Profile picture
Thomas Wood @Repoliticized
, 220 tweets, 30 min read Read on Twitter

Here’s why we can be sure that it does.

(Whether anyone outside the Kremlin will ever see it is another question entirely.)
“One of the questions [Steve] Colbert asked his Russian handler, who was ex-KGB back when it was the KGB, was would a tape have been made? It is considered standard practice, he was informed…”
1/ To see that the Steele dossier’s narrative of Trump-Russia collusion is undoubtedly correct, all we have to do is understand what, on a close reading, memos #080 and #095 actually tell us.
2/ The first order of business is to determine the identity of Sources D and E, and also to determine how what these two sources said got transmitted to Steele. I think it is possible now to do both of these things.
3/ It is essential to note that in the dossier--which is more properly called the Steele memos, since it was, even at the end, a work in progress--a source is always the original source,
4/ and as such is to be distinguished from the confidants / interlocutors / intermediaries who transmitted what the original source said.
5/ So first: who were Sources D and E? Once we’ve determined that, we will be in a better position to understand who the confidant(s) / intermediary(ies) / clandestine informant(s) were.
6/ Here is the way these two sources are described in memos #080 (dated 20 June 2016) and #095 (no dated given, but probably dated on or about 23 July 2016).
7/ (I have uploaded a compilation and abstract of the memos mentioning AMERICAN sources in the dossier that you might find useful here:
8/ Source D is described in memo #080 as follows: “a close associate of Trump who had organized and managed his recent trips to Moscow, and who reported that [Russian intelligence on HIllary Clinton] had been ‘very helpful.’”
9/ Source D is also said in #080 to be the main source (not the only source) of the “golden showers” report:
10/ Source E is described in memo #080 as follows: an “ethnic Russian close associate of US presidential candidate Donald Trump.”
11/ In its Summary section, memo #095 also speaks of a “Trump associate,” and the Detail section of that memo mentions source E, who is described as “an ethnic Russian close associate of Republican US presidential candidate Donald TRUMP.”
12/ Source E is an extremely important source, because the items reported in memo #095 are particularly explosive. Items 1-5 are all attributed to Source E.
13/ Item 6 is ascribed to a “separate source,” i.e. a source who is not the same as source E. I have no idea who this “other source is,” and the question of who he or she is has received no discussion that I am aware of, even though it is an intriguing and very important one.
14/ Other memos mention American sources that need to be considered here as well.
15/ Memo #097 cites a “Russian émigré figure close to Trump’s campaign.” He is also described as an émigré associate of Trump,’ and as having spoken to a “trusted associate” (who then, apparently, conveyed the intelligence to Steele.)
16/ Memo #102 cites “an ethnic Russian associate of Trump” who “spoke in confidence”; the same person is described as a “Trump campaign insider.”
17/ All the discussion I have seen in MSM & Twitter world has assumed that the sources cited in memos #097 and #102 are the same as those mentioned in memos #080 and #095--
18/ that is, with Sources E and D, and in particular with E, even though the sources in the former two memos are not identified as Source This or Source That.
19/ The case for making this assumption is, however, compelling. For one thing, the “Russian figure close to Trump’s campaign” of #097 and the “ethnic Russian associate of Trump” who is a “campaign insider” of #102 give details
20/ about the Trump-Russia collusion that seem to be nothing more than a continuation of the narrative begun in memos #080 & #095. As memo #095 puts it: “Further evidence of extensive conspiracy between campaign team and Kremlin, sanctioned at highest levels….” etc.
21/ Note also that Source E is described in memo #080 as an “ethnic Russian close associate of US presidential candidate Donald Trump.”
22/ How many individuals fitting that description, the “Russian figure close to Trump’s campaign” of #097, AND the Russian émigré associate of Trump who is a “campaign insider” of #102 could there be?
23/ So though the memos never explicitly say this, the assumption has universally been made that one and the same individual -- Source E--is cited as the source in memos #095, #097, and #102. I will make the same assumption here.
24/ With the preceding discussion as background, we have a pretty good limiting description of Source E, and we now return to the question: who IS Source E?
25/ Discussion in MSM and Twitter world has focussed on three and only three individuals--and with good reason, because they are the only known Russian ethnics who are also alleged to be close associates of Trump--
26/ as candidates for the position of Source E of the dossier: Boris Epshteyn, Sergei Millian, and Felix Sater.
