The George W. Bush Institute executive who organized a joint statement by 13 presidential libraries pledging to unify to preserve democracy was previously revealed as the person who leaked the infamous Steele dossier to BuzzFeed after the 2016 election.
David Kramer, the executive director of the George W. Bush Institute, spearheaded a statement Thursday signed by 13 presidential libraries dating back to Herbert Hoover.
“By signing this statement, we reaffirm our commitment to the principles of democracy undergirding this great nation, protecting our freedom, and respecting our fellow citizens,” the statement read, in part. “When united by these convictions, America is stronger as a country and an inspiration for others.”
David J. Kramer, the Executive Director of the George W. Bush Institute and former President George W. Bush leave the stage after a talk during the Struggle for Freedom Conference at the George W. Bush Presidential Center on November 16, 2022, in Dallas, Texas. (Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images)
Kramer told C-SPAN last week that he had organized the statement in order to “remind fellow Americans that we are a great nation rooted in the ideals of freedom and democracy, and that we are best when we show compassion and tolerance, pluralism and respect for others, and that united we’re a much stronger country.”
He told The Guardian that former President Bush “did see and signed off on this statement.”
Kramer previously made headlines in March 2019 after his deposition on the debunked Steele dossier was unsealed by a judge for the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida.
David J. Kramer, the Executive Director of the George W. Bush Institute speaks with former President George W. Bush during the Struggle for Freedom Conference at George W. Bush Presidential Center on November 16, 2022, in Dallas, Texas.(Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images)
The 35-page dossier by former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele – controversially published in its raw form in January 2017 by BuzzFeed – alleged that former President Trump had colluded with Russia to win the 2016 presidential election over Hillary Clinton and claimed that the Kremlin had blackmail material on the former president, including a tape of prostitutes urinating on him in a Moscow hotel.
Kramer, a former State Department official and McCain associate, was working at the McCain Institute for International Leadership when he was deposed in December 2017 as part of a defamation suit by a Russian oligarch over BuzzFeed’s publication of the unverified dossier.
Kramer told the court at the time that he had met with Steele in London at the direction of the late Senator John McCain, R-Ariz. He said he later had given the dossier to multiple news outlets, including BuzzFeed, as well as to McCain, who had then given it to then-FBI Director James Comey in December 2016.
David Kramer, Senior Fellow at McCain Institute and former U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, is seen during the fifth Warsaw Security Forum in Warsaw, Poland, on October 24, 2018.(Jaap Arriens/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
The dossier served as the basis for Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrants against Trump campaign aide Carter Page later that year, and it was later revealed that it originally had been commissioned by a research firm hired by Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign.
The dossier has since been repeatedly discredited and debunked, including by Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s two-year investigation, which found no evidence of collusion.
The Bush Institute did not respond to Fox News Digital’s request for comment.
Jessica Chasmar is a digital writer on the politics team for Fox News and Fox Business. Story tips can be sent to [email protected].