2 of 3
2
First one down
Posted: 03 November 2017 12:12 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]
Member
RankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  130
Joined  2017-09-24
Lausten - 01 November 2017 05:33 AM
Beltane - 31 October 2017 09:56 PM
DougC.V2 - 30 October 2017 11:13 PM

http://www.cnn.com/2017/10/30/politics/paul-manafort-russia-investigation-surrender/index.html

A former Trump campaign foreign policy adviser has pleaded guilty to making a false statement to the FBI after he lied about his interactions with foreign officials close to the Russian government—the campaign’s clearest connection so far to Russia’s efforts to meddle in the 2016 election.

Kind of hard to claim that nothing happened when trump campaign people have already pled guilty to breaking the law in regards to illegal involvement with Russia.

trump’s days are numbered…

A few things you’ve missed:

Manafort is being investigated for money laundering, tax evasion, and failure to register as a foreign agent for activities which occurred years before he worked for the 2016 campaign.  Notice how Trump himself isn’t implicated in any of that.

George Papadopoulos lied about having contacts with Russian figures who supposedly had “dirt” on Hillary Clinton; it seems the dirt either didn’t exist or it never changed hands, so its all legit . Again, notice how Trump himself is not implicated.

Media is too stupid to know what they’re talking about, they’re just hoping something will stick; and you’re too eager for revenge to see that Trump will not face any charges.

Thanks for the Fox News talking points.

No kidding eh, on the morning they arrested these three crooks fox was featuring where to put the cheese on the hamburger emoji.

fox propaganda is not news when it refuses to cover the fact that one of the president’s foreign advisors has pleeded guilty to lying to the FBI and is now giving evidence and two other prominent members of the trump 2016 campaign and a former White House staffer are charged with very serious crimes resulting in a $10 million and $5 million bail. But then fox propaganda pretended that trump firing Comey wasn’t obstruction of justice and that Robert Mueller must step down for absolutely no reason.

https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2017/10/roger-stone-uranium-one-robert-mueller

Aiding someone in treason is treason, I won’t be surprised if some of the people at fox at the very least lose their jobs over this and some may go to jail if it can be established they worked with trump to block investigations into his links with Russia. They are all on the same page when it comes to the meaningless Uranium one story, it is obviously fabricated to end the Mueller investigation into trump and his likely treason with Russia.

That is also obstruction of justice.

With the first charges filed in Robert Mueller’s Trump-Russia investigation, frustrated Republicans are looking anew at ways to obviate the meddlesome special prosecutor. Firing Mueller would precipitate a political crisis that would engulf, and possibly consume, Donald Trump’s presidency. Earlier attempts at eroding Mueller’s credibility by highlighting his friendship with James Comey, his short-lived successor as F.B.I. director, only succeeded at further angering Trump’s base. But while the president’s lawyers have advised him to let Mueller do his job, expediting a legal process that they believe will ultimately vindicate him, other Trump allies are out for blood. And some believe they’ve found a way to force Mueller to resign without getting the president impeached in the process.

“Mueller can’t be a special prosecutor when he himself is under investigation,” Roger Stone, a longtime Trump confidant, told the Daily Caller on Monday, hours after news broke that Mueller had indicted former Trump campaign advisers Paul Manafort and Richard Gates, and extracted a guilty plea from George Papadopoulos. And Trump “doesn’t have to fire anybody.” The key, he explained, is the controversial 2010 decision by the Obama administration to allow Rosatom, a Russian nuclear energy agency, to acquire a controlling stake in Uranium One, a Canadian firm that had a major mining license in the United States. Around the same time, Bill Clinton received substantial speaking fees in Russia, and the nonprofit Clinton Foundation received donations from entities with interests in the Uranium One deal. Republicans contend that this amounts to a quid pro quo that wasn’t sufficiently investigated by Mueller when he led the F.B.I. “Mueller is guilty of obstruction and cover up in Uranium One,” Stone argued.

That right there is obstruction of justice, there is no evidence that Mueller was involved in the Uranium One deal. Stone isn’t even pretending that Uranium one is not an end run to get Mueller fired to protect trump.

