Bill Barr’s unstated Mission: Find ‘the Oranges’ of the Biden Connection … in authorizing the spying operation on Trump and his innocent associates. No one will publicly admit to this of course, given the Trump-club’s oath of secrecy.
It would be an Impossible Mission, were it not for the unchecked gullibility of the “Lock Them Up” Audience, that the Trump IMF team has to convince (to Win 2020).
Their not-so Impossible Mission: “Prove (imply, suggest) that the “Obama Administration” (which is synonymous with Joe Biden) unfairly targeted the Trump Campaign with illegal spying — all so that Hillary and her ‘secret Emails’ could Win the Election.”
The recording of this Mission has already “self-destructed” … somewhere in recesses of the Trump cloak-room.
Trump Gives Barr Green Light to Declassify Docs Related to FBI Campaign Surveillance
“The Attorney General has also been delegated full and complete authority to declassify information pertaining to this investigation, in accordance with the long-established standards for handling classified information,” the statement read. “Today’s action will help ensure that all Americans learn the truth about the events that occurred, and the actions that were taken, during the last Presidential election and will restore confidence in our public institutions.”
House Intelligence Committee chairman Adam Schiff lashed out at Trump in response to the memo, which he cast as part of the administration’s concerted effort to distract from the Mueller report itself by impugning the motivations of the investigators who eventually produced it.
Top Democrats have lambasted Barr for his use of the term “spying” to describe the surveillance the FBI conducted on the Trump campaign.
Trump gives AG William Barr new powers to release highly classified information related to Russia probe
Barr has already asked John Durham, the U.S. attorney in Connecticut, to examine the origins of the Russia investigation to determine whether intelligence and surveillance methods used during the probe were lawful and appropriate. Still, Barr has been directly involved, according to a person familiar with the matter who was not authorized to discuss it publicly, and is working with CIA Director Gina Haspel, Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats and FBI Director Christopher Wray.
Wray vocally opposed the release by Congress last year of details from a secret surveillance warrant obtained by the bureau on a former campaign adviser, Carter Page. The White House had eagerly encouraged Republicans on the House intelligence committee to disclose that classified information, believing it could help undermine the Russia investigation.
Wray, though cooperating with Barr in a review of the origins of the Russia probe, would presumably balk at declassifying classified information that could reveal sensitive sources or methods of investigators.
Dan Coat sent out this early ‘inoculating message’ — not that it will do an good against a Trump Devotee with “full and complete authority to declassify information” …
Adam Schiff, however has heard the warning shots over freedom’s bow …
DNI Feels Need To Express Confidence In Barr’s Secret-Keeping Skills
House Intelligence Committee chair Rep. Adam Schiff called Trump’s order a “corrupt escalation” of a bid to “weaponize and politicize the nation’s intelligence and law enforcement entities” in a Friday statement.
“The potential selective release of material that implicates sources and methods will undermine the Intelligence Community’s efforts to gather intelligence, including on future attacks on our elections as well as other key intelligence targets, putting not only sources at risk, but the nation’s security along with them,” Schiff said.
Trump’s order marks the latest in a series of escalating steps he’s taken towards investigating the investigators. That strategy began as a narrative that Republicans deployed to counter the Mueller investigation, alleging “spying” by the Obama Administration on the Trump campaign.
Since we will be hearing a lot about “the spying on Carter Page” in coming weeks and months, I thought a review was in order, for this Trump adviser, whom a Russian Agent once called ‘an idiot’ … (useful as he may have been).
Who is “Carter Page, PhD” — once a minor satellite in Trump’s orbit? (And then under investigation.)
Politico described Mr Page this way back in Sept 2016 …
Reporters quickly Googling found that Page is the founder and managing partner of an investment fund called Global Energy Capital, and that he claims to have years of experience investing in Russia and the energy sector. As for his connection to Trump, when Page was reached for comment by the New York Times the day after Trump’s big reveal, he said he had been sending policy memos to the campaign and the paper said he “will be advising Mr. Trump on energy policy and Russia.”
Funny, that this even guy was found his way on to the short-list, namely The Donald’s ‘hand-picked’ List of foreign policy advisors. I wonder who recommended him? [from CNN.com — Mar 21, 2016 ]
[…]“We can’t afford to do all of this anymore [support NATO],” Trump said. “That was a different time a different age.”Trump’s team of foreign policy advisers, led by Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions, consists of counter-terrorism expert Walid Phares, energy consultant George Papadopoulos, former Defense Department inspector general Joe Schmitz, managing partner of Global Energy Capital Carter Page and former Lt. Gen. Keith Kellogg. Trump spokeswoman Hope Hicks confirmed the names to CNN.
Carter Page was also someone however, soon to be thrown under the Trump Bus, along with Manafort and Flynn, and a whole cast of “compromised” back-channel conduits, and otherwise ‘Unloyal Soldiers’. (Comey, Tillerson, Mattis, etc.)
Page soon commented on his abrupt Trump dismissal — to the Russian Press:
Ex-Trump Adviser Carter Page Holds Press Conference at Sputnik HQ
Sputnik/ Grigori Sisoyev — 12.12.2016
[…] The new Washington administration will face a lot of challenges, a lot of things need to be done. Fake news are among the latest challenge the new administration will need to deal with.
“We have amazing potential right now and I’m proud to be part of it,” Carter Page said.
“A lot of attempts that Putin tries to do, like fighting terrorism, are ignored by international community,” Page said. Hovewer, Russia and US can cooperate in many spheres and need to overcome megative trends.
“Change is absolutely necessary today and we absolutely must work together. Each of our countries have major challenges that need to be urgently addressed. Syria, terrorism, economic growth,” Page told reporters in Moscow.
Speaking about Russia’s alleged meddling in the presidential election Carter Page said that the US administration should present hard evidence of it.
“They really need to show core evidence … It’s very easy to make it look like exactly it was country’s acts – in this case Russia that did this. So I think this is very much overestimated until there’s serious evidence,” Page told reporters.
Any wagers on how closely Bill Barr looks that this sequence of Carter Page deal-making events, when he was the Trump Russian-whisperer?
Memos: CEO of Russia’s state oil company offered Trump adviser, allies a cut of huge deal if sanctions were lifted
by Natasha Bertrand, Business Insider — Jan. 27, 2017
“[Igor] Sechin’s associate said that the Rosneft president was so keen to lift personal and corporate western sanctions imposed on the company, that he offered [Carter] Page and his associates the brokerage of up to a 19 per cent (privatised) stake in Rosneft,” the dossier said. “In return, Page had expressed interest and confirmed that were Trump elected US president, then sanctions on Russia would be lifted.”
Before Bill Barr is allowed to paint Carter Page, as some sort of ‘emissary-saint’ smeared by Fusion GPS, hired by Hillary — let’s take a look at this eye-brow raising report that was monitoring the ‘Code Red’, in real time, back in 2016 — long before the Steele Dossier was a thing:
U.S. intel officials probe ties between Trump adviser and Kremlin
The activities of Trump adviser Carter Page, who has extensive business interests in Russia, have been discussed with senior members of Congress during recent briefings about suspected efforts by Moscow to influence the presidential election, the sources said. After one of those briefings, Senate minority leader Harry Reid wrote FBI Director James Comey, citing reports of meetings between a Trump adviser (a reference to Page) and “high ranking sanctioned individuals” in Moscow over the summer as evidence of “significant and disturbing ties” between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin that needed to be investigated by the bureau.
Some of those briefed were “taken aback” when they learned about Page’s contacts in Moscow, viewing them as a possible back channel to the Russians that could undercut U.S. foreign policy, said a congressional source familiar with the briefings but who asked for anonymity due to the sensitivity of the subject. The source added that U.S. officials in the briefings indicated that intelligence reports about the adviser’s talks with senior Russian officials close to President Vladimir Putin were being “actively monitored and investigated.”
But U.S. officials have since received intelligence reports that during that same three-day trip, Page met with Igor Sechin, a longtime Putin associate and former Russian deputy prime minister who is now the executive chairman of Rosneft, Russian’s leading oil company, a well-placed Western intelligence source tells Yahoo News. That meeting, if confirmed, is viewed as especially problematic by U.S. officials because the Treasury Department in August 2014 named Sechin to a list of Russian officials and businessmen sanctioned over Russia’s “illegitimate and unlawful actions in the Ukraine.” (The Treasury announcement described Sechin as “utterly loyal to Vladimir Putin — a key component to his current standing.” At their alleged meeting, Sechin raised the issue of the lifting of sanctions with Page, the Western intelligence source said.
U.S. intelligence agencies have also received reports that Page met with another top Putin aide while in Moscow — Igor Diveykin. A former Russian security official, Diveykin now serves as deputy chief for internal policy and is believed by U.S. officials to have responsibility for intelligence collected by Russian agencies about the U.S. election, the Western intelligence source said.
