November 4, 2017

WHO EXPECTS HONESTY FROM TRUMPBOTS?:

The Sleazy Case Against Mueller's Probe (Bret Stephens, NOV. 3, 2017, NY Times)

The truth about Fusion is that it is paid to dig up dirt by whoever is willing to pay for the dirt. Its business model relies on the Beatles' timeless insight that "everybody's got something to hide except me and my monkey."

But questions about Fusion's credibility, client list or aggressive tactics are irrelevant. Fusion brokered the dossier but Steele produced it. What's relevant is his credibility, the reliability of his sources and the truthfulness of their claims.

These check out. Bill Browder, the anti-Putin campaigner who is an outspoken critic of Fusion, calls Steele "a top-class person whose reputation is beyond reproach." At least one of Steele's possible Russian sources was found dead and three others were charged with treason, suggesting, as one Wall Street Journal news account noted, that the Kremlin was cleaning out the moles who had betrayed its hand in last year's election meddling.

As for the allegations themselves, former C.I.A. station chief John Sipher laid out the decisive case for their broad truthfulness in a lengthy article in September in Just Security.

"Well before any public knowledge of these events," Sipher notes, Steele's report "identified multiple elements of the Russian operation including a cyber campaign, leaked documents related to Hillary Clinton, and meetings with Paul Manafort and other Trump affiliates to discuss the receipt of stolen documents. Mr. Steele could not have known that the Russians stole information on Hillary Clinton, or that they were considering means to weaponize them in the U.S. election, all of which turned out to be stunningly accurate."

(After this column went to print, The Times reported that Trump foreign-policy adviser Carter Page met with Russian government officials in a July 2016 trip to Moscow, something he has long denied. This further confirms another claim made in the Steele dossier.)

There's more of this, but you get the point: The suggestion that the Steele dossier has been discredited is discreditable to the point of being dishonest.

Posted by at November 4, 2017 8:03 AM

  

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