US Politics

Steele Testimony: FBI Coordinated Closely With State Department on Russia Probe

The Department of State worked closely with the FBI on the bureaus investigation of the Trump campaign and its work with former British spy Christopher Steele, the author of the infamous dossier, according to Steeles recent testimony in a UK court.

Steele told the court he became convinced over the course of the summer and fall of 2016 that the two departments were closely coordinating. By the time he met State Department official Kathy Kavalec in October of that year, it was “very clear that FBI and State Department were both consulting each other and discussing the whole issue of engagement with us and our investigation,” Steele said, according to court transcripts obtained by The Epoch Times.

Steele was questioned at the Queens Bench court in London on March 18 as part of a lawsuit against his company, Orbis Business Intelligence Ltd., brought by three Russian businessmen affiliated with Alfa Bank. One of the installments of Steeles report accused the men of funneling large amounts of “illicit cash” to then-Saint Petersburg Mayor Vladimir Putin in the 1990s.

“My understanding was that Kathy Kavalec, who raised I think the Alfa issue with us in this meeting in October, had been closely coordinating with the FBI and the FBI knew that we were having the meeting and so on and so forth and that they were jointly working on this material.”

Kavalec, Steele added, met with him in Washington at the direction of the FBI.

Ample public evidence already shows that current and former State Department officials interacted with Steele and the FBI about the dossier. It hasnt been previously revealed that the two Obama administration agencies were closely cooperating in the investigation of the Trump campaign.

Steele played a key role in the unfolding scandal of the FBIs investigation and spying on the Trump 2016 presidential campaign. Given his level of involvement, the allegation about the State Departments coordination with the FBI is significant, but must be taken with a grain of salt considering the numerous issues with Steeles credibility outlined in the report by the Department of Justice Office of Inspector General (IG). The report didnt state that the FBI and the State Department were in close coordination.

The State Department didnt immediately respond to a request by The Epoch Times for comment; the FBI declined to comment.

Steele told the Queens Bench court on March 18 that he learned in August 2016 from former State Department official Strobe Talbott that the State Department was aware of his election reporting on candidate Donald Trump.

“He spoke in fairly cryptic terms, but he was aware that we had material of relevance to the US election,” Steele said. “Both National Security Advisor at the time, Susan Rice, and Assistant Secretary of State, Victoria Nuland, who were the key policymakers on Russia, had been colleagues of Mr. Talbott, and I had—although he didnt state it explicitly—one or either or both of them had briefed him on the work we had been doing.”

According to the IG report, Nuland personally authorized an FBI meeting with Steele in London on July 5, 2016. She has also said publicly that the State Department received a copy of Steeles reporting the same month. The IG report outlines other instances of interaction between the State Department and the FBI but doesnt state that the two agencies were coordinating.

When confronted with the fact that the IG report doesnt corroborate his claim, Steele said, “It may not be, but that was my understanding at the time was that there was close coordination between Victoria Nuland and Kathy Kavalec and the FBI on these issues.”

According to the IG report, Steele met with Kavalec and other State Department officials on Oct. 11, 2016. During the meeting, Steele briefed those present on the contents of his dossier. The briefing included the derogatory allegations about Trump campaign associates Carter Page and Paul Manafort, both of whom were already under investigation as part of Crossfire Hurricane, the FBIs codename for the probe of the Trump campaign.

Kavalec told the IG that she believed Steele sought the meeting with the State Department “as part of a wider effort to disseminate his election report findings to persons in Washington.” At the meeting, Steele expressed frustration that the FBI wasnt acting on his allegations and that his client was eager to have the information come out before the presidential election in November 2016.

According to the court transcripts, Steele was aware inRead More From Source

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The Epoch Times

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