CNN Host Pushes Unsubstantiated Claim That Dossier Source Was Murdered

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The firm, Fusion GPS, has long called for the transcript to be released. And in deep blue, Democrat-dominated California, that's just the kind of image Feinstein wants to cultivate as she seeks to win yet another term this fall.

"He was the lead Russianist at MI6 (the British intelligence agency) prior to leaving the government and an extremely well-regarded investigator, researcher, and, as I say, we're friends and share interest in Russian kleptocracy and organized crime issues", Simpson told the Judiciary Committee. Simpson acknowledged that he didn't like Trump as a candidate but said his job was to find facts, not to push an agenda.

An attorney for Fusion GPS's co-founder said that someone was killed as a result of the Trump-Russia dossier.

Simpson also testified that Steele told him the Federal Bureau of Investigation had similar intelligence from "an internal Trump campaign source" and that the Federal Bureau of Investigation "believed Chris' 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".

But in the late stages of the 2016 presidential campaign, Steele broke off with the FBI, Simpson said, because he did not believe it was taking him seriously enough.

However, the move infuriated Republicans who say it risks undermining their investigation.

Simpson, a former Wall Street Journal reporter, described his company's work much differently in his August 22 testimony to the Judiciary Committee. Now all of Simpson's testimony to her committee is available for review - and Democrats said that's the way it should be.

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The dossier is a compilation of memos written by Steele during the 2016 campaign that contained allegations of connections between Trump and Russian Federation, including that Trump had been compromised by the Kremlin.

But Simpson declined to talk about the steps he took to assess the credibility of Steele's sources. When describing that meeting, Simpson said, Steele told him about the FBI's source within Trump's orbit. Chuck Grassley, issued a criminal referral last week for 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.

A Grassley spokesperson, in a statement, called Feinstein's release of the transcript "confounding" and said 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".

"It's been in the news a lot lately that people who get in the way of the Russians tend to get hurt", he said.

"But more importantly, Feinstein's unilateral decision was made as the committee is still trying to secure testimony from other witnesses, including Jared Kushner", spokesperson Taylor Foy said in a statement.

Fusion GPS did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Later, as Trump's pathway to the Republican nomination became more assured, the firm was hired by the Hillary Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee to continue that research.

For other critics, the Simpson transcript includes a reminder about his potentially conflicting incentives: Fusion GPS has also done work for a law firm that represented the Russian company Prevezon Holdings.

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