December 2015-2016: The various UK and Australian intelligence officials involved in Spygate and Russiagate

In Email Timeline Post-Election 2016, Email/Dossier Investigations, Jeff Carlson by Katie Weddington

“Luke Harding, a journalist for The Guardian, reported on the early involvement of UK intelligence, noting that Britain’s Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) was engaged in collecting information and transmitting it to the United States beginning in late 2015.

Additionally, in the summer of 2016, Robert Hannigan, then-head of GCHQ, traveled to Washington to personally meet with then-CIA Director John Brennan. The BBC reported that Brennan’s involvement may have gone back to April 2016.

 

Robert Hannigan, Richard Dearlove and Andrew Wood

Brennan appears to have used the foreign intelligence to launch an interagency investigation of the Trump campaign. Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper personally confirmed foreign intelligence involvement during congressional testimony on May 18, 2017.

Steele reportedly met with a number of UK officials regarding his dossier and investigation of Trump, including former MI6 head Richard Dearlove, who is also Steele’s former boss, and Andrew Wood, the former British ambassador to Russia.

Chris Burrows, Alex Younger and Andrew Parker

Dearlove advised Steele and his partner, Chris Burrows, to work with a “top British government official” to pass information to the FBI.

The Telegraph reported that Steele met with Charles Farr, the former chairman of Britain’s Joint Intelligence Committee, on two separate occasions to inform him of the events and information contained within his dossier. The two men, both former MI6 agents, had known each other for decades. The first meeting was reported as being in mid-November 2016, one week after the 2016 presidential election.

Alex Younger, the MI6 chief, and Andrew Parker, the MI5 director general, were then briefed about the dossier—before Trump was made aware of its existence by Comey.

Additionally, Alexander Downer, the Australian diplomat, met with Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos in May 2016, in a meeting established through a chain of two intermediaries.

Charles Farr, Christopher Steele and Alexander Downer

Information allegedly relayed by Papadopoulos during the meeting—that the Russians had damaging information on Hillary Clinton—appears nearly identical to information later contained in the first memo from Steele that the FBI obtained in early July 2016.

Downer’s conversation with Papadopoulos was reportedly disclosed to the FBI on July 22, 2016, through channels with the Australian government. Details from the conversation between Downer and Papadopoulos were then used by the FBI to open its counterintelligence investigation on July 31, 2016.” (Read more: themarketswork, 7/06/2019)  (Archive)