The author of a controversial dossier about Donald Trump and Russia has reportedly been found credible by the Department of Justice.
Politico reported on Tuesday that Christopher Steele had been grilled for 16 hours while the president visited London recently.
Steele was hired by Fusion GPS to conduct opposition research on Trump during the 2016 election. His work was first funded by a conservative activist before later being turned over to the Democratic National Committee and the FBI.
The extensive, two-day interview took place in London while Trump was in Britain for a state visit, the sources said, and delved into Steele’s extensive work on Russian interference efforts globally, his intelligence-collection methods and his findings about Trump campaign adviser Carter Page, who the FBI ultimately surveilled. The FBI’s decision to seek a surveillance warrant against Page — a warrant they applied for and obtained after Page had already left the campaign — is the chief focus of the probe by Horowitz.
The interview was contentious at first, the sources added, but investigators ultimately found Steele’s testimony credible and even surprising. The takeaway has irked some U.S. officials interviewed as part of the probe — they argue that it shouldn’t have taken a foreign national to convince the inspector general that the FBI acted properly in 2016. Steele’s American lawyer was present for the conversation.
According to Reuters, Inspector General Michael Horowitz found Steele’s testimony compelling enough to extend an investigation into whether the FBI acted properly by using the dossier to obtain court permission for surveillance on the Trump campaign. Republicans have insisted that the use of the dossier was improper.
Read the entire report here.