One of Britain’s leading experts on espionage, Nigel West, was hired in 2017 to examine the dossier written by his friend Christopher Steele. He concluded it was rubbish.
Steele’s scandalous document, which claimed extensive ties between the then-US President-elect Donald Trump and the Kremlin, was published by BuzzFeed in January 2017 and quickly became the cornerstone of ‘Russiagate.’
Media talking heads insisted that much of it had been corroborated. In fact, nothing was.
Nigel West has revealed he was hired by a US Republican law firm to assess the dossier in 2017 and concluded that “there is… a strong possibility that all Steele’s material has been fabricated,” according to the Sunday Times.
This is not just anybody’s opinion, either. West – the pen name of former MP Rupert Allason – is one of Britain’s foremost authorities on intelligence matters, and happens to known Steele personally, having met him at a NATO intelligence conference some years back.
The dossier source in question starts out as a middle-manager at the Ritz-Carlton in Moscow, but is later described as an expert on cyber warfare, and later yet as an expert on money-laundering by Russian immigrants in the US, West explained.
Steele had claimed that the Russian intelligence obtained compromising material – “kompromat” – on Trump, specifically a recording of him with prostitutes at the Ritz-Carlton in 2013, urinating on the same bed where US President Barack Obama had slept previously.
Even FBI director at the time, Jim Comey, described the dossier as “salacious and unverified” in a testimony to Congress – which did not stop him from signing an application for a FISA warrant that the Bureau used to spy on the Trump campaign via one of its advisers, Carter Page.
Belief in some kind of Trump-Russia conspiracy still remains strong among many critics of the US president, even though ‘Russiagate’ imploded last year with special counsel Robert Mueller’s final report and fumbling testimony.