Grassley: Declassified Footnotes Show Info In Steele Dossier Was Likely 'Russian Disinformation,' Connected to Clinton Campaign

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)

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)

Democrats and media pushed the Steele Dossier as though it were true until it was essentially debunked by the Mueller report.

It was paid for by the DNC and the Clinton team in order to undermine their political opponent. It was then weaponized by being spread to the FBI and the media.

But now declassified footnotes from the DOJ IG’s report on the Russia probe are also adding more fuel to the fire that the dossier may have been compromised by Russian intelligence.

Attorney General William Barr decided to declassify them after a request from Senate Homeland Security Chairman Ron Johnson (R-WI) and Senate Finance Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA).

The dossier was used to justify spying on people including Trump campaign aide Carter Page and helped to push the false Russia collusion narrative.

But what the footnotes showed was that the information behind the dossier was “likely tainted with Russian intelligence disinformation,” Grassley and Johnson explained.

The IG report detailed how the FBI’s application for a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant to spy on Page relied heavily on an unverified dossier compiled by former British spy Christopher Steele on behalf of Fusion GPS, which was conducting opposition research for the Clinton campaign and Democratic National Committee. According to Footnote 302, in October 2016, FBI investigators learned that one of Steele’s main sources was linked to the Russian Intelligence Service (RIS), and was rumored to be a former KGB/SVR officer. However, the FBI neglected to include this information in its application, which the FISA court approved that same month. Two months later, investigators learned that Glenn Simpson, the head of Fusion GPS, told a Justice Department attorney that he assessed the same source “was a RIS officer who was central in connecting Trump to Russia.” In January, the FISA warrant was renewed.

Footnote 350 states that, in 2017, the FBI learned that intelligence reports “assessed that the referenced subset [of Steele’s reporting about the activities of Michael Cohen] was part of a Russian disinformation campaign to denigrate U.S. foreign relations.”

The FBI pressed ahead with the investigation anyway, despite knowing it was likely disinformation from the Russians and without even telling the FISA court about any of the concerns either about the Russians or that it was disinformation paid for by the DNC/Clinton team.

Grassley and Johnson said there were later intelligence reports that further indicated that it was Russian intelligence, but they still went ahead. That later bloomed into a hugely divisive issue and the millions of dollars for the Special Counsel investigation, all because of what was likely Russian disinformation, paid for by Democrats.

“For years, the public was fed a healthy diet of leaks, innuendo and false information to imply that President Trump and his campaign were part of a Russian conspiracy to spread disinformation. The FBI’s blind pursuit of the investigation, despite exculpatory and contradictory information, only legitimized the narrative. The mounting evidence undercutting this narrative should have stopped the investigation early in its tracks. Instead, it took several years and millions in taxpayer dollars to conclude that the allegations were baseless,” Grassley and Johnson said.

“Had FBI leadership heeded the numerous warnings of Russian disinformation, paid attention to the glaring contradictions in the pool of evidence and followed long-standing procedures to ensure accuracy, everyone would have been better off. Carter Page’s civil liberties wouldn’t have been shredded, taxpayer dollars wouldn’t have been wasted, the country wouldn’t be as divided and the FBI’s reputation wouldn’t be in shambles.

“It’s ironic that the Russian collusion narrative was fatally flawed because of Russian disinformation. These footnotes confirm that there was a direct Russian disinformation campaign in 2016, and there were ties between Russian intelligence and a presidential campaign – the Clinton campaign, not Trump’s.”

You had the DNC and the Clinton team paying for information that likely came from Russian agents. That appears to have been “Russian interference” And why are they not under investigation for undermining the election? They did everything they accused Trump of doing – paying a foreign national for Russian dirt on their opponent.

So will we be seeing more from US Attorney John Durham on this? This may be part of what Barr meant when he said it’s about more than sloppiness and mistakes, as we reported earlier.