Hours after Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr (R-N.C.) said that his committee had been unable to verify claims in the dossier on President Trump compiled last year by former British MI6 officer Christopher Steele, Reuters reported that Special Counsel Robert Mueller's team had taken over inquiries into the Steele dossier. Steele, reputedly one of MI6's most respected Russia experts, put the dossier together as opposition-research on Trump, financed first by a Republican primary rival and then backers of Hillary Clinton. It was controversially published by BuzzFeed News after the election, and along with some memorably salacious details, it contained allegations that the Russian government had financial and personal leverage over Trump and his team.
A Mueller spokesman and the FBI declined to comment to Reuters, which cited "sources familiar with the inquiry" for its scoop. Three of those sources also told Reuters that Mueller's team has "assumed control of multiple inquiries into allegations by U.S. intelligence agencies that Russia interfered in the election to benefit Trump." Burr said his committee had made several attempts to contact Steele and arrange an interview, but "those offers have gone unaccepted." Perhaps Mueller will have more luck. Peter Weber