December 2016

December 30, 2016 – The credibility of cyber firm Crowdstrike, claiming Russia hacked the DNC, comes under serious question

Jeffrey Carr (Credit: Vimeo)

“The cyber security firm hired to inspect the DNC hack and determine who was responsible is a firm called Crowdstrike. Its conclusion that Russia was responsible was released last year, but several people began to call its analysis into question upon further inspection.

Jeffrey Carr was one of the most prominent cynics, and as he noted in his December post, FBI/DHS Joint Analysis Report: A Fatally Flawed Effort:

The FBI/DHS Joint Analysis Report (JAR) “Grizzly Steppe” was released yesterday as part of the White House’s response to alleged Russian government interference in the 2016 election process. It adds nothing to the call for evidence that the Russian government was responsible for hacking the DNC, the DCCC, the email accounts of Democratic party officials, or for delivering the content of those hacks to Wikileaks.

It merely listed every threat group ever reported on by a commercial cybersecurity company that is suspected of being Russian-made and lumped them under the heading of Russian Intelligence Services (RIS) without providing any supporting evidence that such a connection exists.

Unlike Crowdstrike, ESET doesn’t assign APT28/Fancy Bear/Sednit to a Russian Intelligence Service or anyone else for a very simple reason. Once malware is deployed, it is no longer under the control of the hacker who deployed it or the developer who created it. It can be reverse-engineered, copied, modified, shared and redeployed again and again by anyone. In other words — malware deployed is malware enjoyed!

If ESET could do it, so can others. It is both foolish and baseless to claim, as Crowdstrike does, that X-Agent is used solely by the Russian government when the source code is there for anyone to find and use at will.

If the White House had unclassified evidence that tied officials in the Russian government to the DNC attack, they would have presented it by now. The fact that they didn’t means either that the evidence doesn’t exist or that it is classified.

If it’s classified, an independent commission should review it because this entire assignment of blame against the Russian government is looking more and more like a domestic political operation run by the White House that relied heavily on questionable intelligence generated by a for-profit cybersecurity firm with a vested interest in selling “attribution-as-a-service”.

Nevertheless, countless people, including the entirety of the corporate media, put total faith in the analysis of Crowdstrike despite the fact that the FBI was denied access to perform its own analysis. Which makes me wonder, did the U.S. government do any real analysis of its own on the DNC hack, or did it just copy/paste Crowdstrike?

As The Hill reported in January:

The FBI requested direct access to the Democratic National Committee’s (DNC) hacked computer servers but was denied, Director James Comey told lawmakers on Tuesday.

The bureau made “multiple requests at different levels,” according to Comey, but ultimately struck an agreement with the DNC that a “highly respected private company” would get access and share what it found with investigators.

“We’d always prefer to have access hands-on ourselves if that’s possible,” Comey said, noting that he didn’t know why the DNC rebuffed the FBI’s request.

This is nuts. Are all U.S. government agencies simply listening to what Crowdstike said in coming to their “independent” conclusions that Russia hacked the DNC? If so, that’s a huge problem. Particularly considering what Voice of America published yesterday in a piece titled, Cyber Firm at Center of Russian Hacking Charges Misread Data:

An influential British think tank and Ukraine’s military are disputing a report that the U.S. cybersecurity firm CrowdStrike has used to buttress its claims of Russian hacking in the presidential election.

The CrowdStrike report, released in December, asserted that Russians hacked into a Ukrainian artillery app, resulting in heavy losses of howitzers in Ukraine’s war with Russian-backed separatists.

But the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) told VOA that CrowdStrike erroneously used IISS data as proof of the intrusion. IISS disavowed any connection to the CrowdStrike report. Ukraine’s Ministry of Defense also has claimed combat losses and hacking never happened.

The challenges to CrowdStrike’s credibility are significant because the firm was the first to link last year’s hacks of Democratic Party computers to Russian actors, and because CrowdStrike co-founder Dimiti Alperovitch has trumpeted its Ukraine report as more evidence of Russian election tampering.

