Declassified: Christopher Steele's "Primary Sub-Source" Was His Own Employee; NYT Russiagate Propaganda Shredded By Strzok Comments

FBI documents declassified by Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-SC) reveal that Christopher Steele's "primary sub-source" for his infamous Clinton/DNC-funded dossier was a 'non-Russian employee of Christopher Steele's firm.'

Per Graham's office:

  • The document reveals that the primary “source” of Steele’s election reporting was not some well-connected current or former Russian official, but a non-Russian based contract employee of Christopher Steele’s firm. Moreover, it demonstrates that the information that Steele’s primary source provided him was second and third-hand information and rumor at best.
  • Critically, the document shows that Steele’s “Primary Sub-source” disagreed with and was surprised by how information he gave Steele was then conveyed by Steele in the Steele dossier.

Meanwhile, a second document released by Graham absolutely shreds a New York Times article authored by Michael Schmidt, Mark Mazzetti, and Matt Apuzzo. Journalist Sharyl Attkisson details how comments made by former FBI agent Peter Strzok revealed the article, entitled "Trump Campaign Aides Had Repeated Contact With Russian Intelligence," was absolute propaganda.

Via Sharylattkisson.com

Claim in NYT article: "Phone records and intercepted calls show that members of Donald J. Trump's presidential campaign and other Trump associates had repeated contacts with senior Russian intelligence officials in the year before the election, according to four current and former American officials."

Note by Strzok: "This statement is misleading and inaccurate as written. We have not seen evidence of any individuals in contact with Russians (both Governmental and non-Governmental" and "There is no known intel affiliation, and little if any [Government of Russia] affiliation[.] FBI investigation has shown past contact between [Trump campaign volunteer Carter] Page and the SVR [Service of the Russian Federation], but not during his association with the Trump campaign."

Claim in NYT article: "...one of the advisers picked up on the [intercepted] calls was Paul Manafort, who was Mr. Trump's campaign chairman for several months..."

Note by Strzok: "We are unaware of any calls with any Russian government official in which Manafort was a party."

Claim in NYT article: "The FBI has obtained banking and travel records..."

Note by Strzok: "We do not yet have detailed banking records."

Claim in NYT article: "Officials would not disclose many details, including what was discussed on the calls, and how many of Trump's advisers were talking to the Russians."

Note by Strzok: "Again, we are unaware of ANY Trump advisers engaging in conversations with Russian intel officials" and "Our coverage has not revealed contact between Russian intelligence officers and the Trump team."

Claim in NYT article: "The F.B.I. asked the N.S.A. to collect as much information as possible about the Russian operatives on the phone calls..."

Note by Strzok: "If they did we are not aware of those communications."

Claim in NYT article: "The FBI has closely examined at least four other people close to Mr. Trump... Carter Page... Roger Stone... and Mr. Flynn."

Note by Strzok: "We have not investigated Roger Stone."

Claim by NYT: "Senior F.B.I. officials believe... Christopher Steele... has a credible track record."

Note by Strzok: "Recent interviews and investigation, however, reveal Steele may not be in a position to judge the reliability of subsource network."

Claim by NYT: "The F.B.I.'s investigation into Mr. Manafort began last spring [2016]."

Note by Strzok: "This is inaccurate... our investigation of Manafort was opened in August 2016."

Claim by NYT: "The bureau did not have enough evidence to obtain a warrant for a wiretap of Mr. Manafort's communications, but it had the N.S.A. closely scrutinize the communications of Ukrainian officials he had met."

Note by Strzok: "This is inaccurate..."

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Will the New York Times correct their inaccurate reporrting?

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Statement and documents from Sen. Lindsey Graham's office:

WASHINGTON – Today, as part of the Senate Judiciary Committee’s ongoing investigation into the Crossfire Hurricane investigation and related FISA abuses, Chairman Lindsey Graham (R- South Carolina) released two recently declassified documents that significantly undercut the reliability of the Steele dossier and the accuracy and reliability of many of the factual assertions in the Carter Page FISA applications.

“I’m very pleased the investigation in the Senate Judiciary Committee has been able to secure the declassification of these important documents,” said Chairman Graham. “I want to thank Attorney General Barr for releasing these documents and allowing the American People to judge for themselves.

“What have we learned from the release of these two documents by the Department of Justice? Number one, it is clear to me that the memo regarding the FBI interview of the primary sub-source in January 2017 should have required the system to stop and reevaluate the case against Mr. Page.

