Trump Is Right: Hold Collusion Hoaxters Accountable by Christopher C. Hull for The Epoch Times April 4, 2019

President Donald Trump at a MAGA rally in Grand Rapids, Mich., on March 28, 2019. (Charlotte Cuthbertson/The Epoch Times)

President Donald Trump at a MAGA rally in Grand Rapids, Mich., on March 28, 2019. (Charlotte Cuthbertson/The Epoch Times)

The nation’s No. 1 #NeverTrumper, Bill Kristol, neoconservative icon and editor of the recently launched magazine “The Bulwark,” recently named President Donald Trump and his team “the most sore winners in the world.”

I cordially quibble.

Here’s the story: Kristol is running ads calling for the release of the Mueller report, which Attorney General William Barr has already announced he’s releasing, with Trump’s explicit support.

The ads are under the imprimatur “Republicans for the Rule of Law,” which is ironic given that Democrats appear to have given the lion’s share to Kristol’s recent projects, including, for instance, NeverTrump PAC, whose largest donor gave only 0.6 percent of his contributions to GOP candidates since 1999.

William Kristol at Politicon at the Pasadena Convention Center in Pasadena, Calif. on July 30, 2017. (John Sciulli/Getty Images for Politicon)
Regardless, in an interview about his ads, Kristol criticized the president for his “recriminations” after Barr’s announcement that the Mueller investigation had come up empty on Russian collusion.

On the contrary, some recriminations are exactly what the Republic requires—and not just recriminations, but criminal investigations.

At his first rally since the Barr announcement, Trump argued that “current and former officials who paid for, promoted, and perpetuated the single greatest hoax in the history of politics in our country … have to be [held] accountable.”

Likewise, in an interview, Trump said, “we can never allow these treasonous acts to happen to another president.”

Here are seven reasons that suggest he’s right.

Hillary Clinton
First, if Kristol and his Democratic allies are so supportive of a criminal probe into concerns that the Trump campaign colluded with Russians in the 2016 election, will they now call for a criminal probe into concerns that Hillary Clinton’s campaign helped pay $1 million for a dossier drawn directly from Russian collusion?

Answer: No, but we should.

Second, that dossier cites a “top Russian intelligence officer,” “a former top level Russian intelligence (sic.) officer still active inside the Kremlin,” “a senior Russian Foreign Ministry figure,” “a senior Russian financial official,” a “number of Russian figures with a detailed knowledge of national cyber crime, both state-sponsored and otherwise,” “a Russian IT specialist with direct knowledge” of the country’s offensive cyber operations, “a Russian source close to Rosneft President,” “a senior member of the Russian Presidential Administration,” “two well-placed and established Kremlin source (sic.),” “a senior Russian leadership figure and a Foreign Ministry official,” and “a Kremlin insider.”

By my count, that’s at least 10 Russians with whom the Clinton campaign’s agents colluded, based on those agents’ own report.

If Kristol and his Democratic allies think it’s worth investigating that Trump campaign officials met with Russians to get Russian-gathered dirt on Hillary, do they now think it’s worth investigating that Clinton campaign officials deployed a former foreign spy to get Russian-gathered dirt on Trump from at least 10 Russians, including intelligence figures?

Answer: No, but we should.

Third, in the dossier, those Russian sources tried to shift attention away from Russia toward “China and other emerging markets.”

If Kristol and his Democratic allies support releasing the Mueller report on whether the Trump campaign helped Russians gather and disseminate Russian disinformation attempting to shift attention to Hillary, do they likewise support a second, similar report on the Clinton campaign helping pay a foreign spy to gather and disseminate Russian disinformation attempting to shift attention to China?

Answer: No, but we should.

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton looks on during an event to discuss reproductive rights at Barnard College in New York City on Jan. 7, 2019. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Fourth, the dossier likewise includes the claim that Putin was “celebrating perceived success to date in splitting … hawks inimical to Russia and the Washington (sic) elite more generally, half of whom had refused to endorse Andy (sic) presidential candidate as a result of Russian intervention.”

That seems like a bad thing—that harmed Trump more than anyone.

If Kristol and his Democratic allies believe this dossier was worth a FISA warrant to spy on the Trump campaign, will they now at least call for a criminal inquiry to investigate Russian attempts to help create the split they themselves personify?

Answer: No, but we should.

Fifth, in his own interview on his ads, Kristol asserted, “there was a meeting at the Trump Tower, and they lied about it.”

He is referring, of course, to the meeting that Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner, and Paul Manafort held with Russian attorney Natalia Veselnitskaya on June 9, 2016.

