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Thomas Wood @Repoliticized
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(THREAD--196 TWEETS). Mueller, the FBI, and the dog that hasn’t barked.
Glenn Simpson’s Congressional testimonies, and an update on the Steele dossier.

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle: The Adventure of Silver Blaze
1/ Glenn Simpson’s testimony before the the Senate Judiciary Committee on 22 Aug and House Intelligence Committee on 14 Nov of this year provide a clearer timeline of events during the 2016 presidential campaign and some very important and useful insights into the Steele dossier.
2/ As for the timeline: From these two recently published transcripts we learn that Steele’s first contact with the FBI occurred in London on 5 July 2016. Steele’s London contact would almost certainly have been the FBI’s legat or legal attaché there at the time.
3/ (The FBI has legal attachés--called legats--in many U.S. embassies around the world. Legat London is staffed with a Legal Attaché, a deputy and five assistant legats, an intelligence analyst, and four office administrators.)
4/ According to Simpson’s testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee on 22 Aug (henceforth referred to as ST-SJC), Steele’s next contact occured in mid-September, when Steele was contacted by the FBI and was told they wanted to meet with him in Rome.
5/ (Steele had done valuable work for the FBI on the FIFA or world soccer scam investigation that goes back as far as 2015, and had gotten to know the head of the FBI’s field office in Rome (probably the Legat in the U.S. Embassy there) at that time.
6/ Steele flew to Rome and, according to Simpson’s Senate testimony, gave the FBI a full debriefing. This debriefing would have involved Steele’s disclosure to the FBI of his sources and methods, though Simpson did not know whether Steele had given the FBI any “paper.”
7/ Simpson was asked whether Steele had had any contacts or communications with the FBI after the Oct 1 debriefing in Rome. Simpson said he had, though he did not know the details. He said he thought the communications had been “telephonic.”
8/ Simpson has testified that Steele was shocked when he learned that then-FBI director James Comey had reopened the Hillary Clinton email investigation (Comey had sent a letter to congressional committees, but the letter was immediately leaked)
9/ and even more shocked on 31 Oct 2016 by an article in the NYT by Eric Lichtblau, who reported that “investigating Donald Trump, the F.B.I. sees no clear link to Russia.”
10/ At this point, Steele was so convinced that Russia was interfering to swing the election to Trump (and of course in retrospect he was right)
11/ that he concluded that his own work was being covered up inside the FBI and even that there were forces at work inside the FBI to swing the election to Trump.
12/ After Oct 31, Steele stopped communicating with the FBI. From ST-SJC:
13/ However, Steele was so concerned about Trump campaign collusion that he continued to work on the project and to write two more memos even after the Nov 8 election--apparently without compensation from anyone, including Fusion.
14/ Steele’s last memo (#166) is dated 13 Dec 2016. On 10 Jan 2017, BuzzFeed published a slightly redacted version of the Steele memos.
15/ The Republican cabal in the House centered around Devin Nunes wants to depict Steele and the FBI as having been engaged in incessant, feverish communications designed to derail Trump’s election campaign,
16/ but one of the striking things about Simpson’s Congressional testimonies is how little communication there actually was--certainly as compared with how much there *should* have been in retrospect.
17/ It is also important that Steele seems to have been unaware right up to election day and even later that in July 2016 then-FBI Director James Comey had opened an investigation into potential collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.
18/ And it wasn’t until his meeting with the FBI in Rome on 1 Oct 2016 that he learned that the bureau had another source inside the Trump campaign (as Simpson very misleadingly put it in his testimony and op-ed in the NYT).
19/ Steele was told enough--he was asked if he knew anything about George Papadopoulos--to know that it wasn’t either of his American sources inside or close to the campaign--i.e., either Sergei Millian or Felix Sater.
20/ We know now, though before Oct 1 Steele didn’t know, that Comey had opened an FBI investigation in late July into Trump-Russia because of the Mifsud → Papadopoulos → Downer→ Hockey → FBI chain of transmission.
