The man behind the transfer of the Steele dossier to Buzzfeed has been identified by a court filing yesterday. The name of John McCain associate David Kramer was revealed in conjunction with a federal lawsuit won by the media outlet, which published the dossier back in early January, 2017, after the 2016 election and before Donald Trump took office.
The Daily Mail says that David Kramer is a former State Department official who worked with John McCain for years as an executive with the John McCain Institute.
The lawsuit, which unveiled Kramer’s name, was filed by a businessman who says he was maligned by the Buzzfeed article, which spoke at length about alleged Trump contacts with Russia including interactions with Russian prostitutes.
It was previously known that McCain had some connection with former British spy Christopher Steele, but the name of the person who met with Steele was not identified.
“McCain, the late former senior senator, and Republican presidential nominee sent him to London to meet with Steele. McCain’s link was previously known, but not the aide who carried out his instructions.”
But there is also a note on the filing which says there is still a question about whether or not Kramer is the person who actually handed over the dossier.
(ENG) Ex-funcionário ligado a John McCain foi quem vazou dossiê russo ao BUZZFEED... https://t.co/szRPEiwrBS— o ESPRESSO (@oespressobr) December 20, 2018
But while David Kramer isn’t likely celebrating today the release of his name, Buzzfeed is happy about the judge upholding their First Amendment right to publish the dossier in full, even with the non-redacted name of the Russian businessman who was then living in Cyprus, says Vanity Fair.
Judge Ursula Ungaro sided with Buzzfeed saying that they were protected against defamation suits as they were working on government activity.
“[The] privilege exists to protect the media while they gather the information needed for the public to exercise effective oversight of the government.”
Buzzfeed editor Ben Smith says he is greatly relieved that the judge ruled in their favor and validated his editorial decisions and the importance of the Steele dossier.
“It was a relief in a way to see the legal side of this catch up with what’s become a consensus: that the dossier is an important document.”
Had the case gone to trial, the entire document would have become public, but it’s possible that it could happen anyway as the New York Times has filed to have the document unsealed.