- The Washington Times - Monday, February 5, 2018

As Christopher Steele was compiling the controversial anti-Trump dossier, associates of Hillary Clinton were “feeding” allegations to the former ex-British spy, according to a criminal referral of Mr. Steele written by senior Senate Republicans.

The information comes from a heavily redacted version of a criminal referral regarding Mr. Steele that Senate Judiciary Chairman Charles Grassley and committee member Sen. Lindsey Graham — sent to the Department of Justice and FBI last month – and publicly released Monday Morning. The DOJ and FBI released the same document late last week.

On Monday the senators requested that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and FBI Director Christopher Wray engage in an emergency review to release a cleaner version of the referral with fewer omissions.

“Seeking transparency and cooperation should not be this challenging,” Mr. Grassley said in a statement on Monday. “The government should not be blotting out information that it admits isn’t secret, and it should not take dramatic steps by Congress and the White House to get answers that the American people are demanding.”

FBI and DOJ officials released the heavily redacted referral on the heels of President Trump declassifying a House Intelligence committee GOP memo last week which alleged that the agencies abused the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) by obtaining surveillance warrants of Trump campaign staff partially based upon Mr. Steele’s dossier without disclosing that funding came from the Hillary Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee.

Mr. Grassley and Mr. Graham’s criminal referral explains a Clinton scheme to pass Mr. Steele information which wound up in a second, unpublished dossier the former spy compiled. That document, according to the referral, was based on material provided by a source who received it from “a friend of the Clintons.”

The redacted version of the referral does not explain what Mr. Steele did with the second dossier.

“It is troubling enough that the Clinton campaign funded Mr. Steele’s work, but that these Clinton associates were contemporaneously feeding Mr. Steele allegations raises additional concerns about his credibility,” the senators wrote in the referral. “There is substantial evidence suggesting that Mr. Steele materially misled the FBI about a key aspect of his dossier efforts, one which bears on his credibility.”

On Capitol Hill, insiders noted possible conflicts of interest the referral appeared to unearth. Those included the idea that the criminal referral of Mr. Steele essentially asks the FBI to investigate someone the bureau used as a source for evidence to partially approve a surveillance warrant of Trump campaign staff.

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