Newly declassified documents in U.S. Attorney John Durham’s criminal investigation into the origins of the FBI’s counterintelligence investigation into the 2016 Trump campaign reveal that the primary subsource for the anti-Trump Steele dossier was deemed a potential “threat to national security” over their ties to Russian intelligence officials.
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-SC) released a letter from Attorney General William Barr and a declassified document from the FBI that showed that the primary sub-source for the anti-Trump Steele dossier was “a likely Russian agent and had previously been the subject of an FBI counterintelligence investigation,” according to the Committee.
The Senate Judiciary Committee highlighted the following key takeaways from the declassified documents [emphasis original]:
- The Crossfire Hurricane team knew in December 2016 that Christopher Steele’s Primary Sub-source was an individual who the FBI had indicated in 2009 “could be a threat to national security.”
- In May 2009, Steele’s source reportedly attempted to recruit two individuals connected to an influential foreign policy advisor connected to President Obama, offering that if the two individuals “‘did get a job in the government and had access to classified information’ and wanted ‘to make a little extra money,’ [Steele’s source] knew some people to whom they could speak.”
- FBI databases revealed Steele’s source “had contact in 2006 with the Russian Embassy and known Russian intelligence officers, [including contacting a known Russian intelligence officer] ‘so the documents can be placed in tomorrow’s diplomatic pouch.’”
- One individual interviewed by the FBI noted that “the Primary Sub-source persistently asked about the interviewee’s knowledge of a particular military vessel.”
- Significantly, the “record documenting the closing of the investigation [of the Primary Sub-source] stated that consideration would be given to re-opening the investigation in the event that the Primary Sub-source returned to the United States.”
Chairman @LindseyGrahamSC released a letter from AG Barr and a declassified summary from the FBI that indicate Steele’s Primary Sub-source was a likely Russian agent and had previously been the subject of an FBI counterintelligence investigation. https://t.co/m1oMAS5wa1 pic.twitter.com/JYozBm03DC
— Senate Judiciary (@senjudiciary) September 24, 2020
“To me, failure of the FBI to inform the court that the Primary Sub-source was suspected of being a Russian agent is a breach of every duty owed by law enforcement to the judicial system,” Graham said in a statement. “This is the most stunning and damning revelation the committee has uncovered.”
The newest update from the Durham criminal investigation follows news from earlier in the day that the DOJ was investigating how the FBI handled claims of political corruption at the Clinton Foundation.
Durham has “sought documents and interviews about how federal law enforcement officials handled an investigation around the same time into allegations of political corruption at the Clinton Foundation,” the report said. “Durham’s team members have suggested to others that they are comparing the two investigations as well as examining whether investigators in the Russia inquiry flouted laws or policies.”
The Federalist also released a bombshell revelation earlier in the day, reporting that agents who were involved in the FBI’s counterintelligence investigation of the 2016 Trump campaign took measures to protect themselves from their actions during the investigation.
“Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) agents tasked by fired former Director James Comey to take down Donald Trump during and after the 2016 election were so concerned about the agency’s potentially illegal behavior that they purchased liability insurance to protect themselves less than two weeks before Trump was inaugurated president, previously hidden FBI text messages show,” The Federalist reported. “The explosive new communications and internal FBI notes were disclosed in federal court filings today from Sidney Powell, the attorney who heads Michael Flynn’s legal defense team.”
This report has been updated to include additional information.