27/ I now proceed to show that Source E is Felix Sater, and that Source D is Sergei Millian.
28/ As for Boris Epshteyn, the claim (by Seth Abramson and others) that he is (likely) the Source E of the dossier is readily dismissed.
29/ It is true that Epshteyn was born in Russia (Moscow), so he qualifies as a “Russian Russian émigré figure” and as an “ethnic Russian.” However, NONE of the other descriptors of Source E fit him.
30/ Epshteyn’s earliest connection with the Trump FAMILY came through Trump’s son Eric, who was a classmate of Epshteyn’s at Georgetown University.
31/ But Epshteyn’s connection with Trump and his POLITICAL aspirations began only in 2016, when Epshteyn joined Trump's presidential campaign as a surrogate.
32/ Although Epshteyn was a frequent media surrogate and spokesman for the Trump campaign, and held the title of senior adviser to the campaign, there is absolutely no evidence that he was ever a “campaign insider,” much less that he was ever a “close associate” of Trump.
33/ Felix Sater, on the other hand, was for many years a close associate of Trump and his family. In 2006, for example, Sater flew to Moscow with Ivanka and Don Jr. and organized the trip there to investigate some possible real estate investments on Trump’s request.
34/ Seth Abramson has claimed that Epshteyn is “often in Moscow.” and has asserted as evidence that “EPSHTEYN is known to have been in Moscow on October 28, 2013.” But this is clearly a mistake.
35/ A simple Google search for “Invest Moscow! Oct 28, 2013” shows that the Invest Moscow! event to which Abramson refers was held on Oct 28, 2013 in NEW YORK, not in Moscow.
36/ Abramson also asserts that Source E was “definitely” in Moscow on November 9, 2013.
37/ However, important as Source E is to the pee-tape story, it is clear from a careful reading of memo #080 that he was *not* in Moscow on Nov 8-9, 2013 (for whatever reason)--though Source D was.
38/ And the claim that Epshteyn was in Moscow in October 2013 is particularly off-point because, as we have seen, Epshteyn did not get involved in the Trump campaign until 2016.
39/ But above all, NOTHING that we know about Epshteyn makes it at all plausible that he could have provided the introduction that was used by Steele to confirm the kompromat pee tape allegation of memo #080. But Sater certainly was in a position to provide that introduction.
40/ Only an individual with a long and intimate relationship with the staff of Trump Inc. would have been in a position to do this.
41/ For years Sater had an office in Trump tower very close to Trump’s penthouse at Trump Tower and was in a position to know Trump’s closest (and long-time) staff at the Trump Organization very well.
42/ In particular, Sater and Michael Cohen, Trump’s long-time personal attorney, were life-long friends and associates, having known each other since their high school days.
43/ So Sater, besides being close to Trump himself--despite Trump’s obviously false denials later when he tried to distance himself from Sater--could have learned from his close association with Cohen
44/ anything that Cohen cared to tell him about Trump--which as Trump’s personal lawyer would basically be anything and everything.
45/ But what about Sergei Millian as a possibility? Could he be the Source E of the dossier?
46/ No. It is certain that Millian was *not* Source E of the dossier. He was, however, Source D.
47/ There is a long and complicated documentary history for the widely held view that Millian was Source E (and even more remarkably as *both* Source D *and* Source E!).
48/ (By “documentary history” I mean the long and rather confused discussion in the MSM and Twitter World concerning whether Millian was Source E of the Steele dossier.)
49/ (Because the documentary history is so complicated, I refer the reader to a collection of references on MIllian & the question of Source E that I have put together and that I have uploaded here.
50/ It will also be useful in what follows for the reader to have read very carefully memo #080.
51/ It is clear from the documentary history that Millian is EITHER Source D and E, because it has been reported in the MSM that individuals who have seen the UNREDACTED version of the dossier themselves,
52/ or who have spoken to individuals who have seen it, that Millian is clearly identified in memo #080.
53/ Since he is not named in the version that we have (the one uploaded by BuzzFeed) it means that Millian is either named in the unredacted version, or is referred to so unmistakably that it is unequivocally certain that Millian is either D OR E.
54/ But it was a WSJ article by Mark Maremont on Jan 24, 2017 that appears to have introduced the identification of Sergei Millian with SOURCE E like an infection into the journalistic bloodstream.
55/ For example, Maremont says:
56/ But while the dossier clearly claims that D was the (principal) source of the allegation about the compromising video,
