(National Sentinel) Politicized: Congressional investigators are poring over evidence in an effort to find out if the FBI paid Trump dossier author and former British spy Christopher Steele’s travel expenses to Washingon, D.C., and Rome so he would look more like an “informant” than an opposition researcher paid by the Democratic National Committee and the Hillary Clinton campaign.
Steele, who was due in a London court earlier this week for a long-awaited deposition, was a no-show after his lawyers argued he should not have to sit for videotape sessions.
Steele is under fire again following the release of a redacted eight-page memo by Sens. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, and Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., that was part of a criminal referral involving Steele to the Justice Department.
Steele and the dossier are key to the so-called “Russian collusion” investigation. Congress wants to the Obama FBI’s full role in its relationship with Steele. The four-page FISA memo last week said that the FBI cut its ties to Steele after agents discovered he was leaking info about his relationship with the bureau to the press.
The Grassley-Graham referral also said that Steele was paid $160,000 by Fusion GPS, the opposition research firm that commissioned the dossier, which was ultimately financed by the Clinton campaign and the DNC.
It also confirms that the FBI authorized payment to Steele as well.
Steele traveled to Washington D.C. in September of 2016 and met with reporters. One of the meetings was held in the office of the DNC’s general counsel. He also traveled to Rome in September of 2016 to meet with FBI officials.
Now, congressional investigators would like to know why the bureau agreed to pay Steele at all.
On Tuesday, Paul Sperry, an investigative reporter for the New York Post, tweeted that investigators were pursuing this “new line of inquiry.”
“BREAKING: Hill committees pursuing new line of inquiry into whether FBI offered to pay Steele in order to ‘clean him up’ before FISC as ‘paid informant’ vs hired Hillary hand. Looking at FBI reimbursement of Steele travel expenses to DC & Rome legat [sic] office. (Never went to Russia),” he tweeted.
In addition, according to Breitbart News, the Grassley-Graham memo indicates that Steele allegedly lied to the bureau about his contact with Yahoo News, while the FBI was not fully forthcoming with the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court in order to obtain a surveillance warrant for Trump campaign figure Carter Page.
“Then-FBI Director James Comey briefed Feinstein and Grassley in March 2017 and told them that the FBI had relied on the dossier “absent meaningful corroboration — and in light of the highly political motives surrounding its creation” because Steele himself was considered reliable due to his past work with the FBI,” the site reported.
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