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Federal judge orders documents unsealed in Buzzfeed Dossier case; confirms Kramer as Buzzfeed source

Florida District Court Judge Ursula Ungaro ordered the documents be made public by February 8th, 2019. More than 40 sealed records used in the case are listed in the order.

Ungaro’s decision will shed light into the discovery process during the defamation case, which includes depositions with dossier author Christopher Steele and the founders of Fusion GPS, including Glenn Simpson.

Ungaro ruled in BuzzFeed’s favor Dec. 19, 2018. Buzzfeed was sued in February 2017 by Aleksej Gubarev, a Russian tech executive accused in the dossier of using his web hosting companies to hack into the Democratic National Committee’s computer systems. Gubarev denied the allegation, which Steele made in a memo dated Dec. 13, 2016. The memo was the last of 17 memos that compile what is known as the dossier. 

BuzzFeed published the dossier Jan. 10, 2017, after receiving the dossier from David Kramer, former State Department staffer and John McCain Institute executive. The revelation today that Kramer was BuzzFeed’s source settles one of the main mysteries of the dossier.

Kramer and McCain became aware of Steele’s investigation of then-candidate Donald Trump earlier that month at the Halifax International Security Forum.

McCain dispatched Kramer to London to meet with Steele in November 2016. After that meeting, Kramer obtained a copy of the dossier from Glenn Simpson, the founder of Fusion GPS, the firm that hired Steele on behalf of the Clinton campaign and DNC.

Kramer met with McCain and McCain’s chief of staff, Christopher Brose, to review Steele’s reports on November 30th, 2016.

“Kramer advised McCain to share the reports with the FBI and the CIA,” according to Judge Ungaro.

Days later, Kramer met at McCain’s behest with Victoria Nuland, who served then as assistant secretary of state for Europe and Eurasian affairs and the State Department, and Celeste Wallender, the top Russian affairs official at the National Security Council. Nuland and Wallender were aware of the dossier and Steele, according to Ungaro.

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