As part of an interview with FOX News’ Martha MacCallum on Tuesday, Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) attempted to answer questions about why he has decided to retire and what he thinks of the political landscape in Washington, D.C. But interspersed between questions of future plans and who he thinks might succeed him as Chair of the Oversight Committee, there came a few bombs related to the ongoing investigation into possible corruption during the 2016 election.
One that seems to have political journalists a bit spooked — because there has been surprisingly little mention of it on Twitter or on cable news — is the revelation that the source of some of the unverified and highly salacious material contained in the Steele dossier may have come from Hillary Clinton’s good friend and adviser (particularly on issues related to the Clinton Foundation — but more on that in a second) Sidney Blumenthal.
“I’m pretty troubled by what I read in the documents with respect to the role the State Department played in the fall of 2016, including information that was used in a court proceeding. I am troubled by it,” Gowdy said.
“So, weeks before the election, somebody in the Obama State Department was feeding information from a foreign source to Christopher Steele?” MacCallum asked.
“When you hear who the source, one of the sources, of that information is, you’re going to think ‘oh my gosh. I’ve heard that name somewhere before. Where could it possibly have been?'” Gowdy said Tuesday.
“The foreign source?” MacCallum asked.
“The domestic source, and I’m trying to think how Secretary Clinton defined him. I think she said he was an old friend who emailed her from time to time,” Gowdy said of the source.
“Sidney Blumenthal?” MacCallum asked.
“That’d be really warm. If you’re warm, yeah,” Gowdy answered.
The Steele dossier, you remember, was used as a primary piece of evidence to obtain a warrant to secretly surveil Trump adviser Carter Page. The details about who funded the still-unverified dossier — Hillary Clinton’s campaign through a DNC attorney — were not made available to the FISA court judge who ultimately issued the warrant — despite some reports indicating that senior officials within the FBI knew who bankrolled the effort.
As Gowdy mentions, the investigation into how that dossier was created and used continues with a look at the State Department’s role following the House Intelligence Committee’s memo outlining the roles of the FBI and the Department of Justice with respect to how the warrant was obtained.
The implication is that Blumenthal (the Clinton associate in the interview above) received information from a foreign source and then fed that information to an unnamed official in the Obama State Department, who in turn fed that information to Steele, presumably for inclusion in the dossier. A dossier, remember, that was cooked up and never verified, then presented to a judge without relevant supporting information, to obtain a warrant to essentially spy on a Republican political opponent via a low-level volunteer adviser (just so we’re clear).
This bombshell cannot be overstated. Because it points the finger not only directly at Hillary Clinton but at the Obama State Department (who is that unnamed official who took Blumenthal’s dubious opposition research from a foreign source? Is that also a name the American people would immediately recognize?)
Chances are the information will be made available because Gowdy’s rhetoric in the MacCallum interview indicates his colleague on the House Intelligence Committee Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) intends to release it (“When you hear who the source…of that information is…”).
And, just as a refresher: Sidney Blumenthal is a longtime associate of Hillary Clinton, and has been her friend and adviser on some of her greatest hits, not least is this one:
Sidney Blumenthal, a longtime confidant of Bill and Hillary Clinton, earned about $10,000 a month as a full-time employee of the Clinton Foundation while he was providing unsolicited intelligence on Libya to then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, according to multiple sources familiar with the arrangement.
Blumenthal was added to the payroll of the Clintons’ global philanthropy in 2009 — not long after advising Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign — at the behest of former president Bill Clinton, for whom he had worked in the White House, say the sources…
…Blumenthal has been subpoenaed by the U.S. House committee investigating the 2012 attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, and Clinton’s handling of it. He is expected to testify next week about a series of memos containing sometimes specious intelligence on the situation in Libya, which he sent to Hillary Clinton’s personal email account.
That friend of Hillary’s that emails her from time to time sure is involved in some of the biggest scandals this country has seen over the last 10 years. His appearance as a player in the Steele dossier drama should almost have been expected.