Big bombshell breaking. It was bad enough that the DNC and the Clinton campaign were paying Christopher Steele through Fusion GPS to create dirt on their political opponent Donald Trump and that that dossier was then given to the FBI to use against him. But now it is revealed in a new document just released that the Clinton campaign was also contemporaneously feeding information to Steele. And that some of the information may also have been coming from the Obama State Department.
The new document just released is from the Senate Judiciary Committee. While heavily redacted, the document was written by Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) refers Steele for criminal investigation. In the referral, it lays out that there was some coordination between the Clinton team and the Obama administration in spreading damaging information about candidate Trump.
According to the referral, Steele wrote the additional memo based on anti-Trump information that originated with a foreign source. In a convoluted scheme outlined in the referral, the foreign source gave the information to an unnamed associate of Hillary and Bill Clinton, who then gave the information to an unnamed official in the Obama State Department, who then gave the information to Steele. Steele wrote a report based on the information, but the redacted version of the referral does not say what Steele did with the report after that.
Published accounts in the Guardian and the Washington Post have indicated that Clinton associate Cody Shearer was in contact with Steele about anti-Trump research, and Obama State Department official Jonathan Winer was a connection between Steele and the State Department during the 2016 campaign.
The referral notes:
“It is troubling enough the Clinton Campaign funded Mr. Steele’s work, but that these Clinton associates were contemporaneously feeding Mr. Steele’s allegations raises additional concerns about his credibility.”
As Katie Bo Williams notes, yes, it’s particularly interesting given Rep. Devin Nunes indicated that a second phase of the investigation is coming involving the State Department. This likely factors into it.
The referral was originally classified but was released today, with heavy redactions. Some of what was redacted was Steele’s contacts with the media to help spread his information.
For example, a press release accompanying the referral said the referral “contains verbatim quotes from the [Carter Page surveillance] application that are not included in the [House Intelligence Committee] memo. Specifically, the referral quotes the application’s descriptions of Steele’s statements to the FBI about his contacts with the media.” Lest anyone get too excited, the press release went on to say that the quotes “remain redacted” in the version of the referral released Monday.
Also redacted is information related to the key allegation of the Grassley-Graham referral: that Steele was untruthful with the FBI and Justice Department over the issue of his many contacts with the press. If Steele was acting as a trusted source for the FBI on the highly confidential Trump-Russia investigation, it would have been improper for him to share his information with the press at the same time.
Some of what is redacted is the information about how the FBI used Steele’s press contacts in applying for the FISA warrants, according to Byron York of the Washington Examiner.