Feb 7, 2018

Christopher Steele reportedly wrote extra Trump-Russia document

Christopher Steele, the former MI6 agent who wrote the Trump dossier. Photo: Victoria Jones / PA Images via Getty Images

Christopher Steele, the author of the controversial Trump-Russia dossier, reportedly wrote an additional document on Donald Trump and his links to Russia, according to a referral released Monday by the Senate Judiciary Committee. The FBI declassified several of the redactions Tuesday after Chairman Chuck Grassley pushed for more transparency.

Why it matters: Last week's memo alleging FISA abuse by the FBI and Justice Department is just the first of many expected memos alleging politically motivated "wrongdoing" across various agencies. And this new referral could form the basis for those releases.

Details from the Committee's referral:

  • The referral says Steele's additional document is based on information that wound its way from a foreign informant, to a Clinton associate, to the Obama State Department, to Steele.
  • A press release that accompanied the referral also said the Steele document "contains verbatim quotes from the [Carter Page FISA] application that are not included in the [Nunes] memo."
  • When asked during a March 2017 briefing why the FBI included the Steele dossier allegations about Carter Page in the FISA applications, former FBI Director James Comey said it was because “Mr. Steele himself was considered reliable due to his past work with the Bureau.”
  • The referral also echoes concerns raised by House Intelligence Committee Republicans that Steele may have shared information from his dossier with reporters, despite telling the FBI he didn't.

Why it's surfacing now: Republican Sens. Chuck Grassley and Lindsey Graham filed the Committee's criminal referral with the DOJ on Jan. 4, at which point the document was classified. The senators then negotiated with the FBI and DOJ to release a redacted version of the referral to the public on Monday. They then released a less redacted version Tuesday night after being given approval from the FBI.

Go deeper: The big questions surrounding the Steele dossier

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Coronavirus dashboard

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  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 9:30 p.m. ET: 1,346,299 — Total deaths: 74,679 — Total recoveries: 276,636Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 9:30 p.m. ET: 367,507— Total deaths: 10,908 — Total recoveries: 19,598Map.
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  4. States latest: West Coast states send ventilators to New York and other states with more immediate need — Data suggest coronavirus curve may be flattening in New York, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said.
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Acting Navy head apologizes for calling fired captain "stupid"

Acting Secretary of the Navy Thomas Modly testifies on Capitol Hill in December. Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

Acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly apologized Monday for calling Capt. Brett Crozier, the ousted commander of the USS Theodore Roosevelt "too naive or too stupid" over his letter pleading for help following a coronavirus outbreak onboard.

The big picture: His apology came after President Trump told a news briefing earlier Monday he would "get involved" following a leak of Modly's remarks on Crozier to the ship's crew, obtained by CNN. Modly said in a statement.

What he's saying: "Let me be clear, I do not think Captain Brett Crozier is naive nor stupid. I think, and always believed him to be the opposite," Modly said in his statement released to news outlets.

Go deeper: Acting Navy head called fired aircraft carrier captain "stupid" in address to crew

Editor's note: This is a developing news story. Please check back for updates.

Former Vatican treasurer George Pell's sexual abuse convictions overturned

Cardinal George Pell at the County Court in Melbourne, Australia, in 2019. Photo: Michael Dodge/Getty Images

George Pell, the former Vatican treasurer, has won his appeal and had his child sexual abuse convictions overturned by Australia's High Court.

Why it matters: The cardinal became last year the highest-ranking Catholic Church official to go to trial and be convicted for sex abuse. But the High Court's ruling means he can be immediately released from prison, where he was serving a six-year sentence.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 48 mins ago - World