• Special Counsel John Durham’s deft questioning of FBI agent Brian Auten during the prosecution of Steele-dossier primary sub-source Igor Danchenko confirmed the Crossfire Hurricane team obtained permission to surveil U.S. citizen Carter Page without first verifying the dossier’s claims. While scandalous, the Justice Department’s deceptive framing of Christopher Steele’s source network as connected to his prior work with British intelligence is worse because the higher-ups who authorized the inclusion of this detail in the final revision of the application knew a FISA warrant would likely be denied without the misrepresentation.
  •  portions of the Steele dossier “played a significant part” in the Carter Page FISA applications. The special counsel reiterated that point regularly during the first few days of the trial while stressing — in question after question — that the FBI had failed to corroborate the allegations.
  • The FBI’s use of the uncorroborated Steele dossier was not the FBI’s worst offense, however. Worse still was the Crossfire Hurricane team’s last-minute amendment to the FISA application that misleadingly framed Steele’s source network as one established during his time as an MI6 agent, when, in fact, neither Danchenko nor any of Steele’s other dossier sources had been sources during his time with British intelligence.
  • While Steele would later confirm for the inspector general that his source network did not involve sources from his time with MI6, but “was developed entirely in the period after he retired from government service,” from Auten’s detailed trial testimony, we now know that the Crossfire Hurricane team either knew Steele’s source network was not connected to British intelligence or knew that it could not, in good faith, make that representation to the FISA court.
  • So  the FBI undertook to obtain the first FISA warrant on Page, the OIG explained that the day before the FISA court granted the surveillance order, the government submitted a “read copy” of the FISA application to the FISA court’s legal adviser for a preliminary assessment of any issues. The FISA court’s legal adviser asked the attorney working with the FBI on the application “how it was that Steele had a network of subsources?”
  • The government lawyer “provided additional information to him regarding Steele’s past employment history,” the OIG report explained; that response implied Steele’s source network came from his time with MI6. Significantly, the FISA court’s legal adviser then indicated the additional detail of Steele’s prior work with British intelligence should be included in the official FISA application to the court.
Source: thefederalist.com