21/ Since Papadopoulos was not interviewed by the FBI until 27 Jan 2017, and wasn’t arrested until 27 July 2017, he could not have been a source for the FBI--in the sense of a “mole,” a cooperating witness (CW), or informant (CI)
22/ at the time of Steele’s interview with the FBI on Oct 1--though he might have been “wiretapped” or surveilled by U.S. SIGINT during the period July 2016 to 27 July 2017.
23/ Anyway: it is clear from the new and improved timeline provided by the Simpson transcripts that even as late as 1 Oct 2016 the FBI did not have an informant like the one(s) that Steele had for his Source D (Millian) and Source E (Sater),
24/ so I am compelled to revise the theory I advanced in a previous thread about how Steele got the explosive info about Trump-Russia collusion related in the early memos--especially memos #080 and #095.
25/ The theory I advanced previously was that a pro-Trump Giuliani-centered cabal inside the NY field office of the FBI, or perhaps the NYPD, that was in contact with Sater and Millian,
26/ spilled the beans when one or more members of it saw that the cabal had crossed the line from pro-Trump, anti-Hillary activism to actual collusion with the Kremlin.
27/ But that theory isn’t tenable in view of the new and revised timeline, because it is clear now that the FBI never had such a “mole.”
28/ However, the Simpson transcripts also provide valuable clues that suggest another way in which the Sater and Millian disclosures could have made their way into the Steele dossier. That route was the Russian and Russian ethnic expat community in NYC.
29/ Both Sater (who was born in Moscow as Felix Sheferovsky) and Sergei Millian (a Russian ethnic from Belarus) belonged to this community.
30/ And it is very likely that Steele would have had contacts and informants inside this community, particularly because his work after leaving MI6 had been in *business* intelligence.
31/ That work would undoubtedly have involved getting up-to-date intel on Russian business dealings, especially those of the oligarchs--and Simpson’s transcripts demonstrate the great interest that Steele and Simpson had in the oligarchs.
32/ Simpson relates that he had developed an interest in the oligarchs, and in Felix Sater especially, even when he was working as an investigative journalist for the WSJ.
33/ Simpson’s work as an investigative journalist then, as now, relied entirely on open source materials. Steele works a different angle as an ex-spy for MI6: he uses a network of human sources, contacts, and informants.
34/ So it was natural for Simpson and Steele to form a working relationship in 2009, when Simpson had co-founded Fusion-GPS after leaving the WSJ, and Steele had left MI6 to co-found Orbis Business Intelligence,
35/ since their areas of expertise were complementary, and because they shared a common interest in the FSB’s takeover and manipulation under Putin’s leadership of the Russian mafia and the new class of Russian kleptocrats (oligarchs).
36/ Here are some excerpts from Simpson’s testimony that emphasize their shared interest in these matters, which must have also led to their shared interest in the Russian expat community in the West:
38/ But “talking to Russian intelligence defectors” (among other things) is *exactly* what one would expect Christopher Steele, an ex-MI6 officer whose specialty had become *business* intelligence,
39/ to have been doing already. Developing intel contacts is not something that Steele would have had to do de novo when he undertook the Fusion-GPS project.
40/ When he started working under contract for Fusion in late May or early June of 2016, he likely already had a large file of such contacts.
41/ Simpson’s testimony all but explicitly says that he subcontracted with Steele because he had exhausted all the available open source materials he could find on the oligarchs and Trump’s involvement with Italian and Russian mobsters,
42/ and that he turned to Steele to see what he could find using his network of intel sources and informants.
43/ Simpson’s testimony indicates that he was particularly interested in what Steele’s intel sources and methods could reveal about Felix Sater, Sergei Millian, and Dimitri Simes--each of whom were deeply embedded in the Russian and Russian ethnic emigré community in the U.S.
