Feinstein Releases Fusion GPS Founder's Testimony on Trump Dossier

10 January, 2018, 01:44 | Author: Irene Delgado
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Senate Judiciary Committee ranking member Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) on Tuesday released the full transcript of the Senate testimony of Fusion GPS founder Glenn Simpson, whose political research firm was behind the Steele dossier.

Feinstein's decision to release the transcript came after an op-ed published by Simpson and fellow Fusion GPS co-founder Peter Fritsch, in which they called for the transcripts to be made public and accused Republicans of concealing their testimony.

The former British spy who compiled a dossier of allegations about Donald Trump's presidential campaign and Russian Federation brought the document to the Federal Bureau of Investigation in July 2016 because he was anxious about "whether a political candidate was being blackmailed", according to a congressional interview transcript released Tuesday.

The head of the research firm behind a dossier of allegations against then-presidential candidate Donald Trump told congressional investigators that someone inside Trump's network had also provided the FBI with information during the 2016 campaign, according to a newly released transcript, a claim quickly disputed by people close to the investigation into Russian interference in the election.

Simpson also said Steele severed his contacts with the FBI before the election following disclosures that the bureau's inquiry had found no connection between Trump campaign and Russian Federation and concerns that it was being "manipulated for political ends by the Trump people".

"It was someone like us who chose to pick up the phone and report something", he said, adding that he believed the source was "voluntary", and "was concerned about the same concerns we had".

At another point in the interview, a lawyer for Fusion GPS, Joshua Levy, makes a jarring assertion: that the dossier's publication had led to someone's murder.

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Levy did not expand on that claim in the interview, nor is there any public information that would tie a specific killing to information in the dossier. In a statement, Fusion GPS commended Feinstein "for her courage" in releasing the document.

Through much of 2017, Feinstein and Grassley made joint requests for information about Russian Federation and the FBI's investigation of election interference.

Mr Steele was said to have passed on his findings to both United States and United Kingdom intelligence in the run-up to the 2016 presidential election due to concerns about national security for both countries.

Following his lead, several GOP-led committees are now investigating whether the dossier formed the basis for the FBI's initial investigations.

Democrats on the committee said they were not consulted ahead of the Republicans' referral to the Department of Justice.

Simpson told investigators that Steele is "basically a Boy Scout", saying he has worked with Steele on and off since 2009 and he knew him to be "a person who delivered quality work in very appropriate ways". While details of the referral are classified, it appears to be related to Mr. Steele's contacts with reporters during the election campaign.

Democrats say those investigations are a distraction.

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