April - 2016

April, 2016 – The Hillary Clinton Campaign and the DNC helped fund the Steele dossier

Hillary Clinton makes a stop at Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s campaign office on August 9, 2016. (Credit: Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

“The Hillary Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee helped fund research that resulted in a now-famous dossier containing allegations about President Trump’s connections to Russia and possible coordination between his campaign and the Kremlin, people familiar with the matter said.

Marc E. Elias, a lawyer representing the Clinton campaign and the DNC, retained Fusion GPS, a Washington firm, to conduct the research.

After that, Fusion GPS hired dossier author Christopher Steele, a former British intelligence officer with ties to the FBI and the U.S. intelligence community, according to those people, who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

Elias and his law firm, Perkins Coie, retained the company in April 2016 on behalf of the Clinton campaign and the DNC.

The Clinton campaign and the DNC, through the law firm, continued to fund Fusion GPS’s research through the end of October 2016, days before Election Day.” (Read more: Washington Post, 10/24/2016)

Late April 2016 – Clinton’s law firm hires Crowdstrike and Fusion GPS and they are the lone sources for the ‘Russian hookers’ and ‘Russian hackers’ claims

Michael Sussman (Credit: Perkins-Coie)

The Washington Post reports that Michael Sussman, a partner with Perkins Coie and who represents the DNC and Hillary Clinton’s campaign, is responsible for hiring Crowdstrike.

“DNC leaders were tipped to the hack in late April. Chief executive Amy Dacey got a call from her operations chief saying that their information technology team had noticed some unusual network activity.

“It’s never a call any executive wants to get, but the IT team knew something was awry,” ­Dacey said. And they knew it was serious enough that they wanted experts to investigate.

That evening, she spoke with Michael Sussmann, a DNC lawyer who is a partner with Perkins Coie in Washington. Soon after, Sussmann, a former federal prosecutor who handled computer crime cases, called Henry, whom he has known for many years.

Within 24 hours, CrowdStrike had installed software on the DNC’s computers so that it could analyze data that could indicate who had gained access, when and how. (Read more: Washington Post, 6/14/2016)

 

April 26, 2016 – During a meeting in London, Professor Mifsud tells Papadopoulos the Russians have obtained “dirt” on Clinton

Joseph Mifsud (Credit: public domain)

“In London, Papadopoulos met an unidentified Russian academic (referred to as “the Professor”), who claimed to have significant ties to Putin-regime officials and who took an interest in Papadopoulos only because he boasted of having Trump-campaign connections. There appears to be no small amount of puffery on all sides: Papadopoulos suggesting to the Russians that he could make a Trump meeting with Putin happen, and suggesting to the campaign that he could make a Putin meeting with Trump happen; the Professor putting Papadopoulos in touch with a woman who Papadopoulos was led to believe was Putin’s niece (she apparently is not); and lots and lots of talk about potential high- and low-level meetings between Trump-campaign and Putin-regime officials that never actually came to pass.

In the most important meeting, in London on April 26, 2016, the Professor told Papadopoulos that he (the Prof) had just learned that top Russian-government officials had obtained “dirt” on then-putative Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton. The dirt is said to include “thousands of emails” — “emails of Clinton.” The suggestion, of course, was that the Russians were keen to give this information to the Trump campaign.

This may raise the hopes of the “collusion with Russia” enthusiasts. But there are two problems here.

First, Papadopoulos was given enough misinformation that we can’t be confident (at least from what Mueller has revealed here) that the Professor was telling Papadopoulos the truth. Remember, by April 2016, it had been known for over a year that Hillary Clinton had used a private email system for public business and had tried to delete and destroy tens of thousands of emails. The Russians could well have been making up a story around that public reporting in order further to cultivate the relationship with Papadopoulos (whom they appear to have seen as potentially useful). Note that the Professor suggested the Russians had Clinton’s own emails. But the emails we know were hacked were not Clinton’s — they were the DNC’s and John Podesta’s (Hillary is on almost none of them). So, Papadopoulos’s Russian interlocutors could well have been weaving a tale based on what had been reported, rather than on what was actually hacked and ultimately released by WikiLeaks.

