Hillary Clinton, Pelosi Push Conspiracy Theory Suggesting Trump Updated Putin About The Capitol Riots, Demand 9/11-Style Investigation

Hillary Clinton and Nancy Pelosi, speaking in a podcast hosted by the former First Lady, promoted a wild theory that President Trump updated Russian President Vladimir Putin during the Capitol riots, and would like to see a 9/11-style commission investigating the events.

“I would love to see his phone records to see if he was talking to Putin the day the insurgents invaded our Capitol,” Clinton told the House Speaker.

Russian collusion conspiracies dominated President Trump’s entire term, as Democrats baselessly claimed his campaign had conspired with Putin to steal the election in 2016.

Clinton’s accusation is offered without proof and is so wild that had somebody on the right offered up such conjecture without evidence they would have been banned from social media.

Clinton would also add that President Trump had “other agendas” while in the White House, and hoped that one day it will become clear who he was “beholden to” and who “pulls his strings.” 

RELATED: National Guard In DC Authorized To Use Lethal Force Days Before Biden’s Inauguration

Hillary Clinton and Nancy Pelosi Want 9/11-Style Commission Into Capitol Riots

Asked by Hillary Clinton whether a 9/11-style commission would be necessary to investigate the riots at the Capitol, Nancy Pelosi responded in the affirmative.

Pelosi claimed she once told Trump, “With you, Mr. President, all roads lead to Putin.”

“I don’t know what Putin has on him politically, financially or personally, but what happened last week was a gift to Putin because Putin wants to undermine democracy in our country and throughout the world,” she said.

Ironically, most of the peaceful protesters at the Capitol were there because they believed there was election fraud and that Democrats had undermined democracy.

Also worth noting – no two individuals did more to undermine the 2016 election and the will of the American people by pushing false allegations against the President than these two.

“So yes, we should have a 9/11 commission and there is strong support in the Congress to do that,” Pelosi added.

RELATED: Poll: Republican Voters Are Siding With Trump Over Mitch McConnell

Moving Forward as a Country

Hard to believe, but Clinton actually posted a clip of the interview with Pelosi and labeled it in-part, “a conversation” about “moving forward as a country.”

Unity doesn’t quite entail harassing your political opponent with baseless claims and conspiracy theories.

Fox News contributor Byron York tweeted a clip of the podcast and added: “There was a House investigation. A Senate investigation. A special prosecutor investigation with the full powers of law enforcement. Obsessive media inquiries. None found what Hillary Clinton wanted to find. So she wants another…”

It’s interesting, isn’t it, that Twitter chose not to add a disclaimer to Clinton’s podcast clip which clearly states a conspiracy theory backed by little to no proof.

Had Trump done this – well, we all know what happened to the President on Twitter.

Hillary Clinton, in an op-ed last week, called the riots at the Capitol “the tragically predictable result of white-supremacist grievances fueled by President Trump” and supported calls for his impeachment.

“Removing Trump from office is essential, and I believe he should be impeached,” she wrote.

“Members of Congress who joined him in subverting our democracy should resign, and those who conspired with the domestic terrorists should be expelled immediately,” Clinton added.

There is no evidence that the Capitol protests were about race. There is no evidence that Republican members of Congress helped the rioters. And there is no evidence that Putin was somehow connected.

These are just the meandering thoughts of a pair of geriatrics bitter that President Trump ascended to the White House in a role they’ll never play.

The post Hillary Clinton, Pelosi Push Conspiracy Theory Suggesting Trump Updated Putin About The Capitol Riots, Demand 9/11-Style Investigation appeared first on The Political Insider.

Report: Trump To Award Devin Nunes, Jim Jordan With Presidential Medal Of Freedom

President Trump will reportedly award two of his staunchest allies – Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) and Rep. Jim Jordan (D-OH) – with the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

The prestigious award is the Nation’s highest civilian honor.

The Washington Post, citing a source familiar with the plans, claimed the President “is using his final days in the White House in part to reward friends and allies with pardons and other decorations.”

They describe Nunes as “one of Trump’s most vocal supporters in his quest to undermine the Justice Department’s investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.”

The President is expected to award Nunes with the medal on Monday, and Jordan next week.

RELATED: Report: Durham Investigation Into Origins Of The Russian Probe Are Moving ‘Full Steam Ahead’

Devin Nunes and Jim Jordan to Get the Presidential Medal of Freedom

Of course, describing Nunes’ efforts as “undermin(ing) the Justice Department’s investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election” is an incredibly biased way of saying ‘revealing corruption during the Special Counsel’s probe.’

And Nunes did that in spades.

If not for the California Republican, America might never have known about the deep-seated corruption that took place behind closed doors during the Russia probe.

Nunes authored a memo that was released by the House Intelligence Committee in February, 2018, which alleged abuses of power by the FBI during its investigation into the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia.

Nunes, according to House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), would ultimately be “proven correct” by the Mueller report, while House Intelligence Committee Chair Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), who provided a counter-memo and repeatedly leaked information to the media, would ultimately be proven a liar.

Schiff repeatedly stated through left-wing media outlets that there was “direct evidence” of collusion even as he knew that Obama officials testified time and again that there was no such evidence.

Nunes suggested Schiff was so adept at lying that he might be in need of rehabilitation.

“After publishing false conclusions of such enormity on a topic directly within this committee’s oversight responsibilities, it is clear you are in need of rehabilitation,” Nunes wrote in a letter, “and I hope this letter will serve as the first step in that vital process.”

More recently, Nunes announced plans to submit a criminal referral to the Department of Justice following the release of newly declassified messages from former FBI agent Peter Strzok. 

The California Republican suggested the DOJ and FBI misled Congress regarding documents that had been requested during an investigation of potential FISA abuses. 

RELATED: Jim Jordan Hammers Adam Schiff at Impeachment Hearing: ‘Nobody Believes You’

Jim Jordan, like Devin Nunes, has also been a vocal supporter of the President and will receive the Medal of Freedom.

Jordan repeatedly made a fool of Schiff during impeachment inquiry meetings, pointing out that the Democrat had a reputation for lying.

Fox News host Sean Hannity told Nunes that he deserved the Presidential Medal of Freedom during a segment on his show in August of 2018.

Hannity said Nunes “frankly, deserves the medal of freedom for really showing, sadly, the biggest abuse of power corruption scandal.”

President Trump would later laud Nunes during an interview on Fox & Friends.

“He is really, what he has gone through and his bravery. He should get a very important medal,” Trump said. “Maybe we’ll call it medal of freedom because we actually give them, they’re high awards for civilians.”

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Report: Eric Swalwell One Of Several Politicians Targeted By Chinese Spy

An Axios report indicates a woman suspected of being a Chinese spy targeted several local and national politicians in California, including former Democrat presidential candidate and current House Rep. Eric Swalwell.

The bombshell report indicates Fang Fang, or Christine Fang, served as a Chinese Intelligence operative with China’s Ministry of State Security.

Fang reportedly used campaign fundraising, networking, her charm, as well as romantic and sexual relationships to get close with politicians between 2011 and 2015.

She “targeted up-and-coming local politicians in the Bay Area and across the country who had the potential to make it big on the national stage,” the report reads.

Axios alleges that Fang engaged in “romantic or sexual relationships with at least two Midwestern mayors” and, as a result, “was able to gain proximity to political power.”

A political operative and a current U.S. intelligence official advised Axios that Fang “took part in fundraising activity for Swalwell’s 2014 re-election campaign” and that the Democrat Rep. “was directly aware of these activities on its behalf.”

They do not allege any of the fundraising was illegal, but they do indicate the alleged Chinese spy was able to place an intern with Swalwell’s office and that she interacted with the Congressman “at multiple events over the course of several years.”

RELATED: Eric Swalwell Slammed For Suggesting Trump Is Guilty Until Proven Innocent

Eric Swalwell Won’t Comment on Alleged Relationship With Chinese Spy

In a statement to Axios, Swalwell’s office asserted that his knowledge of Fang was fleeting and he could not comment due to national security concerns.

“Rep. Swalwell, long ago, provided information about this person — whom he met more than eight years ago, and whom he hasn’t seen in nearly six years — to the FBI,” they responded to the yearlong investigation.

“To protect information that might be classified, he will not participate in your story.”

But the Axios report indicates it was the FBI who had to interject in the Swalwell-Fang connection because they were “so alarmed.”

“Federal investigators became so alarmed by Fang’s behavior and activities that around 2015 they alerted Swalwell to their concerns — giving him what is known as a defensive briefing,” the report indicates.

They note that Swalwell “immediately cut off all ties to Fang” and that “he has not been accused of any wrongdoing.”

RELATED: Trey Gowdy ‘Mad As Hell’ At Pelosi For ‘Dumb and Despicable’ Withholding Of COVID Relief

Does He Deserve the Benefit of the Doubt?

If Swalwell insists that his relationship with a Chinese spy was brief and inconsequential, who are we to argue? But we find it highly unlikely the Democrat lawmaker would be quite so forgiving had a Republican or President Trump been involved with a spy.

After all, it was this same man who claimed the President was guilty until proven innocent of allegations mounted during impeachment.

Swalwell chose not to participate in this Axios story. President Trump late last year, refused to send documents and witnesses to mount a defense against the House Democrat impeachment circus.

“We can only conclude that you’re guilty,” the California lawmaker stated at the time.

“In America, innocent men do not hide and conceal evidence,” Swalwell added. “They are forthcoming and they want to cooperate and the president is acting like a very guilty person right now.”

Huh. Drawing conclusions based on Swalwell’s thought process would cause him quite a bit of trouble, to say the least.