And speaking of the Steel Dossier, exactly where was the Dossier proven wrong again? (Cohen has testified that he had dozen of “burner phones” — one of his phones could have easily been in Prague, even if he wasn’t.)
Much of this Dossier intel has be proven to be correct by the way. In spite of Trump’s (now accelerating) propaganda campaign to discredit it, to blame it, to leverage it …
We have also subsequently learned of Trump’s long-standing interest in, and experience with Russia and Russians. A February 2017 New York Times article reported that phone records and intercepted calls show that members of Trump’s campaign and other Trump associates had repeated contacts with senior Russian officials in the year before the election. The New York Times article was also corroborated by CNN and Reuters independent reports. And even Russian officials have acknowledged some of these and other repeated contacts. Although Trump has denied the connections, numerous credible reports suggest that both he and Manafort have long-standing relationships with Russians, and pro-Putin groups. In August 2017, CNN reported on “intercepted communications that US intelligence agencies collected among suspected Russian operatives discussing their efforts to work with Manafort…to coordinate information that could damage Hillary Clinton’s election prospects” including “conversations with Manafort, encouraging help from the Russians.”
We learned that when Carter Page traveled to Moscow in July 2016, he met with close Putin ally and Chairman of the Russian state oil company, Igor Sechin. A later Steele report also claimed that he met with Parliamentary Secretary Igor Divyekin while in Moscow. Renowned investigative journalist Michael Isikoff reported in September 2016 that U.S. intelligence sources confirmed that Page met with both Sechin and Divyekin during his July trip to Russia. What’s more, the Justice Department obtained a wiretap in summer 2016 on Page after satisfying a court that there was sufficient evidence to show Page was operating as a Russian agent.
Playing around with Intelligence Declassification has real-world consequences. Protecting “sources and methods” will not be high on Bill Barr’s priority list — Let the “Nunes Memo” be our Gopher-guide, in that respect.
The Fates Of 5 Men Connected To The Trump-Russia Dossier – Huffington Post
[…]Igor Diveykin. The former deputy head of the domestic politics department in Vladimir Putin’s presidential administration, who allegedly informed Carter Page of the compromising material on Mr. Trump held by Mr. Putin, soon after received a promotion. He is now the deputy chief of the State Duma Apparatus and chief administrator of Duma Affairs. He has told reporters in Russia that he wants to sue the U.S. media outlets that reported on his alleged meeting with Page. — Oddly, no such lawsuit has been forthcoming.
Igor Sechin. Sechin, a former deputy prime minister in Russia as well as the current head of its state oil company, remains in Putin’s good graces, having met with him as recently as a couple weeks ago. Unfortunately, Sechin is now without the services of his “closest associate”: Oleg Erovinkin.
Oleg Erovinkin. Erovinkin, Sechin’s “closest associate” and reportedly a “key liaison” between Sechin and Putin, was long “suspected of helping former MI6 spy Christopher Steele compile his dossier,” according to The Telegraph.
And guess what? He’s dead now.
Erovinkin was found slain in his car the day after Christmas—and was immediately removed to a morgue run by Russia’s FSB, the successor to the KGB.
Per The Telegraph, multiple media reports in Russia allege that the death was a murder.
It’s just another “coincidence” related to the Steele dossier that U.S. media has not yet seen fit to investigate.
Is there any doubt, that Bill Barr will forward selective “deep state” Intel to Trump; and then Trump will forward that to Putin, during one of their many ongoing back-channel (secret) meetings?
That more intelligence contacts, now still embedded in the Russian government, will ultimately suffer the same fate as Oleg Erovinkin? Putin would very much like those sort of outcomes.
What would prevent such a chain of events? The sudden growth of a moral or patriotic conscience within either Trump or Barr?
Don’t count on it. Their goal now is to clear Carter Page’s sullied name. And then hold to account anyone who suggested, or agreed to the orders that Carter Page be surveilled, back in 2016.
A “blameable” audience which may include “then-President Barack Obama, then-Vice President Joe Biden, and the nation’s top lawmakers,” and even Trump himself (according to the Business Insider link above), ALL of whom had 2016 de-briefings on the Steele Dossier.
Four months prior to that Dossier briefing however, independent US Intelligence sources, say they were already actively following Pages activities in Russia (as discussed by the Isikoff article).
They were hoping to find their direct access “in-roads” to Trump himself. (If only they would have known to just call, say Donald Jr cell-phone for instance, they could have saved a lot of time and effort.)
