Rachel Maddow last night (Wed. Aug. 23) continued to pursue a story which, strangely, has so far seen little further action on the part of the MSM….namely, that the contents of the infamous “Dossier” of negative research about Donald Trump may soon be exposed to public view. And I am about to argue, there is a tantalizing hint that part of Trump’s success in winning the GOP nomination may have been hacked information about his own GOP opponents. More on that in a moment.
The Senate Judiciary Committee has just spent TEN HOURS interviewing Glenn Simpson, a former WSJ reporter who was head of a company called Fusion GPS. Fusion was apparently commissioned by a group of wealthy Republicans to dig up damaging opposition research on Donald Trump as part of an effort to block Trump from becoming the GOP Presidential nominee.
Fusion in turn hired Christopher Steele, a form MI6 agent with British intelligence who has a strong reputation for detailed knowledge of the workings of Russian intelligence, the Russian government and the linkages between those entities and the the Putin government and Russian oligarchs.
Mother Jones has reviewed that report and other memos this former spy wrote. The first memo, based on the former intelligence officer’s conversations with Russian sources, noted, “Russian regime has been cultivating, supporting and assisting TRUMP for at least 5 years. Aim, endorsed by PUTIN, has been to encourage splits and divisions in western alliance.” It maintained that Trump “and his inner circle have accepted a regular flow of intelligence from the Kremlin, including on his Democratic and other political rivals.” It claimed that Russian intelligence had “compromised” Trump during his visits to Moscow and could “blackmail him.” It also reported that Russian intelligence had compiled a dossier on Hillary Clinton based on “bugged conversations she had on various visits to Russia and intercepted phone calls.”
Well, as noted, Simpson has now been interviewed for ten hours by the Senate Committee AND reports are that Christopher Steele has also given the Committee a list of the sources he used to compile his dossier report….
And Maddow reports, Simpson’s attorney is now encouraging the Judiciary Committee to take the entire 10 hours of his client’s testimony and make the transcript available to the public. Imagine the data THAT could involve and the questions it could raise.
Further, it is a sign of how strongly Simpson and Steele stand by their work and the credibility of their work in the face of Trump defenders who have long tried to argue that it is “unverified”, just a bunch of rumors, and a smear campaign.
Well it is oppo research, and if it is true, it will certainly smear. Think of how much there must be to study if Simpson spent 10 hours testifying about it….money laundering, deals with oligarchs, Russian mob figures, shell corporations, Icelandic banks, and of course that highly salacious rumor, still not proven, that the Russians have tapes of Trump cavorting with Russian hookers.
Judiciary Committee Chair Chuck Grassley, at a constituent Town Hall in rural Iowa the other day, was questioned sharply by a constituent about his stance on the matter and encouraged to make the transcript public. Grassley, who at times appears to have been trying to play defense for Trump, said any transcript would take a while to create and would have to be reviewed by Simpson and his lawyer, but Grassley hinted that he would vote in favor of making the transcript public. Simpson and his attorney say they encourage that happening. What will GOP committee members do about the issue and when and how soon would it happen? Not yet clear.
However, in her coverage last night, Rachel made reference to information reportedly in Steele’s dossier narrative and here is a screenshot. Note the language…
The Kremlin has been feeding TRUMP and his team valuable intelligence on his opponents, including Democratic presidential candidate Hillary CLINTON.
Note the use of the word…”including.” In other words the dossier suggests, the Russians were feeding Trump hacked info on essentially all of his opponents and that means in the GOP as well. It suggests the Russians had, as has often been hinted, also hacked Republican files and while they may not have used negative data found to undercut the GOP the way they did Clinton and the Democrats, it strongly suggests that they were giving Trump anything they had on other GOP candidates that would kneecap everyone from Ted Cruz to Marco Rubio to Ben Carson.
Remember…the Russians had been cultivating Trump for several YEARS before the election. They had a relationship with him, apparently involving all sorts of shady dealings and they wanted HIM as President. It seems only natural therefore that they would attack his GOP opponents with data they had hacked in order to help his chances. What do you think? And what do you think folks like Marco Rubio would feel if they saw solid evidence that Trump had used hacked Russian data to destroy their campaigns?