Thursday, November 2, 2017

Assessing the Dossier Part 1.

By request, The Omnivore takes a second look at the Trump dossier. How much is true? How much is verified?

What follows is a summary / paraphrase of each point of intelligence and The Omnivore's assessment of its veracity.

Charge 1: Kremlin Had Interest In Promoting Trump Campaign

1. Russian authorities have been cultivating TRUMP for at least 5 years with the aim, by Putin to "sow discord and disunity" in the US.

Notes: We don't know what exactly "cultivates" means--but it seems likely that Trump was on Russia's radar for quite a while. We have pretty good evidence from the recent FB revelations that disunity and chaos was the goal

2. Kremlin has been feeding TRUMP intel on Clinton for "several years." Also used business deals that haven't panned out (2018 World Cup).

Assessment: FALSE* (but Don Jr's. Meeting plays this out)
Notes: While it appears that there were at least attempted exchanges of intel, that does not seem to have been going on for "several years." However, we know that the Kremlin was interested in feeding Don Jr. Clinton Intel.

3. The Pee Tape.
Assessment: UNVERIFIED
Notes: Eww.

4. More Embarrassing Kompromat. TRUMP stayed at the Moscow Ritz Carlton in 2013.
Assessment: TRUE ELEMENTS- He was at the Ritz Carlton in 2013.
Notes: The rest is unverified (i.e. the compromising material).

5. Clinton Kompromat is mostly intercepted phone conversations.
Assessment: UNVERIFIED
Notes: While not exactly verified, there is simply no reason to think this is false.

6. Clinton Dossier is controlled by Dmitry PESKOV, chief Kremlin spokesman. 
Assessment: UNVERIFIED
Notes: There is no reason to believe this is false.

Overall Assessment of Charge 1

TRUE. We know from Don Jr.'s emails that it was accepted in the Trump campaign that Russia was interested in helping the Trump campaign. We know from the FB ads that chaos was the ultimate goal. We are pretty sure they claimed to (and likely did) have dirt on Clinton.

Charge 2: Russian State sponsored Cyber-Crime Operations

Russia has an active cyber-crime organization that targets the west and western business men.

1. Russians target banks, governments, and the elite in other countries.
Assessment: TRUE
Notes: Pretty much common knowledge.

2. Russians had limited success against "1st Tier" targets (G7, NATO, Central Banks) and were focusing on greater success in secondary targets (western banks, business men, anyone with ethnic ties to Russia).
Assessment: UNVERIFIED
Notes: Frankly, it looks like they were pretty successful against the NSA, tbh.

3. Russians targeted people of Russian (Jewish) origin and got them to install Russian software with trojans ("IT games").
Notes: No reason to believe this is false.

4. One FSB operation was invested and had made a backdoor to important western institutions.
Assessment: UNVERIFIED
Notes: Could well be true.

5. Telegram system compromised.
Assessment: UNVERIFIED.

6. Russia having increasing problems with Cyber-Crime from inside Russia.
Assessment: UNVERIFIED
Note: Russia's security services are, apparently, absolutely brutal to Russians going after Russian assets--but turn a blind eye to those attacking outside of Russia. If this is true, it's pretty ballsy.

Overall Assessment of Charge 2

This section is largely immaterial to the US politics. 

Charge 3: Russia/US Election Ties Between Trump & Kremlin

1. MANAFORT using Carter PAGE coordinated a conspiracy of co-operation between Trump and Russia.
Assessment: UNVERIFIED
Notes: This is not yet verified--but it certainly seems like it could well be the case.

2. Russian regime was behind DNC-Leak to Wikileaks. In return the TRUMP team agreed to sideline Russian intervention in Ukraine as a campaign issue and raise US/NATO defense commitments in the Baltics and Eastern Europe as a way to deflect attention away from Ukraine.
Assessment: UNVERIFIED
Notes: The quid-pro-quo here seems to have played out. We don't know if the agreement was the cause or not.

3. Kremlin work vs. CLINTON Used Agents Within Democratic Party, Russian Cyber Offensive Inside US, and State Cyber working from Russia.
Assessment: UNVERIFIED
Notes: Remember that Pakistani guy who tried to flee the country from the DNC? Hmmm . ..

4. TRUMP provided data on activities of Russian business oligarchs in the US.
Assessment: UNVERIFIED.
Notes: Could Trump provide this?

5. Media Focus on TRUMP-RUSSIA distracted from dealings in CHINA which involved huge kick-backs.
Assessment: UNVERIFIED
Notes: Trump backed off his hardline stance against China. Maybe they could air dirty laundry?

6. TRUMP wanted business ventures in St. Petersburg--but settled for prostitutes.
Assessment: UNVERIFIED
Notes: Eh.

Overall Assessment of Charge 3

This seems "within the realm" of what we know--Russia had hooks into Manafort (likely) and used him. Wikileaks, The Omnivore believes, is Russian backed. Trump definitely was Russian-Friendly on Ukraine. While unverified, this paints the picture that Mueller's investigation seems to be drawing.

Charge 4: Russian Meetings with Carter Page

1. Russian people met in secret with Carter Page in July 2016.
Assessment: TRUE ELEMENTS.
Notes: Page went to Russia in July 2016 with approval of Trump campaign.

2. Offered Energy Cooperation to lift Ukraine sanctions. Page was "positive" but did not commit.
Assessment: UNVERIFIED
Notes: Trump is definitely sanction-hostile when it comes to Russia.

3.  Offered release of 'kompromat' on CLINTON.
Assessment: UNVERIFIED
Note: Page traveled in early July (7th). DNC Emails leaked July 22.

4. Russia indicated had kompromat on TRUMP.
Assessment: TRUE
Note: If nothing else, they had Don Jr's. Trump-Tower meeting which was, yes, potentially compromising.

Overall Assessment of Charge 4

The players seem to be in the right places at the right times. The material discussed is inline with what we know happened.

Charge 5: DNC Hacking Might Be Out Of Control

1. Russians were concerned that DNC Hack Fall-Out was raising too many questions.
Assessment: UNVERIFIED
Notes: This would be in "late July" which means that Russia was being "fingered" by the media, etc. This would likely be a 'legitimate concern.'

2. Kremlin wanted plausible deniability and so would lay off pro-Trump / Anti-Clinton for the time being.
Assessment: UNVERIFIED
Notes:Who knows.

3. TRUMP had provided intel on Russian Oligarch's activities in US for 8 years.
Assessment: UNVERIFIED
Notes: Who knows.

4. Kremlin says they had more stuff on CLINTON--but wasn't sure if they would release. Assured TRUMP they would not release kompromat on TRUMP thanks to helpfulness.
Assessment: UNVERIFIED
Notes: Well, we still don't have the "pee-tape."

Overall Assessment of Charge 5

This indicates that there was a solid chain of communication between Team Trump and the Russians. If true then communication wasn't entirely through cut-outs or a single channel that Trump wouldn't know about (i.e. Russia didn't just talk to Manafort and Trump had no idea Russia was talking to Manafort). This should be the kind of thing Mueller finds or doesn't.

Charge 6: More Backlash On DNC Hacking

1. Internal Russians Thought Maybe Russia 'Went Too Far.' In Helping Trump.
Assessment: UNVERIFIED
Notes: There is some evidence that this may functionally turn out to be the case. Other countries are horrified. There has been anti-Russia backlash, etc.

2. People were worried about being scapegoated by PUTIN.
Assessment: UNVERIFIED
Notes: The Omnivore would be worried about being scapegoated by Putin--for sure.

3. MEDVEDEV wants to have good relations with the US, whoever is there.
Assessment: TRUE
Notes: The idea of getting totally caught for this is, likely, a cost that the Kremlin would not want to pay. Trump winning may have been "too good" in that respect.

4. Talk of forcing TRUMP to withdraw--his psychological state is "unsuitable for high office."
Assessment: UNVERIFIED
Notes: If they felt that Trump's temperament was unsuited to high office, The Omnivore agrees with that.

Overall Assessment of Charge 6

This seems reasonable given the Trump-Russia conspiracy scenario. Trump as a spoiler is a great chaos-agent. Trump as president is wildly unstable.

Charge 7: Evolving Tactics In Pro-Trump / Anti-Clinton Operation

1. Russians hold off on more leaks because they got fingered for Wikileaks.
Notes: There weren't any more leaks and, yes, Russia did get totally blamed.

2. Targeting would be the American Youth who could be persuaded to vote Trump in PROTEST against CLINTON.
Notes: We have pretty solid evidence that the #BernieOrBust effort was enhanced by the Russians.

