Ahead of a highly anticipated Senate hearing later this week, FBI Director James Comey is being accused of making inconsistent statements about the bureau’s relationship with Christopher Steele, the ex-British spy behind the Trump dossier.
Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley, the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, made the allegation in a letter sent to Comey on Friday.
“There appear to be material inconsistencies between the description of the FBI’s relationship with Mr. Steele that you did provide in your briefing and information contained in Justice Department documents made available to the Committee only after the briefing,” Grassley wrote to Comey.
Grassley will have a chance to quiz Comey on the issue on Wednesday, when the FBI chief testifies before the Judiciary Committee in a routine oversight hearing.
Grassley, a Republican, has repeatedly pressed Comey about reports that the FBI cooperated with Steele and even offered to pay the former MI6 agent $50,000 to continue his research on Trump. FBI agents reportedly met with Steele in July and again in October to discuss his findings, which were laid out in a 35-page dossier published by BuzzFeed in January.