(…) Buried in Justice Mark Warby’s ruling were several new pieces of evidence that answer long-lingering questions about just what the FBI knew, and when it knew it.
For instance, Congressional Republicans have long questioned when exactly the FBI knew that Steele’s dossier was a product ordered up for the Hillary Clinton campaign and Democratic Party. After all, the bureau never revealed the connection to the FISA court despite its central relevance to the motives of the dossier.
Warby’s lengthy ruling unearthed a gem of new evidence to answer the question: Steele kept his own notes of what he told FBI agents the first time he met them on July 5, 2016, in London to discuss his anti-Trump Russia research.
And, Warby revealed, the notes make clear that Steele told his FBI handlers from the get-go that the dossier’s “ultimate client were (sic) the leadership of the Clinton presidential campaign.”
(…) The ruling discloses that officials at the State Department where Hillary Clinton had served as secretary of state were uniquely involved in Steele’s efforts to bring the dossier to attention, including Mrs. Clinton’s former Russia expert Assistant Secretary Victoria Nuland, Clinton’s successor as secretary of state John Kerry and Joe Biden’s former national security adviser Tony Blinken.
Steele “elaborated, by explaining that his understanding in July 2016 was that the FBI officer he met had cleared his lines with the Assistant Secretary of State, Victoria Nuland,” the judge disclosed.
And after Trump won the election, the judge added, Steele disclosed he gave copies of his dossier to longtime Clinton friend Strobe Talbot in hopes it would get to the top of the State Department.
Talbott “said that he was due to meet a group of individuals at the State Department, and asked Mr Steele to share a copy of the Dossier with him, with a view to him being able to discuss the national security issues raised with these individuals,” the court revealed.
“Mr Steele agreed. He did so on the understanding that Mr Talbott had been speaking to the US Secretary of State John Kerry, and Ms Nuland, who knew of the Dossier and its broad content; and that the individuals whom Mr Talbott was due to meet included the then US Deputy Secretary of State, Tony Blinken,” the court added.