Be Careful How You Define Collusion: On the Veselnitskaya Bombshell and the Steele Dossier

See update, below, which provides evidence that was not present when I wrote this post. 

The NYT has a new bombshell showing that Don Jr. was willing to meet with someone to get Russian dirt on Hillary. It is damning. But Democrats should be very careful about calling it collusion, yet.

On Saturday, the NYT reported that Don Jr, Paul Manafort, and Jared Kushner met on June 9 with Natalia Veselnitskaya, a Russian lawyer who has worked to overturn the Magnitsky sanctions. In Don Jr’s first response to the NYT, he admitted to the meeting, but said it focused primarily on adoptions (which means it focused on the sanctions).

Then, yesterday, NYT reported that Don Jr took the meeting because he was promised Russia-related dirt on Hillary. With that new detail, Don Jr changed his story, admitting that’s why he took the meeting, though he claimed that the information Veselnitskaya offered “made no sense.”

In a statement on Sunday, Donald Trump Jr. said he had met with the Russian lawyer at the request of an acquaintance. “After pleasantries were exchanged,” he said, “the woman stated that she had information that individuals connected to Russia were funding the Democratic National Committee and supporting Ms. Clinton. Her statements were vague, ambiguous and made no sense. No details or supporting information was provided or even offered. It quickly became clear that she had no meaningful information.”

He said she then turned the conversation to adoption of Russian children and the Magnitsky Act, an American law that blacklists suspected Russian human rights abusers. The law so enraged President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia that he retaliated by halting American adoptions of Russian children.

“It became clear to me that this was the true agenda all along and that the claims of potentially helpful information were a pretext for the meeting,” Mr. Trump said.

WaPo revealed that the meeting was set up by music publicist Rob Goldstone, and hints that he may have done so at the behest of Emin Agalarov (which Goldstone has since confirmed).

He did not name the acquaintance, but in an interview Sunday, Rob Goldstone, a music publicist who is friendly with Trump Jr., told The Washington Post that he had arranged the meeting at the request of a Russian client and had attended it along with Veselnitskaya.

Goldstone has been active with the Miss Universe pageant and works as a manager for Emin Agalarov, a Russian pop star whose father is a wealthy Moscow developer who sponsored the pageant in the Russian capital in 2013.

This news is damning for several reasons. Kushner failed to disclose it at first in his clearance application, and Don Jr didn’t reveal it in past interviews about meeting with Russians. Everyone tried to hide this at first.

But thus far, it is not evidence of collusion, contrary to what a lot of people are saying.

That’s true, most obviously, because we only have the implicit offer of a quid pro quo: dirt on Hillary — the source of which is unknown — in exchange for sanctions relief. We don’t (yet) have evidence that Don Jr and his co-conspirators acted on that quid pro quo.

But it’s also true because if that’s the standard for collusion, then Hillary’s campaign is in trouble for doing the same.

Remember: A supporter of Hillary Clinton paid an opposition research firm, Fusion GPS, to hire a British spy who in turn paid money to Russians — including people even closer to the Kremlin than Veselnitskaya — for Russia-related dirt on Don Jr’s dad.

Yes, the Clinton campaign was full of adults, and so kept their Russian-paying oppo research far better removed from the key players on the campaign than Trump’s campaign, which was run by incompetents. But if obtaining dirt from Russians — even paying Russians to obtain dirt — is collusion, then a whole bunch of people colluded with Russians (and a bunch of other foreign entities, I’m sure), including whatever Republican originally paid Fusion for dirt on Trump.

Breaking: Our political process is sleazy as fuck (but then, so are most of our politicians).

The claim that merely meeting with Veselnitskaya is collusion is all the more dangerous given that it invokes some weird details about the Fusion dossier. Most importantly, as Trump’s lawyer’s spox has pointed out (incoherently, at first), like whatever Clinton supporter retained the oppo research firm, Veselnitskaya also employed Fusion. An update to NYT’s Friday story laid some of this out, in the form of Mark Corallo’s more clever than you actually might think suggestion that the Democrats might have paid Fusion to set up this meeting.

In an interview, Mr. [Mark] Corallo explained that Ms. Veselnitskaya, in her anti-Magnitsky campaign, employs a private investigator whose firm, Fusion GPS, produced an intelligence dossier that contained unproven allegations against the president. In a statement, the firm said, “Fusion GPS learned about this meeting from news reports and had no prior knowledge of it. Any claim that Fusion GPS arranged or facilitated this meeting in any way is false.”

[snip]

One of Ms. Veselnitskaya’s clients is Denis Katsyv, the Russian owner of a Cyprus-based investment company called Prevezon Holdings. He is the son of Petr Katsyv, the vice president of the state-owned Russian Railways and a former deputy governor of the Moscow region. In a civil forfeiture case prosecuted by Mr. Bharara’s office, the Justice Department alleged that Prevezon had helped launder money tied to a $230 million corruption scheme exposed by Mr. Magnitsky by parking it in New York real estate and bank accounts. As a result, the government froze $14 million of its assets. Prevezon recently settled the case for $6 million without admitting wrongdoing.

[snip]

Besides the private investigator whose firm produced the Trump dossier, the lobbying team included Rinat Akhmetshin, an émigré to the United States who once served as a Soviet military officer and who has been called a Russian political gun for hire.

Republicans have already pointed to Akhmetshin’s work with Fusion as a way to discredit the Steele dossier. Now they are (or at least were, before the really damning bits came out) using it to attempt to discredit the most damning detail about Trump’s ties to Russians.

But there in one other interesting detail.

The first report (that we have) reflecting Christopher Steele’s work (and also the first report that some unknown Democrat paid for after earlier oppo research had been paid for by some Republican) is dated June 20.

The report, dated 11 days after the Veselnitskaya meeting, states that the Kremlin has a dossier on Clinton, but that it has not as yet been distributed abroad.

That claim is seemingly contradicted by the claims of Source A (a senior Russian Foreign Ministry figure) and Source D. Indeed, Source D appears to have claimed, in June, that dirt from Russia was helpful.

Ultimately, though, the memo seems to credit Source B, “a former top level Russian intelligence officer” and Source G, a senior Kremlin official, who said the dossier, attributed here to the FSB, had not yet been shared with Trump or anyone else in America.

Consider: First, Akhmetshin himself qualifies as a former intelligence officer (though it’s not clear how senior he was). He might have reason to deny that intelligence he tried to pass was the intelligence in question. And he’d likely be right, given that the Clinton dossier was purportedly a FSB, not a GRU, product. But it’s even possible that he didn’t want Hillary to know that he or a colleague was dealing dirt, however bad.

Nevertheless, the senior-most Russian quoted in the dossier compiled for Hillary Clinton claimed — and Steele appears to have believed — that Russia’s dirt on Hillary Clinton had not yet been released.

Which doesn’t really help the treatment of this as a scandal.

Don’t get me wrong. I suspect there is more to this story. But I also note that Democrats should be really careful not to get too far ahead of this one, for fear of where it will lead.

Update: NYT’s latest provides evidence that gets you far closer to collusion than the previous evidence.

