Grassley, Graham call for investigation into "Trump dossier" author

Grassley speaks with reporters ahead of votes on Capitol Hill in Washington U.S

Grassley speaks with reporters ahead of votes on Capitol Hill in Washington Thomson Reuters

Republicans have been asking the Justice Department for months whether the dossier was used as part of its initial investigation into Russian interference.

Two influential Republican senators issued a criminal referral this week against Christopher Steele, the former British spy who authored the largely unverified "Trump dossier".

Lawmakers can not prosecute, but generally refer any criminal violations they find to the Justice Department.

Chuck Grassley and Senator Lindsey Graham stated that they believed Christopher Steele, author of the now-infamous Trump dossier, should be investigated for allegedly making false statements to authorities.

The dossier is a compilation of memos Steele wrote during the 2016 campaign that contained several allegations of connections between Trump and Russian Federation, including that Trump had been compromised by the Kremlin.

"The FBI doesn't need any prompting from politicians to prosecute people who have lied to them", Zeidenberg says.

Underneath all the drama though, perhaps the most illuminating news was that the impetus for the FBI investigation into Trump's Russia ties turned out not to be the Trump-Russia dossier, but rather a drunken admission from Trump's former foreign policy adviser George Papadopoulos to an Australian diplomat that Russia had "dirt" on Hillary Clinton.

Christopher Steele   Screenshot
Christopher Steele Screenshot

Trump reportedly erupted in anger after learning that Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself: Trump, believing Sessions would be able to protect him from the Russia investigation, did everything he could to convince him not to recuse himself from it due to his previously undisclosed contact with Russian government representatives.

On Wednesday, House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes said he reached an agreement with the Department of Justice to secure information about the dossier. Democrats obviously weren't taken with the criminal referral. Sen.

Two Republican senators urged United States justice officials Friday to open a criminal investigation into the author of the research dossier on President Donald Trump that allegedly detailed links between his campaign and Moscow.

"The referral is for further investigation only, and is not meant to be an allegation of a crime", the committee's release said.

The Judiciary Committee has not interviewed Steele. "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", Levy said in a statement.

Fusion GPS didn't immediately respond to CNBC's request for comment.

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