On Wednesday evening, the Wall Street Journal’s Kimberley Strassel noticed something peculiar in the IG report and posed a question via a twitter thread:
Buried in the IG report is a line that poses an enormous question, one that is central to everything, and really must be answered. Remember: According to all relevant players, prior to July of 2016, nobody had a Trump-Russia collusion narrative on their minds.
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.
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.”
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…
“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.
Let’s hope Attorney John Durham provides some answers on who exactly knew what in the spring of 2016.
The answer could be that Glenn Simpson and his wife, Mary Jacoby, wrote the script a long time ago.
Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) appeared on Fox News’ “Hannity” in the spring to discuss the origins of the Steele dossier. He said it should really be called the “Simpson” dossier. Although Christopher Steele likely contributed “stories” to the dossier, and his years of experience in British intelligence lent credence to the document, Nunes said he believed that Fusion GPS founder Glenn Simpson may actually have written the majority of it.
Simpson hired Christopher Steele in June 2016. According to Smith, Steele had been “identified as a British spy in 1999.” He had been chief of the “Russia desk when Russian assassins killed FSB defector Alexander Litvinenko in London and was hardly in a position to make discreet inquiries. Still, Simpson must have thought Steele’s name at a minimum would be useful in marketing whatever his firm pulled together. Reportedly, Steele had a good relationship with the FBI, and journalists love spies who spill secrets.”