The main source used by former British spy Christopher Steele to compile a file detailing President Trump’s ties to Russia was investigated by the FBI for suspicious contacts with the Kremlin, it has been reported.
From 2009 to 2011, this source was the subject of a counterintelligence investigation for alleged contact with Russian spies, according to Fox news.
The disclosure was made in a letter from Attorney General William Barr to Senate Chairman Lindsey Graham, a Republican from South Carolina.
Barr responded to requests from Graham’s commission regarding the ongoing investigation into the origin of the Russian investigation.
Christopher Steele (left), the former British spy who compiled a lustful file of unverified claims about President Trump’s (correct) ties to the Kremlin, used a source that was the subject of a counterintelligence investigation into alleged contacts with Russian spies, according to make a report of it
The allegation of a counterintelligence investigation into the source of the Steele file was made in a letter from Attorney General Bill Barr on Thursday.
President Trump has long denied accusations that his campaign colluded with Russia during the 2016 election.
In connection with your committee’s investigation into these matters and the ongoing hearings, you have asked us to speed up this process and provide additional information regarding the reliability of Christopher Steele’s work and the so-called ‘Steele file’, as long as the release would not jeopardize the ongoing criminal investigation of US attorney John Durham, ”Barr wrote.
“A footnote in the Inspector General’s report contains information classified and redacted so far pertaining to the reliability of the Steele file,” Barr wrote.
“The FBI has released the relevant section of footnote, number 334, which states that” The Primary Sub-Source was the subject of an FBI counterintelligence investigation from 2009 to 2011 assessing his or her contacts with suspected Russian intelligence officers. “
Barr wrote that he had asked the FBI to produce a declassified summary of information from that same counterintelligence investigation.
“I have consulted Mr. Durham, who originally brought this information to my attention in the course of his investigation, and has stated that the disclosure of the information will not interfere with his criminal investigation,” Barr wrote.
The counterintelligence investigation, which took place between 2009 and 2011, was discovered by US Attorney John Durham (photo), who is investigating the origins of the Russia investigation.
The Attorney General added that he had informed John Ratcliffe, the director of the National Intelligence Service, of “ certain classified information in the possession of the intelligence community ” that is “ based on the FBI’s knowledge of the reliability of the file ‘.
Mr. Durham confirms that disclosure of that information would not interfere with his investigation, otherwise the Department will delay the DNI with regard to handling this information, “Barr wrote.
Durham, the US attorney from Connecticut, was hired last year to lead an investigation into how the FBI and other federal agencies wanted to investigate Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election and whether the Trump campaign had been coordinated with the Kremlin.
Robert Mueller, who was appointed special counsel, closed a two-year investigation after which he found insufficient evidence to point to a conspiracy.
The information file was compiled over the course of the 2016 presidential campaign by Steele, a former MI6 spy whose investigation into Trump-Russia ties was funded by Democrats.
The FBI relied in part on information from the file during multiple applications to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court in 2016 and 2017 to track the communications of Carter Page, a former Trump campaign adviser, on suspicion that he was an agent of a foreign power.
Page has denied any wrongdoing and has never been charged.
DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz said in a report last December that while there was no evidence that the FBI was motivated by political bias during the investigation, the agency made serious errors during the filing process, including omitting information that the reliability. of certain reports included in the file.
The inspector general’s report stated that the FBI had considered the possibility “of Russia sending disinformation to Steele, and the possibility of disinformation being included in its election reports.”
But, Horowitz said, the FBI should have done more to determine if that was the case.
The file alleges that Trump and his campaign were blackmailed by the Russian government for getting a video of Trump seeing prostitutes urinating on a Moscow hotel bed in 2013 when he traveled there for the Miss Universe pageant.
The FBI did not rely on the file when it opened the Russia investigation in July 2016, but used different information about possible Trump campaign connections with Russia.
But it relied in part on the document a few months later when it filed for a warrant to check Page’s communications.
The fact that the file was used at all is one of the main points of contention that Trump supporters cite to challenge the legitimacy of the probe.
Graham said last month that the FBI “ misled ” the Senate intelligence committee during a March 2018 briefing, where they reinforced the reliability of the file, even though the primary sub-source said most of the information is “ rumors. ”
Last month, redacted documents released by the Senate Judiciary Committee revealed that the primary sub-source of the file told the FBI that all of the information included was from “ word of mouth. ”
This contradicts what the FBI represented to the panel during the 2018 briefing, when the committee was told there was no reason to doubt the file.
Graham said Horowitz decided to call the FBI to notify the Senate Intelligence Committee during the Russian electoral interference investigation after lawmakers became suspicious of the sub-source information.
“And they did to the Senate Intel committee what they did to the FISA court,” the South Carolina Republican said, referring to the FBI’s briefing to his colleagues.
South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham said last month that the FBI “ misled ” the Senate intelligence committee during a March 2018 briefing where they bolstered the file’s reliability, even though the primary sub-source said most of the information was “ rumors. ” is.
“They fucking misled them.”
“They said there is no evidence from the sub-source to suggest that Steele had made up anything on the file,” continued Graham, an ally of Trump.
This contradicted what the FBI told the committee in the spring of 2018, when they were told that the primary sub-source “ maintains trusted relationships with individuals who are able to report on the material he has collected for Steele. ”
The edited documents also raise doubts about the ‘golden showers’ aspect of the file.
The file alleged that the president was being blackmailed by Russia because Moscow had video evidence of an alleged incident where Trump apparently saw prostitutes urinating on a Moscow hotel bed while there for the Miss Universe pageant in 2013.
The sub-source revealed to the FBI, according to the newly released document, that much of the conversations he had “ with friends about beer. ”
The person also claimed that some of the information, including allegations about Trump’s sexual activities, was “ jokes. ”
Despite the primary sub-source telling the FBI that Christopher Steele – the former British spy and author of the file that contributed to the launch of the Russia probe – made claims based on his own ‘analytic conclusions’ and ‘judgments’, the FBI still told the intelligence commission that the file was “reliable.”