by Tyler DurdenThu, 08/20/2020
In January 2017, former State Department official Jonathan Winer destroyed several years worth of reports from former UK spy Christopher Steele, at Steele’s request, according to the Daily Caller, citing a report released Tuesday.
Winer, a former legislative assistant to former Sen. John Kerry who became the State Department’s Special Envoy for Libya when Kerry was Secretary of State – was Steele’s contact at the State Department, and received the now-debunked reports claiming that President Trump had been compromised by the Russians.
According to the Senate report, Winer disclosed that he destroyed reports that Steele had sent him over the years. The Senate report also says that Winer failed to reveal when asked in his first interview with the committee that he had arranged the meeting for Steele at the State Department months earlier.
“After Steele’s memos were published in the press in January 2017, Steele asked Winer to make note of having them, then either destroy all the earlier reports Steele had sent the Department of State or return them to Steele, out of concern that someone would be able to reconstruct his source network,” reads the Senate report, which quote sWiner as saying “So I destroyed them, and I basically destroyed all the correspondence I had with him.“
In total, Winer had received over 100 intelligence reports from Steel between 2014 and 2016.
Emails that The Daily Caller News Foundation obtained through a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit show that Winer shared Steele’s reports with a small group of State Department officials. The Senate report says that the State Department was able to provide the committee with Steele’s reports from 2015 and 2016, though most from 2014 are missing.
In March, Steele told a UK court that he had “wiped” all of his dossier-linked correspondence in December, 2016 and January, 2017, and had no records of communications with his primary dossier source, Igor Danchenko.
In addition to receiving reports from Steele, Winer gave Steele various anti-Trump memos from Clinton operative Sidney Blumenthal, which originated with Clinton “hatchet man” Cody Shearer. Winer claims he didn’t think Steele would share the Clinton-sourced information with anyone else in the government.
“But I learned later that Steele did share them — with the FBI, after the FBI asked him to provide everything he had on allegations relating to Trump, his campaign and Russian interference in U.S. elections,” Winer wrote in a 2018 Op-Ed.
Steele was paid $168,000 by opposition research firm Fusion GPS to produce his anti-Trump dossier, which was funded in part by Hillary Clinton and the DNC, who used law firm Perkins Coie as an intermediary.