It looks like it’s getting worse for the FBI agents involved in the investigation into former Trump campaign advisor Carter Page and the probe into Russia’s interference in the 2016 election. Newly-released declassified documents cast even more doubts on the credibility of former British spy Christopher Steele’s dossier and the Bureau’s surveillance of Page.
The Washington Examiner’s Jerry Dunleavy wrote, “Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham released declassified FBI documents on Friday that appear to undercut the reliability of British ex-spy Christopher Steele’s dossier and the case against onetime Trump campaign associate Carter Page.”
Sen. Graham has been leading an investigation into the FBI’s handling of the Trump-Russia affair. He stated that this new release shows that agents should have reconsidered their bid to investigate Page after interviewing one of Steele’s subsources.
“It is clear to me that the memo regarding the FBI interview of the primary subsource in January 2017 should have required the system to stop and reevaluate the case against Mr. Page,” Graham asserted. “Most importantly, after this interview of the subsource and the subsequent memo detailing the contents of the interview, it was a miscarriage of justice for the FBI and the Department of Justice to continue to seek a FISA warrant against Carter Page in April and June of 2017.”
FBI agents spoke with Steele’s primary subsource, whose identity has not been released, in January 2017 for three days. The 57-page transcript of the interview deals with a variety of topics. It chronicles the former British spy’s endeavor to uncover evidence of wrongdoing on the part of Trump and his inner circle related to the Kremlin. The subsource told the FBI that Steele hired him to look into several of the then-candidate’s associates, including Page, Michael Cohen, and Paul Manafort.
Initially, the primary subsource told agents that while he had communicated with officials working with the Russian government, he did not believe that he had spoken with members of Russian intelligence. But later, he admitted that one of his friends had worked for the FSB, which is one of Russia’s counterintelligence agencies that succeeded the KGB.
This friend discussed other Russian contacts and noted that one of his numbered sources might have had contacts with the FSB. This contradiction is one of several issues that should have prompted the FBI to reevaluate its effort to investigate Page.
Graham stated that “The dossier was a critical document to justify a FISA warrant against Mr. Page, and this DOJ memo clearly indicates that the reliability of the dossier was completely destroyed after the interview with the primary subsource in January 2017. Those who knew or should have known of this development and continued to pursue a FISA warrant against Mr. Page anyway are in deep legal jeopardy in my view.”
In his dossier, Steele claims to have a source that was a “close associate of Trump” and attributes many of the more outlandish allegations against the president to this source. One of the more sensational claims involved Trump and prostitutes at a hotel during the 2013 Miss Universe pageant in Russia.
Dunleavy noted that the declassified documents “cast doubt on these salacious allegations.” The memo states that, “Christopher Steele was given the names of the management at the Ritz Carlton,” and that the primary subsource “said that he reported, “Trump’s unorthodox sexual activity at the Ritz as ‘rumor and speculation’ and that he had not been able to confirm the story.”
According to the documents, the primary subsource wasn’t too keen on investigating these prurient allegations. He “repeated that these types of tasking [on the election matter] made him uncomfortable.” The notes continued, “Steele pushed Primary Subsource to try and either follow-up with people or corroborate the reporting, but Primary Subsource wasn’t able to do so.”
The primary subsource told agents that “attempts at getting corroboration on these subjects made him uncomfortable” because “he was very nerved about the Russians finding out about it.”
Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s investigation concluded that the Bureau’s interviews with Steele and the primary subsource, “revealed potentially serious problems with Steele’s descriptions of information in his reports.” The Inspector General’s office pointed out that the primary subsource, “made statements during his/her January 2017 FBI interview that were inconsistent with multiple sections of the Steele reports, including some that were relied upon in the FISA applications.”
Another document that Sen. Graham released included former FBI special agent Peter Strzok’s notes in which he criticized claims made in a New York Times article published in Feb 2017 titled, “Trump Campaign Aides Had Repeated Contacts With Russian Intelligence.” In referencing the January 2017 conversation with the primary subsource, he explained that “recent interviews and investigation, however, reveal Steele may not be in a position to judge the reliability of his sub-source network.”
Strzok further explained that, “we have not seen evidence of any individuals affiliated with the Trump team in contact with IOs [intelligence officials]” and that “we are unaware of ANY Trump advisers engaging in conversations with Russian intelligence officials.”
At this point, it is abundantly evident that the Russia collusion investigation was a politically-motivated farce designed to damage the Trump administration. It was the first major offensive that the Democrats and their allies in the corporate media launched against him. However, it was also one of their biggest failures.
While the FBI’s wrongdoing is being continually exposed, one question keeps being raised: When the hell are we going to see some justice? While we have seen members in the Justice Department go after Trump’s associates, it does not seem that firings, arrests, or indictments are on the horizon when it comes to corrupt officials in the DOJ.
Hopefully, special counsel John Durham’s investigation will not end up like Mueller’s. Otherwise, there will be no reason for government officials to refrain from abusing their powers.
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