Los Angeles Times / YouTube Sen Dianne Feinstein Releases Transcript Of...
Los Angeles Times / YouTube

Senate Judiciary Chair Chuck Grassley didn’t hesitate to issue a criminal charge against former British Intelligence Officer Christopher Steele, but he refused to release the transcripts of Senate interviews with the company that ordered the Steele dossier. Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein just solved that problem by releasing the transcripts herself.

In those transcripts, Grassley’s deputy, Patrick Davis, clearly states that the interviews are not classified.

Mr. Davis: This interview is unclassified. So if any question calls for information that you know to be classified, please state that for the record as well as the reason for the classification. Then once you’ve clarified that to the extent possible, please respond with as much unclassified information as you can. If we need to have a classified session later, that can be arranged.

So no one should have any basis for complaint about Feinstein showing the public the truth behind the claims that Republicans have been making about Fusion and the originals of the dossier.

Mr. Levy: To be totally clear, you know, what people call the dossier is not really a dossier. It’s a collection of field memoranda, of field interviews, a collection that accumulates over a period of months.

Digging through the complete transcripts and comparing them with Republican statements is going to take some time, but it’s clear even from a cursory read-through that the partners from Fusion felt under attack, and that the questioning seemed designed to force them into admitting poor practices.

Feinstein has released a statement on her decision to release the transcript:

After speaking with majority and minority committee staff for 10 hours, Glenn Simpson requested the transcript of his interview be released publicly. The American people deserve the opportunity to see what he said and judge for themselves,” said Senator Feinstein. “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. The only way to set the record straight is to make the transcript public.

Chuck Grassley is not pleased, confirming that Feinstein made the right call (as if there was any doubt):

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Fusion: First we started looking at Trump’s business affairs generally with some of the emphasis on associations with organized crime and in particular Russian organized crime. As the project progressed towards the end of 2015 and into 2016 we became interested in his overseas business dealings particularly because they were so opaque and seemed to involve, you know, to say the
least, colorful characters.  

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This is a Creative Commons article. The original version of this article appeared here.


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