Swalwell was also one of the biggest congressional promotors of the Russia hoax. In a January 2019 interview on MSNBC, the Democrat asserted President Trump was a Russian agent.

“He’s working on behalf of the Russians, yes,” he falsely claimed.

Former Acting Director of United States National Intelligence Richard Grenell called out Swalwell on the news of his entanglement with a Chinese spy, saying the Democrat “is a total hypocrite and should resign in disgrace.”

Others noted that, as a member of the House Intelligence Committee, Swalwell would have been prone to blackmail had he been one of the officials involved in an actual physical relationship with Fang.

Fang, the Chinese spy who got close to a former presidential candidate in Eric Swalwell, left the United States “unexpectedly in mid-2015 amid the investigation,” according to Axios.

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CNN: Conservatives Leaving Facebook And Twitter For Parler Is A ‘Threat To Democracy’

In CNN’s analysis of how conservative voters are handling the presidential election results, reporter Pamela Brown said that conservatives leaving social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook over speech suppression was a “threat to democracy.” 

CNN’s Brian Stelter complained about smaller right-leaning news channels, like Newsmax, getting more viewers recently as conservatives hammer Fox News over its election coverage and what they view as anti-Trump bias.

RELATED: Meghan McCain Confronts CNN Host Brian Stelter On His Network’s Many Failings

Stelter: Conservatives Leaving Facebook And Twitter For ‘Safer Space’

Stelter said to Brown, “I think, big picture, Pamela, here is the concerning trend line here. People are going more and more into their own echo chambers, more into their own bubbles, especially Trump voters.”

“There’s this new social media app, called Parler, getting a lot of attention,” Stelter continued. 

He added, “Because conservatives are leaving, saying they’re leaving Twitter and Facebook, going off to Parler because they believe Parler is a safer space for them.”

“What we’re seeing is even more of a bunker mentality in right-wing media,” Stelter said.“Ultimately, that’s not good for the country.”

That’s when Brown associated freedom of speech and choice with undermining democratic values.

“No, it is not good,” Brown responded (emphasis added). “It is a threat to democracy that these people are in echo chambers and they’re getting fed a diet of lies essentially.”

CNN Is An Echo Chamber

That’s rich.

The freedoms enshrined in our Bill of Rights are not threats to democracy.

The freedom of speech. Freedom of the press. Freedom of association. None of these are threats to democracy. 

It’s the exact opposite. Suppression of these freedoms is a threat to democracy. 

And really, is there a bigger echo chamber than CNN?

For years, Americans were constantly bombarded with “new” or “breaking” “information” that all supposedly pointed to Donald Trump allegedly colluding with Russia to throw the 2016 presidential election his way.

Then the Mueller report ended up as a huge nothingburger. Did the media ever apologize for it?

Impeachment was not an issue in this election. If Joe Biden even said it once, most missed it.

RELATED: What The Media’s Not Talking About: Republican Election Victory That Will Affect The Next 10 Years

Fake News Is A Threat To Democracy

But fake claims about collusion is what animated the Democratic Party for most of Trump’s presidency.

When an entire major political party defines itself by a fantasy of their own making, that’s a bubble.

And save for (sometimes) Fox News and alternative news outlets, the mainstream media protected that bubble.

We all live in our own bubbles to some extent. CNN tries to present its bubble as truth.

Some might call that a threat to democracy.

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CIA director hanging by a thread as Trump eyes releasing US intelligence on Russian interference

When White House counsel Pat Cipollone opposes something Donald Trump is intent on doing, you know it's got to be bad. But it's exactly where Cipollone stands on Trump's deep desire to declassify U.S. intelligence on Russian interference in the 2016 election, which would be incredibly damaging to national security and U.S. intelligence-gathering moving forward.

Trump has always viewed the Russia investigation as a cloud hanging over his tenure from Day One, delegitimizing his big triumph in 2016 as impossible without the help of foreign interference. It may be the one instance where he's right. But his intention to declassify U.S. intelligence on Russia to support his pet project at any cost to national security has met with stiff opposition from CIA Director Gina Haspel and divided Republicans into two camps, according to The New York Times. You're either a Trumpist or a traitor.

Trump also remains miffed at the CIA over the agency's failure to neutralize the whistleblower complaint regarding the July 2019 call with Ukraine that ultimately led to his impeachment. But releasing the intelligence on Russia appears to be the main motivation behind Trump's fixation on axing Haspel, who has shared her concern with congressional members.

The Times writes that GOP lawmakers "came subtly to Ms. Haspel's defense" Tuesday when Majority Leader Mitch McConnell invited her to a meeting at his office—a signal of support for her, however weak. Of course, McConnell isn't willing to do something more overt because he's too busy kowtowing to Dear Leader so Republicans can get Trump’s help in the upcoming Georgia runoffs, which will decide the fate of the Senate majority.

