The “dossier”, which is composed of a series of memos written by a former agent of the Secret Intelligence Service, Christopher Steele, was released (but not in full) by BuzzFeed News on January 10, 2017. The “dossier” was immediately labelled as “fake news” by President Donald Trump.
What people are unaware of, however, is the sheer range the dossier had during the time it was being developed. And it may also help to place the moments where Steele’s sources spoke with his compatriot, “The Collector”.
As we covered Steele’s entire life in the previous article, this one will be focused entirely on the memos themselves. This is to allow you to have a broader scope and a road map for the next few articles that I write, using the previous Fusion GPS and Christopher Steele articles to help out.
The further we go, the clearer the picture will become. Some of this will seem to repeat points in the Steele article, but will elaborate on it. And for the purposes of this, we will also be discussing Steele’s sources and what they did.
Christopher Steele and Glenn Simpson sat down with each other at Heathrow Airport in early June 2016, where Simpson offered Steele an assignment: investigate any connections that may exist between Republican Party candidate Donald Trump and the Kremlin. Steele accepted the assignment.
He did not do anything with regards to researching the connections until a few days after June 9, 2016, where he then started to collate the information.
Steele collected his information by paying his intermediaries, whom then paid their sources, as per Michael Morell.
“And then I asked myself, why did these guys provide this information, what was their motivation? And I subsequently learned that [Steele] paid them. That the intermediaries paid the sources and the intermediaries got the money from Chris.” — Michael Morell
Steele also hired native Russian speakers to contact the informants in Russia.
“As a former spy who had carried out espionage inside Russia, Mr. Steele was in no position to travel to Moscow to study Mr. Trump’s connections there. Instead, he hired native Russian speakers to call informants inside Russia and made surreptitious contact with his own connections in the country as well.” — The New York Times
It should be noted that Steele’s Orbis Business Intelligence had clients in Russia at the time.
“Steele was game. Orbis had ongoing projects in Russia for clients involved in commercial litigation. He figured he could easily hand this new assignment to his contacts in Russia whom he paid to search out information and prepare reports. (Steele himself was known to the Russians and could not operate there.) Simpson and Steele agreed to a 30-day contract — with an option to renew. Steele would be paid about $US30,000 a month.” — Russian Roulette
Steele was also aware that he may have been fed disinformation himself.
“By all accounts, Mr. Steele has an excellent reputation with American and British intelligence colleagues and had done work for the F.B.I. on the investigation of bribery at FIFA, soccer’s global governing body. Colleagues say he was acutely aware of the danger he and his associates were being fed Russian disinformation. Russian intelligence had mounted a complex hacking operation to damage Mrs. Clinton, and a similar operation against Mr. Trump was possible.” — The New York Times
To note, there are the seven sources in the first memo of the “dossier”:
- Source A: Senior Russian Foreign Ministry figure.
- Source B: Former top level Russian intelligence officer still active inside the Kremlin.
- Source C: Senior Russian financial official.
- Source D: Close associate of Trump who had organised and managed his recent trips to Moscow. Sergei Millian.
- Source E: [REDACTED]. Sergei Millian.
- Source F: Female staffer at the Ritz-Carlton during Donald Trump’s visit in November 2013.
- Source G: Senior Kremlin official.
As such, after June 9, “The Collector” spoke with Source A and Source B, whom told of a 5-year long plot to cultivate Donald Trump as a source through real estate deals in conjunction with the 2018 FIFA World Cup. At the time, Source C described President Vladimir Putin’s desire to return to the Great Power political game of the 19th century, anchored through nationalism instead of globalism.
Meanwhile, Source D (Sergei Millian) confirmed a years-long intelligence sharing plot to provide Team Trump with everything they need on Hillary Clinton, and the existence of sexual kompromat during Trump’s visit to the Ritz Carlton back in 2013, which featured prostitutes urinating on the bed of President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama, which was then confirmed by Source E (Sergei Millian).
Source E (Sergei Millian) apparently provided an introduction for a company ethnic Russian operative to Source F. Source B, speaking separately, stated that Trump’s behaviour in Russia allowed for authorities to record embarrassing material on him to blackmail him, while also confirming the existence of kompromat on Hillary Clinton, gathered by Department K of the Federal Security Services since the Presidency of Bill Clinton. Source G statedthat Dmitry Peskov was in charge of the Clinton kompromat.
During Millian’s conversations with “The Collector”, he was unaware that his words were being noted down.
