Christopher Steele, former British intelligence officer in London Tuesday March 7, 2017 where he has spoken to the media for the first time . Steele who compiled an explosive and unproven dossier on President Donald Trump’s purported activities in Russia has returned to work. Christopher Steele said Tuesday he is “really pleased” to be back at work in London after a prolonged period out of public view. He went into hiding in January. (Victoria Jones/PA via AP)
If Christopher Steele’s unverified and scurrilous dossier were true, you would think he would want to defend it.
But, while he spoke to the IG, who he knew had no criminal authority, Steele’s representatives are now saying he refused to cooperate and speak to the team for U.S. Attorney John Durham when he was approached by them, according to Reuters. According to Reuters, the sources claimed he was worried about “politicization.”
According to the Washington Examiner, on Friday, he told students at Oxford during a speech that he and his business Orbis have already “done our duty” by speaking to the IG. “We’ve said everything we have to say on the matter,” said Steele, who noted this included “confidentiality.” “I stand by the integrity of our work, our sources, and what we did,” he argued. He also attacked the IG’s report saying that he witnessed “very bad qualities” from some U.S. officials, whom he said acted “in bad faith.”
Steele’s dossier was critical in obtaining warrants to spy on a member for the Trump campaign team, Carter Page. Two of the warrants obtained against him were later invalidated after finding problem in the applications for four warrants including that issues as to the dossier were not identified to the FISA court.
There were multiple things that called Steele’s dossier into question that the IG said should have been presented to the FISA court including that the Steele’s dossier was paid for by the DNC and the Clinton team to undermine their political opponent. It was then spread to the FBI and also weaponized in the the media. The primary sub source for the dossier also undercut its reliability and that information was not communicated to the court.
Durham has already interviewed former Adm. Mike Rogers, who retired in 2018 after four years as the National Security Agency’s chief as well as agents and analysts from the NSA, FBI, and CIA.
Durham is scrutinizing former CIA Director John Brennan about Steele’s dossier, whether it was used in the January 2017 assessment, why former FBI Director James Comey and former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe insisted upon it being part of the assessment, how allegations from the dossier ended up in the assessment’s appendix, and whether Brennan had misled about the dossier’s use by the intelligence community. [….]
Georgia Rep. Doug Collins, the ranking member of the House Judiciary Committee, recently told Fox News he believes Durham will not release a report, but rather the public will hear about the progress U.S. attorney has made when there is an indictment. “When he’s ready to charge people, he’ll charge people,” Collins said. “And that’s when we’ll know.”
That’s where the rubber will meet the road on the question if anyone is going to be held to account.