So, it’s been long reported that the FBI’s counterintelligence probe into the Trump campaign’s possible ties to the Kremlin started in July of 2016. Of course, this was a myth. There was no collusion. The Mueller report shot that in the head, which the media and the Democratic Party ignore for obvious reasons. This was their impeachment ammunition dump. These were the allegations that they were going to weaponize to impeach the president—and Mueller came right around the edge with the sack. For nearly two years, the media peddled with piece of fiction. The infamous Trump dossier was ground zero for all of this nonsense. It’s one of the reasons why there was an FBI investigation. It’s how the FBI got a FISA spy warrant against Carter Page, a former Trump campaign official. This document was never verified. It’s not accurate. And it’s pretty much total garbage; it could also be Russian disinformation.
Ex-MI6 spook Christopher Steele compiled the file after being hired by research firm Fusion GPS, whose services were retained by the Hillary Clinton campaign and the Democrats. The FBI never vetted this document. It was a biased piece of political opposition research and it was weaponized to secure a spy warrant against an American citizen. Now, with the release of the Department of Justice’s Inspector General’s report on FISA abuses during the 2016 election, we have this buried tidbit that Wall Street Journal columnist Kimberley Strassel found. It seems this Russian collusion nonsense was being manufactured by the head of Fusion GPS long before the FBI formally began its investigation:
1) Buried in the IG report is a line that poses an enormous question, one that is central to everything, and really must be answered.— Kimberley Strassel (@KimStrassel) December 12, 2019
Remember: According to all relevant players, prior to July of 2016, nobody had a Trump-Russia collusion narrative on their minds. ...(cont)
2)Indeed, the FBI says it was only the Downer tip-off at end-July that spurred the investigation. Downer for his part says it was public revelation in July of the DNC hack that caused him to finally wonder about collusion and connect his spring conversation with Papadopoulos.— Kimberley Strassel (@KimStrassel) December 12, 2019
3)Fusion GPS's Glenn Simpson, meanwhile, in Senate testimony, "stress[ed]" he hired Steele in May to look at Trump's "business activities" in Russia....By Simpson's telling (under penalty of perjury), Steele just sort of stumbled on this much "broader" "political conspiracy."— Kimberley Strassel (@KimStrassel) December 12, 2019
4) But here is what Steele told the IG: That in May 2016, Simpson approached Steele to "assist in determining Russia's actions related to the 2016 election"; "whether Russia was trying to achieve a particular election outcome"; and...— Kimberley Strassel (@KimStrassel) December 12, 2019
5)"whether there were any ties between the Russian government and Trump and his campaign." (Page 93) Seems Simpson had a pretty good bead on the "narrative" long before the govt. claims to have had it and before even his own source had reported it to him. Huh.— Kimberley Strassel (@KimStrassel) December 12, 2019
6) Let's hope Attorney John Durham provides some answers on who exactly knew what in the spring of 2016.— Kimberley Strassel (@KimStrassel) December 12, 2019
To add more clarity, this is the Downer-Papadopoulos angle Strassel mentions in her Twitter thread (via NYT):
During a night of heavy drinking at an upscale London bar in May 2016, George Papadopoulos, a young foreign policy adviser to the Trump campaign, made a startling revelation to Australia’s top diplomat in Britain: Russia had political dirt on Hillary Clinton.
About three weeks earlier, Mr. Papadopoulos had been told that Moscow had thousands of emails that would embarrass Mrs. Clinton, apparently stolen in an effort to try to damage her campaign.
Exactly how much Mr. Papadopoulos said that night at the Kensington Wine Rooms with the Australian, Alexander Downer, is unclear. But two months later, when leaked Democratic emails began appearing online, Australian officials passed the information about Mr. Papadopoulos to their American counterparts, according to four current and former American and foreign officials with direct knowledge of the Australians’ role.
The hacking and the revelation that a member of the Trump campaign may have had inside information about it were driving factors that led the F.B.I. to open an investigation in July 2016 into Russia’s attempts to disrupt the election and whether any of President Trump’s associates conspired.
So, we seem to have a separate timeline with this Russian collusion nonsense that suggests this hoax was being cooked up prior to the FBI getting involved. It seems the Durham investigation into the origins of this circus might offer more of a conclusion.