Bad intel? FBI stands by Russian dossier despite lack of evidence

by WorldTribune Staff, December 26, 2017

The FBI is not abandoning the Russian dossier on which it relied to launch an investigation into the Trump campaign. At the same time the agency admits the Democratic Party-funded dossier is largely unverified.

FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe. / AP

FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, who testified in a closed session before the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence last week, “declined to criticize the dossier’s 35 pages of salacious and criminal charges against Donald Trump and his aides,” Rowan Scarborough wrote in a Dec. 25 report for The Washington Times.

McCabe also acknowledged that the dossier authored by ex-British spy Christopher Steele remains largely unverified, according to a source familiar with ongoing congressional inquiries.

The Washington Post reported on Dec. 23 that McCabe plans to retire early next year.

Sources told The Washington Times that “it would be embarrassing for McCabe to condemn a political opposition research paper on which his agents based decisions to open a counterintelligence investigation and interview witnesses,” Scarborough wrote.

Some press reports said the FBI cited the dossier’s information in requests for court-approved wiretaps.

Fox News and the Washington Examiner reported that Republicans asked what parts of the dossier the FBI had confirmed. McCabe said the only substantiated collusion-related incident was that Trump campaign volunteer Carter Page traveled to Moscow in July 2016.

McCabe’s answer surprised Republicans, who noted that Page’s trip to deliver a speech at a university was widely publicized at the time.

Justice Department Inspector General Michael E. Horowitz is investigating whether McCabe should have recused himself from the Clinton email investigation in 2015 and 2016.

McCabe’s wife, an unsuccessful 2015 Democratic candidate for Virginia state Senate, received more than $700,000 in campaign donations from two PACs, one of which was controlled by Gov. Terry McAuliffe, a close Clinton ally.

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