The FBI offered Christopher Steele – the man who wrote the salacious and debunked Steele Dossier on President Donald Trump while he was a candidate in 2016 – a significant amount of money to create another document. The new dossier would include dirt on former national security adviser Michael Flynn and other Trump associates.
The Daily Caller’s Chuck Ross reported that the offer, which was made during an FBI meeting with Steele on October 3, 2016, was mentioned in the Department of Justice’s Inspector General’s report that was released in December 2019. Ross noted that this revelation has received little to no media 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,” Ross reported. “It is not clear how and when Steele came across the rumor, or if it was the result of the FBI asking him to look into Flynn.”
The FBI offered to pay Steele “significantly” to gather intelligence for three aspects of their Crossfire Hurricane probe into four Trump campaign associates. One avenue the FBI wanted Steele to look into was “Additional intelligence/reporting on specific, named individuals (such as [Carter Page] or [Flynn]) involved in facilitating the Trump campaign-Russian relationship.”
The FBI also wanted Steele to find “any individuals or sub sources” that could “serve as cooperating witnesses to assist in identifying persons involved in the Trump campaign-Russian relationship.”
Steele was given information about Crossfire Hurricane and its targets: George Papadopoulos, Paul Manafort, Carter Page, and Michael Flynn. The IG report noted that some FBI agents felt Steele was given too much information.
Steele’s worked seemed to be centered around a rumor that Flynn had an affair with a Russian woman years earlier. That woman, an academic named Svetlana Lokhova, sued media outlets and the FBI informant she says defamed her by spreading the false rumors. Lokhova, The Daily Wire previously reported, was accused of being a Russian spy and carrying on an affair with Flynn after they met at a Cambridge Intelligence Seminar in 2014. Flynn attended a dinner with people who attended his speech. Lokhova was among the group. From that, Lokhova said, a rumor was launched that she had an affair with Flynn, and multiple media outlets ran with it in an attempt to smear Flynn and then-incoming President Trump.
It should be noted that by October 2016, the FBI knew that Steele’s reporting was flawed. The Bureau ended its relationship with Steele at the end of the month due to Steele’s leaking of information to the press and lying about it – though Steele was never charged with lying to federal agents, even though that was the crux of the charges against Flynn.