Thanks to public documents, testimony from insiders who have spoken to Congress, and an email sent by Peter Strzok of the FBI, we now know that the FBI didn’t just get one copy of the infamous Steele Dossier. Indeed, they may have gotten their hands on the document three different times, from three different sources. Furthermore, the dossier may have been altered on each occasion that it came into the FBI’s possession. And most troubling, the FBI may have ratcheted up their investigation every time they obtained the dossier from a new source.
This is the theory that John Solomon wrote about in The Hill this week, and it’s a theory backed by quite a bit of publicly-available data. Solomon makes the case that not only did the FBI rely on the dossier (which was, you’ll recall, a piece of Clinton-funded opposition research) to spark their investigation into the Trump campaign…not only did they use it to obtain a FISA warrant against Carter Page…but they actually used it at various other points to turn the heat up on the inquiry.
This, despite the fact that they got it at least three different times from three different sources. This, despite the fact that they obtained it each time from politically-motivated individuals. This, despite the fact that there should have been systems and checks in place to ensure the FBI was not chasing after duplicate information.
From Solomon’s column:
We know from public testimony that dossier author and former British intelligence agent Christopher Steele shared his findings with the FBI in summer and fall 2016 before he was terminated as a confidential source for inappropriate media contacts.
And we learned that Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) provided a copy to the FBI after the November 2016 election — out of a sense of duty, his office says.
Now, memos the FBI is turning over to Congress show the bureau possessed at least three versions of the dossier and its mostly unverified allegations of collusion.
Each arrived from a different messenger: McCain, Mother Jones reporter David Corn, Fusion GPS founder (and Steele boss) Glenn Simpson.
We also know, thanks to an email Strzok wrote to his FBI bosses in January, that not all of these dossier versions were identical. After Buzzfeed published the dossier, Strzok wrote: “Our internal system is blocking the site. I have the PDF via iPhone but it’s 25.6MB. Comparing now. The set is only identical to what McCain had. (it has differences from what was given to us by Corn and Simpson.)”
The problem here is obvious. The FBI gets the dossier, leaks it, and then gets it back through another channel. Whether due to incompetence or treachery, they then treat the most recent arrival of the dossier as new information that deserves to be investigated with the utmost seriousness. What kind of clown show was Comey running up there?
This dossier should have been laughed out of the Hoover building the first time it arrived on the doorstep. Instead, investigators – so desperate to make a case against the Republican nominee – kept feeding the same BS allegations back through the machine.