PAPER: Former FBI Agent & Obama Cybersecurity Official On ‘Secret Mission’ To Verify Junk Steele Dossier
A year after BuzzFeed published the now discredited Steele dossier, the news outlet that got its start churning out zany listicles, is on a ‘secret mission,’ to verify it.
BuzzFeed has been paying a former top FBI and White House cybersecurity official to traverse the globe for the past six months on a secret mission to corroborate various claims in the Trump-Russia dossier assembled by ex-UK Spy Christopher Steele. Steele was commissioned by Fusion GPS, whose efforts were funded in large part by Hillary Clinton and the DNC – and then used by the FBI to obtain a FISA warrant to spy on a Trump campaign adviser and those he communicated with.
The probe, commissioned by Buzzfeed – which published the Steele dossier on January 11, 2017 – is being conducted by Anthony Ferrante – formerly the FBI’s top official in charge of “cyber incident response” at the U.S. National Security Council under the Obama administration. Ferrante is leading the investigation from his new employer, D.C.-based business advisory firm, Forensic Technologies International (FTI) consulting reports Foreign Policy.
At FTI, Ferrante launched what’s now been a months-long stealth effort chasing down documents and conducting interviews on the ground in various countries around the world. His team directed BuzzFeed lawyers to subpoena specific data and testimony from dozens of agencies or companies across the country and assembled a cyber ops war room to analyze that data, according to sources familiar with the work.
BuzzFeed’s ‘secret mission,’ might be a difficult one to pull off since Steele told a UK court that the dossier contains “limited intelligence.”
Steele also admitted part of “his final December memo,” was unvetted.
“Such intelligence was not actively sought; it was merely received,” Steele added.
The dossier contains explosive, but unverified, opposition research that alleges intel ties between Russia and Trump and also claims Russia holds blackmail material over Trump.
In a letter released last Monday, Senators Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) say Steele penned a separate memo on then-candidate Donald Trump, based on information given to him by a Hillary Clinton contact and unnamed Obama State Department official.
According to Fox News’ Ed Henry, the memo suggests Steele misrepresented his findings to the FBI.
.@edhenry reports on a recently unclassified memo from senior Senate Republicans that provides new insight into Christopher Steele’s circle of contacts. https://t.co/6VLazkaV5l pic.twitter.com/XF8v9mMUHX
— Fox News (@FoxNews) February 7, 2018
“The Grassley memo tonight now goes on to say that in fact the FBI then went back after learning that Christopher Steele misrepresented things and did talk to the media–the FBI never disclosed that to the FISA court and kept going back for renewals of the surveillance warrant and didn’t say to the court look things have changed, we no longer think he’s reliable–he lied to us and spoke to the media,” reported Henry.
The Senate Judiciary Committee’s criminal referral of Steele states the former British intelligence agent misled the bureau about his connections to Yahoo News and Mother Jones, despite initially claiming he had no contact with the media.