The republican President Donald Trump’s sycophants operating in the White House and the US Congress along with right wing media pundits had formulated a plan of attack to circle the wagons in protection of the president against the fall out from the FBI’s Trump-Russian probe. They have been drumming up “fake news” concerns about the former democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s involvement with the “Uranium One deal,” which has been debunked numerous times by credible fact checkers, like Sheppard Smith of FOX TV News.
For months they had been disparaging the FBI’s Trump-Russian saga probe on the basis that there was a political hack job in the form of the Christopher Steele dossier which they claimed ended up being the lynch pin of the Trump-Russian inquiry. They argued that the formation of this dossier was due to the democratic presidential campaign folks ( Fusion GPS) working for Hillary Clinton. This was the research group which hired the team of Christopher Steele, a reputable former MI6 agent with years of experience in Russian matters, to do opposition research on President Trump regarding his ties to Russia.
First of all, Fusion GPS executives had testified for 21 hours in the summer 2017 before the US Senate Judiciary Committee headed by the republican chair, Senator Chuck Grassley, where they completely debunked the republican theories. But the point is, republican legislators knowing that their claims against Fusion GPS and the Christopher Steele dossier which contained data regarding the president’s connections with Russians, were completely baseless, continued in their attacks in order to disparage the legitimacy of the FBI’s investigation solely for political purposes.
But the Fusion GPS officials have turned the tables on these scurrilous cowardly republicans by recently writing a New York Times opinion piece, demanding that Senator Chuck Grassley release for the public, the transcript of their testimony. The democratic co-chair Senator Dianne Feinstein has granted her approval as well as another democratic committee member, Senator Amy Klobuchar.
The question is why does Senator Chuck Grassley continue to avoid complying with this request by creating nebulous flimsy excuses? Could it be that this is an attempt to cover up their lies designed to discredit the FBI. And then why is he claiming that he is receptive to an open hearing with these same Fusion GPS executives who would be repeating information that they had already covered in their earlier lengthy testimony.
But, around 1/9/18, the Senate Judiciary Committee’s democratic co-chair, Senator Dianne Feinstein, unilaterally acted to make the transcript of Fusion GPS testimony, public. The transcript not only reveals the republicans’ lies, but that in their questioning, they were looking for any way to disparage its work product.
Here is the rest of the story…
On January 3, 2017, Kyle Cheney of Politico penned the following report, “Grassley open to public testimony from Fusion GPS leaders, spokesman says.”
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley is willing to have executives from the firm behind the disputed Trump-Russia dossier testify publicly, his spokesman said Wednesday, adding that the Iowa Republican hasn’t sought the release of a transcript of his panel’s earlier interview with them for investigative reasons.
The leaders of Fusion GPS, the firm that commissioned a former British spy to compile a dossier that describes an elaborate web of Trump ties to the Kremlin, said in a New York Times opinion piece Tuesday (1/2/17) that Republicans had bottled up their closed-door testimony while leaking selective details to undermine their credibility.
“Senator Grassley has always been and remains for transparency,” Grassley spokesman Taylor Foy said Wednesday (1/3/17). “There are, however, investigative factors that he must consider to temporarily protect certain information in the midst of an ongoing inquiry such as this one, like tainting the memory of other witnesses.”
“Foy said Fusion GPS co-founder Glenn Simpson rebuffed the committee’s request 6 months earlier to testify publicly and invoked his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination “to negotiate for a closed-door interview.”
“The Committee’s invitation for Mr. Simpson to testify at a public hearing remains on the table,” he added.”
“But he and fellow Fusion founder Peter Fritsch escalated their clash with congressional Republicans on Tuesday (1/2/17) in the op-ed, accusing the GOP of sitting on 21 hours worth of their testimony while spinning a sinister public narrative about the firm’s work.”
“Republicans have refused to release full transcripts of our firm’s testimony, even as they selectively leak details to media outlets on the far right,” the duo wrote.
“The two men said they described for lawmakers a “yearlong effort to decipher Mr. Trump’s complex business past” and troubling evidence of relationships with “dubious Russians.” They also wrote that they refuted Trump allies’ suggestion that they had advanced knowledge of Russians’ plans to meet in Trump Tower with the president’s son, Donald Trump Jr., or that the Russians involved in that meeting were sources for the dossier.”
“Congress should release transcripts of our firm’s testimony, so that the American people can learn the truth about our work and most important, what happened to our democracy,” they conclude.”
“Rep. Adam Schiff, the top Democrat on the House intelligence panel, said Wednesday that Republicans have released transcripts from interviews with other witnesses.”
“In light of the selective leaks of Mr. Simpson’s testimony and the misleading manner in which Fusion GPS’ role has been characterized, I would support a release of the transcript,” Schiff said in a statement.”
“Grassley said in August (2017) that the committee was likely to release transcripts from the committee’s Fusion interview. The Judiciary Committee was just one of three GOP-controlled panels that interviewed Simpson and colleagues.”
“The answer is, it will take a vote of the committee to do it, but I presume that they will be released,” Grassley said at a town hall meeting in Mount Ayr, Iowa, according to an Aug. 23 Washington Examiner report.”
On January 2, 2017, Max Greenwood of the Hill penned the following report, “Fusion GPS founders say they were ‘shocked’ by contents of ‘Steele dossier’
The founders of the private research firm that commissioned the controversial dossier detailing salacious allegations against President Trump said Tuesday they were “shocked” by the information contained in the report, dismissing accusations that it was tainted by partisan politics.
In an op-ed published by The New York Times, Fusion GPS co-founders Glenn Simpson and Peter Fritsch pushed back against the suggestion by some Republican lawmakers that the dossier sparked the criminal investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election, recounting how their firm came to commission the report.
Christopher Steele, the former British intelligence agent who compiled the dossier, was never told that the research was being funded by the Clinton campaign, Simpson and Fritsch wrote in the op-ed.
“We don’t believe the Steele dossier was the trigger for the F.B.I.’s investigation into Russian meddling,” they wrote.
“As we told the Senate Judiciary Committee in August, our sources said the dossier was taken so seriously because it corroborated reports the bureau had received from other sources, including one inside the Trump camp.”
“Simpson and Fritsch also suggested that Republican lawmakers were looking to distract from the core mission of the investigation into Russia’s role in the election, including possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Moscow, by focusing attention on the dossier and Fusion’s work on behalf of the Clinton campaign.”
“Some GOP lawmakers have raised concerns in recent weeks that the law enforcement probe into the matter was sparked by the opposition research dossier, which contains unverified and salacious information about Trump.”
“The NY Times reported last week that FBI’s counterintelligence investigation into Russian meddling in the election instead began after Australian officials notified U.S. officials that a foreign policy adviser to the Trump campaign had told an Australian diplomat that the Russians obtained damaging emails about then-Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.”