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U.S. intel viewed Steele dossier as ‘highly politically sensitive’ and mostly uncorroborated

Declassified memo show intelligence community's assessment in December 2016, two months after FBI had already used dossier to support FISA warrant.

Published: June 11, 2020 10:35am

Updated: June 11, 2020 12:17pm

Two months after the FBI used Christopher Steele’s dossier to support a warrant targeting the Trump campaign, U.S. intelligence officially declared his evidence was “highly politically sensitive,” minimally corroborated and not worthy of including in its analysis of Russian election interference, a newly declassified document shows.

The so-called Annex A of the official Russian election interference Intelligence Community Assessment was declassified this week by Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe, providing the most definitive proof to date that the U.S. intelligence in December 2016 as President Obama was leaving office was wary of a dossier that was essential to the FBI probe into now-disproven Trump-Russia collusion.

“An FBI source, using both identified and unidentified sub sources, volunteered highly politically sensitive information from the summer to the fall of 2016 on Russian influence efforts aimed at the US presidential election. We have only limited corroboration of the source reporting in this case and did not use it to reach the analytic conclusions of the CIA/FBI/NSA assessment," the appendix stated.

The intelligence community assessment also warned that Steele appeared to have leaked his information to the media just before Trump was elected Nov. 8, 2016.

“The source’s reporting appears to have been acquired by multiple western press organizations starting in October,” the annex stated.

The annex confirms Republicans’ long-held suspicions that the intelligence community saw the Steele dossier as suspect even as the FBI portrayed its allegations as verified to a FISA court starting in October 2016.

You can read the newly declassified document here.

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