The House Select Committee on Intelligence is now investigating former Secretary of State John F. Kerry’s possible role into the unverified dossier paid for by the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton Campaign, this reporter has learned. The dossier, assembled by a former British spy, laid the foundation for the FBI’s investigation into alleged collusion between President Trump and Russia and was the essential piece of evidence used by the FBI to get a warrant to spy on a former volunteer for the Trump campaign.

For more than a month, the committee has been in its second phase of investigations focused on former Obama State Department officials and their role in either transmitting information or using information provided by a former British spy and investigator Christopher Steele. Steele was hired by embattled research firm Fusion GPS, also under several congressional and Senate investigations.

But it was in February when questions surfaced regarding Kerry’s possible involvement or knowledge of the dossier.

Jonathan Winer, a long-time colleague of Kerry and who served as the former envoy for Libya during his tenure at the Department, wrote an opinion piece in the Washington Post on Feb. 8, defending his relationship with Steele and his role in the infamous dossier.

A close confidant of Hillary Clinton who went on to work for the Clintons, appeared to be feeding Steele information

 

Winer attempted to pre-empt questions that the committee would ask regarding his role by admitting in his article that he was a long-time friend of Steele. He also established his close working relationship with Kerry saying, “in 2013, I returned to the State Department at the request of Secretary of State John F. Kerry, whom I had previously served as Senate counsel.”

But information uncovered by the Senate Judiciary Committee and revealed in its criminal referral of Steele to the Department of Justice that several Clinton allies were also connected to the State Department and the dossier. Sidney Blumenthal, a close confidant of Hillary Clinton, and Cody Shearer, a former journalist who went on to work for the Clintons, appeared to be feeding Steele information.

Winer said in his op-ed that “in late September, I spoke with an old friend, Sidney Blumenthal, whom I met 30 years ago when I was investigating the Iran-contra affair for then-Sen. Kerry and Blumenthal was a reporter at The Post. At the time, Russian hacking was at the front and center in the 2016 presidential campaign. The emails of Blumenthal, who had a long association with Bill and Hillary Clinton, had been hacked in 2013 through a Russian server.

While talking about that hacking, Blumenthal and I discussed Steele’s reports. He showed me notes gathered by a journalist I did not know, Cody Shearer, that alleged the Russians had compromising information on Trump of a sexual and financial nature.”

Also in September, 2016 Steele briefed Winer on the dossier at a Washington Hotel, according to an expose recently published in The New Yorker. Winer prepared his summary and shared it with former Assistant Secretary for European and Eurasian Affairs Victoria Nuland and Jon Finer, who was then chief of staff Kerry. Kerry was then briefed by Finer several days later, according to the report. 

In February, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes, R-CA, sent a dozen letters, containing ten questions, to former high-ranking Obama administration officials demanding full disclosure of their knowledge of the unverified dossier. Committee officials are in the process of determining how many senior officials within the Obama administration, like Kerry, were aware of the dossier.

Devin Nunes

At the time, the committee did not disclose what officials received the letters, so it is not clear if Kerry was among them. Last week, however, reports surfaced that former CIA Director John Brennan, former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and former FBI Director James Comey were among those Obama officials to receive a questionnaire.

On Monday, Nunes told Fox News that some of the former administration officials responded, others asked for extensions, and several have failed to respond.  He also noted that another dozen letters will be sent to more former Obama officials in the upcoming weeks as the investigation expands. The letter contained ten questions but one is of specific importance, say congressional investigators and that is if President Obama was aware of the contents of the dossier prior to Jan. 5, 2017. Also, the committee is investigating whether or not any senior officials leaked the contents of the dossier to reporters or media, as reported earlier.

Nunes said Clapper, Comey and Brennan did respond to the committee’s letter.

“There are a few people though that are not responding – they seem to have gone dark,” Nunes told Martha McCallum. “However, if they don’t respond here shortly they will be getting subpoenaed to appear before Congress to be treated with a deposition.”

