Russia Archives – Dan Bongino

Tag: Russia

Ep. 892 What Did They Know And When Did They Know It?

In this episode I address how President Trump’s recent tactics have blindsided the Democrats and changed the “shutdown” game forever.
I also discuss stunning new testimony that reveals the deep ties and connections former Obama administration officials, and people tied to Bob Mueller, had in the anti-Trump witch hunt.

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Sorry Liberals, Cohen’s Charges Prove There Was ZERO Collusion With Russia

All of those indicted thus far by Robert Mueller’s special counsel have one thing in common – that they’re facing charges which have nothing to do with the counsel’s initial scope, uncovering and punishing alleged collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia. When Rod Rosenstein authorized Mueller’s special counsel after the firing of James Comey, it authorized Mueller to investigate “any links and/or coordination between the Russian government and individuals associated with the campaign of President Donald Trump; and (ii) any matters that arose or may arise directly from the investigation; and (iii) any other matters within the scope of 28 C.F.R. § 600.4(a).”

Not a single person has been charged within those guidelines, including Michael Cohen, the latest to be in the spotlight following the announcement of his three-year-sentence. Cohen’s charges included campaign finance violations, tax evasion, and lying to Congress. The “lying to Congress” charge stems from statements Cohen made regarding the Trump Organization’s failed efforts to build a Trump Tower in Moscow.

If you listen to the media, you’d get the impression that Cohen’s charges are the “smoking gun” the collusion conspiracists have been looking for the past eighteen months:

  • The soon-to-be-defunct Weekly Standard claimed that “The documents are, even for those skeptical of the left’s ‘collusion‘ narrative, deeply incriminating.”
  • The Washington Post’s not-at-all-conservative columnist Jen Rubin argued that the mention of the single word “synergy” in Mueller’s description of Cohen’s relationship with Russia proves collusion.
  • The Chicago Sun Times reported that “Collusion with Russia fans is possible, Trump fans. Deal with it.”
  • CNN headlined an op-ed assuming guilt, “Sorry, President Trump, collusion IS a crime.”

But as already mentioned, Cohen’s charges had absolutely nothing to do with collusion. And as a fantastic analysis from Real Clear Investigation’s Paul Sperry documents, the charges against Cohen explicitly disprove the collusion narrative.

Charges Fail to Substantiate Collusion Narrative

The charges stemming from Cohen’s false statements about a Russian Trump Tower project prove that the Trump campaign had no connection to the Russian government. As Sperry notes:

On page 7 of the statement of criminal information filed against Cohen, Mueller mentions that Cohen tried to email Russian President Vladimir Putin’s office on Jan. 14, 2016, and again on Jan. 16, 2016. But Mueller, who personally signed the document, omitted the fact that Cohen did not have any direct points of contact at the Kremlin, and had resorted to sending the emails to a general press mailbox. Sources who have seen these additional emails point out that this omitted information undercuts the idea of a “back channel” and thus the special counsel’s collusion case.

The second page of the same document reportedly quotes an August 2017 letter from Cohen to the Senate Intelligence Committee where he writes Trump “was never in contact with anyone about this [Moscow Project] proposal other than me.” This is of note because Mueller does not dispute this statement as false (while other statements in the same letter are disputed as false by Mueller). Mueller also doesn’t dispute Cohen’s statement about how they “ultimately determined that the [Trump Tower] proposal was not feasible and never agreed to make a trip to Russia.”

Another Cohen Connection Proves (a Lack of) Collusion

Cohen’s connection to New York real estate developer Felix Sater, who promised he could fast-track real estate projects in Russia, proves that the Trump campaign had no special access to Russia.

Cohen’s emails and text messages indicate he failed to establish communications with the Russian leader’s spokesman.

In the end, neither Putin nor any Kremlin official was directly involved in the scuttled Moscow project, sources say. Moreover, neither Cohen nor Trump traveled to Moscow in support of the deal, as Sater had urged. No meetings with Russian government officials took place.

Cohen’s only Russian “connection” ended up occurring when he sent an email to a desk secretary in the spokesman’s office. There’s no indication he received a response.

