The so-called “pee tape” referred to in the so-called “Steele Dossier” is as fake a story as the whopper that the “dossier” was written by Christopher Steele. These are two revelations confirmed in the Inspector General’s (IG) report issued Monday.
As Real Clear Investigations highlights, Jim Comey’s FBI knew in early 2017 that the origins of the report were based on barroom rumors, but he didn’t tell that to the president-elect when the director briefed him on January 6, 2017:
The “pee tape” has been debunked by Department of Justice Inspector General Michael Horowitz. Further, his report released Monday makes clear, the FBI knew early in 2017 that it was a highly dubious story and kept Donald Trump in the dark.
“[T]he Primary Sub-source said he/she made it clear to Steele that he/she had no proof to support the statements from his/her sub-sources,” Horowitz writes. As the Primary sub-source succinctly put it, “It was just talk.
The “Primary sub-source” – you know, the one peddling rumors and locker-room banter – was the author of the series of stories that became the dossier. This revelation was confirmed in the Executive Summary:
Steele himself was not the originating source of any of the factual information in his reporting. Steele instead relied on a Primary Sub-source for information, who used his/her network of sub-sources to gather information that was then passed to Steele. With Fusion GPS’s authorization, Steele directly provided more than a dozen of his reports to the FBI between July and October 2016, and several others to the FBI through Ohr and other third parties. The Crossfire Hurricane team received the first six election reports on September 19, 2016…
Comey chose the most “salacious and unverified” – his later words to Congress – parts of the dossier to brief to Trump. We now know that he did that for two reasons: 1) So he could gather intel on Trump and his reactions for the investigation into the president-elect, and, 2) so he could use the briefing as a news angle to give credence to the dossier and trigger news stories.
Besides trying to set up Trump for their investigation, the FBI used the rickety “dossier” of rumors to obtain three of the four FISA warrants to spy on the Trump campaign. In getting the warrants, the FBI testified to the FISA Court that the dossier was true and verified. It was anything but, which the IG reported in the Executive Summary:
“[i]n an effort to further corroborate Steele’s reporting” and found the Primary Sub-source to be ” truthful and cooperative.” We believe that including this statement … left a misimpression that the Primary Sub-source had corroborated the Steele reporting.”
The FBI has announced more than 40 changes in procedures following the report.
But that didn’t stop Comey from taking a bizarre victory lap. He said the IG proved “the FBI fulfilled its mission” and didn’t “spy” on Trump:
So it was all lies. No treason. No spying on the campaign. No tapping Trumps wires. It was just good people trying to protect America. https://t.co/9nurCaIBq2
— James Comey (@Comey) December 9, 2019
If making up lies and using them to get warrants to spy on the president-elect’s campaign is fulfilling the FBI’s mission, then are we to conclude that this behavior is normal?