President Donald Trump suggested that the FBI may have conspired with Russia to create a dossier showing that Trump’s presidential campaign was strongly tied to Russia.
“Workers of firm involved with the discredited and Fake Dossier take the 5th,” Trump tweeted Thursday. “Who paid for it, Russia, the FBI or the Dems (or all)?”
Workers of firm involved with the discredited and Fake Dossier take the 5th. Who paid for it, Russia, the FBI or the Dems (or all)?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 19, 2017
Trump is referring to the infamous Christopher Steele “golden shower” dossier that includes claims that the president’s aides met with Russian officials and that the Kremlin has a blackmail tape showing Trump with prostitutes in a room previously used by the Obamas.
“Russian regime has been cultivating, supporting and assisting TRUMP for at least 5 years,” Steele wrote in June.
While the most lurid allegations in the dossier have not been proven, much of the information in the dossier has been confirmed by investigators and news reports.
The dossier included claims that Russia was behind the DNC hack, that the Trump Organization attempted to build a Trump Tower in Moscow, and Russia offered the Trump campaign dirt on Hillary Clinton, all of which later turned out to be true.
According to The Washington Post, the FBI did agree to pay the author of the dossier to continue his investigation. After the dossier became public, the FBI decided to end the arrangement.
According to The Post, “It is not uncommon for the FBI to pay sources of information, and Steele was well known to the FBI. Previously, Steele had helped the FBI put together a sprawling global bribery case involving FIFA, the governing body of world soccer.”
Steele initially compiled the dossier for opposition research firm Fusion GPS. The group initially compiled a dirt file on Trump for an unidentified Republican donor before continuing their work for Democrats after Trump won the nomination.
Trump cited the firm’s employees invoking the Fifth Amendment but Fusion GPS founder Glenn Simpson gave a 10-hour interview to the Senate Judiciary Committee earlier this year.
The firm’s employees invoked their Constitutional rights in response to what their attorneys called a “pattern of unprofessional conduct” by House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes.
Nunes, who was forced to recuse himself from the Russia probe after it became apparent he was Trump’s errand boy on the committee, issued subpoenas anyway.
“Now that you, and by extension, your staff, have proven to be unreliable partners in good faith negotiations, we cannot reasonably be expected to trust anything that you or your staff would represent to us,” Fusion GPS lawyers said in a letter to Nunes Monday. “We cannot in good conscience do anything but advise our clients to stand on their constitutional privileges, the attorney work product doctrine and contractual obligations.”
“Despite your recusal from the Committee’s Russia investigation after falling under scrutiny by the House Ethics Committee, your unilateral issuance of these subpoenas violates your recusal and further undermines the legitimacy of this investigation,” they said.
The attorneys said Nunes was attempting to violate his own committee’s rules “either out of malice or as a consequence of your haste to circumvent the Committee’s process and its Ranking Members.”