Even after nearly four years, we still do not know the full scope of the massive abuse of power by the federal government in the efforts to sabotage Donald Trump’s candidacy, transition, and presidency.
However, through the work of a handful of intrepid reporters around the country and at several different media outlets, a clear picture has been drawn of the timeline of what has become the greatest scandal in American history. You may know it as FISAgate; others call it Russiagate; and some prefer Spygate. Its proper name is ObamaGate.
The following is a comprehensive summary of all the major aspects of the scandal, based entirely on factual information that has been confirmed and variously reported, even if the mainstream media has not covered it. The truth, and nothing but the truth.
The Clinton Campaign, Fusion GPS, and Christopher Steele
In April 2016, longtime Clinton lawyer Marc Elias, of the law firm Perkins Coie, was tasked with compiling opposition research on then-candidate Donald Trump. Paid by the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee, Elias subcontracted the services of the company Fusion GPS to do further research. The Clinton campaign’s payments to Fusion GPS were never disclosed to the appropriate campaign finance authorities.
Fusion GPS’s owner, Glenn Simpson, subsequently enlisted the assistance of former British spy, Christopher Steele, who was responsible for the creation of the dossier that made numerous salacious claims about Donald Trump’s connections to Russia, even though the entirety of the dossier has since been completely debunked.
But despite the utterly fraudulent nature of the dossier, Steele’s anti-Trump bias drove him to take matters into his own hands. Steele took advantage of the fact that one of Fusion GPS’s employees, Nellie Ohr, was married to a high-ranking Department of Justice official named Bruce Ohr. Ohr ultimately served as Steele’s connection directly to the FBI, giving him the access he needed to become an informant, and to agitate for an official investigation into the Trump campaign over alleged collusion with Russia. This initial information eventually sparked the first moves toward an FBI investigation into so-called “collusion” in July 2016, and thus “Operation: Crossfire Hurricane” would be born.
But going beyond his newfound connections directly to the U.S. government, Steele decided to take matters into his own hands while the “official” process played out. He began leaking information to the press, in the hopes that the resulting media coverage would create a self-fulfilling cycle by bringing enough attention to the allegations that the government would approve surveillance on the Trump campaign. Although this led to Steele being fired as an informant by the FBI on November 1, 2016, the damage was already done before his termination, after which Bruce Ohr took on the role of communicating with the FBI regarding Fusion GPS’s propaganda work. FBI officials would also meet with DNC operatives to further discuss the false allegations in the lead-up to the official warrant request.
Interestingly enough, when Steele first approached officials at the State Department with these smears, suspicions arose concerning his motives and credibility almost immediately. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Kathleen Kavalec sent an email to FBI officials warning of Steele’s unreliability, yet just eight days later, her warning would be completely ignored. Steele would continue to meet with Ohr, and even suggested the possibility of being added to the eventual Special Counsel team, which was ultimately rejected.
Officials at the FBI, using Steele’s dossier as “proof” – while deliberately omitting the fact that its contents had not been properly vetted, and that the dossier was compiled as partisan opposition research – petitioned the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court for a surveillance warrant under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), to be used against the Trump campaign. On October 21, 2016, the FISA court granted them the warrant, officially allowing the FBI to conduct surveillance, to spy, on the Trump campaign.
This blatant use of politically-motivated and false information would not be revealed until over 15 months later, with the release of an explosive memo by then-Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Representative Devin Nunes.
The Trump Tower Meeting
But that wasn’t the only way that the Trump campaign was set up by its political enemies in the Obama Administration and Clinton campaign. One of the most frequently-cited instances of alleged “collusion” was the June 2016 Trump Tower meeting, in which Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner, and Paul Manafort met with Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya, who had told them in email correspondence that she had “dirt” on Hillary Clinton’s campaign.
