The FBI is assessing a second memo that reportedly corroborates some of the allegations against President Donald Trump that were compiled in the infamous dossier compiled by former British spy Christopher Steele.
According to the dossier Steele compiled in 2016, the Trump campaign and Russia cooperated to help Trump win the election, with Moscow spending “at least five years” grooming Trump. In exchange, the Trump campaign promised Moscow that it would “sideline Russian intervention in Ukraine” as a talking point on the campaign trail, as well as halt sanctions against Russia if Trump won.
(Interestingly, the White House just told Congress that new sanctions against Russia — which had bipartisan support — are not needed because the “measure is already ‘serving as a deterrent.'”)
Among the more shocking details of the dossier was that Russia allegedly blackmailed Trump by using a secret video recording of Russian prostitutes — instructed by Trump — to pee on a bed at the Moscow Ritz-Carlton where the Obama’s had once slept. The dossier had been ordered by Fusion GPS, which was initially hired by a conservative media outlet to do opposition research on Trump and subsequently hired by the Clinton campaign and the DNC to continue that research.
Now, according to The Guardian, the FBI is seriously looking into a memo containing some of the same conclusions created by political activist and journalist Cody Shearer. The memo was initially viewed skeptically because Shearer does not have any espionage experience and because he shared it with “select media organizations before the election.” It’s also worth noting that Shearer reportedly has ties to the Clinton White House in the 1990s.
Still, sources told the Guardian that the FBI is taking at least some parts of the memo seriously because they are still following leads pertaining to the Shearer memo, which was given to the FBI in October 2016 by Steele — who said that while he could not vouch for its accuracy, it did “corresponded with what he had separately heard from his own independent sources.”
Meanwhile, Trump has called the Steele dossier “bogus” and some Republican lawmakers are working to discredit Steele and the dossier as part of an abuse of surveillance power by the FBI to pursue Trump campaign officials.