It’s always a little sad, watching Republicans mangle the truth to get at some political goal. Even though we’ve come to expect it, they’re still leaders of the country, ones the public has placed their faith in. It will never be pleasant to observe their disingenuity.
This GOP tendency is the reason that much of the “new” information that recently got highlighted in the news regarding the Democratic funding of the latter half of the Steele dossier consisted of things we have known all along.
A source told CNN on Tuesday that the law firm Perkins Coie, as part of its representation of the Clinton campaign and the DNC, retained the intelligence firm Fusion GPS and entered “into an engagement for research services that began in April 2016 and concluded before the election in early November.”
The infamous Steele Dossier, compiled by retired MI-6 officer Christopher Steele, has been the subject of intense scrutiny as of late by Special Investigator Robert Mueller’s investigation into the circumstances surrounding the 2016 United States Presidential election, and the Russian interference in it. Millennial Democrats would like to thank the patriots who might one day have to sit through the viewing of that pee-tape.
Republicans are howling with unjust rage, but they are also scrambling to change the subject. The fact is that the Republicans were the ones who began the creation of that dossier.
Furthermore, there’s nothing wrong with that. For one thing, it’s well within the boundaries of FEC regulation. For another, Donald Trump is a slouching corruption, a living personification of all the ills too much money can give to an intemperate person. Everybody knew it, on both sides of the aisle. We only needed proof and evidence.
Fusion GPS is a Washington, DC intelligence firm that in 2016 retained a well-respected former British spy, Christopher Steele, to research any connections between Republican candidate Trump and the Russian government.
The firm was first employed by Republicans during Trump’s primary run and later by Democrats to produce opposition research on Trump. CNN reported early on the Fusion efforts in researching Trump were first funded by Republicans. Democrats ended up adopting the project after Trump became the presumptive nominee.
In short, none of this is new in any way. Most of it we knew the same day the Dossier broke news. The GOP’s attempt to frame this as a breaking scandal is nothing but a cheap and obvious distraction. It’s like their recent attempted revival of the uranium scandal that never was. Or the House decision to have one last dance with Hillary Clinton’s old emails.
Accusations and insult are buzzing like hornets because some high-ranking Democratic officials did not have knowledge of the deal directly. Others chose not to make public what they knew, but so what? What did people expect them to do? Hold a meeting about it? Put it around on a memo?
After all the ways Russia has proved it could hurt us with information, it is only logical for our strategists not to be jumping around and shouting about anything sensitive, no matter how trivial. The process of compiling that dossier required secrecy and caution. Of course they would tell as few people as needed to know directly. To do otherwise would have been clumsy and stupid.
It is an objective fact that the Clinton campaign was well within the bounds of decency by picking up the Fusion efforts. But in the highly polarized atmosphere of the time, even having a decent bank account was something to apologize for, according to the radical left. One can just imagine how they would have howled had they known about this.
Also, we’d just gotten through cleaning up the mess made before the Democratic National Convention by a number of criminally obtained documents used against us by the cyber-terrorist organization Wikileaks. We didn’t know where the source of the leaks were, so we did what anyone sensible would do, and took precautions against giving up our strategies as ammunition to the opposition.
It’s standard practice in the fascist playbook to immediately accuse their opponents of whatever crimes they have just committed. For a ready example, how many times has Trump accused mainstream media sources of fake news?
The purpose of all that slander is not only to defend himself. It is also to obfuscate the very meaning of the term. Fake news refers to bogus articles put out by bogus Internet websites that exist solely to deliberately produce, publish, and promote fake news, e.g. hoaxes, propaganda, and disinformation purporting to be real. It does not in any way refer to any articles produced by reputable journalists working for reputable organizations.
The facts surrounding the Democratic involvement in the matter of this dossier are actually quite ordinary. It is standard practice to find out all you can about your adversary in a political election. As long as you respect the boundaries set by the law and the dictates of conscience, you have nothing to apologize for.
What is not standard practice, is to receive that information from hostile foreign powers that want nothing more than to knock America down and take all she has.
Comparing this to what the Trump campaign was doing when they sent Donald Jr. and the rest to that meeting with Russian lawyers is like comparing what a surgeon does to Jack the Ripper, to paraphrase the former World Chess Champion, Garry Kasparov. They both cut people open, but that’s where the similarity ends.
Fusion GPS is a United States entity. The man they hired to compile this data, Christopher Steele, was a foreign national originally from Great Britain, one of our closest allies. He is also a lifelong intelligence professional. By every standard, he has excelled in his chosen field of expertise.
This dossier has not met with refutation. On the contrary, we are finding facts contained therein, according to all sources. The sheer speed at which the revelations are coming has many experts believing that we’ve already got more than Watergate gave us against Nixon.
In the end, it makes no difference who paid Fusion GPS. The only thing that matters is the accuracy of the facts contained within. It is our task moving forward to help people realize that the slanders and insinuations directed at Democrats are nothing more than unfair hot air.
Stephen L. Hall, a retired chief of the CIA’s Russian operations, summed it up best in a tweet: “Still not sure why this is getting all the press play. Nothing new here.”