03:31 GMT01 December 2020
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    It's the first time Steele has been seen since Trump was cleared of colluding with the Russian state.

    Christopher Steele, the former MI6 operative turned business intelligence professional who concocted the now-utterly discredited ‘Trump-Russia' dossier, fled when asked by mainstream journalists for comment on the conclusion of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's probe in the US.

    Tracked down by Mail Online to his local train station in Surrey 26th March, reporters snapped him emerging from a car — driven by his wife — and joining a queue to board a train headed for London.

    They duly approached the Orbis Intelligence chief and asked whether he stood by the allegations of his ‘dodgy dossier' in light of Mueller's investigation totally exonerating the President, his family and staff of all charges of colluding with Russia — he "looked stunned", blurting "I have nothing to say to you" before clasping his briefcase and dashing back to the car which a mere two minutes earlier had dropped him off at the station.

    ​En route, he was said to have "waved frantically to attract his wife's attention", presumably to ensure she didn't drive off again without him, before jumping into the passenger seat. He allegedly "stared rigidly ahead" as his wife Katherine sped away.

    The dossier was produced by Washington research firm GPS, at the behest of Hillary Clinton's Presidential campaign. It helped kickstart Mueller's investigation, and much conspiracy theorising in the Western media, despite many expressing doubts about its probity since its publication by BuzzFeed in January 2017. For instance, former British Ambassador to Russia Tony Brenton said the contents "[looked] pretty shaky," and expressed doubts over Steele's ability to penetrate the Kremlin and Russian security agencies.

    Former acting CIA Director Michael Morell also raised concerns, due to Steele's intelligence gathering approaches — he gave money to intermediaries, who in turn paid sources for the information contained in the dossier. "Unless you know the sources, and unless you know how a particular source acquired a particular piece of information, you can't judge the information — you just can't," Morell said.

    U.S. President Donald Trump reacts as he returns to the White House after U.S. Attorney General William Barr reported to congressional leaders on the submission of the report of Special Counsel Robert Mueller in Washington, U.S., March 24, 2019
    © REUTERS / Carlos Barria
    U.S. President Donald Trump reacts as he returns to the White House after U.S. Attorney General William Barr reported to congressional leaders on the submission of the report of Special Counsel Robert Mueller in Washington, U.S., March 24, 2019
    Despite these criticisms, and subsequent developments raising serious doubts about virtually every aspect of the dossier, Steele repeatedly stood by its various bizarre assertions, claiming at least 70 — 90 percent of its content was accurate. Steele conversely said the notorious 'golden showers' allegation, which suggested Trump hated then-President Barack Obama so much when he stayed in the Presidential suite of the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Moscow in 2013 he employed "a number of prostitutes" to urinate on the bed used by the Obamas on an earlier visit, had a mere 50/50 chance of being true.

    What Goes Around

    With Trump now cleared, Republican lawmakers are calling for another investigation — this time into the individuals and groups involved in perpetuating the ‘Trump-Russia' fraud. Senate Judiciary Committee chair Lindsey Graham has vowed to get answers on the origins of Steele's dossier, and indicated Steele could be summoned to appear before his committee.

    Documents exposed by information watchdog Judicial Watch could raise some extremely difficult questions for Steele and Fusion GPS if an investigation does come to pass. Released under the Freedom of Information Act, the files reveal former Associate Deputy Attorney General Bruce Ohr — whose wife Nellie was an independent contractor for Fusion GPS — remained in regular contact with the ex-MI6 operative after his status as a paid confidential informant was terminated by the FBI in November 2016.

    ​It's not merely in the US could find himself in hot water in the near future. In the UK, a defamation case brought by Russian entrepreneur Aleksej Gubarev will commence in London sometime between mid-October and mid-December.

    A similar case brought by Gubarev in the US failed, as under federal law the dossier being used as the basis of an FBI investigation was sufficient to prevent reporting of its contents being judged libellous — but no such defence exists under British law.


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    Russian collusion, alleged collusion, collusion claims, collusion, Russiagate, Fusion GPS, DNC, Democrats, Bruce Ohr, Christopher Steele, Robert Mueller, Donald Trump, US, United Kingdom
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