FBI failed to disclose Steele's bias against Trump
...I think the FBI's problem is even worse. What was not disclosed was that Steele's "dossier" was based on third-hand hearsay from Russian intelligence officers that he had not even met with. It was at best, unsupported gossip. It was the kind of testimony they would never have been able to give at a real trial.
In another part of the footnote, the FBI said Simpson "never advised Source #1 as to the motivation behind the research into Candidate #1's ties to Russia," suggesting Steele had no idea that his employers were trying to stop Trump.
In yet another part of the footnote, the bureau said "the FBI believes Source #1's reporting herein to be credible."
The problem for the FBI is this: The initial FISA application containing those footnotes was filed in October 2016. In the previous month, September, Steele told Justice Department official Bruce Ohr that he, Steele, was "desperate that Donald Trump not get elected and was passionate about him not being president," according to Ohr's account quoted in the Nunes memo. At the time of applying for the warrant, the Justice Department knew about Steele's "desperate" and "passionate" anti-Trumpism, but did not tell the court.
"This clear evidence of Steele's bias was recorded by Ohr at the time and subsequently in official FBI files — but not reflected in any of the Page FISA applications," Nunes wrote.
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, corroborated Nunes' point, writing on Jan. 24, 2018, that Ohr "noted...that Mr. Steele was 'desperate' to see that Mr. Trump was not elected president. None of the information provided by Mr. Ohr in his interviews with the FBI was included in the FISA renewal applications."
It is generally accepted that evidence of a source's bias, including the source's own acknowledgment of it, should be disclosed in warrant applications that are predicated on that source. The FBI simply did not do that in Steele's case.
The later applications did inform the court of problems with Steele. The FBI expected that Steele, as a trusted (and paid) source, would not share his findings with the press. Yet that is what Steele did in September and October before the election, when he discussed his work with reporters from the New York Times, Washington Post, CNN, New Yorker, Yahoo, and Mother Jones — and then falsely denied that he had.
In subsequent renewal applications, the FBI informed the court that it had suspended, and then ended, its relationship with Steele. But the bureau argued that Steele was still a reliable source, because he broke his agreement and lied after he gave the FBI the information included in the warrant application.