Grassley gets closer to the truth, inch by inch
Faithful Five readers know how much I respect, admire, and appreciate the amazing Chuck Grassley, one of the Senate’s all-time greats. Day by day, inch-by-inch, layer-by-layer he is unwinding the conspiracy(s) surrounding our last election. The Faithful know, from many previous writings I suspect a number of high-ranking Democrats broke our nations election laws in a myriad of ways during the run-up to the presidential election and even after it. Ben Rhodes, Samantha Power, Loretta Lynch, Susan Rice, Debbie Wasserman-Shultz, all guilty, guilty, guilty of bad judgment, conspiracy to fix an election and multiple national security and privacy law violations — if the evidence unmasked so far is even remotely telling. Anyway, hers is Grassley’s latest, and as usual, he is great.
The Honorable Christopher Wray
Federal Bureau of Investigation
935 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, D.C. 20535
Dear Director Wray:
On March 6, 2017, I wrote to then-Director Comey asking a series of questions stemming from press reports about the FBI’s interaction with Mr. Christopher Steele, the former British spy and purported author of the political opposition research dossier of allegations of collusion against President Trump and his associates. While the Committee did receive some information in response, most of the questions went unanswered, and the information the Committee received contained material inconsistencies.
To address these inconsistencies, I sent a follow up letter on April 28, requesting that the FBI answer all the questions in the original letter, explain the inconsistencies, and answer some additional questions. Although Mr. Comey indicated at his oversight hearing on May 3, 2017, that the FBI would provide answers, the President fired him shortly thereafter. The Committee has received no additional information about these issues from the FBI. The Committee continues to need this information to perform its constitutional duty of oversight of the FBI. On August 25, 2017, I sent you a classified letter addressing the issues in detail. I have yet to receive a response to that letter.
There is another concern about Mr. Steele’s and Fusion GPS’s work that the FBI needs to address. Public reports indicate that the FBI received the dossier and has used it in the Russia investigation. However, it appears that the FBI, the media, and various Congressional offices were not the only recipients of the dossier prior to its publication. In court filings by Mr. Steele’s attorneys in London, he admitted that he had passed at least some contents of the dossier to at least one foreign government – the United Kingdom.
Media reports have also claimed that foreign governments passed along information to the United States about purported contacts between Trump associates and Russians. Given that Mr. Steele also distributed the dossier’s contents to at least one foreign government, it is possible that this political dossier’s collusion allegations, or related allegations originating via Mr. Steele, may have also been surreptitiously funneled into U.S. intelligence streams through foreign intelligence sharing. If so, that foreign information would likely have ended up within the FBI’s investigation of allegations of collusion between Trump associates and Russia. However, given that foreign intelligence agencies carefully guard their sources and methods, it may not have been clear to the FBI that the foreign reporting was actually based on the work of Mr. Steele and Fusion GPS.
If this in fact happened, it would be alarming. Mr. Steele’s dossier allegations might appear to be “confirmed” by foreign intelligence, rather than just an echo of the same “research” that Fusion bought from Steele and that the FBI reportedly also attempted to buy from Steele. It is even more alarming in light of what we are learning about the allegedly unregistered Russian foreign agents who Fusion GPS and Glenn Simpson were working with to undermine the Magnitsky Act and who met with Trump family and campaign officials last summer.
The Committee must understand what steps the FBI has taken to ensure that any foreign information it received and used in the Russia investigation, beyond the dossier itself, was not ultimately sourced to Mr. Steele, his associates such as Fusion GPS, or his sub-sources. Please respond to the following by no later than October 18, 2017:
- Please provide all foreign intelligence reports that are or have been part of the FBI’s investigation into alleged collusion between Trump associates and Russia.
- Please explain what steps, if any, the FBI took to determine whether Mr. Steele or his network were the ultimate source of each foreign intelligence document received.
- Other than the Steele dossier itself, did the FBI rely on any information provided by foreign nationals or foreign governments in seeking investigative authorities in the investigation of alleged collusion between Trump associates and Russia? If so, please include the relevant warrant applications and related documents.
I anticipate that your responses to these questions may contain both classified and unclassified information. Please send all unclassified material directly to the Committee. In keeping with the requirements of Executive Order 13526, if any of the responsive documents do contain classified information, please segregate all unclassified material within the classified documents, provide all unclassified information directly to the Committee, and provide a classified addendum to the Office of Senate Security. Although the Committee complies with all laws and regulations governing the handling of classified information, it is not bound, absent its prior agreement, by any handling restrictions or instructions on unclassified information unilaterally asserted by the Executive Branch.
Thank you for your prompt attention to this important matter. If you have any questions, please contact Patrick Davis of my Committee staff at (202) 224-5225.
Charles E. Grassley
Committee on the Judiciary