(Read more: Michael Krieger/Liberty Blitzkrieg, 3/22/2017)

December 29, 2016 – The Intel community releases the Joint Analysis Report claiming Russia hacked the DNC, then Obama imposes sanctions

“Prior to March 9th, 2016, the political surveillance and spy operations of the Obama administration were using the FBI and NSA database to track/monitor their opposition. However, once the NSA compliance officer began initiating an internal review of who was accessing the system, the CIA and FBI moved to create ex post facto justification for their endeavors. [Full Backstory]

After the November 8th, 2016, election everyone within the Obama network associated with the Trump surveillance operation was at risk. This is the impetus for the “Muh Russia” collusion- conspiracy narrative that was used as a mitigating shield. Within a few days after the election ODNI James Clapper and CIA Director John Brennan began pushing the Russia election interference narrative in the media.

By mid-December 2016 the Obama administration was deploying a full-court-press using their media allies to promote the Russia conspiracy.  However, despite their public proclamations Clapper and Brennan were refusing to give any specifics to congress.

(Credit: Conservative Treehouse)

The hard narrative was that Russia interfered. That was the specific push from within the Obama intelligence apparatus writ large.  All IC officials, sans Mike Rogers (NSA), had a self-interest in pushing this narrative; after all, it was the defensive mechanism to justify their illegal spying operation throughout 2016.  This was their insurance policy.

The media was doing their part; and using the information leaked to them by those who were part of the 2016 operation(s) began battering the Trump transition team every hour of every day with questions about the Russia hacking narrative; thereby fertilizing the seeds of a collusion conspiracy.

On December 29, 2016, the IC produced, and rushed to completion, a ridiculous document to support the false-premise.  This was called the Joint Analysis Report which claimed to outline the details of Russia’s involvement hacking into targeted political data base or computer systems during the election.  We were introduced to “Grizzley Steepe” and a goofy claim of Russian hackers.

On the same day (12/29/16) President Obama announced a series of sanctions against Russians who were located in Maryland.  This was Obama’s carefully constructed response to provide additional validity to the Joint Analysis Report.  After fueling the Russia conspiracy for several weeks the Obama administration knew this action would initiate a response from both Russia and the incoming Trump administration.

On the day the JAR was released and Obama made the announcement, President-elect Donald Trump and some of his key members were in Mar-a-Lago, Florida.  Incoming National Security Adviser Mike Flynn was on vacation in the Dominican Republic. As expected the Obama action spurred calls between Russian emissary Kislyak and Flynn.

The Obama IC were monitoring Kislyak communications and waiting for the contact.  Additionally, it is suspected Flynn may have been under a FISA surveillance warrant which seems confirmed by the Weissmann/Mueller report. The FBI intercepted, recorded, and later transcribed the conversation.

The media continued to follow the lead from the Obama White House and Intelligence Community (writ large) fueling a narrative that any contact with the Russians was proof of collusion of some sort.   In addition, the communications team of the White House, DOJ, FBI and aggregate IC began pushing a narrative surrounding the obscure Logan Act.

The ridiculous Logan Act promotion was targeted to infer that any action taken by the Trump campaign prior to taking office was interference with the political Obama Russia action, and would be evidence of collusion. That was the plan.  DOJ Deputy AG Sally Yates was in charge of pushing the Logan Act narrative to the media.” (Read more: Conservative Treehouse, 4/28/2016)

December 29, 2016 – March 30, 2017: A timeline of General Michael Flynn events

General Michael Flynn (Credit: Congressional Quarterly/Roll Call)

December 29 2016General Michael Flynn speaks to the Russian Ambassador. The conversation takes place the same day that outgoing President Barack Obama imposes sanctions against Russia for suspected hacking of Democrats’ emails during the election.

The conversation is recorded by intelligence agencies and later reviewed by the FBI. Recording or releasing Americans’ conversations is prohibited without written approval from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISA). The existence of recorded conversations and the contents of the conversation are barred from public release by classification rules and privacy laws.

December 29 2016 – Obama announces sanctions on Russia.

