Former President Donald Trump has launched an attack on the FBI and Department of Justice (DOJ), demanding arrests in relation to the controversial Steele dossier.
CNN admits Durham report exonerates Trump ‘to a degree,’ ‘devastating’ to FBI
In response, the former president criticized the FBI’s handling of the investigation and accused them of offering incentives to Steele for information. Special Counsel John Durham, who was investigating Trump’s alleged Russian collusion, questioned FBI supervisory analyst Brian Auten regarding the agency’s interaction with Steele.
Auten confirmed Steele was offered up to $1 million by the FBI in October 2016. Durham’s report, released on May 12, stated the FBI should not have initiated the Crossfire Hurricane probe into Trump’s false ties to Russia. Trump, who has long criticized the investigation as a hoax and a witch hunt, views the report as a victory.
Durham’s more than 300-page dossier supports Trump’s claims that federal agencies lacked solid intelligence when initiating the investigation. Durham accused the DOJ and FBI of failing in their mission — basing the probe on raw and unverified intelligence.
Trump, currently seeking the Republican nomination for the 2024 presidential election, intensified his criticism of the FBI and DOJ following the report’s release. He called for arrests in a social media post, stating the FBI paid Steele to frame him.
— NEWSMAX (@NEWSMAX) May 22, 2023
Steele, a former MI6 agent, acted as a private citizen while gathering information for the document. He was hired by Glenn Simpson of Fusion GPS, a political research firm. The FBI frequently pays informants, as stated on its website, indicating that informants are not employees but may receive compensation for their information.
Although Steele claimed the FBI’s probe was not solely based on his findings, the information was included in the DOJ Inspector General’s 2019 report on the origins of the Trump-Russia collusion investigation.
The Steele dossier was partly funded by Hillary Clinton’s campaign and the Democratic National Committee, leading many to believe that Steele’s claims were politically motivated. Trump demanded that Special Counsel Jack Smith and the DOJ drop their criminal investigation following the release of Durham’s report.
He described the entire charade as evidence of a “Democrat Hoax” and accused Smith of playing games, similar to James Comey during the Crossfire Hurricane investigation.
In response, the FBI stated numerous corrective actions had already been implemented within the bureau. The agency emphasized the importance of maintaining objectivity, and professionalism to meet the expectations of the American people.