Did Sen. Warner and Comey ‘Collude’ on Russia-gate?

The U.S. was in talks for a deal with Julian Assange but then FBI Director James Comey ordered an end to negotiations after Assange offered to prove Russia was not involved in the DNC leak, as Ray McGovern explains.

By Ray McGovern 
Special to Consortium News

An explosive report by investigative journalist John Solomon on the opinion page of Monday’s edition of The Hill sheds a bright light on how Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA) and then-FBI Director James Comey collaborated to prevent WikiLeaks editor Julian Assange from discussing “technical evidence ruling out certain parties [read Russia]” in the controversial leak of Democratic Party emails to WikiLeaks during the 2016 election.

A deal that was being discussed last year between Assange and U.S. government officials would have given Assange “limited immunity” to allow him to leave the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, where he has been exiled for six years. In exchange, Assange would agree to limit through redactions “some classified CIA information he might release in the future,” according to Solomon, who cited “interviews and a trove of internal DOJ documents turned over to Senate investigators.” Solomon even provided a copy of the draft immunity deal with Assange.  

But Comey’s intervention to stop the negotiations with Assange ultimately ruined the deal, Solomon says, quoting “multiple sources.” With the prospective agreement thrown into serious doubt, Assange “unleashed a series of leaks that U.S. officials say damaged their cyber warfare capabilities for a long time to come.” These were the Vault 7 releases, which led then CIA Director Mike Pompeo to call WikiLeaks “a hostile intelligence service.”

Solomon’s report provides reasons why Official Washington has now put so much pressure on Ecuador to keep Assange incommunicado in its embassy in London.

Assange: Came close to a deal with the U.S. (Photo credit: New Media Days / Peter Erichsen)

The report does not say what led Comey to intervene to ruin the talks with Assange. But it came after Assange had offered to  “provide technical evidence and discussion regarding who did not engage in the DNC releases,” Solomon quotes WikiLeaks’ intermediary with the government as saying.  It would be a safe assumption that Assange was offering to prove that Russia was not WikiLeaks’ source of the DNC emails. 

If that was the reason Comey and Warner ruined the talks, as is likely, it would reveal a cynical decision to put U.S. intelligence agents and highly sophisticated cybertools at risk, rather than allow Assange to at least attempt to prove that Russia was not behind the DNC leak.

The greater risk to Warner and Comey apparently would have been if Assange provided evidence that Russia played no role in the 2016 leaks of DNC documents.

Missteps and Stand Down

In mid-February 2017, in a remarkable display of naiveté, Adam Waldman, Assange’s pro bono attorney who acted as the intermediary in the talks, asked Warner if the Senate Intelligence Committee staff would like any contact with Assange to ask about Russia or other issues. Waldman was apparently oblivious to Sen. Warner’s stoking of Russia-gate. 

Warner contacted Comey and, invoking his name, instructed Waldman to “stand down and end the discussions with Assange,” Waldman told Solomon.  The “stand down” instruction “did happen,” according to another of Solomon’s sources with good access to Warner.  However, Waldman’s counterpart attorney David Laufman, an accomplished federal prosecutor picked by the Justice Departent to work the government side of the CIA-Assange fledgling deal, told Waldman, “That’s B.S.  You’re not standing down, and neither am I.”

But the damage had been done.  When word of the original stand-down order reached WikiLeaks, trust evaporated, putting an end to two months of what Waldman called “constructive, principled discussions that included the Department of Justice.”

The two sides had come within inches of sealing the deal.  Writing to Laufman on March 28, 2017, Waldman gave him Assange’s offer to discuss “risk mitigation approaches relating to CIA documents in WikiLeaks’ possession or control, such as the redaction of Agency personnel in hostile jurisdictions,” in return for “an acceptable immunity and safe passage agreement.”

On March 31, 2017, though, WikiLeaks released the most damaging disclosure up to that point from what it called “Vault 7” — a treasure trove of CIA cybertools leaked from CIA files.  This disclosure featured the tool “Marble Framework,” which enabled the CIA to hack into computers, disguise who hacked in, and falsely attribute the hack to someone else by leaving so-called tell-tale signs — like Cyrillic, for example. The CIA documents also showed that the “Marble” tool had been employed in 2016.

Misfeasance or Malfeasance

Comey: Ordered an end to talks with Assange.

Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity, which includes among our members two former Technical Directors of the National Security Agency, has repeatedly called attention to its conclusion that the DNC emails were leaked — not “hacked” by Russia or anyone else (and, later, our suspicion that someone may have been playing Marbles, so to speak). 

In fact, VIPS and independent forensic investigators, have performed what former FBI Director Comey — at first inexplicably, now not so inexplicably — failed to do when the so-called “Russian hack” of the DNC was first reported. In July 2017 VIPS published its key findings with supporting data. 

Two month later, VIPS published the results of follow-up experiments conducted to test the conclusions reached in July. 

Why did then FBI Director Comey fail to insist on getting direct access to the DNC computers in order to follow best-practice forensics to discover who intruded into the DNC computers?  (Recall, at the time Sen. John McCain and others were calling the “Russian hack” no less than an “act of war.”)  A 7th grader can now figure that out.

Asked on January 10, 2017 by Senate Intelligence Committee chair Richard Burr (R-NC) whether direct access to the servers and devices would have helped the FBI in their investigation, Comey replied:  “Our forensics folks would always prefer to get access to the original device or server that’s involved, so it’s the best evidence.” 

At that point, Burr and Warner let Comey down easy. Hence, it should come as no surprise that, according to one of John Solomon’s sources, Sen. Warner (who is co-chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee) kept Sen. Burr apprised of his intervention into the negotiation with Assange, leading to its collapse.

Ray McGovern works with Tell the Word, a publishing arm of the ecumenical Church of the Saviour in inner-city Washington.  He was an Army Infantry/Intelligence officer and then a CIA analyst for a total of 30 years and prepared and briefed, one-on-one, the President’s Daily Brief from 1981 to 1985.

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130 comments for “Did Sen. Warner and Comey ‘Collude’ on Russia-gate?

  1. Gregory Kruse
    July 9, 2018 at 11:15 am

    I would not be in the least surprised.

  2. Brett Gleason
    July 4, 2018 at 9:50 pm

    If the US government wants to get rid of guys like Assange I suggest to start being truthful, transparent and in good faith. Problem solved. Quit fucking lying, stealing, killing, etc. for profit and there is no need for whistle blowers etc. ,

  3. Mark Tichenor
    July 4, 2018 at 9:10 am

    I’ve met some on “the right” who claim to have “known” Trump would win the election. But it seems to me that was more “hope” than “knowledge”. No, overwhelmingly, Americans and foreign nationals believed Hillary would win (and fairly easily). Why? Why, would Putin have thought any differently. And regardless of who “won”, would Putin’s strategic needs and plans have changed – at all? NO! Those needs and plans stand on their own, regardless of who would be the US President.

    So! Why would Putin, who HAD to believe Hillary would be the “winner” risked further alienating the new (Hillary) administration and US populations sentiments by playing the “long-odds” and collude with and for Trump? That play would make NO sense.

    Putin would not have reason to promote a loser (Trump). But he would have had reason to get dirt on Hillary and the dirty US election process (DNC) for leverage reasons once Hillary was elected.

    None-the-less, there was little to gain, much to lose and very low probability of success to Hack or Collude for Trump.

    Now which country in the world WOULD have had the most to gain if Trump won and the most to lose had Hillary won?

    How much effort in a rather serious election affecting existentially did that nation extend in their behalf? Where did you observe any of these efforts to promote Trump for their interests? Strange! Is it not?

