In April 2019, after a $32 million two-year investigation, U.S. Department of Justice Special Counsel Robert Mueller released his report into alleged interference by the Russian government during the 2016 U.S. presidential election. The special counsel had been appointed in large measure because of a then-rampant, but uncorroborated conspiracy theory alleging President Donald Trump and his close advisors had treasonously colluded directly with the Russian government to win the White House.
The Mueller Report found no evidence of collusion.
Indicting the Conspiracy Theory
Analyzing the report in April 2019 for The Nation, a strongly left-leaning publication, journalist Aaron Maté wrote:
Mueller’s report provides the opposite of what Russiagate promoters led their audiences to expect: Rather than detailing a sinister collusion plot with Russia, it presents what amounts to an extended indictment of the conspiracy theory itself.
Then in December 2019, U.S. Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz released the results of his investigation into the investigators. The report revealed “serious performance failures” in the FBI’s conduct of its probe into the collusion conspiracy, which had begun during the 2016 presidential election. Horowitz concluded that the so-called “Steele dossier” had played a “central and essential role” in the decision by the FBI and Department of Justice to seek a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant to conduct secret surveillance on Trump campaign advisor Carter Page. Horowitz further concluded there was no corroboration at all for the unique revelations in the Steele dossier, including its inflammatory allegations about Page, and that there were significant reasons to doubt the credibility of the dossier’s author, former British spy Christopher Steele. Horowitz noted that concerns about Steele were known to the CIA, but not heeded by the FBI when it used the dossier as a critical pretext for spying on a presidential campaign advisor and thus some of the campaign itself.
A Who’s Who of the Collusion Hoax
While the Trump-Russia conspiracy theory was exposed as a hoax, a different sort of collusion was real. Sometimes wittingly, but often just witlessly, hundreds of figures in the media, politics, federal law enforcement, and federal intelligence promoted and amplified the conspiracy theories created by the Steele dossier and other sources.
Today, we began posting the “bios” of more than 200 figures involved in the hoax—enough characters for a Russian novel. The first batch is “Obama/Comey-Era Officials” with last names beginning A–C. The rest of the 200+ will follow in the coming days and weeks. This is intended to be an archive of the Trump-Russia collusion hoax, which we will continue to update and expand as circumstances dictate.