Politics

Behind the Fusion GPS Transcript

It's clear that Simpson was seeking to cover himself from any criminal liability for that dubious dossier.

Thomas Gallatin · Jan. 10, 2018

The mainstream media is abuzz over Sen. Diane Feinstein’s (D-CA) unilateral decision to release a semi-redacted transcript of the Senate Judiciary Committee’s closed-door meeting with Fusion GPS co-founder Glenn Simpson last August. As the ongoing investigation into Russian election meddling continues to roll on and as more information is learned, this latest move by Feinstein is somewhat puzzling. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA) was certainly not pleased, saying, “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 further noted that none of the other congressional panels had released interview transcripts of closed-door meetings related to the Russia interference investigation.

Feinstein may be reacting to Grassley’s recent criminal referral of British ex-spy Christopher Steele, author of the infamous Hillary Clinton-funded anti-Trump dossier, to the Justice Department. Grassley wants DOJ to investigate Steele for possibly lying to the FBI. Feinstein may also not like the fact that the investigation has started to probe more deeply into Clinton and Democratic National Committees connections to Fusion GPS. Whatever her rationale, Feinstein’s actions may inform the public while at the same time muddy the investigation.

So what has been learned from Simpson’s interview? It’s clear that he and Fusion GPS are worried about protecting themselves. Simpson attempted to absolve himself of any guilt regarding the promotion of misinformation with the dubious dossier, saying, “By its very nature the question of whether something is accurate isn’t really asked. The question that is asked generally is whether it’s credible. You don’t really decide who’s telling the truth.” Simpson argued it wasn’t his job to ascertain whether or not the dossier’s information was true. He explained his reason for giving the dossier to Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), saying, “We just wanted people in official positions to ascertain whether it was accurate or not.”

The transcript also shows how Simpson conveniently flips, seeing Russian connections as both good and bad, depending upon his relationship with Russians. The short of it being that he saw no conflict of interest in his work for the Russian firm Prevezon Holdings, while at the same time arguing that Trump’s campaign was guilty of collusion.

Simpson appears to have been convinced that the Trump team was guilty of colluding with Russia, but we also learn that Simpson based this belief on a dossier that he admits he never verified for accuracy. He sees ex-spy Steele as a trustworthy individual, and that even if there were holes in the accuracy of information, he believes that the overall narrative is essentially true. In other words, for Simpson, the political end game was more important than facts and truth.

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