Christopher Steele Made Damning Pre-FISA Confession; FBI Retroactively Classified
Former British spy Christopher Steele made a stunning admission during an October 11, 2016 meeting with Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Kathleen Kavalec, just 10 days before the FBI used his now-discredited dossier to justify securing a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant to spy on Trump campaign aide Carter Page and the campaign’s ties to Russia, according to The Hill‘s John Solomon.
Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Kathleen Kavalec’s written account of her Oct. 11, 2016, meeting with FBI informant Christopher Steele shows the Hillary Clinton campaign-funded British intelligence operative admitted that his research was political and facing an Election Day deadline. –The Hill
According a typed summary of the meeting – which sat buried for over 2 1/2 years until an open-records litigation by Citizens United – Steele said that his client “is keen to see this information come to light prior to November 8,” the date of the 2016 US election. Also in the meeting was an employee of Steele’s Orbis Security firm, Tatyana Duran.
And according to The Hill, Kavalec’s notes of the meeting – including this stunning admission – do not appear to have been provided to the House Intelligence Committee for its Russia probe, according to former Chairman Devin Nunes (R-CA).
“They tried to hide a lot of documents from us during our investigation, and it usually turns out there’s a reason for it,” Nunes told The Hill‘s Solomon, who notes that One member of Congress had transmitted the memos to the DOJ’s Inspector General, Michael Horowitz out of concern that the IG’s office had never seen it either.
The FBI has retroactively classified Kavalec’s notes on 4/25/2019, despite the fact that it was originally marked unclassified in 2016. It is set to “Declassify on 12/31/2041,” 25 years after the 2016 election.
The apparent effort to hide Kavalec’s notes from her contact with Steele has persisted for some time.
State officials acknowledged a year ago they received a copy of the Steele dossier in July 2016, and got a more detailed briefing in October 2016 and referred the information to the FBI.
But what was discussed was not revealed. Sources told me more than a year ago that Kavalec had the most important (and memorialized) interaction with Steele before the FISA warrant was issued, but FBI and State officials refused to discuss it, or even confirm it.
The encounter, and Kavalec’s memos, were forced into public view through Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) litigation by Citizens United. Yet, all but a few lines have been redacted after the fact. Officials are citing as the reason national security, in the name of the FBI and a half-century-old intelligence law. –The Hill
“This new information proves why the attorney general must conduct a thorough investigation of the investigators,” said Citizens United president and informal Trump adviser David Bossie, adding that Kavalec’s notes suggest there was an illegal effort to “frame” Trump with bogus collusion allegations
According to one source who has seen the notes, they also contain information on Steele’s political ties which have not been given to Congress. “There’s a connection to Hillary Clinton in the notes,” said the source.
Two days after the meeting with Steele, Kavalec sent an email alerting others – with the only unredacted portion of import reading: “You may already have this information but wanted to pass it on just in case.”
Meanwhile, the memo also sheds light on the DNC’s role in hiring Steele:
The three sentences visible in her memo show that U.S. officials had good reason to suspect Steele’s client and motive in alleging Trump-Russia collusion because they were election-related and facilitated by the Clinton-funded Fusion GPS founder, Glenn Simpson.
“Orbis undertook the investigation into the Russia/Trump connection at the behest of an institution he declined to identify that had been hacked,” Kavalec wrote.
At the time, the Democratic National Committee (DNC) was the highest-profile victim of election-year hacking.
“The institution approached them based on the recommendation of Glenn Simpson and Peter Fritsch (specialists in economic crime, formerly of the WSJ) and is keen to see this information come to light prior to November 8,” Kavalec wrote. “Orbis undertook the investigation in June of 2016.” Steele’s firm Orbis was a subcontractor to Fusion GPS, and WSJ refers to The Wall Street Journal. –The Hill
The significance of Kavalec’s notes is monumental, even with redactions, as it is definitive proof that the US government had full knowledge that the foundation of their FISA warrant had a political motive and an Election Day deadline to make public. We also know, according to the report, that this information was transmitted before the Page FISA warrant to people whose job is so sensitive their identity had to be protected. In short, there’s virtually no way the FBI didn’t know what they were dealing with.
Documents and testimony from Department of Justice official Bruce Ohr, whose wife Nellie worked for Fusion GPS, show he told the FBI in August 2016 that Steele was “desperate” to defeat Trump and his work had something to do with Clinton’s campaign.
Kavalec’s notes make clear the DNC was a likely client and the election was Steele’s deadline to smear Trump.
Likewise, there is little chance the FBI didn’t know that Steele, then a bureau informant, had broken protocol and gone to the State Department in an effort to make the Trump dirt public. –The Hill
Meanwhile, former FBI Director James Comey continues to maintain his pious routine as he peddles his lucrative book, while his Deputy Andrew McCabe’s book deal just went to print in February.
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