Durham sought the record of former British spy Chris Steele

Durham sought the record of former British spy Chris Steele

In an internal reference to the request, people said Durham believes there may be evidence in Steel’s notes that FBI agents misrepresented classified information about the crossfire hurricane, as the Bureau doubled its Russia investigation, while Steele’s own findings Inquired about. A possible conspiracy between the Trump campaign and Russia, people said.

Legal experts say it is very unusual for the U.S. government to request documents for commercial litigation abroad and in civil cases, legal experts said, and suggest that the British government was not involved in, or cooperating with, the Durham criminal investigation.

Durham declined to comment through a spokesman.

The court, which was sealed on July 21, 2020, and obtained by Politico, showed that John Fordham, a lawyer for the London-based Stephenson Harvard law firm, went to the United States to issue a defense order on the evidence gathered on a case-by-case basis. A separate lawsuit against Steel was brought to Britain by the founders of Russia’s Alpha Bank. (The U.S. Department of Justice does not have jurisdiction over Steele – a British citizen – or his pay firm, so no one can directly force him to change the evidence.)

Fordham did not return a request for comment.

Evidence of the alpha case, which was Tried and decided in MarchIn his July 5, 2016 text, Stale included a memo documenting his meeting with FBI officials in his office fees as well as some of the agents involved in the Crossfire Hurricane, documenting the steel notes he received in Rome on October 3, 2016.

A few months after the Alpha trial ended, Stephenson Harvard’s lawyers approached lawyers for Steele’s firm, Orbis Business Intelligence Ltd., seeking direct notes as it was used as a demonstration at the hearing. But when the law firm refused to disclose who its client was, Orbis’ lawyers later denied the firm’s request and were later taken to court, according to people familiar with the episode. In a subsequent court order, Stephenson Harwood disclosed, which is not publicly available but stated before Politico that the Justice Department was his client.

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Attempts by the British legal team on behalf of Durham have so far failed, however – Steele agreed to give his witness statements from the Alpha case, but he has not been forced to turn over notes of meeting documents with the FBI.

Burr Outlined in an interview Last week that Durham focused his attention on the behavior of FBI agents who worked on the Russia investigation, but did not elaborate. However, people familiar with his investigation say Durham is investigating whether FBI agents who met with Steele in Rome in 2016 released classified information about an anti-investigation targeting former Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos. a DOJ Inspector General Investigation, Which ended in December 2019, concluded that an FBI case agent had disclosed any classified information about Papadopoulos to Steele without prior authorization.

But the inspector general, Michael Horowitz, concluded that the case agent should not be found guilty – first because he never tried to hide the fact that he disclosed the information to Steel, and second because he was sensitive about how the FBI did not have established guidelines or According to former FBI officials at the address for disclosing sources of classified information, how much the agent needs to know the source of the investigation to collect the relevant intelligence, how much the deal should disclose the source independently and at the discretion of the agent in general.

Horowitz eventually only recommended that “the FBI establish guidelines for sharing sensitive information with him. [confidential human sources], But did not recommend that the case agent be charged with any crime.

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Nevertheless, Durham seems to have continued to investigate the issue. His team, led by Federal Prosecutor Nora Dennehi, contacted Steele and his firm, Barbis Business Intelligence Ltd., in February, according to people familiar with the episode. But Steele refused, citing the matter, saying the Durham investigation was naturally politicized because of the involvement of Barr and Trump. Dannehi The latter resigned, Presents worryingly among allies of undue political pressure to deliver a final investigation report before the presidential election. Politico did not respond to requests for comment at the time.

Durham’s investigation is ongoing, and he was appointed special adviser by the Bar before the 2020 election. The coming change in the status quo – or at least politically costly – will make it more difficult if the Biden administration fires them.

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