The FBI knew the Trump-Russia collusion narrative was utter bunk even as it suggested otherwise to Congress, the courts and the public early in 2017. Evidence revealed by special counsel John Durham proves it beyond dispute.
At RealClearInvestigations, Paul Sperry lays out the case.
Declassified for Durham’s probe, a March 2017 memo prepared by Lisa Page for FBI head James Comey’s meeting with Congress’ “Gang of Eight” — the bipartisan House and Senate leaders who oversee the most classified stuff — was a total cook-up job.
It advised Comey to present accusations that Trump’s campaign chair Paul Manafort and foreign policy adviser Carter Page were working with the Russian government as coming from a confidential Russia-based source with real intel-community chops. In fact, the FBI had already established that the root source was US-based former Brookings flunky Igor Danchenko’s utterly speculative gossip with an ex-girlfriend and a Democratic Party hack.
That, plus publicly reported info, was all Christopher Steele (a retired British spy who doesn’t even speak Russian) ever had to back up his “dossier.” And the FBI knew it since at least January 2017, when it interviewed Danchenko.
Comey hid all this during his meetings, and after. Yet the public only learned it years later, once the Durham probe began.
The Comey meeting where he served up these nonsense stories prompted both House and Senate Intelligence committees to open probes. But that was hardly the only poisoned fruit.
FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, counterintelligence officer Peter Strzok, analyst Brian Auten and Justice attorney Kevin Clinesmith pretended the Danchenko “intel” was credible to get the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance court’s OK for wiretaps on Carter Page and dupe the Justice Department to keep granting approval for Trump campaign surveillance (which did not corroborate the wild claims). Again, all while they knew Danchenko had admitted it was baseless.
For years, the media lionized these people as saviors of the Republic, even after special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe turned up zero evidence in support of their claims.
It was a purely political hit job from the start, by top members of the highest law- enforcement agency in the land, against a candidate-and-then-president they opposed. For all the justified anger at Trump over the Jan. 6 riot, this methodical and effective deception plot looks far more like an attempted coup.
Yet, other than losing their jobs, none of the plotters has paid any real price. Comey and Strzok both wrote best-sellers; McCabe even had his retirement benefits restored (after being fired for lying under oath) under the Biden administration.
Of course, most media have no interest in sharing the truth. They won Pulitzers and endless clicks from hyping Russiagate, using it to kneecap a president they despised.
At this point, it’s up to Durham to keep exposing this unprecedented abuse of power for nakedly personal partisan ends, though Congress may help out once Democrats no longer run it.
Until the plotters are held accountable, there actually is good reason to worry about the future of democracy in America.