44/ When Simpson was asked during his House Intel Committee hearing (ST-HIC) what the committee should be doing on its own to further its own RussiaGate investigations, he advised the committee to talk to Russians and eastern Europeans in their expat communities.
45/ In doing so, he might as well have said: “That’s what Chris did, and you can and should do so as well”--keeping in mind, however, that Steele had had a decided advantage when he started his intel work for Fusion in early June that the committee did not have.
46/ Steele’s work in business intel especially must have led him to develop an extensive network of informants and sources in the Russian expat communities in the West that he could use from the very beginning.
47 And that network would have led Steele to look for sources and informants in two locations particularly: London and the U.S. (with the Trump Organization being the epicenter in the U.S.),
48/ since that is where the oligarchs were most actively engaged in fraudulent real estate deals and money laundering.
49/ And using that already established network, Steele did come up with stuff--and fast!
50/ As Simpson put it (ST-HIC, p. 164): “You know, we threw a line in the water and Moby Dick came back, and we didn’t know what to do with it at first.”
51/ By June 26 (i.e., in about four weeks) Steele had the sensational memo #080, which he could show his London FBI contact on 5 July 2016, and by late July he had the even more explosive memo #095.
52/ Both memos are most naturally read as reporting on what Steele had learned, not just from his Russian sources but from his American sources as well--
53/ essentially Sources D and E (Millian and Sater)--with the info from the latter sources likely coming via the Russian and Russian ethnic emigré community in the NYC area.
54/ (For more background and details, search for the fourteen references to “fraud” in Simpson’s House Intel testimony.)
55/ Note also that, if Steele used the expat communities to get the info reported in the dossier from Sources D and E, then the FBI and the CIA could have exploited the same communities for intelligence on the Trump campaign.
56/ Both agencies have a number of field offices in the NYC area, and would have had their own contacts and informants in the same communities, and Sater in particular had been well-known to both agencies as an informant on other matters for years.
57/ But apparently the FBI and the CIA were behind Steele by at least one month in recognizing Russian active measures in the election (the Papadopoulos intel not having reached the FBI until late July),
58/ and apparently *way behind* Steele in recognizing the value of the expat community in investigating those active measures.
59/ In fact, the failure of the FBI and US intelligence agencies to do what Simpson advised the House Intelligence committee to do in November 2016 is a matter that raises a number of important questions and suspicions.
60/ We know that Steele showed memo #080 (the findings, anyway, if not the paper) to the FBI in early July. We know that Steele had further contacts with the FBI in mid- to late-September. And we know that he gave a full debriefing to the FBI on Oct 1 in Rome.
61/ But to this day, there is no information--at least none that is publicly available--that the FBI has investigated either Millian or Sater to either confirm or disconfirm the explosive reports attributed to them in the early Steele memos--
62/ even though they are American citizens living in the U.S., and not British or Russian sources living in far away London or Moscow.
63/ To be sure, MSM sources like the WSJ, WaPo, and the NYT among others, reported on the dossier after its publication by BuzzFeed on 10 Jan 2017, and discussed Millian and Sater in connection with Sources D and E of the dossier,
64/ (no doubt at least in part because Simpson and Steele had directed the media’s attention to them), but the media could neither confirm nor disconfirm the explosive allegations in the early memos
65/ because they did not have the sources that Steele had, and because their contacts inside the FBI couldn’t--or wouldn’t--confirm or disconfirm the allegations.
66/ In order to appreciate why the Steele dossier has had so much trouble getting traction in RussiaGate, we must consider three federal government actors: the FBI; Congressional committees; and the Mueller probe.
67/ So far as the FBI is concerned, there is good reason to believe that for a long time, especially in the run-up to the election but perhaps for some time after that, consideration of the dossier was blocked by a pro-Trump, anti-Clinton faction in the bureau,
68/ the locus of which appears to have been the NY field office--or at least a cabal within that office that was closely linked to James Kallstrom, the head of the NY field office from 1995 to 1997,
69/ and to Rudy Giuliani, a long-time friend of Trump’s who was United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York from 1983 to 1989 and mayor of NYC from 1994 through 2001.
