Republican investigations put Clinton associate Blumenthal in dossier spotlight

Sen. Lindsey Graham

Sen. Lindsey Graham

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., the ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said Friday the Republican call for the Justice Department to criminally investigate ex-spy Christopher Steele has "flaws" and omits facts, the Washington Examiner reports. All the information in the criminal referral was already available to the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Department of Justice... "He's been victimized by the Obama Administration who were using all sorts of.agencies, not just the FBI & DOJ, now the State Department to dig up dirt on him in the days leading up to the Election, '" Trump said Saturday in a pair of tweets, quoting from a Fox News interview given by Tom Fitton, the president of the conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch.

The existence of this criminal referral against Steele - the author of what's called the Steele Dossier on President Trump - was known last month, but the details were not made public until after Senators requested a declassification by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

The report alleges that there was a circular flow of information between Clinton associates and Steele.

"One memorandum by Mr. Steele that was not published by BuzzFeed is dated October 19, 2016".

"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 report states.

With the redactions, it's hard to make out exactly what Grassley is accusing Steele of.

Jonathan Winer has had a career at the State Department spanning time as Obama's Special Envoy for Libya (2013-2016), Senior Advisor for MEK [Mujahideen e-Khalq] matters (resettling, protection, out of Iraq); Deputy Assistant Secretary of State (1990s) for law enforcement, including cross-border money, drugs and financial matters.

Cody Shearer is a shadowy figure, who has done operations in Bosnia and other conflict zones. I didn't actually realize it was the DNC and the Hillary Clinton campaign.

Grassley released his memo, which he sent Justice Department last month with the criminal referral for Steele, after receiving permission from the Federal Bureau of Investigation to do so, with redactions. Release of the memo has been held up for weeks.

Senator Grassley's press release today is posted here together with the text of his February 2 letter to Wray and Rosenstein.

"Seeking transparency and cooperation should not be this challenging". "The government shouldn't be blotting information out that it admits isn" secret, and it should not take dramatic steps by Congress and the White House to get answers that the American people are demanding.

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