Fox News contributor and "Spygate" author Dan Bongino said newly released FBI documents are "devastating" for those who initiated the Trump-Russia investigation in 2016, claiming an "information laundering operation" is being uncovered.
"There was an effort to target the Trump team with information that was factually inaccurate, that he was colluding with the Russians," he said on "Fox & Friends" Friday, alleging that Christopher Steele's dossier was a "front" so that the false information could be used to obtain a surveillance warrant.
The FBI formally documented the apparent anti-Trump bias of Steele, a British ex-spy, shortly after the November 2016 presidential election -- yet despite the red flags, continued to use his unverified dossier in multiple Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) court warrant application renewals, according to records obtained by Fox News. While much of the information confirmed by the release had previously been reported by Fox News, the FBI documents nonetheless paint a damning picture, Bongino said.
The partially redacted documents, first obtained by Judicial Watch, also revealed that top Justice Department official Bruce Ohr maintained contact with Steele for at least six months after Steele was fired by the FBI for unauthorized media contacts in November 2016. The records further confirmed that Ohr knew of Steele's anti-Trump bias before the 2016 election.
"This is just the tip of the iceberg," Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., told Fox News' "Hannity" Thursday evening. "I know personally there's a lot more out there."
The summaries of FBI interviews with Ohr, known as 302s, indicated that Ohr knew by September 2016 -- a month before the initial FISA application to surveil the Trump campaign -- that an individual with links to the dossier was "desperate that Donald Trump not get elected and was passionate about him not being the U.S. President.”
Bongino questioned Steele's actual participation with the dossier, arguing his name may have been used because he'd previously provided credible information for the FIFA soccer corruption probe.
"Why was his name slapped on it? The answer is very simple: because Steele had been a credible source for the FBI in the past. ... In other words, in front of a judge, they could present Steele as a legitimate front for false information."
Bongino pointed out that Nellie Ohr, the wife of Bruce Ohr who worked for Fusion GPS, had previously written a dossier on then-Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort.
"It begs the obvious question: if Steele's name is on the dossier because he was credible because he'd worked with the FBI in the past, did he even write it? And if he didn't, is the lie that much worse that you slapped his name on political information to make it seem legitimate? Devastating," Bongino said.
Fox News' Gregg Re and Catherine Herridge contributed to this report.