On Friday night the FBI released a heavily redacted two-page summary that former FBI Director James Comey used to brief then President-elect Donald Trump in January 2017 regarding the so-called Steele Dossier on Trump’s ties to Russia. I have embedded the document below via Scribd.
Politico procured the document released Friday night in a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit. Politico’s Josh Gerstein and Kyle Cheney report on the document here. The timing of the document’s release on a Friday night indicates that the FBI does not want attention to be paid — so be sure to check it out.
The heavy redactions make sure we won’t get much out of it in any event. There is just enough to make one’s blood boil. Everything related to the Steele Dossier opens a window onto the greatest political scandal in American history.
Gerstein and Cheney tactfully note that “[t]he released portion of the synopsis is vague about who financed the project, referring to it as sponsored by ‘private clients.’” Yes, “private clients” is a term that does not quite capture the provenance of the dossier.
They also quote the rest of what is left unredacted: “An FBI source … volunteered highly politically sensitive information … on Russian influence efforts aimed at the US presidential election. The source is an executive of a private business intelligence firm and a former employee of a friendly intelligence service who has been compensated for previous reporting over the past three years. The source maintains and collects information from a layered network of identified and unidentified subsources, some of which has been corroborated in the past. The source collected this information on behalf of private clients and was not compensated for it by the FBI.”
The FBI didn’t pay for it. The Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee did that.
The summary adds: “The source’s reporting appears to have been acquired by multiple Western press organizations starting in October .”