The British ex-spy who authored the infamous dossier alleging collusion between Donald Trump and the Kremlin said one of his goals was to give Hillary Clinton legal basis to challenge the 2016 election results.
Christopher Steele’s salacious 17-page report was commissioned by Fusion GPS, a firm connected to Clinton’s campaign.
“Based on that advice, parties such as the Democratic National Committee and HFACC Inc. (also known as ‘Hillary for America’) could consider steps they would be legally entitled to take to challenge the validity of the outcome of that election,” Steele wrote in recently unsealed declaration that was published by the Washington Times.
His statement is part of a series of answers which Steele provided in a defamation suit brought by three Russians who head Alfa Bank, who were named in the dossier as part of the alleged collusion conspiracy between Trump and the Kremlin.
The court challenge never came. Instead, the unsubstantiated dossier was leaked to news outlets such as BuzzFeed, fuelling Russiagate hysteria and serving as the backbone of a two-year probe that has yet to corroborate any of the document’s core claims. The document was also used by the FBI to obtain a warrant to spy on former Trump aide Carter Page, who was accused by Steele of meeting secretly with Kremlin insiders in Moscow. Incredibly, former FBI Director James Comey admitted that his agency had not verified the dossier’s contents before using it to justify the warrant.
The dossier itself has apparently fallen out of favor with many of its early champions: One of the first journalists to report on Steele’s research has stated that many of Steele’s central claims have yet to be substantiated and are “likely false.”
The defamation case against Steele was dismissed by a DC Superior Court judge, but lawyers representing the Russian bankers have launched an appeal in US District court, attaching Steele’s revelatory statements as part of their filing. Steele claimed that internet traffic data had been observed between Alfa Bank and a computer served linked to the Trump Organization.
The allegation has yet to be proven, with some reports suggesting that the flagged data actually originated from an internet spam farm based outside Philadelphia.
Steele faces similar legal trouble in London, where he is being sued for defamation by Russian entrepreneur Aleksej Gubarev. In one of his memos, Steele accused Gubarev of personally hacking DNC computers. Gubarev has also sued BuzzFeed for publishing the unverified claim as part of its uncritical coverage of the dossier.
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