Newly declassified documents show that the FBI misled Congress regarding the reliability of the Steele dossier, Senator Lindsey Graham (R., S.C.) said on Sunday.
The Senate Intelligence Committee, which Graham chairs, is currently conducting an investigation into the origins of the FBI’s Crossfire Hurricane probe, whose stated aim was to uncover alleged collusion between the 2016 Trump campaign and Russian operatives.
One document released by the committee on Sunday is an FBI draft of talking points for a February 2018 Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on the Russia investigation. The talking points, uncovered by Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz, seek to give the impression that the Steele dossier’s “Primary Sub-Source” for intelligence was reliable.
The Primary Sub-Source “did not cite any significant concerns with the way his reporting was characterized in the dossier to the extent he could identify it,” according to the talking points.
However, the FBI knew in early 2017 that the Primary Sub-Source had cast doubt on the dossier’s claims that Trump-campaign officials and Russian operatives were working together. The Primary Sub-Source in fact told FBI agents in 2017 that there was “zero” corroboration for some of the allegations in the dossier.
The 2018 memo “clearly shows that the FBI was continuing to mislead regarding the reliability of the Steele dossier. The FBI did to the Senate Intelligence Committee what the Department of Justice and FBI had previously done to the FISA Court: mischaracterize, mislead and lie,” Graham said in a press release. “What does this mean? That Congress as well as the FISA Court was lied to about the reliability of the Russian sub-source. I will be asking FBI Director Wray to provide me all the details possible about how the briefing was arranged and who provided it.”
IG Horowitz’s report on the FBI’s attempts to obtain FISA warrants for former Trump-campaign adviser Carter Page revealed “at least 17 significant errors or omissions” in those applications.