Deception & Misdirection

The Cast of the Trump-Russia Collusion Hoax


The following is an archive of “bios” of more than 200 of the most prominent people who kept the Trump-Russia collusion hoax alive. For an introduction to the archive, see “Introducing the Trump-Russia Collusion Hoax Archive.” For other CRC content on Russiagate, see this growing list.

The bios will be posted in batches in the coming days and weeks. Hyperlinks in the table of contents will become active as each batch is added. Please send any corrections or updates to [email protected].

The Cast by Category

Obama/Comey-Era Officials: A–C | D–M | N–R | S–Z

DNC and Clinton Associates

Media: BuzzFeed | CNN | Entertainment | MSNBC | NYT | Other

Members of Congress

Foreign Officials

Activists

Index

Editor’s Note: Major Updates



[Top]

Obama/Comey-Era Officials

Ahmad–Conlon

Zainab Ahmad. Special Counsel Prosecutor. Investigated multiple Trump associates. Prosecuted former National Security Advisor Gen. Michael Flynn for false statements to FBI. Department of Justice dropped all charges against Flynn in May 2020 when exculpatory information in an FBI note of January 2017 was made public through court filings.

Trisha Anderson. FBI Deputy General Counsel. In October 2016, she signed an FISA warrant application improperly targeting Trump campaign advisor Carter Page. Testified before the House Judiciary and Oversight Committees in August 2018 that two higher officials—FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe and Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates—had already signed before she did. Among 53 Obama/Comey-era officials targeted by subpoenas from Senate Judiciary Committee in June 2020 regarding Crossfire Hurricane and the origins of Trump-Russia investigations.

Greg Andres. Special Counsel Prosecutor. Prosecuted Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and his deputy, Rick Gates. Manafort was sentenced to seven and a half years in prison; Gates to 45 days—both for financial crimes unrelated to Trump-Russia collusion, the stated rationale for investigation.

Brian Auten. U.S. government intelligence analyst. Among 53 Obama/Comey-era officials targeted by subpoenas from Senate Judiciary Committee in June 2020 regarding Crossfire Hurricane and origins of Trump-Russia investigations.

David Axelrod. Former Chief Strategist, Barack Obama presidential campaigns. Senior Advisor to the President. Described June 2016 meeting of Donald Trump Jr., Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, and advisor Jared Kushner with Russian attorney Natalia Veselnitskaya in Trump Tower as “very close to espionage,” yet did not mention DNC-funded Fusion GPS’s role in providing materials to Veselnitskaya for the occasion.

James Baker (FBI). Former FBI General Counsel. Reassigned from post in December 2017 and resigned from the FBI May 2018. House Judiciary and Oversight Committee testimony from October 2018 shows Baker was under criminal investigation for alleged leaks to journalists David Corn of Mother Jones and Mike Isikoff of Yahoo. After leaving the FBI, Baker held positions at the R Street Institute and Brookings Institution and as a CNN legal analyst. In June 2020 Twitter announced Baker had joined its legal team.

James Baker (DOD). Director, Office of Net Assessment (ONA), U.S. Department of Defense. In January 2020, Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) sent letter to Baker and announced expanded probe into ONA contract compliance after reviewing “troubling documents” related to FBI informant, Stephan Halper. Per court documents, Michael Flynn’s legal team believes Baker was behind leak to Washington Post columnist David Ignatius about his phone calls with Russian Ambassador Sergei Kislyak.

Joe Biden. Former U.S. Vice President. Senior official within the administration that improperly surveilled and investigated opposition presidential campaign and transition team. Per January 2017 memo from outgoing National Security Advisor Susan Rice, Biden was present at January 5, 2017, White House meeting where President Obama and FBI Director James Comey allegedly discussed withholding information from incoming administration regarding Russia. Unmasked identity of Gen. Michael Flynn.

Dana Boente. Former Acting Attorney General. In March 2017, waived standard operating procedure to authorize FBI Director James Comey to publicly announce active investigation into the Trump campaign during nationally televised House Intelligence Committee testimony. Reassigned from Department of Justice to become FBI General Counsel, then later fired as details of Flynn investigation became public.

Jennifer Boone. FBI Deputy Assistant Director, Counterintelligence Division. Among 53 Obama/Comey-era officials targeted by subpoenas from Senate Judiciary Committee in June 2020 regarding Crossfire Hurricane and origins of Trump-Russia investigations.

John Brennan. CIA Director. Reportedly under investigation (as of December 2019) by U.S. Attorney John Durham over CIA assessments and public statements on the now-discredited Steele dossier, which alleged vast conspiracy between Trump campaign and Russia. Signed with MSNBC/NBC as an analyst in February 2018. In a NY Times opinion piece, Brennan called Trump’s denial of Russia collusion “hogwash.” Unmasked identity of Gen. Michael Flynn.

Josh Campbell. Special Assistant to former FBI Director James Comey. CNN law enforcement analyst. Author of Crossfire Hurricane: Inside Donald Trump’s War on the FBI. Used FBI experience to provide legitimacy for CNN reports that insinuated guilt of Trump and associates while omitting exculpatory information.

John Carlin. Assistant Attorney General. Former Chief of Staff to then-FBI Director Robert Mueller. Key figure in FISA abuse scandal, which improperly targeted Trump campaign advisor Carter Page. Department of Justice Inspector General Report outlined “17 significant errors or omissions” in FISA warrant applications.

