The Daily Caller’s Chuck Ross obtained the transcript from Christopher Steele’s March 18 (2020) deposition before a British court. Steele, the author of the discredited dossier, told a British court that all communications with his primary sub-source were wiped in December 2016 and January 2017.
The reason for this deposition is that, one of the memos in the dossier accuses the three owners of the Alpha Bank, Petr Aven, German Khan, and Mikhail Fridman, of “making illicit payments to Vladimir Putin.”
The men are suing Steele for defamation and they are being represented by Attorney Hugh Tominson.
It was during Tomlinson’s questioning that Steele made these admissions.
This information is in direct contrast to a December 10, 2019 rebuttal issued by Steele’s attorneys the day after Intelligence Community Inspector General Michael Horowitz released his report on the FBI’s FISA Court abuses. The IG report claims the FBI interviewed Steele’s sub-source in January, March and May of 2017. After the first meeting, FBI agents were pretty sure the dossier was not reliable. The sub-source, who remains anonymous, told the FBI that Steele had fabricated some of the stories and grossly exaggerated others. This didn’t stop the FBI from using the dossier as the basis for their application to the FISA Court to spy on Carter Page, nor did it stop then-Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein from appointing a Special Counsel to investigate President Trump.
Anyway, in response to the information that had been revealed in the IG report, Steele’s attorneys issued a statement which said, “he had evidence that would shed light on what his main dossier source told him back in 2016, when Steele was working for the firm Fusion GPS to investigate the Trump campaign. They wrote that the sub-source’s “debriefings to Steele “were meticulously documented and recorded.”
Ross writes: “It is unclear if Steele made audio or video recordings of the debriefings with the source, or if the retired spy was referring to written or electronic documents. It is also unclear whether Steele got rid of the information himself, or if it was lost through other means. Steele’s lawyer did not respond to a request for comment.”
Because Steele’s rebuttal indicated that the sub-source’s “debriefings to Steele were meticulously documented and recorded,” Tomlinson asked where they were.
Tomlinson: But none of these documents exist, so they have all been destroyed?
Steele: They no longer exist.
Tomlinson: But you say it was meticulous, but nobody is in a position to check that because the records don’t exist?
Steele: They no longer exist, but that is my assertion, indeed, my assertion under oath.
Tomlinson asked him if he had any records regarding memo 112 which was about his clients, the owners of Alpha Bank.
Steele: I haven’t got any records relating to the creation of 112.
Tomlinson: Or indeed any of the other memoranda?
Steele: No, they were wiped in early January 2017.
According to Ross, Steele told Tomlinson that the IG had to “significantly amend sections of the IG report dealing with what the dossier source told the FBI” and “claimed in the deposition that the IG had retracted claims in the report about the primary dossier source.”
This prompted Tomlinson to ask, “So you think that the U.S. Inspector General’s office has got it wrong and you are right; is that your position?”
Steele replied that the report “has already been revised by the Department of Justice in terms of its interviewing of this primary sub-source and asserted that the revision “completely changed the nature of the interview that he gave to them in January 2017.””
A spokesperson for the IG told Ross there had been only slight edits to the report and pointed out the section of the report where they could be found. Needless to say, Steele was trying to mislead the attorney.
So, another prominent figure from the Russian collusion investigation against President Trump has wiped their communications. The FBI had wiped the cell phones of FBI agent Peter Strzok and his paramour, FBI lawyer Lisa Page. All of this came after Hillary Clinton deleted 33,000 emails, which were under subpoena, from her time as Secretary of State. This has become a pattern with deep state operatives.
So, are there to be no consequences for any of them? Why not subpoena the communications of Glen Simpson of Fusion GPS? Bruce Ohr? Nellie Ohr?
The FBI knows the identity of Steele’s sub-source, a foreigner. They couldn’t subpoena his or her records, but he or she has cooperated with the FBI before and might again.
Maybe a little more digging is precisely what U.S. Attorney John Durham is planning.
Although I’m anxious to see some results, I was delighted to hear that Durham expanded his investigation once again this week. He’s increased the number of FBI agents and has added more prosecutors. I’ll be posting on this story later.