December 9, 2019 – Details of FBI’s targeting of Trump emerge in Horowitz report

In Email Timeline Post-Election 2016, Email/Dossier Investigations by Katie Weddington

(Credit: Win McNamee/Getty Images)

The Washington Times first reported in September 2018 that Mr. Comey wanted the Christopher Steele dossier, financed by the Clinton campaign and by the Democratic Party, included in the official assessment. The Times headline: “James Comey was chief anti-Trump dossier proponent within U.S. intelligence community. Source: Then-FBI Director James B. Comey directly advocated inclusion.”

The Horowitz report confirms the reporting in footnote No. 507, with details.

FBI leadership, including Comey and McCabe, advocated for the Steele election reporting to be included in the intelligence community assessment (ICA) on Russian election interference,” the inspector general’s report states.

Mr. Comey telephoned Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper on Dec. 17, 2017, and lobbied for the dossier’s inclusion.

The DNI and CIA Director John O. Brennan objected and decided to include a short summary of the dossier in the appendix.

Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe on Dec. 28 sent an email to the DNI objecting to the summary.

An FBI intelligence section chief told the inspector general that the CIA viewed the Steele dossier as “internet rumor.”

The inspector general report said: “The FBI’s view did not prevail and the final ICA report included a short summary of the Steele election reporting in an appendix.”

⦁ The FBI’s Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act application to federal judges begins with this heading: “Verified Application.”

Some commentators have taken this to mean the agents were telling judges that the bureau had corroborated the affidavit’s stated evidence from Mr. Steele, a former British intelligence officer.

Not true, says the Horowitz report.

The FBI verification process is known as the Woods Procedures, named after the agent who devised FISA fact-checking in the early 2000s.

Mr. Horowitz determined that the Woods process required agents to verify that the material came from a particular source and that the application quotes that source accurately.

Here is the inspector general’s finding: “Corroboration of source information is not required by the FBI’s Woods Procedures. Although Woods Procedures require that every fact in a FISA application be ‘verified,’ when a particular fact is attributed to a source, an agent must only verify that the fact came from the source and the application accurately states what the source said. The Woods Procedures do not require that the FBI have a second source for the same information.”

The Horowitz report also notes: “We found that the FBI did not have information corroborating the specific allegations against Carter Page in Steele’s reports when it relied upon them in the FISA applications.” (Read more: The Washington Times, 3/17/2020)