British authorities have included information from Christopher Steele, the author of the anti-Trump dossier, in a highly-anticipated report about possible Russian meddling in the 2016 Brexit referendum, according to a report.
The Guardian reports that Steele, a former MI6 officer, provided research to the British parliament’s Intelligence and Security Committee (ISC), which has investigated possible Kremlin interference in British politics for more than a year.
It is unclear what information Steele provided for the investigation, but BuzzFeed News reported early Friday that the report will say that British intelligence found no evidence that Russia influenced the outcome of the Brexit vote, which was held on June 23, 2016.
The Russia report became a source of controversy this week after Dominic Grieve, the member of parliament who chairs ISC, accused Prime Minister Boris Johnson of improperly withholding the findings. Grieve’s protests have led to some speculation that the investigation uncovered evidence of Russian involvement in the Brexit vote.
According to BuzzFeed, the report says that the finding of no Russian meddling is categorical.
It is unclear from the Guardian report what information Steele provided to British authorities, or when he shared it.
Steele, who operates the firm Orbis Business Intelligence in London, was hired in June 2016 by Fusion GPS, an opposition research firm, to investigate President Trump’s ties to Russia. The DNC and Clinton campaign had hired Fusion GPS months earlier to collect dirt on Trump.
Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report on possible Trump-Russia collusion undercut several of Steele’s most explosive allegations, including that there was a “well-developed conspiracy” between the Trump campaign and Russia to influence the 2016 election.
The Justice Department’s inspector general is set to release a report on whether the FBI properly handled information from Steele, which was used to obtain four surveillance warrants against Page.
After Trump’s election win, Steele continued working with Fusion GPS on behalf of The Democracy Integrity Project, a U.S.-based non-profit group founded by Daniel Jones, a former Senate Intelligence Committee aide to Sen. Dianne Feinstein.
TDIP’s tax filing in 2017 shows that the group paid Fusion GPS and Steele’s firm more than $3.3 million and $250,000, respectively. TDIP also paid nearly $150,000 to Istok Associates, a U.K.-based firm that has pushed the allegation that Russia interfered in the Brexit vote.
According to TDIP’s tax filing, the group conducted research and analysis and managed “a network” of organizations aimed at tracking efforts by foreign actors “to interfere in democratic elections.”
The tax filing does not specific TDIP’s work, but says that the group shares information with “a variety of organizations…including government entities.”
Neil Barnett, the CEO of Istok Associates, has been an outspoken proponent of the theory that Russian interference in Brexit. He asserted in a Nov. 11, 2017 article that evidence suggested that Russia had interfered in the Brexit referendum. He also alleged that British officials were withholding information about Russian intrusion from the public.
In an article on July 26, 2016, Barnett questioned whether Arron Banks, a British entrepreneur who helped fund Leave.EU, a political campaign that supported the Brexit referendum, had ties to Russians.
Neither Orbis nor Istok responded to requests for comment.
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