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theodore M I R A L D I mpa ... editor, publisher, writer. katherine molé mfa ... art director
Saturday, August 4, 2018
Steele, The USEFUL IDIOT. Trusted By FBI Despite Agency's REPRIMAND
Steele trusted by FBI as reliable intel source despite agency's reprimand: Documents
The FBI formally admonished ex-British spy Christopher Steele for misconduct in early 2016, but then continued to vouch for him as agents relied heavily on his anti-Trump dossier to obtain wiretaps on a Republican campaign volunteer.
News of the verbal admonishment is contained in 70 pages of mostly redacted FBI documents on what Mr. Steelereported as a “confidential human source,” or CHS, how much he was paid and how he met his demise as a key bureau undercover source.
The documents were obtained by the conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch, which went to court to obtain them.
Totally redacted pay request forms show 11 payments in 2016, but don’t reveal his project. Mr. Steele, a Kremlin expert who runs Orbis Business Intelligence in London, had a previous FBI association and the payments could have been for other work.
If the money was for Trump-related spying or Russia intelligence, then Mr. Steele was collecting from two sources: the bureau and the Hillary Clinton campaign/Democratic Party. They hired Fusion GPS to run Mr. Steele as a source for Trump opposition research.
The sparse documents’ most significant disclosure is that Mr. Steele was disciplined by the FBI on Feb. 2, 2016. The form entitled “admonishments” does not show his offense.
The un-redacted part states, “verbally admonished the CHS with CHS admonishments, which the CHS fully acknowledged, signed and dated. The signed CHS AGG [attorney general guidelines] admonishments form is attached.”
After the admonishment, Mr. Steele went on to play a pivotal role in leveling charges that fueled the probe into President Trump and helped lead to the appointment of special counsel Robert Mueller.
By the end of April, Mr. Steele was hired by the Democrats. By June, he was churning out memos that accused the Trump campaign of an”extensive conspiracy” with the Kremlin to interfere in the 2016 election.
He fed a steady diet of collusion charges to the FBI. In October 2016, the FBI wrote an application to a judge to wiretap volunteer CarterPage. The dossier, which alleged Mr. Page met with shady Kremlin figures in Moscow, made up the bulk of the evidence to a judge that Mr. Page acted as a foreign agent for Russia.
Mr. Page, an investor who lived in Moscow and has many Russian contacts, calls Mr. Steele’s charges a fabrication. He has not been charged.
On his book tour this year, fired FBI Director James Comey, a persistent Trump critic, vouched for Mr. Steele.
Of the dossier, he told ABC News, “This guy, who’s credible, says these things are true. Okay. That means we should try and replicate that work to see if we can develop the same sources.”
Thus, the dossier became the FBI’s anti-Trump guide.
The FBI continued to cite Mr. Steele in three subsequent wiretap renewals stretching for a year. The court-approved surveillance allowed them to view all of Mr. Page’s previous electronic messages.
By that time, not only had Mr. Steele been admonished but eventually he was outright fired by the FBI in November 2016 for violating the rules.
Mr. Steele in late October had become so frustrated in not being able to stop the Trump candidacy that he went to the liberal Mother Jones magazine and spilled all of his charges as an unnamed intelligence source.
Alarmed by the article, his FBI handlers deemed him “not suitable for use as a CHS.”
The firing document states, “At that time, handling agent advised CHS that the nature of the relationship between the FBI and CHS would change completely and that it was unlikely that the FBI would continue a relationship with the CHS. Additionally, the handling agent advised that CHS was not to operate to obtain any intelligence whatsoever on behalf of the FBI.”
The fact the FBI blackballed him from the Trump probe raises another question.
That fall, Fusion GPS established a backchannel flow of anti-Trump information to then-Associate Attorney General Bruce Ohr, whose wife worked at Fusion, to FBI agent Peter Strzok. He headed the probe and greatly disliked Mr. Trump, his internal messages show.
The question is, did Mr. Steele continue to funnel his Trump charges to the FBI after it told him to cease?
In 2017, Daniel Jones, an ex-senior intelligence staffer to Sen. Dianne Feinstein, California Democrat, told the FBI that his firm had been given $50 million by political donors to continue investigating Mr. Trump. He said he hired Fusion GPS and Mr. Steele.