April 24, 2020

Remember, when most of the news is, “all coronavirus, all the time,” much more of consequence is still going on. In addition to bringing you virus news, we’ve been trying to call attention to the stories that, without COVID-19 sucking all the air out of the room, would rightly be front and center. And there’s a stunning story that broke last night about British ex-spy and creative anti-Trump fiction writer Christopher Steele.

Chuck Ross of THE DAILY CALLER NEWS FOUNDATION has obtained the transcript to a deposition from March 17-18 by Christopher Steele for a defamation case in Britain related to the “dossier.” This was a suit brought against Steele by the owners of Alfa Bank –- Petre Aven, German Khan, and Mikhail Fridman –- over a memo in the “dossier” that claimed they had made payments to Vladimir Putin. Their lawyer, Hugh Tomlinson, was challenging Steele on the accuracy of that memo, and also his relationship with his “primary sub-source” for the information.

Since the IG report contains a rebuttal from Steele’s lawyers that mentions recordings and documents “meticulously” backing up his information, Tomlinson asked Steele about their existence. Conveniently, they do NOT exist; it’s impossible now to say how “meticulous” they were. And the source himself has testified to the FBI that Steele exaggerated and/or misrepresented what he had said, which was only “rumor and speculation.” Here’s how the questioning of Steele by Alfa Bank’s lawyers went:

Q: (Tomlinson) The “Primary Sub-Source’s” debriefings by Orbis [Steele’s company] were meticulously documented and recorded.

A: (Steele) At the time.

Q: But none of these documents exist, so they have all been destroyed.

A: At the time, Mr. Tomlinson, when we wrote the report.

Q: But you say it was meticulous, but no one is in a position to check that because the records don’t exist.

A: They no longer exist, but that is my assertion, indeed, my assertion under oath.

Further questioning revealed that Steele retained no contemporaneous emails or notes except for those with the FBI. He had used a personal email account for everything related to the Fusion GPS project, and those records were deleted.

And, specifically, the notes for “Report 112,” the memo on Alfa Bank, were not kept.

Q: You have no record of anything, have you?

A: I haven’t got any records relating to the creation of 112.

Q: Or indeed, any of the other memoranda?

A: No, THEY WERE WIPED IN EARLY JANUARY 2017. [Emphasis mine.]

It's true: communications with Fusion GPS on his company’s computer network were wiped on January 5, 2017. A Hushmail account he’d used in late December 2016 was also wiped. And no, I don’t mean, like “with a cloth.”

It was five days later that BUZZFEED published the “dossier.”

As Chuck Ross reports, Steele’s source allegedly used a number of contacts inside and outside of Russia to gather tips about Donald Trump, his associates, and Kremlin officials. Steele said the Trump campaign took part in a “well-coordinated conspiracy of cooperation” with the Russians to influence the 2016 election. After almost two years of investigating, the special counsel found no evidence of such a conspiracy, and newly declassified footnotes from IG Horowitz’ report shows that the FBI was well aware that Steele might have been receiving Russian disinformation.

Specifically, they suspected the stories regarding Michael Cohen’s trip to Prague and Trump’s antics with hookers at a Moscow hotel were false. (And, indeed, they were.)

But that didn’t stop them from using these stories and the rest of the unverified garbage in Steele’s “dossier.” They swore the information was VERIFIED when they applied to the FISA Court for a warrant to spy on Trump campaign associate Carter Page.

Even during the Alfa Bank testimony, Steele would not reveal the name of his primary source. Whoever it was, they had done business with Orbis for “several years.” Steele said his sources got paid retainers of $3,000 to $5,000 a month. Nice work, a little extra money for making up stuff.

And now, all the records of any of this appear to be gone.

Ross’s report doesn’t go into this, but I assume Alfa Bank’s defamation lawsuit might also relate to the completely debunked story about computer “pings” emanating from their bank tower to signal between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin. Yes, there were lots of anti-Trumpers who thoroughly bought into this ridiculous story, with no evidence at all.