James Clapper. Director of National Intelligence (DNI). House Intelligence Committee transcripts from 2017 released in May 2020 show Clapper was unaware of any direct evidence showing Trump-Russia collusion. Despite this, Clapper legitimized the Comey investigation of collusion in an interview with MSNBC in May 2017, saying that a “cloud” was hanging over the Trump administration because of the collusion allegation. In December 2017, Clapper asserted that Russian President Vladimir Putin was managing President Trump as if Trump were an intelligence asset Putin had recruited. Clapper also unmasked the identity of Gen. Michael Flynn.

Kevin Clinesmith. UPDATED 8.19.20. FBI Attorney. Altered CIA email to delete exculpatory information in FISA warrant application targeting Trump advisor Carter Page. Department of Justice Inspector General referred for criminal proceedings. In November 2016 after Trump’s election, wrote series of notable text messages, including “Viva la Resistance.” Later served as a Special Counsel Attorney. On August 19, 2020, pleaded guilty to one count of making a false statement in relation to altering an email from an other agency [i.e., the CIA].

James Comey. FBI Director. Led FBI through an unprecedented investigation of a presidential campaign, transition, and administration that used improper surveillance and leaks to media. In April 2018, hinting at the most salacious of the claims from now-discredited Steele dossier, he alleged Russians may have blackmail material on President Trump. Decided to publicly announce an active investigation into the Trump campaign during House Intelligence Committee testimony in March 2017 on live national television. Department of Justice Inspector General referred Comey for criminal prosecution in September 2019. Unmasked identity of Gen. Michael Flynn.

Patrick Conlon. Director, Obama White House Office of Intergovernmental Affairs (OIA). Unmasked identity of Gen. Michael Flynn. Among 53 Obama/Comey-era officials targeted by subpoenas from Senate Judiciary Committee in June 2020 regarding Crossfire Hurricane and origins of Trump-Russia investigations.

[Top]

Dempsey–Mueller

Mike Dempsey. Acting Director of National Intelligence. Unmasked identity of Gen. Michael Flynn. Among 53 Obama/Comey-era officials targeted by subpoenas from Senate Judiciary Committee in June 2020 regarding Crossfire Hurricane and origins of Trump-Russia investigations.

Michael Dreeben. Special Counsel Prosecutor. Investigated multiple Trump associates. Former Deputy Solicitor General. Argued over 100 cases before the Supreme Court.

Stuart Evans. Department of Justice, National Security Division. FBI texts show he had “continued concerns” about “potential bias” of a source in FISA application. Among 53 Obama/Comey-era officials targeted by subpoenas from Senate Judiciary Committee in June 2020 regarding Crossfire Hurricane and origins of Trump-Russia investigations.

Kyle Freeny. Special Counsel Prosecutor. Prosecuted Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and his deputy Rick Gates. Manafort was sentenced to 7.5 years in prison; Gates to 45 days. Both for financial crimes unrelated to Trump-Russia collusion, the stated rationale for investigation. Donated to presidential campaigns of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.

Tashina Gauhar. Department of Justice, National Security Division. Involved in FISA abuse scandal targeting Trump advisor Carter Page. Among 53 Obama/Comey-era officials targeted by subpoenas from Senate Judiciary Committee in June 2020 regarding Crossfire Hurricane and origins of Trump-Russia investigations.

Carl Ghattas. FBI, National Security Branch. Among 53 Obama/Comey-era officials targeted by subpoenas from Senate Judiciary Committee in June 2020 regarding Crossfire Hurricane and origins of Trump-Russia investigations. Believed to have information on FBI payments to British ex-MI-6 agent Christopher Steele and origins of Steele dossier.

Andrew Goldstein. Special Counsel Prosecutor. Investigated multiple Trump associates. Prosecuted Trump advisor George Papadopoulos for false statements to FBI. Former Assistant U.S. Attorney, Southern District of New York, serving under Preet Bhahara. Donated $3,300 to Barack Obama campaigns in 2008 and 2012.

Stefan Halper. Professor, Cambridge University. Former White House staff during Nixon, Ford, and Reagan administrations. FBI informant who sought out Trump advisors Carter Page, George Papadopoulos, and Sam Clovis, misrepresenting himself as interested in working for Trump. In January 2020, Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) announced expanded probe into Pentagon ONA contract compliance after reviewing “troubling documents” related to Halper’s more than $1 million in payments.

Curtis Heide. Special Counsel Investigator and FBI agent. Investigated multiple Trump associates. Lead agent in prosecution of Trump advisor George Papadopoulos for false statements to FBI. Among 53 Obama/Comey-era officials targeted by subpoenas from Senate Judiciary Committee in June 2020 regarding Crossfire Hurricane and origins of Trump-Russia investigations.

Kathleen Kavalec. State Department Official. Communicated with British ex-MI6 agent Christopher Steele and Associate Deputy Attorney General Bruce Ohr before and after 2016 election. Donor to the campaigns of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. Among 53 Obama/Comey-era officials targeted by subpoenas from Senate Judiciary Committee in June 2020 regarding Crossfire Hurricane and origins of Trump-Russia investigations.

