In a somewhat shocking move, California Democrat Senator Dianne Feinstein, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, released a transcript of the committee’s interview with opposition research firm Fusion GPS founder Glenn Simpson.
According to Politico, Feinstein decided to release the transcript — against the wishes of her Republican colleagues on the committee — in order to clear up any potential misunderstandings regarding Simpson, Fusion GPS, their connection to the failed campaign of Hillary Clinton and the “dossier” they commissioned which alleged “collusion” between the Russian government and the 2016 campaign of GOP candidate Donald Trump.
“The American people deserve the opportunity to see what he said and judge for themselves,” said Feinstein in a statement. “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. The only way to set the record straight is to make the transcript public.”
The transcript itself is 312-pages long, the result of roughly nine hours of questioning behind closed doors — not under oath, but with an understanding that lying to congressional investigators is a felony crime nonetheless.
Simpson was joined by three attorneys who unsurprisingly interrupted the hearing on multiple instances to prevent their client from answering certain questions posed by the investigators who were asking the questions on behalf of their respective senators.
On page 279 of the transcript, Chairman Chuck Grassely’s chief investigator Jason Foster asked Simpson about how he evaluated the credibility of the memoranda produced by ex-British spy Christopher Steele, as well as how he assessed the credibility of the sources from whom Steele obtained the material in the memos.
Simpson declined to answer the question and stated, “I’m not going to get into sourcing information.”
When Foster pressed the issue and asked “why” he refused to answer, Simpson attorney Joshua Levy stepped in and stated, “It’s a voluntary interview, and in addition to that he wants to be very careful to protect his sources.”
“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,” continued Levy.
Foster attempted to push the issue further and clarified that he didn’t want any sources to be exposed, but was merely seeking to understand how Simpson validated the information he had received from Steele.
But Levy would have none of it, and replied, “He’s given you over nine hours of information and he’s going to decline to answer this one question.”
“And several others,” was Foster’s retort, to which Levy replied, “Not many.”
Incredibly, the question was dropped and nothing further was stated about the fact that Simpson’s attorney had just revealed that somebody had been killed as a result of the fake dossier.
It will be interesting to see, as more people are able to read and digest this lengthy transcript and compare it with contemporaneous media reports, if anyone is able to determine exactly who Simpson’s attorney was referring to when he spoke of someone being killed as a result of the dossier’s publication.
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