Christopher Steele will meet with Justice Department investigators out of concern he will be “thrown under the bus” in a probe of the FBI’s handling of the dossier, a New York Times reporter said.
“He is incredibly concerned, maybe obsessed, that this investigation is going to throw him under the bus,” Matthew Rosenberg, a national security reporter for The Times, said on CNN Tuesday.
Rosenberg was responding to reports that Steele has agreed to meet with Justice Department investigators to discuss his interactions with the FBI regarding his work on the dossier, which accuses the Trump campaign of conspiring with Russians to influence the 2016 election.
Michael Horowitz, the Justice Department’s inspector general, is close to wrapping up an investigation into the FBI’s handling of the dossier, which was funded by the Clinton campaign and DNC. The FBI relied on Steele’s unverified report to obtain surveillance warrants against Carter Page, a Trump campaign adviser.
Steele alleges in the dossier that Page and other Trump associates were involved in a “well-developed conspiracy of co-operation” with the Kremlin. But the special counsel’s investigation all but debunked the allegations, as well as other claims that Steele made in the dossier.
Horowitz is also reportedly investigating Steele’s work as a confidential source for the FBI.
The former British agent met with the special counsel’s office twice in 2017, but had previously resisted requests to meet with Horowitz’s investigators.
But according to Rosenberg, who has sources close to Steele, he is now willing to meet with investigators over concerns about his portrayal in the IG report.
Rosenberg said the former MI6 officer believes that he was “simply a source of information” for the FBI, and that he took no part in directing the bureau’s investigation of the Trump campaign or Carter Page.
“I think he’s acutely concerned that he’s going to be thrown under the bus here,” said Rosenberg.
“And his view, at least from the people close to him, is, ‘Look, I was working on this dossier that people were paying for…that the Democrats were paying for. I saw things that seemed frightening to me and alarming. I went to old contacts of the FBI to tell them. I wasn’t a paid source in this case.’ That’s his view of it.”
“He was simply helping them out. And what they did with it, if they used — misused it in a FISA, whatever they did, he had nothing to do with that. Which is to a degree true. He’s not part of that process.”
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