In all Washington investigations, the essential questions become who knew it and when did they know it.
In the case of FBI informant Christopher Steele and the credibility of his now-disproven Russia collusion allegations against Donald Trump, we have some important clarity: Government officials confirm that an October 2016 email revealing that Steele met with State Department officials – a breach of protocol for an informant if it was unauthorized – was sent to an FBI counterintelligence supervisor.
Multiple sources confirm to me that the recipient of the State Department email was Special Agent Stephen Laycock, then the FBI’s section chief for Eurasian counterintelligence and now one of the bureau’s top executives as the assistant director for intelligence under Director Christopher Wray.
The email to Laycock from Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Kathleen Kavalec arrived eight days before the FBI swore to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court that it had no derogatory information on Steele and used his anti-Trump dossier to secure a secret surveillance warrant to investigate Trump’s possible ties to Moscow.
Officials tell me that Laycock immediately forwarded the information he received about Steele on Oct. 13, 2016, to the FBI team leading the Trump-Russia investigation, headed by then-fellow Special Agent Peter Strzok.
Laycock was the normal point of contact for Kavalec on Eurasian counterintelligence matters, and he simply acted as a conduit to get the information to his colleagues supervising the Russia probe, the officials added.
The officials declined to say what the FBI did with the information about Steele after it reached Strzok’s team, or what the email specifically revealed. A publicly disclosed version of the email has been heavily redacted in the name of national security.” (Read more: The Hill, 5/14/2019)