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August 03, 2018

FBI Releases Records on Christopher Steele, and SURPRISE, They're Almost Completely Redacted

Very little actual information isn't redacted. Almost nothing of the records has actually been released. Just a bunch of blank forms with even the dates extirpated.

One partly-unredacted record notes that Steele has been terminated for cause as a confidential source (on page 2), stating:

Note: Cause is defined any grievous action, or set of previously unknown facts/circumstances, that deem the individual not suitable for use as a CHS.

Closing for cause us based on the facts and circumstances as determined on a case-by-case basis. Closing for Cause is a decision based on the seriousness of the violation. The following are possible reasons which may justify Closing for Cause: Unauthorized Criminal Activity, serious control problems, Unreliable, and Violated instructions.

General Reasons for Closing: Confidentiality revealed

Provide Additional Details: [about the reasons for Closing for Cause]

CHS [Steele} confirmed to an outside third party that CHS has a confidential relationship with the FBI. CHS was used as a source for an online article. In the article, CHS revealed CHS's relationship with the FBI as well as information that CHS had obtained and provided to the FBI. On November 1, 2016, CHS confirmed all of this to the handling agent. At that time, handling agent advised CHS that the nature of the relationship and the FBI would change completely and it was unlikely that the FBI would continue a relationship with the CHS. Additionally, handling agent advised that CHS was not to operate to obtain any intelligence whatsoever on behalf of the FBI: [FURTHER INFORMATION REDACTED]

But he did not stop gathering information for the FBI, as we'll see later. But put that aside for now.

A lot of people have been wondering: Did the FBI pay Russian sources for this information, through Steele? Well, most of the 70 pages of these records are for payments to Steele or reimbursements to Steele for money he spent; it's very possible some of those reimbursements were for bribes to Russians.

Collusion by the FBI, then?

I mean, isn't a quid pro quo -- American favors (tax dollars, here) for Russian dirt -- what Mueller is supposedly investigating?

You can't tell because everything on those payment forms is redacted. There's even a notification that no payments maybe be issued without the signature of an FBI agent and another Government Official; those signatures/identifying captions are all blacked out too.

Would this check-signer who almost certainly is a chairborne ranger be placed in grave danger if we knew his name? Apparently the FBI takes the position that he would be in the gravest of peril!

But even more interesting is this:

Now, "Admonish" here probably is not definition 1 of "admonish" ("to chastise or reprimand"). Someone who follows these things says "admonish" is probably being used in its definition 2 sense: "to warn or strongly urge." In this context, what this record is probably about is the FBI giving Steele the rules (admonishing him) that he must not reveal his role as confidential source and cannot talk to the media about the "information" he's bribing Russians for (probably).

Both admonishments which he would eventually violate, of course.

But note the DATE of these "admonisments," and thus his enlistment into the FBI as a confidential source: February 2, 2016.

The FBI claims that the investigation into Trump did not begin until July 21, 2016.

So what is Christopher Steele, the oath-breaking partisan, doing being admonished about his duties as a confidential source nearly six months earlier?

It's possible he was being sworn in as a Junior G-Man in another FBI matter.

But I would say the balance of probability more strongly suggests a different explanation: The FBI is lying to us. Again. As usual.

Now, remember that Steele's termination from the FBI included the admonishment that he was to no longer collect intelligence for the FBI?

Eric Felton, one of the four people still (somehow) at the Weekly Standard who actually does real work instead of issuing ritual maledictions against Trump and squeeing like schoolgirls over superhero movies and Star Wars, has this very interesting report:

Did the FBI really sever its relationship with Christopher Steele?

What exactly does it mean for the FBI to suspend its relationship with a source?

What does it mean when that relationship has been "closed"? The answers to those questions may provide insight into whether the FBI and Department of Justice, in their applications for surveillance warrants against Carter Page, were fully forthcoming with the secret federal court that considers such requests.

The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act documents released on July 21 after a FOIA lawsuit from USA Today show the government informing the court that the FBI had "suspended its relationship" with Christopher Steele. Steele is the former British spy who was the Justice Department’s "Source #1" for its warrant applications targeting Carter Page. FISA warrants must be renewed every 90 days, and in the first such renewal filing with the court in January 2017, it was revealed that the suspension came after Steele was caught talking to the press, which the FBI had told him not to do.

