The phrase “the Trump Tower meeting” has become synonymous with the controversial June 9, 2016 meeting between senior members of the Trump campaign and Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya and others, but Attorney General William Barr says he is looking into another Trump Tower gathering — when then-FBI Director James Comey briefed President-elect Trump on some of the most salacious allegations in the so-called Steele dossier in January 2017 in New York City.
In an interview with Fox News that aired Friday, Barr said “one of the things we want to look into” is “the handling of the meeting on Jan. 6, 2017 between the intelligence chiefs and the president and the leaking of information subsequent to that meeting.”
The allegation that Russia had possible compromising information on Trump was leaked by unknown persons to the press and led to the dossier being published by BuzzFeed just a few days later. Republicans have been calling for investigations into possible politically motivated criminal leaks of classified information for years now.
The meeting between Trump, Comey, and other top intelligence officials took place on Jan. 6, 2017, and it was quickly leaked to the press. Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, CIA Director John Brennan, and Comey briefed Trump on the intelligence community’s assessment that Russia had interfered in the 2016 election, but Comey stayed behind after the meeting to tell Trump about some of the dossier’s claims. Days later, on the afternoon of Jan. 10, 2017, CNN ran a story about the meeting titled “Intel chiefs presented Trump with claims of Russian efforts to compromise him.” Later that evening, BuzzFeed posted Steele’s dossier online with the title “These Reports Allege Trump Has Deep Ties To Russia.”
While demurring on what questions he had about the January 2017 meeting, Barr emphasized that “it’s one of the things we need to look at.”
“We’re still at the stage of gathering all the information,” Barr added.
Earlier this week, former FBI General Counsel James Baker admitted that the bureau was worried that Comey would appear to be “blackmailing” Trump during the January 2017 briefing at Trump Tower on the allegations in the dossier written by British ex-spy Christopher Steele.
The dossier, packed with unverified claims about Trump’s ties to Russia, formed a key part of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act applications used to justify surveillance warrants against former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page. Steele was working for Fusion GPS which was receiving funding through the Perkins Coie law firm from the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee — facts that were not communicated to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court.
Relying on material they were afraid to delve too deeply into it’s veracity will be the undoing of this coup cabal. At best, they HOPED it was true; they never actually believed it was.
@Deplorable Me: Weissman was briefed on the dossier by Bruce Ohr before the Mueller deal, they were never trying to verify any Russian collusion the were already told it was fake. They wanted Trump to take action against the witch hunt to get him impeached for obstructing the coup.
Bad plan, worse report.