Russian tech whiz claims Mueller indictment of Kremlin officers vindicates him
A Russian tech entrepreneur accused in the infamous Christopher Steele dossier says Friday’s indictment of 12 Kremlin intelligence officers exonerates him.
The indictment signed by special counsel Robert Mueller didn’t refer to Aleksej Gubarev or make reference to any of his companies that supply computer servers worldwide.
The indictment presents a chronological narration of how Russian GRU intelligence officers set up a global hacking network to penetrate Democratic and Hillary Clinton campaign computers and steal documents and emails. The stolen information, loaded with newsy tidbits on how the then-front runner was campaigning, turned up on phony Russian websites. Eventually, the Russians relayed documents to Wikileaks, the indictment said. Wikileaks, not identified by name in the indictment, made thousands of emails public in July 2016.
Mr. Steele, an ex-British spy, told of another supposed hacker Mr. Gubarev.
In his final dossier memo in December 2016, he wrote that Mr. Gubarev personally played a role in hacking DNC computers and bombarding them with porn and spy ware. He did it, Mr. Steele said, under orders from the Kremlins’ successor to the KGB, the internal security service FSB.
The indictment proves Mr. Steele is floating fiction, said Val Gurvits, Mr. Gubarev’s U.S. attorney.
“None of the indicted individuals are affiliated with Alex Gubarev, XBT or Webzilla,” said Mr. Gurvits, noting the names of his client’s holdings. “In fact, Mr. Gubarev has never heard of any of them. The indictment represents full vindication for Alex Gubarev, XBT and Webzilla. And at the same time it eviscerates BuzzFeed’s truth defense.”
He added, “Someone fed him a bunch of horse st.”
Mr. Gubarev filed a libel suit against BuzzFeed in Florida after the publication posted the entire dossier including the Steele hacking charges on Jan. 17, 2017.
BuzzFeed hired a consulting firm, including an ex-FBI cyber sleuth, to try to prove the Steele dossier had merit. It has filed a confidential report in U.S. District Court in Florida.
Mr. Gurvits said he could not comment on the report. He added, “Throughout the course of discovery I have not seen a single thing that would in any way cause me to be concerned about the strength of my case.”
The case is scheduled for trial in November.
Mr. Gubarev also sued Mr. Steele for defamation in London. In a court filing there, Mr. Steele admitted the derogatory information on the Russian was unsolicited and unverified.
Mr. Steele relied on Kremlin sources. He was paid by the Hilary Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee via middlemen.
Mr. Gubarev left Russia 15 years ago and lives in the island nation of Cyprus with his wife and children. He holds dural citizenship. He hasn’t faced any U.S. sanctions, as have some oligarch Russians tied to the Kremlin.
“He has been in the U.S. twice in his life,” Mr. Gurvits said. “Both times because of the lawsuit. Obviously he is not concerned about coming here and being arrested. He is not on any sanction list.”
Mr. Gubarev came to New York last month to attend a mediation session with BuzzFeed which ended in impasse.