WSJ's Kim Strassel: Fusion GPS 'Steele Dossier' A Political Dirty Trick For The Ages


'Wall Street Journal' columnist Kimberley Strassel makes the case to Fox News Channel's Tucker Carlson that the Steele dossier, which was funded by the DNC and Clinton campaign to smear President Trump, is one of history's most outrageous political tricks.

"We do a disservice when we even refer to it as a 'Dossier,'" she explained. "That gives it too much mystique. This is an oppo research document of lower quality than even oppo research documents."

"All campaigns do this, but usually you dig up a driving under the influence conviction, or you didn't pay your taxes one year, you plant it in the press to make the candidate look bad. This is a document based on unnamed, anonymous Russian sources, apparently. They're never been proven, a lot of them have been disproven," Strassel continued. "But here's where they have been particularly clever: They didn't give it to the press, they sent it to the FBI and then they briefed the press, and then the press was able to claim that this was intelligence that the FBI possessed, which gave it some air of credibility."

Host Tucker Carlson asks: "So, this bundle of opposition research changed American political history -- and not in the ways that it normally would. You're saying that this really is responsible for this chain reaction that has paralyzed Washington ever since?"

"Look at what happened!" Strassel said. "The Democrats like to say this document wasn't even used during the election: Not true. We know that [Former MI-6 Russia desk leader] Christopher Steele, who put this document together has testified in court documents that he briefed the press in September [2016]. Yahoo News came out with a huge story saying the FBI was in possession of 'intelligence' showing potential collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russian government -- the headlines were dominated by this. And the question that we still have yet to know: We know the FBI relied on this in some regard but did this document actually inspire the FBI to end up wiretapping a political campaign? Which is no small deal, by the way."

"The FBI has been playing hardball about letting House investigators see their file," Strassel explained. "Supposedly they've agreed to let them in, started to make some things available to House investigators, but all of this should be -- The thing that some people don't understand, is that when you're dealing with the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISA), it is not like you put in a request and they say no, it is a back and forth discussion."

"Somewhere in the FBI is a big file that explains exactly what the FBI was putting forward to the court as justification to go ahead with the tapping of Carter Page or Paul Manafort."

"The House is having more and more trouble with its enforcement authority [over the FBI], and... the Justice Department said sorry, we're not complying with your subpoena for a while. They now appear to be putting some things out, but from what I understand, not everything they need to be putting out," Strassel said. "Here's the funny thing: Every time they have an excuse for not giving it, they say it is because of special counsel Mueller. Well, if special counsel Mueller is doing this entirely because the FBI misused a dossier, all the more reason for House investigators to be looking into how this started."

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