New text messages recently provided to Congress show that former British spy Christopher Steele, the author of the phony Trump/Russia dossier that the FBI put so much misguided faith in, was extremely nervous in March of last year when Senate Republicans started asking questions about his magnum opus. In the messages, which were sent from Steele to his buddy inside the Department of Justice, Bruch Ohr, the former MI6 agent expresses concern about a letter Sen. Chuck Grassley sent to James Comey about the dossier.
“Would it be possible to speak later today please? We’re very concerned by the Grassley letter and it’s possible implications for us, our operations and our sources. We need some reassurances,” Steele wrote at the time.
Most likely, Steele was referencing a letter Grassley sent the day before to Comey. In that missive, Grassley asked the then-FBI Director about the extent of the FBI’s work with Steele and to what degree the Bureau had relied on the dossier for their investigation into Trump/Russia collusion. He asked Comey to provide the Senate Judiciary Committee with any transcripts the FBI might have concerning their interactions with Steele and any contracts they might have signed with the Brit.
Since March of last year, of course, it has become a matter of public record that the dossier was financed by Fusion GPS, who were in turn funded by the law firm of Perkins Coie. Perkins Coie was working on behalf of their clients, Hillary Clinton and the Democratic National Committee.
The really troubling part of all of this is that Steele continued communicating with Ohr long after the FBI cut him loose as a confidential source. As outlined in a House Republican memo earlier this year, Steele fed information to Ohr at least 12 times after the FBI severed ties, including on several occasions after the election of Donald Trump.
From the memo:
Before and after Steele was terminated as a source, he maintained contact with DOJ via then-Associate Deputy Attorney General Bruce Ohr, a senior DOJ official who worked closely with Deputy Attorneys General Yates and later Rosenstein. Shortly after the election, the FBI began interviewing Ohr, documenting his communications with Steele. For example, in September 2016, Steele admitted to Ohr his feelings against then-candidate Trump when Steele said he “was desperate that Donald Trump not get elected and was passionate about him not being president.” This clear evidence of Steele’s bias was recorded by Ohr at the time and subsequently in official FBI files — but not reflected in any of the Page FISA applications.
Grassley is growing impatient with the FBI’s refusal to cooperate with his requests for more information about the Bureau/DOJ’s contacts with Steele, so we have a feeling there will be more breaking news about this situation in the coming weeks.