Two top Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee are asking the Justice Department and FBI to open up a criminal investigation into dossier author Christopher Steele.
Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley and South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham alleged in a letter to FBI Director Christopher Wray and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein that Steele may have made false statements to the FBI about his communications with U.S. news outlets regarding the dossier.
Citing information contained in a classified memo, Grassley and Graham said that they were “respectfully referring Mr. Steele to you for investigation of potential violations of 18 U.S.C. § 1001, for statements the Committee has reason to believe Mr. Steele made regarding his distribution of information contained in the dossier.”
Steele, a former MI6 agent, compiled the dossier during the presidential campaign while working for Fusion GPS, an opposition research firm that was on the payroll of the Clinton campaign and DNC.
As part of that project, Fusion instructed Steele to brief reporters from numerous news outlets, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, CNN, Mother Jones and Yahoo! News. Steele also met with FBI agents beginning in July 2016 to share rumors that he had picked up while investigating Donald Trump’s alleged ties to Russia.
Steele has also reportedly met with investigators working for Special Counsel Robert Mueller as part of the investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian government.