The admonishment shows the FBI had a working relationship with Steele far earlier in the 2016 presidential campaign than was previously disclosed.
The revelation of the FBI’s admonishment on Feb. 2, 2016, is on the last page of the mostly redacted 71-page document trove. The document states that someone “verbally admonished the CHS [confidential human source].” Steele acknowledged the admonishment, according to the form.
No other information is provided on the form about the admonishment, but the February 2016 date is significant because eight months later, FBI officials would go on to use a dossier compiled by Steele to apply for a secret court warrant to spy on Page.
If the admonishment was a reprimand, then the FBI officials appear to have concealed the information from the judge. If the admonishment was a set of instructions, then the FBI failed to disclose that the agency had a working relationship with Steele during the presidential campaign of a candidate who later became the target of his intelligence gathering.
Since the admonishment form is almost completely redacted, there is a possibility that it pertains to the FBI’s utilizing Steele for another activity that’s unrelated to the Trump campaign.
The admonishment is not the only key fact the FBI officials involved in obtaining the warrant left out of the secret court application. The FISA warrant applications show that officials also failed to disclose who funded the opposition research dossier that Steele compiled. It was later revealed the dossier was funded by the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee.
The claims in the Steele dossier remain unverified, more than two years after copies of it first began circulating. Former FBI Director James Comey called the document “salacious and unverified” months after it was used to obtain a warrant to spy on Page.
The lawmakers accuse Comey, former Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe, former Acting Attorney General Sally Yates, and former Acting Deputy Attorney General Dana Boente of depriving Page of his civil rights. The lawmakers also accuse the officials of investigative misconduct.
While Trump fired Comey for mishandling the Clinton email investigation and Yates for insubordination, Attorney General Jeff Sessions fired McCabe for authorizing a self-serving leak to the media and lying about it to investigators under oath.
A footnote in the House report states that Daniel Jones, a former staffer for Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), told the FBI in March 2017 that he was working on a project with Fusion GPS that “was being funded by seven to 10 wealthy donors, located primarily in New York and California, who provided approximately $50 million.”