Trump has already moved to consolidate power in the intelligence community, installing loyalists this week at key intelligence posts at the Defense Department and National Security Agency. Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe, who oversees the 17-agency intelligence apparatus, is already a tried and true Trumpist. So the only major barriers to Trump's near-total takeover of the intelligence community are Haspel and FBI Director Chris Wray, who reportedly have both been on Trump's post-election chopping block.

Just imagine what Trump would have done if he had won.

Giuliani’s smear on Hunter Biden is so ridiculous, Fox News passed on it … then covered it 24/7

Once upon a time—also know as 2019—Donald Trump tried to blackmail the president of Ukraine into making false claims about Hunter Biden. Trump got caught, got impeached, and got not even a slap on the wrist from Senate Republicans who were willing to allow Trump to do anything in exchange for a flood of conservative judges. After all, when you’ve already waved off the Hatch Act, ignored federal laws over nepotism, and blown off an endless stream of lies … what’s a little extortion of an ally for political advantage?

When Trump didn’t get what he wanted from from Volodymyr Zelensky, he put both U.S. Attorney General Bill Barr and Rudy Giuliani on the case. Barr grabbed U.S. attorney John Durham and opened up an investigation that saw him flying around the world in an attempt to find someone reputable who would lend the slightest credence to Trump’s incredible claims. Giuliani … just skipped out on the “reputable.” Instead, he grabbed a pair of foot soldiers for a Russian oligarch, latched onto some officials who had been kicked out for corruption, and worked directly with an “active Russian agent” to produce a whole series of false claims and fake evidence. 

That brings us to now. Barr’s efforts have apparently come up dry. One part of his investigation has already shut down, Durham’s top assistant has resigned, and there’s no report worth even a patently false summary before Election Day. The Giuliani side has produced a hard drive. A hard drive supposedly dropped off in Delaware by a man who lived in California, at a shop owned by a vocal Trump supporter, where the security footage was mysteriously wiped, the blind shop owner could not identify the person who dropped it off, there was no name or contact information provided, and no one ever returned for it. 

Giuliani’s story is so ridiculous that both Fox News and the New York Post reporter who was forced to write it both disowned it. After years of trying to smear Biden, this really is the best they can do.

As Mediaite reports, the New York Post was hardly Giuliani’s first choice in trying to get this contemptible last-ditch effort into the media. It’s unclear how many other places he went first, but it is clear that he came to Fox News with his story of an unclaimed laptop. Fox News looked at the story, got out their 10-foot pole, and carefully pushed the whole pile back to Giuliani.

After all, this is far from the first time that Giuliani has come up with supposedly shocking information that just happens to support Trump’s every delusional claim. In September, it became clear that Giuliani was working closely with U.S. Sec. of State Mike Pompeo. It’s since come out that the packet of information that Pompeo shared with Republican lawmakers, but not with Democrats, did not come from sources within the State Department. He was simply laundering pages for Giuliani. Naturally, Trump’s personal attorney could not stop bragging about this. At the start of October, he told CNN that he was the source for the Biden information in Republican’s hands. 

This information was enough that Louie Gohmert and Paul Gosar, DDS were willing to scrawl their signatures on a letter to the Justice Department, along with nine other Republicans out of 250 in the House and Senate. But the many, many places where the Giuliani’s claims weren’t just wholly unbelievable but clearly connected to a known Republican disinformation campaign against Biden did bother a few other people.  

Not only is there the little problem of there being absolutely no provenance concerning the hard drive itself—everything about the story of where it was found has holes the size of ocean liners. The shop owner has given various accounts about how the laptop (or laptops, since he at one point claimed there were three), entered his shop; he’s been completely contradictory about how it came to the attention of the FBI; and when and how Giuliani became involved in the affair is as clear as mud. Also, there’s a little matter of how dates on the files found on the machine seem to be from months after the machine was supposedly dropped off.

But just because Fox News wouldn’t take it directly, that doesn’t mean that Rupert Murdoch wasn’t willing to step in to help out his pals. After the story was turned away from Fox News, it was shuffled over to the Murdoch-owned paper where New York Times reports reporter Bruce Golding was tasked with taking the documents, and Giuliani’s ravings, and turning them into an article. But once he heard the whole tale, Golding refused to put his name to the piece. So did other journalists in the Post news room … and this is a paper that just last year went with a front page emblazoned “Bezos exposes Pecker.”

Instead, the story eventually ran under the byline of Emma-Jo Morris. Morris is a former booker for Sean Hannity’s show on Fox, who made the trip across to the Post just in time for Giuliani’s Russian fabrication to be her very first article. A second name on the article was Post reporter Gabrielle Fonrouge. Fonrouge’s name ended up there in the most efficient manner. The Post’s editors put it there, and didn’t tell Fonrouge until after it was published.

