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Senate FISA Abuse Investigation to Focus on Mystery Source Who Contradicted Steele Dossier

Senator Lindsey Graham speaks to reporters after opening arguments concluded in the Senate impeachment trial of U.S. President Donald Trump at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, U.S., January 28, 2020. (Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)

Senator Lindsey Graham (R., S.C.) on Sunday told Fox News the Senate’s investigation into FBI abuse of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act will focus on interviews the agency conducted with a Russian source who contradicted much of the information in the Steele dossier.

“The first thing I want to do is call the people who heard from Russian sub-source that this dossier is a bunch of bar talk and hearsay,” Graham said on Fox’s Sunday Morning Futures. “I want to find out when did [former FBI director James] Comey and [former FBI deputy director Andrew] McCabe understand it was not reliable and start from there.”

The source, known in the Justice Department Inspector General’s report as “Primary Sub-Source,” was former British intelligence agent Christopher Steele’s only direct contact in Russia for the allegations contained in the dossier. However, the IG report states that the primary sub-source told the FBI and Justice Department that Steele’s allegations were false or misleading, including the assertion of Page’s involvement in what the dossier terms a “well-developed conspiracy of cooperation” between the Trump campaign and Russian government.

“The Primary Sub-source made statements during his/her January 2017 FBI interview that were inconsistent with multiple sections of the Steele reports, including some that were relied upon in the FISA applications,” the IG report states.

Following the publication of the IG report, prominent Republicans called for an overhaul of the FISA system to prevent future abuses. On Monday, the Wall Street Journal reported the Trump administration is considering doing just that before FISA legislation is set to expire in March.

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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