There would be no reason to do any of this if trump was clean, the thing that has trump and his people and some republicans panicked is the very high probability that trump is dirty with Russia and Mueller is going to nail him on it.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 03 November 2017 12:19 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]
Member
RankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  130
Joined  2017-09-24

I’m also looking forward to the little trump quislings being gone after he is removed from office, the only reason they are here is to shit disturb the way that trump does constantly to deflect attention from his actions.

friggin’ fascists…

[ Edited: 03 November 2017 12:40 AM by DougC.V2 ]
Profile
 
 
Posted: 03 November 2017 05:56 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  450
Joined  2016-10-10
Citizenschallenge-v.3 - 02 November 2017 04:49 PM
DougC.V2 - 02 November 2017 02:14 PM

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uTfBv4rcSGY

Looks like Paul Manafort’s visions of secret agent man backfired.
bond007    LOL

Beltrane you gotta take a look at that video it adds a lot of background you seem to be missing.  Here’s some written stuff you might find informative.

How D.C. Lobbyists Helped Paul Manafort Prop Up a Putin Puppet
For years, the influence-peddlers’ work for a pro-Kremlin party flew under the radar. Then Bob Mueller’s Trump-Russia probe got rolling.

Betsy Woodruff - 08.28.17
https://www.thedailybeast.com/how-dc-lobbyists-helped-paul-manafort-prop-up-a-putin-puppet

At issue is work that Manafort did for Viktor Yanukovych, a pro-Putin Ukrainian politician who was the country’s president from 2010 to 2014. Yanukovych fled the country to Russia after protesters overthrew his government. Vladimir Putin reportedly helped him escape. ...

To try to persuade Americans that Ukraine was moving in the right direction, the two lobbying firms undertook a public relations offensive—pitching journalists, meeting with Congressional staff, and introducing Yanukovych allies to top Washington power brokers.

The client paying the firms for that work was the European Center for Modern Ukraine. ECFMU told both firms it wasn’t backed by any political entities. But new reports indicate it had the support of Yanukovych’s party, the Party of Regions—which means the two lobbying firms should have disclosed their work for the group to the Justice Department. ...

Top Trump Aide Led the ‘Torturers’ Lobby’
BETSY WOODRUFF, TIM MAK - 04.13.16
https://www.thedailybeast.com/top-trump-aide-led-the-torturers-lobby

So when Manafort accused opponent Ted Cruz of using “gestapo tactics” to court Republican delegates on Meet the Press this past Sunday—it’s something he may have quite a bit of experience with firsthand.

Manafort was a principal at the lobbying firm Black, Manafort, Stone, and Kelly (along with another top Trump ally, Nixon alum Roger Stone), a K Street powerhouse with close ties to the Reagan and George H. W. Bush administrations, as well as top Republicans on Capitol Hill.

But over the years, they made millions by representing a rogue’s gallery of clients far away from D.C.’s genteel corridors of power: dictators, guerilla groups, and despots with no regard for human rights—including one man responsible for mass amputations, and another who oversaw state-sanctioned rape.

One such client was Jonas Savimbi, who led a guerilla army trying to wrest control of the Angolan government from Marxists during the country’s brutal civil war. Savimbi hired Manafort’s lobbying firm to help him get financial support from the U.S. government for his guerilla army, UNITA (National Union for the Total Independence of Angola).

And Manafort and co. delivered. ...

Paul Manafort, Donald Trump’s top adviser, and his ties to pro-Russian politicians in Ukraine

By Aleksandra Kharchenko on Monday, May 2nd, 2016 at
politifact.com/global-news

So what? None of that pertains to the election.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 03 November 2017 05:59 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  450
Joined  2016-10-10
Citizenschallenge-v.3 - 02 November 2017 04:58 PM

God bless her heart, Betsy Woodruff is on the job.  Today she’s come out with this beaut

Mueller Reveals New Manafort Link to Organized Crime
https://www.thedailybeast.com/mueller-reveals-new-manafort-link-to-organized-crime
Trump’s former campaign manager didn’t just do business with accused gangsters.
One of them transferred millions into a Manafort account, allegedly used for money laundering.

Buried deep in Robert Mueller’s indictment of Paul Manafort is a new link between Donald Trump’s former campaign and Russian organized crime.

The indictment (PDF), unsealed on Monday, includes an extensive look into Paul Manafort’s byzantine financial dealings.
In particular, it details how he used a company called Lucicle Consultants Limited to wire millions of dollars into the United States.

The Cyprus-based Lucicle Consultants Limited, in turn, reportedly received millions of dollars from a businessman and Ukrainian parliamentarian named Ivan Fursin,
who is closely linked to one of Russia’s most notorious criminals: Semion Mogilevich.

Mogilevich is frequently described as “the most dangerous mobster in the world.” Currently believed to be safe in Moscow ...

