The top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee says he plans to seek testimony from the British spy behind a shadowy, unconfirmed dossier full of salacious allegations about President Trump's ties to Russia.
The author of the dossier, former MI6 officer Christopher Steele, recently emerged from hiding, after a month out of the public eye following the publication of the document by Buzzfeed in January.
"We certainly want to get to the bottom of the details of that dossier and report what has been substantiated, what hasn't, and find out just how he based those conclusions and to whatever degree he is willing to share with us any sources of his information," Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) told MSNBC's Rachel Maddow Tuesday night.The 35-page document — made up of a collection of memos filled with explosive claims about the president's relationship to Russia — was compiled at the behest of both Republican and Democratic opponents of Trump.
Trump has denounced the document as entirely false, but reports that the FBI agreed to pay Steele for the document before it was made public has reignited interest in the allegations.
Schiff's committee, along with its counterpart in the Senate, is investigating Russian efforts to influence U.S. presidential election.
The first public hearing in the House probe is scheduled for March 20.
Committee leadership last week settled on a scope for the probe, which will cover both alleged connections between Trump campaign officials and Moscow as well as reported leaks from members of the intelligence community.
But it came after weeks of fierce wrangling over what should fall under the purview of the investigation — and how strong the evidence is indicating contact between the campaign and Russian officials.
"I'll certainly be requesting [Steele's] testimony and if there's an issue about whether he is willing to come before the committee, I can say I am more than willing to go to him and I know there are other members of the committee would join me in that," Schiff said Tuesday.
This was published in March 8, 2017 in The Hill.
March 8, 2017