CNN has reported that the FBI used the infamous “Steele” dossier as part of its justification for obtaining a warrant to monitor one of Trump’s associates.
The dossier, which was compiled by former British intelligence operative Christoper Steele, has been cited by FBI Director James Comey a few times in the course of his briefings to Congress. Comey mentioned that the dossier had been used as one of the bureau’s sources of information.
The dossier was also used by the FBI to obtain a secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act warrant in order to monitor the communications of Trump advisor Carter Paige.
That being said, it should be noted that this does not mean everything contained in the dossier is true. The FBI only used information that could be independently verified through its own investigation into Trump.
U.S. intelligence officials have said that they did their own investigation into the matter of Russia’s interference in the election and that they did not rely on the dossier.
In regards to Paige, the dossier alleges that he met with Russian officials in order to convince them to help Trump win the election.
‘The dossier alleges that Page met senior Russian officials as an emissary of the Trump campaign, and discussed quid-pro-quo deals relating to sanctions, business opportunities and Russia’s interference in the election. Page has denied meeting the officials named in the dossier and says he never cut any political deals with the Kremlin.
‘During the campaign, he traveled to Russia in July, where he gave a lecture critical of US policy toward Russia. That trip drew the attention of the FBI and raised concerns about Page’s contacts with suspected Russian operatives, according to US officials briefed on the matter. Page has said he made the trip independent of the Trump campaign and his speech reflected his own views.’
For his part, Paige denies any wrongdoing and has promised to take legal action against the Obama administration for alleged violation of his civil rights.
‘I look forward to the Privacy Act of 1974 lawsuit that I plan to file in response to the civil rights violations by Obama administration appointees last year. The discovery process will be of great value to the United States, as our nation hears testimony from them under oath, and we receive disclosure of the documents which show what exactly was done in 2016’
As of right now, the more damning claims found within this dossier have been unverified, but the fact that some of the information was used to obtain a FISA warrant is telling. In order to obtain the warrant, the FBI would have had to prove that they had probable cause that Paige was acting on behalf of a foreign power. The warrant would then have to be signed by Comey and other leaders within the Justice Department. Such a process always requires an extensive review.
Paige has been on the FBI’s radar in the past. In 2013, he served as state’s witness against a Russian spy that had approached Paige. The former Trump adviser denies that he knew he was working with a Russian agent.
Featured image via Getty Images.