Democratic Senator Releases Transcript of Interview with Dossier Firm

Feinstein releases Senate testimony from co-founder of research firm behind notorious Trump dossier

Feinstein releases Senate testimony from co-founder of research firm behind notorious Trump dossier

In a statement, Fusion GPS said it "commends Sen".

The transcript, of an interview that Fusion GPS founder Glenn Simpson gave the Senate Judiciary Committee, was released on Tuesday by the committee's top Democrat, Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California. 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.

That battle heated up last week after Simpson and his Fusion GPS co-founder Peter Fritsch penned an op-ed in The New York Times calling on the three congressional committees who have interviewed Fusion GPS employees to release transcripts of the interviews.

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Simpson said Steele's concern, "which is something that counterintelligence people deal with a lot, is whether or not there was blackmail going on, whether a political candidate was being blackmailed". He invited Mr. Simpson to instead testify publicly.

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". He likened the sense of responsibility he said Steele felt to the professional obligations that attorneys have in some cases to report a crime if they learn of one.

Simpson said he didn't know whether the person was connected to the Trump campaign or a Trump company, adding that his understanding was the source was someone who had volunteered information to the Federal Bureau of Investigation or, in his words, "someone like us who chose to pick up the phone and report something". In any event, he said don't worry about that, I know the flawless person, I have a contact there, they'll listen to me, they know who I am, I'll take care of it. When they re-interviewed him in early October, agents made it clear, according to Simpson's testimony released Tuesday, that they believed some of what Steele had told them. Around the same time, the Times reported that the FBI was investigating Mr Trump and had found no connections to Russian Federation.

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Trump has derided the dossier as a politically motivated hit job. White House allies have pursued a strategy of trying to impeach the dossier in order to impeach the broader case that people in the Trump camp might have conspired with the Russians who attacked the election. Chuck Grassley, issued a criminal referral last week for Steele, alleging the committee had reason to believe that the former spy had lied to authorities about his conversations with the press regarding the dossier.

It was released by the ranking Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, Sen. "Her action undermines the integrity of the committee's oversight work and jeopardizes its ability to secure candid voluntary testimony relating to the independent recollection of future witnesses, " said the spokesman, Taylor Foy. However, a person close to the investigation said Fusion GPS has long anxious that Steele's sources could be in danger, given a handful of killings that took place in the months after the dossier's existence became known.

Ms. Feinstein moved to do so without the committee's Republican chairman, Senator Charles E. Grassley of Iowa, nearly certainly escalating partisan tensions on the committee.

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