Christopher Steele Used “Random” Online Information to Help Fill Out Dossier
In a deposition last year, former British spy Christopher Steele admitted that he used an unverified, user-submitted report found on a CNN website to help fill out the infamous dossier on Donald Trump.
The revelation highlights the fact that this dossier was meant to be a piece of political propaganda and not the secret intelligence document that the Obama administration treated it as. A serious investigator would know better than to browse the internet, find some yahoo’s random story, and plug the information into his official dossier. But someone merely putting together information to be used in a political smear campaign against their opponent? Well, that’s a different story.
And yet, the FBI used this dossier to secure warrants against Trump campaign advisers. They used it to justify opening a counterintelligence investigation into the Trump campaign in the first place (despite their protests to the contrary). It continues to be used to build a fictional narrative against the president, and it continues to inform Democrats who want to investigate Trump into political oblivion.
In the deposition, which came during a lawsuit filed by Russian entrepreneur Aleksej Gubarev, Steele acknowledged that he verified allegations about Gubarev’s companies using a story he found “on something called CNN iReport.”
The only problem is that CNN iReport is even less reliable than CNN proper. Now defunct, the website was a dumping ground for anyone who cared to post some original reporting of their own. Literally anyone. The website’s tagline was “Unedited. Unfiltered. News.” It even came with a warning: “The stories submitted by users are not edited, fact-checked or screened before they post.”
Gubarev’s lawyers asked Steele if he knew the nature of the CNN iReport site. He said that he did not “have any particular knowledge of that”
“Do you understand that CNN iReports are or were nothing more than any random individuals’ assertions on the Internet?” he was asked.
“No, I obviously presume that if it is on a CNN site that it may have some kind of CNN status. Albeit that it may be an independent person posting on the site,” he replied.
Well, that’s the kind of presumption you might make if you were just compiling research to be used by Hillary Clinton in a political campaign. You’re not going to go the extra mile to dot every i and check every fact, because what does it matter? You’re just throwing a bunch of crap against the wall to see what sticks.
That’s exactly why the FBI had no business using this garbage as the basis of an investigation and certainly no business securing surveillance warrants based on the trash reporting within its pages.