Note: This article is a podcast summary of Episode 978 of The Dan Bongino Show, titled “It’s Over.”
Christopher Steele’s dirty dossier was nonsense from day one, and now we have even more evidence that the FBI knew that but didn’t care. While the dossier was unfit for any American intelligence agency to rely on, that didn’t seem to matter for the anti-Trump faction within the FBI.
As those who have followed the Spygate debacle already know, it was Steele’s dossier used to justify surveillance of Trump campaign member Carter Page. The FBI went to a FISA court in late October 2016, dossier in hand, to justify surveillance. Of their source Christopher Steele, the FBI says in the warrant application that “Source #1 [Steele] has been compensated [REDACTED] by the FBI and the FBI is unaware of any derogatory information pertaining to Source #1.” The warrant was granted on October 21st.
We know from an interview conducted just ten days prior it was a lie that the FBI was “unaware” of any “derogatory information” pertaining to Steele. In fact, they had no shortage of reasons to find him uncredible.
The State Department’s Deputy Assistant Secretary Kathleen Kavalac interviewed Steele on October 11th, which she chronicled in handwritten notes that were later typed and given to the FBI. Thanks for a Freedom of Information Act request from ‘Citizens United” these notes were unearthed. In those notes, Kavalec detailed Steele’s story of how Russians constructed a “technical/human operation run out of Moscow targeting the election” that recruited emigres in the United States to “do hacking and recruiting.”
Steele also said that “Payments to those recruited are made out of the Russian Consulate in Miami,” which leads Kavalec to make a note that “there is no Russian consulate in Miami.” That’s only the first comment Kavalec must have seen as damaging to Steele’s credibility.
Kavalec made note of comments that indicated Steele was speaking to the media (a cardinal sin for those working with the FBI, and a violation of his confidentiality agreement. It’s interesting that Steele was eventually fired by the FBI for speaking to the press, but not until after they got the FISA they wanted). As The Hill’s John Solomon writes:
“June — reporting started,” Kavalec wrote. “NYT and WP have,” she added, in an apparent reference to The New York Times and The Washington Post.
Later she quoted Steele as suggesting he was “managing” four priorities — “Client needs, FBI, WashPo/NYT, source protection,” her handwritten notes show.
Kavalec also made note of Steele’s obvious political motivations, noting that Steele’s client (Fusion GPS) “is keen to see this information come to light prior to the November 8 [the election].” She also noted that “Orbis [Steele’s firm] undertook the investigation into the Russia/Trump connection at the behest of an institution he declined to identify that had been hacked.”
Further damaging his credibility, Steele floated a handful of conspiracy theories that should’ve been red flags to the FBI:
Steele offered Kavalec other wild information that easily could have been debunked before the FISA application — and eventually was, in many cases, after the media reported the allegations — including that:
- Trump lawyer Michael Cohen traveled to Prague to meet with Russians;
- Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort owed the Russians $100 million and was the “go-between” from Russian President Vladimir Putin to Trump;
- Trump adviser Carter Page met with a senior Russian businessman tied to Putin;
- The Russians secretly communicated with Trump through a computer system.
Speaking of at least one of those red flags, Kavolec appeared to make some effort to fact check Steele in real time as he was rattling off his conspiracy theories about Michael Cohen’s Russian contacts and alleged meeting with them in Prague (which we know did not happen). In her handwritten notes, Kavalec circled the date “Aug 18” right underneath a note about “Cohen – Prague.” Another note says “late/early Aug,” but the handwriting is somewhat unclear. Regardless, Kavalec is attempting to pinpoint a date of the alleged trip (which is more investigating than the FBI did into the mythical trip).
Kavalec forwarded her typed summary to the FBI and other government officials two days after her interview. In a sane world, this would’ve led the FBI to disregard Steele as an unreliable partisan looking to thwart a political opponent. Perhaps the FBI simply didn’t care because they had the same end goal.
This evidence is explosive, and implies that the FBI buried this information for over two and a half years. Making matters worse (and more suspicious), the FBI didn’t classify and redact Kavalac’s notes until this year in April thanks to Director Christopher Wray. Did he suddenly realize one of his tracks he forgot to cover?
Kavalec’s notes were also not provided to the House Intelligence Committee during the Russia probe.
We already learned that the FBI relied on a politically motivated shady document to spy on Carter Page – and that’s from the un-redacted parts of Kavalec’s notes! Who can imagine that’s buried within the redaction?