House Intelligence Committee Republicans are continuing their investigation into the origins of the unverified Trump dossier, demanding answers from a series of officials including former FBI Director James Comey.
In a Feb. 20 letter, committee Chairman Devin Nunes posed ten questions to “current and former intelligence, law enforcement and State Department officials,” according to Fox News.
“Please provide complete written responses as soon as possible, and no later than Friday, March 2, 2018,” Nunes wrote. “If you do not provide timely answers on a voluntary basis, the Committee will initiate compulsory process.”
The questions included in the letter, obtained by Fox News, ask how the officials who received the questionnaire learned of the dossier’s funding and whether they held meetings to discuss the allegations.
“Did you convene any meetings with the intelligence community and/or law enforcement communities as a result of the information contained in the Steele dossier?” question five reads.
Question nine asks, “Was President Obama briefed on any information contained in the dossier prior to January 5, 2017?”
The questions also asked when the intelligence officials knew the dossier was used to obtain a FISA order on Carter Page, as outlined in the memo released earlier this month.
This letter seems to be on a follow up on the four-page memo, drafted by intelligence committee chairman Rep. Devin Nunes, that outlines surveillance abuses by the Obama administration’s intelligence community directed at Donald Trump’s presidential campaign.
Specifically, the memo alleges that the FBI relied heavily on the infamous and unverified Trump-Russia dossier — commissioned by liberal opposition research firm Fusion GPS and paid for by the Hillary Clinton campaign and the Democrat National Committee — to obtain FISA warrants to surveil the Trump team.
In a criminal referral addressed to FBI Director Christopher Wray and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, GOP Sens. Chuck Grassley of Iowa and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina seem to back up this bombshell claim.
The FISA surveillance applications, the senators wrote in the letter, “relied heavily on Mr. Steele’s dossier claims.”
The lawmakers were referring to former British spy Christopher Steele, a one-time FBI source who Fusion GPS hired to put together the dossier. The criminal referral — dated Jan 4, 2018 — indicated that Steele’s dossier claims should not have been trusted.
“(I)t appears the FBI relied on admittedly uncorroborated information, funded by and obtained for Secretary Clinton’s presidential campaign, in order to conduct surveillance of an associate of the opposing presidential candidate. It did so based on Mr. Steele’s personal credibility and presumably having faith in his process of obtaining the information,” the referral read. “But there is substantial evidence suggesting that Mr. Steele materially misled the FBI about a key aspect of his dossier efforts, one which bears on his credibility.”
What’s more, the referral seems to corroborate the memo’s claim that the FBI did not tell the FISA court that the dossier originated as a political opposition research document.
The surveillance application “failed to disclose that the identities of Mr. Simpson’s ultimate clients were the Clinton campaign and the DNC,” the senators wrote.
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