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Sen. Feinstein releases full transcript of Trump dossier testimony

By Danielle Haynes
Sen. Feinstein releases full transcript of Trump dossier testimony
Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., said Tuesday she wanted to "set the record straight" by releasing the full testimony of Fusion GPS founder Glenn Simpson about the firm's so-called Trump dossier. File Photo by Erin Schaff/UPI | License Photo

Jan. 9 (UPI) -- Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., ranking member on the Senate Committee on the Judiciary, on Tuesday released the transcript of the panel's interview with Fusion GPS' founder about the so-called Trump dossier -- which outlines allegations regarding the president's involvement with Russia.

Feinstein released the 312-page document unilaterally, without the knowledge of committee Chairman Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa.

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Last week, Glenn Simpson, the Fusion GPS founder who gave the interview, wrote an op-ed with fellow founder Peter Fritsch in The New York Times calling for the committee to fully release the transcript.

Fusion GPS was the Washington, D.C.,-based intelligence firm hired by The Washington Free Beacon to do opposition research on President Donald Trump. The company tapped former British intelligence agent Christopher Steele to research connections between Trump and the Russian government, which resulted in an unsubstantiated dossier saying Russia had compromising information on the president that could be used against him.

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Simpson and Fritsch accused Republicans on the committee of withholding information from Simpson's August 2017 interview in order to undermine the veracity of the dossier.

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"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 accompanying the release of the transcript. "The only way to set the record straight is to make the transcript public."

During his testimony, Simpson said Trump's statement that he didn't know Felix Sater, who allegedly has links to organized crime in Russia, is false.

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"This was something [Trump] didn't want to talk about and testified under oath he wouldn't know Felix if he ran into him in the street," Simpson told the panel. "That was not true. He knew him well and, in fact, continued to associate with him long after he learned of Felix's organized crime ties. So, you know, that tells you something about somebody."

Grassley said Feinstein's decision to release the testimony was "confounding."

"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," Grassley's spokesman, Taylor Foy said in a statement.

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Last week, Grassley and fellow committee member Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., recommended a criminal investigation into Steele in a letter to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and FBI Director Christopher Wray.

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They recommended Steele, the author of the dossier, be investigated for allegedly making false statements about the distribution of claims contained in the dossier. They said the referral doesn't pertain to the truthfulness of claims within the dossier.

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