Transcripts of the closed door deposition of Christopher Steele, the former British spy, reveals he used online comments from a now-defunct CNN website as his major source to compile his infamous “Trump dossier.”
According to the transcripts, Steele used a website called CNN iReport to back up his wild anti-Trump theories for his 2009 dossier. He now claims he “wasn’t aware” the information he found on the site was an online community forum, and that poster’s comments had not been “checked for accuracy.”
A web archive described the site, “iReport.com is a user-generated site. That means the stories submitted by users are not edited, fact-checked, or screened before they post.”
During deposition, questionnaires pressed Steele as to the methods he used to verify allegations made about Webzilla, the source believed to be used by Russia to hack into Democratic emails.
When asked if he found anything of significance concerning Webzilla, Steele replied, “We did. It was an article I have got here which was posted on July 28, 2009, on something called CNN iReport.”
Steele seems surprised during that deposition that the site he used as the basis for his dossier was not produced by CNN reporters. When asked, ““Do you understand that they have no connection to any CNN reporters?” Steele replied, “I do not.”
The deposition shows that Steele was pressed further about his source, “Do you understand that CNN iReports are or were nothing more than any random individuals’ assertions on the Internet?” Steele replied, “No, I obviously presume that if it is on a CNN site that it may have some kind of CNN status. Albeit that it may be an independent person posting on the site.”
Steel admitted he compiled his dossier from “raw intelligence” that could contain unverified or even “deliberately false information.”
It’s important to remember that the Muller investigation and the entanglement of the FBI with calling into question the legitimacy the 2016 presidential election process began with a CNN site that conveniently no longer exists.
Steele received funding for creating his dossier on Donald Trump from research firm Fusion GPS, whom the Clinton campaign had hired to investigate then-candidate Trump in 2016.
The deposition also show that Fusion GPS had reason to question Steele’s sources. In fact, Steele said under oath that he warned Fusion GPS much of his information may be “Russian disinformation.”
Steele admitted that “a general understanding existed between us and Fusion … that all material contained this risk.”
Another deposition also reveals a deeper insight into how now-deceased John McCain’s office was complicit in furthering Steele’s questionable dossier.
McCain aide, David Kramer said under deposition he provided BuzzFeed with a copy of the dossier and spoke to at least a dozen journalists about it.
Steele revealed, “I provided copies of the December memo to Fusion GPS for onward passage to David Kramer at the request of Sen. John McCain,” Steele said. “Sen. McCain nominated him as the intermediary. I did not choose him as the intermediary.”
Steele testified that he told Kramer he could not vouch for everything in his dossier.
Two years and the valuable resources of both the Justice Department and the White House have been tied up by what amounts to a politically motivated gossip column.
As The Washington Examiner notes, “An ex-spy for Britain who was hired to write the unverified claims, admitted using what more or less amounted to gossip on a CNN website as his source.”
Radio talk-show host Rush Limbaugh said yesterday that this confirms everything we thought about this “bogus” investigation from day one.”
The Daily Mail called the revelations of this deposition “embarrassing.” What is embarrassing is that the Democrat-controlled House will spend the next two years chasing its tail over a scenario that was a lie from the beginning.