With funding from the Clinton campaign, opposition research firm Fusion GPS produced the infamous dirty dossier that came to the nation’s attention in January 2017, appearing to bolster hysterical claims of Russian collusion.
The “salacious and unverified” document made all kind of explosive claims, with the most cartoonish and unbelievable (to everyone except the mainstream media) being that Donald Trump engaged in a “golden showers” with Russian prostitutes in a hotel room that Barack Obama once stayed in. The dossier also alleged that there was video evidence of the incident (which could be used to blackmail Trump).
Robert Mueller’s report is out at long last, and while some liberals are still holding out on hopes that the proof of collusion is buried in redactions, they’re completely ignoring the parts of the report that shatter the key parts of their narrative. While the Mueller report doesn’t mention Christopher Steele/Fusion GPS’s dossier by name, it does debunk numerous key claims made in it.
To start with the most obvious, the Steele dossier claims that there was an “extensive conspiracy between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin,” as well as a “well developed conspiracy of cooperation between them and Russian leadership.”
Mueller says otherwise; that the Russians did try to interfere in our election, but not in cahoots with Trump.
The Golden Showers Incident
This claim really ought not to have ever been in need of a rebuttal, because the timeline of Trump’s visit to Russia when this allegedly happened does not make it a likely feat logistically.
Trump was in Russia in 2013 for the Miss Universe pageant after billionaire Aras Agalarov paid Trump to host it in Moscow that year. The timeframe for the golden showers incident to have occurred would’ve been slim because in an interview with The Washington Post, Agalarov’s publicist Rob Goldstone said he was with Trump for 31 out of the 36 hours he was in Moscow. Trump landed in Moscow at 3pm on a Friday and left at around 3am on Sunday morning.
As Chuck Ross summarizes, the Mueller report confirms that no such tapes exist:
According to Mueller, a Georgian businessman named Giorgi Rtskhiladze sent a text message to Cohen on Oct. 30, 2016 referring to the [alleged] tapes. “Stopped flow of tapes from Russia but not sure if there’s anything else. Just so you know….,” Rtskhiladze wrote.
According to Mueller, Rtskhiladze told investigators that “‘tapes’ referred to compromising tapes of Trump rumored to be held by persons associated with the Russian real estate conglomerate Crocus Group.” Crocus is the Russian firm owned by Aras Agalarov.
Cohen spoke to Trump about the messages from Rtskhiladze, the reports says. In a May 10, 2018 interview with investigators, Rtskhiladze said that he was told that the tapes were “fake,” but that he did not provide that information to Cohen.
In other words, Steele’s claim was apparently a repetition of a rumor.
Michael Cohen’s Prague Visit
The dossier alleges that Cohen traveled to Prague to meet with Russians with the explicit purpose of influencing the 2016 election. Cohen has always adamantly denied the claim, and Mueller has found no evidence it ever occurred. Mueller acknowledges that “Cohen had never traveled to Prague.”
Previously, Pulitzer Prize-winning Washington Post reporter Greg Miller said during a book interview that sources at the FBI and CIA don’t believe that the Prague incident ever happened. Miller said that Post reporters “literally spent weeks and months trying to run down” leads from the dossier and that they “sent reporters through every hotel in Prague, through all over the place, just to try to figure out if he was ever there, and came away empty.”
Carter Page’s Moscow Trip
Steele’s dossier alleges that during a July 2016 trip to deliver a commencement address in Moscow, Carter Page met with two high-level Putin associates and agreed to take a bribe in exchange for lifting U.S. sanctions on Russia.
Perhaps just as cartoonish than the “golden showers” claim, the dossier alleges that the bribe was to take the form of an 19.5% equity stake in Russian state-owned firm Rosneft, which would require the Russian government to give up their majority control of the company… and shares valued at nearly $8 billion. No offense to Page – but I doubt he wielded enough power to attract what would’ve been the largest bribe in human history. The fact that the Trump administration has only increased sanctions against Russia should be enough to debunk this myth – but Mueller also notes there is no evidence for it.
Mueller’s report says that Page had floated the idea of having Trump give the commencement address he was offered to give in his place, but that idea didn’t materialize. Former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski also said that Page’s speech would be outside of his role of the Trump campaign.
And as you’d expect from the lack of charges against Page, the Mueller report finds no evidence of any collusion in Russia involving him.
Those Indicted by Mueller Have One Thing in Common
As I noted in September of last year, the only thing all those indicted by Mueller have in common is that none were indicted on any charges related to collusion, which is what the scope of his investigation was supposed to be. Nothing has changed since then.
Those joking that if the Mueller investigation were a witch hunt (as Trump calls it), it caught a lot of witches, are missing the point. The Salem Witch trials caught a lot of witches too, as witch hunts tend to.
But just as there are no witches in reality, nor was there collusion in the 2016 election.