|This article appears in the December 15, 2017 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.
British Intervention into 2016 U.S. Election
A Timeline and Key Players
[Print version of this article]
Christopher Steele, Key British Operative
• April 1990 to April 1993. MI6 agent Christopher Steele stationed in Moscow.
• 1998. British Embassy in Paris, serving officially as First Secretary Financial.
• 1999. Outed online as MI6 agent.
• 2006. MI6 Russia desk in London.
• 2009. Left MI6 to set up Orbis (22 years in MI6).
• 2010. Fusion GPS set up by Glenn Simpson in 2010.
• According to Luke Harding, author of Collusion, Simpson specialized as a journalist on the intersection between organized crime and the Russian state.
• According to Harding, Steele and Simpson knew the same FBI agents, shared expertise on Russia, and began a professional partnership.
• Harding, the author of Collusion, was a correspondent for the London Guardian in Russia from 2007 until 2011, after which he was refused re-entry to Russia. In 2011 book Mafia State, he describes Russia under Putin as a mafia state.
Chronology, 2010 to Present
• In the summer of 2010, members of a New York-based FBI squad assigned to investigate “Eurasian Organized Crime” met Steele in London to discuss allegations of possible corruption in FIFA, the Zurich, Switzerland-based body that also organizes the World Cup tournament.
• FBI agent Andrew McCabe began work as a supervisory special agent at the Eurasian Organized Crime Task Force in 2003.
• Steele authored more than 100 reports on Russia and Ukraine between 2014 and 2016, which were written for an unidentified private client and shared with the U.S. State Department; sent to Secretary of State John Kerry and Victoria Nuland.
• The FBI obtains a FISA warrant to surveil Paul Manafort in 2014, based on his political consulting work in Ukraine. Were Steele’s reports used to obtain the 2014 authorization to surveil Manafort?
• Ukrainian President Yanukovych was forced to flee Kiev on Feb. 22, 2014, following a coup d’etat by followers of Ukrainian World War II Nazi collaborator Stepan Bandera. According to Stephen Dorril, author of MI6: Inside the Covert World of Her Majesty’s Secret Intelligence Service, Bandera’s organization, OUN-B, was re-formed in 1946 under the sponsorship of MI6. The organization had been receiving some support from MI6 since the 1930s. Bandera was recruited by MI6 to work in London in 1948. Bandera’s second in command, Mykola Lebed, was brought to New York City in the same year by the CIA’s Allen Dulles.
• Flynn wrote a letter in 2014 on behalf of Supervisory Special Agent Robyn Gritz on his official Pentagon stationery. He gave a public interview in 2015 supporting Gritz and offered to testify on her behalf. His offer put him as a hostile witness in a case against McCabe, who was accused by Gritz of sexual discrimination. McCabe never recused himself from Flynn investigation.
• McCabe attends a meeting in March 2015 with Clinton ally Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe, for the purpose of gaining support for his wife Jill McCabe to run for state legislature against State Senator Richard Black, a leading opponent of Obama’s regime change policy and supporter of General Flynn. McCabe is now being investigated for violation of the Hatch Act.
• Donald Trump announces candidacy for President on June 16, 2015.
• GCHQ surveilled Trump associates beginning late 2015. The alleged intelligence was passed to the United States over the next several months.
• Andrew McCabe in February 2016 becomes Deputy Director of FBI, gains oversight of Clinton email server investigation, despite the fact that his wife Jill McCabe received several hundreds of thousands of dollars in contributions from Clinton supporter McAuliffe. He only recuses himself on November 1, 2016 after the investigation is over.
• The DNC and Clinton campaign in April 2016 hired Fusion GPS through Perkins Coie law firm and attorney Marc Elias.
• Fusion GPS hired Steele at end of April 2016. His first assignment to investigate Paul Manafort.
• Steele issues his first memo in June 2016; total of 16 memos June to early Nov. 2016.
• Steele flew in June 2016 to Rome to brief his FBI contact in the Eurasian serious crime division, a unit previously supervised in New York City by Andrew McCabe.
• Robert Hannigan, head of GCHQ flew to U.S. in the Summer of 2016 to brief John Brennan. Brennan launched interagency investigation; meanwhile the FBI had already been briefed by Steele through the FBI Eurasian serious crime division contact.
• July 2. FBI led by Peter Strzok interviews Hillary Clinton.
• July 5. FBI Director James Comey reports there will be no charges against Hillary Clinton, language changed from earlier drafts from “grossly negligent” to “extremely recklessly,” reportedly at insistence of Strzok.
• July 19. Trump wins the Republican nomination for President.
• July 22. WikiLeaks publishes the first DNC emails, Democrats claim Russia responsible, FBI never inspects the server.
• July. Investigation opened into collusion between Trump campaign and Russia. Document signed by Peter Strzok.
• Steele flew back to Rome to meet the “FBI leadership team,” possibly including Peter Strzok.
• According to NY Times, Steele heard back from his FBI contact that the agency wanted to see the material he collected right away, while offering to pay him $50,000.
• Later in September, Steele held meetings with the NY Times, Washington Post, Yahoo, New Yorker and CNN.
• FISA court authorized surveillance of Carter Page in Sept. 2016.
• Mid-October. Steele visited New York City and met reporters again.
• Late October. Steele spoke to Mother Jones. Article appeared Oct. 31, 2016.
• Nov. 8. Andrew Weismann, now the lead attorney of Robert Mueller’s Special Council team, attends Hillary Clinton’s election night party.
• Strzok, on January 24, interviews Michael Flynn. Strzok’s mistress Lisa Page, an FBI lawyer, works for Andrew McCabe. Andrew McCabe called Flynn to tell him FBI agents were coming to the White House to meet with him, without telling Flynn it was a criminal investigation interview.
• CNN, on February 17, reports “The FBI interviewers believed Flynn was cooperative and provided truthful answers.”
• Comey is fired May 9.
• Rosenstein appoints Mueller Special Counsel May 17.
• Mueller removes Strzok August 16, stonewalls Congressional requests for information on Strzok firing for nearly 4 months.
• Flynn pleads guilty to lying to FBI on Dec. 1.
• The Washington Post and NY Times receive a leak on Dec. 2 that Strzok removed from Special Counsel team.
• Bruce G. Ohr, Associate Deputy Attorney General under Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, ousted on Dec. 7 after House Intelligence discovered he met during the 2016 campaign with Christopher Steele. He also met shortly after the election around Thanksgiving with Glenn Simpson. It is believed that Ohr and Simpson were put in contact by Steele, whose contacts with Ohr are said by senior DOJ officials to date back to 2006. According to his biography, “Mr. Ohr was an Assistant United States Attorney in the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York (1991-99), and was Chief of the Violent Gangs Unit in that office (1998-99). Mr. Ohr joined the Criminal Division in 1999 and served as Chief of the Organized Crime and Racketeering Section until 2011, when he became Counselor for Transnational Organized Crime and International Affairs in the Criminal Division, serving in that position until November 2014.” Bruce Ohr’s wife Nellie Ohr works for Fusion GPS throughout the 2016 campaign.