  4. Libby Bell
    July 3, 2018 at 10:25 pm

    On page 139 of Donna Brazile’s book “Hacks” she states that “FBI Dir. James Comey testified before Congress in January 2017 that the DNC denied the FBI access to their servers when they wanted to investigate…. We never handed over the physical servers, though, because the FBI never requested them once we were working together. If you unplug the server to bring it to the FBI, disconnecting it erases part of the server’s memory. What was much more useful to the FBI was for us to create an exact copy of the contents of the relevant servers, laptops and other devices. This was much like the police investigate a robbery. They don’t need to that the surveillance cameras back to the office with them: they need what was recorded on them. The FBI sent us an itemized list of the things they wanted us to provide for their investigation and Crowdstrike helped us check off every item on that list.” So it seems the FBI had the information they needed in terms of who hacked, how they hacked, and what was hacked. Wikileaks (who also knows) had to be stopped!

    • Skip Scott
      July 4, 2018 at 9:59 am

      That sounds like total B.S. for two reasons. Obviously the FBI could access the server on site, or they could have made a COMPLETE copy onsite. The FBI and Crowdstrike are on the same team. Their goal was to advance the RussiaGate narrative. Also there was no hack. It was a local copy onto a thumb drive. This has already been proven. Their only possible hope now is to sell a story that a Russian spy infiltrated the DNC, copied the files, and gave them to wikileaks. Doesn’t pass the smell test for me.

  5. July 3, 2018 at 11:06 am

    Marcy/Emptywheel says Putin was indeed involved in some way. And, she’s not a blathering duopolist or anything like that: http://www.emptywheel.net/2018/07/03/putting-a-face-mine-to-the-risks-posed-by-gop-games-on-mueller-investigation/

    • Skip Scott
      July 3, 2018 at 12:22 pm

      One question:

      Where’s the beef? I see a whole lot of intrigue, but no evidence, and not even a name. Sounds like the pro-Mueller folks grasping at straws.

  6. Ben
    July 2, 2018 at 8:35 pm

    Here are interesting reads on the so called DNC hack:
    https://theforensicator.wordpress.com/
    http://g-2.space/

    • July 3, 2018 at 11:07 am

      Why won’t Forensicator identify himself/herself? (Oh, of course; might get bumped off like Seth Rich, right, conspiracy theorists?)

      • Ben
        July 4, 2018 at 1:37 am

        SocraticGadfly,
        Why are you calling some people who don’t believe in main stream news conspiracy theorists?
        Why don’t you like this site?
        Who are you? I had accessed socraticgadfly.blogspot.com domain, and I did a whois on it.
        However, I can’t find any information on you due to whois privacy being enabled.
        Maybe Forsensicator has similar reasons you have for masking your identity.
        Maybe he likes his work, because he’s good at it, and he does not like politics.
        You should remove your cognitive biases, so you can research his work.
        After this is done, you can make your opinions.
        Wouldn’t you want the same from someone who disagrees with you?
        I’m saying don’t make an opinion without looking at the data, the analysis, and the testing first.
        If you can come up with a detailed analysis that counters his work, I would like to see this.

        • Skip Scott
          July 4, 2018 at 9:48 am

          Ben-

          Great reply. However, I don’t think you could pry open Gadfly’s mind with a crowbar.

  7. anastasia
    July 1, 2018 at 8:17 am

    “Russia-gate” is so patently false that I find it nothing short of astonishing that so many still believe it. Now, we have a departments in our government (FBI and DOJ) who say that they may not comment on an on-going investigation. All they have to do is keep this thing going for the entire Trump Presidency, and the investigators, FBI and DOJ are wholly unaccountable. Is that why Rosenstein was snickering and laughing at Congress? They can spend billions of our tax money on this fabricated story, and as long as the investigation continues, no one can do anything about it, not even Congress. Rosenstein, a man riddled with conflicts of interest, apparently knows he, Mueller and FBI are more powerful than all three branches of our government.

    And here’s the question: If Russia truly did “interfere” in our elections, are they telling us this was the very first time? And if it wasn’t, and if they truly believed it was a valuable thing to do, it would certainly not be the first time. then where was the concern by our government in the past about such “interference.” Yet, Putin said that it doesn’t matter who wins the Presidency, and it doesn’t matter how sincere the candidates campaign promises are, as soon as they get in, it’s the same old policy. You have to be blind, deaf and dumb not to see that Putin is correct.

    The actual allegations of interference are so vague and amorphous, how do you put any sand on that eel to find out exactly and concretely how they allegedly “interfered.” The DNC “hack” is the only concrete allegation of “interference” by Russia, and that one stunk from the first time it was reported in the media. They even look like they are backing away from it.

  8. June 30, 2018 at 7:40 pm

    I’ve found “The Hill” to be dirty. I haven’t visited often since then. Now and then an article links to something from The Hill and so I find myself reading a Hill article.

    John Solomon’s article indeed is important, but there are telltale signs that Solomon isn’t an ally of Assange and those who believe in his cause. Solomon’s phrasing suggests that he may go along with the establishment’s view that Assange is not a publisher. As well, referring to the “mercurial Assange” may be less than helpful and it makes me wonder. Having said that, I don’t know who John Solomon is and maybe I’m wrong about him and is loyalties.

  9. spixleatedlifeform
    June 30, 2018 at 11:10 am

    In regards to this entire subject matter and so much more, both related directly and tenuously peripheral, if just one thing were done — simply propose publicly a Law/Act that would from that moment forward revoke and rescind ALL applications of any Statutes of Limitation on any and all crimes in, of, or by the Financial Sector and make it retroactive.

    The sacredly named The Cowardice of Wealth Act of 2001 and its sister-daughter-twin The Succession of Wealth Act of 2002 (profanely named The Patriot Act of 2001 and The Homeland Security Act of 2002, respectively, and including the unpublished “secret sections” known to only a very few) contain all the evidence of who, what, when, where, how and why this new Law/Act must be placed in the public’s mind. Simply doing so would forever cement the fates of all responsible for the most victimizing of criminal acts perpetrated by the hoarders and power-fiends — the Insatiables of Ownership and Unmitigables of Paranoia. They would be seen running for the exits and their functioning mercenary whores would be decrying the loudest in objection.

    SPLF

  10. JuliusG
    June 29, 2018 at 3:59 pm

    While I find this very interesting and potentially information that could add to the evidence to change people’s minds regarding the validity of “Russiagate”, I wouldn’t share this on social media because Ray is essentially quoting the work of John Solomon. Solomon has too many questions of right-wing bias in his reporting, so what he says won’t convince any of my fellow progressives nor the rank and file establishment Democrats. Even if true (and it certainly seems very plausible) it will be dismissed because of the messenger. Thus, I really hope other more neutral journalists will pick up on this and corroborate the info.

    • June 29, 2018 at 4:35 pm

      Thanks, JuliusG, but you can consider it independently confirmed. ray

      • June 30, 2018 at 7:42 pm

        And thank you ‘Ray McGovern’. That is reassuring.

  11. Jeff
    June 29, 2018 at 2:15 pm

    Well, we have Senator Warner standing alongside Burr addressing to the public, “we weren’t entirely on our best game.” Add, “Hillary was going to win” from Comey to Strzok’s “we’ll stop it” and the need for “an insurance policy,” and it’s possible MO for why Comey and Warner scuttled it. They wanted to muddy up Trump in the event Hillary didn’t win, they have The Mueller probe at the taxpayer expense with several indictments and a Deputy AG stonewalling from The FISA COURT until, with the IG 2nd report. ROSENSTEIN HAS EVERYTHING TO HIDE with holding the levy to Obama’s deep state flood gate from busting out that is behind all of this. This is how you see top officials reacting exposed, caught with their pants down and scurrying about justice prevailing behind Trump’s electoral win. It’s swept under the rug had HRC won.

  12. Dwight
    June 29, 2018 at 11:07 am

    No dout seems the swamp just keeps getting bigger.shame for the American people. .

  13. Jack Rauber
    June 29, 2018 at 10:03 am

    This thing could be cleared up so easily and quickly if allowed. Asange should be granted immunity.

