Lindsey Graham's office today released an unclassified summary of an FBI Counterintelligence investigation of an individual who was believed to be cooperating with the Russian intelligence services--a Russian 'asset'. It's the kinda stuff that's hard to make up. The Counterintelligence investigation was of Igor Danchenko--Christopher Steele's so-called 'Primary Sub-source (PSS).' The investigation began in 2009 as a Preliminary Investigation, but was upgraded to a Full Investigation. The investigation was closed in 2011.
When the FBI learned in December, 2016, that Danchenko was Steele's PSS they searched their records and learned about the investigation. In other words, they knew all this when they interviewed Danchenko in late January, 2017, regarding his role in providing material to Steele for the 'dossier.' Danchenko was not questioned about his relationship with the Russian intelligence services at that time, and the FBI continued to claim that Danchenko's 'dossier' material was reliable as they sought three renewals of the Carter Page FISA. They apparently saw no reason to inform the FISA court that the probable cause for Carter Page FISA was heavily based on material provided by a person they suspected of being a Russian spy.
Interestingly, the FBI sought a FISA on Danchenko in the second half of 2010. However, before the FISA could be processed Danchenko left the country. Here's how the investigation was left:
Because the Primary Sub-source had apparently left the United States, the FBI withdrew the FISA application request and closed the investigation. The record documenting the closing of the investigation stated that consideration would be given to re-opening the investigation in the event that the Primary Sub-source returned to the United States.
In other words, as of the last time the FBI was involved with Danchenko before they interviewed him in January, 2017, they believed they had probable cause to believe that Danchenko was an agent of the Russian government--a spy. Apparently the FBI lost track of Danchenko, who later reentered the US.
The details of the investigation itself aren't terribly important--read them for yourselves. From my perspective Danchenko comes across as rather clumsy and probably not terribly stable--which fits in with what we've heard about him to this point.
The real point is that the FBI knew all this about Danchenko and their own past concerns that he was a Russian spy. They knew this by December, 2016, and knowing this they failed to inform the FISA court and probably also withheld this information from DoJ as well. They should have terminated the Carter Page FISA at that point. Instead, they fraudulently renewed the FISA three times.
I have to say, I'm flabbergasted.
On the other hand, this certainly looks more and more like Durham has a legitimate shot at proving a big picture conspiracy--a conspiracy on the part of FBI management to defraud the government of the FBI's honest services in furtherance of the attempted political goal of ousting the President of the United States from the office of the presidency on false pretenses through the means of criminal false statements to the FISA court. And they did all this while utilizing material provided by a suspected Russian spy which was known to be unreliable, but which they presented to the court as highly reliable.