by WorldTribune Staff, April 26, 2018
The FBI’s investigation of alleged Trump-Russia collusion during the 2016 presidential campaign was a product of Democratic Party opposition research and not independent intelligence, the chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence said.
“So what we found now after the investigators have reviewed it is that, in fact, there was no intelligence,” Rep. Devin Nunes, California Republican, said on Fox News’ “Sunday Morning Futures”.
In an April 25 report, Washington Times correspondent Rowan Scarborough quoted a Republican congressional staffer as saying: “The more information becomes available about the origins and conduct of this probe, the more it becomes clear that barely anything was investigated through normal channels and according to normal procedures.”
The dossier by ex-British spy Christopher Steele dossier, financed by the Democratic National Committee and the Hillary Clinton campaign, was the key spark that ignited the FBI’s Trump-Russia investigation.
Former FBI Director James Comey acknowledged in a TV interview that he took the dossier and tried to see “what we can replicate.”
“Indeed, the documents we have reviewed show that the FBI took important investigative steps largely based on Steele’s information and relying heavily on his credibility,” said a criminal referral to the Department of Justice from Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Charles Grassley, Iowa Republican, and Sen. Lindsey Graham, South Carolina Republican.
“There is substantial evidence suggesting that Steele materially misled the FBI,” the senators wrote. “Lying to the FBI is a crime.”
It was Nunes‘s investigation that uncovered the FBI’s reliance on the Steele dossier to obtain a wiretap warrant and its plan to pay Steele to continue investigating Donald Trump, possibly when he became president.
“This was about a counterintelligence investigation that was at the height of a political campaign where you opened up an investigation using these intelligence services to spy on the other campaign,” Nunes said. “It’s really serious stuff.”
Comey, during the tour for his memoir, “A Higher Loyalty,” has defended his reliance on Steele though the former FBI chief has not confirmed publicly that any of Steele’s charges have been proved.
“Certainly [Steele] was credible,” Comey told ABC News. “There’s no doubt that he had a network of sources and subsources in a position to report on these kinds of things. But we tend to approach these things with a bit of a blank slate, trying to figure out, ‘So what can we replicate?’ This guy, who’s credible, says these things are true. OK. That means we should try and replicate that work to see if we can develop the same sources.”
Special counsel Robert Mueller has informed Trump’s attorneys that the president is not an investigation target.
“This tends to disprove the Steele dossier, which makes sweeping conspiracy charges against the president,” Scarborough noted.