This article appears in the February 16, 2018 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.
British Controlling Hand
in Russiagate Exposed
by Harley Schlanger
[Print version of this article]
Feb. 9—Recent events in the ongoing “Russiagate” saga in the United States fully confirm what Lyndon and Helga Zepp LaRouche said when the anti-Trumpers first began peddling the “Russia meddled/Trump colluded” fairy tale about the 2016 presidential election: It is not Russia, they charged, but the British who attempted to rig the election, colluding with Obama intelligence agency leaders and the Hillary Clinton campaign to defeat Donald Trump and sabotage his presidency.
To end the coup danger, they added, the British must be exposed, and their operations in the United States must be permanently shut down. With the release of two memos in the last week, by Representative Devin Nunes and Senators Chuck Grassley and Lindsey Graham, focused on the pivotal role of “former” MI6 operative Christopher Steele in the attempted coup against President Donald Trump, there is no longer any doubt that the LaRouches were right.
Christopher Steele is the author of a very dirty dossier on Trump which claims that the President is a pawn of Putin and is subject to Russian blackmail. The dossier, it turns out, was paid for by Hillary Clinton and the Democratic National Committee as part of the work of Fusion GPS, Steele’s U.S. partner, in the 2016 election. It was shopped simultaneously through the FBI and other Obama intelligence agencies, and the Clinton Campaign, to the national news media. It was the backbone of the FBI counterintelligence investigation of the Trump campaign which began in July of 2016, and continues to this day under Special Counsel Robert Mueller. According to the Nunes House Intelligence Committee Memo, fired Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe told the House Intelligence Committee that there would have been no FISA applications for surveillance concerning the Trump campaign, were it not for this British handiwork.
On Feb. 2, Congressman Nunes, the Chair of the House Permanent Subcommittee on Intelligence (HPSCI) released his committee’s memo on the FBI’s use of the Steele dossier in surveillance requests to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court regarding Trump campaign volunteer advisor Carter Page. Then Senators Grassley and Graham released on Feb. 6, a redacted version of their referral of Christopher Steele to the Department of Justice for criminal prosecution, which provided further details of FBI/DOJ fraud on the FISA Court. Graham and Grassley believe that Steele committed felonies by lying to the FBI about his media activities on behalf of the Clinton Campaign.
In using the dossier in the first application for surveillance of Page to the FISA court on Oct. 21, 2016, the FBI/DOJ officials, including James Comey and former Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates, relegated the fact that Steele’s work had been entirely paid for by the Clinton Campaign and the DNC to a non-specific footnote referencing “political” origins. Although they were already in possession of a Yahoo!News article by their chief investigative correspondent Michael Isikoff specifically based on Steele’s work, the FBI affirmed to the Court what Steele had apparently told them—that he only shared his work with Fusion GPS and the FBI, not the news media. This created the highly misleading impression that Isikoff’s article validated Steele’s allegations, which were otherwise uncorroborated. Moreover, Steele had already briefed the Washington Post, the New York Times, CNN, and the New Yorker, in addition to Isikoff, at the time of the Oct. 21, 2016 initial application. He had also briefed David Corn, Washington Bureau Chief for Mother Jones, sometime in October.
According to the Graham/Grassley account, when Corn published his Mother Jones article on Oct. 31, it became clear to the FBI that Steele had lied to them about contacts with the news media. His informant status was terminated, but the FBI kept in contact with him through a back channel, very high up in the U.S. Department of Justice—-Associate Deputy Attorney General Bruce Ohr. Ohr’s wife, Nellie, worked for Steele’s U.S. partner, Fusion GPS.
When the FBI/DOJ returned to the FISA Court in January 2017 to extend the Page surveillance, it engaged in yet another affirmative misrepresentation to the Court. While disclosing that Steele’s informant relationship had been terminated because of his contacts with the news media, the DOJ/ FBI claimed to the Court that Steele only talked to the media in anger, when the Clinton email investigation was reopened and the Trump investigation seemed stalled. As Columnist Byron York notes in his excellent analysis for the Washington Examiner, the “whole Chris-was-angry-so-he-talked-to-the-press story was to allow the FBI to claim that his pre-anger work, i.e., the dossier, was credible.” In the renewal application. the FBI again affirmatively asserted that it did not believe that Steele was the source of Isikoff’s Sept. 23 article (which would, of course, call into question the bona fides of the entire application into question). Significantly, Steele confided to Bruce Ohr that he was extremely biased against Donald Trump and would do “anything” to prevent his election. This was never conveyed to the Court in the subsequent Page surveillance applications.
Fired former FBI Director Comey, who signed off on the applications to the FISA Court, told the Congress in June 2017 that Steele’s memos were “salacious and unverified.” Yet the Nunes memo and Grassley/Graham referral make very clear that the dirty British work-product was used in an all-out effort to discredit candidate Trump, and now, to destroy his Presidency.
As whistleblower Bill Binney described it, the Nunes memo proves that the FBI knowingly used “paid propaganda” produced by one campaign “to go after another campaign” in their filing. Binney, a former top official in the National Security Agency, was targeted and persecuted by the FBI, and is therefore very familiar with their modus operandi.
It is not just this intelligence, released by Devin Nunes and Senators Grassley and Graham, which has produced howls of protest from the anti-Trumpers, from Rep. Adam Schiff, the Democratic leader of the House of Representatives Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI), and from media such as the New York Times, Washington Post and CNN. They, after all, were all part of the British operation against Trump, and now stand exposed and vulnerable. What they legitimately fear is that the Nunes memo represents what Binney called “a crack” which opens a view into the “corruption in the secret government.”
In an attempt to cloak Steele with official immunities from what could be criminal prosecution, the Washington Post, on Feb. 7, insinuated that Steele was operating at the highest levels of official British intelligence when he concocted and spread his black propaganda memos against Donald Trump.
Nunes now says he is working on “Phase 2,” which will examine the role of Obama State Department personnel in collaborating with Steele. One target of Nunes is Jonathan Winer, the Obama State Department’s special envoy to Libya. Winer, a long-time number two to John Kerry, dating from Kerry’s Senate days, is a significant anti-Putin legal fanatic who collaborated with Christopher Steele in the British-CIA/State Department coup in Ukraine. From 2014-2016, Steele wrote over 100 memos concerning Russia and Ukraine, which were provided to the case officer for the Ukraine coup, Victoria Nuland, then Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs, as well as to Winer and Secretary of State John Kerry. In a speech to the U.S.-Ukraine Foundation, December 2013, Nuland had already stated that U.S. agencies spent over $5 billion to organize the illegal Ukraine coup, which employed neo-Nazis as military shock troops. Lifting the cover off this operation will not just shed light on the British role in orchestrating an anti-Russian policy—destroying Ukraine in the process, while imposing punitive sanctions against Russia—but will also explain why the election of Trump caused so much hysteria in London and in Obama circles. He had pledged to end the “regime change” policies, such as that run against Ukraine, and instead to cooperate with Russia and Putin.
Steele also provided his dirty dossier on Trump to Nuland, Winer, and Kerry. In addition, two notorious Clinton operatives, Sidney Blumenthal and Cody Shearer, fed their dirt on Trump to Steele who, in turn, fed it to the FBI.
MI-6, the FBI and the Dodgy Dossier
One sign of involvement of the highest levels of British intelligence was the deployment this week of a Foreign Office attorney to a London High Court hearing, where a deposition of Steele was to be held. Steele is being sued by Russian businessman Aleksej Gubarev, who is accused by Steele of “hacking” Democratic Party emails during the campaign, supposedly on behalf of the Kremlin. Steele did not show for the deposition, but his lawyer argued that he should not be forced to testify, as the deposition might “require the disclosure of sensitive information which could endanger UK national security interests and personnel.” The Foreign Office attorney was present to make sure that such “sensitive information” was not disclosed!
Another sign of British intelligence involvement was a revealing article about Steele in the Feb. 7 Washington Post, titled “Hero or Hired Gun? How a Former British Spy Became a Flashpoint in the Russia Investigation.” Even though it is one of the leaders in the anti-Trump campaign, the Post revealed that Steele was guided by the former chief of MI-6, Sir Richard Dearlove, who headed MI-6 from 1999 to 2004. The article states that Dearlove and a former British Ambassador to Moscow and associate of Steele, Sir Andrew Wood, steered Steele to the FBI.
According to the story, Steele and his partner at Sterling Select Partners, LLC, Chris Burrows, went to Dearlove “for guidance,” as they claimed to be “rattled” by what they were discovering about Trump and Russia while compiling their “dodgy dossier.” It was Dearlove who was responsible for an earlier “dodgy dossier”—that is, the lying report on Iraq’s “weapons of mass destruction,” which was used by then-Prime Minister Tony Blair to bolster arguments, in collaboration with George W. Bush, Dick Cheney and the neocon unilateralists, for launching the second Iraq war, a war which toppled Saddam Hussein, devastated Iraq, and led to the creation of ISIS. Dearlove said “he advised Steele and Burrows to work discreetly with a top British government official to pass along information to the FBI.” He praised Steele, whose expertise he described as “superb.”
One striking omission in the Post’s article was its failure to mention the role of Robert Hannigan in launching the targeting of Trump and Putin. The British have previously and proudly claimed this role. Hannigan was the Director of the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), the British snooping agency, which the Guardian described as the “principle whistleblower” of the Russia-Trump connection, a connection the GCHQ allegedly “discovered” in the summer of 2015. According to the British account, Hannigan personally passed the evidence compiled by the GCHQ to CIA Director John Brennan in June 2016. It was then that Brennan launched a “major inter-agency investigation,” which included the FBI and the Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper.
Steele’s first memo was completed June 20, 2016, and his first meeting with an FBI official was July 5, just weeks before Trump received the Republican Party’s nomination.
Thus, before Obama’s intelligence apparat of Comey, CIA Director Brennan and Director of National Intelligence Clapper declared Jan. 6, 2017 that there was unassailable evidence that Russia meddled in the election, and that Trump colluded with the Russians, it was GCHQ which initiated the fake narrative of Russiagate. This was to be used as an “insurance policy,” should Trump win, as admitted in a text message to his FBI attorney mistress, Lisa Page, by FBI operative Peter Strzok, chief of Counterintelligence who was part of the inter-agency investigation.
Threats to Trump as Russiagate Implodes
The British were reacting to Trump’s pledge to find ways to work with Putin, rather than to demonize and provoke him, as was Obama Administration policy. Such a prospect represented an existential threat to the imperial, geopolitical doctrine of a unilateral world order, under London/Wall Street control. The hundreds of pages of text messages sent between Peter Strzok and Lisa Page provide a glimpse of this hysteria, as the two wrote about the plotting against Trump going on in “Andy’s office,” a reference to the former Deputy Director of the FBI, Andrew McCabe.
Strzok described himself as “riled up” over the possibility that Trump might win, referring to him as “a f**king idiot. . . . What the f**k happened to our country?” Page responded by describing Trump as a “loathsome human being.” Both worked for a while on special counsel Robert Mueller’s team, until the Justice Department’s Inspector General released the texts, and Strzok was removed. He also played a lead role in the investigation of Hillary Clinton’s violation of national security by her use of an unsecured private email server when she was Secretary of State. Hillary Clinton was eventually given a slap on the wrist, with Strzok advising Comey to weaken the language in his finding, so as to avoid the possibility of a felony charge against her. During this period, Strzok admitted to Page that they had found “no there there” in the Trump investigation—meaning that no evidence exists to back the charges of meddling and collusion!
As the story of Russiagate falls apart, defenders of the FBI and CIA are resorting to blatant threats against the President. Philip Mudd, a former CIA officer whom Robert Mueller personally moved to the FBI to supervise Mueller’s huge informant program, told CNN in August 2017 that “this government is going to kill this guy,” referring to President Trump. Mudd, now a CNN consultant, lashed out Feb. 2 against the Nunes memo on CNN. Parroting the argument of Congressional Democrats about the memo, he said it is an attack on the FBI’s “ability to conduct an investigation with integrity. . . . The FBI people are ticked. . . You think you can intimidate the director? You better think again, Mr. President.” He added, “I know how the game is played. We’re going to win.”
CNN host Wolf Blitzer responded, “You don’t want the FBI angry at you,” whereupon Gloria Borger, CNN’s chief political analyst, blurted out, “Trump is playing a dangerous game.” It should be noted that CNN just hired Josh Campbell, a former top aide to Comey, to join its team, while NBC-TV hired John Brennan to provide “commentary.”
Not to be outdone, the Washington Post ran an op-ed by Eugene Robinson Feb. 5, titled “Trump has Picked a Fight with the FBI. He’ll be Sorry.” Referring to the sordid history of the FBI persecution of Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., who was a target for harassment and threats from the FBI from the mid-1950s until his assassination in 1968, Robinson warns, “Presidents don’t win fights with the FBI. He’ll be sorry.” While the FBI and the CIA were involved in the coverup of the assassinations of both President John F. Kennedy and King, Lyndon LaRouche has reported on the role of the British as the authors of key assassinations in U.S. history, including the murders of Alexander Hamilton, Abraham Lincoln, William McKinley, Kennedy, and King.
Which brings us finally back to the British role in Russiagate, and the prophetic insights of the LaRouches. In the Jan. 20, 2017 EIR on the day of Trump’s inauguration, Helga Zepp LaRouche wrote, “What is spectacular about the operation against Trump, however, is that British intelligence and its American counterparts, which have operated for decades as spooks in the shadows, have now been forced to expose themselves openly. The essentially dilettantish operation—conducted by Steele, the man in charge of exposing the corruption in The Federation International de Football Association (FIFA) and the principal MI-6 agent in the affair of former officer of the Russian FSB secret service, Alexander Litvinenko’s murder (whose death he and the Brits blame on Putin’s FSB operatives)—revealed the direct intervention of the British empire, for which the term ‘globalization’ is only a synonym, into the internal affairs of the United States.”
In April 2017, as it was becoming clear that the anti-Trumpers intended to remove Trump through impeachment, the 25th Amendment, or even murder, Lyndon LaRouche stated that “No British institution has the right to meddle in American affairs. Obama is an example of this evil. Mankind has to learn to fight, to shut down things that are wrong. The British empire is wrong. . . . People must have the guts to do what must be done. The time has come to crush this thing. Get this nation and other nations to agree to that.”
The revelations during the last weeks, of the British role behind the regime-change operation in the United States, demonstrate that there are some who are finally showing “the guts to do what must be done.”