DOJ IG To FBI: Why Did You Cite Christopher Steele As Credible In Spy Warrant Application For Trump Campaign Official

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Posted: May 08, 2019 3:31 PM
DOJ IG To FBI: Why Did You Cite Christopher Steele As Credible In Spy Warrant Application For Trump Campaign Official

Source: AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin

The Department of Justice inspector general is about to drop their report on alleged FISA abuses in June. IG Michael Horowitz has been doing a thorough review of the allegations that the FBI used an unverified piece of political propaganda to obtain a FISA spy warrant against former Trump campaign foreign policy adviser Carter Page in 2016. It was reauthorized three more times into 2017. The main body of evidence allegedly is the so-called Trump dossier compiled by former MI6 spook Christopher Steele, which was funded by the Democrats, specifically the DNC and the Clinton campaign. It was an opposition research file aimed at getting dirt on Trump. Steele used former and current sources within the Kremlin. Yeah, some could call this Clinton-Russia collusion, but that’s a tale for another time. 

It’s a document that’s virtually unverified. It remains that way to this day, which is why most news organizations didn’t post the full document. BuzzFeed decided to be that guy in the room. It’s trash. And it was probably part of a Russian disinformation campaign. That allegation is going to be investigated by the DOJ on order of Attorney General William Barr. 

Fired Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe refused to answer questions during congressional testimony about whether the bureau verified the document before allegedly using it obtain a spy warrant against an American citizen who has not been charged or proven to have committed any crime. He now says that applications for the FISA warrants were “adequate.” The report filed by Special Counsel Robert Mueller on the Trump-Russia collusion myth proved definitively that no such operation occurred. The Trump team and the Kremlin did not collude.  So, what’s the deal with this document? The DOJ IG has been reportedly asking the FBI multiple times why they continued to cite Christopher Steele as a credible source when it came to these spy warrant applications. Well, we all know what the answer: they didn’t really verify anything. And let’s just say there were some interesting rendezvous between DNC lawyers and the FBI before that FISA warrant was doled out. And it’s not like no one spoke up about the integrity of this document. (via WSJ) [emphasis mine]:

In the closely watched probe of the counterintelligence inquiry that later morphed into special counsel Robert Mueller’s examination of Russia’s interference in the 2016 election, the department’s inspector general has been asking witnesses about the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s treatment of information in a dossier provided by Christopher Steele, a former British intelligence officer.

The findings of Mr. Steele, whose work was financed by Democrats to investigate President Trump’s ties to Russia, was included in an application for a warrant from a secret court to eavesdrop on Carter Page, who briefly served on the Trump campaign as a foreign-policy adviser. The surveillance of Mr. Page, who has denied wrongdoing and hasn’t been charged with any crime, began in October 2016, shortly after he left the campaign. The warrant was renewed three times through much of 2017.

[…]

Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s team has been asking why the FBI continued to cite Mr. Steele as a credible source in the renewal applications, the people said. In particular, they asked about a news report cited extensively in the applications that appeared to bolster Mr. Steele’s credibility. The report said U.S. intelligence officials were investigating allegations similar to those Mr. Steele had raised.

In the last application, the FBI said it didn’t believe that Mr. Steele directly provided the information in the Yahoo News article, even though Mr. Steele had admitted in U.K. proceedings in spring 2017 that he had briefed the reporter.

Investigators have also asked about an internal FBI evaluation of Mr. Steele’s credibility that found his reporting had been “minimally corroborated,” even as it also said he had provided information “of value” to the U.S. intelligence community. The evaluation was reflected in a “human source validation report” written by a unit of the FBI after the bureau cut off its relationship with Mr. Steele in October 2016. It did so because of his disclosures to the media about his work for the FBI.

In the last renewal application, dated June 2017, the FBI continued to state that it believed Mr. Steele’s information “credible,” given that his “previous reporting” had been “corroborated and used in criminal proceedings.”

The use of Mr. Steele’s information as part of a secret surveillance warrant was among the most controversial actions taken by the FBI during the 2016 campaign.

That “previous reporting” incident was the FIFA corruption bust in 2010.

The Horowitz probe does not have subpoena power, as The Wall Street Journal reported, so those who don’t work for the FBI can refuse to be questioned. But the Steele Dossier is also another subject of intrigue concerning the texts between fired FBI Agent Peter Strzok and bureau lawyer Lisa Page. Page has since resigned from the FBI. The two engaged in an affair sent tens of thousands of texts, most of which were anti-Trump, and was a source of embarrassment for the FBI, which prides itself in high professional standards. Strzok was a key counterintelligence agent, signed off on the probe that was soon taken over by Mueller on Russian collusion and was a key person with the Clinton email probe. The two worried that the FBI was being too hard on Clinton. Strzok then discussed an “insurance policy” between the two and “Andy” (aka McCabe), where it was alleged that the Trump Dossier was probably what they were referring to. Yeah, there were some serious allegations of election meddling emanating from the J. Edgar Hoover Building and most of Congress’ attempts to bring full transparency were blocked by the FBI. At the very least, it was an epic dragging of the feet on their end. It all circles back to deep state antics, politically motivated spying on an American citizen using shoddy sources, and even outright spying on the Trump campaign proper. Spygate’s tentacles reach far. We’ll see what the IG report reveals in a month.