News & Politics

The Obamagate Scandal Just Got Even Dirtier

Former Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn leaves federal court in Washington, Friday, Dec. 1, 2017. Flynn pleaded guilty Friday to making false statements to the FBI, the first Trump White House official to make a guilty plea so far in a wide-ranging investigation led by special counsel Robert Mueller. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

British spy Christopher Steele was offered money by Obama’s FBI to dig up dirt on Michael Flynn. The proposal came in the weeks before the 2016 election. This offer hasn’t received any press until now and was first reported by The Daily Caller. “The inspector general’s report, released on Dec. 9, 2019, said that FBI agents offered to pay Steele ‘significantly’ to collect intelligence from three separate ‘buckets’ that the bureau was pursuing as part of Crossfire Hurricane, its counterintelligence probe of four Trump campaign associates.”

FBI agents also wanted contact with “any individuals or sub sources” whom Steele could provide to “serve as cooperating witnesses to assist in identifying persons involved in the Trump campaign-Russian relationship.”

The Obama administration never had any empirical evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia, according to testimony from top Obama officials.

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The revelation adds a new layer of intrigue to the Obamagate scandal. Recently released documents show that Steele “peddled an unfounded rumor that Flynn had an extramarital affair with a Russian woman in the United Kingdom.” Prior to this revelation, it was not known that Steele had investigated Mike Flynn. Steele, who used to work for MI6, the United Kingdom’s foreign intelligence service, was previously only known to have focused on Donald Trump, Carter Page, Paul Manafort, and Michael Cohen.

Steele was not previously known to have deeply investigated Flynn as part of his dirt-digging mission against the Trump campaign. The former MI6 officer compiled 17 memos that focused instead on Donald Trump, Page, Manafort and Michael Cohen, a former lawyer for Trump. Flynn had been advising the Trump campaign since February 2016.

Steele’s dossier on Donald Trump was filled with mostly bizarre, unsubstantiated claims, but was ultimately used by the Obama administration to justify a FISA warrant on the Trump campaign. Recently released documents raise new questions about whether the FBI request for Steele to investigate Flynn is linked to the rumor that Flynn had an extramarital affair with a Russian woman.

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Matt Margolis is the author of Trumping Obama: How President Trump Saved Us From Barack Obama’s Legacy and the bestselling book The Worst President in History: The Legacy of Barack Obama. You can follow Matt on Twitter @MattMargolis

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