Saturday, July 29, 2017

Fusion GPS and the #ProfessionalLiar Media: A Match Made in Moscow!

"...and if you help me with Iran, I'll be your human doormat. Deal?"
Via Powerline, Kimberly Strassel:

"We know that at the exact time Fusion was working with the Russians, the firm had also hired a former British spy, Christopher Steele, to dig up dirt on Mr. Trump. Mr. Steele compiled his material, according to his [Trump Dossier] memos, based on allegations from unnamed Kremlin insiders and other Russians. Many of the claims sound eerily similar to the sort of “oppo” [former Soviet counterintelligence officer] [Rinat] Akhmetshin peddled. [Akhmetshin attended the June 2016 Trump Tower meeting with Donald Trump, Jr., Paul Manafort and Jared Kushner.]

We know that [GPS Fusion co-founder Glenn] Simpson is tight with Democrats. His current attorney, Joshua Levy, used to work in Congress as counsel to no less than Chuck Schumer. We know from a [Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck] Grassley letter that Fusion has in the past sheltered its clients’ true identities by filtering money through law firms or shell companies (Bean LLC and Kernel LLC).

Word is Mr. Simpson has made clear he will appear for a voluntary committee interview only if he is not specifically asked who hired him to dig dirt on Mr. Trump. Democrats are going to the mat for him over that demand. Those on the Judiciary Committee pointedly did not sign letters in which Mr. Grassley demanded that Fusion reveal who hired it.

Here’s a thought: What if it was the Democratic National Committee or Hillary Clinton’s campaign? What if that money flowed from a political entity on the left, to a private law firm, to Fusion, to a British spook, and then to Russian sources? Moreover, what if those Kremlin-tied sources already knew about this dirt-digging, tipped off by Mr. Akhmetshin? What if they specifically made up claims to dupe Mr. Steele, to trick him into writing this dossier?".......

Legal Insurrection:

GRAHAM: You believe that Fusion GPS should have registered under FARA because they were acting on behalf of the Russians?
BROWDER: That’s correct.
GRAHAM: I want to absorb that for a moment. The group that did the dossier on President Trump hired this British spy, wound up getting it to the FBI. You believe they were working for the Russians.
BROWDER: And in the spring and summer of 2016, they [Fusion GPS] were receiving money indirectly from a senior Russian government official.
GRAHAM: Okay. So these are the people that were trying to undermine Donald Trump by showing he had nefarious ties to Russia. Is that what you’re saying?
BROWDER: Well, what I’m saying with 100% certainty is that they were working to undermine the Magnitsky Act.
Then Graham brings up lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya:
GRAHAM: Is she working for the Russians?
BROWDER: She is definitely working for the Russians. No question about it.
GRAHAM: So here’s the deal in June of last year. Allegedly she is meeting with Donald Trump, Jr., and the premise of the meeting was the Russian government’s behind Trump and you need to meet with these people. They can help your campaign and Trump says I love it and they met with this lady. Is that the general idea what happened last June?
BROWDER: That’s apparently what was reported happened in June.
GRAHAM: So she’s working for the Russians and she’s trying to communicate with her oligarch friends that the Russians are on Trump’s side. Got an email to that effect.
BROWDER: Right. Yes.
GRAHAM: Is it common for Russia to play both sides against the middle?
BROWDER: Yes. What you need to understand about the Russians is there is no ideology at all. They’re just in the business, Vladimir Putin, is in the business of trying to create chaos.
GRAHAM: You’ve looked at this closer than anybody I know. You believe Fusion GPS is actually backed by the Russians. They’re trying to find dirt on Trump. You believe this Russian lawyer Natalia is working for the Russians, she has been introduced to Don, Jr., by a business partner of the Trumps, saying the Russian government’s behind you, they want to help you, you need to meet with this lady. That’s kind of interesting."

And the Clintons oppo$ed the Magnitsky  Act--just like their employer Vladimir Putin! Free Beacon:

"Hillary Clinton opposed Russia sanctions in 2010 when her husband, former President Bill Clinton, was paid to give a speech at the Russian bank Renaissance Capital, Fox News reports.
The bank was connected to the fraud case that led to the sanctions posed by the Magnitsky Act, and after the former president gave the speech, Russian President Vladimir Putin called him to say thanks.".......

