Grassley, Graham turn focus to Democrats for answers about the dirty dossier
Sens. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, and Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., this week pressed the Democratic National Committee and Hillary for America for details and documents related to the work of “Trump dossier” author Christopher Steele, amid concerns that the FBI may have used information in the dossier to seek authorization for surveillance of Trump associates.So far the Democrats have acted like bystanders in this drama, but they should be held to account too. If they were part of a conspiracy to use the FBI to attack a political opponent it needs to come out now so their protestations about the investigation can be put in context.
“The Senate Judiciary Committee has a constitutional duty to conduct oversight of the FBI and broader Department of Justice,” the senators wrote in letters sent Thursday that went public on Friday. “Part of that duty involves ensuring that law enforcement efforts are conducted without improper influence.”
“The scope of our review includes the extent to which the FBI may have relied on information relayed by Mr. Steele in seeking judicial authorization for surveillance of individuals associated with Mr. Trump,” added Grassley, who is chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and Graham, the chairman of the panel’s subcommittee of crime and terrorism.
Fusion GPS, a Washington opposition research firm, was funded in part by the Clinton campaign and DNC lawyer Mark Elias to oversee the research. Fusion GPS then hired former British intelligence officer Steele, who wrote the dossier, which contains salacious and unverified claims about President Trump's ties to Russia.
The senators said they want to determine if applications seeking permission for surveillance accurately disclosed the source of Fusion GPS’s and Steele’s funding, the extent to which the assertions were or were not verified, and motivations of Steele and his clients and sources.
Additionally, they are seeking documents to understand who from the DNC and the Clinton campaign were aware of Steele’s efforts on behalf of the DNC and campaign to disperse content from the dossier, whether members from either group received information contained in the dossier prior to its publication, and if Clinton was informed about Steele’s efforts and the allegations “he was spreading.”