While there has been a ton of speculation about the Trump Dossier, it appears we’ve finally reached a conclusion – and it’s not good for the FBI.
Republicans have slammed the FBI after an analyst claimed the Bureau offered retired British spy Christopher Steele $1 million in cash to prove the salacious allegations in his infamous ‘Dirty Dossier’ on former president Donald Trump.
FBI supervisory analyst Brian Auten testified that the bureau made the offer in 2016 during a meeting in the United Kingdom – but didn’t hand over the money because Steele couldn’t back up the evidence.
The 35-page file penned by Steele claimed the Kremlin had compromising evidence against Trump – including videos of him involved in sexual activities in a Moscow hotel.
Rep. Jim Jordan described the revelation as a ‘disgrace’ while others criticized the FBI for getting too involved in politics.
‘You can’t make this stuff up. But I think it just underscores how out of touch and how political the FBI has become,’ Jordan said on Fox Business.
The revelations ‘further validates what we all know, which is that the FBI is purely political now, going after their political opposition,’ he said.
Trump’s son Donald Trump Jr. wrote ‘what a disgrace’ on Twitter, while Senator Marsha Blackburn wrote: ‘The FBI allegedly tried to payout $1 million to corroborate reports about President Trump that Hillary Clinton’s campaign fabricated.’
In a statement to the Washington Examiner, Sen. Chuck Grassley said the ‘lengths the FBI was willing to go at taxpayer expense to justify their investigation into the Trump campaign is just astounding and downright scary.
‘Now we know that the FBI offered to pay $1m to a former British spy to substantiate those rumors, which couldn’t be done because they weren’t true,’ he added.
The House Judiciary GOP Twitter account quoted a line in the testimony that said ‘Steele never got the money because he could not ‘prove the allegations’, adding on Twitter: ‘Well, duh.’
At the time of the meeting, agents were looking to verify claims the Kremlin had compromising videos showing Trump engaged in sexual activity in a Moscow hotel and allegations he was in contact with Russian officials before the general election.
There were also salacious claims Steele was commissioned by Democrats during the 2016 presidential campaign and the claims in the dossier have since been debunked.
Steele penned the 35-page document, which alleged that the Kremlin colluded with Trump’s presidential campaign, in 2016 after his private intelligence company Orbis Business Intelligence was hired by a law firm representing the Democrats.
Among other things, the ‘golden shower’ dossier claimed that the Russian security services could blackmail the President-Elect with allegations that he paid prostitutes to urinate on a bed once slept in by Barack and Michelle Obama.
The revelation about the substantial financial incentive being offered came in the trial of Russian analyst Igor Danchenko, one of Steele’s primary sources, who is accused of lying to the FBI when questioned about his information.
He was indicted on five counts of making false statements to the FBI about the dossier. Prosecutors told the court Danchenko fabricated one of his own sources and hid the identity of another when he was interviewed by the bureau.
Special Counsel John Durham, who was appointed by Trump, is prosecuting the case in am Alexandria, Virginia courtroom.
Auten testified that information from the Steele dossier was used to support a surveillance warrant against a Trump campaign official, Carter Page.
Under questioning from Durham, Auten said the dossier was used to bolster the surveillance application even though the FBI couldn’t corroborate its allegations.
Auten said the FBI checked with other government agencies to see if they had corroboration but nothing came back.
Auten and other FBI agents even met with Steele in the United Kingdom in 2016 and offered him as much as $1 million if he could supply corroboration for the allegations in the dossier, but none was provided.
Durham’s years-long probe has resulted in a single conviction – of FBI lawyer Kevin Clinesmith for doctoring an email used to justify surveillance. The trial of Hillary Clinton campaign lawyer Michael Sussmann resulted in an acquittal.
Steele, an ex-MI6 intelligence officer, compiled the dossier as a series of dispatches. He had been a paid FBI informant.
Prosecutors said Danchenko, a Russia analyst and researcher based in Virginia, fabricated once source and hid another source of information as the FBI rushed in the weeks before the 2016 election to confirm information in the dossier. They accuse him of lying to the FBI when he was questioned about information he provided.
They also pointed to an area of harm – the FBI relied in part of information in the dossier to obtain warrants for phone and email surveillance of former Trump foreign policy advisor Carter Page, a U.S. citizen.
They were probing an alleged conspiracy between the Trump campaign and Russia – in an investigation that would burst into the headlines.
‘Those lies mattered,’ Prosecutor Michael Keilty said, because the FBI presented inaccurate information to a foreign intelligence surveillance court.
Page was never charged with a crime.
Prosecutors say Danchenko lied when he told agents he got information from Sergei Millian, who had been head of the Russian-American Chamber of Commerce. But they said there isn’t evidence the two ever spoke, and pointed to phone records.
‘This case is about protecting the functions and integrity of our institutions,’ Keilty added.
‘This case is about protecting the function and integrity of our government institutions,’ said Durham.
Durham’s prosecutors focused on the treatment of Page, an area that has long been a focus of Trump and congressional Republicans, and which featured in a damning report by the Justice Department’s IG.
Danchenko’s lawyer countered that his client has been truthful and that the FBI asked his client vague questions during their 2016 meeting.
At one point Durham asked Auten why the DOJ opened its Russia probe in the summer of 2016.
But his answer cut against Trump’s repeated claim that the probe was founded on the dirty dossier.
Instead, his answer pointed to the origin of the probe, which has been repeatedly reported: A boozy encounter in a hotel bar in May 2016 between foreign Trump campaign advisor George Papadopoulos and an Australian diplomat, after the aide said the Kremlin had dirt on Hillary Clinton. The diplomat provided the information to the U.S.
The FBI needs to be gone!