But Winer’s op-ed and statements made by Nuland to the media regarding her role in the dossier have raised more questions than answers among congressional investigators. Winer, who also worked as the special envoy to Libya, noted in his op-ed that he contacted Nuland about Steele’s reports while he was at the State Department.

In one instance, Winer states that “over the years, Steele and I had discussed many matters relating to Russia. He asked me whether the State Department would like copies of new information as he developed it.”

Winer also said that he and Steele “met and became friends” in 2009 and both were interested in Russia and the collection of “business intelligence.” Winer also admitted sharing Steele’s work with the State Department’s Russia desk. “Over the next two years, I shared more than 100 of Steele’s reports with the Russia experts at the State Department, who continued to find them useful.”

Similar to Winer, Nuland has come forward to select media outlets regarding her relationship with Steele and the dossier. She told CBS’s Face the Nation, “[Steele] passed two to four pages of short points of what he was finding, and our immediate reaction to that was, ‘This is not in our purview. This needs to go to the FBI if there is any concern here that one candidate or the election as a whole might be influenced by the Russian Federation. That’s something for the FBI to investigate.”

This story has been updated

45 Comments

  1. I have heard you countless times on Hannity. Yours is the only voice I completely trust on this whole topic. PLEASE, for the sake of our republic, continue doing what you are doing, regardless of where it leads. You are doing an incredible job and I sooooooo appreciate your work.

  2. Sarah Carter, you are the example that every reporter should follow! You are one of the few people that I really trust to tell the truth about what has been going on! Keep up the good work and Hannity is right! You deserve a Pulitzer Prize!

    • Yes Sara deserve it. But Pulizer and Nobel prizes don’t go to those who untangle the truth. It goes to those block the transparency and provide bull shit. Obama and Gore.

  3. Most taxpayers don’t have the time to research the numerous comments, investigations, and past actions of politicians and bureaucrats. Your reporting is not only worth reading, it’s more than important with the obvious corruption in the capitol.

  4. Besides your amazing reporting which is uncovering the machinations of the swamp, I look forward to youri gleaming smiling eyes revelling in what you are reporting.

  5. Thank You so much Sara. Your professionalism and clarity is like a breath of fresh air. SwiftBoat John is one of those “special people” for me for his lying testimony so many years ago about VIetnam. He has damaged a lot of people, even a long time ago.

  6. Sara A. Carter is the hands-down best investigative reporter alive.
    She is fascinating to me, because I love her off-camera, listening face. She doesn’t have to think about what she is going to say next, since she has that all loaded up. By the expression on her face you can tell that she is absorbing everything that is being said. She is ready with the perfect answer, both thorough and concise, a rare combination. John Solomon is equally capable but not as camera friendly.

  7. Great reporting Sarah. You’re doing an amazing job keeping us informed of the BS that is going on. I agree that you should be considered for the Pulitzer Prizes for your efforts. Please don’t stop keep going you’re fighting a hard fight for truth and justice.

  8. If those that could make a difference such as the AG, those in the DOJ & FBI . .. had half your backbone the swamp could be drained overnight

  9. I agree with the compliments for Carter. Dear Sarah: does the whole Alexander Downer-Geo Papadopoulos story, including the timing, smell a little fishy to you

  10. Sarah –
    Good update. What has gone unreported has been any follow up on the DNC server and the consultants retained by Debbie Wasserman Schultz. Not sure how it ties to the dossier, but seems very close to the Clinton server situation. Would love to see what you can turn up there.
    So many scandals to follow!
    And Obama thinks his administration was scandal free?
    There must be a tipping point when the country finally reacts to all this mess and demands a full investigation. Maybe it will be the Inspector General’s report.

  11. Sara, you must just shake your head at night at this traitorous web of deceit and criminal activity at the highest levels. Keep digging.

  12. So many scandals, lies, and deception, it seems like our judicial agencies are toothless, or complicit. I fear that the IG and hopes for a Special Council are more foot dragging.

    As a non expert I have come to the conclusion they are playing games, or there is a Grand Jury underway (secret). Graybeard DC attorney Joe DiGenova seems to be most competent discussing these items.

