“An FBI offer to pay former British spy Christopher Steele to collect intelligence on Michael Flynn in the weeks before the 2016 election has been one of the more overlooked revelations in a Justice Department inspector general’s report released in December.
The reference to the FBI proposal, which was made in an Oct. 3, 2016, meeting in an unidentified European city, has received virtually no press attention. But it might have new significance following the recent release of government documents that show that Steele peddled an unfounded rumor that Flynn had an extramarital affair with a Russian woman in the United Kingdom.
The inspector general’s report, released on Dec. 9, 2019, said that FBI agents offered to pay Steele “significantly” to collect intelligence from three separate “buckets” that the bureau was pursuing as part of Crossfire Hurricane, its counterintelligence probe of four Trump campaign associates.
(…) But two documents released in recent weeks raise the question of whether the FBI’s request of Steele has any link to the rumors that Flynn had an affair with a Russian woman.
One of the documents is a transcript of longtime John McCain associate David Kramer’s interview with the House Intelligence Committee. Kramer testified on Dec. 17, 2017, that Steele told him in December 2016 that he suspected that Flynn had an extramarital affair with a Russian woman.
“There was one thing he mentioned to me that is not included here, and that is he believed that Mr. Flynn had an extramarital affair with a Russian woman in the U.K.,” Kramer told lawmakers.
Kramer said that Steele conveyed that Flynn’s alleged mistress was a “Russian woman” who “may have been a dual citizen.”
An FBI memo dated Jan. 4, 2017, contained another allegation regarding Flynn and a mysterious Russian woman.
The memo, which was provided to Flynn’s lawyers on April 30, said that an FBI confidential human source (CHS) told the bureau that they were present at an event that Flynn attended while he was still working in the U.S. intelligence community.
The CHS said that after dinner and drinks, Flynn “surprised” everyone by leaving in a cab with a person that the FBI source suspected had ties to Russians.
Svetlana Lokhova, a Russian-British academic who studied at the University of Cambridge, said she is the woman at the center of the FBI memo and Kramer testimony.
Lokhova became the target of a whisper campaign in early 2017 regarding Flynn’s visit to Cambridge three years earlier, when he served as director of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA).
Lokhova has vehemently denied allegations of wrongdoing. She has said that she met Flynn just once, at the Cambridge event.
Lokhova’s husband has told the Daily Caller News Foundation that he picked Lokhova up after the Cambridge dinner and that she did not leave with Flynn. A DIA official who attended the Cambridge event with Flynn also told the WSJ in March 2017 that Flynn did not engage in any improper behavior.” (Read more: The Daily Caller, 5/20/2020) (Archive)