US Democratic senator releases Fusion GPS testimony in Russian Federation probe

Glen Norman
January 10, 2018

"The only way to set the record straight is to make the transcript public", she said. "So, you know, that tells you something about somebody", Simpson said during the testimony, regarding Trump's relationship with Sater.

"The innuendo and misinformation circulating about the transcript are part of a deeply troubling effort to undermine the investigation into potential collusion and obstruction of justice", said Dianne Feinstein, who is the senior Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee.

"Her action undermines the integrity of the committee's oversight work and jeopardizes its ability to secure candid voluntary testimony", said Grassley spokesman Taylor Foy.

Christopher Steele told the political research firm that hired him, Fusion GPS, that what he uncovered from Russian sources was serious enough to bring to the attention of USA law enforcement authorities, according to a transcript released on Tuesday.

Mr Simpson declined to say who he suspected the whistle-blower to be, but did not think it was a source of Mr Steele's.

Mr Steele was said to have passed on his findings to both United States and UK intelligence in the run-up to the 2016 presidential election due to concerns about national security for both countries. He has also talked to the House and Senate intelligence committees. The firm commissioned the dossier, which was initially paid for by a conservative website and then later by Democrats, including Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign.

"Somebody's already been killed as a result of the publication of this dossier and no harm should come to anybody related to this honest work", Levy said late in the interview, according to the transcript.

The transcript reveals Mr Simpson also told the committee that Mr Steele was the "lead Russianist at MI6 prior to leaving" and was someone he had worked with since 2009. But Simpson's comments appear to confirm that the FBI did not launch its Trump-Russia investigation just because of the dossier.

Instead, the person said Tuesday, the episode Simpson was apparently referring to involved communication between George Papadopoulos, a foreign policy adviser for the Trump campaign who has since pleaded guilty to lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and an Australian diplomat.

A representative for Fusion GPS did not respond to a request for comment on Tuesday.

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

Increasingly, the Democrats and Republicans on the committee are going in different directions - with Grassley moving to investigate matters involving Clinton when she was secretary of state and Feinstein concentrating on Russian interference in the 2016 election.

Republicans have sought to attack the credibility of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian election meddling in part by raising concerns about the Steele dossier.

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