Controversial Steele dossier back in spotlight after Mueller report’s release

Did Mueller's team know Steele dossier was biased?
Did Mueller’s team know Steele dossier was biased?

With Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia report now out in the open, attention is likely to return in coming weeks to the salacious and unverified anti-Trump dossier compiled by former British spy Christopher Steele — a dossier whose more sensational claims were not substantiated by Mueller’s team.

The dossier, funded by the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign, sent shockwaves through the country and the halls of power in D.C. when it was published in January 2017, complete with lurid tales of a sex tape featuring prostitutes that the Russian government was said to be holding over President Trump’s head.

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But despite an intensive two-year investigation, Mueller’s team found no evidence of any such tape. It also said it didn’t have evidence of another claim in the dossier that former Trump attorney Michael Cohen met with Russian officials in Prague.

The New York Times, in a lengthy article on the Steele dossier’s current standing, noted that there is no evidence in the Mueller report on a number of claims: “DNC moles, Romanian hackers, Russian pensioners — or years of Trump-Putin intelligence trafficking.” But a lawyer for Fusion GPS, the firm that commissioned the dossier, told The Times that the Mueller probe backed up “the core reporting” in the Steele memos — including that Russian President Vladimir Putin directed “a covert operation” to have Trump elected.

Now, with a redacted version of Mueller’s report public and pressure building for the release of an unredacted version, attention is set to turn toward the investigation by DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz, who confirmed at a panel discussion in March that his office is continuing to review potential surveillance abuses by the FBI. That review began last March,…

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