gpolit.com
gpolit.com January 19, 2018


Senators Refer Dossier Author to DOJ in Criminal Referral

06 January 2018, 01:42 | Rufus Hill

Senators Refer Dossier Author to DOJ in Criminal Referral

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Two influential Republican senators issued a criminal referral this week against Christopher Steele, the former British spy who authored the largely unverified "Trump dossier".

Chuck Grassley and Lindsey Graham are trying to get the FBI to investigate Christopher Steele, the guy who put together the Trump "dossier".

Sen. Richard Blumenthal, one of the Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee, slammed committee chair Chuck Grassley and Lindsey Graham for their letter recommending a criminal investigation into Christopher Steele.

"It seems more like an effort to distract from the real priorities, what should be the priorities of the committee, namely looking into obstruction of justice, collaboration between the Trump campaign and Russian meddling, and even to discredit law enforcement agencies like the Federal Bureau of Investigation".

The referral was made Thursday but revealed Friday.

Lawmakers can not prosecute, but generally refer any criminal violations they find to the Justice Department.

In the letter released by the senators, Grassley and Graham neither identify anyone to whom they believed Steele lied nor do they identify any news outlet.

Steve Bannon reportedly called a June 2016 Trump Tower meeting "treasonous:" Trump's former chief strategist also reportedly called the meeting between several Trump campaign officials and Russians "unpatriotic", according to an explosive new book written by columnist Michael Wolff.

The dossier was turned over to the FBI in 2016, and federal investigators worked to corroborate portions of it.

There are now three ongoing congressional investigations into allegations of Russian interference in the election and complicity by Donald Trump's campaign team.

On Wednesday, House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes said he reached an agreement with the Department of Justice to secure information about the dossier.

Fusion GPS' lawyer Joshua Levy has referred to the scrutiny on Steele as a "smear" meant to muddy the waters of the investigation.

The letter by Graham and Grassley also noted that they were not questioning "the veracity of claims contained in the dossier".

"After a year of investigations into Donald Trump's ties to Russian Federation, the only person Republicans seek to accuse of wrongdoing is one who reported on these matters to law enforcement in the first place", said Joshua A. Levy, counsel for Fusion GPS.

"Trump fans will complain about Christopher Steele or Hillary Clinton, but Donald Trump is the most powerful man on the planet and the investigation into him is a long way from being over". "We should all be sceptical in the extreme".

"This action was taken without any bipartisan cooperation, or even consultation", Blumenthal said in a statement.



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