FBI supervisory counterintelligence analyst Brian Auten’s testimony came during the first day of Durham’s criminal trial against Igor Danchenko.
Danchenko, a paid FBI informant and Steele’s primary source for the dossier, is accused of lying to the FBI.
As Breitbart News reported:
Durham is accusing Danchenko of lying to the FBI to protect Charles Dolan Jr., a communications consultant with close ties to the Clintons. He is also accusing Danchenko of lying to the FBI about communications with Sergei Millian, who was then president of the Russian-American Chamber of Commerce, and whose supposed evidence helped convince the FBI to seek a surveillance warrant against Carter Page.
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Auten interviewed Danchenko and Steele as part of the bureau’s Crossfire Hurricane team investigating an alleged connection between former President Donald Trump and Russia.
Auten testified the FBI offered Steele “up to $1 million,” which was ultimately never paid because Steele could not substantiate the claims made in his dossier.
“Yes, it did,” Auten reportedly told Durham when asked if the FBI offered Steele any incentive to provide corroborating evidence.
“Mr. Steele was offered anywhere up to a million dollars” for information “which could help prove the allegations,” CNN reported.
In addition to not providing corroborating evidence, Auten also testified that Steele refused to give the FBI the identity of his sources during their October 2016 meeting.
“No,” Auten said under oath when Durham asked if the FBI had any corroborating evidence for the Steele Dossier on the date the agency applied for a FISA warrant to spy on Trump adviser Carter Page.
Auten reportedly testified that the FBI sought corroborating evidence for the dossier from other U.S. intelligence agencies, to no avail.
Auten and other FBI agents met with Steele on October 3, 2016, after the FBI received Steele’s dossier on September 19, 2016. Despite the FBI not having corroborating evidence, Auten confirmed the agency relied on the dossier in its initial FISA application less than twenty days after the meeting with Steele.
Steele’s dossier “was commissioned by opposition research firm Fusion GPS and paid for by the Hillary Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee through law firm Perkins Coie,” Fox News reported.
Durham’s criminal probe has already resulted in one guilty plea by former FBI attorney Kevin Clinesmith, who admitted to doctoring an email to obtain a FISA warrant against Page.