70/ Seth Abramson has also made a compelling case that this cabal was the source of leaks on Hillary Clinton that flipped the 2016 election to Trump. Here are some excerpts from one of Abramson’s recent threads on this matter:
71/ 16) “Prince says he got the story from anti-Clinton NYPD cops; True Pundit says he got it via anti-Clinton FBI agents; a Giuliani pal says Giuliani got it via the FBI and NYPD.”
72/ (18) “The New York Times says Comey wrote the Comey Letter (re-opening the Clinton investigation) because of a fear about ‘leaks’ regarding the ‘new’ Clinton emails. Those leaks could only come from NYPD or the FBI.”
74/ This last tweet is particularly interesting, because it’s about something the NY field office DIDN’T do.
75/ It is interesting that on 30 Jan WaPo reported that the NY field office’s failure to expedite then-Director Comey’s order to investigate Clinton’s emails on Weiner’s computer is being investigated
76/ by FBI Director Christopher Wray and DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz, and that a key question of the internal investigation is whether McCabe or anyone else at the FBI wanted to avoid taking action on the laptop findings until after the Nov 8 election.
77/ I agree with Abramson that this investigation will eventually cut the other way, and show that “Trumplandia” in the NY field office obstructed justice in this matter, and that McCabe will be cleared.
78/ (For one thing, it was *Comey’s* conviction that it was the NY field office itself that was responsible.)
79/ But besides the above matters, there is another one that cries out for an internal investigation by the FBI of the NY FBI field office as well: why didn’t the FBI do anything about the Steele dossier during the campaign, either?
80/ The timeline and available facts are compelling that, as Steele himself suspected, there was a cover-up of his findings inside the FBI (ST-HIC, p. 110).
81/ Even if Steele’s contact in London sent his early (July 5) info to FBI HQ in Washington, any investigative field work would almost certainly have been forwarded to the NY field office, since Steele’s informants and sources were located there.
82/ And it is noteworthy that Simpson’s timeline in ST-HIC fits what we now know about when the Steele dossier finally surfaced after the NY field office had sat on it. Simpson gives the timeline as mid- to late-September, leading up to Steele’s full debriefing in Rome on Oct 1.
83/ That fits with what we know about the use the FBI made of the dossier in its FISA warrant application for the surveillance of Carter Page on Oct 16.
84/ And while the dossier was only part of the evidence used in the warrant application, it is significant that the top echelon of the FBI in Washington DC and the National Security Division of the DOJ
85/ clearly thought highly enough of Steele and his previous work to make it part of that application.
86/ (Nunes & Co. are trying to smear the FBI, the DOJ, and even the judge of the FISA court--whoever that was--for including the Steele dossier as part of its application, but its inclusion was perfectly defensible as *part* of the application.)
87/ Although the dossier did eventually see the light of day within the bureau, we still need to identify the FBI agent(s) who buried the intel of the Steele dossier for so long during the campaign, b/c whoever did it was, in effect,
88/ operating as a RUSSIAN ASSET, since the dossier deserved to be treated with respect even if was only human intel, given the high quality of Steele’s important work for the FBI in the past.
89/ And we must not overlook the possibility that there were individuals outside the FBI who were complicit in the cover-up (as Giuliani and Kallstrom might very well have been), because they would have been complicit and in effect acting as RUSSIAN ASSETS as well.
90/ (For more on Giuliani’s connection to the NYPD and FBI in NY, see the early HuffPost article by Seth Abramson: “Was Rudy Giuliani At The Center Of An FBI-Trump Campaign Conspiracy To Steal The Election?”
91/ and on Kallstrom, see this article by Wayne Barrett and the video of the Chris Hayes interview of Barrett: “Meet Donald Trump’s Top FBI Fanboy”
92/ The foregoing helps to explain the odd fact that Millian and Sater failed to receive any real scrutiny from investigative journalists during the campaign.
