During the contentious 2016 presidential election, Hillary Clinton was fuming that then-FBI Director James Comey had closed and then re-opened the investigation into her emails.
So what’s a Clinton to do when the FBI won’t get off her tail and is threatening to derail her coveted White House bid?
- Hire an ex-spy to report unverified accusations and salacious personal dirt on her Republican opponent, Donald Trump.
- Have that ex-spy pass the scandalous dossier off to the FBI, which is suspected of using it to obtain a warrant to spy on Trump’s campaign. (The FBI launched a probe of Trump a month after it received the dossier.)
- Then, just as Comey re-opens the Clinton email probe in late October, the Clinton-funded ex-spy calls the FBI about its investigation of Clinton, and he claims the probe is politically motivated.
That’s essentially how it all happened, according to a flurry of news reports, sources and testimony released this week.
As WND has reported, former British spy Christopher Steele compiled the anti-Trump dossier, which he said was given to the FBI “near the start of July.” But Steele didn’t compile the dossier on his own. He had been hired by the Washington-based intelligence firm Fusion GPS, which funded Steele’s research with cash from Hillary Clinton’s campaign and the Democratic National Committee.
The Clinton- and DNC-funded dossier contained some curious allegations from Russian government sources and was published on the anti-Trump website Buzzfeed, which admitted, “The allegations are unverified, and the report contains errors.” The 35-page document included lewd allegations concerning Trump’s personal life and claims regarding his purported financial ties to Russia.
Did Clinton-funded dossier trigger FBI’s spying warrant?
It’s been long suspected that the FBI used the Clinton-funded dossier to obtain a warrant to spy on Trump’s team during his campaign.
As WND reported, at a December Intelligence Committee hearing, Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, charged that Clinton’s campaign used its law firm, Perkins Coie, to hire Fusion GPS and Steele to draft the dossier “full of all kinds of fake news, National Enquirer garbage,” and the document was reportedly “all dressed up by the FBI, taken to [Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, or FISA] Court, and presented as a legitimate intelligence document.”
Jordan told FBI Director Christopher Wray: “I’m wondering if that actually took place. It sure looks like it did.”
Now investigative reporter Sara Carter says multiple sources have confirmed the federal agency did, in fact, use that dossier as evidence to obtain a FISA warrant to spy on Trump campaign officials. Carter’s report cites multiple sources, including “a senior law enforcement source with knowledge of the process” who told her, “It’s outrageous and clearly should be thoroughly investigated.”
Another source, a “senior U.S. official with knowledge of the dossier,” added: “Congress needs to look at the FBI officials who were handling this case and see what, if anything, was verified in the dossier. I think an important question is whether the FBI paid anything to the source for the dossier.”
Fox News’ Sean Hannity said Wednesday said three separate sources have told him the FBI used the dossier to obtain the warrant. One high-level source reportedly told Hannity the Clinton-funded dossier played a “significant role” in obtaining the spying warrant.
“It’s all propaganda,” Hannity said of the dossier. “It’s all Hillary Clinton bought-and-paid-for Russia lies. Salacious lies. Unproven things. … One person said it definitely played a part. Another said a significant part in terms of getting the FISA warrant. But it was, according to all three sources, used to obtain the warrant.”
On Twitter, President Trump himself said twice Thursday that he believes the dossier was used to obtain the FISA warrant.
He tweeted: “Disproven and paid for by Democrats ‘Dossier used to spy on Trump Campaign. Did FBI use Intel tool to influence the Election?’ @foxandfriends Did Dems or Clinton also pay Russians? Where are hidden and smashed DNC servers? Where are Crooked Hillary Emails? What a mess!”
Trump followed that early morning tweet with another: “‘House votes on controversial FISA ACT today.’ This is the act that may have been used, with the help of the discredited and phony Dossier, to so badly surveil and abuse the Trump Campaign by the previous administration and others?”
Members of the House Intelligence Committee recently obtained access to FBI and DOJ documents related to the application for a FISA warrant. The Washington Examiner reported that “representatives of four committees — the House Intelligence Committee, Senate Intelligence Committee, House Judiciary Committee, and Senate Judiciary Committee — have had the opportunity to examine FISA documents in a secure room at the Justice Department.”
Members of Congress have not publicly revealed their findings yet.
WND asked Mueller’s office if the FBI or Mueller’s team ever used Steele’s dossier on Trump to shore up any part of the investigations. The office declined comment.
Clinton-backed firm complains to FBI about Clinton email probe
After the anti-Trump dossier was provided to the FBI, Fusion GPS had a phone call with the federal agency about the ongoing investigation of Clinton’s emails, it was revealed Thursday.
On Aug, 22, Fusion GPS founder Glenn Simpson spoke with Senate Judiciary Committee Investigators for 10 hours. Simpson had requested that his 312-page testimony be released. The ranking Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., made Simpson’s transcript public Tuesday.
In that testimony (Page 178), Simpson admitted that Steele discussed the Clinton probe with the FBI because he believed the agency was improperly intervening in her campaign.
Simpson made the statement in response to a question from Heather Sawyer, chief oversight counsel for Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif.
Sawyer asked Simpson, “Just to finish up the interactions with the FBI, do you know were there any additional interactions between Mr. Steel and the FBI?”
There was some sort of interaction, I think it was probably telephonic, that occurred after Director Comey sent his letter to Congress reopening the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s e-mails. That episode, you know, obviously created some concern that the FBI was intervening in a political campaign in contravention of long-standing Justice Department regulation.
So it made a lot of people, including us, concerned about what the heck was going on at the FBI. So, you know, we began getting questions from the press about, you know, whether they were also investigating Trump and, you know, we encouraged them to ask the FBI that question. … [W]e just encouraged them to ask the FBI that question.
Shortly after Simpson made that statement, he said Steele “severed his relationship with the FBI out of concern that he didn’t know what was happening inside the FBI and there was a concern that the FBI was being manipulated for political ends by the Trump people at that we really didn’t understand what was going on.”
In his testimony, Simpson also admitted that he personally “opposed” Trump.
“At some point probably early in 2016 I had reached a conclusion about Donald Trump as a businessman and his character and I was opposed to Donald Trump,” Simpson said. “I’m not going to pretend that that wouldn’t have entered into my thinking. … I reached an opinion about Donald Trump and his suitability to be president of the United States and I was concerned about whether he was the best person for the job.”