Adam Jed. Special Counsel Prosecutor. Investigated multiple Trump associates. One of four prosecutors to resign from Roger Stone case in February 2020 after Department of Justice rescinded their recommended sentencing of 7–9 years as “extreme, excessive and grossly disproportionate.Represented government against Little Sisters of the Poor to enforce Obamacare contraception insurance mandate.

David Laufman. Department of Justice Counterintelligence Chief. Among 53 Obama/Comey-era officials targeted by subpoenas from Senate Judiciary Committee in June 2020 regarding Crossfire Hurricane and origins of Trump-Russia investigations.

Stephen Laycock. FBI Assistant Director of Intelligence. Previously led counterintelligence at FBI Washington Field Office. In communication with State Department official Kathleen Kavalec about British ex-MI6 agent Christopher Steele in October 2016. Among 53 Obama/Comey-era officials targeted by subpoenas from Senate Judiciary Committee in June 2020 regarding Crossfire Hurricane and origins of Trump-Russia investigations.

Jacob Lew. Treasury Secretary. Unmasked identity of Gen. Michael Flynn. Among 53 Obama/Comey-era officials targeted by subpoenas from Senate Judiciary Committee in June 2020 regarding Crossfire Hurricane and origins of Trump-Russia investigations.

Loretta Lynch. Attorney General. Oversaw unprecedented Department of Justice investigation against opposition presidential campaign and transition. Among 53 Obama/Comey-era officials targeted by subpoenas from Senate Judiciary Committee in June 2020 regarding Crossfire Hurricane and origins of Trump-Russia investigations.

Andrew McCabe. FBI Deputy Director. CNN legal analyst. Led FBI through unprecedented investigation against a presidential campaign, transition, and administration through surveillance, investigations, and leaks to media. Fired for lying to investigators about media leaks in March 2018. Department of Justice Inspector General referred McCabe for criminal prosecution. Among 53 Obama/Comey-era officials targeted by subpoenas from Senate Judiciary Committee in June 2020 regarding Crossfire Hurricane and origins of Trump-Russia investigations.

Mary McCord. Acting Assistant Attorney General. Per court filings, Michael Flynn’s legal team requested FBI notes of interviews with McCord showing when she knew Flynn did not have “clandestine relationship with Russia.” Among 53 Obama/Comey-era officials targeted by subpoenas from Senate Judiciary Committee in June 2020 regarding Crossfire Hurricane and origins of Trump-Russia investigations.

Denis McDonough. Obama White House Chief of Staff. Unmasked identity of Gen. Michael Flynn. Among 53 Obama/Comey-era officials targeted by subpoenas from Senate Judiciary Committee in June 2020 regarding Crossfire Hurricane and origins of Trump-Russia investigations.

Arthur “Danny” McGlynn. Acting Assistant Secretary of Treasury, Intelligence Directorate. Unmasked identity of Gen. Michael Flynn. Among 53 Obama/Comey-era officials targeted by subpoenas from Senate Judiciary Committee in June 2020 regarding Crossfire Hurricane and origins of Trump-Russia investigations.

Jonathan Moffa. FBI Official. Counterintelligence analysis section chief during 2016 elections. Revealed in August 2018 congressional testimony that use of FBI informants and other “counterintelligence assets” was much more widespread than previously admitted. Among 53 Obama/Comey-era officials targeted by subpoenas from Senate Judiciary Committee in June 2020 regarding Crossfire Hurricane and origins of Trump-Russia investigations.

Michael Morell. CIA Acting Director and Deputy Director. In October 2016, publicly accused Trump allies of “working on behalf of the Russians.”

Sally Moyer. FBI Attorney. Moyer’s congressional testimony in 2018 shows FBI wanted Department of Justice’s Bruce Ohr to establish contact with British ex-MI6 agent Christopher Steele to assess his reliability a month after Steele dossier was used to obtain FISA warrant on Carter Page. Among 53 Obama/Comey-era officials targeted by subpoenas from Senate Judiciary Committee in June 2020 regarding Crossfire Hurricane and origins of Trump-Russia investigations.

Robert Mueller. Special Counsel and former FBI Director. Led unprecedented investigation and prosecutions against a presidential campaign, transition, and administration. Led team of 19 prosecutors, including numerous Democrat donors; 40 FBI agents; intelligence analysts; and support staff. Interviewed approximately 500 witnesses. Issued 2,800 subpoenas, nearly 500 search warrants, more than 230 orders for communication records. Conducted nearly two-year, $32 million investigation into Trump-Russia collusion and found none. Mueller nevertheless prosecuted six Trump associates for unrelated crimes, costing them and hundreds of others millions of dollars in personal legal fees and public defamation.

[Top]

Neufield–Rosenstein

Mike Neufield. Treasury Department official. Unmasked identity of Gen. Michael Flynn. Among 53 Obama/Comey-era officials targeted by subpoenas from Senate Judiciary Committee in June 2020 regarding Crossfire Hurricane and origins of Trump-Russia investigations.

Sean Newell. Deputy Chief of Counterintelligence, Department of Justice. Among 53 Obama/Comey-era officials targeted by subpoenas from Senate Judiciary Committee in June 2020 regarding Crossfire Hurricane and origins of Trump-Russia investigations.

