Sen. Lindsey Graham, the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said on Sunday that newly declassified FBI documents from 2018 show that the bureau lied to the Senate Intelligence Committee about Christopher Steele’s anti-Trump dossier.
“This document clearly shows that the FBI was continuing to mislead regarding the reliability of the Steele dossier,” Graham said during an interview on Fox News‘ “Sunday Morning Futures.” “The FBI did to the Senate Intelligence Committee what the Department of Justice and FBI had previously done to the FISA court: mischaracterize, mislead, and lie.”
“The characterizations regarding the dossier were completely out of touch with reality in terms of what the Russian subsource actually said to the FBI,” Graham told Fox News host Maria Bartiromo. “What does this mean? That Congress, as well as the FISA court, was lied to about the reliability of the Russian subsource. I will be asking FBI Director Wray to provide me all the details possible about how the briefing was arranged and who provided it.”
“Somebody needs to go to jail for this,” Graham declared. “This is a second lie. This is a second crime. They lied to the FISA court. They got rebuked, the FBI did, in 2019 by the FISA court, putting in doubt all FISA applications … a year before, they’re lying to the Senate Intel Committee. It’s just amazing the compounding of the lies.”
Graham argued that the newly released eight-page briefing document, which was obtained through the Department of Justice, shows that the FBI did not disclose any of the dossier’s red flags in the Senate Intelligence briefing document.
The memo, dated Feb. 14, 2018, summarizes what Steele’s primary subsource told the FBI during three days of interviews in January 2017. Igor Danchenko, a Ukraine-born, Russian-educated researcher and Brookings Institution analyst, was Steele’s primary subsource who provided information to the former British spy. That information was used to create the Steele dossier, which eventually enabled the investigation into Donald Trump’s possible ties to Russia before the 2016 presidential election.
“Several reports appeared to be derived from multiple sources, to include the information he provided to Steele as well as information that he had not collected,” the memo said of the primary subsource. “He did not cite any significant concerns with the way his reporting was characterized in the dossier to the extent he could identify it.”
Danchenko admitted to FBI agents that he “did not know the origins” of some claims attributed to him and “did not recall” other information that was included in the dossier.
Danchenko claimed that he was unaware that former MI6 officer Steele was going to include conversations into official reports, The Washington Examiner reported.
“Actually, the subsource said it was all bar talk, hearsay, speculation and conjecture, and the whole sexual activity of the president was made in jest,” Graham said. “So they completely misrepresented to the Senate Intel Committee in 2018 what the subsource had told the FBI in 2017.”
Department of Justice Inspector General Michael Horowitz said FBI interviews with Danchenko “raised significant questions about the reliability of the Steele election reporting” and cast doubt on some of its most damning claims.
Horowitz also claimed that FBI interviews of Steele and Danchenko “revealed potentially serious problems with Steele’s descriptions of information in his reports.”
“I’m gonna find out who did that briefing, and whoever it is, they’re in trouble,” Graham said.
Sen Graham reveals new declassified documents on Russia probe origins