Shane Harris is a staff writer at The Washington Post. He covers intelligence and national security and the Russia investigation.
Of all the allegations contained in the “Steele dossier,” the urtext of President Trump’s possible ties to Russia, one has long stood out as the most compromising, because it would be evidence of a political and business relationship between Trump and Russia that predated his campaign for the White House.
“An intelligence exchange,” former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele writes, “had been running between” Trump’s team and the Kremlin, with the direct knowledge of Russian President Vladimir Putin. “Within this context Putin’s priority requirement had been for intelligence on the activities, business and otherwise, in the US of leading Russian oligarchs and their families. Trump and his associates duly had obtained and supplied the Kremlin with this information.”
The precise nature and location of that “intelligence exchange” have never been fully explained. But journalist Craig Unger thinks he may have found it, running out of the offices of Bayrock Group, a real estate development company that operated in Trump Tower in Manhattan in the early 2000s and partnered with the Trump Organization.
Based on his own reporting and the investigative work of a former federal prosecutor, Unger posits that through Bayrock, Trump was “indirectly providing Putin with a regular flow of intelligence on what the oligarchs were doing with their money in the U.S.”
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