The Mystery of McCain's 2nd Copy of the Clinton-Steele Dossier

Anyone following the investigation of the Clinton campaign's attempt to frame Trump probably already knows that while the primary vector for the Clinton-Steele dossier, a document alleging Russian control over Trump created by the Clinton campaign and used as the basis for the FBI investigation, was Fusion GPS and its media and Dem allies, a secondary vector was McCain.

Now it turns out that McCain had a different version of the Clinton-Steele dossier. Fusion GPS has discussed doing more work on the dossier afterward and it's likely that the version McCain had was a newer copy. It would explain why it needed to be passed along through him, especially as the dossier morphed from a political weapon to the baseless basis for a government investigation.

Now, memos the FBI is turning over to Congress show the bureau possessed at least three versions of the dossier and its mostly unverified allegations of collusion.

Each arrived from a different messenger: McCain, Mother Jones reporter David Corn, Fusion GPS founder (and Steele boss) Glenn Simpson.

That revelation is in an email that disgraced FBI counterintelligence agent Peter Strzok wrote to FBI executives around the time BuzzFeed published a version of the dossier on Jan. 10, 2017.

“Our internal system is blocking the site,” Strzok wrote of the document posted on BuzzFeed. “I have the PDF via iPhone but it’s 25.6MB. Comparing now. The set is only identical to what McCain had. (it has differences from what was given to us by Corn and Simpson.)”

That also means the BuzzFeed copy that was distributed to the media matched the McCain copy fitting with the image of a developing campaign. And that Strzok was well aware that the document was coming from Simpson, the FusionGPS boss, whose company served as political mercenaries. 

(As a sidenote, was Strzok even permitted to be playing with his iPhone and accessing outside sites in the office?)

Strzok's comments also appear to contradict Simpson's testimony.

In his House Intelligence Committee testimony, Simpson acknowledged he “acceded” to letting Steele talk to the FBI but insisted he himself never talked to the FBI about the dossier. “Did you meet with intelligence officials regarding the dossier?” he was asked. “No,” Simpson replied. Pressed if he ever talked to the FBI, Simpson added: "I didn't approach the FBI."

In light of the new emails, investigators will want to determine if Simpson misled Congress or if Strzok misstated the source of one of the versions.

No real surprises here. At this point the only surprise would be actual accountability.