Ex-State Department Official Subpoenaed to Testify About Deleted “Spygate” Communications
This week, Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI) subpoenaed former State Department official Jonathan Winer about destroying records related to his association with Christopher Steele, the British ex-spy whose dossier was the foundation for the phony Russian collusion scandal.
Johnson, Chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, said that “[A]mong other issues, Mr. Winer’s admitted destruction of his records related to his contacts with Christopher Steele is concerning and deserves an explanation. I am looking forward to learning more from Mr. Winer in spite of Democrat attempts to further delay our investigation,” according to the Washington Examiner.
This development follows a report released earlier this week from the Senate Intelligence Committee on Russian interference in the 2016 election, which showed that after Buzzfeed published the Steele dossier in January of 2017, Steele asked the former State Department official to “make note” of their interactions and to then to either destroy the earlier ones or give them to Steele.
The Examiner further writes that:
“‘So, I destroyed them, and I basically destroyed all the correspondence I had with him,’ Winer said about information that was on his personal devices. Winer claimed Steele ‘didn’t want [the Russian intelligence services] deconstructing his network.’ Before the dossier, between late 2013 and January 2016, Steele provided at least 110 reports on Ukraine and Russia to Winer.
“The Senate panel said that the State Department was able to use its archives to find many Steele memos from 2015 and some from 2016, but most from 2014 remain missing. ‘I also, in the same period of time, by the way, in accordance with State Department strictures, destroyed essentially every email I had from the State Department during my tenure,’ Winer said.”
The Examiner also notes that Johnson is investigating the government’s handling of Russian interference allegations.
It’s better late than never for the Senate to finally be doing something to get to the bottom of Spygate and the Obama administration’s corruption and malfeasance. Most of the action has been either in the House or via Bill Barr and the Justice Department, so hopefully the Senate can help get to the bottom of the scandal.
This must never happen in a free country such as ours again.