The Inexplicable 2018 Omnibus Spending Package, large excerpts

Ok. I’m reading the 2232 fucking page long, Fiscal Year 2018 Omnibus spending package that was written to support the 2018 Budget.  I have to say, right up front, I for one am sick of the disorganized, haphazard, sloppy work of the US Government.  I don’t want to see another fucking bill slapped together with no rhyme, reason, or semblance of order.

Removing the donor-class, lobbyist-driven legislation that government shits out should be job 1.  Without that, all the rest of our worrying and hand-wringing over the current state of affairs is meaningless.  Right now, I’d say that job #2 is passing legislation to force the legislative branches to write goddamn legislation that is organized, thoughtful, and thoroughly rationalized.

I understand this is the golden opportunity for everyone…and I mean everyone including lobbyists, to insert their own little piece of pork barrel, anonymously…yes, anonymously, but that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be compiled with order, reason, and justification.  That being said, let’s just go ahead and serve up some of the nuggets from this incredible work with example #1 of what this inane process produces:

page 1042: Ruh-roh Donny. According to 2018 Omnibus Spending Package, Trump can no longer lie.

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Fake news is no longer acceptable!!!!  WOOO HOOOOOO.  This little clause is just sitting all alone.  Not in relation or as reference to anything else.  It doesn’t say how “deliberately false or misleading,” is to be determined or by whom.  It doesn’t say how redress is sought or point to any other law or legislation.

Does that include any work by any federally paid employee in any venue?  Surely it covers federally issued electronic and communication devices.  Surely it covers any and all forms of federally disseminated information such as speeches, webpages, or physical documentation.  Right?

Right?

I can’t help but think someone inserted this at 2am in the morning as a fucking joke.

page 1042: This is just above the preceding clause.

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Now why is this so much more specific and delineated? Why is it just for those in a scientific advisory committee?  Why wouldn’t this extend to everyone?  Exactly what federal employee is political affiliation a necessary qualification?  At least these guys are covered.  I mean, this administration hates all scientists as a rule anyway.  Fact-based truths that don’t match up with the administrations ideology is the disqualifier anyway.

 

page 596: GOP makes sure to increase the flow of dark money into their coffers.

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page 491: related to above.

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The problem with this provision is best described in this story about the hidden, dark money additions in this spending bill:

“Another provision, first implemented in a 2014 spending bill, prevents the IRS from issuing guidance or changing rules related to how the agency decides whether a non-profit group spending money on politics is a “social welfare” 501(c)(4) group under the U.S. tax code. 501(c)(4) groups are not required to disclose their donors and are allowed to engage in political activities so long as politics is not its “primary activity,” a murky standard that the IRS tried to clarify before it was prevented from doing so by spending bill riders.”

Page 617-618: Pruitt and Zinke, this ones for you!

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Go ahead and read that again.  If a company or organization made campaign contributions to a federal employee, whom might have occasion, to oversee whether that company or organization receives a federal contract, no one can ask of the company or organization to provide information that the federal employee is unduly influenced by said contribution.  This fits in very nicely with the Administration desire to sell off or lease public lands to the fossil fuels industries for some righteous raping.

Page 1519: interesting insertion here.

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Page 619:  Oh no Donny!  Going to have to pay for this one yourself.

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Page 2199: very interesting.

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Removing Section 9013 is removing the effective date of all of the serious-as-a-heart-attack laws regarding campaign finance.  Each individual section of this code has it’s own effective date, pretty much.  So I’m not sure if removing the effective date for the entire chapter throws the laws into limbo, or what the fuck it does.  I don’t understand why this is selected for removal and why there’s no further explanation or justification.

What kind of stuff is covered in this chapter?  This-

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Fusion GPS #2

****The first page of my transcription of the Fusion GPS testimony begins here. I have chosen to highlight primarily the Democratic lines of questioning as they focus on the Dossier and any knowledge of Russian interference in the election.  I have edited out the documents headers, footers, and line-numberings to reduce the testimony from a legal document to a more palatable, legible piece.****

 

page 162-164

Q. And with specific regard to the issue of blackmail, what was the — what were the facts that he had gathered that made him concerned about the possibility of blackmail and who did he think was going to be blackmailed?

