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FBI Docs: Primary Sub-Source for Steele Was Suspected Russian Agent and ‘Threat to National Security’

J. Edgar Hoover F.B.I. Building in Washington, D.C. (Mary F. Calvert/Reuters)

The “primary sub-source” for the Steele dossier was suspected of being a possible Russian agent and a “threat to national security,” according to newly declassified FBI documents.

Senator Lindsey Graham (R., S.C.) announced the revelations on Thursday after the Justice Department declassified a footnote of the DOJ Inspector General Report on FISA abuse by the FBI. That report focused on efforts by FBI agents to obtain FISA warrants to surveil Trump-campaign adviser Carter Page, and concluded that two applications to renew such warrants were not valid because of “material misstatements and omission” of evidence.

FBI agents on the Crossfire Hurricane probe, who investigated alleged contacts between the Trump-campaign and Russian intelligence, were aware that the Primary Sub-Source was a suspected Russian spy by December 2016. However, the FBI did not share this information with the FISA court in their applications for warrants against Page.

According to footnote 334 of the Inspector General Report, the “Primary Sub-Source was the subject of an FBI counterintelligence investigation from 2009 to 2011 that assessed his/her documented contacts with suspected Russian intelligence officers.”

At the request of Attorney General William Barr, the FBI made available a declassified summary of that counterintelligence investigation.

“[T]he FBI commenced this investigation based on information by the FBI indicating that the Primary Sub-Source may be a threat to national security,” the summary states. The Primary Sub-Source was an employee at a “prominent U.S. think tank,” and “in December 2016, the FBI’s Crossfire Hurricane investigation identified the employee as Christopher Steele’s Primary Sub-Source.”

The documents are the latest disclosures in an ongoing investigation by the Senate Judiciary Committee, which is chaired by Senator Graham, into the FBI’s probe of the Trump-campaign. In a statement, Graham characterized the newest documents as “the most stunning and damning revelation the committee has uncovered.”

“It’s stunning to be told that the single individual who provided information to Christopher Steele for the Russian dossier used by the FBI on four occasions to obtain a warrant on Carter Page, an American citizen, was a suspected Russian agent years before the preparation of the dossier,” Graham said. “The committee will press on and get to the bottom of what happened, and we will try to work together to make sure this never happens again.”

Send a tip to the news team at NR.

Zachary Evans is a news writer for National Review Online. He is a veteran of the Israeli Defense Forces and a trained violist.

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