During an interview with CBS News on Friday, May 8, Attorney General William Barr said that special counsel Robert Mueller and his investigators “ignored” mounting indications of possible Russian disinformation that was fed to the Steele dossier.
“I think that’s one of the most troubling aspects of this whole thing,” Barr said in reference to the newly declassified footnotes from Department of Justice (DOJ) Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s report on FBI misconduct that showed the FBI had received multiple indications that former British spy Chirstopher Steele’s dossier was likely the product of Russian disinformation.
The FBI relied heavily on Steele’s dossier, which was funded by Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign and the Democrat National Community, to obtain surveillance warrants to spy on former Trump campaign aide Carter Page, whom FBI accused of being an “agent” of Russia.
Barr said that he was “very concerned about the possibility that that dossier and Steele’s activities were used as a vector for the Russians to inject disinformation into the political campaign.”
Horowitz report last December cited “at least 17 significant errors or omissions” in the FBI’s Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act warrant application.
Meanwhile, the House Intelligence Committee on Thursday released transcripts of interviews conducted in 2017 showing that former acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe admitted that the FBI was unable to “prove the accuracy” of the Steele dossier, reported Fox News.
“What is the most damning or important piece of evidence in the dossier that you now know is true?” McCabe was asked in December 2017, according to transcripts.
“Well, as I tried to explain before, there is a lot of information in the Steele reporting. We have not been able to prove the accuracy of all the information,” McCabe replied.
The Mueller report, which was released on April 18, 2019, indicated that his investigations found no evidence of a conspiracy between the Trump campaign and Kremlin, still the Mueller probe did not establish the Steele dossier.
Barr said Mueller should have investigated the dossier further, especially since the Russian’s interference in the U.S. political system was the focal point of his probe.
“I think that is something that Robert Mueller was responsible for looking at under his charter, which is the potential of Russian influence. But I think it was ignored and there was mounting indications that this could very well have been happening and no one really stopped to look at it,” he said.