by AARON KLEIN
An email reveals disgraced former FBI director James Comey tried unsuccessfully to change a draft public statement from then-Director of National Intelligence James Clapper questioning the reliability of the infamous anti-Trump dossier.
Immediately after the dossier was reported in the news media for the first time, the email exchange shows Clapper wanted to release a statement that “[t]he IC [Intelligence Community] has not made any judgment that the information in [the Steele election reporting] is reliable.”
Comey, however, interjected, suggesting a different public statement by Clapper that would not have attacked the credibility of the wild charges made by dossier author Christopher Steele.
The Comey email, which has not received media attention until now, was revealed inside the Justice Department’s recently released 476-page Inspector General report on the FBI’s Russia collusion investigation.
In the email, Comey wrote:
I just had a chance to review the proposed talking points on this for today. Perhaps it is a nit, but I worry that it may not be best to say “The IC has not made any judgment that the information in the document is reliable.”
I say that because we HAVE concluded that the source [Steele] is reliable and has a track record with us of reporting reliable information; we have some visibility into his source network, some of which we have determined to be sub-sources in a position to report on such things; and much of what he reports in the current document is consistent with and corroborative of other reporting included in the body of the main IC report.
That said, we are not able to sufficiently corroborate the reporting to include in the body of the [ICA] report. That all rings in my ears as more complicated than “we have not made a judgment that the information in the document is reliable.”
It might be better to say that “we have not be [sic] able to sufficiently corroborate the information to include it in the body of our Russia report but, for a variety of reasons, we thought it important to include it in our report to our senior-most audience.”
Steele was hired to produce his material for Fusion GPS, which was paid for its anti-Trump work by Trump’s primary political opponents, namely Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign and the Democratic National Committee (DNC) via the Perkins Coie law firm.
The email was sent on January 11, 2017, one day after BuzzFeed infamously published the dossier’s full unverified contents and CNN published the leak that the dossier was included in an official classified January 6, 2017 briefing with President-Elect Donald Trump. There have long been questions about why the unsubstantiated dossier was included in an official classified briefing. full story