Arthur J. Villasanta – Fourth Estate Contributor
Washington, DC, United States (4E) – Despite Republican stonewalling and obstruction, Democrats in the Senate made public the interview transcript of a classified dossier confirming that Donald Trump, then a candidate for president, actively colluded with Russia in their joint attempt to defeat Hillary Clinton.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA.), the Senate Judiciary Committee’s senior Democrat, released the transcript of the dossier over the objections of chairman Charles Grassley (R-IA). The Republicans have repeatedly blocked the release of the transcript to the public in a coordinated effort to go easy on Trump.
The 312-page transcript contained damaging testimony by Fusion GPS co-founder Glenn Simpson before the Senate Judiciary Committee about collusion between Trump and Russian dictator Vladimir Putin as part of their plan to have Trump win the White House.
“The innuendo and misinformation circulating about the transcript are part of a deeply troubling effort to undermine the investigation,” said Feinstein.
The Senate committee has been probing how the FBI handled allegations it received from Christopher Steele, a British ex-spy, who compiled a series of memoranda later made into a dossier. Steele’s dossier alleges the Trump campaign coordinated with Russia — a claim POTUS has repeatedly denied.
Steele was a private British corporate intelligence investigator and former agent of MI6.
MI6 or the Secret Intelligence Service (SIS) is the foreign intelligence service of the government of the United Kingdom. Its job is to conduct covert overseas collection and analysis of human intelligence in support of the UK’s national security.
The transcript shows that Republican staffers on the committee repeatedly badgered Simpson about whether he had political motivations in hiring Steele. Simpson while he didn’t like Trump as a candidate, his job was to find facts, not to push an agenda.
Simpson said Steele contacted the FBI with concerns about Russian meddling in July 2016. When the FBI again interviewed Steele in October, agents made it clear they believed some of what Steele had told them.
Simpson also said Steele was told the FBI had a spy inside Trump’s campaign providing agents with the same information Steele did.
“My understanding was that they believed Chris at this point — that they believed Chris might be credible because they had other intelligence that indicated the same thing and one of those pieces of intelligence was a human source from inside the Trump organization,” said Simpson.
Fusion GPS is a commercial research and strategic intelligence firm based in Washington, D.C. It conducts open-source investigations and provides research and strategic advice for businesses, law firms and investors, as well as for political inquiries, such as opposition research.
In September 2015, Fusion GPS was hired by The Washington Free Beacon, a conservative political website, to do opposition research on Trump and other Republican presidential candidates. In June 2016, Fusion GPS retained Steele to research any Russian connections to Trump.
Steele produced a 35-page series of memos from June to December 2016, which became the document known as the Donald Trump-Russia dossier.
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