August 11, 2020

Chairman Graham to FBI Director Wray: Inform Committee of Key Details of 2018 Briefing Where FBI Misled Senate Intelligence Committee

Requests all documents or communications FBI used to brief Congress on Crossfire Hurricane, Steele dossier, Carter Page FISA warrant applications

WASHINGTON – Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) requested FBI Director Christopher Wray provide the committee with several details surrounding a 2018 FBI briefing of the Senate Intelligence Committee where the FBI appeared to mislead the committee about the Steele dossier’s Primary Sub-source and, therefore, the reliability of the Steele dossier.

Chairman Graham previously released a declassified FBI document that indicates the Bureau misled the Senate Intelligence Committee.

Graham wrote, “On August 7, 2020, Attorney General Barr declassified an outline of a briefing that the Federal Bureau of Investigation gave the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence in early 2018 regarding an employee of Orbis Business Intelligence who served as Christopher Steele’ primary source of information for the Steele dossier.”

Graham continued, “This outline indicates that you arranged the briefing with the Chairman and Vice Chairman of the Intelligence Committee. What is particularly troubling about this briefing is that the outline of the briefing indicates that at least three material misrepresentations regarding the Primary Sub-source and what he told the FBI about the Steele dossier in 2017 were made to the committee.”

Graham requested the following:

  1. The name and position of each individual at the FBI who was involved in the drafting of the outline of the briefing for the Intelligence Committee that was declassified on August 7, 2020, and all documents and communications that were relied upon to draft that outline;
  2. The name and position of each individual at FBI who attended the briefing and the name and position of the primary briefer; and
  3. All documents and communications that outline or were otherwise used by individuals at the FBI to brief congressional committees or members of Congress regarding Crossfire Hurricane, the Steele dossier, or the Carter Page FISA applications.

The full text of Graham’s letter can be found HERE and below.

August 10, 2020

 

The Honorable Christopher Wray

Director

Federal Bureau of Investigation

935 Pennsylvania Ave. NW

Washington, D.C. 20535

Dear Director Wray,

On August 7, 2020, Attorney General Barr declassified an outline of a briefing that the Federal Bureau of Investigation gave the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence in early 2018 regarding an employee of Orbis Business Intelligence who served as Christopher Steele’ primary source of information for the Steele dossier.  This outline indicates that you arranged the briefing with the Chairman and Vice Chairman of the Intelligence Committee.  What is particularly troubling about this briefing is that the outline of the briefing indicates that at least three material misrepresentations regarding the Primary Sub-source and what he told the FBI about the Steele dossier in 2017 were made to the committee.

In 2017, the FBI interviewed the Primary Sub-source three times, including one interview that occurred over three days in January 2017.  The result of those interviews was that the Primary Sub-source largely discredited the dossier and the way that Steele reported and characterized the information the Primary Sub-source had given him.  Yet, in the outline of FBI’s briefing to the Intelligence Committee, it states that: (1) the Primary Sub-source “did not cite any significant concerns with the way his reporting was characterized in the dossier to the extent he could identify it”; (2) “[a]t minimum, our discussions with [the Primary Sub-source] confirm that the dossier was not fabricated by Steele”; and (3) the Primary Sub-source “maintains trusted relationships with individuals who are capable of reporting on the material he collected for Steele.”  Each of these statements is clearly inaccurate based on information uncovered as part of my investigation into Crossfire Hurricane and the 2019 report on Crossfire Hurricane and the Carter Page FISA applications by the Office of the Inspector General.  More importantly, however, is the fact that, based on its interviews with the Primary Sub-source, the FBI knew each of these statements was inaccurate at the time they were included in the outline for the briefing of the Intelligence Committee.

As part of the Judiciary Committee’s ongoing investigation of abuses related to the Crossfire Hurricane investigation and the Carter Page FISA applications and in light of this newly declassified material related to the 2018 briefing of the Intelligence Committee, please provide answers to the following questions and the following requested documents by no later than Friday, August 14, 2020:

  1. The name and position of each individual at the FBI who was involved in the drafting of the outline of the briefing for the Intelligence Committee that was declassified on August 7, 2020, and all documents and communications that were relied upon to draft that outline;
  2. The name and position of each individual at FBI who attended the briefing and the name and position of the primary briefer; and
  3. All documents and communications that outline or were otherwise used by individuals at the FBI to brief congressional committees or members of Congress regarding Crossfire Hurricane, the Steele dossier, or the Carter Page FISA applications.

Thank you for your prompt attention to my request.

Sincerely,


Lindsey O. Graham

Chairman

cc:         The Honorable Dianne Feinstein

              The Honorable William Barr