A new twist has emerged in the never-ending Steele dossier saga. It turns out the document used to justify a FISA warrant on a member of President Trump’s team, which was not produced by American intelligence organizations, wasn’t verified before it was presented to the FISA court.
“We are not able to sufficiently corroborate the reporting,” Comey wrote in a Jan. 12, 2017 email to then-Director of National Intelligence James Clapper that was declassified and made public through an open records lawsuit by the Southeastern Legal Foundation.
Since the dossier has been proven to have been made up by a foreign agent, the fascination with it and who knew what when, and why the “Comey” FBI used it for anything other than fire starter is somewhat of a mystery, but it does generate headlines.
The reality is that in 2017, while the previous regime was still in power, the people still in place were doing everything they could to derail the Trump presidency before it even started, and they thought they could get away with using made-up information to accomplish that goal.
CIA officials had already informed Comey’s FBI that the target of the FISA warrant, Carter Page, wasn’t a Russian spy but rather an asset helping U.S. intelligence. The bureau had received warnings about Steele and the reliability of his source network, including that it might have been compromised by Russian disinformation. Agents had also just recommended on Jan. 4, 2017, shutting down the probe’s inquiry into incoming National Security Adviser Michael Flynn for lack of evidence.
The FBI had been warned the previous summer that Hillary Clinton’s campaign may have planted the false Russia collusion story as a way to “vilify” Trump and distract from her email scandal, and agents were about to interview Steele’s primary sub-source, who would discount much of the information in the dossier attributed to him as bar talk and unconfirmed rumor not worthy of official intelligence.
And the larger intelligence community had decided it did not want to vouch for the Steele dossier in its official Intelligence Community Assessment about Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. election.
At this point, all of this is pretty well known, it’s just now there is a piece of paper further confirming that the whole Russia Russia Russia thing and the spying on Trump’s people were unwarranted.
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