For context, here’s Ross’s report from December of last year on the rebuttal by Steele’s attorneys of the IG report. It’s kind of funny in light of what we’ve just learned to read that “the lawyers did not say what, if anything, Steele plans to do with the recordings of the source.” The humor derives from the fact that STEELE HAD ALREADY GOTTEN RID OF THEM, all the way back in January of 2017. Pretty good joke, except that the joke was on all of us. I hope Alfa Bank cleans up big on this lawsuit. But, hey, where does President Trump go to sue?

Incidentally, remember when I recently asserted that not only did the Russians NOT want to help Trump, but they wanted to help Hillary win (not just “create chaos,” as we always hear)? Well, David Krayden, also of the DAILY CALLER NEWS FOUNDATION, has just written about that very thing.

As you likely know, the report submitted Tuesday by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence supports the U.S. intel community’s assessment, back in January of 2017, that Russia “meddled” in the 2016 election to help Trump win. This conclusion seems extremely illogical, considering that the particular stories the FBI suspected were Russian misinformation –- the Michael Cohen trip to Prague and the prostitutes in the Moscow hotel –- were extremely damaging to Trump.

As Krayden notes, the committee released the document in a highly edited form that does not include any reference to the recently declassified files that point to a Russian disinformation campaign.

Former CIA officer and National Security Council Chief of Staff Fred Fleitz wrote an op-ed for FOX NEWS that addresses the flaws in this report, pointing out that its findings directly contradict those of the House Intelligence Committee from March 2018. Given all that we know, I would agree with Fleitz and go with the House findings that the intel community’s findings were tainted by anti-Trump forces. Most notable among the problems with the Senate report cited by Fleitz is its over-reliance on the potentially politically-charged observations of the CIA.

Fleitz calls former CIA Director John Brennan “the most politicized intelligence chief in American history.” He says that Brennan relied on “low-quality intelligence that failed to meet intelligence community standards [the Steele dossier?] to support the claim that Russian officials wanted Trump to win...” and “suppressed high-quality intelligence suggesting that Putin actually wanted the more predictable and malleable Clinton to win the 2016 election.”

Thank you! As I’ve said, this is the only conclusion that makes sense.

So, why did the Senate committee come to the opposite conclusion as the House and endorse John Brennan’s narrative that the Russians wanted to help Trump win? Fleitz speculates about that in his superb op-ed, a must-read. He says that the vice chairman, Democrat Sen. Mark Warner of Virginia, essentially ran the show. Well, that would explain a lot.

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Comments 1-25 of 35

  • Dolores Benton

    04/26/2020 10:25 AM

    I am using this opportunity to speak to you about something else. It appears to me there are too many opportunities for failure in our election system because we are so "involved" with the Coronavirus as we have to be. Full attention needs to be on the election; too much room for corruption. It is bad enough when everyone is focused on it. Could it be delayed or cancelled for now? Isn't this a "war" we are fighting? We need and for the most part have "All Hands On Deck" and no place for partisan interference. People need to go to the poll, show their ID, and vote once.
    Dolores Benton

  • Jim Ross Lightfoot MC (ret)

    04/24/2020 10:26 PM

    Governor, you always seem to get to the core of a story. As an ex-journalist I appreciate your search for the facts and verification.

    The Democrats have been using these less than honest tactics for years. Each year they seem to get bolder and bolder at just outright lying to the American people.

    Back in 1996 when I ran against Sen Tom Harkin he sent his people from Iowa all the way down to Corsicana, TX.

    His goons went to the Navarro County Court House and dug through my divorce records looking for something to trash me with.

    Finding nothing, they took some of the official documents with them. This was against law.

    These documents were copied and then resurfaced in the in-boxes of the media in Iowa.

    The major problem was they had altered the dates on the documents. They were peddling the story that our son was illegitimate and they had the documentation to back it up.