Victoria Nuland. Assistant Secretary of State. In June 2016, signed off on meeting between British ex-MI6 agent Christopher Steele and FBI Legal Attaché in Rome. Revealed in Senate Intelligence Committee testimony that Steele had visited State Department HQ weeks before election in October 2016. Among 53 Obama/Comey-era officials targeted by subpoenas from Senate Judiciary Committee in June 2020 regarding Crossfire Hurricane and origins of Trump-Russia investigations.

Barack Obama. Presided over administration that conducted unprecedented surveillance and investigation of opposition presidential campaign and transition team. Per January 2017 memo from outgoing National Security Advisor Susan Rice, allegedly discussed with FBI Director James Comey withholding information from incoming administration regarding Russia.

Bruce Ohr. UPDATED 9.15.20. Associate Deputy Attorney General. Department of Justice Inspector General report of December 2019 showed Ohr concealed numerous meetings with ex-British spy Christopher Steele from his superiors. Despite closure of FBI investigation Crossfire Hurricane into Trump campaign for lack of cause, Ohr served as backchannel to FBI, meeting with officials 13 times to present information from Steele. Ohr retired from the DOJ at the end of September 2020, prior to a disciplinary review decision that reportedly may have led to his termination.

Nellie Ohr. Spouse of Bruce Ohr. Researcher for Fusion GPS, firm hired by Clinton campaign and DNC through Perkins Coie law firm to investigate Donald Trump and any links to Russian organized crime. Fusion GPS commissioned British ex-MI6 agent Christopher Steele to write series of political opposition research, a.k.a. Steele dossier. In May 2019, Ohr was referred to Department of Justice for criminal investigation of false statements to Congress.

Stephanie L. O’Sullivan. DNI Principal Deputy Director. Former CIA Official. Unmasked identity of Gen. Michael Flynn. Among 53 Obama/Comey-era officials targeted by subpoenas from Senate Judiciary Committee in June 2020 regarding Crossfire Hurricane and origins of Trump-Russia investigations.

Lisa Page. FBI Attorney, Counsel to Deputy Director Andrew McCabe. Special Counsel Attorney until removed in July 2017 over anti-Trump texts. MSNBC legal analyst. In February 2018, Department of Justice released nearly 400 pages of text messages from 2015 to 2017 with Page’s FBI colleague and paramour Peter Strzok. Texts show intense disdain for Donald Trump, discussed “insurance policy” in case of his election, and referenced media leak strategy, among other things. Among 53 Obama/Comey-era officials targeted by subpoenas from Senate Judiciary Committee in June 2020 regarding Crossfire Hurricane and origins of Trump-Russia investigations.

Joseph Pientka. FBI agent. Accompanied Peter Strzok to interview new National Security Advisor Michael Flynn at White House in January 2017, resulting in false statements charge. Among 53 Obama/Comey-era officials targeted by subpoenas from Senate Judiciary Committee in June 2020 regarding Crossfire Hurricane and origins of Trump-Russia investigations.

Samantha Power. UN Ambassador. Unmasked identity of Gen. Michael Flynn seven times. Among 53 Obama/Comey-era officials targeted by subpoenas from Senate Judiciary Committee in June 2020 regarding Crossfire Hurricane and origins of Trump-Russia investigations.

Elizabeth Prelogar. Special Counsel Prosecutor. Former law clerk to Supreme Court Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Elena Kagan. Investigated multiple Trump associates for Russian contacts. Prosecuted Paul Manafort. Donated to Clinton and Obama presidential campaigns, 2016 and 2012.

E.W. “Bill” Priestap. FBI Counterintelligence Director. Peter Strzok’s supervisor. Priestap’s 2017 handwritten notes following discussions with FBI leadership regarding Gen. Michael Flynn included: “What’s our goal? Truth/admission or to get him to lie, so we can prosecute him or get him fired.” When notes unsealed in May 2020, Department of Justice dropped all charges against Flynn. Among 53 Obama/Comey-era officials targeted by subpoenas from Senate Judiciary Committee in June 2020 regarding Crossfire Hurricane and origins of Trump-Russia investigations.

James Quarles. Special Counsel Prosecutor. Former Watergate Prosecutor. Investigated multiple Trump associates. Former colleague of Special Counsel Robert Mueller at Wilmer Hale law firm. Donated nearly $33,000 to Democrats, including Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton campaigns.

Sarah Raskin. Deputy Secretary, Treasury Department. Unmasked identity of Gen. Michael Flynn. Spouse of Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD), member of House Judiciary Committee, and a driving force behind impeachment of President Trump. Among 53 Obama/Comey-era officials targeted by subpoenas from Senate Judiciary Committee in June 2020 regarding Crossfire Hurricane and origins of Trump-Russia investigations.

Jeannie Rhee. Special Counsel Prosecutor. Former Department of Justice official. Former colleague of Special Counsel Robert Mueller at Wilmer Hale law firm. Investigated multiple Trump associates. Prosecuted Trump advisor George Papadopoulos for false statements to FBI. Donated more than $16,000 to Democrats since 2008 including max donations to Hillary Clinton campaign in 2015 and 2016. Attorney for Clinton Foundation and former Obama advisor, Ben Rhodes. Among 53 Obama/Comey-era officials targeted by subpoenas from Senate Judiciary Committee in June 2020 regarding Crossfire Hurricane and origins of Trump-Russia investigations.

