Democrats who are feeling nostalgic for the good old days of the Russian collusion inquiry will be happy to know that Attorney General Barr has launched a new probe into the scandal. On second thought, maybe they won’t.
What Barr wants to know is why a huge, expensive and time-wasting investigation was launched on the word of a renegade foreign spy in the employ of President Trump’s political enemies. It’s a good question — and we don’t think everyone deserves answers.
Considering how incredible the whole Russia collusion scandal was, it’s probably no surprise to discover that it started on the basis of no real evidence at all. In fact, the spark behind the whole thing was a “dossier” alleging a deep conspiracy between Trump and Russia’s security forces to influence the results of the 2016 election. That would make sense if the dossier was credible — but was it?
- The origins of the dossier go back to April 2016, when Hillary Clinton’s campaign and the Democratic National Committee hired private intelligence firm Fusion GPS to investigate Trump. Yes, that’s right — the dossier was paid for by people who were trying to beat Trump in an election!
- Fusion GPS subcontracted the actual work to Orbis Business Intelligence Ltd, a British intelligence consultancy run by two former Secret Intelligence Service officers. One of them, Christopher Steele, took on the job of preparing the dossier.
- Steele is a highly respected and very professional intelligence officer, who worked for SIS from 1987 to 2009. His jobs included undercover work in Moscow, briefing US Special Forces on Taliban commanders at Bagram Air Base, and finally heading SIS’s Russia Desk for three years.
- However, although nobody is questioning Steele’s competence or loyalty, he isn’t a British intelligence officer anymore. He’s a mercenary — a highly skilled one with deep access to friendly and hostile intelligence services, but a mercenary nonetheless. If he’s hired to produce a damaging dossier on someone, that’s exactly what he’ll do.
- Everyone involved in the Russia investigation knew that the allegations behind it came from a mercenary hired by Clinton. That made it about as far from credible evidence as it was possible to be. Nevertheless, millions of dollars and countless hours were wasted on it.
- Now the Attorney General wants to know why. Barr says it was “very unusual” for the FBI to rely on a Democrat-funded hit piece as the basis for an investigation. That might just be the understatement of the century — but now we might finally learn why this farce was allowed to happen.