Schiff: We want to meet with dossier author

Story highlights

  • GOP staffers traveled to London, sources told CNN
  • Schiff said he and Conaway would be willing to go to London if Steele did not want to come before the panel in Washington

Washington (CNN)California Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff said both he and the Republican leading the House intelligence committee's Russia investigation want to meet with the former British intelligence officer who authored a controversial dossier containing explosive allegations about President Donald Trump and top members of his campaign.

Schiff's comments to CNN's "State of the Union" on Sunday came after news broke that a pair of Republican staff members on the committee traveled to London to try to get an interview with the dossier author, Christopher Steele. In the interview, Schiff said he had not known about the trip and suspected Texas Rep. Mike Conaway, the Republican leading the investigation, had not either.
"I wasn't aware of it," Schiff said. "I don't think Mr. Conaway was either. But the reality is we do want to meet with Mr. Steele."
    CNN reported in early January that Trump was briefed on the dossier, which includes allegations about Trump's associates, finances and personal life, and Trump has gone on to dismiss its contents entirely, dismissing them as "phony."
    Steele has largely shied from the spotlight since it became public that he wrote the incendiary document, and Schiff said he and Conaway would be willing to interview Steele in the United Kingdom should Steele not wish to travel to the United States.
    "If he's not willing to do that, we'd be happy -- Mr. Conaway and myself -- to go to London to sit down with him," Schiff said.
    Schiff said the committee would want to speak with Steele as it went through the allegations in the dossier as part of the Russia investigation.
    A congressional source familiar with the GOP aides' trip has told CNN that House investigators are expected to send a letter to Steele, inviting him to testify before the intelligence committee, but that would first need to be approved by the leaders of the panel's investigation.