    1. Does Sara have any idea if a grand jury is underway?

    2. DiGenova claims Rosenstein is afraid of his own shadow and wants to be a judge. So if Trump axes Sessions, why not transfer Rosenstein into a judge position.

    3. Sessions, Rosenstein, and Noel Francisco (Solicitor General) spotted having dinner together last week at a swanky DC restaurant. Same day President Trump slammed do-nothing Sessions.

    4. Christopher Wray, FBI head, MIA. Where is he?

    5. Today in Sacramento Sessions spoke about California’s sanctuary cities. He said something like “I don’t want to have to do x, but if you take these actions…” It sounded very passive and non assertive.

    6. Who could replace Sessions and Rosenstein?

  13. Your reporting is outstanding. Reminds me of what becoming a Journalist meant when I applied to Missouri J School – reporting the facts and allowing people to make their own decisions, not selectively reporting and disguising opinion as news. The FBI and DOJ need to be thoroughly cleaned out for the sake of the country. the evidence is clear that they have done is clearly at least as bad as anything Donald Trump has been accused of doing. Mueller needs to stretch the law to charge Trump with anything. Sessions needs only enforce the law to send McCabe, Strzok, L. Page, Steele, and quite possibly Comey and Clinton to jail. Conspiring to hamper the proper functioning of the FBI and DOJ is a crime under 18 U.S.C. §371. Shutting down the Clinton email and Foundation investigations, trying to stall the analysis of Weiner’s laptop, the list goes on and on. It is not up to any of these people to decide WHAT to investigate or WHAT to prosecute. Quite separate from anything Trump may have done, these people have all broken the law. Had Hillary and the DNC not conspired to steal the nomination from Sanders, the leak of the DNC emails would have had no impact. Funny how no one reports all this except you and a select few. Keep it up!

  14. I would love to know who was paying Steele to assemble those hundreds of reports to the State Department. Would that have been GCHQ as part of its five eyes agreement? And was that what Alexander Downer (or Bummer if you prefer) was following when he passed on the drunk bragging of Papadopolus. This is great reporting Sara, may your courage endure.

  15. Don’t matter. Kerry Cong is covered by the obama Clinton cabal. Nuthin gonna happen to him. Sessions and his loyalists have kerry’s back. They’ll never let a brother be prosecuted for aiding the fall of America.

  16. Look! Squirrel!
    Just another attempt at deflection by Nunes and his team, supported by Carter, Hannity, and Solomon, that will end up just like the Uranium One non-scandal did, showing you folks to be easily manipulated fools for scandal.
    And, as Fusion GPS founder Glen Simpson so aptly put it in his testimony, Republicans keep chasing rabbits while the Russian bear is attacking us.
    So thanks for helping them, Sara.
    And let us know when someone from the Obama, Clinton, or Kerry team accept a plea bargain, like Flynn, Gates, Popadopolous, have done.

    • Thank you Curtis but I believe Sara is reporting on an activity by a congressional committee. She is not inventing this news to help any faction in the weirdness that passes for US politics at the moment (read forever!!). Sara is reporting on political activities of interest to many who follow this site. I find the activities of all US political factions of some interest and I trust this site more than many others. So please refrain from shooting the messenger and critique the circumstance. For me, it is obvious that people in senior positions in the Obummer non achievers regime will be questioned. It is good to talk of these things. We learn from them. That is not to say that the Trump regime is short of non achievers either, they are just more amusing (for now) and I trust they wont be as frightening as others in past decades.

  17. Let’s see.
    Nunes and Chaffetz couldn’t get Obama on anything.
    Or Clinton with anything, but most recently the joke Uranium One non-scandal.
    Or Susan Rice with “unmasking.”
    So now, “look, a new YUGE SQUIRREL, John Kerry.”
    In the meantime, how many Trump team clowns have pled guilty and flipped?
    But keep pushing this crap, Sara, you’re like Alex Jones.
    Your rubes love this crap and will believe any conspiracy theory Nunes and the Trump deflecters come up with.
    And you never pay any price for having been wrong.

    • Sara Carter made a FANTASYIC analogy tonight on the Dean Hannity program.

