The dossier, which is reportedly the basis for parts of the Department of Justice's investigation into alleged ties between the Trump presidential campaign and Russian actors, has been the subject of tremendous scrutiny since it was unveiled by BuzzFeed News in January. Most of its scandalous claims have had no evidence presented to support them in the ensuing nine months.
Brian Becker and John Kiriakou of Sputnik Radio's Loud & Clear were joined by Mark Sleboda, a US-born but Russia-based international relations and security analyst. Becker asked Sleboda if he was surprised to learn that the DNC paid for the dossier.
"No, not at all," replied Sleboda. "In fact, this has been long reported without confirmable sources for months now. There is absolutely nothing surprising about this. If you go back, you'll see that this was talked about for a long time. The DNC, the Hillary Clinton campaign, and before that, some of Trump's Republican rivals during the Republican primary started the opposition research with this shadowy Fusion GPS company [and] the former British spook Christopher Steele."
"It was then carried on by the Clinton campaign and the DNC. Actually, the story now goes a step even further. CNN had a report out within the last 48 hours that not only did Clinton and the DNC fund this opposition research, the dodgy dossier, but Obama's FBI also paid Christopher Steele once that they got ahold of this dossier and brought it under their wing. This is concerning a political candidate, so this raises a lot of questions about improprieties and political motivations behind this dossier."
"I would like to posit something here," said Kiriakou. "I've spent 15 years in the CIA, half of that in operations, and let me explain to some of our listeners how this works. Whether or not Christopher Steele is a nice guy, or a good guy, or good at what he did or whatever, I think is probably irrelevant. I worked with Christopher Steele; he was a very highly regarded operations officer, a consummate professional. But I think that's irrelevant here — what's relevant is the fact that this is very typical of human intelligence and the inherently flawed nature of human intelligence."
"When you recruit someone to provide clandestine information for you, they're not doing it out of the goodness of their hearts. They're doing it because you're paying them, or you're giving them something tangible. Maybe you're not giving them a monthly salary, maybe you're putting their kid through college, or you're buying them a car, or a Rolex, or whatever. Everybody has a motivation and people like to keep the good times rolling. If you're getting a certain amount of money, you get used to that extra income. So when their information runs out, they want to continue going — and so they tell you what you want to hear. And it seems to me that this 'Steele dossier' is exactly what the Democrats wanted to hear."
"I don't know if the FBI paid Christopher Steele," said Becker. "But they offered to pay him, and the only reason that they didn't go through with the payment of him [was because] the story came out in the media. It was no longer a covert operation, so it went from Republican rivals to Hillary Clinton in the DNC to the FBI. All of it was going to be a paid covert operation to create intelligence, none of which is vetted. As a consequence, none of it should be taken as anything genuine. Now you have Fusion, they're going to take the Fifth, they're not going to talk."
Earlier in October, Fusion GPS co-founders Peter Fritsch and Thomas Catan refused to answer a single question asked of them by the House Intelligence committee, invoking their rights to avoid self-incrimination provided by the Fifth Amendment.
"I suspect that it we probably will never reach a bottom to this [investigation] that satisfies everyone," said Sleboda. "It seems impossible to remove this from political biases and motivations all the way — especially now that it emerges definitively that the DNC and the Clinton campaign, which after rigging their own primary, then created this whole scandal around the dossier of opposition research that they've paid for."