The late Senator John McCain reportedly continued to provide fired FBI Director James Comey with reports from Christopher Steele even after the former British spy had been terminated.
Five separate reports from Steele were funneled to Comey by the late Arizona senator even though the former British intelligence officer had already been dropped as an FBI source, the recent report from the Justice Department Inspector General revealed.
Inspector General Michael Horowitz concluded in his investigation of the FBI probe of President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign that the Steele dossier, which contained unsubstantiated allegations about Trump and Russia, was used in the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act process to obtain a warrant to spy on former Trump campaign official Carter Page. The FBI was not able to corroborate any of Steele’s allegations of collusion, according to the IG report.
Even though Steele had already met with FBI agents on a few occasions to pass on his reports, by December 2016, it was McCain who delivered the anti-Trump dossier to Comey. Whether McCain knew at the time that Steele had been terminated as an FBI source in the fall of that year was not clear.
But the IG report revealed that McCain passed on five reports from Steele to the FBI that the agency did not previously possess. Those reports were allegedly obtained by an unnamed McCain staff member from Glenn Simpson, co-founder of Fusion GPS – the firm hired by Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign and the Democratic National Committee.
“Several weeks later, on December 9, 2016, Senator John McCain provided Comey with a collection of 16 Steele election reports, 5 of which Steele had not given the FBI,” Horowitz’s report read. “McCain had obtained these reports from a staff member at the McCain Institute. The McCain Institute staff member had met with Steele and later acquired the reports from Simpson.”
The McCain aide who obtained the Steele reports from Simpson was David J. Kramer, according to Breitbart. It was Kramer who reportedly gave the Steele dossier to BuzzFeed News who, in January 2017, published the entire document, setting off an avalanche of media coverage just days before then-President-elect Trump was inaugurated.
Biased liberal outlets continued to push the unsubstantiated claims in the salacious document and some media talking heads, such as MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow, appeared to be on a mission to portray the dossier favorably despite the evidence. In a new column in The Washington Post, Eric Wemple concludes that Maddow’s reporting displayed “a pattern of misleading and dishonest asymmetry.”
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“She seemed to be rooting for the document,” he wrote. “At least some of her many fans surely came away from her broadcasts thinking the dossier was a serious piece of investigative research, not the flimflam, quick-twitch game of telephone outlined in the Horowitz report.”
Though that report concluded that McCain acted as the middle man between Steele and Comey, the senator, who died in August 2018, never admitted that he played a part in delivering the dossier to BuzzFeed, In a book released before his death, McCain admitted he “had no idea” if the “unproven accusations” in the dossier were true but he felt he had an “obligation” to pass it on to Comey and would do so again.
“Anyone who doesn’t like it can go to hell,” he declared.
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