During his testimony before Congress, former FBI Director James Comey confessed to a big bombshell – that the FBI had not verified the Steele dossier either before or after relying upon it to get warrants against the former campaign adviser Carter Page.
From Daily Caller:
According to a transcript of Comey’s testimony released on Saturday, the former FBI chief also asserted that it was “not necessary” for the FBI to assess the sources that dossier author Christopher Steele used to compile his report, which was funded by the Democratic National Committee and Clinton campaign.
“I think I’ve dealt with warrants where you just identify that your primary [confidential informant], or primary source, has subsources, and so long as the court is aware of that phenomenon and that you’re speaking to the reliability of the primary source, to my mind, that’s a totally legit warrant application,” he said.
Comey told lawmakers that “work was ongoing” by the time he was fired on May 9, 2017, to “to replicate, either rule in or rule out” as much of the dossier as possible.
He said that by the time he was fired on May 9, 2017, he “still didn’t know whether there was anything to it,” referring to the investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Kremlin.
So basically he’s admitted that that they had no idea about the critical piece of evidence that they used to get the FISA warrant was even true despite the fact that they’re swearing to the FISA judge as to the accuracy of what they’re presenting.
That’s a big problem, as journalist Sharyl Attkisson notes, and a possible violation of the Woods procedures.
From The Hill:
Woods Procedures were named for Michael Woods, the FBI official who drafted the rules as head of the Office of General Counsel’s National Security Law Unit. They were instituted in April 2001 to “ensure accuracy with regard to … the facts supporting probable cause” after recurring instances, presumably inadvertent, in which the FBI had presented inaccurate information to the FISA court.
Prior to Woods Procedures, “[i]ncorrect information was repeated in subsequent and related FISA packages,” the FBI told Congress in August 2003. “By signing and swearing to the declaration, the headquarters agent is attesting to knowledge of what is contained in the declaration.”
And Comey himself signed off on three of the FBI applications, putting him on the hook for the accuracy of what they were claiming.
Comey said they were justified because of the reliability of the source, meaning Steele. But the information wasn’t from his own first-hand knowledge but passed from intermediaries.
From Daily Caller:
Comey said during another line of questioning that the FBI placed heavily emphasis on Steele’s track record as a longtime source for the FBI. That Steele gathered his information about Trump associates through intermediaries was of little concern to Comey.
“It was coming to us from a reliable source with a track record, and it’s an important thing when you’re seeking a [probable cause] warrant,” Comey said, referring to Steele as the source.
“But what I understand by verified is we then try to replicate the source information so that it becomes FBI investigation and our conclusions rather than a reliable source’s,” he said. “That’s what I understand it, the difference to be. And that work wasn’t completed by the time I left in May of 2017, to my knowledge.”
But Steele himself was anti-Trump, working from information from other sources, with the dossier was funded by the DNC and the Clinton campaign. Not to mention that, at some point, the FBI had decided to stop using Steele because of his alleged leaking to the media.
So how reliable is that?