By Hank Berrien
According to The Sunday Times, former British Intelligence officer Christopher Steele, who was responsible for the infamous Trump “golden showers” dossier, will meet with U.S. investigators in London to speak of his relationship with the FBI.
Steele has been adamantly refusing to meet with U.S. intelligence officials; the House Intelligence Committee, which was examining the origins of the dossier when it was under Republican control last year, requested for him to meet with them, but he would not. In the Senate, Senate Intelligence Chairman, Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC) has been trying for two years to interview Steele; that has not eventuated.
The Hill reported:
Republicans have long alleged it was Steele’s dossier that improperly led to an FBI inquiry, which ultimately morphed into special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into possible coordination between the Trump campaign and Russia during the 2016 election. The Justice Department’s internal watchdog is investigating aspects of the Mueller probe, including whether officials abused their power when they ordered surveillance of a former campaign aide partially based on information from Steele’s dossier.
CBS News reported in February that the Senate Intelligence Committee investigation was a three-pronged effort: to review the intelligence buttressing an estimate of Russia’s actions during the 2016 election; to examine the “active measures,” including cyber activities, Russia used, and to look into possible links between Moscow and the campaigns.
CBS News continued:
One key witness whom the committee had been unsuccessful in engaging, Burr said, was Christopher Steele … Last February, the former chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Iowa Republican Chuck Grassley, sent a letter to a Washington-based lawyer acting as an intermediary for Steele asking whether Steele may have been indirectly on the payroll of Oleg Deripaska, a Russian oligarch with close ties to Putin. The implicit suggestion of Grassley’s inquiry was that the dossier contained purposeful misinformation intended to help Russia. It is not a view, or a suspicion, that Democrats share. Burr would only say that Steele remained of interest, but out of reach.
Burr added, “We’ve made multiple attempts,” to get an answer from Steele.
The New York Times explained, “Fusion GPS was hired on behalf of Mrs. Clinton’s campaign and the D.N.C. by their law firm, Perkins Coie, to compile research about Mr. Trump, his businesses and associates — including possible connections with Russia. It was at that point that Fusion GPS hired Mr. Steele, who has deep sourcing in Russia, to gather information.”
The Daily Mail reported that the investigation headed by special counsel Robert Mueller included references to the Steele dossier:
“Comey’s briefing included the Steele reporting’s unverified allegation that the Russians had compromising tapes of the President involving conduct when he was a private citizen during a 2013 trip to Moscow for the Miss Universe Pageant,” according to the report. “During the 2016 presidential campaign, a similar claim may have reached candidate Trump. On October 30, 2016, Michael Cohen received a text from Russian businessman Giorgi Rtskhiladze that said, ‘Stopped flow of tapes from Russia but not sure if there’s anything else. Just so you know… .’ … Rtskhiladze said ‘tapes’ referred to compromising tapes of Trump rumored to be held by persons associated with the Russian real estate conglomerate Crocus Group, which had helped host the 2013 Miss Universe Pageant in Russia. … Cohen said he spoke to Trump about the issue after receiving the texts from Rtskhiladze. … Rtskhiladze said he was told the tapes were fake, but he did not communicate that to Cohen,” according to the report.