Christopher Steele is “acutely concerned” that he’s going to be “thrown under the bus” after he speaks to investigators about his role in the Russia collusion hoax, according to New York Times reporter Matthew Rosenberg.
The British spy-turned political operative-turned FBI informant has reportedly agreed to talk to United States investigators about his salacious and unverified anti-Trump dossier and is set to be interviewed in London within weeks.
The Democratic National Committee (DNC) and Hillary Clinton’s campaign used Perkins Coie, (the DNC’s private law firm) to secretly pay opposition research firm Fusion GPS and Steele to compile a dossier of unverified raw intelligence alleging that Trump and the Kremlin were colluding to “hack” the 2016 presidential election.
The FBI went on to use the now debunked dossier to obtain a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant targeting the Trump campaign in the final days of the campaign.
In defense of Steele on CNN Tuesday night, Rosenberg called the operative “simply a source of information,” telling host Don Lemon that Steele had “nothing to do” with the FBI’s misuse of his dossier for FISA warrant purposes.
“He is incredibly concerned and obsessed this investigation is going to throw him under the bus. And his view, at least from the people close to him, is, ‘Look, I was working on this dossier that people were paying for. I saw things 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,” Rosenberg told Lemon.
“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. He was simply a source of information. And I think he’s acutely concerned he’s going to be thrown under the bus here,” Rosenberg said.
As part of his effort to “simply help out” in 2016, Steele aggressively peddled a number of now debunked claims to the FBI, State Department, and the media.
- Trump lawyer Michael Cohen traveled to Prague to meet with Russians
- Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort owed the Russians $100 million and was the “go-between” from Russian President Vladimir Putin to Trump
- Trump adviser Carter Page met with a senior Russian businessman tied to Putin
- The Russians secretly communicated with Trump through a computer system
- The Russians placed an agent inside the DNC
- The Russians had a “technical/human operation run out of Moscow targeting the election,” and “payments to those recruited are made out of the Russian Consulate in Miami”
The FBI went on to mark Steele’s political disinformation as a “verified application” in its FISA request before submitting it to the court. He was fired by the FBI in the Fall of 2016 for unauthorized contacts with the media, but continued to be used as a source through DOJ official Bruce Orr for several more months.
(Photo by Victoria Jones/PA Images via Getty Images)