Congressional investigators have been told by the FBI and Justice Department that they have not been able to verify or corroborate substantive allegations of collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign as outlined in the Trump dossier, reports The Washington Examiner.
“The FBI received the first installment of the dossier in July 2016. It received later installments as they were written at the height of the presidential campaign, which means the bureau has had more than a year to investigate the allegations in the document. The dossier was financed by the Hillary Clinton campaign and compiled by former British spy Christopher Steele.”
The FBI and Justice Department received a subpoena from the House Intelligence Committee that asked for information on the bureau’s validation of the dossier.
“Specifically, the subpoena demanded ‘any documents, if they exist, that memorialize DOJ and/or FBI efforts to corroborate, validate, or evaluate information provided by Mr. Steele and/or sub-sources and/or contained in the ‘Trump Dossier,” reported The Washington Examiner.”
And Democrats are not happy about the report. Sources have reported that neither the FBI or Justice Department has provided such documents. However, in face-to-face briefings with congressional staff, FBI and DOJ officials have not said they are not able to verify charges of a conspiracy between Russia and the Trump Campaign as outlined in the dossier.
“‘A lot of it has turned out to be true,’ Rep. Adam Schiff, ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence panel, told the Wall Street Journal on Wednesday.
‘The biggest thing that I think people need to realize about the dossier is that Christopher Steele discovered that the Russians were embarked on a broad effort to help the Trump campaign before our own intelligence agencies came to the same conclusion,’ Schiff told the Journal. ‘In the broadest outline of what he investigated, he proved more than prescience — he proved accurate in terms of the Russian involvement and what their motivations were.'”
The most pressing question the dossier invokes is: is it true? The 35-page-long dossier contains specific assertions that could be verified by an organization such as the FBI, if they were accurate in the first place. Assertions such as a meeting between, Trump aide, Michael Cohen, and “Kremlin representatives”, a directive from Putin in which Putin issues orders to Kremlin staff not to discuss Russian attempts to influence the US election, and even a meeting between the Ukrainian president, Vikor Yanukovych and Putin, are found in the dossier, along with a multitude of others that have the ability to be verified by the FBI.
Some assertions have already been debunked, such as the assertions regarding Michael Cohen.
The dossier attributed the Cohen story to a “Kremlin insider” who was “speaking in confidence to a longstanding compatriot friend.” Investigators want to know if that insider-compatriot line of sourcing provided other, equally unreliable information in the dossier.
Overall, the FBI and Justice Department are not claiming that the dossier is either accurate or not accurate. However, it has been found that Russia did have an influence on the US election, however the involvement to with the Trump campaign had a hand in this is still unverified.