Yet another piece of dumbass journalism completely irrelevant to the election.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 03 November 2017 06:03 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  450
Joined  2016-10-10
DougC.V2 - 03 November 2017 12:19 AM

I’m also looking forward to the little trump quislings being gone after he is removed from office, the only reason they are here is to shit disturb the way that trump does constantly to deflect attention from his actions.

friggin’ fascists…

You will have to wait until 2020 at least for Trump to be gone.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 04 November 2017 07:40 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 21 ]
Member
RankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  130
Joined  2017-09-24

Now it look like trump’s attorney general Jeff Sessions lied under oath which is also a felony.

https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2017/11/3/16599426/jeff-sessions-russia-testimony

Attorney General Jeff Sessions just keeps getting tripped up over his sworn Russia testimony.

Several times this year, Sessions has tried to downplay allegations and reports that the Trump presidential campaign — which he advised — had inappropriate contacts with Russians. He’s done this under oath, before congressional committees, in multiple sessions.

And yet we keep learning that he hasn’t told the full story.

The latest problem for Sessions stems from news that George Papadopoulos, a foreign policy adviser to Trump’s campaign, had pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about his contacts with Russians.

According to a court document unsealed Monday, Papadopoulos now admits that during a March 31, 2016, meeting with Trump and other campaign foreign policy advisers, he said he had connections that could help set up a meeting between Trump and Putin. Sessions, who chaired the Trump campaign’s National Security Advisory Committee, was at that meeting.

Anyone who claims that trump isn’t under investigation over allegations that he colluded with Russia in the 2016 election doesn’t know what reality is. In reality the investigation into the trump campaign to get elected and everything that he’s done in the White House is under investigation. In the same way that an investigation into organized crime moves up the chain of command.

And that’s all the trump campaign and the admin are, organized crime.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 04 November 2017 07:50 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 22 ]
Member
RankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  130
Joined  2017-09-24

Paul Manafort also used the route preferred by Russia criminals to move his money from there into the US without paying taxes.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/manafort-magnitsky-browder-1.4385860

The indictment this week of former Donald Trump presidential campaign chairman Paul Manafort and his aide Richard Gates, runs to 31 pages.

Much of it reads like a bank ledger, listing dozens of wire transfers both men allegedly made over several years, moving millions of dollars into the United States without paying taxes. Most of those wire transfers came from roughly a dozen bank accounts in Cyprus.

For anyone familiar with the money-laundering tale uncovered by Russian lawyer Sergei Magnitsky, that’s an interesting coincidence. The financial fraud case he discovered in Moscow in 2007 also saw millions passed through bank accounts in Cyprus.

“Cyprus is, effectively, the money-laundering country of choice for criminals from Russia,” says U.K. hedge fund manager Bill Browder. “And the reason … is because the Cypriot authorities turn a very active blind eye to the money-laundering.”

Magnitsky was working for the fund manager when he discovered several of Browder’s companies had been effectively stolen by Russian criminals with ties to the country’s judiciary, netting them $230 million US ($293.2 million Cdn).

A CBC News investigation earlier this year showed some of that money later flowed through bank accounts that tied back to Canada. It’s still not clear if any of the people who received the money here knew it may have originated with a brutal crime in Russia.

So I guess the way this worked is that Putin had a dirty US “businessman” working for him and he then got dirt on trump who had likely been laundering money for the Russians for years through his “real estate”.

Paul Manafort under Putin’s orders takes over the trump campaign in 2016 until questions start to surface about who the hell this guy is and his links back to Putin. Seems to be the central theme of the trump campaign with figure after figure linked back to Putin.

That includes trump Jr., Jared, Mike Flynn, George Papadopoulos, Rick Gates, Jeff Sessions, and the bloated orangutan himself.

It’s just a matter of time now before Mueller traces this right back to trump with enough evidence to indict.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 04 November 2017 01:34 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 23 ]
Member
RankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  130
Joined  2017-09-24

So lets have a look at one of the main creeps in this unfolding American scandal.

http://www.businessinsider.com/who-is-paul-manafort-and-why-is-he-at-the-center-of-the-trump-russia-probe-2017-3

While working at a private law firm two years after graduating from law school, Manafort began advising Republican president Gerald Ford’s 1976 campaign. Since the 1970s, he has established deep and sometimes murky, connections in Washington and around the world, serving as political lobbyist, adviser, and an international political consultant for leaders around the world, including dictators Mobutu Sese Seko of the Democratic Republic of Congo and Ferdinand Marcos of the Philippines.