A. Well, the facts are — beyond what’s here I don’t have any additional facts. The alleged incident that’s described here is the one that he was referring to. As I say, I don’t have really any additional information beyond this except that — I mean, it’s probably in here somewhere actually, but it’s well known in intelligence circles that the Russians have cameras in all the luxury hotel rooms and there are memoirs written about this by former Russian intelligence agents I could quote you. So the problem of kompromat and kompromating is just endemic to east-west intelligence work. So that’s what I’m referring to. That’s what he’s referring to.

Q. And do you recall when you — when you and Mr. Steele decided kind of that he could or should take this to the FBI, approximately the time frame of that?

A. I believe it was sometime around the turn of the month. It would have been in late June or at latest early July. That’s my recollection.

Q. And Mr. Steele was the one who was then responsible for doing the initial outreach to them and making that contact?

A. Yes. Well, I mean, let’s be clear, this was not considered by me to be part of the work that we were doing. This was — to me this was like, you know, you’re driving to work and you see something happen and you call 911, right. It wasn’t part of the — it wasn’t like we were trying to figure out who should do it. He said he was professionally obligated to do it. Like if you’re a lawyer and, you know, you find out about a crime, in a lot of countries you must report that. So it was like that. So I just said if that’s your obligation, then you should fulfill your obligation.

Page 166-167

Q. And do you know who it is that Mr. Steele contacted and talked with at the FBI?

A. I did not know at the time. I believe I know now, but I don’t have authoritative information on that. I didn’t — yeah. I didn’t know who it was in July.

Q. And do you now know who that was?

A. I think I know, but Chris never told me. I figured it out eventually based on other sources and other information, but that was not until December or November.

Q. December of — November or December 2016?

A. November, December 2016. It was after the election.

Q. And what is your understanding from what you’ve been able to put together of who that would have been?

A. My understanding of?

Q. Of who Mr. Steele would have talked to at the FBI.

A. I believe it was a <redacted> , an official named <redacted>.

Q. Did you seek anyone else’s approval for him to go to the FBI?

A. No.

Q. Did anyone ever encourage you to ask him on to go to the FBI?

A. No.

Q. Did anyone discourage you from having him go to the FBI?

A. No.

Page 174-177 (major reason why the GOP was stonewalling releasing these transcripts)

Q. And you said that meeting with the FBI, you said Mr. Steele said he had to go to Rome for this meeting. Do you otherwise know who he met with?

A. This gets into the chronology of what I learned when. At some point I learned that he was meeting with the lead FBI guy from Rome. I don’t remember when he told me that.

Q. And did you have a name associated with who that was?

A. Not at that time.

Q. You said that he told you of the meeting with the FBI in Rome in mid or late September, that he “gave them a full briefing”?

A. A debrief I think is what he probably said, they had debriefed him. I don’t remember him articulating the specifics of that. You know, my understanding was that they would have gotten into who his sources were, how he knew certain things, and, you know, other details based on their own intelligence. Essentially what he told me was they had other intelligence about this matter from an internal Trump campaign source and that — that they — my understanding was that they believed Chris at this point — that they believed Chris’s information might be credible because they had other intelligence that indicated the same thing and one of those pieces of intelligence was a human source from inside the Trump organization.

Q. And did you have any understanding then or now as to who that human intelligence source from inside the Trump campaign might have been?

MR. LEVY: He’s going to decline to answer that question.

MS. SAWYER: On what basis?

MR. SIMPSON: Security.

MR. LEVY: Security

Q. Was this individual also a person who had been a source for Mr. Steele, without identifying who that was?

A. No.

Q. So this was someone independent of Mr. Steele’s sources who potentially had information also on the same topics?

A. Yes. I mean, I don‘t think this implicates any of the issues to say I think it was a voluntary source, someone who was concerned about the same concerns we had.

MR. DAVIS: I’m having a hard time hearing you. Please speak up.

BY THE WITNESS: A. It was someone like us who decided to pick up the phone and report something.

Q. And your understanding of this, does that come from Mr. Steele or from a different source?

A. That comes from Chris, yes.

 

Page 178-179

Q. Now, with regard to — just to finish up on the interactions with FBI, do you know were there any additional interactions between Mr. Steele and the FBI?