Second, and more significant: If the proof, at best, implies that the Russians acquired thousands of Clinton emails and then had to inform a tangential Trump campaign figure of this fact so he could pass it along to the campaign, that would mean Trump and his campaign had nothing to do with the acquisition of the emails.” (Read more: National Review, 10/31/2017)

April 25, 2016 – August 22, 2017 – Obama’s official campaign organization pays nearly a million dollars to the same law firm that funneled money to Fusion GPS

Barack Obama (Credit: Carlos Barria/Reuters)

“Former president Barack Obama’s official campaign organization has directed nearly a million dollars to the same law firm that funneled money to Fusion GPS, the firm behind the infamous Steele dossier. Since April of 2016, Obama For America (OFA) has paid over $972,000 to Perkins Coie, records filed with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) show.

The Washington Post reported last week that Perkins Coie, an international law firm, was directed by both the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and Hillary Clinton’s campaign to retain Fusion GPS in April of 2016 to dig up dirt on then-candidate Donald Trump. Fusion GPS then hired Christopher Steele, a former British spy, to compile a dossier of allegations that Trump and his campaign actively colluded with the Russian government during the 2016 election. Though many of the claims in the dossier have been directly refuted, none of the dossier’s allegations of collusion have been independently verified. Lawyers for Steele admitted in court filings last April that his work was not verified and was never meant to be made public.

OFA, Obama’s official campaign arm in 2016, paid nearly $800,000 to Perkins Coie in 2016 alone, according to FEC records. The first 2016 payments to Perkins Coie, classified only as “Legal Services,” were made April 25-26, 2016, and totaled $98,047. A second batch of payments, also classified as “Legal Services,” were disbursed to the law firm on September 29, 2016, and totaled exactly $700,000. Payments from OFA to Perkins Coie in 2017 totaled $174,725 through August 22, 2017.

FEC records as well as federal court records show that Marc Elias, the Perkins Coie lawyer whom the Washington Post reported was responsible for the payments to Fusion GPS on behalf of Clinton’s campaign and the DNC, also previously served as a counsel for OFA. In Shamblin v. Obama for America, a 2013 case in federal court in Florida, federal court records list Elias as simultaneously serving as lead attorney for both OFA and the DNC.” (Read more: The Federalist, 10/29/2017)

April 19, 2016 – Mary Jacoby, wife of Glenn Simpson (Fusion GPS), appears on White House visitor logs

“Remember, previous media reporting -in conjunction with Clinton campaign admissions- have confirmed the DNC and Clinton Campaign financed Fusion-GPS through their lawyers within Perkins Coie.   Fusion then sub-contracted with retired British MI6 agent Christopher Steele to write the dossier.

The dates here are important because they tell a story.

The origin of the Clinton effort with Fusion-GPS was April 2016.  That’s the same month Fusion hired Nellie Ohr, wife of DOJ Deputy Bruce Ohr, to gather opposition research on candidate Trump.  It would be most likely that Nellie Ohr was in contact with Christopher Steele.  DOJ Deputy Attorney Bruce Ohr was later demoted for his unreported contacts with Christopher Steele and Fusion-GPS founder Glenn Simpson.

However, there was another event in this April 2016 timeline which enhances the trail of the Dossier origination. [Hat Tip Katica]  Check this out:

On April 19, 2016 Mary Jacoby shows up on White House visitor logs meeting with President Obama officials. In April 2016 the Clinton Campaign and DNC hired Fusion-GPS to organize the Russia research, that later became known as the “Steele Dossier.”

“The wife of Glenn Simpson (Fusion GPS), Mary B. Jacoby, with years of Russia-angled reporting –including Donald Trump– visits the White House in April 2016, at the same time as the DNC and Clinton hire Fusion GPS to conduct the opposition research on Donald Trump, surrounding Russia?

Mary B. Jacoby (Credit: public domain)

April: Mary Jacoby, wife of Fusion GPS founder Glenn Simpson, visits the White House.  The Clinton Campaign and DNC then hire Fusion GPS to conduct ‘Opposition Research’, with a Russian emphasis.  Fusion GPS then hires Nellie Ohr who specializes in Russian-centric counterintelligence.  Nellie Ohr then contacts MI6 agent Christopher Steele to write a Russian Dossier.  A month later, May 2016: Nellie Ohr’s husband inside the DOJ, Bruce Ohr, is then working with FBI counterintelligence head Peter Strzok.  By June 2016: Peter Strzok, Bruce Ohr and DOJ Attorney Lisa Page then apply for a FISA warrant.

