Meet Deep State Shill John Burton, Digging Dirt On Republican Candidates

Sunday, October 7, 2018
By Paul Martin

by Brock Simmons
October 7, 2018

This man is working behind the scenes to resist job growth, world peace, record breaking economic growth, and the lowest unemployment in decades for people of color.

His name is John Burton, a former Obama campaign opposition researcher, former banker at J.P. Morgan, and former assistant to disgraced tax cheat Timothy Geithner.

According to an article in Bloomberg News, Burton is raking in cash from undisclosed donors for his 501(c)4 “non profit” called Citizen Strong, where he relies on army of 16,000 “amateur sleuths” to dig up dirt on Republican candidates across the country, in hopes of taking back the House.

With a headline of “A Former Obama Operative Built a New Anti-Republican Attack Machine” and sub headline of “John Burton hopes an army of dirt diggers can deliver an October surprise for Democrats,” Bloomberg Business reports:

“Before he was a banker, Burton, 38, was a practitioner of the dark art of opposition research, or “oppo”—digging up and surreptitiously deploying damaging information about politicians. As it did for so many people, Donald Trump’s election turned Burton’s life upside down. He quit his job, joined a Resistance group, and devoted himself to returning his country to the path he’d believed it was on when he worked for Barack Obama’s campaign a decade ago.

Some Resisters march or knock on doors; others raise money or run for office. Burton felt his gifts lay elsewhere: namely, in tearing down political opponents. Over the past year, backed by mysterious donors, he’s organized what may be the most audacious grass-roots project in the age of Trump. Burton has amassed an army of 16,000 amateur sleuths who, with professional guidance, have spent months ferreting out damaging material on scores of vulnerable Republicans in Congress and state legislatures. Now he’s ready to unleash it just in time for the midterms. As he told me, “We’re going to do with real information and real Americans what the Russians tried to do with fake information and fake Americans.”

Oppo works best when its target is unaware, so Burton’s project, dubbed Citizen Strong, has operated by stealth, waiting until just now to publicly declare its existence as a 501(c)4 “dark money” group with three affiliated political action committees. Even this step doesn’t reveal much. Dark money donors can give unlimited sums anonymously, and Burton won’t identify his benefactors or even the three operatives he’s hired to help run the group.

Examining these windfalls for potential fraud or conflict of interest would usually require a professional investigator such as Christopher Steele, the ex-MI6 agent who produced the infamous dossier on Trump. Most campaigns can’t afford that. But the main requirements for being a successful oppo researcher—time, patience, and dogged determination—were qualities Burton saw in abundance among his Resistance compatriots. Many were skilled professionals whose expertise he thought he could weaponize for politics if they were willing to spend their free time doing things like digging through social media accounts and newspaper clippings or hunting down property records and arrest filings at the local courthouse. When he put out a call for help on Rohrabacher, he soon had at his disposal a forensic accountant, a team of corporate lawyers, and a fluent Russian speaker—Tanya, the New York consultant. “As far as I’m concerned, it’s all hands on deck,” she says. “If someone has a special ability, they should be using it to help take back the House.” (She and other volunteers I spoke to for this story asked that their full names not be used to protect their identities and prevent problems at work.)

The Rest…HERE

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