Ace of Spades:
Mollie Hemingway digests Browyard's testimony.
The full testimony is here, and I strongly advise you to read it. It's gripping as hell.
It's also alarming -- not just about the incredible brutality, venality, and corruption of the Russian government, but the even more frightening Shadow Media in the US which takes money from corrupt governments to get stories friendly to them planted in US media accounts, or to kill stories they don't like.
This tweet also has some of the highlights.
Lee Smith also checks in and digests the accusations flying about Fusion GPS. This is amazing stuff.
I'm not going to get into the details -- you'll have to click for those; this all seems very scary to me, scary enough I don't even want to mention this stuff -- but here's Lee Smith's conclusion:
It’s one of the peculiar paradoxes of the media today that the firm that sparked the anti-Trump resistance, and fueled the patriotism of those newly awakened to the dangers of Russian interference in American political institutions is working with companies intimately linked with Moscow. Fusion GPS is working to undo the U.S. sanctions on Russia implemented by the Magnitzky Act, and has been networked into Gazprom’s investment in Venezuela’s energy sector alongside Derwick Associates. And yet the U.S. media is focused on the Great Kremlin Conspiracy, the fruit of what appears to be only one in a series of smear campaigns waged by Fusion GPS. Sure, the reasons are partly ideological—Trump is not the press’ preferred candidate. And financial—the daily campaign against Trump is driving traffic that print and broadcast haven’t seen in a long time. The press has its hands tied. “If they report that the Russia dossier is probably nonsense,” said Halvorssen, “and Fusion GPS is running information operations across the media, then that calls into question all the other stories that Fusion GPS has fed journalists in the past. Why are so few journalists willing to look into Fusion GPS?”
In order to report honestly on the Trump scandals, a weakened press would have to report honestly on Fusion GPS—which would mean lifting the lid on the incompetence and malfeasance of their own institutions and colleagues, which would reveal a scandal as threatening to democracy as anything Trump has said or done. “Imagine if they subpoena Fusion GPS’s emails,” said a veteran Washington reporter, “there are going to be lots of journalists in there who’ve taken stories from them. Big names, senior figures in the field. It will look like an apocalypse.”
More: President of Human Rights Foundation: Fusion GPS is a Professional Smear Organization Hired By Big-Money Players to Destroy Anyone Who Opposes Their Clients

Well, well, well. Whaddaya know?

Our much-vaunted Democracy-Dies-In-Darkness-Media is taking dictation from Putin.

And calling it "journalism".

It sure is.

Here's a journalistic question:

Was Imran Awan tasked with finding Seth Rich?
Debbie Does Dulles

Collusion News Networks Hide Their Own Collusion-UPDATE:

Daily Caller: "Spy Christopher Steele leaned on anonymous Russian sources in crafting the dossier for Fusion GPS. Steele’s lawyers revealed in court filings that, in September 2016, Steele briefed reporters from The New York Times, The Washington Post, Yahoo! News, The New Yorker and CNN on behalf of Fusion GPS. Steele later held another meeting with reporters from the NYT, WaPo and Yahoo. ...
Fusion GPS, which is headed up by former Wall Street Journal reporter Glenn Simpson, was working for a Democratic ally of Hillary Clinton at that time, although that ally’s name is not publicly known.
Those same media outlets that worked with Fusion GPS to receive information on the Republican nominee now appear to be helping Fusion GPS stay out of the public spotlight.
Bill Browder, testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday that “in the Spring and Summer of 2016 they [Fusion GPS] were receiving money indirectly from a senior Russian government official” for their work to undermine the Magnitsky Act, a human rights law fiercely opposed by Putin that sanctions Russian criminals. At the same time that Fusion GPS was crafting the dossier allegedly exposing the Trump campaign’s collusion with the Russian government, they were also working to advance Russian interests...

The NYT, WaPo and CNN have all appeared disinterested in digging into Fusion GPS’ shady ties. The three outlets have combined for zero articles mentioning Fusion GPS since Browder’s testimony, despite the explosive allegations contained within it. (RELATED: Grassley Blasts Dems For Blocking Hearing On Trump Dossier)
The only mention of Fusion GPS on CNN after Browder’s testimony on Thursday (and in the days since) came from Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham, who went out of his way in an interview Thursday morning to stress the seriousness of the matter, despite CNN asking zero questions about Fusion GPS.
“Fusion GPS was on the payroll, apparently, according to this guy of the Russian government. And I want to know what they did in terms of trying to compromise Donald Trump, who is now our president. So what should we learn from all of this? That the Russians were involved on both sides, they definitely tried to tip the scale against Clinton and for Trump. But the Fusion GPS organization that was trying to get the goods on Donald Trump was backed by the Russians,” Graham said.
CNN reporter Manu Raju tried to steer Graham back to talking about Trump, asking a question about Donald Trump Jr., but Graham returned to the subject to emphasize just how grave he believed the Fusion GPS situation to be.
“The GPS, Fusion GPS situation, the guy’s not coming. If we have to subpoena the people at Fusion GPS, we need to subpoena them. Because Mr. Browder has now accused them of — working for the Russians,” Graham said. “And at the end of the day, if that’s true, the Democratic Party is working with somebody who was working with the Russians, whether they knew it or not.”

CNN’s next question changed the topic

They gleefully and uncritically published Russian propaganda
and are now trying to bury that fact with a News Black-Out...of their own Russian Collusion.

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