Judicial Watch’s Farrell hosted the panel discussion which featured the Daily Caller News Foundation’s Investigative Reporter Luke Rosiak, Conservative Partnership Institute’s Senior Director of Policy Rachel Bovard, and Judicial Watch’s Senior Attorney Mike Bekesha. This week, the U.S. Department of State released 16 pages of documents revealing former Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland and Special Coordinator for Libya Jonathan Winer coordinating with then-House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer’s (D-MD) national security advisor, Daniel Silverberg to work on Russia dossier materials provided by former British intelligence (MI6) officer Christopher Steele, whose dossier was proven not to be credible but was still used by the U.S. Justice Department (DOJ) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to obtain warrants from a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) court judge.Winer is a former Obama State Department deputy assistant secretary who was implicated in working with Steele and Clinton associate Sidney Blumenthal to circulate the now famous anti-Trump “dirty dossier” which is held in disrepute by the FBI despite their using the Steele documents to obtain eavesdropping warrants.
Judicial Watch obtained the documents in a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit filed on April 25, 2018 on behalf of itself and the Daily Caller News Foundation against the State Department after it failed to respond to three separate FOIA requests (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of State (No. 1:18-cv- 00968)). The lawsuit sought:
- All records of communications between State Department officials, including former Secretary of State John Kerry, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland, on the one hand, and British National Christopher Steele and/or employees or contractors of Steele’s company, Orbis Business Intelligence, on the other hand.
- All records and/or memoranda provided by Christopher Steele and/or his firm Orbis Business Intelligence or by others acting on Steele’s/Orbis’s behalf, to State Department officials.
- Any and all records in the custody of the State Department related to the provision of documents to British national Christopher Steele and/or his firm, Orbis Business Intelligence, or the receipt of documents from Steele or his firm. Time period is January 20, 2009 through the present.
- All records created in 2016 by Jonathan M. Winer relating to research compiled by Christopher Steele.
In an email exchange on September 19, 2016 — in the midst of the heat of the battle between Trump and Hillary Clinton for the presidency — Glenn Simpson of Fusion GPS asks Winer if he is “in town?” Winer replies “For a couple of hours.” Top Justice Department attorney Bruce Ohr — who served as an investigator on both the Clinton email server scandal and the allegations of Trump’s collusion with Russia — is connected to Fusion GPS: his wife Nellie Ohr is one of its employees.
On September 26, 2016, Winer contacts Nuland asking for “15 minutes of your time today if possible,” to discuss a “Russia related issue” from his “old O [Orbis Business Intelligence] friend.” Orbis was co-founded and run by Russia dossier author Christopher Steele.
Also, in an exchange beginning in November 2016, Hoyer’s top-aide Silverberg emails a “thank you” to Nuland, calling her a “warrior on these issues” and stating that he looks forward to pursuing “some of the things we discussed yesterday, albeit on the system integrity side.” Nuland forwards this email to Winer who adds that he wants to talk about “some new info.”
In a November 2016 exchange with the subject line “Would like to catch up on something at your convenience,” Winer reaches out to Nuland for a meeting, which gets booked in the Truman building on November 28.
In an email exchange dated December 12, 2016, Winer requests a brief meeting with Nuland saying, “Something new has come up of which I want you to be aware.” Nuland replies, “Ok,” and adds her assistant to the exchange. Winer’s assistant then emails Nuland’s assistant looking for a time to meet.
In February 2018, Winer wrote an op-ed claiming anti-Trump dossier author Christopher Steele and Clinton confidant Sidney Blumenthal approached him with separate dossiers. Winer wrote: “In the summer of 2016, Steele told me that he had learned of disturbing information regarding possible ties between Donald Trump, his campaign and senior Russian officials.” Also, “While talking about that hacking, Blumenthal and I discussed Steele’s reports. He showed me notes gathered by a journalist I did not know …”
“Every day of digging reveals more and more political collaboration on this hit job, and at the highest levels. While so much of the media is content to chase Russian conspiracies, The Daily Caller News Foundation and the fantastic lawyers at Judicial Watch are going to keep doing the hard work of holding power accountable,” said Christopher Bedford, editor in chief of the Daily Caller News Foundation.
“These documents further confirm the Obama State Department was obviously a way station for Steele’s smear dossier and other anti-Trump activism,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton.
According to a Judicial Watch news statement:
Judicial Watch recently released 43 pages of documents from the State Department revealing that its “Special Coordinator for Libya,” Jonathan Winer, played a key role in facilitating Steele’s access to other top government officials, prominent international business executives. Winer was even approached by a movie producer about making a movie about the Russiagate targeting of President Trump.
Judicial Watch previously released two sets of heavily redacted State Department documents showing classified information was researched and disseminated to multiple U.S. Senators by the Obama administration immediately prior to President Donald Trump’s inauguration. The documents reveal that among those receiving the classified documents were Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA), Sen. Ben Cardin (D-MD), and Sen. Robert Corker (R-TN).
Also, Judicial Watch is suing the State Department for communications between Nuland and employees of Fusion GPS, as well as top ranking Department of Justice, FBI, and State Department officials.