Obama's DOJ and FBI leadership used material from the Steele Report, a project of the Clinton campaign, as a pretext for targeting Republican opponents with eavesdropping and legal harassment. That process has continued with the Mueller campaign.
Notably, the Steele Report was a sloppy joke. Despite supposedly being put together by a former intel agent, it had the same work ethic as a college freshman trying to finish a book report an hour before class for a book he hasn't read and doesn't think the professor read either.
Former British spy Christopher Steele confessed that he used an unverified report submitted to a CNN website, where “random individuals” can post information, for his salacious anti-Trump dossier.
Steele was asked during the deposition how he verified allegations about Gubarev's companies and whether he found “anything of relevance concerning Webzilla,” according to the newly released transcripts of the deposition.
“We did. It was an article I have got here which was posted on July 28, 2009, on something called CNN iReport,” Steele said.
CNN iReport was an experiment with adapting the news network to the internet. It was an interesting experiment, but it continues to haunt the web because people confuse it with CNN. And should have been gone a while back.
But CNN iReport, which appears to be no longer active -- though archives remain accessible online -- states that it’s a “user-generated site” and warns that “the stories submitted by users are not edited, fact-checked or screened before they post.”
When asked whether the former British spy understood how the website actually worked, he confessed that “I do not have any particular knowledge of that” and noted he didn’t understand at the time that the site has “no connection to any CNN reporters.”
“Do you understand that CNN iReports are or were nothing more than any random individuals’ assertions on the Internet?” an examiner asked Steele.
He replied: “No, I obviously presume that if it is on a CNN site that it may has [sic] some kind of CNN status. Albeit that it may be an independent person posting on the site.”
This is some high end intel stuff there.
Mistakes happen, but this is the sort of mistake a writer makes, not a spook. But Steele was never all that impressive. And he was likely just rewriting material given to him by Clinton people while trying to cut and paste stuff that would make it seem somewhat credible.
That's why the media was infuriated that BuzzFeed ran the report. It functioned much better as a behind-the-scenes smear document meant for reporters. Once people actually saw how sloppy it was, it became harder and harder to defend.
Yet the whole rotten infrastructure of Russiagate is built on its bones.