The importance of background, and Danchenko’s primary Russian sub-source

A key to the thematic history behind Spygate.

In the TOC Ready Room preview for this article, I alluded to the principal point of highlighting the information in it.  That point is that Spygate was not a pick-up-game reaction to events in 2016.  In terms of involvement by the Obama federal agencies and Hillary Clinton’s network, evidence of connections to prior motives and preparation abounds.

Examples include Alexandra Chalupa and a cast of Obama officials already seeking Ukrainian cooperation on a Manafort-focused narrative in January 2016, before Manafort joined the Trump campaign and before the first primary election had been held.  If this was about impugning Manafort, why?  By 2019 we could see that getting ahead of any bad news about Biden was an obvious motive – but was it a priority at that point, considering Biden wasn’t running in 2016?  Did Republicans in general know enough about the Biden shenanigans to create a pervasive problem for Hillary and other Democrats that year?

Something other than narrowly-focused, proximate reactions seems to have been going on.

There is no writing that connection to Spygate off – yet it basically does have to be written off, if we insist that the only things related to Spygate are those Robert Mueller and John Durham have laid forth for us.

The Obama agencies’ targeting of George Papadopoulos and Carter Page is similarly indicated by at least early March 2016 (and probably earlier) – before Trump’s primary competition had dropped out and left him in command of the field.

CBS News video

We know, moreover, that in the fall of 2015, the FBI had informed the Democratic and Republican National Committees of attempts by the Russians to intrude on their IT systems.  Later, in testimony in 2017, we learned from James Comey that he was aware as early as March 2016 of Russian intelligence having access to Hillary Clinton’s campaign email correspondence.  He made quite a point of conveying that information, in both his 2018 memoir and his testimony to Congress.

The FBI’s warning about Russian cyber intrusion is not separable from Comey’s statements.  They would have been different facets of the same condition of cyber vulnerability involving the Democrats and Hillary (which we’ll see below, in fact).  The FBI director is a person who would have seen the whole situation from the summit for what it was.

Comey was not a functionary merely reacting to events in April, May, June, July, or August of 2016.

The same can be said of Susan Rice, James Clapper, and whoever was using Smantha Power’s credentials to unmask persons on (or communicating with) the Trump campaign team, in some cases reportedly as early as the summer of 2015.

Journalist Lee Smith, author of The Plot Against the President, spoke in his book of a proto-dossier exhibited by one of his sources that predated the Steel dossier by months.  It had evidently been assembled even before 29 April 2016, when the Russian intrusion on the DNC IT system was reportedly detected.  Whether it was contemporary with early events in the 2016 Papadopoulos and Page timelines, or even preceded them, what matters is that it clearly was not a reaction to the DNC intrusion.

James Comey is interviewed by Nicolle Wallace at the 92nd St Y in NYC. YouTube

The level of preparation required to bring off Spygate is stunning, in retrospect.  The groundwork for routinely running rogue Section 702 queries to haul in Trump campaign comms had been laid years earlier, with the implementation of the Intelligence Community Information Technology Enterprise (ICITE), beginning in 2011, and the 2012 Memorandum of Understanding by which the FBI and the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC) came to routinely share sensitive, even privacy-protected “national security” information on Americans.

John Brennan spearheaded the effort to implement that 2012 MOU.  Clapper stood up the ICITE architecture, which automated user access to much sensitive information that had previously been protected by IT stovepipes from agencies with no need for it.  The ICITE implementation also expanded cloud-hosting across the entire intel community – some 50,000 desktops – courtesy of Jeff Bezos’s Amazon Web Services.

Of equal importance was the upgrade to White House communications in 2014:  an update that literally brought the Oval Office out of the 1970s, IT-wise.  Besides creating a unique opportunity for the Obama administration to leave monitoring measures in place when the next administration arrived, the combination of these actions enabled the NSC staff to function effectively as a clearinghouse for any number of intrusive intelligence-based operations – against the American people as well as targets abroad.  Susan Rice, now back in the White House as Biden’s “domestic policy advisor,” was the Council staff’s supervisor at the time the major preparations were underway.