December 30 2016 – Russian leader Vladimir Putin addresses Obama’s sanctions by not expelling any U.S. officials. Putin’s lack of retaliatory action prompts some to later conclude that Flynn relayed a message regarding the sanctions in his December 29th conversation with the Russian Ambassador.

January 3 2017 – Loretta Lynch signs Section 2.3 of Executive Order 12333 – Procedures for the Availability or Dissemination of Raw Signals Intelligence Information by the NSA – into effect. This order is significant. As I note in, The Suspicious Timing of Obama’s NSA Data-Sharing Order:

Prior to the formal signing of Section 2.3 it appears that there existed more latitude within the White House in regards to collection of information on the Trump Campaign. However, once signed into effect, Section 2.3 granted broad latitude in regards to inter-agency sharing of information. By the time the new order was signed, the information was already in the Obama White House’s possession.

The new order, had it been implemented earlier, might have restricted White House access to information regarding the Trump Team. Once signed, it granted broad latitude to inter-agency sharing of information already held.

Importantly, the transcript of Flynn’s call was already in the possession of the Obama White House.

January 4 2017Mike Flynn informs transition White House Counsel Don McGahn that he is under federal investigation for work as a paid lobbyist to Turkey.

Jan 12 2017 –  Mike Flynn’s Dec 29 2016 call is leaked to Washington Post. The article portrays Flynn as undermining Obama’s Russian sanctions.

Jan 15 2017 – VP Pence appears on Face the nation to defend Flynn’s calls – five days before the inauguration of President Trump.

January 19 2017 – The New York Times reports, on the eve of Inauguration Day, that several agencies — the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Central Intelligence Agency, the National Security Agency and the Treasury Department are monitoring several associates of the Trump campaign suspected of Russian ties.

January 19 2017 – Obama’s top intelligence and law-enforcement deputies meet to talk about Flynn’s conversation with Kislyak, according to a Feb 13 article in the Washington Post.

January 20 2017 – Inauguration.

January 23 2017Acting Attorney General Sally Yates increases pressure on FBI Director Comey regarding Mike Flynn – telling Comey that Flynn could be vulnerable to blackmail.

January 23 2017 – The Washington Post reports that the FBI intercepted a conversation in late December 2016 between Michael Flynn and Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak. The intercept is supposedly part of routine spying on the ambassador.

January 23 2017 – The FBI reports nothing unlawful in content of Flynn call. Having listened to the tapes, the FBI clears General Michael Flynn of any wrongdoing in his conversations with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak. Flynn did not violate the Logan Act by attempting to influence US foreign policy.

January 24 2017 – Mike Flynn is interviewed at the White House by the FBI. It is during this interview that Flynn supposedly lies to the FBI – despite having his calls already cleared by the FBI. The surprise – and unscheduled – interview is conducted by Peter Strzok.

January 25 2017 –  The Department of Justice receives a detailed briefing on Flynn from the FBI.

January 26 2017 – Yates contacts White House Counsel McGahn who agrees to meet with Yates the same day.

January 26 2017 – Sally Yates meets with McGahn. She also brings Mary McCord – Acting Assistant Attorney General – and Head of the DOJ’s National Security Division.

Yates later testifies the meeting surrounds General Flynn’s phone calls and his FBI Interview. She also testifies that Flynn’s call and subsequent interview “was a topic of a whole lot of discussion in DOJ and with other members of the intel community.”

January 27 2017 – McGahn calls Yates and asks if she can come back to his office.

January 27 2017 – Yates returns to the White House without McCord. McGahn asks to examine the FBI’s evidence on Flynn. Yates says she will respond by Monday.

To my knowledge, Yates fails to provide McGahn with the FBI’s evidence on Flynn.

A timeline of these multi-day events can be found here. The timeline comes from Yates’s full testimony which can be viewed here. Yates’s testimony specific to Mike Flynn can be seen here.

Sally Yates became Acting Attorney General on January 20, 2017, after Loretta Lynch left office upon President Trump’s inauguration. On January 30, 2017, President Trump fired Yates for refusing to enforce the Travel Ban.