57/ the dossier does *not* identify him with the source for the allegations about the “conspiracy of cooperation” between the Trump camp and Russian leadership, and of the hacking of computers of memo #095.
58/ The identification of Millian with Source E that began with the Maremont article in WSJ reaches what is perhaps is fullest and most explicit development in a 29 March 2017 WaPo article by Rosalind S. Helderman and Tom Hamburger.
59/ Their article says:
60/ Again, even a cursory reading shows that the dossier does not assert this.
61/ It might be thought that the evidence for these extraordinary assertions must lie in the redacted sentence, but that doesn’t seem to be right either, since other journalistic sources who are familiar with the matter regard this as an OPEN question.
62/ Thus, Brian Ross (ABC News) and David Corn (The Daily Beast) have both emphasized the importance of Millian as a source (Ross in particular as a source for the “pee-tape” story),
63/ but neither identifies Millian as the source for the explosive allegations 1-5 of memo #095, asserting a close conspiracy between the Kremlin and the Trump campaign;
64/ Another reason to doubt the WSJ and WaPo articles is this: they make a mish-mash of the memos, because they combine descriptors given in the memos of both D *AND* E, making them one and the same person, which of course makes no sense at all.
65/ Finally, at the risk of belaboring the obvious, it is clear from memo #080 that D and E ARE two different individuals, because it tells us that E CONFIRMED the allegation made (most clearly and explicitly) by D.
66/ Memo #080 gives further, very important details. It tells us that source E only BELIEVED that the “golden showers” event happened in 2013. This must mean that E was *not* present at the Ritz Carlton in Moscow in Nov 13.
67/ (Only a person suffering from amnesia could be uncertain about that, and we know that E was a “close associate” of Trump, so he could not possibly have an uncertain memory that it occurred at the time of the Miss Universe Pageant in Moscow, and when THAT occurred.
68/ The memo also says that “s/he [i.e., E] and several of the staff were aware of it at the time [2013] and subsequently.”
69/ So, while E was not in Moscow at the time, or a member of the staff then, he WAS on very familiar terms with the staff of Trump Organization in 2013.
70/ I have found many references to important trips Sater (Source E) has made to Moscow in connection with Trump’s business interests, but no evidence at all that Sater was in Moscow in 2013.
71/ This strengthens the argument that Source D of the dossier is Sergei Millian, for the dossier describes Source D as follows: “a close associate of Trump who had organized and managed his recent trips to Moscow.”
72/ The two most recent trips made by Trump were in 2007 and 2013, and we know that Millian was in Moscow on both occasions. Sater was present at the time of Trump’s 2007 visit,
73/ but oddly enough, does not seem to have been present in Moscow during Trump’s 2013 visit at the time of the Miss Universe pageant.
74/ All of the above leads to a virtually settled conclusion: Sater was Source E, and Millian was Source D.
75/ Given that we have determined that that Source E is Felix Sater, it behoves us to learn more about him. I have already mentioned some of the relevant facts about Sater--but not all of them.
76/ Felix Mikhailovich Sheferovsky (aka Felix Henry Sater, Felix Satter, Felix Slater, Felix Sader, Haim F Sater, Hai Ying Sater, Felix T. Catter, Felix W. Unger, and Cole Lusion) was born into a Russian Jewish family in Moscow in 1966.
77/ The Sheferovsky family emigrated from Russia to Israel when Felix was 8 years old, and then eventually moved to the U.S., settling in Brighton Beach, New York, which has a large Russian & Jewish population.
78/ According to the FBI, Mikhail Sheferovsky, Felix’s father. was an underboss in Brighton Beach for Russian Mafia "boss of bosses" Semion Mogilevich, extorting money from local restaurants, grocery stores, and a medical clinic.
79/ Felix’s own run-ins with the law began with a bar fight in 1991, when Sater was in his mid-20s. Sater got into a drunken argument over a woman and ended up slashing another man’s face with a broken margarita glass. He was convicted of assault and served a year in prison.
80/ After this stint in prison, Sater moved over to what interviewer Edward Rice of Vanity Fair calls the “shady side of Wall Street”:
81/ Sater told Rice that in the mid- to late 1990s he lived in Moscow:
82/ Sater’s years in Moscow as an undercover agent for the US Department of Defense and the CIA involved a truth-is-stranger-than-fiction story
83/ of the war in Afghanistan, money laundering, illegal drug and arms trafficking, Stinger missiles, and -- according to Sater-- Osama bin Laden’s cell phone number.
84/ (As Sater has said of himself: “I have lived a life that is beyond interesting.”)
85/ Meanwhile, back in New York the FBI was looking for Sater.
