TEL AVIV — Reports that the FBI has been utilizing a second dossier in its investigation of unsubstantiated claims of collusion between Russia and Donald Trump’s presidential campaign raise more questions about the credibility of the federal bureau’s already controversial probe.
According to a report in the Guardian citing “multiple sources,” the second memo in question was authored by Cody Shearer, a shadowy former tabloid journalist who has long been closely associated with various Clinton scandals.
Shearer’s reported involvement with the FBI’s investigation of Trump marks the second time the agency’s probe has been tied to the Clintons. Fusion GPS, the law firm that hired former British spy Christopher Steele to compile the infamous, largely discredited 35-page anti-Trump dossier, was reportedly retained to conduct the firm’s anti-Trump work on behalf of both Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign and the Democratic National Committee (DNC). Steele’s dossier served as some of the basis for the FBI’s investigation into Trump and Russia.
The Guardian reported the so-called Shearer memo was given to the FBI by Steele in October 2016.
The newspaper reported on the Shearer memo:
It was handed to them by Steele – who had been given it by an American contact – after the FBI requested the former MI6 agent provide any documents or evidence that could be useful in its investigation, according to multiple sources.
The Guardian was told Steele warned the FBI he could not vouch for the veracity of the Shearer memo, but that he was providing a copy because it corresponded with what he had separately heard from his own independent sources.
According to the Guardian report, the FBI is still assessing potions of the Shearer memo. The newspaper reported that, like Steele’s dossier, Shearer’s memo cites an “unnamed source within Russia’s FSB” alleging that Trump was compromised by Russian intelligence during a 2013 trip to Moscow in which the future president purportedly engaged in “lewd acts in a five-star hotel.”
Steele’s dossier infamously claimed that while Trump was staying in the presidential suite at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Moscow in 2013, the real estate mogul hired “a number of prostitutes to perform a ‘golden showers’ (urination) show in front of him.” The dossier claims that Trump wanted to “defile” the bed because he learned that President Obama had used the same suite during a trip to Russia.
Those dossier claims have never been verified. Breitbart News previously documented how information contained in a Washington Post article may actually work to disprove the prostitute urination claims. The Post quoted “a person with knowledge” of Trump’s 2013 trip saying that Trump’s bodyguard rejected an offer from a Russian billionaire to send prostitutes to Trump’s hotel room.
Shearer’s name, meanwhile, was mentioned in a January 25 letter from Sen. Chuck Grassley, Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, addressed to the DNC and to Marc E. Elias, an attorney at the Perkins Coie law firm. The Washington Post previously reported that Elias, utilizing Perkins Coie, retained Fusion GPS to conduct the firm’s anti-Trump work on behalf of both Clinton’s presidential campaign and the DNC. Clinton’s campaign and the DNC both were clients of Perkins Coie.
In his letter, Grassley inquired about a second possible memo on Trump, asking whether “anyone at the DNC” ever received “other memoranda written or forwarded by Mr. Steele regarding Mr. Trump.”
Grassley further asked the DNC to provide “all communications to, from, copying, or relating to” numerous individuals for the periods of March 2016 through January 2017, including any communications between the DNC and Shearer.
Shearer has numerous close personal and family connections to the Clintons and has reportedly been involved in numerous antics tied to the Clintons.
His brother-in-law, Strobe Talbott, was friends with Bill Clinton when the two were students at Oxford. Talbott went on to become special adviser to the Secretary of State during the first Clinton administration. Derek Shearer, Cody’s brother, was Clinton’s ambassador to Finland.
The Independent reported on a government investigation of whether Shearer misrepresented himself as working on behalf of the Clinton State Department in Bosnia in the 1990’s:
According to the Washington Examiner, Mr Shearer was investigated by the State Department Inspector General in 1998, after he led negotiations that “caused temporary diplomatic damage in Bosnia”. Citing documents obtained by Citizens United through the Freedom of Information Act, the Examiner reported that Mr Shearer “may have represented himself as speaking on behalf of the State Department” in conversations about the proposed partitioning of Bosnia.