  14. Alan Atkins
    June 28, 2018 at 9:47 pm

    The truth did not fit their agenda .

  15. Tom
    June 28, 2018 at 6:45 pm

    Tried to watch the House Judiciary Committee “emergency hearing” today. All the neocons cared about was getting Rosenstein and/or Wray in a gotcha moment videoclip that would then be endlessly replayed on cable news. Trey Gowdy was barely coherent. Just how hung over was he?

  16. Toltectom
    June 28, 2018 at 6:27 pm

    According to Danny Sheehan Esq. the deep state goes back to pre constitution times lead by Alexander Hamilton. Post civil war creation of corporations with no personal liability for shareholders. Jeckyl Island cabal resulting in the federal reserve act. Gunboat diplomacy era followed by manifest destiny. Power coallesed in Brown Brothers Harriman lead by Bush 41 grandfather Walker. See Russ Baker’s Family of Secrets. BBH lawyers Sullivan&Cromwell lead by Alan &John Foster Dulles. CF A Law untoThemselves and Devil’s Chessboard. FBI corruption minimized but detailed in Enemies. My definition of deep state a network of assets centered in the intelligence agencies and pentagon but cutting across academia, media, finance, extractive industry etc. The objective of the deep state is to subvert democratic processes to the benefit of accumulated capital. Mueller for example is a deep state asset as he covered up 911 and more blatantly the anthrax that is American Military Ames Strain Anthrax.
    Clearly the Russiagate probe is a deep state operation designed to undermine or remove the duly elected POTUS..

    • Gregory Herr
      June 30, 2018 at 2:35 pm

      You hit a number of nails squarely on the head. Well stated definition including the objective and a nice relevant touch with the Mueller example.

    • jeff montanye
      July 3, 2018 at 4:19 am

      that about sums it up. that so much of the deep state activity of late (assassination of kennedy brothers to 911 to seven countries in five years) has a very strong likud mossad influence would be about the only necessary addition of consequence.

  17. Rob Roy
    June 28, 2018 at 4:01 pm

    Another worthy article from Ray McGovern. Thank you for your contributions, Ray.

    “It would be a safe assumption that Assange was offering to prove that Russia was not WikiLeaks’ source of the DNC emails.”
    I don’t think that’s a safe assumption. He’s always proved it by saying it. He doesn’t reveal his sources. Notice he’s been cut off from all communication with the outside world so he can’t say once again the emails were leaked from the DNC.

    Someone here asked what is the deep state. James referred us to a site wherein Bill Moyers interviews Mike Lofgren who explains the deep state (it’s in plain sight), a revealing discussion to say the least. I was surprised, however, Mr. Lofgren didn’t mention all those deep state think tanks that run along in the background and create the advice for the deep state to follow: Bilderberg Group, Brookings Institute, CATO, American Heritage, ALEC, AIPAC, PNAC, and others I don’t recall at the moment.

  18. ProWorks
    June 28, 2018 at 10:27 am

    I would try to correct Ray in this one area: the spy-and-kill apparatus of this country does not need Assange’s proof of Russian innocence, as it has all the emails and documents it needs to prove anything it wants. If the CIA and NSA have all communications wrapped up (and have vetted every crucial candidate here), and even spied on Merkel, why would they not have evidence of what Wikileaks did? They may not have it all (since a flash drive is not an email or letter), but the evidence of how the leak was done has been explained previously by you, Ray. The theater that is Russiagate is just that, and the “play” serves the US, EU, and Russia for their own purposes. They all survive and thrive on secrecy, and opening the cans of worms of any of them is dangerous to oligarchic control for all of them.

    Sadly, this leaves the populations of these “nations” exposed to slander, sanctions, and political manipulation, culminating in financial loss, health risk, and death. The elites of all these countries are building their shelters in preparation for a world without us. They should be, as all corporate criminals, guilty until proven innocent beyond doubt, for they “serve” only due to our allowance and our willingness to pay. As was once said by true journalists – “Your mother says she loves you. Better check that out.”

  19. ThomasGilroy
    June 28, 2018 at 9:35 am

    Julian Assange has always had the ability (to attempt) to prove that Russia was not behind the hack. There is nothing preventing him from releasing the same information publicly that he (allegedly) gave to Dana Rohrabacher in their three hour meeting. Marcie Wheeler at Empty Wheel makes a couple of observations about the Solomon story besides calling the threatened release of Vault 7 “extortion” (John Solomon’s Baby Assange https://www.emptywheel.net/?p=65888):

    There are two telling details that John Solomon left out of this story, suggesting Jim Comey blew an opportunity to prevent the damage done by WikiLeaks’ Vault 7 leak (and, purportedly, to learn the “real” source of the DNC emails), based on a “trove” of documents but posting only fragments of 5. First, Solomon doesn’t include this text, showing Adam Waldman issuing an extortion threat stating Assange “is going to do something catastrophic for the dems, Obama, CIA and national security.”

    (https://www.emptywheel.net/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/Screen-Shot-2018-06-25-at-8.08.27-PM.png) [image of text]

    Solomon is also silent about the recent indictment of anti-Obama former CIA hacker Joshua Schulte for stealing all these CIA files. Notably, Solomon doesn’t note that as this was going on, the FBI had obtained probable cause search warrants against Schulte. Having left out those key details (and surely, a bunch of other once included in his “trove” that don’t help the latest right wing narrative), Solomon produces the convenient narrative that Jim Comey personally hurt the government.

    (snip)

    Solomon pays no consideration to the ongoing investigation, no consideration to the fact that if Comey stood down, he did so in the face of threats to the Democrats (though it’s not clear why they’d be at fault), which as always is contrary to the hoaxes against Comey. More importantly, Solomon doesn’t answer the question posed, but not answered, here: whether Assange was seeking to meet at a cafe in London, or whether he wanted to come to the US and get a pardon once he got here.

    The real punchline — the one we may see come back — is the claim that Jim Comey, on top of refusing an extortion attempt directed at the Democrats, also prevented — or maybe this isn’t about the FBI at all — from learning the real story behind the DNC hack.

    (snip)

    In honesty, this looks like an effort to set up the next campaign to suggest that Comey prevented the “truth” about the DNC hack from coming out because it would undermine the alleged Witch Hunt into Trump……..It also makes it clear that Vault 7 was entirely about extortion [my insert in brackets]

    • thanksrobert
      June 29, 2018 at 9:06 pm

      “us from learning” ?

    • jeff montanye
      July 3, 2018 at 4:33 am

      well vault 7 wasn’t entirely about extortion since it got published and revealed the kind of cia abilities that crowdstrike/guccifer 2.0 seem to have “fallen for” in the dnc “hack”. to know that the russian hacking story is false and corrupt, one doesn’t have to go any farther than that the fbi never insisted on a search warrant to examine the dnc email servers and that the fbi claims never to have looked at seth rich’s phone or computer. it really is that simple.

  20. Name
    June 28, 2018 at 2:04 am

    “that leave indications observable by outsiders”

    oops. that should have been, “that DON’T leave indications observable by outsiders.”
    Obviously, observable crimes are punished.

    also assuming within an adequately functioning society – the Randian People’s Paradise of Somalia is an example of the opposite.The Reagan Death Squads Republic of Honduras is another.

  21. Name
    June 28, 2018 at 1:53 am

    “clearly define “Deep State”. This phrase is used quite often when trying to explain actions of the government.”

    It’s mostly a nouveau marketing term for Pinkertons etc.
    Nothing is actually new.

  22. Name
    June 28, 2018 at 1:51 am

    “a lot of folks do not believe in a Deep State.”

    Every sizable organization has “deep states” (Comcast, Koch Industries, etc), but they aren’t anything that the average person older than 30 years old wouldn’t expect.
    Due to least oversight, private organizations can most easily commit crimes that leave indications observable by outsiders.

    • jeff montanye
      July 3, 2018 at 4:43 am

      particularly when the oversight itself is corrupt. it also helps to have a nation state to back up ones crimes (assassination of the kennedy brothers, 911, seven countries in five years).

      so you believe most people over thirty expect deep state control of events and that deep state crimes occur most often in private organizations because of less oversight?

      that does not really seem to flow out of the events in parentheses above or the election of 2016. but stay tuned; developments seem to be proceeding.

  23. Tom
    June 28, 2018 at 12:41 am

    All Warner cares about is manipulating this for political points to keep his seat. All Comey cares about is selling lots of books and continuing his “You Won’t Trash My Name in this Town” tour. Now abroad.

  24. Name
    June 27, 2018 at 11:01 pm

    “[Assange] wanted immunity and freedom in return. THEY refused.”

    Any evidence that Assange didn’t acquire DNC mails from hostile state(s) would inherently prove Assange’s “innocence” of that charge.
    However, I doubt Assange can provide significant value to avoid prosecution for the Iraq War related “cables” dump, so these legal negotiations for immunity would have crashed for that reason (if that wasn’t the reason)

    BTW, Assange’s “proof” regarding both dumps (series) holds little value to espionage agencies.
    Assange’s related unreleased “evidence” has mostly only political value to Dems. Republicans control Intelligence Committees. Republicans head espionage agencies.
    Assange ‘bet on’ the totalitarian ‘horse’. (skrood hisown poooch, cooked his own goose, hung himself on his own petard, etc)

    • June 28, 2018 at 3:06 am

      Is this why Ambassador Craig Murray is banned from the USA after he said he would testify as to who the leaker was??

      Craig Murray met with the leaker

      You might think that the FBI world be interested in this information unless he would provide the proof it was an inside job and not a hack.

      Why didn’t the FBI take the DNC servers into custody?

      Wasn’t that a crime scene?

      Maybe because it shows that the FBI was working with the DNC and killed Seth Rich.

      • June 30, 2018 at 7:54 pm

        I didn’t realize that Craig was banned from the US. That alone says much.

    • Joe Lauria
      June 28, 2018 at 3:15 pm

      Assange can only be prosecuted if the government can prove that he played an active role in the theft of classified materials. That is the crime: theft, not publishing. It is not illegal in the U.S. to publish stolen, classified material if you weren’t involved in the theft.

      • Beard681
        July 2, 2018 at 12:22 pm

        I assume you are talking about the publication of actual secrets like the Snowden material, not DNC or Podesta emails. . Actually even unauthorized possession or even mishandling (e.g. storing on a private server or laptop) secret materials is a crime. The courts have taken it upon themselves in some instances to not punish “publishers” on the basis of overriding public interest, but I would not bet my freedom on it.

        • Skip Scott
          July 3, 2018 at 8:41 am

          I believe you are talking about legalities relating to people who have been given some level of security clearance. The onus is on them to protect the information, and they can be even prosecuted just for “gross negligence”, unless you’re Hillary Clinton. If I am wrong about this, please site the law you’re referring to.

    • jeff montanye
      July 3, 2018 at 4:49 am

      “republicans head espionage agencies”? loyal to whom, g.w. bush? you may need to try again.

  25. Name
    June 27, 2018 at 10:50 pm

    “It’s been two years!!! Don’t you think if there was any evidence whatsoever against, Russia, we would have heard it by now. It is a complete fairy tale and we don’t need Assange to tell us that.”
    Assange doesn’t need to rely on Warner, Burr, Nunes or whoever. Assange habit is to dump indiscriminately, so he could prove his non-coordination with malicious states by publicly releasing his “hard proof”.
    Assange’s claim regarding files source relies on Assange’s claims, and he *publicly* provides zero “hard proof” (for the same justifiable “nature of the beast” reason that state agencies won’t provide an unbreakable chain of “hard evidence”.)

  26. Name
    June 27, 2018 at 10:36 pm

    “Would such evidence even be reported widely, let alone accepted?”
    prisonpaul, pizzagate, hoft, qanon, corsi, chemtrails, random magat covfefe hallucinations nutjobbery was – and continues to be – published and “accepted”.
    If Assange’s “not Putin” proof was actually as hard evidence as dkim of the Podesta dump, that “not Putin” proof would be accepted by rational people.
    (BTW, the nutjob fantasies based – or not even – on Podesta mails was *not* proof.)

    • June 28, 2018 at 3:08 am

      You are the only one believing in conspiracy theories and propaganda

      Zero evidence of Russian collusion or involvement in the election

      Mueller is a bush criminal who covered up BCCI crimes and 9/ 11 and stood with Bush as he illegally spied and tortured and lied the world into war

    • Farmer Pete
      June 28, 2018 at 7:53 am

      You’re just gas lighting now. “Chemtrails”… you should refer to as SRM (solar radiation management), one of many well-documented Geoengineering technologies.

  27. Name
    June 27, 2018 at 10:17 pm

    “Julian Assange has only said his source is not the Russian GOVERNMENT or any other state. His immunity deal would have provided technical evidence that it was not the government, but would not reveal the source.”
    1. You cannot prove the non-existence of something (an infinite set)
    2. Revealing an identity without revealing the basis/lineage of the identity is impossible due to the uniqueness property of encryption/hashing.

    Bolton just wants to slaughter Muslims.

    • June 28, 2018 at 3:09 am

      Hillary and Obama slaughtered Muslims

      Your point?

      • rattlemullet
        June 28, 2018 at 8:14 am

        Everybody slaughters Muslims it is the christian thing to do.

        • incontinent reader
          June 28, 2018 at 9:43 am

          Well now you’ve opened the ‘religion can of worms’ even further, since it also seems to be the Israelis, their Jewish lobbying groups, and the Jewish elite- especially here and in the UK- which equate “Israeli-ness” with “Jewishness” and Israeli irredentism with Jewish exceptionalism- that are feeding Islamophobia. Maybe not a good idea to blame christians or characterize it as ‘the christian thing to do’ since christians are getting slaughtered in the Middle East, even though christians in the west are implicated in the slaughter.

        • June 29, 2018 at 12:22 am

          Even other Muslims

  28. exiled off mainstreet
    June 27, 2018 at 7:37 pm

    It looks to me like the deep state itself is guilty of sedition and general criminality reminiscent of 20th century totalitarianism on this.

    • June 30, 2018 at 8:00 pm

      The ‘deep state’ is the relatively permanent state – an idea that one would have to be dumber than a post to not be able to grasp – and, like an individual who is given the maximum amount of time to consider his behavior, as opposed to an individual who is given little time to consider, and re-consider, his behavior, the deep state is not only a guilty partner, where it’s crimes are concerned, but it’s a confirmed lawbreaker, killer, thief, etc., namely all the things that the gangster Corporatocracy is guilty of as the mafia capitalism that it embraces proceeds unhindered.

  29. Pft
    June 27, 2018 at 6:39 pm

    Clearly they (includingTrump) dont want proof out there that Russia didnt do it.

    Assange should have threatened he would release the proof unless he got limited immunity. He went at it backwards.

    IMO this whole Russiagate thing is an orchestrated pretend conflict. Emails were released by Deep State agents that penetrated DNC and made it to look like coming from Russia to get Trump and neocons in office. The controlled MSM hammered the emails 24/7.

    Post election the controlled MSM began hammering the idea that Russia influenced the election instead of the pre-election sporadic reports. Trump had claimed in the campaign to be pro-Putin which served to give Russia motive and reinforce the fiction.

    Moving forward the Deep State is imagined to force Trump to go back on virtually all his foreign policy promises that got him votes from the middle. This was the plan all along otherwise he never is allowed to win.

    Meanwhile the Deep State and Comey is blamed for attempting to win the election for Hillary by falsely claiming Russia did it , despite the fact Comeys saying he was reopening Hillarys investigation over emails the Deep State themsleves released just days before the election was decisive in winning Trump and ultimately the neocons the election.

