Features Australia

Lesson One: don’t get caught

24 March 2018

9:00 AM

24 March 2018

9:00 AM

The dismissal of the FBI’s second-in-charge, Andrew McCabe, was not by President Trump, as several Australian outlets who bothered to report on this claimed. It was by the very careful Attorney-General Sessions, acting on findings by the respected and independent Office of Professional Responsibility and the Inspector General. The most serious was that he had lied under oath, a sackable offence in the FBI.

Once elected, Trump was entitled to believe that opposition would be little different from that given to other governments in a democracy. He could hardly have expected such a campaign of unprecedented viciousness, centred on baseless collusion allegations and supported by a media which have betrayed the status accorded to them by the constitution.

It is testament to the President’s strength that while fighting this, he has been more successful than most in achieving his agenda. It should not be forgotten that when he said he had been put under electronic surveillance, ‘wiretapped’, by the Obama administration, he was widely ridiculed. It is now accepted that the FBI  persuaded the court established under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, every 90 days, that there was ‘probable cause’ that a Trump advisor was a Russian spy engaging in criminal activities.

This was the tip of an iceberg, a massive conspiracy within the FBI and the Department of Justice to block Trump’s election and, failing that, to set in place ‘insurance’ which leading FBI officials say was discussed in McCabe’s office, to destroy the President.

Paradoxically, this was to be done by the Hillary Clinton campaign colluding with Russians, based on a model used by the Obama election campaign. This was to engage Fusion GPS to dig up dirt on the target, here Mitt Romney, with the cost being laundered as lawyers’ fees.

This time Fusion GPS was paid millions, similarly laundered, to have ex-MI6  Christopher Steele purchase dirt on Trump from Russia, including the ludicrous claim he hired prostitutes to urinate in a bed Obama had slept in. Steele’s task was to turn these inventions into what reads like an intelligence report, corroborated by ‘independent’ press stories  planted by him.

While FISA applications must be verified and the court fully informed, the FBI neither revealed that the dossier was unverified paid political dirt, nor that its corroboration was faked.

They also failed to reveal that they had since dismissed Steele for a breach of FBI rules. The truly damning thing is that the applications were signed and thus certified by different high officials, including sacked FBI chief, James Comey (who actually  told Trump the dossier was unverified), Andrew McCabe and significantly, Deputy Attorney General, Rod Rosenstein.

Comey had tried to ensure a special counsel be appointed into the collusion allegations by leaking memos of his side of conversations with Trump, just as the Attorney-General Jeff Sessions was pressured into unnecessarily recusing himself. This ensured the decision would ricochet to none other than his deputy, Rod Rosenstein. Without any evidence of a crime, Rosenstein rushed to appoint close colleague Rob Mueller with the widest terms of reference. Since then Rosenstein has allowed Mueller to go on unrelated fishing expeditions galore, while he studiously ignores all cases of likely collusion.

In addition to Clinton paying for the Russian-sourced Steele dossier, these include the case where, despite evidence of serious criminal activity, Russian interests were allowed by Mrs Clinton and other Obama officials to take a 20 per cent interest in the US uranium industry. That this was followed by Bill Clinton being paid $500,000 for a one-hour talk in Moscow and principals associated with the deal giving US$145 million to the Clinton Foundation seems not to interest Mueller who just happened to head the FBI at the time.

In the meantime, evidence continues to emerge revealing gross impropriety in senior circles of the FBI. Notwithstanding energetic attempts by Rosenstein to keep these secret, texts between Peter Strzok and his mistress, FBI lawyer Lisa Page, have proved a rich source. Strzok was chief investigator into the Clinton private email scandal and, until recently, the Russian collusion allegations.

If only the conspirators had learned how to escape scrutiny and an evidentiary trail from those Australian ministers who, when conspiring against Tony Abbott, used private servers and mobile apps to send messages which conveniently self-destruct after reading.

This could be used in the future not just to engage in the mortal sin of treachery against their prime minister but for ministers of the Crown as well as others, including lobbyists, to evade legal requirements to retain and make accessible records but also to engage in corrupt and illegal activities. This, in a democracy, is completely unacceptable. Surely the Senate should investigate this insidious practice.

To return to the Strzok-Page texts and other evidence of bureaucrats abusing their positions, these reveal an earlier plan to save Clinton as a candidate in the election. They show Strzok working with Comey on a letter exonerating her of using private emails to evade the law and congressional oversight written months  before she and other witnesses were actually examined. Hers was so cursory that no oath was taken nor transcript kept. The exonerating letter was amended to state that rather than being found to be ‘grossly negligent’ and thus guilty, Clinton  was merely ‘extremely careless’. Reference to Russian and foreign services successfully accessing the emails was also deleted. Mueller was equally unconcerned that over 30,000 emails subpoenaed by Congress were deleted and devices destroyed.

The latest revelation is of Strzok and Page’s planning improper contact with the FISA judge who accepted the guilty plea improperly extracted from General Flynn and who then, curiously, was recused or removed from the case with his replacement demanding the FBI reveal all their evidence.

There is no doubt that a second Special Counsel will soon be appointed to investigate these many scandals.

In the meantime  the lesson for the Australian and other Western media is to stop following the tainted and complicit American media. Just apply that sacred principle for all news reporting, that while comment is free, facts are sacred.

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