Byron York on the “Blumenthal connection”:
HH: I’m joined by the Washington Examiner’s Byron York. Byron has been probably the most comprehensive reporter of all things connected to Christopher Steele, the dossier, and now the new connection to the State Department, and we woke him up early this morning. Good morning, Byron, thank you for joining us.
BY: Good morning, Hugh. Good to be here.
HH: It’s not even, the sun’s not even up in D.C., and I appreciate you being awake and alive. Bennett used to do this to you all the time, but I’ve left you alone most of the time.
BY: Well, you know, when you’re up tweeting, people can tell.
HH: That’s it. When I saw you tweet, I knew we could not, we were not waking you up. I knew that.
HH: Now Byron, when I got up this morning and I saw the name Sidney Blumenthal, I had a flashback. And it’s a flashback that goes all the way back to his little, weird room in the West Wing with the wall chart of the vast right-wing conspiracy right through Benghazi. Of course, he’s involved in this. But explain to people who he is and what the allegation is now about his connection to the Steele dossier.
BY: Well, he’s a former Washington Post reporter and journalist who is probably the world’s premiere Clinton loyalist. And you’re right. He played a big part in some of the Clinton scandals in the 90s. He was famous for trying to smear Monica Lewinsky during that matter. He pops up again in the Benghazi matter when we find out that as Hillary Clinton is Secretary of State, Blumenthal was sending her lots of emails on her private account, many of which seem to be trying to kind of hustle up some business for himself, by the way. And then now, you know, I wrote a story on January 16th. The headline was Trump Dossier Probes Now Include Possible State Department Involvement. And I didn’t quite know what was going on at the time, but I did hear the name Sydney Blumenthal in connection with it. Now that’s been fleshed out with subsequent reporting by me and also this morning in the Washington Post, which says that basically, we all know about this dossier. This dossier was something published in January, 2017 by Buzzfeed, right? That’s the dossier. Well, we now found out that there’s another, at least one other report written by Christopher Steele, that former British spy, and it had a different chain of custody. And amazingly enough, the chain appears to be whoever the original source was, to a man named Cody Shearer, who was also sort of on the Clinton scandal team, to Sidney Blumenthal, to an official in the State Department, to Christopher Steele, who then gives it to the FBI. It’s an astonishing, convoluted and somewhat circular chain of custody in which a Clinton source, that is Shearer and Blumenthal, gives it to the former, to the State Department where she used to be Secretary of State, who gives it to Christopher Steele, who’s being paid by the Clinton campaign, who then gives it to the FBI.
HH: Now I don’t know who Cody Shearer is very well. Is his brother Derek Shearer, the very close Clinton confidante? Is that the same guy?
BY: He is, he has been a journalist at times in his life, and my goodness, his late sister was actually better known, and I’m sorry, I cannot remember her name. But I’m not sure about the Derek Shearer connection.
HH: Yeah, I think that is, they’re all together. It’s all connect the dots stuff, and it gets a little bit weird. What, do we have any idea whether or not the Blumenthal-Shearer dossier has anything to do with any FISA warrant for anyone?
BY: As far as we know, not. But obviously, the House revealed its memo last Friday and did not mention this second dossier. So we’re not sure. I think one of the operating theories is the second one was kind of used to confirm the first dossier. But the problem was neither of them had actually been confirmed.
HH: Neither of them are, absolutely not confirmed, and if it shows up in another FISA warrant for Carter Page or anybody else, we’ll have a true scandal on our hands. Would you communicate for our audience who is perhaps a little bit young the odor in which Sidney Blumenthal is held in Washington, D.C.?
BY: By the way, you’re absolutely right. Cody Shearer is Derek Shearer’s brother, and the late sister I was talking about was Brooke Shearer.
HH: Ah, yes. Okay.
BY: So all of them are somewhat well known. Well, Blumenthal became probably the most combative of the Clinton defenders in the Lewinsky scandal, and he was known as Grassy Knolls in some quarters…
BY: …because he had such a penchant for conspiracy theories. And so you know, with the Clinton defense, you had kind of the happy warrior face of someone like Lanny Davis, who was out on TV all the time defending Clinton, and then behind the scenes, you had the grassy knoll face of Sidney Blumenthal. And he really became quite notorious among Republicans and the ones who were investigating the Clinton scandals. He kind of went away for a while, I think, at least in terms of public discussion in the George W. Bush years, and then reappeared when Hillary Clinton became Secretary of State.
HH: Am I also not correct he was known as Sid Vicious by many people?
BY: Yes, in an obvious reference.
HH: Yes, Sid Vicious, the Grassy Knoll, oh, it all comes flooding back. And now, he’s connected up with this, the Steele Dossier. It’s all too perfect. The Clintons will never, ever go away, Byron. We’ll write about them for the rest of our lives. Don’t go anywhere. Byron York from the Washington Examiner, thank you for being up early.
End of interview.