I’m going through all this to enhance our perspective on the narrative in our heads about Spygate.  Spygate is much bigger than the details analysts have ferreted out from the Mueller report and the two Durham indictments to date.  Spygate could not have even been brought off without the prior preparations we know for a fact took place.  I include in those preparations the proto-dossier Lee Smith reported on; others may cavil at calling that an established fact, but it conflicts with no established information, and comports perfectly with quite a bit.

The brain trust, briefing Congress in 2014. (Image: Defense Intelligence Agency)

That proto-dossier, and not the Steele dossier, was the story-board for the “Russiagate” script.  It came from well before the supposed dates of alertment in 2016 about Russian activities “and Trump.”

Certainly the other preparations mentioned above are known facts.  Of the three packages of information “upgrades” – ICITE, the 2012 MOU, the White House upgrade – only ICITE was in the works before Obama took office.  The Clapper ODNI implemented it (and not without controversy as some of the Clapper-era refinements were viewed with misgiving by the security-minded).  The other information actions were done on the initiative of the Obama administration.

And we know, also for a fact, that the combination of the ICITE implementation and the 2012 MOU led to the 2016 blow-up over the rogue 702 queries – which in turn are closely implicated in the information environment of Spygate.  Hardly any of the spying on Trump was done via formal unmaskings of U.S. person identifying information.  Most of it was done by 702 query.

It can’t be overemphasized how essential it is to understand this.  Even the new details we are gleaning from the Durham indictments are just the tip of the iceberg.  Let’s call them different tips of the same iceberg.

I saw the theme on Twitter this weekend, after Kash Patel’s appearance on Maria Bartiromo’s Sunday show, that “all roads lead to McCabe.”  That may be true if we’re speaking only of all indictable roads.  I’m not sure it’s true even in that case, but it certainly isn’t true of the totality of Spygate.  Andrew McCabe, while an important figure at the FBI after mid-2016, really is not the droid you’re looking for.  This thing had a much bigger motive and longer lead-time than anything we can ever prosecute.  And what he can prosecute is what Durham is going to “speak” about.

The above is an introductory reorientation for the summary on Danchenko source Olga Galkina, promised in the 11 November Ready Room.  The Galkina summary probably won’t take as long as this intro.  But in light of what we already unearthed in 2020 about Danchenko’s c.v., it should be apparent how probable it is that Galkina’s resume is relevant to the background and motives of Spygate.

We’ll flesh that out with a few other features of the narrative landscape in 2015.  The more we know, the more important those features appear.

A brief visit with Danchenko’s early work for Steele

A much more detailed account is available in this earlier article on Igor Danchenko from July 2020.  The main thrust of the account is that in a period falling between late 2010 and early 2012, Danchenko was dispatched by Christopher Steele, for whom he was doing legwork, to perform a due-diligence investigation of a Russian politician and lawyer who was probably Alexey Klishin.

Alexey Klishin (standing) appears at a Link Campus U. even in December 2016 with LCU’ Vicenzo Scotti, Joseph Mifsud, and Stephan Roh (far R) (Social media)

Klishin has a link to Spygate through Joseph Mifsud, for whose academic programs at Link Campus University in Rome Klishin has been a speaker and forum participant.  Klishin is a long-term associate of Switzerland-based attorney Stephan Roh, Mifsud’s lawyer; in fact, reporting at BuzzFeed in 2020 uncovered a group of shell companies Roh had set up that linked Klishin to a UK-based nuclear materials company, and to the Kazakh oligarch who arranged the Clinton-involved Frank Giustra uranium deal with the company that eventually became Uranium One.

But Klishin was also connected through businesses he owned to Russian oligarch Viktor Vekselberg, a Clinton Foundation donor and the man in charge (then) of the Skolkovo Institute:  the “Russian Silicon Valley” for which Hillary Clinton, while she was secretary of state, drummed up funding among the leading Big Tech firms in the U.S.

Vekselberg’s particular connections to Klishin involved a company that manufactured gas centrifuges for military-grade uranium enrichment.  In fact, the company (Khimprom) was the one that performed this service for the Russian military.  Klishin was part owner of Khimprom’s parent in the 2000s, when Vekselberg sought to buy it out.  The Russian military was leery of Vekselberg, and his bid for a controlling buyout was stymied by an environmental lawsuit over businesses he already owned.