    He isn’t.

    This is one of nicer things the Democrats did to us.

    Another of their tactics is running negative ads against you accusing you of doing something you didn’t do and would never consider doing. Nine times out of ten what they are accusing you of is exactly what they are doing!

    The list goes on and on. Not enough time to list them all tonight.

    Governor, keep up your good work of ripping the masks off of these bad actors. Politics is rough and tumble, but it doesn’t need all the shenanigans that have become the order of the day. Highly paid political consultants are also a part of this mix.

    God bless,

  • Marshall.h.peterson

    04/24/2020 06:32 PM

    Excellent spade work

  • Marian E. Jacoby

    04/24/2020 06:23 PM

    Good evening! I am a volunteer for the Trump campaign. If you have any influence, please tell President Trump to be briefer when he answers questions from the media. Too many Republicans are telling me that the virus updates each night are too long and too repetitive. Also, "new" viewers feel Trump makes his answers all about himself. He repeats over and over about how wonderful he has been with exaggerated adjectives. I have so much respect for President Trump, but the style of his nightly updates are not going to get him re-elected. He is so close to being a respected success by many Democrats as well as Republicans, but the only person who can cause him to lose is himself. Sigh... Also, please check out the interview of Dr. Rashid Buttar by Next News Network. Dr. Buttar is pretty convincing. If he is correct, heaven help us! When will we get the truth about what has happened to us? Yikes! You Tube just removed the Buttar interview. This is getting really scary. His website: Centers for Advanced Medicine. Have him on your show? Thank you!

  • William Schlumpf

    04/24/2020 05:46 PM

    iTs hard to believe that Brennan relied on low level intelligence or any other. It is clear that the operators of this hoax were well aware of what they were doing and low level intelligence was the best they could fabricate, hence the destruction of "evidence ".

  • HelenC

    04/24/2020 05:24 PM

    How President Trump stays sane, I’ll never know. Dotty Biden can’t function yet is revered by media. President Trump is constantly hassled by gotcha questions that are just plain stupid. Wish sound would cut off the instant press conference ends. I abhor the screechy female voices yelling out questions after the President leaves the podium. I can’t understand what they’re screaming out. What r they trying to accomplish? That being said I did enjoy President Trump complimenting Jim Acosta. At least Jim doesn’t scream.

  • Gaye Harris

    04/24/2020 03:47 PM there any way you are ready to use another version of the Bible? The King James is very hard to read/understand as we don't talk like that anymore. The NASB is the closest to the originals and is very easy to understand. If an old Baptist preacher can't change his ways...(hahaha) I was raised in the Baptist church! … then can you possibly print both versions? Just asking! I love you Gov Huckabee! Keep up your great work. All I've ever needed to keep up with the news is you and Rush! I haven't had a tv for MANY years! Have not missed it because you two cover everything, with honest reporting, that I need to know!

  • Debby Hoyman

    04/24/2020 02:59 PM

    Has anyone checked Hillary's phone records yet - so convenient for this to have happened since she did the same with hers. It's all interconnected, one way or another.

  • Tim Zahn

    04/24/2020 02:16 PM

    I live in a very rural part of NW New Mexico. I have a question for you. Our governor deployed the National Guard to Gallup, NM. They were deployed in 2 of our grocery stores in Gallup. WHY ? Could this have something to do with fear mongering circulating that our food supply chain is threatened as rumors persist.
    I see it as ALL POLITICAL in my humble opinion as a show of force under the disguise of keeping the Navajo Nation quarantined and under a curfew. She has closed all gun stores and extended the stay at home order until May 15th being the anti gun, democratic governor that she is. She used her middle name "Lujan" to garner the Hispanic vote and giving "freebies" to the tribe in the way of 400 lbs of food to garner their votes in the next election just as Obama and his "free phones". No help here for us senior citizens living on Social Security other than more restrictions and bare shelves at our only Walmart and other stores in Gallup with the Guard roaming around in the aisles.

