June 23, 2022

USA: Federal Election Commission Fined Hillary Clinton’s 2016 Presidential Campaign And Democratic National Committee For Lying About Funding The FAKE Steele Dossier To Smear Trump

The New York Post
written by Ben Kesslen
Wednesday March 30, 2022

The Federal Election Commission has fined both Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign and the Democratic National Committee for lying about how they spent money used to fund the now-debunked Steele dossier on former President Donald Trump.

The Clinton campaign and the DNC will be forced to pay $8,000 and $105,000 respectively for mislabeling payments that ultimately went to Fusion GPS, the consulting firm that commissioned the dossier, according to FEC documents viewed by the Post.

The fines stem from a complaint originally filed in 2018 by the Coolidge Reagan Foundation, which was informed of the outcome on Tuesday.

The Clinton campaign and the DNC paid more than $1 million combined to powerful Democratic law firm Perkins Coie, which engaged Fusion GPS to dig for dirt on Trump. Fusion GPS, in turn, hired former British spy Christopher Steele — whose namesake dossier included allegations that Russian security services possessed a tape of Trump in a Moscow hotel room with prostitutes who were supposedly urinating on a bed where the Obamas had previously stayed.

The FEC said Clinton and the DNC claimed the money given to Perkins Coie to hire Fusion GPS was reported on disclosure forms as having gone toward “legal advice and services” rather than opposition research.

The commission ruled it had found probable cause that both the Clinton campaign and the DNC had violated election law by not being “sufficiently specific” about the purpose of the payments and not including detailed information about Fusion GPS in the disclosure forms.

Both the Clinton campaign and the DNC did not admit the FEC’s finding, but said they “will not further contest the commission’s finding of probable cause,” according to documents reviewed by the Post.

Lawyers for both Democratic entities maintained the payments were reported “in accordance with the law and Commission guidelines,” claiming Fusion GPS’ work would assist Perkins Coie in providing legal advice. They also argued that Fusion GPS’s work was protected under attorney-client privilege.

Despite its murky sourcing, the dossier was used by the feds between October 2016 and September 2017 to successfully apply for surveillance warrants targeting former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page.

In November, Igor Danchenko, described as a key source for information in the dossier, was arrested and charged with lying to the FBI about the sources he tapped for his dubious intelligence.

Danchenko was nabbed as part of special counsel John Durham’s investigation into the origins of the FBI’s Russia probe, which Trump has long insisted was a witch hunt.

Former President Donald Trump said the ruling confirmed his belief that the 2016 Democratic candidate perpetrated a major hoax against his campaign.

“Wow! Just out that the 2016 Clinton Campaign and the DNC paid the FEC today for violating the law by failing to disclose that their payments for ‘legal advice and services’ to law firm Perkins Coie was, in fact, a guise to hire numerous companies, all of whom are now named Defendants in my lawsuit, to try and take down and illegally destroy your favorite President, me,” he said in a statement.

“This was done to create, as I have stated many times, and is now confirmed, a Hoax funded by the DNC and the Clinton Campaign. This corruption is only beginning to be revealed, is un-American, and must never be allowed to happen again. Where do I go to get my reputation back?”
The Washington Times
written by Rowan Scarborough
Friday, June 10, 2022

We can now lay to rest the Hillary Clinton campaign’s Alfa Bank-Donald Trump hoax. We can lower the Alfa casket next to the infamous Democratic-financed dossier as well as a list of other Russia scandals that never happened.

While FBI Washington clung to Christopher Steele’s dossier until even the anti-Trump “seventh floor” had to let go, FBI Chicago — with a rookie agent no less — greeted the Alfa case with immediate skepticism.

FBI testimony at the trial of former Clinton campaign lawyer Michael Sussmann showed the 2016 internet data he presented to journalists and former bureau General Counsel James A. Baker was shoddy.

Worse, the Trump email domain which was Mr. Sussmann’s nexus for Trump-Moscow secrecy was never activated. Difficult to have secret communication on a dead domain.

A D.C. jury found Mr. Sussmann not guilty on May 31 on the charge of lying to the FBI in special counsel John Durham’s first trial. But new details emerged from testimony, exhibits and Durham pretrial filings on how the Clinton operation coaxed FBI headquarters to pursue candidate Trump.