86/ Sater’s work in Russia thrilled the US intelligence agencies, but not the FBI, which knew nothing about any of this. The FBI started looking for Sater back in the United States after finding a gym bag in a MIni Storage locker in Manhattan
87/ whose bill had gone unpaid and that contained financial records that documented Sater’s money-laundering activities. The FBI launched an investigation called Operation Street Cleaner, targeting Sater and his co-conspirators.
88/ Sater and his colleague Salvatore Lauria returned to the US to face charges, and in 1998 Sater was convicted of fraud in connection with a $40 million penny stock pump and dump scheme conducted by the Russian Mafia through his company White Rock Partners.
89/ Sater’s extensive contacts and intimate knowledge of Russian affairs that he had developed during his years in Moscow proved very useful in 2003, when he began working for the Bayrock Group, a real estate investment company.
90/ Though Sater had probably met Trump before he got involved in this business venture (through Cohen, his high school buddy, if nothing else), it was Bayrock that seems to have established a close personal and business connection between Trump and Sater.
91/ The Bayrock Group was owned and founded by Tevlik Arif. Arif was born into a Turkish family in Kazakhstan. He attended university in Moscow, and prior to the dissolution of the Soviet Union, worked for the USSR's Ministry of Commerce and Trade for 17 years.
92/ In 1993, Arif moved to Turkey. In 2001, he moved some of his businesses to the United States and founded the Bayrock Group. In 2003 hired Sater as managing director of the company, and then as CEO.
93/ Trump and Bayrock later developed the Trump International Hotel and Tower in Fort Lauderdale. Arif also worked to introduce Trump to investors from Russia.
94/ Arif, with Sater as managing director of Bayrock, collaborated with Trump on projects in Turkey, Poland, Ukraine, Crimea, Russia, Arizona, Colorado, New York, and Florida.
95/ Sater worked with Trump through Bayrock for roughly five years, from 2003 to sometime in 2007 or 2008. Sater was forced out of Bayrock when details of his criminal record appeared.
96/ During these year he was with Bayrock, Sater’s ties to Trump and and to the Trump Organization were extensive and deep, despite Trump’s recent efforts to distance himself from Sater.
97/ Trump has actually made the transparently false claim--in a court deposition yet--that he would be unable to recognize Sater if he were in the same room with him.
98/ In fact, it can safely be said that, outside his immediate family and his personal lawyer MIchael Cohen, no one--NO ONE--has been as close to Trump as Felix Sater.
99/ Having identified Sater with Source E of the dossier, and having described some of Sater’s background, we are now in a position to return to a question that I raised at the beginning of this thread, but left hanging:
100/ Who was the informant / confidant (or confidants) through whom Steele got the information provided by Source E (i.e., Sater)? How is it that Felix Sater was able to be used as a source by British ex-spy Christopher Steele at all?
101/ This is a question about the memos that puzzled me for a long time. (I read the dossier on the night of Jan 10, soon after it had been published by BuzzFeed.)
102/ What exactly did Steele mean by the term “compatriot” in the dossier, which spoke of both Russian and American sources, I wondered?
103/ And given that Steele was a Brit who had never lived in the U.S., and whose professional expertise in the field of business intelligence was Russia, why and how was he citing American sources--close associates of Trump in the campaign?
104/ And while Sater has lived for a number of years in Moscow/Russia, and has traveled there frequently, doing business for Trump and for himself, there is reason to doubt that Steele was able to access Sater through his usual Russian contacts / intermediaries.
105/ These contacts and sources often described in terms like “a trusted compatriot” (i.e., Russian) “close to Source X” or “close to Source Y,” where X and Y are highly placed Russian officials like Igor Sechin and Sergei Ivanov.
106/ No doubt, as someone who has been very close to Trump for over a decade, and who was often in Russia doing business there on his behalf, one would not expect Russian intelligence to have missed Sater completely.
107/ But they do not appear to have had much info on him, and clearly failed to realize his importance. For we know from court records and some of Sater’s public statements that he lived in Moscow for at least three years (going there originally to work for AT&T),
108/ but for most of the time that he was there, Sater was actually running very dangerous undercover operations for the U.S. Department of Defense and the CIA.
109/ Amazingly enough, Sater seems to have succeeded for a number of years in flying under the radar of the alphabet soup of Russian intelligence and secret service agencies: FSB, GRU, and SVR. As Sater put it in an interview with Vanity Fair’s Edward Rice:
