‘We are deeply troubled by the Crossfire Hurricane team’s awareness of and apparent indifference to Russian disinformation…’
(Ben Sellers, Liberty Headlines) GOP Sens. Charles Grassley of Iowa and Ron Johnson of Wisconsin sent a letter to FBI Director Christopher Wray requesting additional records from the agency’s “Crossfire Hurricane” investigation after finding evidence of Russian disinformation in recently declassified material.
Among the bogus Kremlin-sourced claims were the salacious rumors of a Russian blackmail tape in which President Donald Trump was said to have received a “golden shower” by having prostitutes urinate on him in a Moscow hotel room that his future presidential predecessor, Barack Obama, once had stayed in.
The senators, both powerful committee chairmen, had received a series of unredacted footnotes last week from Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz‘s probe into the FBI’s handling of the Russia-collusion probe and its application for warrants under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act to spy on the Trump campaign.
According to a Breitbart analysis, the unredacted material included the word “sexual” in footnote 350, confirming that the long denied and discredited “pee tape” story did, indeed, come directly from the Russians.
Disgraced former FBI Director James Comey personally briefed Trump on the existence of the Russian kompromat during a Trump Tower meeting in January 2017, but Comey himself subsequently acknowledged that his main purpose in the meeting was to collect additional intelligence on Trump.
The newly disclosed footnotes, provided by Attorney General William Barr and acting Director of National Intelligence Richard Grenell, “reveal disturbing facts about the FBI’s investigation,” said the senators.
The agency’s FISA warrant applications relied primarily—if not exclusively—on the notorious Steele Dossier, which was commissioned as opposition research by the Hillary Clinton campaign.
But the footnotes confirmed long-held suspicious that the dossier’s author, ex-British spy Christopher Steele, may have been operating as a double agent and relying on deep ties with the Kremlin—meaning that it was Clinton and the Obama-era FBI who were effectively colluding with Russia.
“The Crossfire Hurricane team’s investigative file included at least two intelligence reports stating that key parts of the reporting from Christopher Steele—reporting that ‘played a central and essential role’ in the decision to request FISA orders—were part of a Russian disinformation campaign,” Johnson and Grassley wrote.
The senators said the new information contradicted the testimony of FBI agents—including Bill Priestap, the assistant director for counterintelligence—who were overseeing the investigation.
The timing of events, as revealed by the declassified material, also suggested that Horowitz’s conclusion that the investigation was properly predicated—albeit grossly flawed in its implementation—may have been erroneous.
Among the things that the FBI acknowledged being aware of prior to launching its investigation into Trump:
- Russian intelligence was targeting Christopher Steele’s company.
- Steele relied on sources affiliated with Russian intelligence.
- At least two of Steele’s reports were the product of a Russian disinformation campaign.
“We are deeply troubled by the Crossfire Hurricane team’s awareness of and apparent indifference to Russian disinformation, as well as by the grossly inaccurate statements by the FBI official in charge of the investigation and its supervisory intelligence analyst,” wrote Johnson and Grassley.
The discovery left them wondering what other FBI materials may have been built around Russian disinformation.
“Because these facts show the intention, means, and ability to plant Russian disinformation in Steele’s reporting, they suggest that the prevalence of such disinformation in the FBI’s Crossfire Hurricane investigation may have been widespread,” wrote the senators.
The senators requested that Wray provide them with all of the intelligence records received by the “Crossfire Hurricane” team, as well as any other FBI records that addressed the same “intelligence products” generated by the Russia probe and a list of any requested records that they did not receive.