FPI / September 20, 2019
By Judicial Watch
Judicial Watch and The Daily Caller News Foundation on Sept. 19 released 146 pages of State Department documents revealing that former British spy and “Russia dossier” author Christopher Steele had an extensive and close working relationship dating back to May of 2014 with high-ranking Obama State Department officials.
The documents obtained by Judicial Watch in a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit show that, from May 2014 to November 2015, Steele filed dozens of reports with his close associate at State, Special Coordinator for Libya Jonathan Winer, who would then pass them to Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland. The reports focused mainly on the Russia-Ukraine crisis and U.S. sanctions on Russia.
The documents show that Steele’s work was also distributed to State Department Coordinator for Sanctions Policy Daniel Fried and Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary Paul Jones, whose focus in the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs was on Russia and Ukraine policy.
The documents are Orbis Business Intelligence reports that Steele provided to the State Department. Steele, a former MI6 spy, co-founded Orbis in 2009.
An early Steele report was passed by Winer to Nuland on May 19, 2014. It discusses Russia-Ukraine policy. Winer writes: “Toria, another piece that is not in my lane but which I wished to pass on to you. My friend Chris Steele (Orbis Intelligence, former MI-6 Russia expert), provided me the enclosed memo yesterday, describing a recent conversation (redacted) on Russian Ukraine policy. As I was provided it from a person in private sector, I am treating it as low side.”
In a November 20, 2014 email exchange, Winer offers to introduce Principle Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Paul Jones to Steele while Steele was to be in town, and he provides Jones and Nuland with three Steele reports, discussing: “Ukraine looking towards [redacted]”; “Ukraine economy shrinking due to loss of East [redacted]”; and “President Putin’s current priorities [redacted]”. Winer writes to Jones: Paul, if you are still free, does 3 pm work to meet with Chris Steele? I would pick him up downstairs, get him to your office, and sit in. Will be sending you another Orbis report regardless in a few minutes, it just arrived but I haven’t had chance to open it and manicure it yet.”
“The more we dig, the more access we see the disgraced spy behind the ridiculous dossier had at State. And we’re going to keep on digging until we learn just how deep this went,” said Christopher Bedford, editor in chief of the Daily Caller News Foundation.
“These new documents show that Clinton spy Christopher Steele had an outsized influence at the Obama State Department that proved useful when the Clinton campaign needed help smearing Trump in 2016 and beyond,” stated Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton.
On Aug. 8, 2019, Judicial Watch released 34 pages of “302” report material from FBI interviews with Bruce Ohr which were obtained in response to a FOIA lawsuit filed after the Justice Department failed to respond to an August 6, 2018 FOIA request seeking Form 302s for a number of interviews with Ohr concerning his interactions with Steele.
On Nov. 22, 2016, Ohr said that “reporting on Trump’s ties to Russia were going to the Clinton Campaign, Jon Winer at the U.S. State Department and the FBI.”