The FISA filing explains at length why Steele felt driven to break his word: In late October, FBI director James Comey had "sent a letter to the U.S. Congress, which stated that the FBI had learned of new information that might be pertinent to an investigation that the FBI was conducting of Candidate #2." That would be the inquiry into Hillary Clinton and her emails. Comey’s action made Steele mad: "Source #1 told the FBI that he/she was frustrated with this action and believed it would likely influence the 2016 U.S. Presidential election."

"In response to Source #1's concerns," reads the January 2017 FISA renewal, "Source #1 independently, and against the prior admonishment from the FBI to speak only with the FBI on this matter, released the reporting discussed herein to an identified news organization." Steele had actually been briefing multiple news outlets on his dossier since September 2016, but it was this late October conversation with Mother Jones that got him into trouble.

"Although the FBI continues to assess Source #1's reporting is reliable," the bureau states in the January renewal, "the FBI has suspended its relationship with Source #1 because of this disclosure." And that's that for the warrant application's discussion of Steele.

One might think from this that Steele was a spy left out in the cold. But he wasn't quite the non-grata persona that the warrant application suggests. Indeed, Steele continued to feed his allegations to the FBI--just not directly. The bureau continued to consume those allegations and went to great lengths to deal with Steele without directly talking with him.

Steele found a go-between through whom to maintain contact with the FBI: senior Justice Department official Bruce Ohr, whose wife Nellie Ohr, a Fusion GPS employee, was working with Steele on his dossier.

So the FBI pretended to fire him, and then arranged for his "information" to be passed through Fusion employee Nellie Ohr's hands, so she could pass it to her Justice Department official husband Bruce Ohr, so he could pass it to the FBI.

How many lies does the FBI get to spin before people start getting fucking fired?

I'll direct you to Felton's article for the details of the continuing Steele-FBI relationship, despite Steele being terminated for cause based on the "seriousness of the violations."

And I know I mentioned this earlier, but in case all this crap has made you forget:

What's up with Steele apparently being sworn in as a Junior G-Man on February 2, 2016, almost six months before the FBI says it opened an inquiry into the Trump Collusion Hoax?

The FBI seems to lie an awful lot for an organization whose motto includes "Integrity."

Maybe they listed that last for a reason.

More: Now, this might not be anything, but the records seem to be presented in reverse order -- it begins with Steele's termination, and ends, it seems, with his recruitment.

So something on page 70 -- one page from the end, right next to his recruitment "admonishment" form -- would be from very early in this process, unless the FBI decided to mix all these papers up to further confuse the public.

On Page 70 -- shortly after his recruitment, if we assume these records are assembled rationally in reverse order -- there is this note:

"Anomalies: CHS confirmed to an outside third party that CHS has a confidential relationship with the FBI."

Did Steele already reveal his role as a confidential source so early after being admonished not to?

And with Steele freely admitting his role with the FBI to so many media outfits, what right did the FBI ever have to claim that they would not reveal information about him, as that would imperil his life?

HE HAD ALREADY REVEALED THIS TO "OUTSIDE THIRD PARTIES." Your own record of (fake) firing him says so. How can you say it's a state secret that can imperil his life when this asshole is holding court with a group of reporters blabbling all these alleged ultra-classified, life-or-death secrets?

Note: Hillary Clinton and the DNC had hired Steele before Steele got himself made Junior G-Man by the FBI.

And yet these records are loaded with payment forms.

Did Hillary Clinton conspire to get the US government to partially pay for her own oppo research efforts? Remember, minus the payments from the FBI, that money would be paid by Hillary and the DNC (through their cut-out Perkins Coie).

Correction: I got some dates confused. The first FISA app was filed in October 2016; January 2017 was the first renewal.

Thus, it's not the case, as I claimed, that they already knew that Steele had broken the rules by the time of the first application.

Although, frankly, these dates are pretty close together and I wonder why they didn't amend the just-submitted application to note that the agent they formally swore was reliable as a bishop was a liar.

If you file in October and then on November 1 your star investigator admits under interrogation he broke all your rules -- you don't file a quick amendment to correct the (inadvertent, let's be charitable and say) misrepresentation you just made to a judge?

You just sit on that for three months?

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posted by Ace of Spades at 05:26 PM

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