Donald Trump, his new ZTE deal, and the Trump Russia dossier

President Donald J. Trump and his administration and supporters have long derided the Christopher Steele work contained in the dossier as fake and an attempt to simply attack Trump. However, to date, there has been no fact that has been proven to be false. Over the weekend, a Raw Story report identified two pieces of the Steele Dossier that Malcolm Nance noted might be evidence of bribery.

The reporting was triggered by a peculiar tweet made by President Trump over the weekend, which stated: “President Xi of China, and I, are working together to give massive Chinese phone company, ZTE, a way to get back into business, fast. Too many jobs in China lost. Commerce Department has been instructed to get it done!”

The tweet raised many questions, including why Trump is working with President Xi on this issue, which on its face appears to not help any American workers. Investigative journalist Scott Stedman then posted two tweets from the Dossier, according to the Raw Story report. The first read about deflection caused by the Russian interference story, noting: “[I]t deflected attention away from TRUMP’s business dealings in China and other emerging markets. Unlike in Russia, these were substantial and involved the payment of large bribes and kickbacks….”

The second reference to China in the Steele Dossier mentioned: “Suggestion from source close to TRUMP and MANAFORT that Republican campaign team happy to have Russia as media bogeyman to mask more extensive corrupt business ties to China and other emerging countries.” No one has been able to identify what the motivation or trigger for Donald Trump’s support of China and ZTE was. Given the two countries are in the middle of a trade tariff war, and companies such as Harley Davidson continue to announce moving overseas, the timing and nature of Trump’s weekend tweet is puzzling and perhaps two more Steele Dossier disclosures will soon be proven to be accurate like the rest that have been.

Daniel Cotter is a lawyer writing and teaching about SCOTUS, and married father of two boys living in Chicago, Illinois.