Manafort’s international work has long raised eyebrows among Democrats in Washington. In 2004, he became a top adviser to Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, a pro-Russian strongman whom Manafort is widely credited with helping win the presidency in 2010.

Yanukovych was ousted in 2014 after widespread demonstrations again this decision to back out of a deal with the EU that would have distanced Ukraine from Russia and fostered closer ties with the West. On February 20, 2014, Ukrainian riot police opened fire on thousands of demonstrators who had gathered in central Kiev. Fifty-three protesters were killed that day, and dozens more over the next few days.

Ukrainian prosecutors have said Yanukovych ordered the security forces’ attack on protesters, and at least one human-rights lawyer representing the victims is investigating what role, if any, Manafort played in encouraging Yanukovych’s crackdown. Yanukovych fled to Russia amid the protests and is now living under the protection of the Kremlin.

In another bizarre twist, last March hackers broke into Manafort’s daughter’s iPhone and published four years’ worth of purported text messages — roughly 300,000 messages — on the dark web.

In a series of texts reviewed by Business Insider that appear to have been sent by Andrea to her sister, Jessica, in March 2015, Andrea said their father had “no moral or legal compass.”

“Don’t fool yourself,” Andrea wrote to her sister, according to the texts. “That money we have is blood money.”

“You know he has killed people in Ukraine? Knowingly,” she continued, according to the reviewed texts. “As a tactic to outrage the world and get focus on Ukraine. Remember when there were all those deaths taking place. A while back. About a year ago. Revolts and what not. Do you know whose strategy that was to cause that, to send those people out and get them slaughtered.”

In another text to her cousin, who was also her father’s business partner, Andrea called Manafort “a sick f—-ing tyrant.”

Manafort and Trump have been connected since the 1980s when Trump hired Manafort’s lobbying firm to help the Trump Organization. Trump became close with Manafort’s business partner at the time, Roger Stone, a self-proclaimed “dirty trickster” who served as an early adviser to Trump’s presidential campaign.

In March 2016, Trump hired Manafort to manage the Republican National Convention and wrangle delegates into supporting Trump. Manafort had experience convincing delegates to support Gerald Ford in 1976 — the last time the Republican Party began a convention without having selected its presidential nominee.

In May 2016, Manafort was promoted to the position of campaign chairman and chief strategist. He became the campaign’s de-facto manager after Trump fired Corey Lewandowski in late June.

The New York Times, citing ledgers uncovered by an anticorruption center in Kiev, reported on August 16, 2016 that $12.7 million in undisclosed cash payments from Yanukovych’s pro-Russia Party of Regions had been earmarked for Manafort for his work with the party from 2007 to 2012.

Three days later, Manafort resigned from the campaign.

Trump attempted to minimize Manafort’s contributions to the campaign earlier this year.

“I know Mr. Manafort — I haven’t spoken to him in a long time, but I know him — he was with the campaign, as you know, for a very short period of time — for a relatively short period of time,” Trump said.

But last year those close to Trump were quick to attribute the campaign’s success to its former chairman.

“We couldn’t be more happy with the work that he’s doing, the way he’s tackling these things, the way he’s handling the organization of everything going forward,” Donald Trump Jr. told the AP in July 2016.

In August 2016, former House Speaker and Trump loyalist Newt Gingrich told Fox News host Sean Hannity that “nobody should underestimate how much Paul Manafort did to get this campaign to where it is right now.”

piece of crap…

Profile
 
 
Posted: 04 November 2017 01:37 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 24 ]
Member
RankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  130
Joined  2017-09-24

and another turd in the bowl…

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-politics/rick-gates-who-is-he-trump-russia-manafort-business-mueller-investigation-a8028146.html

Richard “Rick” Gates, a business partner of Paul Manafort and former Donald Trump campaign official, has been indicted by special counsel Robert Mueller on federal charges stemming from alleged financial ties to Russian-connected sources.

Up until now, Mr Gates has been a little-known player in the Trump orbit, having joined the campaign after Mr Manafort was elevated to being his campaign manager, serving as his deputy. Mr Gates would end up continuing to serve Mr Trump even after his business partner was fired from the campaign, serving as a liaison for the campaign with the Republican National Committee, and later helping to plan the incoming president’s inauguration.

