Judicial Watch: FBI Records Show Dossier Author Deemed ‘Not Suitable For Use’ as Source, Show Several FBI Payments in 2016
Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch announced today the FBI turned over 70 pages of heavily redacted records about Christopher Steele, the former British spy, hired with Clinton campaign and Democratic National Committee funds, who authored the infamous Dossier targeting President Trump during last year’s presidential campaign. The documents show that Steele was cut off as a “Confidential Human Source” (CHS) after he disclosed his relationship with the FBI to a third party. The documents show at least 11 FBI payments to Steele in 2016 and document that he was admonished for unknown reasons in February, 2016. The documents were turned over in response to Judicial Watch Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Justice for records of communications and payments between the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele and his private firm, Orbis Business Intelligence (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of Justice (No. 1:17-cv-00916)).
The documents include a “source closing communication” that states that Steele (referred to as “CHS” or Confidential Human Source) “is being closed” because:
CHS confirmed to an outside third party that CHS has a confidential relationship with the FBI. CHS was used as a source for an online article. In the article, CHS revealed CHS’ relationship with the FBI as well as information that CHS obtained and provided to FBI. On November 1, 2016, CHS confirmed all of this to the handling agent. At that time, handling agent advised CHS that the nature of the relationship between the FBI and CHS would change completely and that it was unlikely that the FBI would continue a relationship with the CHS. Additionally, handling agent advised that CHS was not to operate to obtain any intelligence whatsoever on behalf of the FBI.
The documents also show that Steele was paid repeatedly by the FBI and was “admonished” for some unknown misconduct in February, 2016. The documents include:
- Fifteen (15) FD-1023, Source Reports.
- Thirteen (13) FD-209a, Contact Reports.
- Eleven (11) FD-794b, Payment Requests. (It appears Steele was paid money eleven of the thirteen times he met with the FBI and gave them information.)
- An Electronic Communication (EC) documenting that on February 2, 2016, Steele was admonished in accordance with the Justice Department guidelines and the FBI CHS Policy Manual.
The documents were obtained as a result of a lawsuit was filed after the Department of Justice failed to respond to a March 8, 2017, FOIA request seeking:
- All records of communications between any official, employee, or representative of the FBI and Mr. Christopher Steele, a former British intelligence officer and the owner of the private firm Orbis Business Intelligence.
- All records related to the proposed, planned, or actual payment of any funds to Mr. Steele and/or Orbis Business Intelligence.
- All records produced in preparation for, during, or pursuant to any meetings or telephonic conversations between any official, employee, or representative of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Mr. Christopher Steele and/or any employee or representative of Orbis Business Intelligence.
“These new docs show the shady, cash-based relationship the Obama FBI had with Clinton operative Christopher Steele,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “The anti-Trump Russia ‘investigation’ had Christopher Steele at its center and his misconduct was no impediment to using information from his Russia intelligence collaborators to spy on the Trump team. The corruption and abuse is astonishing.”
Last week, a separate Judicial Watch lawsuit uncovered the FISA warrant documents used to justify spying on Carter Page. The warrants are controversial because the FISA court was never told that the key information justifying the requests came from a “dossier” that was created by Fusion GPS, a paid agent of the Clinton campaign and Democratic National Committee. Fusion GPS hired Steele to create the Dossier and Steele is referenced repeatedly as “Source #1” in the warrants. The initial Carter Page warrant was granted just weeks before the 2016 election. Steele and his “minimally corroborated” Clinton-DNC dossier was an essential part of the FBI and DOJ’s applications for surveillance warrants to spy on Page.