Mr. Goldstone’s message, as described to The New York Times by the three people, indicates that the Russian government was the source of the potentially damaging information. It does not elaborate on the wider effort by Moscow to help the Trump campaign. There is no evidence to suggest that the promised damaging information was related to Russian government computer hacking that led to the release of thousands of Democratic National Committee emails.

Marcy has been blogging full time since 2007. She’s known for her live-blogging of the Scooter Libby trial, her discovery of the number of times Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was waterboarded, and generally for her weedy analysis of document dumps.

Marcy Wheeler is an independent journalist writing about national security and civil liberties. She writes as emptywheel at her eponymous blog, publishes at outlets including the Guardian, Salon, and the Progressive, and appears frequently on television and radio. She is the author of Anatomy of Deceit, a primer on the CIA leak investigation, and liveblogged the Scooter Libby trial.

Marcy has a PhD from the University of Michigan, where she researched the “feuilleton,” a short conversational newspaper form that has proven important in times of heightened censorship. Before and after her time in academics, Marcy provided documentation consulting for corporations in the auto, tech, and energy industries. She lives with her spouse and dog in Grand Rapids, MI.

105 replies
  1. Teddy says:

    Jeebus, Marcy! Whose team are you ON, anyway?
    [/s]

    (because /s is required nowadays, I suppose….)

  2. Hg says:

    It was widely supposed at the time that GOP Trump opponents hired Fusion GPS who hired Christopher Steele, not a supporter of Clinton.

    Of course, I don’t really know, but you say “Remember” as if it were common knowledge, and it’s not.
    And the fact that you say “whatever Clinton supporter” suggests you don’t have any idea either.

    I also don’t understand what the problem is with that. We do not forbid campaigns from spending money on foreigners, otherwise candidates could never travel overseas for photo ops. It’s the raising money from foreigners and other benefits that’s forbidden, and passing on intelligence bought and paid for by the Kremlin would be an impermissible benefit.

    • Rugger9 says:

      And yet Lefty665 says it was Clinton that paid for this dossier that Chris Steele gave to the FBI (not Clinton).  “Lefty”, show us the actual smoking gun, or a REAL document.  Show ANY EVIDENCE that Clinton’s campaign used the info, unlike the GOP did in Florida (gregpalast.com).

      OTOH, we have an open admission of collusion by Junior, that “Lefty” is desperately trying to throw poo on to and calling it evidence of Clinton’s involvement.  Hannity didn’t pay you enough, “Lefty”.  Aid and comfort to an adversary trying to harm the United States is right in front of you, and yet you still will not denounce it.

       

  3. Ben says:

    > the Democrats might have paid Fusion to set up this meeting.

    Any chance this was just a fishing expedition by the Russians themselves? If they succeed in drawing Trump into a meeting with them by offering dirt then they leave with something to hold over his head, even if they didn’t have anything going in.

    It’s farfetched, but it’d be perfectly in line with this crazy ride for the smoking gun to be nothing but a conspiratorial ouroboros.

  4. Rebecca says:

    I would say it’s entirely different to be meeting with a (not very arms-length) representative of a sanctioned foreign government, which then moves into quid pro quo “get rid of these sanctions,” and “investigating reports of criminal collusion *with that same sanctioned foreign government.*” Am I crazy? Am I splitting hairs here?

  5. themgt says:

    So far as we have known for months, the campaign that received the most oppo dirt from Kremlin-connected Russians was the Clinton campaign. This new “bombshell” is indeed a bit oddly framed.

    • Avattoir says:

      1. To you: What “oppo dirt” on Trump was it that you say the Clinton campaign “received…from Kremlin-connected Russians”?

      2. To one point of this story: Why would Putin or anyone connected to him release what appears to have been non-dirty (presumably of dubious to no value as kompromat) type info on Clinton to the Trump campaign, at a time when Putin et al figured they’d next be dealing with a President Hilary Clinton? Why release ANYTHING useful to a putz like Trump with a confederacy of weirdos like were in the Trump campaign when, to the extent anything truly useful was had, Putin’s side could just keep it to themselves for future use by themselves?

      3. To this story and so many others that purport to issue ‘warnings’ about “collusion”: How did the snaketail self-eating implicated in the idea of ‘proof that Trump et al “colluded” with Russia’ find itself into what is otherwise a smart, often the smartest, USG intel website on the internet? Either crimes were committed or attempted – crimes such as under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, or breaches of various laws forbidding business dealings with certain Rus or Rus-connected entities & persons, or failures to comply with statute-based requirements to report accurate & full relevant information, or lying or actively misleading or committing perjury in relation to federally-authorized investigations – or not. There is no such crime as “colluding”. How this stupid concept ever got into such widespread use in this context, and by so many otherwise sensible people, is beyond me.

       

      • bmaz says:

        As to Item 3: Thank You!

        If you see my twitter feed, you know I have been harping on this from the get go when press, and even some attorneys who should be smarter, started focusing on “collusion”.

        Collusion is NOT a crime. It is not even a proper legal term of art. The term, to the extent relevant to this discussion of this larger situation at all, is “coordination”.

        • Avattoir says:

          Didn’t even know you had a Twitter feed. I do now. Thanks.

          Oh, and I note in particular your comments about Sonny’s new hire. I was going to add something here about what a typical mob flash that twit is, but you got there first, so props to you.

        • Rugger9 says:

          Doesn’t the Federal Election Code cover this situation with a foreign government?  IIRC, this is a crime under that particular law.

          • bmaz says:

            Yes, CFR § 110.20 Prohibition on contributions, donations, expenditures, independent expenditures, and disbursements by foreign nationals (52 U.S.C. 30121, 36 U.S.C. 510).

              • bmaz says:

                You have to be kidding me. Are you familiar with the Mur 5409 decision directly on point? How about reading that in  terms of Bluman?

                No? Well, how about the across the board consensus in criminal cases in trial courts occurring every hour of every day to the effect that information/data and research professionally packaged, even if originally from the public domain, is a res of value in all kinds of cases from theft, conversion, CFAA, and a host of others?

                Please, do tell how it is only “money”, and NOT information, that can be a thing of “value” in your book.

  6. jim says:

    I thought Jeb Bush financed Steele, who then continued the research after funding stopped because he was so concerned about what he found.

    • montmorency clutch-ryder says:

      At the risk of being impertinent, what Steele(?) found was at least one “secret” liason between Hillary and Donald in the Russian bedroom previously occupied by The Obamas, wherein they both “engaged”, or colluded, in rounds of “Golden Showers”, inspired by their mutual racist contempt for Obama’s having threatened them, “politically”.

  7. John Casper says:

    themgt:

    You wrote, “So far as we have known for months, the campaign that received the most oppo dirt from Kremlin-connected Russians was the Clinton campaign.”

    Why does Trump’s DOJ refuse to prosecute HRC and her campaign?

  8. orionATL says:

    this post seems very convoluted and misding key info.

    on the birth of the steele dossier:

    In September of 2015, the Times says, a Republican donor with deep pockets and a deep distaste for Trump hired a D.C. investigative firm to compile a report on Trump’s scandals. The firm, Fusion GPS, is led by former Wall Street Journal reporter Glenn Simpson, who has “written extensively on Russian corporate crime and criminal organizations,” according to his bio on the website for the nonprofit International Assessment and Strategy Center.

