by Chuck Ross, The Daily Caller:
- Former FBI Director James Comey told Congress that the Steele dossier was unverified when it was used to apply for spy warrants against former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page.
- Comey said it was “not necessary” for the FBI to validate the sources that dossier author Christopher Steele used to compile his report.
- The former FBI chief signed off on three out of four spy warrants granted against Page.
Former FBI Director James Comey told Congress Friday that the FBI had not verified the Steele dossier prior to relying on the salacious document to obtain spy warrants against former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page.
According to a transcript of Comey’s testimony released on Saturday, the former FBI chief also asserted that it was “not necessary” for the FBI to assess the sources that dossier author Christopher Steele used to compile his report, which was funded by the Democratic National Committee and Clinton campaign.
“I think I’ve dealt with warrants where you just identify that your primary [confidential informant], or primary source, has subsources, and so long as the court is aware of that phenomenon and that you’re speaking to the reliability of the primary source, to my mind, that’s a totally legit warrant application,” he said.
Comey told lawmakers that “work was ongoing” by the time he was fired on May 9, 2017, to “to replicate, either rule in or rule out” as much of the dossier as possible.
He said that by the time he was fired on May 9, 2017, he “still didn’t know whether there was anything to it,” referring to the investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Kremlin.
The dossier alleged a massive conspiracy between Trump associates and Russian government officials.
Comey’s comments, which he made throughout a deposition before lawmakers on the House Judiciary and House Oversight Committees, matches up with other FBI officials’ testimony that the dossier was not verified when the bureau used it to begin spying on Page.
An internal FBI assessment conduted sometime after Feb. 9, 2017, also determined that investigators had “medium” confidence in the dossier, which had been “minimally corroborated.”
It raises further questions about why the FBI relied so heavily on unverified information to obtain surveillance warrants against Page, an energy consultant.
The FBI obtained four Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrants to spy on Page, the first having been granted on Oct. 21, 2016. Comey signed off on three of the FBI applications, though he appeared unaware in his testimony of key details of the information included in the documents.