Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), the head of the Senate Judiciary Committee, just revealed that Bill Priestap is the FBI official whom Graham alleges misled the Senate Intelligence Committee in 2018 about the reliability of the infamous Steele dossier.
“[W]hitewashing that report to the Senate Intel Committee is potentially another crime,” Graham said, adding, “I’m going to send all of this to Durham when I get it.”
“A big day for transparency”
Graham revealed Priestap’s name on Friday during an interview on Fox News’ “Hannity,” where former Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC) was filling in for host Sean Hannity.
“This is a big day for transparency and the rule of law,” Graham said. The senator said he was informed about Priestap by FBI Director Christopher Wray.
“So [DOJ Inspector General Michael] Horowitz — it’s not in his report, Trey, but he found a briefing document dated sometime in February 2018 that was prepared by the FBI because the Senate Intel Committee … had real concerns about the Russian subsource,” Graham said.
So they asked the FBI to come in and brief them. So I asked Director Wray, ‘Who did the briefing?’ Well, it’s Bill Priestap, who’s this guy? He’s one of the leaders of Crossfire Hurricane. A year after the subsource told the FBI in 2017 there is zero corroboration for the dossier, I wouldn’t trust it with a solid grain of salt, hearsay, bar talk. They knew for over a year, and now, you’ve got Bill Priestap on Feb. 15, 2018, with four other people from the FBI briefing this Senate Intel Committee, completely whitewashing the truth about the reliability of the dossier.
Graham, who is leading a Senate investigation into the FBI’s counterintelligence activities against the Trump campaign, has recently alleged that the FBI misled the Senate Intelligence Committee in 2018 about ex-British spy Christopher Steele’s primary subsource for his dossier.
On Sunday, Graham said that a recently declassified FBI document is evidence that “the FBI did to the Senate Intelligence Committee what the Department of Justice and FBI had previously done to the FISA court: mischaracterize, mislead, and lie. The characterizations regarding the dossier were completely out of touch with reality in terms of what the Russian subsource actually said to the FBI.”
“What does this mean? That Congress as well as the FISA Court was lied to about the reliability of the Russian sub-source,” he added.
More info coming
Graham told Gowdy that Wray will be giving him more information about this situation and said he will be referring all of it to U.S. Attorney John Durham:
Now, Director Wray has been really good, he’s given me the information, more is going to follow, but what I’m going to do with this is turn it over to Durham because I think the briefing in 2018, a year after the subsource told the FBI the dossier was a bunch of garbage, whitewashing that report to the Senate Intel Committee is potentially another crime. So, I’m going to send all of this to Durham when I get it.
Durham, of course, is leading the Justice Department’s investigation into the origins of the Russia collusion probe. On Friday, it was announced that ex-FBI lawyer Kevin Clinesmith intended to plead guilty to falsifying documents in the investigation of President Donald Trump’s campaign. We’ll have to see whether Priestap finds himself in a similar situation.