    As Trump went from primary hopeful to GOP nominee, Fusion GPS continued working on the report — digging through lawsuits, compiling news reports, delving into his business dealings — but with new financiers. Hillary Clinton supporters began footing the bill in hopes of derailing Trump.

    Then, the hacking of the DNC in June, believed to be conducted by Russian agents, led to a shake-up. Simpson hired Christopher Steele, a former MI6 agent with experience working undercover in Moscow. Steele reached out to some of his old contacts and farmed out other research to native Russian speakers who made phone calls on his behalf. The information they found concerned attempts to compromise Trump and coordination over hacking of the DNC. Even after the election, Steele and Simpson continued their investigating without pay because they were convinced they were doing “very important work,” the Times says.
    In September of 2015, the Times says, a Republican donor with deep pockets and a deep distaste for Trump hired a D.C. investigative firm to compile a report on Trump’s scandals. The firm, Fusion GPS, is led by former Wall Street Journal reporter Glenn Simpson, who has “written extensively on Russian corporate crime and criminal organizations,” according to his bio on the website for the nonprofit International Assessment and Strategy Center.

    As Trump went from primary hopeful to GOP nominee, Fusion GPS continued working on the report — digging through lawsuits, compiling news reports, delving into his business dealings — but with new financiers. Hillary Clinton supporters began footing the bill in hopes of derailing Trump.

    Then, the hacking of the DNC in June, believed to be conducted by Russian agents, led to a shake-up. Simpson hired Christopher Steele, a former MI6 agent with experience working undercover in Moscow. Steele reached out to some of his old contacts and farmed out other research to native Russian speakers who made phone calls on his behalf. The information they found concerned attempts to compromise Trump and coordination over hacking of the DNC. Even after the election, Steele and Simpson continued their investigating without pay because they were convinced they were doing “very important work,” the Times says.

    • emptywheel says:

      Orion

      Nothing in these quotes conflicts with what I’ve written. I get that Dems are in full damage protection mode on the dossier, but the assertion I made is that a Hillary supporter paid Fusion who paid Steele who paid Russians, including in the Kremlin.

      • Rugger9 says:

        You seem to forget that Orion’s noted correctly that many GOP operatives hated Trump (like the Kochs and Adelson if memory serves) and would of course find ways to undercut him in favor of Walker / Cruz / ABT until he shored up the evangelicals by agreeing not to block their agenda and by selecting Pence as Veep.

        Also, this is a case where the dictum of “who profits” or “who used the info” would apply in terms of finding the guilty party.  It makes no sense for the D’s to take the lead as you claim on getting oppo research on Trump and then not use it in any detectable way.  You need to show HOW the D’s profited as well as name names on who commissioned this dossier (and how they connected to Fusion / Steele in the first place) since none of that proof has been presented.

  9. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Most interesting to me is that on receipt of supposedly paltry information about a source and its data, the Trumps sent their A team – Jared, Don Jr. and Manafort. No C or B team to vet the source and check the data. The Trumpies would have us believe they were so enamored of a Russian source on oppo research about Hilary, that they sent their best and brightest on a lark in hopes of finding something they could use.

    Either Trump and his top men were and remain clueless, they’re lying, or they’ve forgotten most of the facts related to this meeting. Or all of the above.

    As for collusion, its most common meaning is an agreement to defraud another of what is rightfully theirs.

    “The fundamental societal objection to collusion is that it promotes dishonesty and fraud, which, in turn, undermines the integrity of the entire judicial system.”

    It’s a headliney way to claim wrongfulness. But one colludes in pursuit of something else wrongful to another. The idea is uselessly vague until it’s tied to something more concrete. Coincidentally, collusion most often related to two areas dear to Donald’s heart: divorce (before the rise of no-fault) and anti-competition law.

    • emptywheel says:

      Yup. Agree that it is sheer malpractice (from a standpoint of shrew ratfuckery) to have the son involved.

    • emptywheel says:

      Yup. Agree that it is sheer malpractice (from a standpoint of shrewd ratfuckery) to have the son involved.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        Indeed.  Shades of Edward Doheny and Teapot Dome bribery, wherein immensely wealthy Doheny Sr. sent his son and his son’s aide to deliver a hundred grand in cash (in 1920’s dollars) to a politician.

        The bribe was eventually the subject of a criminal investigation.  The son, coincidentally, died, along with his aide, in a murder suicide (doubtfully resolved by hometown Doheny family LA cops and prosecutor) shortly before Jr. was to testify again at a congressional hearing.

        The bribe recipient was ultimately convicted (as the recipient of more than one bribe and immoderate spender of the proceeds).  But the giver, Doheny Sr., avoided conviction.  That was thanks to Frank Hogan, founding partner of Hogan & Hartson (now Hogan Lovells), at a cost of more than two million in 1920’s dollars.  This may have led to Hogan’s comment that the ideal client was a scared rich man.  Donald’s lawyers may share the sentiment.

        Don Sr.  seems abundantly careless with Don Jr.’s prospects.  (Laius changing places with Oedipus?)  Apart from being so stupid as to send family members to the Russian meet, Don Sr. has studiously avoided defending Don Jr.  Sr.’s lawyers, though, have vocally denied Don Sr.’s knowledge of the meet or its purpose. As we’ve observed before, Trump will throw anybody under the bus, including the entire country.

         

        • Rugger9 says:

          What Junior did is soil the bed for everyone in order to cover his own ass with a pardon.  I would suspect there will be consequences, starting with what Jared’s wrath will bring.  Junior WAS the B-team and he fouled it up by bringing in Jared and Manafort.  It does appear that there is still something missing given what Junior had to say.  If the information was as inconsequential as stated, why would J&PM come over?  Junior wouldn’t bother, but instead went out of his way to bring in the A-team.  That tells me there was a screening meeting beforehand because the A-Team would know enough not to risk disclosure for what is being described as essentially dreck.

          There is also the problem of the changed platform, POTUS’ call out to Russia on emails, etc. that appear to have flowed from this confab.  It’s not a true coinkydink.

      • Avattoir says:

        Still, if you see Junior – if HE sees himself – as Sonny, this is his gig, no?

        Except to me even that doesn’t quite work. Who among those 3 would most likely actually know where this Rus woman lawyer sits in relation to Putin? It would have to be Manafort. For Junior to claim now he didn’t know anything about her or her connections evades whatever the other two would more likely, and Manafort certainly, would know.

        And the meeting supposedly coming ‘to nothing’ seems just as misleading if not more. Her pointedly raising the Magnitsky Law would seem one end of the Quid Pro Quo, with HRC’s emails being the other end of the proposed bargain. That would also fit the change a few weeks later to the RNC platform on Ukraine, as a show of faith on the part of Trump gang, and at the same time a sign confirming that Manafort, someone already known in Putin land, had risen to X point in the Trump campaign.

        Reaching out to Sonny, um, Junior would fit the idea of there having already been some intel & analysis of where to prod for weakness in the Trump campaign & where to plant for kompromat.

