Senator Diane Feinstein (D-Calif.) caved in to pressure piled on by fellow blue state Senators today and released the full transcript of the Senate Judiciary Committee’s August interview with Fusion GPS founder Glenn Simpson. “Diverting our focus from Russian interference to Glenn Simpson or Christopher Steele is, in our view, a misallocation of scarce resources.”
The liberal plot is nothing but a ploy to distract attention from Hillary and her secret Russia connections. Feinstein justified the one-sided move as being “for the people” but the stab in the back has the committee’s chairman, Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), hopping mad. Feinstein’s decision was sparked by Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) who are also members of the Judiciary Committee.
The liberals don’t like the focus of the investigation shifting toward Hillary. Alleging “selective leaks” have “diverted our focus from Russian interference to Glenn Simpson or Christopher Steele.” In a letter dated January 7, the pair called for the transcript’s release. “The American people deserve the facts. 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.”
Spokesman Taylor Foy noted Feinstein’s release came over the objections of the Republican majority and that there were some good reasons to keep it secret a while longer. “Feinstein’s unilateral decision was made as the committee is still trying to secure testimony from other witnesses. 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.”
Foy also points out that Sen. Grassley “issued a criminal referral last week” for Christopher 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.” Feinstein’s sudden disclosure is “confounding,” says Foy.
Grassley and Lindsay Graham (R-S.C.) penned an unclassified cover letter to deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein and Christopher Wray, director of the FBI along with a “classified memorandum.” The memo, they say, is “related to certain communications between Christopher Steele and multiple U.S. news outlets regarding the so-called ‘Trump dossier’ that Mr. Steele compiled on behalf of Fusion GPS for the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee and also provided to the FBI.”
Based on the classified memo, “we are respectfully referring Mr. Steele to you for investigation of 18 U.S.C. 1001, for statements the committee has reason to believe Mr. Steele made regarding his distribution of information contained in the dossier,” they wrote. The code section cited is the same one that witch smeller Robert Mueller used to prosecute Michael Flynn and George Papadopoulos.
Steele hasn’t talked to any of the three separate committees that are investigating Russian connections so could not have possibly lied to any of them. He did talk to Mueller’s inquisition but it isn’t likely that the grand inquisitor “would have shared any of Steele’s answers with the Senate Judiciary Committee.”
Steele spilled his guts to the FBI. The things he found just had to be shared with the bureau. “Chris said he was very concerned about whether this represented a national security threat and said … he thought we were obligated to tell someone in government.” Simpson testified, according to the transcript. “He thought from his perspective there was … a security issue about whether a presidential candidate was being blackmailed.”
While Steele was taking Clinton campaign and DNC money from Simpson and Fusion GPS, he was almost paid by the FBI as an informant. At the same time, “Fusion GPS directed Steele to brief reporters from the New York Times, the Washington Post, CNN, the New Yorker, Yahoo News, and later, Mother Jones.”
The big question is did Steele tell the FBI the same things he was telling reporters. If the FBI knew he was sharing their secret investigation with the press “would they have agreed to an arrangement to make Steele a paid FBI operative investigating the Trump-Russia affair? That would have been a most unorthodox arrangement, with Steele disseminating his allegations to the FBI and the press simultaneously.”
In a separate statement released Friday, Grassley explains, “I don’t take lightly making a referral for criminal investigation but, as I would with any credible evidence of a crime unearthed in the course of our investigations, I feel obliged to pass that information along to the Justice Department for appropriate review. Everyone needs to follow the law and be truthful in their interactions with the FBI. Maybe there is some innocent explanation for the inconsistencies we have seen but it seems unlikely.”
It appears Grassley and Graham are trying to match up what Steele told the FBI and what he told a court in London, looking for conflicts. Where they find inconsistencies, if the version he told the FBI was untrue, Steele is in hot water. The deal to put Steele on the FBI payroll fell through and that may have been one of the reasons why.
The Senators believe that it is better to release the entire transcript for the public to form their own conclusions. “the American people should be allowed to decide for themselves.” The entire 312-page transcript is now publicly available for us to do exactly that.