Christopher Steele, the former British intelligence agent who compiled the hoax dossier alleging ties between President Donald Trump and Russia, refuses to cooperate with the Department of Justice’s investigation into the origins of the Obama administration’s spying on then-candidate Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign, according to Reuters.
A Reuters source close to Steele’s private investigation outfit, Orbis Business Intelligence, said the ex-spy has chosen not to answer questions from Connecticut’s U.S. Attorney John Durham, who was recently appointed by Attorney General William Barr to examine the probe’s origins. Reports of Steele’s unwillingness to cooperate with the Durham comes days after President Trump gave Barr authority to declassify intelligence materials related to the probe and ordered several law enforcement agencies, including the CIA and FBI to cooperate with the U.S. Attorney’s review.
In 2016, Steele was hired by the opposition research firm Fusion GPS tasked by attorneys for the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign to dig up dirt on President Trump. Steele’s dossier was partly used by the FBI to obtain a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant to surveil members of the Trump campaign, namely, onetime Trump campaign foreign policy advisor Carter Page. FBI officials did not disclose explicitly to the FISA court that the dossier was paid for by the DNC or the Clinton campaign. However, the bureau did indicate that the document was produced as opposition research.
In a recent interview with the Fox News Channel, Barr specified his department is examining if “government officials abused their power and put their thumb on the scale” at the beginning of the FBI’s counterintelligence operation into the Trump campaign. “I’ve been trying to get answers to the questions, and I’ve found that a lot of the answers have been inadequate, and some of the explanations I’ve gotten don’t hang together. In a sense, I have more questions today than when I first started,” the attorney general told anchor Bill Hemmer. – READ MORE