After years of litigation and rampant speculation on cable news, a federal judge appears eager to put the Christopher Steele saga to bed.
District Court Judge Christopher Cooper ruled the FBI has 60 days to hand over all records of their communications with former MI-6 spy Christopher Steele.
Steele, a British national, has long been known to U.S. agencies as the author of a dubious dossier on Donald Trump’s alleged business dealings in Russia.
The conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch first sought FBI documents on Steele in May of 2017 through a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit. The court initially sided with the FBI but reopened the case in 2018 when evidence emerged that Steele was an FBI informant. Judicial Watch again asked the FBI to search for their Steele records, but the FBI continued to stonewall, declining to confirm or deny that they even existed.
“Those records might either bolster or weaken Steele’s credibility as a source,” Judge Cooper said in his ruling. “That information, in turn, could provide a basis on which to evaluate the FBI’s performance of its law-enforcement duties, including its judgment in selecting and relying on confidential sources, especially in connection with such a politically sensitive subject.” [emphasis added]
Steele, the Trump-hating author of the Clinton and DNC-funded dirty dossier, has taken some major hits to his credibility since Judicial Watch first asked for the documents in 2017.
The FBI, however, used Steele’s unverified dossier to obtain a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant in 2016 to spy on former Trump campaign associate Carter Page.
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