Ultimately, although Vekselberg bought into Khimprom, he was never able to gain controlling interest.  Khimprom went on to be reorganized, about the time of the Uranium One deal in the U.S., under Russia’s nuclear exports firm Tenex – whose U.S. subsidiary, Tenam, was reported by an FBI informant to be heavily involved in bribing the Clintons.

Later, incidentally, after the JCPOA with Iran was announced in July 2015, Russia and Iran promptly entered talks on selling state-of-the-art centrifuges to Iran’s nuclear program.  Tenex would have been the export firm involved.

So go figure, that Igor Danchenko would be assigned by Christopher Steele to look into a Russian whose unique profile, as described in the information from Danchenko’s FBI interviews, suited the Russian to have all these connections.

Viktor Vekselberg, oligarch-about-town, at a Slush entrepreneurs’ conference in Helsinki in 2015. (Image: Screen grab of video, Slush, YouTube)

Connections and Galkina

In retrospect, given how closely the Klishin-Roh companies tracked with Clinton-related uranium interests, it seems probable that when Steele hired Danchenko in 2016, people in Hillary’s orbit – perhaps including Hillary herself – knew who Danchenko was and what they were getting.

Readers probably don’t need much convincing, in light of the fact that Fiona Hill linked Danchenko up with Steele and Clinton crony Charles Dolan, that none of these connections were random happenstance.  Hill’s prior connections included George Soros’s foundation enterprises, with their links to Harvard and the Bill Clinton State Department, as well as Brookings and Obama’s Intelligence Advisory Board.

That brings us, after a big build-up, to Olga Galkina.  Most of what Americans know about her comes from a Wall Street Journal report in October 2020 (and, as cited, from Internet super-sleuth Fool Nelson), which outlines her career prior to 2016 – when she was working for a tech company, XBT, in Cyprus – in only the sketchiest of terms.  It was in 2016 that she was approached by Danchenko, according to his FBI interviews, about gathering information for the Steele dossier.

Galkina and Danchenko had a friendship going back to the equivalent of eighth grade, in Russia’s Perm oblast, according to Danchenko.  The WSJ report refers to a “vast network of people” Galkina could contact to gain information, which presumably came from her years as a journalist and PR agent for government agencies.  At the time Danchenko recruited her for the Steele dossier, she was doing PR for an XBT subsidiary in Cyprus.

Before recounting specifics from that background, one observation.  The WSJ article gives fairly lengthy treatment to Galkina’s erratic and apparently problematic behavior as an XBT employee.  After her interesting prior career, and given a curious feature of her online resume (which we’ll see in a moment), one pattern her alleged behavior would fit is the pattern of people who are being controlled under duress by Russian state security; i.e., the FSB (follow-on to the KGB).

I have no evidence of that kind of relationship.  It’s just a noteworthy characteristic, especially in light of the aforementioned resume feature, which is that technically, since April 2008, Galkina has been working for a publication called “Newspaper” or “Gazeta.”

But while doing that she has not only accepted work from Danchenko, but from 2009 to 2011 headed the press service for the state agency Rostekhnadzor in Moscow, and in 2015 worked in media relations for a construction projects firm, Mosinzhproekt, owned by the Cabinet Ministers of Moscow.

Her resume has her still being employed at “Gazeta,” though she was in Cyprus in 2016 working PR for XBT when Danchenko called her up for Steele dossier.

If there is any production by Galkina for “Gazeta” since April 2008, it isn’t evident.

The rest of her timeline is pretty remarkable though.  From 2003 to 2005, she worked for RIA, the Russian state media conglomerate.  In 2006 she moved to the offices of the governor of Saratov, a province in southern Russia, where she began by heading the press service and moved on to a position as deputy mayor of the city of Saratov for media operations, a post she held until April 2007.

From April to July 2007 Galkina worked at the news agency Rosbalt.  She was apparently working in Saratov in that gig, or at least was “head of the Saratov region branch.”

But curiously enough, one of the major stories covered by Rosbalt in that period was that of then-Mayor of Moscow Yury Luzhkov and his wife, Elena Baturina, who were long suspected of cronyism and corruption via Baturina’s construction conglomerate, the firm Inteco (also rendered Inteko).  (This later summary, from 2011, was published after Luzhkov and Baturina had departed their sinecure.)

Inteco was a $1 billion company at the time, with its fingers in construction projects throughout the Moscow metro. 

