Under questioning by Special Counsel John Durham during a trial Tuesday, FBI supervisory counterintelligence analyst Brian Auten testified that the FBI had offered ex-British intelligence agent Christopher Steele a $1 million “incentive” to corroborate the unfounded Steele Dossier allegations against former President Donald Trump.
“FBI supervisory counterintelligence analyst Brian Auten was the first witness in the trial of Igor Danchenko, the Russian national who served as the primary sub-source for Steele's anti-Trump dossier and has been charged with five counts of making false statements to the bureau,” Fox News reports.
“The FBI offered British ex-spy Christopher Steele an “incentive” of up to $1 million if he could prove the allegations in his since-discredited anti-Trump dossier, but the former MI6 agent was unable to back up his claims, according to new court testimony,” according to The Washington Examiner:
“’Yes, it did,’ Auten said from the witness stand. ‘Mr. Steele was offered anywhere up to a million dollars” for information “which could help prove the allegations.’
“But Auten said, ‘No,’ when asked if Steele ever provided evidence backing up his dossier claims. The FBI analyst also testified Danchenko never provided corroboration for the dossier’s allegations either.”
Auten went on to testify that other U.S. intelligence agencies has tried to verify the dossier’s allegations, but were unable to do so. Nonetheless, the allegations were still inserted into the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant applications to surveil former Trump campaign aide Carter Page, as well as in its three subsequent renewal requests.
“This is another sad day for the FBI,” Rep. James Comer (R-KY) told Fox & Friends First on Wednesday, calling for accountability by the FBI and DOJ for using the “complete fiction” of the Steele Dossier to justify their anti-Trump investigations and activities
What’s more, if the FBI has millions of dollars lying around to incentivize people to justify its dubious behavior, then the Bureau’s budget needs to be more closely scrutinized, Rep. Comer said:
“If they use a million dollars to try to justify their actions in other instances, then this is certainly an agency that’s budget needs to be under close examination in a Republican majority.”