Steve Ricchetti. Chief of Staff to Vice President Biden. Biden 2020 campaign chairman. Among 53 Obama/Comey-era officials targeted by subpoenas from Senate Judiciary Committee in June 2020 regarding Crossfire Hurricane and origins of Trump-Russia investigations.

Susan Rice. National Security Advisor. Per January 2017 memo to herself, Rice alleges that President Obama and FBI Director James Comey discussed withholding information from incoming administration regarding Russia. Among 53 Obama/Comey-era officials targeted by subpoenas from Senate Judiciary Committee in June 2020 regarding Crossfire Hurricane and origins of Trump-Russia investigations.

Ben Rhodes. Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategic Communications. House Intelligence Committee transcripts from 2017 released in May 2020 show Rhodes was unaware of any evidence showing Trump-Russia collusion, but sat for media interviews encouraging investigation of that alleged collusion. Among 53 Obama/Comey-era officials targeted by subpoenas from Senate Judiciary Committee in June 2020 regarding Crossfire Hurricane and origins of Trump-Russia investigations.

Rod Rosenstein. Deputy Attorney General. Responsible for Trump-Russia investigations once Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself as a former campaign advisor. Appointed Special Counsel Robert Mueller in May 2017, authorizing investigation into Russian government links and/or coordination with presidential campaign and “any matters that arose or may arise from that investigation.” Signed improper FISA warrant renewal targeting Trump advisor Carter Page. Congressional Republicans prepared contempt resolution against Rosenstein for stonewalling requests for materials and interviews of officials believed to be involved in wrongdoing. Among 53 Obama/Comey-era officials targeted by subpoenas from Senate Judiciary Committee in June 2020 regarding Crossfire Hurricane and origins of Trump-Russia investigations.

[Top]

Sanz-Rexach–Zelinsky

Gabriel Sanz-Rexach. Department of Justice official involved in FISA abuse scandal against Trump campaign advisor Carter Page. Among 53 Obama/Comey-era officials targeted by subpoenas from Senate Judiciary Committee in June 2020 regarding Crossfire Hurricane and origins of Trump-Russia investigations.

Nathan Sheets. Under Secretary, International Affairs, Treasury Department. Unmasked identity of Gen. Michael Flynn. Among 53 Obama/Comey-era officials targeted by subpoenas from Senate Judiciary Committee in June 2020 regarding Crossfire Hurricane and origins of Trump-Russia investigations.

Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall. Deputy Secretary of Energy. Unmasked identity of Gen. Michael Flynn. Among 53 Obama/Comey-era officials targeted by subpoenas from Senate Judiciary Committee in June 2020 regarding Crossfire Hurricane and origins of Trump-Russia investigations.

Steve Somma. FBI counterintelligence investigator, NY Field Office. Department of Justice Inspector General report on FISA Abuse identifies Case Agent #1, reported by the New York Times as Somma, for being “primarily responsible for some of the most significant errors and omissions” of the 17 found in FISA warrant application against Trump advisor Carter Page. Among 53 Obama/Comey-era officials targeted by subpoenas from Senate Judiciary Committee in June 2020 regarding Crossfire Hurricane and origins of Trump-Russia investigations.

Peter Strzok. FBI counterintelligence deputy director. Special Counsel investigator until removed in July 2017 over anti-Trump texts. Fired from FBI, August 2018. Involved in multiple key aspects of Trump-Russia, including drafting and approving Crossfire Hurricane investigation into Trump campaign in July 2016 based on third-hand rumors from Australian diplomat in London and ordering investigation into Gen. Michael Flynn remain open in January 2017 despite lack of derogatory information. In February 2018, Department of Justice released nearly 400 pages of text messages with Strzok’s FBI colleague and paramour Lisa Page, from 2015 to 2017. Texts show intense disdain for Donald Trump, discussed “insurance policy” in case of his election and referenced media leak strategy among other things. Among 53 Obama/Comey-era officials targeted by subpoenas from Senate Judiciary Committee in June 2020 regarding Crossfire Hurricane and origins of Trump-Russia investigations.

Adam Szubin. Acting Under Secretary, Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, Treasury Department. Unmasked identity of Gen. Michael Flynn. Among 53 Obama/Comey-era officials targeted by subpoenas from Senate Judiciary Committee in June 2020 regarding Crossfire Hurricane and origins of Trump-Russia investigations.

Brandon Van Grack. Special Counsel Prosecutor. Department of Justice Chief of Foreign Agent Registration Act Division. Investigated multiple Trump associates. Prosecuted Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort. Lead prosecutor against Gen. Michael Flynn. Abruptly withdrew from Flynn case in May 2020 when exculpatory information from January 2017 was released through court filings. Accused by Flynn legal team of withholding evidence despite 2018 court order. Barack Obama campaign donor.

