Read the Inspector General’s Report’s here:
IG Report Highlights:
- The decision to seek to use this highly intrusive investigative technique was known and approved at multiple levels of the Department, including by then DAG Yates for the initial FISA application and first renewal, and by then Acting Attorney General Boente and then DAG Rosenstein for the second and third renewals, respectively. However, as we explain later, the Crossfire Hurricane team failed to inform Department officials of significant information that was available to the team at the time that the FISA applications were drafted and filed. Much of that information was inconsistent with, or undercut, the assertions contained in the FISA applications that were used to support probable cause and, in some instances, resulted in inaccurate information being included in the applications. While we do not speculate whether Department officials would have authorized the FBI to seek to use FISA authority had they been made aware of all relevant information, it was clearly the responsibility of Crossfire Hurricane team members to advise them of such critical information so that they could make a fully informed decision.
- However, absent corroboration for the factual assertions in the election reporting, it was particularly important for the FISA applications to articulate the FBI’s knowledge of Steele’s background and its assessment of his reliability. On these points, t he applications advised the court that Steele was believed to be a reliable source for three reasons : his professional background; his history of work as an FBI CHS since 2013; and his prior non-election reporting, which the FBI described as “corroborated and used in criminal proceedings.” As discussed below, the representations about Steele’s prior reporting were overstated and had not been approved by Steele’s handling agent, as required by the Woods Procedures.
- Our review found that FBI personnel fell far short of the requirement in FBI policy that they ensure that all factual statements in a FISA application are “scrupulously accurate.” We identified multiple instances in which factual assertions relied upon in the first FISA application were inaccurate, incomplete, or unsupported by appropriate documentation, based upon information the FBI had in its possession at the time the application was filed. We found that the problems we identified were primarily caused by the Crossfire Hurricane team failing to share all relevant information with OI and, cons~quently, the information was not considered by the Department decision makers who ultimately decided to support the applications.
The FBI did not follow FISA procedures and lied to judges.
- As more fully described in Chapter Five, based upon the information known to t he FBI in October 2016, the first application contained the following seven significant inaccuracies and omissions:
- 1. Omitted information the FBI had obtained from another U.S. government agency detailing its prior relationship with Page, including that Page had been approved as an “operational contact” for the other agency from 2008 to 2013, and that Page had provided information to the other agency concerning his prior contacts with certain Russian intelligence officers, one of which overlapped with facts asserted in the FISA application;
- 2. Included a source characterization statement asserting that Steele’s prior reporting had been “corroborated and used in criminal proceedings,” which overstated the significance of Steele’s past reporting and was not approved by Steele’s handling agent, as required by the Woods Procedures;
- 3. Omitted information relevant to the reliability of Person 1, a key Steele sub-source (who was attributed with providing the information in Report 95 and some of the information in Reports 80 and 102 relied upon in the application), namely that (1) Steele himself told members of the Crossfire Hurricane team that Person 1 was a “boaster” and an “egoist” and “ma en a e in some embellishment” and (2) [REDACTED]
- 4. Asserted that the FBI had assessed that Steele did not directly provide to the press information in the September 23 Yahoo News article based on the premise that Steele had told the FBI that he only shared his election-related research with the FBI and Fusion GPS, his client; this premise was incorrect and contradicted by documentation in the Woods File- Steele had told the FBI that he also gave his information to the State Department;
- 5. Omitted Papadopoulos’s consensually monitored statements to an FBI CHS in September 2016 denying that anyone associated with the Trump campaign was collaborating with Russia or with outside groups like Wikileaks in the release of emails;
- 6. Omitted Page’s consensually monitored statements to an FBI CHS in August 2016 that Page had “literally never met” or “said one word to” Paul Manafort and that Manafort had not responded to any of Page’s emails; if true, those statements were in tension with claims in Report 95 that Page was participating in a conspiracy with Russia by acting as an intermediary for Manafort on behalf of the Trump campaign; and
- 7. Included Page’s consensually monitored statements to an FBI CHS in October 2016 that the FBI believed supported its theory that Page was an agent of Russia but omitted other statements Page made that were inconsistent with its theory, including denying having met with Sechin and Divyekin, or even knowing who Divyekin was; if true, those statements contradicted t he claims in Report 94 that Page had met secretly with Sechin and Divyekin about future cooperat ion with Russia and shared derogatory information about candidate Clinton. None of these inaccuracies and omissions were brought to the attention of OI before the last FISA application was filed in June 2017. Consequently, these failures were repeated in all three renewal applications. Further, as we discuss later, we identified 10 additional significant errors in the renewal applications.
Yes, the FBI “spied” on the Trump Campaign.
- “the team had used CHSs to conduct operations against Page, Papadopoulos, and a high-level Trump campaign official.” (IG Report, Page 101.) CHS = confidential human source.
Christopher Steele was upset that the FBI didn’t announce that the Trump campaign was under investigation:
- “In particular, Steele stated that he had asked Ohr and possibly Handling Agent 1 prior to late October 2016 why the U.S. government had not announced that the FBI was investigating allegations concerning the Trump campaign.”
- Steele leaked to the media. The FBI used the article in its FISA application as “proof” of the fact asserted. Steele was the source of the article, and he lied to the FBI about being the source.