The FBI pressed CIA Director John Brennan to include the dossier in the intelligence community's assessment of alleged Russian election interference.
FPI / April 27, 2020
The FBI insisted that the CIA include a summary of the bogus Christopher Steele anti-Trump dossier in its assessment of alleged Russian interference in the 2016 election, a Senate report said.
The summary of the dossier was included in the intelligence community’s assessment only as a “compromise” with the FBI, which “would have had a major problem” if the document was ignored, according to report by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence titled “Russian Active Measures Campaigns and Interference”.
The Senate report makes clear that the CIA and other intelligence agencies had little interest in including ex-British spy Christopher Steele’s dossier allegations into the Intelligence Community Assessment.
But the FBI, which was already deep into an investigation into President Donald Trump and his campaign, insisted. CIA Director John Brennan and others agreed to allow a two-page dossier summary to appear in a top-secret Appendix A as opposed to the FBI demand that it be made a part of the official record.
“FBI officials told the Committee that they ‘would have had a major problem if Annex A had not been included,’ and that FBI believed they ‘had to put everything in,’ ” the Senate report said.
Even though the bureau did not "stand behind" the Steele material, An FBI assistant director urged its inclusion in the intelligence community's assessment, the Senate report said.
“A summary of this material was included in Annex A as a compromise to FBI’s insistence that the information was responsive to the presidential tasking,” the report states. “It did include a summary of this material in an annex — largely at the insistence of FBI’s senior leadership.”
The senior FBI leaders at the time were Director James Comey and Deputy Director Andrew McCabe.
Comey told the Senate committee: “I insisted that we bring it to the party, and I was agnostic as to whether it was footnoted in the document itself, put as an annex. I have some recollection of talking to John Brennan maybe at some point saying: ‘I don’t really care, but I think it is relevant and so ought to be part of the consideration.’ ”
The dossier was financed by the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign and the Democratic Party. None of the allegations made by Steele in the dossier has proved true.
"The Senate report underscores again how the FBI embraced the dossier," Washington Times reporter Rowan Scarborough noted on April 23. "In January 2017, Steele’s main source told agents he was repeating Moscow gossip to Steele, and in February the intelligence community warned the FBI of Russian disinformation. Intelligence personnel made clear in December 2016 that they wanted to steer clear of a dossier that would be discredited in the ensuing three years."
The Intelligence Community Assessment was released on Jan. 6, 2017.
“All individuals the Committee interviewed stated that the Steele material did not in any way inform the analysis in the ICA, including the key judgments, because it was unverified information and had not been disseminated as serialized intelligence reporting,” the Senate committee said.
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