January 27 2017 – (evening) President Trump has dinner with FBI Director James Comey. President Trump asks Director Comey if he is under investigation, BUT President Trump does not ask about the Flynn investigation at this meeting.

January 30 2017President Trump fires Acting Attorney General Sally Yates for refusing to enforce the Travel Ban.

February 2 2017 – Details of conversations between President Trump, the Australian Prime Minister, and the Mexican President are leaked – portraying the calls as contentious. Both Australia and Mexico denied the calls were contentious.

February 8 2017 – In an interview with the Washington Post, Michael Flynn denies having discussed sanctions with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak.

February 8 2017Jeff Sessions is confirmed as Attorney General.

February 9 2017 – The New York Times and the Washington Post publish articles claiming that General Michael Flynn discussed sanctions with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak in December of 2016.

The articles are confusing and some details contradictory.

February 13 2017 – The Washington Post reports that Acting Attorney General Sally Yates warned the White House in January that General Michael Flynn may be vulnerable to Russian blackmail, due to his conversations with Ambassador Kislyak.

February 13 2017 – Mike Flynn resigns as National Security Advisor after it was revealed he had misled Vice President Mike Pence about phone conversations he had with Sergey Kislyak, the Russian ambassador to the United States.

February 14 2017 – The New York Times reports that members of the Trump campaign had “repeated contacts with senior Russian intelligence officials” – according to four anonymous sources. The Trump campaign denies the claims – and the Times admits that there is “no evidence” of cooperation or collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russians.

February 15 2017 – Former intelligence officer John Schindler, now a journalist, tweets about escalating hostility in the Intelligence Community to Trump’s Presidency.

March 1 2017 – the NYT inadvertently reported on why the Obama Administration wanted a last minute January 3, 2017 rule change that allowed for intra-agency sharing of globally intercepted personal communications. In a piece titled “Obama Administration Rushed to Preserve Intelligence of Russian Hacking“, it was made clear that the Obama Administration was sharing information broadly and at low levels of security classification:

In the Obama administration’s last days, some White House officials scrambled to spread information about Russian efforts to undermine the presidential election — and about possible contacts between associates of President-elect Donald J. Trump and Russians — across the government.

For more on this important detail, see: The Suspicious Timing of Obama’s NSA Data-Sharing Order.

March 30 2017 – Mike Flynn offers to testify in exchange for immunity. He makes the offer to the FBI and the House and Senate intelligence Communities. There are no takers of his offer.

Per Flynn’s lawyer:

General Flynn certainly has a story to tell, and he very much wants to tell it, should the circumstances permit.

The Washington feeding frenzy was stunning at this point in time. The Obama/Clinton Russia-Trump narrative was in full swing.

Fast-forward to today so we can add a further twist to the whole mess:

This was immediately scoffed at – but ask yourself, why would the White House risk making this statement without proof.

Then this video from January 13, 2017, suddenly surfaced:

Flynn knew his calls were being recorded. He engaged in nothing illegal on these calls. Flynn knew he had done nothing illegal.

Flynn had no legal obligation to speak with the FBI.

But he did so anyway.

(Read much more: themarketswork.com, 12/03/2017)

(Reposted with special permission.)

December 29, 2016 – Tech experts disagree with Crowdstrike’s assessment and are critical of the FBI/DHS Joint Analysis Report (JAR)

(…)  “Breitbart News has interviewed tech experts who do not agree with the CrowdStrike assessment or Obama administration’s claims that the DNC/DCCC hacks clearly committed by Russian state actors, with much criticism aimed at the FBI/DHS Joint Analysis Report (JAR) “Grizzly Steppe” that was released at the end of December. As ZDNet reported after the JAR report was released by the Obama administration on the same day that they announced sanctions against Russia:

Mark Maunder, CEO, Wordfence (Credit: public domain)

The JAR included “specific indicators of compromise, including IP addresses and a PHP malware sample.” But what does this really prove? Wordfence, a WordPress security company specializing in analyzing PHP malware, examined these indicators and didn’t find any hard evidence of Russian involvement. Instead, Wordfence found the attack software was P.AS. 3.1.0, an out-of-date, web-shell hacking tool. The newest version, 4.1.1b, is more sophisticated. Its website claims it was written in the Ukraine.

