In a piece originally written by Paul Sperry for Real Clear Investigations on Jan. 27th, Sperry said that Hillary Clinton’s role in the burgeoning scandal remains elusive.
What did Hillary know and when did she know it?
As indictments and new court filings indicate that Special Counsel John Durham is investigating Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign for feeding false reports to the FBI to incriminate Donald Trump and his advisers as Kremlin agents, Clinton’s role in the burgeoning scandal remains elusive.
Top officials involved in her campaign have repeatedly claimed, some under oath, that they and the candidate were unaware of the foundation of their disinformation campaign: the 35-page collection of now debunked claims of Trump/Russia collusion known as the Steele dossier. Even though her campaign helped pay for the dossier, they claim she only read it after BuzzFeed News published it in 2017.
But court documents, behind-the-scenes video footage and recently surfaced evidence reveal that Clinton and her top campaign advisers were much more involved in the more than $1 million operation to dredge up dirt on Trump and Russia than they have let on. The evidence suggests that the Trump-Russia conspiracy theory sprang from a multi-pronged effort within the Clinton campaign, which manufactured many of the false claims, then fed them to friendly media and law enforcement officials. Clinton herself was at the center of these efforts, using her personal Twitter account and presidential debates to echo the false claims of Steele and others that Trump was in cahoots with the Russians.
Although Clinton has not been pressed by major media on her role in Russiagate, a short scene in the 2020 documentary “Hillary” suggests she was aware of the effort. It shows Clinton speaking to her running mate, Democratic Sen. Tim Kaine, and his wife, Anne, in hushed tones about Trump and Russia in a back room before a campaign event in early October 2016. Clinton expressed concerns over Trump’s “weird connections” to Russia and its president, Vladimir Putin. She informed Kaine that she and her aides were “scratching hard” to expose them, a project Kaine seemed to be hearing about for the first time.
“I don’t say this lightly,” Clinton whispered, pausing to look over her shoulder, “[but Trump’s] agenda is other people’s agenda.”
“We’re scratching hard, trying to figure it out,” she continued. “He is the vehicle, the vessel for all these other people.”
During the discussions, the two brought up all these weird connections” between the Trump campaign and Russia.
While Kaine brought up former Trump Campaign Manager Paul Manafort, Hillary expressed suspicion about Trump’s then-national security adviser, ret. Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, “who is a paid tool for Russian television.”
At that point, a media handler interrupted them over some staging issues, and they stopped discussing Trump and Russia.
“This is what scares me … the way that Putin has taken over the political apparatus, or is trying to,” Clinton added.
The outlet continued:
Both Manafort and Flynn had been cited in dossier reports submitted to the Clinton campaign before the two Democratic nominees had their October 2016 conversation. The dossier falsely accused Manafort, Flynn and other Trump advisers of participating in a Kremlin conspiracy to steal the election for Trump.
Dossier author Christopher Steele himself has suggested Clinton was briefed on his reports. On July 5, 2016 — the same day the FBI publicly exonerated Clinton in her email scandal — Steele handed off the first installments of the dossier to an FBI agent overseas who had handled him previously as an informant. In their London meeting, Steele noted that Clinton was aware of his reporting, according to contemporaneous notes Steele took of their conversation.
“The notes reflect that Steele told [his FBI handler Michael Gaeta] that Steele was aware that ‘Democratic Party associates’ were paying for [his] research; the ‘ultimate client’ was the leadership of the Clinton presidential campaign; and ‘the candidate’ was aware of Steele’s reporting,” Justice Department watchdog Michael Horowitz wrote in his 2019 report examining the FBI’s use of the dossier to justify spying on Trump campaign adviser Carter Page.
Later that same month, during the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, the CIA picked up Russian chatter about a Clinton foreign policy adviser who was trying to develop allegations to “vilify” Trump. The intercepts said Clinton herself had approved a “plan” to “stir up a scandal” against Trump by tying him to Putin. According to handwritten notes, then-CIA chief John Brennan warned President Obama that Moscow had intercepted information about the “alleged approval by Hillary Clinton on July 26, 2016, of a proposal from one of her foreign policy advisers to vilify Donald Trump.”
At the convention, Clinton foreign policy adviser Jake Sullivan drove a golf cart from one TV-network news tent in the parking lot to another, pitching producers, anchors, correspondents and even some NBC network executives a story that Trump and his advisers were in bed with Putin and possibly conspiring with Russian intelligence to steal the election. He also visited CNN and MSNBC, as well as Fox News, to spin the Clinton campaign’s unfounded theories. Sullivan even sat down with CNN honcho Jeff Zucker to outline the opposition research they had gathered on Trump and Russia.
Sullivan’s title was misleading. He was far more than a foreign policy adviser to Clinton. His portfolio included campaign strategy.
“Hillary told Sullivan she wanted him to take over [her campaign],” journalists Amie Parnes and Jonathan Allen reported in their 2017 bestseller, “Shattered: Inside Hillary’s Doomed Campaign.” “You’re going to be my traffic cop and my rabbi, she told Sullivan, adding that he would be her de facto chief strategist.”