All of this works perfectly for Fox, for the Post, for Giuliani, for Trump, and most importantly, for Putin. Fox doesn’t have to front the story. With the story in the Post, Fox can report on it. They can ask Republicans to comment on it. They can construct great rambling opinions from Tucker Carlson and Sean Hannity. The Post can then report on the comments their story is getting on Fox. Trump can retweet it all. Republicans in the House can cite all of the above as justification for demanding William Barr whip up a special investigator. And Vladimir Putin … can laugh. 

Kamala Harris Didn’t Make One Mention Of Impeachment During Debate – But Mike Pence Did

2020 Democratic vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris curiously didn’t have anything to say Wednesday night about her party’s years-long impeachment crusade against President Trump over alleged “Russian collusion.”

But Mike Pence did.

I can’t be the only person in America who finds it strange that neither the Democrat Party’s presidential or vice presidential nominees mentioned that their opponent was impeached (even if the Senate failed to convict).

After all, impeachment is extremely rare. So why don’t the Democrats attack the Trump administration for it?

RELATED: Mike Pence: Democrats Don’t Talk About Joe Biden’s Agenda, ‘And If I Were Them, I Wouldn’t Either’

Pence to Harris: Democrats Spent The Last 3.5 Years Trying To Overturn The Last Election

Democrat reticence to attack Trump for being impeached is especially ironic, given the deluge of claims from the media and Democrats that Trump will “refuse to peacefully transfer power” if he loses the election.

The impeachment scam was the culmination of Democrats refusing to accept the results of the 2016 election.

Some are even saying the left will refuse to accept the results again in 2020, should Trump emerge victorious.

When Susan Page, the moderator of the first and only 2020 vice presidential debate, asked if President Donald Trump would accept a “peaceful transfer of power” should he lose in November, Pence decided it was a good time to bring the issue up.

“When you talk about accepting the outcome of the election, I must tell you, Senator, your party has spent the last three and a half years trying to overturn the results of the last election,” Pence charged.

“It’s amazing,” he added.

Pence Says Democrats Spied On Trump-Pence 2016 Campaign

Vice President Pence took it a step further – noting that the left’s refusal to accept the results of the 2016 election came even before the election happened.

“When Joe Biden was vice president of the United States, the FBI actually spied on President Trump and my campaign,” Pence said.

He continued, “There were documents released this week that the CIA actually made a referral to the FBI documenting that those allegations were coming from the Hillary Clinton campaign, and of course, we’ve all seen the avalanche, what you put the country through for the better part of three years until it was found that there was no obstruction, no collusion, case closed.”

Just before the debate, the Director of National Intelligence declassified files that show Pence is right.

Don’t forget, an investigation into the Obama administration’s actions during the 2016 campaign is ongoing.

And one FBI lawyer has already pled guilty to making false statements.

It’s not hard at all to follow the string that leads from “spying on the Trump campaign” to “refusing to accept the election results” to “impeachment.”

And it’s something they don’t want to talk about much these days. Just ask Kamala Harris.

Vice President Pence added, “And then, Senator Harris, you and your colleagues in the Congress, trying to impeach the President of the United States over a phone call.”

Hillary Clinton to Biden: Don’t Concede The Election

On left-wing charges that Trump won’t accept a peaceful transfer of power if he loses the election, Pence flipped the script.

“And now, Hillary Clinton actually said to Joe Biden that, in her words, under no circumstances should he concede the election.”

The media bias is plain as day.

Why haven’t reporters or debate moderators harangued Team Biden about accepting the results of the election should they lose?

RELATED: Mike Pence Eager To Debate Biden’s Hotheaded VP Nominee Kamala Harris And Set The Record Straight

Only Republicans Seem To Talk About Impeachment These Days

In the first presidential debate, impeachment was not mentioned by the moderator Chris Wallace, though President Trump cited it a few times.

In the vice presidential debate, it was only mentioned when Mike Pence did so.

For years, impeachment seemed to be the only thing Democrats wanted to talk about.

Now you won’t hear about it – unless Republicans remind us of the duplicity the Democrats perpetrated.

The post Kamala Harris Didn’t Make One Mention Of Impeachment During Debate – But Mike Pence Did appeared first on The Political Insider.

Trump Dossier Source Was a Suspected Russian Spy, and the FBI Knew It

By Eric Felten for RealClearInvestigations

The FBI long suspected that a major source for Christopher Steele’s anti-Trump dossier was a Russian spy, according to newly declassified documents.

In other words, the bureau knowingly relied on the word of a suspected Russian spy to spy on a Trump campaign aide wrongly smeared as a Russian spy: Carter Page.

Republicans seized on the disclosure.

Rep. Devin Nunes told RealClearInvestigations: “The revelations are further proof of what we already knew – that the Democrats, and only the Democrats, colluded with Russians to swing the 2016 election.”

The material declassified by Attorney General William Barr shows that as far back as 2009 the FBI was investigating as a potential Russian intelligence operative the Brookings Institution researcher who in 2016 would become the dossier’s “primary sub-source.”

RELATED: If James Comey Was That Incompetent At The FBI, How Did He Keep His Job?

He was identified by RealClearInvestigations this past summer as Igor Danchenko, 42, who confessed to the FBI in 2017 that his dossier fabrications were largely inspired by gossip and bar talk among him and his drinking buddies, most of whom were childhood friends from Russia.

The bureau used the now-debunked dossier based on Danchenko’s falsehoods in four applications before the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court in order to spy on Page – and people Page communicated with.

Democrats including Rep. Adam Schiff, the House Intelligence Committee chariman, had long described the dossier – which was opposition research paid for by Hillary Clinton’s campaign – as credible, and said its claims demanded a broader investigation of Trump and his campaign’s ties to Russia.

But according to Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s report on Department of Justice abuses of FISA court applications, “Steele himself was not the originating source of any of the factual information in his reporting.”

Instead, Steele turned to the “primary sub-source” to bring him information supposedly gathered from a network of highly placed Russian sources.

And the FBI surely knew Danchenko was probably not one to trust, according to a newly “unclassified summary of classified investigative case file reports” provided by the Justice Department to Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham.

RELATED: Trump Calls For Arrest Of Former FBI Director James Comey

It says the FBI commenced its Trump-Russia investigation “based on information by the FBI indicating that the Primary Sub-source may be a threat to national security.”

It also details the FBI’s earlier Danchenko spy investigation, begun when he was at Brookings, working with Fiona Hill, who would later work for the State Department in Ukraine and testify at President Trump’s impeachment hearings.

Two junior researchers at “a prominent U.S. think tank,” the summary says — read, Brookings — were at a “work-related event in late 2008,” sitting at a table when they were approached by a fellow researcher — Danchenko.

What followed was a remarkably bold, if clumsy, invitation to join a criminal conspiracy. Late 2008, of course, was the transition time to the incoming Obama administration.

Danchenko made a proposition to the two at the table: If either “did get a job in the government and had access to classified information” and wanted “to make a little extra money,” he “knew some people to whom they could speak.”

Word of this conversation made it to the FBI months later and the bureau launched a preliminary investigation into Danchenko (who is opaquely referred to in the DoJ summary as “the employee”).

One of the co-workers propositioned by Danchenko expressed “suspicion of the employee” to the FBI, going so far as to entertain “the possibility that the employee might actually be a Russian spy.”

RELATED: Secret Report: CIA’s Brennan Overruled Dissenters Who Concluded Russia Favored Hillary

The FBI converted its Danchenko probe into a full investigation.

The bureau found he was “an associate of two FBI counterintelligence subjects” and discovered that he “had contact in 2006 with the Russian Embassy and known Russian intelligence officers.”

The summary suggests that the FBI had a bug on at least one of those Russians, since the bureau has extensive accounts of the conversations the intelligence officer had with Danchenko:

[T]he Russian Intelligence Officer invited the Primary Sub-source to the Russian Embassy to see his office. The Primary Sub-source told the Russian Intelligence Officer that he/she was interested in entering the Russian diplomatic service one day. The two discussed a time when the Primary Sub-source was to visit. Four days later, the Russian Intelligence Officer contacted the Primary Sub-source and informed him/her they could meet that day to work “on the documents and then think about future plans.” Later in October 2006, the Primary Sub-source contacted the Russian Intelligence Officer seeking a reply “so the documents can be placed in tomorrow’s diplomatic mail pouch.”

The FBI did some asking around and interviewed at least one person who had been troubled by how Danchenko “persistently asked about the interviewee’s knowledge of a particular military vessel.”

By July 2010, the FBI was applying for a FISA warrant to put Danchenko under surveillance.

But before the FISA application was approved, Danchenko left the U.S. The FBI closed the investigation.

Come the end of 2016, the Crossfire Hurricane team at the FBI knew that Danchenko was the source of Christopher Steele’s extraordinary allegations.

The Crossfire crew also knew of the 2009 investigation that gathered evidence Danchenko was a Russian spy.

And yet, even with reason to suspect that the materials produced by Danchenko were Russian disinformation, the FBI agents investigating the Trump campaign continued to treat the Steele dossier as if it were something to be believed.

RELATED: Investigation: The Senate’s ‘Russian Collusion’ Report Had No Smoking Gun

RealClearInvestigations asked Danchenko’s lawyer, Mark Schamel, whether his client is or has ever been a Russian agent.

“As every objective investigation has shown,” Schamel said, “Mr. Danchenko is an exceptional analyst who is truthful and credible.”

Syndicated with permission from RealClearWire

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This scandal has to be the last, no this scandal has to be the last, no this scandal has to be …

Since Tuesday, America has been caught up in the effort to process the fact that Donald Trump wasn’t simply ignorant and bull-headed when it came to failing to address the coronavirus pandemic. Trump was fully aware of the danger, repeatedly briefed on necessary actions, and fully cognizant of what was required to save American lives. He choose to … go another way. A way that involved repeatedly lying to the nation and talking about how the virus would “just disappear” even as he was privately admitting that he knew better.

