FBI appears to have relied on Steele dossier for its case against Trump campaign operatives

Andrew McCarthy:
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There is a great deal of information to follow. But let’s cut to the chase: The Obama-era FBI and Justice Department had great faith in Steele because he had previously collaborated with the bureau on a big case. Plus, Steele was working on the Trump-Russia project with the wife of a top Obama Justice Department official, who was personally briefed by Steele. The upper ranks of the FBI and DOJ strongly preferred Trump’s opponent, Hillary Clinton, to the point of overlooking significant evidence of her felony misconduct, even as they turned up the heat on Trump. In sum, the FBI and DOJ were predisposed to believe the allegations in Steele’s dossier. Because of their confidence in Steele, because they were predisposed to believe his scandalous claims about Donald Trump, they made grossly inadequate efforts to verify his claims. Contrary to what I hoped would be the case, I’ve come to believe Steele’s claims were used to obtain FISA surveillance authority for an investigation of Trump.

There were layers of insulation between the Clinton campaign and Steele — the campaign and the Democratic party retained a law firm, which contracted with Fusion GPS, which in turn hired the former spy. At some point, though, perhaps early on, the FBI and DOJ learned that the dossier was actually a partisan opposition-research product. By then, they were dug in. No one, after all, would be any the wiser: Hillary would coast to victory, so Democrats would continue running the government; FISA materials are highly classified, so they’d be kept under wraps. Just as it had been with the Obama-era’s Fast and Furious and IRS scandals, any malfeasance would remain hidden.

The best laid schemes . . . gang aft agley.
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This is a long piece but it is well worth reading to see just how badly the FBI screwed up.  I would also note that since the dossier became public, Steele has been sued by some of the people named in the dossier and in his response to the allegations of the suits Steele appears to be backing off his own confidence in the allegations. 

Ultimately this will also damage the FBI  in its use of this opposition research effort.  The Democrats who have been pushing this dossier in their attacks on Trump seem oblivious to the foundation of their argument crumbling.

Those within the FBI who truly believed the BS in the opposition research document supplied by Russian intelligence operatives have been accused of leaks to the media to further their opposition to Trump.  Their careers are now on the line.

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