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The FBI’s handling of Christopher Steele’s dossier on Trump and Russia remains a mystery

The FBI’s handling of Christopher Steele’s dossier on Trump and Russia remains a mystery

Trump Inquiries Remain Politically Charged, Despite Special Counsel’s Investigation

By David Wallechinsky

December 2nd, 2017

The investigation into Hillary Clinton’s private email server and the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia continues to be plagued by a lack of transparency. A recent New York Times report, detailing the FBI’s investigation into the Trump campaign and Russia’s role in the 2016 election, states that the FBI has found no evidence of coordination between the Trump campaign and Russia, but a spokesperson for the FBI has repeatedly denied there is any evidence of coordination. At a House hearing yesterday where FBI Director Christopher Wray testified on this issue, Rep. Peter King (R-NY) called out the FBI’s lack of transparency, particularly in the lack of a transcript of Wray’s previous testimony, but the House Intelligence Committee voted to release his entire statement—which is already public—and the FBI refused to release the transcript of the interview, despite claiming “the release of all of the documents…is of substantial relevance to our ongoing investigation.” It is hard to fathom a more troubling conflict of interest in the current atmosphere of secrecy and unaccountability.

The FBI is also embroiled in another controversy involving its handling of Christopher Steele. A recent New York Times report claims that Steele’s dossier on Trump and Trump campaign associates was not initially considered credible by the FBI. But Wray’s previous testimony made it clear that Steele’s sources were “reliable,” and that the FBI had no reason to dismiss his reports: “Mr. Steele also had contacts with the FBI.” And according to a statement by the FBI, the decision to “reject” the dossier was made in July 2016 and was not the result of the FBI’s own questioning, but rather a recommendation from the Justice Department’s National Security Division that the dossier be considered part of an “ongoing counterintelligence investigation.”

The FBI’s handling of Steele’s dossier

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