House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes has been fighting like mad to get the FBI and the Department of Justice to turn over the documents known as the “Trump Dossier” for some time now, but thus far, to no avail.
Many feel the release of this information would not only provide tangible proof that the Obama administration had been keeping tabs on the soon-to-be president, but that many of the allegations involving the “Russian collusion theory” would be largely sorted out.
Unfortunately, Attorney General Jeff Sessions — who is the head of the DOJ, and was appointed by Trump — doesn’t really seem to be lending much in the way of support in this arena.
The Washington Examiner is reporting:
Nunes originally subpoenaed the FBI and Justice on Aug. 24, demanding dossier documents by Sept. 1. When none were produced, Nunes agreed to extend the deadline to September 14. During that time, arrangements were made for intelligence committee investigators to visit the Justice Department to make sure officials on both sides understood precisely which documents the committee seeks.
No documents were produced by Sept. 14, and now Nunes, apparently unsatisfied with the results of the staff meeting, has sent a new letter to FBI Director Christopher Wray and Attorney General Jeff Sessions. In it, Nunes set a deadline of this Friday for the documents to be produced. If the documents are not produced by then, Nunes directed that Wray and Sessions appear in an open committee hearing Sept. 28, to explain why they did not hand over the materials.
The document request in the original Aug. 24 subpoena has not changed. It focuses on the FBI’s relations with Christopher Steele, the former British spy retained by the American opposition research firm Fusion GPS to dig dirt on Donald Trump in Russia as part of an effort funded by wealthy supporters of Hillary Clinton. Among other things, the original subpoena demanded all internal FBI reports “incorporating, relying on, or referring to” information provided by Steele, his sources, or Fusion GPS.
The original subpoena also asked for “any information, if it exists, provided by Mr. Steele as an informant/source (confidential or otherwise) or in any other capacity,” as well as any documents relating to whether the FBI paid or offered any benefits to Steele. The subpoena also asked for all documents relating to FBI and Justice “efforts to corroborate, validate, or evaluate” information provided by Steele.
Finally, the original subpoena requested any court applications for surveillance that included any information provided by Steele, plus any court orders, if there were any, that were based in any part on Steele’s information.
One of the other major reasons Sessions and his DOJ need to release the dossier is because investigators and Republicans in Congress want to know if there was any information used in this document to justify making a request for surveillance for Donald Trump.
A lot of these questions could be answered if Sessions — who has, until recently, seemed very close to the president — would simply cooperate.
Let’s hope we get answers to these, and many other questions, answered soon.