When the FBI was in contact with Christopher Steele, the ex-British spy who compiled his infamous dossier smearing then candidate Donald J. Trump, was it aware that his employer, Fusion GPS, was allegedly simultaneously working as an unregistered agent for Russian interests? This question among many others have yet to be answered. The following is a short timeline of earlier questions and important revelations from 2017 involving the Russia hoax which exposed the connections between Fusion GPS, the FBI, and the media. Many, if not all, of these remain unanswered to this day.
In a March 6, 2017, letter sent by Senator Chuck Grassley, at the time Chairman of the Judiciary Committee, to the former disgraced FBI Director James Comey, inquiring into the FBI’s agreement with ex-British Spy Christopher Steele over the creation of his dossier Grassley asks in part:
- Were any other government officials outside of the FBI involved in discussing or authorizing the agreement with Mr. Steele, including anyone from the Department of Justice or the Obama White House?
- Has the FBI relied on or otherwise referenced the memos or any information in the memos in seeking a FISA warrant, other search warrant, or any other judicial process? Did the FBI rely on or otherwise reference the memos in relation to any National Security Letters?
- Who decided to include the memos in the briefings received by Presidents Obama and Trump? What was the basis for that decision?
Next, in an April 28, 2017, letter by Grassley, once again left unanswered by Comey, the American public is given a glimpse into the hidden past of Fusion GPS.
- Fusion GPS is the subject of a complaint to the Justice Department, which alleges that the company violated the Foreign Agents Registration Act by working on behalf of Russian principals to undermine U.S. sanctions against Russians. That unregistered work was reportedly conducted with a former Russian intelligence operative, Mr. Rinat Akhmetshin, and appears to have been occurring simultaneous to Fusion GPS’s work overseeing the creation of the dossier. I wrote to the Justice Department about this issue on March 31, copying you, and I have attached that letter here for your reference. The Justice Department has yet to respond.
As Grassley noted in his letter gone unanswered on March 31, 2017, to Dana Boente, then Acting Deputy Attorney General:
- It is highly troubling that Fusion GPS appears to have been working with someone with ties to Russian intelligence –let alone someone alleged to have conducted political disinformation campaigns– as part of a pro-Russia lobbying effort while also simultaneously overseeing the creation of the Trump/Russia dossier. The relationship casts further doubt on an already highly dubious dossier…in fact, it is unclear whether the FBI was or is aware of Fusion GPS’s pro-Russia lobbying and connection to Mr. Akhmetshin, or that these efforts coincided with the creation of the dossier.
Overlooked early on as well was the July 26, 2017, testimony from William Browder, Chief Executive Officer of Hermitage Capital Management regarding Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) violations connected to the anti-Magnitsky Campaign by Russian government interests. Mr. Browder explains how Fusion GPS operates as well as the methods used by Russian operatives in D.C. and how they exploit U.S. enablers to achieve foreign policy goals without disclosing those interests.
As investigative journalist Lee Smith alluded to back in 2017 following Browder’s testimony, “the fact that Fusion GPS was the source of both the anti-Magnitsky smear campaign and the anti-Trump dossier was perhaps too confusing, or too troubling for most reporters to consider.” Smith continues, “putting both stories together suggests both the Steele dossier and Fusion GPS’s anti-Magnitsky work were Russian state-sponsored hit-jobs.” I believe this to be true as the American press along with the DOJ and the FBI acted as a delivery vehicle for an outright disinformation campaign aimed directly at the incompetency of our government and indirectly at the American people.
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