How did a set of FBI talking points for a Senate Intelligence Committee briefing in February 2018 contradict what the FBI had known for a year about the Steele dossier? The Senate Judiciary Committee released a declassified and redacted version of the talking points yesterday, which never disclose the problems the FBI had found with Christopher Steele’s subsource at least a year earlier. This expands the potential wrongdoing by the FBI from the FISA court to Congress, and might have caught John Durham’s interest along the way.
The talking points for the briefing are constructed to maintain some level of confidence in the dossier’s information. However, as Inspector General Michael Horowitz discovered, it omits the discrediting information the FBI had uncovered prior to that — especially about Steele’s subsource:
The FBI told Congress that the Primary Sub-source “did not cite any significant concerns with the way his reporting was characterized in the dossier to the extent he could identify it.”
- However, documents previously declassified by the Senate Judiciary Committee revealed the Primary Sub-source told the FBI that he “has no idea” where some of the language attributed to him came from or that his contacts “never mentioned” some of the information attributed to them.
- The Primary Sub-source told the FBI he “did not know the origins” of other information that was supposedly from his contacts and he “did not recall” other information attributed to him or his contacts.
- Further, the Primary Sub-source said that Steele used “incorrect source characterization” for one of the Primary Sub-source’s contacts.