In one of the least surprising, yet most important, developments in the years-long Russia-collusion hoax, a recently declassified portion of the DOJ Inspector General’s Report on the FBI investigation of the Trump campaign has revealed that Trump was the target of a Russian disinformation campaign. And the FBI knew it.

So rather than colluding with the Russians, which the Mueller Report conclusively rejected, Trump was the victim of a Russian disinformation campaign exploited and promoted by Democrats, the media, and the FBI.

The revelation concerns the so-called Steele Dossier, a document commissioned by the Hillary Clinton campaing and the Democratic National Committee. The Dossier, containing allegations that Trump was compromised, turbo-charged the FBI investigation of the campaign and, after it was published by Buzzfeed, stoked anti-Trump derangement at MSNBC and elsewhere.

Yet it’s now revealed that the FBI knew at least no later than 2017 that much of the dossier was Russian disinformation.

The implications are staggering. Senator Ron Johnson, who fought to have the information declassified, writes in The Wall Street Journal, Russian Disinformation Fed the FBI’s Trump Investigation:

Declassified footnotes to a Justice Department inspector general report show that the Federal Bureau of Investigation team investigating members of the Trump campaign received classified reports in 2017 identifying key pieces of the Steele dossier as products of a Russian disinformation campaign. This might be only the tip of the iceberg because other recently declassified information demonstrates that even more disinformation may have been planted in Christopher Steele’s reporting.

Let that sink in. The FBI knew that at least some of its evidence against the Trump campaign, and maybe more, was likely part of a Russian disinformation campaign—evidence from a source that was “central and essential” for getting the first FISA warrant. It isn’t clear what if anything the FBI did to determine whether their investigation was based in substantial part on Russian disinformation.

Yet the FBI assistant director in charge of the investigation, Bill Priestap, told the inspector general that as of May 2017 (when Robert Mueller took over as special counsel), the FBI “didn’t have any indication whatsoever” that their evidence was part of a Russian disinformation campaign….

The FBI team’s handling of these intelligence reports seems consistent with how it ran the entire investigation. From the opening of the investigation, the FBI team kept accumulating exculpatory information. Yet rather than wind the investigation down, they ramped it up. Minimally intrusive open-source searches became Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act warrants and confidential human sources targeting campaign staffers.

Then it got worse. The FBI team excluded exculpatory information from its FISA application; it ignored exculpatory evidence provided by another U.S. government agency; and, when that later became an issue, an FBI attorney doctored an email to cover it up. Given all that, it’s not surprising that the FBI, on learning their evidence was the product of a Russian disinformation campaign, simply shrugged it off.

Catherine Herridge reports at CBS News:

The dossier was used, in part, by FBI investigators to secure four surveillance warrants for Page.

Footnote 350 in the IG report addresses the FBI’s knowledge of Russian contacts with Steele and the potential for disinformation. Steele had “frequent contacts with representatives for multiple Russian oligarchs, we identified reporting the Crossfire Hurricane team received from (redacted) indicating the potential for Russian disinformation influencing Steele’s election reporting.”

The footnote also indicates that warnings to the FBI’s Russia probe became more pronounced over time.

“The (redacted) stated that it did not have high confidence in this subset of Steele’s reporting and assessed that the referenced subset was part of a Russian disinformation campaign to denigrate US foreign relations.”

Footnote 302 relates to the FBI’s efforts to verify information contained in the Steele dossier, commissioned by the DNC through opposition research firm Fusion GPS.

“According to a document circulated among Crossfire Hurricane team members and supervisors in early October 2016, Person 1 had historical contact with persons and entities suspected of being linked to RIS (Russian Intel)……In addition, in late December 2016, Department Attorney Bruce Ohr told SSA 1 that he had met with Glenn Simpson (Fusion GPS) and that Simpson had assessed that Person 1 was a RIS (Russian intel) officer who was central in connecting Trump to Russia.”

The third footnote also relates to the Steele source.

Assistant Attorney General Stephen E. Boyd, in a letter to Grassley and Johnson, wrote that the “fourth and final footnote presents unique and significant concerns. Specifically, the redacted information refers to information received by a member of the Crossfire Hurricane team regarding possible previous attempts by a foreign government to penetrate and research a company or individuals associated with Christopher Steele.”

The media and Democrats were Russian dupes, people who helped the Russians consummate the disinformation campaign by relentlessly pushing the information in an attempt to remove Trump. They were useful idiots at best, willing participants at worst.

All of this, which would have been known to Attorney General Bill Barr, likely contributed to his statement recently that the Russia-Collusion Investigation Into Trump’s Campaign Was ‘One of the Greatest Travesties in American History’.

Prosecutor John Durham has a criminal investigation underway, and is on record rejecting the Inspector General’s conclusion that the launch of the investigation into the Trump campaign was justified.

 

 
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