However, it turns out that the meeting was a setup by Fusion GPS to create more “evidence” of supposed Russian connections. Veselnitskaya had previously worked with Fusion GPS in attempting to overturn several American sanctions against Russian officials, amongst other things; their collaboration lasted for four years, from 2014 to 2018. It was these very same sanctions that Veselnitskaya brought up at the Trump Tower meeting, in an attempt to convince candidate Trump – in the event that he became President – to look at repealing them.
When it became apparent that this was her actual motivation, not opposition research on Clinton, Trump Jr. abruptly ended the meeting. Veselnitskaya later publicly admitted that she had been given talking points in advance of the meeting by Simpson, and then reported back to Simpson afterward to report on how the meeting went. The incident thus ended up helping two separate clients of Fusion GPS: It allowed a representative of their Russian client to make another plea for repealing American sanctions, and it gave the Clinton campaign the potential dirt they needed on the Trump campaign.
Media leaks and the Special Counsel
A clear-cut pattern that proved to be crucial in this saga is the deliberate leaking of sensitive and classified information to the press, by the highest-ranking intelligence officials in the Obama Administration.
At the suggestion of then-Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, then-Director of the FBI James Comey held private briefings with president-elect Trump, during which Comey insisted that Trump himself was not under any investigation in regards to the alleged collusion. However, when Comey refused to repeat this statement publicly, it became clear that he was either lying to President Trump or deliberately omitting certain information in his public remarks, so as to encourage further investigations against the new President.
In a similar vein, then-Director of the CIA John Brennan gave a separate briefing to then-Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, solely for the purpose of publicizing the briefing and the false accusations to the media, in order to fuel further speculation and attention regarding the Russia investigation. Clapper also leaked, deliberately giving information on the Trump briefings to CNN’s Jake Tapper. Even then-Deputy Director of the FBI, Andrew McCabe, was involved, leaking information to the Wall Street Journal in 2016.
But it was Comey’s leaks that proved the most significant. After being fired by President Trump, Comey began systematically leaking memos to the press regarding private conversations he had with the President, in which Trump allegedly asked for Comey’s “loyalty.” He explicitly declared later on that his intention in leaking the classified memos was to spark a Special Counsel investigation into President Trump, in retaliation for firing him.
The final guarantee that a Special Counsel would be appointed came with then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions, under pressure from Democrats and the media, recusing himself from the matter of possible election interference. This opened the door for Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein – for all intents ad purposes, being the Acting AG – to appoint the Special Counsel himself, in the personage of his friend and Comey ally, former FBI Director Robert Mueller. Mueller, not so coincidentally, had a personal motivation to go after Trump: Trump had rejected Mueller’s request to be considered as the next FBI Director after Comey’s being fired.
Mueller then stacked his team with anti-Trump investigators and otherwise politically-motivated actors. Among them was FBI agent Peter Strzok, who infamously had an extramarital affair with FBI lawyer Lisa Page. They exchanged numerous text messages during their affair, including explicitly anti-Trump declarations, they discussed the investigation as an “insurance policy” in the event that Trump won the election. In another exchange, Page frantically asked, “Trump’s not ever going to be president, right? Right?!” Strzok responded: “No. No he won’t. We’ll stop it.” Further texts also showed that Barack Obama himself had some knowledge of internal attempts by the FBI to ensure that Comey’s investigation into Hillary Clinton’s mishandling of classified information on her email server would not produce any charges.
When the Strzok-Page affair eventually turned sour, Page would subsequently turn on her former lover, and testified under oath to congressional investigators that Strzok intended for an impeachment of President Trump to be the final outcome, believing that it would elevate his career. She also shockingly revealed that the FBI could not sufficiently prove any possible Russian collusion prior to the appointment of Mueller.
Three of the most serous victims of the Deep State’s wrath under ObamaGate were Trump campaign officials Carter Page, George Papadopoulos, and General Michael Flynn. The surveillance efforts, which included the FBI attempting to send multiple agents into the Trump campaign, involved one posing as an assistant in order to meet with and entrap Papadopoulos.
