Reuters is reporting that one of the pivotal characters involved in the origins of the Russia investigation will refuse to speak to the prosecutor appointed by Attorney General William Barr to investigate the matter.
Christopher Steele, author of the infamous dossier accusing Trump of colluding with the Russians, will not talk to John Durham, named by Barr to examine the origins of the investigations into Trump and his campaign team, according to a business associate of Steele’s.
Steele’s dossier, used by the FBI to gain a FISA warrant against members of the Trump 2016 presidential campaign, has never been verified and has largely been discredited by other sources.
The source close to Steele’s company said Steele would not cooperate with Durham’s probe but might cooperate with a parallel inquiry by the Justice Department’s Inspector General into how U.S. law enforcement agencies handled pre-election investigations into both Trump and Clinton.
Steele also cooperated with Mueller’s investigative team, voluntarily submitting to two interviews in September 2017. He also gave written testimony to the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee in August 2018, the source said.
The Justice Department had no immediate comment, and a spokesman for Durham declined to comment.
Steele may be more cooperative with friendlier interrogators.
Michael Horowitz, the inspector general, is looking into the FBI’s handling of the dossier to obtain the Carter Page surveillance warrants. He is also reportedly investigating whether the FBI misrepresented Steele’s history as a confidential informant for the bureau.
Do Democrats care about the misuse of the FISA warrant process? Apparently not, says Lindsey Graham.
“I want all the documents around the FISA warrant application released. I want to find out exactly how the counterintelligence operation began. I think transparency is good for the American people. Not one Democrat seems to care.”
“I was the hero when I said let’s support Mueller,” Graham said. “I wish some Democrat would come forward to find out if the FISA court was defrauded by the FBI and the Department of Justice.”
“We’re not compromising national security here. We’re trying to create a system to make sure this never happens again by shedding light on what happened with the FISA warrant process, the counterintelligence investigation,” he also said. “Did they have a lawful reason to surveil President Trump’s campaign?”
“Did they lie to the FISA court? Every American should want to find that out.”
I’m curious to find out about that myself. It should be noted that about 99% of FISA warrants are approved — some based on flimsier evidence than the FBI got from Steele. But what’s unusual about this case are the statements by the FBI — under oath — that misrepresented Steele’s role with the bureau.
The fix was in and the FBI arranged things nicely by hoodwinking the court into granting the warrant.
Steele would certainly have embarrassing questions to answer if he was interviewed by Durham. Other intel officials, ordered by Trump to cooperate in the probe, might be equally reluctant to share what they know.