Skip to comments.Ex-State Department Official ‘Destroyed’ Records At Request Of Christopher Steele
Posted on 08/20/2020 10:11:06 AM PDT by Red Badger
A former State Department official destroyed reports he received from former British spy Christopher Steele, according to a Senate report released on Tuesday.
Jonathan Winer, who was Steeles point of contact at the State Department, said that Steele asked him to destroy the records in January 2017, the same month that the Trump dossier became public.
The Senate report also says that Winer initially denied that he arranged a meeting in October 2016 for Steele at the State Department. Winer corrected his statement in a follow-up interview after he was shown State Department visitor logs.
A former State Department official told the Senate Intelligence Committee he destroyed records in January 2017 at the request of former British spy Christopher Steele, according to a report released on Tuesday.
Jonathan Winer, who served as special envoy to Libya through early 2017, was Steeles contact at the State Department. He arranged a meeting for Steele in October 2016 with another State Department official at Foggy Bottom to share findings from a dossier of research he had compiled on Donald Trump.
The Senate Intelligence Committee interviewed Winer twice about his contacts with Steele and his handling of the dossier, on July 10, 2017 and April 18, 2018.
According to the Senate report, Winer disclosed that he destroyed reports that Steele had sent him over the years. The Senate report also says that Winer failed to reveal when asked in his first interview with the committee that he had arranged the meeting for Steele at the State Department months earlier.
After Steeles memos were published in the press in January 2017, Steele asked Winer to make note of having them, then either destroy all the earlier reports Steele had sent the Department of State or return them to Steele, out of concern that someone would be able to reconstruct his source network, the Senate report says. (RELATED: Senate Intel Panel Finds No Evidence Of Trump-Russia Collusion)
The report quotes Winer saying: So I destroyed them, and I basically destroyed all the correspondence I had with him.
Steele appeared to be on a deletion spree at the time he made his request that Winer scrub his records.
The former MI6 officer told a British court in March that he wiped all of his correspondence related to the dossier in December 2016 and January 2017. He said he had no records of communications with his primary dossier source, who has been identified as Igor Danchenko.
Steele, a former MI6 officer who owns a private intelligence firm in London, provided Winer with more than 100 intelligence reports from 2014 through 2016.
Emails that The Daily Caller News Foundation obtained through a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit show that Winer shared Steeles reports with a small group of State Department officials. The Senate report says that the State Department was able to provide the committee with Steeles reports from 2015 and 2016, though most from 2014 are missing.
It is unclear if Winer violated any State Department regulations regarding the handling of government records.
Republican lawmakers have long been interested in Winer because of his interactions with Steele and his handling of the dossier. The Senate report offered a scathing assessment of the dossier, which the FBI used to obtain warrants to surveil former Trump aide Carter Page.
The report said that Steele displayed poor tradecraft. It also said that Steele repeatedly refused the committees requests for interviews.
Winer, who was a longtime aide to former Sec. of State John Kerry, was in contact with the founders of Fusion GPS, the firm that hired Steele. Winer also served as a background source for two reporters, Michael Isikoff and David Corn, for stories they wrote before the November 2016 election touting Steeles allegations.
Winer also disseminated an anti-Trump dossier peddled by two Clinton-linked operatives, Cody Shearer and Sidney Blumenthal. Winer told the Senate committee that he provided Steele with memos that Shearer wrote about Trump. Steele in turn shared the documents with the FBI to lend support to his own theories about Trump.
The Senate report suggests that Winer withheld some details about his links to Steele from both the committee and the State Department.
Winer told the committee that he did not tell security officers at the State Department about his continuing relationship with Steele.
And in his first interview with the Senate panel, on July 10, 2017, Winer denied arranging a meeting for Steele at the State Department.
In his first interview with the Committee, Winer discussed how he shared a summary of Steeles reports within the Department of State and his other activities in September or October of 2016, but he omitted facilitating meetings between Steele and U.S. Government officials during September and October 2016, the report states.
However, in his second interview, when shown visitor logs from the Department of State listing Steele as his visitor, Winer said he remembered bringing Steele to the Department of State but did not recall when.
Winer also acknowledged that prior to joining the State Department, he did consulting and legal work for Russian clients, including some that might be pro-Putin. He said that he first met Steele because of their shared interest in Russia-related issues.
In 2009, after I had moved to APCO Worldwide and was still engaged in various types of Russian representation all over the map some might be pro-Putin, some might be anti-Putin, Winer told the committee.
In the 2000s, Winer represented Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska on issues related to his visa. Steele worked for Deripaska from 2012 to 2017, the Senate report says.
The DCNF previously reported that Winer arranged business meetings for Steele while he still worked at the State Department. The emails show that Winer contacted a former associate at APCO Worldwide to arrange one meeting in 2014.
Steeles firm, Orbis Business International, did not respond to a request for comment. Winer also did not respond to an email seeking comment.
WTF HASN’T HE BEEN ARRESTED??????? Oh, I forgot....he’s a DEMOCRAT!!
Should get his neck stretched
Well, well, well........
Deleting inconvenient documents seems to be a staple of the left doesn’t it?
What a tangled web they weave.
Because that is longstanding Department policy?
On the eve of a new administration?
“former State Department official told the Senate Intelligence Committee he destroyed records in January 2017 at the request of former British spy Christopher Steele, according to a report released on Tuesday.”
If a Repub did this it would be obstruction of justice.
"Yeah, I lied to you fellows about that. I guess you caught me. Oh, well. Can I correct my statement? You don't mind? Thanks."
Is it still too early to blame Barr for the lack of action against the Deep State?
But they sent busloads of commandos to arrest Roger Stone because they said he lied to Congress.
If I didn’t know better I would think Republicans are treated just a tad harsher than anyone else.
Its good to remember that, while they were accusing Trump of colluding with Russia, it was Steele who was on contract with Russia. As was Fusion GPS. As was John Podesta. And of course the Clintons took home a boatload of money from the Russians.
So he was allowed to correct his lie with no punishment? Kinda like McCabe?
Meanwhile, the infamous Russian lawyer they keep trying to attach to Trump was working for Fusion, and Fusion for her.
So wait....Steele was writing reports for/to the State Dept. in 2014 and 2015????? Before the Steele Dossier in 2016? This is the first I have heard of this.
fed gov documents come under the FOI rules. I highly doubt that there is anything that is not clear about the FOI rules. There also should be a FOIA officer at each department including the state department. all records go through the FIOA officer so it should not matter if Winer destroyed any documents as there would be copies.
Winer apparently lied to Congress.
Any requests from spook Steele should have gone to file 13. (So imho it is unlikely in real life that Steele made any such request. OTOH i could easily imagine someone like Strzok making such a request, and then telling Winer to claim that Steele made him do it.)
There’s about 5 serious violations of law right there. The time it takes for this to get a plea bargain might tell us how fast Trump intends to move on all of these DC night crawlers.
I seem to remember something about Nixon and 18 minutes of erased tapes.
Winer needs to be charged and take a public perp walk.
So, some guy asks a State Department official to destroy State Department records ( purchased/obtained using taxpayers money, this jerk Steel doesnt work for free) and the said SD official duly obliges! It doesnt matter the guy was the source of those records, they are still the property of US government.
You just cant make this stuff up...
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