For most people, the whole RussiaGate issue has probably become so tangled and complex that it almost defies comprehension. That’s largely because the mainstream press has deliberately done everything it can to obfuscate the issue and make it impenetrable. In point of fact, the basic outlines of what happened now seem pretty clear.
Going into the 2016 election Hillary Clinton and her key advisors were very worried about the impact of her “homebrew” server controversy. Clinton had pretty clearly violated a whole raft of regulations and laws, at a minimum mishandled classified data and deliberately evaded rules designed to ensure that official communications are properly preserved. It was a bad look for a lady already under fire for any number of other “shady” dealings.
So, the Clinton campaign ginned up a story about collusion between the Trump campaign and Vladimir Putin, supported it with dubious, poorly sourced assertions and outright lies, and then peddled it to its friends in the intelligence and law enforcement communities. RussiaGate was born. Amplified by lapdog media outlets and pundits it became ubiquitous.
At the heart of this effort was Jake Sullivan. Sullivan is now the National Security Advisor to Joe Biden. In 2016 he was a foreign policy advisor to Hillary Clinton. Sullivan spent huge amounts of time making the circuit in D.C., pushing the RussiaGate narrative and lending his supposed “credibility” to support the idea that Donald Trump was somehow colluding with Putin and that Moscow was about to take control of the White House.
To understand just how patently absurd that assertion always was, perhaps it’s best to hone in on one of the key elements of the narrative that was being pushed. This concerns the idea that there was some sort of secret hotline between the Trump campaign and Moscow. The idea being peddled was that via some highly compartmented, super-secure communications mechanism, Putin and Trump were in direct communication and were conspiring to bring down the republic.
There never was any credible evidence to support this assertion. What the FBI established when it dug into the matter was the supposed Trump email server used for the “hotline” to Moscow was, in fact, not even under the control of the Trump campaign. It belonged to a marketing firm called Cendyn and was located in Lititz, Pennsylvania. The firm sent promotional emails out all over the world on behalf of multiple hotel chains, including Trump hotels.
Some of the routine promotional emails sent out by Cendyn that mentioned Trump hotels went to Alfa Bank in Moscow. That bank had maintained an office in New York since 2001.
A marketing firm in the pay of multiple hotel chains sent out promotional emails all over the world. Some of those emails ended up at a bank in Moscow.
This was the evidence relied upon by Sullivan and others in claiming that Trump was in collusion with Putin.
“The FBI’s investigation revealed that the email server at issue was not owned or operated by the Trump Organization but, rather, had been administrated by a mass-marketing email company that sent advertisements for Trump hotels and hundreds of other clients,” Durham wrote in his indictment of Hillary campaign lawyer Michael A. Sussmann recently.
Were it not so serious, the whole thing would be funny, because it is so absurd. No cyber ninja looked into this “connection” and believed it suggested a conspiracy to overthrow the government of the United States. No rational person ever looked at this ridiculous assertion and actually believed what was being peddled to the American people. They did not care. They understood that all anyone was going to hear from the lapdogs in the media was “Trump – Putin – collusion” and that would be enough.
Jake Sullivan was not a bystander in all this. He may, in fact, have been the key figure orchestrating this entire effort within the Clinton campaign. On October 31, 2016, he characterized the information regarding marketing emails for Trump hotels being sent to Alfa Bank this way.
“This could be the most direct link yet between Donald Trump and Moscow. Computer scientists have apparently uncovered a covert server linking the Trump Organization to a Russian-backed bank.”
All evidence shows that throughout the entire RussiaGate effort Sullivan was intimately involved inside Hillary Clinton’s campaign in orchestrating the smear campaign against President Trump. It also suggests strongly that after the election, Sullivan was at the center of an effort to continue pushing the narrative and attempting to destabilize the Trump administration. Yet, when he appeared before Congress in December 2017 to testify Sullivan suddenly appeared to have only fragmentary knowledge of any of the key facts involved.
Despite the fact that the entire RussiaGate lie was the creation of Fusion GPS a firm working for the Clinton campaign, by which Sullivan was employed, Jake claimed to have no idea where the information regarding Alfa Bank came from. He also claimed not to have understood that lawyers working for Clinton’s campaign were in her employ. In some cases, he claimed not to have even known for what law firms various lawyers with whom he met worked.
In Sullivan’s telling of the story to Congress, he appears as some sort of blithely passive and ignorant figure who simply repeated assertions brought to him by virtual unknowns without any attempt to vet the information. He assumed everyone was acting in good faith. He meant no harm.
It is an absurd contention and yet it sounds strangely familiar. In the aftermath of the Benghazi debacle, when it became clear that Mark Morrell, the head of Central Intelligence at the time, had altered the assessment of what happened on the ground to fit the desired White House narrative, Morrell ultimately admitted he had misstated the fact but claimed unnamed analysts somewhere in the Headquarters building had given him bad information that led to his assessment.
Sure, by the time Morrell talked to any analysts he was already buried in real-time reporting from the field telling him what was really going on. Of course, no analyst in a cubicle at Headquarters had any info that had not come from the field in the first place. In point of fact, the entire story was absurd, but it did not matter.
Morrell stuck to his story. Perhaps he was an idiot, but he had done nothing criminal. He skated, and he got his reward. When he left federal service, he went on to a cushy, well-paid job at a think tank aligned with the Democratic Party.
Let us hope that Jake Sullivan is not so lucky. The National Security Advisor to the President of the United States appears to have been involved in an effort to smear Donald Trump and prevent his election. It seems he then redoubled those efforts after the 2016 election and attempted to destabilize a sitting President.
I think we can safely say he is unfit to serve. The only question is – when will he be indicted?