National Review further reported on Shearer’s efforts in Bosnia:
In the middle of the decade, for reasons that remain unclear, he traveled to Europe to negotiate with associates of Radovan Karadzic, the Bosnian-Serb president known to have orchestrated the mass killings of Bosnian Muslims — including the Srebrenica genocide — during the brutal Yugoslav Wars. Representing himself as an agent of the State Department, Shearer told his Serbian contacts, which included members of Karadzic’s family, that he could reduce the severity of impending war-crimes charges if Karadzic surrendered. He claimed he was in contact not only with his brother-in-law, but also with then-secretary of state Madeleine Albright and even with President Clinton himself.
A subsequent State Department investigation found that the Serbs paid Shearer at least $25,000 for his efforts, though the Serbs themselves claim he was paid much more.
Emails hacked from former Clinton aide Sidney Blumenthal’s AOL account discuss a plan with Shearer to put paid operatives on the ground along the Libya-Tunisia border for about $60,000. The emails talk about “the general” and “Grange,” which ProPublica reported was a seeming reference to David L. Grange, founder of Osprey Global Solutions, a military contractor reportedly seeking to work with Libya’s transitional government.
Shearer’s name was directly associated with a Blumenthal message to Clinton that may have resulted in the Secretary of State meeting with Mahmoud Jibril, an opposition figure in Libya who would later serve as interim prime minister during Libya’s civil war.
National Review reported:
The March 6, 2011 e-mail released by the Benghazi Committee, however, illustrates a more direct link between Clinton and Shearer. “Cody, on his own, still at heart an indefatigable journalist, simply picked up the phone . . . and had a conversation with one of the key figures in the Libyan National Council,” Blumenthal writes, copying Shearer’s intelligence memo directly into the e-mail.
Shearer’s memo calls Jibril “very smart” saying the Libyan has “no desire to serve in a future government, [but] only wants to help in the transition.” “Someone should contact Mahmod Jipreel [sic],” Shearer continues. “He is balanced, level-headed and understands [the] current situation well.” “Cody says that Jipreel [sic] said he has not been contacted by anyone from the US government,” Blumenthal wrote in the e–mail.
On March 15, 2011, nine days after Blumenthal’s email referencing Shearer, Clinton met with Jibril for 45-minutes in Paris.
In the 1990’s, Shearer’s name came up regarding alleged Clinton efforts to suppress charges of sexual assault against Bill Clinton. Questions surfaced about Shearer’s alleged role in the controversial work of Terry Lenzner, a private investigator tied to efforts to discredit Clinton’s accusers.
In a 1999 profile of Shearer, Slate reported:
Shearer’s name popped up in the course of Sen. Don Nickles’ angry questioning of Terry Lenzner, the private investigator who would later, in the thick of the Jones/Lewinsky/Willey/Who Knows Who Else matter, be accused (by Dick Morris, among others) of coordinating efforts to smear and intimidate those women. Shearer had apparently acted as a liaison between Lenzner’s firm, Investigative Group International, and the Cheyenne-Arapaho tribe. The tribe had donated more than $100,000 to the Democratic Party, hoping, according to testimony, that the administration would intervene on its behalf in a dispute over drilling rights on tribal land. Lenzner had been retained to uncover compromising links between Nickles–who opposed the tribe’s claims–and local oil interests. Lenzner, while he admitted that he had accepted the tribe’s retainer, has denied that Cody Shearer had ever worked for IGI–though the firm did once employ his sister Brooke.
Shearer’s name resurfacing for reported involvement in providing information allegedly utilized by the FBI raises new questions about the veracity of the agency’s Russia collusion probe.
Aaron Klein is Breitbart’s Jerusalem bureau chief and senior investigative reporter. He is a New York Times bestselling author and hosts the popular weekend talk radio program, “Aaron Klein Investigative Radio.” Follow him on Twitter @AaronKleinShow. Follow him on Facebook.
Written with research by Joshua Klein.