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OPINION: America is the jury as Durham exposes FBI in Danchenko trial



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As a federal jury in Virginia started its deliberations Monday in the criminal case against Igor Danchenko, Special Counsel John Durham’s final court trial revealed that neither the FBI, nor other intelligence officials involved in the investigation into the fake dossier compiled by a former British spy, had any evidence what-so-ever that President Trump conspired with Russia.

These revelations can’t change the past and they won’t change the minds of those who hate Trump but it does set the record straight. Moreover, the trial exposed that the FBI actually knew that the dossier was bogus as early as January, 2017, yet used it against President Trump and others,  like short term campaign volunteer Carter Page.  The dossier was an integral part of obtaining a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act warrant to spy on Page and those he communicated with. The FBI clearly violated Page’s constitutional rights.

It was what journalists John Solomon and I had argued early on, when the majority of media outlets disseminated the false narrative from high level sources in the government that Trump was conspiring with Russia. It was the king of lies.

The bureau and other intelligence agencies used the fake dossier compiled by former MI-6 spy Christopher Steele, as a political weapon against a sitting U.S. president and the American people.

Durham deserves credit for being so sleuth against a system that is crooked. Durham’s trial proved the 2018 reports exposing the FBI’s culpability under then House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes, R-CA.  In fact, it takes those reports one major step forward, exposing that by January, 2017 the FBI already knew from witnesses that the dossier was a lie.

It was a lie because Danchenko, who was working at the Brookings Institution think-tank, had told the bureau that the information in the dossier couldn’t be confirmed. What he allegedly didn’t tell the FBI, according to Durham, is that some of the erroneous information within the dossier that he delivered to Steele came from a Hillary Clinton supporter and friend Charles Dolan. Dolan, who was closely connected to Russia, appeared as a witness in the trial.

That didn’t stop top government officials, however, that supported Clinton from using the fake dossier to target Trump and in doing irreparable harm to our nation.

In January, 2017 Buzzfeed published the dossier. It was also during that time as well, that former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper was believed to have leaked information to CNN’s Jake Tapper about the salacious details in the dossier regarding Trump. Clapper did so, after he and his cohorts then CIA director John Brennan and FBI Director James Comey briefed Trump in early January, 2017 on the salacious contents of the fake dossier.

And as the jury deliberates this Tuesday over whether or not Danchenko is guilty of lying to the FBI, what has been revealed is far worse than Danchenko’s alleged lies to a source: The FBI not only obstructed justice but its leadership itself complicit in lying to the American people. Sadly, the Department of Justice is not blind. Lady justice has long covered up for the bureau after its bold changes under Edgar J. Hoover into a national police force. Hoover attempted to write his own history  about the bureau but many historians, former colleagues and others exposed that the man who the building is named after operated more like a pseudo-mafia boss or spy. He collected private files on his enemies, expanded the spying on American citizens he deemed as dangerous to the nation, such as civil right’s leaders like Martin Luther King and Cesar Chavez. Much like the current FBI did to Trump, agents peddled false information to the media on their subjects, as well as abused their power and weaponized the system.

It was the reason many Americans opposed the creation of a national police force in the early 1900s, when the issue was being debated. Americans feared that it would give the bureaucracy too much centralized power. Because of those concerns it took years before bureau agents were given the authority to carry weapons on the job and that didn’t happen until 1934.

Durham’s closing arguments, however, exposed the very real concern Americans had early on with the creation of a bureau and one that we have to contend with in 2022, if Americans are ever going to gain trust in the establishment again.

Durham’s trial against Danchenko also made it clear that the FBI and Justice Department are so intertwined that there is no-one to hold the bureau accountable when corruption, malfeasance and other possible criminality is exposed. That too has to change.


It appears it may be so based on information revealed during recent testimony delivered at Dancheko’s trial. Danchenko is being charged with five counts of lying to the FBI and he pleaded not guilty to all charges. The trial, in Alexandria, VA, is the last prosecution of Justice Department attorney Durham, who said on Monday “the elephant in the room is the FBI.’

He’s right. It’s the bureau who is really on trial.

Durham’s investigation over the past several years has exposed the FBI’s role in the failed and false Trump-Russia collusion narrative. It was a narrative that permeated the airwaves and cable news networks for years. That is until it was discovered that Steele’s dossier was filled with unverified information, tall tales and paid for as opposition research by the Hillary Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee. The Steele dossier, however, was used by the FBI as the basis for its investigation into Trump. They dubbed it: Crossfire Hurricane.

The FBI’s investigation led to spying on  Carter Page and collecting his private information after a FISA (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act) warrant was obtained by the FBI. It was obtained on false-pretenses – suggesting the Steele dossier was verified – when presented to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court.

Page, a one-time Trump campaign volunteer, was then embroiled in an investigation that changed his whole life and even led to threats against his life. Never mind that the FISA warrant was based on false information provided by the FBI in Steele’s dossier. The dossier had not been verified when the warrant was sought, an extreme violation of the court’s standards.

Ongoing investigations over the years by journalists, including this reporter, along with other extensive congressional investigations revealed the extent of the FBI’s failures in its investigation and targeting of U.S. citizens. Durham’s ongoing court trials have also exposed the weaponization of our once trusted federal law enforcement agencies. Still, the revelations have not led to any significant prosecutions.

Politico reporteed that during the trial on Monday Prosecutor Michael Kielty pointed out similarities in the information Democrat operative Charles Dolan provided Danchenko in that 2016 email with information contained in a subsequent report connected to the Steele dossier. It was dated just two days after Dolan sent the email, according to the report.

The connection couldn’t be more clear. Danchenko allegedly lied about Dolan’s role as a source in Steele’s dossier.


‘At one point during questioning, Dolan admitted to having lied to Danchenko in an email in the summer of 2016 about a “GOP friend” he claimed to have met with and who he said provided him with information about former Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort’s resignation. Dolan told the jury that he had “embellished” that claim to Danchenko, and that he had actually obtained the information about Manafort’s resignation from watching cable news, not from a Republican friend.

“I thought I would just embellish a bit to make it seem like his contacts were good,” Dolan said.

Prosecutor Michael Kielty pointed out similarities in the information Dolan provided Danchenko in that 2016 email with information that had ended up in a subsequent report from the dossier, dated just two days after Dolan sent the email. Dolan said that he never provided additional insights to Danchenko, and that he wasn’t aware at the time of why Danchenko was seeking information from him.’ 

Did Mueller Lie to Rep. Matt Gaetz?

Now we come to the deep dive. It was also during Thursday afternoon’s witness testimony that FBI Special Agent Kevin Helson, who handled Danchenko as a confidential human source, revealed that FBI’s knowledge about Danchenko -Dolan.


Durham questioned Helson about efforts to determine the Durham connection in the summer of 2017. By that time, the Mueller Special Counsel had been ongoing since May 2017 and had, on its own, taken part in the last Carter Page FISA renewal. And if you recall from our last articles, Danchenko had been an FBI CHS since March 2017. Once Mueller was appointed, Helson was the go-between, asking Danchenko questions posed by the then-Special Counsel’s team.

By June 2017, the Mueller Special Counsel had developed information that Democrat Charles Dolan may have been a source of the Steele Dossier. They passed questions about Dolan to Agent Helson:

Q         Who did those [Dolan] questions come from?

A         It came from the Mueller investigative team, particularly Ms. [Amy] Anderson.

Durham also cleaned-up Helson’s sloppiness. The previous day, Helson testified that Danchenko didn’t know the Steele Dossier was going to the FBI. Helson admitted he didn’t have any evidence to support his own conclusion.

Q         You were asked a question yesterday that you adopted — you were asked a question about, well, the defendant didn’t know that Steele’s reports were going to the FBI, and you said yes. Do you have any independent knowledge of that?

A         No.

Q         That’s just what the defendant told you, right?

A         Yeah.

Q         So when you told the jury that he, Mr. Danchenko, didn’t know that they were going to the FBI, you don’t know that to be the case?

A         I had no other knowledge that suggested that, no.

Q         Right. There’s no independent evidence of any sort, correct?

A         Yes, correct.


You can follow Sara A. Carter on Twitter @SaraCarterDC

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China Expands Charm Offensive in Southeast Asia to Squeeze out U.S.



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Similar to what is happening in the Pacific, the US is facing a significant uphill battle to balance China’s rise in Southeast Asia. During the recent G20 and ASEAN summits in Indonesia and Cambodia, the Chinese Community Party (CCP) media upped its propaganda war against the United States over Southeast Asia. Outlets like Global Times and Xinhua claim that China’s interests in Southeast Asia are focused on mutual benefits, while the US is a malicious force in the region. The CCP press also claims that China is generously giving robust and purposeful aid to the Southeast Asian countries, while the US is neglecting them.

Claim #1: China’s Interest in Southeast Asia is Peaceful and Mutually Beneficial

China’s approach to Southeast Asia is benevolent and focused on mutual benefits, according to the CCP-run press. “China’s goal is to achieve a truly prosperous and peaceful ASEAN,” and “doesn’t interfere in ASEAN members’ internal affairs,” according to Global Times. “China focuses on pragmatic issues, such as promoting infrastructure construction, living standards, which are needed in those countries,” and “China is seeking a cooperative path toward common development,” according to another Global Times article. That same article quoted Chinese Premier Li Keqiang as stating that China and the ASEAN countries “are good neighbors who will always be there for each other…”

One country that is particularly thankful for growing Chinese influence, according to the CCP press, is Indonesia. Indonesians want China to “lead…the world to a more peaceful and prosperous future,” and view Chinese President Xi Jinping “with an apparent sense of affability and affection,” according to Global Times. Marzuki Alie, former speaker of the People’s Representative Council of Indonesia, praised China as “becom[ing] essential in improving global governance,” and that “the visionary concept of building a human community with a shared future proposed by Chinese President Xi Jinping shows China is willing to work with other countries to create a peaceful and secure world with openness and inclusiveness,” according to Xinhua. And perhaps the most perplexing aspect of China’s “benevolence” in Indonesia is the “Peace Ark” – a hospital ship that has recently docked in Indonesia, but that is also a navy ship run by China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA), according to Global Times.

Malaysia has a favorable view of China as well, according to the CCP press. Koh King Kee, president of Center for New Inclusive Asia, a Malaysian think tank, stated that “China is the backbone of the global supply chain and acts as a ballast stone of the global economy in times of uncertainty,” according to Xinhua.

And in response to US concerns over rising Chinese influence in Cambodia’s Ream Naval Base, Chinese Ambassador to Cambodia Wang Wentian dismisses the base as not targeting any third party, according to Global Times. Cambodia’s Minister of National Defense Tea Banh further claimed that the Chinese involvement in that base is benevolent, stating that the base helps Cambodia “in cooperating with friendly countries and help[ing to] maintain regional peace, stability and prosperity,” according to that same article.

Claim #2: The US’ Interest in Southeast Asia is Manipulative, Malevolent

In contrast to China’s benevolence, the United States “only wants [ASEAN] to serve as its pawn to counter China, and to fulfill its own hegemony goal, according to Global Times. At the G20 conference in Bali, the US takes a “hegemonic, unilateral and protectionist approach,” and “is preaching war and confrontation,” according to that same article.

The US and the West are merely using the G20 summit in Bali “to advance their own geopolitical agenda against Russia, therefore preventing the crucial meeting from tackling serious economic issues,” according to another Global Times article. “Such a geopolitical focus “will worsen this uncertain and unstable world,” according to Veronika S. Saraswati, China Study Unit Convener at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies Indonesia.

According to another Global Times article, the US is using ASEAN “to drive a wedge between China and Southeast Asian nations in the future,” is attempting to “rope in the region via political, security, and value-oriented agendas,” and is trying “to buy off” Southeast Asian countries “by pledging to spend certain amount[s] of money.”

Claim #3: China gives Robust, Targeted Aid to Southeast Asia

CCP media taunts the extensive aid that China is giving to Southeast Asian countries. China has pledged $1.5 billion in “development assistance” to ASEAN countries in November 2021, and Chinese-ASEAN trade was about $878 billion in 2021, according to Global Times. Chinese Premier Li Keqiang claims that of the 160 “cooperation initiatives” that China has suggested with the ASEAN countries in the previous 10 years, over 99.5 percent of them have been implemented, as reported by another Global Times article.

Li also stated that China is planning to build emergency storage for medical supplies and rise within the ASEAN Plus Three (China, Japan and South Korea) framework, according to Global Times.

Chinese state-run media is particularly touting China’s Belt and Road investments in Southeast Asia, particularly in Indonesia and Laos. According to Global Times, the Jakarta-Bandung high speed railway will be operational in June 2023, and as a “flagship project of China-Indonesia cooperation under the Belt and Road Initiative,” will be the first high speed train in Southeast Asia, according to Xinhua. China’s ambassador to Indonesia praised the project, claiming that the railway “will greatly reduce traffic jams, make travel more convenient for local people, improve local investment environment, boost businesses and tourism along the route, and accelerate the building of a high speed railway economic corridor.” The ambassador also mentioned that existing Belt and Road initiatives with Indonesia like the Indonesia Morowali Industrial Park and the PT Virtue Dragon Nickel Industry Park, “have generated tax incomes, job opportunities and foreign exchange earnings, and provided Indonesia with opportunities for greater participation in global industrial chains of stainless steel and new energy.”

Meanwhile, Global Times asserts that the China-Laos Railway has generated at least $1.7 billion in trade and has transported almost 10 million tons of goods.

Claim #4: US Investment Lags Behind China

On the other hand, the CCP media claims that the US is lagging far behind Chinese investments in Southeast Asia. President Biden’s newly announced “Comprehensive Strategic Partnership” with the ASEAN countries “…looks more like a symbolic act. The US is playing the catch-up game with China,” according to Koh King Kee, president of a Malaysian think tank, according to Global Times.

US and ASEAN trade, at $441 million in 2021, was almost half that of Chinese investment for that same time, according to Global Times. President Biden pledged to ask Congress for $850 million in aid for electric vehicles and clean energy to ASEAN countries, but this amount is “symbolic” and a “mere ‘drop in the bucket’,” according to Global Times. In May, Biden “announced a $150 million development and security package” for the ASEAN countries according to that same article, which pales in comparison to the amounts in aid that China claims it is giving those same countries.

According to Global Times, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang mentioned that US investment in ASEAN is “a drop in the bucket if compared to US support for Ukraine” during the Biden administration, which Global Times claims is “over $18.9 billion in security assistance.”


CCP media is waging a charm offensive targeting Southeast Asia. While China is investing heavily in these countries, the US has yet to devise a credible counter to such influence.

You can follow Steve Postal on @HebraicMosaic 

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