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Republican Says ‘People Need To Go To Prison’ Over Report FBI Offered $1M For Steele Dossier

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OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.


Georgia Republican Rep. Austin Scott has argued that “people need to go to jail” following a report that the FBI paid $1 million to Christopher Steele before the 2016 presidential election to verify it, to which he declined.

“People need to get prison for that. We need an FBI that functions in an apolitical manner, and they have brought tremendous amounts of shame to that institution,” Scott said while speaking with Just The News’ John Solomon, adding that when Republicans win back the House in November, he hopes that this will be one of the first investigations, because “there’s more than a smoking gun there, it’s an actual fire.”

The final expected trial of Special Counsel John Durham’s inquiry began on Tuesday and focused on the discredited dossier, which many believe played a role in kickstarting the Trump-Russia investigation. The dossier also has many connections to Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign and her allies.

“Shortly before the 2016 election, the FBI offered retired British spy Christopher Steele ‘up to $1 million’ to prove the explosive allegations in his dossier about Donald Trump, a senior FBI analyst testified Tuesday. The cash offer was made during an overseas October 2016 meeting between Steele and several top FBI officials who were trying to corroborate Steele’s claims that the Trump campaign was colluding with Russia to win the election,” CNN reported.

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“FBI supervisory analyst Brian Auten testified that Steele was never paid because he could not ‘prove the allegations.’ Auten also said Steele refused to provide the names of any of his sources during that meeting, and that Steele didn’t give the FBI anything during that meeting that corroborated the claims in his explosive dossier,” CNN added.

Auten was testifying at the criminal trial of Igor Danchenko, a primary source for Steele’s dossier, who is being prosecuted by special counsel John Durham. Danchenko has pleaded not guilty to five counts of lying to the FBI about his sourcing for some information that ended up in the dossier.

“Igor Danchenko, a Washington-based think tank analyst, was hired by former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele in 2016 to collect information compiled in his now-infamous dossier, which included explosive and unproven claims about the former president. In a November 2021 indictment, prosecutors accused Danchenko of misleading FBI agents about his sources of information. Danchenko has pleaded not guilty. Danchenko’s trial, which begins Tuesday in Alexandria, Virginia, is expected to offer special counsel John Durham an opportunity to justify his years-long probe, which Trump and his allies once hoped would uncover a widespread “deep-state” conspiracy within the bureau,” the report added.

A court filing by Durham last month requested that the court issue 30 subpoenas for possible witness testimony for the trial starting Oct. 11.

Russian-born analyst Danchenko — key source for the unverified Steele dossier that alleged ties between Donald Trump’s campaign and Russia — was arrested by federal agents last year as part of the Durham investigation.

A report from the New York Post details how Durham’s investigation could be over by the end of this year.

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“Russiagate special counsel John Durham is in the home stretch. His grand jury wrapped up work last week, apparently with no new indictments on the horizon. Attorney General Merrick Garland is said to anticipate receiving his final report by the end of the year. And Durham is gearing up for his last trial: the prosecution of Igor Danchenko, the principal source for the discredited Steele dossier,” the NY Post reported.

“That last one should be grabbing our attention. We now know that the so-called dossier compiled by former British spy Christopher Steele was a Clinton campaign production. It is one of the great dirty tricks in modern political history: The 2016 Democratic presidential campaign colluded with the incumbent Democratic administration’s law enforcement and intelligence apparatus to portray their partisan opposition, Donald Trump, as a Kremlin mole, then made the smear stick to the point of forcing Trump to govern for over two years under the cloud of a special-counsel investigation,” the NY Post added.

“This enterprise included substantial reliance by the FBI on the bogus Steele dossier in obtaining spying authorization from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) — on sworn representations that the bureau believed Trump was in a “conspiracy of cooperation” with Vladimir Putin’s anti-American regime,” the NY Post continued. “Danchenko turns out to have been Steele’s principal source for this fever dream. Last year, Durham indicted him on five counts of lying to the FBI. But that’s not half of it. Last week, in a jaw-dropping court submission, Durham revealed that the FBI signed up Danchenko as an informant and paid him for almost three years — from March 2017 through October 2020.”

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But wait, it gets even worse.

The FBI apparently was aware that it was using “unverified information from Steele and Danchenko to suggest to a court that the president of the United States might be a Russian asset, the FBI had intelligence indicating that Danchenko himself might actually have been a Russian asset.”

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“That was detailed in another Durham court filing last week, in the Virginia federal court where Danchenko is soon scheduled to be tried. The prosecutor related that Danchenko was the subject of an FBI counterintelligence from 2009 to 2011,” the Post reported.

Former President Donald Trump recently predicted recent court filings from Durham are “just the beginning” of what’s to come.

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