Declassified FBI spreadsheet shows agency used media reports to support Steele collusion claims

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The following article contains editorial content from a retired Chief of Police and current staff writer for Law Enforcement Today.

WASHINGTON, DC- This would almost be funny if it wasn’t so absurd. According to Breitbart News citing a report by CBS News’ Catherine Herridge, recently declassified FBI spreadsheets show that the world’s “foremost investigative agency” actually relied on media reports to back up the Russia collusion hoax.

You really cannot make this up.

According to Herridge, who despite now working for CBS News remains one of the best Washington, D.C. reporters in the business, the 94-page spreadsheet shows the claims from the Steele dossier in one column, while “evidence” supporting the claim is shown in an adjacent column, which in many cases were news reports including some who used Steele as the source.

Declassified FBI spreadsheet shows agency used media reports to support Steele collusion claims
Redacted FBI spreadsheet- Photo courtesy: Twitter @CBS_Herridge

 On Monday, Herridge tweeted out that, “the FBI spreadsheet was part of a broader effort to corroborate the Steele dossier claims.”

Herridge continued:

“While lightly redacted, the bureau spreadsheet shows the FBI relied heavily on media reporting to back up claims about Carter Page, Paul Manafort and others.”

This “investigation” by the FBI is akin to a bank robber using an interview of an accomplice by a TV station as an alibi to claim he didn’t commit the robbery. It is absurd.

In one case, Herridge said, the source for a Yahoo report which the FBI used to back up Steele’s claims was the man himself, Christopher Steele.

Herridge was told by a former senior FBI intelligence officer, Tom Gill Sr., that reliance on media reporting was unusual and not standard procedure.

“Any effort to corroborate a report should include a variety of intelligence sources, including imagery intelligence, human intelligence, signals intelligence as well as clandestine intelligence collection platforms for verification,” he said.

“You don’t rely on media reporting.”

The bogus Steele dossier was paid for by the Hillary Clinton campaign early in 2016 via the law firm Perkins Coie, who hired Fusion GPS. Fusion GPS then hired Steele to produce the dossier which implicated Donald Trump in a so-called Russia collusion scheme.

“Miraculously,” the dossier then found its way through the Obama administration’s investigative and intelligence agencies, including the FBI, DOJ and others, along with Republican and Democrat members of Congress.

According to the spreadsheets obtained by Herridge, they show that the phony Dossier funded by the Clinton campaign through Fusion GPS was directed to the FBI, which then relied on media reports—including those planted by Steele and Fusion GPS—as “evidence” to support the collusion claims.

Declassified FBI spreadsheet shows agency used media reports to support Steele collusion claims
Redacted FBI Spreadsheet- Photo courtesy: Twitter @CBS_Herridge

The existence of the spreadsheets appear to show evidence of the seriousness with which the FBI took the phony dossier’s claims, showing an attempt by the agency to vet the claims. The dossier was famously used by the FBI to obtain FISA warrants against Trump campaign assets, including former Trump campaign aide Carter Page.

The phony dossier led to the appointment of Special Counsel Robert Mueller, whose three year investigation into “Russia collusion” turned up nothing, however it cost the American taxpayers plenty, estimated at several million dollars.

The spreadsheet also contains the name of Steele’s primary sub-source, Igor Danchenko, who lives in Washington, D.C. An August New York Post article identified Danchenko as the primary sub-source used by Steele, however he was shown as little more than a drunk who had gathered his “intelligence” while drinking heavily with friends back in Russia.

The Post also reported that Danchenko had worked at the liberal think tank, the Brookings Institution., where he was close to a woman named Fiona Hill.

If that name sounds familiar, Hill became an official at the White House’s National Security Council, where she specialized in Russian and European affairs. Hill became a “star witness” against the president during the impeachment hearings.

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Digging deeper into Brookings, the president was Strobe Talbott, a former Clinton-administration official who was heavily involved with circulating the Steele dossier around the nation’s capital prior to it becoming public. Can you say swamp?

Danchenko told the FBI that in January, 2017, he had provided Steele with information gathered from six sub-sources in Russia, however he did not personally verify the information.

In addition, the spreadsheet included unverified allegations derived from a memo by Cody Shearer, who is a longtime associate of the Clintons, the Daily Caller reported. The memo was provided to Jonathan Winer, then a State Department official, who then gave it to Steele.

A report in the Jerusalem Post earlier this month said that according to a recently declassified footnote, the primary sub-source of the Steele dossier was likely a Russian agent, and had been the subject of a FBI counterintelligence investigation. The Post report said that the sub-source had not as yet been identified, so it is not certain if they were referring to Danchenko.

 That led Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee to say:

“To me, failure of the FBI to inform the court that the Primary Sub-source was suspected of being a Russian agent is a breach of every duty owed by law enforcement to the judicial system,” he said in a statement.

He continued:

“The now famous email Susan Rice sent to herself on Inauguration Day where she states that President Obama said that everything has to be done ‘by the book’ has become highly suspect. If this investigation is ‘by the book,’ then the book we’re using is the Kremlin playbook.”

Finally, Graham said:

“It’s stunning to be told that the single individual who provided information to Christopher Steele for the Russian dossier used by the FBI on four occasions to obtain a warrant on Carter Page, an American citizen, was a suspected Russian agent years before the preparation of the dossier.”

Every day it is something new in this collusion hoax. Sadly, there are many highly professional people who work at the FBI. It’s a shame that they are being lumped in with the hacks who participated in this Russia collusion fiasco. 

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