Tags: Russia Probe | dossier | christopher steele | fusion gps | espionage

Russia Dossier Author Under Fire in British Courts

(Fox News' "America's Newsroom")

Thursday, 17 May 2018 09:22 PM

Former British spy and Trump dossier author Christopher Steele is under fire in a London courtroom, where lawyers are signaling they want to quiz him on the controversial document, Fox News reported.

Lawyers for Steele fought this week to protect his sources, which claimed the Kremlin had salacious and compromising information on Donald Trump before he was elected president.

Steele is in Britain because of a court order issued in March that he show up for a videotaped deposition to be used as trial testimony in a Russian technology executive's civil suit against BuzzFeed, which published Steele’s unverified dossier — and named companies owned by the businessman, Aleksej Gubarev.

BuzzFeed now wants to question Steele on "the dossier as a whole," a "shameful" change in tactics, according to the Times of London.

BuzzFeed's director of communications, Matthew Mittenthal, told Fox News, Steele's testimony "about his work on the dossier is essential to the public's understanding of the ongoing federal investigations into a critical document that was circulating and informing decisions at the highest level of government."

"We have made it clear to the courts that we are not seeking Mr. Steele's confidential sources," Mittenthal told Fox News.

But Gubarev's lawyer, Evan Fray-Witzer, calls BuzzFeed's explanation hogwash.

"Buzzfeed wants to pretend that it was reporting on some government investigation. It wasn't," he charged, Fox News reported.

"The Dossier wasn't some government report, it was a bunch of memos written by a private opposition research firm hired to try to find dirt. And when BuzzFeed threw it up on the Internet, they weren't publishing the Pentagon Papers, they were doing exactly what they admitted they were doing – publishing salacious, unverified information because they thought people would click on it. If you publish clickbait you should own up to it and not pretend it's journalism."

In an email to Fox News, Fray-Witzer called the BuzzFeed strategy somewhat "shocking."

"They went to court in London to argue that asking Steele about the only relevant memo wasn't enough, they want to ask him about Trump and [Michael] Cohen and sex tapes. What does this have to do with the lies they published about Gubarev and Webzilla? Nothing – They're just trying to wave [a] sparkler around and say, 'look over here, look over here.'"

Fox News noted Steele was paid $168,000 by Fusion GPS — through law firm Perkins Coie, whose client was the Democratic National Committee and the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign — for the series of memos containing unverified information.

The entire 35 pages of Steele memos was published by BuzzFeed in January 2017.

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Lawyers in a London courtroom are signaling they want to quiz British spy and Trump dossier author Christopher Steele on the controversial document, according to Fox News.
dossier, christopher steele, fusion gps, espionage
Thursday, 17 May 2018 09:22 PM
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