AND WHO CAN ACCESS THEM?
by Sharon Rondeau
(Aug. 4, 2018) — On Friday evening, the government-watchdog organization Judicial Watch issued a press release in which it said it received “70 pages of heavily redacted records” in connection with a FOIA lawsuit requesting communications between the FBI and the author of the now-infamous Trump-Russia “dossier,” Christopher Steele.
“The documents show that Steele was cut off as a ‘Confidential Human Source’ (CHS) after he disclosed his relationship with the FBI to a third party,” the press release reads in part. “The documents show at least 11 FBI payments to Steele in 2016 and document that he was admonished for unknown reasons in February, 2016. The documents were turned over in response to Judicial Watch Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Justice for records of communications and payments between the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele and his private firm, Orbis Business Intelligence (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of Justice (No. 1:17-cv-00916)).”
Customarily meticulous about including links, references, and sources in its communications, JW included a hyperlink to the documents in the first paragraph of its release. Additionally, the organization’s president, Tom Fitton, appeared on Friday night’s “Hannity” show to speak about the newly-released documents.
Included in the press release is JW’s finding that “The documents also show that Steele was paid repeatedly by the FBI and was ‘admonished’ for some unknown misconduct in February, 2016.”
However, the hyperlink to the documents, which JW normally posts in a separate window, for this writer leads to a Microsoft sign-in portal, and entering our Microsoft login details does not provide access.
At approximately 7:45 PM on Friday evening, we placed a call to the phone number indicated at the top-right of the email version of the press release, reaching the voice mail of the media contact. “For reporters on deadline,” the recording said, a different number could be called.
When we called that number, the recording indicated that it was the cellular phone of JW’s media contact, with whom we left a message about the inaccessibility of the 70 pages of documents as well as our telephone number and email address.
As of press time, we have not received a response, and the documents remain behind the firewall, whether or not intentionally.
Fitton’s statement in response to the document release reads, “These new docs show that the shady, cash-based relationship the Obama FBI had with Clinton operative Christopher Steele. The anti-Trump Russia ‘investigation’ had Christopher Steele at its center and his misconduct was no impediment to using information from his Russia intelligence collaborators to spy on the Trump team. The corruption and abuse is astonishing.”
Update, 10:44 p.m.: Late Friday night, The Daily Caller wrote about the document release, providing a link to where they are uploaded at the FBI’s “Vault” website. As The DC reported, the pages “are nearly completely redacted.”
Sharon Rondeau has operated The Post & Email since April 2010, focusing on the Obama birth certificate investigation and other government corruption news. She has reported prolifically on constitutional violations within Tennessee’s prison and judicial systems.