by WorldTribune Staff, April 24, 2020
Ex-British spy Christopher Steele now says the computer files of his research used to compile the anti-Trump dossier have been “wiped.”
Steele made the disclosure in a deposition last month for a lawsuit brought by three Russian oligarchs who own Alfa Bank.
The Daily Caller on Thursday first reported on the deposition. The report displayed transcripts of Steele saying his computer files were “wiped” shortly before BuzzFeed published his dossier in January 2017 as President Donald Trump was about to take office.
The three bankers, Petr Aven, German Khan, and Mikhail Fridman, who are mentioned in dossier report No. 112, have sued Steele.
Asked by the bankers’ lawyer, Hugh Tomlinson, about his records related to No. 112, Steele said, “I have no record of it.”
And files for his other dossier memos? “No, they were wiped in early January 2017,” Steele said.
Department of Justice Inspector General Michael Horowitz noted in his December report on the FBI’s FISA abuses that Steele had relied heavily on an unnamed “primary sub-source” in Russia.
Horowitz’s report said the FBI located the source in January 2017. The source told FBI agents he was merely repeating Moscow gossip to Steele, not corroborated facts.
Steele responded at the time through his Washington lawyers that his source did not tell him the material was gossip. He said he kept meticulous records of their conversations.
But in the deposition, Steele said of such records, “They no longer exist.”
In the 35-page dossier financed by the Hillary Clinton campaign and Democratic National Committee, Steele accused Trump of leading a Russian conspiracy to interfere in the 2016 election. Steele linked the three bankers to alleged Kremlin computer hacking and a social media war against Hillary Clinton.
“Based on government reports, the dossier has turned out to be a jumble of false allegations that Republicans view as a hoax to destroy the president. The FBI relied heavily on Steele’s reporting to investigate the president and his aides,” Washington Times reporter Rowan Scarborough noted on April 24.