93/ The explanation, as I have argued above, is that the Steele dossier was buried by the NY FBI field office in the last weeks running up to the campaign.
94/ As a result, journalists could not get any leads or any traction in using the dossier to cover the rapidly exploding story of possible Trump campaign collusion with Russia. (Steele’s Russian sources were obviously beyond their reach.)
95/ But what about the post-election period, and in particular the period after the publication by BuzzFeed of a redacted version of the dossier on 10 Jan 2017?
96/ And why have we heard so little about either of them (but especially Sater) even after Congressional committees started their own investigations?
97/ Carter Page, Don Jr., Brad Parscale, Steve Bannon, Paul Manafort, Jeff Sessions, Jared Kushner and many other protagonists in RussiaGate have given testimony before Congressional committees, and their appearances have been front-page news.
98/ But why haven’t Millian and especially Sater been in the news as well, especially after Simpson’s ST-HIC testimony was published, since Simpson clearly fingered the two of them very publicly as crucial figures in the matter of Trump-Russia collusion and financial crimes?
99/ In fact, you may be surprised to learn that Felix Sater *was* interviewed by the House Intel Committee on Wed 20 Dec 2017.
100/ However, his interview did not take place in the Capitol in Washington DC, but in New York City (!), in a location there that has never been disclosed so far as I know.
101/ (Significantly, another very important hearing, for Rhona Graff, Trump’s long-time personal secretary in the Trump Organization, was also conducted in NYC--again at an unknown venue--on Fri 22 Dec 2017.)
102/ It is virtually unheard of for Congress to conduct hearings off-site, as it did in the case of Felix Sater.
103/ You can verify this for yourself at this website, which gives the times and locations of Congressional hearings:
104/ You will notice there that all hearings, both open and closed, of this committee are scheduled for various rooms in the House Visitor Center (HVC).
105/ (Some hearings of special importance, like the James Comey hearing, are held in a larger space in the Longworth Office Building.)
106/ That is true for as far back as 2011. (The site has been not been updated since Dec 1; we will have to wait for an update to the site to learn the location in NYC of the Sater and Graff interviews, if we ever do.)
107/ So we know that the Felix Sater (20 Dec) and Rhona Graff (22 Dec) interviews are virtually unique: they were not held in Washington, but more than 200 miles away in NYC.
108/ (Sen. Dianne Feinstein also requested a meeting with Sater in a letter to his attorney Robert Wolf on 15 Nov 2017; so far as I know, that interview has not taken place.)
109/ This is all so very odd that it cries out for an explanation.
110/ Here is my explanation: Felix Sater (and possibly Rhona Graff as well) is a confidential informant (CI) for the Russia investigation, and probably has been for some time, probably going back to the tenure of James Comey.
111/ There is an important difference between a cooperating witness and a confidential informant. A cooperating witness is one who is publicly identified; a confidential informant is not.
112/ It is in the interest of the CI and the prosecution for the CI to remain, as far as possible, out of public view.
113/ Since Sater is a known figure in the RussiaGate saga (though not nearly as well known as he should be), it was inevitable that he would get caught up in Congressional investigations to some degree.
114/ But Sater’s very special treatment suggests that Sater appeared at the House Intel hearing as a CI for the government.
115/ That would explain why the committee would have agreed to help Sater shield himself from public view as much as was possible under the circumstances--
116/ by having him appear at what was apparently a wholly undisclosed location in NYC. This allowed him to escape the public attention that would have been
117/ unavoidable had he been compelled to appear at the House Visitor Center on Capitol Hill to give his testimony, where a crowd of journalists would have captured him entering and leaving on video.
118/ Sater, Wolf, the House Intel Committee, the DOJ, and Robert Mueller would all have had their reasons for wanting to avoid the media frenzy that such an appearance would have created.
