Former British spy Christopher Steele spread other accusations against President Donald Trump that were not included in his well-publicized, discredited dossier, according to the Justice Department’s report on FBI misconduct during Operation Crossfire Hurricane.
The report by Inspector General Michael E. Horowitz, published earlier this month, showed that claims made by Steele were used by the FBI to obtain a FISA warrant on Trump campaign aide Carter Page.
Steele was hired in 2016 by Fusion GPS, which had been retained by law firm Perkins Coie on behalf of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign.
Several conservative news websites on Dec. 26 highlighted the details from the lengthy Dec. 8 Horowitz report.
The report revealed that the late Sen. John McCain provided FBI chief James Comey with five separate reports from Steele after the FBI terminated him as a source, Breitbart reported. McCain reportedly gave Comey reports that were not previously in possession by the FBI, but it is not clear whether the late senator knew that Steele was no longer an FBI source.
The reports were allegedly provided to McCain from Fusion GPS co-founder Glenn Simpson, the report said.
“Several weeks later, on December 9, 2016, Senator John McCain provided Comey with a collection of 16 Steele election reports, 5 of which Steele had not given the FBI,” the IG report stated. “McCain had obtained these reports from a staff member at the McCain Institute. The McCain Institute staff member had met with Steele and later acquired the reports from Simpson.”
Breitbart reported that the McCain staff member may be David J. Kramer, who provided BuzzFeed the Steele dossier. In January 2017, the outlet published the dossier in full.
McCain, meanwhile, had published a book last year that said he had obligation to pass the dossier to Comey, and “anyone who doesn’t like it can go to hell.”
In his report, Horowitz concluded in his investigation of the FBI investigation of President Trump’s 2016 campaign that the Steele dossier was used in the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) process to get a warrant to surveil former campaign aide Carter Page. The report said that the FBI wasn’t able to corroborate any of Steele’s claims.
Horowitz’s report revealed 17 “significant errors and omissions” and the concealment of information from the FISA court.
During a Dec. 18 Senate Homeland Security Committee hearing, Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) asked him whether there was any evidence of political bias that factored into the investigation.
“I think the scope here is what really alarms me,” Hawley remarked. “The number of people involved directly involved at the FBI, the repeated decisions to mislead, outright lie to the FISA court, and the total implausibility that the explanations these people offered you, again, maybe they’re incompetent or maybe they had an agenda here.”
Then he asked, “Was it your conclusion that political bias did not affect any part of the Page investigation, any part of Crossfire Hurricane?”
“We did not reach that conclusion,” Horowitz told him. He added, “We have been very careful in connection with the FISA for the reasons you mentioned to not reach that conclusion, in part, as we’ve talked about earlier: the alteration of the email, the text messages associated with the individual who did that, and then our inability to explain or understand or get good explanations so we could understand why this all happened.”
Hawley then concluded that either the FBI officials involved in Operation Crossfire Hurricane were incompetent or they had an agenda.
“And having an agenda—I don’t care what word you put in front of it—political agenda, personal agenda, but whatever it is, it is antithetical to democracy,” Hawley said.