The FBI relied more extensively on Christopher Steele’s debunked dossier in their Russiagate investigation than has been revealed, inserting key parts from it into their applications for warrants to spy on the 2016 Trump campaign.
Agents did this without telling the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court that the precise wording was plucked directly from a political rumor sheet paid for by Hillary Clinton’s campaign or providing judges with any independent corroboration of the explosive allegations.
For years, defenders of the FBI and its Russiagate probe have downplayed the bureau’s reliance on the opposition research cooked up by Steele – with its incredible tales of billion-dollar bribes and pee-tapes – insisting it was limited to justifying the surveillance of a single Trump campaign adviser and used sparingly.
But the notion that mere “snippets” of the reporting by paid Clinton subcontractor Christopher Steele showed up in FISA applications, , no longer holds up to scrutiny.
A close examination of all four of the FISA warrants reveals that the FBI lifted dozens of key phrases from the dossier – as well as practically some entire sentences – and pasted them verbatim into their sworn affidavits. It did so repeatedly without citing its sources or using typical hedging language such as “allegedly” or “purportedly” to indicate that the claims were unverified. As a result, the FBI lent its voice of authority to many of the unsourced – and now debunked – accusations in the dossier.
For example, it avowed under oath in all four warrant applications that “the FBI has learned” that onetime Trump campaign adviser Carter Page had secretly met with sanctioned Kremlin officials in Moscow. But those allegations came from Steele’s D.C.-based collector Igor Danchenko, who admitted to the FBI in a January 2017 interview his input was just “hearsay” gathered from “conversation with friends over beer.”
It is not clear whether the bureau decided to pay Steele in connection with the dossier so that it could represent the material as originating from one of its own confidential sources. At one point it if he could verify key claims (he could not).
Meanwhile, the FBI repeatedly portrayed improbable third-hand rumors as sound “intelligence,” despite taking them directly from paid political opposition research operatives. Suggesting independent verification, the bureau repeatedly assured the FISA court it “assesses” the truth of damning claims.
In some cases, the FBI mixed partial information from one dossier report with partial information from another report to draw broader conclusions. It then used these as a foundation to claim evidence of a grand election “conspiracy” between the Trump campaign and Russia, with Page acting as an “intermediary.” Such a conspiracy was what counterintelligence agents needed to convince the FISA court that their main target Page was a Kremlin agent who posed a national security threat, and that deploying the government’s most intrusive investigative method – electronic surveillance – was necessary to investigate him.
In short, the FBI fabricated conclusions from fabrications and turned them into sworn representations before the powerful Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court.
The anti-Trump cabal at the FBI engaged in some pretty fraudulent tactics.
“Crossfire Hurricane” was the catchy code phrase for Comey’s mission to undermine the 2016 election and attempt a coup d’état against President Trump. The IG report by Michael Horowitz exposed the intent of the FBI hierarchy who hated Trump and concocted a scheme to investigate his campaign. They lied to the FISA court, falsified documents, withheld evidence and used a confidential source who stated in no uncertain terms that his goal was to prevent a Trump presidency.
More than two years before Mueller’s final shitshow before Congress and his admission that there was no collusion, the FBI acknowledged that the Steele dossier was fake.
FBI memos showed that the “Russian collusion” hoax fell apart early into Trump’s presidency. They knew it was all bullshit, but they wanted Trump gone by any means.
Even if it involves illegal wiretaps, lying to the FISA court, perjury, and pushing a fake dossier.
The FBI analyst Brian Auten admitted under oath that that neither he nor his team of half a dozen intelligence analysts could confirm any of the allegations in the dossier. But they said nothing.
The FBI need to be gutted from the top down.
Statement of Michael E. Horowitz, Inspector General, U.S. Department of Justice before the U.S. Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs concerning “DOJ OIG FISA Report: Methodology, Scope, and Findings”: https://oig.justice.gov/node/16547