110/ And if Sater was able to fly under the radar of the RIS, there is even less reason that he had ever come to the attention of Steele either. While Steele’s portfolio of contacts appears to be the envy of everyone in his profession,
111/ there is no reason to think that Steele had ever come across Sater, much less developed a file on him, before he began working for Fusion-GPS on the subject of Trump’s connections with Russia.
112/ In fact, it is almost certain that Steele did not use his portfolio of RUSSIAN informants to get the info that Sater spilled. He got it from purely AMERICAN sources.
113/ Once one starts giving any thought to the matter at all, that almost starts seeming obvious--like a glaringly obvious and important truth hidden in plain sight as the saying goes.
114/ So let’s try a different tack, beginning with memo #105 of the dossier, dated Aug 22, 2016, which cites an “American political figure associated with Donald TRUMP and his campaign” who was able to “outline the reasons behind Manafort’s recent demise.”
115/ There has been no discussion of this passage in the RussiaGate literature, which is very strange, because the passage shows that Steele somehow had a confidant who could inform him about Republican political circles and the Trump campaign.
116/ Given the early date of this memo (in August 2016), I believe that the “American political figure close to Trump” must have been either Jeff Sessions, Chris Christie, or Rudy Giuliani.
117/ In fact, I am sure that it was Giuliani, and that the Giuliani connection is key to understanding what might be called the AMERICAN side of the story in the dossier.
118/ The best positioned American politician to know these reasons would be: an American politician close enough to Trump and the campaign to have attended meetings and been privy to discussions about Manafort.
119/ And we know that in a meeting in which Trump blew up at Manafort shortly before he was fired, the following individuals were present: Trump, Manafort, Chris Christie, Rudy Giuliani, Roger Ailes, and Rick Gates.
120/ Forget Christie. Let’s concentrate on Giuliani. Giuliani was an early, strong supporter of Trump (though he never actually joined the campaign, as did Sessions and Christie), and had known him well for years.
121/ Giuliani has also had strong ties to the NYPD and the New York branch of the FBI that go all the way back to his days as the U.S Attorney for the Southern District of New York during the 1980s, and then later as the mayor of NYC (1994-2001).
122/ There is also compelling evidence that there were agents inside the NY FBI who were so hostile to Clinton in the 2016 campaign that they illegally leaked information (the Andrew Weiner/sex tape October surprise) to the Trump campaign.
123/ From Seth Abramson’s article in the Huffington Post (“Was Rudy Giuliani At The Center Of An FBI-Trump Campaign Conspiracy To Steal The Election?”):
124/ So we have it straight from the horse’s mouth: there was a cabal in the NY branch of the FBI that wanted to hurt the Clinton campaign and were willing to do so by illegally leaking intel to the Trump campaign.
125/ At the time all this was happening, SATER had already been worked by the FBI--especially its New York branch--for over a decade.
126/ in 2008, In return for a guilty plea, Sater had agreed to assist the FBI and federal prosecutors as an informant in organized crime.
127/ We also know that Sater has started to cooperate with the FBI again (or has simply continued to do so).
128/ On July 6, 2017, the Financial Times reported that Sater has agreed to cooperate with investigators concerning an international money laundering scheme involving the Khrapunov family of Kazakhstan, who were major investors in Bayrock.
129/ Sater might have felt perfectly safe confiding all the details about Trump campaign collusion to at least some of the FBI agents in NYC who were in touch with, and in effect in collusion with, Rudy Giuliani.
130/ But here’s the problem. In the murky world of intelligence and sleuthing, one can never be absolutely certain that the person to whom you disclose secrets in confidence, and who you THINK you can trust, is in fact working the same side of the street that you are.
131/ This was a particular danger for Sater, who we know had been working both sides of the street (and on more than one street) for well over a decade.
132/ Anyone who does that for very long is almost certain to walk into a trap eventually--and that is what I believe must have happened to Sater. He spoke out of school in confidence to the WRONG person.
133/ Sater’s FBI contacts who were part of the Giuliani cabal in NYC had found him a valuable asset for his assistance in taking down Mafia crime bosses, and were willing
134/ to leak intel to force Comey’s hand on the Andrew Weiner sex-tapes in order to damage HIllary Clinton, who they hated.
135/ But one or more of them must have drawn the line when it came to traitorous collusion with the Kremlin.
