A New Inspector General Report About Use of Confidential Informants Is Coming

By Brian Cates
Brian Cates
Brian Cates
Brian Cates is a former contributor. He is based in South Texas and the author of “Nobody Asked for My Opinion … But Here It Is Anyway!”
November 8, 2019Updated: November 11, 2019


Investigative reporter John Solomon broke the news on Nov. 7 that there was yet another investigation being run out of the Department of Justice (DOJ) Inspector General’s Office, and the final report could even be publicly released ahead of the long-anticipated FISA abuse report.

This new report will detail an investigation into violations of the FBI’s rules and regulations regarding the use of confidential informants.

In a radio interview with Sean Hannity, Solomon stated that his sources say this investigation is already complete, and the final report is in. Notably, this means nothing was leaked during the actual investigation.

Now, what possible reason would the DOJ’s Office of the Inspector General have to suddenly want to take a good look at how the FBI is using confidential informants?

If you look at the official announcement Horowitz made on March 28, 2018, in which he revealed his investigation into the FBI’s compliance with all the legal requirements for FISA applications, you will see that the inspector general said this:

“As part of this examination, the OIG also will review information that was known to the DOJ and the FBI at the time the applications were filed from or about an alleged FBI confidential source. Additionally, the OIG will review the DOJ’s and FBI’s relationship and communications with the alleged source as they relate to the FISC applications.”

And within a few days of that announcement, this appears on the official DOJ OIG website that listed the work they are doing:

“The OIG is auditing the FBI’s Confidential Human Source Program. The preliminary objectives are to: (1) assess the FBI’s management and oversight of its Confidential Human Source Program, to include the FBI’s oversight of payments to confidential human sources, (2) examine the FBI’s confidential human source policies to ensure consistency with the Attorney General Guidelines, and (3) assess the FBI’s process of determining reliability and appropriateness of confidential human sources.”

To this point, there are three confidential informants whose activities involving Trump campaign personnel during the 2016 election have become public knowledge. Two are academics with long-established ties to Western intelligence officials, and the third is a former British MI6 intelligence officer who became a political operative: Christopher Steele, professor Stefan Halper, and professor Joseph Mifsud.

Although there are very real issues that surround both Halper and Mifsud, I think it’s far more likely this new report will center on the activities of paid political operative Steele.

Steele is best known for his dossier that was used to build the narrative of the Trump–Russia collusion hoax. It’s also an established fact that Steele was a paid confidential source for the FBI beginning in early 2016.

Then, shortly before the 2016 election, the FBI realized it wouldn’t be able to hide the fact that Steele was leaking to media outlets the exact same fake “evidence” he was giving them. So they “fired” him as a confidential source. But that firing wasn’t real. It was a sham.

Far from really firing Steele and ceasing to use him or his fake information as a basis for their investigations, DOJ-FBI officials instead created a back channel to continue the relationship.

That back channel functioned in several steps:

  1. First, high-ranking DOJ official Bruce Ohr would clandestinely meet with Steele to receive more fake Trump–Russia collusion information.
  2. Then Ohr would meet with FBI special agent Joseph Pientka, and while Ohr related everything Steele had told him, Pientka would take extensive detailed notes on an FBI FD-302 interview form.
  3. Those 302 forms were then passed around inside the FBI among those involved.

Without having read the FBI’s rules and regulations on the use of confidential informants‚ I am pretty sure it prohibits pretending to fire your informant for leaking your evidence to the news media and then still secretly using him for your ongoing investigation.

This Whole Thing Is a Massive Fraud

FBI personnel running Steele as a confidential informant and taking information from him would know—if they were using anything he gave them to launch and drive counterintelligence investigations—those investigations were being placed at serious risk if Steele was leaking the same information to the news media.

They knew he was leaking to the media but still kept using him as a source. There’s no good explanation for this.

As I’ve stated before, this proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that these federal officials knew that what Steele was giving them wasn’t real. The investigations they were launching into the Trump campaign were based on lies being peddled to them by Hillary Clinton’s dirty-tricks team at Fusion GPS—and there’s simply no way these officials didn’t know that.

Remember, media leaks by Steele to Yahoo! News were subsequently used by the FBI in its FISA application on Trump campaign adviser Carter Page.

As I’ve been saying for two years now, in columns such as “At the Core of Spygate Scandal Is FBI’s Reliance on ‘Intel’ From Political Operatives,” the fact that they kept using Steele as a source while knowing that he was a paid operative for Clinton and was leaking the same information to media outlets conclusively demonstrates that this whole thing was a massive fraud. None of this “intelligence” they were getting from Steele was real, and they knew it wasn’t.

Fake-firing a confidential informant for leaking his fake Trump–Russia “evidence” to media outlets and then still secretly meeting with him to use still more of his fake information for official investigations shows this all has been exactly what the president has been claiming it is: a witch hunt.

Brian Cates is a writer based in South Texas and the author of “Nobody Asked For My Opinion … But Here It Is Anyway!” He can be reached on Twitter @drawandstrike.

Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.