The FBI not only gave ex-British Intelligence officer Christopher Steele classified information, they paid him to show up to accept the information, according to the Inspector General report released late last year.
The information about Steele received little media attention, but Eric Felten at RealClearInvestigations (my former employer) has now brought that information into the light. Remember, Steele is the one who compiled the infamous Steele Dossier filled with salacious information about President Donald Trump. He was paid by the Hillary Clinton campaign and Democratic National Committee.
“The report by Inspector General Michael Horowitz details how a team of FBI agents in early October 2016 shared with Steele extensive classified materials, just weeks before the bureau cut off ties with him for leaking his own research to the media. The secrets included foreign intelligence information still considered so sensitive that the IG’s report refers to it even now only as coming from a “Friendly Foreign Government.” In fact, this is a reference to Australia. That country’s ambassador to Britain sent the United States a tip about loose talk by junior Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos. The FBI has described that as the predicate for its Trump-Russia investigation,” Felten wrote.
Further, the FBI, according to the IG report, promised Steele $15,000 to attend the meeting where they provided him the classified information.
“The IG report also discloses that FBI agents knew Steele worked for Glenn Simpson, whose opposition research firm Fusion GPS was paying Steele to dig up dirt on Trump for the Clinton campaign, and that Steele informed the FBI that the ‘candidate’ – Clinton herself – knew about Steele’s work. Steele did not keep to himself the classified material he had learned from the FBI. Shortly after the Rome meeting, Steele briefed Simpson on what the FBI had disclosed to him,” Felten wrote.
Felten reported that the FBI’s disclosures to Steele, a partisan operative and private foreign citizen being paid by a presidential candidate’s campaign, violated laws relating to the handling of classified information.
As The Daily Wire previously reported, Steele’s information consisted of rumors and gossip, yet was used by Democrats and the media to suggest Trump was a puppet of Russia. The IG report on FBI surveillance abuses. Among the 17 errors and omissions included in the four FISA warrant applications against former Trump campaign advisor Carter Page were numerous references to Steele. The FBI insisted Steele’s prior work with the bureau had been “corroborated and used in criminal proceedings.” This greatly exaggerated Steele’s past work. In another instance, the FBI included information from one of Steele’s sub-sources whom Steele himself called a “boaster,” an “egoist,” and who “may engage in some embellishment.” The FBI did not include the information that the source was not credible. Further, the FBI lied when it claimed Steele had not provided information to Yahoo News for an article about Trump and Russia, which the FBI then used to “corroborate” the Steele Dossier. In fact, Steele was the source for the Yahoo article, meaning it didn’t corroborate anything and was instead simply circular reporting.
For added measure, the FBI also omitted information about Steele’s poor work performance, including information that he demonstrated “poor judgment,” “pursued people with political risk but no intelligence value,” “didn’t always exercise great judgment,” and it was “not clear what he would have done to validate” his reporting.