TriggerFinger


Steele's primary source believed to be Russian spy; FBI knew


Sara CarterIn a bombshell letter released a letter Thursday night by Graham’s committee from Justice Department Attorney General William Barr revealed a declassified summary from the bureau indicating that former British spy Christopher Steele’s primary sub-source in his debunked dossier was believed to be a Russian spy. Not only was the sub source believed to be a spy but the FBI knew about it and had conducted a counterintelligence investigation on the individual.

“In light of this newly declassified information, I will be sending the FISA Court the information provided to inform them how wide and deep the effort to conceal exculpatory information regarding the Carter Page warrant application was in 2016 and 2017,” said Graham. “A small group of individuals in the Department of Justice and FBI should be held accountable for this fraud against the court. I do not believe they represent the overwhelming majority of patriotic men and women who work at the Department of Justice and FBI.”

The investigation into Steele's source dates back to 2011, and had probable cause the man was a Russian agent (FBI planned to get a FISA before the source left the country). When the FBI interviewed the source in 2017, they did not ask about any connections to Russian intelligence despite the previous investigation, and they did not mention that previous investigation in any of the FISAs filed on Carter Page. That seems to tilt the scales heavily towards deliberate deception of the FISC.

It's worth noting that "It was all Russian disinformation" appears to be the FBI's line of defense on this topic, perhaps on the theory that incompetence is rarely criminal. Given the previous investigation into this man, the three FISA renewals that followed his interview, and the avoidance of the topic when interviewing him in 2017, it's hard to spin that as simple incompetence.

To borrow a phrase... they knew or should have known.

Also worth noting: It doesn't matter whether Steele's source and his information was actually a Russian disinformation campaign or not. Failing to disclose the possibility and the evidence for it in the FISA itself is a breach of the FBI's duty of candor to that court. The FBi is not entitled to think it over and make a judgement call about whether to include the information or not. They are required to disclose so that the FISC can make its own judgement call.

This entry was published Tue Sep 29 02:45:56 CDT 2020 by TriggerFinger and last updated 2020-09-25 05:55:45.0. [Tweet]

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