A senior FBI analyst testified in court on Tuesday that the FBI promised Christopher Steele $1 million if he could support the claims contained in his now-famous dossier.
Igor Danchenko, the major source of claims in Steele’s dossier, was on trial, and FBI analyst Brian Auten testified that the bureau put a $1 million price on the proof of the dossier’s outrageous assertions. Steele could offer no supporting information.
According to Fox News, Auten claimed that he and several FBI officials met with Steele in Oct. 2021 and made a $1 million offer to the former British secret agent in exchange for information corroborating the dossier. Years after using the allegations in the dossier to obtain FISA warrants to monitor previous President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign, the FBI made its offer.
“Did you have any proof to back up that information on October 21, 2016? Regarding the day the initial FISA request to monitor former Trump team adviser Carter Page was submitted,” Durham questioned Auten.
Auten answered, “No,” as reported by Fox News.
According to Auten’s testimony, the FBI promised Steele “up to $1 million” in exchange for evidence supporting the claims stated in a number of reports submitted to the agency over the period of several months in 2016. According to CNN, the analyst claimed Steele was never paid because he was unable to “substantiate the charges.” The dossier that was eventually created from Steel’s reports was initially released in January 2017 by BuzzFeed News.
To lying to the FBI, Danchenko has entered a not guilty plea. Prior to the release of Durham’s final report, his trial is the last one that is scheduled as part of the investigation into the beginnings of the Trump/Russia connection hoax by special counsel John Durham.
Kevin Clinesmith, a former FBI lawyer who acknowledged to changing an email that was used to secure a FISA warrant against former Trump team aide Carter Page, has provided Durham with one guilty plea. Durham failed to prosecute Michael Sussmann, a former Clinton campaign attorney who was found not guilty of lying to the FBI in May by a jury in Washington, D.C.
Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA), the leader of the Senate Judiciary Committee and the top Republican, said in July that Auten was involved in stifling a probe into Hunter Biden amid President Joe Biden’s 2020 presidential election, according to FBI whistleblowers.
“In August 2020, FBI Senior Intelligence Analyst Brian Auten opened an evaluation that was improperly mischaracterized as misinformation and used by an FBI Headquarters team to halt investigative work.” In a letter to the attorney general, Merrick Garland, and the director of the FBI, Christopher Wray, Grassley stated that “based on accusations, verified and provable disparaging information on Hunter Biden was erroneously categorized as misinformation.”