Baturina, as alert readers will recognize, is the Moscow mayor’s widow who funneled $3.5 million (pp. 69-70) to Hunter Biden’s investment partnership in February 2014.  Emails relevant to that transaction, reported on by John Solomon in 2020, appear to indicate it was about Baturina establishing a banking base in the United States.

Later, in 2015, Baturina wired over $390,000 via Hunter Biden’s investment firm, Rosemont Seneca Partners, to a company named BAK USA, LLC, which reportedly had Chinese investors.

Baturina’s husband, Mayor Luzhkov, was dismissed from office by Dmitry Medvedev in 2010, apparently over the corruption problems, after serving as the mayor since 1992.  Baturina has been living outside Russia (mostly in the UK) since 2011; Luzhkov passed away in 2019.

Elena Baturina. Wikipedia: By Pinskibob, CC BY-SA 3.0,

I would not make too much of this very glancing connection.  From a perch in Saratov, Galkina may or may not have had journalistic insight into the goings-on in Moscow.  It’s mainly of interest because she later moved to a high-access position in Moscow in 2015.  (It’s also worth mentioning that Baturina’s investment in a chain of hotels was cranking up in the late 2000s – although few of her holdings are in Russia.  The first hotel she opened was in Austria in 2009.  See the Baturina bio in John Solomon’s emails document.)

Galkina, meanwhile, headed to a PR “development company,” KROS, after her stint with Rosbalt.  She worked for KROS until April 2008, when she moved on to the oddly opaque employment situation with “Gazeta.”

Of greater interest:  in March 2009, she gained a position with Rostekhnadzor.  Rostekhnadzor is the Federal Service for Environmental, Technological and Nuclear Supervision.  Curiously enough, this is the agency that would have had bureaucratic cognizance of the fallout from the environmental lawsuit brought against Viktor Vekselberg when he was trying to buy out Khimprom, the gas centrifuge manufacturer.  The agency would have interested itself, in particular, in the import of that for Vekselberg’s prospects of running Khimprom in compliance with state regulations.

In all cases, Galkina’s portfolio has been press relations rather than policy.  So the point here is not that she had a policy role in any aspect of Vekselberg’s case.

Social media/Twitter

But she was in a position to know quite a bit about Russian state activities in a niche relevant not only to Vekselberg’s history but to the general patterns that continually crop up whenever the string is pulled on the Clintons, Spygate, or the fixations of the Obama administration (which included the Uranium One deal, the Skolkovo project, and the JCPOA arrangement under which Iran was able to keep her nuclear program, but with as many centrifuges as she could stuff into an underground chamber and less IAEA supervision than before).

A move to the beating heart of Moscow

And still there’s more.  For a period of six months, March to September 2015, Galkina had a job with the construction firm Mosinzhproekt, which as noted is owned by the Cabinet of Ministers of Moscow, and thus gets – imagine this – quite a bit of the construction business in the city.  One of its highest-profile gigs has been for the Skolkovo tech complex, undertaken in the 2013 timeframe.

Curiously enough, during the period of Galkina’s 2015 employment with Mosinzhproekt, negotiations were being brokered between the Trump organization and Russian entities for a Trump tower in Moscow, which was to be situated at a premier site (“Skyscraper City”) in which Mosinzhproekt had been known for some years to have an interest.

As a number of U.S. sources have reported, the talks on the Trump end were brokered by Felix Sater.  The key Russian involved was Andrei Rozov, CEO of a development firm named I.C. Expert Investment Co.  (The company doesn’t have much of a known history, but had another development project in Moscow going at the time.  That project seems to have entailed a tremendous amount of money that went missing.)  In October 2015, the Trump organization signed a non-binding letter of intent with Rozov to license a luxury tower in Moscow as a Trump property.

Moscow’s Skyscraper City, proposed location for Trump Tower project (defunct in 2016). Drone Snap, YouTube

In December 2015, Rozov sold a New York City property he had bought for $8 million in 2014 (with help from Felix Sater) for over $43 million.  This was obviously a red flag for independent researchers who picked up on it a few years later.  The human identity behind the buyer, Dalan Management LLC, has never been established, but two Cyprus shell companies connected to it have been linked to Cyprus-based lawyer Christodoulos Vassiliades.

In January 2018, Scott Stedman pointed out that Vassiliades was then working for “the Russian oligarch that bailed out Manafort’s Ukrianian [sic] business partner Dmytro Firtash for $174 million.”

The oligarch was Vasily Anismov, and as Stedman said, things got sinister very quickly:

The problem is that there is absolutely nothing to connect Trump to Kazakhs with uranium.  It’s the Clintons with whom those connections abound.

Oddly, meanwhile, overlapping the period of Galkina’s employment with Mosinzhproekt, and the Trump-Rozov negotiations, Elena Baturina decided to send some more money Hunter Biden’s way.  Between May and December 2015, Baturina made 11 wire transactions to Rosemont Seneca for a total of some $391,000 and change (link above).  Nine of the transactions were then forwarded to a New York company called BAK USA, a tech startup with Chinese investors.  In spite of this plus-up, BAK USA ultimately went belly up in 2019.

Not long before the stirring events of 2015, Mosinzhproekt and Inteco – which Elena Baturina had sold in 2011 when she moved to Britain – were jousting over juicy construction contracts for the Moscow subway system. 

By July 2018, Mosinzhproekt had been awarded a contract to build a 108-story skyscraper at the site eyed for the Trump project in 2015.

In the meantime, Olga Galkina went off from her stint at Mosinzhproekt to Cyprus, where Danchenko found her in 2016, laboring for XBT subsidiary Webzilla.

2015:  The context

If there were any way to interview Galkina, I’d have a lot of questions for her.  Two brushes, slightly out of phase, with very particular Russian entities relevant to suspect connections with American politicians is two coincidences too many.

That’s especially true of a career with no thematic trajectory, involving work as a deputy mayor one year and retreat to a black hole in her resume the next.  Hopping from Saratov to Moscow to Cyprus – where this person with a background in freighted, high-stress government-related jobs was running PR almost anonymously for a mid-level tech firm – looks, well, funny.

But Igor Danchenko averred that Galkina had the connections he needed.  I don’t really think that’s because he knew her in eighth grade.

With these details in mind, we may recall a short handful of others from 2015, which help us discern that all this stuff wasn’t just happening.

One set of facts is what was laid out in my 28 October article on cyber intrusions into Trump Hotels communications in 2014 and 2015. That fact-set includes the remarkable timing of a related event involving the U.S. tech company Neustar, which figured prominently in John Durham’s recent indictment of Michael Sussmann.

At the same time Olga Galkina was working for Mosinzhproekt, a competitor for the proposed site of the Trump project in Moscow (and with direct access to the capital city’s ministerial cabinet), someone – thought to be Russians – was carrying out an extended hack of the Trump Hotels’ payment handling service.

On discovering the breach, the Trump organization quickly reported it to the FBI, and shut down the intruders’ access by 2 June 2015.  In an eye-catching move three days later, Neustar, which specialized in helping telecom businesses comply with surveillance data demands from the U.S. federal government, completely divested itself of its “Legal Compliance Services Division”; i.e., the division that performed the compliance assistance activities for Neustar’s clients.  The LCS division was sold in its entirety to a rival firm, Subsentio.

In retrospect, given Neustar’s connection through company executive Rodney Joffe to Michael Sussmann, the Steele dossier, and Internet monitoring projects that seem to have been relevant to surveillance of Trump, this tight sequence in early June 2015 can’t help looking like Neustar was aware of what was going on with the Trump organization at the time of the intrusion.

That only appears more likely in light of the report on cyberattacks against the hospitality industry posted by cyber-security firm CrowdStrike at its blog in early 2016.  The timeframe of CrowdStrike’s security study was 2014 to 2016, encompassing the period when the Trump Hotels’ payment system was being hacked.  CrowdStrike’s report doesn’t mention the Trump organization by name, but considering the firm’s numerous connections to the Obama administration, the Clintons, and the FBI, and its notorious involvement in what became “Russiagate,” it’s likely that the attacks on the Trump organization were prominent among those analyzed for the report.

Another set of facts from 2015 reinforces for us the understanding that cognizant officials in the Obama administration weren’t groping blindly in an attempt to perceive what the Russians were up to.

We already revisited, in the introduction, the point that the Obama FBI knew in 2015 that Russians were trying to intrude into the IT systems of the DNC and RNC.