    In a nutshell the Deep State got Trump elected while making it look like Russia did it , while also being blamed by the right that they did this to try and influence the election for Hillary. The objective was to get a Cold War with Russia (which Hillary would give them, and Trump pretended otherwise) and giving Trump the excuse to hand visible power back to the neocons (Hillary could not offer this). Secondary benefits are polarizing the electorate on both sides even more, and creating a bogeyman (Deep State) that both parties can blame for when things go wrong (Deep State is always in opposition to ruling party)

    Among the electorate they now have got left and center to buy into new Cold War. Having Trump play Putins friend was effective because they believe anything Trump wants has a sinister purpose. The right is always on board for any War and probably cant even remember Trump wanting to remove sanctions and have better relations with Putin. If they could they would just rationalize it as the imagined left controlled Deep State stopping him.

    Both left and center were already on board for executing Israels wars in the Middle East. Trump had to say he was against them to get the center and minimize but not deny his Israeli support , but he is basically Bibi’s lap dog.

    • thanksrobert
      June 30, 2018 at 1:13 pm

      I’ve thought also that Trump doesn’t want the proof out there. Seems like “stultify” might be the right word. Is it? Interminable Russiagate stultifies everything. It kills real curiosity, and, then too, it dredges up some McCarthyism archetype out of the unconscious (which will facilitate what the neocon warriors want once DT’s cut his resign/escape deal…not that they won’t get it before). As long as it’s Russia, no one’s gonna believe nine days before inauguration he let E. Prince try to smooth the way to war (eventually) with a Russian ally.

      I used to theorize that at the beginning deep state was averse to Trump. And that then someone convinced’em that all the anti-quagmire talk was just schtick…and that, no, with Trump they’d get everything they wanted and more. When they finally believed it, out comes the badmouthing of HRC care of Comey. That theory doesn’t convince me completely now. This issue’s uniquely difficult. Re EmptyWheel for example, there needs to be a spin-off out there called Wikiwheelia.

      Just recognize the way things look on the surface–the Senate investigation wanted to look into Jill Stein’s goings & comings. Someone wanting to play Big Brother, or someone who truly doesn’t know his butt from a hole in the ground?? It’s not just that I don’t know what’s going on. Possibly someone else doesn’t either? Possibly a great many don’t?

      Yes, these people could have believed Russiagate! Could have been just a couple folks who thought up let’s-bring-Russia-into-it. The rest knew so little about Russia, they could have fallen for it. And then there’s the computers matter. Let’s face it…most of us don’t have enough knowledge in that department. But folks, it’s time for some basics in terms of how basic I see my own limited conclusions; I agree with Ocasio-Cortez. Russia cannot explain a 40-45% Trump endorsement [I know, I know…98% of yall grasp that much].

      I have one dumb question. Has Assange ever admitted in audible words it was Wikileaks that cut loose Vault 7?

      But I can put myself (a little) in Mueller’s shoes. Even if the charge against Russia is way overblown, why give up? For instance, has the investigation analyzed EVERYTHING re what happened to all the election computers running VR Systems software? Can’t they make that much public?? I haven’t seen any diagrams. Maybe a full analysis is still pending? [I know the claims re email phishing only, etc] Anyway, if nothing shows up at the moment, why not go on and on?? Why stop? Aside from the Senate and Jill Stein, the latter being the deadest of dead ends, isn’t there a whole barge of other stuff out there waiting to be discovered? [I WILL relinquish all hope if they continue with this Joe McCarthy thing re Stein] There’s certainly no other mechanism comparable that would get much coverage if it ran across the in’s and outs of such. Yeah…here you have the great anti-quagmire DT letting Erik Prince represent him in the Seychelles?? The great (almost Libertarian-esque) war critic…try’n to out deep state the deep state?! The MIC hadn’t even had a chance to work on him yet…had they? Basically he was already angling for Saudi money in return for any little war their hearts desired, IOW recklessly selling foreign policy…wasn’t he?. And now his defenders will tell me he never was focused that much before on Iran and Saudi Arabia. Oh yeah…I believe it. Just like it turns out he wasn’t such on expert on DEALS after all…trade deals. Still, let’s hope he gets some solid advice on re-writing NAFTA. Apparently he knows more about that than he knows about meddling with Iran.

      “Mueller Has Reportedly Obtained Phones and Computer of War Profiteer Erik Prince” Jake Johnson https://www.commondreams.org/news/2018/06/25/mueller-has-reportedly-obtained-phones-and-computer-war-profiteer-erik-prince

      “The Prevent programme, which aims to detect potential Islamic jihadis before they act, has proved useless or counter-effective for many reasons, but a main one is that by trying to turn everybody into an informer the authorities produce a deluge of dubious information.

      “This clogs up the system and leaves those who were truly dangerous, like the Manchester bomber Salman Abedi, to slip through a net that has been spread too wide and has too many holes.” Patrick Cockburn 6/8/18

    • jeff montanye
      July 3, 2018 at 4:55 am

      hillary could not offer the handing back of visible power to neocons? she is a neocon and represents the visible handing back of power to the neocons by her election. get real. go watch we came we saw he died, guffaw, again.

  30. Anna
    June 27, 2018 at 4:27 pm

    So the two scoundrels have made a life-and-death decision affecting the CIA field operatives. These two, Warner and Comey, have been carefully kept themselves from any danger, particularly from any possibility of defending the US physically, in person.
    The CIA subordinates should make their minds about these two traitors and behave accordingly.

  31. June 27, 2018 at 3:50 pm

    Do Senator Warner and ex-F.B.I. Director Comey now hold hands, singing, “Ring around the Rosie Pockets full of Posies Ashes, Ashes We all fall down.”?

    • GM
      June 28, 2018 at 3:19 pm

      Since the historical origin of that rhyme is that it was ostensibly a children’s sing-song during the time of the Black Plague, it seems fitting somehow.

  32. backwardsevolution
    June 27, 2018 at 3:48 pm

    Ray McGovern – great report! Joe di Genova, former District Attorney for the District of Columbia, said on Sean Hannity’s program last night re Russiagate:

    “Well, as I said from the very beginning of this, James Comey was a dirty cop, and Mr. Strzok is dirtier. The bottom line is very simple: he’s going to go in tomorrow and he’s going to lie. He’s going to give explanations that are untruthful. […]

    Let’s just be very clear about this. This is not a complicated case. The FBI at the senior levels in the Obama administration and the Department of Justice, Loretta Lynch and all her minions, had two goals in mind. Very simple, very plain: exonerate Hillary Clinton illegally, and then if she lost the election, to frame Donald Trump. That’s it. It’s in a nutshell. It’s never changed over the last two years. Everything that we have learned, from the text messages, the I.G. reports, etc., has proven conclusively that that is precisely what James Comey and Loretta Lynch and the Obama administration people wanted to do. It was the most brazen plot in the history of U.S. law enforcement, and it won’t make much difference unless we get all of the facts on the table. […]

    Now here’s the simple fact: what the FBI and the DOJ in the Obama administration did was subversion. Plain and simple, this is 1954 Communist stuff. Subversion. They sought to subvert an election, and when the person that they didn’t want got elected, they sought to subvert his presidency. They have done everything in their power.

    And don’t forget, even though Strzok is testifying tomorrow, the guy who started all this was John Brennan, the CIA Director, in cooperation with Clapper. None of this will be fair unless both of them finds themselves in front of a Grand Jury.”

    • Abby
      June 27, 2018 at 6:44 pm

      In addition to your comment, the NY FBI office found thousands of emails from Huma Abedin and Hillary on Anthony Weiner’s laptop. This is why Comey said that he had to reopen the investigation into her private email server, but he knew about the emails for over a month before he acted. McCabe also was aware of them and he too did nothing.

      But it gets worse. Weiner was sexting to an underaged girl and he has pleaded guilty to this, but when the FBI looked at the emails on his computer they found some that they called “crimes against children.” They wanted to go public with their information, but Loretta Lynch told them to sit on them and if they did release any information then she would bring charges against the cops who killed Eric Garner.

