Congress Wasn’t Told of Clinton Foundation Ties to FBI’s Australian Informant
Bureau omitted key info about Alexander Downer, whose tip allegedly instigated massive Trump-Russia special counsel investigation
Top FBI leaders kept from Congress key information about deep ties between an Australian diplomat and the Clinton Foundation, even though the official’s tip helped spark the investigation of allegations of collusion between President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign and Russian interests.
“We talked to [Rep.] Jim Jordan [R-Ohio] for our story, and he was shocked when he heard this information,” journalist Alison Spann of The Hill told Fox News’ “The Ingraham Angle” on Monday night. “So we actually brought this information to these congressional committees, who are investigating this case. They had no idea the FBI did not disclose this information to them.”
“So they’re shocked. And they want this to be investigated,” Spann continued. “In fact, Jordan said that he wants a second special counsel because, as he says, the FBI cannot investigate themselves.”
Jordan, chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, told The Hill, “The Clintons’ tentacles go everywhere. So that’s why it’s important. We continue to get new information every week, it seems, that sort of underscores the fact that the FBI hasn’t been square with us.”
Spann and The Hill’s John Solomon reported Monday that Downer helped direct $25 million from the Australian government to the Clinton Foundation in 2006. The funds were to be used in the foundation’s anti-HIV/AIDS efforts.
Downer also tipped off the FBI about his 2016 conversation with former Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos at a London bar in 2016, which “became the official reason the FBI opened the Russia counterintelligence probe,” Spann and Solomon reported.
Ingraham noted this information “is one more example” of the anti-Trump bias that fueled the Trump-Russia investigation and led to the surveillance of former volunteer Trump campaign adviser Carter Page. Trump was widely expected to lose the 2016 contest to the Democratic nominee, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
A four-page summary of classified information composed by Republican staffers of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence was made public in February. It said the FBI failed to tell the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) court that the bureau's application for approval to spy on Page in 2016 was based mainly on an unverified anti-Trump dossier written by former British spy Christopher Steele. Steele's work was paid for by Clinton's campaign and the Democratic National Committee.
"First you have the dossier being funded by Hillary Clinton and the [Democratic National Committee]. That wasn't revealed to the FISA judge. And now you have this," Ingraham said.
Spann noted "there's actually four pieces of information" that the FBI "didn't reveal."
"The dossier was funded by the DNC and Clinton. Sidney Blumenthal, who is a close Clinton supporter, was funneling information to Christopher Steele through the State Department. And you had the Yahoo article that was quoted in the [FBI's] FISA application written by Michael Isikoff, who got his information from Christopher Steele," Spann said. "Then now we have this connection between Alexander Downer and the Clintons."
"So [Downer's] the one that actually gave that information to his government. The Australian government gave it to the U.S. government and that launched the whole Russia probe into Trump-Russia collusion," Spann said. "Well, now we find out that Alexander Downer has a tie to the Clintons."
Said Ingraham, "The more important thing is why wasn't this revealed" to congressional investigators. "That's a big grant that's a connection to the opposition candidate to Donald Trump. [Downer] happens to be in this bar. He happens to meet this Papadopoulos guy. He happens to funnel the information. And he's not a minor figure. He's a well-known liberal politician in Australia who's buddies with the Clintons."
Spann told Ingraham an audit conducted three years after Australia donated the $25 million to the Clinton Foundation found money mismanagement, which raised further questions.
"But there were some questions about the money in that case and whether it was handled properly," Spann said. "And, in fact, the report goes on to say that it was so mishandled it was actually detrimental to the project. And they were given a score of two out of six for handling the money."