03.07.2020 | Judicial Watch Seeks Details on State Dept. Role in Steele Dossier
Source - Liberty Headlines
The aftermath of the Mueller investigation has led to a flurry of activity for government-accountability guardians Judicial Watch.
Since the Russian collusion report was submitted to Attorney General William Barr‘s office, the group that first uncovered the existence of Hillary Clinton’s private e-mail server already has filed at least two separate lawsuits over possible leaks from top intelligence officials to partisan media outlets.
On Friday, Judicial Watch said in a press release that it was examining another piece of the puzzle: The sources that ex-British spy Christopher Steele used to compile and disseminate fraudulent accusations in his infamous dossier for the Hillary Clinton campaign.
While some believe the Kremlin itself may have been behind the misinformation, others point to the even more sinister possibility that it was generated by partisans within the U.S.’s own intelligence apparatus.
“We intend to find out how deep the Deep State roots go in their effort to discredit then-candidate Donald Trump,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “It currently appears to be an Obama administration no-holds-barred attempt to clear the path for Hillary Clinton.”
The latest lawsuit seeks correspondence between Obama-era Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland and a long list of likely role-players in the anti-Trump smear campaign that was driven by left-wing opposition-research firm Fusion GPS.
Steele’s reports for Fusion were subsequently funneled through back channels to the FBI, which used them as the basis to launch an investigation into Trump and eavesdrop on his campaign under false pretenses.
“Between 2014 and 2016, Steele authored more than a hundred reports on Russia and Ukraine,” said a 2018 Washington Examiner column by Byron York. “These were written for a private client but shared widely within the State Department and sent up to Secretary of State John Kerry and to Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland, who was in charge of the U.S. response to the Ukraine crisis.”
Nuland acknowledged that she shared Steele’s information with the FBI and green-lighted their initial meetings.
Judicial Watch seemed to suggest that Nuland’s vouching for Steele, despite his many conflicts of interest, helped lead the FBI to determine that he was a credible source of information.
A previous FOIA lawsuit revealed that the Obama administration passed on classified documents in the “Russiagate” conspiracy to several anti-Trump senators.
“Judicial Watch FOIA lawsuits have already shown the Obama State Department was corrupted to target President Trump,” Fitton said.
The nonprofit watchdog also released 339 pages of redacted correspondence involving Bruce and Nellie Ohr, who served as intermediaries between Fusion and the FBI after Steele was terminated by the agency for leaking classified information.