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Did the FBI mislead the Senate Intelligence Committee on the Steele file? The media usually are not

136px-US-FBI-ShadedSealsenate_large_sealI recently wrote a column on a pattern of premeditated blindness by the media when new evidence emerges of grave misconduct by the FBI in the creation and continuation of the Russian collusion investigation. The latest information comes from the Senate Intelligence Committee, which released a declassified intelligence report to the Senate Intelligence Committee in 2018 on the primary sub-source of the Steele dossier. It's hard to read the document linked below and not come to the conclusion that the FBI misled Congress on this matter. It did so after the FBI misled the FISA court, including submitting forged documents to continue surveillance.

The statement that differs most from the briefing is that the primary sub-source "did not raise any significant concerns about the way his reporting was characterized in the dossier, insofar as he was able to identify them".

Remember, this is a 2018 statement. FBI agents had already warned that dossier author Christopher Steele may have been used by Russian intelligence to plant false information to disrupt the election. Indeed, Steele's allegations were quickly discredited by the FBI. In 2017, it was known to key agents that the basis for the FISA applications was dubious and likely incorrect. Still, it kept investigating, and then someone passed its existence on to the media. Both Assistant Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and former Acting Attorney General Sally Yates testified that if they knew this information at the time, they would not have approved the surveillance. However, the media does not seem interested in how this conflicting information was buried, even during briefings to the intelligence committees.

Another released document shows that even Strzok, after the New York Times published a leaked story about the investigation, classified the account as misleading and inaccurate the year before. In his early 2017 memo, it was confirmed that there was no evidence of anyone who had worked with Russians. This information came as the collusion became a madness that would last for years.

The sub-source reference in the new document is particularly worrying as this person told the FBI that they "have no idea" where some of the attributed language in the Steele report came from. He specifically denied being the source of any of the information. That seems like a bit more than just a "major problem". However, the Senate was notified that it had no material concerns. In fact, he said he "never mentioned" the information and "did not know the origins of the information." At one point he said he had no recollection of ever giving the information to Steele. He also contradicted Steele directly in how he characterized the information.

The report also states: "[a] At least our interviews with [the primary sub-source] confirm that the dossier was not prepared by Steele."

However, the sub-source reiterated that he had no idea where some of the information attributed to him came from. That seems to directly contradict this statement. He said that he had a "zero" confirmation of some of the information, while other allegations were just things he heard over drinks or "joking" meant.

The point is not that this source is clearly telling the truth or that this proves a profound conspiracy. The question is rather why this document – as with earlier released documents – received practically no media attention. It is misleading at best, through omission, and at worst, deliberately wrong in informing a congressional intelligence committee. For years, the media has been scrutinizing every possible collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russians that has been found to be unfounded. However, these recent documents raise serious questions of false testimony to Congress in order to continue this investigation. These grave allegations of false testimony and false evidence in an investigation directed against individuals connected to the opposing party and its presidential campaign. Indeed, the latest documents show that, in direct contradiction to previous statements, the FBI used briefings with Trump as part of the Crossfire Hurricane investigation. The media response? Grilling. Nada. Not interested.

We should be interested. It is for this reason that I continue to support John Durham's investigation and why former Assistant Attorney General Rod Rosenstein has called for that investigation to continue. The problem is that there is a virtual new blackout for the new evidence that is released. After using tanker loads of ink for the unsubstantiated collusion theories, the media appears unwilling to use a drop of ink for evidence of misconduct in conducting this investigation. In today's echo journalistic world there is no place for such stories that question the previous narrative.

This approved document and other related material can be accessed at the following link: judiciary.senate.gov/fisa-investigation.

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