A. There was some sort of interaction, I think it was probably telephonic that occurred after Director Comey sent his letter to Congress reopening the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s e-mails. That episode, you know, obviously created some concern that the FBI was intervening in a political campaign in contravention of long-standing Justice Department regulation.  So it made a lot of people, including us, concerned about what the heck was going on at the FBI. So, you know, we began getting questions from the press about, you know, whether they were also investigating Trump and, you know, we encouraged them to ask the FBI that question. You know, I think –– I‘m not sure we’ve covered this fully, but, you know, we just encouraged them to ask the FBI that question.  On October 31st the New York Times posed a story saying that the FBI is investigating Trump and found no connections to Russia and, you know, it was a real Halloween special.

Sometime thereafter the FBI — I understand Chris severed his relationship with the FBI out of concern that he didn’t know what was happening inside the FBI and there was a concern that the FBI was being manipulated for political ends by the Trump people and that we didn’t really understand what was going on. So he stopped dealing with them.

Page 217. We’re back to GOP lawyers again, so far they have not asked anything concerning the contents of the “Steele Dossier”.  Their only concern is with who is getting paid money by whom.  Or, how did the media get wind of a possible Russian/Trump conspiracy .  They keep trying to find an angle by which to lay some type of blame on Fusion GPS.

Q. Was the amount of Fusion’s compensation in the Trump investigation dependent on the FBI initiating an investigation of Mr. Trump or his associates?

A. No.

Q. Was the amount of Orbis’s compensation dependent on the FBI initiating an investigation of Mr. Trump and his associates?

A. No.

Q. Other than Senator McCain, who we’ll discuss later, did Fusion or Orbis disclose any of the memoranda information contained therein or related information from Mr. Steele with any elected officials or staff in Congress?

A. I don’t recall having done so, no

Page 225, I’m guessing this is the part the GOP is going to hang their hat on. Grassley supplied Simpson with the necessary answer:

Q. Do you know who paid for Mr. Steele’s trip to Rome to meet with the FBI?

A. I have read recently that — I think in a letter from Senator Grassley that the FBI reimbursed the expense, but to be clear, I mean, that’s it. He was, to my knowledge, not been compensated for that work or any other work during this time.

Page 240-242

Q. And with regard to Carter Page, did you reach any findings, conclusions about his business dealings, about him, about his connections in particular to, you know, Russia?

A. Yes.

Q. And can you share what those were?

A. Carter Page seemed to us to be a typical person who the Russians would attempt to co-opt or compromise or manipulate. He was on the younger side, a little bit — considered to be a striver who was ambitious and not terribly savvy, and those are the kind of people that the Russians tend to compromise. That was the general sense we had. He was also, you know, from early on described as somewhat eccentric.

when we talk about things in the dossier that are confirmed, this is one of the things that I think really stands out as notable, which is that Chris identified Carter Page as someone who had — seemed to be in the middle of the campaign, between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin, and he later turned out to be an espionage suspect who was, in fact, someone that the FBI had been investigating for years.

Page 256-259 GOP lawyers do return to the Veselnitskaya connection momentarily.   trying to find a money connection.

Q. So in an August 1, 2017 news briefing White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said “The Democrat linked firm Fusion GPS actually took money from the Russian government while it created the phoney dossier that’s been the basis for all of the Russia scandal fake news.” What is your response to that statement?

A. It’s not true?

Q. And what in particular is not true about it?

A. Well, it’s a false allegation leveled by William Browder before this committee and in other places for the purpose of his advantage. She’s repeating an allegation that was aired before this committee and in other places that we were working for the Russian government and it’s not true. Most importantly the allegation that we were working for the Russian government then or ever is simply not true. I don’t know what to say. It’s political rhetoric to call the dossier phoney. The memos are field reports of real interviews that Chris’s network conducted and there’s nothing phoney about it. We can argue about what’s prudent and what’s not, but it’s not a fabrication.

Q. And I think you’ve already answered you contend that you were not taking money from the Russian government and that was in relation to the litigation work you had done with Baker Hostetler, correct?

A. Yes. They are a well-regarded law firm that has obligations to determine the sources of funds when they take a client and, to my knowledge, they did so and the money was not coming from the Russian government.

Q. Did, to the best of your knowledge, Mr. Steele take money in any way, shape, or form that could be attributed to the Russian government for the work that he did on the memos as part of 20the opposition research on Candidate Trump?