Mark Maunder, Wordfence’s CEO, concluded that since the attacks were made “several versions behind the most current version of P.A.S sic which is 4.1.1b. One might reasonably expect Russian intelligence operatives to develop their own tools or at least use current malicious tools from outside sources.”

Rob Graham, CEO of Errata Security (Credit: public domain)

True, as Errata Security CEO Rob Graham pointed out in a blog post, P.A.S is popular among Russia/Ukraine hackers. But it’s “used by hundreds if not thousands of hackers, mostly associated with Russia, but also throughout the rest of the world.” In short, just because the attackers used P.A.S., that’s not enough evidence to blame it on the Russian government.

Jeffrey Carr (Credit: public domain)

Independent cybersecurity experts, such as Jeffrey Carr, have cited numerous errors that the media and CrowdStrike have made in discussing the hacking in what Carr refers to as a “runaway train” of misinformation.

For example, CrowdStrike has named a threat group that they have given the name “Fancy Bear” for the hacks and then said this threat group is Russian intelligence. In December 2016Carr wrote in a post on Medium:

A common misconception of “threat group” is that [it] refers to a group of people. It doesn’t. Here’s how ESET describes SEDNIT, one of the names for the threat group known as APT28, Fancy Bear, etc. This definition is found on p.12 of part two “En Route with Sednit: Observing the Comings and Goings”:

As security researchers, what we call “the Sednit group” is merely a set of software and the related network infrastructure, which we can hardly correlate with any specific organization.

Unlike CrowdStrike, ESET doesn’t assign APT28/Fancy Bear/Sednit to a Russian Intelligence Service or anyone else for a very simple reason. Once malware is deployed, it is no longer under the control of the hacker who deployed it or the developer who created it. It can be reverse-engineered, copied, modified, shared and redeployed again and again by anyone.

Despite these and other criticisms from technical experts with no political ax to grind, the House Intelligence Committee has called no independent cybersecurity professionals to challenge the Democrats’ claims of “Russian hacking” that have been repeated ad naseum by the media.

Instead of presenting counter-arguments to allow the general public to make up their own minds, the House committee has invited Shawn Henry and Dmitri Alperovitch from CrowdStrike. (Read more: Breitbart, 3/09/2017)

December 23, 2016 – Documents reveal Obama State Dept official Jonathan Winer, in contact with Russian embassy ‘Political Chief’ one month before Trump inauguration

Alexy Skosyrev appears at the 12th congress on European Security and Defence in Berlin, October 2013. (Credit: The Robert Schuman Foundation)

Judicial Watch and The Daily Caller News Foundation today released eight pages of State Department documents revealing that on December 23, 2016, 28 days before the inauguration of President Donald Trump, State Department Special Coordinator for Libya Jonathan Winer had a 10-minute phone call with Alexey Vladimirovich Skosyrev, the “political chief” at the Russian Embassy in Washington, DC.

The documents also show that State Department officials continued to use unsecure BlackBerry devices for the transmission of classified material more than a year after Hillary Clinton’s use of an unsecure, non-government email system had been revealed.

Following Winer’s December 23 call with Russian political operative Skosyrev, State Department official Anne Sackville-West provides a “read-out” of the call to department colleagues in which she updates the “S-Lavrov points” (Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov). The body of the read-out is entirely redacted as classified for reasons of national security or foreign policy. Despite the classification, Eric Green, then-director of the Office of Russian Affairs in the Eurasian Bureau of the State Department, forwarded the exchange via his unsecure BlackBerry to Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs Kathleen Kavalec, to Obama Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Ambassador Victoria Nuland, and Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary John Heffern. Kavalec then responds, saying “Jonathan called me after first trying to get through to Toria and John. He relayed this readout, noting that Skosyrev emphasized that [redacted].”

Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State, John Heffern (Credit: public domain)

“The State Department has still not fully explained its role in collecting and disseminating Christopher Steele’s false allegations about President Trump’s ties to Russia,” said Daily Caller News Foundation President Neil Patel. “The latest documents obtained by Judicial Watch on behalf of The Daily Caller News Foundation raise new and important questions about the role played by Jonathan Winer, who played a key role as Steele’s conduit to U.S. diplomats.”

“The Kerry State Department and Jonathan Winer worked hand-in-glove with the Clinton Fusion GPS spy Christopher Steele. It is suspicious, to say the least, that Winer was in contact with a senior Russian government official as the Kerry State Department was simultaneously pushing the Russia smear against then President-elect Trump,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton.

Judicial Watch uncovered State Department documents showing that Winer played a key role in facilitating Steele’s access to other top government officials, prominent international business executives. Winer was even approached by a movie producer about making a movie about the Russiagate targeting of President Trump. In September 2019, Judicial Watch released State Department documents revealing that former British spy and dossier author Christopher Steele had an extensive and close working relationship dating back to May of 2014 with Winer and Nuland.” (Read more: Judicial Watch, 10/31/2019)

December 19, 2016 – Strzok text to Page: “It will make your head spin to realize how many stories we played a major role in! Sheesh, this has been quite a year…”

(Credit: public domain)

(…) “A former senior U.S. intelligence official told SaraACarter.com that Strzok, who was also “playing partisan politics was then worried that sharing information with the other agencies would be used by the Obama administration for political purposes is the real height of hypocrisy and his boss Comey was just the same. What needs to happen is an investigation outside the DOJ into this whole mess.”

The disagreement between the FBI and the Intelligence Community Assessment didn’t stop the FBI from wanting to attach the unverified dossier to the report. And that was disputed by James R. Clapper, then director of national intelligence, and then CIA Director John O. Brennan, who both objected stating that the dossier was unconfirmed information from a former British spy and not vetted U.S. intelligence.

Brennan has stated on the record that he did not see the dossier until December 2016. A spokesman for Brennan told this reporter in an interview earlier this year that “former FBI Director Comey has said publicly that he wanted to make sure President Obama and Trump knew about the dossier. Comey decided to attach it to the IC Assessment. There was even talk of including it as part of the IC Assessment but Brennan (and Clapper) in fact were the ones who didn’t allow the dossier to be part of it, and they didn’t allow that because they said the information wasn’t verified intelligence and that wasn’t what the IC Assessment was about.”

In early December 2016, Strzok and Page texted that there were some conflicts between classified intelligence and the information that was already in the hands of White House officials. And they were both concerned that information would leak.

“Man, our intel submission is going to be a BOMB,” said Strzok in a text on Dec. 18, 2016.

“Oh god, why do you say that?” said Page. “Was planning to try to go in early to reach it before our mtg with Jim,“ referencing the FBI Chief of Staff James Rybicki.

“Oh it’s fine. You’ve heard it all. I’m just saying the C (classified) portion is absolutely different from the bulk of the stuff in the community. And the community and especially the WH will jump all over it since it’s what they WANT to say and they can attribute it to us, not themselves,” Strzok texted back. “All the benefit, none of the political risk. We get all of that.”

On December 19, 2016, Strzok and Page boast about the number of stories they had a hand in shaping. Page sends a text at 20:17 saying, “And this. It will make your head spin to realize how many stories we played a personal role in. Sheesh, this has been quite a year…NYTimes: The most-read stories of 2016 (with a link).”

Strzok responds “Jesus, I want to take people out for a drink. I want to take YOU out for a drink. I hope this upcoming presidency doesn’t fill my years with regret wondering what we might have done differently.”

Then page responds to Strzok with a “sad” emoji face. (Read more: Sara Carter, 9/20/2018)

December 15, 2016 – Peter Strzok-Lisa Page texts discuss others ‘leaking like mad’ ahead of Russia investigation: Report

“New text messages between ex-FBI employees Peter Strzok and Lisa Page reveal others were “leaking like mad” in the run-up to the Trump-Russia collusion probe, according to new communications between the former lovers obtained exclusively by Fox News.

Richard Quinn transfers to the FBI in St. Louis, Missouri on November 7, 2017. (Credit: public domain)

A lengthy exchange dated Dec. 15, 2016 appears to reveal a potential leak operation for “political” purposes.

“Oh, remind me to tell you tomorrow about the times doing a story about the rnc hacks,” Page texted Strzok.

“And more than they already did? I told you Quinn told me they pulling out all the stops on some story…” Strzok replied.

A source told Fox News “Quinn” could be referring to Richard Quinn, who served as the chief of the Media and Investigative Publicity Section in the Office of Public Affairs. Quinn could not be reached for comment.

Strzok again replied: “Think our sisters have begun leaking like mad. Scorned and worried, and political, they’re kicking into overdrive.”

(…) “The “leaking like mad” text came on the same day that several news outlets reported that U.S. intelligence officials said they were convinced that Russian President Vladimir Putin was personally involved, and approved Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election.

Days before, the New York Times published an article titled “Russian Hackers Acted to Aid Trump in Election, U.S. Says,” citing “senior administration officials.”

A story published by the New York Times on Jan. 10, 2017, suggested that Russian hackers “gained limited access” to the Republican National Committee. Jan. 10, 2017 is also the same day BuzzFeed News published the infamous anti-Trump dossier.

Following the text about “sisters leaking,” Strzok wrote to Page:

“And we need to talk more about putting C reporting in our submission. They’re going to declassify all of it…”

Page replied: “I know. But they’re going to declassify their stuff, how do we withhold…”

“We will get extraordinary questions. What we did what we’re doing. Just want to ensure everyone is good with it and has thought thru all implications,” Strzok wrote. “CD should bring it up with the DD.” (Read more: Fox News, 9/13/2018)

December 2016 – CIA, FBI informant Stefan Halper was Washington Post source for Russiagate smears

From left to right: Professor Christopher Andrew, David Ignatius, Svetlana Lokhova and Stefan Halper (Credit: public domain)

The Federalist has learned that the now-outed CIA and FBI informant Stefan Halper served as a source for Washington Post reporter David Ignatius, providing more evidence that the intelligence community has co-opted the press to push anti-Trump conspiracy theories. In addition, an email recently obtained by The Federalist from the MI5-connected Christopher Andrew bragging that his long-time friend Ignatius has the “‘inside track’ on Flynn” adds further confirmation of this conclusion.

Svetlana Lokhova, the Russian-born English citizen and Soviet-era scholar, told The Federalist that she only realized the significance of her communications with and about Ignatius following the filing of attorney Sidney Powell’s reply brief in the Michael Flynn case.

In last week’s court filing, Powell highlighted how the CIA, FBI, Halper, and possibly James Baker used the unnamed and unaware Lokhova and the complicit Ignatius to destroy Flynn. This James Baker is not the one who worked under James Comey at the FBI, but a James Baker in the Department of Defense Office of National Assessment.

Powell wrote:

Stefan Halper is a known long-time operative for the CIA/FBI. He was paid exorbitant sums by the FBI/CIA/DOD through the Department of Defense Department’s Office of Net Assessment in 2016. His tasks seem to have included slandering Mr. Flynn with accusations of having an affair with a young professor (a British national of Russian descent) Flynn met at an official dinner at Cambridge University when he was head of DIA in 2014. Flynn has requested the records of Col. James Baker because he was Halper’s ‘handler’ in the Office of Net Assessment in the Pentagon, and ONA Director Baker regularly lunched with Washington Post Reporter David Ignatius. Baker is believed to be the person who illegally leaked the transcript of Mr. Flynn’s calls to Ignatius. The defense has requested the phone records of James Clapper to confirm his contacts with Washington Post reporter Ignatius—especially on January 10, 2017, when Clapper told Ignatius in words to the effect of ‘take the kill shot on Flynn.’ It cannot escape mention that the press has long had transcripts of the Kislyak calls that the government has denied to the defense.

