Was 'Russiagate' an attempted coup?
William Jones

Editor's note: William Jones is the Washington Bureau Chief for Executive Intelligence Review and a non-resident fellow of the Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies, Renmin University of China. The article reflects the author's opinion, and not necessarily the views of CGTN.

Speaking to reporters at the White House on April 10, U.S. President Donald Trump commented on the Mueller report, which concluded that there was no collusion between Russia and the Trump administration, allegations which have been continually bandied about by the president's opponents ever since he was elected.

"It was an illegal investigation," the president said. "It was started illegally. Everything about it was crooked. Every single thing about it. There were dirty cops. These were bad people. You look at McCabe and Comey. And you look at Lisa and Peter Strzok. These were bad people. And this was an attempted coup." Strong words coming from the U.S. president.

A coup against a sitting U.S. president? Could it be?

But similar thoughts were being expressed the same day by the president's newly appointed Attorney General, William Barr, who was being grilled by Trump's Democrat opponents in Congress, who were demanding that Barr, the highest judicial official in the country, release the entirety of the Mueller transcripts.  

President Trump's initial reaction to the release of the Mueller conclusions was "to investigate the investigators" to find out why this extraordinary years-long investigation was ever initiated.

Barr indicated that he would do just that in investigating the possibility of FBI "spying" on the Trump campaign. While Mueller has clearly stated "no collusion," Democrats want to use the extensive Mueller transcripts in a "fishing expedition" to find – or fabricate - the "collusion" that Mueller stated was not to be found.

United States Attorney General William Barr addresses the National Association of Attorneys General in the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington, DC, U.S., on March 4, 2019.  /VCG Photo ‍

United States Attorney General William Barr addresses the National Association of Attorneys General in the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington, DC, U.S., on March 4, 2019.  /VCG Photo ‍

For those following the case, however, the notion the President would characterize the "Russiagate" as a coup is no surprise.

In fact, right from the get-go, there were former U.S. intelligence officials, including William Binney, a former highly-placed intelligence official working in the U.S. National Security Agency turned whistleblower, and a member of VIPS (Veteran Intelligence Professionals for sanity), who were making the case that this was all an "inside job." 

Studying the material that was allegedly "hacked" by Russian from the computers of the Democratic National Committee, a major item of interest in the Mueller investigation, Binney could prove conclusively, based on the dates, the speed and other characteristics of the data presented that that the source couldn't have come from Russia, but had to have been produced in-house, i.e. by someone at the DNC. In essence, Binney said, the material had been "leaked" not "hacked."

In October 2017, Binney had met with then CIA Director Mike Pompeo at the request of Trump to meet with Binney. Binney presented his findings in an hours-long meeting with Pompeo. 

Pompeo asked if Binney would agree to further discuss his analysis with FBI and NSA officials. Binney agreed, but Pompeo never carried through on the suggestion, indicating that this "friend" of the President would only go so far in a matter that would have totally discredited the integrity of the intelligence community, which largely had validated the claims of a "Russian source" for the hack.

But looking more closely at the source of the accusations and the mechanism by which it was filtered into the "mainstream media," we have to look at one Christopher Steele, a "former" MI6 operative, who ran the MI6 Russia desk in London between 2006 and 2009. 

It was this British ex-spy who released the original dossier on "Russiagate" to BuzzFeed which then sent it out over the wires as a "journalistic discovery" and into the eagerly awaiting arms of President Trump's Democratic opponents in the U.S. Congress. There were also numerous other London connections to the "Russiagate" story.

The question then arises, could the "Russiagate" have been a ploy by British intelligence or a faction thereof, in cahoots with corrupt elements of the U.S. intelligence community to prevent Trump's attempt to improve U.S. relations with Russia. 

One must remain mindful of the fact that Great Britain prides itself on being in a "special relationship" with the United States, and the Number Two "eye" in the "Five Eyes" intelligence relationship with the United States. Were the island kingdom to lose that status, it would be a great blow to their political power. 

Special Counsel Robert Mueller (R) departs after briefing members of the U.S. Senate on his investigation into potential collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., June 21, 2017. /VCG Photo

Special Counsel Robert Mueller (R) departs after briefing members of the U.S. Senate on his investigation into potential collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., June 21, 2017. /VCG Photo

And a warming relationship between two major powers like the U.S. and Russia would tend to diminish Britain's international clout.

In that respect, launching a coup against a sitting President might seem to be a less risky option than allowing that "special relationship" to completely dissolve. 

If that's the case then the Democratic caucus in the Congress who are still clamoring for the head of the U.S. president is nothing more than "a cockboat in the wake of the British man-of-war," to use the classic phrase of John Quincy Adams and thus guilty of treasonous behavior. 

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