When I posted on the FISA memo last week, two of my readers asked questions about Christopher Steele, particularly why he is so anti-Trump.
I held off posting on this until now in the hopes that new information would surface about that. Unfortunately, it has not.
It is hard to say why Christopher Steele is so opposed to President Donald Trump.
It could be that is his mindset, given his work for and international involvement with security agencies.
In December 2017, Yoichi Shimatsu, a forensic journalist who was also an editor at The Japan Times for ten years, wrote an exclusive for Rense, ‘How A CIA-DOJ-FBI Team Forged The Trump-Russia Dossier’. It is worth reading. I haven’t included some of it, as there seems to be some questionable information about Steele. It is possible that parts that mention ‘Steele’ might be better worded as ‘people working for him’.
What follows is the story of how Steele ended up getting involved in the Russian dossier.
In 2006, Steele headed the MI-6 Russia desk. He retired in 2009 to co-found (emphases mine):
a for-hire investigative firm called Orbis Business Intelligence, which produced a series of 100 reports on the Ukraine-Russia crisis, which erupted in 2014, on contract with the U.S. State Department. In other words, the main author of the Trump-Russia Dossier had a lucrative contract under Secretary of State Hillary Clinton before her presidential campaign.
Shimatsu tells us that Steele might well have met Bruce Ohr, another player in the Trump surveillance scheme, in 2010, when investigating the FIFA scandal. (More about Ohr below.) The FBI went to London for an Orbis briefing on the scandal:
As chief of the DOJ international organized crime bureau, Bruce Ohr likely attended the London briefing, where he would have been first introduced to veteran spy Christopher Steele.
Shimatsu claims that Ohr and Steele met again in 2013. At that time, Ohr was Assistant Deputy Director at DOJ and presented a paper at the third St. Petersburg International Legal Forum:
The Korean-American Ohr presented a paper titled “Criminal Matters and Allegations of Crimes in International Arbitration”, a choice of topic timed to undermine Russian counter-claims in the Magnitsky affair. In hindsight it’s ironic that his lecture synopsis included an apt description of the yet to-be drafted Russia Dossier: “a party (in a dispute) may introduce false testimony or forged documents.”
Moscow and Washington were butting heads over the Magnitsky affair when the conference, sponsored by the Russian Federation’s Justice Ministry:
the Kremlin was locked in a controversy over U.S. congressional retaliation for the 2009 prison death of Russian-Jewish accountant Sergei Magnitsky.
(The Magnitsky Act was signed into US law in 2012.)
Before he was imprisoned, Magnitsky worked for Hermitage Capital, which Bill Browder co-owns. Magnitsky worked as an auditor for the firm:
investigating dozens of Russian tycoons allied with President Vladimir Putin as to their links with organized crime figures.
Ohr had a similar interest, as chief of the Organized Crime and Racketeering Section, in shady businessmen suspected of money laundering. His job also involved tracking international drug trafficking.
Shimatsu says that Steele was in Russia for the conference in St Petersburg, but is there any corroboration for that? See Glenn Simpson’s testimony to the House Intelligence Committee at the end of this post. According to Simpson, Steele had not been in Russia for 17 years. That would tie in with citizen journalists researching when he worked in Moscow: between 1990 and 1992. It is unclear whether he travelled there or was even allowed to enter the country at some point during that time and/or afterwards.
This brings in another Trump surveillance person into the mix, Carter Page. Ohr’s:
cyber-surveillance network would later focus, outside of its authority, on the activities of Trump adviser Carter Page in Russia and Croatia.
The next event, also in 2013, was the Miss Universe Pageant. Donald Trump was the head of the pageant at that time. As US intelligence agencies cannot spy on American citizens abroad, Steele’s — or was it his company’s? — assignment was to make sure the Russian mafia was not involved in skewing the results:
As it turned out, Miss Venezuela was crowned Miss Universe 2013, meaning Ohr had wasted a lot of American taxpayer money on a wild goose chase.
However, something more significant resulted:
That dated information from 2013 was recycled three years later into the Russia Dossier.
In 2016, Steele became involved in compiling the Russian dossier. Before getting to that part, let’s look at Bruce and Nellie Ohr.
Until recently, Bruce Genesoke Ohr was unknown to the American public, including the media. He worked in the inner sanctum of the Robert F. Kennedy Building, the DOJ headquarters:
on the executive 4th floor, just four doors down from the suite of then Deputy Director Sally Quillian Yates, and since late April her replacement Rod Rosenstein … Ohr served as the assistant to Rosenstein, following the latter’s transfer from the Maryland DOJ office, showing the newcomer the ropes and keeping watch on him on behalf of Yates, Loretta Lynch, Holder and, ultimately, Barack Obama and the Clintons.
