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Fox News: Dispute erupts over whether Brennan, Comey pushed Steele dossier, as DOJ probe into misconduct begins

A high-level dispute over which senior government officials pushed the unverified Steele dossier amid efforts to surveil the Trump campaign has broken out into the open again, after it emerged that Attorney General William Barr appointed a U.S. attorney to examine the origins of the Russia investigation and determine if the FBI and DOJ's actions were "lawful and appropriate."

Sources familiar with the records told Fox News that a late-2016 email chain indicated then-FBI Director James Comey told bureau subordinates that then-CIA Director John Brennan insisted the dossier be included in the intelligence community assessment on Russian interference, known as the ICA.

Fox News was told that the email chain – not yet public -- referred to the dossier as "crown material," but it was not clear why this apparent code was used. On Tuesday night, former GOP Rep. Trey Gowdy said on Fox News' "The Story with Martha MacCallum" that "Comey has a better argument than Brennan, based on what I've seen."

A day earlier, Gowdy told Fox News, "Whoever is looking into this, tell them to look into emails" from December 2016 involving Brennan and Comey. Gowdy, who is now a Fox News contributor, said his assessment was based on sensitive Russia records he reviewed as then-chairman of the Republican-led House Oversight Committee.

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