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Friday, January 19, 2018
McCain Associate Who Handled Dossier Asks Judge To Seal Deposition
The following article appeared in
Daily Caller on January 18th
By Chuck Ross
An associate of Arizona Sen. John
McCain’s who handled the dossier is asking a federal judge to block the release
of a videotape and transcript of a deposition he recently gave in a lawsuit
related to the salacious document.
David Kramer, a former State
Department official and former director at the McCain Institute for
International Leadership, filed a motion in federal court in Florida asking a
judge for a protective order to block the public release of his deposition.
Kramer was deposed last month by
lawyers for a Russian businessman suing BuzzFeed News for publishing the
dossier. The lawyers for the businessman, Aleksej Gubarev, are interested in
Kramer because he is one of just a few people known to have handled the dossier
after it was completed by former British spy Christopher Steele and before its
Jan. 10, 2017 publication.
Gubarev’s attorneys want to find out
whether BuzzFeed’s source gave any warnings about the veracity of the dossier
and whether it was verified or unverified.
Steele, McCain and Fusion GPS, the
opposition research firm that commissioned the dossier on behalf of Democrats,
have all denied being BuzzFeed’s source.
Kramer has not commented publicly on
Kramer’s lawyer, Marcos Jiminez,
argued in a motion to seal that the release of the deposition would jeopardize
his personal safety, make him subject to hounding from the press, and conflict
with congressional investigations looking into the dossier.
Kramer was interviewed by the House
Intelligence Committee last month and has also met with the Senate Intelligence
“Mr. Kramer seeks to prevent the
Plaintiffs from sharing his videotaped deposition and accompanying transcript
beyond the instant litigation,” wrote Jiminez.
He asserted that Kramer’s deposition
in the BuzzFeed lawsuit “would reveal the extent of the Congressional
Committees’ knowledge regarding the information provided by Mr. Kramer in
Jimenez also argues that should
Kramer’s deposition be released to the public, he “will be hounded by the
Kramer and McCain first learned of
the dossier shortly after the 2016 election while attending the Halifax
International Security Forum. On the sidelines of that event, Kramer and McCain
had a conversation with Sir Andrew Wood, a former British ambassador to Russia
and associate of Steele’s.
Kramer then traveled to London to
meet with Steele. While there, the pair made arrangements for Kramer to obtain
the dossier back in the U.S. and to provide a copy to McCain.
McCain shared an incomplete version
of the dossier with then-FBI Director James Comey on Dec. 9, 2016. The
Republican was unaware at the time that Comey and the FBI were already aware of
Steele’s report. FBI agents met with the ex-spy multiple times prior to the
Steele published his final dossier
memo on Dec. 13, 2016. It is that document which alleges that Gubarev used two
of his web-hosting companies to hack into the Democratic National Committee’s
computer systems prior to the election. The dossier also alleges that Gubarev
was recruited under duress by Russia’s spy services. He denies all of the allegations.
In addition to suing BuzzFeed, he is suing Steele in London, where the former
spy is based.
In court filings there, Steele has
acknowledged that the Dec. 13 memo contained unverified information.
As of the beginning of this month,
Steele and Fusion GPS have dodged requests for depositions from Gubarev’s