At least three versions of the “Steele dossier” were floating around Washington just before the elections:
- what the FBI was receiving directly from Steele — a liar, a charlatan, and a contractor with Fusion GPS working for the DNC
- a version introduced by Nellie (Fusion GPS) and Bruce Ohr (DOJ) to the FBI
- a version that James A. Baker accepted from Mother Jones’ journalist David Corn
From the interview of James A. Baker (FBI General Counsel) before a House Committee:
Mr. Jordan [Representative, R-OH]. Okay. I’m going to move to another subject here.
Tell me about your relationship with David Corn.
Mr. Baker. David Corn?
Mr. Jordan. Yeah.
Mr. Baker. David is a friend of mine.
Mr. Baker. I don’t remember now. I just don’t remember now how
he told me that he’d got it. Because there were various copies of the
dossier floating around Washington, I guess you would say, and the FBI
was getting it, you know —
Mr. Jordan. There were at least three different copies, in my
understanding, and they were getting it from all kinds of sources,
including the author of the dossier himself; and also including Bruce
Ohr. So you definitely had conversations with David Corn prior to the
elections about the dossier?
Mr. Baker. I believe that’s correct.
Mr. Jordan. So about the same timeframe. Are we talking October
2016? September 2016?
Mr. Baker. No, it was sometime earlier than that. I don’t
specifically remember. It was earlier than the David Corn
Mr. Jordan. Was it between July 31st, 2016, and election day
Mr. Baker. I don’t specifically remember. It could have been.
Mr. Meadows. You don’t specifically remember. But obviously
July 31st is a date that you know very well in terms of what happened
on that particular date.
So was it before that date or after? Not specific. I mean, had
you opened up the investigation or not when you got that information?
Mr. Baker. So I apologize, I, sitting here today, I don’t
specifically remember the —
Mr. Meadows. So do you have a calendar that would indicate this?
Mr. Baker. When Sussman came in? Probably.
Mr. Jordan. Mr. Baker, is it fair to say that any materials
passed by the FBI general counsel automatically have a reliability and
a level of credibility attached to them? You’re the FBI’s general
counsel, if you’re getting information from an outside source and
passing it, on that means something.
Mr. Baker. I suppose so, Congressman.
Mr. Jordan. And people are going to take seriously when the FBI
general counsel has some source giving them information related to a
pretty darn important investigation, they’re going to take that pretty
seriously and follow up on it.
Mr. Baker. Within the organization, the Bureau?
Mr. Jordan. Yes.
Mr. Baker. Yes, I would say so.
Mr. Jordan. Okay. Is anyone else giving you information? So
we know about Mr. Corn giving you some of the dossier. We know about
Mr. Sussman [of Perkins Coie, a law firm for the DNC] giving you material not directly related to the dossier, but related to the Russia investigation. Anyone else give you
information in the course of the Russia investigation?