Since Attorney General William Barr announced he intends to dig deeper into the genesis of the Russiagate affair, things are getting frantic in Washington.
Desperate to avoid federal prison, the main players in the FBI attempted coup of the presidency can’t seem to find enough air time to defend their innocence or point a finger at each other.
Former FBI general counsel James Baker is a good case in point. Baker tried to deflect the blame from himself last Friday when he went on Chuck Todd’s MSNBC show, but ultimately admitted the “verified application” for spying on Donald Trump in 2016 went forward although it was not verified at all.
The Daily Caller reported last week that Baker was skeptical and “concerned” about the validity of the accusations made in the Steele dossier. Despite those concerns, Baker along with other FBI officials who reviewed the Carter Page surveillance warrant application did not stop but proceeded with their application for a FISA warrant.
British spy Christopher Steele has come under intense scrutiny following special counsel Robert Mueller’s report. After two years of inquiry, Mueller’s report demolished the foundation of Steele’s core accusation that a “well-developed conspiracy of co-ordination” existed between Trump and the Kremlin.
The first of four Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrants were granted against Page based primarily on unverified information in the Steele dossier. Baker told Chuck Todd on MSNBC:
“It was more information that we viewed, that I viewed, skeptically from the outset, and I was concerned about it and had a jaundiced eye, or looked at it with a jaundiced eye right from the outset.”
Baker protested that since Steele had previously been “a source that we thought was reliable” and his information was “alarming” the FBI took it “seriously.”
Baker further defended himself saying “we tried to vet it.”
Nothing could be further from the truth as Steele has since admitted he didn’t verify the information himself before passing it long to the Bureau.
Though Steele first provided his bogus information for the Trump investigation on July 5, 2016, it supposedly didn’t make its way to the FBI team investigating Trump until mid-September 2016.
By then Baker and the rest of the FBI team were aware Steele was funded by and working for the Democrat campaign. The bureau counsel also knew that Steele had told a Justice Department official he was “desperate” to see Trump defeated in the 2016 election.
As the top Justice Department official that handled FISA before joining the FBI, Baker had to know hiding where their information came from from a FISA judge was highly irresponsible if not criminal. He testified before Congress that his review for the Carter Page application was unusual because he “rarely reviewed FISA applications” in his FBI position.
When asked point blank whether or not he had used the Steele dossier to obtain other FISA warrants, Baker evaded the question saying, “I don’t think I should comment on that, I’m not sure what else the government has confirmed … I don’t want to confirm or deny anything about other potential FISA applications.”
Much of the finger pointing occurring between Baker and others are the result of a National Review article. National Review reported, due to their rush to offer an assessment of the Russia/Trump allegations, Obama-administration officials included Steele’s allegations in their “VERIFIED APPLICATION” for warrants from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC).
Baker’s defense is, believe it or not, because the allegations weren’t verified.
The reason Baker, former FBI Director James Comey, and others are squabbling over who promoted the dossier is obvious – a Clinton-campaign opposition research unvetted document, based on unnamed Russian sources compiled by a Democrat funded former British spy (Christopher Steele) – their whole premise has crumbled before their eyes.
Seven months after the Obama Justice Department and the FBI sought a FISA warrant to monitor Trump-campaign adviser Carter Page, Special Counsel Mueller inherited the convoluted case. The information in Steele’s dossier had already been determined to be “salacious and unverified” by James Comey.
So while Mueller proceeded with an investigation based on what the FBI already knew to false, the real culprits in collusion had time to run for the shadows and cover their tracks as best they could
Steele has identified two of his sources to be Russia’s former spy chief Vyacheslav Trubnikov and top Kremlin adviser Vladislav Surkov.
It appears that Steele was duped, and the dossier is a Russian disinformation operation that U.S. intelligence agencies fell for.
In the end, Democrats colluded with Russia in an attempt to illegally influence our presidential election.