Two prominent Republicans are demanding a criminal investigation into Christopher Steele, the author of the salacious Trump dossier.
“I don’t take lightly making a referral for criminal investigation. But, as I would with any credible evidence of a crime unearthed in the course of our investigations, I feel obliged to pass that information along to the Justice Department for appropriate review,” Sen. Chuck Grassley wrote in a statement.
“Maybe there is some innocent explanation for the inconsistencies we have seen, but it seems unlikely. In any event, it’s up to the Justice Department to figure that out.”
Grassley, aided by Sen. Lindsay Graham, sent a letter to the Justice Department asking agents to look into Steele’s checkered past. Steele’s allegations against President Trump, compressed into the dossier, spurred the federal investigation into supposed the supposed collusion between Trump and Russia.
Democrats are annoyed that the senators’ demand comes in the midst of a fresh political firestorm devouring the White House.
“I think this referral is unfortunate as it’s clearly another effort to deflect attention from what should be the committee’s top priority: determining whether there was collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia to influence the election and whether there was subsequent obstruction of justice,” said Sen. Dianne Feinstein.
Fusion GPS, the group that solicited Steele’s work, is defending both itself and Steele.
“Publicizing a criminal referral based on classified information raises serious questions about whether this letter is nothing more than another attempt to discredit government sources, in the midst of an ongoing investigation,” the firm’s counsel rebutted.
(Source: The Hill)