President Donald Trump and several associates continue to draw intense scrutiny for their ties to the Russian government.
A dossier of claims both verified and unverified alleges serious conspiracy and misconduct in the final months of the 2016 presidential campaign. The White House has dismissed the dossier as fiction, and most of the claims remain unverified. The timeline of major events, however, lines up.
— Maddow Blog (@MaddowBlog) October 6, 2017
The document includes one particularly explosive allegation — that the Trump campaign agreed to minimize US opposition to Russia’s incursions into Ukraine in exchange for the Kremlin releasing negative information about Trump’s opponent, Hillary Clinton. The timing of events supporting this allegation also lines up.
Special counsel Robert Mueller has interviewed the veteran British spy who wrote a collection of explosive memos alleging ties between President Donald Trump’s campaign team and Russia.
The intelligence agencies, particularly the CIA, and the FBI took Steele’s research seriously enough that they kept it out of a publicly-released January report on Russian meddling in the election in order to not divulge which parts of the dossier they had corroborated and how.
This contrasts with attempts by President Donald Trump and some lawmakers to discredit Steele and the memos he produced.
The revelation came one day after the chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Richard Burr, told reporters that the committee had been working “backwards” to examine the memos as part of its separate but parallel investigation into Russia’s election meddling.
The memos were compiled into a dossier by veteran British spy Christopher Steele, who was hired by a Washington, DC-based opposition research firm in June 2016 to investigate the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia. The firm, Fusion GPS, was first hired by unspecified anti-Trump Republicans in late 2015. Democrats took over funding for the firm’s work after Trump won the GOP nomination.