One of the most shocking things about the Russia collusion investigation is just how biased it was right from the start. The whole thing was kicked off by a dossier written by a mercenary hired by the Clinton campaign, after all. Are we really the sort of country where we investigate people because of “evidence” supplied by their political opponents? It seems we are, now. And … it gets worse.
The role of ex-MI6 agent Christopher Steele in the Russia investigations has always been controversial. Steele was a highly effective intelligence officer who worked for our closest ally, and that’s been used to give his allegations credibility. The trouble is, Steele isn’t an allied intelligence officer anymore. For the last decade he’s been a mercenary, selling his skills on the open market — and delivering what his employers ask him for.
- Christopher Steele was recruited by MI6 in 1987 and worked under diplomatic cover in Moscow at the end of the Cold War. After the liberation of Afghanistan, he worked with US special forces at Bagram airbase, then from 2006 to 2009 headed the Russia Desk at MI6.
- Steele left MI6 in 2009, and set up a private intelligence company specializing in Russia and Ukraine — but he hasn’t actually been to Russia since 2009. Allegedly he’s on a Russian hit list, thanks to his involvement with defector Alexander Litvinenko.
- Most of Steele’s private work has been done for the US State Department, allegedly because of his knowledge of Russia and network of Russian contacts. The same factors were behind him being hired by the Clinton campaign to dig for dirt on Trump. The question is: how good are his knowledge and contacts, given that he hasn’t been to Russia in 10 years?
- According to Steele’s own agency, the Russian security service regards him as an enemy of their country. That’s going to seriously limit his sources inside Russia.
- So Steele’s access, the official reason for hiring him, doesn’t look like it’s actually that good. Why was he hired, then? Well, maybe it’s because he’s way too friendly with some people in the State Department.
- It’s now emerging that Jonathan Winer, an associate of former (Democrat) Secretary of State John Kerry, has played a big part in Steele’s dealings with the State Department.
- Winer was the main go-between for Steele and Foggy Bottom. He’s also the one who distributed the dodgy dossier through State and maybe other government departments.
- As well as his involvement in the dossier, it looks like Winer has been helping Steele find work in the US. For at least 5 years, he’s been using his official contacts to put the renegade spy in touch with US businesses and even foreign governments. Possible clients Steele has made via Winer include Bill Clinton’s former chief of staff, the Moroccan government and the World Bank.
- It’s not acceptable for political parties, government officials and maybe US businesses to be working with renegade foreign spies to bring down the president of the United States. Hopefully, the Steele affair will lead to strong action to make sure nothing like this happens again.