When the origins of the Steele dossier first came to light, Team Coup quickly rushed to claim that it didn't matter if the Clinton campaign had actually funded the dossier because the FBI investigation was really kickstarted by a drunken idiot babbling in a bar. But now, as John Solomon and Allison Spann reveal, the guy who passed along the information helped shovel a lot of cash into Clintonworld.
The Australian diplomat whose tip in 2016 prompted the Russia-Trump investigation previously arranged one of the largest foreign donations to Bill and Hillary Clinton’s charitable efforts, documents show.
Former Australian Foreign Minister Alexander Downer’s role in securing $25 million in aid from his country to help the Clinton Foundation fight AIDS is chronicled in decade-old government memos archived on the Australian foreign ministry’s website.
Downer and former President Clinton jointly signed a Memorandum of Understanding in February 2006 that spread out the grant money over four years for a project to provide screening and drug treatment to AIDS patients in Asia.
And that sounds innocuous enough, except that the Clinton Foundation also operated as a slush fund for the Clintons. And so it had all the expected issues.
In the years that followed, the project won praise for helping thousands of HIV-infected patients in Papua New Guinea, Vietnam, China and Indonesia, but also garnered criticism from auditors about “management weaknesses” and inadequate budget oversight, the memos show.
Of course it did. That's par for the course in Clintonworld.
Downer, now Australia’s ambassador to London, provided the account of a conversation with Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos at a London bar in 2016 that became the official reason the FBI opened the Russia counterintelligence probe.
But lawmakers say the FBI didn’t tell Congress about Downer’s prior connection to the Clinton Foundation. Republicans say they are concerned the new information means nearly all of the early evidence the FBI used to justify its election-year probe of Trump came from sources supportive of the Clintons, including the controversial Steele dossier.
“The Clintons’ tentacles go everywhere. So, that’s why it’s important,” said Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) chairman of a House Oversight and Government Reform subcommittee that has been taking an increasingly visible role defending the Trump administration in the Russia probe.
The media will claim that it doesn't matter. Just because Downer made a deal with the Clintons for humanitarian aid doesn't mean that he was another cog in Clintonworld. And yet it's interesting how both of the supposed origins of the investigations, Steele and Downer, depend on foreign government figures in the Anglosphere with Clinton ties passing along information to US officials.
If you're going to stage your own Watergate, hiding the connections by moving them through foreign countries makes a great deal of sense.