Friday, 22 June, 2018

Fusion GPS lawyer: Someone has already been killed over publication of dossier

Donald Trump's personal lawyer has filed a lawsuit against Buzzfeed News. Shannon Stapleton Reuters Donald Trump's personal lawyer has filed a lawsuit against Buzzfeed News. Shannon Stapleton Reuters
Jay Anderson | 10 January, 2018, 02:12

Feinstein said she released the transcript to set the record straight. "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", Feinstein said in a statement.

Coming to his defence, his lawyer Joshua Levy said it was a "voluntary interview", and stated that he "wants to be very careful to protect his sources".

In his testimony, Simpson defended Christopher Steele and said that attempts to discredit his Trump dossier are nothing but "political rhetoric".

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".

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.

Donald Trump has dismissed the Russia dossier as a politically-motivated smear. Chris Kleponis  Bloomberg
Donald Trump has dismissed the Russia dossier as a politically-motivated smear. Chris Kleponis Bloomberg

One person familiar with the probe said Simpson's comments misrepresent what had actually happened - that it was an Australian official who reached out to the United States in late July with concerns about a conversation months earlier in London with Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos.

"There is simply no reason to keep the Simpson testimony (or other testimony before our committee for that matter) hidden while this distraction goes on".

The dossier was reportedly the result of an investigation initially funded by Republicans who were seeking to block Mr Trump from becoming the party's presidential candidate, before being taken over by Democrats after his nomination. "The transcript of Glenn Simpson's lengthy responses to the Senate Judiciary Committee's questioning speaks for itself". But Simpson's comments appear to confirm that the FBI did not launch its Trump-Russia investigation just because of the dossier.

Trump has derided the dossier as politically motivated, and several GOP-led committees are investigating whether it formed the basis for the FBI's initial investigation into Russian election interference.

Grassley spokesman Taylor Foy said that Feinstein released the transcript without consulting Grassley and suggested it could jeopardize the committee's ability to interview future witnesses. The revelation that Fusion GPS paid media companies as well raises the possibility of a separate scandal concerning unethical journalism practices. He also offered to have Simpson testify publicly.

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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