Feinstein blames 'bad cold' for handling of Fusion GPS transcript

The anti-sexual harrassment panel was led by Sens. Charles E. Grassley and Dianne Feinstein

Dianne Feinstein on Tuesday publicly released the transcript of a closed-door interview Fusion GPA founder Glenn Simpson in which he described his firm's research suggesting the Russian government had interfered in the USA presidential election.

The dossier was written by a former British intelligence officer, Christopher Steele, under commission by the American political research shop Fusion GPS.

Mr Trump has derided the dossier as politically motivated, and several Republican-led committees are investigating whether it formed the basis for the FBI's initial investigation into Russian election interference.

Simpson answered questions from committee staffers for almost 10 hours, producing more than 300 pages of transcript. NPR's justice reporter Ryan Lucas has been following this and is here to tell us more. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, and two of their colleagues on the committee. when he hired former United Kingdom intelligence agent Christopher Steele to dig into Trump's business contacts in Russian Federation.

While Mr. Trump's camp dismiss the dossier as malicious fiction or pure political opportunism, some elements have been corroborated. Earlier that year, the firm had been probing Trump for a conservative website funded by a GOP donor, but that client stopped paying for the work after it became clear Trump would win the GOP nomination, according to people familiar with the matter.

Glenn Simpson, co-founder of the research firm Fusion GPS, arrives on Capitol Hill in November.

The dossier contains unverified claims that Cohen and Trump had suspicious connections with Russian figures. Plus, the suits could put Cohen, who worked for the Trump Organization and now is a personal lawyer to Trump himself, in the position of proving that the dossier's allegations are false.

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He said the research began as a general inquiry into Trump's business background, a typical function of opposition researchers during presidential campaigns, and only later focused on questions about his relations with Russian Federation. "What came back was something very different and obviously more alarming", Simpson said.

BuzzFeed spokesman Matt Mittenthal defended the publication of the dossier and added, "we look forward to defending our First Amendment rights in court". Simpson was "encouraging the media to ask questions about whether the Federal Bureau of Investigation was, in fact, investigating these matters", but did not remember the first published article that made use of Steele's memos.

The material wasn't classified, and Feinstein said Wednesday that she didn't do anything illegal. "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", the statement insists, falsely.

"The innuendo and misinformation circulating about the transcript are part of a deeply troubling effort to undermine the investigation", she said of her decision.

Feinstein had the authority to make the transcript public as the committee's top Democrat, he said.

Levy did not respond to The Daily Caller's request for comment on Tuesday. Ryan has previously expressed support for Mueller's investigation and a separate House probe. Was Fusion's oppo research in presidential elections accurate?

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