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Former FBI Director James Comey does not believe the infamous Steele dossier was necessary to obtain surveillance warrants against President Donald Trump’s former campaign adviser, Carter Page, Comey said Monday.
“Could there have been a FISA warrant without the Steele dossier?” PBS “News Hour” host Judy Woodruff asked Comey.
“It’s not my recollection that it was an essential part of any application,” he replied.
“I have to choose my words carefully here because I don’t know exactly what’s been declassified, but there was a mosaic of information that convinced a court that that individual, Carter Page, there was probable cause to believe he was an agent of a foreign power.”
Comey’s vague denial is at odds with claims from congressional Republicans who say the dossier, which was written by former British spy Christopher Steele, was a crucial part of applications the FBI and Justice Department submitted to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court in order to spy on Page.
The dossier made up a “significant portion” of the FBI and DOJ’s surveillance applications, Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee said. Comey’s deputy, Andrew McCabe, testified the FISA warrants against Page would not have been granted if information from the dossier were not included, a GOP-authored report from the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence claims.
Steele’s dossier, which was funded by the Clinton campaign and DNC, accuses Page of being the Trump campaign’s liaison to the Kremlin. Page vehemently denies the allegations.
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