company that, among other things, explain the payments it made to reporters. Most of the documents sought are banking records.

One of the documents filed by the company this week was an affidavit from one of Fusion GPS’s co-founders, Peter Fritsch. That affidavit said, in part, “[The House Intelligence Committee] has also demanded records related to transactions between Fusion GPS and certain journalists — i.e., Request Nos. 66, 68-69, 107-112. Those requested records involve transactions that are not pertinent to work related to Russia or Donald Trump.”

The numbered “requests” correspond to a list of payments made by Fusion GPS being examined by the committee, which was also among the documents filed Tuesday, although the list was heavily redacted.

Fusion GPS didn't deny that some payments went to reporters, but argues that these payments were made to help the company with research.

“Fusion GPS is a research firm set up by former investigative journalists,” Fusion GPS’s lawyer, Josh Levy, said in a statement to the Washington Examiner. “As such, it sometimes works with contractors that have specialized skills seeking public information. Contractors are not permitted to publish any articles based on that work, and Fusion GPS does not pay journalists to write stories.”

Levy also dismissed the Republican idea that these payments were somehow aimed at or otherwise used to help get anti-Trump stories written by the press.

"This is simply another desperate attempt by the president’s political allies to discredit Fusion GPS's work and divert attention from the question these committees are supposed to be investigating: the Trump campaign's knowledge of Russian interference in the election," Levy said.

But House Republicans still have their doubts. One of the documents filed by lawyers for the House Intelligence Committee said each of the three reporters who received payments had written about the Russia probe, which could indicate that reporters were using Fusion GPS's work to write their stories.

“Additionally, the Committee seeks transactions related to three individual journalists, [names redacted], each of whom have reported on and/or been quoted in articles regarding topics related to the Committee's investigation, some of which were published as recently as October 2017," the committee wrote.

Additionally, a filing by lawyers for the House Intelligence Committee asserts that Fusion GPS “brokered meetings for dossier author Christopher Steele with at least five major media outlets in September 2016, including Yahoo news.”

The meeting by Yahoo resulted in one of the first media reports based on the dossier, which specifically mentioned Trump adviser Carter Page. After seeing the latest court filings, Page heaped praise on the committee.

"While many politicians and bureaucrats in the U.S. Congress remain distracted by irrelevant sideshows such as the minuscule amounts of money spent on Facebook ads that no one paid attention to last year or how various perverted members might have once amused themselves, the determined leaders and hard working staff with the House Intelligence Committee have once again remained on the tip of the spear as they drive toward essential answers regarding the real government interference in the 2016 election," Page said in an email to the Washington Examiner.

Page currently has a defamation suit against the parent company of Yahoo for the article published in September of last year.

At least two people have accused Fusion GPS of running smear campaigns by planting stories in the media with friendly journalists. Bill Browder, who was instrumental in initiating and promoting passage of the Magnitsky Act through Congress, has made that accusation. The Magnitsky Act is essentially a sanctions bill against dozens of Russian oligarchs and limits their access to Western banks.

The dossier has become one of the central components of the investigations being carried out by the House and Senate Intelligence committees, as well as the Senate Judiciary Committee. Investigators are trying to determine how the dossier may have influence the intelligence agencies during the 2016 election.

The Washington Examiner reported that “FBI and Justice Department officials have told congressional investigators in recent days that they have not been able to verify or corroborate the substantive allegations of collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign outlined in the Trump dossier.”

Fox Business published Jan 8, 2018: Fusion GPS bank records released to House panel. Judicial Watch founder Larry Klayman weighs in on the series of financial records from Fusion GPS submitted by TD Bank.
Daily Caller
written by Chuck Ross, Investigative Reporter
November 21, 2017

A federal court unsealed documents in a lawsuit over Fusion GPS’s bank records on Tuesday, revealing new details of payments made last year to the opposition research firm that commissioned the infamous Trump dossier.

