FBI supervisory analyst Brian Auten testified on Tuesday that Russia hoax dossier author Christopher Steele was offered $1 million by former President Barack Obama’s FBI for ‘dirt’ on Donald Trump, but he never got the money because he could not “prove the allegations.”
According to the FBI official, Steele refused to provide the names of any of his sources during his meeting with the bureau. Furthermore, Steele didn’t give the FBI anything substantive that corroborated his claims in his debunked dossier.
Auten’s revelations were made at the criminal trial of Igor Danchenko, the Russian asset identified as a primary source for Steele’s dossier. Danchenko has pleaded not guilty to lying to the FBI in connection to the investigation by special counsel John Durham.
The FBI, however, did reimburse expenses for Christopher Steele, making him an FBI informant.
In September, Special Counsel John Durham provided evidence that the FBI was aware of Danchenko’s activities as early as July 2016. Durham also laid out the ties between the Hillary Clinton Presidential Campaign and the FBI’s “Crossfire Hurricane” operation.
“Beginning in or about July 2016 and continuing through December 2016, the FBI began receiving a series of reports from former British government employee Christopher Steele and his firm, Orbis Business Solutions, that contained derogatory information on then-candidate Trump concerning Trump’s purported ties to Russia,” the motion states.
“Earlier that year, Perkins Coie, a U.S.-based international law firm, acting as counsel to the Hillary Clinton Presidential campaign, had retained Fusion GPS, a U.S.-based investigative firm, to conduct research on Trump and his associates. In or about June 2016, Fusion GPS, in turn, retained Steele and Orbis to investigate Trump’s purported ties to Russia. The Steele Reports played an important role in applications that FBI personnel prepared and submitted to obtain warrants pursuant to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (“FISA”) targeting Carter Page, a United States citizen who for a period of time had been an advisor to then-candidate Trump.”
“Over a fairly lengthy period of time, the FBI attempted to investigate, vet, and analyze the Steele Reports but ultimately was not able to confirm or corroborate most of their substantive allegations,” the motion added. “In the context of these efforts, the FBI learned that Christopher Steele relied primarily on a U.S.-based Russian national, the defendant Igor Danchenko (‘Danchenko’ or the ‘defendant’), to collect information that ultimately formed the core allegations found in the Steele Reports. From January 2017 through October 2020, and as part of its efforts to determine the truth or falsity of specific information in the Steele Reports, the FBI conducted multiple interviews of the defendant regarding, among other things, the information that he had provided to Steele.”
In the Department of Justice’s Inspector General report on the FBI’s ‘Crossfire Hurricane’ operation, revised edition in December 2019, it notes that the discredited Steele dossier was used to justify the “sensitive and intrusive” surveillance of Trump adviser Carter Page.
The FISA warrant renewals contained false and misleading information, as the IG report notes. These include: “Omitted the fact that Steele’s Primary Subsource, who the FBI found credible, had made statements in January 2017 raising significant questions about the reliability of allegations included in the FISA applications”; “Omitted Page’s prior relationship with another U.S. government agency [CIA], despite being reminded by the other agency in June 2017, prior to the filing of the final renewal application, about Page’s past status with that other agency” [emphasis added]; “Omitted information from persons who previously had professional contacts with Steele or had direct knowledge of his work-related performance, including statements that Steele had no history of reporting in bad faith but ‘[d]emonstrates lack of self-awareness, poor judgment,’ ‘pursued people with political risk but no intelligence value,’ ‘didn’t always exercise great judgment,’ and it was ‘not clear what he would have done to validate’ his reporting.”
The U.S. media nonetheless reported on the Steele dossier, the primary fuel for the Russia Hoax that accused former President Donald Trump of being a traitor colluding with the Russians, as if it were credible information. The meritless claim mislead millions of Americans into believing that Trump’s 2016 election was not legitimate.
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