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Steele Dossier Was Not The Basis For Trump-Related Surveillance


The Steele dossier was not used as the basis for any Foreign Intelligence Service Court (“FISA”) warrants issued against any members of Donald Trump‘s 2016 presidential campaign, according to a report in Bloomberg News.

As the political world reels from and responds to news that neo-conservative news outlet the Washington Free Beacon was the original client for Fusion GPS–whose work ultimately reached final form as the Steele dossier–questions still remain as to how legally influential that dossier ultimately was.

According to the anonymous intelligence source used by Bloomberg, not so much.

For one, the former intelligence official claims, the Steele dossier did not exist–at least not as a formal document–when the FBI began a formal investigation into former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and others in July 2016.

That source also said the dossier–even if it had existed in finished form at the time–would not have been used as the “sole basis” for any such FISA warrants.

The source did allow, however, that some of the same information which ultimately made its way into the finished Steele dossier might have been used by the FBI if they had been made aware of such information as it was being gathered and that this information could have potentially been used by the FBI as the basis for opening an investigation into Trump’s campaign associates.

Bloomberg‘s source did not speculate as to how the FBI might have been made aware of such information as it was being gathered.

Aside from the issue of the Manafort surveillance, that same source said the Steele dossier was not used as the basis for the broader Russiagate investigation into President Trump and his 2016 campaign.

The FBI is expected to answer Republican-issued subpoenas next week as to the extent of the agency’s involvement with the Steele dossier sometime next week, according to Speaker Paul Ryan.

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Follow Colin Kalmbacher on Twitter: @colinkalmbacher

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