Just a few of the highlights from the Senate Intelligence Report — Volume 5, just released on Tuesday. It is a bi-partisan report. It is quite damning, in the context of Bill Barr’s “no collusion” gas-lighting efforts.
READ: Senate Intelligence panel’s fifth volume of Russia investigation report
CNN — August 18, 2020
[snippets and emphasis provided by this poster — after a quick scan of its content.]
[…] The Committee found that [Oleg] Deripaska conducts influence operations, frequently in countries where he has a significant economic interest. The Russian government coordinates with and directs Deripaska on many of his influence operations.
Manafort hired and worked increasingly closely with a Russian national, Konstantin Kilimnik. Kilimnik is a Russian intelligence officer. Kilimnik became an integral part of Manafort’s operations in Ukraine and Russia, serving as Manafort’s primary liaison to Deripaska and eventually managing Manafort’s office in Kyiv. Kilimnik and Manafort formed a close and lasting relationship that endured to the 2016 U.S. elections. and beyond.
The Committee found that Manafort’s presence on the Campaign and proximity to Trump created opportunities for Russian intelligence services to exert influence over, and acquire confidential information on, the Trump Campaign. Taken as a whole, Manafort’s high level access and willingness to share information with individuals closely affiliated with the Russian intelligence services, particularly Kilimnik and associates of Oleg Deripaska, represented a grave counterintelligence threat.
Hack and Leak
The Committee found that Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the Russian effort to hack computer networks and accounts affiliated with the Democratic Party and leak information damaging to Hillary Clinton and her campaign for president. Moscow’s intent was to harm the Clinton Campaign, tarnish an expected Clinton presidential administration, help the Trump Campaign after Trump became the presumptive Republican nominee, and undermine the U.S. democratic process.
While the GRU and WikiLeaks were releasing hacked documents, the Trump Campaign sought to maximize the impact of those leaks to aid Trump’s electoral prospects. Staff on the Trump Campaign sought advance notice about WikiLeaks releases, created messaging strategies to promote and share the materials in anticipation of and following their release, and encouraged further leaks. The Trump Campaign publicly undermined the attribution of the hack-and-leak campaign to Russia and was indifferent to whether it and WikiLeaks were furthering a Russian election interference effort. The Committee found no evidence that Campaign officials received an authoritative government notification that the hack was perpetrated by the Russian government before October 7, 2016, when the ODNI and DHS issued a joint statement to that effect. However, the Campaign was aware of the extensive media reporting and other private sector attribution of the hack to Russian actors prior to that point.
The Transition Team repeatedly took actions that had the potential, and sometimes the effect, of interfering in the Obama Administration’s diplomatic efforts. […] Russia may have deferred response to the sanctions the Obama Administration put in place in late December because of Flynn’s intervention and promise of a new relationship with the Trump administration.
Also during the transition, several Russian actors not formally associated with the Russian Government attempted to establish contact with senior members of the Transition Team. […] One such contact was Rick Gerson, a hedge fund manager and friend of Kushner’s. Gerson and Dmitriev constructed a five-point plan on how to improve relations between Russia and the U.S. and presented it to the Transition Team and the Kremlin, respectively. Dmitriev also made contact with Erik Prince, who passed on the contents of the discussions to Steve Bannon. Separately, Bob Foresman, an American businessman living in Moscow who sought a position in the Trump Administration, conveyed brief messages between the Trump Campaign and several Kremlin-linked individuals, including Putin confidant Matthias Wamig, and provided other information relating to the U.S.-Russia relationship during the Transition.
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While the GRU and WikiLeaks were coordinating the release of hacked DNC, DCCC, and Podesta documents, Trump and senior Campaign officials sought information relating to “missing” Hillary Clinton emails as part of the Campaign’s opposition research and press strategies. Beginning in April or May 2016, Roger Stone repeatedly conveyed to Trump and senior Campaign staff that WikiLeaks would be releasing information damaging to Clinton. After the July 22 WikiLeaks release, Trump and senior Campaign officials believed Stone had access to non-public information about WikiLeaks’s ability and intent to release emails harmful to Clinton.
Thereafter, Trump directed Campaign officials to stay in touch with Roger Stone about future WikiLeaks activities regarding Clinton-related emails. Manafort in tum tasked Stone to contact Julian Assange, and Stone endeavored to reach Assange through several intermediaries. Stone reported back to senior Campaign officials and· associates, and to Trump directly, and provided advance information about another expected release relating to John Podesta, which he said would be damaging to Clinton. After WikiLeaks published the Podesta emails on October 7, Trump and the Campaign believed Stone had again acquired accurate, nonpublic information. The Committee could not reliably trace the provision of non-public information from WikiLeaks to Stone, and as a result. could not evaluate the full scope of Stone’s non-public knowledge of WikiLeaks’s activities.
The Trump Campaign strategically monitored and promoted the WikiLeaks releases of John Podesta’s emails from October 7 until the election. The Campaign tried to cast doubt on the October 7 joint DHS/ODNI assessment formally attributing the activity to Russia, and was indifferent to the significance of acquiring, promoting, or disseminating materials from a Russian intelligence services hack-and-leak campaign.
It kind of puts the whole “good guy” Roger Stone commutation in a brand new light.
It should put the eventual attempt to pardon “misunderstood” Manafort, in a whole new light too.
nothing something about the role Bill Barr played in this Collusion “cover-up” effort
In his mid-week statement, Robert Mueller not only clarified the conclusion of his Report [pg 182, Vol II of II]:
[…] Based on the facts and the applicable legal standards, we are unable to reach that judgment. Accordingly, while this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him.
But Mueller also warned us TWICE about the “threats” that faced our nation in 2016, and very real “threats” that still face us, as look ahead for next election, to somehow ‘right the ship’ …
[…] Russian intelligence officers who were part of the Russian military launched a concerted attack on our political system.
The indictment alleges that they used sophisticated cyber techniques to hack into computers and networks used by the Clinton campaign. They stole private information, and then released that information through fake online identities and through the organization WikiLeaks. The releases were designed and timed to interfere with our election and to damage a presidential candidate.
And at the same time, as the grand jury alleged in a separate indictment, a private Russian entity engaged in a social media operation where Russian citizens posed as Americans in order to interfere in the election.
I will close by reiterating the central allegation of our indictments—that there were multiple, systematic efforts to interfere in our election.
That allegation deserves the attention of every American.
Thank you Robert Mueller for that history recap and for the future warnings — and the attempt to clear away the Bill Barr smoke-screen, and his “No Collusion” white-wash press conferences — with no corroborating evidence.
It was almost like the nation left its back door wide open.
Sad thing is, no one has yet managed to lock it. … From Putin’s on-going prying efforts.
Here are the links to searchable versions of the Senate Intelligence Reports.
From the Chicago Tribune, here are searchable PDFs of Vol. 1-5
This is PDF of Vol. 5 from the report: