In June, Ellen Weintraub, chair of the Federal Election Commission wrote, “ Let me make something 100% clear to the American public and anyone running for public office: It is illegal for any person to solicit, accept, or receive anything of value from a foreign national in connection with a U.S. election, this is not a novel concept.”
I find it amusing (sic) that the media is now jumping all over these words. I have two words to offer in response-
Remember the Steele Dossier? That was the report compiled by former British MI6 officer Christopher Steele in 2016 and included numerous accusations against Trump. One of those accusations was the infamous “pee tape”. The video never materialized and absolutely none of the accusations included in the report were ever verified.
All of the information in the Steele Dossier allegedly came from Russian government sources. However, doubts have arisen which make it far more likely that the sources were from Ukraine, who is an adversary to Russia. This makes far more sense, as Steele himself is rabidly anti-Russia.
The contents of the Steele Dossier were conveniently “leaked” to the media, though numerous copies had been passed around DC for months prior to the publication.
The Steele Dossier was initially funded by the Washington Free Beacon, a conservative website. The investigative firm was Fusion GPS, an opposition research firm who employed Christopher Steele for the purpose. In the Beacon stage of funding, the dossier included only information available from public sources.
The Beacon then stopped funding the dossier after Trump was named the GOP nominee. At that time, Fusion GPS approached the DNC and the Hillary Clinton campaign with the offer to continue opposition research on Trump. The offer was accepted and Fusion GPS was funded by the DNC and Hillary Clinton’s law firm, Perkins Coie until November 2016, paying Fusion GPS a reported $1.6 million.
Aspects of the dossier were handed over by John McCain to the FBI, seemingly in bits and pieces. The FBI has admitted to paying Fusion GPS and Steele at least $100,000 directly.
Keep in mind that the Steele Dossier was conducted covertly. There is much debate about how much the FBI used the dossier in their investigation of Trump/Russia “collusion”, which culminated in the Mueller Report. Which, if you have noticed, has disappeared from the radar. The FBI has admitted to using the dossier to obtain multiple FISA warrants, in spite of the fact that none of the allegations had been confirmed at the time. As of this time, the FBI and Adam Schiff have made public claims that “most of the allegations” have been confirmed, yet not one single specific example has been offered.
The Mueller report made vague reference to the dossier, yet never offered any verification of any of it, save the dates and times of certain meetings, which were basically public record and not denied by participants as having occurred.
Now, compare this to Trump’s phone call and public statements. There have been no overt or implied threats issued regarding monetary aid to Ukraine. Any reading of the transcript which says such a threat was issued is inserting words which were not spoken.
Compare this to the fact that the DNC and Hillary campaign were clearly documented to have paid for opposition research, allegedly aided by agents of a foreign government. Then that information being used by a US government agency, then the allegations being released to the public.
There is no defense of Biden openly bragging about blackmailing the Ukrainian president using $1 billion of US taxpayer money so that an investigation would be canceled involving corruption by the company his son worked for.
In no way is this a defense of Trump’s behavior or claiming his behavior was legal. It is one thing if a separate sovereign country conducts an investigation which confirms corruption by US officials/candidates or their family members. It is another thing entirely to request other countries to conduct such investigations. If this is not illegal it should be.
This involves corruption on all sides. Trump, Biden, Obama and Hillary. Each and every one of them should be indicted and help to account, to include criminal charges.
However, it is the height of cognitive dissonance to insist Trump’s behavior should be considered criminal while ignoring the Steele Dossier and Biden’s blackmail of a foreign elected president. If you oppose corruption, you must oppose ALL corruption. Not just when it involves “the other guys”.