Can Republicans STOP from putting up roadblocks to “we the people” having access to the truth, and nothing but the truth, regarding the entire scope of Russia having meddled in the 2016 presidential elections; and any part the republican President Donald Trump and his surrogates played with encouraging Russia’s meddling because of the president’s extensive past associations and financial dealings with Russian citizens.
Why is it that Russian officials were so motivated to help Mr Trump to become the 45th US president that they managed to hack into computer systems of peoples or entities associated with the presidential campaign, the democratic candidate Hillary Clinton and/ or her associates. This step was followed by Russian associates leaking these hacked emails to the US media, while Russian trolls mounted a full press propaganda campaign to flood the US blogo-sphere with “fake new” stories about Mrs. Clinton and bots targeted to influence particular voters? The only person denying this reality is none other than the republican President Donald Trump. We would have to be deaf, dumb and blind not to ask the question, why is the president denying what every US Intelligence agency has confirmed?
The president’s republican sycophants are failing in their oversight duties in the intelligence committees by throwing mud at the creator of the Steele dossier who was first hired by Republicans to do opposition research against President Trump, and then by the firm Fusion GPS as a research contractor for the democratic candidate, Hillary Clinton. This is not new information but I just watched a republican Congressman try to make a big deal about this on a TV news show. They are bringing up stories which have debunked too many times to count about Hillary Clinton, the Clinton Foundation and the supposed Uranium One deal; the investigation of Mrs. Clinton’s email scandal being monitored by FBI agents with a bias; and whatever else they can think of to do, in order to discredit any future findings by the FBI and its Special Counsel Robert Mueller who is in charge of the Trump-Russian probe.
As per a 1/5/17 NBC News report, “A Trump administration official said Friday that a revived investigation of the Clinton Foundation “has been going on for months.”
“The Hill newspaper reported that FBI agents from Little Rock, Arkansas, recently conducted an interview with a potential witness. The paper said the Justice Department “has launched a new inquiry” into the foundation.”
What these duplicitous republican lawmakers have NOT been doing as part of their oversight duties, and what should have been their primary mission, is to find the truth about the Trump/ Russian saga with the emphasis being on how Russia meddled into the 2016 US presidential elections, and how this attack on our democracy can be prevented in the future.
After supposed hours spent by US Senate Judiciary Committee republican members in investigating Russia’s meddling in the 2016 presidential elections, guess who is their first criminal referral? It is Christopher Steele, the former MI6 agent who dared to inform US officials about Russia’s activities regarding US politics and President Trump’s questionable associations with Russian operatives. Their democratic counterparts were kept completely in the dark about these plans.
Dear Republicans, Have you no shame?What’s truly disheartening is that the latest republican maneuver to discredit the FBI’s work is being orchestrated by the once respected elders of the US Senate, Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa and Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina.
“We the people” are being blocked from reading for ourselves, the transcript of the Fusion GPS executives testimony held before the US Senate’s Judiciary Committee around August 2017, and which the chair Senator Grassley originally indicated was a possibility but now he has backtracked. The Fusion GPS personnel have asked that their testimony be made public. (See: At Town Hall Chuck Grassley is Pushed to Release Glenn Simpson …8/24/17 and New York Times opinion piece.
What is worse, the republicans orchestrated tactics designed to shut down this FBI inquiry is working. Several top FBI agents will be required to testify at a point where their testimony could compromise the investigation. The FBI officials have been made by the republican House Speaker Paul Ryan’s approval, to turn over sensitive material over the FBI’s objections to the republicans of the Intel committees in the US Congress, including to the hyper-partisan republican Rep. Devin Nunes of California, which will then be released for public consumption with the intent to embarrass the FBI.
Under current circumstances, Christopher Steele, the creator of the controversial dossier will no longer be traveling to the US to answer questions by any US law enforcement agency.
This is serious! Our democracy and everything that it stands for is under attach from within, by the president’s republican sycophants in the US Congress and elsewhere, who are placing their loyalty to the Republican Party over doing their duty as they have sworn to do, which is to protect the national security interests of the USA, its peoples and the US Constitution.
Make no mistake, all of these republican led actions are part of an orchestrated plan to either completely shut down the FBI’S Trump/ Russian probe and/ or to so discredit the conclusions of the FBI’s work product, so that it is devoid of any power to have any impact on the presidency of Donald Trump.
How do we stop this corruption of our judicial system by partisan republicans who could care less about doing what is right? As these very same republicans accuse the FBI of conducting a coup, a witch hunt, a partisan investigation against President Trump with regards to the FBI’s Trump/ Russia probe, they are participating in the most crass partisanship tactics to do everything possible to shut down the one credible investigation, in search for the truth about Russia’s meddling into our democracy and any entanglements that the president had with Russians towards this end, and that is the one being conducted by the FBI.
Wait until you learn about the rest of this strange story….
On January 5, 2017, Aaron Blake of the Washington Post penned the following report, “The GOP’s very strange letter calling for an investigation of Christopher Steele.”
“A pair of GOP senators sent a letter to the Justice Department on Friday (1/5/17) urging an investigation into Christopher Steele, the intelligence agent behind that famous dossier from the Russia investigation.”
“Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) sent the letter to the DOJ and FBI. In it, the pair says they have reason to believe Steele might have lied about disseminating information from the dossier.”
“But while they make the allegation publicly in the letter, the details of Steele’s potential lying are contained within an attached document marked classified. In other words, they are suggesting Steele may have lied, but don’t say what he might have lied about.”
