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Senate wants MI6 spy Christopher Steele to testify

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Christopher Steele, the ex-MI6 agent who compiled the salacious dossier on President Trump, could testify before the U.S. Senate about the new commander-in-chief's apparent links to Russia, according to a report.

While Steele is unlikely to show, a group of Democrats — joined by some Republicans — have offered to set up initial meetings on neutral territory in order to plan for any eventual testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee, friends of the ex-spy told the British Independent newspaper.

The committee agreed earlier this week to conduct a probe into the Trump administration's apparent ties to Russia amid growing bipartisan concern.

Steele's whereabouts remain unknown as he has been in hiding since the uncorroborated 35-page report on Trump was published in full this January. The White House has vehemently denied the report, which includes allegations that Kremlin operatives for years gathered comprising and sexually "perverted" information on Trump in order to blackmail him.

Trump has blasted Steele as a "failed spy" and ripped the dossier as "FAKE NEWS" after its publication.

But other Republicans have shown some interest.

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) learned of Steele's report in November and subsequently sent an associate to London to pick it up. McCain thereafter alerted FBI director James Comey, who briefed both Trump and then-President Barack Obama on the dossier's findings.

Steele is highly regarded among British and American intelligence agencies, and has worked closely with both MI6 and the FBI. It was revealed earlier this week that the FBI at one point actually offered to pay Steele to expand his probe into Trump and his associates.

Steele ended up working without pay because he allegedly grew so concerned about his findings, according to multiple reports.

Word that Steele might testify before a Senate committee comes amid revelations that Trump's attorney general, Jeff Sessions, met with a Russian ambassador to the U.S., Sergey Kislyak, on at least two occasions during the campaign. Sessions claims he only met with Kislyak as a senator, not as a campaign representative.

But Democrats are calling for Sessions to resign, claiming that he lied under oath during his confirmation hearing when he denied ever communicating with Russians. Amid bipartisan pressure, Sessions preemptively recused himself from any investigation involving the new administration's apparent ties to Russia.

Ex-national security adviser Michael Flynn was fired after it became known that he had been in close contact with Kislyak before Trump's inauguration. Flynn reportedly hinted in conversations with Kislyak that the incoming administration would roll back sanctions imposed by Obama, and overall smooth over U.S.-Russia relations.

Date
2017.03.03 / 17:24
Author
Axar.az
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