Washington, D.C. — On Monday, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Crime and Terrorism Subcommittee Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-SC) released a copy of their request for a criminal probe of anti-Trump dossier author Christopher Steele. The Grassley/Graham memo has alleged a convoluted scheme that entailed a foreign source supplying information to a friend of the Clinton family, to be fed to an unnamed official in the Obama State Department, who then proceeded to forwarded the information to Steele.
The Grassley-Graham memo, which is heavily redacted at the FBI’s request, 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 in a statement accompanying the memo.
The Grassley-Graham memo comes on the heels of the House Intelligence Committee memo, which publicly claimed that Steele lied to the FBI about his contacts with media organizations – thus being terminated as an FBI source. Steele was referred for criminal investigation by Grassley and Graham for lying to federal authorities on January 4, but the accompanying memo that explained their referral was not released at that time due to the FBI and Justice Department reviewing it.
The referral for criminal investigation was based on conflicts between Steele’s testimony in British court and the information he supplied the FBI/DOJ.
The Grassley-Graham memo includes those specific statements, but they have been redacted at the request of the FBI. In the wake of the House Intelligence Committee memo aka the Nunes/FISA memo being declassified, Grassley has called on the FBI to withdraw its redactions, as he noted the memo is “largely based on the same underlying documents.” The Hill reported that “According to a spokesman for Grassley, the blacked-out sections of the referral contain ‘verbatim quotes’ from government surveillance warrant applications that include ‘the government’s description of Steele’s statements to the FBI about his contacts with the media.’”
“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 wrote. “There are still may questions that can only be answered by complete transparency. That means declassifying as much of the underlying documents as possible.”