He lost his associate deputy attorney general title on December 7, 2017.
Ohr, in short, is a partisan watchdog for the Democratic establishment, who’s shown absolutely no respect for the Constitution.
Even worse, Shimatsu asserts that Ohr was partly responsible for the corruption at the DEA (Drug Enforcement Agency), because that agency was under the authority of the International Organized Crime Drug office, which he was still in charge of until January 8, 2018:
The DOJ has also ignored nearly the entire CIA-run Afghan drug importation, at least since the Eric Holder years. Cocaine, of course, is being targeted by the DEA/DOJ, but that elite-status drug was never in style with the millennial generation, which prefers depressants like heroin mixed with synthetic opioids, on the path to Nirvana.
In July 2001, Ohr testified to the Senate Indian Affairs Committee, downplaying the infiltration of Indian reservation casinos by organised crime:
What Ohr completely failed to mention is how Indian casinos along the U.S.-Mexico border were becoming money-laundering centers for the Mexican mafia, lucrative enough for the Caesar’s team of Drexel Lambert junk-bond dealer to build a Harrah’s casino resort at Rincon reservation. Caesar’s Entertainment Group spectacularly collapsed two years ago, amid angry charges by institutional investors of fraud, financial crimes on a much greater scale than small-time gangster scams.
The politically correct attitudes toward ethnic minorities, here again, has enabled massive expansion of the organized crime, which is ultimately detrimental to the minority groups to achieve genuine economic development and security from violence. The DOJ/FBI, run by front-men for crime, is [a] big part of the problem and not the solution.
That exactly is why and how the DOJ/FBI and CIA are enabling Chinese triads, the Taiwanese mob, Vietnamese mafia, Japanese yakuza and Korean gangsters to run heroin smuggling, prostitution rings and counterfeits products unimpeded into the United States. The fix is in with the Democratic Party, and the bad guys every hour of every day are winning the battle against the industrial economy and ethical principles of the USA.
Now to the 2016 campaign. Shimatsu tells us:
the DNC and Hillary campaign generously forked over up to a half-million dollars for the Trump-Russia fabrication.
Shimatsu explains something interesting about southeast Asians and the Democrats and why big donations are kept quiet:
… the Democratic Party relies so heavily on large unreported donations of cash from the urban Chinese and Korean business communities, suspect Asia-based businessmen and major crime groups. This tradition since the end of the Chinese Exclusion era is a feudal tribute legacy, by which Asian “leaders” (triad or organized crime figures) pay protection money (aka bribery) to Democrat politicians to enable illegal immigration of underpaid laborers, exemption from minimum wage laws and mandatory benefits for employees, unhealthy tenant crowding of buildings, and police neglect of the illicit trade in contraband, including methamphetamines, heroin and more recently synthetic opioids.
Asians, of course, are not alone in groveling before the powers that be, since most immigrants have had to pay their dues to Tammany Hall and dirty cops, from the Irish to the current wave of Arabs. Despite their strong academic performance, East Asians are perpetually under the Democratic Party heel due to the substandard status of the small-business economy. That is changing, for all the wrong reasons, with the pay-for residency by super-wealthy “businessmen” from East Asia, many of them wanted for economic crimes at home, including illicit capital flight. The United States is a sanctuary for Asian fraudsters and gangsters …
As for Bruce’s wife Nellie, Shimatsu says nothing about her father. Her mother, Kathleen Armstrong Hauke, was active in leftist causes in the 1960s. In the 1980s, Hauke taught English in Nairobi, Kenya. She died in 2004.
Nellie has a ham radio licence, which Shimatsu says isn’t that unusual:
Shortwave radio hearkens back to the late Cold War era, when Nellie would have monitored Russian signals for the CIA. Since that Stone Age for telecommunications, Nellie Ohr became part of the CIA cyber-intelligence program known as Open Source Works (OSW), discussed below, which explains her intelligence role inside Fusion GPS, the private investigation group that hired Orbis and Christopher Steele to draft the Trump-Russia Dossier.
Until late 2017, she and her husband shared the same office, indicating that the Ohrs were:
part of a high-level inter-agency intelligence team.
The Ohrs, Steele and the dossier
Shimatsu winds the clock back to 2013 to the St Petersburg conference. However, was it Steele himself or an Orbis representative who attended? Donald Trump arrived in Russia one month later in advance of the beauty pageant:
What a tangled web they weave! The Ohr-Steele encounter in St. Petersburg turned out to be the very seed from which sprang the Trump-Russia Dossier … Just a month later, in June 2013, Donald Trump arrived with his advance team to make the arrangements for the Miss Universe pageant, scheduled for November 2013 at the Crocus hall in the Moscow suburb of Krasnogorsk.
