Journalist 'stunned' that his column was used to 'corroborate' Steele Dossier to FISA Court
Among the deceptions used in the application to the FISA Court to weaponize the NSA's surveillance capabilities against the Republican candidate for president was a fake claim that media reports “corroborated” the information in the Steele Dossier. Those media reports were all based on the Dossier itself, which was peddled to the media by Glenn Simpson (former Wall Street Journal reporter with many journalist friends) and his company Fusion GPS.
Michael Isikoff, who currently writes for Yahoo News, published one such article completely based on the Dossier on September 23, 2016, and it was used as corroboration in the FISA warrant application. On his podcast for Yahoo News, oddly (or appropriately?) called "Skullduggery," he expressed shock that his work could ever be used for the purpose of corroboration, since he had no independent sources beyond the Dossier itself. Chuck Ross summarizes it for the Daily Caller:
Isikoff was shocked, he said, because his very article was based on information that came from Christopher Steele, the former British spy who wrote the dossier. He said it was “a bit beyond me” that the FBI would use his article in the FISA application.
“Obviously the information that I got from Christopher Steele was information the FBI already had,” he said, noting that Steele began sharing information from his dossier in July 2016.
Isikoff acknowledged the potential problem with the DOJ and FBI citing his article to support the FISA against Page.
“It’s self-referential,” he said of the article and its reliance on the dossier.
“My story is about the FBI’s own investigation,” he continued.
“So it seems a little odd that they would be citing the Yahoo! News story about the matter that they are investigating themselves based on the same material that had been separately presented to the FBI before I was ever briefed by Christopher Steele.”
Odd, as in “criminal misrepresentation to a federal judge.”
One sidelight: the bank records of Fusion GPS are in the possession of the Nunes committee because they purportedly indicate payments to media figures made in the course of publicizing the Dossier. An extensive legal battle was required to obtain them over Fusion GPS's rsistance. But those records have not yet been revealed by the committee, so we don't yet know who in the media might have been paid off to publicize the Dossier.
Should it be determined that a paid-for media item was offered as corroboration, the legal penalties for the misrepresentation to the court may or may not be more severe, but that would suggest conspiracy charges might be possibly added to other relevant charges, which usually enhances the criminal penalties. Isikoff does not want to be implicated in that.