Mr Gates has been charged, alongside Mr Manafort, on 12 federal charges, including conspiracy against the United States, conspiracy to launder money, unregistered agent of a foreign principal, false and misleading US Foreign Agents Registration Act statements, false statements, and seven counts of failure to file reports of foreign bank and financial accounts. Mr Mueller’s team has investigating Russia’s meddling in the 2016 election, and whether Trump campaign officials colluded in the effort.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 04 November 2017 01:40 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 25 ]
Member
RankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  130
Joined  2017-09-24

And still more…

http://www.cnn.com/2017/10/30/politics/paul-manafort-russia-investigation-surrender/index.html

A former Trump campaign foreign policy adviser has pleaded guilty to making a false statement to the FBI after he lied about his interactions with foreign officials close to the Russian government—the campaign’s clearest connection so far to Russia’s efforts to meddle in the 2016 election.
In court records unsealed on Monday, the FBI said George Papadopoulos “falsely described his interactions with a certain foreign contact who discussed ‘dirt’ related to emails” concerning Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. Records also describe an email between Trump campaign officials suggesting they were considering acting on Russian invitations to go to Russia.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 04 November 2017 01:43 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 26 ]
Member
RankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  130
Joined  2017-09-24

and still more…

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/08/us/politics/trump-russia-kushner-manafort.html

Two weeks after Donald J. Trump clinched the Republican presidential nomination last year, his eldest son arranged a meeting at Trump Tower in Manhattan with a Russian lawyer who has connections to the Kremlin, according to confidential government records described to The New York Times.

The previously unreported meeting was also attended by Mr. Trump’s campaign chairman at the time, Paul J. Manafort, as well as the president’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, according to interviews and the documents, which were outlined by people familiar with them.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 04 November 2017 01:44 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 27 ]
Member
RankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  130
Joined  2017-09-24

and another…

https://www.thedailybeast.com/michael-flynn-followed-russian-troll-accounts-pushed-their-messages-in-days-before-election

Former White House National Security Adviser Michael Flynn followed five Twitter accounts based out of the Russian-backed “troll factory” in St. Petersburg—and pushed their messages at least three times in the month before the 2016 election.

Over 2,750 troll accounts based out of the Kremlin-backed Internet Research Agency were made public by House investigators on Wednesday. The accounts, some of which had previously been identified by The Daily Beast as Russian-generated, were pulled from Twitter due to their ties to the troll factory over the past three months.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 04 November 2017 01:46 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 28 ]
Member
RankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  130
Joined  2017-09-24

and even more…

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/02/us/politics/trump-jeff-sessions-russia.html

WASHINGTON — Standing before reporters in February, President Trump said unequivocally that he knew of nobody from his campaign who was in contact with Russians during the election. Attorney General Jeff Sessions has told the Senate the same thing.

Court documents unsealed this week cast doubt on both statements and raised the possibility that Mr. Sessions could be called back to Congress for further questioning.

The special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, unsealed his first charges Monday in a wide-ranging investigation into Russian attempts to disrupt the presidential election and whether anyone close to Mr. Trump was involved. Records in that case show that George Papadopoulos, a foreign policy adviser, had frequent discussions with Russians in 2016 and trumpeted his connections in front of Mr. Trump and Mr. Sessions.

For months, journalists have revealed evidence that associates of Mr. Trump met with Russians during the campaign and the presidential transition. But the court documents represent the first concrete evidence that Mr. Trump was personally told about ties between a campaign adviser and Russian officials.

At a March 31, 2016, meeting between Mr. Trump and his foreign policy team, Mr. Papadopoulos introduced himself and said “that he had connections that could help arrange a meeting between then-candidate Trump and President Putin,” according to court records.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 04 November 2017 01:52 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 29 ]
Member
RankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  130
Joined  2017-09-24

And course we all saw trump openly request that the Russian intelligence service to get involved in the 2016 election in his favour by releasing emails they had stolen from the DNC.

https://www.politico.com/story/2016/07/trump-putin-no-relationship-226282

Donald Trump invited Russia to hack Hillary Clinton’s emails on Wednesday, asking one of America’s longstanding geopolitical adversaries to find “the 30,000 emails that are missing” from the personal server she used during her time as secretary of state.

“I will tell you this, Russia: If you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing,” the Republican nominee said at a news conference in Florida. “I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press.”

Not an innocent request considering how close trump’s and all his top people’s ties were to Russia and that he likely knew about the emails that Russia had stolen as early as April of 2016.

https://www.vox.com/2017/10/30/16571462/george-papadopoulos-clinton-emails

Amid a flurry of new developments in special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation, there’s one revelation that’s particularly dramatic.

That is: A low-level Trump adviser was told as early as April 2016 that the Russians had “dirt” on Hillary Clinton, in the form of “thousands of emails.”

