Democrat California Sen. Dianne Feinstein blamed her “bad cold” for her poor judgement of releasing Glenn Simpson’s testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Feinstein published the Fusion GPS founder’s testimony Tuesday without the knowledge of Sen. Chuck Grassley, the committee’s chairman, The Daily Caller reported.
“The one regret I have is that I should have spoke with Senator Grassley before,” she said to NBC News. “And I don’t make an excuse but I’ve had a bad cold and maybe that slowed down my mental facilities a little bit.”
Taylor Foy, a spokesman for Grassley, said in a statement that the release of the transcript without Grassley’s permission compromises the Judiciary Committee’s investigation, according to The Hill.
“Her action undermines the integrity of the committee’s oversight work and jeopardizes its ability to secure candid voluntary testimony relating to the independent recollections of future witnesses,” he said.
Foy added that the release of the transcript may discourage potential witnesses from testifying.
Twitter users reacted to Feinstein’s excuse.
Grassley had opposed the release of over 300 pages of Simpson’s testimony the Fusion GPS founder provided on Aug. 22, and insisted the transcript needed to be confidential while other witnesses were being interviewed, The Daily Caller reported.
“It may make a lot of people a little more reserved whether or not they want to cooperate,” Grassley said, according to the Washington Examiner. “But we’ll continue to move forward.”
He added that the transcript would have been released eventually.
“Obviously I was a little disappointed because I had an understanding ahead of time that it’d be released when we both agree to release it.”
Feinstein and Grassley also disagreed on Grassley and Sen. Lindsey Graham’s request that the Justice Department launch a criminal investigation into the Russia dossier’s author, Christopher Steele.
“I think this referral is unfortunate as it’s clearly another effort to deflect attention from what should be the committee’s top priority: determining whether there was collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia to influence the election and whether there was subsequent obstruction of justice,” Feinstein said in response to the letter.
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