Remember when challenging the validity of an election made you a horrible human being? All during the months of September and October of 2016, I remember hearing this ad nauseum, usually from Democrats. This persisted all the way up until Nov. 8 of that year, when … well, you know.
But, what if I were to put on my sunglasses and, in my best Morpheus voice, tell you that Hillary Clinton was possibly busy getting ready to challenge the election outcome before it ever happened?
That’s the apparent takeaway from a court the Washington D.C. circuit court received in August from a British court in which Trump dossier compiler and former British intelligence agent Christopher Steele acknowledges he was hired by a law firm to challenge the election results. (I say apparent because there’s a bit of ambiguity regarding the timing, but the revelation clearly raises some questions regarding the Clinton campaign’s role in challenging the election results.)
According to the Washington Times, which broke the story, the filing was made in conjunction with a libel lawsuit being brought by three Russian oligarchs who control Moscow’s Alfa Bank.
Those of you familiar with the Trump dossier and some of the backstory concerning it might remember that one of its dodgier allegations (well, that didn’t involve the existence of certain, ahem, tapes) surrounded a back-channel between a Trump Organization computer and Alfa Bank, which was considered to be of considerable importance when you consider the three oligarchs also allegedly paid bribes to Vladimir Putin.
However, according to The Washington Times, the story fell apart when some enterprising folk found the IP address of the offending computer and linked it instead to a server dedicated to email spam in Philadelphia. The link to Alfa Bank probably involved bank employees who stayed in Trump hotels and therefore got spam from the computer. Whoops.
Now the three oligarchs are suing Steele and Fusion GPS for libel. An interesting case, to be sure, but more interesting is this filing made by Steele on Aug. 2 in conjunction with the case: “Fusion’s immediate client was law firm Perkins Coie. It engaged Fusion to obtain information necessary for Perkins Coie LLP to provide legal advice on the potential impact of Russian involvement on the legal validity of the outcome of the 2016 US Presidential election.
“Based on that advice, parties such as the Democratic National Committee and HFACC Inc. (also known as ‘Hillary for America’) could consider steps they would be legally entitled to take to challenge the validity of the outcome of that election.”
But I thought it was un-American to disrespect the outcome of the democratic process like that.
The Times’ story, it must be noted, is frustratingly unspecific regarding the whens and whys of Steele’s engagement with Perkins Coie.
However, the implications of the story are immense — and social media is already buzzing.
BOMBSHELL! Christopher Steele: I was Hired to Help Hillary Clinton Challenge The 2016 Election Results pic.twitter.com/DiNZdxtCwT
— republocratist (@republocratist) December 18, 2018
“Fusion engaged the Defendant pursuant to an agreement made orally between Mr Glenn Simpson of Fusion and Mr Christopher Steele of the Defendant in June 2016. Fusion instructed the Defendant to investigate and report, by way of preparing confidential intelligence memoranda, on Russian efforts to influence the US Presidential election process in 2016 and on linksbetween Russia and the then Republican candidate and now President Donald Trump,” the filing states.
There filing further states that Perkins Coie “engaged Fusion to obtain information necessary for Perkins Coie LLP to provide legal advice on the potential impact of Russian involvement on the legal validity of the outcome of the 2016 US Presidential election” and that “(b)ased on that advice, parties such as the Democratic National Committee and HFACC Inc. (also known as ‘Hillary for America’) could consider steps they would be legally entitled to take to challenge the validity of the outcome of that election.”
If Perkins Coie had “engaged” Steele and Fusion based on challenging the validity of the election — which seems, at least to this writer, to mean an initial approach — that’s a problem. As CNN reported last year, the law firm first engaged Fusion GPS and Steele in March of 2016 — before Trump had even wrapped up the nomination, but at the point where the momentum was definitely swinging in his direction.
According to newly unearthed British legal filings, Christopher Steele testified that the DNC/Clinton campaign funneled cash to him to help them "challenge the validity of the outcome" of the 2016 election in the event Hillary Clinton lost. https://t.co/Z7MTRaqBNb pic.twitter.com/sm4i4VaKGF
— Sean Davis (@seanmdav) December 17, 2018
Sean Davis of The Federalist and Debra Heine at PJ Media both pointed out that the wording of Steele’s filing seemed to indicate that he was engaged — and likely not previously engaged otherwise by Perkins Coie — specifically to evaluate the “potential impact of Russian involvement on the legal validity of the outcome of the 2016 US Presidential election” so that Hillary Clinton “could consider steps they would be legally entitled to take to challenge the validity of the outcome of that election.”
In other words, the statements Steele made to a Britsh court show pretty clearly that Hillary Clinton and the Democratic Party were preparing months ahead of the election to challenge the validity of its results.
Of course, that doesn’t necessarily have to be the case for us to have serious concerns about Steele being retained to challenge the results of the election after the election, either.
Remember Hillary Clinton’s reaction to Donald Trump refusing to say, during the presidential debates, that he would accept the outcome of the election no matter what happened.
“That’s horrifying,” Clinton said. “Let’s be clear about what he is saying and what that means. He is denigrating — he is talking down our democracy. And I am appalled that someone who is the nominee of one of our two major parties would take that position.”
Hillary Clinton, as it turns out, has been the one “denigrating” and “talking down” the choice of the American people. She’s been doing it by hawking the Trump dossier — a slimy, unsubstantiated piece of opposition research her campaign funded.
And she was apparently doing it long before the first vote was cast.