As promised, ex-British spy Christopher Steele is refusing to cooperate with U.S. Attorney John Durham’s investigation into the origins of the Trump–Russia collusion probe.
Reuters reported Friday that Steele, who authored the infamous “Steele dossier” full of disparaging allegations against President Donald Trump, has declined to speak with prosecutors on Durham’s team as they continue their investigation into whether there was wrongdoing on the part of government officials in the beginnings of the Robert Mueller-led special counsel probe that ended in no charges for the president.
Steele had previously said that he wouldn’t answer questions from Durham, who was appointed by Attorney General Bill Barr to lead the probe last May, according to The New York Times.
Citing several sources familiar with the matter, Reuters reported that “Steele was concerned that Durham’s investigation was overly politicized and he would not be treated fairly.”
Durham’s probe morphed into a criminal inquiry in October, but neither the U.S. attorney nor his team had any comment on this most recent development, according to Reuters. It also remains unclear what questions Durham’s team was set to ask Steele — but it seems the former spy isn’t itching to find out.
“We’ve said everything we have to say on the matter,” Steele said at an event Friday, according to the Washington Examiner.
Finding the truth
Shortly after Durham’s appointment, the Washington Examiner reported that President Trump had equipped Barr with “full and complete authority to declassify information” relating to the origins of Mueller’s probe, which looked for — but didn’t find — evidence of Trump’s 2016 campaign team “colluding” with Russia.
“Today, at the request and recommendation of the Attorney General of the United States, President Donald J. Trump directed the intelligence community to quickly and fully cooperate with the Attorney General’s investigation into surveillance activities during the 2016 Presidential election,” then-White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders announced last May.
She went on: “Today’s action will help ensure that all Americans learn the truth about the events that occurred, and the actions that were taken, during the last [p]residential election and will restore confidence in our public institutions.”
Indeed, though Steele doesn’t seem to be willing to cooperate, Durham isn’t throwing in the towel just yet — much to the dismay of Democrats like House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-NY).
“If the Department of Justice may be used as a tool of political retribution, or to help the [p]resident with a political narrative for the next election, the rule of law will suffer new and irreparable damage,” the congressman tweeted in October.
But at the end of the day, the American people deserve the truth. What are Democrats — and Steele — so afraid of?