The FBI and DOJ used a news article published on Yahoo! News to bolster its case for surveillance of Trump campaign associate Carter Page, deliberately omitting or unaware that the information in the article had the same source as the infamous “dossier” itself, according to the House Intelligence Committee memo released Friday.
If the memo’s assertions are true, the FBI and DOJ knew that the Democratic National Committee-funded Fusion GPS dossier and its author, former British spy Christopher Steele, were motivated by political bias against Donald Trump. They also likely knew that the article in question, Michael Isikoff’s September 23, 2016 “U.S. intel officials probe ties between Trump adviser and Kremlin,” merely repeats the information Steele made in his dossier.
With the dossier, which also included an outlandish story of Trump committing a series of urological sex acts in a Moscow hotel, increasingly called into question, DOJ and FBI officials backed it up with Isikoff’s story explicitly denying the fact it had the exact same sourcing – Steele – and presented it as corroboration.
If the memo, crafted and released largely through the efforts of Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-CA), proves true, these officials then either deliberately misled the U.S. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) to get a FISA warrant against Page or were themselves unaware that Isikoff was using Steele as his own source.
As the memo reads:
The [Trump campaign advisor] Carter Page FISA application also cited extensively a September 23, 2016, Yahoo News article by Michael Isikoff, which focuses on Page’s July 2016 trip to Moscow. This article does not corroborate the Steele dossier because it is derived from information leaked by Steele himself to Yahoo News. The Page FISA application incorrectly assesses that Steele did not directly provide information to Yahoo News. Steele has admitted in British court filings that he met with Yahoo News—and several other outlets—in September 2016 at the direction of Fusion GPS. [Clinton campaign law firm] Perkins Coie was aware of Steele’s initial media contacts because they hosted at least one meeting in Washington D.C. in 2016 with Steele and Fusion GPS where this matter was discussed. (Emphasis in original).
In the article, Isikoff makes repeated reference to “a well-placed Western intelligence source” and “intelligence reports” being received by “U.S. officials.” We now know that the well-placed Western intelligence source was, in fact, Steele himself. The intelligence reports being received were, in fact, the dossier itself, passed on to American intelligence agencies by Sen. John McCain (R-AZ).
The dossier, which then-FBI Director James Comey called “salacious and unverified,” was steadily discredited for months before the FBI and DOJ are alleged in the House Intelligence Committee memo to have made their initial FISA warrant application for Page.
Elsewhere in the House Intelligence Committee memo, it is alleged that then-Associate Deputy Attorney General Bruce Ohr, whose own wife worked at Fusion GPS while it crafted the dossier, met with Steele, who told Ohr he was “desperate” to see Trump defeated in the 2016 presidential election. The FBI and DOJ also concealed this fact.
In October 2016, when the application for a FISA warrant for Page was submitted, Isikoff’s article, therefore, would have appeared as less politically biased alternative source for the information in the dossier DOJ and the FBI knew was politically compromised. The House Intelligence Committee memo strongly suggests this was the motivation in showing the FISC judges the piece from Yahoo! News.
Page sued Yahoo’s parent company “Oath, Inc.” over Isikoff’s article in September 2017, alleging defamation. Oath is itself a subsidiary of Verizon and also owns the similarly left-leaning HuffPo, which Steele also included in his lawsuit for publishing an article similar to Isikoff’s.
Isikoff did not respond to Breitbart News’s request for comment on his article’s inclusion in the House Intelligence Committee memo.