All roads lead back to Obama.
The Congressional probe into the Trump dossier has expanded from its focus on the FBI and Justice Department and is now looking at the Obama State Department’s possible involvement with the controversial document.
Former British MI6 agent Christopher Steele, the dossier’s author, was known to have contacts in the Obama Justice Department and the FBI. A book about the Trump campaign published in November states Steele also had influence in the State Department.
In his book “Collusion: Secret Meetings, Dirty Money, and How Russia Helped Donald Trump Win,” Guardian correspondent Luke Harding recounted how Steele’s corruption investigations into the 2010 soccer World Cup gained him the trust of the FBI and State Department.
“The [soccer] episode burnished Steele’s reputation inside the U.S. intelligence community and the FBI. Here was a pro, a well-connected Brit, who understood Russian espionage and its subterranean tricks. Steele was regarded as credible. Between 2014 and 2016, Steele authored more than a hundred reports on Russia and Ukraine.
“These were written for a private client but shared widely within the State Department and sent up to Secretary of State John Kerry and to Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland, who was in charge of the U.S. response to the Ukraine crisis. Many of Steele’s secret sources were the same sources who would supply information on Trump.
“One former State Department envoy during the Obama administration said he read dozens of Steele’s reports on Russia. The envoy said that on Russia, Steele was ‘as good as the CIA or anyone.’ Steele’s professional reputation inside U.S. agencies would prove important the next time he discovered alarming material, and lit the fuse again.”
Lawmakers on Capitol Hill are interested in learning whether Steele authored documents about President Trump other than the BuzzFeed-published dossier, the Washington Examiner reports.
Congressional investigators also want to know whether such reports were picked up by the State Department, what the State officials did in relation to them, and whether the Obama State Department contacted the FBI or Justice Department in regards to Steele’s reports.
Steele allegedly believed his discoveries relating to then-candidate Trump and Russia represented a national security threat to the US.
Last week, Sen. Diane Feinstein (D-CA) released transcripts of a 2017 Senate testimony given by Glenn Simpson, co-founder of the research opposition firm Fusion GPS–which commissioned the Steele dossier while working for the Clinton Campaign and Democratic National Committee.
Per Simpson’s remarks in the transcript, Steele was largely motivated by the president’s alleged sexual activities in a Moscow hotel room.
“After the first memo, you know, Chris said he was very concerned about whether this represented a national security threat and said he wanted — he said he thought we were obligated to tell someone in government, in our government about this information,” Simpson told the Senate Judiciary Committee.
The Fusion GPS head continued: “He thought from his perspective there was an issue — a security issue about whether a presidential candidate was being blackmailed.”
According to the salacious dossier, which the FBI admits is largely unverified, President Trump hired Russian prostitutes to urinate on a hotel bed on which Barack Obama once slept.
Simpson has asserted that the unsubstantiated dossier did not form the basis for the FBI’s investigation into the Trump campaign, which included obtaining a FISA warrant to perform surveillance on Trump adviser Carter Page.
Did Steele’s work go all the way to the Obama State Department? If so, the fix truly was in against President Trump.