        Ach, I’m out of my element on this: I’d really rather know Ms. Wheeler’s take.

    • emptywheel says:

      Court documents, among other things, say Steele paid for his contacts. Also Chuck Grassley stuff.

  10. orionATL says:

    the way i read this entire story, including that drudge made it a priority, is that this is a typical republican propaganda ploy. where republican X is involved in unsavory activity, republican strstegists find a way to insinuate democrat Y into the main stream media discussion of the scandal. this fuzzes up the storyline about X’s misconduct by sending send dear old main stream media rushing around to check on Y’s action to quarantee “fairness”.

    in this case, i read to whole revelation as a ploy to get clinton’s name into any mention of the trump russian scandal. republican strategists have been making similar moves to involve the d’s at least since the comey disaster.

  11. Come on. says:

    I agree with orion. Dilute the impropriety by saying everyone does it, including the poisonous one, it’s not a crime, so it is fake. Bullshit. We can and should try to do better than to give blowjobs to the russians to get rent money on the white house. Hillary lost. It’s Trump’s turn to pay the price, and this obfuscation is going to cost medicaid, another supreme court seat, and redistribution of wealth on a massive scale. So very very smart, but don’t be a sucker.

  12. TomA says:

    Why haven’t any reporters cornered Christopher Steele as yet and pressed him for his knowledge of the events and participants that were the genesis of his investigation? Perhaps I’m being naive, but it seems to me that investigative reporters used to go out in search of stories rather than wait by the phone hoping for someone to call them with a tip.

    • Adrian says:

      Mainstream journos don’t want to do the proper work of digging for truth in this case – because the answers won’t fit with their narrative. Just ask cybersecurity expert Jeffrey Carr who wants to know the truth of the DNC “hack”. The day that one of these joker journos in the corporate media tells the public the truth about CrowdStrike and Dmitri Alperovitch is when this house of cards they’re so assiduously constructing could all fall down.

    • rg says:

      Reading your comments, I’m reminded of a chapter in Catch 22, in which Yossarian declared, ” I see everything twice”.

  13. Charles says:

    Sigh. There’s very high noise to signal in both the post and the comments, IMO.

    First, in matters like this, what matters at this stage is politics, not law. The fewer congressional Republicans that are willing to defend Trump, the less obstruction by the Intelligence and Judiciary committees and the more that reporting makes it to the local level, meaning political consequences. Removing Trump will almost certainly be a political decision based on American public opinion, not a judicial one.

    Next, political collusion [1] isn’t a criminal offense (conspiracy is, but then a specific crime has to be alleged). Sure, the GOP might be able to muddy the waters by alleging collusion between the Dems and Russia, but that’s part of the political battle. The simple answer to the GOP mud stirring is that this is a he hit me first tactic that no experienced parent would fall for.

    With regards to crimes, as Marcy notes, Kushner’s failure to disclose is increasingly serious, since it adds to the pattern of deception. There’s probably another crime committed by a participant in the meeting: Was Veselnitskaya a registered lobbyist? According to the Moonie Times [2], a complaint was filed by Hermitage Capital’s Browder and apparently no disposition has been reached, indicating that there was substance to the complaint. But proof of a crime would probably require demonstrating a connection between the hacking and Veselnitskaya’s offer. On TRMS, Adam Schiff proposed that this could amount to an illegal in-kind political contribution. Post Citizens United, it’s doubtful much of anything is illegal.

    Next, there’s a difference between colluding with the Russian government and colluding with Russians who are acting against their government. This is a fairly obvious point that the post seems to miss.

    Also, Reuters [3] is quite clear that the initial oppo was commissioned by Republicans and that Steele was running the investigation. The BBC, Reuters said, reported that the “Republicans” were Jeb Bush, but Reuters didn’t confirm. It’s implausible that Clintonites would continue paying Steele after the election, so he may have finished the report on his own dime. Only the part between May and November was probably paid by Clinton.  However, OrionATL is wrong in thinking that the hacking of the DNC led to the shift in oppo gathering. It was the clinching of the nomination by Trump, which meant that his opponent(s) who were funding the oppo had no use for it. The DNC hack, by the way, was reported in June 2016, but occurred much earlier [4].

    I don’t think Avattoir is precisely correct in suggesting that Clinton didn’t receive oppo from “Kremlin-connected Russians.” Steele’s sources were Russians, and some of them were connected with the Kremlin. But the point is they were acting against the interests of the Russian government by disclosing material to a foreigner.

    Who Fusion’s clients (other than unspecified ::cough:: Jeb ::cough::Republicans” and Clinton) were is a distraction. Lots of firms are willing to represent both St. Michael and Satan.

    I agree with earl of huntingdon that the level of representation at the Veselnitskaya meeting suggests that this was about something serious, especially considering the timing.

    TomA should consider that Steele is a respondent in a lawsuit and is unlikely to be telling reporters anything.

     

    I hope this improves the S/N. I’ll be happy to be corrected if I have erred in presenting any of the facts.

    1. https://dictionary.thelaw.com/collusion/

    2. http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2017/jul/10/natalia-veselnitskaya-russian-lawyer-who-contacted/

    3. http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-trump-steele-idUSKBN14W0HN

    4. https://www.wired.com/2016/07/heres-know-russia-dnc-hack/

    • TomA says:

      Respondents in law suits frequently leak (select) information if it helps their case (or leak via a surrogate). Regardless, good reporters pursue leads with vigor and determination. Waiting for a bombshell story to arrive over the transom is just being lazy.

      • Charles says:

        And you know that reporters have not pressed Steele… how?

         

        You will probably be interested in this story. Excerpt:

         

        According to a new court document in the British lawsuit, counsel for defendants Steele and Orbis repeatedly point to McCain, R-Ariz., a vocal Trump critic, and a former State Department official as two in a handful of people known to have had copies of the full document before it circulated among journalists and was published by BuzzFeed.

  14. GKJames says:

    I wonder what “Russia-related dirt on Hillary” there could possibly be. Scrutinized and investigated as she’s been for decades, what would “bugged conversations … and intercepted phone calls” — reproduced, presumably, in transcript form by that epitome of probity and credibility, the FSB — reveal that hasn’t been known already? Other than, of course, proof of her neocon conspiracy with Goldman Sachs and Wolfowitz (with whom she’s having a torrid affair and re-drawing Middle East boundaries on post-coital sheets) to re-invade Iraq and start World War III over Ukraine.

  15. MaDarby says:

    I suspect that emptywheel may actually have no idea how religious its underlying ideology actually is.

    The problem is that Trump is disobedient and disobedience is the highest of all sins.(see first four commandments-and don’t forget that “coveting”  too)

    For me, Trump is a deeply flawed messenger and disturber of power, but he is at least slowing down the ruthless and vicious relentless aggression of the US in its intent to achieve “Global full spectrum domination.”

    The vast global empire for which the US is the public face and front dropped two nuclear weapons on cities full of innocent people in a war which the US had already won.  From that day until this the US led empire has been killing people EVERY SINGLE DAY.  Over seventy years of ruthless killing and the subjugation of billions who are deliberately kept in poverty.

