On Friday, top Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee referred the author of the unverified anti-Trump dossier to the FBI and DOJ for criminal investigation.
Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) referred former British spy Christopher Steele, who was hired by Fusion GPS to compile the anti-Trump dossier, to the FBI and DOJ to be investigated for possible crimes after they said that he may have made false statements to investigators about his communications with journalists in the U.S. about the dossier. The letter states:
Based on the information contained therein, we are respectfully referring Mr. Steele to you for investigation of potential violations of 18 U.S.C. § 1001, for statements the Committee has reason to believe Mr. Steele made regarding his distribution of information contained in the dossier.
In a statement, Grassley wrote, "I don’t take lightly making a referral for criminal investigation. But, as I would with any credible evidence of a crime unearthed in the course of our investigations, I feel obliged to pass that information along to the Justice Department for appropriate review."
Graham added, "After reviewing how Mr. Steele conducted himself in distributing information contained in the dossier and how many stop signs the DOJ ignored in its use of the dossier, I believe that a special counsel needs to review this matter."
This is the latest blow to Fusion GPS, as a federal judge has denied their request to block the House Intelligence Committee from gaining access to their banking records; that opens the doors for investigators to learn about who was involved in financing Fusion GPS in addition to any possible connections to Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign and the Democratic National Committee (DNC). U.S. District Court Judge Richard Leon, a George W. Bush-appointee, wrote, "To recast a line from the great Justice Robert H. Jackson, the First Amendment is not a secrecy pact!"