Sen. John McCain had admitted he was the person responsible for handing over the unverified Trump dossier to the then-FBI Director James Comey. The confession is published in his upcoming book titled “The Restless Wave”, to be released May 22.
The document was compiled by a former British intelligence officer named Christopher Steele and paid for by the Democratic National Committee and the Clinton campaign. Due to McCain’s actions and the false accusations in the document, the result lead up to Robert Mueller’s Russia probe.
Via the Daily Wire: In its report on McCain’s admission, The Daily Beast — which fails to mention who funded Steele’s project in the report — notes that McCain’s involvement came after Steele had met with American officials in Rome to discuss his findings. However, it appears to have been the decision by McCain, a frequent critic of Trump, to hand Comey the dossier that really got things rolling.
“I agreed to receive a copy of what is now referred to as ‘the dossier,'” writes McCain in his book. “I reviewed its contents. The allegations were disturbing, but I had no idea which if any were true. I could not independently verify any of it, and so I did what any American who cares about our nation’s security should have done.”
In November 2016, McCain says, he met with former British diplomat Sir Andrew Wood at the Halifax International Security Forum where Wood told him about Steele’s investigation. Soon after the meeting, David Kramer, the senior director for Human Rights and Human Freedom at the McCain Institute, flew to London to meet with Steele in person. When the dossier was in McCain’s hands, he says he put it in a safe in his office until he could meet with Comey.
“I went to see him at his earliest convenience, handed him the dossier, explained how it had come into my possession,” said McCain. “I said I didn’t know what to make of it, and I trusted the FBI would examine it carefully and investigate its claims. With that, I thanked the director and left. The entire meeting had probably not lasted longer than ten minutes. I did what duty demanded I do.”
Comey revealed, during an interview for his own book, that he never told Trump who funded the investigation to produce the dossier, when he briefed the president on the document.
The Washington Post in February provided a profile of Steele that underscores his “struggles to navigate dual obligations — to his private clients, who were paying him to help Clinton win, and to a sense of public duty born of his previous life.”
He had left the famed Secret Intelligence Service, or MI6, seven years earlier and was now working on behalf of Fusion GPS, a private Washington research firm whose work at the time was funded by Trump’s opponent, Hillary Clinton, and the Democratic Party.
The meeting in Rome captured the unusual and complicated role of Steele, who wrote memos that came to be known as the dossier and who has become the central point of contention in the political brawl raging around the Russia inquiry by special counsel Robert S. Mueller III.
Those who believe Steele consider him a hero, a latter-day Paul Revere who, at personal risk, tried to provide an early warning about the Kremlin’s unprecedented meddling in a U.S. campaign. Those who distrust him say he is merely a hired gun leading a political attack on Trump.