By Larry C. Johnson

Forget 31 July 2016 as the alleged start date for the full blown Trump counter intelligence investigation. That day is a sham. The actual campaign to paint Trump as a full fledged stooge of Russia started in early May 2016. We now know the start date thanks to the text messages between star-crossed lovers Strzok and Page and the timeline buried in the Mueller Report:

Page-strzok-text-ted-cruz-may-4-2016

It is important to understand that the collection of intelligence on U.S. Presidential candidates was not limited to Donald Trump. The collection effort started in the summer of 2015 and included the main Republican candidates and, according to a knowledgeable source, also targeted Bernie Sanders.

Also remember that the Presidential campaign is a dynamic event that changes over time. In the summer of 2015, the conventional wisdom touted Jeb Bush as the likely nominee. But as the months passed the field narrowed. By March of 2016, Donald Trump was the leader and appeared likely to garner the nomination.

April was the turning point where the foundation for attacking Trump was being laid. The law firm, Perkins Coie, hired Fusion GPS on behalf of Hillary Clinton’s campaign. Andy McMarthy reported on the details of this arrangement in October 2017:

The Clinton campaign and the DNC retained the law firm of Perkins Coie; in turn, one of its partners, Marc E. Elias, retained Fusion GPS. We don’t know how much Fusion GPS was paid, but the Clinton campaign and the DNC paid $9.1 million to Perkins Coie during the 2016 campaign (i.e., between mid-2015 and late 2016).

Fusion GPS then “hired” FBI Informant Christopher Steele in May 2016. More about that later.As Page and Strzok noted in their text exchange, Ted Cruz dropping out of the race in early May was the catalyst for focusing all resources on Donald Trump. This effort, which I label, the Trump Russia covert action, involved the CIA, the NSA, the FBI and British Intelligence. How do we know? Just look at the Robert Mueller Report:

May 4, 2016, Papadopolous forwarded to Lewandowski an email from Timofeev [who was introduced to Papadopolous by Joseph Mifsud] raising the possibility of a meeting in Moscow , asking Lewandowski whether that was ” something we want to move forward with. ” The next day, Papadopoulos forwarded the same Timofeev email to Sam Clovis, adding to the top of the email “Russia update.” (From Mueller Report)

May 4, 2016, FBI Informant Felix Sater followed up with Michael Cohen re Trump Tower Moscow Project: I had a chat with Moscow. ASSUMING the trip does happen the question is before or after the convention. I said I believe, but don’t know for sure, that ‘s it’s probably after the convention. Obviously the pre-meeting trip (you only) can happen anytime you want but the 2 big guys where [sic] the question. I said I would confirm and revert. . . . Let me know about If I was right by saying I believe after Cleveland and also when you want to speak to them and possibly fly over. (From Mueller Report)

May 5, 2016, FBI Informant Felix Sater wrote to Cohen: “Peskov would like to invite you as his guest to the St. Petersburg Forum which is Russia’s Davos it’s June 16-19. He wants to meet there with you and possibly introduce you to either Putin or Medvedev , as they are not sure if 1 or both will be there. This is perfect. The entire business class of Russia wiU be there as well. He said anything you want to discuss including dates and subjects are on the table to discuss[. ]” (From Mueller Report)

May 6, 2016, Papadopoulos suggested to a representative of a foreign government [i.e., Erika Thompson, senior aide to Alexander Downer] that the Trump Campaign had received indications from the Russian government that it could assist the Campaign through the anonymous release of information that would be damaging to candidate Clinton. (p. 81 Mueller Report)

May 6, 2016, two military attachés at the US embassy in London, Terrence Dudley and Gregory Baker, reach out to George Papadopolous to set up a meeting.” [Both, per Papadopolous are with Defense Intelligence Agency, {https://books.apple.com/us/book/deep-state-target/id1446495998) (From Papadopolous Book)

May 7, 2016 (12 days before becoming campaign chair for Trump’s) Paul Manafort meets with Konstantin Kilimnik, a Russian national who has lived in both Russia and Ukraine and was a longtime Manafort employee. (From Mueller Report) [NOTE—Mueller’s team identified this as “suspect” activity that needed to be investigated.]

May 16, 2016, while that request was still under consideration, Carter Page emailed Clovis, J.D. Gordon, and Walid Phares and suggested that candidate Trump take his place speaking at the commencement ceremony in Moscow. (From Mueller Report)

May 19, 2016, Paul Manafort was promoted to campaign chairman and chief strategist, and Gates, who had been assisting Manafort on the Campaign, was appointed deputy campaign chairman. (From Mueller Report) [NOTE—the Mueller team believed that Manafort was acting on behalf of Russian interests but failed to find corroborating evidence.]