A. No.  I’ll add one more thing to the response to Sarah Huckabee Sanders, which is her assertion that we are a Democrat linked opposition research firm. I think I addressed this earlier, but to be clear, we don’t have a business of — we’re not an appendage to the Democratic party. We run a commercial business, we’re all ex-journalists. We take clients from both sides of the aisle. We have a long history of that, I’m proud of that. I’m happy to say I have lots of Republican clients and friends.

Page 261-265  THEY HAVE THE MEETING NOTES OF PAUL MANAFORT FROM THE TRUMP TOWER MEETING WITH THE RUSSIANS! Hm.  This is extremely fishy.  This stinks to fucking high hell…and not because it doesn’t say what we all think it should say, but because the GOP lawyers just introduced something into evidence which has absolutely no relevance.  Totally something fishy going on here.

Q. I’m going to show you an exhibit. I think we‘re on 6. We understand these are meeting notes. Do these phrases about — including Mr. Browder mean anything to you or relate to any of the research that you conducted or otherwise aware of regarding Mr. Browder?

MR. LEVY: When say “meetings notes,” meeting notes about what meeting?

MR. DAVIS: These are the meeting notes from the June 9th meeting at Trump Tower. These are Mr. Manafort’s notes or they’re contemporaneous.

 A. I could tell — obviously you know who Bill Browder is. Cyprus Offshore, Bill Browder’s structure, you know, investment — Hermitage Capital, his hedge fund, set up numerous companies in Cyprus to engage in inward investment into Russia, which is a common structure, both partially for tax reasons but also to have entities outside of Russia, you know, managing specific investments. I can only tell you I assume that’s what that references. I don’t know what the 133 million —

MR. FOSTER: Can I interrupt? And you know that from research that you did and provided to —

MR. SIMPSON: Yes.

MR. LEVY: Let him finish.

MR. FOSTER: — research that you did and provided to Baker Hostetler and their client?

MR. SIMPSON: Yes. There was a — I can elaborate a little bit. As part of the research into how Hermitage Capital worked we looked at various things, their banking relationships, the way they structured their investments in Russia. I don’t remember how many, but there was a large number of shell companies in Cyprus that were used to hold the investments of individual clients of Hermitage. So one of the things we discovered from that was the likely identities of some of Hermitage’s clients.

BY MR. DAVIS: Q. Do any of the other entries in here mean anything to you in light of the research you’ve conducted or what you otherwise know about Mr. Browder?

A. I’m going to — I can only speculate about some of these things. I mean, sometimes —

MR. LEVY: Don’t speculate.

BY THE WITNESS: A. Just would be guesses.

Q. Okay.

A. I can skip down a couple. So “Value in Cyprus as inter,” I don’t know what that means. “Illici,” I don’t know what that means. “Active sponsors of RNC,” I don’t know what that means. “Browder hired Joanna Glover” is a mistaken reference to Juliana Glover, who was Dick Cheney’s press secretary during the Iraq war and associated with another foreign policy controversy. “Russian adoptions by American families” I assume is a reference to the adoption issue.

Q. And by “adoption issue” do you mean Russia prohibiting U.S. families from adopting Russian babies as a measure in response to the Magnitsky act?

A. I assume so.

Q. The information here, is this generally consistent with the type of information you or Baker Hostetler were providing about Mr. Browder and his activities?

MR. LEVY: Can you repeat that question.

MR. DAVIS: Is the information here, to the best you can decipher it, consistent with the information that you and Baker Hostetler and HRAGI were relaying to other parties about Mr. Browder’s activities?

MR. LEVY: He’s just told you that a lot of what’s here he doesn’t know what it means, he doesn’t have knowledge or recollection as to these terms.

MR. DAVIS: The parts you do recognize.

BY THE WITNESS: A. Couple of the items touch on things that I worked on, Cyprus, Bill Browder.

Q. I’m going to jump back to the Russiain vestigation. You’d mentioned before you’ve had some subcontractors that you’ve worked with long enough that you call them super subs; is that correct?

A. Yes.

*********************

this is very odd stuff.  It certainly looks like, for the second time in this interview, the GOP has introduced information into these proceedings that they want recorded in the testimony.  I’m going to have to do a part 3 tomorrow.  almost done.

 

https://100percenttrue.wordpress.com/2018/01/10/fusion-gps-3/

Fusion GPS large excerpts from full transcripts

***This is part 1 of 3.  I’m half way through the testimony.  It is very long.  readers only need apply***

Following is large-block excerpts from the Fusion GPS testimony given by Glenn Simpson of Fusion GPS to the Senate Judiciary Committee on August 22, 2017.  I prefer to take very large samples of the testimony because I believe context is extremely important in this testimony.  If you are like me, you like to read everything first-hand and prefer raw data to a third party’s “take” on information.  If you are not like me, you don’t have time to read all of the testimony in the current legal format in which it resides.  I have cut and pasted these excerpts from that data removing line-numberings and headers and footers so that it is easier to read.  You may find gremlins from the original formatting here and there.  Sorry…and toughy woughy.

Unlike public, full congressional committee interviews, this isn’t 5 minutes to each committee member trying to cram in as many questions as they can; this testimony is under the direction of the committee’s representative lawyers, GOP and Democrat, asking questions at great length and with wide ranging parameters.  The entire process was cordial, very open and agreeable to all parties judging from the text.  The questions are those of lawyers trying to nudge along the exact answers they desire.

Exactly like the committee-wide type of interrogations, the answers each party’s side are seeking, could not be any more different.  The GOP lawyers are not interested in discovering anything about the “dossier,” it’s sources, how it came to be, it’s legitimacy or any of that (so far).  The GOP lawyers are exclusively interested in how Fusion GPS conducts business, what it’s set-up is, how it is paid and how it pays others.  Of particular import to them is Fusion GPS’s involvement in Baker Hostetler, Prevezon holdings, and to an extent Browder and the whole “smear” campaign against Browder and by extension the Magnitsky act.  Due to this fact, I see very little from the GOP side, at this time, that I care to cut and paste.

To talk about this here would be really getting in the weeds but let me say, I said a long time ago the GOP would be getting into the weeds if they walk too far down this path.

from: https://100percenttrue.wordpress.com/2017/10/26/october-26-2017/

“Natalia Veselnitskaya, had hired Fusion GPS, before Perkins Coie, the legal firm Clinton used. Veselnitskaya hired Fusions GPS to assist her in lobbying to overturn the Magnitsky Act in congress.

Now what do you think the chances are that Fusion GPS didn’t just hire Steele to compile the dossier, what if they also were the ones that directed him to the exact people he needed to talk to gather inside information on Trump?

I’m just guessing here, but that’s starting to look like a possibility.  The other thing about opening up the books on Fusion GPS isn’t just the Russian thing, it’s untold information…people and organizations we don’t even know about yet, people that Congress might not be particularly keen on looking into.  Who knows?  We don’t know what we don’t know : )”

 

How mixed up does all this get when you start really examining it?  Here’s page 133-134 first from Glenn Simpson’s Testimony:

Page 133-134

Q. So you had dinner the 8th, saw her in court on the 9th; is that correct?

A. Yes.

Q. And dinner again on the 10th?

A. In D.C.

Q. Did you see her any other time?

A. Not that I recall.

Q. Did Fusion play any role assisting Ms. Veselnitskaya during that trip?

A. Not that I recall.

Q. It has widely been reported Ms. Veselnitskaya and Mr. Akhmetshin and others met with Donald Trump, Junior, Paul Manafort, and Jared Kushner on June 9th, 2016. Were you aware of this meeting beforehand?

A. No.

Q. It didn’t come up at the dinner the night before?

A. No.

Q. When did you first become aware of the meeting?

A. Around the time it broke in the New York Times. I was stunned.

Q. Is it correct that that means it wasn’t discussed at the dinner on the 10th?

A. No, but, again, you know, the dinner on the 10th was I was at one end of the table talking to a woman about her biography on Simon Bolivar and she was at the other end with Rinat and she doesn’t really speak much English. So, you know, fortunately I was not going to do a lot of entertaining.

 

The Republican’s avoided digging any further into this.

 ***

 

Simpson is very agreeable to both sides.  He gives answers of great detail and often offers way more information than is even being requested.  The only instances in which he will refuse to answer, is any question regarding customers or confidential, non-public sources.

It is really important to get a feel for his testimony and understand everything in context.  The one or two sentence quotes from the transcripts you may have seen so far, really don’t do the whole proceeding justice.  I have edited at points just to allow Simpson to talk at length sans any interrupting questions or exposition from the lawyers.