119/ Furthermore: Sater’s attorney Robert Wolf has said that Sater “intends to be fully cooperative with any and all government investigations in this matter.”
120/ That means that Sater will turn over requested documents and appear at Congressional hearings voluntarily and will not plead the Fifth.
121/ This, too, is readily explained if Sater already has a signed and sealed plea agreement as a confidential informant with the DOJ.
122/ Neither Sater nor the DOJ can bar a request or a subpoena from Congress for him to testify there, but the government can respond to such a request by requesting the court to grant witness immunity for his testimony.
123/ So immunized, Sater could not be prosecuted for any testimony he gave Congress.
124/ (If, as is likely in federal cases, Sater’s immunity was limited use immunity, he could be prosecuted later for crimes if the prosecution found evidence entirely unrelated to Sater’s testimony.)
125/ Even so, Sater’s appearance before the House Intelligence Committee almost certainly had important consequences for Sater and for the Mueller probe,
126/ for if Sater did appear before the committee as a CI, that would have clearly outed him as a CI for everyone who was there or who read the transcript--including the chair of that committee, Devin Nunes.
127/ That is why I think it is not purely coincidental that the Trump-Nunes attack on the dossier (which implicates Sater) began in December, shortly on or after Sater’s testimony on Dec 20.
128/ To be clear: I’m not alleging a strict cause-effect relationship, only that they are probably closely connected parallel developments.
129/ The timeline of Nune’s orchestrated smear campaign against the dossier (in which Sources D and E play a crucially important role) is interesting.
130/ Politico was the first to report on 20 Dec 2016 (the very day of Sater’s NYC testimony) that
131/ After this breaking story, the anti-DOJ and anti-FBI campaign led by Nunes, which from the first concentrated its fire on the Steele dossier, developed very rapidly.
132/ On the very next day (21 Dec), Adam Schiff appeared on the Rachel Maddow show in an episode entitled “Republican Members Of Congress Are Encouraging Trump To Fire Mueller,” and specifically mentioned that the group was taking aim at the dossier:
133/ Then, on Dec 26, Trump tweeted an attack on the dossier (not for the first time), and adding (for the first time) the claim that the FBI is “tainted”:
134/ On 2 Jan 2018, Glenn Simpson pushed back against this effort to protect Trump from the Mueller investigation in an op-ed in the NYT.
135/ On Jan 5, Sens. Grassley and Graham recommended that the DOJ investigate Steele for possible criminal charges. This marked a “major escalation in conservatives’ challenges to the FBI’s credibility as the agency investigates whether any Trump associates committed crimes."
136/ On Jan 9, Trump’s personal lawyer Michael D. Cohen said he will sue BuzzFeed over the Steele dossier.
137/ On Jan 10, Mark Meadows, chairman of the powerful conservative House Freedom Caucus, joined in, saying he wants an investigation into the DOJ’s use of the dossier, and questioned whether the “Obama Justice Department” used the dossier to target its “political opponents.”
138/ On Jan 11, Trump tweeted: “Disproven and paid for by Democrats “Dossier used to spy on Trump Campaign. Did FBI use Intel tool to influence the Election?” @foxandfriends Did Dems or Clinton also pay Russians?”
139/ On Jan 30, the House Intelligence Committee voted on a strict party-line vote to release the “Nunes memo,” over the strenuous objections of the FBI and the DOJ.
140/ Today, 2 Feb, the unredacted Nunes memo is published by the Republican majority of House Intel, having received Trump’s permission and even encouragement to do so--over the strenuous objections of the FBI, DOJ, and US intelligence agencies.
141/ The memo is all about the alleged misuse of the Steele dossier, and is a nothing burger. It is a purely partisan endeavor to protect Trump from the Mueller probe, and by provoking a pushback from the “deep state,” it will only hasten Trump’s demise.
142/ I have given this fairly detailed timeline to show the steady escalation of a highly orchestrated attack by Republicans to protect Trump from the Russia investigations by attacking the Steele dossier in order to undermine the Mueller probe and protect Trump.
143/ While Republican attacks on the dossier go back much further (Grassley’s letter to James Comey asking for details about the FBI’s use of the dossier goes back to 28 Apr 2017),
144/ Republican efforts to use the dossier to smear the nation’s leading law enforcement agency really begins in earnest in December.
145/ While there are other reasons why December marked a watershed in their efforts, I have already suggested that it is not coincidental that it was in December that Felix Sater was interviewed by the House Intel Committee,
146/ for if I am right, it was impossible after that interview for Trump, Nunes, and other allies in Congress to doubt that Sater was a confidential informant in the Mueller probe.
147/ Trumpistas had had plenty of other reasons before then to regard the Mueller probe as an existential threat to the president and to themselves, but nothing could be more threatening to them than Sater, who probably knows where more bodies are buried than Paul Manafort.
148/ To be sure, there had been signs that Sater was turning state’s evidence before December, but those signs were perhaps somewhat less clear than his very special treatment by the House Intel Committee on 20 Dec 2017.
149/ On 6 July 2017, the Financial Times had reported that Sater had agreed to assist in an money laundering probe involving the Khrapunov family of Kazakhstan. The probe is international, and includes the U.S. government.
150/ On 3 Aug 2017, Andrew Rice reported in NY Mag on a recent conversation he had had with Sater:
151/ Veteran BBC journalist Paul Wood reported in The Spectator on 19 Aug 2017 that
152/ It seems to me unlikely--though not absolutely certain--that Sater was referring in these conversations only to money-laundering litigation and investigations involving Bayrock, as threatening as that would be to Trump.
153/ For one thing, it is simply not possible to take seriously Sater’s denials of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia that Edward Rice reported in his NY Mag article on 19 Aug:
154/ Since 19 Aug, there have been too many developments in the RussiaGate investigations, and in particular in the Mueller probe, to make this at all believable.
155/ Flynn, Papadopoulos, Don Jr., and Jeff Sessions, as well as Trump himself, have been caught up in the RussiaGate scandal in ways that obviously point way beyond money-laundering and tax scams of the kind involved with Bayrock
156/ to quid-pro-quo understandings about sanctions and Russian financial and cyberhacking assistance to help Trump win the election.
157/ In any case, it is all a settled matter now if my analysis of the Congressional inquiries and Sater’s response to them is correct,
158/ for if Sater testified before Congress as a CI, then it is certain that he is a CI in RUSSIAGATE, not just money-laundering,
159/ for the Congressional committees are investigating Russian interference in the 2016 election and possible election campaign coordination between Russia and Trump and his associates, and the committees would have been questioning Sater about THAT.
160/ That is also the conclusion that one comes to just by taking the widest possible view of the matter.
161/ Ask yourself: What do you think the chances are that Felix Sater, who has ratted on criminal associates before;
162/ who has been a close personal friend of Trump’s personal lawyer Michael Cohen (who is believed to be a target of Mueller’s investigation) since their high school days;
163/ who urged Cohen to facilitate a real estate deal in Moscow that would help get Trump elected by writing an email to Dmitry Peskov in Jan 2016; who boasted of his contacts with the Kremlin; who said he could engineer Trump’s election;
164/ who has traveled frequently to Russia; who lived in Moscow for several years; who has claimed to have contacts with the highest echelons of Russian entrepreneurs and the intelligence services;
165/ who said that when he escorted Ivanka and Don Jr. on a trip to Moscow in 2006 (at Trump’s request) he had arranged to have Ivanka sit on Putin’s chair in his office in the Kremlin;
166/ who was identified as a crucial protagonist in RussiaGate by Glenn Simpson in his testimony before House Intel on 14 Nov 2017, and who is almost certainly Source E of the Steele dossier--
167/ hasn’t drawn the attention of the FBI and Special Counsel Robert Mueller in the RussiaGate investigation?