Papadopoulos has been called the catalyst for the entire Russia probe, with certain reports claiming that he openly spoke of the possibility of Russians possessing damaging information on Hillary Clinton in the summer of 2016. Carter Page came under scrutiny for a trip he took to Moscow, which he insisted was only to give a speech, but the FBI claimed was potentially for the purpose of seeking further information on Clinton from Russian sources. It was Page who was at the center of the FBI’s request for the FISA warrant, which subsequently expanded into broader surveillance of the Trump campaign.
Yet both Page and Papadopoulos were roped into the tangled web of conspiracy by a man named Stefan Halper, a Cambridge professor who was working as an informer for the FBI in their efforts to build up “evidence” of Russian collusion. Halper made numerous efforts to reach out to Trump campaign officials, including Page, Papadopoulos, and senior adviser Sam Clovis.
When Papadopoulos finally agreed to meet with Halper in London, with Halper offering to pay him $3,000 to write an academic paper, Papadopoulos quickly found himself facing numerous direct inquiries as to possible Russian collusion.
From Halper joking that “it’s great that Russia is helping you and your campaign,” to Halper attempting to illicitly record an interrogation of Papadopoulos at a night club regarding his alleged knowledge of attempts to solicit opposition research on Clinton from Russian sources, which Papadopoulos firmly denied. When it became clear what Halper was really after, to entrap him, Papadopoulos left the United Kingdom and returned to America.
Page first met Halper at an academic conference in Cambridge, shortly after Page’s speech in Moscow. They subsequently maintained what Page considered a friendship, which lasted for 14 months. However, unlike Papadopoulos, Page never sensed any ulterior motives on Halper’s part, completely unaware of Halper’s covert connection to the FBI. Halper tried, unsuccessfully, to gain access through Page to higher-ranking members of the Trump campaign, becoming more frustrated when none of his attempts succeeded. The two stopped all correspondence in September of 2017 – the same month that the surveillance warrant on Page expired.
Despite the intense scrutiny from Halper, and subsequent interrogations by the Special Counsel, both Page and Papadopoulos were never charged with any crimes even remotely connected to alleged collusion. Papadopoulos faced only one count of “making false statements” to the FBI, for which he served only 14 days in jail; a procedural “crime” that never would have happened if the Special Counsel did not exist.
But the most horribly-treated of them all was undoubtedly General Flynn. Having been a vocal advocate for candidate Trump and subsequently appointed as his National Security Adviser, Flynn became one of the top targets for the forces working against the Trump Administration. During the transition period, the soon-to-be National Security Adviser began doing his job, and reached out to numerous foreign officials to discuss an upcoming vote at the United Nations over an anti-Israel resolution, so that he could encourage other nations to vote against it; this included reaching out to Russian officials.
Although this was simply business as usual and part of General Flynn’s new job, his political opponents instantly jumped onto this correspondence as some sort of “proof” of Russian collusion. They worked overtime to smear the name and reputation of a man who had served his country with honor in the Army for over 30 years, until General Flynn resigned from his position in February. Like Papadopoulos, Flynn was convicted of but one charge that otherwise would not have existed had it not been for the Special Counsel, of making “false statements” to investigators.
Although a select few members of the Trump campaign were explicitly targeted with illegal surveillance warrants, the Obama Administration’s efforts to target innocent Americans did not end there.
In what may constitute the grossest abuse of power by Obama-era officials, hundreds upon hundreds of American civilians were “unmasked.” That is, anyone and everyone who had some sort of contact with the select few campaign officials in question were automatically lumped into the broader investigation, so that their communications could also be monitored, and this would rapidly expand to subsequently encompass anyone that they had contact with, and so on. Dan Bongino explained the full extent of unmasking and how it works in his speech to the David Horowitz Freedom Center’s “Freedom Restoration Weekend.”
While the names of all otherwise unrelated subjects in these circumstances are normally redacted, or “masked,” government officials can, on rare occasions, request to have the names “unmasked” and added to the investigation. This power was then blatantly abused by some key Obama officials, including Susan Rice and Samantha Power, with the latter requesting hundreds of unmaskings, to the point that virtually one American was being unmasked per day in 2016
Today it is clear why this scandal has been called the absolute worst in American history. Watergate boiled down to numerous low-level unlawful actions, some of which were linked to the then-President, who then faced a backlash that ultimately drove him from office. Bill Clinton’s affair and subsequent perjury were an isolated incident, with consequences that were nowhere near as damaging to our nation as ObamaGate has clearly been.
This scandal instead involved a massive conspiracy including all of the most senior intelligence officials in the Obama Administration, including the Directors of the FBI, CIA, and National Intelligence, as well as the Deputy Director of the FBI and other high-ranking officials in the FBI and DOJ.
The direct collusion between the campaign of the Democratic nominee, a former Secretary of State who was close to then-President Barack Obama, and Obama’s FBI and DOJ is already demonstrable, right down to the convenient placement and seditious collaboration of the husband-wife duo of Bruce and Nellie Ohr.
And the enlistment of the services of foreign operatives, whether Christopher Steele through Fusion GPS or Stefan Halper through the FBI, to subvert a presidential campaign is without precedent in our history.
And more disturbingly, it seems that President Obama himself was well aware of the efforts to stop Trump from ever becoming President, as well as the planned “insurance policy” in the event that he did win, and that he wanted to be kept informed of the illegal operation throughout.
If nothing else, this entire ordeal represents a horrendous abuse of power at the highest level for the purpose of spying on American civilians solely because they were members of the political opposition. Privacy rights, the foundation of the Fourth Amendment, were completely disregarded. In true Stalinist fashion, when no actual crime could be found, false crimes were posited. And with President Trump coming to power, efforts were made to block his presidency from within the administrative state, the definition of subversion and sedition.
Make no mistake, this is a conspiracy by definition. Not a “conspiracy theory” in the popular sense, a term that has been twisted beyond its actual dictionary definition, and now simply implies a wild and baseless claim of some Illuminati-level plan. At its base, the word “conspiracy” simply means a secret plan, between two or more actors, to obtain a certain goal. ObamaGate was a real conspiracy, one that had as its objective the reversal of the will of the American people.
And the conspirators include: James Comey, John Brennan, James Clapper, Andrew McCabe, Peter Strzok, Bruce Ohr, Lisa Page, Nellie Ohr, Hillary Clinton…and Barack Hussein Obama. Their goal was clear: To stop Donald Trump from winning the 2016 election, then to sabotage his presidential transition and, subsequently, his presidency.
You may feel as if you have just read the screenplay for an Oliver Stone movie. But whereas most of his films are pure fiction, this conspiracy was 100% real.
Know the facts and be informed. Despite the FakeNews mainstream media’s best efforts to suppress this story, the truth is already out there for all Americans, and the world, to see.
June 15, 2015: Donald Trump officially announces his campaign for President of the United States.
April 2016: The political consulting firm Fusion GPS, led by Glenn Simpson, is hired by Clinton lawyer Marc Elias on behalf of the Democratic National Committee, for the purpose of gathering opposition research on then-candidate Donald J. Trump. Fusion GPS subsequently enlists former British spy Christopher Steele to compile the information in a single dossier.
June 9, 2016: A meeting is held at Trump Tower between senior Trump campaign officials and a Russian lawyer supposedly promising dirt on the Clinton campaign. The meeting is actually orchestrated by Fusion GPS in order to set up the Trump campaign for its “Russian collusion” narrative. When the lawyer instead starts talking about American sanctions on Russia, the campaign officials cut the meeting short.
July 7, 2016: Trump campaign aide Carter Page travels to Moscow to give a speech, while the FBI wrongly suspects that he traveled there to get information on Hillary Clinton from Russian contacts.
