To this day, the FBI has largely gone unchecked for their use of the Steele dossier to so heavily pursue the Trump campaign (and administration). The document has been exposed as abject garbage, with literally not one of it’s salacious Trump related claims being verified. You know it’s bad when even The New York Times is now deflecting their malpractice by admitting it looks like it was a Russian misinformation campaign.
Last year, as the Republican House was conducting its investigations, they managed to bring in several FBI officials for questioning. In one of these sessions, the credibility of the Steele dossier came up as a topic.
“There were meetings with Mr. McCabe about the Russia investigation that involved discussions of the various reports that were generated by Chris Steele that we had received, both with respect to the content of the reports as well as what we had learned about Christopher — we, I’m sorry — the FBI investigative team had learned about facts that might bear on his credibility as a source,” Anderson said in the Oct. 31, 2018 interview, a transcript of which was obtained by The Daily Caller News Foundation.
“And what were those facts? You had mentioned the contents. More specifically, what were these discussions about? But start with the credibility issues,” a congressional staffer asked Anderson.
Anderson did not say when the meetings occurred. Nor did she say what the possible credibility issues might have been.
What was her excuse for not elaborating on those issues of credibility?
When asked for further details, an FBI attorney intervened to say that Anderson could not answer more questions because they “pertain to matters that are being looked at by the special counsel and its investigation.”
Of course. The rush to hide behind Robert Mueller, has been a mainstay of the FBI’s obfuscation on all manner of issues. Logically, this makes little sense as Steele’s lack of credibility being exposed would have done nothing to obstruct or interfere with Mueller’s investigation. Despite that, Steele has been handled with kid gloves throughout this process, including regarding the fact that he lied to the FBI. You’d be forgiven for suspecting the FBI is actually trying to protect him and cover up their interactions.
Regardless, we know their excuse was basically nonsense. Mueller’s report is out and the Steele dossier is barely mentioned and only in passing. Mueller wasn’t actually doing a deep dive into the dossier to report on it’s credibility, stopping the FBI from commenting on it at the time. You’d think the major catalyst that propelled and fueled the Trump investigation for years would be something Mueller would care about providing a full account for, but I guess not. Instead he didn’t even really touch it. That should tell you all you need to know about the seriousness of Mueller’s investigation.
Here’s the thing though. The Mueller investigation is over. So you’d think the FBI would now be willing to talk about this stuff.
The FBI declined to comment for this article. Anderson, who now works in private practice, also declined to comment.
No comment? What’s their excuse now?
Essentially, what happened here is that the FBI purposely ran out the clock until Democrats took over the House. That was intentional. The constant obfuscation, the dodging of questions, the claiming of different levels of privilege, and hiding behind Mueller were all calculated to ride out the Republican investigations. Given that the DOJ was so toothless under Jeff Sessions, perhaps they thought they’d successfully bury their actions.
That’s hopefully not going to be the case with AG Bill Barr now in charge. He’s already ruffled feathers by stating the basic truth that the Trump campaign was spied on. Whatever investigation he’s started needs to start naming names and doing so soon. Steele is at the center of all this and needs to be thoroughly exposed along with every official who perpetrated this hoax. If the FBI used Steele’s material while knowing he had credibility issues, that makes what happened even worse.
While some on the right are saying Trump should just let this go, I disagree. This goes past strategies for winning in 2020. All of this malfeasance has to be exposed to the sunlight for the betterment of the country. Elections be damned. It’s time for some accountability.