Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Crime and Terrorism Subcommittee Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-SC) on Monday released a memo referring Trump dossier author Christopher Steele for a criminal investigation that revealed that a friend of Hillary and Bill Clinton fed information for the Steele dossier.
According to Grassley and Graham’s memo, which is heavily redacted at the request of the FBI, a foreign source gave information to friends of Bill and Hillary Clinton, who then gave it to an Obama State Department official, who then gave it to Steele.
Grassley and Graham’s memo stated:
One memorandum by Mr. Steele that was not published by Buzzfeed is dated October 19, 2016. The report alleges [redacted], as well as [redacted]. Mr. Steele’s memorandum states that his company ‘received his report from [redacted] US State Department,’ that the report was the second in a series, and that the report was information that came 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 these Clinton associates were contemporaneously feeding Mr. Steele allegations raises additional concerns about his credibility,” Grassley and Graham wrote.
The Washington Examiner‘s Byron York noted in his report that Clinton associate Cody Shearer was in contact with Steele about anti-Trump research, and that Obama State Department official Jonathan Winer was a connection between Steele and the State Department during the 2016 campaign.
The Justice Department and the FBI requested heavy redactions from Grassley and Graham’s memo, making it hard to discern its full meaning.
The senators said in a statement accompanying their memo that it had quotes from the FISA warrant application used to surveil Carter Page – specifically what Steele had told the FBI about his contacts with the media.
The House Intelligence Committee memo revealed that Steele had not been honest with the FBI about his contacts with the media, and was thus terminated as a source.
Grassley and Graham on January 4 referred Steele for a criminal investigation for lying to federal authorities, but they were not able to release their memo explaining why they were doing so until the Justice Department and FBI reviewed it.
The memo explained that their referral was based on Steele’s statements in British court about the distribution of his research conflicting with things he told the Justice Department.
Their memo includes what those statements are, but the FBI requested they be redacted. Grassley is now calling on the FBI to withdraw its redactions, now that the House Intelligence Committee memo has been declassified.
They said in the statement that their memo is “largely based on the same underlying documents” as the House Intelligence Committee memo that was recently declassified, and that Grassley is now calling on the FBI to withdraw its redactions.
“Seeking transparency and cooperation should not be this challenging. The government should not be blotting out information that it admits isn’t secret, and it should not take dramatic steps by Congress and the White House to get answers that the American people are demanding,” Grassley said.
“There are still may questions that can only be answered by complete transparency. That means declassifying as much of the underlying documents as possible,” he said.