    The US represents the most murderous and warmongering empire the world has ever known, it has killed tens of millions of people around the globe just in the last 30 years and is threatening nuclear war against North Korea, China and Russia as well as Iran – these threats by the same institutions and people who have been killing for seventy years – do you really think they are not quite capable of or willing to engage in nuclear war?

    I celebrate anything done by Trump or anyone else which will cause harm to or impede the desires of this empire.

    Emptywheel just apparently wants us all to join hands and pass another law and have another “election” and all will be well – as long as we obey.

    • Synoia says:

      do you really think they are not quite capable of or willing to engage in nuclear war

      Yes and No. Yes if they could get away with it, and No because of a Nuclear Winter eliminating them.

      Anyone who believes in “limited engagements” should review the history of WW I.

    • John Casper says:

      MaDarby:

      You can stop you war on Christianity any time.

      You wrote, “The problem is that Trump is disobedient and disobedience is the highest of all sins.(see first four commandments-and don’t forget that “coveting”  too)”

      Are you using the Koran’s version of the TEN COMMANDMENTS? It only has one.

      Hebrew Scriptures/Old Testament have three: Exodus chapter 20; Exodus chapter 24; and Deuteronomy chapter 5. They don’t use the same order.

      Which version are you using “for the first four” commandments?

  16. Willis Warren says:

    Here’s the actual laws that were broken,

    https://www.law.cornell.edu/cfr/text/11/110.20

    BTW, I’m not sure that Clinton (or even Rubio) hiring Fusion is the same as what’s going on here.  First of all, you’re dealing with the Trump campaign seeking information that is illegally attained.   Second, the Clinton’s would have hired Americans, third party, who were seeking information from Brittains who were seeking information from Russians, so I’m not sure the offense would hold up in court, there.

    Besides, at this point, who cares if Clinton is guilty.

    • Rugger9 says:

      I concur here on the law, and keep in mind it is only the attempt to collude with any foreign power (Saudis, anyone?   That is the true landmine in SCOTUS decision to gut campaign finance laws) that is necessary.  Combine that with the release of the email string by DJT Jr which pretty much seals the deal for collusion.  Treason on the other hand is constitutionally defined for a reason, in order to prevent the “definition creep” that occurred through the Middle Ages to the point where a perceived insult to a king or his ministers became treasonous.

      So, do we have two witnesses to the same overt act of giving aid and comfort to the enemy?  Is Russia the enemy here?  In my opinion, based upon my years in the USN during the Cold War, the current version of Russia is an adversary, but that is in some ways potentially irrelevant.  Have we declared war by act of Congress?  No, indeed we are collaborating as a government on several hot spots around the world and so I would think the definition of “enemy” for the purposes of applying the treason label needs to be crystal clear.  Were the reported actions of Putin’s government considered to be an attack upon the United States?  I would think so, between the hacking and collusion with the GOP (NOT just the Trump Campaign) but once again, steps like this need firm legal bases that are objectively defined to prevent the GOP from moving the goalposts later as they did with the so-called Biden Rule for spiking Garland’s nomination.  There is probably enough now to declare the Russian antics to be an act of an enemy of the United States, so as a question for our legal beagles, where should this declaration be done and how?  The GOP won’t do it on their own, but once that is done then a treason prosecution is on the table.

      A couple of other notes: it seems there is some chink in the Faux News messaging armor when Doocy (?!??!) backed off a little on the Comey top secret claim (although Napoleorange did not retract his tweet yet) so it is possible to see some movement.  Joy Reid has a series of tweets pointing out the true connection to the Russian pop star is POTUS, not Jr., and there is a photo from (possibly) the 2013 Miss Universe pageant with all players involved but not Jr.  The last item is that the goal here should be to remove ALL of the colluding yahoos (or Yohos) which are overwhelmingly GOP, and I really don’t see the mechanism to do this in one set.  Also, there is no Constitutional remedy I can see to re-do an election once it is certified by the House.

       

  17. lefty665 says:

    “Breaking: Our political process is sleazy as fuck (but then, so are most of our politicians).”  Yup!

    It should not be a surprise that the people selling dirt will sell it to anyone with money to pay for it and a dog in the fight. What is a little surprising is that everyone, apparently except Sanders, was dealing with the same dirt peddlers. It would make a great farce with people sneaking around, popping in and out of doors, hiding in closets and under beds. Wonder if they used a scheduling app to keep the Clinton and Trump people from running into each other? From what we’ve seen so far  Clinton was the only one who actually got dirt.

    Too bad Peter Sellers is not here in our time of need for Inspector Clouseau.  Can we teach Mueller to talk with a phony French accent?

    • lefty665 says:

      Some detail for Marcy’s caution to Dems:  https://consortiumnews.com/2017/07/10/forgetting-the-dirty-dossier-on-trump/

      and a title for the farce “The Dodgy Dossier”.  Subtitle “A farce in three acts in which Little Marco, Hillary and Junior frolic in the sewer while Hillary plays the martyr”.

      Slimy American politics has been ever thus. Recent history has included Nixon sabotaging the Paris peace talks in ’68, Watergate, Regan conspiring with the Iranians to hold onto American hostages until minutes after his inauguration in ’81, and “Poppy” Bush searching Bill’s passport files in ’92. Until hysteria, tantrums (“useful idiot” Dems), neocons and new McCarthyism blew it up into the basis for a constitutional crisis the “Dodgy Dossier” was pretty small potatoes, run of the mill American political sleaze.

       

  18. orionATL says:

    emptywheel @ 7:30am –
    i agree dems do not need to shout “collusion”. if they asked my advice, i’d not only say “not now” but add “not ever”. let the evidence speak for itself. let the media and republicans do the big talking. let the public listen.
    one uncertainty – do we know for certain that steele paid his sources?
    one unclear matter – which “dem(s)” is it that is (are) in “full protection mode”. i have not read of any dem party officials expressing great concern about the dossier. am i wrong? nor have not read of any congressional dems – schumer, warner, shiff – expressing concern. nor obama officials ducking and dodging in the traditional way of politicians.
    for another l, what is “full protection mode” ? would that be denying or excusing any dem party involvement? would that be someone denying any obama (dem) administration involvemnt?

    any dem collusion, or any collusion involving any party working on the dossier is hard to see here. by whom and with whom was there dem collusion (in the normal sense of two or more parties working in concert to harm some third party) .
    nor was the dossier very secret. the story is that the dossier was started by a republican partisan, not party official. it was continued by a dem partisan, not party official. a british lord involved with nat security toted it across the atlantic to give a copy of sen. mccain. later, allegedly, steele took his dossier work to the fbi. further, multiple journalist in d. c. were said to have seen it before boing-boing released it to the unwashed public.
    even if the hand of the cia was peripherally involved at some point, so what? the conduct described in the dossier of was potentially a nat sec threat. in fact, russian attack on the 2016 presidential election is now accepted as a reality and a threat.

  19. Akira says:

    I shared this piece with someone who challenged me to show evidence that Steele paid the Russians,  including those in the Kremlin, as Marci wrote and repeated in her reply to Orion.  I’ve done some searching and haven’t found any.  Could emptywheel or someone point me to it?