Fast forward to 2016 and Fusion GPS:
the private investigation firm led by three former Wall Street Journal reporters …
… in mid-2016, the Seattle law firm Perkins Coie, representing the Hillary Clinton Foundation and Democratic National Committee, hired Fusion GPS to probe the Russian relationships of Trump and his associates with the aim of discrediting and defeating his presidential campaign …
Fusion GPS, therefore, was hired as a “cut out”, spy terminology for a neutral go-between created to shield the actual perpetrators in an exchange of stolen information. A psychological operation aimed at political intervention at this level required the direct involvement of and authorization from CIA director John Brennan and Attorney General Loretta Lynch, and this was to interfere in the elections in favor of their former colleague at State, Hillary Clinton, and not a matter of national security. Director of National Intelligence (DNI) James Clapper should have been aware of these illicit activities and was responsible for shutting down political subversion, meaning that he, too, bears some degree of responsibility for the bureaucratic assault on democracy.
Do readers notice how anti-Trump Brennan and Clapper are whenever they are interviewed on television? YouTube has various videos of them on news programmes and at conferences.
With regard to the dossier, Shimatsu says that Steele provided little of the content. Most of the content:
strongly appears to be based on CIA and NSA intercepts of phone calls and emails, along with human intelligence from informants. There is also an equally strong possibility that many, perhaps most, of the claims in the dossier are fabrications, lies. Nellie Hauke Ohr and her husband at DOJ reviewed and copied from classified files for the dossier in blatant violation of intelligence regulations. The method of direct translation, for example, “Russian regime” without the article “the”, indicates the CIA protocol followed by Nellie Ohr in radio intercepts. The tiny lapse shows that source is not Moscow but Langley, Virginia.
Shimatsu explains the role of Steele and his company, Orbis:
The notes from CIA and DOJ/FBI classified files, which Nellie Ohr compiled during her several months, during summer and autumn 2016, on the payroll of Fusion GPS while in Washington D.C.. Those materials were then “laundered” through Orbis for plausible deniability at the CIA. Fusion GPS paid the London-based firm more than $160,000, meaning the total budget for consultants, services, travel and communication was probably about a half-million dollars from the original source of funding (prior to DNC-Hillary, which was probably provided by a slush fund at the Clinton Foundation. To the heisted CIA material and forged information, Christopher Steele added his recollections from Donald Trump’s Miss Universe visits in 2013, supplemented by whatever hearsay picked up immediately after the contest. Examination of the dossier is similar to the findings from a forensic autopsy on Frankenstein’s monster: A lot of body parts that don’t fit together, laced together and patched with putty.
Nellie Ohr’s inchoate and disorganized editing, in contrast to the minimal standards at any daily newspaper, reveals the sloppiness that’s the norm at her post inside the CIA bureau known as Open Source Works, which itself is highly classified and anything but open …
Open Source is now the major enterprise of the CIA in its effort to intimidate world leaders, corporate executives, military officers and media personalities. The Trump-Russia Dossier is an end-product of illicit CIA privacy violations, enhanced by selective editing and outright fabrication to incriminate the victim, in this case the President of the United States. The Frank Church amendments need to be upgraded to deal with terror by fake media, so that the offending bureaucrats and their political patrons can be locked away without access to cyberspace.
On January 22, 2018, just over a month after Shimatsu’s article was published, the New York Post had a report about the testimony to the House Intelligence Committee from Glenn Simpson, co-founder of Fusion GPS:
Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-South Carolina) asked Steele’s Clinton-paid handler Glenn Simpson, during the House Intelligence Committee’s Nov. 14 closed-door hearing, if Steele had gone “to Russia as part of this project,” to which Simpson replied, “No, sir.” Steele, at the time he compiled the dossier, hadn’t been back to Russia in 17 years.
If true, that clearly contradicts what Shimatsu alleges.
Simpson told the House Intelligence Committee that Steele:
ran a “network of subsources or subcontractors” who traveled around Russia and gathered information for him.
As for the framework of the dossier:
… it turns out the primary subcontractor worked not for Steele but for Simpson at Washington-based Fusion GPS, and he contributed key material for the investigation of Trump underwritten by the Clinton campaign.
Steele’s reputation preceded him:
Simpson says he completely deferred to Steele’s expertise and did not question his findings because of his “sterling reputation.” Simpson has pumped this guy up to be the real-life 007 so deep inside the Kremlin, he didn’t have to corroborate his information, yet Steele was so far out of the hunt, his tradecraft so rusty, he apparently had to rely on a Russian translator who flacked for Putin to gather his so-called intelligence.
These latest revelations make it all the more baffling that the FBI took Steele so seriously. They also suggest the public should not make that mistake.
Since then, a redacted version of Senator Charles Grassley’s memo on the dossier has been made public. More on that next week.