This week, we learned that FBI informant and former British Spy Christopher Steele planned to release his unverified dossier on Trump before Election Day.
The dossier served as the backbone of the Trump ousting operation and was the bulk of evidence for the FBI to gain a FISA on short-lived Trump campaign volunteer Carter Page.
According to a memo obtained by Citizens United, Steele confessed in a meeting with Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Kathleen Kavalec that his dossier was in fact political and he was planning on releasing before the November presidential elections. The meeting with Kavalec took place on Oct. 11, 2016 and it was during that meeting that Steele revealed his intentions. She documented the meeting and the discussion in her notes.
The evidence sheds light on the FBI’s knowledge of what Steele’s intentions were when he compiled the dossier in the summer of 2016. Not only did they know his intentions but they ignored the fact that a good bulk of what he shared with the U.S. government was flat out wrong.
Most of the information contained in the dossier has been proven false. It appears Steele’s sources, most of whom were former and current Russian spies, gave him disinformation to tarnish the Trump campaign and create chaos in U.S.
Further, evidence collected by the House Intelligence Committee’s Russia investigation over the past two years, under then-Republican Chairman Devin Nunes, reveals that the bureau may have misled the FISA courts. Nunes has been arguing for the declassification of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance warrant on Page, the bureau’s interviews with former DOJ official Bruce Ohr and the Gang of Eight classified binder on the FBI’s investigation into the Trump campaign.
The only person with the power to declassify all the documents is President Trump and he has promised numerous times over the past month that he will do so.
The overwhelming evidence compiled over the past several years, to include these new Kavalec documents, is exactly what Department of Justice Attorney General William Barr will be investigating. It is important that the information from Kavalec’s notes be included in the ongoing investigation into the FBI by DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz. I’m certain he now has them.
The Hill’s John Solomon first reported the story Tuesday and on Thursday he published the summary of notes obtained by Citizen’s United through the group’s Freedom of Information Act request. What Citizen’s United was able to obtain is substantial because it is the first direct link that officials within the Obama administration knew about Steele’s intentions. In fact, some of Steele’s claims were outright false and Kavalec pointed them out in her notes before the FBI went to the courts to investigate members of the Trump campaign.
According to numerous sources, with direct knowledge of the congressional investigations into the origins of the FBI probe into Trump, the failure of the FBI to disclose this information to the courts is of grave concern. They note, the FBI officials handling this case did everything they could to avoid revealing the information to the most secretive court.
Horowitz is expected to release the report before the end of the month.
Now the question is how much did senior brass know about Steele’s political operation against Trump and how far did some senior officials, including former FBI Director James Comey and former Deputy Director Andrew McCabe go ensure that the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court would grant them the FISA warrant they needed to spy on Page?
How many more FISA warrants are there and did the bureau use unverified or flat out false information to obtain them? How many spies and informants worked on the operation against President Trump and his campaign officials? These are just some of the questions that have to be answered and investigated by the Department of Justice.
And this is just the tip of the iceberg.
The Hill’s Solomon:
It is important to note that the FBI swore on Oct. 21, 2016, to the FISA judges that Steele’s “reporting has been corroborated and used in criminal proceedings” and the FBI has determined him to be “reliable” and was “unaware of any derogatory information pertaining” to their informant, who simultaneously worked for Fusion GPS, the firm paid bythe Democratic National Committee (DNC) and the Clinton campaign to find Russian dirt on Trump.
That’s a pretty remarkable declaration in Footnote 5 on Page 15 of the FISA application, since Kavalec apparently needed just a single encounter with Steele at State to find one of his key claims about Trump-Russia collusion was blatantly false.
In her typed summary, Kavalec wrote that Steele told her the Russians had constructed a “technical/human operation run out of Moscow targeting the election” that recruited emigres in the United States to “do hacking and recruiting.”
She quoted Steele as saying, “Payments to those recruited are made out of the Russian Consulate in Miami,” according to a copy of her summary memo obtained under open records litigation by the conservative group Citizens United. Kavalec bluntly debunked that assertion in a bracketed comment: “It is important to note that there is no Russian consulate in Miami.”