The credibility of the alleged source of the Trump dossier

Mark Hosenball reports: Christopher Steele, who wrote reports on compromising material Russian operatives allegedly had collected on U.S. President-elect Donald Trump, is a former officer in Britain’s Secret Intelligence Service, according to people familiar with his career.

Former British intelligence officials said Steele spent years under diplomatic cover working for the agency, also known as MI-6, in Russia and Paris and at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in London.

After he left the spy service, Steele supplied the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) with information on corruption at FIFA, international soccer’s governing body.

It was his work on corruption in international soccer that lent credence to his reporting on Trump’s entanglements in Russia, U.S. officials said on Wednesday. [Continue reading…]

This observation about the source’s credibility needs fleshing out a bit since some readers might imagine the reporter is drawing a connection between international soccer and Trump. On the contrary, the underlying point on credibility is this: Steele’s investigating company is not in the business of digging up dirt that provides irresistible material for journalists. Instead, it’s looking, and apparently has skill in finding, hard evidence that can be used by prosecutors.

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