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A former top FBI lawyer said there was concern at the bureau that then-FBI Director James Comey was trying to blackmail then-President-elect Donald Trump with the notorious Steele dossier.
On Tuesday’s Yahoo News podcast “Skullduggery,” James Baker described the atmosphere as “quite worried” after Comey met with Trump on Jan. 6, 2017, shortly before his inauguration. Baker says the way Comey threw the dossier into Trump’s face, it was difficult not to draw “analogies” to the behavior of FBI founding Director J. Edgar Hoover, who ruled federal law enforcement for nearly 50 years.
The article goes on to state the following:
The dossier, containing allegations that Trump demanded perverse sex from Russian prostitutes, has been pilloried by some as an invention. During Congressional testimony, former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen said he had never been to Prague, where the dossier contends Cohen went to collude with Kremlin officials on Russian election meddling.
Investigative reporter Michael Isikoff, who met with Steele, has said that there are a myriad of problems with the dossier.
“I think it’s fair to say that all of us should have approached this, in retrospect, with more skepticism, particularly when we didn’t know where it was coming from,” Isikoff told Vanity Fair.
Daniel Hoffman, who spent 30 years in the CIA, has also questioned the validity of the dossier, suggesting it looks like business-as-usual for the Russians whom he says may have engineered a disinformation campaign. Hoffman communicated these concerns in an opinion piece for The Wall Street Journal in January 2018 entitled, “The Steele Dossier Fits the Kremlin Playbook.”
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