Republicans ask for criminal probe into author of Trump dossier

It was not immediately clear from the referral what Steele allegedly lied to investigators about.

"I don't take lightly making a referral for criminal investigation", Grassley said in the statement.

Sen. Richard Blumenthal, one of the Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee, slammed committee chair Chuck Grassley and Lindsey Graham for their letter recommending a criminal investigation into Christopher Steele.

During a senate judiciary committee, the Republicans found that Christopher Steele had passed details from the dossier to "multiple USA news outlets".

Steele was behind research included in the dossier of unverified claims linking Trump to Russian Federation.

Graham said that he wants a special counsel to review how Steele conducted himself in distributing information contained in the dossier and how the Justice Department used it. Fusion cofounders Glenn Simpson and Peter Fritsch said in a New York Times op-ed this week that committee Republicans were "selectively" leaking details about the testimony "to media outlets on the far right".

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According to Fusion GPS, the subpoena is thought to be a reaction to a lawsuit against Buzzfeed, which published the dossier and was then met with threats from Trump allies.

News reports have said the Federal Bureau of Investigation had considered paying Steele for more research but later decided not to. "We should all be skeptical in the extreme". News. Steele also met with Federal Bureau of Investigation agents beginning in July 2016 to share rumors that he had picked up while investigating Donald Trump's alleged ties to Russian Federation.

Josh Levy, a lawyer for Fusion GPS, said Friday that "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".

The Senate action comes days after the Justice Department reached a tentative agreement with House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes, R-Calif., to provide additional information related to his investigation of how the probe now led by Mueller may have acted on information in the dossier, including whether it was the primary basis for launching surveillance of Trump campaign officials.

Lewandowski was sacked as campaign manager on June 20, 2016, and replaced by Paul Manafort, who has been indicted for money-laundering charges by Special Counsel Robert Mueller.

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