Republican senators are now demanding answers after the bombshell dropped this week revealing that a State Department official, Kathleen Kavalec, met with Christopher Steele, knew that his claims about the Trump campaign were false and knew that he had a political motive aimed at the election.
From Daily Caller:
Kavalec’s notes from the meeting, which were released this week, show that Steele told her about contacts he had with the media, including The New York Times and Washington Post. They also showed that Steele said that his client for his anti-Trump research campaign (which he did not identify at the time) was “keen” to see information on Trump released prior to the Nov. 8, 2016 election.
Steele also made dubious or inaccurate claims to Kavalec, including that Russia had planted a mole within the DNC and that the Russian government had a consulate in Miami.
There is no Russian consulate in Miami.
Steele was working on behalf of the DNC and the Clinton campaign at the time as well as being paid by the FBI for information.
Republican Sens. Chuck Grassley of Iowa, Ron Johnson of Wisconsin and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina have now written a letter to Sec. Mike Pompeo, demanding answers about the meeting with Kavalec who was the the deputy assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian affairs.
The Republicans are saying that the notes contradict the claims that were made in the FISA applications on Carter Page.
“If true, that would contradict the Carter Page FISA application where the FBI repeatedly represented to the court that Steele did not have unauthorized contacts with the press prior to October 2016,” they wrote.
“Based on the publicly-released version of the typed notes of the meeting, it appears Steele’s intent of the meeting with the State Department was to maximize the impact of the unverified information that he had acquired in an effort to undermine the Trump campaign,” they added.
They also wanted to know if the FBI had been told about the meeting.
“Further, if that information was included in the material submitted to the FBI, then the FBI may have been aware of Steele’s political motivations before submitting any FISA application,” Grassley and Johnson added.
And if they had known how defective or false that Steele was being before they asked for the warrants.
They asked Pompeo for any communications the State Department had had with Steele and any communication that the State Department had with the DOJ concerning Steele.
They also want to interview Kavalec.
Victoria Nuland, who served as Kavalec’s boss at the bureau of European and Eurasian affairs, was the government official who approved an FBI agent in Rome meeting Steele in early July 2016.
Jonathan Winer, who then served as special envoy to Libya, also met with Steele in Summer 2016. The pair had known each other since 2009, and Steele shared more than 100 of his private intelligence reports with Winer over the years. Winer, who shared those reports with others at the State Department, appears to have set up the meeting with Kavalec. He is mentioned throughout Kavalec’s notes.
Winer was also a source for at least two news articles written by reporters who received information from Steele. Michael Isikoff and David Corn revealed in a book they co-authored that Winer was a background source for stories they wrote before the 2016 election. The Daily Caller News Foundation has published emails showing that Fusion GPS founder Glenn Simpson, who hired Steele, was in contact with Winer the day before Isikoff’s article was published on Sept. 23, 2016.
Victoria Nuland testified in February 2018 and gave conflicting responses, saying that she “actively chose not to be a part” the October Steele briefing but then added that she “was not aware of [the briefing] until afterwards,” according to the Washington Times.