The documents also shed new light on requests made by the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence about payments that Fusion GPS made to journalists.

The records were unsealed in response to a ruling made last week by Richard Leon, a federal judge in the district court in Washington, D.C.

The bank documents list 112 transactions involving Fusion GPS.

Most are redacted, save for transactions between two law firms that the oppo firm worked with last year on two Russia-related projects.

Perkins Coie, the law firm that represented the Clinton campaign and DNC, paid Fusion a total of $1,024,408 between May 24, 2016 and Dec. 28, 2016, the records show.

The largest payment was made just before the election. Perkins Coie made a $365,275 payment to Fusion GPS on Oct. 28, 2016, according to the records.

A payment made to Fusion in late-December is later than previously thought.

The transaction list does not show payments that Fusion made to Christopher Steele, the former British spy who wrote the dossier. The firm reportedly paid Steele a total of $168,000 for his work, which lasted from June 2016 until the election.
The records show that Fusion was also paid $523,651 by the law firm BakerHostetler between March 7, 2016 and Oct. 31, 2016.

Fusion worked for BakerHostetler to investigate Bill Browder, a London-based banker who helped push through the Magnitsky Act, a sanctions law vehemently opposed by the Kremlin.

BakerHostetler represented Prevezon Holdings and its owner, a Russian businessman named Denis Katsyv.

Katsyv and Prevezon sought to limit the impact of the Magnitsky sanctions.

Glenn Simpson, a former Wall Street Journal reporter and Fusion GPS founding partner, compiled the research for the anti-Browder project. He worked closely with Natalia Veselnitskaya, the Russian lawyer who also showed up at the infamous Trump Tower meeting held on June 9, 2016.

Simpson’s research ended up in the Trump Tower meeting in the form of a four-page memo carried by Veselnitskaya. She also shared Simpson’s work with Yuri Chaika, the prosecutor general of Russia.

Simpson told the House Intelligence Committee earlier this week that he did not know that Veselnitskaya provided the Browder information to Chaika or to Donald Trump Jr., the Trump campaign’s point-man in the Trump Tower meeting.

Simpson testified that he did not know that Veselnitskaya had visited Trump Tower until it was reported in the press earlier this year.
The unsealed documents also reveal details of the House committee’s requests for records related to Fusion’s payments to journalists.

The document shows that the committee sought records related to “five Fusion payments to research and Russia expert [name redacted], and production of three additional payments.”

The committee also seeks records “related to Fusion’s payments to journalists who have reported on Russia issues relevant to its investigation.”

In a memo filed Tuesday, lawyers for the House panel said they are seeking transactions related to nine payments made to “three individual journalists…each of whom have reported on and/or been quoted in articles regarding topics related to the Committee’s investigation, some of which were published as recently as October 2017.”

The names of the journalists are redacted in the filing.

It is not clear from the requests whether Fusion GPS paid active journalists for their work. The firm is known to employ a stable of former reporters. Simpson and his two founding partners, Peter Fritsch and Thomas Catan, worked together at The Wall Street Journal.

The unsealed filings show that Fusion argued against releasing records related to payments to journalists.

In a Nov. 3 declaration, Fritsch argued that “transactions between Fusion GPS and certain journalists…are not pertinent to work related to Russia or Donald Trump.”

And in a Nov. 2 email to the Intel committee’s legal team, Levy argued that “records related to payments to the journalists and ‘individuals’ are protected by the First Amendment and confidentiality, and they are not pertinent.”

Fox Business published Oct 16, 2018: Fusion GPS co-founder pleads Fifth on the FAKE anti-Trump dossier. FOX News contributor Jason Chaffetz discusses how Fusion GPS co-founder Glenn Simpson invoked his Fifth Amendment right not to testify during an appearance before the House Judiciary Committee.