      I’m sorry that I cannot provide a link at this time. I’m on my phone and this link is on my home computer. Hillary should have been charged for the things she did as well as many others. But there are rumors that she is not off the hook yet. A grand jury has been empaneled in Arkansas for further investigation into this.

      • backwardsevolution
        June 28, 2018 at 1:36 am

        Abby – I also heard (just once) that when Anthony Weiner’s laptop was looked at by the FBI agents in New York, they also noticed classified emails from Hillary Clinton on there too. Apparently these FBI agents almost mutinied and forced Comey to come forward with these additional emails right before the election. It was Comey’s fear that the agents were going to talk that forced his hand, and he didn’t reveal the additional emails because he was trying to be on the up-and-up, as he tries to make out. There are some FBI agents who have actually requested that they be subpoenaed to give evidence; they want to talk. It will be interesting to hear what these agents have to say.

        Thanks, Abby.

    • Pam Ryan
      June 27, 2018 at 7:21 pm

      Clapper has perjured himself to Congress. I don’t believe his testimony would be more accurate this time around. In general terms, I think you’re right about giving HRC a “by” but I don’t think there was any intention of “framing Trump” before the election. They were convinced HRC would win, remember. Post election, you have a better argument there.

      • backwardsevolution
        June 28, 2018 at 2:03 am

        Pam Ryan – “They were convinced HRC would win.” I think just prior to the election they started to become concerned about Trump’s increasing numbers. But you’re right, I think the Steele dossier would have been whipped out much earlier had they really thought he had a chance, and they would have gone to town framing him. They got fooled. No way they would have left all this evidence lying around had they initially thought he would win.

        But they’ve sure made up for it after the election, haven’t they? I hope some of these people go to jail for what they have done.

        Thanks, Pam.

      • Oosik
        July 1, 2018 at 1:50 am

        Pam, the reason for framing Trump was explained best in that infamous text from Strzok to Page about the “insurance policy.” But you are correct enough that they were so sure she would win that they didn’t cover their tracks well. That’s why we see the evidence emerging from all corners: CIA, FBI, DOJ, State, Fusion GPS, Wikileaks, Phoenix PD tarmac tip, etc.

    • rattlemullet
      June 28, 2018 at 8:18 am

      great theory who is working on proof besides you in this thread?

      • backwardsevolution
        June 28, 2018 at 5:54 pm

        rattlemullet – well, the evidence trickling out points to it being more than just a theory, and many people are actually working on this, i.e. several members of Congress, the House Intelligence Committee, and many journalists now, i.e. Wall Street Journal and The Hill. Of course, as par for the course, the MSM is not covering this. I wouldn’t be surprised if Rod Rosenstein at DOJ, who is preventing and blocking the release of evidence, ends up being impeached by Congress. The evidence is there. It is just being covered up.

    • June 30, 2018 at 9:20 am

      Trumpkin good, those other guys bad. I get it. I think the possible difference between ken Starr’s star chamber and the Russia investigation is that one was entirely fake while the other is leading to evidence of real crimes by real a$$holes…

      • jeff montanye
        July 3, 2018 at 5:10 am

        trumpkin? really? that’s the best you’ve got? i voted for bill clinton twice and ken starr found out some truth about him and monica. and he almost certainly lied about paula jones. and he seems a “super predator” whose wife covers up and attacks victims for him. the only crimes the russia investigation has found have nothing to do with trump and russia but are process crimes (lying to the fbi, maybe) or old frauds (manafort). the counterintelligence operation against a domestic political campaign, from which the “russia investigation” grew, is a crime dimensions, powers of ten, greater than anything it has uncovered or ever will.

  33. Pandas4peace
    June 27, 2018 at 1:55 pm

    It is my understanding that Julian Assange has only said his source is not the Russian GOVERNMENT or any other state. His immunity deal would have provided technical evidence that it was not the government, but would not reveal the source. My personal belief is the Trump administration is using their influence to put the squeeze on Assange so that gets to that point.

    Also, I think John Bolton’s Chief of Staff is an interesting choice given his opinions on Russiagate:
    http://thefederalist.com/2017/04/06/obamas-white-house-politicizing-intelligence-influence-2016-elections/

  34. Michael Wilk
    June 27, 2018 at 1:09 pm

    Proving definitively that Russia did not hack the D.N.C. or Clinton’s private servers, or John Podesta’s phone, would deprive the establishment of a political weapon with which to weaken or hinder Caligula Drumpf in reaching détente with Russia. It’s far more desirable to keep tensions high in order to “justify” ever-increasing war spending and therefore continue to keep war contractors rich.

  35. Andy Wilcoxson
    June 27, 2018 at 12:21 pm

    If Julian Assange has definitive proof that Russia was *not* the source of the DNC e-mail leak, then why doesn’t Wikileaks just publish that evidence itself?

    • Michael Wilk
      June 27, 2018 at 1:10 pm

      Would such evidence even be reported widely, let alone accepted?

      • Andy Wilcoxson
        June 27, 2018 at 1:54 pm

        So what if it isn’t widely reported or accepted? Whatever evidence Assange or Wikileaks has exculpating Russia definitely won’t be reported if it’s never even published. Even if the media ignores the evidence, Wikileaks has nothing to lose by publishing whatever proof they’ve got exonerating Russia.

        • Anna
          June 27, 2018 at 4:29 pm

          could you stay on point? — Comey & Warner vs U.S. national security

        • Pam Ryan
          June 27, 2018 at 7:25 pm

          It’s been two years!!! Don’t you think if there was any evidence whatsoever against, Russia, we would have heard it by now. It is a complete fairy tale and we don’t need Assange to tell us that.

        • jeff montanye
          July 3, 2018 at 5:20 am

          wikileaks has much to lose by publishing evidence of the identity of a source, even if it is the murdered seth rich. assange might trade his own freedom for such a loss but for, essentially, nothing? even if he could communicate with the outside world.

          president trump please grant julian assange a reprieve.

      • rattlemullet
        June 28, 2018 at 8:20 am

        As much as anything else is reported that Wikileaks dumps. If he had the proof I think he would have dumped it long ago.

        • Skip Scott
          June 28, 2018 at 10:10 am

          I imagine it is a bit tricky to provide proof it wasn’t the Russians without revealing the actual leaker. It has been easy to prove it was a leak and not a hack, but beyond that Assange would have to prove that it wasn’t a Russian spy who accessed the DNC server from within. It would be interesting to find out how Assange planned to do that without revealing the actual source of the leak.

          • backwardsevolution
            June 28, 2018 at 5:56 pm

            Skip Scott – thank you for injecting some logical thinking into the conversation.

        • Abbybwood
          June 28, 2018 at 10:22 pm

          As I see it, Assange’s problem vis-a-vis Wikileaks is that they have promised to never reveal a source (dead or alive) so as not to dry up further leaks.

          He is in a lose/lose situation regarding coming forward.

    • Buck
      June 27, 2018 at 2:00 pm

      its Explained in the article. He wanted immunity and freedom in return. THEY refused.

    • Noke Wan
      June 27, 2018 at 5:09 pm

      Because the information was copied on a hard drive or USB-stick, like they’ve been saying from the beginning. How does one ‘publish’ a USB-stick? Show a picture of it?

    • nh
      June 27, 2018 at 6:42 pm

      Wikileaks does not, as policy, reveal its sources. Assange has made this completely clear time after time, and still people ask the same question. There’s a good reason for this policy. You should think about what that might be.

    • June 27, 2018 at 7:37 pm

      It’s my understanding that whistleblowers feel safe is passing on information knowing that Wikileaks will never reveal its sources. It’s that most important element … trust.

    • Typingperson
      June 28, 2018 at 2:17 am

      Because Assange is running a legit journalism org. They don’t reveal their sources.

