The Slatest

Former Agent Who Wrote Trump-Russia Memos Frustrated by Lack of FBI Action

FBI Director James Comey (C) arrives at the U.S. Capitol for a classified briefing on Russia for all members of the House of Representatives January 13, 2017 on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C.

Alex Wong/Getty Images

The former British intelligence agent who compiled the salacious dossier detailing close links between Donald Trump and the Kremlin became very frustrated by the FBI’s failure to act on the information he had given the bureau. The former agent, who has been identified as Christopher Steele, “came to believe there was a cover-up, that a cabal within the Bureau blocked a thorough inquiry into Mr Trump, focusing instead on the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s emails,” reports the Independent, citing unnamed “security sources.” Steele, a former MI6 agent, was so worried about what he found out when he was doing opposition research that he decided British and American intelligence officials should have the information.

Advertisement

Steele, and a colleague in Washington, former Wall Street Journal reporter Glenn Simpson, were so flabbergasted by the FBI’s failure to do anything that they both continued looking into the allegations without getting paid.

Advertisement
Advertisement

Even as the former intelligence agent and the former reporter sent more and more documents to the FBI, there was little progress in any investigation. The two came to believe there was a particular problem in the New York office, which “appeared to be on a crusade against Mrs Clinton,” notes the Independent.

These revelations about Steele’s feelings toward the Bureau came a day after Democrats also expressed their deep frustration with the FBI in general, and its director, James Comey, in particular. A closed-door meeting on Friday between intelligence chiefs and lawmakers reportedly turned into a confrontation, in which Democrats demanded to know why Comey repeatedly talked about the investigation into Clinton’s emails but always refused to say anything public about any possible probe into Trump’s ties with Russia.

Advertisement
Advertisement

Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz specifically asked Comey why he never called her directly to tell her that the Democratic National Committee was hacked. The FBI only reached out to a tech contractor and was in touch with him for months before anyone in the organization’s leadership was informed. Rep. Nancy Pelosi was reportedly so frustrated with Comey’s answers that she chastised him for being “condescending to members.”

“A great many members are concerned with whether the director has employed a double standard,” Rep. Adam Schiff of California said after the meeting.

Meanwhile, intelligence agencies around the world are reportedly looking into what are really multiple reports alleging Trump’s close ties to the Kremlin, according to two Israeli intelligence officers who spoke to BuzzFeed. And the salacious dossier, which was published by BuzzFeed earlier this week, is apparently not the only one making the rounds. “There have been various reports about Trump’s ties to Russia,” one of the Israeli intelligence officers said. “The dossier is one of them, but there are others, they make other allegations. Some are more specific, and some are less. You can trust me that many intelligence agencies are trying to evaluate the extent to which Trump might have ties, or a weakness of some type, to Russia.”

Advertisement