Sunday, November 29, 2020

Declassified Spreadsheet Shows FBI Relied Heavily on Media Reports to Support Steele's Claims

Recently declassified FBI spreadsheets showed that the agency relied heavily on media reports to back up allegations of Trump campaign-Russian collusion made in British ex-spy-for-hire Christopher Steele’s dossier.

The 94-page spreadsheet, first reported by CBS News’s Catherine Herridge, shows each claim from the Steele dossier listed in one column, and supporting evidence for that claim in another column — which in many cases were news reports, including some that used Steele as a source.

Herridge tweeted late Monday, “the FBI spreadsheet was part of a broader effort to corroborate the Steele dossier claims.”

She added: “While lightly redacted, the bureau spreadsheet shows the FBI relied heavily on media reporting to back up claims about Carter Page, Paul Manafort, and others.”

While lightly redacted, the bureau spreadsheet shows the FBI relied heavily on media reporting to back up claims about Carter Page, Paul Manafort, and others. IG Horowitz faulted the FBI over lack of corroboration + evidence of circular reporting.

— Catherine Herridge (@CBS_Herridge) October 12, 2020

Herridge noted that in one case, the source for a Yahoo report the FBI used to back up Steele’s claims was Steele himself.

reporting in the @carterwpage FISA + then not correcting the court record once the connection with Steele was known. Tim Gill Sr, a former senior FBI intelligence officer, told CBS that the reliance on media reporting was not standard. “Any effort to corroborate a report

— Catherine Herridge (@CBS_Herridge) October 12, 2020

A former senior FBI intelligence officer, Tom Gill Sr., told Herridge that relying on media reporting was not standard.

“Any effort to corroborate a report should include a variety of intelligence sources, including imagery intelligence, human intelligence, signals intelligence as well as clandestine intelligence collection platforms for verification,” he told Herridge. “You don’t rely on media reporting.”

should include a variety of intelligence sources, including imagery intelligence, human intelligence, signals intelligence as well as clandestine intelligence collection platforms for verification," Gill said. “You don't rely on media reporting.”

— Catherine Herridge (@CBS_Herridge) October 12, 2020

The dossier was paid for by the Clinton campaign in early 2016 through law firm Perkins Coie. Perkins Coie hired Fusion GPS, which then hired Steele to produce the anti-Trump dossier. The dossier was then circulated to the Obama administration’s FBI, DOJ, and other agencies, as well as to Democrat and Republican members of Congress.

The spreadsheets show that the Clinton-paid Fusion GPS-Steele dossier that claimed collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia was funneled to the FBI, which then relied on media reports — including those planted by Fusion GPS and Steele — for evidence for those collusion claims.

The spreadsheets also show how seriously the FBI took the dossier’s claims, by producing spreadsheets in the agency’s attempts to vet the claims. The FBI also used the dossier to back up applications for surveillance warrants against former Trump campaign aide Carter Page.

Special Counsel Robert Mueller ultimately found no evidence of a criminal conspiracy between the Trump campaign and Russia, after a several-years long investigation costing millions of American taxpayer dollars.

The spreadsheet also lists Steele’s primary sub-source, a Russian analyst who lives in Washington, D.C., Igor Danchenko, to back up the claims. Danchenko told the FBI was early as January 2017 that he provided Steele with rumors and gossip from six sub-sources in Russia, and did not personally verify the information.

The spreadsheet also includes unverified allegations from a memo compiled by Cody Shearer, a longtime associate of the Clintons, according to the Daily Caller. Shearer had provided then-State Department official Jonathan Winer with the memo, who then gave it to Steele.

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