      That is the promise WikiLeaks has made to all those who leak to them at great risk–and all these years Assange has kept his word. Even under severe duress. Solitary confinement at the hands of the USA and UK for six years and counting. As his health continues to fail.

      Serious integrity and balls.

      Compare that to the Clapper, who baldface lied to Congress and perjured himself re NSA spying on its own citizens–Isn’t that a crime?–with zero consequences from the Obama administration.

      Or Comey. Who has lied repeatedly and indiscriminately to all sides, trying to salvage his miserable skin.

    • GM
      June 28, 2018 at 3:27 pm

      It’s possible that the information is tied to national security secrets such that, if released, it could further expose him legally.

    • Oosik
      July 1, 2018 at 2:01 am

      From the description by Solomon and others it appears that Assange is only offering to provide evidence that it was not Russia. This evidence is already out. VIPS and Forensikator already proved that the emails were copied/transferred at a data speed greater than what is possible by uploading over Internet lines. The data transfer rate was only possible by direct copying to a flash drive or hard drive. Therefore it was a leak (internal job) not a hack (Russian job).

      • Freedom lover
        July 2, 2018 at 10:16 pm

        True but too many people either don’t know that or are so wed to the MSN narrative they can’t or won’t open their eyes to the facts. Should Assange be allowed to publish the truth he must demand that it can be done publicly not behind closed doors where it will never be reported.

  36. michael crockett
    June 27, 2018 at 11:53 am

    Thank you for the excellent article Ray. I will echo what others have said in their comments. Trump has the authority to make a new deal today. Assange could provide the evidence that Russia was not involved in the 2016 release of information from the DNC and Trump through Sessions can squash any grand jury probe (witch hunt) that is attempting to manufacture criminal charges against Julian. I recall candidate Trump giving praise to Wikileaks. Now President Trump needs to stand up and do the right thing. Having said that I agree with your comment Ray that the Deep State has most likely drawn a line that shall not be crossed. If that is the case, then they will surely draw more lines until the President is completely boxed in. What are your intentions Mr. President? Do you want to make peace? Will you stop the wars of intervention and the regime change? Will you engage diplomatically and forge a new relationship with Russia? I most certainly have my doubts but I would like for Trump to prove me wrong.

    • patrick
      June 27, 2018 at 1:45 pm

      Clearly at this point of Trump’s presidency, there is little hope of him doing anything of real substance. He is following the lead of the republicans in their efforts for corporate consolidation of power. His interests are so confused and often detrimental to the nation that any possibility of him doing anything toward clearing the air of the Russian investigation is ludicrous.

      • Dave P.
        June 28, 2018 at 11:44 pm

        Yes, you are right. They are all into it. This Russia gate is a common venture now. Regarding corporate consolidation of power, starting with Clinton, Democrats have been in line with the Republicans.

    • Typingperson
      June 28, 2018 at 2:27 am

      Trump needs to nut up and stop the baseless and immoral USA persecution of Assange.

      Which violates all so-called American values of free speech and democracy. Our core principles that I was raised to believe and trust.

      I’m not holding my breath.

      The Empire continues to rot from within.

  37. June 27, 2018 at 8:35 am

    Still smarting at the US politicians and “statesmen” unwillingness to send representatives to the annual Russian commemoration of the victory against Nazi Germany. The lack of honor and class is outrageous when viewed beside the American lives saved because of the Red Army. I recall being in Germany in the fifties when former German soldiers would tell us they fought on the Eastern Front. We thought they were just trying to disguise their fighting against our army. Then I discovered they were probably telling the truth. Probably told the story before, but I think it is evidence of the determination of our elites to keep Russia in the cold. We lack class and honor in this instance and in too many other situations.

    I probably told the story before but that happens.

    • Joe Tedesky
      June 27, 2018 at 9:00 am

      Herman no need to apologize for repeating yourself, for maybe we don’t mind hearing a good story from you more then once. Joe

    • ronnie mitchell
      June 27, 2018 at 1:49 pm

      I haven’t heard that story before so thanks for that and I wouldn’t mind hearing more about it. Again thanks for sharing that bit.

      • Pam Ryan
        June 27, 2018 at 7:35 pm

        Nor me. But it’s in the same ball park with something that was said by the UK’s clown Foreign Secretary earlier this year. He declared that Russia hosting the world Cup was comparable to Hitler’s Olympic Games in Berlin. They are opportunistic low-lifes, these Russophobes. They are beyond disgusting.

  38. Robbi Gomes
    June 27, 2018 at 5:32 am

    For the good of our country which is falling slowly into a civil war, shouldn’t President Trump pardon Assange now and prove once and for all that neither he nor the Russians hacked the DNC computers. Then he should appoint a real investigative team––I’d say FBI but we still can’t trust them––to discover what role, if any, Seth Rich played in the DVC leaks.

    • Skip Scott
      June 27, 2018 at 8:05 am

      There are only two possibilities for the reason Trump hasn’t done this. Either he has been brought to heel with “an offer he couldn’t refuse”, or his entire campaign rhetoric was one big lie. I personally think that no president has dared to cross the so-called intelligence agencies since Nov. 22, 1963.

      • Bob Van Noy
        June 27, 2018 at 8:28 am

        Skip Scott, I don’t want to be too active this morning but I’m compelled to agree. I think we find ourselves at a crucial point. It’s very important that everyone realize the Significance of this moment.
        Thanks! (I’ll just listen now)

      • June 27, 2018 at 7:42 pm

        The ‘offer he couldn’t refuse’ is that, if he follows orders, he gets to live.

        And, of course, it’s been proven time-and-time again that not only was his campaign rhetoric a lie, but, every time he opens up that ‘shit hole’ of a mouth of his, another lie comes flying out.

      • ProWorks
        June 28, 2018 at 10:06 am

        OR – the FBI, NSA, and all the military spy divisions have assembled a “dossier” on him that would kill him politically (and the Republican Party who has silently accepted him into the fold), as any evidence against the Dems would do. Both parties collude with these agencies, allowing them to plant “news”, skew “research”, and get away with murder, because the vetting process for election has them by the … elements. Face it, folks – this is a corrupt system, and, as a system, corrupts all who play within it. The lost $21 trillion from the Defense Department ALONE could fund all the black ops they want, and both parties have kept that scandal off the whiteboard for many years. What other money has been “untracked”, “lost”, “unaccounted”? Is this your tax dollar at work?

        Working together – both parties’ slogan for our next “election”.

    • Joe Tedesky
      June 27, 2018 at 9:13 am

      Robbie I was thinking the same thing, that without a certain DNC Communication Staffer to fill in the blank of the missing piece of evidence, any investigation is struggling to fit all the pieces of this mystery together. Then there are those that no matter how much proof there is insist that the DNC computers were ‘hacked’, as so called experts deny any mention of it being a ‘leak’. We are not dealing with a child who claims the dog ate their homework. No, we are dealing with full grown narcissist who demand the dog be put down, even though they forgot to do their homework in the first place …. ah, forget the clever metaphors, they are just disgusting liars. Joe

    • Abby
      June 27, 2018 at 6:52 pm

      I’m wondering how much power Trump actually has over the intelligence agencies? As you stated he could issue a pardon or tell his agencies to stand down their pressure on the Ecuadorian government and let Assange stay in the embassy.

      I’m questioning the power of the presidency after I read how Carter wanted to bring the troops home from South Korea. He was blocked by the pentagon, congress, the CIA, FBI and the other agencies that are involved in our foreign policies. I’ve long thought that the president was just a figure head and has no say in what happens during his tenure.

    • rattlemullet
      June 28, 2018 at 8:29 am

      Enough of the Civil War analogies. What Staes will band together and leave the union? What military institution will they attack? Fort Sumter to rally the cause? What governors will order their National Guard to seize the Military bases within their states? If your talking RED states they are nothing but a bunch of welfare states, leaving the union their economies would crumble like a saltine cracker. Civil war analogies are the epitome of ignorant comparisons.