Andrew Weissman. Special Counsel prosecutor. Former FBI General Counsel under Director Robert Mueller. MSNBC legal analyst. Investigated multiple Trump associates. Lead prosecutor against Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and his deputy, Rick Gates. Manafort was sentenced to 7.5 years in prison; Gates to 45 days. Both for financial crimes unrelated to Trump-Russia collusion, the stated rationale for investigation. Former task force lead in prosecution of Arthur Anderson accounting firm in relation to Enron scandal; persuaded judge in Arthur Anderson case to instruct jurors they could convict the firm even if no employees knew they were committing crimes. Arthur Anderson firm destroyed, but Supreme Court overturned Arthur Anderson case, 9-0, because of the trial judge’s jury instructions. Donated $2,300 to Barack Obama campaign and at least $2,000 to DNC. Attended Hillary Clinton Victory Party on election night, November 2016.

Jonathan Winer. State Department official, International Law Enforcement. Special Envoy to Libya. Former counsel to Sen. John Kerry (D-MA). State Department contact for ex-MI6 agent Christopher Steele. Winer shared now-discredited Steele dossier materials with State Department leaders prior to 2016 election. Source to Yahoo News’ Mike Isikoff. Among 53 Obama/Comey-era officials targeted by subpoenas from Senate Judiciary Committee in June 2020 regarding Crossfire Hurricane and origins of Trump-Russia investigations.

Christopher Wray. FBI Director. Replaced James Comey in July 2017. Defended Trump-Russia investigations before Congress. Congressional Republicans prepared contempt resolution against Wray for stonewalling requests for information and interviews of FBI agents believed to be involved in wrongdoing. Denied Ukraine meddling in 2016 election despite evidence in the public domain since 2017. Among 53 Obama/Comey-era officials targeted by subpoenas from Senate Judiciary Committee in June 2020 regarding Crossfire Hurricane and origins of Trump-Russia investigations.

Sally Yates. Acting Attorney General. Fired for defying Trump executive order regarding ban on travel and refugees from certain Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia, and Yemen. Involved in events leading to dismissal of Gen. Michael Flynn as National Security Advisor. Documents released in May 2020 show Yates claimed President Obama notified her of Flynn’s phone calls with Russian Ambassador Sergei Kislyak, not her subordinate, FBI Director James Comey. Among 53 Obama/Comey-era officials targeted by subpoenas from Senate Judiciary Committee in June 2020 regarding Crossfire Hurricane and origins of Trump-Russia investigations.

Aaron Zebley. Deputy Special Counsel. Former FBI Chief of Staff to Director Robert Mueller, later colleague of Mueller at Wilmer Hale law firm. Investigated multiple Trump associates. Previously represented Justin Cooper, a former Hillary Clinton aide who was involved in setting up her private email server while Secretary of State.

Aaron Zelinsky. Special Counsel prosecutor. Former Assistant U.S. Attorney, Maryland, serving under Rod Rosenstein. Investigated multiple Trump associates. Prosecuted Trump advisor George Papadopoulos for false statements to FBI. Prosecuted Roger Stone for false statements to Congress. One of four prosecutors to resign from Roger Stone case in February 2020 after Department of Justice rescinded recommended sentencing of 7–9 years as “extreme, excessive and grossly disproportionate.

[Top]

DNC and Clinton Associates

Andrew Brown. National Data Director for Democratic National Committee. According to August 2017 House Intelligence Committee testimony, Brown engaged outside firm, CrowdStrike, to provide security for DNC computer network which was hacked in 2016. FBI Director James Comey testified to Congress in January 2017 that DNC refused to grant FBI access to hacked servers. Represented by Marc Elias of Perkins Coie law firm at House Intelligence Committee hearing.

Sidney Blumenthal. White House Senior Advisor, Clinton administration. Clinton Foundation official. Journalist/columnist with Salon, The New Yorker, The Guardian and others. Together with fellow Clinton associate Cody Shearer, Blumenthal was involved in second anti-Trump dossier paralleling efforts by ex-MI6 agent Christopher Steele. State Department official Jonathan Winer revealed that before 2016 election both Blumenthal and Steele met with him to provide different dossiers which alleged alarming activity between Trump and Russia.

Thomas Catan. Former Wall Street Journal reporter. Along with former WSJ colleagues, Glenn Simpson and Peter Fritsch, co-founded Fusion GPS. With funds from the Democratic National Committee, Clinton Campaign via Perkins Coie Law Firm, and former Senate staffer Dan Jones, Fusion GPS commissioned the now-discredited Steele dossier from ex-MI6 agent Christopher Steele, alleging vast conspiracy between Trump campaign and Russia. At House Intelligence Committee hearing in October 2017, Catan invoked his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination.

Alexandra Chalupa. Democratic National Committee contractor. Former Clinton White House aide. Visited Ukraine Embassy in Washington, DC, during March 2016 for meeting with Ambassador Valeriy Chaly and staff regarding Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort business dealings in Ukraine. When the New York Times ran a story in August 2016 profiling Manafort’s past with Ukrainian political parties, he was fired from Trump campaign.

Hillary Clinton. 2016 Democrat presidential nominee. Former First Lady. Former Secretary of State. Within 24 hours of losing election to Donald Trump she ordered her campaign co-leaders John Podesta and Robby Mook to advance conspiracy theory that Russian interference was the reason for her defeat. Clinton alleged Trump was a Russian “puppet” during the 2016 campaign and reiterated the statement in January 2019. In October 2019 Clinton expanded her conspiracy theory to include the possibility that 2016 Green Party presidential nominee Jill Stein and U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) were also being used as Russian assets.