Fox News published Oct 19, 2018: Nellie Ohr claims spousal privilege in deposition. Former Fusion GPS researcher Nellie Ohr is married to DOJ official Bruce Ohr and that's apparently a big factor in which questions she's answering in her closed-door testimony on Capitol Hill; reaction and analysis from John Yoo, former deputy assistant attorney general under President George W. Bush.

Fox News published August 8, 2019: Justice Department releases DOJ Official Bruce Ohr's interview records. Reaction from former DOJ prosecutor Jim Trusty and former deputy assistant attorney general John Yoo.

The Wall Street Journal
written by Kimberley A. Strassel
August 15, 2019

The Justice Department is investigating how a former British intelligence agent, Christopher Steele, came to exert so much influence over the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s erroneous Trump-Russia collusion narrative. Let’s hope the department is also investigating an even more influential man who had even less business manipulating the government: Glenn Simpson, the head of opposition-research firm Fusion GPS.

That’s a pressing question in light of new documents from high-ranking Justice official Bruce Ohr, obtained recently by Judicial Watch. The papers include, among other things, a dozen official FBI interviews (known as 302s) of Mr. Ohr that date from just after the 2016 election through May 2017. The documents suggest Mr. Simpson was the real puppet master of the collusion drama.

Most of the FBI’s debriefs of Mr. Ohr center on information about or from Mr. Steele—itself a major breach of FBI protocol. The bureau fired Mr. Steele as a source in autumn 2016, when it became clear he was blabbing about the FBI investigation to the press. The FBI nonetheless continued to use Mr. Ohr as a back door to its discredited source. The 302s relate the numerous times and ways Mr. Steele contacted Mr. Ohr with information—although many of the details of the conversations remain redacted.

More eye-popping in the 302s is the ease with which Mr. Simpson landed meetings with powerful officials, for no apparent purpose other than to peddle unverified accusations against the Trump team. This isn’t a former intelligence officer or government official, or even someone with specialized knowledge of Russia. Mr. Simpson is a private citizen—and one who Mr. Ohr and the FBI knew was providing information to Hillary Clinton’s team (as Mr. Ohr acknowledges in his initial 302). Yet when Mr. Simpson called, officials across Washington hopped to, swallowing the claims that would become the basis of a false hysteria.

We already knew Mr. Simpson’s relationship with Mr. Ohr began well before the July 2016 launch of the FBI investigation. We knew Mr. Simpson used his many press connections to get the collusion story out. And we know from former FBI counsel James Baker’s House testimony the FBI was aware in 2016 that “Simpson was going around Washington” giving Mr. Steele’s dossier “to a lot of different people and trying to elevate its profile.”

Now we have specifics. Thanks to the 302s, we have Mr. Ohr on Nov. 22, 2016, reporting that Mr. Simpson had been “talking to [then-Assistant Secretary] Victoria Nuland at the U.S. State Department.” We have Mr. Ohr several weeks later relaying that he met Mr. Simpson for breakfast on Dec. 10, where Mr. Simpson turned over a “thumb drive,” which was “entered into evidence.” At that meeting Mr. Simpson also informed Mr. Ohr—who in turn informed the FBI—that Trump lawyer Michael Cohen was “the go-between” who connected “Russia and the Trump campaign,” that a Russian was funneling money “to the National Rifle Association,” that there was “communication” between the Trump campaign and a Russian bank, and plenty more. Bob Mueller found none of this in his report.

We have Mr. Ohr explaining he received more information from Mr. Simpson on Jan. 20, 2017, the day President Trump was inaugurated. We separately have him offering in early December 2016 to “provide his wife’s research” for Fusion GPS “to the FBI.” The FBI later that month gladly took possession of the “totality of the work Nellie Ohr conducted for Simpson,” and entered it “into evidence.” Put another way, a great deal more of the anti-Trump Simpson file beyond just the dossier made its way to the FBI. These whispers of Mr. Simpson’s helped provoke a counterintelligence investigation into a sitting president, a special counsel and a media frenzy—for more than two years.