    “Remember: A supporter of Hillary Clinton paid an opposition research firm, Fusion GPS, to hire a British spy who in turn paid money to Russians — including people even closer to the Kremlin than Veselnitskaya — for Russia-related dirt on Don Jr’s dad.”

    “Nothing in these quotes conflicts with what I’ve written. I get that Dems are in full damage protection mode on the dossier, but the assertion I made is that a Hillary supporter paid Fusion who paid Steele who paid Russians, including in the Kremlin.”

    • lefty665 says:

      I asked the Google “Steele paying Russians” and got 419,000 results. There is quite a variety of links, but therein lies the answer to your question.

       

      • lefty665 says:

        Quote below is from a Vanity Fair piece. Aside from starting the paragraph with “And so,” it provides context that Steele’s sources were “bought and paid for” from the beginning of his career as a spook in Russia. Turn the question around. Why should this time be different from any other time?  Steele was in the business of paying sources he had cultivated with money over many years to tell him what he wanted to hear. Sometimes it may even have been true, but usually hard to tell fact from fiction.

        “And so, as Steele threw himself into his new mission, he could count on an army of sources whose loyalty and information he had bought and paid for over the years.”

        Why does it matter whether sources were telling salacious tales to Steele because it titillated them, or because they were paid (past or present), or that he just made it up?  Most of the dossier is unconfirmed, and some of it is demonstrably false. Steele was unarguably paid to dish dirt on Trump first by Repubs, then by Dems, and finally, only aborted because the dossier became public, by the FBI.  That is exactly what he did, he made his money the old fashioned way, he earned it by telling his employers what they wanted to hear.

        On the FBI proposal to pay Steele for information on Trump.

        http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/byron-york-senate-committee-targets-fbi-no-2-in-trump-dossier-probe/article/2619120

  20. Avattoir says:

    Aw, jeez: poor dumb The Lesser Donald releases his purported full email chain – practically pate de fois turducken flambe under glass on the dream menu of emptywheel’s favorite diner.

    Bon appetit, Ms. W.

    • bmaz says:

      Jesus, you could grand jury the election finance charge today with that email chain. Probably make it past the obligatory DV and get to a jury too. Simply hilarious.

      One note though, Trump drew the first blood on himself only because he knew the NY Times story with the email chain was minutes from posting. So it was not exactly a selfless act of “transparency”.

      • Avattoir says:

        That’s my take. With Manafort & Kushner already well within Mueller’s sights, and with (what to me seems a pretty obvious Kremlin plan to make Junior think he’s a player) Junior having the email history, all that suggests this whole drip-out began with Team T feeling the shoe was about to drop anyway. I mean, surely no one would PLAN this fiasco of a drip-out.

  21. Elrond says:

    Another angle.  Col. Lang suspects that the source of this story may be traced back to Rice, Brennan and Comey.  He is skeptical about the email but calls attention to the unsavoriness of the leak.

    Link here

      • Rugger9 says:

        My bet for the leaker du jour is Bannon, since the ones targeted (Junior, Jared and Manafort – who may have been turned by Mueller’s team) all are on the other side of the WH from Bannon’s faction.  Manafort would be the exception since I do not see if he has any principles at all, but he’s OK to be tossed under the bus to get it out of the ditch they’re in now.

        • Avattoir says:

          Not Bannon and not any of Lang’s candidates (tho Brennan, IDK). The thing is, we KNOW the FBI & DoJ, the NYC branches in particular, have lots of Rudy’s boys still around, and tho they’d (one must hope) not be directly involved in Meuller’s work, there’s always ambient leakage in that direction. Can’t be helped in such large bureaucratic settings.

  22. TarheelDem says:

    Here’s what I gather from this confused mess.

    There is an opening for investigating whether Trump wanted the US Attorney for the Southern District of NY to vacate a case involving Veselnitskaya’s clients.  That case was settled for $5.9 million by the acting US Attorney.  The confusion comes with to what degree this was a Magnitsky Act case.

    Veselnitskaya approached Donald Trump Jr. with a quid pro quo offering information about Clinton’s collusion with Russians (the subtext of the vague information).

    Trump tweeted about Clinton’s 30,000 emails the same day.

    Mueller is conducting an investigation into allegations that Trump fired Comey in order to obstruct justice. That investigation has broad latitude.

    The Chief Judge of SDNY is a Clinton appointee.

    The Chief Judge in Sirica’s old seat on DC District Court is an Obama appointee.

    Are the current news items enough to get Mueller to open an line of investigation into attempts at obstruction of justice in the SDNY jurisdiction?

    Could that line of investigation surface US government-held information that will lay the Russian hacking cards on the table so that the public will see if there is any there there.

    Will there be at cottage industry on bringing sunlight to the sleaziness of US politicians such as appeared during the Watergate hearings?

    Thanks for the cold water on the current frenzy.

    • Avattoir says:

      I get the rest, much of which might fit, but this passage totally escapes me: “Veselnitskaya approached Donald Trump Jr. with a quid pro quo offering information about Clinton’s collusion with Russians”

      CLINTON’S “collusion with Russians”? WTF?

      • TarheelDem says:

        That was one of the original spins out of Trumpland.

        I call that a sucker punch that uses projection.  Or it actually was the bait that Veselnitskaya or Goldstone used to get the Trump A team to the meeting.

        Translation (I think): Clinton knew some people in the Russian government and sent emails to them.

         

        WTF was my response too.  You’d think that next Victoria Nuland would be piling on Clinton by that spin.

  23. John Casper says:

    Does the early presence of Russian oligarch,  Aras Agalarov, shape this story as RU elites against Western elites?

    IMHO, that’s better than country vs. country, or NATO vs. the Warsaw Pact.

    Could this be an international version of Steinbeck’s “Grapes of Wrath?”

    • Rugger9 says:

      This is the essence of Reid’s tweetstorm today.  The Agalarovs are connected to POTUS, not Jr.  I especially liked the Facebook following evidence.

  24. Kim says:

    Now that the email in question has been leaked the question is who and why? Apparently it was shared with Manafort and Kushner quite some time ago. Did somebody leak it so that, at some near future point, they would not be asked by Drumpf to perjure themselves in front of an intel committee or FBI investigation?

    I am also curious about “Mr. Goldstone’s message, as described to the New York Times by THREE PEOPLE… “. The list of people we know who had access to that email is fairly small: Initially Drumpf Jr. and Goldstone, then the Times says Junior forwarded the entire chain to Manafort and Kushner.

    Who else might any of those sent it to? Has the IC had it since day one? Was it part of Nunes’s unmasking issue?

     

      • bmaz says:

        Are those three in the Trump White House or “advisors” thereto, as the NY Time reportage indicated their sources were in its earlier reporting?

        No, they are not. Lang is full of shit. And, without discussing what statute he is contemplating, glibly stating it is  a “felony” is inane.

        • Elrond says:

          Does the NYT article state that the “three people” were in the Trump White House?  All I can find is a vague statement about “three people with knowledge of the email.”  Lang thinks (as stated in the thread) that they were probably in the Obama White House.

          Lang seems to suppose that to release private-citizen emails gathered without due warrant by government surveillance, and for political purposes, would be a “felony.”  Probably just wishful thinking on his part.

           

          • bmaz says:

            Lang is full of it. The exact language was “three advisers to the White House briefed on the meeting and two others with knowledge of it.”

            It doesn’t have squat to do with the Obama White House. Lang is so far out in left field, he is out of the ballpark.

  25. orionATL says:

    what is really odd about this whole story is the uselessness of the payload – what the russian lawyer revealed to trump, jr. about clinton/clinton campaign:

    “… In a statement on Sunday, Trump Jr. said he was asked by “acquaintance I knew from the 2013 Miss Universe pageant” for a meeting with someone who might have “information helpful to the campaign.”  He said Veselnitskaya, whose name he said he was not told ahead of time, said she had information that “individuals connected to Russia were funding funding the Democratic National Committee and supporting Ms. Clinton. But, he said she made statements that were “vague, ambiguous and made no sense.”… Trump Jr. said Veselnitskaya then changed the subject to Russian adoption and it “became clear to me that this was the true agenda all along and that the claims of potentially helpful information were a pretext for the meeting.”… ”
    http://www.cbsnews.com/news/report-donald-trump-jr-met-with-russian-lawyer-after-promise-of-clinton-information/

    individuals connected to russia were funding the democratic national committee? that is not even remotely credible if “individuals” refers to russian officials or official cut-outs.

    nor is it credible that a lawyer reputed to be connected to the kremlin would give such non-credible info to trump, jr.

    was this really an accurate accounting of what lawyer v. said?

    a treasure chest with but a small sandstone rock for treasure and that delivered by a kremlin emissary. that’s a real mystery.

    • Avattoir says:

      The part about HRC’s campaign being Rus funded could at least as likely be a projection thing, from the Clinton Foundation angle about a connection to Rus energy oligarch. IOW it’s Junior’s version of the presumably non-recorded part of this story were getting, and it doesn’t appear at all remote to suggest projection is a family trait.

      • Rugger9 says:

        Projection is what POTUS does.  However, remember the “you’re the puppet” moment in the debates?  How does this fit the timeline?

      • lefty665 says:

        https://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/24/us/cash-flowed-to-clinton-foundation-as-russians-pressed-for-control-of-uranium-company.html

        $2.35 million to the Clinton Foundation from the Russians

        $500k directly to Bill from the Russians for a speech in Moscow

        $31.3 million from a Canadian financier who profited from the Russian Uranium One deal

        Might this money have had a higher visibility if it had been the Trump Foundation or the Donald himself getting paid Russian money directly, or photographed laughing with Putin?

        The NYT story is worth reading, there are other uranium deals and financial sleights of hand documented, along with a picture of laughing Bill with Putin.

         

        • Rugger9 says:

          The New York Times is hardly an unbiased source with respect to anything Clinton.  Let’s not forget JudyJudyJudy cavorting with Scooter in Aspen while spewing the BS for the Iraq war.  The Times’ columnists (with a couple of exceptions such as Krugman)  and Chris Cilliza in particular have made Clinton-bashing a hobby, just look at the press given Huma’s emails (which had NO classified data and were already in possession of the FBI, so thanks Jim Comey) compared to the already known Russia and Deutsche Bank conflicts of interest.

          The reason the Times didn’t report on the Donald had to do with guaranteeing a horse race to sell papers, Clinton Derangement Syndrome, and the fact that despite repeated promises to do so Trump still hasn’t opened his books.

          Marcy usually does better than this on her reporting.

  26. lefty665 says:

    Y’all don’t seem to be paying attention to Marcy’s cautions. There is little doubt that the Trump folks would have been eager to get their hands on Clinton dirt. But the only people we know who actually paid for and received political dirt in 2016 that came from Russia were Dems. They are as yet unidentified – wonder who they are and how closely they were connected to Hillary and her campaign?  Initially Little Marco got oppo research on Trump from the dirt bags Steele worked for, but he apparently dropped out before the Steele/Russia connection was made,  and in any event he is incidental.

    Be careful what you wish for. Blow back can be a bitch.

      • lefty665 says:

        Suggest you go back to the top and read Marcy’s post again. It was a caution to Dems about jumping too hard on an issue where you have considerable exposure.  Or don’t take heed, and blunder on, it is a free country, not necessarily a bright one. The blood in the water that excites you could soon include Dems.

        ps Spouting quasi legal verbiage may feel good, but it does not get you anywhere, and the rest was a non-sequitur.

        • John Casper says:

          lefty665,

          You wrote, “It was a caution to Dems about jumping too hard on an issue where you have considerable exposure.”

          Does the “you” drain the last whiff of credibility from the “lefty” in your handle?

          Did you miss that a lot of Democrats didn’t consider HRC a Democrat in November? A lot more held their noses when they voted for her.

        • Rugger9 says:

          No, I took issue with this statement: “But the only people we know who actually paid for and received political dirt in 2016 that came from Russia were Dems.”

          No names have been named nor any evidence presented.

  27. orionATL says:

    lefty @ 2:39

    lefty writes:

    “the only people we know who actually paid for and received political dirt in 2016 that came from Russia were Dems. They are as yet unidentified – wonder who they are and how closely they were connected to Hillary and her campaign?”

    be a sport, lefty, and tell us how you know some dems received political dirt from the russians. what was the info? what is your source? were the individuals who received the info dem party officials? were they clinton officials? any additional info on why they have not been identified?

    by the way, it has become very clear over the last several months that you have a barely covert positive view of trump and act here often as a trump defender, probably as a reaction formation to your oft articulated violent contempt for clinton and for the democratic party.

    • lefty665 says:

      Orion,  You are brighter than that. Go get some basic knowledge about who paid for the Dodgy Dossier, it is easily accessible.

      Your characterizations of me are wrong.  Apparently you were not hanging out around here during the campaign last fall when I repeatedly bemoaned that there was not a lesser evil in the campaign, and that Hillary and Trump were equally horrid, just in different ways. That opinion has not changed, and in fact has been validated. I’ll take my lumps for who I am, but not made up stuff.  Characterizing my contempt for Hillary and the Dem party as “violent” is slander, please stop it.

      • Rugger9 says:

        Or, you can shut us down by providing the evidence NOW.

        Of course there doesn’t seem to be any, is there, so you cite 2015 NYT articles instead.  DJT’s conflicts drawf anything the Cluinton Foundation did, and at least she had the class to not steal from disabled kids (like Eric did) or use donor money to buy pictures of himself for 20 k$ (DJT did that)

         

        • lefty665 says:

          You’re preaching to the choir when you tell me that the Trumps are jerks.

          OTOH, almost $35 million split between the Clinton Foundation and Bill personally after Hillary as Sec State signed off on the sale of a major portion of US uranium reserves to the Russians is material. It is far bigger corruption with potentially far worse consequences than the cheapscate ugliness of the Trumps you describe.

          Bet your take would be different if Tillerson was okaying the sale of US uranium to the Russians while The Trump foundation and Melania were pocketing the loot.

          I personally think it all sucks, and that Marcy was right, most US politicians are sleazy. Your mileage may vary.