Marc Elias. General counsel to Clinton 2016 and Kerry 2004 presidential campaigns. At Perkins Coie law firm, represents numerous Democratic political groups and individuals, including the Democratic National Committee, Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, Priorities USA, U.S. senators, governors, and U.S. representatives. Served as financial link between Hillary Clinton campaign, DNC, and Fusion GPS research firm, which commissioned the now-discredited Steele dossier compiled by British ex-MI6 agent Christopher Steele. Sued by Trump campaign advisor Carter Page in January 2020.

Brian Fallon. Press secretary to 2016 Clinton campaign. Former Department of Justice spokesman. Former spokesman for Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY). CNN political analyst. Began pushing Trump-Russia conspiracy theories during 2016 election, stating, “There’s plenty of reason to think there’s an affinity between Putin and Trump.” Told CNN’s Don Lemon in October 2017 that it would have been “campaign malpractice” not to purchase Fusion GPS opposition research into Trump.

Peter Fritsch. Former Wall Street Journal reporter. Along with former WSJ colleagues, Glenn Simpson and Thomas Catan, co-founded Fusion GPS. With funds from the Democratic National Committee, Clinton Campaign via Perkins Coie Law Firm, and former Senate staffer Dan Jones, Fusion GPS commissioned now-discredited Steele dossier from ex-MI6 agent Christopher Steele, alleging vast conspiracy between Trump campaign and Russia. At House Intelligence Committee hearing in October 2017, Fritsch invoked his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination.

Shawn Henry. President of CrowdStrike Services and chief security officer of CrowdStrike, a cybersecurity company based in California. Former career FBI official specializing in cyber-investigations. At House Intelligence Committee hearing in December 2017, described work with Democratic National Committee to investigate 2016 hacking. May 2020 report on Henry’s declassified congressional testimony from 2017 demonstrated that DNC had refused to let FBI directly investigate the hacked server, that all of FBI’s information came from CrowdStrike (a DNC-paid cybersecurity contractor), and that Henry repeatedly said under oath in December 2017 that his firm did not have “concrete evidence” that data were taken electronically or identifying who took it.

Robby Mook. Campaign manager to 2016 Clinton campaign. Former staffer to Dean 2004 and Clinton 2008 presidential campaigns. Aggressively pushed Trump-Russia conspiracy theories during campaign, saying GOP platform was being rewritten to become “more pro-Russian.” Within 24 hours of Hillary Clinton losing election to Donald Trump, she ordered her campaign co-leaders John Podesta and Robby Mook to advance conspiracy theory that Russian interference was the reason for her defeat. In March 2017, raised possibility that Trump aides could be “prosecuted for treason” if FBI proves coordination with Russia on the election.

Jennifer Palmieri. Director of communications to 2016 Clinton campaign. Former Obama White House director of communications. In 2016, reportedly engaged in media tour with campaign colleague Jake Sullivan to promote theory that Russian government was helping Trump campaign. In March 2017 Washington Post opinion piece declared the “Russian plot succeeded” in electing Trump, accused President Trump of “curious pro-Putin bent,” took credit for helping Clinton accuse Trump of being a “puppet” of Putin during 2016 presidential debate, and urged Congressional Democrats to talk about Russia’s “attack on our Republic . . . relentlessly, above all else” to the point of acts such as blocking U.S. Supreme Court appointments.

John Podesta. Campaign chairman to 2016 Clinton campaign. Former Clinton White House chief of staff. Founder, Center for American Progress, a left-leaning think tank, which promoted Trump-Russia conspiracy theories through its Moscow Project. Within 24 hours of Hillary Clinton losing election to Donald Trump she ordered her campaign co-leaders John Podesta and Robby Mook to advance conspiracy theory that Russian interference was the reason for her defeat. In April 2019 Washington Post op-ed, accused presidential candidate Trump of teaming up with “hostile foreign power to undermine an election” and that Trump campaign and the Kremlin “were in regular contact.”

Cody Shearer. Clinton family associate via brother-in-law Strobe Talbott (deputy secretary of state, Clinton administration). Compiled anti-Trump dossier in 2016 paralleling now-discredited Steele dossier. Passed dossier to fellow Clinton associate Sidney Blumenthal who passed to State Department official Jonathan Winer. Winer passed to Steele and Steele passed to FBI in October 2016.

Glenn Simpson. Former Wall Street Journal reporter. Along with former WSJ colleagues, Peter Fritsch and Thomas Catan, co-founded Fusion GPS. With funds from the Democratic National Committee, Clinton Campaign via Perkins Coie Law Firm, and former Senate staffer Dan Jones, Fusion GPS commissioned now-discredited Steele dossier from ex-MI6 agent Christopher Steele, alleging vast conspiracy between Trump campaign and Russia. In May 2018, Sen. Chuck Grassley accused Simpson of lying to Congress.

Jake Sullivan. Senior policy advisor to 2016 Clinton campaign. Former national security advisor to Vice President Joe Biden. Former State Department official who secretly met with Iranian government officials in 2013 to lay groundwork for Iran nuclear deal. In 2016, reportedly engaged in media tour with campaign colleague Jennifer Palmieri to promote theory that Russian government was helping Trump campaign.

