Newly-obtained documents reveal that the agency, while under James Comey's command, was running a secret counterintelligence operation against the Trump campaign in the summer of 2016 and repeatedly deceiving the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC), Fox News reported Monday.
The US-based broadcaster said that after a year of litigation, a US federal court issued an order that forced the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the US Department of Justice (DOJ) to produce the records also known as the “302 reports”. These documents are reportedly a summary of interviews that FBI agents conducted with Bruce Ohr, a top DOJ official.
In particular, the 302 reports note that the FBI and DOJ had been warned repeatedly by Ohr that ex-British spy Christopher Steele was biased against Trump, according to Fox News.
The FBI and DOJ ignored warnings of bias and actively concealed it from the FISC, never advising the judges that the information contained in the “dossier” was “unverified”.
According to Fox News, the FBI and the DOJ concealed from judges that the Steele investigation was funded by the 2016 Clinton election campaign and the Democratic National Committee (DNC).
Fox News concluded, citing legal analyst Gregg Jarrett, that the 302 reports reveal that the FBI knew Steele's dossier was 'phony' from the start.
According to US-based media reports, Steele's dossier prompted the FBI’s Russia investigation, referred to in US media as Russiagate.
US Special Counsel Robert Mueller in April issued a final report on an investigation observing that the probe found no evidence of collusion between Trump and his campaign with Russian officials in the run-up to the 2016 US presidential election. However, Mueller described ten instances that may constitute obstruction of justice by the US president and his campaign staff.
After reviewing the facts, US Attorney General William Barr concluded that Mueller's evidence failed to establish that Trump committed an obstruction of justice offense.
Trump repeatedly slammed the Mueller investigation as a political witch hunt. Russia has consistently denied claims of alleged interference in the US political system, saying the allegations were made up to excuse the election loss of Trump’s opponent Hillary Clinton and deflect public attention from actual instances of election fraud and corruption.