FBI releases heavily redacted documents on Christopher Steele

FBI releases heavily redacted documents on Christopher Steele
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The FBI on Friday released 71 pages of heavily redacted documents tied to the bureau’s relationship with Christopher Steele, the former British intelligence officer who compiled the Trump-Russia dossier.

The documents offer little information because of the redactions, and are largely comprised of payment request forms for Steele.

They do, however, indicate that Steele was told to stop gathering intelligence on behalf of the FBI in November 2016 — building on information already known as a result of the Justice Department’s recent release of surveillance warrant applications on former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page. 

Steele was hired by the research firm Fusion GPS to conduct research on then-candidate Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpAl Gore: Trump has had 'less of an impact on environment so far than I feared' Trump claims tapes of him saying the 'n-word' don't exist Trump wanted to require staffers to get permission before writing books: report MORE, and eventually compiled the dossier containing salacious allegations about Trump’s ties to Russia. Many of the allegations contained in the dossier, which was published in full by BuzzFeed News in January 2017, have not been substantiated.

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It was revealed last year that the Democratic National Committee helped pay for the research that ultimately led to the dossier. Its details were eventually passed to the FBI, and it is referenced in the warrant applications on Page.

House Republicans have accused the FBI of improperly obtaining the warrant to spy on Page, alleging agents were not upfront about the dossier's origins. 

The new FBI documents show Steele was told to stop gathering intelligence on behalf of the FBI in November 2016, after he was used as a source for an online news article and confirmed to an “outside third party” that he had a confidential relationship with the bureau.

One renewal application for the surveillance warrant on Page, released in July, stated that the FBI “suspended its relationship with Source #1 due to Source #1’s unauthorized disclosure of information to the press.” Source #1 is widely reported to be Steele.

It is not clear from the documents when the FBI began using Steele as a source.

Steele has been in the spotlight since last year, when he was revealed as the author of the dossier.