In breaking news, British ex-spy and “dossier” fictionalizer Christopher Steele is set to be interviewed by newly appointed investigator John Durham.
The U.S. attorney for Connecticut appointed by Attorney General Bill Barr has wasted no time in getting to the heart of the origins of the “Trump/Russia” investigation. As Chris Steele is a British citizen who has been residing in London and might be thinking of dodging a subpoena from our courts –- in fact, he has denied a previous request from Durham –- a deal of some kind must have been struck for him to answer questions, almost certainly including some form of immunity. If Steele ignored a subpoena, he might be clapped in irons, so to speak, the next time he tried to set foot in America. That’s at the very least; it’s more likely he would be extradited right away. (Not that I have any information on this, but I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that Trump or his top aides had discussed it with British officials during his overseas trip.)
As Joe DiGenova explained on Tuesday’s HANNITY show, Steele will be under pressure to tell Durham the truth, because even though the interview will take place in the U.K., he could be indicted in the United States if he lies under oath. Steele is in a position to prove what we all but know: that the FBI committed fraud by lying in the warrant application they submitted to the FISA court, that they lied to Congress, and that they’ve lied to everyone about what they knew of Steele’s activities and political objectives. Robert Mueller perpetuated the lie; it’s obvious now that he had to know from the start there was no actual evidence of “collusion” between Trump and Russia and yet he kept investigating for almost two years, hoping to catch Trump in a process crime.
(Incidentally, according to Victoria Toensing, who was also a guest on the show, the reason Michael Horowitz is taking so long –- even with 700 investigators –- with his inspector general’s report is that he’s running into resistance from FBI Director Christopher Wray concerning the release of particular documents. As someone who has been doubtful for a long time of Wray’s commitment to draining the swamp, I can’t say I’m surprised. Add to that the fact that there is important news breaking virtually every day, and it’s hard to say when a report like Horowitz’s is ever “complete.”)
We already know that Steele has testified in a civil lawsuit in Britain that he couldn’t verify the material in the dossier –- he gave an estimate of “50-50” that it was true. Yet he spread it as far and wide as he could, even putting pressure on the FBI to use it, because he was desperate to make sure Trump didn’t get elected. We also know he shared that goal with the people in leadership positions at the FBI, CIA and DOJ. At this point, talking to Steele should be an effective way to address the allegations of a criminal conspiracy being led by senior U.S. government officials. Who needs Vladimir Putin to interfere in our election when you’ve got James Comey, John Brennan and the rest of that crowd?
Yesterday, I linked to a piece in THE HILL by John Solomon in which he posed ten questions to Hillary Clinton, several of which were in regard to her campaign’s relationship with Christopher Steele. Example: “Please identify each person in your campaign who was involved with, or aware of, hiring Fusion GPS, Glenn Simpson and Christopher Steele.” Another good one: “Please describe all contacts your campaign had before Election Day with or about the following individuals: Bruce Ohr, Nellie Ohr, Glenn Simpson, Christopher Steele, former Australian diplomat Alexander Downer, former foreign policy scholar Stephan Halper and Maltese academic Joseph Mifsud.” Since we don’t (yet) have Hillary under subpoena and testifying before John Durham –- though that needs to happen for sure –- Steele should be able to fill in some of those blanks.
Durham really does need to get Hillary in to testify about her campaign’s role in the whole “Russia” thing, but he no doubt wants to get everyone else on the record first. And this time, her testimony will be under oath and RECORDED for posterity. (What a radical idea.) This time, there won’t be any lost “302s.” This time, it’ll be a real investigation, not just a go-through-the-motions exercise with a predetermined outcome. Here’s that link to the questions again if you didn’t see it or would like to refresh:
Actually, there are many more questions than these that Hillary needs to be asked. They might not be listed here, but on that happy day when we hear Durham is finally going to interview her, I’ll present a list of my own. Some serious, some just for fun (that no doubt her attorneys would never let her answer).
In the meantime, we’ve got Steele, and as DiGenova said Tuesday in a piece for FOX News, “Steele could be the key to exposing the whole corrupt cabal that conspired to undermine then-candidate and later President Trump with wildly false allegations that culminated in the appointment of Special Counsel Robert Mueller.”
“If Steele spills the beans on his former handlers, DiGenova continued, “the resulting prosecutions of former high-level federal officials would make Watergate seem trivial by comparison.”
That observation is quite amusing in light of the fact that Democrats have been trying to conjure up the ghost of Watergate for their own benefit, even to the point of calling 80-year-old Watergate star witness John Dean –- who, in fairness, does have some personal experience with obstruction –- to testify on June 10 before Congress! Now, that’s desperate. But Dean told CNN that he thinks the Mueller report contains evidence that President Trump obstructed justice, so he’s front and center.
This might be one of those times to pop the popcorn and let the fun begin. It shouldn’t be hard for Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee to corner Dean into admitting the differences between the clear obstruction orchestrated BY HIM (suborning perjury, paying off people, etc.) during the Nixon administration and what the President is alleged to have done. Also, I find it interesting that Dean once testified to recommend the censure of then-President George W. Bush for conducting “unlawful surveillance of Americans contrary to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978.” How ironic that in this case, he’ll be testifying FOR the very people who are trying to protect officials who abused the FISA system to conduct surveillance on Americans who happened to be working with Trump’s campaign.