Jonathan Winer is a former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for International Law Enforcement and former Special Envoy for Libya during the Obama administration. Winer was a longtime aide to former Secretary of State John Kerry. Winer served in the State Department under Bill Clinton, but worked in private practice until Kerry took office in 2013.
For a more detailed treatment, see Magnitsky Act of 2012.
Jonathan Winer was one of the early architects of the Magnitsky Act as he notes in an article from The Daily Beast:
“When Browder consulted me, he wanted to know what he could do to hold those involved in the case accountable. I suggested creating a new law to impose economic and travel sanctions on human-rights violators involved in grand corruption. Browder decided this could secure a measure of justice for Magnitsky. He initiated a campaign that led to the enactment of the Magnitsky Act. Soon other countries enacted their own Magnitsky Acts, including Canada, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and most recently, the United Kingdom.”
Russian authorities are still pursuing a case against Browder. As Winer notes, the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty, allows Russian prosecutors to ask the U.S. Attorney General to arrange for Americans to testify in criminal cases—with one significant exception—as noted by Winer:
“The attorney general can provide no such assistance in a politically motivated case. I know this because I was among those who helped put it there. Back in 1999, when we were negotiating the agreement with Russia, I was the senior State Department official managing U.S.-Russia law-enforcement relations.”As Diana Johnstone noted,
“Winer’s clever treaty is a perfect Catch-22. The treaty doesn’t apply to a case if it is politically motivated, and if it is Russian, it must be politically motivated.”
- Main article: Steele dossier
Using a series of intermediaries, the DNC and Hillary for America (Clinton campaign) paid a private firm to conduct opposition research on candidate Trump and his ties with Russia. FusionGPS (fusion) is the trade name of a Washington, D.C.-based company that conducts research primarily on behalf of corporate clients. Marc Elias, chair of Perkins Coie's election law practice who represented the DNC and the 2016 Clinton campaign, hired Fusion in Spring 2016 and paid Fusion $1 million to conduct opposition research on candidate Donald Trump. Fusion subsequently hired former British Secret Intelligence Service officer Christopher Steele for $160,000 to obtain information on candidate Trump via a Russia-based primary subsource and numerous sub-sub-sources network who were purported to be current and former Russian government officials. The information Steele collected was reported back through a series of memos to Fusion and Perkins Coie. Steele produced sixteen memos, which comprise what has become known as the Steele dossier.
- Russian Active Measures, March 22, 2028, pp. 111-112.
- "Former State Department official [redacted] has stated publicly that, over a period of approximately two years, he provided over "100 of Steele's reports with the Russia experts at the State Department," including Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland. In Septemberer 2016, Winer was personally briefed by Steele on the dossier, and shared a two-page summary with Nuland, who ensured that Secretary of State John Kerry was made aware of Steele's information. Additionally, [redacted] received from Clinton associate [redacted] information collected by an individual named [redacted] Shearer which, "alleged the Russians had compromising information on Trump of a sexual and financial nature." Winer shared [redacted]r information with Steele, who provided it to the FBI. [redacted], "Devin Nunes is investigating me. Here's the truth.," Washington Post, Feb. 8, 2018; Susan B. Glaser, "Victoria Nuland: The Full Transcript." POLITICO, Feb. 5, 2018; Appendix G. The Committee believes that additional State Department officials were aware of Steele's efforts in 2016." Footnote 4, p. 113, HPSCI Russian Active Measures in the 2016 Election, March 22, 2018.