In a new report Fox News journalist Catherine Herridge outlines a “reluctant witness” who has recently agreed to cooperate with DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz and his review of potential FISA abuse by the Obama DOJ and FBI.
Fox News – Key witnesses sought for questioning by Justice Department Inspector General Michael E. Horowitz early in his investigation into alleged government surveillance abuse have come forward at the 11th hour, Fox News has learned.
Sources familiar with the matter said at least one witness outside the Justice Department and FBI started cooperating — a breakthrough that came after Attorney General William Barr ordered U.S. Attorney John Durham to lead a separate investigation into the origins of the bureau’s 2016 Russia case that laid the foundation for Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s probe.
[…] Late-breaking information is known to delay such investigations. Horowitz’s office similarly encountered new evidence late in the process of the IG review into law enforcement decisions during the 2016 Hillary Clinton email investigation.
In this case, additional FISA information came to light late in the process – including October 2016 contact (first reported by The Hill and confirmed by Fox News) between a senior State Department official and a former British spy Christopher Steele, who authored the infamous and salacious anti-Trump dossier. (read more)
While the “reluctant witness” is not specifically identified by Herridge in her reporting, as you can see above there is enough background material to identify it is likely former State Department official Kathleen Kavalec.
Kathleen Kavalec was the Deputy Assistant Secretary – Department of State, Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs, serving under Victoria Nuland and covered Russia as part of her State Dept. duties. Kavalec was contacted by Christopher Steele prior to the FISA application on Carter Page being sought by the FBI and DOJ. Kavalic wrote a series of notes and emails to the FBI undercutting the dossier central claims made by Steele.
The original reporting on the Kavalec emails and Steele contact was done by John Solomon. Here’s the basic background that explains why Inspector General Michael Horowitz would be interested in interviewing Kathleen Kavalec.
According to a leak provided to John Solomon, State Department information -deconstructing Chris Steele- was presented to FBI Agent Peter Strzok a week before they used Steele’s sketchy dossier to prop up the FBI FISA application on Carter Page.
John Solomon – […] The officials declined to say what the FBI did with the information about Steele after it reached Strzok’s team, or what the email specifically revealed. A publicly disclosed version of the email has been heavily redacted in the name of national security.
While much remains to be answered, the email exchange means FBI supervisors knew Steele had contact with State and had reason to inquire what he was saying before they sought the warrant. If they had inquired, agents would have learned Steele had admitted to Kavalec he had been leaking to the news media, had a political deadline of Election Day to get his information public and had provided demonstrably false intelligence in one case, as I reported last week. (read more)
It’s almost guaranteed the reason Kavelec’s email to the FBI was redacted is specifically because Ms. Kavelec used her State Dept. portal to check on travel records and noted the “Michael Cohen in Prague” story was false. Kavalec would have easy access to State Dept. travel records.
Chris Steele told Ms. Kavalec about Trump’s attorney Michael Cohen traveling to Prague to communicate/coordinate with the Russians. Kavalec made note of the claim:
Michael Cohen has denied ever traveling to Prague. Special Counsel Robert Mueller has supported Cohen on this issue; passport records show Cohen has never traveled to Prague. It appears Ms. Kavalec checked her State Dept. travel records and confirmed the same.
However, the CURRENT FBI wants to hide Ms. Kavalec’s warning/notification that Steele was delivering false information about Cohen traveling to Prague:
So put it all together. Chris Steele was producing the dossier for the FBI to use. Steele told State Dept. official Kavalec about the same information in his dossier. The State Dept. checked, and found out the information was false. The State Dept. warned the FBI. However, the FBI ignored the warning; and a week later used the dossier in the application for a retroactive Title-1 surveillance warrant against U.S. Person Carter Page.
To cover themselves; and because the claim was so central to the purpose of the Steele Dossier; the FBI then redacted the State Dept. warning about Michael Cohen traveling to Prague in the public email from the State Department.
Worse yet, in the application itself the FBI said the information proving Carter Page was an agent of a foreign power came from the State Dept:
So, the question is: Why is the FBI so damned committed to this Steele Dossier?
That answer is simple. In October 2016, they needed the dossier to get the FISA warrant. They needed the 2016 FISA warrant to cover-up for all of the unauthorized and illegal surveillance activity that was already underway throughout 2016.
The Russian election interference narrative; the use of Joseph Mifsud, Stefan Halper, the London and Australian embassy personnel; Erika Thompson, Alexander Downer, U.S. DIA officials; everything around Crossfire Hurricane; and everything after to include the construct of the Steele Dossier; all of it was needed for the creation of an ‘after-the-fact‘ plausible justification to cover-up what Mike Rogers discovered in early 2016, AND the downstream unmasked records that existed in the Obama White House SCIF.
Fusion GPS was not hired in April 2016 to research Donald Trump. The intelligence community was already doing surveillance and spy operations. They already knew everything about the Trump campaign.
The Obama intelligence community needed Fusion GPS to give them a justification for pre-existing surveillance operations. Fusion fulfilled that objective by contracting for the Steele Dossier.
That’s why the FBI, and later the Mueller team, were/are so strongly committed to, and defending, the formation of the Steele Dossier and its dubious content. Once they had the dossier in hand the FBI proceeded forward for an ex post facto FISA warrant.
The goal was surveillance authority. The FBI used the Carter Page FISA application. The FBI already knew Carter Page; essentially Carter Page was irrelevant, what they needed was the dossier in the system, and the FISA authority as justification to execute the “insurance policy”.