An associate of Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., is invoking his Fifth Amendment right not to incriminate himself to avoid revealing information to Congress about the so-called Steele dossier assembled to damage Donald Trump in run for the White House.
David J. Kramer, a former State Department official, pleaded the Fifth in response to a subpoena issued in December by the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, Fox News reported.
In a Dec. 19 interview with the committee, Kramer said he had information about some of the sources in the dossier, which was written by former British spy Christopher Steele.
The document was financed by former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign and the Democratic National Committee.
Kramer said he learned the information about sources in November 2016 after traveling to London to meet with Steele. Kramer and McCain first learned of the dossier earlier that month after meeting with an associate of Steele’s.
After the London meeting, Steele provided a copy of the dossier to Kramer with instructions to share it with McCain. The senator then provided a copy of the document to then-FBI Director James Comey during a Dec. 9, 2016, meeting.
The House intelligence committee issued a subpoena Dec. 27 to compel Kramer to discuss the sources.
Kramer, who was a director at the McCain Institute and now works for Florida International University, has avoided speaking publicly about his handling of the dossier, which the website BuzzFeed published on Jan. 10, 2017.
In addition to his interview with the intelligence committee, Kramer was deposed in December as part of a lawsuit filed against BuzzFeed for publishing the document. Kramer’s lawyers requested that his deposition in that case be sealed.
Steele, McCain, and Fusion GPS, the research company that hired Steele to write the dossier, have denied being BuzzFeed’s source. Kramer is the only person known to have handled the completed dossier who has not denied providing it to BuzzFeed.
Kramer and his lawyer have not responded to numerous requests for comment.
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