It has been reported by Fox News that “an associate of the late Arizona Republican Sen. John McCain shared with Buzzfeed News a copy of the unverified, salacious opposition research dossier alleging that Russians had compromising material on President Trump, according to a bombshell federal court filing Wednesday.”
The late Arizona Republican vehemently denied that he was the source that Buzzfeed obtained the dossier from after the news outlet published it.
The credibility of the dossier has become the topic of conversation once again as the Yahoo News investigative reporter who initially broke the news of it has stated that many of the claims in the document were “likely false,” and according to Fox News, “an adviser to ex-Trump lawyer Michael Cohen said Cohen never went to Prague to pay off Russian hackers, as alleged in the dossier.”
The FBI still relied heavily on the unverified dossier to obtain FISA warrant applications which allowed them to spy on Trump campaign aide Carter Page. The FBI wrongly suggested to the court that Michael Isikoff, the Yahoo reporter who broke the story, had penned a piece which allowed an independent basis in order to spy on Carter Page… despite the fact that London court records prove that Isikoff had been using leaks from the writer of the dossier.
Earlier in the year, it was reported by Fox News that a head McCain associate, David Kramer, was briefed on the unverified dossier that was penned by British ex-spy Christopher Steele toward the end of November of 2016 in Surrey, England.
Fox News reports that “Kramer invoked his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination to avoid testifying before House Republicans about his handling of the dossier.”
The news outlet reports:
McCain has acknowledged giving the dossier to the FBI. But, until Wednesday, it remained a mystery what role, if any, his associates might have played in the dossier leaking to the media shortly afterwards.The new revelations were contained in an opinion authored by U.S. District Judge Ursula Ungaro. The opinion granted Buzzfeed’s motion for summary judgment in a defamation action brought by a global corporation based in Luxembourg, XBT Holdings, which alleged that Buzzfeed had recklessly spread misinformation in the dossier about XBT’s purported involvement in cyberwarfare against Democratic Party officials.
Ungaro cleared Buzzfeed of liability for defamation on the basis of the “fair report privilege,” which broadly protects media outlets from defamation actions when they publish official reports, as long as they clearly indicate that the reporting is not their own. The statements about Kramer and McCain’s activities were contained in Buzzfeed’s unsealed motion for summary judgment, which Ungaro cited extensively in his ruling.
In November 2016, according to the filing, McCain sent Kramer, a director at the McCain Institute for International Leadership, to London to meet with Steele.
McCain had learned from Sir Andrew Wood, the former British Ambassador to Russia, that Steele had collected damaging information about Trump, according to the filing. Wood was an informal adviser to Orbis, which was retained by Fusion GPS, the firm behind the dossier. Fox News previously reported on Wood’s involvement.
On Nov. 28, 2016, Kramer met with Steele and later obtained copies of the dossier from Glenn Simpson, the head of Fusion GPS, the filing states. Kramer then met with Buzzfeed reporter Ken Bensinger on Dec. 29, 2016 at the McCain Institute.
There, “Kramer reviewed with Bensinger what he knew about the dossier and explained that he took the allegations seriously.” Then, Kramer showed Bensinger the dossier and purportedly informed him that “some of the information was unverified.”