The Russian dossier that has been the keystone piece of evidence that began the investigation into collusion between Russia and Trump’s presidential campaign, has not been completely refuted by the FBI. However, the FBI was forced to confess that the document’s major core charges of election collusion remain unsubstantiated, reports The Washington Times.
FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe was the most recent witness who spent eight hours last week in front of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.
Republicans believe that the current investigation into Trump’s presidential campaign is all based on flimsy evidence and improper Justice Department contacts.
McCabe refused to criticize all of the 35-page document that is said to have salacious and criminal charges against President Trump and his aides, but he said it remains largely unverified, according to a source familiar with ongoing congressional inquiries.
However, it would be embarrassing for McCabe to condemn a political opposition research paper on which his agents based decisions to open a counterintelligence investigation and interview witnesses. Some press reports said the FBI cited the dossier’s information in requests for court-approved wiretaps.
The suspicion about the FBI’s motives rises even further since McCabe is reported to be retiring early next year, reports The Washington Post.
“‘Justice Department Inspector General Michael E. Horowitz is investigating whether Mr. McCabe should have recused himself from the Clinton email investigation in 2015 and 2016. Mr. McCabe’s wife, an unsuccessful 2015 Democratic candidate for Virginia state Senate, received more than $700,000 in campaign donations from two PACs, one of which was controlled by Gov. Terry McAuliffe, a close Clinton ally,’ reports The Washington Times.”
Horowitz had announced the investigation shortly before Trump took office, and since then the whole probe has widened significantly to see whether the FBI investigation into suspected collusion has been rigged from the start.
After major discoveries in recent weeks about Robert Mueller’s investigation, with most of the controversy centered around one FBI agent, Peter Strzok, the entire investigation is being questioned now for its veracity.
The controversy surrounding Strzok is that he sent a number of text messages ridiculing then-candidate Trump to Lisa Page, his FBI lover and then texted about a meeting with “Andy” — apparently McCabe — in which it was discussed that Trump had no chance of winning, but there was a risk he might.
“I’m afraid we can’t take that risk,” Strzok said in August 2016. “It’s like an insurance policy in the unlikely event you die before you’re 40.”
Then, of course, there is the fact that the whole dossier was written by a former British spy, Christopher Steele, who was funded by the Hillary Clinton Campaign and the Democratic National Committee. Anyway, you look at this investigation, there is something suspicious and troublesome going on.
“‘Fox News and the Washington Examiner reported that Republicans asked what parts of the dossier the FBI had confirmed. Mr. McCabe said the only substantiated collusion-related incident was that Trump campaign volunteer Carter Page traveled to Moscow in July 2016,’ reports The Washington Times.”
Now the House Intelligence Committee, who is being driven by Chairman Devin Nunes (R-CA), is looking into not just the supposed collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign, but three other objectives as well now.
The first being, who funded the dossier and how its information was spread by paymaster Fusion GPS and then used by the FBI. Second, the Obama’s administration’s “unmasking’ of the identities of private citizens caught up in surveillance of foreigners. Then lastly, the recent misconduct findings within the Department of Justice and the FBI.
Most recently, The Washington Post reported that James Baker, the FBI’s general counsel and a close associate of fired FBI Director James B. Comey, was being transferred. Politico reported that Baker during the election had contact with the Mother Jones reporter who interviewed Steele via Skype and gave much credence to his dossier.
“This is really problematic for the FBI and DOJ right now,” said the source familiar with the congressional investigations. “They realize stonewalling is not going to work anymore, but they haven’t decided on a new strategy to manage the deluge of information spilling out about top officials’ conflicts of interest, their use of the Steele dossier and their own connections to Fusion GPS.”
This sham of an investigation is all up in the air now, and who knows where the chips will fall in the end.