FBI Offered a $1-Million Payment for Steele Dossier Against Trump
(UnitedVoice.com) – The Steele Dossier is one of the most controversial topics in American politics. It was an opposition research file compiled by counterintelligence expert Christopher Steele’s firm at the request of Fusion GPS, which Hillary Clinton’s campaign funded. While the former secretary of state didn’t use it during her White House bid, Democrats pointed to it for years as proof that former President Donald Trump received help from Russia.
Five years after it first leaked to the public, the dossier has largely been discredited. But it’s back in the news again as Special Counsel John Durham prosecutes Igor Danchenko for allegedly lying to the FBI during the Trump-Russia probe. It turns out the federal law enforcement agency tried to pay a shocking amount of money to corroborate the dossier’s contents.
FBI Agent’s Testimony
On Tuesday, October 11, Brian Auten, a supervisory counterintelligence analyst for the FBI, took the stand in the Danchenko trial. The federal employee was the first witness in Durham’s latest trial.
According to Auten, FBI agents traveled overseas in October 2016 to speak to Christopher Steele. The federal authorities had the dossier and were trying to find evidence to support the document’s wild claims. Auten claimed the officials offered the former British spy up to $1 million to corroborate his allegations about Trump colluding with Russia to steal the presidential election.
Auten explained in court that Steele never received any money from the US government because he couldn’t prove the accusations against Trump. Further, the ex-spy refused to give the FBI the names of any of his sources.
The supervisory analyst told the court the FBI knew the Steele allegations were unproven, but someone still added information from the dossier to a FISA warrant application against Carter Page.
Republicans have waited years for Durham to wrap up his investigation. In September, the grand jury he requested reportedly expired without the special counsel ever bringing charges against any major players in the origins of the Trump-Russia probe. Some members of the GOP believed Durham might charge former President Barack Obama for allegedly spying on his successor during the 2016 campaign, but that never came to pass.
In May, Durham unsuccessfully prosecuted lawyer Michael Sussmann, who represented the Democratic National Committee. The prosecutor accused the attorney of lying to the FBI, but the court found Sussmann not guilty.
As of now, it’s unclear what Durham’s plans are after wrapping up the current case.
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