A newly released document from the Department of Justice showed the FBI misled the Senate Intelligence Committee during a 2018 interview claimed Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham reported Fox News. The interview in question concerned an investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 elections.
The FBI was not truthful with the Intelligence Committee concerning the validity of the Steele Dossier, a document compiled by former British spy Christopher Steele and the basis for a series of Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrants issued for former Trump aide Carter Page. The FBI continued to insist on the validity of the Steele Dossier long after they had reason to doubt its veracity.
Referring to DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s investigation Graham said, “It was Horowitz, during his investigation of the warrant application, found information in 2018 where the FBI was called on the Senate Intel Committee because people were getting suspicious about the subsource … at the Senate Intel Committee level and the FBI was sent over to brief them. And they did to the Senate Intel Committee what they did to the FISA court. They misled the hell out of them. They said there’s no evidence from the subsource to suggest that Steele fabricated anything in the dossier.”
The newly released document said that the FBI had discussions with the primary subsource of the Steele Dossier and that there was no reason to believe Steele had fabricated any part of his document. Graham pointed out that, “Actually, the subsource said it was all bar talk, hearsay, speculation and conjecture, and the whole sexual activity of the president was made in jest. So they completely misrepresented to the Senate Intel Committee in 2018 what the subsource had told the FBI in 2017.”
Recently released documents have indicated that the veracity of the Steele Dossier was already in question by the intelligence community in December 2016. Former CIA Director John Brennan stated that his organization was against using the Steele Dossier in a report on Russian election interference presented to former President Obama, but that former FBI Director James Comey insisted on its inclusion.
Testimony by former Acting Attorney General Sally Yates and former Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein put the blame for errors committed by the FBI on former FBI Director James Comey. Graham said, “”Everybody’s throwing Comey under the bus. When I asked Sally Yates about the interview with Michael Flynn, orchestrated by Comey — Was that okay? Was the proper? — she said no, it was rogue. So you’ve got Rosenstein, now Sally Yates, saying if they knew then what they know now they wouldn’t sign the warrant application, which means they’re running away from Crossfire Hurricane, they’re dumping it all on Comey, and that’s probably the right thing to do.
Senator Graham called for the prosecution of any individuals responsible for lying to the Senate Judiciary Committee. “Somebody needs to go to jail for this,” he said. “This is a second lie. This is a second crime. They lied to the FISA court. They got rebuked, the FBI did, in 2019 by the FISA court, putting in doubt all FISA applications … a year before, they’re lying to the Senate Intel Committee. It’s just amazing the compounding of the lies.” The New York Post reported that Graham is planning to ask FBI Director Christopher Wray for details on the briefing and who was involved in the preparation for it.