January 8, 2018

WHITEHOUSE & BLUMENTHAL DEMAND IMMEDIATE RELEASE OF FUSION GPS TESTIMONY

Senators call on Chairman Grassley to make public the full transcript of Glenn Simpson’s 10-hour interview with the Senate Judiciary Committee

[WASHINGTON, DC] – U.S. Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) wrote U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) to call for the immediate release of testimony that Glenn Simpson, CEO of Fusion GPS, delivered to the Senate Judiciary Committee in August.

“We write to call for the immediate release of the transcript of the Judiciary Committee’s interview with Glenn Simpson, CEO of Fusion GPS. Sadly, attacks on Simpson and Christopher Steele, as well as selective leaks of parts of Simpson’s Congressional testimony, have recently become a distraction from our work investigating the breathtaking proven and alleged crimes of the Russian government and the Trump team,” the Senators wrote. “The American people deserve the facts. There is simply no reason to keep the Simpson testimony (or other testimony before our committee for that matter) hidden while this distraction goes on.”

Grassley supported releasing the transcript of Simpson’s testimony shortly after the interview took place, but has not yet taken any action to do so. Meanwhile, Simpson’s testimony has been selectively leaked, even as public reporting has debunked the theory that his company’s work formed the basis for the investigation into Russian election meddling.

“Diverting our focus from Russian interference to Glenn Simpson or Christopher Steele is, in our view, a misallocation of scarce resources. To the extent that you believe continued attention to those individuals is warranted, the American people should be allowed to decide for themselves,” the Senators wrote.

The full text of the Senators’ letter is available here and copied below.

January 7, 2018

The Honorable Charles E. Grassley

Chairman

Committee on the Judiciary

United States Senate

224 Dirksen Senate Office Building

Washington, D.C. 20510

Dear Chairman Grassley:

We write to call for the immediate release of the transcript of the Judiciary Committee’s interview with Glenn Simpson, CEO of Fusion GPS. Sadly, attacks on Simpson and Christopher Steele, as well as selective leaks of parts of Simpson’s Congressional testimony, have recently become a distraction from our work investigating the breathtaking proven and alleged crimes of the Russian government and the Trump team. The American people deserve the facts. There is simply no reason to keep the Simpson testimony (or other testimony before our committee for that matter) hidden while this distraction goes on.

We applauded the Committee and the Chairman when we undertook in the Committee to investigate Russian interference in the 2016 election and related interference with the law enforcement investigations of this matter. The Judiciary Committee particularly has a role to play in revealing efforts to undermine the work of the Department of Justice. Given public reports showing that President Trump has used multiple avenues to disrupt the Justice Department’s investigation of his Administration – ultimately firing the FBI Director and nearly firing the Attorney General when improper and unlawful demands from the White House were not heeded – it is clear that the Judiciary Committee has profoundly critical work to do.

However, selective evidence related to Glenn Simpson and Christopher Steele does not appear to shed meaningful light on this important work. Recent reporting has made clear what was long apparent from the facts gathered by our Committee: the Steele Dossier was simply corroborating evidence supporting the U.S. government’s investigation into Russian election meddling. That investigation was initiated based on information that originated within the Trump campaign itself, with concerned foreign allies, and with other intelligence sources.  Russian interference, and the threat that interference will continue in upcoming elections, has been verified by the U.S. intelligence and law enforcement communities.

Diverting our focus from Russian interference to Glenn Simpson or Christopher Steele is, in our view, a misallocation of scarce resources. To the extent that you believe continued attention to those individuals is warranted, the American people should be allowed to decide for themselves. Therefore, we – like the Committee’s Ranking Member – believe that the full transcript of our interview with Glenn Simpson should be released to the public.

Thank you for your attention to this critical issue. We look forward to working with you going forward.

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