“He is the man, the people familiar with the unredacted dossier tell ABC News, who may have unwittingly described Trump’s alleged tryst, during a conversation with someone who was secretly reporting to Christopher Steele.” — ABC News
At some point in June also, a “number of Russian figures with a detailed knowledge of national cyber crime, both state-sponsored and otherwise”, explained how Russian intelligence agencies, including the Federal Security Service, lead offensive cyber operations on other countries. This included a conversation with a Russian IT specialist with direct knowledge.
On June 17, 2016, Millian attended the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum in St. Petersburg, Russia, where he met with Oleg Deripaska. The actual Forum lasted from June 16–18.
The first memo, titled “Company Intelligence Report 2016/080: US Presidential Election: Republican Candidate Donald Trump’s Activities In Russia and Compromising Relationship with the Kremlin”, was compiled and typed by Steele on June 20, 2016.
Four days later, the day of the European Union referendum, Simpson contacted Steele and requested for him to send the first memo over to him, which he did through the usage of a courier. The courier took a redacted version of the memo, an enciphered e-mail, from London to Washington, DC via plane.
Steele also reached out to Special Agent Michael Gaeta, requesting for him to visit his office in London, England in July, which was signed off by Assistant Secretary Victoria Nuland at the United States Department of State.
Fusion GPS also started to pay three unnamed journalists funds for an unknown reason.
In July 2016, Millian was interviewed by Brian Ross at ABC News, where he claimed he was connected to both Donald Trump and the Kremlin. In the same month, Rick Wilson received a telephone call from a reporter at a major news network, where they asked whether he had heard about the Steele memos.
On July 5, 2016, Steele met with Special Agent Michael Gaeta at his office in London, England, where he showed his first memo to Special Agent Gaeta. After the meeting, the agent received the memo from Steele, then forwarded it to an Organised Crime Unit at the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s New York Field Office — having accidentally set it to this team instead of the counterintelligence department, where it remained.
After July 7, 2016, Steele — or one of his intermediaries — spoke with a Russian source close to Igor Sechin, whom claimed the existence of a secret meeting between Sechin and Carter Page, which included discussions about energy cooperation and the removal of sanctions. Another official close to Sergei Ivanov apparently confided in a compatriot that Page also spoke with Igor Diveykin from the Internal Political Department, and that it included discussions of a Clinton dossier and Trump kompromat.
In the middle of July, Steele reached out to Bruce Ohr and Jonathan Winer to meet with them. At the same time, between 2–4 pages of short points on information researched by Steele was provided to the United States Department of State, which was viewed by Assistant Secretary Victoria Nuland.
A few days later, on July 22, Millian reached out to George Papadopoulos without warning, and requested to meet with him. At their eventual meeting, Millian offered Papadopoulos a $30,000.00 per month contract on behalf of a Russian energy company.
In late July, “The Collector” spoke with Millian, whom apparently discussed a conspiracy of co-operation between the Trump campaign and Russian leadership and that the Russian Government were behind the leaked e-mails of the Democratic National Committee. Millian also suggested there were Russian diplomatic staff members in New York, Washington, DC and Miami, FL that used an émigré pension distribution system as cover for their scheming.
Around the same time, Steele started to push his reports towards another intelligence agency: his former place of employment, the Secret Intelligence Service.
“An MI6 official, whose job does not permit him to be quoted by name, said that in late summer or early fall, Mr. Steele also passed the reports he had prepared on Trump and Russia to British intelligence.” — The New York Times
“By late July and early August, MI6 was also receiving information about Mr Trump. By September, informed to the FBI began to grow in volume: Mr Steele compiled a set of his memos into one document and passed it to his contacts at the FBI.” — The Independent
Four days later, on July 26, Steele filed another memo, “Company Intelligence Report 2016/086: Russia/Cyber Crime: A Synopsis of Russian State Sponsored and Other Cyber Offensive (Criminal) Operations”, where he pinned the Kremlin for the hack of the Democratic National Committee e-mails.
Three more days later, on July 29, Steele filed the memo, “Company Intelligence Report 2016/94: Russia: Secret Kremlin Meetings Attended By Trump Advisor, Carter Page In Moscow”.
The next day, Steele, Bruce Ohr and Nellie Ohr had breakfast at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, DC, where Steele confirmed that Fusion GPS’s Glenn Simpson would be open to discussing the memos further. Steele also filed his next memo, “Company Intelligence Report 2016/097: Russia/US Presidential Election: Kremlin Concern That Political Fallout From DNC E-Mail Hacking Affair Spiralling Out of Control”. Meanwhile, Bruce contacted Deputy Director Andrew McCabe.
By the end of July, Steele found that gathering information was becoming difficult, as his sources stopped speaking with him.
“It got harder from late July, as Trump’s ties to Russia came under scrutiny. Finally, the lights went out. Amid a Kremlin cover-up, the sources went silent and information channels shut down.”
In August 2016, Mikhail Kalugin was sent back home to Russia after a 6-year posting, where he took up a position in the Russian Foreign Ministry. Kalugin was then replaced by Andrey Bondarev as the Head of the Russian Embassy’s Economic Division.
In the same month, Steele met with Sir Andrew Wood to discuss the contents of the memos, where he described it as “raw intelligence” and informed Sir Wood that he was in touch with the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
In early August, two Kremlin sources discussed with Steele / an intermediary of Steele that there was backlash in Moscow from the leaking of the Democratic National Committee e-mails and the Trump operation they were supposedly running. At the same time, a “close colleague” discussed Sergei Ivanov’s assessment of Russian interference in the 2016 United States presidential election, while apparently a Kremlin official discussed how the Trump operation worked.
On August 3, 2016, Bruce met with Deputy Director McCabe and Lisa Page to discuss the potential collusion between Trump and Russia.
On August 5, 2016, Steele filed another memo, “Company Intelligence Report 2016/100: Russia/USA: Growing Backlash In Kremlin to DNC Hacking and Trump Support Operations”.
On August 9, 2016, an “ethnic Russian associate of Republican US presidential candidate Donald TRUMP” (presumably Sergei Millian) discussed the Kremlin changing tactics on the Trump operation.
The next day, on August 10, Steele filed two more memos:
- “Company Intelligence Report 2016/101: Russia/US Presidential Election: Senior Kremlin Figure Outlines Evolving Russian Tactics In Pro-Trump, Anti-Clinton Operation”
- “Company Intelligence Report 2016/102: Russia/US Presidential Election: Reaction In Trump Camp to Recent Negative Publicity About Russian Interference and Likely Resulting Tactics Going Forward”
Another five days later, on August 15, Bruce Ohr contacted Peter Strzokdirectly.
At some stage, Bruce also briefed employees at the United States Department of Justice, including Andrew Weissmann, Bruce Swartz and Zainab Ahmad.
A few days later, on August 19, Paul Manafort resigned from the Trump campaign.
In the aftermath of the resignation, apparently a “well-placed Russian figure” reported on the existence of a meeting between President Vladimir Putin and Viktor Yanukovych, which allegedly happened on August 15. An American political figure associated with the Trump campaign also discussed with Steele / an intermediary of Steele about Manafort’s resignation and its Ukrainian ties.
On August 22, Steele filed another memo, “Company Intelligence Report 2016/105: Russia/Ukraine: The Demise of Trump’s Campaign Manager Paul Manafort”, which was a response to the dismissal of Paul Manafort three days earlier.
As the month drew to a close, the agents of the Crossfire Hurricane investigation team — including Peter Strzok — were informed by Special Agent Michael Gaeta of the existence of the Steele memos. The investigators then briefed Director James Comey and his deputies on their existence.
Before I continue, I will also state this and this will become important at a later time: it is also possible that Senator Harry Reid gained access to the Steele dossier at some point. There is also a reason I have written this paragraph in between the months of August and September.
“We knew that key members of the Senate — Harry Reid, the Nevada Democrat, and John McCain, the Arizona Republican — had acted on its contents.” — Ben Smith, The New York Times
“The dossier has apparently been circulating among journalists and top lawmakers since early last year. Sen. John McCain of Arizona obtained a copy that he handed over to the FBI before the election. Sen. Harry Reid of Nevada obtained an early copy of the dossier as well.” — Business Insider
In September 2016, Steele’s compatriot (“The Collector”) discussed with “two well-placed sources based in St. Petersburg, one in the political / business elite and the other involved in the local services and tourist industry” about Trump’s visits to St. Petersburg, accusing him of bribing local officials through an assortment of companies and that he had participated in sex parties. The two sources also said Aras Agalarov was connected to Trump and would know the most about the events.
