Did a Spy Come in from the Cold?

by Daveda Gruber:

The author of the famous anti-Trump dossier that led to the Russia probe, former British spy, Christopher Steele, has agreed to be questioned.

According to “The Times” (UK), investigators from the United States are scheduled to question Steele in London within weeks.

The 54 year old Steele, who compiled a dossier on Donald Trump’s ties to Russia, will be questioned by investigators, who’s names have not been revealed as yet.

Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report found no evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia during the 2016 election. Now, attention is back on the dossier, which was at the helm of the investigation.

Steele has allegedly told the Department of Justice that he would only discuss his dealings with the FBI and wanted assurances that U.S. officials would secure the agreement of the British government.

The British government has not commented.

The origins of the Russia probe has several ongoing investigations at this time. Being investigated are how the Democrat-funded dossier, which was written by Steele, was used to secure surveillance warrants for former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page in 2016.

There are disputed trails of information on whether former CIA Director John Brennan or former FBI Director James Comey had somehow used and pushed the unverified dossier during the presidential transition.

Testimony by Steele has been sought by Congressional committees but have been, so far, unsuccessful.

Steele drafted the dossier while he was working for political opposition firm Fusion GPS, which was co-founded by Glenn Simpson.

Steele has previously declined to be interviewed. He had cited the potential impropriety of his involvement in an internal Justice Department investigation as a foreign national. Did something change? I believe so. Mueller’s report didn’t come out as originally planned.

Attorney General William Barr appointed John Durham, the U.S. Attorney in Connecticut, to review the FBI’s Russia probe. Barr did testify that “spying” did occur against the Trump campaign during the 2016 campaign. Barr has made it clear that he wants to get to the bottom of the entire Russian probe.

Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz is probing how the dossier compiled by Steele was used to secure the original surveillance warrant.

Barr has said that he has not received answers from the intelligence community that are “at all satisfactory” in the early stages of his review into the origins of the Russian investigation.

Barr told CBS News, “Like many other people who are familiar with intelligence activities, I had a lot of questions about what was going on. And I assumed I’d get answers when I went in, and I have not gotten answers that are at all satisfactory.”

Barr was questioned by Senator Chuck Grassley, R-IA., and this particular testimony is worth listening to.

Watch the testimony here:

Republicans in Congress and President Trump have maintained that the dossier was the root of what tuned into the Russian probe.

When the Mueller report was ready to be released, Senator Lindsey Graham R-SC., had this to say:

We know that the Steele Dossier was at the stem of the Mueller Russia investigation and was paid for by the DNC and Clinton campaign. It bewilders me as to why these facts have not been brought to light with the proof to back it up.

Could it be that a key factor of proof lies in Steele’s testimony? We don’t know what is in Steele’s head but we should want to find out.

Another suicide is not what we need now, if you get my drift.

This show has started but we still have to wait for the exciting parts. My popcorn is ready.

Schiff Alleges Trump’s Policy Threatens National Security

by DavedaGruber:

On Friday the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Adam Schiff, D-Calif., adamantly criticized the Trump administration for dangerously politicizing the Intelligence Community.

Schiff is requesting that the IC agencies provide more information about the president’s order which would allow them to declassify information related to the Russian probe.

Schiff has alleged that Trump’s policy threatened national security and he now wants the IC to provide all documents made available to Attorney General William Barr.

Schiff wants his committee, before any declassification, to provide an assessment on declassification’s harms to national security.  He also wants an in-person briefing on what the administration had requested to that point.

According to Schiff, Trump endangered national security by granting Barr the authority to declassify information without consulting with the IC.

Schiff wrote, in a letter to Director of National Intelligence, Dan Coats, “President Trump’s May 23, 2019 directive to you and other heads of agencies to assist and produce information to Attorney General William P. Barr … represents a disturbing effort by the President and the Attorney General to politicize the Intelligence Community (“IC”) and law enforcement, and raises grave concerns about inappropriate and misleading disclosures of classified information and IC sources and methods for political ends.”

Schiff sent his letters to the directors of National Intelligence, Dan Coats; the FBI Director, Christopher Wray; CIA and National Security Agency, Director Gen. Paul Nakasone.
President Trump had imposed an order in an push to accelerate his Justice Department’s investigation into the Russia investigation’s origins.

Special Counsel Robert Mueller was unable to conclude the president’s 2016 campaign engaged in a conspiracy with Russia. This has brought up questions as to how the whole Russian probe began.

Schiff has suggested that the administration’s argument behind that investigation was a “conspiracy theory” and that it incorrectly mistrusted the validity of Mueller’s probe.

Schiff said, “The Special Counsel’s report definitively establishes that the counterintelligence investigation was properly initiated based on credible information from an intelligence partner. Yet the Attorney General has called into question, without evidence, the validity of the predication of what became the Special Counsel’s investigation.”

Schiff also said, “This approach threatens national security by subverting longstanding rules and practices that obligate you and other heads of IC agencies to safeguard sources and methods and prevent the politicization of intelligence and law enforcement.”

Former FBI Director James Comey, who led the Russia investigation during the 2016 presidential election, had basically expressed similar views when he said, “The FBI wasn’t out to get Donald Trump. It also wasn’t out to get Hillary Clinton. It was out to do its best to investigate serious matters while walking through a vicious political minefield.”

In an interview on Friday with CBS, Barr, he has vowed to get to the bottom of the investigation’s origins. He admitted that he faced difficulty in obtaining the answers he needed and said, “I assumed I’d get answers when I went in, and I have not gotten answers that are at all satisfactory.”

Republicans see the situation differently. They have demanded accountability after the release of Mueller’s report. The main concern here is the controversial Steele dossier’s role in initiating the investigation.

One key witness who is expected to refuse to cooperate with the review is former British spy Christopher Steele who is the author of the controversial “dossier” about alleged Trump interactions with Russia.

Congressional Democrats are continuing to press the administration for more answers surrounding Mueller’s investigation.

The roadblocks are in place as the president invoked executive privilege to avoid complying with subpoenas.

Now, some Democrats have taken their party’s efforts further and are calling for impeachment proceedings against the president. They don’t have enough support from their own party to impeach and Republicans, except for Justin Amash, R-Mich., don’t want impeachment.

In my humble opinion, the Steele dossier is the key factor here. The FISA warrant was issued because the dossier’s allegations helped justify the FISA warrant to wiretap former Trump adviser Carter Page.

The dossier now serves as an exhibit for the defense rather than the prosecution.

The show is about to begin. Stay tuned; the trailers are running in my head and I’m excited to see what happens next.