136/ Because of a fateful indiscretion, Sater’s life on the wild side is about to come to an inglorious end.
137/ Publicly, Sater continues to spin the story. In interviews with Edward Rice in June and August of this year, Sater cast scorn on the allegations of collusion between Trump and the Kremlin. Sure, he says, there were meetings, lots of them.
138/ And lots of people around Trump wanted to be the first to make the “detente thing” happen. Hell, he says, HE wanted it to happen. But it was nothing much, he told Rice: just a high-minded attempt to mend fences with Russia and possibly avoid nuclear war.
139/ But the story doesn’t wash. Anyone who could believe it either hasn’t been paying attention or must be pretty stupid.
140/ Sater’s line is contradicted, as we have seen, by the Steele memos. It is also contradicted by what Sater is reportedly saying in private.
141/ The latest word from Sater I have found is in an article by Paul Wood in The Spectator, dated August 17, 2017. According to Wood, someone talking to Mueller’s investigation had informed him that Sater has “told family and friends he knows he and POTUS are going to prison.”
142/ I still haven’t completed my account of how Sater’s unintended leaks about the Trump campaign got to Simpson and Steele.
143/ I have argued that the information likely got from Sater to the two of them via one or more FBI informants.
144/ How plausible is this scenario?
145/ Very plausible, actually, for both Simpson and Steele had worked in intelligence for years, having formed a transatlantic partnership in 2009.
146/ Both would have had valuable contacts inside the FBI and elsewhere in the intelligence community, given the professions they worked in.
147/ Steele, as we know, worked for years at the desk of MI6 in Moscow in the 1990s, and continued his intelligence work in London for MI6 after returning to London, when he and another MI6 colleague formed Orbis.
148 / And as we know, he had established contacts with the FBI even before he began work for Orbis on the Trump project. He had even been paid for his work by the FBI for his superb work on the FIFA (World Soccer) corruption scandal.
149/ Simpson had been a top-notch investigative reporter for the WSJ before he started Fusion-GPS to work in the private world of business intelligence.
150/ Both as an investigative reporter and at Fusion, he would have developed contacts within the FBI and other intelligence agencies as part of his work.
151/ (Think of the investigative reporters at CNN, the WSJ, NYT, WaPo, and elsewhere who are using these FBI and other IC contacts in their work covering the current RussiaGate scandal.)
152/ And finally, at the risk of belaboring the obvious: Luke Harding in his recently published book *Collusion* specifically mentions that both Simpson and Steele have such contacts.
153/ Although the invaluable information provided by Sater did not come out of Steele’s RUSSIA files, Steele DID contribute a crucial RUSSIAN source, & it is connected in a very important way with Sater’s narrative. In particular, it is a crucial part of the “pee-tape” narrative.
154/ That source is Source F--described in memo #080 as a female staffer at the Ritz Carlton, Moscow when Trump had stayed there,
155/ and who gave valuable information to the “company ethnic operative” of memo #080.
156/ So far as I know, the only writer/investigator who has noted what this part of memo #080 tells us, and felt it important enough to write about it, is Howard Blum in a much under-appreciated article in Vanity Fair in April.
157/ Blum noted that the “company” mentioned in the memo was ORBIS. This is obviously true if you think about it, since this memo, like all the others, was written for the ORBIS files (though under contract with Simpson’s Fusion-GPS).
158/ The reason why this is important is that it shows that there is mutually corroborating evidence in a strong sense inside the Steele dossier to support its allegations.
159/ I made this point about strongly mutually corroborating evidence in my earlier thread about Carter Page. I pointed out then that prosecutors look for mutually corroborating evidence to strengthen their cases.
160/ And I argued then that the evidence in the dossier against Page was strongly corroborative, because the damning evidence that Page had to be lying came from two very different “pools” or “universes” of evidence, one in the U.S., and one in Russia.
161/ We are now in a position to see how exactly the same thing is true of the explosive “pee tape” allegation.
162/ We know that in late June 2016 US intelligence and the other intelligence agencies of the Five Eyes countries had signals intercepts showing a disturbing pattern of meetings and connections between Team Trump and Moscow.
163/ At the same time, the FBI, the CIA and the Defense Department, we know, had been working Sater for more than a decade, but not on anything directly related to Trump campaign collusion.
164/ (So far as TRUMP is concerned, Sater had only been involved in court cases and investigations that concerned purely business related matters, not campaign or political ones.)
