Over two years after the nonsensical document was brought to the nation’s attention by Buzzfeed, the anti-Trump dossier’s author Christopher Steele will be questioned by US investigators in a few weeks. The Russia hoax is over – but not for its perpetrators.
Investigators will have no shortage of questions to ask surrounding Steele’s suspicious behavior – and some previously unconnected dots regarding his own Russian sources.
When Steele was previously interviewed by the State Department’s Kathleen Kavalec, she made reference in her notes to Vyacheslav Trubnikov (an ex-member of Russia’s Foreign Intelligence Service) and to Vladislav Surkov, a top Putin adviser. Next to those names she wrote “sources.” Stefan Halper, the FBI’s inside source (a.k.a. spy) into the Trump campaign, had previously taught numerous courses with Trubnikov overseas.
That naturally raises some questions;
- Was Halper acting as a liaison between Russian sources and Steele?
- If so, was this at the FBI’s command? There is overlap between when Steele and Halper were working for the FBI.
- Why would a Putin adviser “spill the beans” on supposed Russian collusion to the FBI, if not with the intention of misleading Halper/Steele? Since there was no collusion, what other motive could there have been?
- A memo in Steele’s dossier dated June 20, 2016 makes a claim about Trump kompromat, which is attributed to “Source B,” a “Russian intelligence officer still active inside the Kremlin.” Is this Trubnikov?
- What dossier information comes from Surkov, who is on the U.S.’s list of sanctioned individuals. And wouldn’t a sanctioned individual have even more motive to lie in an attempt to disrupt U.S. politics?
- What does Steele believe his sources true motives were? They lied to him about no shortage of gossip (such as the infamous “pee tape” claim).
And if Steele and Halper were indeed connected:
- Why does Steele believe that Halper stepped down from the Cambridge Intelligence Seminar after alleging Russian influence over the group, when he was also a close associate of Trubnikov? Halper had cited Michael Flynn’s visit to CIS in 2014 as a red flag. Was Halper’s resignation merely to help shape a narrative?
- Why did Halper cite Flynn’s meeting between Flynn and Russian academic Svetlana Lokhova as a red flag, when Halper himself had invited her to his home in 2016? (She dodged the invitation).
And these are just the most pressing questions about new revelations. There are still plenty of unanswered questions about Steele. For example; what was the real reason Steele was fired from the FBI? The FBI says he was fired for leaking to the media, which Steele denies. Why was Nataliya Veselnitskaya (the Russian lawyer who had the controversial Trump Tower meeting with Donald Trump Jr.) also working for Fusion GPS at the same time as Steele? Why did the Clinton campaign and Obama’s Organizing for America decide to pay Fusion GPS by first paying law firm Perkins Coie, who then indirectly paid Fusion those funds? And isn’t hiring a former British spy like Steele more “foreign interference” than anything Trump was proven to have done (which was nothing)?
There are plenty of answered questions out there, and I wouldn’t be surprised if we hear more silence from Steele than answers when investigations come knocking.