Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation hinges on one question.
Did the Trump campaign collude with Russia?
But Trey Gowdy just made a move that could answer that question once-and-for-all.
The collusion narrative gained traction in the media when BuzzFeed published the unverified Christopher Steele dossier.
The memo – commissioned by the mysterious Fusion GPS – claimed Russia had compromising information on Trump and that his campaign colluded with Russia to rig the 2016 election.
But what were the origins of the dossier?
Who paid for it?
Was Fusion GPS also being paid by the Russian government when they commissioned the memo?
And was Steele on the FBI payroll when he put this document together – and did the Bureau use the document as the basis for their counterintelligence investigation into the Trump campaign’s ties with Russia?
These are serious questions currently being stonewalled by both the FBI and Fusion GPS.
Now the House Intelligence Committee – which Trey Gowdy is a member – has subpoenaed documents they believe will shed light on these matters.
The Washington Examiner reports:
In the most significant escalation yet in the wrangling between Congress and the FBI over the Trump dossier, the House Intelligence Committee has subpoenaed the bureau and the Justice Department for documents relating to the dossier, the FBI’s relationship with dossier author Christopher Steele, and the bureau’s possible role in supporting what began as an opposition research project against candidate Donald Trump in the final months of last year’s presidential campaign.
The subpoenas are an indication of growing frustration inside the committee over the FBI and Justice Department’s lack of cooperation in the Trump-Russia investigation.
The committee issued the subpoenas — one to the FBI, an identical one to the Justice Department — on August 24, giving both until last Friday, September 1, to turn over the information.
Neither FBI nor Justice turned over the documents, and now the committee has given them an extension until September 14 to comply.
Illustrating the seriousness with which investigators view the situation, late Tuesday the committee issued two more subpoenas, specifically to FBI Director Christopher Wray and Attorney General Jeff Sessions, directing them to appear before the committee to explain why they have not provided the subpoenaed information.”
Trey Gowdy explained why these documents are so crucial.
The Examiner also reports:
“We got nothing,” said committee member Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., who is taking a leading role in the Russia investigation. “The witnesses have not been produced and the documents have not been produced.”
In a telephone interview Tuesday, Gowdy said the FBI has said it needed more time to comply, and also that complying might interfere with the investigation of special counsel Robert Mueller. Whatever the reason, the documents haven’t been produced.
“A subpoena is a tool of last resort in Congress,” Gowdy, a former federal prosecutor, said.
Like investigators with the Senate Judiciary Committee, who are also pursuing information about the dossier, the House committee wants to know the origin of the FBI’s involvement in the creation of the document. They are particularly interested to know whether the FBI or Justice Department ever presented information from the dossier — unverified, possibly from paid informants — to a court as a basis for obtaining a surveillance warrant in the Russia investigation.
“I want to know the extent to which it was relied upon, if at all, by any of our intelligence agencies or federal law enforcement agencies,” Gowdy said, “and to the extent it was relied upon, how did they vet, or either corroborate or contradict, the information in it?”
Gowdy’s answer is revealing.
The Bureau cited Mueller’s investigation as a reason they have not yet produced the documents.
But if the documents show the whole investigation was based on a fake news memo – or that the FBI paid the man who put this together, it would drive a stake through the heart of Mueller’s probe.