The plot thickens. Does it ever.
The Guardian UK has broken the story, one echoed breathlessly by others in the major media, that the FBI is assessing still another Trump-Russia dossier, this one authored by an international man of mystery named Cody Shearer.
“The Guardian has been told the FBI investigation is still assessing details in the ‘Shearer memo’ and is pursuing intriguing leads,” write reporters Stephanie Kirchgaessner and Nick Hopkins hopefully.
“One source with knowledge of the inquiry said the fact the FBI was still working on it suggested investigators had taken an aspect of it seriously.”
This new dossier has the potential, however, to be an even greater embarrassment for Democrats and the Clintons than does the Steele Dossier.
In 2015, the National Review’s Brendan Bordelon served up a useful review of Shearer’s past shenanigans. When Bill Clinton was elected president in 1992, Shearer’s brother-in-law Strobe Talbott helped ease Shearer into the presidential orbit.
Bordelon discussed Shearer’s sinister work with Clinton enforcer Terry Lenzner to silence the “bimbos” then erupting all over the southeast as well as his absurd “intelligence gathering” efforts, first in Bosnia and later with Sid “Vicious” Blumenthal in Libya.
Bordelon did not, however, make a point of Talbott’s Russian background. At the time, it had no particular relevance. It obviously does today.
Talbott met Clinton when both were Rhodes Scholars at Oxford, and the two stayed close. At Oxford, Talbott translated Nikita Khrushchev’s memoirs into English.
Talbott’s first job in Clinton’s State Department was to help oversee the break-up of the former Soviet Union. He was later appointed deputy secretary of state.
In his 2008 book “Comrade J,” respected journalist Pete Early made a very strong case that Talbott had been compromised by the former Russian Foreign Intelligence (SVR).
Early’s source was former SVR operative Sergei Tretyakov who was cooperating with the FBI. Tretyakov claimed that the SVR “targeted Talbott, and ran a carefully calculated campaign to manipulate him.”
According to Tretyakov, the SVR used Russia’s deputy minister of foreign affairs Georgiy Mamedov “to deceive and manipulate Talbott, in part by massaging his ego.”
Tretyakov claimed also that Mamedov often did the bidding of Soviet intelligence. In this case, Mamedov used his personal relationship with Talbott “to glean information from Talbott that the SVR considered helpful to Russia.”
Before his book went to press, Early showed Talbott the claims Tretyakov had made and asked for a response. Talbott offered the rather lame one that Tretyakov’s “interpretation of events” was “erroneous and/or misleading.”
That said, the FBI took Tretyakov’s claims seriously. In 1999, FBI agents asked Secretary of State Madeleine Albright “not to share information with Talbott” about an espionage investigation then in progress for fear Talbott would expose it.
In 2018, Talbott’s brother-in-law surges into the headlines with news about a dossier he was alleged to have compiled. The question has to be asked whether Talbott helped Shearer gather information.
Last week, producer Joel Gilbert and I broke a story that should have been broken a long time ago: Christopher Steele did not write the dossier that almost everyone in the media claims he did. Gilbert alerted me to the Shearer dossier as well.
This new dossier has real potential. It has the potential to move beyond embarrassing the Democrats and to open the mother of all Clinton cans of worm.