The Mueller Report Shows Why the Trump Campaign Was Such an Easy Target for Russia
Mueller’s report also provides an array of new details about how Russian government-linked individuals began “showing interest” in Trump associates almost as soon as Trump announced his presidential run in June 2015. […]
The report lays out in stunning detail how the Trump campaign’s hastily assembled foreign policy team—poorly staffed and consistently in disarray—ended up with several advisers who were especially easy targets. Staffers like Carter Page and George Papadopoulos, for example, were eager to prove their importance to the campaign by meeting with foreign business or government officials. And the Russians, encouraged by Trump’s apparent willingness to reset U.S.-Russia relations, were happy to oblige, approaching them through emails, phone calls, meetings and trips abroad.
Papadopoulos’ rapid rise and fall is one striking example. Trump campaign chairman Sam Clovis, who was tasked with quickly assembling a foreign policy team from scratch, hired Papadopoulos after a quick Google search into the 28-year-old’s credentials. A short time later, the inexperienced Papadopoulos connected with Joseph Mifsud, a Maltese professor in London. Mifsud, who investigators say has “substantial” ties to the Kremlin, met with Papadopoulos again 10 days later along with a woman he introduced as Putin’s niece, to discuss arranging a meeting between Trump and Putin. Despite having just met him, the report shows Papadopoulos emailed campaign officials boasting of his “very productive lunch with a good friend of mine, Joseph Mifsud” who had offered to serve as an intermediary to set up a meeting with Russian officials.
The report also found that the Russians, while willing to cast a wide net, were also quick to weed out contacts they considered less useful.
Take Page, for example. Russian intelligence officials, who had a relationship with Page from his time working in Russia in 2008 and 2013, were initially enthusiastic about using him as a way into the Trump campaign, according to the report. The officials invited Page to give a high-profile commencement address at the New Economic School in Moscow, which told investigators that “the interest in inviting Page to speak at NES was based entirely on his status as a Trump Campaign advisor.” But the shine soon wore off as Russian officials found that he could not get them much access. Putin spokesman Dmitry Peskov dismissed the possibility of a high-level meeting with him, writing in an email, “I have read about [Page]. Specialists say that he is far from being the main [adviser]. So I better not initiate a meeting in the Kremlin.”
By May 2016, Papadopoulos relayed the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs were “open for cooperation,” and forwarded a note to Manafort when he became chairman of Trump’s campaign in May 2016. […]
If Barr is really going to find “the oranges” of the Russia Investigation — perhaps he had better start with the GRU itself, because it sure seems like those guys had a lot of interest in the inner workings of the Trump Campaign.
“Workings” such as the Trump “Midwest strategy,” that Campaign operatives were soon to provide to their “GRU Guy” contact:
[page 148 of the Mueller Report]
Second, Manafort briefed Kilimnik on the state of the Trump Campaign and Manafort’s plan to win the election.  That briefing encompassed the Campaign’s messaging and its internal polling data. According to Gates, it also included discussion of “battleground” states, which Manafort identified as Michigan, Wisconsin, and Minnesota. 
[pg 129 of the Mueller Report]
Manafort had connections to Russia through his prior work for Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska and later through his work for a pro-Russian regime in Ukraine. Manafort stayed in touch with these contacts during the campaign period through Konstantin Kilimnik, a longtime Manafort employee who previously ran Manafort’s office in Kiev and who the FBI assesses to have ties to Russian intelligence. Manafort instructed Rick Gates, his deputy on the Campaign and a longtime employee,  to provide Kilimnik with updates on the Trump Campaign-including internal polling data, although Manafort claims not to recall that specific instruction. Manafort expected Kilimnik to share that information with others in Ukraine and with Deripaska. Gates periodically sent such polling data to Kilimnik during the campaign. 
These “spying activities” no doubt, will not rise to the level of Barr’s Intelligence-Red-Alerts.
Why would they? They’ve already “gotten away” with those Anti-American/Pro-Trump activities.
And they’ve got bigger Trump-opponent “fish” to malign, this next time around …
Like: “Why did Joe Biden ‘OK the spying’ on Papadopoulos and Page?”
Say hello to the new ‘Hillary-Emails’ canard … this time it will be calls of stopping the “Biden Spy Ring” … that will rally the lemmings to the Pied-piper fate.
— — —
Lightweight, he is not. In the tank for Trump, he is. Very much so.
This is a Creative Commons article. The original version of this article appeared here.