May 2016, the IRA created the Twitter account @march_for_trump , which promoted IRA-organized rallies in support of the Trump Campaign  (From Mueller Report

May 2016– FBI Informant Henry Oknyansky (who also went by the name Henry Greenberg), claimed to have information pertaining to Hillary Clinton. Michael Caputo notified Roger Stone and brokered communication between Stone and Oknyansky. Oknyansky and Stone set up a May 2016 in-person meeting. (From Mueller Report)

Then we have this little tidbit courtesy of the Washington Post that the CIA acted, perhaps as early as June 2016:

John Brennan convened a secret task force at CIA headquarters composed of several dozen analysts and officers from the CIA, the NSA and the FBI.

The unit functioned as a sealed compartment, its work hidden from the rest of the intelligence community. Those brought in signed new non-disclosure agreements to be granted access to intelligence from all three participating agencies.

They worked exclusively for two groups of “customers,” officials said. The first was Obama and fewer than 14 senior officials in government. The second was a team of operations specialists at the CIA, NSA and FBI who took direction from the task force on where to aim their subsequent efforts to collect more intelligence on Russia.

Investigators must get the date that this CIA task force was established. They also need to identify and interview the people who participated and were cleared to work on this task force. President Trump must understand that this was not a legitimate intelligence operation. It was weaponizing the intel community to act against a Presidential candidate. It was manufactured as part of a broader plan to paint Trump as a tool of Putin and a servant of Russia.

We must take a new look at the story told about the so-called Russian hack of the DNC. I believe that Crowd Strike is lying about its role and the timeline. Here is the “official” story

May 6, 2016, Dmitri Alperovitch woke up in a Los Angeles hotel to an alarming email. Alperovitch is the thirty-six-year-old cofounder of the cybersecurity firm CrowdStrike, and late the previous night, his company had been asked by the Democratic National Committee to investigate a possible breach of its network. A CrowdStrike security expert had sent the DNC a proprietary software package, called Falcon, that monitors the networks of its clients in real time. Falcon “lit up,” the email said, within ten seconds of being installed at the DNC: Russia was in the network. (From Esquire–Esquire Magazine offers a different timeline)

We are asked to believe that the Russians were in the DNC network on the 6thof May and that Crowd Strike knew it. But what steps did Crowd Strike take to shut down the “Russians.” Short answer—nothing until June 10th.

The DNC emails were taken on the 25thof May 2016. That is the last date for the DNC emails posted on Wikileaks.

Washington Post reporter Ellen Nakashimaand Esquire magazine each reported that that the CrowdStrike effort did not shut down the DNC network until 10 June. If you know on May 6ththat the “Russians” are in the network, why does any credible, competent cyber security company wait until the 10thof June to shut the system down?

I believe this is a cover story. Here is what I think really happened.

Seth Rich, a DNC employee and Bernie Sanders supporter, downloaded the emails and then gave them to Wikileaks. Rich was in contact with Wikileaks. That is not my opinion. We know that courtesy of a FOIA request by lawyer Ty Clevenger to the NSA filed in November 2017, who requested any information regarding Seth Rich and Julian Assange. The NSA informed Clevenger in a letter dated 4 October 2018 that:

Your request has been processed under the provisions of the FOIA. Fifteen documents (32 pages) responsive to your request have been reviewed by this Agency as required by the FOIA and have found to be currently and properly classified in accordance with Executive Order 13526. These documents meet the criteria for classification as set forth in Subparagraph © of Section 1.4 and remains classified TOP SECRET and SECRET.”

Former NSA Technical Director, William Binney commented on this revelation:

Ty Clevenger has FOIAed information from NSA asking for any data that involved both Seth Rich and also Julian Assange. And they responded by saying we’ve got 15 files, 32 pages, but they’re all classified in accordance with executive order 13526 covering classification, and therefore you can’t have them.

That says that NSA has records of communications between Seth Rich and Julian Assange. I mean, that’s the only business that NSA is in — copying communications between people and devices.

We already know, as noted above, that the CIA had a task force set up. I believe this intelligence was communicated to the Clinton campaign and that a bogus story, with Crowd Strike in a starring role, was cooked up. Implausible? Not as implausible as a supposed cracker jack cyber security company waiting almost six weeks before taking common sense steps to shut down and clean the DNC servers.

It was Crowd Strike with the help of the Washington Post that went public and pinned the blame on the Russians.

But that was not the only active measure in place. Christopher Steele, a fully signed up FBI informant, was hired by Fusion GPS and produced his first block buster report on June 20thclaiming Trump was under the thumb of Vladimir Putin.

This is not a complete timeline. More remains to be discovered. But there are key facts that most of the media and punditry have ignored. Donald Trump’s announcement tonight (Thursday, 23 May 2019) to start declassifying documents on the Trump counter intelligence investigation and directing the intelligence agencies to cooperate may be the final straw that ends the conspiracy of ignorance.