Inside the 'Russian collusion hoax'

John Solomon:
A memory stick quietly exchanged in a coffee shop.

An admission of a “Hail Mary” leak.

An unmistakable effort to push the Russia investigation closer to Donald Trump’s inner circle with uncorroborated tales.

Those are just some of the highlights from the day that Fusion GPS founder Glenn Simpson — paid by Hillary Clinton’s campaign to find dirt on her GOP rival — met secretly with a top Justice Department official, right after Trump won the 2016 election.

And all of it was captured in the official’s handwritten notes — a contemporaneous record that intelligence professionals tell me exposes the flaws plaguing the early Russia collusion case.

For example, Simpson told then-Associate Deputy Attorney General Bruce Ohr during the Dec. 10, 2016, meeting in a Washington coffee shop that he believed Trump’s longtime lawyer, Michael Cohen, was the “go-between from Russia to the Trump campaign.”

Yet, Simpson allegedly acknowledged that most of the information Fusion GPS and British intelligence operative Christopher Steele developed did not come from sources inside Moscow. “Much of the collection about the Trump campaign ties to Russia comes from a former Russian intelligence officer (? not entirely clear) who lives in the U.S.,” Ohr scribbled in his notes.

In those notes, Ohr repeatedly misspells Simpson’s first name as “Glen.”

Cohen has emphatically and repeatedly denied any role in connecting Russia to the Trump campaign. His lawyer, Lanny Davis, declined comment Thursday.

Simpson admitted in sworn testimony last year to the House Intelligence Committee that he had contact with Ohr after Trump’s election victory. But Ohr’s notes provide the first detailed public account of what the two men actually discussed.

Congressional investigators now are scouring them for evidence that Simpson and Steele had influence over the Russia probe, even after Steele was dismissed as an FBI informant in November 2016. Investigators want to know if any players in the Russia probe gave Congress false testimony.

One notation that stands out is Simpson’s account that he asked Steele to talk with Mother Jones reporter David Corn about their muckraking on Trump and Russia in the final days of the election. At the time, Steele still worked as an FBI source.

Corn’s Oct. 31, 2016, story was one of the most definitive to allege possible ties between the Trump campaign and Moscow, creating an important talking point for Democrats in the final days of the campaign.

“Glen asked Chris to speak to the Mother Jones reporter. It was Glen’s Hail Mary attempt,” Ohr wrote.

A couple of the experts flagged that most of what Simpson allegedly told Ohr was not from Moscow — where the alleged plot was supposed to be based — but from a reported Russian in the United States who later seemed to disappear, according to Ohr’s notes.

“First thing I’m wondering is whether that Russian was part of a ‘kompromat' operation to further roil the U.S. election rather than a whistleblower,” one of the experts opined.
There is more.

That last quoted paragraph I think is pretty close to the mark.  The Russian game was to roil the transition no matter who won the elections and the Democrats and their cohorts were willing if unknowledgeable participants in the scheme.  The Russians were successful beyond their wildest dreams because the Democrats and their FBI contacts fell for the scam.

Now they have so warmly embraced the "Russian collusion hoax" that they will have a difficult time backing away from it.  The House Judiciary committee is calling most of these players to give testimony.


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