In light of the recent revelation concerning the infamous Trump “dossier,” more details are emerging that have linked the FBI under Comey with the British spy who produced the documents.
Christopher Steele, the former British Spy and author who produced the dossier that contained allegations of President Donald Trump’s ties to Russia, had many of his expenses reimbursed by the FBI while James Comey was FBI Director, according to CNN.
It appears that Steele, who was hired to produce the controversial document on behalf of Mr. Trump’s political opponents to manufacture ties between Trump and Russia, reached an agreement with the FBI just a few weeks before the election for the Bureau to pay him to continue his work.
One official familiar with the situation said that although the FBI didn’t hire him as an informant, the arrangement instead allowed for many of his expenses to be paid. He was unable to learn how much he was paid and for how long.
While Mr. Trump derided the dossier and called it “fake news,” concocted by his political opponents, the FBI seemed to take the document seriously enough that they were willing to compensate the former intelligence agent to continue his investigation.
This trust in Steele is in part due to his history of working alongside the FBI. Previously, the Bureau hired him to help with a US inquiry into the alleged corruption of the world soccer organization FIFA. Steele had a reputation for producing work of high quality and for the knowledge he had developed working over 20 years on Russia-related issues for British intelligence.
The dossier alleged that, among other things, Trump had colluded with the Kremlin and that they had compromising material about him. Despite his previous history of high-quality work, these claims are left unverified.
House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) said that there is “no evidence so far” of collusion between President Trump and Russian operatives, but would continue to investigate the issue so that “no stone is unturned,” according to The Washington Post.
It stands in contrast with Steele’s claim, in which he wrote that the “Russian regime has been cultivating, supporting and assisting TRUMP for at least 5 years.” The former intelligence operative was so convinced of this conclusion that he became frustrated that Director Comey wasn’t doing enough, as Comey just announced the Bureau was investigating a new cache of Clinton emails related to her private server debacle.
The FBI agreed to pay Steele at the same time he was being compensated by Clinton supporters to conduct the investigation as well. DNC lawyer Mark Elias and his firm, Perkins Coie, were paid $5.6 million for “legal and compliance consulting,” which included, among other things, payments to Fusion GDP – the political research firm that enlisted Steele’s aid.
James Comey is clearly guilty. Is it time for him to face charges?
“It’s all fake news. It’s phony stuff. It didn’t happen,” President Trump told reporters earlier in the year. “It was a group of opponents that got together — sick people — and they put that crap together,” adding that Steele was a “failed spy.”
It’s hard to tell whether or not Comey was directly involved in funding Christopher Steele’s efforts, but the fact that his department was doing so with or without his understanding is enough to draw further suspicion to the former director’s motives. Looking into some of his past actions, it’s not hard to see why.