Report: Democrat senator used left-wing conspiracy blogs to draw Trump-Russia connections

by WorldTribune Staff, May 11, 2017

Sen. Edward Markey has been using left-wing conspiracy blogs as sources in the Trump-Russia collusion story, according to an aide in the Massachusetts Democrat’s office.

In an interview on CNN on May 10, Markey said that “in fact, subpoenas have now been issued in Northern Virginia in regard to General Flynn and General Flynn’s associates. A grand jury has been empaneled up in New York.”

Sen. Edward Markey

CNN did report on May 9 that prosecutors in Virginia have issued subpoenas for associates of Mike Flynn. The assertion that there is a grand jury in New York is unfounded.

A Markey aide told The Daily Caller that the senator’s sources for the comments were Louise Mensch’s blog and a left-wing blog called the Palmer Report. Markey did not mention the sources in his CNN appearance.

A spokeswoman later released a statement that said: “This morning Senator Markey erroneously reported that a grand jury has been empaneled in New York related to the wider inquiry of possible Trump campaign and administration ties to Russia. Senator Markey does not have direct intelligence that is the case, and the information he was provided during a briefing is not substantiated. Subpoenas have been issued in Eastern Virginia, but Senator Markey apologizes for the confusion.”

Several Democrats have used suspect sourcing in calling for a deeper investigation into President Donald Trump’s alleged collusion with Russia during the 2016 election campaign. In congressional hearings, Democrats have cited ex-British spy Christopher Steele’s so-called “Trump dossier” which has been widely exposed as a work of fiction.

Mensch, a former employee of News Corp and member of the UK Parliament, has blamed Russia for the bombing of a German soccer team’s bus, the death of conservative journalist Andrew Breitbart and low black voter turnout for Hillary Clinton, the Daily Caller report said.

On May 8, Mensch accused Sen. Ted Cruz of having “worked with the Russians.”

The Palmer Report frequently writes stories centered on tweets by conspiracy theorists such as Mensch, the Daily Caller report said.

According to Markey’s aide, the two Palmer Report stories that the senator relied on as sources were based solely on tweets by non-reporters.

“Both of them center around theories that have originated from Claude Taylor, a travel photographer and former Clinton White House staffer,” the Daily Caller report said.

Taylor has claimed there have been multiple grand juries convened in relation to the Trump-Russia investigation.

Two weeks ago, Taylor tweeted: “This just in from a source with knowledge of Comey’s investigation. ‘two grand juries have convened and I know that one is almost complete.’ ”

In one of Mensch’s blog posts, also sourced by Markey, she pointed to two federal cases in Virginia and New York as possibly being related to Trump.

The Daily Caller reported on May 9 that the RICO case in New York has been dismissed and the one in Virginia is completely unrelated and involves the ATF.