Senators Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) made a criminal referral Friday to the Department of Justice for Christopher Steele, the author of the controversial "Trump dossier."
What are they alleging Steele did?
The former British spy is being accused of making inconsistent statements to officials, some of which may entail criminal violations.
“I don’t take lightly making a referral for criminal investigation," Grassley said in the statement. "But, as I would with any credible evidence of a crime unearthed in the course of our investigations, I feel obliged to pass that information along to the Justice Department for appropriate review."
The senators notified Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and FBI Director Christopher Wray of their referral.
What is the "Trump dossier"?
The controversial dossier documented supposed damaging information on Donald Trump that was in possession of the Russian government and could allegedly be used to blackmail or otherwise influence him as president.
Critics allege that the dossier was fake, and created for the sake of being used as justification for the Obama administration to surveil Trump and his associates for political reasons before the election. These charges are being investigated by a congressional committee.
What do Democrats on the committee say about the referral?
Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) said she wasn't notified of the criminal referral. "I wasn’t consulted about this referral nor were any of my Democratic colleagues," she said.
“I cannot understand why it would be necessary for members of Congress to make a criminal referral to the FBI concerning information we know the FBI already has," said Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.).