Last night John Solomon revealed that Christopher Steele met with a deputy assistant secretary in the State Department in October of 2016 and her memorandum of that meeting suggests that the FBI lied to the FISA court when getting the FISA warrant to surveil Carter Page. More on that in a moment.
Lindsey Graham has run with that information now, requesting that the DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz and Secretary Pompeo send his committee any information about those meetings, as well as requesting this now-former deputy assistant secretary be made available for a transcribed interview.
Here’s those letters posted by the Senate Judiciary Twitter account:
Chairman @LindseyGrahamSC Continues Investigation into Origins of Russia Probe:
New details show political motivation behind Carter Page FISA warrant applicationhttps://t.co/m71PCQQpZz pic.twitter.com/F7gVnJbY5j
— Senate Judiciary (@senjudiciary) May 10, 2019
Now back to the Solomon story.
Solomon’s new article, which is mentioned in the above letters, revealed that then-Deputy Assistant Secretary of European and Eurasean affairs Kathleen Kavalec didn’t believe some of the details of this infamous dossier that Christopher Steele was working on for the Clinton Campaign and the DNC. Further it suggested that the FBI lied about Steele to the FISA court.
Let me start this way. The FBI told the FISA court that Steele’s reporting had been CORROBORATED and that he was a reliable witness:
It is important to note that the FBI swore on Oct. 21, 2016, to the FISA judges that Steele’s “reporting has been corroborated and used in criminal proceedings” and the FBI has determined him to be “reliable” and was “unaware of any derogatory information pertaining” to their informant, who simultaneously worked for Fusion GPS, the firm paid by the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and the Clinton campaign to find Russian dirt on Trump.
This is a problem because even Kavalec, who met with Steele just 10 days before the FISA warrant was applied for, could easily tell that some of the information was blatantly false:
Newly unearthed memos show a high-ranking government official who met with Steele in October 2016 determined some of the Donald Trump dirt that Steele was simultaneously digging up for the FBI and for Hillary Clinton’s campaign was inaccurate, and likely leaked to the media.
The concerns were flagged in a typed memo and in handwritten notes taken by Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Kathleen Kavalec on Oct. 11, 2016.
Her observations were recorded exactly 10 days before the FBI used Steele and his infamous dossier to justify securing a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant to spy on Trump campaign adviser Carter Page and the campaign’s contacts with Russia in search of a now debunked collusion theory.
In her typed summary, Kavalec wrote that Steele told her the Russians had constructed a “technical/human operation run out of Moscow targeting the election” that recruited emigres in the United States to “do hacking and recruiting.”
She quoted Steele as saying, “Payments to those recruited are made out of the Russian Consulate in Miami,” according to a copy of her summary memo obtained under open records litigation by the conservative group Citizens United. Kavalec bluntly debunked that assertion in a bracketed comment: “It is important to note that there is no Russian consulate in Miami.”
Kavalec, two days later and well before the FISA warrant was issued, forwarded her typed summary to other government officials. The State Department has redacted the names and agencies of everyone she alerted. It is unlikely that her concerns failed to reach the FBI.
Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.), a member of the House Oversight and Reform Committee and ranking member of its Subcommittee on Government Operations, told me late Thursday he had confirmed with U.S. officials that Kavalec’s memo was forwarded to the FBI in the Oct. 13, 2016, email.
“This once again shows officials at the FBI and (Department of Justice) DOJ were well aware the dossier was a lie — from very early on in the process all the way to when they made the conscious decision to include it in a FISA application,” he said. “The fact that Christopher Steele and his partisan research document were treated in any way seriously by our Intelligence Community leaders amounts to malpractice.”
After Kavalec forward the information to others in the State Department, including former Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland, Nuland could clearly see the partisan motivation of Steele’s dossier and forbade them from further contact with Steele.
But it is almost certain the FBI knew of Steele’s contact with State and his partisan motive. That’s because former Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland says she instructed her staff to send the information they got from Steele to the bureau immediately and to cease contact with the informer because “this is about U.S. politics, and not the work of — not the business of the State Department, and certainly not the business of a career employee who is subject to the Hatch Act.”
There’s much more at The Hill where you can read Solomon’s full article, including how Kavalec noted that Steele was working with the NY Times and the Washington Post and how Steele suggested that the Russians had mole working in the DNC.