(National Sentinel)Â Numbered Days: Two Republican senators are requesting the Justice Department launch a criminal investigation into the author of the discredited “Trump dossier,” former British spy Christopher Steele.
As reported byÂ The Hill, Sens. Charles Grassley of Iowa and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina have sent a letter toÂ Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and FBI Director Christopher Wray asking that they investigate if the former MI6 agent was dishonest during his interactions with federal authorities.
Steele was hired by Democratic opposition research firm Fusion GPS to author the dossier, which was paid for by the Hillary Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee.
Some Republicans also believe the dossier, which contains salacious and unsubstantiated claims about Donald J. Trump and his campaign team, was used to get authorization from the FISA court to put the campaign under surveillance in 2016.
“I donâ€™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,â€ Grassley said in a statement.
Graham added that “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 is an attorney by trade, having spent decades as an Air Force lawyer and officer.
TheÂ letterÂ is the first criminal referral from any of the congressional investigations into Russia’s election interference.
In their request,Â the senators passed along a memo tied to “certain communications between Christopher Steele and multiple U.S. news outlets.”
The memorandum was not released publicly,Â The Hill reported, because it is classified.
Grassley’s office,Â in announcing their request, said it is standard for the committee to notify the Justice Department when it “comes across what appears to be credible evidence of a criminal violation that warrants further investigation by appropriate authorities based on information from any source, public or non-public.”Â Â
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