On September 9, 2016, presidential candidate Evan McMullin was interviewed by Kate Bolduan of CNN, where he mentioned that Donald Trump was being blackmailed by Russians, while also mentioning potential ties between Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn and the Russian Government, and then separately Paul Manafort and the Russian Government.
KATE BOLDUAN: “You’ve also said that Trump’s being manipulated by President Putin. Where do you see that? Where’s the evidence?”
EVAN MCMULLIN: “Well, Kate, the evidence is clear in- in just the way Donald Trump speaks about Putin. Donald Trump has never said a negative thing about Putin as far as I can tell. Donald Trump is dependent on Russian investment from Russian oligarchs associated with Vladimir Putin for his, uh, his real estate, uh, development projects. He’s appointed — Donald Trump — key members of his staff who have other financial ties to Russia. I mean, this is absolutely out of control. You know, I hear from some of my old intelligence, uh, friends that Donald Trump has been engaged in some activities in Russia that Vladimir Putin may be using to blackmail Trump.So there’s a lot going on there that- that I don’t think has come to light fully, but the- that proof is in the pudding, as they say, and you can see it in Donald Trump’s eyes.”
At some point in mid-September 2016, “a senior member of the Russian Presidential Administration” discussed the fallout from the western media discussing the Russian interference operation “in favour of Donald TRUMP and against Hillary CLINTON” with Steele’s compatriot. The same compatriot then spoke with “a senior Russian MFA official” about Mikhail Kalugin’s departure from Washington, DC.
Around this time as well, Steele’s compatriot discussed with “a top level Russian government official” whom discussed the relations between President Putin and Alfa Bank’s leaders, Mikhail Fridman, Petr Aven and German Khan.
A few days later, on September 14, Steele filed three more memos:
- “Company Intelligence Report 2016/111: Russia/US: Kremlin Fallout From Media Exposure of Moscow’s Interference In the US Presidential Campaign”
- “Company Intelligence Report 2016/112: Russia/US Presidential Election: Kremlin-Alpha Group Co-Operation”
- “Company Intelligence Report 2016/113: Russia/US Presidential Election- Republican Candidate Trump’s Prior Activities In St Petersburg”
Two days after this, Steele sent an e-mail to Bruce and informed him that he would be in Washington, DC on “business of mutual interest”, although Bruce would be out of town from September 19–21. This was because Bruce was in New Mexico.
In mid-September, the Crossfire Hurricane team started to receive the Steele memos from Special Agent Gaeta.
Shortly after, Winer met with Sidney Blumenthal, where they discussed the Steele memos. Blumenthal provided him a copy of the notes prepared by Cody Shearer.
Between September 21–23, 2016, Steele met with Jonathan Winer in Washington, DC, where he briefed Winer on the prepared memos. During this meeting, Winer provided Steele with the memo written by Shearer.
After the meeting, Winer created a 2-page summary of the Steele memos, which he proceeded to share with a number of senior employees at the United States Department of State, including Assistant Secretary Nuland and with Jon Finer. Finer then proceeded to brief Secretary John Kerry on the memos using the 2-page summary, although when Secretary Kerry asked whether the Federal Bureau of Investigation already had the information and it was confirmed they had, the subject was dropped.
Steele, under orders and payments (of up to $168,000.00) from Simpson, also met with journalists at CNN, The New York Times, Yahoo! News and The New Yorker.
Steele met with Michael Isikoff of Yahoo! News, which led to the publication of the article “U.S. intel officials probe ties between Trump adviser and Kremlin”on September 23. September 23rd also saw the release of “Who Is Carter Page?” by Julia Ioffe for Politico, somebody else whom was brought the story of the dossier.
Steele met with Jane Mayer of The New Yorker at the Tabard Inn in Washington, DC. Steele also met with numerous other national security reporters in a series of meetings at this location, having been set up by Fusion GPS. During his meeting with Mayer, Steele did not provide his memos or reveal his sources.
Steele and Glenn Simpson also visited the headquarters of The Washington Post, where they met with numerous journalists for an off-the-record meeting. During the meeting, Steele spoke for 2-hours about his memos and research.
Because of Steele’s visit to The New York Times, many journalists at the organisation used it — alongside sources from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Central Intelligence Agency and from United States Congress — to investigate multiple leads into collusion between Donald Trump and Russia. These efforts were led by Eric Lichtblau and Steven Lee Myers.
Around this time, the Federal Bureau of Information contacted Steele to request further information from him as soon as possible, which presumably led to them arranging the Rome meeting for the start of next month.
Steele’s breakfast with Bruce on September 23 in Washington, DC had Steele discuss his hatred of Donald Trump and how he wanted to prevent him from becoming the President of the United States.
On October 1, Steele travelled to Rome, Italy to meet with four agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation — including some that travelled from America, including Special Agent Michael Gaeta — where he discussed the contents of the memos and provided the names of some of his informants. During this meeting, Steele also provided the agents with the Shearer memo. The agents also offered to pay $50,000.00 for Steele’s efforts to corroborate his memos. During this meeting, Steele warned them that if Trump won the election, he would provide a full review of his memos to a senior British security official.
On October 3, Steele returned to London, England.
In early October, “a senior Russian leadership figure and a Foreign Ministry official” discussed separately with Steele’s compatriot about the Russian interference operation and the ensuing buyer’s remorse.
Steele also met with David Corn in New York to discuss the Steele memos. It is also possible that Steele met with Kurt Eichenwald of Newsweek during this time.
On October 12, Steele filed another memo, titled “Company Intelligence Report 2016/130: Russia: Kremlin Assessment of Trump and Russian Interference In US Presidential Election”.
In mid-October, Steele visited the United States Department of State, where he briefed a number of employees on his memos, a meeting which Assistant Secretary Nuland avoided.
Steele then visited the Federal Bureau of Investigation directly, where he was debriefed for a week and provided some names of his informants.
After his visit to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Steele met with BBC News’ Paul Wood, where he allowed Wood to view the memos. Steele also met with journalists from The New York Times, The Washington Post and Yahoo! News.
On October 17, “a close associate of Rosneft President and Putin ally Igor Sechin” discussed with Steele’s compatriot about the alleged meeting between Sechin and Carter Page in July 2016. According to the close associate, Sechin had decided that Trump could no longer win the presidency. A “Kremlin insider with direct access to leadership” then spoke separately with Steele’s compatriot about Cohen, which was then emphasised through an alleged secret liaison relationship between Cohen, the Trump campaign and Russian leadership.
On October 18, Steele filed another memo, titled “Company Intelligence Report 2016/134: Russia/US Presidential Election: Further Details of Kremlin Liaison with Trump Campaign”.
One day later, on October 19, Steele filed another memo, titled “Company Intelligence Report 2016/135: Russia/US Presidential Election: The Important Role of Trump Lawyer, Cohen In Campaign’s Secret Liaison with the Kremlin”.
On the same day, a “Kremlin insider” discussed with “a compatriot and friend”about alleged meetings between Cohen and Kremlin representatives in August 2016, where the insider cemented the idea of the meeting taking place in Prague, Czech Republic, and named Konstantin Kosachev as the connecting figure between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin.
And then, on October 20, Steele compiled his initial version of the dossier, with his final report “Company Intelligence Report 2016/136: Russia/US Presidential Election: Further Details of Trump Lawyer Cohen’s Secret Liaison with the Kremlin”.
The next day, on October 21, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act Court approved a secret surveillance order, granting permission to the United States Department of Justice to conduct electronic surveillance on Carter Page. It used the Steele dossier as backing.
As October was coming to a close, Simpson gave Steele permission to reach out to Corn at Mother Jones, while Fusion GPS provided Marc Elias with Steele’s memos, as Perkins Coie, the Democratic National Committee and the Clinton campaign ended their funding of the “dossier”.
On October 28, Steele spoke with Corn over Skype about the memos and his relationship with the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Three days later, on October 31, Corn published the article “A Veteran Spy Has Given the FBI Information Alleging a Russian Operation to Cultivate Donald Trump” in Mother Jones.
At the start of November, in the days leading up to Election Day, the Steele dossier was passed around the top national security echelons of the Obama Administration.
Shoving the dossier into the media, then using them as a source for a warrant to spy, into the state dept, and politicians never independently verifying a word, ie no woods procedure followed.
Investigation or dossier began by Hillarys attorneys, never any credible information provided by a credible source to the FBI to begin an investigation into a Presidential candidate, ie no paragraph 1.
So, their immutable evidence of Trump being influenced by Putin is that Candidate Trump is not going around bad-mouthing and insulting someone he would expect to have to negotiate with on matters of national security? Really?
First, Steele and those who promoted him INVITED the Russians to interfere in the 2016 election in opposition to Trump. Following that, many people investigated what dirt they could dig up on Trump, but none seem to waste much time investigating the VERACITY of any of the information.