Remember #PeeGate, or was it #GoldenGate?
January seems so long ago, but from the never-ending stream of scandals pooling about the feet of the Trump administration, new questions have emerged.
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) has opened up and inquiry into the allegations of the Federal Bureau of Investigation working with the British spy responsible for putting together an inflammatory dossier on Donald Trump before the 2016 election.
From The Hill:
In a Monday letter to FBI Director James Comey, Grassley asked for records pertaining to any agreements the agency may have had with Christopher Steele. The MI6 agent wrote an explosive memo on behalf of Trump’s political enemies alleging that the Russians had compromising information on the president.
Comey briefed Trump on the existence of the memo in a private meeting in January.
By “compromising information” they mean the report said Trump allowed Russian prostitutes to urinate on him in a Russian hotel and that it had been recorded.
After Buzzfeed released the information from the dossier, CNN reported on the release, thus setting off the calls from Trump and his loyalists of “Fake news!”
In February, a report from The Washington Post alleged that the FBI had struck an agreement with Christopher Steele, the British spy behind the dossier, in which Steele would continue the investigation that birthed the dossier, except this time, he’d be doing it for them.
“While Trump has derided the dossier as ‘fake news’ compiled by his political opponents, the FBI’s arrangement with Steele shows that the bureau considered him credible and found his information, while unproved, to be worthy of further investigation,” the Post reported at the time.
Grassley, however, is not comfortable with the news of the arrangement, and he blames politically motivated holdovers within the FBI for a revival of what President Trump and his administration have declared to be false.
“The idea that the FBI and associates of the Clinton campaign would pay Mr. Steele to investigate the Republican nominee for President in the run-up to the election raises further questions about the FBI’s independence from politics, as well as the Obama administration’s use of law enforcement and intelligence agencies for political ends,” Grassley wrote.
“It is additionally troubling that the FBI reportedly agreed to such an arrangement given that, in January of 2017, then-Director Clapper issued a statement stating that ‘the [intelligence community] has not made any judgment that the information in this document is reliable, and we did not rely upon it in any way for our conclusions’.”
Grassley’s letter to Comey requests the FBI’s policy for using outside sources or agencies for investigations, the records of Steele’s investigation, the details of the agreement between the FBI and the British spy, and how much, if at all the Bureau has relied on Steele’s work to seek warrants.
The concern of the FBI and others, as far as the information in the dossier is that if true, Russia has leverage to use against Trump.
Personally, I see nothing in Trump’s personality to suggest that he would care if anybody saw video of him being peed on by Russian prostitutes, so the joke is on the Russians.