January 7, 2017 – The origins of the Russiagate Intelligence Community Assessment (ICA) – Part 1, 2, and 3

In Email/Dossier/Govt Corruption Investigations, Featured Timeline Entries by Katie Weddington

The first important incident (or one of the first) in the metastasis of Clinton campaign “dirty tricks” into institutional resistance to the incoming Trump administration was the commissioning of the Intelligence Community Assessment (ICA), which sabotaged incoming Trump administration.

The commissioning of the ICA – and its use in destabilizing the new administration – was neatly choreographed by the outgoing Obama administration, the CIA and Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (SSCI) – so neatly choreographed that the coordination has almost entirely escaped public notice, with nearly all the relevant documents remaining shrouded in secrecy.

With the passage of time, it is difficult to fully recall that, early on, before the ICA, there was still agnosticism and even skepticism that Russia interfered in US election in order to elect Trump. Before the ICA, if any one individual was then blamed by Democrats for Clinton’s loss, it would have been James Comey, rather than Vladimir Putin. It was an innocent time when Comey’s announcement of the re-opening of the Clinton email investigation[1] in late October was viewed as more important to the election outcome than Buff Bernie Facebook ads.

As of December 2016, the FBI’s Crossfire Hurricane investigation had turned up nothing[2]. And despite all the “lock her up” rhetoric of the campaign, in his acceptance speech, Trump declared that he had moved on from such recriminations and would let bygones be bygones.

However, the ICA re-animated the FBI’s Crossfire Hurricane investigation, which, as manipulated by Comey, mutated into the Mueller inquisition. Equally important, the ICA allegations were institutionalized by the Senate SCI through the announcement of its own “bipartisan” investigation into the Russiagate allegations concurrent with the release of the ICA in January 2017.

The ICA’s effectiveness in destabilizing the new administration came from two widely publicized “findings”:

  • That Russia agencies, under personal direction from Putin, had interfered in election on multiple fronts, not with a generalized intent of countering aggressive international interference by US-backed NGOs by exposing hypocrisy in US democracy, but with the specific intent of electing Trump. This claim led to the sensational portrayals of Trump as a sort of Manchurian candidate that undermined the incoming administration throughout its tenure;
  • Its endorsement of the credibility of Steele and his “network”, together with the immediate leak to media that Steele dossier allegations had been included in the classified ICA and personally briefed to President-elect Trump.

Although the public ICA was very skimpy on facts and evidence (to say the least), it was wildly successful in creating suspicion about the incoming administration and institutionalizing an atmosphere in which there was a realistic prospect of a coalition of Democrats and McCain neocon Republicans could undo the 2016 election through impeachment – insurrection through lawfare, so to speak.  The SSCI investigation hung over the Trump administration even longer than the Mueller investigation, as the final results of this investigation were not published until August 2020 – just in time for the 2020 election campaign.  As with other key documents, the SSCI Report was heavily redacted. In particular, the sections containing the purported evidence for the most important ICA claims being more or less totally redacted.

In this article, I will re-visit available information on the origin and execution of the ICA. (Read more: Stephen McIntyre/Substack, 2/17/2024)  (Archive)

Part 2

Part 3