When the FBI sent an application to the FISA court for a warrant to spy on Trump campaign associate Carter Page under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, the cover sheet displayed the word “VERIFIED” in bold letters. This was not true. A more appropriate and accurate word would have been “CONCOCTED.” We now have tangible evidence, in the form of a document laid out like a spreadsheet, that the FBI tried and failed to verify the information in Christopher Steele’s “dossier” but had gone ahead and used it as the central piece of evidence of a Trump/Russia conspiracy (and of Carter Page being a Russian agent). They even used it for three subsequent renewals.
John Solomon has talked to multiple sources who saw the “spreadsheet” used by FBI agents to try to fill in the blanks left by Steele’s improbable dossier. These sources told him that the vast majority of Steele’s claims were determined to be wrong –- some quite obviously and immediately so –- “or could not be corroborated even with the most awesome tools available to the U.S. intelligence community.” One source estimated that over 90 percent of Steele’s claims were either wrong, non-verifiable, or available through open sourcing on Google. (Come to think of it, wasn’t Nellie Ohr’s area of specialization open-sourced information? Perhaps much of this material came from her, at Fusion GPS.)
We already know that Steele talked with an official high in the State Department –- this in itself was inappropriate –- who had sent a memo to the FBI about his weakness as a witness. Steele had told her that he really, really wanted the material he had compiled to be out before Election Day, as he really, really did not want Donald Trump to be elected President. Again, inappropriate. Plus the State Department had already found blatant inaccuracies in his material. (For example, there is no Russian embassy in Miami.) Red flags all over the field.
In early 2017, it got worse. The FBI interviewed one of Steele’s main sources, who according to the dossier had spun a tale of Carter Page meeting with two Putin associates in Moscow in July 2016 as part of the “collusion” effort. But this source told the FBI that the meetings Steele had described in the dossier didn’t happen. The dossier also contained a claim that experts dismissed as “preposterous”: that Carter Page had been promised a huge finder’s fee –- as in, billions of dollars –- for getting Trump to lift sanctions on Moscow.
Even the infamous story about sex tapes of Trump and a couple of incontinent prostitutes in a Moscow hotel room hit a dead end, with the source telling the FBI that he’d heard the tapes were fake.
The FBI concluded that about 90 percent of the dossier material was inaccurate or unable to be verified. We’ve been aware of some of these inaccuracies, but now we know of actual evidence that the FBI was trying to verify the dossier and couldn’t. Yet they presented the information as verified, thereby knowingly committing fraud on the FISA court.
The IG recently talked with Steele at length, and this interview was followed by news reports trying to elevate his credibility as a source. But these impressions are apparently inaccurate –- mere wishful thinking on the part of those who still want to believe Trump “colluded” with the Ruskies. As Solomon put it, “Any effort to use Steele’s belated cooperation with the inspector general to prop up the credibility of his 2016 anti-Trump dossier or the FBI’s reliance on it for the FISA warrant is deeply misguided.”
Indeed. Add “FBI spreadsheet” to the list of materials currently still classified but which should see the light of day before long, evidence of the incredible hoax that was the “Trump/Russia” investigation.
For over a year, we were told that the Mueller Report would be the most solid, unchallenged and important statement since God handed down the 10 Commandments on stone tablets. But Mueller’s Magnum Trumpus has turned out to be more like a poorly nailed-together shack that’s already starting to fall apart, piece by piece.
Elsewhere in today’s issue, you can read about the revelation that “Russian dossier” material that was known to be concocted or at least unverified was fraudulently used as verified evidence to obtain and renew warrants in violation of FISA court laws. Now, here’s the latest shingle to blow off Mueller’s shaky shack:
In a ruling that was only recently unsealed from the case of one of the Russian companies accused by Mueller of trying to interfere in the 2016 election through social media posts, federal Judge Dabney Friedrich blasted Mueller’s office and the DOJ for making statements that implied the company was working on behalf of the Russian government, and prejudicial statements about their guilt, when they presented little to no evidence of any connection between the Russian trolls and the Kremlin.
Read the link for more details. It’s likely nothing much will come of this revelation in the way of government officials paying a price for abusing the power of their offices and ignoring the rules to mislead the public. It’s just further proof that the Mueller Report was not a well-researched, dispassionate attempt to get to the truth, but a case hammered together out of substandard parts by a bad contractor who was determined to build something that looked impressive, even if it collapsed after a month.