“And indeed, it would be impossible for them to do so, given their accusation is apparently based upon his interviews with the FBI, which were recently shared with the Judiciary Committee and aren’t public. But the point here is that they still made the allegation of Steele’s lying public.”
“As Devlin Barrett and Tom Hamburger note in their piece, that rubs some legal experts the wrong way. One former federal prosecutor, Peter Zeidenberg, called it “nonsense.” He suggested it was a political effort intended to impact the Russia investigation — in which Steele’s dossier has become the focus of GOP allegations of improper conduct by federal law enforcement.”
“Another reason it’s strange is that Grassley and Graham are alleging that Steele may have lied using information the Justice Department already has and had shared with them. It’s not clear why Grassley and Graham believe they see potential lies in Steele’s interviews that the investigators haven’t noticed. It’s possible they have information from their own investigation that leads them to believe Steele lied, but they don’t say as much in their cover letter.”
“The backdrop against which this letter has suddenly emerged is extremely important here.”
“There is an increasing effort among Republicans and the conservative-leaning media to question the legitimacy of the Russia investigation. Increasingly prominent in that effort are attempts to use the Steele dossier as the basis for a deep-state conspiracy against the president. The argument is basically that the dossier was used as the pretext for investigating the Trump campaign — despite The Washington Post and others reporting that other things also factored into that decision — and that it represents collusion between the Democrats who helped fund it and federal law enforcement. Grassley has long called for answers about the FBI’s use of the Steele dossier. The FBI at one point reached an agreement to use Steele as a source, though that agreement was scrapped when his role in creating the dossier became public.”
“As a journalist, you generally prefer that things be stated on the record for all to see. But in this case, Grassley and Graham are making a very serious accusation about someone who is deeply involved in the most significant political story in our country right now, and without any substantiation.”
“Why not make this referral privately? What’s the purpose of making it public, besides raising suspicious about Steele personally — and without the chance to really defend himself?”
“About the only reason I can think of is that they want to apply political pressure — either because they don’t trust the Justice Department to investigate Steele if they inquired privately or because they want to make the case that the investigation ignored their concerns if it doesn’t, or both.”
“Indeed, it’s not difficult for Democrats to make this look like a political document intended to besmirch Steele’s reputation.”
Additional Information: (Source: 1/5/17 report by Committee To Investigate Russia)
UPDATE: Senate Judiciary Committee Democrats Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) react to Grassley and Graham:
Top Dem on Senate judiciary committee @SenFeinstein says she was not consulted by Grassley/Graham about referral of Christopher Steele to DOJ for investigation. She calls referral “unfortunate” & another effort to deflect from what should be top priority: Russia’s influence op.
— Ryan Lucas (@relucasz) January 5, 2018
Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA), chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and Senator Lindsay Graham (R-SC), a member of that committee, are going after former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele, whose memos became the much-discussed Trump dossier.
They are referring him to the Justice Department for what they say are potential violations regarding inconsistencies Steele made in statements provided to authorities. “I don’t take lightly making a referral for criminal investigation. But, as I would with any credible evidence of a crime unearthed in the course of our investigations, I feel obliged to pass that information along to the Justice Department for appropriate review,” Grassley said in a statement.
The decision by Mr. Grassley and Mr. Graham to single out the former intelligence officer behind the dossier — and not anyone who may have taken part in the Russian interference — was certain to infuriate Democrats and raise the stakes in the growing partisan battle over the investigations into Mr. Trump, his campaign team and Russia.
The NYT notes it was the DOJ that gave Senator Grassley information on Steele’s meetings with the FBI so a criminal referral back to the DOJ seems odd.
It was not clear why, if a crime is apparent in the F.B.I. reports that were reviewed by the Judiciary Committee, the Justice Department had not moved to charge Mr. Steele already.
The circumstances under which Mr. Steele is alleged to have lied were unclear, as much of the referral was classified.
Anyone can make a criminal referral to the Justice Department, which is not obligated to take up the matter. But a recommendation from a senior senator who runs the committee that has oversight of the department comes with added weight.
The Justice Department had no immediate comment on the referral. But Fusion [GPS, the firm that commissioned Steele] characterized the recommendation to charge Mr. Steele as an attempt to further muddy the inquiry into Russia’s interference.
“Grassley’s move comes at the same time he has been engaged in a back-and-forth with Fusion GPS’ founders Glenn Simpson and Peter Fritsch who want the Senator to make their testimony public and who wrote a NYT op-ed earlier this week accusing Republican members of Congress of being disingenuous with the public and ignoring key leads in the Russia investigation. ”
“Legal experts say the criminal referral back to DOJ is suspicious.”
“A referral that offered evidence of lying to Congress would be more likely to give the FBI something new and would be more likely to carry some weight,” said William Yeomans, a former deputy assistant attorney general who spent 26 years at the Justice Department.
“If they are giving the FBI information it already has that suggests Steele lied to the FBI, the referral has little import. The bottom line is that the referral only matters to the extent it gives the FBI relevant evidence or otherwise unknown and credible allegations,” he said. “Otherwise, it should be viewed as a political act.”
Former federal prosecutor Renato Mariotti largely agreed.
“This is either a PR stunt or an attempt by Senators who control DOJ funding to undermine the investigation,” Mariotti said in an interview. “Either way, it’s problematic, because it seems like an attempt to influence DOJ charging decisions.”