Christopher Steele, former British intelligence officer in London Tuesday March 7, 2017 where he has spoken to the media for the first time . Steele who compiled an explosive and unproven dossier on President Donald Trump’s purported activities in Russia has returned to work. Christopher Steele said Tuesday he is “really pleased” to be back at work in London after a prolonged period out of public view. He went into hiding in January. (Victoria Jones/PA via AP)

Following Attorney General William Barr’s press conference prior to the public release of the Mueller report Thursday, some journalists were quick to point out that the AG said NO AMERICAN conspired with the Russian government to interfere in our elections (nor, specifically, with their hacking efforts via the Internet Research Agency (IRA)).

Barr’s full remarks are here, so you can read them for yourself. But the pertinent points are that he specifically says “no American” worked with with IRA on hacking and “no American” worked to interfere in the election.

But there were Americans working with Russia on ostensibly anti-American lobbying campaigns and — surprise! — while they were involved in creating a dossier accusing a sitting president of colluding with Russia.

That’s right, as Nick Short, lately of the Security Studies Group, reminds us, Fusion GPS is the subject of a DOJ complaint that bubbled up two years ago related to their work on behalf of Russian interests that allegedly sought to undermine current U.S. sanctions against Russia. The meat of the complaint is that Fusion had failed to register their work under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA).

But of even more concern is that back in March of 2017, then-Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley wanted to know not only why Fusion had sidestepped registration under FARA but why the firm wasn’t being investigated for its overlapping work on behalf of anti-sanctions Russian interests and the creation of the now-infamous Steele dossier.

Grassley’s letter [to Acting Attorney General Dana Boente] cites earlier reporting by POLITICO connecting Fusion GPS to a mysterious lobbying effort last year that tried to derail a human rights sanctions bill that irked the Kremlin.

The lobbying campaign occurred at the same time that Fusion GPS reportedlyhired a former British spy to gather intelligence on Russia’s efforts to tamper with the 2016 presidential election and develop contacts with then-candidate Donald Trump and his associates.

“The issue is of particular concern to the Committee given that when Fusion GPS reportedly was acting as an unregistered agent of Russian interests, it appears to have been simultaneously overseeing the creation of the unsubstantiated dossier of allegations of a conspiracy between the Trump campaign and the Russians,” Grassley wrote in the letter.

“It is highly troubling that Fusion GPS appears to have been working with someone with ties to Russian intelligence—let alone someone alleged to have conducted political disinformation campaigns—as part of a pro- Russia lobbying effort while also simultaneously overseeing the creation of the Trump/Russia dossier,” Grassley wrote. “The relationship casts further doubt on an already highly dubious dossier.”

So while it may be correct that “no American” worked to undermine the 2016 election, nor worked to help Russians in their hacking efforts, it looks like some Americans were working with Russia at the same time they were working on digging up “evidence” of collusion (which we now know didn’t exist) in the Trump campaign.

It’s odd that with the kind of direct contacts laid out in the Politico piece that Fusion relied on the absurd claims made in the dossier, complied by a former British spy, to make their case against Trump. If there ever is an “investigation into the investigation” of the Trump campaign, we’ll find out why they didn’t just ask around the office.