But Obama’s agencies had cause to know much more than that.  More recent reporting has established that as early as May 2015, U.S intelligence agencies were receiving very detailed information from Dutch intelligence about Russian espionage and influence operations, including surveillance of U.S. communications.  The information from the Dutch covered activities of both the FSB and the GRU, the latter being the Russian military intelligence service.

This history sheds light on James Comey’s repeated references to Russian intelligence being a source of information for him about the Hillary Clinton campaign’s communications.  No aspect of the picture is complete in itself, but what emerges is an overall vista on a 2015 that rivaled 2016 for espionage-based insight into what was going on with the Russians.  There is simply no way that the Obama administration was caught flat-footed in 2016 by anything the Russians or Trump did in relation to each other.

Indeed, looking beyond the 2016 election and Hillary Clinton, it’s noteworthy that connections with relevance to the Biden enterprises keep popping up from earlier than 2016, with each fresh round of disclosures about Spygate.

The clarifying events about the Bidens are the two impeachment efforts against Trump, both of which attempted to establish that Trump was trying to keep Biden from being elected president in 2020.  The purpose was transparently to impugn Trump before the Bidens’ own very real history could impugn Joe Biden.

The narrative for that set of interwoven impeachment allegations was pre-concocted for the formal assault that started in August 2019, and continued through the second effort in late 2020 and early 2021.  And the personalities involved were all connected through the key players in the Steele dossier drama, including Fiona Hill with her prior links to Danchenko and Steele.

This reality is highlighted against a backdrop fact that observers can tend to forget.  Unlike the folks out here in the peanut gallery, it’s a virtual certainty that the Obama administration knew what the Bidens were doing in 2016 and earlier.  It took quite a while for the American public to find out that Hunter Biden was receiving big chunks of change from Elena Baturina, a Russian construction magnate who happened to be the wife of the former mayor of Moscow.  But the Obama agencies had to know at the time it was happening.

The more we know, the less likely it is that the DNC, Perkins Coie, Hillary Clinton, and the Obama DOJ and FBI didn’t know (a) that Steele had hired Danchenko for the Trump oppo effort, or (b) why.  It’s even likely that a few in that mix knew why Danchenko would use Olga Galkina as a source.  These were not a set of actors who in mid-2016 had never seen each other before.

Odd man … in

There’s one personality we haven’t mentioned for a while.  That’s John Brennan, who before we became absorbed in the Durham indictments was better remembered and more obviously a central figure.

He still is.  And the context outlined above throws into powerful relief an event involving him in 2015 that may be the most informative of all.

Let us remember, before presenting it, that Brennan would have known everything Comey knew about what was coming from Dutch intelligence in 2015.  Brennan probably knew more, in fact.  Brennan knew everything else about what became Spygate as well.  Keep in mind that Brennan’s CIA was spying on Congress in 2015.  When Chuck Schumer spoke in 2017 of the intelligence community having “six ways from Sunday” of getting back at its critics, Brennan was an obvious model for what he had in mind.

John Brennan and Steve Forbes speaking at the August 2015 conference. The only image still available in high resolution online from the original Cancer Breakthroughs 2020 website. (See below: as explained in the original article – link in text – the images from this conference were literally being deleted from both the primary conference site and the Wayback archive of it, as I was composing the article and attempting to use them for illustration. They were not copyrighted, incidentally; they were eligible for fair editorial use with credit to the Soon Shiong conference-related sites where they appeared.)

Thus, we ought to be impressed afresh with the arresting point that Brennan attended the same unlikely conference attended by Bill Clinton in Jackson Hole, Wyoming in the first three days of August 2015.  Keep in mind all the things Brennan – and indeed Clinton – knew about the upcoming 2016 election and the Democrats’ situation ahead of it at that point.  Keep in mind the Dutch intelligence, the Russian angle (and Bill’s knowledge of the drawback his and Hillary’s own links to the Russians would be), Hillary’s email problems, the events that increasingly look like clues that maneuvering against Donald Trump was already underway.

In August 2015, Brennan went to this conference on the medical industry that had no relevance to his job as CIA director, using a high-demand C-40B Air Force aircraft that sat idle on the tarmac the entire time he was there.  The conference happened to be sponsored by a biotech billionaire and physician who got Vice President Joe Biden to back his “moonshot” initiative for a cancer cure.

