The Real Russian Spies May Have Been Behind the Steele Dossier

The Manchurian Candidate asked what if the biggest proponent of a Russian conspiracy is a Russian asset. The scenario may have been fictional in 1962, but the Democrats made it real in 2016.

After four years of smears, lies, and posters of Trump and Putin making out, we now know that the Steele dossier, the basis for the entire Russia conspiracy theory, was Russian disinformation.

And we know that the Hillary allies inside the FBI knew that it was Russian disinformation.

A declassified footnote from Inspector General Horowitz’ FISA report reveal that Team Coup was well aware that they were potentially playing with Russian disinformation.

Footnote 350 notes that the Crossfire Hurricane team had information on hand “indicating the potential for Russian disinformation influencing Steele’s election reporting.” The source, which remains classified, “assessed that the referenced subset was part of a Russian disinformation campaign”. More disturbingly, another section suggests “RIS “infiltrate[ing] a source into the network of a ______________ who compiled a dossier of information on Trump’s activities.”

It’s not clear why the latter would be classified if it’s a reference to Christopher Steele: the ex-spook hired through cutouts to produce the Russia conspiracy theory for the Clinton campaign. Unless the reference is to Steele’s real source. RIS would be a reference to Russian Intelligence Services.

Steele wasn’t just a hatchet man hired by Fusion GPS to produce opposition research for the Clinton campaign. He had been selected because he was a trusted FBI source and whatever he produced would then be used by Hillary allies and Fusion GPS to generate an FBI investigation of the Trump campaign.

Hillary’s allies in the campaign and the FBI weren’t interested where Steele was getting his information. And even when the Crossfire Hurricane team learned that it might be a hostile power, they didn’t care because they no longer saw Russia as the enemy: Trump was the enemy they were going to destroy.

How was Christopher Steele able build his private intelligence network without a country behind him?

Steele’s network appeared to be drawn from Russian oligarchs. The oligarch in post-Communist oligarchies like Russia and China often acts as a front for government authorities, running former state industries and partnering with foreign companies while holding the secret wealth of the leadership. Oligarchs are privileged, but also threatened because they’re the brokers of the dirty business of the regime, and maintain a balancing act, buying homes abroad and sending their children to the West.

The UK is a favorite destination for Russian oligarchs and Steele might have believed that they wanted an influential fellow like him to owe them some favors in case they fell out of favor with Putin. But why would any truly significant players put their lives and fortunes at risk to pass intel on to an ex-spook? Steele’s informants were much more likely stringing him along on behalf of the Russian spooks.

Steele wasn’t playing the Russians. The Russians were playing him. His informants were double agents.

Every time Steele went hunting for information, Moscow gained insight into what the people paying him were interested in. Steele wasn’t passing information from Russian sources to his clients. He was telling Moscow what information about Russia his clients, Fusion GPS or the FBI, were searching for. And enabling the Russians to decide what disinformation they wanted to use Steele to spread around.

Essentially, Steele had become a Russian asset.

Beyond Trump and Crossfire Hurricane, the footnote indicates that Steele’s tainted network may have been compromised and was feeding Russian disinformation to the FBI. When Steele was tasked with assembling material on Trump for the Clinton campaign and the FBI, he reached out to a network of confidential sources and found Russian intelligence officers eager to exploit this intriguing scenario.

What would a hostile foreign power do when an operative for one of its political opponents comes looking for proof that its rival is secretly working for them? Exactly what the Russians did. Provide confirmation, but taint it. The Steele dossier contained numerous basic errors. No genuine expert on Russia could have produced it. But Steele treated it all as raw intelligence to be passed along.

And if no one on the Clinton campaign or at the FBI bothered to verify it, that was their problem.

Plausible disinformation would have just tainted Trump. But the Russians wanted to taint everyone. Especially their opposite numbers in the FBI. And partisan corruption on our side let them do it.

The Russians had compromised Steele and through him the FBI and the Clinton campaign.

And then they burned everyone.

Read the entire article at the Sultan Knish