AG Bill Barr: 'I'm Concerned' the Steele Dossier Was Part of Russia's Disinformation Campaign
On Wednesday, Attorney General William Barr testified that he is "concerned" about the Trump-Russia dossier compiled by former British spy Christopher Steele and paid for by the Democratic National Committee and the Hillary Clinton campaign.
Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) asked Barr whether or not the Department of Justice (DOJ) could confirm that the Steele dossier was not part of the disinformation campaign Russia used to interfere in the 2016 presidential election.
"How do we know that the Steele dossier is not itself evidence of the Russian disinformation campaign, knowing what we know now that basically the allegations made therein were second-hand, hearsay, or unverified," Cornyn stated, referring to key claims in the dossier that the report from Special Counsel Robert Mueller disproved, such as the claim that Trump lawyer Michael Cohen traveled to Prague.
"Can you state with confidence that the Steele dossier was not part of the Russian disinformation campaign?" Cornyn asked.
"No, I can’t state that with confidence and that is one of the areas that I’m reviewing," Barr replied. "I’m concerned about it and I don’t think it’s entirely speculative."
If Russia had a hand in the Steele dossier, that would imply that Hillary Clinton's campaign and the DNC either worked with Russians or were duped by the Russians in their disinformation campaigns. It would mean that the real "collusion" with Russia may have been on the Clinton side, rather than the Trump side.
Naturally, the fact that Barr is looking into this claim does not verify the idea that Clinton's campaign was working with Russia. Even so, Barr's remarks were explosive.
If the DOJ under Barr finds that Russia had a hand in compiling the Steele dossier, the DOJ investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election will not only investigate Barack Obama's administration in launching the Trump-Russia investigation but will also begin investigating the Clinton campaign. Could the true Russian "collusion" have been on the left this whole time?
Follow Tyler O'Neil, the author of this article, on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.