RussiaGate starts with Carter Page and ends with him, too.
So forget the ballyhooed 448 pages of mostly trivia, non sequiturs, innuendo, and regurgitated Deep State agit prop, lies and smears in the Mueller Report. We will get to some of that in Part 2, but today we intend to dwell on the essence of the entire $40 million Mueller inquisition because what it proves stinks to high heaven:
….the investigation DID NOT establish that (Carter) Page coordinated with the Russian government in its efforts to interfere with the 2016 presidential election."
Talking about smoking howitzers. The fraudulently obtained FISA warrants and subsequent wiretaps on Carter Page were at the heart of the Deep State’s audacious meddling in the 2016 presidential campaign in behalf of Hillary Clinton.
In fact, without the electronic surveillance on the headquarters of the Republican candidate for the highest elective office in the land, the whole RussiaGate contretemps would not have amounted to a hill of beans.
Still, the only thing they had on Carter Page in July 2016 was the Steele dossier’s unproven claim that he had gone to Moscow to cut some kind of sinister energy deal with Russia. But we now know definitively that didn’t happen because Page was never even indicted and the Mueller Report makes no effort whatsoever to confirm the false claim in the Steele dossier on which the wire taps were eventually authorized.
The only other thing they had at the time was dubious gossip from Australian diplomat Alexander Downer – a card carrying Clintonista – regarding his drink with no count George Papadopoulos in a London bar in May 2016. And even that was about the acid-washed 30,000 missing Hillary Clinton emails from her time as Secretary of State (2009-2013), not the DNC emails that WikiLeaks published in late July 2016, and which gave rise to the whole Russian meddling brouhaha.
More specifically, the Russian meddling charge came from the Democratic National Committee’s own contractor, Crowdstrike, a virulently anti-Russian operation trying to put itself on the map and drum-up more commercial business.
Yet it was on the basis of this exceedingly thin gruel that the FBI launched a counterintelligence investigation of the Trump campaign code-named, "Crossfire Hurricane" (July 31, 2016) and moved to obtain the FISA warrants.
What the Mueller report does in eight pages (pp. 95-103) of belabored, footnote-bedecked narrative ending in the above cited conclusion, however, is to confirm what has been self-evident all along. Namely, that Carter Page was a peripheral nobody in the Trump campaign, who presented exactly zero threat to national security.
So here’s the thing that far outweighs the report’s vast tonnage of irrelevancies and tut-tutting about the Donald’s distaste for Team Mueller and its witch-hunt. That is, there was no conceivable basis for mobilizing the intelligence community’s surveillance machinery against Carter Page per se; and if the spooks didn’t like some of the low level Russian company that Page was keeping they simply needed to follow precedent and inform the GOP candidate that he had a potential mole down in the lower ranks of his campaign.
The one thing we are 100% sure of is this: Donald Trump did not have the foggiest idea about who Carter Page was; and that upon being discretely warned by the FBI, Carter Page would have been sent flying out of the windows on the 39th floor of Trump Tower arms, legs, and energy brief case akimbo.
The fact that they didn’t do the obvious, of course, reminds that Robert Mueller was appointed to undertake the wrong investigation!
Had the Donald chosen an Attorney General with a backbone and a brain back in 2017 (say Bill Barr), the investigation would have focused on the partisan corruption at the top of the FBI (we are talking about you McCabe, Strzok, Baker, Lisa Page etc.) and in the wicked cabal around former CIA Director John Brennan.
Indeed, on the crucial matter of Carter Page, the Mueller Report itself virtually proves the wrong investigation has been undertaken. In addition to acknowledging that Carter Page was a D-list volunteer in the Trump campaign, who had been in a room with the Donald only once for a photo op with the campaign’s hastily minted foreign policy advisory committee on March 31, 2016, it also cites chapter and verse on Page’s personal history.
That footnoted recitation, however, most of which has been publicly known all along, shows that there wasn’t the remotest possibility that Carter Page was some kind of Russian agent capable of espionage against the United States.
To the contrary, as we detail below he was actually an innocent small time hustler in the international energy consulting business with an angle on Russian energy matters because he had worked in Moscow( 2003-2007) for Merrill Lynch.
Thereafter he had hung out his own consulting shingle, which mainly resulted in the dissipation of his life’s savings. But the effort had kept Page busy trying to drum up work at international energy conferences and pitching his knowledge of Russian energy matters to practically anyone who might be a meal ticket.
This included during 2013-2015 some Russian agents operating under diplomatic cover in New York who concluded that Page was an "idiot" and that they had wasted their time trying to recruit him. Moreover, the FBI agents who had busted these Russian "diplomats" in 2015 knew the whole story about Page’s complete innocence long before Crossfire Hurricane was opened.
Did McCabe, Strzok & Co. at the FBI take note of this history and did they replicate what the Kremlin apparently did in assessing Page’s non-role in the Trump campaign in just a few hours?
We are referring to the nugget on page 100, which references Page’s July 2016 trip to Moscow to give a speech at the New Economic School in Moscow – a forum that promoted dialogue between Russian businessmen and government officials and invited guests and counterparts from around the world, and which President Obama had actually addressed a few years earlier.
The conference organizers had invited Page upon reading of his appointment to Trump’s phony foreign affairs advisory committee, and upon his arrival in Moscow concluded the Kremlin might well be interested in meeting with him.
But when his conference hosts contacted Russian Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov about introducing Carter Page to Russian policy officials, Peskov responded with a veritable silver bullet:
"I have read about (Page). Specialists say that he is far from being the main one. So I better not initiate a meeting at the Kremlin."
For crying out loud. Whether it had nefarious purpose or not, on almost a moment’s notice the Kremlin figured out that Page was a nobody and didn’t even want to bother having a meeting with him. Yet the cabal of Never Trumpers at the FBI and in the intelligence community (IC) were so blindly focused on stopping Trump that they didn’t even bother to find out what the Russians already knew.
Instead, they launched what is surely the most perfidious assault on American democracy imaginable, and something far more insidious than the postings of 20-year olds who worked at the St. Petersburg troll farm for $4/hour posting social media inanities in English as a third language.
We are talking about the frightful capabilities to snoop and spy on every American citizen possessed by the FBI and it fellow IC agencies, which were brought to bear on the Trump campaign out of nothing more than anti-Trump vitriol.
So doing, they ignored all of the exculpatory facts of the matter, including the central fact that Carter Page had no foreign policy credentials at all. He had actually been an accidental draftee hastily placed on Trump’s advisory committee during March 2016 in a mad scramble to stem the belittlement in the mainstream press that the Donald had incurred when he said he got his foreign policy advice from watching cable TV!
The fact is, the mainstream GOP foreign policy establishment had so completely boycotted the Trump campaign, the latter was forced to fill its advisory committee essentially from the phone book.
That’s how no-counts like 29-year old George Papadopoulos (indicted for allegedly lying to the FBI about the date of an irrelevant meeting) and Carter Page got on the foreign policy advisory committee – a phony campaign operation that held a single meeting, which was essentially a photo op.
And that’s why Page had been able to keep repeating what he said during an ABC interview last year, yet was neither indicted for perjury or even contradicted by the 8-page bill of particulars contained in the Mueller Report:
"I never spoke with him (Trump) any time in my life," Page said on Good morning America this morning. Stephanopoulos followed up, asking, "no e-mail, no text, nothing like that?"
Page replied: "never."
Surely that’s also the reason why his appointment to the advisory committee back in March 2016 elicited a "who-he?" harrumph from the MSM:
Carter Page was one of the five members of then-candidate Donald Trump’s foreign policy advisory team that he named to The Washington Post editorial board on March 21, 2016. The announcement initially drew attention because Page, who owns (and is the sole employee of) the energy consulting firm Global Energy Capital, was a relative unknown….
Well, of course he was an unknown no count. That’s all Trump’s seat of the pants campaign could recruit for the photo op on short notice.
The truth of the matter is that after his Merrill Lynch gig in Moscow, Page had set out to peddle himself as an international energy expert and the proprietor of a two-bit international energy advisory firm.
In that capacity he bounced around various international energy conferences in New York, London and St. Petersburg and undoubtedly attempted to burnish his credentials by touting his contracts in Moscow. At one point he even bragged about serving as an unpaid energy advisor to the Kremlin:
“Over the past half year, I have had the privilege to serve as an informal advisor to the staff of the Kremlin in preparation for their Presidency of the G-20 Summit next month, where energy issues will be a prominent point on the agenda,”
C’mon. The man was spinning his resume to land work. That’s why he had signed on, again, as an unpaid adviser to the Trump campaign, and had gotten their approval to attend another international conference in Moscow during July 2016, but on his own dime.
And those facts, too, and especially that he was acting on his own and not as an agent of the Trump campaign during his Moscow trip, are confirmed by the Mueller Report.
In fact, not only did he have no mandate to represent the Trump campaign; he was actually instructed to represent himself in Moscow as a private citizen. And in that modality, it turns out that his alleged "meeting" with Rosneft actually consisted of drinks with an old buddy from his broker days who had become head of investor relations at Rosneft.
Yes, Carter Page did try to puff up his tail-feathers at the time via an email to colleagues on the Trump campaign claiming that he had met Russian Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich and learned that Putin was keen on Trump’s openness to rapprochement with Russia.
Aside from the fact that there would be absolutely nothing illicit about either the meeting or the idea of rapprochement, it turns out that the encounter with Dvorkovich was also accurately described by the Mueller Report: It amounted to a handshake at a cocktail party held during the conference at which they both spoke; and that Page’s insights about the Russian governments view of Trump came from listening to Dvorkovich’s speech in an auditorium attended by about 1,000 others!
Mueller also concedes that several years earlier (2013) Carter Page had apparently been the target of a recruitment effort by the aforementioned Russian intelligence operatives that amounted to bubcus.
And as we said, a national security investigation worthy of the name could have determined in a day or two by simply reading the newspapers about the bust of the Russian diplomats and consulting the FBI closed case on the matter that Carter Page’s unwitting and harmless contacts with Russian government personal during 2012-2015 had been about drumming up energy business, not anything remotely smacking of espionage.
As FBI Special Agent Gregory Monaghan noted in an originally sealed complaint against several alleged Russian spies, Page never took the bait and was even ridiculed by his would be handlers as not one of the sharpest tools in the shed.
In the complaint, Monaghan attested to how Page was the target of efforts by Russian Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR) agents Igor Sporyshev and Victor Podobnyy to recruit sources in New York City. According to the documents, Page and Podobnyy first met at an energy symposium in New York in January 2013. At this conference, Podobnyy gave his contact information to Page, who subsequently followed up with the Russian both by email and in-person to talk about energy policy. Page transferred unspecified “documents” to Podobnyy “about the energy business,” but Monaghan did not recommend that any charges be levied against Page. In fact, the section of the document discussing Page never characterizes him as a conscious spy or security risk, instead framing him as a victim of Sporyshev and Podobnyy, who expressly denied that Page knew about their status as intelligence agents.
Agent Monaghan followed this up by also detailing how Page cooperated with FBI officials in telling them about his contact with Podobnyy during their subsequent interview with him. And that was the extent of Carter Page’s alleged clandestine Russia connections: A brief encounter with some sketchy Russian operatives, and on that brief incident the FBI itself gave him a clean bill of health.
So when you cut through all the sinister spin that Deep State operatives and their stenographers in the MSM have long put on the raw facts of the Page Carter case, it was pretty evident all along that the Steele dossier’s tale about Page’s alleged bribery scheme was completely bogus.
And guess what? The Mueller Report agrees and makes no attempt whatsoever to prove one of the key allegations of the Steele dossier.
And that’s the Rubicon. Two years of investigations by some of America’s most vicious legal gunslingers did not come up with a shred of evidence or even hearsay suggesting that Carter Page was a Russian agent, witting or unwitting.
Why? Because there was no basis for suspecting it in the first place. Carter Page was just a convenient mark that enabled the FBI and IC to go rogue against a presidential candidate who for good and substantial reasons did not wish to embrace the Obama Administration’s policy of demonizing Russia and Putin and kindling Cold War 2.0.
In this context, there is nothing more insidious than intervention by the intelligence and law enforcement apparatus of the state in the most important process of American democracy – the election of the President.
Indeed, if a Presidential campaign were ever to be wiretapped by the FBI at all, it would needs be triggered by the gravest and most compelling evidence of treason at the highest level of the campaign: That is, the probable fact of a Manchurian candidate at the top of the ticket.
By contrast, if the suspicion concerned a mere campaign official or lesser staffer, the appropriate recourse as we suggested above, would be for law enforcement to go to the candidate himself to disclose the compromising information and seek some mutually agreed course of action.
But did the FBI or John Brennan consider for even one single moment going to the Republican presidential candidate with their suspicions about this nonentity?
No, they went to the FISA court instead with a dossier of dubious hearsay and gossip that had been paid for by the Clinton campaign, and for the explicit purpose of getting an order to wiretap the Trump headquarters.
Accordingly, there is no way to describe the Obama Administration’s course of action other than as a monumentally corrupt act of bad faith. That is, a knowing and deliberate abuse of the most sensitive tool in the national security tool kit – a FISA warrant – for the purpose of undermining the Republican candidate for President.
Needless to say, in the scale of abuse of state power, there is not a cardinal sin which ranks any higher than that.
So that’s the essence of the DOJ "insurance policy" at work: The Deep State and its allies in the Obama administration were desperately looking for dirt with which to crucify the Donald, and thereby insure that the establishment’s anointed candidate would not fail at the polls.
That is to say, that the state’s candidate, not the people’s choice, would win the presidential election.
Indeed, the most chilling thing about the Carter Page FISA application is right at the top of the document. It essentially says that if you talk to any foreign government not approved by Washington about any civilian topic, such as energy policy, you can be accused of being a foreign agent, wiretapped and charged with a crime:
……The target of this application is Carter W. Page, a U.S. person, and an agent of a foreign power, described in detail below."
That assertion is just flat-out preposterous, and the Mueller Report proves it. What is actually described in the FISA application and now in the Mueller Report is all about Page’s doings in international energy policy meetings and forums, which is not surprising because that was his academic and business field of endeavor.
By contrast, there is not a single word about real espionage: That is, about the theft or compromise of military secrets, which is the only possible justification for governments to spy on their own citizens. And now we have confirmation of that very truth by the Mueller Report itself.
So let’s cut to the chase. Since Carter Page self-evidently had nothing to do with military secrets, officials of the Obama Administration had no excuse whatsoever for wiretapping him – even if he had been a paid energy advisor on Vlad Putin’s personal payroll.
By wantonly infringing upon Carter Page’s constitutional right to free speech at home and abroad, therefore, Obama officials committed the gravest possible assault on American democracy: They misused the vast machinery of national security to meddle in a presidential election for partisan advantage – an heinous action which cuts right to the quick of democracy’s survival in America.
Indeed, the FISA application – slathered in blackout ink as it is – proves that the real meddlers in the 2016 election are the signers of the application. That is, the very top tier of Obama’s national security team including John Brennan, Susan Rice, James Clapper and the secretaries of Defense and State.
Their downright criminality, in fact, has now also been established by the Mueller Report. That is, after 22 months of the most abusive prosecutorial tactics on record they not find a single thing upon which to indict Carter Page!
If the Carter Page FISA surveillance smacks of a preventative Deep State coup – it was.
Likewise, by any reasonable reading of the evidence Russia was an uncooperative adversary of US foreign policy. But it was not a mortal enemy or existential threat to the homeland by any stretch of the imagination – and therefore one that would justify extraordinary intervention in the election process by the national security machinery of the state.
So we must underscore again: Trump’s sin, apparently, was to openly advocate an abandonment of Obama’s rapidly escalating Russian confrontation policy in favor of an attempt at rapprochement with Putin based on the Donald’s brimming confidence in his own prowess at the Art of the Deal.
Undoubtedly, the latter was misplaced. But elections are supposed to be about teeing up policy alternatives for the voters to consider.
So doing, however, it landed the Trump campaign right in the Deep State’s line of fire.
At least now, the Mighty Mueller has decisively cooled those fires despite his best efforts to the contrary.
Akin to the proverbial blind squirrel finding an acorn, the Donald sometimes hits the nail on the head – and this is his mostly deadly strike ever:
How do you impeach a Republican President for a crime that was committed by the Democrats? MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!
6:35 PM – 21 Apr 2019
Strangely enough, the Mueller Report proves him right. That’s because it details systematically and exhaustively the steps taken by the Obama Administration and the Deep State apparatus to investigate the Trump candidacy and presidency. Yet it fails to show even a iota of real proof that anything remotely resembling a national security threat – to say nothing of a crime – was presented by Donald Trump and his campaign.
So that’s the real crime, statutory or not. Democrat partisans like John Brennan and the McCabe claque in the FBI had zero justification for mobilizing the instrumentalities of the national security apparatus to block Trump’s election.
But they were motivated by such blind partisanship and antipathy to the Trump’s inchoate call to end The Empire that they literally turned molehills into mountains to justify their actions. And since then, their assiduously promoted false Russia meddling/collusion story has been repeated with such relentless fervor by the MSM that the actual triviality and irrelevance of the original allegations have been lost amidst the hysteria.
While it was surely not intended, however, the Mueller Report’s ostentatiously footnoted narrative shatters this spell of modern day Salem witchcraftery and confirms there never was anything behind the curtain at al with regard to the six elements that comprise the heart of the story:
- Carter Page;
- Baby George Papadopoulos;
- the Trump Tower Meeting;
- the DNC/Podesta email disclosures;
- the St. Petersburg troll farm; and
- the Steele Dossier.
We will treat with all of these elements in this series. But it needs be understood that Carter Page and Baby George Papadopoulos were the original tenuous links between the Trump campaign and "Russians" which got the counterintelligence investigation started in late July 2106.
Yet Page has not been indicted and was given a clean bill of health by Mueller (see Part 1 above). Likewise, Baby George got two-weeks in the slammer for an irrelevant mis-recall of dates and gets a 12-page vignette in the Mueller Report that practically convicts of the McCabe claque of criminal abuse of power.
Mueller’s sleuths demonstrate that Papadopoulos was a 29-year old no count, who was desperately looking for a job after graduating in 2011 and doing scut work at a London energy consultancy, the Hudson Institute and the Ben Carson presidential campaign. That is, his resume was beyond threadbare.
Thereupon he was accidentally drafted on to the Trump foreign policy advisory committee after being vetted via a quick Google search at Trump HQ in early March 2016; and then was promptly showered with total silence and nearly complete disdain by Trump headquarters while he tooled around London trying to connect with Moscow, until he was fired in early October 2016 for saying something sensible about Russia.
When you read the entire Papadopoulos vignette, you really have to wonder what hay-wagon McCabe & Co. thought we have fallen off from. His seven month stint as an unpaid advisor to the campaign (March-September 2016) is so spectacularly devoid of not only wrongdoing but any doings at all as to be downright laughable.
That’s because as we detail below he was off in London during the entire period domiciled at a dubious consultancy sending emails to Trump headquarters that were uniformly ignored. What kind of agent of conspiracy gets no pay, no guidance, no praise, no answers in his in-box and then gets fired for endorsing the very objective (better relations with Russia) that was the alleged purpose of the conspiracy?
Still, Baby George’s drunken conversation with Australian diplomat and Clintonista, Alexander Downer, was the alleged main trigger for the FBI’s launch of the Crossfire Hurricane investigation on July 31,2016.
Indeed, the Downer warning cable about Papadopoulos of July 25 had been doubly hyped once it became clear that the other basis for the investigation, the Steele Dossier, couldn’t pass any kind of smell test. That’s because, of course, it was actually opposition research paid for the DNC through Fusion GPS, and consisted of fabrications and innuendoes procured on the backstreets of Moscow that could not be even vaguely verified.
In recent times, even the primary propagator of the Russian meddling/collusion story, the New York Times, has conceded that much. In response to Thursday’s report, it noted that,
“[T]he release on Thursday of the report by the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, underscored what had grown clearer for months – that while many Trump aides had welcomed contacts with the Russians, some of the most sensational claims in the dossier appeared to be false, and others were impossible to prove. Mr. Mueller’s report contained over a dozen passing references to the document’s claims but no overall assessment of why so much did not check out,” the Times reported.
So the wiretaps, the FBI investigations, the leaks to the press and Senate Dem leader Harry Reid during the final stretches of the 2016 campaign all rest, hideously, on the ruddy checks and un-stooped shoulders of Baby George.
Here’s what Mueller had to say about this allegedly sinister threat to national security.
On September 30, 2015 Papadopoulos sent a message to campaign head Corey Lewandowski via LinkedIn seeking a job, but was sent an auto-reply saying the Trump campaign wasn’t hiring policy advisors.
Perhaps the Trump campaign didn’t realize that 29-year old George Papadopoulos, who knew not a single soul among the entirety of Russia’s 141 million population, was just the agent of collusion they needed, and he had landed on their doorstep via a stroke of luck on LinkedIn.
So rebuffed, Baby George knocked on the door of another unlikely GOP candidate, Ben Carson, where this time he was hired at some de minimis salary. But by February, even Baby George could see the handwriting on the wall, and through a contact from his student days in London applied for a post at a shadowy consulting outfit called the London Centre of International Law Practice (LCILP).
It so happens that LCILP was founded by one Nagi Khalid Idris, a 48-year-old British citizen of Sudanese origin, who ran the organization from an address that included a whole passel of pretentious sounding operations, but very few actually staff or customers.
As one investigator noted about the LCILP,
The Washington Post “buzzed the door on several occasions during business hours” but no one answered. Quartz Media had a little more luck, and discovered that LCILP’s office “amounted to four people working in an undecorated backroom, all of whom declined to comment”.
The same building is also the official address for three other companies owned by Idris – London Academy of International Law Limited, Cambridge Academy of International Law Limited and London Centre of Law and English Limited (previously known as Islamic Finance and Legal Expertise Limited) – plus Valstone Limited in which Idris, Dovey and a Saudi named Waleed Binhomran have equal shares.
It turns out that each of the consultancy’s handful of staff members was typically named the head of his own pretentious sounding division or institute; and also that one of its earliest conferences was hosted by, well, the so-called professor Joseph Mifsud, who officially affiliated with the firm in 2015. As the investigator further noted,
The earliest archived version, dated March 2015, suggests that in addition to Idris and Dovey, four people were actively involved as section heads:
Martin Polaine and Arvinder Sambei were joint heads of International Human Rights and Criminal Justice. Polaine and Sambei also run a firm called Amicus Legal Consultants.
Polaine is a disqualified barrister whose role in the Tempura affair in the Cayman Islands a few years ago (here and here) resulted in him being struck off by the Bar Council.
In addition to Polaine and Sambei, Daniel Joyner, a professor at Alabama University, was named head of International Nuclear Energy Law and Nuclear Non-Proliferation, while Pierre-Emmanuel Dupont was head of Public International Law and Dispute Settlement.
Joseph Mifsud appears to have formally joined LCILP around October/November 2015. A version of the “Our team” page archived on 30 November shows him as LCILP’s “board adviser” for the first time.
By that stage, though, Mifsud had already been less-formally involved with LCILP for more than a year. The first known event organized by LCILP – on counter-terrorism, in November 2014 – was held of the premises of Mifsud’s now-defunct London Academy of Diplomacy. Mifsud continued to figure prominently on the “Our team” page until its recent disappearance.
The tale of this rinky dink outfit goes on from the absurd to the sublime, but in late February 2016 according to the Mueller Report’s footnotes, Idris hired Papadopoulis to head one of its divisions.
Mifsud was clearly an influential figure at LCILP in March last year when George Papadopoulos surfaced as its head of its so-called Centre for International Energy and Natural Resources Law & Security…..
Papadopoulos had previous connections in the UK. He had studied at University College London and had spent four months with Energy Stream, a British consultancy firm.
Details of actual work done by Papadopoulos in his role as head of the energy centre are scarce. A photo posted on Twitter on February 25 shows him among a group from LCILP visiting Togo’s ambassador in London “to discuss water management”. Another photo shows him attending a conference on “Energy Arbitration & Dispute Resolution in the Middle East & Africa”, organised by LCILP in London on March 7–8.
The only thing that makes this tale more absurd is that in early March the newly employed Baby George let go of another random stab at getting hired by the Trump organization, perhaps based on his belief that his barren resume had now been bolstered by his gig with the LICLP, which ended in May of 2016 in any event.
This time he got a positive answer, but the manner in which it came about tells you all you need to know about the fact that McCabe, Strzok and Co. did absolutely zero due diligence on Papadopoulos upon the receipt of Ambassador Downer’s cable on July 25 and launching the investigation shortly thereafter. In fact, their background work was so shoddy that they couldn’t have been hired as a detective at the Podunk, Iowa police department.
To wit,during the early months of 2016, when Trump was winning primary after primary against all mainstream media expectations, the Donald’s establishment betters began attacking his foreign policy credentials with special malice aforethought.
That was mainly owing to his sensible suggestion that it would be better to seek rapprochement with Russia rather than pursue Hillary’s Cold War 2.0; and that 25 years after the disappearance of the Soviet Union from the pages of history the thought occurred to the Donald that perhaps NATO was obsolete and needed to be put out to pasture.
Since this totally plausible (and correct) viewpoint was deeply offensive to the Imperial City’s group think and threatened the Warfare State’s existential need for a fearsome enemy, Trump’s ruminations about making a deal with Putin were roundly belittled – especially by the GOP foreign policy establishment.
Never mind that a fresh look at the realities abroad suggested to the unschooled Trump the possibility that homeland security does not require a global empire. Instead, the fault was said to lie with the candidate’s lack of any pedigreed foreign policy advisors.
Indeed, when it came to the Republican-oriented foreign policy establishment – nearly all of which had joined the Never Trump cause – the Donald had recently added insult to injury. That is, he had confessed that he got his foreign policy views watching TV (like most of Washington) and that he could do a better job against terrorism than the Pentagon generals (not hard).
At length, however, the "who are your foreign policy advisors" meme got so relentless that the Donald relented. On March 21, 2016 he announced a group of five advisors that exactly no one who was anyone in the Imperial City had ever heard of, and for good reason.
The group included two recycled DOD flunkies, an anti-Muslim fanatic from the Lebanon religious wars and two kids of no accomplishment in the foreign policy field whatsoever. In a word, the foreign policy establishment’s boycott of the Trump campaign at that stage was 100% effective.
Indeed, under a snarky headline the next day about how the new Trump foreign policy team "baffles GOP experts", Politico laid on the disdain good and hard:
“I don’t know any of them,” said Kori Schake, a research fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution and a former official in the George W. Bush State Department. “National security is hard to do well even with first-rate people. It’s almost impossible to do well with third-rate people.”
In this context, Politico made short shrift of young Mr. Papadopoulos and properly so. This wholesome young man had no more qualifications to be named among the top five foreign policy advisors to the then near-presumptive GOP nominee than anyone else in the DC phone book. He hadn’t finished his schooling until 2011, had held the above mentioned scut-work stints, and had also accomplished this little gem as per Politico:
Papadopoulos’ LinkedIn page also boasts about his role at the 2012 meeting in Geneva of the Model U.N. where students debate current issues. It adds that he has "had experience lobbying foreign policy resolutions on Capitol Hill by means of coherent and concise arguments."
But the whole Trump advisory committee was from the same kettle of fish. As indicated above, in addition to Page and Baby George, it consisted of an ex-Pentagon bean counter, a washed-up general who had "managed" (not well) the US "occupation" of Baghdad in 2003-2004 and Walid Phares, the Lebanese war veteran who claimed that the Moslem Brotherhood had infiltrated the State Department and was fixing to spread "Sharia law" to the towns and villages of America!
You almost have the impression that the Donald instructed Ivanka and Jared to check out the Mar-A-Logo sandbox for candidates to round out the rooster, when they came up with Baby George. Except the process was even less scientific than that.
According to the Mueller Report, in early March Papadopoulos again lobbed his resume over the LinkedIn transom to Corey Lewandowski. After being shuffled around the meager staff at Trump Tower, the resume ended up with senior policy advisor, Sam Clovis – who had just been tasked with putting together an advisory team of foreign policy and national security experts to quell the press brouhaha about Trump’s reliance on cable TV for advice on these important matter.
What happened next requires direct quotation from Mueller’s 13 Angry Democrats because it is too lame to be believed. Yet here it is:
"After receiving Papadopoulos’ name from Lutes, Clovis performed a Google search on Papadopoulos, learned he had worked at the Hudson Institute, and believed that he had credibility on energy issues. On March 3,2016, Clovis arranged to speak with Papadopoulos by phone to discuss Papadopoulos joining the Campaign as a foreign policy advisory and on March 6,2016 the two spoke. Papadopoulos recalled that Russia was mentioned, and he understood that Russia would be an important aspect of the Campaign’s foreign policy. At the end of the conservation, Clovis offered Papadopoulos a role as a foreign policy advisor to the Campaign and Papadopoulos accept the offer.
Here’s the thing. McCabe & Co. could have readily learned all of this with a few phone calls in late July, and even they would have been hard pressed to describe this as a Trump campaign maneuver to enlist an agent to engage in nefarious dealings with the Russians.
Still, for want of doubt, apparently, the Mueller Report supplies no less than four footnotes to prove exactly nothing.
Thereafter, the greatest nothing-burger imaginable unfolds. In mid-March Papadopoulos traveled to Rome to attend a conference at another shadowy outfit called the Link Campus University that had some sort of relationship with Joseph Mifsud, who was also a professor at the latter. There Papadopoulos met Mifsud for the first time, who promised to introduced him to his extensive set of European and Russian policy and business contacts.
A week or so later in London, Papadopoulos meet again with Mifsud, who this time was accompanied by a Russian female named Olga Polonskaya, who claimed to be Putin’s niece. The latter promised to help Baby George make contacts in Russian and to introduce him to her friend, the Russian Ambassador in London.
Following this London meeting, Papadopoulos dashed off an email to Trump HQ that shows his real modus operandi. Said he,
I just finished a very productive lunch with a good friend of mine, Joseph Mifsud…who introduced me to both Putin’s niece and the Russian Ambassador in London – who also acts as the deputy foreign minister".
Baby George had only met Mifsud a week earlier, Polonskaya was not Putin’s niece and he never did meet with the Russian Ambassador.
The only meeting of substance he every had was actually the photo op with the Donald and his new advisory committee. At the meeting, Baby George did aver that upon his return to London he would be seeking to contact some Russians who might know Putin, which they Donald thought might be interesting, but Senator Jeff Sessions not so much.
Thereafter absolutely nothing happened. Even the "dirt" ha jabbered to Ambassador Downer about was with reference to the missing 30,000 emails from Hillary’s bleach-washed server that were now more than four years old. The rest of it was long unanswered string of emails to Trump Headquarters than no one responded to as we will cover in Part 3.
As shown in Part 2, Baby George Papadopoulos had his one and only photo-op style encounter with the Donald at the March 31 foreign policy advisory committee meeting, and then it was back to London for several more months of doing absolutely nothing that impacted either the national security of the United States or the election of Donald Trump.
Still, during the next three months the foundation events of RussiaGate transpired – the Ambassador Downer meeting and the Trump Tower meeting – and in a matter so patently innocuous and discombobulated that the Mueller Report strains to put a veneer of gravity on what amounts to a great big belly-laughing farce.
That’s why perhaps it describes at length Baby George’s serial skyping sessions and email communications with one Ivan Timofeev. The latter was a Moscow-based Russian academic with more than 70 publications to his credit, and who was a program director at the Russian equivalent of the Council on Foreign Relations.
While Timofeev was one of Professor Mifsud’s ballyhooed Russian contracts, he was no spook nor any kind of Russian agent. After all, he came to the US in mid-2017 and was questioned by the Mueller’s FBI sleuths at JFK about his relationship with Papadopoulos, the DNC hacks, and about the “thousands of emails with dirt on Hillary Clinton.” His cellphone and laptop were seized, too.
Yet he was never arrested or indicted, and the Mueller report has nothing to say about the episode. That is, they didn’t find a thing that linked him to the Russian state or any of its alleged meddling in the 2016 election.
Timofeev was actually just a part of a sort of Moscow Welcome Wagon for visiting foreign businessmen and government officials centered on the Russian International Affairs Council (RIAC) and the Valdai Discussion Club, which is billed as the Russian equivalent of Davos. It was at these Welcome Wagon conferences, seminars and talk-a-thons that Mifsud had made his contracts.
But its main current tie to the Kremlin seems to be Putin’s annual speech to the Valdai Discussion Club, which isn’t all that sinister when you consider that several hundred European and American academics also speak at its events each year. In fact, these harmless Welcome Wagon contacts thru the auspices of Professor Mifsud actually reveal the insensible "total taint" theory that undergirds the whole RussiaGate narrative.
To wit, we are supposed to believe that Putin is Joseph Stalin incarnate; that all of Russia is one vast totalitarian entity; and that every Russian businessman, academic and government official function as "cut-outs" at the behest of Putin and his sinister intelligence services.
Absent that utterly false predicate, in fact, the whole narrative falls apart because there have been exactly zero accusations that Trump operatives ever had contacts with Russian intelligence, as opposed to civilians like professor Timofeev.
In any event, the Mueller report shows that Baby George furious skyping with Timofeev and inquiries about a Team Trump visit to Moscow led to exactly nothing over the course of many months.
Moreover, professor Timofeev was virtually the only real Russian that Baby George actually communicated with from his perch at the sketchy London Center for International Law Practice (LCILP). Even the Mueller Report’s exhaustively footnoted record of Baby George’s comings and goings in London reveal little more than fleeting email contracts with what were essentially Russian PR spokesman at embassies in Ireland and Washington, and a couple of further email exchanges with Olga Polonskaya, who wasn’t Putin’s niece and didn’t deliver a single meeting or further contact to Papadopoulos.
At the end of the day, of course, Baby George’s main Russian "friend", professor Timofeev, was not charged with anything by the Mueller hit squad, and actually told CNN that the whole episode had been to little avail because Baby George was not up to the task of even normal diplomacy:
"We did not close the door to the guy, but we did not take it seriously," Timofeev told CNN earlier this year in his Moscow office. "He was very enthusiastic. He was very interested in Russia and improving relations, but he seemed to be so unprofessional and so unprepared for a serious conversation."
Nevertheless, after returning from making the rounds at the Moscow Welcome Wagon, Mifsud had breakfast with Papadopoulos on April 26, where he famously learned that Russians had obtained "dirt" on Hillary Clinton in the form of "thousands of emails". Ten days thereafter, Papadopoulos meet Australian Ambassador Downer at London bar, where he apparently passed on Mifsud’s gossip.
But here’s the thing. Baby George’s allegedly damning conversation with Downer was not passed on to Washington by the Australian government for nearly four months, when it was finally conveyed on July 26 – a date which is not at all coincidental.
That is to say, the Australian government did not pass on the Papadopoulos meeting until a few days after the DNC emails had been published by WikiLeaks, and had become worldwide sensation. Yet the ‘thousands of emails" that Papadopoulos had blubbered to Downer were based on Mifsud’s mid-April gleanings in Moscow could not have been about the DNC emails. Even by the lights of the DNC’s contractor, CrowdStrike, the breach came well after that date.
In short, Baby George had been blabbering about second hand gossip from Mifsud, which was surely about the old business of the Hillary Clinton emails from 2013 and prior years which had been routed through her unprotected home server. But by the summer of 2016 the FBI knew that these 33,000 unaccounted for emails could have been hacked by virtually anyone in the world; and that the "bleach-bit" emails were a red hot topic of pursuit among all GOP pols and most especially the anti-Hillary brigade at Fox News.
What we are saying is that there was no reason whatsoever to link the Downer/Papadopoulos meeting palaver with the WikiLeaks publication of the DNC emails – even if they had been hacked by the Russian security services, which was not the case.
Four days after receiving the Downer cable from the Australian government, of course, the formal counter-intelligence investigation was launched by the anti-Trump cabal at the top of the FBI. But here’s the irony: nobody at Trump Tower was paying a whit of attention to Baby George. The latter literally sent dozens of emails according to the Muller report to upper tier Trump campaign officials including Stephen Miller, Corey Lewandowski, Sam Clovis, Walid Phares and Paul Manafort, after he took over leadership of the campaign.
Most of these missives were about Papadopoulos’ pet project – a visit to Moscow by Team Trump, preferably with the Donald himself at the helm. But notwithstanding all of Manafort’s alleged linkage to the Russian state through his years on the Ukraine lobbying beat, here is what Manafort had to say about still another meeting missive from Papadopoulos in late May:
Let’s discuss. We need someone to communicate that (Trump) is not doing these trips. It should be someone low level in the Campaign so as not to send any signal.
The real signal, however, was that Manafort did not even bother to copy Baby George on the above policy decision, but it effectively put Papadopoulos out of business because the vague notion of a Moscow meeting – which would have been totally public and appropriate by its very terms – was about the only thing he did during his entire 7-month stint on the Trump advisory committee.
After a few more months of futile wheel-spinning, Papadopoulos was ignominiously kicked off the campaign in early October for essentially saying favorable things about rapprochement with Russia – or what the Donald had been saying all along. That is to say, a key pillar of the RussiaGate narrative was built on the meanderings of an inept kid stumbling around in London, who passed on second-hand gossip about Hillary missing State department emails to people at Trump HQ who never once gave Baby George the time of day, and all of that is by the authoritative word of Mueller’s 13 Angry Democrats themselves.
The Trump Tower meeting which happened at the same time – June 9 – is even more preposterous.
Indeed, this meeting is at the heart of the overall RussiaGate mania and involves a literal brain freeze with respect to its central purpose, which was a pitch about dirt on Hillary Clinton by a Russian lawyer named Natalia Veselnitskaya.
Needless to say, she was not sent to New York by Vlad Putin to talk up some collusion plans. In part that’s because Ms.Veselnitskaya had no ties to Putin, the Kremlin or the Russian intelligence services, but mainly because she speaks not a word of English!
Do we really need to point out that Putin is way too smart to risk having a super-sensitive discussion about meddling in the American election lost in the translation?
In fact, the Trump Tower meeting was a just a fly-buy. Natalia was actually in New York doing god’s work, as it were, defending a Russian company, Prevezon Holdings, against hokey money-laundering charges related to the abominable Magnitsky Act and its contemptible promoter, Bill Browder.
In fact, as explained below, the whole Trump Tower meeting wasn’t about the American election at all.
Veselnitskaya’s pitch was all about Russia’s deep (and warranted) grievances at Washington’s meddling in its own internal affairs. And, in particular, the bellicose demonization of Russian business and government leaders that stems from Washington’s imposition of sanctions on upwards of 50 Russians under Magnitsky at the behest of Bill Browder, a US based hedge fund crook who Moscow believed had absconded with billions of illegal Russian profits prior to 2005.
Moreover, the above characterization is exactly how the Mueller Report describes the "Russian" pitch at the meeting attended by Donald Trump Jr., Manafort and Jared Kushner:
The meeting lasted approximately 20 minutes.
We are of a mind to say stop right there, bucko!
An unprecedented conspiracy between a major party candidate for President and the Russian state was materially transacted in a 20 minute meeting? In fact, the whole balance of the Mueller narrative shows that nothing remotely smacking of that happened.
Goldstone recalled that Trump Jr. invited Veselnitskaya to begin but did not say anything about the subject of the meeting. Participants agree that Veselnitskaya stated that the Ziff brothers (hedge fund billionaires and big Dem donors) had broken Russian laws and had donated their profits to the DNC or the Clinton Campaign. She asserted that the Ziff brother had engaged in tax evasion and money laundering in both the United States and Russia. According to Akhmetshin (one of the US based Russian attendees), Trump Jr. asked follow-up questions about how the alleged payments could be tied specifically to the Clinton Campaign, but Veselnitskaya indicated that she could not trace the money once it entered the United States. Kaveldadze (another US based Russian attendee) similarly recalled that Trump Jr. asked what they have on Clinton, and Kushner became aggravated and asked "what are we doing here?"
Akhmetshin then spoke about U.S. sanctions imposed under the Magnitsky Act and Russia’s response prohibiting the U.S. adoption of Russian children. Several participants recalled that Trump Jr. commented that Trump is a private citizen, and there was nothing they could do at that time…
At some point in the (brief) meeting Kushner sent an iMessage to Manafort stating "waste of time", followed immediately by two separate emails to assistants at Kushner Companies with requests that they call him to give him an excuse to leave. Samochornov recalled that Kushner departed the meeting before it concluded.
And that’s all she wrote. The Mueller Report drives a stake right through the ballyhooed Trump Tower meeting with the above passage.
Nowhere does Mueller allege that any discussion of the US election occurred nor was there any talk whatsoever about Russian state help for the Trump campaign. And the "dirt" they had on Hillary had to do with money that Browder had spread around to his US investors, not anything related to the Clinton campaign or DNC.
Indeed, the so-called Russian Lawyer, Natalia Veselnitskaya, was not in New York in behalf of the Russian government at all – nor did she have a word to say about the American election campaign.
To the contrary, she was in NYC to defend her Russian client against a money-laundering case had been brought to the headline-seeking US Attorney for the Southern District of New York (SDNY) and Senator Chuckles Schumer’s former chief hatchet-man, Preet Bharara, by none other than Bill Browder; and every stich of evidence presented by the government had been exactly as dropped into Bharara’s inbox by Browder without further investigation.
What’s more, the alleged $230 million theft from the Russian Treasury that Veselnitskaya complained about during the Trump Tower meeting was one and the same $230 million that is the centerpiece of Bill Browder’s cock-and-bull story about how corrupt Russian police had stole it from his firm (Hermitage Capital where the Ziff Brothers were major investors) in the first place back in 2005 via an alleged fraudulent tax refund scheme.
Stated differently, the Russian government claimed that Browder stole the loot, not Veselnitskaya’s clients; and that the case belonged in a Russian Court, not the SDNY where it was being tried.
In point of fact, Browder and his partners had pulled off an epic swindle during the wild west days of post-Soviet Russia, plundering billions by the unauthorized purchasing of Gazprom stock and then failing to pay the requisite Russian taxes. For the offense of not bringing Putin his expected tithe, Browder had been run out of Russia on a rail in the fall of 2005.
Needless to say, it doesn’t really matter who stole what and who was lying about the $230 million. The relevant fact is that Veselnitskaya’s client, Prevezon Holdings, had been caught up in a Kangaroo Court and had become the victims of another huge publicity stunt by serial con artist Bill Browder.
As is now well known, Browder had he turned the murky 2009 prison death of his accountant, Sergei Magnitsky, who was also charged with tax evasion, into a revenge crusade against Putin.
That resulted in a huge lobbying campaign subsidized by Browder’s illicit billions and spear-headed by the Senate’s most blood-thirsty trio of warmongers – Senators McCain, Graham and Cardin – to enact the 2012 Magnitsky Act, under which the aforementioned 50 Russian oligarchs, bureaucrats and Putin cronies are being sanctioned.
These sanctions, of course, are the very excrescence of Imperial Washington’s arrogant meddling in the internal affairs of other countries. That is, sweeping Washington-dictated sanctions on Russians (and other foreigners) it deems complicit in Magnitsky’s death in a Russian jail and for other alleged human rights violations in Russia and elsewhere.
Needless to say, imperial over-reach doesn’t get any more egregious than this. Deep State apparatchiks in the US Treasury Department get to try Russian citizens in absentia and without due process for vaguely worded crimes under American law that were allegedly committed in Russia; and then to seize their property and persons if they should venture to travel abroad or involve themselves in any act of global commerce where Washington can browbeat local satrapies and "allies" into cooperation!
Only in an imperial capital steeped in a self-conferred entitlement to function as Global Hegemon would such a preposterous extra-territorial power-grab be even thinkable. After all, what happens to Russians in Russian prisons is absolutely none of Washington’s business. Nor by any stretch of the imagination does it pose any threat whatsoever to America’s homeland security.
So the irony of the Trump Tower nothingburger is that the alleged Russian agent in the meeting was actually there fighting against Washington’s meddling in Russia’s internal affairs, not hooking up with Trump’s campaign to further a Kremlin plot to attack American democracy.
Indeed, the Magnitsky Act constitutes such an offensive affront to Russian sovereignty that it is not surprising that Putin and his gang are on the warpath against Bill Browder. They understandably and correctly view him as solely responsible for its enactment by dint of a relentless, well-financed anti-Putin demonization campaign.
And since the entire Prevezon case had been fabricated by Browder as just another maneuver in his fanatical campaign to vilify Russia, it is very obvious why the Russians wanted the Prevezon case defeated, and, in fact, ended up settling for a token $6 million on the eve of the trial.
In this context, the only basis for Natalia Veselnitskaya’s alleged Putin ties was through Russia’s Prosecutor General, Yuri Chaika.
The latter had made it a personal crusade to pursue Browder as a fugitive from Russian justice – he was convicted in absentia of tax fraud and other crimes in 2014 – and an enemy of the state.
As one report described Chaika’s campaign:
Chaika’s foray into American politics began in earnest in April 2016. That is when his office gave Republican congressman Dana Rohrabacher and three other US representatives a confidential letter detailing American investor Bill Browder’s "illegal scheme of buying up Gazprom shares without permission of the Government of Russia" between 1999 and 2006, one month after Rohrabacher returned from Moscow.
As it happened, Veselnitskaya had apparently brought a memo to the Trump Tower meeting that contained many of the same talking points as one written by Chaika’s office two months earlier (for the Rohrabacher meeting).
So there you have it. The "dirt" that Don Jr. had been promised was essentially a Trump Tower door opener so that Veselnitskaya could get in some licks against Browder and the hated Magnitsky Act.
Moreover, the dirt that she did have had nothing to do with the DNC and Podesta email hacks or even Hillary’s 33,000 missing emails. As described above in Mueller’s own words, it was still more anti-Browder stuff – a claim that certain Browder associates were then funding the Dems and the Clinton campaign with the tainted Russian money.
Indeed, here is the distinctly un-smoking gun – the talking points that the "Russian lawyer" brought to Trump Tower (originally in Russian). Yet there is no way that anyone in their right mind can interpret this document as a pitch to meddle in America’s 2016 elections – and further explains why the Mueller gang found nothing at all nefarious about the Trump Tower meeting.
In fact, what it reveals is the sweeping Russian antipathy to Browder and the fact that his completely fabricated and self-serving Magnitsky campaign has been a godsend to the Washington War Party by fueling irrational, anti-Russian sentiment throughout the Imperial City. That is, it was just the thing to keep the $800 billion national security pork barrel full to the brim and overflowing:
The relationship between the United States and the Russian Federation today is tense with disagreements, the source of which lie in U.S. lawmakers granting international satisfaction to a fugitive criminal accused of tax fraud in Russia, a former U.S. citizen, William Browder, who in 1998 renounced American citizenship for tax reasons.
In December 2012, after a major, three-year lobbying campaign, the United States adopted the Sergei Magnitsky Rule of Law Accountability Act, which laid out the in fact nonexistent story of a "lawyer" Sergey Magnitsky who allegedly exposed corruption crimes and embezzlement from the Russian Treasury, for which he was arrested, tortured and beaten, leading to his death in November 2009.
This law was in essence the start of a new round of the Cold War between the United States and Russia, putting on the scales the interests of a group of fraudsters on one side, and interstate relations on the other.
….Since the end of 1999, Browder’s largest client became the company Ziff Brothers Investment, which began aggressively buying Gazprom stock through a scheme to bypass a Russian legislative ban on foreign companies purchasing this stock on the internal market…..Once Browder’s activities drew the attention of the Russian law enforcement authorities, and he was not allowed any more to visit Russia on a tourist visa, in January 2006 all the assets controlled by the Ziff Brothers Investments were removed from the jurisdiction of the Russian Federation.
According to the available information, in 2006 the American owners of the chain of companies mentioned above gained an income of over $800 million, including 66 million shares of Gazprom received as dividends.
According to preliminary estimates, the damage to the Russian budget in the form of unpaid taxes from these activities exceeded 1 billion rubles.
….According to information we have, the Ziff brothers took part in financing both Obama election campaigns, and the American press call them "the main sponsor of the Democrats". It cannot be ruled out that they took part in financing the campaign of Hillary Clinton.
Browder, realizing that sooner or later his lies would come out in a jury trial in New York (i.e. the Prevezon case), used the period of the suspension in the case to intensify his efforts to globalize his false story and strengthen his alibi. With the help of Senator Cardin, his long-time collaborator, he has the Global Magnitsky Act introduced in the Senate last December…..
Browder’s plan is simple: to place the global Magnitsky Act on the table of the new President of the United States, to prevent the new administration from reviewing the interstate relations between the United States and Russia, so diligently antagonized at the instigation of Browder and others interested in this.
It doesn’t get any more straight forward than this. The purpose of Veselnitskaya’s visit to Trump Tower in June 2016 was to share with the the Trump campaign Russia’s deeply hostile attitude toward Browder and convey that his Magnitsky Act intrusion into Russia’s internal affairs was deeply offensive to Moscow and a fundamental irritant to improved U.S./Russian relations.
As it happened, two years later at the Helsinki press conference, Putin himself reminded the Donald (and the world public) of Russia’s animus against Browder in no uncertain terms, and that the meddlers, alas, reside in the Imperial City, not the Kremlin:
“Business associates of his have earned over $1.5 billion in Russia,” Mr. Putin said. “They never paid any taxes. Neither in Russia nor in the United States. Yet the money escaped the country. They were transferred to the United States. They sent huge amounts of money, $400 million, as a contribution to the campaign of Hillary Clinton.”
So at the heart of the Russian collusion story and its alleged pivotal meeting at Trump Tower in June 2016 is nothing more than a half-baked effort by Russians to tell their side of the Magnitsky story; and to expose the real villain in the piece – a monumentally greedy hedge fund operator who had stolen the Russian people blind and then conveniently gave up his American citizenship so that he would neither do time in a Russian jail or pay taxes in America.
Moreover, it self evidently was no cloak-and-dagger maneuver clandestinely orchestrated by the Russian intelligence agencies. Actually, in reaching-out to the Trump campaign in behalf of her anti-Magnitsky Act agenda, Veselnitskaya used the good offices of what appears to be the Russian Justin Bieber!
Specifically, as indicated above the meeting offer came to Don Trump Jr. via a London-based PR flack named Rob Goldstone, a music publicist who knew the Trumps through the Miss Universe pageant that was held in Moscow in 2013.
Goldstone didn’t know his head from a hole in the ground when it comes to international affairs or Russian politics, but he did represent the Russian pop singer Emin Agalarov, whose father was also a Trump- style real estate mogul and had been involved in the 2013 pageant.
Said the London PR flack in an email to Don Jr:
"Emin just called and asked me to contact you with something very interesting….The Crown prosecutor of Russia met with his father Aras this morning and in their meeting offered to provide the Trump campaign with some official documents and information that would incriminate Hillary and her dealings with Russia and would be very useful to your father….( this is) "part of Russia and its government’s support for Mr. Trump."
And a very big so what!
For one thing, the last "Crown prosecutor of Russia" was assassinated by the Bolsheviks in 1917, suggesting Goldstone’s grasp of the contemporary Russian government was well less than rudimentary.
Secondly, there is neither a crime nor national security issue involved when a campaign seeks to dig-up dirt from foreign nationals. The crime is when they pay for it, and do not report the expenditure to the Federal Elections Commission.
Of course, that’s exactly what Hillary Clinton’s campaign did with its multi-million funding of the Trump Dossier, generated by foreign national Christopher Steele and intermediated to the FBI and other IC agencies by Fusion GPS.
And that gets us to the mind-boggling silliness of the whole Trump Tower affair. As seen above, the promised dirt on Hillary – the Ziff Brothers money thing – was a come-on so that Veselnitskaya (through her Russian translator) could make a pitch against the Magnitsky Act; and to also point out that after 33,000 Russian babies had been adopted by Americans pre-Magnitsky – that avenue of adoption had been stopped cold when the Kremlin found it necessary to retaliate.
As documented by the Mueller report, Trump Jr’s emails to his secretary from the meeting long ago proved that he immediately recognized Natalia’s bait and switch ploy and either didn’t get it or was interested in the anti-Browder pitch. So he requested to be summoned to the phone so he could end the meeting.
In short, even though Veselnitskaya didn’t come to conspire and Donald Jr. wasn’t interested, anyway, there is still another ludicrous twist to the plot.
Its seem that Glenn Simpson, proprietor of Fusion GPS and the intermediary for the infamous Steele Dossier, was working both sides of the street in good beltway racketeering fashion.
That is, he also been hired by Veselnitskaya’s Russian clients (Prevezon) to make a case in Washington against the Magnitsky Act, and to also dig up dirt on the scoundrel behind it: Bill Browder.
More fantastically yet, Natalia had apparently meet with Simpson both before and after the Trump Tower meeting apparently to be coached by him on her anti-Magnitsky pitch to the Trump campaign.
So if Ms. Veselnitskaya was part of a Trump/Russian collusion conspiracy, then so was Glenn Simpson! And at one and the same time he was midwifing the Trump Dossier which purportedly exposed said conspiracy!
It doesn’t get any crazier than that.
David Stockman was a two-term Congressman from Michigan. He was also the Director of the Office of Management and Budget under President Ronald Reagan. After leaving the White House, Stockman had a 20-year career on Wall Street. He’s the author of three books, The Triumph of Politics: Why the Reagan Revolution Failed, The Great Deformation: The Corruption of Capitalism in America and TRUMPED! A Nation on the Brink of Ruin… And How to Bring It Back. He also is founder of David Stockman’s Contra Corner and David Stockman’s Bubble Finance Trader.