Rep. Gaetz: 'Outrageous' If FBI Used Dossier as Basis for Russia Investigation


"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", Feinstein, a California Democrat, said in a statement. Her staff helped conduct the interview with Simpson, who had also asked for the interview to be released.

Dianne Feinstein "sneaky" in a Twitter attack Wednesday morning and urged Republicans to "take control" of the sprawling investigation into his administration and campaign and potential collusion with Russian Federation.

Simpson was not under oath but the Fusion GPS founder still brought along attorney Joshua Levy.

Simpson said Steele's concern, "which is something that counterintelligence people deal with a lot, is whether or not there was blackmail going on, whether a political candidate was being blackmailed".

Simpson told Congress, in his prevaricating and often defensive testimony, that Steele allegedly went to the Federal Bureau of Investigation because he believed the Kremlin had the goods on Trump. Although it contained no bombshells, Simpson's testimony indicates that Steele was so troubled by what he found that he contacted the Federal Bureau of Investigation to alert it to what he considered a possible crime.

Simpson told the committee that his associate, the former British intelligence operative Christopher Steele, sat down for a "full debriefing" with an Federal Bureau of Investigation contact in Rome in September 2016.

Mr Steele - who founded and runs Orbis Business Intelligence in London - is said to have passed on his findings to both U.S. and United Kingdom intelligence in the run-up to the 2016 presidential election.

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The dossier, a 35-page document containing, among other things, unsubstantiated allegations linking the Trump campaign to Russian Federation, was first published by BuzzFeed past year. Ever since he has continued the probe into Trump and the Russians that Fusion GPS, Steele, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation had started many months before. Simpson's lawyer interrupted questioning on that topic to explain that "Somebody's already been killed as a result of the publication of this dossier".

The Fusion GPS founder also said: "Chris said he was very concerned about whether this represented a national security threat and said he wanted to - he said he thought we were obligated to tell someone in government, in our government about this information".

Fusion GPS has so far not offered any public comment about Cohen's suit.

Fusion GPS was hired on behalf of Hillary Clinton's campaign and the Democratic National Committee (DNC) by their law firm to compile information about Trump, his businesses, and associates, including possible links to Russian Federation. In addition to looking into whether members of the Trump campaign colluded with Russian Federation to tilt the election in his favor. special counsel Robert Mueller is also examining whether Trump sought to obstruct justice when he fired Federal Bureau of Investigation director James Comey last May. Lindsey Graham wrote to the Justice Department to recommend criminal charges against Steele.

Feinstein countered by releasing the Simpson transcript, a move that at least one senior Republican applauded. This may be so, but I find it about as credible as Simpson's assertion that Steele had the superhuman power to distinguish fact from fiction when dealing with his sources.

Steele broke off contact with the FBI sometime between October 31, 2016, and the election on November 8, Simpson said, because Steele concluded that the information he had given to the FBI was not elevated to the highest levels of the bureau and was not being vigorously pursued. As concerns mounted about Russia's attempts to interfere with the election, Steele brought some of his research to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.