Yet we have known for months that Veselnitskaya “worked closely with Fusion GPS,” the opposition research firm the Clinton campaign and Democratic National Committee hired to compile the infamous Steele dossier.

We have known for months that Veselnitskaya was with Glenn Simpson on the morning of the Trump Tower meeting.

We have known for months that Fusion GPS provided the information included in a memo Veselnitskaya brought into the meeting linking Putin bête noir Bill Browder to illegal campaign donations to Democrats.

And we have known for years that Rinat Akhmetshin, the Russian lobbyist and ex-Soviet military intelligence officer with “deep connections to the Kremlin” involved in two hacking-related cases after working for Putin-allied Russian businessmen, was also at that meeting, and was likewise working with Fusion GPS.

If Kristol and his Democratic allies believe it was worth investigating why the Trump Tower meeting took place, will they now call for investigating why agents of the Clinton campaign worked with both Russian operatives from that meeting, were with one of them before it, and provided materials used in it?

Answer: No, but we should.

Sixth, a central plank of the scaffold built for the president has been former campaign adviser George Papadopoulos’s “interactions with an overseas professor” he “understood to have substantial connection to Russian government officials.” The Washington Post has publicly identified the professor as Joseph Mifsud, director of the London Academy of Diplomacy.

According to the Mueller investigation statement of offense to which Papadopoulos agreed as part of his plea deal, on or around April 26, 2016, Mifsud “told him about the Russians possessing ‘dirt’ on then-candidate Clinton in the form of ‘thousands of emails.’”

Investigators originally heard of the interactions from Alexander Downer, then-high commissioner to the UK from Australia, claiming Papadopoulos told him of the Russian dirt on Clinton on May 10, 2016.

But where, you might ask, did investigators hear of these interactions? Why, as former prosecutor Andrew C. McCarthy points out, based on prior reporting, from the non-partisan, non-political law enforcement officers at the Obama State Department, which may have weaponized the information by giving it to the FBI. That would support former House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes’s claim that the FBI opened the investigation without any reporting from a foreign intelligence service.

Perhaps it’s a coincidence that 10 years earlier, Downer “arranged one of the largest foreign donations to Bill and Hillary Clinton’s charitable efforts”: $25 million, based on an agreement Downer literally co-signed with former President Clinton.

Perhaps it’s a coincidence that the following year, Downer also personally inked the deal with Putin to sell up to $826 million a year in Australian uranium to the same Russian company that the Clintons helped to acquire 25 percent of America’s ongoing uranium production.

If Kristol and his Democratic allies believe it was worth putting Papadopoulos in prison for telling the FBI he was not yet a Trump adviser when hearing about the Clinton emails—accurately or at worst mistakenly, some say—will they also support an investigation into whether the person who blew the lid on Papadopoulos to the Obama State Department was likewise involved in the Obama State Department head’s alleged but now painfully obvious pay-for-play scheme that netted the Clintons at least $132 million in questionable foreign contributions?

Answer: No, but we should.

Seventh, in December 2015, Lisa Page texted Peter Strzok, “You get all our oconus lures approved? ;)” OCONUS is an abbreviation for “Outside the Continental United States;” a “lure” is a counterintelligence term for bait dangled before a target.

For instance, Papadopoulos appears to have joined the London Centre of International Law Practice (LCILP), an organization with which Mifsud was affiliated, sometime in late February or early March 2016 with an impressive title. Was Papadopoulos a target and LCILP a lure? Probably, though it’s not clear who did the dangling.

Likewise, two FBI agents went to London in July 2016 as part of the operation codenamed Crossfire Hurricane, investigating Downing’s claims. Later, according to one report, on Sept. 2, 2016, Professor Stefan Halper, a known U.S. intelligence asset, offered Papadopoulos $3,000, a flight, and a three-night stay in London to write a policy paper, which Papadopoulos accepted. Even The New York Times acknowledges “at least one government informant met several times with … Mr. Papadopoulos.” Well, at least one U.S. government informant was Halper.

In that case, Papadopoulos was definitely the target, and the payment and trip the lure.

Since Kristol and his Democratic allies were so interested in all this, would they back finding out if Page texted Strzok in December 2015 referring to operations against U.S. nationals, not only before the beginning of Crossfire Hurricane, but before then-FBI Director James Comey’s “late spring” 2016 Obama administration briefing that was claimed to have kick-started collusion concerns?

Answer: No, but we should.

Kristol may think the president is being a sore winner.

I think Trump is on to something.

Christopher C. Hull holds a doctorate in government from Georgetown University. He is president of Issue Management Inc., distinguished senior fellow at the Gatestone Institute, senior fellow at Americans for Intelligence Reform, and author of “Grassroots Rules” (Stanford, 2007).

Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.

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