FT writes of the newest Russian interference report out of the UK which is now driving headlines, “A long-awaited report into Russian interference in British politics has concluded that Moscow’s influence is 'the new normal' with senior figures with Kremlin links enjoying access to top business and political leaders.” And further:
The report by the Intelligence and Security Committee concludes that successive governments have “welcomed the oligarchs and their money with open arms, providing them with a means of recycling illicit finance through the London ‘laundromat’, and connections at the highest levels with access to UK companies and political figures”.
Some have observed that it's amazing how without fail these reports filled with explosive 'meddling' allegations are so convenient to those overseeing such investigations:
A rather convenient outcome for the pro-Brexit, anti-Scottish independence British government which commissioned the report.... just fancy that, etc! pic.twitter.com/V07GtzWpig— Bryan MacDonald (@27khv) July 21, 2020
The report put out today by UK parliament's cross-party Intelligence and Security Committee comes after an eight-month investigation which examined "Russian influence" in UK politics. It's a 55-page report documenting somewhat nebulous Russian "influence campaigns".
Despite admission that there's no evidence of Russian interference in the Brexit vote, the new report is still being used to suggest just that.
Former chair of the committee which conducted the UK inquiry, Dominic Grieve, charged the Russia and Brexit issue had been intentionally "glossed over". Grieve said, "There was no government desire to look at it and it hasn't looked at it."
And look at this astounding follow-up line via CNN:
He added that it "troubled" the committee that there was so little intelligence on Russia's role in the vote.
"Because it seems to me that it was a very significant democratic event, that there is now plenty of evidence of Russian interference in democratic processes, and it there ought really to be a proper focus on whether it happened in this particular case or not," Grieve added.
So there it is: very similar to how the Mueller report in the US fell flat, the very chair of the investigative committee is on record admitting that in essence, we set out from the beginning to "confirm" Russian meddling in Brexit but were disappointed when we didn't find anything... so the only explanation is cover-up!
Meanwhile the report calls for a fuller investigation into alleged Russian manipulation related to the Brexit vote.
Like the big nothing-burger that the Meuller report ended up being, this one in the end will likely prove to be even more suspect. Just look at some of the key sources for the report:
Among the committee's expert witnesses were former MI6 spy Christopher Steele, author of the explosive Trump-Russia dossier that painted a picture of widespread conspiracy of collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russian government, a document that Trump has dismissed as "phony" and full of lies.
Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said ahead of the report’s official publication that he would bet that the document would be “just a new round of evidence-free allegations.”
The Kremlin quickly responded by batting it down as “just a new round of evidence-free allegations” and that with regards to election meddling it ultimately “produced negative results and failed to prove anything.”