It defies belief that with Clinton also there, Brennan’s attendance was not about having a surreptitious chat with the former president at the outset of the 2016 campaign, in which Clinton’s wife would be the Democratic candidate.  Indeed, with the Air Force “flying office” aircraft at the local airport, Brennan and Clinton could talk to whoever they wanted to back in D.C. – DOJ, ODNI, the FBI, the White House – via secure teleconference.

If there was a strategy kickoff for the combat phase of Spygate, that interlude in Jackson Hole is your window right there.  From early August 2015, it was the right interval ahead of the precursor movements that started to pile up in January 2016.  It was the right interval ahead of the engagement of Fusion GPS and Nellie Ohr in September 2015.  It fell at a time when the Obama agencies had probably been watching Trump for weeks, if not months – by proxy as well as direct surveillance – but didn’t yet know particulars like whether Trump would get a contract for a hotel in Moscow, or win the primaries, or hear too much for their comfort from Michael Flynn.

Bill Clinton with Dr. Soon Shiong at the Aug 2015 conference in Jackson Hole. This image, which was originally available in high-res at both the conference and Cancer Breakthroughs websites, was screen-capped in low-res from images presented in a search on the conference.
Brennan with Dr. Soon Shiong at the Aug 2015 conference in Jackson Hole. This image, which was originally available in high-res at both the conference and Cancer Breakthroughs websites, was screen-capped in low-res from images presented in a search on the conference.

What they did know was that Trump wasn’t one of them.  They knew their carefully constructed surveillance state would be in peril if a genuine outsider like Trump reached the Oval Office.  My bet is now more solidly than ever on the thesis that the vision all along was to keep that surveillance state in place, and ensure thereby that national policies would not be able to deviate again, regardless of who got elected, from the course set by the Obama administration.

It wasn’t about Hillary’s email problem.  It was about preventing Trump from interrupting progress on a far bigger plan.  Durham probably can’t prosecute more than about 10% of the material events relating to that plan – and it’s the other 90% that will bring us down, if we insist on wearing blinders about the broader goals, threads, and connections.*

Addendum:  The lens of today’s reality clarifies that the Biden administration – whoever makes the actual decisions in it – came into office already loaded and prepared to abuse governmental authority in service of a radical agenda.

This action is not just egregiously wrong.  It was undertaken immediately in response to a canned-language letter from a “civil society” group, and then the U.S. Attorney General outright lied to Congress about it.

It’s not just that we have no evidence of DOJ struggling with a moral dilemma over this.  It’s that the sequence of events gave them no time for one.

Those who can’t see the evidence of prior planning are not the right guides for this moment.


* For an earlier and very extended look at the larger context of Spygate, and what we can do about it, see this treatment from late 2019.

Feature image: Christopher Steele and “Primary Sub-Source” Igor Danchenko shirt up for the roles of their lives. Social media; author

6 thoughts on “The importance of background, and Danchenko’s primary Russian sub-source”

  1. Yeah there’s no way the connections between this woman and Spygate are coincidental. Looks like a binational or multinational conspiracy of the highest ranking and most powerful people in the governments of Russia, the US, and other countries were looking to frame people–independently of electoral politics–as foils for their own actual behavior. I bet Trump and his campaign officials like Papadopoulos were among dozens or hundreds of people spied on as contingencies for such a deception.

  2. This is a prime example of a trillion dollar Globalist Information Ecosystem. Strange how it was started using fairly standard methodologies of human intelligence and information gathering, and “grew” into an entire virtual world of contacts, primary key associations, and data elements and tuples that could with the right question and methods of comparison produce any record desired on nearly any person of interest.

    I saw this coming as soon as the data storage barrier became manageable. The barrier was the physical size, speed, and cost of data storage. In the old days of 3 1/2 inch disk drives, CD/ROMs, and tape backup systems, the logic was there for some of this, but it just wasn’t physically feasible to plant a building full of billions of dollars worth of spinning disk drives with instant access to information. The nearest that I saw to a petabyte of storage in that technology range was at the AIG Insurance HQ in 1996. It was nearly all tape cartridge and complex electro mechanical robot rack storage and slow data retrieval speeds.