The seventh floor, where then-Director James B. Comey and Deputy Andrew McCabe ruled, was “fired up” by the Sussmann delivery, an internal email disclosed. The idea of a secret channel from former President Donald Trump to an oligarch-run bank in Putin-ville was tempting, but the party was short-lived since the Chicago field office was waving red flags.

Court filings show it was Rodney Joffe, a tech executive at Neustar Inc. in Northern Virginia, who got the hoax rolling. He had access to Domain Name System tables that match emails with internet protocol numerical addresses enabling him to spy on the Trump family.

He reinforced his surveillance reach by enlisting computer scientists at Georgia Tech University. They too had special DNS access via a federal government agency. The Joffe team concluded Mr. Trump was talking to Mr. Alfa.

The Sussmann-Joffe-Georgia data production landed in Chicago with rookie agent Allison Sands. She had only opened a few cases before being handed one of the most politically important probes in FBI history along with a mentor and host of cyber and counterintelligence experts.

On the afternoon of May 23, she told the Chicago story to a pro-Sussmann D.C. jury and Obama-appointed judge. Now an executive for Roku streaming, Ms. Sands displayed objectivity, not out to stop or start Mr. Trump.

She said: The domain which was the Sussmann/media focus in Pennsylvania — mail1.trump-email.com — was never operational.

Questioned by prosecutor Brittain Shaw, Ms. Sands said, “the particular domain in question that was mentioned in the [Sussmann] white paper, that one was dormant. It was largely dormant for the lifespan of its life, was currently inactive and that it was entirely a ‘from’ email address. So it only sent outbound messages.”

Then there is the quality of Mr. Sussmann’s presentation of white papers and thumb drives to James Baker in September 2016.

“It was text files, which is not a real DNS log. It was, you know, screenshots of things,” Ms. Sands said. “It wasn’t like an actual data set that you would normally want in a cyber investigation.”

This forced Chicago agents to create their own spreadsheet “from scratch,” she said. They obtained 130,000 records from server-provider Listrak in Pennsylvania; and more than 500,000 each from spam-marketer Central Dynamic and GoDaddy, the web host.

She testified, “That’s why we reached out to GoDaddy, and [Listrak], and the company that owned the domain, basically pulling the data from every possible location so that we could reconstruct what was happening from scratch, which is, like, the equivalent of basically like, you know, we know that there’s a puzzle, and we have to recreate this puzzle, but we don’t have the box to look at. We have to, like, do it from scratch.”

After five months of studying FBI reconstructed internet tables, there was no evidence Mr. Trump and Alfa were communicating. Ms. Sands closed the case.

“That there was no evidence on — from all of the U.S. companies we had spoken to, of the logs that we had looked at, as well as the Mandiant report from the Alfa-Bank servers [in Moscow], there was no evidence that this covert communication channel existed,” she testified. (Hired by Alfa, the Virginia-based Mandiant concluded that hackers created non-authentic domains not owned by either Mr. Trump or the bank. The hackers then pinged servers to make it look like a communication link.)

Washington FBI headquarters never let the Sands team talk to Mr. Sussmann or Mr. Joffe.

“We asked to interview the source of the white paper several times, because from the very beginning it was obvious that the data that was being provided was incomplete at the very least,” she said.

To an extent, she said, if she did meet with them it would be difficult to rebut their data because she could not share everything.

“We have information that is not publicly available,” she said. “We would have a hard time refuting their claims given just purely open-source information.”

Anyway, she said, a “lot of people bring conspiracy theories and things to the bureau all of the time.”

Counterintelligence special agent Ryan Gaynor helped the Chicago office. As a trial witness, he was asked about Mr. Joffe, who was an official FBI confidential human source. As he collected Trump DNS data, Mr. Joffe was in line to get hired if Mrs. Clinton won the presidency.

Andrew DeFilippis, one of four Durham prosecutors in the U.S. District Courtroom, asked this question of Mr. Gaynor:

“If you were to learn that the source of this information or the provider, the person who gave it to Mr. Sussmann, was a confidential human source who had multiple contracts with the FBI and was working with the Clinton campaign, would you have volunteered for this project?”

Mr. Gaynor answered, “I would not have volunteered for this project.”
UPDATE 6/23/22 at 5:03pm: Added info below.

No comments: