Mueller Report Provides Irrefutable Evidence Intel and Law Enforcement Tried to Entrap Trump

by Larry Johnson Sic Semper Tyrannis edited by O Society May 9, 2019

The preponderance of evidence makes this very simple–there was a broad, coordinated effort by the Obama Administration, with the help of foreign governments, to target Donald Trump and paint him as a stooge of Russia.

The Mueller Report provides irrefutable evidence that the so-called Russian collusion case against Donald Trump was a deliberate fabrication by intelligence and law enforcement organizations in the United States and the United Kingdom and organizations aligned with the Clinton Campaign.

Breaking news today, courtesy of the New York Times, is that a man with a long history of working with the CIA and a female FBI Informant, traveled to London in September of 2016 and tried unsuccessfully to entrap George Papadopolous. The biggest curiosity is that US intelligence or law enforcement officials fully briefed British intelligence on what they were up to. Quite understandable given what we now know about British spying on the Trump Campaign.

The Mueller investigation of Trump “collusion” with Russia prior to the 2016 Presidential election focused on eight cases:

Proposed Trump Tower Project in Moscow—

George Papadopolous—

Carter Page—

Dimitri Simes—

Veselnetskya Meeting at Trump Tower (June 16, 2016)

Events at Republican Convention

Post-Convention Contacts with Russian Ambassador Kislyak

Paul Manafort

One simple fact emerges–of the eight cases or incidents of alleged Trump Campaign interaction with the Russians investigated by the Mueller team, the proposals to interact with the Russian Government or Putin originated with FBI informants, MI-6 assets or people paid by Fusion GPS, not Trump or his people. There is not a single instance where Donald Trump or any member of his campaign team initiated contact with the Russians for the purpose of gaining derogatory information on Hillary or obtaining support to boost the Trump campaign. Not one.

Simply put, Trump and his campaign were the target of an elaborate, wide ranging covert action designed to entrap him and members of his team as an agent of Russia.

Let’s look in detail at each of the cases.

THE PROPOSED TRUMP TOWER PROJECT IN MOSCOW, according to Mueller’s report, originated with an FBI Informant–Felix Sater. Here’s what the Mueller Report states:

In the late summer of 2015, the Trump Organization received a new inquiry about pursuing a Trump Tower project in Moscow. In approximately September 2015, Felix Sater . . . contacted Cohen (i.e., Michael Cohen) on behalf of I.C. Expert Investment Company (I.C. Expert), a Russian real-estate development corporation controlled by Andrei Vladimirovich Rozov. Sater had known Rozov since approximately 2007 and, in 2014, had served as an agent on behalf of Rozov during Rozov’s purchase of a building in New York City. Sater later contacted Rozov and proposed that I.C. Expert pursue a Trump Tower Moscow project in which I.C. Expert would license the name and brand from the Trump Organization but construct the building on its own. Sater worked on the deal with Rozov and another employee of I.C. Expert. (see page 69 of the Mueller Report).

Mueller, as I have noted previously, is downright dishonest in failing to identify Sater as an FBI informant. Sater was not just a private entrepreneur looking to make some coin. He was a fully signed up FBI informant. Sater’s status as an FBI snitch was first exposed in 2012. Sater also was a boyhood chum of Michael Cohen, the target being baited in this operation. Another inconvenient fact excluded from the Mueller report is that one of Mueller’s Chief Prosecutors, Andrew Weissman, signed the deal with Felix Sater in December 1998 that put Sater into the FBI Informant business.

All suggestions for meeting with the Russian Government, including Putin, originated with Felix Sater. The use of Sater on this particular project started in September 2015.

[For more on Sater please see my previous posts, Felix Sater–The Rosetta Stone for the FBI/CIA Conspiracy Against Trump?, Felix Sater and the Steele Dossier.]

GEORGE PAPADOPOLOUS

Papadopolous was targeted by British and U.S. intelligence starting in late December 2015, when he is offered out of the blue a job with the London Centre of International Law and Practice Limited (LCILP) . The LCILP has all of the hallmarks of an intelligence front company. LCILP began as an offshoot from another company — EN Education Group Limited — which describes itself as “a global education consultancy, facilitating links between students, education providers and organisations with an interest in education worldwide”.

EN Education and LCILP are owned and run by Nagi Khalid Idris, a 48-year-old British citizen of Sudanese origin. For no apparent reason Idris offers Papadopolous a job as the Director of the LCILP’s International Energy and Natural Resources Division. Then in March of 2016, Idris and Arvinder Sambei (who acted as an attorney for the FBI on a 9-11 extradition case in the UK), insist on introducing Joseph Mifsud to Papadopolous.

It is Joseph Mifsud who introduces the idea of meeting Putin following a lunch in London:

“The lunch is booked for March 24 at the Grange Holborn Hotel,. . . . “When I get there, Mifsud is waiting for me in the lobby with an attractive, fashionably dressed young woman with dirty blonde hair at his side. He introduces her as Olga Vinogradova.” (p. 76)

“Mifsud sells her hard. “Olga is going to be your inside woman to Moscow. She knows everyone.” He tells me she was a former official at the Russian Ministry of Trade. Then he waxes on about introducing me to the Russian ambassador in London.” (p. 77)

“On April 12, “Olga” writes: “I have already alerted my personal links to our conversation and your request. The embassy in London is very much aware of this. As mentioned, we are all very excited by the possibility of a good relationship with Mr. Trump. The Russian Federation would love to welcome him once his candidature would be officially announced.”

And it is Mifsud who raises the possibility of getting dirt on Hillary Clinton:

“Then Mifsud returns from the Valdai conference. On April 26 we meet for breakfast at the Andaz Hotel, near Liverpool Street Station, one of the busiest train stations in London. He’s in an excellent mood and claims he met with high-level Russian government officials. But once again, he’s very short on specifics. This is becoming a real pattern with Mifsud. He hasn’t offered any names besides Timofeev. Then, he leans across the table in a conspiratorial manner. The Russians have “dirt” on Hillary Clinton, he tells me. “Emails of Clinton,” he says. “They have thousands of emails.”

Here again we encounter the lying and obfuscation of the Mueller team. They falsely characterize Mifsud as an agent of Russia. In fact, he has close and longstanding ties to both British and US intelligence (Disobedient Media lays out the Mifsud mystery in detail).

Mifsud was not alone. The FBI and the CIA also were in the game of trying to entrap Papadopolous. In September of 2016, Papadopolous was being wined and dined by Halper (who has longstanding ties to the US intelligence community) and Azra Turk, an FBI Informant/researcher (see NY Times).

The FBI disingenuously claims they ran Azra Turk at Papadopolous because they were alarmed ostensibly by Russia’s attempts to disrupt the 2016 election. But Papadopolous was not seeking out Russian contacts. He was being baited. It was Mifsud and others tied to British and US intelligence who were bringing up the “opportunity” to work with the Russians.

CARTER PAGE

The section of the Mueller report that deals with Carter Page is a total travesty. Mueller and his team, for example, initially misrepresent Page’s status with the Trump campaign–he is described as “working” for the campaign, which implies a paid position, when he was in fact only a volunteer foreign policy advisor. Mueller also paints Page’s prior experience and work in Russia as evidence that Page was being used by Russian intelligence, but says nothing about the fact that Page was being regularly debriefed by the CIA and the FBI during the same period. In other words, Page was cooperating with US intelligence and law enforcement. But this fact is omitted in the Mueller report.

Mueller eventually accurately describes Page’s role in the Trump campaign as follows:

In January 2016, Page began volunteering on an informal, unpaid basis for the Trump Campaign after Ed Cox, a state Republican Party official, introduced Page to Trump Campaign officials. Page told the Office that his goal in working on the Campaign was to help candidate Trump improve relations with Russia. To that end, Page emailed Campaign officials offering his thoughts on U.S.-Russia relations, prepared talking points and briefing memos on Russia, and proposed that candidate Trump meet with President Vladimir Putin in Moscow.

In communications with Campaign officials, Page also repeatedly touted his high-level contacts in Russia and his ability to forge connections between candidate Trump and senior Russian governmental officials. For example, on January 30, 2016, Page sent an email to senior Campaign officials stating that he had “spent the past week in Europe and had been in discussions with some individuals with close ties to the Kremlin” who recognized that Trump could have a “game-changing effect . .. in bringing the end of the new Cold War. The email stated that ” [t]hrough [his] discussions with these high level contacts,” Page believed that “a direct meeting in Moscow between Mr. Trump and Putin could be arranged.

The Mueller presentation portrays Carter Page in a nefarious, negative light. His contacts with Russia are characterized as inappropriate and unjustified. Longstanding business experience in a particular country is not proof of wrong doing. No consideration is given at all to Page’s legitimate concerns raising about the dismal state of US/Russia relations following the US backed coup in the Ukraine and the subsequent annexation of Crimea by Russia.

Page’s association with the Trump campaign was quite brief–he lasted seven months, being removed as a foreign policy advisor on 24 September. Page was not identified publicly as a Trump foreign policy advisor until March of 2016, but the evidence presented in the Mueller report clearly indicates that Page was already a target of intelligence agencies, in the US and abroad, long before the FISA warrant of October 2016.

While serving on the foreign policy team Page continued his business and social contacts in Russia, but was never tasked by the Trump team to pursue or promote contacts with Putin and his team. In fact, Page’s proposals, suggestions and recommendations were either ignored or directly rebuffed.

The timeline reported in the Mueller report regarding Page’s trip to Russia in early July raises questions about the intel collected on that trip and the so-called “intel” revealed in the Steele Dossier with respect to Page. Carter admits to meeting with individuals, such as Dmitry Peskov and Igor Sechin, who appear in the Steele Dossier. Page’s meetings in Moscow turned out to be innocuous and uneventful. Nothing he did resembled clandestine activity. Yet, the Steele report on that visit suggested just the opposite and used the tactic of guilt by association to imply that Page was up to something dirty.

The bottomline for Mueller is that Page did not do anything wrong and no one in the Trump Campaign embraced his proposals for closer ties with Russia.

DMITRI SIMES

The targeting and investigation of Dmitri Simes is disgusting and an abuse of law enforcement authority. Full disclosure. I know Dmitri. For awhile, in the 2002-2003 time period, I was a regular participant at Nixon Center events. For example, I was at a round table in December 2002 on the imminent invasion of Iraq. Colonel Pat Lang sat on one side of me and Ambassador Joe Wilson on the other. Directly across the table was Charles Krauthammer. Dmitri ran an honest seminar.

The entire section on Dmitri Simes, under other circumstances, could be viewed as something bizarre and amusing. But the mere idea that Simes was somehow an agent of Putin and a vehicle for helping Trump work with the Russians to steal the 2016 election is crazy and idiotic. Those in the FBI who were so stupid as to buy into this nonsense should have their badges and guns taken away. They are too dumb to work in law enforcement.

Dmitri’s only sin was to speak calmly, intelligently and rationally about foreign policy dealings with Russia. We now know that in this new hysteria of the 21st Century Russian scare that qualities such as reason and rationality are proof of one’s willingness to act as a puppet of Vladimir Putin.

TRUMP TOWER MEETING (JUNE 9, 2016)

This is the clearest example of a plant designed to entrap the Trump team. Mueller, once again, presents a very disingenuous account:

On June 9, 2016, senior representatives of the Trump Campaign met in Trump Tower with a Russian attorney expecting to receive derogatory information about Hillary Clinton from the Russian government. The meeting was proposed to Donald Trump Jr. in an email from Robert Goldstone, at the request of his then-client Emin Agalarov, the son of Russian real-estate developer Aras Agalarov. Goldstone relayed to Trump Jr. that the “Crown prosecutor of Russia … offered to provide the Trump Campaign with some official documents and information that would incriminate Hillary and her dealings with Russia” as “part of Russia and its government’s support for Mr. Trump.” Trump Jr. immediately responded that “if it’s what you say I love it,” and arranged the meeting through a series of emails and telephone calls.

The meeting was with a Russian attorney, Natalia Veselnitskaya.

The Russian attorney who spoke at the meeting, Natalia Veselnitskaya, had previously worked for the Russian government and maintained a relationship with that government throughout this period oftime. She claimed that funds derived from illegal activities in Russia were provided to Hillary Clinton and other Democrats. Trump Jr. requested evidence to support those claims, but Veselnitskaya did not provide such information.

Ignore for a moment that no information on Hillary was passed or provided (and doing such a thing is not illegal). The real problem is with what Mueller does not say and did not investigate. Mueller conveniently declines to mention the fact that Veselnitskaya was working closely with the firm Hillary Clinton hired to produce the Steele Dossier. NBC News reported on Veselnitskaya:

The information that a Russian lawyer brought with her when she met Donald Trump Jr. in June 2016 stemmed from research conducted by Fusion GPS, the same firm that compiled the infamous Trump dossier, according to the lawyer and a source familiar with the matter.

In an interview with NBC News, Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya says she first received the supposedly incriminating information she brought to Trump Tower — describing alleged tax evasion and donations to Democrats — from Glenn Simpson, the Fusion GPS owner, who had been hired to conduct research in a New York federal court case.

Even a mediocre investigator would recognize the problem of the relationship between the lawyer claiming to have dirty, damning info on Hillary with the firm Hillary hired to dig up dirt on Donald Trump. This was another botched set up and the Trump folks did not take the bait.

EVENTS AT THE REPUBLICAN NATIONAL CONVENTION

This portion of the Mueller report is complete farce. Foreign Ambassdors, including the Russian (and the Chinese) attend Republican and Democrat Conventions. Presidential candidates and their advisors speak to those Ambassadors. So, where is the beef? Answer. There isn’t any. That this “event” was considered something worthy of a counter intelligence investigation is just one more piece of evidence that law enforcement and intelligence were weaponized against the Trump campaign.

POST-CONVENTION CONTACTS WITH RUSSIAN AMBASSADOR KISLYAK

Ditto. As noted in the previous paragraph, trying to criminalize normal diplomatic contacts, especially with a country where we share important, vital national security interests, is but further evidence of the crazy anti-Russian hysteria that has infected the anti-Trumpers. Pathetic.

MANAFORT

If Paul Manafort had rebuffed Trump’s offer to run his campaign, he would be walking free today and still buying expensive suits and evading taxes along with his Clinton buddy, Greg Craig. Instead, he became another target for DOJ and intel community and the DNC, which were desperate to portray Trump as a tool of the Kremlin. Thanks to John Solomon of The Hill, we now know the impetus to target Manafort came from the DNC:

The boomerang from the Democratic Party’s failed attempt to connect Donald Trump to Russia’s 2016 election meddling is picking up speed, and its flight path crosses right through Moscow’s pesky neighbor, Ukraine. That is where there is growing evidence a foreign power was asked, and in some cases tried, to help Hillary Clinton.

In its most detailed account yet, Ukraine’s embassy in Washington says a Democratic National Committee insider during the 2016 election solicited dirt on Donald Trump’s campaign chairman and even tried to enlist the country’s president to help.

In written answers to questions, Ambassador Valeriy Chaly’s office says DNC contractor Alexandra Chalupa sought information from the Ukrainian government on Paul Manafort’s dealings inside the country, in hopes of forcing the issue before Congress.

Manafort was not colluding, but the Clinton campaign and the Obama Administration most certainly were.

Take these eight events as a whole a very clear picture emerges–US and foreign intelligence (especially the UK) and US law enforcement collaborated in a broad effort to bait the Trump team with ostensible Russian entreaties in order to paint Trump as a tool of the Kremlin. That effort is now being exposed and those culpable will hopefully face justice. This should sicken and alarm every American regardless of political party. Will justice be served?

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The Malevolent Farce that is Mueller and the Russia Hoax

The “Introduction” to the Mueller Report justifies the investigation of Donald Trump by claiming as undisputed fact that, “the Russian government interfered in the 2016 presidential election in sweeping and systematic fashion.” But, according to Mueller, this “sweeping and systematic”  interference, consisted of:

a social media campaign that favored presidential candidate Donald J. Trump and disparaged presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

Russian military intelligence conducted computer-intrusion operations against entities, employees, and volunteers working on the Clinton Campaign and then released stolen documents.

You have got to be kidding me? The Mueller team present the the Russian social media campaign as some sort of propaganda behemoth and claims it was wildly influential. The Mueller folks cite, for instance, the IRA spending $100,000 on Facebook ads as evidence of this great influence. Nothing is said, however, about the billion dollars the Clinton Campaign spent on media to influence the American public. Apparently, $100,000 dollars from Russia carries more punch than $1,000,000,000,000 from Hillary Clinton.

The Clinton campaign, Democratic Party and pro-Clinton expenditure committees and PACs spent a record $1.2 billion, twice as much as the $600 million laid out by the Trump camp, Republicans and pro-Trump groups, the New York Post reported.

The real propaganda here, in my judgement, is what Mueller and his team put out in their report. It is clearly written to feed a meme and promote animus towards Donald Trump under the guise of being an “official” investigation.

I was stunned by Mueller’s claim his investigation uncovered “numerous links between the Russian government and the Trump Campaign.” As I noted in a previous piece (i.e., Intel and Law Enforcement Tried to Entrap Trump)  the Russian “links” to the Trump Campaign were manufactured by the FBI, the CIA and British Foreign Intelligence. This is both disingenuous and dishonest on the part of Mueller. The alleged Russian contacts were initiated by the FBI and the CIA, not the Trump team.

Notwithstanding Mueller’s deception, the facts compelled him to conclude that the investigation established that members of the Trump Campaign did not conspire or coordinate with the Russian government.The structure and presentation of the Mueller report reminds me of propaganda programs I worked on while at the CIA.

For example, Mueller reports Russian interference as something unprecedented and unique and strongly implies that this effort was instrumental to Trump’s electoral success. Unfortunately, this meme has become accepted conventional wisdom. But it is not true. Those who unquestionably accept this view are guilty of ignorance with respect to our shared history with Russia.

The only thing unique and exceptional about the 2016 election was the pundits and pollsters were wrong on a grand scale in failing to predict the Trump win. If the Russian social media campaign had actually been so widespread and effective, surely the intelligence community and the media pundits should have identified the activity and raised the alarm about the alleged Russian social media tidal wave.

Here is the cold, hard truth–Russia (I use this as shorthand to include its predecessor, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics) has been running intelligence operations inside America for more almost 100 years. These activities  include recruiting Americans to gather classified information for Moscow, such as the Rosenbergs, creating front companies, and publishing and disseminating propaganda. At one point there was even a Communist Party of the United States (and former CIA Director John Brennan voted for its candidate). All of this falls under the rubric of espionage. And guess what? We have been and are doing the same thing in Russia.

The American politicians and pundits who decried the Russian activity in 2016 as an act of war deserve either pity for being so stupid and uninformed or condemnation for engaging in such unjustified hysteria.

Robert Mueller may not be eager to testify before Congress. His appearance will likely be a disaster for the Democrats and anti-Trumpers,  who desperately hope that Mueller is sitting on info that could  force Trump from office. But that will not happen.

Instead, Mueller will have to endorse his own report and its conclusion that there was no coordination nor conspiracy between Trump and the Russians. The report released to the Congress and the public is Mueller’s report. It is not Barr’s. Mueller also will have to explain why he did not indict Trump for obstruction. We already know, courtesy of Attorney General Barr, that Mueller’s decision to not indict was not guided nor influenced by DOJ policy to not indict a sitting President.

Mueller will face tough questions on major gaps and omissions in the Special Counsel investigation. Take Joseph Mifsud, for example, who Mueller identifies as a ‘London professor with ties to Russia.” Even the most simple-minded investigator would want to know who Mifsud was and how did he have access to information on Hillary Clinton’s emails. Not Bob Mueller. Not curious at all. Intrepid internet investigators, such as Disobedient Media and Wikileaks, uncovered evidence linking Mifsud to British Mi6 and the CIA.

And there are three known FBI informants–aka Confidential Human Sources aka CHS–that targeted Trump and his campaign team–Christopher Steele, Felix Sater and Henry Greenberg. Steele’s status as a fully signed up CHS was exposed in August 2018 when documents were released, thanks to a Judicial Watch FOIA request, showing that Steele received at least 11 payments during the 9 month period that he was signed up as a Confidential Human Source.

The key is to look at the report forms; there are three types–FD-1023 (Source Reports), FD-209a (Contact Reports) and FD-794b (Payment Requests). There are 15 different 1023s, 13 209a reports and 11 794b payment requests covering the period from 2 February 2016 thru 1 November 2016.

These reports totally destroy the FBI claim that Steele only came into contact with the FBI sometime in July 2016. It is important for you to understand that a 1023 Source Report is filled out each time that the FBI source handler has contact with the source. This can be an in person meeting or a phone call. Each report lists the name of the Case Agent; the date, time and location of the meeting; any other people attending the meeting; and a summary of what was discussed.

What is truly outrageous is Christopher Steele’s status as a FBI CHS is not acknowledged and the anti-Trump dossier he put together at the behest of a firm hired by the Clinton Campaign (i.e., Fusion GPS) is referenced as follows:

Several days later, BuzzFeed published unverified allegations compiled by former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele during the campaign about candidate Trump ‘s Russia connections under the headline “These Reports Allege Trump Has Deep Ties To Russia.”

The Mueller team knew Steele’s Dossier was one of the predicates of the FBI investigation and the request for a FISA warrant against Carter Page. But now one word of explanation is given and no evidence is provided to show that the Mueller team investigated the matter.

Similar reports, i.e., 1023s, should exist for Felix Sater and Henry Greenberg as well. You can bank on it. Why did Robert Mueller and his team not request these reports on Sater and Greenberg? Sater was the impetus for the Moscow Tower Project. But you would not know that from Mueller discussion of this aspect of the case in his introduction:

2015. Some of the earliest contacts were made in connection with a Trump Organization real-estate project in Russia known as Trump Tower Moscow. Candidate Trump signed a Letter oflntent for Trump Tower Moscow by November 2015, and in January 2016 Trump Organization executive Michael Cohen emailed and spoke about the project with the office of Russian government press secretary Dmitry Peskov.

Once you understand that Felix Sater had been an FBI CHS since December 1998 (and was signed up by Andrew Weissman), you can see how dishonest and deceptive is Mueller’s account of the Trump Tower Project.

I am eager to hear Bob Mueller’s answer to these and other questions. His investigation can be charitably described as sloppy, inept and inadequate. There also is a case to be made that it was corrupt given critical information that was excluded from the report. With the benefit of hindsight, it appears that Bill Barr made sure to publish as much of the report as possible in order to get the evidence of bias and error by Mueller exposed to the public.

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Obama Spied on Other Republicans and Democrats As Well

Do not focus on July 2016 as the so-called start of the counter intelligence investigation of Donald Trump. That is a lie. We know, thanks to the work of Judicial Watch, that the FBI had signed up Christopher Steele as a Confidential Human Source (aka CHS) by February of 2016. It is incumbent on Attorney General Barr to examine the contact reports filed by Steele’s FBI handler (those reports are known as FD-1023s). He also, as I have noted in a previous post, needs to look at the FD-1023s for Felix Sater and Henry Greenberg. But these will only tell a small part of the story. There is a massive intelligence side to this story.

The CIA, with the knowledge of the Director of National Intelligence, worked with British counterparts starting in the summer of 2015 to collect intelligence on Republican and at least one Democrat candidate. John Brennan was probably hoping his proactive steps to help the Hillary Clinton campaign would ensure him taking over as DNI in the new Clinton Administration. Regardless of motives, the CIA enlisted the British intelligence community to start gathering intelligence on most major Republican candidates and on Bernie Sanders.

This initial phase of intelligence gathering goes beyond opposition research. The information being gathered identified the key personnel in each campaign and identified the people outside the United States receiving their calls, texts and emails. This information was turned into intelligence reports that then were passed back to the United States intel community as “liaison reporting.” This was not put into normal classified channels. This intelligence was put into a SAP, i.e. a Special Access Program.

One person who needs to be called on the carpet and asked some hard questions is current CIA Director Gina Haspel. She was CIA Chief of Station in London at the time and was a regular attendee at the meeting of the Brit’s Joint Intelligence Committee aka the JIC. I suppose it is possible she was cut out of the process, but I believe that is unlikely.

This initial phase of intelligence collection produced a great volume of intelligence that allowed analysts to identify key personnel and the people they were communicating with overseas. You don’t have to have access to intelligence information to understand this. For example, you simply have to ask the question, “how did George Papadopoulos get on the radar.”

I am confident a survey of NSA and CIA liaison reporting will show George Papadopoulos was identified as a possible target by the fall of 2015. Initially, his name was “masked.” But we now know that many people on the Trump campaign had their names “unmasked.” You cannot unmask someone unless their name is in an intelligence report.

We also know Felix Sater, a longtime business associate of Donald Trump and an FBI informant since December 1998 (he was signed up by Andrew Weismann), initiated the proposal to do a Trump Tower in Moscow. Don’t take my word for it, that’s what Robert Mueller reported:

In the late summer of 2015, the Trump Organization received a new inquiry about pursuing a Trump Tower project in Moscow. In approximately September 2015, Felix Sater . . . contacted Cohen (i.e., Michael Cohen) on behalf of I.C. Expert Investment Company (I.C. Expert), a Russian real-estate development corporation controlled by Andrei Vladimirovich Rozov. Sater had known Rozov since approximately 2007 and, in 2014, had served as an agent on behalf of Rozov during Rozov’s purchase of a building in New York City. Sater later contacted Rozov and proposed that I.C. Expert pursue a Trump Tower Moscow project in which I.C. Expert would license the name and brand from the Trump Organization but construct the building on its own. Sater worked on the deal with Rozov and another employee of I.C. Expert. (see page 69 of the Mueller Report).

Sater’s communication with Rozov were intercepted by western intelligence agencies–GCHQ and NSA. I do not know which agency put it into an intel report, but it was put into the system. The Sater FD-1023 will tell us whether or not Sater did this at the direction of the FBI or acted on his own initiative. The key point is that the “bait” to do something with the Russians came from a registered FBI informant.

By December of 2015, the Hillary Campaign decided to use the Russian angle on Donald Trump. Thanks to Wikileaks we have Campaign Manager John Podesta’s email exchange in December 2015 with Democratic operative Brent Budowsky:

That’s good, sooner it’s clarified the better, and the stronger the better,” Budowski replies, later adding: “Best approach is to slaughter Donald for his bromance with Putin, but not go too far betting on Putin re Syria.”

The program to slaughter Donald Trump using Russia as the hatchet was already underway.

This was more the opposition research. This was the weaponization of law enforcement and intelligence assets to attack political opponents. Hillary had covered the opposition research angle in London by hiring a firm comprised of former MI6 assets–Hakluyt:

there was a second, even more powerful and mysterious opposition researchand intelligence firm lurking about with significant political and financial links to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and her 2016 campaign for president against Donald Trump.

Meet London-based Hakluyt & Co., founded by three former British intelligence operatives in 1995 to provide the kind of otherwise inaccessible research for which select governments and Fortune 500 corporations pay huge sums. . . .

Hakluyt is described by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism’s Henry Williams as “one of the more secretive firms within the corporate investigations world” and as “a retirement home for ex-MI6 [British foreign intelligence] officers, but it now also recruits from the worlds of management consultancy and banking … ”

I do not believe that it is a mere coincidence that Australian diplomat, Alexander Downer, was the one credited by the FBI for launching the investigation into George Papadopolous:

It was Downer who told the FBI of Papodopoulos’ comments, which became one of the “driving factors that led the FBI to open an investigation in July 2016 into Russia’s attempts to disrupt the election and whether any of President Trump’s associates conspired,” The Times reported.

Downer, a long-time Aussie chum of Bill and Hillary Clinton, had been on Hakluyt’s advisory board since 2008. Officially, he had to resign his Hakluyt role in 2014, but his informal connections continued uninterrupted, the News Corp. Australian Network reported in a January 2016 exclusive:

But it can be revealed Mr. Downer has still been attending client conferences and gatherings of the group, including a client cocktail soirée at the Orangery at Kensington Palace a few months ago.

His attendance at that event is understood to have come days after he also attended a two-day country retreat at the invitation of the group, which has been involved in a number of corporate spy scandals in recent times.

Much remains to be uncovered in this plot. But this much is certain–there is an extensive documentary record, including TOP SECRET intelligence reports (SIGINT and HUMINT) and emails and phone calls that will show there was a concerted covert action operation mounted against Donald Trump and his campaign. Those documents will tell the story. This cannot be allowed to happen again.

Larry Johnson is a former CIA analyst and counterterrorism official at the State Department.

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