Lokhova has known of Halper’s role in targeting Flynn since Halper was outed as a CIA and FBI informant in May 2018. She then sued Halper and several media outlets for defamation after they falsely repeated Halper’s lies that she was a Russian spy engaged in an intrigue with Flynn.

Sir Richard Dearlove (l) Christopher Andrew (c) and Defense Intelligence Agency director Lt. General Michael Flynn at Cambridge on February 28, 2014. (Credit: Svetlana Lokhova)

This honey pot storyline originated with Lokhova’s mentor at Cambridge, the official MI5 historian, Professor Christopher Andrew, when on February 19, 2017, Andrew penned an article for the London Sunday Times, “Impulsive General Misha Shoots Himself in the Foot.” That article portrayed the unnamed Lokhova’s brief meeting with Flynn during a dinner event two years prior at Cambridge as the beginning of a compromising relationship between Flynn and a Russian spy.

Andrew’s article later served as the second confirmation needed for outlets like the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, and Washington Post to run stories about Flynn and a supposed Russian spy. But before those pieces hit the press, Lokhova remained in the dark about the media’s interest in her.

“Halper had been pushing the story that I was a Russian spy and Flynn’s mistress since December of 2016,” Lokhova told me. “The New York Times’ Mathew Rosenberg told me a source had been circulating these stories since December 2016,” Lokhova said, “but they held the story until they could find a second source and someone at the Cambridge dinner.”

In his book “The Plot Against the President,” Lee Smith confirms that the story about a Flynn-Lokhova intrigue was circulated to the press starting in December 2016.” (Read more: The Federalist, 11/04/2019)

December 2016 – Lisa Page travels to London on official business with Strzok and three other unnamed individuals

“Page noted that she only traveled abroad once while she worked for McCabe, in December 2016, on official business in London. Strzok traveled with her, as did three other unnamed individuals. One individual that Page specified as not being part of the trip was Bill Priestap, the FBI’s head of counterintelligence. Page was prohibited by FBI counsel for detailing the purpose of her visit.” (Read more: Epoch Times, 1/21/2019)

December 13, 2016 – Christopher Steele gives his final report to Republican Rep. Adam Kinzinger and Paul Ryan’s chief of staff, Jonathan Burks

Republican Rep. Adam Kinzinger, left, and House Speaker Paul  Ryan. (Credit: Tom Williams/Roll Call)

(…) “In his testimony, Comey again pushed the fiction that Republicans opposed to Trump first paid for the dossier. Congressional Republicans are right that Comey is trying to muddy the waters—the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee funded Steele’s work.

But credit Comey for underscoring, and maybe not accidentally, a larger truth—the operation that sought to defraud the American voter had bipartisan support all along. Court documents released in December show that Steele gave his final report to Republican Rep. Adam Kinzinger and House Speaker Paul Ryan’s chief of staff, Jonathan Burks.

How is it possible that so many people knew and said nothing? Everyone knows it’s impossible to sustain a real conspiracy that size. People in the know talk and the press makes it public. But they did talk—all the time. But the conversations, implicit confessions, of FBI agents and other U.S. officials were hidden by colleagues who classified their talk, or deleted it, like FBI employees Peter Strzok and Lisa Page’s text messages.

The press didn’t report it because the press is part of the operation, the indispensable part. None of it would have been possible, and it certainly wouldn’t have lasted for two years, had the media not linked arms with spies, cops, and lawyers to relay a story first spun by Clinton operatives.

Starting with a relatively small group consisting of Steele, Fusion GPS founder Glenn Simpson, and senior FBI, DOJ, CIA, and State Department officials, the dossier operation gained momentum and adherents, senior officials across the political spectrum, a large part of the press corps, then the many millions of Americans it wound into a frenzied madness. Thus, much of the dossier operation was improvised.

But the core component appears to be the result of a carefully constructed plan requiring technical and legal know-how. Interviews with current and former U.S. officials provide fresh insight into how Clinton-funded operatives and senior law enforcement figures orchestrated a media campaign and weaponized the dossier to obtain the October 21, 2016 warrant on Page.” (Read more: The Federalist, 1/02/2019)