That admitted lie is so shocking that it’s hard to remember that, just a week ago, the nation was busy being shocked to learn about the depth of Trump’s disdain for veterans. Multiple sources both within the White House and the military confirmed that Trump had not only displayed incredible disdain for John McCain, but for fallen soldiers at a military cemetery, calling them “suckers” and “losers.” Even Fox News had no problem confirming the story. Trump even explained to military leaders—military leaders—that he didn’t want veterans in his parade, because he found amputees unsightly.

A week before that was the news that the Department of Homeland Security had deliberately covered up evidence that Russia was working behind the scenes of the 2020 election to assist Trump with false claims about Joe Biden’s competence. That effort included dismissing the official in charge of counterintelligence, telling Congress they would get no more briefings on election security, and refusing to hand over standard reports. All while Trump was not only continuing to lean on the Russian talking points, but making racist claims about Kamala Harris. And in the middle of all this, snippets from Michael Cohen’s book suggested that not only had Trump extorted support from a televangelist with threats of revealing a pool boy three-way, but he gave a pretty good indication that the Russian “pee tape” is a real thing. 

There’s a reason the Fascism Watch ticked down to midnight back on Jan. 31. That’s when Republican senators made it clear that Trump was free to do anything he pleased, no matter how odious. America might not have gotten that message. Trump already knew it. 

It wasn’t until Feb. 6 that the Senate actually voted to give Donald Trump an official pass, despite a mound of evidence that he had used his high office to extort a foreign power into lying about a political opponent under threat of withholding military and economic assistance. It was exactly the sort of abuse of power available only to the White House. Exactly the kind of crime for which impeachment was created. There is not the slightest shred of doubt that Trump did it. But Republicans not only refused to hold Trump accountable—on Jan. 31 they made it clear that they would not even allow a single witness to speak in Trump’s “trial.” They didn’t care about Trump’s misuse of power. They didn’t care about lying to both Congress and the public. They just “owned the libs,” gave themselves a high five, and went on vacation.

Mitch McConnell and the Senate Republicans handed Donald Trump not just an absolute pass, but a clear signal that they would neither hold him to account for any action, nor challenge any statement he made. Why is it then any surprise that the next day Trump felt free to say that COVID-19 would go away in April? Why is it any surprise that Trump decided to cancel a planned national testing strategy because he thought COVID-19 would kill more people in Democratic states? What possible reason would there be for Trump to not cooperate with Russia in planting rumors about Biden? It’s not like anyone is going to do something about it. 

And, of course, why shouldn’t Trump feel free to lie about COVID-19? It’s not just the Senate that’s happy enough to go along with whatever Trump has to say. The media is right there for him, supporting him in a very special way.

A tale of two front-pages: @nytimes the morning after the Comey letter telling of discovered duplicative emails...and this morning's after we discover Trump knew and lied about a virus which has gone onto kill almost 200,000 Americans. pic.twitter.com/VjdgmvmmR0

— person woman DAN camera tv (@DaytimeDan) September 10, 2020

Following the astounding revelation that the FBI had found some additional copies of unimportant emails it had already seen, The New York Times not only filled every single column of its front page with this critical story, it handed over a large portion of that page for comments from Donald Trump. When Trump admitted lying to the nation about COVID-19, the “paper of record” not only thought this was a good day to devote two-thirds of its front page to an accidental explosion had happened over a month before and 9,000 miles away, but neither Biden nor any other Democratic leader was sought out for comment. Instead, the Times continued to represent the epitome of access journalism. It may seem that they, like much of the media, have learned nothing since 2016, but that’s not really true. They’ve learned exactly what it takes to keep getting interviews with Trump.

Republicans have learned they can get from Trump an endless stream of judges whose reading of the Constitution includes only one amendment, massive breaks for billionaires, and dropping all pretense of fighting corruption. And outlets like The New York Times have also learned that Trump will come through for them with an endless stream of jaw-dropping scandals that make great copy … so long as no one sticks with one story long enough to make impact. All for the low, low price of surrendering any pretense of integrity. A bargain.

Republicans are not about to call out Trump for his murder of 200,000 Americans. Or for his lies. Or for anything else. They made it all possible. So did a media more interested in seeing what the next scandal is than really driving home the impact of the last one.

For both of them, Trump is the fascist goose who laid heaps of gold-plated, if foul, eggs. Propping him up may be distasteful, but they like the results.

The most important accomplishment of impeaching Trump was its impact on Joe Biden

Impeaching The Man Who Lost The Popular Vote was incredibly important, and not only because it was the right thing to do. Yes, he committed crimes and abused the power of his office, and yes he deserved to be impeached and removed from that office—the record of every Republican Senator other than Mitt Romney will be forever stained by their votes to acquit. History will remember their cowardice.

