DOJ watchdog finds FBI omitted details about Steele dossier in FISA renewal applications
[Washington Examiner] The Justice Department watchdog found omissions in renewal applications the FBI submitted to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court seeking warrants to monitor onetime Trump campaign aide Carter Page.
A draft of Inspector General Michael Horowitz's report, due out next week, shows the FBI failed to convey to the court that not all of the information it used from British ex-spy Christopher Steele was entirely reliable, according to the Washington Post.
Steele was an FBI informant enlisted to research then-presidential candidate Donald Trump by Fusion GPS, an opposition research firm that had been hired by the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton's campaign. Steele's Democratic funding, his strong desire for Trump to lose, and the possible flaws with his dossier were not revealed to the court governed by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.
His dossier on alleged ties between Trump and Russia was used by the FBI to obtain the authority to wiretap Page, an American who had suspicious connections to the Russians. The first warrant application was submitted in October 2016, after which there were three renewals at three-month intervals, including ones in January, April, and June 2017. Page was never charged with wrongdoing, and special counsel Robert Mueller determined in his investigation there was insufficient evidence to establish criminal conspiracy between the Trump campaign and Russia.
FBI agents interviewed one of Steele's subsources and found that Steele's raw intelligence, in need of further verification, was not completely reliable. Horowitz's investigators found the FBI failed to convey this information in the later applications, but according to sources familiar with a draft of the report, the omissions were "apparently" not sufficient enough for the watchdog to conclude the applications should have been rejected.
Posted by: Besoeker 2019-12-05