Sen. Whitehouse: Release of Fusion GPS Transcript Refutes GOP Distortions

The anti-sexual harrassment panel was led by Sens. Charles E. Grassley and Dianne Feinstein

It was a smug and cynical trick, claiming the testimony of Fusion GPS co-founder Glenn Simpson could not be released for us to read, and then telling us to trust them when they characterized Christopher Steele, one of the subjects of that testimony and the author of the dossier, as dishonest to the point of being criminal. Simpson's testimony, taken during August of previous year, covered his firm's role in producing the infamous anti-Trump dossier for the Clinton campaign and Democratic National Committee.

Glenn Simpson, co-founder of the research firm Fusion GPS, testified that a Trump Organization official voluntarily reached out to the Federal Bureau of Investigation. "I don't know why you're digging this up now", McCain told the Daily Caller back in October when asked if he was the source who leaked the dossier to Buzzfeed.

Grassley said Feinstein's decision to release the testimony was "confounding".

Defending the release of the transcript on Tuesday, Feinstein said it was necessary in order to combat false information circulating about the Simpson interview.

Grassley said in an angry news release on Tuesday that he was "confounded" by the release and argued that it could undermine attempts to get additional witnesses.

Feinstein released the 312-page document unilaterally, without the knowledge of committee Chairman Sen. "I have no idea", Cobb told the Daily News over the phone. By Wednesday he appeared to have softened, saying he was continuing to negotiate witnesses with Feinstein in the Russian Federation probe.

NPR has not detailed the material contained in the dossier because it remains unverified, but it describes a concerted effort by powerful Russians to cultivate a relationship with Trump and his camp.


Later in the testimony, Simpson clarified that he couldn't say for sure whether the source was from the Trump Organization or the Trump campaign. "The only way to set the record straight is to make the transcript public".

Feinstein also sits on the Senate intelligence committee, which is conducting its own investigation into the Russian interference and whether Trump's campaign was in any way involved.

Feinstein expressed a healthy skepticism that Trump could turn things around.

Trump additionally called for Feinstein to face a primary challenge in her reelection campaign in 2018.

The Justice Department and Federal Bureau of Investigation are on a tight timeline to provide records and witnesses, based on an agreement reached last week between Republican Chairman Devin Nunes, R-Calif., and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.

"I understand Chris severed his relationship with the FBI out of concern that he didn't know what was happening inside the FBI and there was a concern that the FBI was being manipulated for political ends by the Trump people", Simpson told the Senate Judiciary Committee.

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