And About That Dossier…

Adding another nail to the coffin of Christopher Steele’s credibility, the story from his dossier involving a Cohen trip to Prague still has yet to be proven.

Notably absent from the criminal-information document is any corroboration of the highly inflammatory, though oft-cited allegation made in the so-called Steele dossier, funded by the Clinton campaign, that Cohen visited Prague to clandestinely meet with Kremlin officials in August 2016 to arrange “deniable cash payments to hackers who had worked in Europe under Kremlin direction against the Clinton campaign.”

Given many of Cohen’s recent negative statements about the President, Trump may want to reconsider his comments that he hires only “the best people,” but that’s irrelevant to the point here; that despite all of Cohen’s wrongdoing, none of it has anything to do with Russian collusion.

Is This It? There’s Still No Evidence of Collusion

Michael Flynn, the retired three-star Army general, has been waiting for more than a year to be sentenced. Flynn pleaded guilty late last year to lying to the FBI in the Trump-Russia investigation. He later agreed to cooperate with special counsel Robert Mueller.

Special Counsel Robert Mueller released his highly redacted and anticipated memo Tuesday, recommending a lenient sentence for Flynn and no jail time. The memo noted that “the defendant’s substantial assistance and other consideration” was the reason Mueller recommended the lenient sentence.

Yet, as Hans von Spakovsky writes today on TheDailySignal, and as Dan has discussed on his podcast – the plea deals with Mike Flynn and Michael Cohen and the sentencing of Paul Manafort – still doesn’t reveal any illegal conduct by Trump or his campaign. Zero. Zip.

We still have had no indictments that have revealed any evidence about the issue that Mueller was tasked to investigate — whether there was any collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russian government. The answer? The reason Mueller and his team haven’t found any evidence of collusion is that there wasn’t any.

h/t: TheDailySignal.com

Here We Go Again: Acting AG Whitaker Speaking with Ethics Officials About “Recusal”

Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker will speak with ethics officials at the Department of Justice about matters that “may warrant recusal.”

In a statement acquired by The Hill, DOJ Spokeswoman Kerri Kupec said, “Acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker is fully committed to following all appropriate processes and procedures at the Department of Justice, including consulting with senior ethics officials on his oversight responsibilities and matters that may warrant recusal.”

Democrats have made repeated calls for Whitaker to recuse himself from his oversight responsibilities in the Russia investigation because he has previously spoken out against the Mueller investigation and the FBI’s handling of the Clinton email investigation.

Whitaker told radio host Andrew Wilkow that he does not believe there was any collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.

LISTEN: Dan discusses the legality of Whitaker’s appointment as Acting Attorney General

“The truth is there was no collusion with the Russians and the Trump campaign,” he said. “There was interference by the Russians into the election, but that was not collusion with the campaign. That’s where the left seems to be combining those two issues.”

In the same interview, Whitaker stressed that there has been no evidence to suggest any wrongdoing with the Trump campaign and Russia. “The last thing they want right now is for the truth to come out, and for the fact that there’s not a single piece of evidence that demonstrates that the Trump campaign had any illegal or any improper relationships with the Russians,” he said.

In July 2017, Whitaker appeared on CNN where he suggested that a new Attorney General could reduce Mueller’s budget to grind the investigation to a halt:

On Sunday, Democrats sent a letter to a DOJ ethics official demanding his recusal from the Special Counsel investigation.

The letter reads, in part:

There are serious ethical considerations that require Mr. Whitaker’s immediate recusal from any involvement with the Special Counsel investigation of the Russian government’s efforts to interfere in the 2016 presidential election. Mr. Whitaker has a history of hostile statements toward Special Counsel Mueller’s investigation, including televised statements suggesting that the investigation
be defunded or subjected to strict limitations on its scope

Whitaker,48, was appointed Acting Attorney General last week, when then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions resigned at President Trump’s request. He previously served as Sessions’ chief of staff at the Department of Justice.

In 2004, Whitaker was appointed by President Bush as U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Iowa and, in 2014, ran in the Iowa GOP Senate primary, where he lost to Joni Ernst.

