A top State Department official who served under former President Barack Obama’s administration has publicly confirmed that he passed information from Clinton operatives to ex-British spy Christopher Steele that was ultimately used against Donald Trump.
In an op-ed published Thursday in The Washington Post, Jonathan Winer, former deputy assistant secretary of state for international law enforcement, wrote that he had a friendly relationship with Steele, the former British spy who was paid by trhe Washington-based political research firm Fusion GPS to compile the information that became known as the “Trump dossier.”
Steele’s dossier contained numerous salacious accusations about Trump, including one claim that he consorted with Russian prostitutes in Moscow in 2013.
The dossier was full of so many sensational claims and outright lies that the FBI has admitted it cannot verify the information it contains.
But more importantly, Fox News reports former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign and the Democratic National Committee retained Fusion GPS through the D.C. law firm of Perkins Coie.
The Clinton campaign and the DNC paid the law firm a reported $9.6 million. However, it’s unclear how much of the money specifically went toward the dossier.
The Clinton campaign and the DNC reportedly funded the effort until October 2016.
In his post op-ed, Winer wrote that he served in the State Department in the 1990s before leaving for private practice. He met Steele and became friends with him in 2009, developing a working relationship.
In 2013, when Winer returned to State Department work, he wrote, he began passing on “more than 100 of Steele’s reports with the Russia experts at the State Department” over a two-year span.
Winer wrote that he met with Steele in the summer of 2016 to “review” the information contained in the “Trump dossier” so he could “alert the State Department.”
Winer prepared a two-page summary after reviewing the dossier and shared it with Victoria Nuland, a State Department diplomat specializing in European and Eurasian affairs, through whom he had had funneled Steele’s other reports. She directed him to share it with then-Secretary of State John Kerry.
Here’s where it gets even more disturbing.
Around that same time, Winer said he reconnected with his “old friend” Sidney Blumenthal, a long-time Clinton operative.
He wrote that he and Blumenthal discussed Steele’s reports, and that the Clinton operative gave him notes from a “journalist” he “did not know.”
Winer was referring to Cody Shearer, a long-time Clinton ally who was not a journalist at all, but rather someone deeply connected to doing Clinton’s “dirty work” behind the scenes for years — a man The Weekly Standard described as one of Hillary Clinton’s “sketchiest supporters.”
As noted by Breitbart, Shearer’s “second dossier” contained many of the exact same claims as Steele’s dossier. Winer said it surprised him.
“What struck me was how some of the material echoed Steele’s but appeared to involve different sources,” Winer wrote.
According to ProPublica, Winer served under former President Bill Clinton, Shearer’s brother served as an ambassador under President Clinton, and Shearer’s sister was married to Clinton official Strobe Talbott.
Notice how all of these people involved with the dossier are connected to Clinton? That’s crucial to remember.
Winer wrote that he mentioned Shearer’s dossier to Steele, but he didn’t think it would ever be brought up again. Months later, Winer wrote, he learned that Steele had actually given Shearer’s dossier to the FBI.
It’s important to note that in his op-ed, Winer failed to detail how the Steele’s dossier, which was paired with Shearers, was used by the FBI to obtain a warrant from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to obtain a warrant to spy on Trump campaign adviser Carter Page.
So information from a dodgy, Clinton-connected source — Shearer — was combined with a dodgy, Clinton-paid-for source — Steele — to make up the information the FBI presented to obtain a spy warrant under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.
The spy warrant helped kick off the entire Russia investigation.
Clinton’s team likely funded Steele’s dossier, used her operatives to feed information to Steele — via Winer, in this case — and paid Steele for separate information, via Fusion GPS. And it all helped make sure Clinton allies at the State Department and FBI elevated the dossier to launch the entire Russia investigation
If anyone colluded, it was Clinton and her cronies to launch the entire Russia witch hunt against Trump.
Winer probably meant his op-ed as a pre-empive defense from questioning by Republicans in Congress, particularly Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes. But what he really might have written is an argument for a second special independent counsel to be appointed to investigation would could arguably be the biggest scandal in modern political history.
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