Government officials have been locked in debate as to whether the unverified Steele dossier was pushed through by those looking to spy on President Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign, according to Fox News.
The debate broke out after Attorney General William Barr appointed a U.S. attorney to investigate how the Russia probe began and whether the Department of Justice’s actions were “lawful and appropriate.”
“Sources familiar with the records told Fox News that a late-2016 email chain indicated then-FBI Director James Comey told bureau subordinates that then-CIA Director John Brennan insisted the dossier be included in the intelligence community assessment on Russian interference, known as the ICA,” Fox News reported.
The network was told that the email chain cited the dossier as “crown material.” Former congressman Trey Gowdy told Fox News’ Martha MacCallum on Tuesday that “Comey has a better argument than Brennan, based on what I’ve seen.”
The day before, Gowdy told Fox News’ Sean Hannity on Monday that he has some advice for the Congress members who are still working to investigate the Obama administration’s dealings with the Trump-Russia investigation:
“So whoever’s investigating this, tell them to look for emails between Brennan and Comey in December 2016,” Gowdy said according to The Daily Caller in an interview with Hannity, referring to former CIA Director John Brennan and former FBI Director James Comey.
Gowdy did not specify whether he had direct knowledge of the contents of any Brennan-Gowdy emails, however, he did suggest that the FBI had already deemed Christopher Steele, the author of the infamous anti-Trump dossier, as a less-than-credible source.
In their statement to Fox News, a former CIA official pointed the finger at Comey for any misuse of power.
“Former Director Brennan, along with former [Director of National Intelligence] James Clapper, are the ones who opposed James Comey’s recommendation that the Steele Dossier be included in the intelligence report,” the official said.