He was managing partner of the Des Moines, Iowa law firm, Whitaker Hagenow & Gustoff LLP from November 2009 to September 2017.

Trump “Seriously” Considering Declassifying Key Russia Investigation Documents

President Donald Trump said Wednesday that he is “seriously” considering declassifying a slew of documents requested by former Republican House leaders investigating the FBI’s handling of the Russia probe. Trump was pummeled with questions during a rancorous White House press briefing where he congratulated Republicans for winning Senate races and said he hoped to work with the new Democratic House leadership.

The president addressed questions regarding whether or not he would end Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation, stating, “I could, I could fire everybody right now. Politically, I don’t like stopping it.”

LISTEN: The good, the bad, and the ugly takeaways from midterm Election results

“It’s a disgrace,” said Trump of the Special Counsel investigation. “It should have never been started because there is no crime.”

“They all have conflicts over there that are beyond anything anybody has ever seen in terms of conflicts,” he added.

Trump referenced former FBI Director James Comey, who was fired in May of 2017, after DOJ Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein wrote a scathing letter listing Comey’s failures. That letter led to Trump firing Comey.

However, after Comey’s firing, Rosenstein (under pressure from Democrats) appointed Mueller to the Special Counsel to investigate Trump. In October, concerning information about Rosenstein surfaced during a deposition of former FBI General Counsel James Baker. Baker had told lawmakers that he met with former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe and former FBI attorney Lisa Page shortly after they had a meeting with Rosenstein in May 2017. Baker said that McCabe, Page, and Rosenstein had discussed the possibility of secretly recording President Trump. Baker, who was the top lawyer for the FBI and a close confidant of Comey, noted that he was not in the meeting with Rosenstein. Baker said that Rosenstein also discussed the possibility of invoking the 25th Amendment on the president in an effort to remove him from office for being unfit.

“Comey, who by the way, lied and leaked and also leaked classified information–nothing happened there it might, perhaps, maybe something is happening that I don’t know about,” Trump said Wednesday. “But you know what I do. I let it just go on. They’re wasting a lot of money, but I let it go on…I could end it right now and say that investigation is over but… it’s a disgrace frankly, an embarrassment to our country, it’s an embarrassment to the people of our country and it’s too bad.

The president warned that he was still “seriously” considering declassifying the documents that the Republican Congress has been demanding for the past year. Lawmakers have sighted a need for transparency in the bureau’s handling of the FBI investigation into the Trump campaign.

“We’re looking at that very seriously, declassification very seriously,” said Trump. “It’s amazing how people on the other side just don’t want those documents declassified…we’re looking at that very carefully. I certainly wanted to wait until after the midterm.”

In August, Trump handed over the classified documents to DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz for review. Trump had originally suggested that he was going to declassify them, but then suddenly changed his mind, saying he wanted to ensure that there would be no national security implications if the documents were declassified.

The documents include all documents related to DOJ official Bruce Ohr’s interviews with the FBI. Ohr, who has been demoted three times for not informing his superiors of his role in the FBI investigation, gave a deposition to Congress in August where he admitted he was used as a back channel by the FBI, so the bureau could continue to communicate with former British spy and dossier creator Christopher Steele. At the time, the FBI had terminated Steele as a confidential source when it caught him giving communicating with the media.

According to sources, the FBI Agents kept copious notes in all 12 interviews they had with Ohr. Those interviews are known in the bureau as 302 reports. Those 302s, along with the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant that was used to spy on short-term Trump campaign volunteer Carter Page and the “Gang of Eight” notebook on the investigation, are currently under review by Horowitz.

For months, Congress has requested that Trump declassify the documents after battling Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and FBI Director Christopher Wray to no avail. Congressional members, some who have clearance to see the documents, say “no sources or methods” would be exposed if they were declassified, but that they believe it would expose extensive evidence of abuse by the bureau on the secretive Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court.

Adam Schiff Vows to Ramp Up Russia Probe if Dems Retake the House

Ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee Adam Schiff vowed to ramp-up the Russia probe should his party retake control of the House this November; saying he will investigate “money laundering” and get more “answers” on the Trump campaign’s alleged “collusion.”

