The FBI, under the guidance of then-director James Comey, used more than one spy in its investigation into former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page, the government disclosed in a court filing on Friday.
“The FBI has protected information that would identify the identities of other confidential sources who provided information or intelligence to the FBI” as well as “information provided by those sources,” wrote David M. Hardy, the head of the FBI’s Record/Information Dissemination Section.
The filing by Hardy and the Department of Justice came in response to a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit to gain access to four of the FBI’s applications for Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrants against Page. While the applications were released June 20, they were heavily redacted, and "USA Today reporter Brad Heath has sued for full copies of the documents," The Daily Caller reports.
The filing says the "confidential sources" deployed by the FBI were in addition to Christopher Steele, a former British spy who reportedly authored a dossier on then-candidate Donald Trump. That dossier was used in order to obtain the FISA warrants, which give the FBI wide latitude in an investigation, including the power to wiretap.
“This includes nonpublic information about and provided by Christopher Steele, as well as information about and provided by other confidential sources, all of whom were provided express assurances of confidentiality,” Hardy wrote.
Steele was hired by his business associate, Glenn Simpson of Fusion GPS, which had been paid by Perkins Coie, the law firm retained by the Democratic National Committee and the Hillary Clinton campaign. Most of the Steele dossier had to do with Trump and onetime Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort, but none of that material appears in the FISA applications.
Of particular note are a couple footnotes in the third FISA renewal application, The Daily Wire reported in July. One footnote mentions that Steele was paid by the FBI for his information, but “suspended its relationship” with Steele after it learned he had disclosed information to the media. “Subsequently, the FBI closed [Steele] as an FBI source,” according to the documents.
Yet the FBI determined Steele’s information to be reliable because his previous reporting had been “corroborated and used in criminal proceedings,” according to the application. The FBI states in this footnote that the “incident that led the FBI to terminate its relationship with [Steele] occurred after [Steele] provided the reporting that is described herein."