On Friday, two influential Republicans made clear the first known congressional criminal referral in connection with the middling of Russia in the 2016 election, according to the New York Times. These Republicans are Senator Charles E. Grassley of Iowa, the chairman of the Judiciary Committee, and Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, a senior committee member.
These two senators told the Justice Department that they have good reason to believe that federal authorities were in connection with Christopher Steele, a former British spy, who lied to federal authorities about his contacts with reporters regarding information about the dossier.
This decision by these two top Republican senators singles out the former intelligence officer behind the Trump dossier and has infuriated Democrats, who are on the opposite side of a partisan battle over investigations into the Trump campaign and Russia.
Over one year ago today, Republican leaders in Congress recognized the need to investigate Russia's effort to influence the outcome of the 2016 election. Graham, a foreign policy hawk and neoconservative, declared that he believed the Russia investigation was a critical issue.
In October 2017, the Washington Post broke a story that completely changes the narrative about Russian collusion in the American 2016 election. We now know, thanks to the Washington Post, that the Hillary Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee helped to fund research for what resulted in the dossier containing supposedly harmful information about President Trump's connections to Russia.
It has been reported that Marc E. Elias, a powerful lawyer who represented the Clinton campaign and the DNC, conducted the research through Fusion GPS, a Washington firm. The lawyer and his firm then hired Christopher Steele, a former British intelligence officer with ties to US intelligence, who received his information from Russian sources.
The Clinton campaign and the DNC then continued to fund this research through the end of October 2016, only days before Election Day.
CNN reports that Donald Trump remarked that the Clinton campaign and DNC involvement with the dossier is a "very sad commentary on politics in this country."
He continued, "Hillary Clinton always denied it. The Democrats always denied it, and now, only because it is going to come out in a court case, they said yes they did it. They admitted it and they are embarrassed by it. I think it is a disgrace."
The Washington Post reports that the recent effort by Republicans to investigate for possible criminal charges toward the author of the Trump dossier marks a major escalation in conservatives' challenges to the FBI's credibility. This move has been viewed skeptically by some Democrats and Republicans on the Judiciary Committee, as well as numerous experts in criminal law.
In recent news, Tom Hanks is facing a difficult choice after a recent White House announcement.