Four years after he compiled the dossier that bears his name, former British intelligence official Christopher Steele’s reputation keeps on taking a battering.
It was just a few weeks ago that newly declassified footnotes revealed that one of the report’s key sources was a Hillary Clinton partisan and that the FBI knew the dossier very likely contained Russian disinformation.
That wasn’t a good look.
Another piece of information that’s not a good look — though not exactly new — has received renewed attention after the Department of Justice filed a motion to dismiss the charges against former Trump administration National Security Advisor Michael Flynn.
As the Daily Caller News Foundation reminded everyone in a Wednesday piece, last year’s Justice Department inspector general’s report included an oft-overlooked item which involved the FBI offering to “significantly” remunerate to Steele if he were to investigate Flynn and his dealings with Russia.
Our story, as it relates to Flynn and Steele, began on Oct. 3, 2016. Then, FBI officials had a meeting with Steele and appraised him of the developments in the Crossfire Hurricane investigation, their probe into possible Russian interference into the 2016 election.
The inspector general’s report stated that an FBI agent said the bureau would pay “significantly” for information that would go into one of three “buckets” they were investigating at the time.
One of those buckets — quelle surprise — involved Flynn.
According to the IG report, the FBI asked for “Additional intelligence/reporting on specific, named individuals (such as [Carter Page] or [Flynn]) involved in facilitating the Trump campaign-Russian relationship.”
The FBI also said they wanted Steele to dig up information about “any individuals or sub sources” who could “serve as cooperating witnesses to assist in identifying persons involved in the Trump campaign-Russian relationship.”
The FBI agent had told Flynn about former Trump campaign aide George Papadopoulos, who had allegedly made claims the Russians had Hillary Clinton’s emails and would later lie to the FBI.
Flynn hadn’t been on Steele’s radar, the DCNF noted. However, the former lieutenant general in the U.S. Army would apparently become a focus — so much so that Steele would peddle a rumor that he’d been involved in an affair with a Russian woman.
While the information about the FBI approaching Steele for dirt on Flynn was old news, the unfounded rumor about Flynn having an affair with a Russian woman is actually relatively new. The revelation came in 2017 testimony from a John McCain associate that was made public for the first time earlier this month.
During his testimony, Kramer was asked by the then-ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, Rep. Adam Schiff of California, if there was “anything [Steele] did not include in the dossier or in the reports, because he didn’t feel it rose to the level of confidence that he would have needed to include it.”
“There was one thing he mentioned to me that is not included here, and that is he believed that Mr. Flynn had an extramarital affair with a Russian woman in the U.K. Michael Flynn, that is,” Kramer said.
Considering what did make it into the report, one wonders how tenuous this information had to be to be left out. But then, why should we be surprised? We’ve seen time and time again how American authorities trusted a British spy more than an American general.
Anyhow, Kramer said that the alleged mistress was a “Russian woman” who “may have been a dual citizen.”
A Jan. 4, 2017 FBI memo expressed similar concerns regarding Flynn, saying the bureau was “somewhat suspicious” of his behavior at an unnamed event in which he interacted with an individual who “has been affiliated with several prominent members” of an unnamed organization.
And all of this adds up to … zero.
After getting Christopher Steele to investigate Michael Flynn and doing a bit of investigating themselves, the most the FBI was able to get on President Donald Trump’s former national security advisor was that, when they set him up with a question designed to get him to lie, he apparently didn’t tell them the truth.
This was entrap-tastic and didn’t come close to proving any of the Boris-and-Natasha theories the Crossfire Hurricane team had been cooking up.
As for Steele’s dossier, this is more proof that it’s nothing more than another document straight out of the swamp.
The more we learn about the actions of Christopher Steele, James Comey, Peter Strzok, John Brennan and those around them — and amazingly, four years on, the hits just keep on coming — the more this looks like a concerted effort to delegitimize Trump’s candidacy and (when that failed) his presidency.
The media enjoys laughing at the term “Obamagate.” If this information keeps on coming out the way it has, that laughter is going to very quickly subside.
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