The reported loss of two Russian sources is remarkably tied to Donald Trump’s declassification of the Steele dossier, as stated in a recent court declaration.
This revelation comes amid an ongoing legal battle between Trump and Orbis Business Intelligence, the company founded by former British spy Christopher Steele, who compiled the controversial dossier.
Christopher Steele, a former MI6 officer with expertise in Russian affairs, compiled the dossier, which probed Trump’s alleged links to Russia.
In a witness statement made public on Tuesday, Steele expressed his outrage at the declassification of his testimony to the Mueller investigation, branding it an “egregious and reckless act” that exposed him, Orbis, and their confidential sources and methods. This move by Trump, he argued, served no purpose other than to tarnish their reputations.
Trump is currently pursuing legal action against Orbis, asserting that the dossier contained false and damaging claims about him, including allegations of “perverted sexual behavior” and bribery involving Russian officials. He claims a breach of his data protection rights, insisting that these false claims have harmed his reputation and caused distress.
Trump’s Denial and Ivanka’s Role
Steele’s witness statement also alluded to a personal aspect of the dispute. He suggested that Trump’s discovery of Steele’s friendship with his daughter Ivanka strained their father-daughter relationship and deepened the former president’s hostility towards him and Orbis.
In response, Trump vehemently denied any relevance of Ivanka to the case, characterizing Steele’s claims about their relationship as “untrue and disgraceful.”
Orbis, for its part, argues that any harm caused to Trump was a result of BuzzFeed’s publication of the dossier, for which it cannot be held responsible. The declassification of Mueller investigation records by Trump, it emphasizes, contributed to further public scrutiny of the dossier’s contents.
The legal battle continues, with the judge expected to decide whether Trump’s case against Orbis will proceed to trial at a later date.
Meanwhile, the revelation of Russian sources’ disappearance and the public spat between Trump and Steele have added another layer of complexity to the already convoluted narrative surrounding the Steele dossier and its impact on US politics.
Source: The Guardian