On Tuesday night, The Washington Post released a story that proves that Hillary Clinton and her campaign were the ones responsible for creating the “Trump dossier.” But new information shows that the FBI also knew about the dossier during the very height of the campaign and considered helping fund it instead of stopping it, reports The Washington Examiner.
According to investigators it was apparently obvious that Democrats and Perkins Coie were involved in creating the “Trump dossier,” that it was not a surprise when the Washington Post broke the story.
“I’m shocked,” one lawmaker joked Tuesday night. “Who could have ever guessed?”
You can thanks one of the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Rep. Devin Nunes, for breaking the story. The California Republican has been looking into the dossier more than anyone else, and it wasn’t until his Oct. 4th subpoena for the bank records of Fusion GPS, the opposition research firm that handled the dossier, that finally revealed the truth.
The next step would be for the FBI to be involved.
At the height of the presidential campaign, around October 2016, Christopher Steele, who was the foreign agent hired by Fusion GPS to compile the Trump dossier, approached the FBI and according to the Washington Post, “reached an agreement with the FBI a few weeks before the election for the bureau to pay him to continue his work.”
Now there is proof showing that the nation’s top federal law enforcement agency was seeking to fund an ongoing opposition research project being conducted by one of the candidates in the midst of a presidential election.
“‘The idea that the FBI and associates of the Clinton campaign would pay Mr. Steele to investigate the Republican nominee for president in the run-up to the election raises further questions about the FBI’s independence from politics, as well as the Obama administration’s use of law enforcement and intelligence agencies for political ends,’ wrote Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa.”
The reports show in the end, that the FBI did not pay Steele, but the dossier still did not go away. In January 2017, Former head of FBI James Comey, briefed President-elect Trump (and President Obama) on the dossier’s contents.
Nunes has been trying to force the FBI to reveal just what they did with regards to the dossier. He issued a subpoena to the FBI on Aug. 24 and hasn’t received a single document since.
Now that the Clinton/DNC/Perkins Coie revelation is out, Nunes is hoping it will increase pressure on the FBI to explain what it did and did not do, with the dossier. When I asked, Nunes said what the FBI should do next on Tuesday night, “Their best option at this point is to bring all the documents to the Capitol.”
Republican investigators have two big questions:
One, who paid for the dossier, which now seems answered, and two, did the FBI or other agencies use any information from the dossier as a basis for warrant requests before the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court? In other words, did the FBI use the dossier’s “salacious and unverified” information to make the case that the bureau should be granted that authority to conduct intercepts?
Nunes, Grassley and the Senate Judiciary Committee colleague Lindsey Graham (R-SC) have been pushing the FBI for months but so far have gotten no answers.
“When the Post story broke Tuesday night, some journalists noted that Democrats involved in the story had been lying about their role. “‘When I tried to report this story, Clinton campaign lawyer Marc Elias pushed back vigorously, saying ‘You (or your sources) are wrong,'” tweeted the New York Times’ Ken Vogel. ‘Folks involved in funding this lied about it, and with sanctimony, for a year,’ added the Times’ Maggie Haberman.”
Now the next important question that needs to be answered is what did the FBI do with the dossier material? Did judges make surveillance decisions in the Trump-Russia investigation based in whole or in part on the dossier? And to what degree is the “salacious and unverified” dossier the source of what we think about allegations of collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign?