The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (SSCI) released the fifth and final volume of their multipart report on Russia’s Active Measures Campaign and Interference in the 2016 presidential election yesterday. You can find the first four volumes at this link.
This fifth volume is entitled Counterintelligence Threats and Vulnerabilities and despite that title it really ties together all the pieces from the previous four reports.
The real takeaway from this fifth volume of the report, and one that is not found anywhere in the report, is that despite knowing everything I am going to detail below, the 8 Republicans on the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence had read the initial and penultimate drafts of this report, as well as the underlying supporting intelligence and materials by the time the President’s impeachment trial was held at the end of January. All of them knew exactly what was done, who did what, etc. All of them knew that a significant portion of the President’s defense – that Ukraine had really been conspiring with HRC and the Democratic Party and had framed Russia and the President to prevent him from becoming president – was not just a lie, but a lie created by Russian intelligence transmitted by Konstantin Kilimnik, a GRU asset and the handler for Paul Manafort, to Manafort and through him to the President and other Republicans. They knew his defense was Russian misinformation and agitprop. They knew what he had actually done in the campaign and since the campaign vis a vis Putin and Russia. And they still, every last fucking one of them, voted against hearing evidence and witnesses and actually holding a proper trial. And then they, every last fucking one of them, voted to acquit him.
This is the real conclusion and takeaway from reading this fifth volume of the multi-volume report. All 8 of these Republican senators – Burr, Rubio, Risch, Collins, Blunt, Cotton, Cornyn, and Sasse – knew and not only did nothing, they actively aided and abetted the cover up! They made themselves active participants of both furthering and covering up Vladimir Putin’s ongoing war against the United States!
Now that that is out of the way, the Bottom Line Up Front from reading the entire report, is that the report makes it very, very, very clear that Vladimir Putin personally ordered the active measures campaign to bolster the President’s candidacy and damage Secretary Clinton’s candidacy. The active measures campaign was also intended to damage a Hillary Clinton presidency to the point that she would be unable to govern if she were elected or to elect Donald Trump president, which would be an even better outcome for Putin and what he intends to achieve both domestically and globally.
The report also makes it very, very, very, very clear that the President himself, his campaign, his campaign officials, his family members (Don Jr. and Ivanka), and a number of his surrogates were either in regular touch with Russian assets or were in regular touch with those who were like Roger Stone. Or, as in the case of Manafort, is actually a Russian asset being handled by a GRU officer – Konstantin Kilimnik. That all of these people were attempting to either directly or indirectly coordinate, assist, and aid the Russians in what they were doing. That several, like Manafort and Stone, were conspiring directly with Russian assets to coordinate, assist, and aid the Russians in what they were doing.
The findings make it very, very, very, very clear that the President was coordinating at least the Roger Stone part of the op regarding the WikiLeaks’ releases.
The report also makes it clear that Ivanka Trump was coordinating the campaign’s weaponization and use of the WikiLeaks’ releases through social media.
Additionally, the report makes it clear that the President, Don McGahn, Manafort, Stone, Jr, Jared, Bannon, Stone, and the President’s two private lawyers Sekulow and Giuliani were obstructing the Mueller and congressional investigations in a variety of ways.
The report makes it very, very, very clear that the President lied in his answers to Mueller because it delineated that he was personally coordinating with Stone what Stone was doing with Assange and WikiLeaks. The President denied doing this in his written response to Mueller.
The findings are explicit that Russian intelligence created the misinformation and agitprop conspiracy theory that Ukraine actually conspired with HRC and the DNC in 2016 and then framed Russia and the President. And that Russia pushed this to the President, his transition, and Republicans through Kilimnik and Manafort. This demolishes what Senators Johnson and Grassley are trying to do with their hearings into VP Biden and his son Hunter. It also completely derails a significant portion of the President’s defense to the impeachment charges against him.
The findings make it crystal clear that not only was the President, working through Michael Cohen and Felix Sater, trying to make a deal to build a Trump Tower in Moscow, but that Cohen and Sater were in contact with senior Kremlin officials and oligarchs close to Putin. That the President lied repeatedly in his denials of pursuing such a deal. And that the President was kept fully informed by Cohen and Sater.
