Ex-spy behind Trump dossier reappears

Ex-spy behind Trump dossier reappears
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A former British spy who created an unverified dossier about President Trump’s ties to Russia returned to work Tuesday.

“I’m now going to be focusing my efforts on supporting the broader interests of our company here,” Christopher Steele said from his London-based office, according to the Associated Press.

Steele, 52, added he is “really pleased” about resuming work at Orbis Business Intelligence, a private security firm. He went into hiding in January after his name surfaced in reports about the dossier.

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The former MI6 agent thanked the public for its support but said he won't be making additional comments, according to the AP.

His explosive 35-page memo was compiled as opposition research on Trump during the presidential campaign. The unverified work alleges that Russia’s government has compromising information concerning Trump.

Trump has decried the document as “fake news” compiled by political foes before he became president in January.

Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck GrassleyChuck GrassleyGrassley pressured to run as Democrats set sights on Iowa The Hill's Morning Report - Pelosi considers adding GOP voices to Jan. 6 panel Ex-Rep. Abby Finkenauer running for Senate in Iowa MORE (R-Iowa) on Monday reportedly opened an inquiry into allegations the FBI previously worked with Steele. Grassley sent FBI Director James Comey a letter asking for records pertaining to any agreements between his bureau and Steele.

The Washington Post reported last week that the FBI agreed to pay Steele to continue investigating Trump's ties to Moscow before the election, though the payments never materialized after news of the dosser went public. Steele had also in the past reportedly worked with the FBI on an anti-corruption probe involving FIFA.

Comey purportedly briefed Trump on the dossier's existence and contents during a private meeting in January. Several news organizations reported about the dossier's existence, while BuzzFeed published the document in full, prompting backlash. Trump and the White House denied the memo's veracity.

“The idea that the FBI and associated of the Clinton campaign would pay Mr. Steele to investigate the Republican nominee for President in the run-up to the election raises further questions about the FBI’s independence from politics, as well as the Obama administration’s use of law enforcement and intelligence agencies for political ends,” Grassley wrote.

The FBI is investigating whether Russia interfered in the 2016 race, and the subject remains a focus of several congressional inquiries.