All the contradictions!
On Monday, I blogged about how Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA) asked the FBI to declassify the criminal referral he and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) sent to the DOJ over dossier author Christopher Steele.
The FBI approved a less-redacted version and Grassley released it on Tuesday, including some parts of the documents that detail why the two senators believe Steele misled the FBI. However, the portion about Steele’s second dossier that had information from an associate of the Clintons and member of the State Department remains the same.
In other parts, it supports claims that the FBI used Steele’s dossier to receive a surveillance warrant on carter Page.
The part about Steele’s second dossier caught eyes on Monday, but the FBI kept the redactions intact. Officials blacked out what the dossier alleges and which associate of failed Democrat presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and member of the State Department provided Steele with the information.
In early January, Grassley and Graham asked the DOJ to investigate Steele because they believe he misled the FBI. The first version had that portion blacked out, but the FBI decided to declassify a few parts of the referral.
Grassley wrote that “there is substantial evidence suggesting that Mr. Steele materially misled the FBI about a key aspect of his dossier efforts, one which bears on his credibility.” The part underneath this is blacked out, which I assume Grassley wrote about that key aspect. The FBI declassified the portion where Grassley explains evidence that shows otherwise:
Grassley wrote that a footnote on a renewal for the FISA warrant on Carter Page shows a contradiction on the FBI’s part. The FBI “addressed Mr. Steele’s credibility.” The department “suspended its relationship with Mr. Steele in October 2016 because of Steele’s ‘unauthorized disclosure of information to the press.'” Yet they kept citing his work.
Grassley reminded the DOJ that former FBI Director James Comey described the dossier as “salacious” and “unverified” to the Senate. The FBI unclassified the parts below this reminder. Guess what it contains? MORE CONTRADICTIONS.
Comey said the department “included the dossier allegations about Carter Page in the FISA applications because Mr. Steele himself was considered reliable due to his past work with the Bureau.” Grassley wrote that the documents they have reviewed “show that the FBI took important investigative steps largely based on Mr. Steele’s information-and relying heavily on his credibility.”
The FBI filed its first warrant on Page in October 2016. The next sentence remains blacked out, but apparently the majority “of the application consists of allegations against page that were disclosed to the FBI by Mr. Steele” that also existed in the dossier. The application did not have any “additional information corroborating the dossier allegations against Mr. Page, although it does cite to a news article that appears to be sourced to Mr. Steele’s dossier as well.” MORE CONTRADICTIONS:
Steele admitted that he provided off the record briefings to the media in late 2016. In another sworn filing, Steele said that he and Fusion GPS (the company that worked on the dossier) briefed reporters from the New York Times, Washington Post, Yahoo News, New Yorker, and CNN at the end of September 2016. Fusion also pushed Steele to have more meetings with these outlets in mid-October 2016.
Media reported these filings last year, but as Grassley points out, “the FBI did not subsequently disclose to the FISC this evidence suggesting that Mr. Steele had lied to the FBI.” The application for the warrant “still relied primarily on his credibility prior to the October media incident.”
This information appears to confirm the memo from House Judiciary Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-CA) since it alleges that the FBI used the dossier to obtain a warrant on Page.
I am SO LOST. So did the FBI really believe Steele had unreliable information? Were they that desperate to get dirt on then-candidate Donald Trump that it didn’t matter? Did Comey truly find the dossier as salacious?
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