A trove of documents declassified by President Donald Trump ahead of his White House departure shows that Fiona Hill, a former National Security Council staffer and witness during his first impeachment, connected British spy and FBI asset Christopher Steele to his primary dossier source.
The documents show that Hill, a Russia expert, introduced Steele to his primary sub-source in 2011 after the FBI had initiated an investigation to determine if he was linked to Moscow’s intelligence services, Just the News reported.
Among the declassified documents is a 26-page report “showing that the sub-source had been the focus of an FBI counterintelligence probe back in 2009-11 and that the bureau assessed he had posed a possible national security threat to the U.S. and had Russian intelligence,” the outlet reported.
The bureau sought to obtain a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act warrant against the sub-source, an Eastern-Europe-born academic employed by the left-leaning policy think tank the Brookings Institute, but he left the U.S. The FBI ended its investigation at that point.
“The primary sub-source was introduced to STEELE and ORBIS by FIONA HILL in or around 2011,” said the report “… Emphasizing the sensitivity, STEELE explained that Hill now worked for the National Security Council. HILL has a very high opinion of the primary sub-source.”
Later, Steele told Hill that the sub-source she introduced to him provided content for the ‘Russia dossier,’ which contained debunked, salacious claims about Trump that he would later leak to the media and which was reportedly used by the FBI to open its counterintelligence investigation into Trump’s 2016 campaign.
“STEELE said FIONA HILL knows that the primary sub-source was involved in the dossier,” said the report, which went on to note that the former British spy went to Hill in early 2017 after he became concerned for the sub-source’s safety.
Hill appeared as a witness for Democrats during their first impeachment of Trump last fall.
Among the other revelations contained in the declassified trove includes an admission by Steele to the FBI that he intentionally leaked the dossier to the media to take the attention away from then-Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton’s burgeoning classified email scandal.
The documents indicate that Steele was concerned a Donald Trump presidency would be bad for U.S.-British relations.
FBI agents conducted an interview with Steele in September 2017, almost a year after the bureau dropped him as an informant. He “provided explosive information about his motives in working simultaneously for the FBI and the opposition research firm for Clinton’s campaign,” Just the News reported.
Steele said then-FBI Director James Comey’s decision to reopen a probe into Clinton’s mishandling of classified emails in the days before the 2016 election is what convinced him to leak the dossier containing information gathered by his firm, Orbis Intelligence, which he gave to the bureau.
“STEELE explained that as the election season went on, they as a company were riding two horses — their client and the FBI — and after FBI Director James Comey reopened the Hillary Clinton investigation, they had to pick one horse and chose the business-client relationship over the relationship with the FBI,” a report of the interview states.
“They followed what their client wanted, and they spoke to the press,” it adds.
Steele and his partner, Christopher Burrows, also blamed the FBI itself for their decision to leak the dossier to the media and to the late Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), Just the News noted.
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