Christopher Steele’s karma is about to blow up in his face with crushing consequences. In a surprising twist to a British lawsuit filed by new enemies, the judge isn’t buying his story that proving his claims will out his sources. Lawyers for a group of injured Russians insist Steele either “prove his claims are true, or pay up,” and the judge is leaning in their direction.
Steele’s lies blow up in his face
After Christopher Steele told Attorney General William Barr and John Durham to forget it, when they demanded his cooperation in the criminal investigation into the lies he told congressional investigators, Steele may be compelled to take the stand in London. It all just started to karmically blow up right in his face.
Word broke in Britain’s Daily Mail on April 5, that three wealthy Russian tycoons have sued the former MI6 spy and author of the infamous Trump dossier for slander in the kingdom’s High Court. Much more interesting is the news that the judge in the case, Mr. Justice Warby, isn’t buying the way Steele is trying to weasel out of responsibility.
Steele keeps insisting that he can’t testify about his dossier because it would “identify his sources.” He also argues it doesn’t matter because he only wrote down “what he was told” and never claimed any of it was true. He never tried to find out. The judge warned him, if he doesn’t give answers it will count against him.
A lawyer representing the Plaintiffs says Steele’s defense tactics only dig a bigger hole and make things worse. “Distributing statements about someone with a disclaimer that it has not been verified is not a defense for defamation, but an admission of recklessness.”
A trio of tycoons
Banker Peter Aven, Mikhail Fridman – who’s a billionaire financier, and oil oligarch German Khan, all flatly deny Steele’s lies that they “did Putin’s bidding.” They sued him for slander. The 35-page dossier struck them quite a blow. It’s “gravely damaging” to their reputations, according to previously filed court documents.
Steele “falsely implicates them in criminally bribing Putin to extort favorable treatment from the Russian government for their business interests, and implies that they cooperated with the Kremlin’s interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election because they ‘are required to do Putin’s bidding.'”
The assert that they are nothing but political “collateral damage” in a war between Fusion GPS and President Donald Trump. “Even though the Dossier contained unverified allegations, defendants recklessly placed it beyond their control and allowed it to fall into the hands of media devoted to breaking news on the hottest subject of the day: the Trump candidacy.”
Compelled to answer
The Russians are demanding that Steele “pay damages and tell the world his report was inaccurate.” Since the spy refuses to cooperate the judge may be forced to side with the Russians and rule totally in their favor for every cent they ask for. “I may be called on to rule whether he should be compelled to answer a question.” If so, the judge doubts if Steele could prove the truth of the files outrageous statements.
According to a recent report by the U.S. Justice Department’s inspector general, The Carter Page surveillance case carried out by the Federal Bureau of Instigation “relied heavily on Steele’s information to obtain four warrants to wiretap Page.” The FBI was “unable to corroborate Steele’s allegations regarding Page or other Trump associates.” Not only that, when they talked to him, “Steele’s only direct source for information disputed much of what was in the dossier.”
The FISA court is furious about it because the report proves that the FBI lied and mislead the court to illegally obtain a wiretap against not only a U.S. citizen, but a member of President Trump’s election campaign team. A follow up audit report made the FISA judges’ heads blow up last week when the IG spot checked 29 files and found serious evidence issues with each and every one of them.