Comey’s remarks about Trump dossier are not credible, says former FBI official

A former assistant director of intelligence at the FBI said Thursday he finds it hard to believe that former FBI Director James ComeyJames Brien ComeyDems revive impeachment talk after latest Cohen bombshell Dem calls for Cohen to testify before Senate panel over explosive report The Hill’s 12:30 Report: Day 27 of the shutdown | Cohen reportedly paid company to rig online polls, boost his own image | Atlantic publishes ‘Impeach Donald Trump’ cover story MORE was initially unaware of who paid for compiling what's become known as the Steele dossier, a file that contained largely unverified allegations about President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump knocks BuzzFeed over Cohen report, points to Russia dossier DNC says it was targeted by Russian hackers after fall midterms BuzzFeed stands by Cohen report: Mueller should 'make clear what he's disputing' MORE’s ties to Russia.

“We just had James Comey say in front of Congress last week that he didn’t even know that the [Democratic National Committee] actually funded the dossier that was used to get the surveillance started. Do you find that credible?” Hill.TV’s Buck Sexton asked Kevin Brock, who worked at the FBI for 23 years.

“No, I do not,” said Brock, the founder and principal of public safety firm NewStreet Global Solutions. “I don’t have an opinion on whether he lied or not, but it stretches credulity, in my view, that FBI in possession of this dossier would not have known the source and how it started.”

Brock added that Comey is “throwing the entire rest of the FBI under the bus” by suggesting he was not adequately briefed, adding that this lack of information is “hard to believe.”

Comey last week revealed new details about the Russia investigation during an interview with House lawmakers, including a timeline of when he learned about who financed what's become known as the Steele dossier.

The Washington Post in October first reported in October 2017 that the Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonTrump knocks BuzzFeed over Cohen report, points to Russia dossier DNC says it was targeted by Russian hackers after fall midterms Special counsel issues rare statement disputing explosive Cohen report MORE Campaign and the Democratic National Committee helped pay for the research that led to the dossier on Trump.

The controversial memo was compiled and authored by former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele, who was hired by U.S. research firm Fusion GPS. His research was funded by the law firm of a lawyer who was representing the Clinton campaign and the DNC at the time. Before that, the research was funded by an unnamed GOP client during the 2016 primary.

Brock argued that Comey, along with former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabeAndrew George McCabeFISA shocker: DOJ official warned Steele dossier was connected to Clinton, might be biased Rosenstein, DOJ exploring ways to more easily spy on journalists Trump: I never worked for Russia MORE, have subsequently “set the FBI back” and damaged the bureau's reputation.

McCabe stepped down after reportedly facing pressure from FBI Director Christopher Wray, who was said to be concerned about an inspector general report about McCabe and top Department of Justice officials’ actions during the 2016 presidential campaign.

“The FBI has spent over 100 years building a reputation vital to this Democracy of being a strong, independent, objective, arms-length entity from both justice in the White House in pursuing federal criminal investigations," Brock said. "James Comey and Andrew McCabe single handedly set that back a long way.”

—Tess Bonn