As if more evidence was needed about the rickety nature of the claims within the now-discredited dossier of wild claims made about President Donald Trump, it was supplied in recently revealed testimony from its author, Christopher Steele.
As reported by Fox News, part of a deposition from the former British spy was released Thursday. The deposition was part of a lawsuit involving Aleksej Gubarev, a Russian businessman, who claims two companies he operates — Webzilla and XBT Holding — were defamed in the dossier.
The dossier was later used by the FBI to launch an investigation of Trump’s campaign, even though the FBI never verified its claims.
As part of his testimony, Steele revealed that he culled information from a site called “CNN iReport,” which consisted of unverified information, the Washington Examiner reported.
The dossier authored alleged that the companies “used botnets and porn traffic to transmit viruses, plant bugs, steal data and conduct ‘alerting operations’ against the Democratic Party leadership.”
In his deposition, Steele was asked how he verified the information in the dossier and if he discovered “anything of relevance concerning Webzilla.”
“We did. It was an article I have got here which was posted on July 28, 2009, on something called CNN iReport,” he said.
Steele was asked if he knows how CNN iReport worked. “I do not have any particular knowledge of that,” Steele said, adding that he did not know it was not generated by CNN’s reporters.
Steele was asked whether he knew that “CNN iReports are or were nothing more than any random individuals’ assertions on the Internet?”
“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,” he said.
Steele later labeled his research style “an open source search.”
He defined his search process this way: “where you go into the Internet and you access material that is available on the internet that is of relevance or reference to the issue at hand or the person under consideration.”
During the deposition, Steele admitted the dossier contained “raw intelligence” that could include “deliberately false information.”
Steele said in his deposition that he gave a copy of the dossier to David Kramer, an aide for the late Arizona Sen. John McCain.
“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 in the deposition. “Sen. McCain nominated him as the intermediary. I did not choose him as the intermediary.”
When asked whether he warned Kramer that Steele could not “vouch for everything that was produced in the memos,” Steele said in his deposition, “Yes, with an emphasis on ‘everything.'”
Fusion GPS, which hired Steele to research Trump, at the time was working for a law firm with ties to 2016 Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s campaign and the Democratic National Committee.
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