Russia-Trump inquiry: 'FBI knew of collusion allegations during campaign'

Nick Sanchez
January 6, 2018

Lindsey Graham said Friday they had referred former British spy Christopher Steele to the Justice Department for investigation about false statements he may have made to the government.

The Senate Judiciary Committee is one of three congressional bodies investigating Russian interference in the 2016 election.

The criminal referral is likely to antagonize Democrats, and escalates Republican pressure on the Federal Bureau of Investigation as it faces credibility challenges by members of the Trump administration. "Publicizing a criminal referral based on classified information raises serious questions about whether this letter is nothing more than another attempt to discredit government sources, in the midst of an ongoing criminal investigation".

In the letter released by the senators, Grassley and Graham neither identify anyone to whom they believed Steele lied nor do they identify any news outlet.

Paul Manafort sued the Department of Justice for exceeding its powers: Following his not guilty plea to 12 counts levied against him in October, former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort filed a lawsuit against the DOJ.

Were Sessions to step down, however, Trump would merely need to find someone willing to quash the investigation (and lie to the Senate about his or her willingness to do so).

But subsequent reporting, including by the Guardian and the New York Times, has shown that USA intelligence agencies were prompted to investigate the issues before they received the dossier.

The minority leader of the Judiciary Committee, Sen.

"I think this referral is unfortunate as it's clearly another effort to deflect attention from what should be the committee's top priority: determining whether there was collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian Federation to influence the election and whether there was subsequent obstruction of justice", Feinstein said in a statement. Republicans have also sought to portray Special Counsel Robert Mueller's probe as biased and politically motivated. "Getting to the bottom of what happened remains a top priority for me, as I hope it does for everyone on the Judiciary Committee".

"Given all that we've learned through the course of the investigations, it's telling that THIS is what Republicans are now choosing to pursue", tweeted Sen.

Mueller is now spearheading the FBI's investigation into Russia's interference in the 2016 election, including whether members of Trump's campaign colluded with Moscow to tilt the election in his favor.

FBI investigators met with House Speaker Paul Ryan: FBI Director Christopher Wray and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein met with the House speaker to discuss sharing files related to their investigation of the infamous dossier about Trump's alleged ties to Russian Federation. After complaining about how Steele "conducted himself in distributing information contained in the dossier" and about "how many stop signs the DOJ ignored in its use of the dossier", Graham concluded, "I believe that a special counsel needs to review this matter". U.S. officials have corroborated some aspects of the dossier, although its most salacious allegations have not been corroborated by the intelligence community or CNN.

Other reports by AllAboutTopnews

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