The statement notes which the referral “is actually not intended to be an allegation of a crime.”
Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., the top Democrat on the Judiciary Committee, said the referral was an attempt to deflect attention by the committee’s collusion investigation.
“I’ll continue to stand strong against any efforts to undermine Special Counsel Mueller’s investigation, as well as the ongoing congressional investigations. Getting to the bottom of what happened remains a top priority for me, as I desire which does for everyone on the Judiciary Committee,” Feinstein said in a statement to NBC News.
Republicans allege the dossier, which was commissioned by research firm Fusion GPS, served as the basis of the federal investigation into the president’s alleged ties to Russia. which has faced renewed criticism as conservatives have ramped up attacks on perceived bias within the Department of Justice.
The founders of Fusion GPS published an op-ed from the brand-new York Times earlier which week, saying which congressional Republicans were “chasing rabbits” by investigating the firm.
On Thursday, federal Judge Richard Leon cast aside arguments by Fusion GPS which its banking records were irrelevant to the House Intelligence Committee’s Russia investigation. Leon said the subpoena could “reasonably produce information relevant” to the committee’s inquiry.
On Wednesday, House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes said he reached an agreement with the Department of Justice to secure information about the dossier. Nunes’ committee has been seeking information about Steele’s research for months.
Joshua Levy, an attorney for Fusion GPS, took issue with the referral.
“Publicizing a criminal referral based on classified information raises serious questions about whether which letter is actually nothing more than another attempt to discredit government sources, from the midst of an ongoing criminal investigation,” Levy told CNBC. “We should all be skeptical from the extreme.”