Then consider that Mr. Simpson is the progenitor of the dossier as well. Mr. Steele wrote it because Mr. Simpson hired him to do so, on behalf of the Clinton campaign and Democratic National Committee. Why Mr. Steele? In Senate testimony, Mr. Simpson casually marked it down to their having previously “worked together.” Then again, if the goal all along was to push opposition research to senior officials, it seems just as likely Mr. Steele was chosen because of his existing high-level contacts—with the Ohrs, with Obama State Department employee Jonathan Winer, and with FBI agents.

The former FBI leadership—Director James Comey, Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, counterespionage chief Peter Strzok —continue to insist the bureau did nothing wrong. But given the humiliating truth that there was no Russia collusion, the FBI’s actions can be described in only one of two ways. At worst, its leadership willfully acted against the Trump administration on information it knew was bogus. At best, its leadership was so standardless and inept as to allow a paid political operative to lead it around by the nose. In either case, there’s no excuse or justification.
National Review
written by Andrew C. McCarthy
May 22, 2018

The Trump-Russia investigation did not originate with Carter Page or George Papadopoulos. It originated with the Obama administration.

Exactly when is the “late Spring”?

Of all the questions that have been asked about what we’ve called the “Origination Story” of the Trump-Russia investigation, that may be the most important one. It may be the one that tells us when the Obama administration first formed the Trump-Russia “collusion” narrative.

As we’ve observed, that story became untenable once a connection emerged between the Bureau’s concerns about Page and the Steele dossier. The dossier, compiled by former British spy Christopher Steele, portrayed Page’s Moscow trip as seminal to a Trump-Russia conspiracy to hack Democratic email accounts and steal the election from Hillary Clinton.

It turned out, however, that the dossier was a Clinton-campaign opposition-research project, the main allegations of which were based on third-hand hearsay from anonymous Russian sources. Worse, though the allegations could not be verified, the Obama Justice Department and the FBI used them to obtain surveillance warrants against Page, in violation of their own guidelines against presenting unverified information to the FISA court. Worse still, the Obama Justice Department withheld from the FISA court the facts that the Clinton campaign was behind the dossier and that Steele had been booted from the investigation for lying to the FBI.

Origination Story 2.0: George Papadopoulos

With the Page origination story cratering, Team Obama tried to save the day with Origination Story 2.0: Papadopoulos did it. In this account, George Papadopoulos, an even more obscure Trump-campaign aide than Page, triggered the investigation by telling Australian diplomat Alexander Downer, in May 2016, that he’d heard from a Kremlin-connected academic, Josef Mifsud, that Russia had thousands of emails potentially damaging to Clinton.

But this rickety tale had the signs of an after-the-fact rationalization, an effort to downplay the dossier and the role of Obama officials in the genesis of the probe. There were curious questions about how the twentysomething Papadopoulos came to be meeting with Australia’s highest-ranking diplomat in the United Kingdom, and about how and when, exactly, this Australian information came to be transmitted to the FBI.

It turns out that, in “late spring” 2016, the FBI’s then-director James Comey briefed the principals of the National Security Council on “the Page information.” As the Washington Examiner’s Byron York observes in a perceptive column today, NSC principals are an administration’s highest-ranking national-security officials. In Obama’s National Security Council, the president was the chairman, and among the regular attendees were the vice-president (Joe Biden), the national-security adviser (Susan Rice), and the director of national intelligence (James Clapper). The heads of such departments and agencies as the Justice Department (Attorney General Loretta Lynch) and the CIA (Director John Brennan) could also be invited to attend NSC meetings if matters of concern to them were to be discussed.

We do not know which NSC principals attended the Comey briefing about Carter Page. But how curious that the House Intelligence Committee interviewed so many Obama-administration officials who were on, or who were knowledgeable about, the NSC, and yet none of them provided a date for this meeting more precise than “late spring” 2016.

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