165/ Sater had proven over and over his value as a cooperating witness on those matters. But what Sater was now telling one or more FBI agents (he mistakenly thought he could trust) was new territory, and what he was relating was so disturbing that it challenged credulity.
166/ Anyone in the FBI who knew about Sater would also have known that he was perfectly capable of telling tall stories.
167/ Heck, even his RABBI knew this very well about Sater, and had simply dismissed much of what Sater had told him over the years.
168/ (There is a YouTube video in which Rabbi Paltiel of Sater’s Port Washington, NYC synagogue talks about Sater; it’s quite a thing to watch.)
169/ How could anyone, including Simpson and Steele, believe the mind-boggling stories that their clandestine informant(s) had heard from Sater and that had been passed on to them?
170/ Here is where the most amazing thing about Steele’s dossier comes in.
171/ Orbis had a company operative in Moscow who was able to either confirm or disconfirm what is certainly the most scandalous (though not necessarily the most important or alarming) of the dossier’s allegations about Trump--the pee tape.
172/ Here is what happened.
173/ Source D (Millian) reports the “golden showers” story, and Source E (Sater) CONFIRMS what D related.
174/ Sater provides an introduction (whatever that was) that was used by an Orbis operative in Moscow to test the validity of what Sater was telling them.
175/ Was Sater’s very tall story confirmed? YES! BINGO! THE JACKPOT! Here’s the explosive passage, from memo #080:
176/ Most of the public discussion about the dossier has focussed on Steele’s Russian sources. In one respect, this was entirely natural and predictable, since it was well-known that Steele’s Russian sources were unsurpassed;
177/ indeed, they seemed to have been the envy of others in the field, both governmental and non-governmental.
178/ His sourcing must have been particularly valuable for US intelligence (USIC), because--as has been widely acknowledged--British HUMINT on Russia has always been better than anything the US has had.
179/ But the greatest single contribution that Steele made was to put intelligence from different sources into a single, coherent, and compelling story based on reputable sources,
180/ combining Russian and American sources from his own files and those of Western intelligence, including, as I have argued, some in the FBI.
181/ No wonder Steele’s FBI contacts reacted with “shock and horror” when he started laying his findings on them in the summer of 2016.
182/ In August Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein told Chris Wallace of Fox News: “This is not a fishing expedition” (referring to the Mueller probe).
183/ Well, it would HAVE to be a fishing expedition unless the FBI probes had a road map or what I have called a “theory of the case” that it has been using.
184/ Is the Steele dossier that road map? Sure it is, which is not to say that every single allegation--as it is formulated there--has held up.
185/ The allegation about a trip by Michael Cohen to Prague in late September, to cite one example, has not checked out.
186/ But much of the dossier HAS checked out. (Steele has recently said that 70-90% of it will be confirmed.)
187/ We also know that the FBI continues to take the dossier seriously and to investigate matters relevant to it.
188/ On Oct 5, for example, Reuters reported that members of Mueller’s team had “recently” met with Steele personally,
189/ and on Sep 27 the UK paper The Independent reported that Team Mueller had contacted and taken evidence from a number of figures “named in the dossier,” including one who has been “providing important information.”
190/ Until we hear that the investigators have *dismissed* the dossier, we can assume that it continues to function as THE road map for the Trump-Russian collusion narrative,
191/ because it is becoming increasingly clear that the dossier narrative of Trump-Russia collusion IS that narrative.
192/ Anyone who doubts this need only read Luke Harding’s recently published *Collusion*
193/ -- a very successful effort to build a mosaic, piece by piece, of an incredibly complex story. While there are plenty of new facts and revelations in Harding’s book that are not in the dossier, the book is basically a stunning confirmation of Steele’s work.
194/ Unfortunately, there are virtually insurmountable obstacles to weaponizing the allegations in the dossier against Trump and Team Trump members.
195/ After all, Steele’s Russian sources are in Moscow, and Steele will not identify the confidants / intermediaries there that fed the information to him or the methods he used.
196/ There are similar problems with weaponizing other kinds of intelligence as well. For example, the same problem arises with the SIGINT (and possibly other HUMINT--human intelligence) from US and other friendly intelligence services.
