Attorney General William Barr decided to release information about former FBI informant Christopher Steele that had been redacted in Justice Department inspector general Michael Horowitz's report that's being made public on Monday investigating the Russian probe, The New York Times reported.
Steele, who compiled a dossier of unverified information about President Donald Trump that FBI officials used to some extent in order to seek a court order for surveillance of former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page, was, in a highly unusual move, only informed on the eve of the report's release that the previously blacked out information would be made public and was not given a chance to comment on it.
The president and his supporters have used the FBI's reliance on Steele's disputed dossier to make more widespread accusations about the fairness of the decision to investigate Trump at all. Critics have especially pointed to the fact that Steele compiled the dossier for a research company that was hired by lawyers who worked for Hillary Clinton's campaign and the Democratic National Committee.
Neither Barr, Horowitz, nor Steele commented on the Times report.
It is unclear why the details about Steele had initially been blotted out in Horowitz's report or the nature of the information that will now be made public.
But, according to Talking Points Memo, Barr's decision indicates that the attorney general may be attempting to use his authority to try to push conspiracy theories of the president and his supporters.
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