Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Subcommittee Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-SC) are leading the charge to open a criminal investigation of Christopher Steele on charges of lying to federal authorities in communications related to the Fusion GPS dossier.
“I don’t take lightly making a criminal referral for criminal investigation,” Grassley said in a statement. “But as I would with any credible evidence of a crime unearthed in the course of our investigations, I feel obliged to pass that information along to the Justice Department for appropriate review.”
Grassley and Graham sent a letter to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein on Thursday claiming that Steele, a former British spy, made false statements “the Committee has reason to believe Mr. Steele made regarding his distribution of information contained in the dossier.”
Senators @ChuckGrassley and @LindseyGrahamSC have referred Christopher Steele to @TheJusticeDept for investigation after information reviewed by committee investigators revealed significant inconsistencies in statements provided to authorities pic.twitter.com/MKhJlscdKP
— Senate Judiciary (@senjudiciary) January 5, 2018
If the Justice Department does not investigate Steele’s alleged lies, Grassley said, it could damage the credibility of law enforcement as a whole – and cast a shadow of doubt over the charges Special Counsel Robert Mueller brought against Trump associates for making false statements to federal authorities.
“Everyone needs to follow the law and be truthful in their interactions with the FBI,” he said. “If the same actions have different outcomes and those differences seem to correspond with partisan political interests, then the public will naturally suspect that law enforcement decision are not on the up-and-up.”
Graham went so far as to request a special counsel review of the matter, citing “how Mr. Steele conducted himself in distributing information contained in the dossier and how many stop signs the DOJ ignored in its use of the dossier.”