An FBI and Justice Department email chain shows that top government officials knew that dossier author Christopher Steele and his associates “were up to some really bad and nefarious activity,” House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes said Thursday.
In an interview on Fox News, Nunes claimed that the email constitutes “the first clear evidence” that the FBI committed a “major crime” by lying to federal judges in applications for spy warrants against former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page.
“It would be very clear that there were people within the FBI and DOJ that knew well and good before they went to the FISA Court that Christopher Steele and others were up to some really bad and nefarious activity,” Nunes, a California Republican, said in an interview with Fox’s Sean Hannity.
The email chain is part of a group of documents that Nunes and other Republicans want President Donald Trump to declassify. The lawmakers claim that the documents will show that the FBI and Justice Department misled federal judges when they applied for four Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrants against Page, an energy consultant who joined the Trump campaign in March 2016.
The FBI relied heavily on the unverified Steele dossier, which was funded by Democrats, to obtain the warrants.
On Wednesday, The Hill reported some details of an email chain that appears to be the same being sought by Nunes for declassification.
According to The Hill, the email chain was exchanged in October 2016, before the FBI obtained its first FISA warrant against Page.
The emails, which included then-FBI Director James Comey, FBI officials, and Justice Department lawyers, show that the intelligence community expressed concerns about Steele’s reporting, The Hill reported. The documents also include evidence that the FBI was aware that Steele, a former MI6 official, was in contact with reporters before applying for the first Page FISA.
The FBI stopped formally using Steele as a confidential source on Nov. 1, 2016, after discovering that the private eye was in contact with Mother Jones reporter David Corn.
But Steele has revealed in a court case in London that he briefed reporters from several other news organizations in September and October 2016.
Steele was also the main source for a Sept. 23, 2016 article published by Yahoo News. That article, which was the first to level allegations contained in the dossier about Page, was cited in the FBI’s FISA applications.
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