(National Sentinel)Â Expanding Probe: The House Intelligence Committee is examining former Obama Secretary of State John F. Kerry’s possible role regarding use of the unverified “Trump dossier” that was used to obtain a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court warrant to spy on a member of President Donald J. Trump’s campaign, reports investigative journalist Sara A. Carter.
TheÂ Fox News contributor noted that the dossier, which was paid for by Hillary Clinton’s campaign and the Democratic National Committee, was the foundation for the FBI’s counterintelligence investigation into alleged collusion between the Trump camp and Russia.
The intel panel revealed in its “FISA memo” released last month that FBI and Justice Department officials have admitted that were it not for the dossier, they could not have obtained the FISA court warrant to spy on Trump campaign official Carter Page.
Carter notes further:
For more than a month, the committee has been in its second phase of investigations focused on former Obama State Department officials and their role in either transmitting information or using information provided by a former British spy and investigator Christopher Steele. Steele was hired by embattled research firm Fusion GPS, also under several congressional and Senate investigations.
But it was in February when questions surfaced regarding Kerryâ€™s possible involvement or knowledge of the dossier.
Jonathan Winer is a long-time colleague of Kerry’s and served as the former envoy for Libya when he worked at the State Department. He penned an op-ed in theÂ Washington Post on Feb. 8 defending his relationship with Steele and his role in the creation of the unsubstantiated dossier.
Winer sought to pre-empt questions from the Intelligence Committee about his role by admitting in his op-ed that he had been a friend of Steele’s for a long time.
He also established his bona-fides in working with Kerry, writing that “in 2013, I returned to the State Department” at Kerry’s request, “whome I had previously served as Senate counsel.”
But information uncovered by the Senate Judiciary Committee and revealed in its criminal referral of Steele to the Department of Justice that several Clinton allies were also connected to the State Department and the dossier. Sidney Blumenthal, a close confidant of Hillary Clinton, and Cody Shearer, a former journalist who went on to work for the Clintons, appeared to be feeding Steele information.
Winer wrote in his op-ed that â€œin late September, I spoke with an old friend, Sidney Blumenthal, whom I met 30 years ago when I was investigating the Iran-contra affair for then-Sen. Kerry and Blumenthal was a reporter at The Post. At the time, Russian hacking was at the front and center in the 2016 presidential campaign. The emails of Blumenthal, who had a long association with Bill and Hillary Clinton, had been hacked in 2013 through a Russian server.
“While talking about that hacking, Blumenthal and I discussed Steeleâ€™s reports. He showed me notes gathered by a journalist I did not know, Cody Shearer, that alleged the Russians had compromising information on Trump of a sexual and financial nature,” he wrote.
Last month Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes, R-Calif., announced he had sent letters of inquiry to scores of current and former Justice and Intelligence officials including former FBI Director James Comey. Also included: Former Obama CIA Director John Brennan and former Obama Director of National Intelligence James Clapper.
The letters were sent out with a threat of subpoena if the recipients failed to respond. Some have.
Nunes said this week that he’s received responses fromÂ Clapper, Comey and Brennan, but others “have gone dark.” It’s not yet clear if Kerry was one of those officials who received the panel’s letter.
â€œThere are a few people though that are not responding â€“ they seem to have gone dark,â€ Nunes told Martha McCallum. â€œHowever, if they donâ€™t respond here shortly they will be getting subpoenaed to appear before Congress to be treated with a deposition.â€
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