Explaining That Criminal Referral of the ‘Dossier’ Author Christopher Steele

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Senators Grassley and Graham, in their roles on the Senate Judiciary Committee, have sent a criminal referral for former British spy Christopher Steele to the FBI for investigation. The referral pertains to discrepancies (lies) in what he said about the “distribution” of the dossier.

Steele is the author of the ‘dossier’ which might have been used to obtain a FISA warrant or relied on heavily in a Trump-Russia collusion case.

The cover letter was made public but not the specifics which were referred to in the letter as a “classified memorandum related to certain communications between Christopher Steele and multiple U.S. news outlets regarding the so-called ‘Trump dossier’ that Mr. Steele compiled on behalf of Fusion GPS for the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee and also provided to the FBI.”

Based on the classified information in the memo, they have made the referral for an investigation of violation 18 U.S.C. 1001, for statements the committee has reason to believe Mr. Steele made regarding his distribution of information contained in the dossier.”

What lies are they referring to and to whom? They obviously think he lied to the FBI. Steele has not spoken to any congressional committees but he has spoken to the FBI quite a lot.

The questions raised by Grassley and Graham concern the “distribution of information”. He spoke to the FBI, the media and the London Court. It is among those sources that the Judiciary Committee might have found the discrepancies.

Before the ‘dossier’ became publicized, the FBI was considering funding Steele to continue his research. At the same time, he was working on opposition research for Fusion GPS on behalf of the Clinton campaign and the DNC.

The former MI6 agent was presenting himself in the media as one who cares so deeply for the United States that he arranged for Senator McCain to receive a copy of the dossier, but that doesn’t hold water since he told Soros’s Mother Jones in October 2016 that he had given a copy to the FBI months earlier, in July.

Christopher Steele was interviewing with a lot of newspapers at the same time he was talking to the FBI. According to Steele’s lawyers, Fusion told him to brief the New York Times, the Washington Post, CNN, the New Yorker, Yahoo News, and, finally, Mother Jones. There might be discrepancies between what he said to the FBI and the newspapers.

Byron York notes that Steele also testified to the London Court and he seems to think that is where the discrepancies might lie. If there are inaccuracies between what Steele told the London Court and what he told the FBI or what he told the media, charges could be pursued under the same statute Ret. Lt. Gen. Flynn was charged.

Democrats view the charges with skepticism but the Judiciary Committee is middle-of-the-road bipartisan. Grassley said Friday he doesn’t take the allegations lightly and realizes there could be an innocent explanation.


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