The findings also make clear that Flynn contacted Kislyak with the express purpose of undermining, derailing, and overturning the actions of the Obama administration. The findings are explicit that under the Constitution the Obama administration was the sole and only presidential administration during the transition and therefore the sole and only wielder of executive authority and power until 20 JAN 2017. This completely undermines what Senator Graham is trying to do with his hearings on the origins of the Mueller investigation. It also completely destroys Flynn’s argument, as well as the DOJ’s supporting argument, that the charges against him should be dropped because there was no legitimate reason – predicate – for charging him in the first place. And despite the fact that he has twice pled guilty to the charges.
The findings are clear that Crossfire Hurricane, the FBI counterintelligence investigation and the Special Counsel investigation, were properly predicated. This completely demolishes what AG Barr is trying to accomplish through the investigation he has assigned to US Attorney Durham.
The findings are also clear that Russian intelligence created the Seth Rich murder conspiracy and then laundered it through Assange and Wikileaks into conservative and right wing news, social, and digital media. So Sean Hannity and Fox News, as well as other conservative news, social, and digital media sources were actively acting as, at least, unwitting assets of Russian intelligence.
The Republican majority appendix, as well as the acting committee chair Marco Rubio’s statements over the past 26 hours or so, have attempted to spin the report to make the claim that there was no collusion between the President, his campaign, his family members working on the campaign, his other campaign officials, his campaign surrogates, his transition, and his transition officials with the Russians. And that the Russians have no compromising material on the President that they could have used to blackmail him during the 2016 campaign. This is a lie and it is immediately contradicted by the report’s delineation and detailing of all the actions the President, his family members working on the campaign, his other campaign officials, his campaign surrogates, his transition, and his transition officials took to coordinate, conspire, facilitate, aid, and assist the Russians in their actions, as well as their still ongoing efforts to obstruct the investigations into their actions. It is also immediately contradicted by the detailing and delineation of the pursuit of the Trump Tower Moscow deal, which the President, his family members working on the campaign, his other campaign officials, his campaign surrogates, his transition, and his transition officials repeatedly lied about throughout the campaign and transition. This is, itself, compromising information. Putin and some of his most senior aides, advisors, and trusted agents all knew that the President was pursuing the deal, that he was desperate to make this development deal, and that he and everyone around him were constantly, repeatedly, and consistently lying about pursuing this development deal. This provided Putin with significant leverage over the President during the campaign, the transition, and the first several months of his administration.
To tie everything together neatly, despite knowing everything that the President, his family members working on the campaign, his other campaign officials, his campaign surrogates, his transition, and his transition officials had done to coordinate with, conspire with, facilitate, aid, and assist the Russians directly or indirectly in conducting their active measures campaign during the 2016 presidential election, which is a hostile attack on the United States, as well as everything the President, his family members working on the campaign, his other campaign officials, his campaign surrogates, his transition, his transition officials, his administration officials, and his personal attorneys had done to obstruct their investigation and Robert Mueller’s investigation, they still voted to not hold a proper trial in the Senate. They did so knowing his defense was rooted in and making wide use of a Russian intelligence created conspiracy theory to shift the blame off of both Russia and the President, which was why the President had tried to squeeze Ukraine’s president for dirt on the Bidens in order to both validate the conspiracy theory and use it to damage VP Biden’s campaign, and they allowed that defense to be presented without so much as a peep of objection. And then, knowing all of this, they voted to acquit him. In doing so Senators Burr, Rubio, Risch, Collins, Blunt, Cotton, Cornyn, and Sasse betrayed their oaths of office and actively aided and abetted the President and Vladimir Putin’s attempts to cover up Putin’s war against the United States. A war that is ongoing. A war that the President, his family members working on the campaign, his other campaign officials, his campaign surrogates, his transition, and his transition officials were all actively involved in; involvement they, as well as a number of administration officials and the President’s private attorneys, have all actively tried to cover up.