On Wednesday, Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), who chairs the House Intelligence Committee, issued a subpoena to an associate of Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), who allegedly traveled to the United Kingdom to receive a copy and a briefing on a salacious, uncorroborated dossier from a former British spy, Christopher Steele. David J. Kramer, a former State Department official who is now a senior fellow at the McCain Institute for International Leadership, traveled to London in November 2016 and met with Steele. He then returned to the U.S. and gave the dossier to Sen. McCain.
McCain gave a copy of the document that made unsubstantiated accusations about Donald Trump to James Comey, who was then the director of the FBI. However, the FBI already had a copy of the dossier because Steele had himself given it to the bureau, reportedly by installments beginning in July 2016. The dossier was formulated at the behest of the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton’s presidential operation.
McCain has long refused to answer questions about his role in delivering the dossier to the FBI. Kramer himself was deposed by the House Intelligence Committee on Dec. 19. It is based on the revelations in Kramer’s testimony that resulted in the summons for McCain. Kramer told the committee that he knows who are the sources in Russia for the allegations in Steele’s report. When the members of the committee requested the names, Kramer demurred.
Kramer has now been directed by the committee to appear again on January 11.
There are rumors on Capitol Hill that members of Congress believe that Russians were using Christopher Steele, the former spy who was hired by the Fusion GPS opposition research firm, to disrupt the presidential election while also seeking to destabilize the election by releasing emails hacked from the Democratic party. While Democrats and establishment media have frequently sought to link the Trump political organization and its staff to operatives linked to Russian president Vladimir Putin, that has not been the case with those who may be linked to Steele.
Kramer served for two years as president of Freedom House. He is currently Member of the Advisory Council for the George W. Bush Presidential Center’s Human Freedom Project. Kramer is a scholar of Russian studies. According to his bio at the Bush Presidential Center website, Kramer has taught as an "Adjunct Professor at the Elliott School for International Affairs at The George Washington University. Before joining GMF, Mr. Kramer served as Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, from March 2008 to January 2009. He also was a Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs, responsible for Russia, Ukraine, Moldova and Belarus affairs, as well as regional non-proliferation issues. He has also served on the State Department’s Policy Planning Staff and as senior advisor to the Undersecretary for Global Affairs. Earlier in his career, Kramer worked at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and the Center for Strategic and International Studies. He also was a lecturer in Russian Studies at Clark University in Worcester, Mass. and a teaching fellow at Harvard University."