Lawyers for a group of Russian bankers have subpoenaed 22 people, including three prominent journalists, as part of their defamation lawsuit against Fusion GPS, the opposition research firm behind the Steele dossier. The lawsuit, which the owners of Alfa Bank filed in 2017, is one of the last remaining paths left to answer unresolved mysteries about the dossier. Earlier this week, the federal judge handling the lawsuit approved a request to ask the British government for permission to depose Christopher Steele.
With Republicans out of power in Washington, few paths remain to address the remaining mysteries about Russiagate and the Steele dossier, the dubious document that the FBI used to justify surveillance of the Trump campaign.
John Durham, a federal prosecutor, is conducting an investigation into the FBI’s probe of the Trump campaign and the dossier, but many Republicans, including President Donald Trump, have turned sour on the probe.
Trump and congressional Republicans released a trove of records on the matter last year, but the document dumps have come to an end under Democratic control of Congress and the executive branch.
One lawsuit pending in federal court holds some promise for closure about the dossier.
The three owners of a bank in Russia, Alfa Bank, filed a defamation lawsuit in October 2017 against Fusion GPS, the opposition research firm that commissioned the dossier.
The lawsuit has been mired in legal fights between lawyers for Fusion GPS and the bankers, Mikhail Fridman, Petr Aven and German Khan. But the lawsuit has recently entered the discovery phase, which could shake loose additional details about the dossier.
In a federal court filing this week, lawyers for the Russian bankers revealed that they have submitted subpoenas for 22 people, including David Corn, Michael Isikoff and Eric Lichtblau, three prominent journalists who wrote about possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.
On Tuesday, Judge Richard Leon, who is handling the lawsuit against Fusion, granted the bankers’ request to formally ask the British government to make dossier author Christopher Steele, a former British spy, available for a deposition for the legal proceedings.
The financiers are also