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Bombshell: Fusion GPS tried to kill FBI’s Clinton investigation
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Fusion GPS did more than provide opposition research for the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign. It apparently also attempted to interfere with the FBI criminal investigation of Clinton’s use of a private email server to conduct official State Department business.
Transcripts released from the August 2017 testimony of Fusion GPS president Glenn Simpson appears to confirm this.
Dossier given to FBI
Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., ranking minority member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, released the Simpson transcripts to the public Tuesday. Simpson indicated that his firm hired former British MI6 officer Christopher Steele to prepare the unvetted and largely discredited Trump/Russian dossier, which Steele gave to the FBI with Simpson’s knowledge. Simpson testified:
I don’t remember the exact sequence of these events, but my recollection is I questioned how we would do that because I don’t know anyone there that I could report something like this to and be believed and I didn’t really think it was necessarily appropriate for me to do that.
In any event, he said don’t worry about that, I know the perfect person, I have a contact there, they’ll listen to me, they know who I am, I’ll take care of it. I said okay. You know, I agreed, it’s potentially a crime in progress. So, you know, if we can do that in the most appropriate way, I said it was okay for him to do that.
Simpson admitted that he reached out to the press investigating and reporting on the Clinton email probe. This came after then-FBI Director James Comey relaunched the agency’s criminal investigation.
He told Senate committee members:
There was some sort of interaction, I think it was probably telephonic that occurred after Director Comey sent his letter to Congress reopening the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s e-mails. That episode, you know, obviously created some concern that the FBI was intervening in a political campaign in contravention of long-standing Justice Department regulation.
Simpson admitted that even Fusion GPS viewed the FBI’s behavior as untoward:
So it made a lot of people, including us, concerned about what the heck was going on at the FBI. So, you know, we began getting questions from the press about, you know, whether they were also investigating Trump and, you know, we encouraged them to ask the FBI that question. You know, I think — I’m not sure we’ve covered this fully, but, you know, we just encouraged them to ask the FBI that question.
Simpson also testified that at some point Steele, who claimed to know the “perfect person” within the FBI, severed his ties with his agency contact, because neither man could work out what was going on there. He said:
Sometime thereafter the FBI — I understand Chris severed his relationship with the FBI out of concern that he didn’t know what was happening inside the FBI and there was a concern that the FBI was being manipulated for political ends by the Trump people and that we didn’t really understand what was going on. So he stopped dealing with them.
FBI contact leaks to Steele
Earlier in his testimony, Simpson revealed that Steele’s FBI contact released confidential information to him about its investigation into the Trump campaign. He testified:
Essentially what he told me was they had other intelligence about this matter from an internal Trump campaign source and that — that they — my understanding was that they believed Chris at this point — that they believed Chris’s information 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.
Bad decision, bad cold
Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, blasted Feinstein Tuesday for publishing the transcripts on her own, and called her decision “confounding.” He said he expected the transcript would be released “when we both agreed to release it.”
Feinstein, 84, apologized and said that a “bad cold” may have contributed to her decision.
“The one regret I have is that I should have spoke with Senator Grassley before,” she told NBC News. “And I don’t make an excuse but I’ve had a bad cold and maybe that slowed down my mental facilities [sic] a little bit.”
Although the waters remain muddy, it appears that there may be some questions the FBI needs to answer.
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