Note: One of the memos in Christopher Steele’s dossier accuses the three owners of the Alfa Bank, Petr Aven, German Khan, and Mikhail Fridman, of “making illicit payments to Vladimir Putin.” The allegations turned out to be false and the men are suing Steele for defamation. They are being represented by a team of lawyers led by Hugh Tomlinson, who conducts most of the questioning.
As details from dossier author Christopher Steele’s March testimony before a British Court slowly trickle out, the connections between the players are becoming clearer.
On Tuesday, it was reported that Steele had told the court of meetings with DNC/Clinton Campaign attorneys, Mark Elias and Michael Sussmann. In fact, he said that on July 29, 2016, two days before the FBI initiated their Crossfire Hurricane investigation, Sussmann told him about “suspicious network traffic between the Trump Organization and Alfa Bank.” My colleague Nick Arama posted about that story here.
According to The Daily Caller:
He also said that the theory about the computer server traffic was the catalyst for the dossier memo he would write six weeks later about Alfa Bank.
“I’m very clear is that the first person that ever mentioned the Trump server issue, Alfa server issue, was Mr. Sussman [sic],” Steele told Hugh Tomlinson, a lawyer for the Alfa Bank owners, on March 17.
Steele went on to say that Fusion GPS founder Glenn Simpson instructed him at some point after the Sussmann meeting to write a report about Alfa Bank.
This morning, Just The News’ John Solomon is reporting that Christopher Steele believed Hillary Clinton and then-Obama National Security Adviser Susan Rice “were aware of his dossier research as it was going on in summer 2016. The testimony makes his most direct link yet between his Russia collusion research and the top of the Clinton campaign and Obama White House.”
Although most of us have been convinced for years that Hillary, as well as Obama’s top lieutenants, knew about Steele’s “research,” none of the individuals involved have ever admitted this before.
Last week, we learned Steele had told the court that his communications with his primary sub-source as well as those with Fusion GPS’ Glenn Simpson, had been wiped. And this is unfortunate. However, Steele does appear to be quite willing to answer questions.
Note: Hillary Clinton and the DNC commissioned and paid for the dossier. The Clinton campaign’s general counsel, Mark Elias, is a partner at the Perkins, Coie law firm. By laundering DNC/campaign funds through his firm, Elias hired Fusion GPS, who then hired Christopher Steele to create the Trump dossier.
The following information comes from a transcript of Steele’s March 17 and 18 testimony before a British court, which was obtained by John Solomon.
Steele was asked if he knew what entity he was providing the research for.
He replied, “I presumed it was the Clinton campaign, and Glenn Simpson had indicated that. But I was not aware of the technicality of it being the DNC that was actually the client of Perkins Coie.”
“You knew it was the leadership of the Clinton presidential campaign didn’t you?” the lawyer asked.
He admitted, “I believed it was the campaign. Yes.”
The lawyer pressed him. “The leadership of the Clinton campaign?”
Steele acknowledged, “Fine, the leadership of the campaign.”
The lawyer inquired, “You also understood that Hillary Clinton herself was aware of what you were doing?”
Steele responded, “I think Glenn had mentioned it, but I wasn’t clear.”
Next, the lawyers presented him with notes he had taken during a 2016 FBI meeting in which he allegedly told “agents that Clinton was aware of his research.” One of the lawyers read aloud one of the notes.
“We explained that Glenn Simpson/GPS Fusion was our commissioner but the ultimate client were [sic] the leadership of the Clinton presidential campaign and that we understood the candidate herself was aware of the reporting at least, if not us.”
“It’s your note, so we assume it’s accurate?” the lawyer asked.
Steele replied, “Yes.”
The testimony via Just the News can be viewed here.
In a separate line of questioning, Steele was asked about an October 2016 meeting at the State Department with then-Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Kathleen Kavalec. This meeting set off alarm bells for Kavalec. She realized how deeply Steele hated then-candidate Donald Trump. She also noticed some of Steele’s information was incorrect and immediately sent a letter to her counterpart at the FBI who was part of the Crossfire Hurricane investigation. Although this information was received prior to the FBI’s first application to the FISA Court for a warrant to spy on Carter Page, needless to say, it didn’t stop them.
Steele was asked about how that meeting came to be.
He answered, “The meeting was set up by a State Department official called John Winer.”
“At your request?”
Steele replied, “No, at his request, his suggestion. He invited us into meet, as I understood it, at her request, Assistant Secretary of State Nuland.”
Next, Steele was asked if Strobe Talbott (longtime Clinton advisor and friend) had been involved in arranging this meeting. Steele responded:
I think Strobe Talbott had gotten in touch with us much earlier than that. I remember taking a phone call from him, your lordship, earlier in the summer in which he said that he was aware that I had — he spoke in fairly cryptic terms — but he was aware that we had material of relevance to the U.S. election.
A little bit of background, if I may, your lordship on that. Both National Security Advisor at the time Susan Rice and Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland, who were the key policymakers on Russia, had been colleagues of Mr. Talbott. And I had, although he didn’t state it explicitly, one or either or both of them had briefed him on the work we had been doing.
The testimony via Just the News can be viewed here.