    The solid state storage revolution changed all of that. It greatly speed up spindle access (disk drives) for longer term storage, and made available multiple petabytes of organized and raw data in memory without having to rely on electric motors and read write heads crashing and having to be replaced.. Query execution times plummeted for all but the most difficult and esoteric data. Multiple pre-parsed views condensed and removed the chaff data from the seeds… All using the same storage that was now spread over multiple “cloud” environments, using multiple virtual machines to grind, churn, and transfer the data around the world.

    All of this was built pretty much on the side… in plain sight without too many people really paying much attention. I know that my Nest Thermostat has several years worth of heating and cooling data available to whoever Goog decides it wants to give it (or sell it). It has tracks of who left the house (or didn’t pass in front of the sensor enough times) to produce a grid of potential comings and goings. With the data an analyst can estimate the amount of natural gas my furnace uses, and warn me if there might be a flow problem. (of course if I sign up for the advanced information stream… but not signing up doesn’t mean the data isn’t recorded).

    All of that to say.. The Oligarchs have constructed through various intelligence agencies and permanent bureaucracies a virtual map of nearly every key aspect of everyone’s lives in the developed world. They use that information for their benefit and maintenance of their fingers on the strings of power. They can make or destroy anyone at will, and if you become known, and a nuisance they can deal with you and you can do almost nothing to stop it.

    -welcome to the 21st century.

  3. “Trump wasn’t one of them” on foreign policy, which was/is the resistance by NTs, and, all the Liberal International Order (LIO) fan’s hive, including Samantha Power and her nudging husband Cass Sunstein who, imo, probably needed all that unmasking.

    Kash also cited Jake Sullivan and Fiona Hill along with McCabe. Kash must know all the hive’s Queen Bees have one safe space::

    Why Special Counsel John Durham Subpoenaed The Brookings Institution. Brookings was ground zero for the Russia collusion hoax, with many key staff embroiled in the damaging lie that Donald Trump colluded with Vladimir Putin to steal the 2016 election. By Margot Cleveland November 12, 2021 […] While [Jake] Sullivan helped the Clinton campaign, he was also serving as a member of the “Order from Chaos Task Force,” of the Brookings Institution. Beginning in summer 2015 and through December 2016, Sullivan and other task force members met over seven sessions to conduct “a deep dive on U.S. foreign policy,” […]

    Jake Sullivan gave the Dec 2016 Brookings foreign policy speech on Nov 11, 2021 in Australia:

    ORDER from CHAOS. Foreign Policy in a Troubled World. […page 6 of 81] EXECUTIVE SUMMARY […] We believe that President Donald Trump should take a leaf from President Harry Truman’s Secretary of State Dean Acheson, who argued that the United States should build “situations of strength” around the world with like-minded nations and work with them to tackle the threats and challenges to U.S. interests. […]

    Nov 11, 2021· @LowyInstitute
    EVENT: The 2021 Lowy Lecture is being given by @JakeSullivan46, National Security Adviser to US President Joe Biden.

    Nov. 11, 2021: […] our basic approach to building those ‘situations of strength’ basically comes down to five steps.
    1. To modernize and overhaul and make resilient the basic building blocks of our economy and our society. 2. build a latticework of alliances and partnerships globally that are fit for purpose for the 21st century. […] 3. rejoin and then help reshape critical institutions in the world. [ParisCA, UNHRC, …]
    4. turn the page on an overemphasis on military engagement and war and an under-emphasis on diplomacy […] 5. set the terms for an effective and healthy competition with China. […]

    Jake did not explain why the B-Team has so few diplomats, or how withdrawal from AFG was a ‘situation of strength’.

    I spent most of 2017-2018 deconstructing the NT LIO’s thinktank web through the posts at Fukuyama’s The American Interest, after he fired Walter Russell Mead. It went way beyond Brookings, especially with the Stanford cluster. David Kramer’s TAI posts always confused me. Yeah, that David Kramer.

    Bill & HRC were featured guests at Donald & Melania’s wedding. Bill also played golf with Trump.
    They likely got suspicious when Trump started his afternoons, most likely to play backgammon, with Henry Kissinger.

    Apologies for copying from my recent comments with Disqus formatting, to see if same works here 🙂

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