Former MI6 agent Christopher Steele - the author of the largely unverified "Steele Dossier," worked as a subcontractor for Russian billionaire and aluminum magnate Oleg Deripaska at the same time he was pontificating that Donald Trump's alleged (and still unproven) ties to Russia amounted to treason, according to The Hill's John Solomon.
Steele's firm, Orbis Business Intelligence, was hired by a law firm working for Deripaska in 2012, marking the beginning of a relationship which extended at least throughout 2016 according to Solomon. Steele was tasked with researching a business rival of Deripaska, however Steele's work for the Russian billionaire evolved to the point where the former British spy was interfacing with the Obama administration on his behalf.
To that end, Steele and twice-demoted DOJ official Bruce Ohr communicated extensively about the Russian Oligarch as recently as February 2016, which included efforts to obtain a Visa for Deripaska to attend an Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation meeting int he US.
Deripaska is now banned from the United States as one of several Russians sanctioned in April in response to alleged 2016 election meddling.
Ohr, meanwhile, was demoted twice after the DOJ's Inspector General discovered that he lied about his involvement with opposition research firm Fusion GPS co-founder Glenn Simpson - who employed Steele. Ohr's CIA-linked wife, Nellie, was also employed by Fusion as part of the firm's anti-Trump efforts, and had ongoing communications with the ex-UK spy, Christopher Steele as well.
What's more, Ohr met with Deripaska according to Solomon.
By 2015, Steele’s work had left him friendly with one of Deripaska’s lawyers, according to my sources. And when Ohr, then the associate deputy attorney general and a longtime acquaintance of Steele, sought help getting to meet Deripaska, Steele obliged.
Deripaska, who frequently has appeared alongside Russian President Vladimir Putin at high-profile meetings, never really dealt with Steele, but he followed his lawyer’s recommendations and met with Ohr, my sources say. -The Hill
The September 2015 meeting between Ohr, Deripaska and several FBI agents in New York sought the Russian billionaire's assistance regarding organized crime investigations. That meeting was facilitated by Steele.
To recap: Bruce Ohr = the #4 official at the DOJ, met with a billionaire friend of Vladimir Putin, in a sit-down arranged by Christopher Steele. Steele and the DOJ, meanwhile, were accusing Donald Trump of collusion with Putin - while the Obama administration used Steele's dodgy dossier to obtain a FISA warrant to spy on Trump campaign aide Carter Page.
Talk about actual collusion!
Steele asked Ohr, the #4 official at DOJ, to "monitor" any developments in Deripaska's visa case. Ohr said he would. Was Steele working for Deripaska? His attorney, Adam Waldman, registered under FARA for his work in lobbying for Deripaska's visa. https://t.co/EgwicnsyHT pic.twitter.com/AkIAxoRltg— Chuck Ross (@ChuckRossDC) August 9, 2018
Emails in 2016 between former British spy Christopher Steele and Justice Department official Bruce Ohr suggest Steele was deeply concerned about the legal status of a Putin-linked Russian oligarch, and at times seemed to be advocating on the oligarch's behalf, in the same time period Steele worked on collecting the Russia-related allegations against Donald Trump that came to be known as the Trump dossier. The emails show Steele and Ohr were in frequent contact, that they intermingled talk about Steele's research and the oligarch's affairs, and that Glenn Simpson, head of the dirt-digging group Fusion GPS that hired Steele to compile the dossier, was also part of the ongoing conversation. -Washington Examiner
Dossier author Christopher Steele was likely working for Putin-linked Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska at the exact same time he was telling Hillary and the press that Trump’s alleged ties to Russia were treason. https://t.co/jEXY2NM5hg— Sean Davis (@seanmdav) August 9, 2018
Deripaska has denied any involvement with the Steele dossier, telling The Hill's Solomon in a statement: "The latest reckless media chatter proposes that I had some unspecified involvement in the so-called dossier. Like most of the absurd fantasies and smears that ricochet across the internet, it is utterly false. I had absolutely nothing to do with this project, and I never had any knowledge of it until it was reported in the media and I certainly wasn’t involved in any activity related to it."
We're sure Jeff Sessions is all over this...
Meanwhile, Bruce Ohr looked somewhat spooked walking into yesterday's closed-door interview with Congressional investigators.