“Most importantly after this interview of the sub-source and the subsequent memo detailing the contents of the interview, it was a miscarriage of justice for the FBI and the Department of Justice to continue to seek a FISA warrant against Carter Page in April and June of 2017.

“The dossier was a critical document to justify a FISA warrant against Mr. Page and this DOJ memo clearly indicates that the reliability of the dossier was completely destroyed after the interview with the primary sub-source in January 2017. Those who knew or should have known of this development and continued to pursue a FISA warrant against Mr. Page anyway are in deep legal jeopardy in my view.

“Secondly, the comments of Peter Strzok regarding the February 14 New York Times article are devastating in that they are an admission that there was no reliable evidence that anyone from the Trump Campaign was working with Russian Intelligence Agencies in any form.

“The statements by Mr. Strzok question the entire premise of the FBI’s investigation of the Trump Campaign and make it even more outrageous that the Mueller team continued this investigation for almost two and a half years. Moreover, the statements by Strzok raise troubling questions as to whether the FBI was impermissibly unmasking and analyzing intelligence gathered on U.S. persons.

“These documents, which I have long sought, tell a damning story for anyone who’s interested in trying to find the truth behind the corrupt nature of the FBI’s investigation into the Trump campaign in 2016 and beyond.”

The first document is a 57-page summary of a three-day interview the FBI conducted with Christopher Steele’s so-called “Primary Sub-source” in January of 2017. [Document 1]

  • This document not only demonstrates how unsubstantiated and unreliable the Steele dossier was, it shows that the FBI was on notice of the dossier’s credibility problems and sought two more FISA application renewals after gaining this awareness.
  • The document reveals that the primary “source” of Steele’s election reporting was not some well-connected current or former Russian official, but a non-Russian based contract employee of Christopher Steele’s firm. Moreover, it demonstrates that the information that Steele’s primary source provided him was second and third-hand information and rumor at best.
  • Critically, the document shows that Steele’s “Primary Sub-source” disagreed with and was surprised by how information he gave Steele was then conveyed by Steele in the Steele dossier. For instance, the “Primary Sub-source”: did not recall or did not know where some of the information attributed to him or his sources came from; was never told about or never mentioned to Steele certain information attributed to him or his sources; he said that Steele re-characterized some of the information to make it more substantiated and less attenuated than it really was; that he would have described his sources differently; and, that Steele implied direct access to information where the access to information was indirect. 
  • In total, this document demonstrates that information from the Steele dossier, which “played a central and essential role” in the FISA warrants on Carter Page, should never have been presented to the FISA court.     

The second document contains Peter Strzok’s type-written comments disagreeing with assertions made in aNew York Times article about alleged Russian intelligence ties to the Trump campaign. [Document 2]

  • The document demonstrates that Peter Strzok and others in FBI leadership positions must have been aware of the issues with the Steele dossier that the FBI’s interview with Steele’s “Primary Sub-source” revealed, because Strzok commented that “[r]ecent interviews and investigation, however, reveal Steele may not be in a position to judge the reliability of his sub-source network.”
  • The document further shows that the FBI’s assertion to the FISA court that “the FBI believes that Russia’s efforts to influence U.S. policy were likely being coordinated between the RIS [Russian Intelligence Services] and Page, and possibly others” appears to be a misrepresentation. This is because, in his comments on the Times article, Strzok asserts that “[w]e have not seen evidence of any individuals affiliated with the Trump team in contact with IOs [Intelligence Officials]. . . . We are unaware of ANY Trump advisors engaging in conversations with Russian intelligence officials.”
  • The document also indicates that the FBI may have been using foreign intelligence gathering techniques to impermissibly unmask and analyze existing and future intelligence collection regarding U.S. persons associated with the Trump campaign: “Both the CIA and NSA are aware of our subjects and throughout the summer we provided them names and selectors for queries of their holdings as well as prospective collection.” The quote does not provide enough information to fully understand exactly what the FBI was doing but impermissible unmasking and analysis of existing and future incidental intelligence collection of U.S. persons would be troubling.
  • The document also raises questions as to whether the FBI was properly using intelligence techniques and databases “throughout the summer” considering that the earliest formal investigation of a U.S. person associated with the Trump campaign was not officially opened until July 31, 2016.