From the moment the dossier first became public, it was readily apparent that it was the work product of the Hillary Clinton campaign. As more evidence continues to unfold, we now have proof of what critical observers knew all along.
The thirty-five pages of “salacious” and “unverified” allegations against Donald Trump began, on page 1, with a prominent disclaimer preemptively exonerating Hillary Clinton: “A dossier of compromising material on Hillary Clinton has been collated by the Russian Intelligence Services over many years and mainly comprises bugged conversations she had on various visits to Russia and intercepted phone calls rather than any embarrassing conduct.”
For any reader with a reasonable degree of skepticism, the disclaimer was an obvious tell: “The lady doth protest too much, methinks.”
First, the disclaimer’s prominent placement at the beginning of the dossier would drive home to journalists, politicians and talking heads with similarly short attention spans that — are you sure you’re getting this? — Mrs. Clinton engaged in no embarrassing conduct and the Russians have just a few “bugged conversations,” that’s all.
Second, the tone of the statement is transparently designed to appear evenhanded while in fact exculpating Mrs. Clinton of any wrongdoing. Rather than damning with faint praise, the disclaimer paragraph exonerates with faint criticism: while the Russians intercepted Mrs. Clinton’s communications, they found “no embarrassing information.” But of course.
Third, there is the substance of the disclaimer paragraph. Even hostile actors who eavesdrop on Mrs. Clinton by intercepting her communications yield only “bugged conversations” and no “embarrassing conduct.” Nothing to see here, folks!
The three components of the disclaimer — placement, tone and substance — bore the hallmarks of a carefully scripted public relations ploy. Anyone who was paying attention could see that, and I said so at the time.
— Gayle Trotter (@gayletrotter) January 12, 2017
Now, as the facts continue to unfold, we see new revelations of abuse of power, collusion and foreign conspiracies — and, surprise surprise, the evidence points back to the Clinton campaign.
Surprise surprise, the evidence points back to the Clinton campaign
Whether it was Sidney Blumenthal or another operative associated with the Hillary Clinton campaign, we now know that the Clinton campaign was feeding information to the author of the Fake Dossier.
New disclosures show how Clinton campaign operatives were involved in funneling information to the Dossier author: a foreign source gave information to a Clinton campaign operative (Mr. Blumenthal or someone like him), who in turn gave the information to the State Department, who then gave the information to the dossier author and former British spy Christopher Steele.
In addition to the statement of Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.), we know that members of the Senate Judiciary Committee recently made a criminal referral to the Department of Justice and the FBI, asking federal law enforcement officials to investigate the dossier author for lying to the FBI, which is a federal crime.
Not only will dossier author Mr. Steele need to answer for a possible federal crime, but the trail of evidence continues to point back to the Clinton campaign and the DNC. We now know that a Clinton campaign operative was funneling foreign disinformation to Steele.
You have to wonder if the Democrats are engaging in massive psychological projection of their own candidate’s misdeeds onto others.
After all, the FBI used opposition research commissioned by one presidential campaign as a justification to spy on the opposing campaign. The FBI had to use the dossier in its FISA application because the FBI lacked enough other evidence to justify surveillance.
To corroborate the dossier, the rabidly anti-Trump Steele and Fusion GPS ginned up breathless fake news stories about the dossier’s absurd claims. The FBI did not inform the FISA Court that Mr. Steele ultimately worked for Mrs. Clinton’s campaign and the Democratic National Committee.
Months of wiretaps turned up nothing, yet the FBI gave itself open-ended license to spy on a campaign. The FBI subjected Carter Page, a private citizen, to months of government monitoring based on nothing more than gossip from a rival campaign.
All of this is shocking, appalling and utterly dismaying. And the dossier’s provenance was readily apparent from day one to anyone who bothered to look at page one of the dossier.