197/ This kind of evidence will be invaluable to Mueller in INVESTIGATING Trump-Russia collusion. (Mueller has immediate access to ALL of it through the National Security Division of the DOJ.)
198/ But the most decisive and damning evidence that can be used by PROSECUTORS in the matter will come from Mueller’s use of the grand jury, garden-variety (non-FISA) court warrants, searches and seizures, and subpoena powers.
199/ Here, too, Steele has made a signal contribution, for it was the publication of the dossier that more than anything else has made the public aware of the collusion, and driven the discussion of all things RussiaGate in the public sphere.
200/ And it is that PUBLIC discussion that has made the Mueller probe possible, and also made it possible to overcome the fiercely partisan opposition to it by some GOP members of Congress, and even more severe opposition to it by Trump’s voter base.
201/ Steele, despite his preference for staying out of the limelight--a preference shared by everyone who works in his profession--
202/ travelled first to Rome and then later to the US on more than one occasion, and apparently at his own or his company’s expense, to raise the alarm about Trump.
203/ His very unwelcome and totally alarming message was this: the man who had become the presumptive nominee of the Republican Party had been severely compromised by the Kremlin, was in collusion with it,
204/ and therefore represented a dire threat to the alliance of free, democratic nations that the US had been instrumental in building during the entire post-war period.
205/ The alarm was successfully raised, by Steele and others, and the upshot is a political culture inside and outside Congress that has made it impossible for Trump to stop Mueller, although he desperately needs to do so.
206/ Due in large part to Steele’s efforts, Mueller is now in an enviable position that neither he, nor US and friendly foreign intelligence, have had:
207/ the subpoena power to compel Trump and those around him in the campaign to tell exactly what happened, under oath, and at risk of spending years in jail for perjury if they DON’T tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but truth.
208/ The FBI has been investigating Trump-Russia for at least six months now, first under James Comey, and then under Robert Mueller.
209/ To judge from the indictments of Paul Manafort and George Papadopoulos, and the expected, imminent indictment of Michael Flynn, Operation Mueller is clearly prepared now to roll.
210/ OF COURSE they are guilty. OF COURSE there was collusion and coordination.
211/ As Steele, who is following the developments of the Mueller probe with great interest, recently told Luke Harding: “They are all lying.” (But then you had already figured THAT out already, right?)
212/ We are on the cusp now of seeing Team Mueller moving like a fiery wrecking ball through a traitorous horror show of half wits, pussy grabbers, race hustlers, misogynists and sexists, angry faux populists, pathological liars, xenophobes,
213/ second and third tier Goldman Sachs plutocrats, industry lobbyists and other denizens of the Washington DC swamp, neo-Nazis, environmental polluters, white nationalists, pedophile apologists, Western alliance wreckers,
214/ enemies of NATO and the European Union, pro-Brexit conspirators, faux intellectuals, con men in finance and economics, reality deniers, gaslighters, and science deniers (I could go on, but you get the idea) and burning it all right down to the ground--because of RussiaGate.
215/ If one had to name one single person who has made this possible, it turns out that he’s not even an American. He’s a Brit.
216/ Someday the American people will have to build a monument to him.
217/ Christopher David Steele, former British intelligence officer, Orbis Business Intelligence Ltd, 9-11 Grosvenor Gardens, Westminster, London SW1W 0BD, UK.
Missing some Tweet in this thread?
You can try to force a refresh.

Like this thread? Get email updates or save it to PDF!

Subscribe to Thomas Wood
Profile picture

Get real-time email alerts when new unrolls are available from this author!

This content may be removed anytime!

Twitter may remove this content at anytime, convert it as a PDF, save and print for later use!

Try unrolling a thread yourself!

how to unroll video

1) Follow Thread Reader App on Twitter so you can easily mention us!

2) Go to a Twitter thread (series of Tweets by the same owner) and mention us with a keyword "unroll" @threadreaderapp unroll

You can practice here first or read more on our help page!

Did Thread Reader help you today?

Support us! We are indie developers!

This site is made by just three indie developers on a laptop doing marketing, support and development! Read more about the story.

Become a Premium Member and get exclusive features!

Premium member ($3.00/month or $30.00/year)

Too expensive? Make a small donation by buying us coffee ($5) or help with server cost ($10)

Donate via Paypal Become our Patreon

Thank you for your support!