July 11-12, 2016: Page meets with British professor Stefan Halper at Cambridge during an academic conference, unaware that Halper is working as an FBI informant investigating allegations of collusion with Russians. They subsequently begin a correspondence via email that lasts for over a year, which Halper uses to try to get access to others working for the Trump campaign.
July 19, 2016: Donald Trump officially secures the Republican Party’s nomination for President of the United States.
September 2016: Halper reaches out to Trump campaign aide George Papadopoulos and offers to pay him $3,000 to write an academic paper. Papadopoulos agrees and later that month meets with Halper in London. Halper interrogates Papadopoulos at a night club about Russian collusion, prompting Papadopoulos to leave.
October 13, 2016: Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Kahtleen Kavalec sent an email to the FBI warning about Steele’s unreliability and political bias. Her email was ignored by the FBI officials who received it.
October 21, 2016: Steele’s dossier, shared with the Department of Justice through Steele’s DOJ contact Bruce Ohr, is used as “evidence” to apply for a surveillance warrant on the Trump campaign via the FISA court. The warrant, specifically targeting Carter Page, is approved.
November 1, 2016: Steele, with his anti-Trump bias and general unreliability exposed, is fired by the FBI from his role as an informant.
November 8, 2016: Donald Trump wins the presidential election.
January 2017: Then-Director of the FBI James Comey holds several private meetings with president-elect Trump, during which he repeatedly tells the president-elect that he is not personally under investigation. In the same month, then-Director of National Intelligence James Clapper leaked information about the ongoing investigation to CNN.
January 20, 2017: Donald Trump is inaugurated as the 45th President of the United States.
February 13, 2017: National Security Advisor General Mike Flynn resigns amid allegations of improper contact with Russian officials, which he denied.
March 2, 2017: Attorney General Jeff Sessions recuses himself from any investigation into alleged Russian collusion, thus handing direct control over the matter to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.
May 9, 2017: James Comey is fired as Director of the FBI by President Trump, after the President learned that Comey had been leaking information about their private meetings to the press.
May 17, 2017: Deputy AG Rosenstein appoints Robert Mueller as Special Counsel to investigate any supposed “collusion” between the Trump campaign and Russian officials.
July 2017: FBI agent Peter Strzok is removed from the Special Counsel team due to revelations about his anti-Trump texts to FBI lawyer Lisa Page, with whom Strzok was having an extramarital affair.
September 2017: Page and Halper end all contact with each other, shortly after the FISA surveillance warrant on Page expires.
December 1, 2017: Flynn pleads guilty to a single count of making false statements to the FBI as a result of Mueller’s investigation.
March 16, 2018: Attorney General Jeff Sessions fires Andrew McCabe as Deputy Director of the FBI.
August 10, 2018: Peter Strzok is fired by the FBI.
August 15, 2018: President Trump revokes all security clearance for former CIA Director John Brennan, for his role in deliberately leaking information about the Russia investigation to the press.
September 7, 2018: Papadopoulos is sentenced to 14 days in prison for his one criminal conviction of making false statements to the FBI.
November 7, 2018: Jeff Sessions resigns as Attorney General.
February 14, 2019: William Barr is confirmed as the new Attorney General.
March 22, 2019: Mueller’s investigation comes to an end, concluding that there was no evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia, and also no evidence that President Trump committed obstruction of justice during the investigation.
May 14, 2019: Attorney General Barr appoints John Durham, the United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, to lead an investigation into the origins of Operation Crossfire Hurricane.
AMERICA First is the newest nationally-syndicated radio show in the United States, part of the Salem Radio Network. The host, Sebastian Gorka PhD., served most recently as Deputy Assistant for Strategy to the President of the United States, Donald J. Trump, and is author of the New York Times bestselling book “Defeating Jihad.” His latest book is “Why We Fight: Defeating America’s Enemies – With No Apologies.” You can follow him on Twitter @SebGorka, on Facebook, and on Instagram @sebastian_gorka. AMERICA First is available on the iTunes podcast app, streams live at www.sebgorka.com, and is on YouTube. You can contact him here.