A new memo sheds light on FBI’s relationship with British ex-spy Christopher Steele (above)
The new Democrat memo has revealed that the FBI never ended up paying former British spy Christopher Steele for his ‘dirty dossier’ on President Donald Trump.
The memo released on Saturday sheds additional light on the FBI’s relationship with Steele, the ex-MI6 agent whose dossier was included in a warrant application to spy on Trump advisor Carter Page.
Steele authored the dossier on behalf of Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, and parts of it were subsequently included in the FBI’s warrant applications to surveil Page.
Among the revelations about Steele are that he was furious at former FBI Director James Comey for reopening the Clinton email probe in the final weeks of the 2016 presidential campaign.
The FBI fired Steele as a source after it learned from him that he had leaked to a media outlet in late October, the new memo says.
‘Steele told the FBI that he made his unauthorized media disclosure because of his frustration at Director Comey’s public announcement shortly before the election that the FBI reopened its investigation into candidate Clinton’s email use,’ the memo states.
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The FBI considered paying Steele for the ‘dirty dossier’ that was included in a warrant application to spy on former Trump advisor Carter Page (pictured), but ultimately didn’t
Comey notified Congress on October 28, 2016 that he had reopened the email investigation after discovering new emails on a laptop that belonged to Clinton aide Huma Abedin’s husband, Anthony Weiner, during an investigation into his sexting with a minor.
Comey then announced the email matter was again closed on November 6, just two days before the election.
It was not immediately clear what media outlet Steele allegedly leaked to in late October 2016 in retaliation for Comey’s actions.
However, Steele has admitted in British court filings that he met with Yahoo News and several other outlets in September 2016 at the direction of Fusion GPS, the firm that contracted the dossier.
The new Democrat memo also reveals that the FBI never paid Steele for the dossier, as the prior Republican memo had previously implied.
That Republican memo ‘asserts that the FBI had “separately authorized payment” to Steele for his research on Trump but neglects to mention that payment was cancelled and never made,’ the Democrat memo states.
‘Steele ultimately never received any payment from the FBI for any “dossier”-related information,’ the Democrat memo says.
The Democrat memo adds that Steele had been an FBI source for some time, and had been paid for ‘previously shared information of value unrelated to the FBI’s Russia investigation.’
The purpose of the new Democrat memo was to refute an earlier Republican memo, which had claimed the Steele dossier had formed a substantial part of the FBI’s applications to obtain Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) court warrants to conduct temporary surveillance of Page.
The Democrat memo, which is partially redacted and cites classified material, claims that the warrant applications outlined a ‘multi-pronged rationale for surveilling Page’ and included additional intelligence sources than the Clinton-funded dossier.
The new memo also quotes from the original October 2016 warrant application.
It does not name any Americans except for Page, as is customary in such applications. But it does reveal that the FBI told the court its suspicion that the Steele dossier was politically tainted.
‘The FBI speculates that the identified US person [Glenn Simpson of Fusion GPS, who hired Steele] was likely looking for information that could be used to discredit Candidate #1’s [Trump] campaign,’ the warrant application reads.
That contradicts the main allegation in the prior GOP memo, that the FBI and Justice Department did not tell the court about Steele’s anti-Trump bias or that his work was funded in part by Clinton’s campaign and the Democratic National Committee.