So much for the infamous Trump-Russia dossier being “unverified” or “gossip” or any of the other insults that various major news outlets have inexplicably spent all year throwing at it. The dossier, compiled by former MI6 agent Christopher Steele, has become such a central component of the Trump-Russia scandal, Special Counsel Robert Mueller has taken over the investigation into the dossier from the FBI – and that means he believes he can verify it.
Mueller has taken over the Trump Russia dossier investigation, according to a new Reuters report (link). Here’s why it’s a big deal. The most damning accusations in the dossier are that of election-rigging collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia, but it’s best known publicly for its controversial assertion that Russia has video of Trump and Russian prostitutes, popularly dubbed the “Pee Pee Tape.” It’s made the dossier such a political hot potato that even many among the media have been afraid to align themselves with it.
Special Counsels and serious federal prosecutors like Robert Mueller don’t take on something as controversial as this dossier unless they’re confident they can indeed verify its claims. Mueller is politically savvy enough to know that if he takes over the investigation into the dossier and it comes up even partially empty, it could serve to undermine an otherwise convincing overall argument. In other words, Mueller saw that the FBI was closing in on verifying the dossier, and thus decided to fold it into his own Trump-Russia investigation.
It’s also notable that this isn’t leaking by accident today. Reuters says that three sources all confirmed Robert Mueller is taking over the Trump Russia dossier investigation. Considering how thoroughly Mueller dislikes leaks that he thinks could be damaging, and how tight of a ship his team is, he must have wanted this to leak. He’s sending a message to someone in that dossier that it’s time to flip on Trump and cut a deal before it’s too late.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report