  • Stephen R. Kelley

    04/24/2020 02:14 PM

    Hello Mr. Huckabee,
    These questions may have been addressed previously and I just missed them: Why has Mr. Steele not been forced to testify at any hearings. Why has he not been charged for submitting fraudulent information that has cost taxpayers millions of dollars in investigations? Can the President sue him for defamation?

  • Carl "T" Smith

    04/24/2020 01:00 PM

    Houston TX ( my x-hometown) has steadily moved left following Austin's lead as more and more 'foreigners' from rust belt and Kalifornika move into my state bringing the same failed politics that RUINED their home states with them, including the traffic. There is more than one way to dumb down society than academia!!
    The CCP virus has gotten out of control BECAUSE of the Media in their quest to fill the 24/7 news cycle and since most or left of Marx the result is what we are witness to. Kill the economy because 0.01413% of Americas population has died and I'm not sure all are purely due to the virus since ALL cases are attributed to the virus even if the death was to a 90 year old with Heart disease and COPD? Not trying to downplay the loss of life but it the left is that concerned how about considering the 0.3625% killed by abortion? I could list auto accidents and gun deaths @ 0.000135% but that doesn't fit the narrative of demeaning Trump and killing the economy because the media MUST have something to rid America of the Usurper in the WH.

  • Floyd A Unger

    04/24/2020 12:59 PM

    I sure do hope that this all comes out and grows loud and clear as we come up to the election. America can’t survive leadership by “Puppet” Joe or incompetent “Ego” head Michelle.

  • Barney Flint

    04/24/2020 12:50 PM

    Now can the powers that be get on the wagon and put these slime balls in the suitable enclosure? It is so ridiculous that the American people have been put through all this insane investigating. I can only hope that Durhams soon (i pray) to be released report and indictments, hold up. I also fear that he might have a terrible accident before that report sees the light of day. If that happens, I will be looking for a place to hide after stocking up on food and water. There might be a lead dispensing device or two also. Problem with all of that is I do not have the money to provision such an abode. So, I will have do the best I can and pray that saner heads prevail.
    Thanks for all your insight and keeping us informed.
    Bless you and yours.

  • Barbara Dempsey

    04/24/2020 12:31 PM

    Sorry, I can't adult today!

  • Tom Alstadt

    04/24/2020 12:17 PM

    Hopefully Durham will reveal the corruption that took place in the intelligence agencies and the Democrat party and bring them to justice. NSA Director Admiral Michael Rogers reported the FISA crime to the IG and quickly disappeared. It will be interesting to see if he is interviewed by Durham.

  • Vernon Thompson

    04/24/2020 12:12 PM

    How do you get so many high level people to be so committed to a conspiracy to remove the President? This is not just a few people! In addition you have the bulk of the MSM following the teachings of Joseph Goebbels and Saul Alinski to make it happen. I understand how Democrats benefit because their objective is power and control. What does the MSM get that allows them to be so openly unapologetically dishonest?

  • Kay DeWitt

    04/24/2020 11:38 AM

    I think I already wrote what I am about to say in an earlier comment, but I am going to say it again....If it, eventually, can be proven...without a shadow of a doubt...that the Russians were supporting Hilary, and NOT Trump, it makes for a million dollar story that needs to be TOLD and HEARD!....BECAUSE....

    It has enough "meat" to make for a good book and it has enough EVIL to inspire a Christian....who has enough passion and fire in his preach a sermon that could bring down a TRUE revival!....unlike the "counterfeit revival" that Rodney Howard -Browne was involved in!....The difference will be that if there is TRUE revival, Christians will be weeping, and travailing in prayer, because OF the kind of evil that these Democrats have been involved in...therefore, they, unlike those involved in Howard-Browne's revival, will not be getting "drunk in the spirit" on " holy laughter " that leads them to get on the floor and wrythe like snakes!

  • Gary Bobbitt

    04/24/2020 11:35 AM

    Naturally Mark Warner ran the show. His republican counterpart on the committee was none other than my senator - Richard Burr, the criminal who used insider trading to profit from intel briefings. What a sleaze bag. I hope he goes to jail. He won't though because of our two tiered legal system. Keep up the good work governor...

  • LW Mitchell

    04/24/2020 11:30 AM

    After this investigation concludes if the big dogs do not receive hefty fines and many years of prison time We are lost as a country.I mean, just what would it take to find justice again.Anyway it shakes Out the devil is alive and well.

  • Rexford O Ames

    04/24/2020 11:23 AM

    And the beat goes on. On another subject. Judges that make decisions for a community not LAW.
    Thank you for exposing themselves. Now we know who not to vote for in the upcoming elections. Oh, and by the way. This so called shut down is a phony as a 3 dollar bill. There are Two (2) dollar bills . First it was the Russians? Then it was Trump? Then it was England? Then it was Impeachment? Now it's Coronanvirus -19.
    That election in (2016)_ must have cost the Communists a lot of Money, Via the Democrat Party.
    The enemy is determined to destroy our way of life , in any manner they can! China is not our friend, any more than Russia is! The issue is: do we accept defeat or NOT?

  • JC Holland

    04/24/2020 11:09 AM

    Any truth to the stories that Dr. F. and Obama sent a 3.7m grant to China to study viruses and then Dr. F. started predicting the next administration would face a pandemic?
    If true, seems like Obama and the good doctor should be in jail.

  • Doug Morgan

    04/24/2020 11:03 AM

    Democrat Sen. Mark Warner of Virginia, essentially ran the show! I don't think any republican in congress had an opportunity to "run the show" during the Shifty ShiF impeachment production! In another era, BTWF (before the Wuhan Flu) I seem to recall that Republicans were the majority in the Senate! How was it that a democrat was allowed to "run the show?" Yes, I am a Republican and will continue to vote that way but only because they are the least of the two evils. Mostly talk, very little action!

  • Ed Thompson

    04/24/2020 11:03 AM

    I’ve been telling anyone who will listen that this current situation will be a great opportunity for the “swamp people” to get out of Dodge and go full speed ahead and do what they do best— cause problems for the President without worry about any press coverage or buried in the farthest reaches of the news paper or not reported at all on tv or radio. Seeing Nasty Pelosi now dressing up as the Doctor, the scarfs, is so laughable it should remind everyone how these people live off the ideas of good people and try to take credit for others hard work. Just another attempt by her to be front and center trying to look like the person who has been doing everything to help everyone. We can not be allowed to forget about everything that was going on before this pandemic hit. DONT FORGIT what was going on before it hit. That’s exactly what they are banking on. Stay vigilante, aware, alert, and knowledgeable everyone.

  • Hey Ron Raggio

    04/24/2020 10:40 AM

    I think the the rich and powerful have and will continue to get away with crimes against the people. Especially if your a politician, the system is to corrupt

  • Robin Rebhan

    04/24/2020 10:36 AM

    I do " Data Recovery " for family and friends, and have recovered data off computers for a few not for profits. So far I've 100% successful.
    Anything deleted from a computer can be recovered. Even if the computer is " lost or stolen ", data can still be recovered from internet provider, main frame computer, disks, and can be recovered from another computer via emails, downloads, internet provider on the receivers end and whomever they forwarded emails to. And the " Cloud " too, the cloud is quite the tattle tale.
    Bottom line, anything on the internet may as well be posted on billboards on I-95 from Maine to Florida.
    And by the way the Feds can go even deeper than I can into a hard drive and the internet than I can. The FBI could easily have recovered Hillary's emails and Steele's as well.
    Bet you guys haven't heard the FBI or NSC ( the place in Md. with all those big dish thingy things on their lawn ) saying any of this!
    Maybe I should open a business. I could make a fortune on the beltway alone ;-)