Beyond the morality, impeachment has had a clear, long-lasting political benefit, one that will pay dividends for Vice President Joe Biden this November. Thanks to impeachment, everyone knows that the charges Trump leveled against Joe and Hunter Biden on Ukraine—the ones he tried to blackmail that country’s president into investigating, or least announcing an intention to investigate—are utter malarkey.

Trump always feared running against Biden, and he acted corruptly in a failed bid to get enough dirt to derail the former VP’s quest to win the Democratic nomination. The impeachment process shone a bright light on Trump’s actions, and on his lies about Biden, ensuring that the smear campaign ultimately backfired.

Since the end of the impeachment trial, Trump and his minions have continued to bleat on with their completely invented and thoroughly debunked stories about the Bidens. I won’t dignify them by repeating the specifics here. Recently, Iowa Republican Senator Chuck Grassley and Wisconsin Republican Senator Ron Johnson, who heads the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, have been “investigating”—i.e., trying to keep the story in the media—this bullshit.

Never mind that by falsely smearing Biden over Ukraine, Johnson and his fellow Republican senators are all but doing the work of Vladimir Putin for him, as this Associated Press article explained

But the stark warning that Russia is working to denigrate the Democratic presidential candidate adds to questions about the probe by Johnson’s Senate committee and whether it is mimicking, even indirectly, Russian efforts and amplifying its propaganda.

The investigation is unfolding as the country, months removed from an impeachment case that had centered on Ukraine, is dealing with a pandemic and confronting the issue of racial injustice. Yet allegations about Biden and Ukraine remain a popular topic in conservative circles, pushed by Russian media and addressed regularly by President Donald Trump and other Republicans as a potential path toward energizing his supporters.

[...] “Particularly as a public official and somebody who’s responsible for keeping the country safe, you should always be suspicious of narratives that are trying to sort of damage or target the electoral process in your country,” said former CIA officer Cindy Otis, a foreign disinformation expert and vice president of analysis at Alethea Group. “You should always be suspicious of narratives that foreign countries are pumping out.”

As Daily Kos’ Kerry Eleveld pointed out, Johnson even admitted that his so-called probe would “would certainly help Donald Trump win reelection and certainly be pretty good, I would say, evidence about not voting for Vice President Biden.” It amazing; these Republicans always manage to say the quiet part out loud, which I guess is helpful. Nevertheless, to paraphrase what Otter said to his nemesis (and professional Republican, according to the character futures provided) Gregg Marmalard in Animal House, “Gee, you’re dumb.”

Then the Orange Julius Caesar himself got into the act. On August 16 he retweeted material that our own intelligence agencies had previously identified as Russian disinformation—part of its effort to directly influence the presidential election by “denigrating” Biden. As CNN put it: “By retweeting material that the US government has already labeled as propaganda -- and doing so with the 2020 Democratic National Convention kicking off on Monday -- Trump demonstrated once again that he is willing to capitalize on foreign election meddling for his own political gain.” Here’s Virginia Democratic Senator Mark Warner:

The President of the United States should never be a willing mouthpiece for Russian propaganda. https://t.co/9y6L6uMKbM

— Mark Warner (@MarkWarner) August 17, 2020

Then came the four-day marathon of lies known as the Republican National Convention. Former Florida (where else?) Attorney General Pam Bondi went before a national audience and, once again, did Putin’s bidding by lying about the Bidens and Ukraine. The truth? When Joe Biden sought the removal of Ukrainian prosecutor Viktor Shukin he did so, as Greg Sargent of the Washington Post noted, “because the prosecutor was corrupt.” Sargent added some more important facts: “This was U.S. policy, backed by international institutions. GOP senators had no problem with it in real time. As The Post’s fact-checking team puts it, Bondi’s story is ‘fiction,’ and in reality, Joe Biden ‘was thwarting corruption, not abetting it.’” Bondi told some other lies about Hunter Biden, which the WaPo fact-checking team also debunked

When these latter day Marmalards now issue their breathtaking press releases or repeat Russian disinformation about the Bidens and Ukraine, the media—thus far at least—has been taking them for what they are: Utter horseshit. I won’t say the media has learned their lesson, but unlike 2016, when “but her emails” was literally the most reported story of the campaign, this year everyone who isn’t directly sucking at the Trump teat is treating these debunked charges with the (lack of) seriousness they deserve. 

For that, we can thank the impeachment of Donald Trump, which exposed the lies against the Bidens for what they are. The impeachment process inoculated the media and the American public by preparing them for what Trump is now trying to pull on this matter. So thank you Nancy Pelosi, thank you Adam Schiff, thank you Val Demings, thank you Jerry Nadler, and thanks to the rest of the Democratic impeachment team. I’m sure Joe Biden is thanking you as well.

Ian Reifowitz is the author of The Tribalization of Politics: How Rush Limbaugh's Race-Baiting Rhetoric on the Obama Presidency Paved the Way for Trump (Foreword by Markos Moulitsas)