          • John Casper says:

            lefty665,

            Think you’re way off base on the uranium.

            My understanding is that a lot of people in gov’t signed off on the sales.

            More importantly, why do you want it?

            Nuclear power is an ongoing disaster.

            At current rates, earth only has about a century’s worth of fissile material.

            Why hitch your wagon to that?

            1. Why won’t the private sector insure any of the reactors without a taxpayer backstop?

            2. Centralized generation–includes coal and natural gas–is so pre-9/11. Anyone with a few drones and some TNT can take them out.

            3. How do you keep the waste out of the water table?

            4. Reactors requires huge amounts of FRESH water for cooling.

            5. Can you build one in less than ten-years?

            6. Who besides Wall Street and Bechtel–other construction companies–has ever made money on them?

            7. How do you keep the waste away from terrorists?

            Obviously, being green is relevant, but nukes can’t adjust to the weekly and daily demand curve? They make the most sense paired with pumped storage hydro, but that takes a lot more fresh water.

            Wind and solar make eminently more sense. Elites don’t like them, because they’re more distributed, but they’re committed to owning them too.

            • lefty665 says:

              BOOM!

              Just which of America’s natural resources do you want the Russians to own?  You a commie or sumpthin?

              How about the resources that go bang? Do you really want the Russians to haul it back home and make bombs out of it? Maybe give it to the NorKs so they can send it back to us airmail?

              Dunno what the others who signed off on the deal got, but we do know that the Clintons cashed in for about a cool $35 million. Bill & Hill were enriched and didn’t need no steenkin’ centrifuge to get that way.

              The picture in the NYT of Bill laughing with Putin was precious too. He got the joke. It’s on us.

               

              • John Casper says:

                lefty665,

                You wrote, “Just which of America’s natural resources do you want the Russians to own?  You a commie or sumpthin?”

                Are you worried about California buying our “natural resources?”

                Its economy is larger than Russia’s. http://www.mercurynews.com/2016/07/05/californias-economy-is-bigger-than-all-but-five-nations-world-bank-data-says/

                You wrote, “How about the resources that go bang? Do you really want the Russians to haul it back home and make bombs out of it? Maybe give it to the NorKs so they can send it back to us airmail?”

                Do you know how many “Booms” Russia already has?

                Why do they need more?

                Why would they give anything that went “Boom” to North Korea?

                Can you find a Vladivostok on a map?

                What’s the current range of North Korean missiles?

                You wrote, “Dunno what the others who signed off on the deal got, but we do know that the Clintons cashed in for about a cool $35 million. Bill & Hill were enriched and didn’t need no steenkin’ centrifuge to get that way.”

                I thought my previous response to this was eaten. Now it appears it’s in moderation.

                I’m looking forward to your response to orionATL’s response about the sourcing the NYT’s used.

  28. orionATL says:

    lefty, i’m confident “violent” is the right adjective; of course there are others. as for your having equal concern about both parties, there is much in your commentary, including your recent concern for russian/american “peace”, that suggests that is not your fundamental belief.

    both democrat citizens and republican citizens, together with british citizen steele had a hand in manufacturing the steele dossier. do you know of democrat or republican committee officials who were involved in the steele dossier? do you know of clinton campaign officials who involved in the steele dossier?

    if not, it might avoid misunderstanding if you were clearer about what “democrat involvement” meant when you talk about “dem involvement with the steele dossier”.

  29. orionATL says:

    lefty @ 3:06pm

    the charges by noted clinton hater peter schweitzer of breitbart and the hoover institute are among the least credible made against the clintons.

    here is a simple debunking with bare facts. there are others more exhaustive:

    http://www.snopes.com/hillary-clinton-uranium-russia-deal/

    that you bring up propaganda like this serves to reinforce my obervations of your mind set and motives.

    • lefty665 says:

      You’re seeing things again orion. My link was to the NYT. I’ve never linked to Breitbart or the Hoover institute. Go back up and look at that post again.

  30. lefty665 says:

    Jeez dorks, Marcy gave orion the answers twice early on, but he has ignored her and continued to blather. Rugger, your visions of Hillary’s relative virtue are touching, but delusional.

    Maybe someday you guys will come to your senses, I hope so. In the meantime, have nice lives, it is apparently  so much simpler where you are.

  31. orionATL says:

    [email protected]:17

    ah, lefty. my comment included the info that peter schwitzer is associated with breitbart and hoover, two notorious rightwing institutions, not that you had cited them.

  32. John Casper says:

    lefty665,

    I’m surprised by the poor quality in your 9:12 p.m.

    You wrote, “According to the Federation of American Scientists, an organization that assesses nuclear weapon stockpiles, as of 2016, Russian Federation possesses 7,300 total nuclear warheads, of which 1,790 are strategically operational.[3]”

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russia_and_weapons_of_mass_destruction

    Are those numbers wrong?

    Does Russia need more, “BOOM?”

    You wrote, “Just which of America’s natural resources do you want the Russians to own?”

    Are you worried about California buying all our natural resources? Its economy is bigger than Russia’s.

    http://www.mercurynews.com/2016/07/05/californias-economy-is-bigger-than-all-but-five-nations-world-bank-data-says/

    Are “you a commie or sumpthin?”

    Do you also not get how the drop in the price of oil has hurt Russia?

    Why would Russia give anything to North Korea?
    Here’s a map. https:[email protected],136.3614327,6.21z/data=!4m5!3m4!1s0x357e02dae64f4337:0x3a0b871c3e1d861c!8m2!3d40.339852!4d127.510093

    Even North Korea can hit the vicinity of Vladivostok.

    Where’s your link on the maximum range of North Korea’s missiles?

    You wrote, “Dunno what the others who signed off on the deal got, but we do know that the Clintons cashed in for about a cool $35 million. Bill & Hill were enriched and didn’t need no steenkin’ centrifuge to get that way.”

    I’m not saying they didn’t, but where’s your link?

    • John Casper says:

      lefty665,

      Apologies, I missed your link to the NYT’s in another comment.

      I look forward to your response to orionATL’s 6:49.

      ” ah, lefty. my comment included the info that peter schwitzer is associated with breitbart and hoover, two notorious rightwing institutions, not that you had cited them.”

  33. Tim Graham says:

    The clarity of Goldstone’s email’s intent cannot be doubted—-he wanted Trump’s campaign leaders to accept dirt on Clinton from Russia, based on a tip from his Russian Miss Universe colleagues.  And as we now know, Trump, Jr., Kushner, and Manafort came running almost immediately. But this is not just personal to Trump Jr. because he then notifies Kushner and Manafort to come with him to get the dirt for the campaign. It’s foolish to believe this is some one-off from Russia or for Kushner and Manafort. This is part and parcel with the strategy of the campaign: make HRC look bad any way possible. I hope somebody is asking for all high level texts and emails from at least Trump, Trump Jr. Kushner, Manafort, Stone et al. These clowns are sloppy. There must be an extensive trail regarding campaign reps baiting Russia for its dossiers on HRC. any litigator worth his salt would demand that all texts/emails from/to the campaign be held for inter alia Mueller’s investigation.

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