June 24th, 2017, Mary Jacoby appears on Facebook taking credit for the origination of the Russiagate narrative.” (Read more: Conservative Treehouse, 12/21/2017)

April 2016 – NYC purges 200,000 voters and it isn’t a mistake

(Credit: public domain)

“In anticipation of voting in the April 19, 2016, presidential primary in New York, Kathleen Menegozzi checked her registration online. The Brooklyn resident, a registered Democrat since 2008, learned three weeks before the election that she had been struck from the rolls. Another Brooklyn Democrat, Casey James Diskin, who first joined the party in 2012, discovered five days before the primary that he was not registered at all.

In Manhattan, Michael Hubbard, a Democrat since 2015, checked his status online 17 days before planning to vote, only to find that he too was no longer registered. Meanwhile, in Queens, Benjamin Leo Gersh, who also had been a registered Democrat since 2015, checked on his voter status, and saw two weeks before the primary that he too had been purged.

Then-New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman would eventually reveal that they were among 200,000 New York City voters who had been illegally wiped off the rolls and prevented from voting in the presidential primary. But by January of 2017, when Schneiderman announced that he would intervene in a federal lawsuit against the New York City Board of Elections, along with the U.S. Department of Justice, the news fell on deaf ears.

The announcement had come just seven days after President Donald Trump’s inauguration. Although it was the first time the total number of purged voters had been disclosed, the media was consumed with a different statistic: the crowd size at Trump’s inauguration. At the same time, a snowballing narrative that Russia had hacked the U.S. election would overshadow the indisputable fact that a domestic government agency had committed election fraud.

The lack of media attention was in stark contrast to the recent barrage of headlines about a right-wing push to purge eligible voters from the rolls. Much of the media ignored New York’s proven case of election fraud, perhaps because it had been facilitated by Democrats, and not by Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, a Republican with a national profile for championing stricter voter ID legislation.

Schneiderman’s lawsuit, which was initially launched by a coalition of three voter rights groups, never went to trial – the New York City Board of Elections didn’t even try to dispute the attorney general’s findings. “The New York City Board of Elections got caught with their hand in the cookie jar,” said Jose Perez, general counsel for one of the plaintiffs, Latino Justice PRLDEF.

In October of 2017, the city’s elections board quietly settled the lawsuit by admitting it broke federal and state election laws. It agreed to a vague list of reforms in a consent decree, including that it “overhaul its voter registration and list maintenance procedures, adequately train relevant staff, submit to regular monitoring of its voter registration and list maintenance activities, and review every registration cancelled since July, 1, 2013.” (Read more: City & State New York, 11/06/2018)

April, 2016 – A definitive timeline showing when Clinton, DNC paid for the Russian Dossier

Clinton accepts the Democratic nomination for the presidency on July 27, 2017. (Credit: Thomson Reuters)

“There has been much confusion in the media — and thereby, the public — about who funded the infamous Trump dossier. Some outlets have incorrectly reported that Republicans began financing the dossier before the Clinton campaign and Democratic National Committee took over last Spring.

But that is incorrect. Democrats are solely responsible for the dossier, which was passed around by their research firm, Fusion GPS, to Beltway reporters and select lawmakers during the heat of the presidential campaign.

Here is the definitive timeline of how it all transpired.

Oct. 2015: It was reported late Friday that the Washington Free Beacon, a conservative website funded by GOP mega-donor Paul Singer, hired Fusion GPS to investigate Trump. Free Beacon’s editor said Friday that the research was standard opposition research and that it was not tied to the dossier work that would follow several months later. It is not clear what, if anything, Singer knew about Free Beacon’s hiring of Fusion. The hedge fund manager was Florida Sen. Marco Rubio’s biggest backer.

Feb. 20, 2016: Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush drops from the Republican primary.

Early March: Fusion GPS approached Perkins Coie, the law firm for the Clinton campaign and Democratic National Committee. Perkins Coie general counsel revealed this week that Fusion offered to continue Trump opposition research it had started while working for a Republican candidate.

March 15: Florida Sen. Marco Rubio drops from the Republican primary after losing to Trump in his home state.

April: Perkins Coie, using money from the Clinton campaign and DNC, hires Fusion GPS. Marc Elias, a Perkins Coie partner and general counsel for both the campaign and DNC, would serve as the bagman.

That month, Federal Election Commission records show that the Clinton campaign paid Perkins Coie a total of $150,000 for legal services. The DNC paid the firm around $107,000. It is unclear how much of that went to Fusion GPS. Both the campaign and DNC would pay Perkins Coie hundreds of thousands more dollars throughout the campaign. (Read more: The Daily Caller, 10/28/2017) (Perkins Coie Letter, 10/24/2017)