      Pappadopolis, Coffee Boy, pops off in a bar, and a Special Council is created!

      But a Whistleblower works with the Russians for 6 years, tracks interactions daily, works with the FBI, the Russians BRAG repeatedly about how they will buy Uranium One, they spend $3 MILLION lobbying the Clintons, rout $145 MILLION to the Clinton Foundation, the Russians bribe, spy, Bill Clinton gets $500,000 for one speech… and NO Special Council?

      Russia was so confident they would buy Uranium One, they rented office space 10 months in advance!

  18. So in the wingnut, whack job world you creatures live in, the decorated combat veterans like Robert Mueller (Purple Heart, Bronze Star with Combat V, two Navy Comm with Combat Vs), Kerry (3 Purple hearts, Silver and Bronze Stars with Combat V), LtGen James Clapper, and career public servants like John Brennan, Andrew McCabe, Jim Comey, etc., are really the bad guys, and the Russian tools like “Cadet Bone Spurs” Trump, admitted felon Mike Flynn, and his deflectors like Nunes, Gowdy, Jordan, etc. are the true heroes and patriots?
    The bottom line is, it’s a binomial, you’re either an American standing with America and Americans and the truth, or you’re a Trump/Russian enabler and traitor.

    • Thank you Curtis Mamzic your admiration for military decorations as emblems of “trust” is interesting. These icons of dedication and bravery are, for many in this troubled world, irrelevant and even obscene.
      To quote a venerable soul “The man who is content to march in rank and file received his magnificent brain by mistake. A mere spinal column would suffice.”
      To make America Great Again bring all the troops home from everywhere and rebuild your disintegrating country. As in the rest of the developed world millions of people in the USA would appreciate non poisoned drinking water, exceptional affordable medical care, affordable education, respectful care for veterans, excellent infrastructure and dramatically less public danger from a weaponized society. MAGA means peace and prosperity for all.

      • John Kerry a bandaid Purple Heart opportunist … Brennan voted Communist …. and why did Mueller hire so many Clinton sycophants, including naked Clinton supporter and henchman Weissman? … no balance, no objectivity…
        .

        • Absolutely Perot C, Mueller has all the objectivity and integrity of a flat rock. Hiring sycophants is a mugs game for a lead investigator/ prosecutor that seeks to actually win in court. This Mueller is sad. Couldn’t prosecute a cat with a dead bird in its mouth.

          Rosenstein is a clever dick isn’t he. Plus he is deputy AG!!!! Sessions needs to go out and chase dope heads and leave this stuff to clever people. He must be as disappointing to the Donald as Pence is after that appalling performance at the Olympics.

  19. Hey Sara, instead of more of the usual delay/deflect/defend obstruction tactics from the Trump Republicans, us true Americans are wondering why the Republicans haven’t subpoenaed Lewandowski, Hope Hicks, Erik Prince, Donnie Trump Junior, etc., and have just let them refuse to answer questions and claim executive privilege without Trump invoking executive privilege?
    Can you imagine these same Republicans doing that for Democrats or President Hillary Clinton?
    Of course not!
    So do some of that supposed great investigative journalism you do and find out for us, Sara.

    • Thank you Curtis, but I must stick up for Sara, she actually does sound investigative journalism and don’t we need it what with MSNBC and CNN and, and, and. Why not go over to emptywheel where you will find lots of good friends. They write lots of long sentences there too. Just don’t ever say that the DNC data was leaked not hacked and never mention Seth Rich. Its all flowers and nicey nice there.

  20. Would all of Mueller Investigations be mute and thrown out using “the fruit of the poisonous tree” the tree being the illegal/fake dossier?

  21. Excellent work as usual. Keep it coming!Always enjoy your reports. I think your proofreader missed their Wheaties, tho’, esp. on the Clapper article. Keep their feet to the fire, lady!

  22. Sara I don’t believe ANYONE but you and Sharyl. You’re the only journalist with integrity left on the planet although I do like Hannity and Tucker is very entertaining when he traps the idiot libs and shows them for the fools they are. Watch your back babygirl. Hillary kills people. i pray for you every day.

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