Following is the Democratic side of questioning.

Page 77-79

Q. And why did you engage Mr. Steele in May or June of 2016?

A. That calls for a somewhat long answer. We had done an enormous amount of work on Donald Trump generally at this point in the project and we began to drill down on specific areas. He was not the only subcontractor that we engaged. Other parts of the world required other people. For example, we were interested in the fact that the Trump family was selling merchandise under the Trump brand in the United States that was made in sweat shops in Asia and South America — or Latin America. So we needed someone else for that. So there were other things. We were not totally focused on Russia at that time, but we were at a point where we were — you know, we’d done a lot of reading and research and we were drilling down on specific areas. Scotland was another one.  So that’s the answer.

What happens when you get to this point in an investigation when you’ve gathered all of the public record information and you’ve begun to exhaust your open source, you know, resources is that you tend to find specialists who can take you further into a subject and I had known Chris since I left the Wall Street Journal. He was the lead Russianist at MI6 prior to leaving the government and an extremely well-regarded investigator, researcher, and, as I say, we’re friends and share interest in Russian kleptocracy and organized crime issues. I would say that’s broadly why I asked him to see what he could find out about Donald Trump’s business activities in Russia.

Q. So in May or June 2016 you hired Christopher Steele to, as you’ve just indicated, find out what he could about Donald Trump’s business activities in Russia. Did something in particular trigger that assignment?

A. No, I don’t think I could point to something in particular as a trigger. I mean, the basis for the request was he had made a number of trips to Russia and talked about doing a number of business deals but never did one, and that struck me as a little bit odd and calling for an explanation. You know, in the background of all international business is questions about corruption. The Trump organization had branched out all over the world in like the four to eight years prior to 2016. So in any kind of investigation you would naturally want to know whether there was some issue with improper business relationships.  I’ll just stress that we weren’t looking for — at least it wasn’t at the forefront of my mind there was going to be anything involving the Russian government per se, at least not that I recall.

 

Page 82-84

Q. And specific to the engagement with regard to the research on Candidate Trump, why did you specifically ask Mr. Steele to do that work?

A. The way our firm runs we pursue things, you know, somewhat out of curiosity. So we didn’t know — it was opaque what Donald Trump had been doing on these business trips to Russia. We didn’t know what he was doing there. So I gave Chris —we gave Chris a sort of assignment that would be typical for us which was pretty open ended. We said see if you can find out what Donald Trump’s been doing on these trips to Russia. Since Chris and I worked together over the years there’s a lot that didn’t need to be said. That would include who is he doing business with, which hotels does he like to stay at, you know, did anyone ever offer him anything, you know, the standard sort of things you would look at. I don’t think I gave him any specific instructions beyond the general find out what he was up to.

Q. And was anyone else — did you engage anyone else to do that particular research?

A. Yes.  So we had other people like Ed Baumgartner who, you know, by this time — I guess Prevezon was still winding down, but who would do Russian language research which didn‘t involve going to Russia. It just involves reading Russian newspaper accounts and that sort of thing.

Q. So was Mr. Baumgartner also working on opposition research for Candidate Trump?

A. At some point, I think probably after the end of the Prevezon case we asked him to help with I think –– my specific recollection is he worked on specific issues involving Paul Manafort and Ukraine.

 

Q. With regard to the presidential election of 2016?

A. Yes.

Page 87-88

Q. So to the extent you can describe, when you say he was doing something you could not do and that was he was arranging to talk to people, can you describe who it was he was reaching out to, what you knew about that?

A. I don’t think for security reasons, among other things, it’s an area I’m not going to be able to go into in terms of sources and things like that. I think speaking broadly, you know, there’s a large diaspora of Russians around the world and people in Moscow that, you know, are talking to each other all the time. The thing that people forget about what was going on in June of 2016 was that no one was really focused on sort of this question of whether Donald Trump had a relationship with the Kremlin.  So, you know, when Chris started asking around in Moscow about this the information was sitting there. It wasn’t a giant secret. People were talking about it freely.

It was only, you know, later that it became a subject of great controversy and people clammed up, and at that time the whole issue of the hacking was also, you know, not really focused on Russia. So these things eventually converged into, you know, a major issue, but at the time it wasn’t one.

Page 93

Q. And you had talked a bit about prior work and Mr. Steele’s performance in prior work and being satisfied by that work. Did you do anything to kind of test and make sure that information he was giving you was accurate?

