CNN has revealed that the FBI used the fake “Trump dossier” in its application for a warrant from the FISA court in order to monitor former Donald Trump advisor Carter Page.
And Christopher Steele, who wrote the document, said through his lawyers in a report this week that the dossier came from “unsolicited” and “raw” intelligence that “needed to be analyzed and further investigated/verified.”
While Steele denounces the document, CNN reports it was part of the Democrat-controlled government’s effort to subvert Trump and his associates:
“U.S. officials tell CNN that last year the FBI used a dossier of allegations of Russian ties to Donald Trump’s campaign as part of the justification to get approval to secretly monitor Trump associate Carter Page,” Even Perez reported. “Now those sources say that FBI Director James Comey has cited the dossier in some of his briefings to Congress in recent weeks as one of the sources of information that the bureau used to bolster its investigation.”
“This includes approval from the secret court that overseas the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act known as FISA, to monitor Page’s communications,” Perez continued. “But to obtain permission to target Page, the FBI and the Justice Department would have to present probable cause that he was acting as an agent of a foreign power. Including possibly engaging in clandestine intelligence gathering for a foreign government.”
In his court filing, Steele claims he never provided the dossier to the media.
The former MI6 agent says he is the victim of Fusion GPS, the firm funded by Hillary Clinton backers that hired Steele to perform opposition research against Trump.
Steele says he never allowed Fusion GPS to circulate his dossier to media sources, but they did so anyway.
However, the BBC’s Paul Wood said Fusion GPS allowed him to review the dossier before a website made it public.
“The defendants did not provide any of the pre-election memoranda to media organizations or journalists. Nor did they authorize anyone to do so,” Steele’s attorney said. “Nor did they provide the confidential December memorandum to media organizations or journalists. Nor did they authorize anyone to do so.”
Steele said that blame for the publication of the memos should lie with the medium that published the memos in full in early January, despite acknowledging that “the allegations are unverified, and the report contains errors.”
However, Steele also admitted he provided “off-the-record briefings to a small number of journalists about the dossier in late summer/autumn 2016.”
Details of the dossier are now going public because Steele is being sued in a UK court by Aleksej Gubarev, a Russian tech executive who says he was falsely accused by Steele of running a hacking operation against the Democrats.
Trump’s longtime personal attorney Michael Cohen told the Washington Times he intends to also file a lawsuits against Steele.
Cohen was accused by Steele’s dossier of traveling to Prague in August to meet with Russian agents. Cohen immediately provided his passport to Trump to prove he has never set foot in Prague.
“I believe the entire dossier to be inaccurate, and worse, completely fabricated. I applaud Aleksej Gubarev in bringing legal action against… Christopher Steele… for creating and disseminating this fake dossier/information without a scintilla of fact checking. I am currently in discussions with foreign and domestic counsel to file similar actions,” Cohen said in a statement to the Washington Times.
The Times also detailed the involvement of Sen. John McCain in the dossier fiasco.
Andrew Wood is a former British ambassador to Moscow and is an associate at the Orbis firm. After the Nov. 8 presidential election, Mr. Wood met with Mr. McCain and David J. Kramer, a former assistant secretary of state who is director of human rights and democracy at The McCain Institute for International Leadership at Arizona State University. By that time, Mr. Steele had written 15 memos for the dossier.
As a result, Mr. Wood arranged for Mr. Kramer to meet with Mr. Steele “in order to show him the pre-election memoranda on a confidential basis,” the court filing says. The meeting occurred on Nov. 28 in Surrey, England.
“Mr. Kramer told [Mr. Steele] the intelligence he had gathered raised issues of potential national security importance,” the court filing says.
Kramer returned to Washington, and Fusion agreed to give a hard copy of the dossier to McCain “on a confidential basis via Mr. Kramer,” according to the filing, and McCain then asked Steele, through Kramer, to provide any additional information on Russian interference in the election.
McCain has confirmed publicly that he personally turned over the dossier to FBI Director James B. Comey. But at that time, the FBI already had the fake dossier from other sources and had been using it for months to investigate the supposed Trump-Russia connection.
Steele continued to receive “raw intelligence,” including the Gubarev accusations, and wrote the December memo after his work for Fusion ended. He then provided that memo to British national security officials and to Fusion through an “enciphered email,” with instructions to provide a copy to McCain.
The court filing says Steele worked with Fusion for “a number of years” and was hired in June, 2016 to begin investigating Mr. Trump. It was in June when the Democratic National Committee disclosed publicly that it had been hacked and alleged Russia as the culprit. The FBI never had access to the DNC servers, and the firm hired by the DNC claimed the Russian action, rather than an inside job.
The New York Times reported that the FBI, during an October meeting in Rome, offered Steele $50,000 to continue investigating Trump, apparently as a surrogate for the FBI. The deal, however, fell through for some reason.
Some Republicans have questioned why the FBI would try to put a Democrat-paid opposition researcher on the payroll, especially one who produced a dossier that was unproven. The Times said the FBI wanted Steele to provide more proof of his charges.