John Durham Sought Christopher Steele News

( U.S. attorney John Durham is investigating whether FBI agents mishandled any classified information.

Durham, who Attorney General William Barr appointed in 2019 to investigate how the Russia probe was handled by the intelligence community, is specifically seeking access to documents that Christopher Steele apparently has. Steele is a former source for the FBI who also was a British spy.

In 2016, Steele alerted the FBI to information he gathered regarding alleged ties from the Trump campaign to Russia. He gathered this information while he was doing research that was paid for by Democrats, according to a Politico report.

Republicans have all speculated wrongdoing and doubts regarding Steele’s dealings with federal authorities.

Politico’s sources say Durham enlisted the help of a law firm in England to bring Steele to court. The aim was to compel Steele to hand over notes he took during his 2016 meetings with the FBI. Durham apparently believes those notes have evidence that show agents improperly disclosed information that was classified to Steele.

Durham hasn’t commented on the alleged litigation. Politico’s sources say it’s unlikely England’s government has offered to help Durham, or is involved with his investigation at all.

Attorneys who represent Steele offered to turn over witness statements regarding a case with Alfa Bank. However, they haven’t turned over any of the former British spy’s notes that were taken during the FBI meetings in question.

Since May 2019, Durham has been investigating the gathering techniques of both the CIA and the FBI against President Donald Trump’s campaign. The investigation apparently closely aligns with the Department of Justice inspector general who reported in December 2019 that the FBI mishandled the Steele dossier.

Politico says Durham is specifically looking at parts of the dossier that Steele compiled on behalf of Democrat Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign as well as the Democratic National Committee.

The specific meeting in question happened on July 5, 2016, between Steele and Michael Gaeta, who was his long-time FBI handler.

A memo shared by Steele — that was part of the dossier — alleged that Trump was being blackmailed by Russia. They were apparently using a video that showed Trump with prostitutes while on a trip to Moscow.

When the FBI opened an investigation called Crossfire Hurricane in October 2016, agents met with Steele once again. Later, these agents told the inspector general that they were disturbed to hear that Steele talked to the media prior to the meeting with FBI agents.

Gaeta, for one, told the IG it “blew his mind” that Steele talked with the media. Another agent said the former British spy “clearly … wasn’t truthful with us” when he discussed his interactions with the media.

According to the report from the IG, agents with the FBI told Steele when they talked to him that they were investigating George Papadopoulos, who was serving as a campaign aide to Trump. At that time, the information wasn’t publicly disclosed.

Future IG findings said it was wrong of FBI agents to rely on the information Steele gave them without verifying it first.