Fusion GPS chief Glenn Simpson told a Senate panel a year ago that a controversial dossier his firm produced alleging Donald Trump had suspicious connections with Russians was substantiated and that the document's author briefed the Federal Bureau of Investigation on his findings, according to a newly released transcript.
Trump has derided the dossier as politically motivated and several GOP-led committees are investigating whether it formed the basis for the FBI's initial investigation into Russian election interference.
In a contentious interview with Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz, Burnett cited a claim made by Fusion GPS lawyer Josh Levy during an August 22 interview with the Senate Judiciary Committee. Neither committee had intentions of releasing the transcripts from its interview with Mr. Simpson.
Feinstein had the authority to make the transcript public as the committee's top Democrat, he said.
Simpson and Fusion GPS were hired in 2016 to do opposition research on Trump, first by a conservative donor and later by Hillary Clinton's campaign.More news: Canada braces for possible U.S. exit from NAFTA trade pact
Simpson said he didn't know whether the person was connected to the Trump campaign or a Trump company, adding that his understanding was that the source was "someone like us who chose to pick up the phone and report something".
The Republican chairman of the Judiciary Committee, Sen.
A transcript of that interview, which was conducted with Fusion GPS founder Glenn Simpson, was released on Tuesday.
"The innuendo and misinformation circulating about the transcript are part of a deeply troubling effort to undermine the investigation into potential collusion and obstruction of justice", she said in a statement, referring to allegations of ties between the Trump campaign and Russian Federation.
Democrats have charged that the FBI investigations are meant to be a distraction from separate investigations into the Russian meddling and whether Trump's campaign was involved.More news: Defense lifts Jaguars past Bills
Simpson said Steele delivered memos based on field interviews and other work, but disputed the notion that the documents amounted to a "dossier". It also describes lascivious behavior that might embarrass Trump or could have been used as leverage to influence him.
"(The FBI) 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", Simpson told the committee. Simpson is the co-founder of Fusion GPS, a political intelligence firm which compiled the infamous Trump dossier.
There was no indication from the interview transcript that Levy was speculating about a dossier-related killing. Simpson acknowledged that he didn't like Trump as a candidate but said his job was to find facts, not to push an agenda. "Her action undermines the integrity of the committee's oversight work and jeopardizes its ability to secure candid voluntary testimony relating to the independent recollection of future witnesses", said the spokesman, Taylor Foy.
Citing a source close to Fusion GPS, CNN reported: "Despite Levy's clear assertion that someone had been killed, a source close to the testimony told CNN on Tuesday that the comment did not refer to any specific killing".
Steele drew upon a range of sources, including figures linked to Russian intelligence, to compile the dossier previous year.More news: Jimmy Iovine calls predictions of his departure 'fake news'
The dossier was compiled during the campaign and contains allegations about Trump's ties to Russian Federation.
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