As Democrats mull how far to push the impeachment envelope against President Trump after Robert Mueller found no evidence of collusion with Russia in the 2016 election but punted on obstruction of justice charges, another investigation could further blunt their attempts to oust the president from office or damage his re-election chances.
Amid calls from Trump and his supporters to “investigate the investigators,” Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz has been hard at work over the last year looking into the sources and methods the FBI used to begin surveillance of a one-time Trump campaign adviser based at least in part on discredited information gathered by a former British spy.
That packet of intelligence, known as the “Steele dossier,” contains salacious and unsubstantiated details about Trump’s alleged romps with Russian prostitutes, along with business and political quid pro quos with Russian officials.
Attorney General Robert Barr said the inspector general is wrapping up his probe and could release a final report as early as next month.
Those interviewed by Horowitz and his team over the past year, according to Politico, say he seems intensely focused on undermining the dossier and credibility of Christopher Steele, the former British MI6 agent who produced the document. Steele had served as a confidential source for the FBI since 2010 until a falling out over his leaks to the media about the Trump-Russia probe.