Footnotes in IG Report Show FBI Spied on Carter Page Despite Known Problems With Steele Dossier

By Susan Jones | April 16, 2020 | 8:07am EDT
Ousted FBI Director James Comey is sworn in during a hearing before the Senate intelligence committee on Capitol Hill June 8, 2017. (Photo by BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images)
Ousted FBI Director James Comey is sworn in during a hearing before the Senate intelligence committee on Capitol Hill June 8, 2017. (Photo by BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images)

( - At the request of Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), Acting Director of National Intelligence Richard Grennell on Wednesday declassified additional footnotes in the inspector-general's report on the FBI's four FISA applications on Carter Page.

"I agree transparency is now needed more than ever," Grennell wrote to the senators who asked to know more about the footnotes included in Justice Department Inspector-General Michael Horowitz's December 2019 report.

Grassley and Johnson summarized what the declassified footnotes reveal:

-- The FBI received reports casting doubt on the Steele dossier before the FISA warrants were renewed on Carter Page, and before the appointment of Special Counsel Robert Mueller;

-- Russian intelligence was aware of Steele's anti-Trump research in early July 2016, before the FBI opened its Crossfire Hurricane investigation;

-- The FBI had opened a counterintelligence case on Steele’s key source, but failed to inform the FISA court of that fact;

-- Steele’s sources were connected to the Russian presidential administration and they supported Clinton;

-- Despite repeated warnings of tainted evidence, the FBI continuously sought FISA renewals.

“As we can see from these now-declassified footnotes in the IG’s report, Russian intelligence was aware of the dossier before the FBI even began its investigation and the FBI had reports in hand that their central piece of evidence was most likely tainted with Russian disinformation,” Grassley and Johnson said.

"Thanks to Attorney General Barr’s and Acting Director Grenell’s declassification of the footnotes, we know the FBI’s justification to target an American Citizen was riddled with significant flaws."

The Steele dossier was compiled by former British spy Christopher Steele for the political opposition research firm Fusion GPS and it was “central and essential” to the FBI’s Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) application to spy on Trump campaign volunteer Carter Page.

However, as the December 2019 IG report noted, the FISA applications to surveil Carter Page contained numerous errors and omissions.

"The newly-declassified footnotes show that the FBI was aware of significant problems with dossier’s sources while seeking or renewing the spying authority, yet they continued to push forward, failing to update the FISA court with the critical exculpatory information," the senators said.

More on the new footnote information can be found here.

Also See:
IG: ‘17 Significant Inaccuracies and Omissions’ in FBI Applications for Warrant to Spy on Trump Campaign Adviser

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