Rep. John Ratcliffe said Sunday that he saw documents indicating former FBI Director James Comey and former CIA Director John Brennan gave “conflicting testimony” regarding the Steele dossier.
Ratcliffe said on Fox News’s “Sunday Morning Futures” that he believes U.S. Attorney John Durham is looking into Comey and Brennan’s statements regarding who pushed to include the Steele dossier in an intelligence community assessment about Russian meddling in the 2016 election. (RELATED: DOJ Watchdog Faults FBI Over ‘Significant’ Inaccuracies In FISA Warrants)
“Brennan says Comey was pushing the Steele dossier to be included in the intelligence community assessment. Comey says that it was Brennan that was pushing it. They both testified under oath, before Congress and to investigators, to that fact,” said Ratcliffe, a Republican on the House Intelligence Committee.
“They both can’t be telling the truth.”
“Those are the things that John Durham is focusing on,” Ratcliffe continued.
Durham, the U.S. attorney in Connecticut, has for months been investigating FBI and CIA activities related to the Trump campaign and the investigation into Russian interference in the election.
The New York Times reported in December 2019 that Durham has requested Brennan’s emails and call logs from the CIA. Brennan has not been accused of any wrongdoing, and there is no indication of what exactly Durham is looking for.
A Justice Department inspector general’s report released Dec. 9, 2019, stated Comey and Andrew McCabe, who served as deputy director of the FBI, pushed to include the dossier in the intelligence community assessment. Intelligence community officials ultimately decided to include a summary of the unverified document in an appendix attached to the assessment. The report said CIA analysts considered the dossier, authored by former British spy Christopher Steele, to be nothing more than “internet rumor.”
The inspector general’s report stated the FBI made numerous “significant” errors and omissions regarding the dossier in applications to obtain surveillance warrants against Trump campaign aide Carter Page.
The FBI failed to disclose that a primary source for Steele disputed much of the information published in the dossier. Steele himself told FBI agents in early October 2016 that a sub-source for the dossier was a “boaster” and “embellisher.”
Ratcliffe did not specify what Comey and Brennan have said to investigators about the dossier.
Brennan, who is an MSNBC analyst, has long denied the dossier was not a factor in the intelligence community assessment, which was released to the public Jan. 6, 2017.
“It wasn’t part of the corpus of intelligence information that we had. It was not in any way used as a basis for the Intelligence Community assessment that was done,” Brennan said of the dossier during a House Intelligence Committee hearing May 23, 2017.
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