Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), also a member of the committee, have asked the Department of Justice to investigate Christopher Steele, the author of the infamous dossier on then-candidate Donald Trump.

The senators told the DOJ that they believe Steele made false statements to the FBI concerning his talks with news outlets about the dossier.

The two men did not release or mention the evidence they have that led to their conclusions, but sent a “classified memorandum” specifically to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and FBI Director Christopher Wray with that information.

The code noted in their statement “refers to knowingly and willfully making false or misleading statements to federal authorities.”

Of course the Democrats on the panel flew off the handle. From Politico:

“I wasn’t consulted about this referral nor were any of my Democratic colleagues,” said Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), the top Democrat on Grassley’s committee. “I think this referral is unfortunate as it’s clearly another effort to deflect attention from what should be the committee’s top priority: determining whether there was collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia to influence the election and whether there was subsequent obstruction of justice.”

One congressional aide, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the decision by Grassley and Graham to refer Steele to the Justice Department raises an obvious anomaly.

“They are referring to DOJ a criminal prosecution based on documents DOJ gave them and based on witness testimony to the DOJ,” the aide said.

Steele, a former British spy, compiled the dossier for Fusion GPS. Former FBI Director James Comey told a House panel in March that the dossier was filled with “salacious and unverified” allegations against Trump and those who worked with him.

Back in November, Byron York reminded everyone that the FBI has not verified the information in the 35 page dossier that was funded by the DNC and failed Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s campaign:

An August 24, 2017 subpoena from the House Intelligence Committee to the FBI and Justice Department asked for information on the bureau’s efforts to validate the dossier. Specifically, the subpoena demanded “any documents, if they exist, that memorialize DOJ and/or FBI efforts to corroborate, validate, or evaluate information provided by Mr. Steele and/or sub-sources and/or contained in the ‘Trump Dossier.'”

According to sources familiar with the matter, neither the FBI nor the Justice Department has provided documents in response to that part of the committee’s subpoena. But in face-to-face briefings with congressional staff, according to those sources, FBI and DOJ officials have said they cannot verify the dossier’s charges of a conspiracy between the Russian government and the Trump campaign.

The House Intelligence Committee has become frustrated by testimony from FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe since he did not provide them with more information on the dossier and contradicted testimony of former witnesses.

McCabe told the panel that the FBI worked hard “to verify the contents of the anti-Trump ‘dossier’ and stood by its credibility.” However, he could not tell the lawmakers if “the bureaur has been able to verify the substantive allegations in the dossier, or even identify a substantive allegation that has been corroborated.”

The lawmakers asked him which part of the dossier was true and McCabe only pointed to the part “that the unpaid, low-level Trump foreign policy advisor Carter Page visited Moscow in July 2016.”