It’s a potentially crucial new piece of information that raises even more questions about just what, exactly, the Trump campaign knew about the Russian effort to hack and release leading Democrats’ emails — and whether they had collaborated with or advised that effort in any way.

The Trump adviser in question is George Papadopoulos — a foreign policy adviser to the campaign who, it was revealed in a document unsealed Monday, had been arrested back in July for making false statements to the FBI, and now appears to have made a deal to cooperate with Mueller’s probe into Russian interference.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 04 November 2017 01:58 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 30 ]
Member
RankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  130
Joined  2017-09-24

But why would someone as clearly unqualified to run a company let alone a major nation want to seek its highest office.

According to the former head of MI6s Russia desk it’s because the Russians caught trump in a “honey” trap… in this case more like urine.

https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2017/03/how-the-explosive-russian-dossier-was-compiled-christopher-steele

And so, on a warm day last June, Christopher Steele, ex-Cambridge Union president, ex-M.I.6 Moscow field agent, ex-head of M.I.6’s Russia desk, ex-adviser to British Special Forces on capture-or-kill ops in Afghanistan, and a 52-year-old father with four children, a new wife, three cats, and a sprawling brick-and-wood suburban palace in Surrey, received in his second-floor office at Orbis a transatlantic call from an old client.

“It started off as a fairly general inquiry,” Steele would recall in an anonymous interview with Mother Jones, his identity at the time still a carefully guarded secret. But over the next seven incredible months, as the retired spy hunted about in an old adversary’s territory, he found himself following a trail marked by, as he then put it, “hair-raising” concerns. The allegations of financial, cyber, and sexual shenanigans would lead to a chilling destination: the Kremlin had not only, he’d boldly assert in his report, “been cultivating, supporting, and assisting” Donald Trump for years but also had compromised the tycoon “sufficiently to be able to blackmail him.”

Steele had known Russia as a young spy, arriving in Moscow as a 26-year-old with his new wife and thin diplomatic cover in 1990. For nearly three years as a secret agent in enemy territory, he lived through the waning days of perestroika and witnessed the tumultuous disintegration of the Soviet Union under Boris Yeltsin’s mercurial and often boozy leadership. The K.G.B. was onto him almost from the start: he inhabited the spy’s uncertain life, where at any moment the lurking menace could turn into genuine danger. Yet even at the tail end of his peripatetic career at the service, Russia, the battleground of his youth, was still in his blood and on his operational mind: from 2004 to 2009 he headed M.I.6’s Russia Station, the London deskman directing Her Majesty’s covert penetration of Putin’s resurgent motherland.

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. There was no safe way he could return to Russia to do the actual digging; the vengeful F.S.B. would be watching him closely. But no doubt he had a working relationship with knowledgeable contacts in London and elsewhere in the West, from angry émigrés to wheeling-and-dealing oligarchs always eager to curry favor with a man with ties to the Secret Service, to political dissidents with well-honed axes to grind. And, perhaps most promising of all, he had access to the networks of well-placed Joes—to use the jargon of his former profession—he’d directed from his desk at London Station, assets who had their eyes and ears on the ground in Russia.

How good were these sources? Consider what Steele would write in the memos he filed with Simpson: Source A—to use the careful nomenclature of his dossier—was “a senior Russian Foreign Ministry figure.” Source B was “a former top level intelligence officer still active in the Kremlin.” And both of these insiders, after “speaking to a trusted compatriot,” would claim that the Kremlin had spent years getting its hooks into Donald Trump.

Source E was “an ethnic Russian” and “close associate of Republican US presidential candidate Donald Trump.”

This individual proved to be a treasure trove of information. “Speaking in confidence to a compatriot,” the talkative Source E “admitted there was a well-developed conspiracy of cooperation between them [the Trump campaign] and the Russian leadership.” Then this: “The Russian regime had been behind the recent leak of embarrassing e-mail messages, emanating from the Democratic National Committee (DNC) to the WikiLeaks platform.” And finally: “In return the Trump team had agreed to sideline Russian intervention in Ukraine as a campaign issue and to raise US/NATO defense commitments in the Baltic and Eastern Europe to deflect attention away from Ukraine.”

Then there was Source D, “a close associate of Trump who had organized and managed his recent trips to Moscow,” and Source F, “a female staffer” at the Moscow Ritz-Carlton hotel, who was co-opted into the network by an Orbis “ethnic Russian operative” working hand in hand with the loquacious Trump insider, Source E.

Profile
 
 
   
2 of 3
2