GOP Sens: Clinton Associates Passed Info to British Spy Who Compiled Anti-Trump Dossier 

Newly declassified Grassley-Graham criminal referral alleges Steele collaboration with Clinton associates 

Chuck Grassley / Getty Images

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Clinton associates were passing information to the British spy Christopher Steele while he was compiling the unverified "Trump dossier," according to a memo put together by two Republican senators as part of their criminal referral against Christopher Steele.

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R., Iowa) and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R., S.C.) referred Steele to the Justice Department in January for further criminal investigation based on evidence they say show that he lied to the FBI about his meetings and discussions with the media, which would violate U.S. law.

The two senators in their referral point to a separate memo that Steele put together in addition to the dossier, a memo they say included information from at least one "friend" of the Clintons.

The GOP senators allege that the additional memo dated Oct. 19, 2016 was at least partially based on information from a "foreign sub-source who ‘is in touch with [redacted], a contact of [redacted], a friend of the Clintons, who passed it to [redacted]."

"It is troubling enough that the Clinton Campaign funded Mr. Steele’s work, but that these Clinton associates were contemporaneously feeding Mr. Steele allegations raises additional concerns about his credibility," Grassley and Graham wrote to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and FBI Director Christopher Wray in their early January referral of Steele for further investigation.

The FBI partially declassified the memo the senators wrote as part of their criminal referral against Steele following the release of the House Intelligence Committee Republicans' memo on the FBI's use of the dossier to monitor Trump associates.

However, the Grassley-Graham memo still remains heavily redacted. Grassley is now pressing the FBI to declassify it further so all the information the senators compiled against Steele can be made public to show the "important context" for which they based the referral.

"Seeking transparency and cooperation should not be this challenging," Grassley said in a statement Monday. "The government shouldn't be blotting information out that it admits isn’' secret, and it should not take dramatic steps by Congress and the White House to get answers that the American people are demanding.

"There are still many questions that can only be answered by complete transparency," he continued. "That means declassifying as much of the underling documents as possible."

The partially declassified Grassley-Graham memo asserts 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."

Five redacted paragraphs then follow that statement before the senators assert that "public reports, court filings and information obtained by the Committee during witness interviews" indicate that Steele provided dossier information "to numerous media organizations prior to the end of [redacted] October 2016."

The memo identifies those reporters as including journalists from "the New York Times, the Washington Post, Yahoo News, the New Yorker and CNN" who Steele briefed at the end of September.

The Washington Free Beacon employed Fusion GPS for political opposition research during the presidential primary campaign but had no involvement in the Steele dossier. For more information, see here.

Susan Crabtree

Susan Crabtree   Email Susan | Full Bio | RSS
Susan Crabtree is a senior writer for the Washington Free Beacon. She is a veteran Washington reporter who has covered the White House and Congress over the past two decades. She has written for the Washington Examiner, the Washington Times, the Hill newspaper, Roll Call, and Congressional Quarterly.

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