Steele, a MI6 Russia specialist for more than two-decades, has worked with the FBI as a confidential source since 2010. According to the report, he will retain the services of a top American attorney if the interview goes ahead, and is only willing to discuss the narrow scope of his dealings with US intelligence. Steele also wanted US officials to seek the approval of the British government.
Overall, despite the limitations, it may be worthwhile to go ahead with the interview while pursuing other avenues of investigation into Steele's activities.
UPDATE 1: I don't get how this would work (below). How would speaking to OIG--which is certainly carries the threat of prosecution for false statements--let Steele off any hook, or limit his criminal exposure? If Steele speaks to OIG it will be a voluntary interview, not compelled, so there's no immunity. OIG has no authority to grant immunity--they're not prosecutors and can't make those decisions.
UPDATE 2: CTH has a thorough summary of what's behind this: IMPORTANT Report: Christopher Steele Willing to Cooperate With U.S. Investigators… which is worth reading for its own sake. The main point is that Steele's testimony could expose FBI lying:
His testimony could be a key issue to expose corruption within the FBI that was previously identified by Senator Chuck Grassley. The FBI said Christopher Steele never told them he was shopping his dossier to the media; however, Christopher Steele told a British court the FBI was fully aware of all his media contacts, and they used the dossier anyway.
Christopher Steele had no motive to lie to the FBI about his media contacts.
The FBI had tons of motive to lie about their knowing Steele talked to the media.
It’s just common sense.
Christopher Steele wasn’t meeting in secret with the media, it was well known.
He was traveling around to meet them in August and September 2016. Why would he lie to the FBI about such transparently well known action in October? Answer: He wouldn’t.
Of course this doesn't affect the fact of Brit involvement in the Russia Hoax. OTOH, that wouldn't have happened without the active encouragement of our own IC, so I'd have to put the priority on exposing that.
As commenter Yancey Ward states, the fact that this story is coming out while Trump is in London is probably no coincidence. It probably represents the American takeaway from a deal that's been reached, with the Brit takeaway left unspoken:
- Americans get to interview Steele, thus receiving some help in exposing IC corruption. And possibly unpublicized cooperation as well.
- Brits get assurances that their full involvement won't be revealed.
Well, he [Steele] obviously made a strategic decision because he’s going to be interviewed by John Durham. It’s not the inspector general from the Department of Justice who is going to talk to him. Because he doesn’t have any reason to talk to Mr. Horowitz. He’s going to talk to John Durham and his people. So there’s obviously been some sort of deal that’s been worked out. This is great news. According to some reports there are limitations on his testimony. I can't believe Durham would agree to such limitations. But this is what's important: he has to tell the truth to Durham, because even though his testimony will be given overseas, he can be indicted in the United States if he lies to Durham. So I assume he’s going to tell the truth now because this is the big casino now. And what he’s going to prove is the FBI lied in the FISA warrants, and they lied to Congress and they lied to everybody about what they knew about Steele’s behavior. The walls are beginning to close in on the FBI fraudsters.
In the same panel discussion, Victoria Toensing stated that the OIG report is being delayed because IG Horowitz has run into difficulties getting documents from FBI Director Chris Wray--surprise!