Senators Refer Dossier Author to DOJ in Criminal Referral


Senators Refer Dossier Author to DOJ in Criminal Referral

Republicans have accused the FBI of basing its investigation into the Trump campaign and Russian Federation on claims from the dossier, which was paid for in part by the Hillary Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee.

On Friday, Sen. Richard Blumenthal of CT, a Democrat on the Judiciary committee, called the move a partisan effort "aimed at someone who reported wrongdoing, rather than committed it".

Republicans allege the dossier, which was commissioned by research firm Fusion GPS, served as the basis of the federal investigation in the president's alleged ties to Russian Federation.

The Steele dossier first came to public attention a year ago, when it was published by Buzzfeed.

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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".

"After reviewing how Mr. Steele conducted himself in distributing information contained in the dossier and how many stop signs the DOJ ignored in its use of the dossier, I believe that a special counsel needs to review this matter", Graham, a senior member of the Judiciary Committee, said in the statement. Moscow denies interference and Trump denies any collusion.

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

For months, it was suspected that the Steele dossier, which was shared with U.S. intelligence agencies after the 2016 election, may have prompted the FBI's decision to open an investigation into the matter. However, CNN's reporting shows a number of pieces of intelligence separate from the dossier raised concerns among United States national security officials and propelled an investigation.

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The dossier was reportedly produced as opposition research for the presidential campaign.

The broad assertion of the dossier findings - that Russian Federation waged a campaign to interfere in the election - is now accepted as fact by the United States intelligence community.

In his op-ed, Simpson compared Republican attacks against him, which have been led in the Senate by Iowa Republican Chuck Grassley, to efforts by Republicans to protect Richard Nixon during the Watergate era.

Fusion GPS didn't immediately respond to CNBC's request for comment. The report contained unproven information on close coordination between Trump's inner circle and the Russians about hacking into Democratic accounts - as well as unproven claims about unusual sexual activities by Trump attributed to anonymous sources. "And we handed over our relevant bank records - while drawing the line at a fishing expedition for the records of companies we work for that have nothing to do with the Trump case". Chaffetz said. "That question was not answered yet".

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Simpson also denied knowledge of a 9 June 2016 meeting that took place between Trump campaign officials, including Trump's son, Donald Trump Jr, and some Russian officials. Republicans have also sought to portray Special Counsel Robert Mueller's probe as biased and politically motivated. "We should all be sceptical in the extreme".

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