    • Abbybwood
      June 28, 2018 at 10:26 pm

      Can Trump legally pardon a citizen from Australia??

  39. john wilson
    June 27, 2018 at 4:10 am

    I would have thought that Trump himself might have intervened on behalf of Assange if Assange was able to produce proof of DNC/FBI meddling in the election and that the DNC leaks were nothing to do with Russia.

    • Sam F
      June 27, 2018 at 6:50 am

      That is surprising. Presumably Assange’s attorneys continued to offer “risk mitigation approaches” such as redaction, so the FBI & DOJ must be bent on revenge for Vault 7, revealing complicity in false-flags that injure only the people of the United States. Perhaps Assange can offer to redact another Vault.

      Odd that Trump has not cleaned house, but then he is now fully in the zionist camp, and they are the only beneficiaries of false flags these days.

      There is widespread use of internet for false-flags of all kinds due to the ease of making false statements to ICANN about site locations, registrants, etc. I sent a lot of research data to FBI on internet copyright racketeering asking for their help, and they never even responded. It may be that they are in the same racket. Alleged “security” agencies may be the real culprits behind censoring access, etc.

      Systematic fraud is becoming a vast growth industry, like customer billing fraud, investment fraud, securities fraud, etc. After all, why should Americans have to produce something, even to disguise their principle source of income? Those of us who produce real goods and services are the patsies of oligarchy.

    • Bob Van Noy
      June 27, 2018 at 8:01 am

      john wilson, I agree with you here and think that more than likely President Trump will have to see through the subtrafuge and find another way to negotiate.

      Again, thank you Ray McGovern for keeping us abreast of these critical negotiations. You have been an invaluable Patriot in our deeply troubled times… Many Thanks.

      • Bob Van Noy
        June 27, 2018 at 8:14 am

        Excellent article at the link below by Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers…

        https://www.counterpunch.org/2018/06/27/free-assange/

        • Skip Scott
          June 27, 2018 at 9:19 am

          Bob-

          Thanks for the link. I don’t read Counterpunch as much as I used to because they’ve really made me mad with their reporting regarding Russia. But they still have some good journalists over there. This link is a great article.

    • June 27, 2018 at 8:01 am

      Thanks, John Wilson. I too “would have thought.” Perhaps his failure to do the obvious is yet another sign that the President senses that he can cross the Deep State on some issues, but hardly all. Where, for example, are those JFK assassination materials Trump said the FBI and CIA would not let him release when the law required it way back last year. He promised to try again in six months. If memory serves, that would have been April. And where is the hue and cry by the media at his having missed yet another deadline?

      And a lot of folks do not believe in a Deep State.

      Ray

      Ray

      • patrick
        June 27, 2018 at 1:59 pm

        It would be very helpful if you could clearly define “Deep State”. This phrase is used quite often when trying to explain actions of the government. Who are the people in the deep state and how do they operate?

        • James
          June 27, 2018 at 5:54 pm

          There’s much information at the Moyers site on deep state and it’s complicated in the beginning but worth your time. It has evolved over the past 50 years and continues to do so. It receives influence from a few critical think tanks and other powerful global groups. It sort of like a secret society with a variety of hats. This should get you started in this fascinating, sad endeavor.
          https://billmoyers.com/search-results/?q=deep+state#gsc.tab=0&gsc.q=deep%20state&gsc.page=1
          https://billmoyers.com/2014/02/21/anatomy-of-the-deep-state/

        • James
          June 27, 2018 at 6:00 pm

          Two good book sources are Devil’s Chessboard by David Talbot and Killing Hope by Blum. I’ve read numerous books and dropped many tears in the process so be prepared.

        • Abbybwood
          June 28, 2018 at 10:28 pm

          Anybody with a “Q” clearance??

          Maybe THAT is “the deep state”?

        • Bart Hansen
          June 30, 2018 at 11:01 am

          Several commenters above have named the groups making up the Deep State. To those lists I would add the Supreme Court.

          That court has given us: personhood for corporations, unlimited corporate giving to politicians, and the legitimization of Gerrymandering and voter suppression.

          • June 30, 2018 at 8:19 pm

            Howard Zinn’s “Justice In Everday Life: The Way It Really Works” is a must read for those wanting to understand where, literally, courts and police today are coming from. Be prepared. It’s a horror story. Coincidentally, I’m also reading Rick Salutin’s “What Was I Thinking?” Rick is a Toronto Star columnist (I believe, or perhaps freelance, but I think he’s a columnist), on the Left (although The Toronto Star is awful and not at all leftist). His book is autobiographical. He explains that, as a Jew, he was exposed to the idea that the Holocaust was unique (whereas only the extermination camps, as opposed to mere concentration camps, were unique to the Holocaust) and never had reason the question that idea or its implications until one day he saw, with his own eyes, police (in the US) breaking up a peaceful protest – with utter joy and abandon. Then he realized that you could put many of those police officers in Nazi Germany and they would happily carry out the kind of atrocities that The SS and Wehrmacht carried out.

      • June 28, 2018 at 3:12 am

        The CIA kills presidents.

        • rattlemullet
          June 28, 2018 at 8:31 am

          Possible lay your proof on the table, you will be famous.

          • Skip Scott
            June 28, 2018 at 10:03 am

            Read James Douglass’ “JFK and the Unspeakable”, and Di Eugenio’s “Destiny Betrayed”.

      • elmerfudzie
        June 28, 2018 at 11:25 pm

        Ray, I did make a comment but after a day or two, it was pulled from this article. In any case, Keep up the good work !

    • L Took
      June 27, 2018 at 4:14 pm

      I agree–it seems Trump has everything to gain and nothing to lose by allowing Assange to be interviewed. Doesn’t he want to get out from under this Russiagate witch hunt? Punish his enemies?

      Maybe he doesn’t care about Russiagate. Maybe these aren’t his enemies. He is a self-interested person but what would seem to be in his best self-interest, apparently is not.

      • Oosik
        July 1, 2018 at 2:26 am

        Trump has learned that he can’t operate without CIA, State, DOJ/FBI support. He has spoken at/charmed several CIA functions and wooed new FBI academy grads. Trump knows he would lose that IC staff support if he gave Assange a break. Trump has picked his side and Assange ain’t on it.

        • Skip Scott
          July 1, 2018 at 7:39 am

          What does that mean “can’t operate”? You mean can’t “continue to breathe”. Trump has no choice, just as every president since JFK, but do their bidding. If we are to have any hope for the future, we need to abolish the operational side of the CIA, if not the entire so-called Intelligence Community. It is antithetical to government “of, by, and for the People”.

  40. KiwiAntz
    June 27, 2018 at 2:16 am

    Comey is as crooked as a dogs hind leg? A Traitor who should have been locked up for Treason & Election meddling! It’s not Russia who meddled in the US election of 2016, it was him & his Intelligence cronies! That this preening buffoon can parade around on a Book tour to promote his fictional book, trying to appear like a Patriot is a disturbing & disgraceful display of butt covering & cowardice! Trump was correct to sack him but should have gone further & got him indicted for Treason!

    • michael
      June 27, 2018 at 9:48 am

      In the US, treason is a charge limited to War time. Most of the early convictions in the US were against individual states. In modern times there have been maybe a dozen people convicted of treason, mostly American broadcasters working for Germany or Japan during WWII. Espionage is often a peace time charge.
      In a more roundabout way, Comey could be charged with sedition, but that has been a partisan hot potato in the past. We are banana republic enough without more political prisoners.
      Frauds wrapping themselves in the American flag used to be a characteristic of the GOP; sadly the Democrat neoliberal “patriots” have joined the neocons.

      • Jonathan
        June 28, 2018 at 7:11 pm

        > We are banana republic enough without more political prisoners.
        I disagree. The entire political class should be in prison, and their little dogs too.

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