By Jon Dougherty
(NationalSentinel) Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham said during an interview on Sean Hannity’s radio program Friday that U.S. officials were told perhaps a half-dozen times that former British spy Christopher Steele, author of the infamous ‘Russia dossier,’ was not a credible source of information.
Nevertheless, the FBI under then-Director James Comey reportedly used the dossier to obtain surveillance warrants to spy on 2016 Trump campaign adviser Carter Page.
â€œThereâ€™s four events that Iâ€™m aware of, five actually, where the system was informed that Christopher Steele was an unreliable informant when it came to Trump,â€ Graham told Hannity.
â€œSome of them I canâ€™t tell you yet until we get this stuff declassified. But I think itâ€™s going to be five; it may be six,â€ the South Carolina Republican added.
Republicans have accused Comey and his FBI of portraying the dossier as legitimate intelligence that had been vetted and verified before the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) court to obtain the original surveillance warrant and subsequent renewals.
AsÂ The National SentinelÂ reported in January, former top Justice Department official Bruce Ohr warned FBI officials that Steele’s dossier could not be trusted because it was likely biased.
The Hill‘s John Solomon reported that Ohr, whose wife Nellie Ohr worked at Fusion when the dossier was being commissioned and produced, â€œbriefed both senior FBI and DOJ officials in summer 2016 about Christopher Steeleâ€™sÂ Russia dossier, explicitly cautioning that the British intelligence operativeâ€™s work was opposition research connected toÂ Hillary Clintonâ€™s campaign and might be biased.â€
The briefings came in July and August 2016, Solomon noted, and included the FBI deputy director (Andrew McCabe at the time), a top lawyer for then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch, and a Justice Department official later would become special counsel Robert Muellerâ€™s top deputy.
But Ohrâ€™s warnings about political bias in the dossier were conspicuously absent some weeks later when, in September, the FBI filed for a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act warrant with the secretive FISA court, which gave agents permission to begin spying on the 2016 Trump campaign for alleged â€œRussian collusionâ€ to steal the election, notes Solomon, who added:
Ohrâ€™s activities, chronicled inÂ handwritten notesÂ and congressional testimony I gleaned from sources, provide the most damning evidence to date that FBI and DOJ officials may have misled federal judges in October 2016 in their zeal to obtain the warrant targeting Trump adviser Carter Page just weeks before Election Day.
They also contradict a key argument that House Democrats have made in their formal intelligence conclusions about the Russia case.
AsÂ The National SentinelÂ notedÂ in August 2018, duringÂ an interview withÂ Fox Newsâ€˜ Martha McCallum, Rep. John Radcliff, R-Texas, a former U.S. attorney, said that he had personally viewed the unredacted copies of the Justice Departmentâ€™s FISA warrant applications, but thatÂ none of themÂ mention Ohr and his wife Nellie Ohr.
We reported further:
Radcliff saidÂ none of the four FISA applications signed by former Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates, former FBI Director James Comey, former Deputy FBI Director Andy McCabe and current Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein mentioned the Ohrâ€™s, and that their names wereÂ purposely withheld from the FISA court, aÂ major violationÂ of the law.
Solomon notes that a redacted version of a FISA application released last year does not mention Clinton or the Democratic National Committee, which also helped finance the dossier.
The FBI claimed it was â€œunaware of any derogatory informationâ€ about Steele, that he was â€œnever advised â€¦ as to the motivation behind the researchâ€ but that the bureau nonetheless â€œspeculatesâ€ that those who hired Steele were â€œlikely looking for information to discreditâ€ Trumpâ€™s campaign.
Special counsel Robert Mueller’s final report undercut the dossier,Â which alleged that there was a â€œwell-developed conspiracy of co-operationâ€ between the Trump campaign and Russian government to influence the 2016 election.
The report said there was no evidence of a conspiracy or that any Trump associates acted as agents of Russia.
- Help us grow by spreading the word about The National Sentinel and sharing our stories far and wide! You can also help by subscribing to ourÂ YouTube channel, our notifications (click the red bell in the left corner), and by following us on social media platforms that donâ€™t censor us likeÂ MeWeÂ andÂ Parler.Â Also, sign up for our premium newsletterÂ The Daily SentinelÂ for FREE and never miss a story!Â
GOT SOMETHING TO SAY? COMMENT BELOW