The Christopher Steele dossier on Trump’s collusion with Russia and subsequent corroboration


Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak with Trump on May 10, 2017 at the White House

Whatever the story of the day generated by Donald Trump, we should always bear in mind that the big story, the overarching story, is the story of Putin’s and Russia’s intervention in the 2016 U.S. elections, the collusion between Trump and his associates with Russia, and Trump’s ongoing refusal to criticize Russia or Putin — or even to fully recognize the validity of the intelligence community’s findings regarding Russian intervention in the American electoral process.

The top news story about Donald Trump has been and remains the nature of his and his associates’ ties to Russia, their collusion with Russia before and after the November 8, 2016 presidential election, and efforts by Trump to cover up the commission of these apparently criminal activities.

A key question throughout the campaign and since the election has been why Trump has so consistently refused to utter a word of criticism of Vladimir Putin or Russia.

Since the publication by BuzzFeed of the Christopher Steele dossier in January, 2017 (widely known as the “Golden Showers” dossier), a clear and coherent narrative of Russian intervention in the U.S. elections and cooperation with Trump associates has been available. Perhaps due in part to the salacious details of the “Golden Showers” episode, which could not be verified (not surprising due to the nature of the sources), news media gave the Steele dossier a wide berth, routinely dismissing it as unconfirmed and not verified.

See,

Ken Bensinger, Miriam Elder (BuzzFeed News World Editor), and Mark Schoofs, “These Reports Allege Trump Has Deep Ties To Russia; A dossier, compiled by a person who has claimed to be a former British intelligence official, alleges Russia has compromising information on Trump. The allegations are unverified, and the report contains errors,” BuzzFeed, January 10, 2017 (3:20 p.m.; updated at 6:09 p.m.).

The text of Christopher Steele’s dossier on Trump and Russia, is found here.

“More on the “Golden Showers” dossier prepared by former MI6 agent Christopher Steele: Sources,” The Trenchant Observer, March 7, 2017.

Some investigative reporters, nonetheless, continued to look into its allegations, which have over the last eight months been largely verified or confirmed by subsequent events.

Now, John Sipher, a former senior CIA official, has published an insightful article which connects the dots, tying together allegations contained in the Steele dossier with the findings of independent reporting and with subsequent events. The article is published in “Just Security”, a publication based at the Center for Human Rights and Global Justice at New York University School of Law. In an editorial note, the content of Sipher’s article is summarized as follows:

In this special Just Security article, highly respected former member of the CIA’s Senior Intelligence Service, John Sipher examines the Steele dossier using methods that an intelligence officer would to try to validate such information. Sipher concludes that the dossier’s information on campaign collusion is generally credible when measured against standard Russian intelligence practices, events subsequent to Steele’s reporting, and information that has become available in the nine months since Steele’s final report. The dossier, in Sipher’s view, is not without fault, including factual inaccuracies. Those errors, however, do not detract from an overarching framework that has proven to be ever more reliable as new revelations about potential Trump campaign collusion with the Kremlin and its affiliates has come to light in the nine months since Steele submitted his final report.

For the original article see

John Sipher, “A Second Look at the Steele Dossier—Knowing What We Know Now,” Just Security, September 6, 2017 (8:01 AM).

See also,

“Ex-CIA Official Expounds Upon Steele Dossier In A New Gov’t Report; “Pee Tapes” Likely Real,”
Posted by Chris, The Trump Impeachment, September 7, 2017.

“Hah! There are golden shower tapes … multiple sources … and there are even worse ones …,
Posted by Chris”, The Trump Impeachment, September 5, 2017.

Whatever the story of the day generated by Donald Trump, we should always bear in mind that the big story, the overarching story, is the story of Putin’s and Russia’s intervention in the 2016 U.S. elections, collusion between Trump and his associates with Russia, and Trump’s ongoing refusal to criticize Russia or Putin — or even to fully recognize the validity of the intelligence community’s findings regarding Russian intervention in the American electoral process.

The Trenchant Observer

About the Author

The Observer
"The Trenchant Observer" is edited and published by The Observer, an international lawyer who has taught International Law, Human Rights, and Comparative Law at major U.S. universities, including Harvard, Brandeis, the University of Pittsburgh, and the University of Kansas. He is a former staff attorney at the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights of the Organization of American States (IACHR), where he was in charge of Brazil, Haiti, Mexico and the United States, and also worked on complaints from and reports on other countries including Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Guatemala. As an international development expert, he has worked on Rule of Law, Human Rights, and Judicial Reform in a number of countries in Latin America, the Caribbean, Africa, the Middle East, South Asia, and the Russian Federation. In the private sector, The Observer has worked as an international attorney for a leading national law firm and major global companies, on joint ventures and other matters in a number of countries in Europe (including Russia and the Ukraine), throughout Latin America and the Caribbean, and in Australia, Indonesia, Vietnam, China and Japan. The Trenchant Observer blog provides an unfiltered international perspective for news and opinion on current events, in their historical context, drawing on a daily review of leading German, French, Spanish and English newspapers as well as the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, and other American newspapers, and on sources in other countries relevant to issues being analyzed. The Observer speaks fluent English, French, German, Portuguese and Spanish, and also knows other languages. He holds an S.J.D. or Doctor of Juridical Science in International Law from Harvard University, and a Doctor of Law (J.D.) and a Master of the Science of Law (J.S.M.), from Stanford University. As an undergraduate, he received a Bachelor of Arts degree, also from Stanford, where he graduated “With Great Distinction” (summa cum laude) and received the James Birdsall Weter Prize for the best Senior Honors Thesis in History. In addition to having taught as a Lecturer on Law at Harvard Law School, The Observer has been a Visiting Scholar at Harvard University's Center for International Affairs (CFIA). His fellowships include a Stanford Postdoctoral Fellowship in Law and Development, the Rómulo Gallegos Fellowship in International Human Rights awarded by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, and a Harvard MacArthur Fellowship in International Peace and Security. Beyond his articles in The Trenchant Observer, he is the author of two books and numerous scholarly articles on subjects of international and comparative law. Currently he is working on a manuscript drawing on the best articles that have appeared in the blog.

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