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FBI ‘Can Neither Confirm Nor Deny’ Existence of Records About Payment to Trump Dossier Researcher


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The FBI issued a statement Wednesday refusing to confirm or deny the existence of records reflecting payments made between the FBI and Christopher Steele, the British spy who compiled the unverified opposition research dossier on then candidate Donald Trump during the 2016 presidential election.

The FBI’s statement was issued in response to a FOIA lawsuit filed by the conservative advocacy organization Cause of Action Institute (CoA). The suit, filed on April 17, requests the release of all “records relating to the relationship between the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”) and Christopher Steele.”

CoA requested the release of the records after The Washington Post reported the FBI made an agreement with Steele in October of 2016 to continue his research into Trump in exchange for payment. Steele began his compilation of the salacious Trump dossier while employed by the Washington, D.C. based opposition research firm Fusion GPS.

The Washington Post report, published in February, indicates Steele allegedly made an arrangement with the FBI after the Fusion GPS client who originally requested the dossier pulled their funding. Steele’s agreement with the FBI later fell through after the dossier was leaked and the former MI6 agent was outed as its author.

In their response to the FOIA suit, the FBI argued they could not acknowledge the existence of any records linking the Bureau to Steele as doing so “would, in and of itself, harm national security interests and reveal intelligence sources and methods.”


Inside hit job?

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