Trump Dossier Author Was 'Frustrated' With James Comey and Leaked Findings to the Media, FISA Documents Claim

The former British intelligence officer who authored the controversial Trump-Russia dossier was "frustrated" by former FBI Director James Comey's decision to reopen the Hillary Clinton email investigation and then released his findings to the press, ending his ties to the FBI, according to a warrant recently released by the Justice Department.

Christopher Steele was hired by investigative company Fusion GPS and its co-founder Glenn Simpson to investigate then-Republican candidate Donald Trump's ties to Russia. He is labeled as "Source #1" in the FBI's warrant applications under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) to surveil former Trump campaign foreign policy adviser Carter Page in October 2016 and well into 2017.

The FISA applications, four in total, were released by the Justice Department to The New York Times and other media outlets on Saturday, following a Freedom of Information Act request. They detail how the FBI used information from Steele's dossier, or "reporting," and believed it to be "credible."

But in the application filed in January 2017, the FBI explained that it had "suspended its relationship with Source #1 due to Source #1's unauthorized disclosure of information to the press."

The subsequent application filed in April 2017 went even further to explain Steele's motive for the leak. Steele evidently took umbrage with Comey alerting Congress and the rest of the country to the discovery of new Clinton emails that the FBI chief said required the probe be reopened.

Throughout the applications, Clinton is referred to as "Candidate #2" and Trump as "Candidate #1."

"In or about late October 2016, however, after the director of the FBI sent a letter to Congress, which stated that the FBI had learned of new information that might be pertinent to an investigation that the FBI was conducting of Candidate #2, Source #1 told the FBI that he/she was frustrated with this action and believed it would likely influence the 2016 U.S. Presidential election," the footnote on page 26 of the April 2017 application explained.

The application also said Steele "independently, and against the prior admonishment from the FBI to speak only with the FBI on this matter, released the reporting discussed herein to an identified news organization."

President Donald Trump shakes hands with FBI Director James Comey during an Inaugural Law Enforcement Officers and First Responders Reception at the White House on January 22, 2017. Getty Images/Andrew Harrer

The official revelation of Steele's frustration with Comey and the FBI confirmed The Washington Post's report in February 2017, which cited people familiar with the former spy's thinking.

Despite the leak, the FBI stated it still believed that Steele's "reporting is reliable" but that it had since "closed" him as "an active source."

Steele's apparent anger about Comey's actions matched those of Clinton, her supporters and many others. Clinton has specifically cited Comey's decision, along with Russia's interference in the election, as the main reasons why she lost to Trump.

Comey has since defended his decision, claiming he believed that Clinton would still win the election and that he intended to uphold the FBI's and Justice Department's integrity and reputation.

How the dossier reached the FBI, the media and the public involves a complex timeline. Comey issued his letter to Congress on October 28, 2016, and three days later Mother Jones was the first to report on the dossier's existence. The magazine cited "a former senior intelligence officer for a Western country who specialized in Russian counterintelligence" and who had "provided the [FBI] with memos, based on his recent interactions with Russian sources."

Based on the description of the source, it could be inferred that Steele alerted Mother Jones, but that cannot be stated with certainty.

The FBI learned of Steele's work from at least two avenues. Steele had reportedly met with four officials in Rome just over a month before the 2016 election and detailed his findings to the officials, according to the Washington Post on February 6.

Then, in November 2016, Senator John McCain of Arizona passed on the dossier to Comey. The Arizona Republican wrote in his recently published book that a British diplomat told him about Steele and what he had learned and that McCain tasked a senior director at his institute to head to London. McCain then explained that he held a 10-minute meeting with Comey and gave him the information.