Michael Sussman. Lawyer at Perkins Coie, represented Democratic National Committee and 2016 Clinton campaign. Former Department of Justice official. Together with colleague Marc Elias, served as financial link between DNC and Clinton campaign to Fusion GPS, which commissioned British ex-MI6 agent Christopher Steele to conduct opposition research against Trump campaign. Sued by Trump campaign advisor Carter Page in January 2020.

Debbie Wasserman-Schultz. Former chair of Democratic National Committee. Forced to resign in July 2016 after news reports that DNC had colluded with Hillary Clinton in the Democratic primary over primary opponent, U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT). In May 2019 said of Trump-Russia collusion allegations that President Trump was “hiding the fact that there was collusion, there was obstruction of justice to cover that up.” Former Florida congresswoman. Key figure in Imran Awan scandal over congressional IT security breach, computer theft, and bank fraud, 2016–2018.

[Top]

Foreign Officials

Valeriy Chaly. Ukrainian ambassador to the U.S. In March 2016, met at Ukrainian Embassy with Democratic National Committee (DNC) contractor Alexandra Chalupa where Chalupa allegedly sought information on Ukraine business dealings of Trump campaign’s Paul Manafort. In August 2016, authored opinion column in The Hill, “Ukraine’s Ambassador: Trump’s Comments to the World Send Wrong Message,” noting they “stand in sharp contrast to the Republican party platform.”

Igor Danchenko. U.S.-based Russian national born in Ukraine identified in July 2020 through declassified FBI documents and related investigative news reports as Christopher Steele’s primary subsource for anti-Trump election dossier in 2016. Served as a research analyst for five years at the Brookings Institution, left-leaning think tank based in a Washington, DC. DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz concluded that the review of the Danchenko three-day FBI interview in January 2017 “raised significant questions about the reliability of the Steele election reporting.” In his July 2020 analysis of the FBI interview notes, Eric Felton of RealClearInvestigations concluded: “From the FBI interviews it becomes clear that [Danchenko] and his friends peddled warmed-over rumors and laughable gossip that Steele dressed up as formal intelligence memos.”

Richard Dearlove. British ex-MI6 director. In April 2017, fueled conspiracy theories by declaring, “Trump borrowed money from Russia” during 2008 financial crisis. In December 2017 provided legitimacy to now-discredited Steele dossier in BBC interview, saying it “probably” had “some credibility.” In February 2014, Dearlove and Cambridge Professor Stefan Halper hosted dinner for then-Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, where Flynn met Russian graduate student Svetlana Lokhova. In May 2019, Lokhova filed $25 million lawsuit against Halper, Washington Post, New York Times, Wall Street Journal and MSNBC for stories falsely alleging a relationship with Flynn.

Alexander Downer. Australian ambassador to the U.K. and former foreign minister. In May 2016, Downer met with Trump campaign advisor George Papadopoulos for drinks at Kensington Wine Rooms in London. Downer claims Papadopoulos told him the Russians might release some damaging information on Hillary Clinton, which Papadopoulos denies. Downer reported conversation to U.S. counterparts and Australian authorities, leading to FBI Counterintelligence Deputy Director Peter Strzok opening the Crossfire Hurricane investigation into the Trump campaign in July 2016.

Serhiy Leschenko. Ukrainian member of parliament. Former editor-in-chief of Ukrayinska Pravda, an online newspaper. In August 2016, released Ukrainian “black ledger” alleging at least $1.2 million in 2007 and 2009 payments from Ukraine’s pro-Russia Party of Regions to firm owned by Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort. New York Times story covering alleged payments resulted in Manafort’s immediate firing from Trump campaign.

Joseph Mifsud. London-based Maltese professor and former diplomat. In April 2016, allegedly told Trump campaign advisor George Papadopoulos in London that Russians had “thousands of e-mails” damaging to Hillary Clinton. In July 2019, during House Intelligence Committee hearing with Special Counsel Robert Mueller, Republicans described Mifsud’s extensive contacts with Western governments and the FBI, despite James Comey publicly labeling him a “Russian agent.” Although Mueller Report doesn’t support Comey claim, it does indicate Mifsud lied to FBI three times, yet he was never charged, and his whereabouts remain unknown.

Christopher Steele. British ex-MI6 agent. Hired by Fusion GPS to research Trump links to Russia, funded by Clinton campaign and DNC via Perkins Coie law firm. The now-discredited Steele dossier claimed vast conspiracy between Trump campaign and Russia, leading to improper federal law enforcement surveillance and investigations into presidential campaign. Largely sourced by Russian disinformation and ultimately debunked, Steele’s 35-pages of memos led to waves of prosecutions and public defamation against Trump associates. In August 2018, FBI released documents showing Steele was a paid informant for unknown period. Steele has faced multiple libel lawsuits since 2017.

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Editor’s Note

This archive of “bios” of more than 200 of the most prominent people who kept the Trump-Russia collusion hoax alive, along with examples of their contributions, was carefully researched and documented by CRC researchers.

The bios will be posted in batches. Hyperlinks in the table of contents and index will become active as each batch is added. We will continue to update and expand the archive as circumstances dictate.

For a more detailed introduction to the archive, see “Introducing the Trump-Russia Collusion Hoax Archive.”

Please send any corrections and updates should be sent to [email protected].

Major Updates

October 13, 2020: Added “DNC and Clinton Associates” and “Foreign Officials” sections.

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