Who is Christopher Steele?
Born: June 24, 1964 in Aden, South Arabia (present-day Yemen).
Occupation: Secret Intelligence Service/MI6 (1987-2009), Private intelligence consultant.
He ran the Russia desk at the MI6 headquarters in London between 2006 and 2009. In 2009, he co-founded Orbis Business Intelligence, a private intelligence firm based in London.
He served in Moscow as a first tour officer for MI-6 under diplomatic cover from 1990 to 1993.
Steel is the author of the Russian collusion dossier. Steele’s dossier was used by the FBI to obtain a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant to spy on several Trump associates.
Steele told a London court that he was hired to provide a basis to challenge the legitimacy of the 2016 presidential election in the event that Trump won.
Steele tried to point out former President Donald Trump’s alleged ties to Russia.
Steele claimed that “Kremlin and Trump were politically colluding in the 2016 campaign…’to sow discord and disunity both with the U.S.’ and within the transatlantic alliance.” And also, “[Trump] and his top associates had repeatedly accepted intelligence from the Kremlin on Hillary Clinton and other political rivals.”
Bill Priestap, the FBI’s former chief of counterintelligence, and his deputy, Peter Strzok received mixed reviews about Steele from his former colleagues. Some vouched for Steele’s honesty and integrity, but several others questioned his judgement and “lack of self-awareness.” Some colleagues described Steele as “smart,” and a “person of integrity,”
Steele was criticized for demonstrating “lack of self-awareness, poor judgment.” In addition, some of Steele’s colleagues said his work was “underpinned by poor judgment,” and “[r]eporting in good faith, but not clear what he would have done to validate,” one source said.
Priestap and Steele shared those assessments with the FBI team conducting the Trump probe, but did not include the information in Steele’s so-called Delta file, which the FBI maintains for its confidential sources. Because the information was not in Steele’s file, it was not used to assess Steele’s validity as an FBI source for the Trump investigation.
British judge ruled on July 8, 2020 that Christopher Steele violated a data privacy law by failing to check the accuracy of information in his infamous dossier, ordering the former spy’s firm to pay damages to two businessmen he wrongly accused of making illicit payments in Russia.
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