A longtime associate of late Arizona Senator John McCain leaked a copy of the infamous Steele Dossier to BuzzFeed News, according to a Wednesday court filing, according to the Daily Caller‘s Chuck Ross.
McCain dispatched former State Department official David Kramer to London on November 28, 2016 where Dossier author Christopher Steele reportedly allowed Kramer to see it, while a copy was later provided to McCain through Kramer. McCain then provided a copy of the document to former FBI Director James Comey during a December 9 meeting, according to an October 2017 Daily Caller report.
On Wednesday, thanks to a filing by US District Court Ursula Ungaro as part of a final report ahead of her ruling in BuzzFeed‘s favor in a defamation lawsuit, we learn that Kramer provided BuzzFeed a copy of the dossier during a December 29, 2016 meeting. As the Caller notes, it is unclear whether Kramer actually gave BuzzFeed‘s Ken Bensinger a copy, or if Bensinger took photos of the document – or both.
“Kramer testified that Bensinger took photos of the Dossier when Kramer was out of the room, even though he asked Bensinger not to,” wrote Ungaro, who added that “in a later declaration, Kramer stated that he had no objection to Bensinger taking a hard copy and had provided hard copies to other journalists.”
“The parties dispute whether Kramer gave Bensinger a copy or whether Bensinger took photos of the Dossier when Kramer was not looking,” reads a footnote in the ruling.
Kramer met Nov. 30, 2016, with McCain and McCain’s chief of staff, Christopher Brose, to review Steele’s reports.
“Kramer advised McCain to share the reports with the FBI and the CIA,” according to Ungaro.
Days later, Kramer met at McCain’s behest with Victoria Nuland, who served then as assistant secretary of state for Europe and Eurasian affairs and the State Department, and Celeste Wallender, the top Russian affairs official at the National Security Council.
Nuland and Wallender were aware of the dossier and Steele, according to Ungaro. –Daily Caller
According to the filing, “Kramer reviewed with Bensinger what he knew about the Dossier and explained that he took the allegations seriously.”