“Transcripts of Justice Department official Bruce Ohr’s interviews with the FBI could open the bureau to new scrutiny over claims government officials made in applications to spy on Carter Page.
During a Nov. 22, 2016 interview with the FBI, Ohr discussed meetings between dossier author Christopher Steele, Fusion GPS founder Glenn Simpson and Yahoo! News reporter Michael Isikoff, who two months earlier had published an article that alleged that Page was under FBI investigation for contacts in Russia.
The potential problem for the FBI is that the bureau said in four Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant applications against Page that investigators did not believe that Steele was a source for Isikoff’s story.
The FBI relied heavily on Steele’s unverified dossier to argue to the FISA court that Page was working as an agent of Russia. The applications also cite Isikoff’s article and at least one other news report about Page.
“OHR met [redacted] in Washington, D.C. in late September, possibly close to the time when the Yahoo news article was published on September 23, 2016,” read the heavily-redacted Ohr notes, which were released on Thursday.
“Simpson and [redacted] could have met with Yahoo or Michael Isikoff jointly, but OHR does not know if they did.”
In four FISA applications — which the FBI submitted in October 2016, January 2017, April 2017, and June 2017 — the FBI “does not believe that Source #1,” who has been identified as Steele, “directly provided this information to the identified news organization that published the September 23rd News Article.”
It is unclear if the redacted portion of the footnote adds further context to possible contacts between Steele, Simpson and Isikoff.