On Tuesday’s edition of CNN’s “The Situation Room,” former CIA officer Phil Mudd told Wolf Blitzer that ex-MI6 agent Christopher Steele’s decision to brief the Justice Department about his infamous dossier on President Donald Trump’s connections to Russia is going to end badly for him, and possibly for the rule of law.
“This will be a car wreck,” said Mudd. “Look, this isn’t about the Mueller investigation per se. It’s about the origins of the investigation and how the Department of Justice — and Attorney General Barr has talked about this repeatedly, his suspicions about how the Department of Justice originated the investigation. Obviously one of the documents was Christopher Steele, former intelligence operative, the information he uncovered about Donald Trump from Russian operatives.”
Steele’s dossier alleged a number of things that turned out to be true, like that Russia laundered intelligence they gathered on the Democratic Party through WikiLeaks and that former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort was involved in personally lucrative negotiations with Ukrainian oligarchs. Other parts of it are salacious and unverified, like the claim that Russian prostitutes performed urine-related sex acts for Trump and the Russian government was blackmailing him with video footage of the incident.
The dossier was not the sole source of information that prompted the FBI to open an investigation into the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia. However, the president’s allies have long tried to use the dossier’s spottier claims as evidence that the FBI’s investigation, and the subsequent appointment of special counsel Robert Mueller, was illegitimate.
“Let me give you how this game ends,” said Mudd. “Christopher Steele shows up in front of the Department of Justice, and I’m guessing doesn’t have terrific answers for the quality of the information in that Steele dossier. I’m telling you, Wolf, this is not going to go well. I can’t believe he has perfect answers about the origins of the Steele dossier. I’m not even sure why he’s showing up. If I were him, I’d go to Disney World. I would not go to the Department of Justice, because it will not end up well.”
“The question here is not just what Steele found,” warned Mudd. “If it’s determined that Steele had a bit of questionable information, that’s fine. If it’s found that that questionable information played into, for example, the FISA warrant to look at Carter Page’s e-mails, that is a hot mess, and I think that’s where we’re headed from here.”
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