The MEMO after complaining the judge was not notified that Steele was hired by a firm that was paid by the DNC and Hillary Clinton, then notes that Steele met with Yahoo News and other media outlets in September at the direction of the DNC and Hillary. That Steele admitted he met with them at the direction of the people who hired him. It then says an article by Michael Isikoff in Yahoo News was “derived from information leaked by Steele” to it. Strange use of the word “leaked.” It wasn’t leaked since it was his work product. He gave it to them.
The MEMO suggests the article in Yahoo News was used by the FBI to corroborate Steele’s dossier. If that is true it may be a problem. However, one big question is how much did it corroborate it, and whether the DOJ or FBI knew (especially those high-ranking officials) that was the case. Assuming some of the information Steele gave to Yahoo News is used to corroborate what he stated, then its effect must be assessed with the rest of the material.
Fortunately the article in Yahoo News is available for reading here. You should read it and make up your own mind. There is a lot more in the article than information from Steele. What was used and to what extent is an open question since the MEMO unfortunately does not connect the dots.
What is important is the MEMO does not say without that information the affidavit lacked probable cause to intercept Page with a FISA warrant.
The bottom line in all this up to this point is that all of the procedures relating to the FISA order to intercept Carter Page had nothing to do with Trump’s election. Not only that, at the time the FISA order was issued, Carter Page had no connection with the Trump campaign. Assuming then that the FISA warrant should not have been issued, what is the result of that.
The usual result is that the fruits of it cannot be used. Does that affect the Mueller investigation? He was appointed in May 2017. The FISA order was still in effect. No one has suggested or even knows if Mueller relied on the information obtained pursuant to that FISA order. That, of course, will be something that is litigated down the road after Mueller completes his investigation. The MEMO has no information regarding this.
Although whatever corroboration was used from the Yahoo News source we know from the background of Carter Page shown earlier that he was a worthy target outside of that. We also know that withholding the identity of the DNC or Hillary Clinton as the source of funds for the group that hired Steele is something done normally because the focus is on the whether there is probable cause to believe the information and the people passing it on. We’ve seen that Steele according to the MEMO provided truthful information to the FBI in the past. Having established his bona fides the corroboration is really not necessary because his information alone can be relied upon.
This is important to understand. Steele needed no corroboration. I sometime had an undercover police officer go into a residence and observe contraband was kept there. To search that residence all I needed to get a warrant was to state: “undercover officer Rick Stone saw approximately two kilograms of cocaine in the residence of Junior last night.” But I would add more things to corroborate Stone such as Junior’s past record, surveillance of his house, what other informants told us and any other information I though relevant and corroborative. None of it was necessary but I liked to show the extent of the work the police had done in an affidavit.
In considering corroboration it must be weighed in relation to the other material in the application and the matter being corroborated. The MEMO does none of that. It is a shoddy piece of work by people intent upon coming up with a conclusion without doing the hard work necessary to properly reach it.