Christopher Steele declined to meet with the Justice Departments Office of the Inspector General, which is reportedly poised to cast doubt on the veracity of some of the former British spys infamous anti-Trump dossier.
Steele declined the inspector generals request on the grounds that it would be improper for him to take part “in an internal Justice Department investigation as a foreign national and former British intelligence agent,” Politico reported Wednesday.
The explanation is somewhat ironic given that Steele, a former MI6 officer, provided his anti-Trump research to the FBI as well as to Bruce Ohr, a Justice Department official.
Witnesses who have met with the inspector generals office told Politico that they got the impression that investigators are “going to try and deeply undermine” Steeles work.
The investigation is also likely “to cast doubt on the veracity of the information Steele provided about [Carter] Page that the FBI included in its application for a [Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act] warrant,” according to Politico.
Michael Horowitz, the inspector general, opened an investigation on March 28, 2018 into whether the FBI abused the FISA by relying on Steeles dossier to obtain spy warrants against Page. Horowitzs investigation is expected to wrap up in May or June, according to sources familiar with the matter.
Steele was hired in June 2016 by Fusion GPS, an opposition research firm that was investigating the Trump campaign on behalf of the Democratic National Committee and Clinton campaign.
U.S. Department of Justice Inspector General Michael Horowitz is pictured. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
He produced 17 memos dated between June 20, 2016 and Dec. 13, 2016 that alleged a “well-developed conspiracy” between Trump associates and the Kremlin. (RELATED: FBI Was Assessing Christopher Steeles Reliability Even After Using Dossier To Obtain Spy Warrant)
Steeles sources fingered Page as one link to the Kremlin.
Republican lawmakers have investigated the FBIs handling of the dossier, which they note was unverified when used to obtain the warrants to spy on Page.
Steele has reportedly been interviewed by special counsel Robert Mueller, but he has refused to meet with congressional committees, including the Senate Intelligence Committee. (RELATED: Report: Christopher Steele Wont Meet With Sentate Intel Committee, And Republicans Arent Happy About It)
Horowitz is also taking a hard look at Steeles previous work as a confidential FBI informant, according to Politico. The DOJ watchdog has already concluded that Steele oversold his contribution to an investigation into a FIFA bribery scandal, according to the report.
None of Steeles most serious allegations have been verified in the 27 months since BuzzFeed pRead More – Source