A 2008 contender for presidency gave a national intelligence organization multiple reports from a former intelligence officer just weeks after the incumbent president won the 2016 general election, a federal watchdog revealed on Dec. 9.
Late Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) handed Christopher Steele’s five separate reports about alleged collusion between Russia and Donald Trump’s election campaign to controversial former Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Director James Comey.
“On Dec. 9, 2016, Sen. John McCain provided Comey with a collection of 16 Steele election reports, five of which Steele had not [previously] given the FBI,” Inspector General (IG) Michael Horowitz said in his review of four Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act applications and other aspects of the FBI’s Crossfire Hurricane. “McCain had obtained these reports from a staff member at the McCain Institute … [who] met with Steele and later acquired the reports from [Fusion GPS co-founder Glenn] Simpson.”
During this visit to the institute, Steele allegedly discussed the reports with staff and presented a piece of paper on which Steele had written the “true names of his subsources.”
“The staff member could not recall them [the names],” Horowitz said. “Steele told us that he shared some of the subsource names with the staff member because the staff member was a ‘Russia expert’ and had been tasked by Sen. McCain to determine whether Steele’s reporting was serious.”
However, the reports were not “corroborated and verified.”
“Steele was not in a position ‘to vouch for everything that was produced,” the IG said.
Breitbart reported this clearly shows McCain served as a “conduit” for Steele’s intelligence to reach the FBI even after the former spy was no longer an official FBI source.
“The IG report also verifies that a McCain aid obtained the Steele reports directly from Fusion GPS Cofounder Glenn Simpson, meaning that when McCain transferred the anti-Trump charges to Comey he had to have known that the material originated with a firm that specializes in controversial opposition tactics,” the publication said.
There is no confirmation on whether the senator was aware the FBI had stopped using Steele as a source. However, Breitbart confirmed McCain admitted he personally gave the dossier to Comey before the senator died from brain cancer on Aug. 25, 2018.
“McCain maintained he had an ‘obligation’ to pass the dossier charges against Trump to Comey and he would even do it again,” the publication reported. “’ Anyone who doesn’t like it can go to hell,’ McCain exclaimed.”
A thorough FBI investigation found former Trump attorney Michael Cohen did not hold secret talks in the Czech capital of Prague with representatives of the Kremlin and “hackers” in 2016. The bureau also found no evidence to support the theory of Trump’s campaign team and the Kremlin had paid “anti-[Hillary] Clinton hackers.”
“The FBI eventually concluded that these allegations against Cohen and the ‘Trump team’ were not true,” Horowitz said.