In a new bombshell revelation, a witness swore under oath that the FBI offered up to $1 million to disgraced former British spy Christopher Steele, in return for proving any of the allegations he made against then-candidate Donald Trump in his discredited dossier.
As Fox News reports, the claim was made under oath by FBI supervisory counterintelligence analyst Brian Auten, who took the stand in the trial of Igor Danchenko, a Russian national who was one of the main sources of many of Steele’s claims. As part of the probe into the origins of the “Russian collusion” hoax against President Trump, Special Counsel John Durham’s investigation has charged Danchenko with five counts of lying to the FBI.
According to Auten’s testimony, he and several other FBI agents traveled overseas in October of 2021 to talk to Steele about the contents of his dossier. At these meetings, Auten said that the FBI offered Steele up to $1 million to confirm any of the claims he made, with Steele ultimately being unable to do so. Among the most egregiously false claims made in the dossier were the suggestion that President Trump, prior to his presidential campaign, had once traveled to Moscow to solicit Russian prostitutes.
Despite Steele’s failure to prove any of his claims, Auten said that the FBI nevertheless used the contents of his dossier in its Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant to conduct surveillance on the Trump campaign, with a particular focus on campaign aide Carter Page.
“On October 21, 2016 [the date of the Carter Page FISA application], did you have any information to corroborate that information?” Durham asked Auten, to which Auten simply replied “No.”
Auten added that the FBI had been in contact with other intelligence agencies on the matter, asking if any other agency could confirm the stories in the dossier. There was never any such corroboration.
Steele was first contracted to write the fraudulent dossier by Fusion GPS, a political opposition research firm that was paid by Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign and the Democratic National Committee, through the services of Clinton-aligned law firm Perkins Coie.
The Danchenko trial is seen as perhaps the culmination of Durham’s nearly four-year-long investigation, which first began in April of 2019 but wasn’t promoted to Special Counsel status until late October of 2020. Evidence now widely suggests that any claims of “collusion” between the Trump campaign and Russia in 2016 were false, and had been fabricated by Democratic opposition to Trump; nevertheless, multiple major government apparatuses investigated Trump and his allies as if the claims were true, which may have included illegal surveillance and subsequent efforts to deliberately block his agenda once he became president.