3. PUTIN Satisfied with anti-Clinton operations to date.
Assessment: UNVERIFIED
Notes: He oughta have been.

4. Three-Fronts: Asking sympathetic US actors how Moscow could help, gather relevant intel, create and disseminating compromising info. Worked with LAROUCHE and JILL STEIN and Carter PAGE and Michael FLYNN.
Notes: Certainly Stein seemed to be ultra friendly with Russia. We know Flynn had meetings he concealed.

Overall Assessment of Charge 7

This seems to be what happened--especially with the shifting focus to the protest-vote (Bernie / Stein).

Charge 8: Reaction in Trump Camp To Recent Negative Publicity About Russian Help

1. DNC Leak was supposed to move BERNIE voters to TRUMP. Carter PAGE had been advised.
Notes: This was certainly the effect. 

2. Strategy revision was to counter CLINTON exploiting PUTIN as a "boogyman" to tarnish TRUMP.
Notes: This is, again, how things played out. Cause vs. effect is unknown, of course.

3. Anger in Republican candidate's team at weakening of American democracy.
Assessment: UNVERIFIED
Notes: If anyone on Team Trump had these concerns, where are they?

Overall Assessment of Charge 8

Again, Trump is undeniably a chaos-agent and it seems likely that Russia could reasonably fear blow-back. Then again, who knows?

Charge 9: Trump-Lawyer Cohen's Secret Russian Meetings

1. Cohen met with Russians in August 2016 in Prague.
Assessment: FALSE
Note: We don't know if Cohen met with Russians or not--but we know his passport doesn't show him in Prague.

2. COHEN was being used as a sort of cut-out, meeting with someone else for plausible deniability.
Note: We know Cohen was trying to get a deal going during the campaign with Russia and other emails that have come to light suggest a cash-motive between COHEN and others to get Trump elected.

3. Additional plausible deniability on the Russian side.
Assessment: UNVERIFIED
Note: Who knows.

Overall Assessment of Charge 9

Cohen wasn't in Europe during the dossier time-frames. On the other hand, he issued absolute blanket denials of talking with Russia--and he was trying to. Also: if there was extreme care to protect Cohen from suspicion, could the email have been a coded message? WHO KNOWS!?

Charge 10: Trump's Campaign Manager Manafort

1. Manafort got paid in kick-backs for which there was "no clear evidence.'
Note: Manafort sure does seem to have received illegal payments from Russia for various activities relating to Ukraine.

2. Russia was still concerned about MANAFORT'S activities coming to light.
Assessment: UNVERIFIED
Note: They certainly should have been.

3. In addition to scandal, LEWANDOWSKI also wanted MANAFORT gone.
Assessment: TRUE
Note: Pretty sure this is a matter of record.

Overall Assessment of Charge 10

This all squares with what Mueller seems to think happened.

Charge 11: Fallout From Media Exposure of Russia

1. Putin ordered SILENCE on all matters of Russian interference.
Assessment: UNVERIFIED.
Note: Seems prudent, if he did.

2. There was dissension in the Russian ranks on how-to-handle the scandal.
Assessment: UNVERIFIED.
Note: Seems likely if, indeed, anything happened at all.

3. There was more kompromat on CLINTON--but they felt they could make her look "weak and stupid" without it!
Note: They didn't seem to need any more revelations.

4. The goal was to push American policy towards Russian interests regardless of who won (i.e. dismantle Obama policies and pull out of TPP).
Note: The fact that Russia doesn't like Obama's policies or the TPP should be a clue to y'all.

NOTE: This is as far as The Omnivore can go today. 

1 comment:

  1. So you agree most of the dossier has not been verified. Since it had come out that Clinton paid for the dossier I've felt it had to be unverifiable or it would have been used against Trump during the campaign. It appears Russia was dangling info on Clinton to members of the Trump campaign. Maybe even a promise of the 33K missing emails. I can't think of any campaign that wouldn't be interested in that.
    What we can verify is the information in the dossier was provided by Russians with ties to the Kremlin and the Clinton campaign as well as the DNC had no issue paying these sources through Christopher Steele. I know anti Trumpers now like to claim the dossier isn't a big deal now but Trump was briefed by Comey on its contents and the FBI considered paying for it. That either indicates they believed what was written or they acted on a purely political basis. We will find out from Mueller what the truth is.