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Senate Intelligence Members May Have Confirmed Aspects Of The Steele Dossier
Sens. Mark Warner (D-VA) and Richard Burr (R-NC), the ranking members on the Senate Intelligence Committee, spoke Wednesday on issues relating to the investigation into Russia’s meddling in our national elections during the 2016 presidential campaign.
The two senators revealed that they are looking into a controversial dossier that paints President Donald Trump as being compromised by the Kremlin for past business dealings, as well as engaging in some illicit sexual activities.
The comments by Warner and Burr seem to suggest that aspects of the dossier, compiled by ex-British spy Christopher Steele, have been confirmed.
“We have been incredibly enlightened at our ability to rebuild backwards the Steele dossier up to a certain date,” Burr said, according to BuzzFeed News. “Getting past that point has been somewhat impossible.”
Burr’s comments provide insight into what the committee has been able to find. Being able to “rebuild” the dossier “up to a certain date” also implies that the committee has been able to confirm aspects of the dossier as having at least partial validity.
Both Burr and Warner said that they would require the testimony of more individuals familiar with parts of the dossier, including Steele himself.
While they’ve been able to “rebuild” certain parts of the dossier, other parts remain questionable. “The committee cannot really decide the credibility of the dossier without understanding things like who paid for it, who were [Steele’s] sources and sub-sources,” Burr said.
Still, the fact that some “rebuilding” has taken place is likely a cause of concern for the Trump administration. If proven true, where Trump’s loyalties truly lay may come into question.
The Steele dossier alleges that either Trump’s inner circle, or perhaps Trump himself, had accepted and solicited materials from the Russian government that could be helpful in mounting a campaign against Democratic candidate for president Hillary Clinton. The dossier further alleges that Russia has compromised material on Trump himself, making it difficult for the president to have a firm hand against the Kremlin in certain negotiations.
Finally, the dossier alleges that the president engaged in some petty actions, suggesting that Trump hired prostitutes to urinate and defile a bed in Moscow where former President Barack Obama had once spent the night.
The dossier itself has neither been confirmed or proven untrue at this point. But its author has in the past has been involved in some pretty groundbreaking investigations, including bringing down several FIFA soccer officials for being involved in bribery and other nefarious acts.