If you’ve tried to follow the ever-changing Trump-Russia collusion narrative, you’ll know that back in 2016, the FBI obtained a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant to wiretap former Trump campaign aide Carter Page.
Until now, both Democrats and Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee have sent out memos trying to characterize the Page warrant in their respective favors, but now The New York Times and other news outlets have obtained the warrant applications through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).
It turns out the dossier created by Christopher Steele and paid for by the Democratic National Committee and the Hillary Clinton campaign really was a significant source for the FBI’s warrant. Steele appears to be “Source #1” in the document, who claimed that Page met with two sanctioned Kremlin insiders while in Moscow. Page adamantly denies the claims.
The Daily Caller News Foundation reached Page after the documents dropped, and he told them: “I’m having trouble finding any small bit of this document that rises above completely ignorance and/or insanity.”
Of particular note are a couple footnotes in the third FISA renewal application. 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 still, 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.
A later footnote claims that Steele said he only provided information from the dossier to his business associate (believed to be Glenn Simpson of Fusion GPS, the opposition research firm that was paid by Perkins Coie, the law firm used by the DNC, for Steele’s information), and not to the media, though information from the dossier was the basis for a September 23 Yahoo! News article about Page’s surveillance. But in late October 2016, the FBI learned that Steele had since contacted another media source because he was “frustrated” by former FBI Director James Comey’s letter about more Clinton emails found on the laptop of former Congressman Anthony Weiner. Steele, according to the FISA documents, “told the FBI that he/she was frustrated with this action and believed it would likely influence the 2016 U.S. Presidential election.” So he gave media outlets compromising information about a different candidate.
The FBI, even after learning what Steele had done, “continues to assess [Steele’s] reporting is reliable, as noted above, the FBI closed [Steele] as an active source.”
You can read the entire 412-page document here.