A. So in the sort of — I know I’m repeating myself, but generally we do public records work. So we deal in documents and things that are very hard and that are useful in court or, you know, other kinds of proceedings.  Chris deals in a very different kind of information, which is human intelligence, human information. So by its very nature the question of whether something is accurate isn’t really asked. The question that is asked generally is whether it‘s credible. Human intelligence isn’t good for, you know, filing lawsuits. It’s good for making decisions and trying to understand what’s going on and that’s a really valuable thing, but it’s not the same thing.

Page 144-147 excerpts in regards to the “Dossier”

So when this arrived it was also right around the time I think — Trump had said weird things about the Russians and Putin and things that are very atypical for a Republican and that people found to be odd. So when this arrived, you know, we made no immediate use of it at all in terms of, you know, giving it to anybody. It was essentially used to inform our other researcher, but because it was — and because it was human source intelligence and some of it was of a personal nature, it was not particularly useful for the kind of things that are, you know, useful in politics, which are things that you can prove, things that you can say, things that people will believe. So we used it as intelligence to try and understand what was going on and, you know, obviously, as we talked about earlier, we tried to analyze this to see if it was credible.

Correct. To be totally clear, you know, what people call the dossier is not really a dossier. It’s a collection of field memoranda, of field interviews, a collection that accumulates over a period of months. You know, they came in intermittently, there was no schedule. You know, he‘d reach a point in the reporting where he had enough to send a new memo; so he’d send one. So you won’t find any real rhythm or chronological sort of system to the way they came in.

Anyway, so this was unusual in what we were doing here and it’s not what I had in mind when I asked him to begin collecting information on this. My expectation was of something a lot less interesting than this, more along the lines of a typical corruption investigation.

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I mean, this is basically about a month later and there’s a lot of events that occurred in between. You know, after the first memo, you know, Chris said he was very concerned about whether this represented a national security threat and said he wanted to — he said he thought we were obligated to tell someone in government, in our government about this information. He thought from his perspective there was an issue — a security issue about whether a presidential candidate was being blackmailed. From my perspective there was a law enforcement issue about whether there was an illegal conspiracy to violate the campaign laws, and then somewhere in this time the whole issue of hacking has also surfaced.

So he proposed to — he said we should tell the FBI, it’s a national security issue. I didn’t originally agree or disagree, I just put it off and said I needed to think about it. Then he raised it again with me. I don’t remember the exact sequence of these events, but my recollection is that I questioned how we would do that because I don’t know anyone there that I could report something like this to and be believed and I didn’t really think it was necessarily appropriate for me to do that. In any event, he said don’t worry about that, I know the perfect person, I have a contact there, they’ll listen to me, they know who I am, I’ll take care of it. I said okay. You know, I agreed, it’s potentially a crime in progress. So, you know, if we can do that in the most appropriate way, I said it was okay for him to do that.

Q. So after Mr. Steele had found out the information that he put in the very first of these memos, the one dated June 20, 2016, he approached you about taking this information to specifically the FBI, the Federal Bureau of Investigation?

A. That’s my recollection.

Q. So to the best of your recollection, that request or idea came directly from Mr. Steele, not anyone else?

A. That’s right.

Q. And who was involved in discussions about whether it was appropriate to take either the memo or the information in the memo to the FBI?

A. It was Chris and me. I mean, that’s the only ones I remember, the two of us. The only ones I know of.

Q. You said you had asked for some time to think it over. What in particular did he articulate to you was of significant national security concern to indicate that it should be taken to the FBI?

A. His concern, which is something that counterintelligence people deal with a lot, is whether or not there was blackmail going on, whether a political candidate was being blackmailed or had been compromised. And the whole problem of compromise of western businessmen and politicians by the Russians is an essential part of — it’s like disinformation, it’s something they worry about a lot and deal with a lot and are trained to respond to. So, you know, a trained intelligence officer can spot disinformation that you or I might not recognize, certainly that was Chris’s skill, and he honed in on this issue of blackmail as being a significant national security issue. Chris is the professional and I’m not. So I didn’t agree with that — it wasn’t that I disagreed with it. It was that I didn’t feel qualified to be the arbitrar of whether this is a national security expert. He’s the pro and I’m the ex-journalist.