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    House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif. speaks on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Sept. 10, 2015

    Dossier Dodge? US GOP Lawmaker Fails to Meet With UK Spy Chiefs on London Trip

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    Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee Devin Nunes (R-CA) tried and failed to meet with a who’s who of UK spy chiefs of MI5, MI6 and Government Communication Headquarters (GCHQ) recently in a bid to learn more about the infamous Steele Dossier.

    The unverified dossier, published in January 2017 by BuzzFeed News after making rounds in media circles and leaving many reporters unimpressed with its veracity, details salacious acts by Donald Trump, who would go on to become the US president, in a Moscow hotel room with Russian sex workers. It alleges Trump hired them to urinate on a bed used by former US President Barack Obama, and that evidence of this tryst forms the basis of the Russian so-called kompromat (compromising material) against the commander in chief.

    The document's author, former MI6 spy Christopher Steele, also alleged long-standing collusion between Russia and Trump in the dossier.

    Natasha Bertrand with The Atlantic was first to break the story of Nunes' fruitless visit to the United Kingdom. She wrote that people familiar with his trip said MI5, MI6 and GCHQ wouldn't meet with him out of fear he was "trying to stir up a controversy." 

    A Reuters report from London, however, says that schedule conflicts rendered Nunes' trip futile, though the agencies had considered giving him meetings.

    Those sources told Reuters that instead, Prime Minister Theresa May's deputy national security advisor, Madeleine Alessandri, met with the US representative.

    On Friday, President Trump called on Attorney General Jeff Sessions to "look into" corruption among the investigations into his campaign and administration, including on the part of former FBI agent Peter Strzok, former FBI lawyer Lisa Page and former Associate Deputy Attorney General at the Department of Justice Bruce Ohr; and "Mueller conflicts." Former FBI Director Robert Mueller is heading an ongoing probe into allegations of collusion by the Trump campaign with Moscow.

    On Tuesday, Ohr testified behind closed doors in front of the House Judiciary and Oversight committees about his relationship to Steele. The Steele Dossier was commissioned by a company called Fusion GPS and paid for by both the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and Democratic president candidate Hillary Clinton's campaign. The FBI also sent payments to Steele over an unknown period of time, according to heavily redacted documents released by the bureau. 

    Ohr's wife, Nellie Ohr, worked at Fusion GPS, and some of her research made its way into the dossier. She met with Steele several times over the course of the 2016 presidential election season.

    Republicans have honed in on the FBI and the DOJ in their efforts to seek the truth about the origins of the special counsel investigation into collusion and other matters. They have accused officials from the agencies of leaking things to the press and then turning around and setting up surveillance of Trump officials based on those leaks; colluding with one another to kick off the Russia probe; and lying under oath about the Steele Dossier.

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    Tags:
    Russiagate, Christopher Steele, Devin Nunes
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