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House panel to seek testimony from Christopher Steele, author of explosive Trump dossier

The House Intelligence Committee will seek testimony from the former British spy who compiled an explosive and uncorroborated dossier concerning President Trump’s campaign and its ties to Russia, the panel’s top Democrat said Tuesday.

Rep. Adam Schiff of California told MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow Tuesday that he’d like to interview Christopher Steele, a former British intelligence official attributed with assembling the scandalous dossier devoted to Mr. Trump published shortly prior to his January 20 inauguration.

Mr. Steele went into hiding upon release of the report on January 10, but emerged on Tuesday this week for the first time in nearly two months. The House panel initiated a probe in the interim concerning last year’s U.S. presidential election and Russia’s alleged meddling therein, and have scheduled the first public hearing on the matter for March 20.

While the House panel has already announced a preliminary list of witnesses slated to speak at the event, Mr. Schiff said Tuesday he’d like to hear from the dossier’s author as well.

“I’ll certainly be requesting his testimony,” he said of Mr. Steele. “And if there’s an issue about whether he is willing to come before the committee, I can say I am more than willing to go to him, and I know there are other members of the committee that would join me in that.”

The unverified dossier was reportedly shared among political operatives and members of the press before it was ultimately released by Buzzfeed shortly prior to Mr. Trump’s swearing-in. Mr. Trump and his predecessor, Barack Obama, were both aware of the dossier’s existence and the allegations it contained prior to Buzzfeed’s publication, and had been briefed by the U.S. intelligence community’s top officials, according to previous reports.

“We certainly want to get to the bottom of the details of that dossier and report what has been substantiated, what hasn’t, and find out just how he based those conclusions and to what ever degree he is willing to share with us any sources of his information,” Mr. Schiff said Tuesday.

Mr. Schiff and Intel Committee Chairman Devin Nunes, California Democrat, announced last week the scope of its probe concerning allegations involving Russia’s role in last year’s election, and said its investigation will seek to uncover details involving any hacking operations waged against the U.S. in addition to any as “links between Russia and individuals associated with political campaigns,” among other matters.

FBI Director James Comey, National Security Agency Director Adm. Mike Rogers, former CIA director John Brennan, former national intelligence director James Clapper, former acting attorney general Sally Yates and two leading cybersecurity experts have already been invited to speak at the March 20 hearing, Mr. Schiff and Mr. Nunes said Tuesday.


Source: www.washingtontimes.com stories: Politics

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