The FBI will not confirm or deny the existence of records showing whether the bureau paid the researcher behind the unverified, controversial dossier alleging ties between President Donald Trump and Russia.
Christopher Steele, a former British spy, gathered information for the dossier while working for a Washington research firm that supporters of Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign hired. Trump has denied that the dossier is true while Steele has said parts of it are unverified.
The Washington Post reported earlier this year that Steele had reached an agreement with the FBI a few weeks before Election Day in November to continue investigating then-candidate Trump.
Cause of Action Institute, or CoA, a nonprofit watchdog group, wanted to know whether Steele was ever paid by the FBI to probe Trump.
In March of this year, CoA filed a Freedom of Information Act request to the FBI seeking access to records to determine whether the FBI paid, or intended to pay, Steele. CoA filed a lawsuit in federal court the following month against the FBI for not responding to the request.
The FBI replied to CoA last week in a letter, writing that the agency cannot speak to the potential existence of such records.