Politics & Policy

Lindsey Graham Attempting to Declassify FBI Memo on Steele Source Who Undermined Dossier

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R., S.C.) speaks with a reporter on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., June 25, 2020. (Al Drago/Reuters)

Senator Lindsey Graham (R., S.C.) revealed on Tuesday that he is attempting to declassify an FBI memo describing an interview with a crucial source for the Steele dossier, whose comments undermined the dossier’s assertions.

The source was dossier author Christopher Steele’s only direct source inside Russia for many of the allegations included in the dossier. The Justice Department Inspector General report released in December 2019 noted that the individual, referred to as the “Primary Sub-Source,” has since disputed various claims in the dossier, including that Trump-campaign officials colluded with Russian operatives during the 2016 election. The Primary Sub-Source made the allegations against the Steele dossier in an interview with the FBI.

“There’s a memo about that interview,” Graham said Tuesday in a podcast with Fox News host Trey Gowdy. “[DOJ Inspector General Michael] Horowitz found it — it was 40 pages. My staff has finally gotten a look at it. It’s classified. I’m going to try to get it unclassified.”

Horowitz’s December report found that the FBI had committed numerous errors in its applications for FISA warrants to surveil former Trump-campaign adviser Carter Page. Four footnotes in the report declassified in April revealed that the FBI received evidence in January 2017 that Russian operatives fed disinformation to Steele to be used in the dossier.

“I believe that the dossier, which was the key component of getting the warrant against Carter Page, was in fact Russian disinformation,” Graham told Gowdy. “I believe that the FBI was on notice that it was unreliable, continued to use it anyway. I believe that they misled the FISA court.”

Steele admitted in April 2020 that his own records of interviews with the Primary Sub-Source “were wiped in early January 2017.”

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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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