Vancouver Sun

Dossier com­piler meets with Mueller team

- Ben ri­ley-smitH U.S. News · US Politics · White-collar Crime · Politics · Crime · Washington · Donald Trump · Russia · United States of America · Christopher Steele · Robert Mueller · The Post · Republican Party (United States) · Democratic Party (United States) · White House · United Kingdom · FIFA

WASH­ING­TON •The­former Bri­tish spy be­hind a con­tro­ver­sial dossier about Don­ald Trump’s links with Rus­sia has spent two days talk­ing to a team of U.S. in­ves­ti­ga­tors, it was re­ported Wed­nes­day.

Christo­pher Steele met col­leagues of Robert Mueller, the spe­cial coun­sel in­ves­ti­gat­ing Rus­sian elec­tion med­dling, ac­cord­ing to The Wash­ing­ton Post.

It means that in­ves­ti­ga­tors will be able to judge at first hand whether they think the claims re­ported by Steele in the dossier are trust­wor­thy.

Steele had pre­vi­ously re­fused to ap­pear be­fore Con­gres­sional com­mit­tees look­ing into how Rus­sia may have in­ter­fered in the 2016 elec­tion.

The Post also re­ported that Steele had com­pared pos­sess­ing the in­for­ma­tion he found about Trump to “sit­ting on a nu­clear weapon.”

The news­pa­per’s 4,000-word ar­ti­cle pro­vides the fullest pic­ture yet of how Steele acted af­ter un­cov­er­ing claims that the Rus­sians had com­pro­mis­ing ma­te­rial on Trump.

Steele and his “dossier,” a se­ries of memos writ­ten af­ter he was given fund­ing by first Repub­li­can and then Demo­crat op­po­nents of Trump, lies at the heart of the row over Rus­sian in­ter­fer­ence in the race for the White House. Among the claims made was that Trump asked pros­ti­tutes to con­duct lurid sex acts while in Rus­sia. He has de­nied the al­le­ga­tions.

The dossier, pub­lished by Buz­zfeed af­ter the elec­tion, has be­come the fo­cus of a par­ti­san bat­tle over the Rus­sian in­ves­ti­ga­tion, which is look­ing into links with the Trump cam­paign team.

Repub­li­cans have sought to por­tray Steele as po­lit­i­cally mo­ti­vated and his claims as un­founded, in­di­cat­ing the en­tire Rus­sian in­ves­ti­ga­tion is con­structed on his faulty in­tel­li­gence.

Democrats have painted Steele as some­one who passed on con­cerns in good faith and stressed his in­for­ma­tion was not the only rea­son for start­ing the Rus­sia in­ves­ti­ga­tion. The Post de­scribed how Steele, a Rus­sian ex­pert so trusted that he had pro­vided brief­ings for U.K. prime min­is­ters and at least one other U.S. pres­i­dent, got drawn into the Trump case.

It went on to de­scribe how af­ter Steele’s con­sult­ing firm, Or­bis Busi­ness In­tel­li­gence, was com­mis­sioned to look into Trump, he be­came in­creas­ingly con­cerned by the dis­cov­er­ies com­ing from his net­work of in­for­mants.

Steele even­tu­ally reached out to the FBI, with whom he had worked to ex­pose cor­rup­tion at FIFA.

He met Post jour­nal­ists twice be­fore the elec­tion to get them to print the claims, once “vis­i­bly ag­i­tated.” The Post, how­ever, de­clined to pub­lish as it was un­able to ver­ify his claims.

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