Drudge Retort: The Other Side of the News
Thursday, January 11, 2018

The so-called Steele dossier has become a political and cultural weapon. For many of us, it is either a salacious outline of heinous presidential crimes or a complete fabrication – "garbage." Like the issue of Russian collusion in general, the details in the new book "Fire and Fury" or most anything that angers the President, he and his supporters don't attempt to address specific allegations. Instead, they label whatever they don't like a lie, pure fiction, a hoax or fake news. At the same time, White House opponents look for more ways to expose what they believe is the President's lack of fitness for office.

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Needless to say, professional investigators approach the dossier very differently. They don't have the luxury of accepting it as gospel or blowing it off completely. They would not assume it to be all true, or all false. Instead, investigators have to take the allegations seriously, apply professional rigor and employ tradecraft in an effort to run down leads and seek corroborating evidence if warranted. They must ask whether the dossier's narrative aligns with evidence gathered from other intelligence sources. If the answer to this question had been "no," investigators would not waste any more time with it. Professional investigators are busy and are judged on results. Regardless of their personal views, they have no interest in promoting opinions and hearsay. Rather, they seek evidence that is rock-solid and verifiable, or they will be embarrassed in court and out of a job. Following these criteria, if the dossier had not proven useful in the broader context of other intelligence leads, it would have remained sidelined as merely one of many sources of information meriting follow-up.

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Trump's defenders are not doing him a service. They would do better by attempting to surface information that would be of actual interest to investigators – the people who matter. Those investigating crimes are professionals. They are not swayed by name calling, or the suggestion that it is wholly false (or true). They look at the allegations and closely scrutinize them. It goes without saying that if the President's defenders believe the dossier is garbage, why all the drama, worry and attacks? Criminal investigators cannot make a case based on garbage.

Certainly, the Steele dossier is only one plausible narrative. Subsequent events have shown that it is not out of the realm of reality. We've been able to see with our own eyes behavior that aligns with some of what the dossier presents. On the other hand, given what we've learned to date, the Trump team has never been able to provide a counter-narrative. What does the story of innocence look like? Why all the engagement with Russians? Why the highly organized cover-up and lies? Why the attacks on the FBI and Mr. Steele? As Ruth Marcus recently commented in Washington Post, "The lengths to which Trump seems willing to go to shut down this probe and to hide his tracks suggest that something more than his fragile ego is at stake here."

#1 | Posted by Gal_Tuesday at 2018-01-11 02:45 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

"What does the story of innocence look like?"

That's the bottom line, isn't it? The only counter-narrative Trump has advanced is that people are out to get him. Now, that's only too true; the question being do we have good reasons to get him?

#2 | Posted by Zed at 2018-01-11 03:01 PM | Reply

If you are not a wealthy donor class American, Trump is out to get you, too!

#3 | Posted by oldwhiskeysour at 2018-01-11 03:59 PM | Reply

The problem with the Steel Dossier is that it was the document used to justify the investigation on the accusation of Russian collusion in the Trump campaign. Otherwise the Hillery campaign got cheated out of the money they paid for dirt on Trump. No one took it seriously, It wasn't even good fiction. Question: Sense the identification of this retired MI6 operative, has he ever spoke in his own defense or even appeared in public? Hell, if you offer enough money you can always find someone willing to tell you what you want to hear.

#4 | Posted by docnjo at 2018-01-11 04:51 PM | Reply

DOCNJO #41

"The problem with the Steel Dossier is that it was the document used to justify the investigation on the accusation of Russian collusion in the Trump campaign. Otherwise the Hillery campaign got cheated out of the money they paid for dirt on Trump. No one took it seriously, It wasn't even good fiction. Question: Sense the identification of this retired MI6 operative, has he ever spoke in his own defense or even appeared in public? Hell, if you offer enough money you can always find someone willing to tell you what you want to hear."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

You can't be serious. Nothing you said is true. Just because we did not know the name of a British spy, doedn't mean his name wasn't well know in intelligence circles, including the FBI who has relied on and found his information trustworthy many times in the past.

Yes, he has appeared in public and no, he had no reason to be defensive about it. His report spoke for itself and the FBI did not think it was a work of fiction. In fact, it verified information that they already had from other sources.

My god, man. Get in touch. There seems to be a lot going on that you haven't heard about yet.

#5 | Posted by Twinpac at 2018-01-11 05:33 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

#4 You say that but there is ZERO evidence to support that position. What there is evidence of is that the investigation was already underway by the time Steele went to the FBI and that the government had a source within the Trump organization who was providing them information on the campaign's interactions with Russia. And why would Steele "speak in his own defense"? What charges does he need to defend himself against? We do know he's spoke to at least one person though and that person is on Robert Mueller's team.

#6 | Posted by johnny_hotsauce at 2018-01-11 09:29 PM | Reply

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