Christopher Steele told FBI of Clinton crony’s work on a second Trump dossier
Chuck Ross, DCNF
- Newly declassified FBI notes show that Christopher Steele disclosed details about a Clinton operative’s dossier on Donald Trump.
- Steele told the FBI that Cody Shearer sought to purchase a purported sex tape of Trump with Russian prostitutes from an ethnic Russian businessman who claimed to have ties to Russia’s intelligence service.
- Steele said he was doubtful of the Shearer dossier because of the reputation of the source, who he identified as Ruslan Mansimov.
- Steele’s own dossier has been undercut by several congressional and federal investigations.
Christopher Steele provided the FBI with details about a longtime Clinton associate’s efforts to track down a purported sex tape of Donald Trump in Russia, according to newly declassified FBI documents.
Steele, a former British spy, told FBI agents in September 2017 that Cody Shearer, the Clinton crony, met in Istanbul and New York with a source who claimed to have ties to Russian intelligence. Shearer and his source were “actively discussing” a deal for the purported tape of Trump, according to Steele.
Shearer, a former journalist who has long been connected to the Clintons, compiled a dossier that contained allegations about Trump that are similar to those in a dossier that Steele himself wrote on behalf of the Clinton campaign and DNC.
Both dossiers contained the uncorroborated allegation that Russian intelligence operatives filmed Trump with Russian prostitutes in a Moscow hotel in 2013.
While details of Steele’s work have spilled into public view over the past several years, far less was known about Shearer’s dossier.
And while it has also been revealed that Steele was paid $170,000 by a law firm for Democrats to investigate Trump, it is unclear whether Shearer was paid for his work.
Steele, a former MI6 officer, obtained Shearer’s dossier from Jonathan Winer, a longtime adviser to John Kerry who was an official at the State Department until the end of the Obama administration. Sidney Blumenthal, another longtime Clinton insider, had given the document to Winer.
Steele in turn provided Shearer’s dossier to the FBI on Oct. 19, 2016. At the time, Steele was providing the FBI with information about Trump as part of the bureau’s investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian government.
In his dossier, Shearer discusses information he said he received from a man who claimed to have links to Russia’s foreign intelligence service, the FSB. The dossier, which is made up of two memos, does not identify the purported Russian spy or the Turkish businessman who connected him to Shearer.
Steele provided their names to the FBI, saying that he obtained the information from Winer.
“SHEARER is also friends with a Turkish-American businessman with the last name KHAN. KHAN was in touch with RUSLAN MANSIMOV, aka ASLAN TURAN, aka ASLAN TURANCI,” read the FBI notes, which were first published by Just the News.
The FBI document is part of a batch of records that President Trump declassified as one of his final acts in office.
Steele told the FBI agents that Shearer’s intermediary, Khan, brokered contact between Shearer and Mansimov in New York and Istanbul.
Steele also said during the interview that Mansimov had recently reconnected with Khan and “was offering to provide tapes of President TRUMP.”
“At least one of those tapes was related to the Miss Universe event and involved urine,” the FBI notes say.
Steele said that Khan brokered contact between Shearer and Mansimov. They were both “actively discussing a deal for the tapes,” the note say.
“SHEARER and MANSIMOV met in Istanbul and are considering an upcoming meeting in Spain within the coming weeks,” read the notes, which also say that Mansimov sought “money and good standing.”
Steele said he was skeptical of Shearer’s information even though it closely matched the salacious scene from his own dossier. He said that one “plus” of the Shearer documents were that the allegation about Trump in Moscow “chimed” with the allegations in his own dossier.
Steele reported in a now-infamous June 20, 2016, memo that Russian intelligence had filmed Trump in a Moscow hotel room with prostitutes who were urinating on each other. Steele also alleged that the Kremlin was blackmailing Trump with the tape.
Steele alleged in later memos that the Trump campaign was engaged in a “well-developed conspiracy of cooperation” with the Kremlin to influence the 2016 election.
Steele’s conspiracy allegation has since been debunked, and his claim about the so-called “pee tape” remains uncorroborated. The special counsel’s office found no evidence that the Trump campaign conspired with Russians to influence the 2016 election.
Steele relied on a single source, a Russia analyst named Igor Danchenko, to collect information for the Trump dossier. Danchenko acknowledged in interviews with the FBI in January 2017 that he did not independently verify the most serious allegations in the dossier.
Danchenko claimed he provided Steele with information he collected from six individuals, most of whom live in Russia. One of Danchenko’s most prolific sources, a former journalist named Olga Galkina, has been accused of fabricating evidence in the dossier about her former employer, Aleksej Gubarev. One source who worked with Galkina told The Daily Caller News Foundation that she concocted information about Gubarev that was in the dossier.
Galkina was also the source for Steele’s allegation in the dossier that former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen visited Prague in August 2016 to meet with Kremlin insiders to discuss paying off hackers. The special counsel’s report said that Cohen never visited Prague.
Steele told his FBI interviewers that he questioned the veracity of some of Shearer’s dossier because of Mansimov’s reputation.
“The ‘minus’ of the reporting was the fact that MANSIMOV was, according to STEELE, neither the most sophisticated nor impressive person,” the FBI notes say.
Steele said that he wanted to keep Shearer’s operation “at an arms length,” and that he was not certain whether the information Shearer had collected was legitimate, fabricated or part of a set-up.
“STEELE opined that SHEARER was not acting discreetly. STEELE said that the media was ‘sniffing’ around MANSIMOV,” the notes say.
Little is publicly known about Mansimov. Turkish news outlets reported in the 2000s about a scandal involving Mansimov and a Turkish energy company. Mansimov also allegedly paid bribes to gain citizenship in Turkey.
One person who was briefed on the Shearer memos during the 2016 campaign told The Daily Caller News Foundation in 2018 that they viewed the allegations as a “rope-a-dope” scheme “where the FSB throws this stuff out there, sucks people in, tries to get money.”
A U.S. official who was told about Shearer’s memos in August 2016 told the DCNF that they were viewed skeptically because Shearer considered “not a guy with a whole lot of credibility.”
“The whole thing stinks,” the official said.
No tapes of Trump have ever surfaced. Shearer denied to the DCNF in 2018, before reports of his dossier surfaced, that he had any connection to the Steele dossier.
An FBI spreadsheet that analyzed allegations from both the Steele and Shearer dossiers made reference to the sex tape.
The spreadsheet said that on Jan. 14, 2017, four days after the Steele dossier was made public, a confidential human source for the FBI reported that a person was willing to defect to the U.S.
The person “claimed to have compromising tapes on President Donald Trump,” the spreadsheet says.
Shearer did not respond to a request for comment. Winer has not responded to multiple requests for comment.