168/ Like maybe ZERO?
169/ And if Sater has drawn Mueller’s attention, why haven’t we heard more about him?
170/ The fact that we haven’t surely doesn’t mean that Sater isn’t important to the wider Mueller investigation (money laundering etc. + collusion): that is virtually inconceivable at this point.
171/ What it does mean, surely, is that Sater is a CONFIDENTIAL INFORMANT for Mueller, just as Papadopoulos was likely a confidential informant for Mueller from July 27 to the time of his court appearance (plea agreement) on Oct 30,
172/ And just as Flynn is thought by many to have been a confidential informant for Mueller for some time before his public court appearance (plea agreement) on Dec 1.
173/ Flynn and Papadopoulos are suspected of having cooperated with the investigation by using a “wire” to covertly record some of their conversations.
174/ There is no reason to think that Sater is doing that, but there is reason to think that he is continuing to provide useful evidence to Mueller as a confidential informant.
175/ Consider, for example, an article in the U.K. paper The Independent entitled “Trump-Russia investigators close in on sources named in explosive dossier,” dated 27 Sep 2017. (Note the closeness in time of the publication date to the articles discussed previously.)
176/ The article says:
177/ Note, first of all, that no sources in the dossier are actually *named*, so in that respect the article is misleading. (Steele has only disclosed / identified / named his sources / informants to the FBI.)
178/ Note also that the Steele dossier refers to both Russian and American sources.
179/ As mentioned previously, the FBI has legal attachés (legats) in all major foreign embassies (and certainly has one in Moscow), and of course the CIA has clandestine operatives in Moscow as well.
180/ But it is unlikely that The Independent was reporting that Mueller’s team had contacted any of those sources.
181/ So much emphasis has been placed on Steele’s career as the head of the MI6 desk in Moscow and his Russian contacts that not enough attention has been given to his more recent work in business intelligence, and the fact tha
182/ many of the most important sources in the dossier (particularly the early ones) are AMERICAN sources who likely had AMERICAN informants.
183/ Process this: At the very moment you are reading this, there is someone here in this country, whoever he is, who, unless he has been overtaken by death, is Source E of the Steele dossier,
184/ and who is therefore the Russian emigré and close associate of Trump who in Steele’s memos #080 and #095 gave the whole RussiaGate story in a nutshell:
185/ that Russia was behind the DNC email hacks (and Trump and his campaign knew about the hacking); that the Trump team was using moles within the DNC and hackers in the US as well as outside in Russia;
186/ that the collusion involved disbursements to Russian emigrés using consular offices and Russian diplomats; that there was a “well-developed conspiracy of co-operation between Trump and his campaign and Russian leadership”;
187/ that there was an agreement by the Trump campaign to draw attention away from Ukraine by questioning American defense commitments in the Baltics and eastern Europe; -- in other words, pretty much the whole shebang.
188/ Who is that person?
189/ Whoever it was, he is most likely the source, not someone in far away Moscow, who was reported by The Independent in Sept 2107 to be giving important information to Mueller’s team.
190/ And in fact The Independent--a U.K. paper that may well have used Steele as a confidential source--suggests as much. It says:
192/ Then, after a passage that is rather dismissive of Sergei Millian as being Source E of the dossier, the article devotes the last six paragraphs to Sater.
193/ It is certain that MUELLER knows who Source E is, because he has all the information on Steele’s sources and methods that Steele gave to the FBI in Oct 2016.
194/ For whatever reason, that person has remained in the shadows as a confidential informant of the investigation.
195/ When that person does step forward into the limelight as a cooperating WITNESS--and as Mueller’s STAR witness--you will know for certain that the curtain is finally descending on Trump, his real estate business, his family, and his administration.
196/ Felix Sater--the dog that hasn’t barked.

The Blast, video, 7 Jan 2018.

Correction: 20 Dec 2017
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