I have been at a loss to explain the actions by the GOP in the US Congress, where many have attempted to turn the Christopher Steele dossier into a bogeyman, showing that this data collected by the highly respected retired MI6 agent with years of experience in Russian matters was the linchpin of the FBI’s Trump Russia probe being led by the Special Counsel Robert Mueller III. Despite new evidence produced by the US House Intelligence Committee’s war of duel memos based on intelligence data that proves otherwise, republicans haven’t backed down on this perceived grievance with no basis in fact but on conspiracy type theories spawned by the right. (See: Christopher Steele, the Man Behind the Trump Dossier | The New Yorker)
But then why should we be surprised. It seems that there was an investigation into the Hillary Clinton foundation within the FBI which came to a head around October-November 2016, but it turns out that this probe had its inception with a right wing Breibart sponsored book called “Clinton Cash.”
Overtime the vast majority of claims alleged within the pages of this book have been thoroughly debunked by every credible fact check organization around, but the FBI agents investigating the foundation were otherwise convinced. These FBI agents clashed with higher ups. The Justice Department leaders nixed the continuation of this inquiry because they rightfully believed that a book full of “fake news” should not be the basis of an FBI probe. This is the atmosphere that permeated the halls of the FBI as this agency was being led by 2 republicans, Director James Comey and the Deputy Director Andrew McCabe. This is also the time period which has been the subject of the Justice Department’s Inspector General’s review which is scheduled to be forthcoming in the Spring of 2018.
The news from this time period also explains the president’s contempt for the FBI Acting Deputy Director Andrew McCabe. (See: Clinton ally gave $500K to wife of FBI agent on email probe | NY Post 2016 …
On November 2, 2016, Jason Linkins of Huffington Post penned the following report, “FBI Reportedly Basing Clinton Foundation Investigation On ‘Clinton Cash’ Book”
“Clinton Cash, penned by Breitbart News Senior Editor-at-Large Peter Schweizer, has been a controversial tome since it came into existence. Clinton defenders frequently point out that the supposedly densely researched book underwent numerous post-publication corrections for inaccuracies. Fact checkers have, at times, taken a dim view of the book as well. As The Guardian’s Ed Pilkington notes, the book is replete with instances in which Schweizer admits that he has no “smoking gun” to back up many of his claims, alongside a host of “cringe inducing” errors.”
“But the Clinton Foundation, it is fair to say, has been equally controversial. While the foundation has earned a four-star rating from Charity Navigator ― a plaudit that adds credence to the notion that it is a gold-standard charitable enterprise ― it’s not controversial to point out that the organization is, nevertheless, a massive clearinghouse for favor-trading and corporate brandwashing. Indeed, as The Associated Press pointed out in November (2016), that four-star rating may itself be compromised, owing to the fact that Charity Navigator has been a Clinton Foundation partner.”
(See: What Bill and Hillary Clinton’s Controversial Foundation Actually Does/ Fortune/ 2016) Note: The foundation earns a solid A rating by charity watchdogs which is more than the republican President Donald Trump can claim.
“None of this has been lost on Pilkington, who, alongside his evaluation of Clinton Cash, offered up this judgment on the Clinton Foundation:”
“Certainly, pundits were warning about the problem of the large sums of money flowing into the Clinton Foundation’s coffers even before Hillary Clinton took up her position as Obama’s global emissary-in-chief. A month before she became secretary of state, the Washington Post warned in an editorial that her husband’s fundraising activities were problematic. “Even if Ms. Clinton is not influenced by gifts to her husband’s charity, the appearance of conflict is unavoidable.”
“Since the foundation was formed in 2001, some $2bn has been donated, mainly in big lump sums. Fully a third of the donors giving more than $1m, and more than a half of those handing over more than $5m, have been foreign governments, corporations or tycoons. (The foundation stresses that such largesse has been put to very good use – fighting obesity around the globe, combating climate change, helping millions of people with HIV/Aids obtain antiretroviral drugs at affordable prices.)”
So the Clinton Foundation is eminently scrutinizable. Whether the FBI is the right organization to provide that scrutiny, however, is an open question. And it’s likely that following up on leads generated by Clinton Cash is rife with pitfalls, potentially explaining why the investigation has not “developed much evidence.”
But if the FBI is using Clinton Cash as the basis for inquiry, it should be noted that plenty of journalists have tripped through the same wires. The NY Times, in fact, reported deeply on how the Clinton Foundation and the Clinton State Department were at the nexus of a deal that created Uranium One and greatly enhanced Russian control of uranium production capacity. According to that Times report, “As the Russians gradually assumed control of Uranium One in three separate transactions from 2009 to 2013, Canadian records show, a flow of cash made its way to the Clinton Foundation.”
“That Clinton’s State Department had a say in whether the Uranium One deal would go through is a fact that’s inconvenient to the Clintons. That the State Department was just one of many government agencies who had veto power over the deal is a fact that’s inconvenient to their detractors. But the salient point is that the NY Times undertook this investigation based on Schweizer’s book, just as the FBI is reportedly doing. In fact, the Times ― along with Fox News and the Washington Post ― had an informal investigative relationship with Schweizer, in which they would get early access to his research in order to pursue Clinton Cash-related scoops. (Today’s New York Times piece on the FBI fails to disclose that the paper had been party to this arrangement.)”