“There is an ongoing defamation lawsuit between Alfa Bank principals Mikhail Fridman, Peter Aven, German Khan, and FusionGPS. The three allege that FusionGPS defamed and harmed them in commissioning “Memo 112” of the now infamous Steele dossier, which purports that the three were collaborating with Vladimir Putin, and accuses another lower level Alfa bank employee of criminal misconduct at the behest of Putin.
Within a filing in the FusionGPS case, is an attachment from a related appeal that Fridman, Aven, and Khan filed in litigation they also brought against Orbis (Steele’s company). The filing includes written answers provided by Orbis in matters before the court in the UK. On page 76, is a courtesy copy of a British High Court Filing involving Christopher Steele and Orbis.
Orbis is asked why Perkins Coie needed the information in the memo about Alfa Bank. The response is quite alarming. Orbis answers (emphasis ours) “Fusion’s immediate client was law firm Perkins Coie, LLP. It engaged Fusion to obtain information necessary for Perkins Coie, LLP to provide legal advice on the potential impact of Russian involvement on the legal validity of the outcome of the 2016 US Presidential Election. Based on that advice, parties such as the Democratic National Committee and HFACC Inc. (also known as “Hillary for America”) could consider steps they would be legally entitled to take to challenge the validity of the outcome of the election.”
There are serious implications to the testimony. What Orbis is certifying to the UK court, is that when Perkins Coie hired FusionGPS in June of 2016, they did so with the expectation that FusionGPS would provide the information they would need to challenge the validity of the 2016 election, based on Russian interference. The only problem is that FusionGPS was retained by Perkins Coie much earlier than what is purportedly the start date of the now infamous Crossfire Hurricane counterintelligence investigation. The FBI asserts that the Crossfire Hurricane investigation began in late July of 2016, based on a tip about George Papadopoulos meeting with Australian diplomat Alexander Downer. The entire premise of that investigation is now under its own scrutiny in the John Durham probe.
As UncoverDC will detail in a moment, there was near-constant communication between Elias and FusionGPS principals throughout the duration of the engagement. Marc Elias, when questioned in front of the HPSCI in December of 2017, never mentions a word about Russian interference as he is probed about the odd retention of FusionGPS. From the transcript, we learn that Elias was initially approached by FusionGPS. FusionGPS told Elias that they had done research into candidate Trump for another client, and would be able to assist Perkins Coie in providing information that would be beneficial to the Clinton campaign and DNC. As the questioning continues, Trey Gowdy asks Elias specifically whether Simpson told him that there was information pertaining to Russia. Elias leaves his answer somewhat open-ended: