Steele's Interview is Bait to Divert Public From Trump's Rising Polls & Durham's Probe, Analyst Says
While the US media remain uninterested in Hunter Biden's "laptop from hell," apparently considering it irrelevant, they have suddenly turned the spotlight on a debunked "dirty dossier" compiled by ex-MI6 agent Christopher Steele at the request of Trump's political opponents. What's behind the move?
Earlier this week, ABC News anchor George Stephanopoulos released a documentary about ex-MI6 agent Christopher Steele, the author of the infamous dirty dossier later debunked in the FBI spreadsheet
and Special Counsel Robert Mueller's report. However, Steele asserted to Stephanopoulos: "I stand by the work we did, the sources that we had, and the professionalism which we applied to it."
Trump Quickly Gaining Ground
The release of a "patently absurd regurgitation of debunked conspiracy theories" promoted by Steele and other intelligence operatives, while the US is facing serious challenges emanating from Joe Biden's "incompetence," is nothing but "shameful," according to Wall Street analyst and investigative journalist Charles Ortel.
He wonders as to why Stephanopoulos has turned a blind eye to questionable financial operations by Hunter and Joe Biden
as potential "pay-to-play" involving foreign individuals, and is focusing on the dirty dossier instead.
It appears especially confusing given that Special Counsel Mueller's probe, which cost US taxpayers almost $32 million, failed to find any evidence backing Steele's claims.
"Not satisfied with wasting precious years defaming Trump and his aspirations to concentrate upon making America great again within our borders, dupes [from both parties] are doing best to dirty up the Trump brand, perhaps hoping to destroy his interest in running again in 2024," the analyst suggests.
Although Trump has not yet confirmed that he would run in 2024, there's growing speculation that he will throw his hat into the ring. Moreover, the former president's poll rating is increasing, especially among independents. According to a Grinnell College poll
, 45 percent of independents said they would vote for Trump while just 28 percent endorsed Biden. The survey indicates that both politicians received the support of 40 percent of likely voters.
At the same time, poll aggregator FiveThirtyEight signalled
on 21 October, that over his first nine months in office, Biden "has lost support among Americans of all stripes," with independents and Hispanics being especially disenchanted.
14 October 2021, 17:52 GMT
Durham Closing In
Yet another potential reason for reviving old debunked allegations by Steele could be the latest indictment of Hillary Clinton campaign lawyer Michael Sussmann, according to Ortel.
Special Counsel John Durham has been investigating potential misconduct in the federal investigation, called Operation Crossfire Hurricane, of the alleged Trump-Russia "collusion" since 2019.
Sussmann's indictment, penned by Durham, is unusually lengthy as it describes not only the lawyer's alleged false statement to the FBI, but also close collaboration between Hillary Clinton campaign operatives, lawyers, technical specialists, and media figures to produce research linking the Trump Organisation to Russia's Alfa Bank. The document also highlighted doubts cited by the participants of the "project" about its credibility. Later, alleged "secret communications" between the Trump Organisation and the Russian bank were disproven by the FBI.
American legal observers suggested that Durham is "circling" former Clinton aide and current national security adviser Jake Sullivan
, who, as they suggest, took an active part in peddling the Trump-Russia research. However, "in testimony to Congress, Sullivan… insisted that he did not know the Alfa Bank scandal was the work of a Clinton lawyer and people associated with the campaign," wrote
Jonathan Turley, a professor of public interest law at George Washington University. Earlier, lying to Congress under oath cost ex-Trump attorney Michael Cohen three years in prison.
5 October 2021, 16:30 GMT
It is also possible that the whole group "that pushed the Alfa Bank/Trump hoax" will find itself in Durham's crosshairs, according
to Techno Fog, a pseudonym for an American lawyer and writer.
"This is based on the volume of information Durham possesses on this issue, which reflects substantial expenditures of time and energy and resources to put all this together," the writer notes, referring to “more than 6,000 documents, comprising approximately 81,000 pages” provided by Durham to Sussmann.
Techno Fog does not rule out that the data used in the research was "manipulated" judging from the group's inner communications obtained by the special counsel. One message read that it would be possible to “fill out a sales form on two websites, faking the other company’s email address in each form,” and thereby cause them “to appear to communicate with each other in DNS." If that's the case, and data was indeed manipulated to look like "secret communication" between Trump's entities and Alfa Bank, Sussmann may potentially face obstruction (18 USC 1503) or conspiracy charges, Techno Fog believes.
As for "Tech Executive-1," identified by the media as Rodney Joffe, and "a university," which, apparently means Georgia Tech, they may find themselves in a heap of trouble over the alleged "misuse of classified government data from DARPA," according
to the lawyer.
Given the clouds gathering on the horizon of those who peddled Trump-Russia "collusion" narrative, Steele's interview was possibly meant to serve as a distraction for the American public, suggests Charles Ortel.
However, it's hard to imagine that Americans buying into this, he says.
"Outside faculty lounges and corporate boardrooms, the American public is getting angrier and angrier not at Trump but at a system that fails the bottom 99% on all fronts, including health care, education, personal safety and economic security," the analyst concludes.