Schiff was speaking with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer when he was asked if he would ratchet up the investigation if he becomes the Chair of the Intelligence Committee after the 2018 midterm elections.

“The question, though, that I don’t know whether Mueller has been able to answer — because I don’t know whether he’s been given the license to look into it — were the Russians laundering money through the Trump Organization?” he asked.

“And that will be a very high priority to get an answer to. For the reason that if they were doing this, it’s not only a crime, but it’s something provable,” he added. “We will be able to get answers the Republicans were unwilling to pursue. Records that the Republicans wouldn’t ask for.”

Read the full story here.

What the Media Never Told You About the Russia Investigation Hoax

Authored by: Matt Palumbo

We heard a lot about Russian collusion with the Trump campaign over the past couple of years, but as is often the case, it’s what the media left out that’s more damning than what they reported. Dan Bongino’s new book “Spygate: The Framing of Donald J. Trump” exposes the truth of what happened during the 2016 presidential election.

Fusion GPS Has Russian Connections of Their Own

Remember the controversial meeting between Donald Trump Jr. and Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya? What most in the media conveniently left out of their coverage was that Veselnitskaya was also working with the firm behind the anti-Trump dossier at the time of the meeting. Veselnitskaya met with Fusion GPS co-founder Glenn Simpson the day of and the day after her meeting with Trump Jr.

Veselnitskaya was working with Fusion GPS on an unrelated case to advance Russian interests, while Fusion was funded by the Clinton campaign to allege a conspiracy between Trump and the Russians. We know that at least one person worked on both cases, a man named Ed Baumgartner.

The DNC Didn’t Want the FBI To Investigate Their “Hacked” Servers

If you heard that the DNC was hacked by the Russians, that’s only because it’s exactly what the DNC wants you to believe.

Rather than have the FBI examine the DNC’s servers, they instead hired the private company CrowdStrike to conduct the investigation. CrowdStrike is connected to the Obama administration and the DNC. After examining the servers for a mere day, CrowdStrike concluded two Russian groups were responsible for the cyberattack. Meanwhile, neither FBI nor any other law enforcement agency has looked at their servers—and still hasn’t to this day.

British Intelligence Hated Trump and the Ukrainians Feared Him

American and British intelligence were determined to preserve their “Special Relationship” of intelligence sharing, which they thought would be threatened by a Trump presidency, so they passed information to the CIA to help with the Trump collusion investigation.

Robert Hannigan, the head of British intelligence agency GCHQ, gave documents to CIA director John Brennan during in the summer of 2016. The matter was deemed so sensitive it was handled at “director level.” Brennan used GCHQ information and intelligence from other partners to launch a major inter-agency investigation.

Hannigan, who took over the agency in 2014, stepped down just four days after Trump was inaugurated. He told staffers only hours before making his decision public.

As for the Ukrainians, a Politico headline puts it best: “Ukrainian efforts to sabotage Trump backfire.” Ukrainians chose a side in the 2016 election, and it was Hillary Clinton. Their target was Paul Manafort.

Some Supposed Pro-Trump Conspirators Have Clinton Connections

Two characters involved in one of the main events that supposedly set off the Trump collusion investigation had connections to the Clinton Foundation. Joseph Mifsud, the professor who promised campaign adviser George Papadopoulos compromising information on Hillary Clinton, has personally donated to the Clinton Foundation.

Papadopoulos told Australia’s ambassador to the UK, Alexander Downer, about Mifsud’s promised information. The contents of Papadopoulos and Downer’s conversation eventually ended up on the desk of the FBI. Downer had a history with the Clinton Foundation, having brokered a $25 million donation during uranium transfers.

Why Yes, There Was a Spy After All

For all the mockery Trump has received for tweeting that Obama spied on his campaign, there was indeed spying going on. A man with Deep State connections covertly gathered information on both George Papadopoulos and Trump campaign adviser Carter Page.

The Russia collusion narrative was a setup from the beginning. If you’d like to learn more, preorder a copy of Bongino’s new book, co-authored with D.C. McAllister and myself, Matt Palumbo, “Spygate: The Attempted Sabotage of Donald J. Trump.”

Bongino