National Security

Report: Christopher Steele agrees to be questioned by US officials over his relationship with FBI

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Christopher Steele, the former MI6 operative infamous for collecting a dossier alleging ties between the Trump campaign and Moscow, among other sordid details, has agreed to be questioned by U.S. officials about his relationship with the FBI. 

A source close to Steele told The Times he will meet with investigators in London in the coming weeks. Republicans have long alleged it was Steele’s dossier that improperly led to an FBI inquiry, which ultimately morphed into special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into possible coordination between the Trump and campaign and Russia during the 2016 election.

{mosads}The Justice Department’s internal watchdog is investigating aspects of the Mueller probe, including whether officials abused their power when they ordered surveillance of a former campaign aide partially based on information from Steele’s dossier. 

The source told The Times that while Steele was initially reluctant to be questioned as part of the Justice Department’s inquiry, he reconsidered after reports said the investigation could ultimately criticize him and throw his credibility into question. 

The Justice Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Hill.

Steele will hire a top American attorney if the interview does take place, costing the former British agent over $38,000, according to The Times. He reportedly told the Justice Department that he was only willing to discuss his dealings with the FBI and that he wanted officials to obtain the approval of the British government before the interview.

“As far as we are aware, no request has been made to HMG [Her Majesty’s government] on this matter. Any decision to co-operate would be a matter for Mr Steele as this relates to issues arising many years after he left government employment,” a senior source told The Times. 

Steele compiled the dossier for Fusion GPS, a Washington research firm tapped by Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign. He later shared the information he discovered with the British government.

Steele has emerged as a top GOP target, with congressional Republicans and President Trump repeatedly slamming the former intelligence agent for starting an investigation they believe was improper.

“Wow! FBI made 11 payments to Fake Dossier’s discredited author, Trump hater Christopher Steele,” Trump tweeted in April. “The Witch Hunt has been a total fraud on your President and the American people! It was brought to you by Dirty Cops, Crooked Hillary and the DNC.”

Tags Donald Trump Hillary Clinton Mueller investigation Robert Mueller

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