Fusion GPS Transcript is Released and it is More and Less Than Expected

Glenn R. Simpson, co-founder of the research firm Fusion GPS, arrives for a scheduled appearance before a closed House Intelligence Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Nov. 14, 2017. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

A week ago, Fusion GPS founder Glenn Simpson used a New York Times op-ed to demand that the Senate Judiciary Committee release his testimony. This drew a snarky reply from Chuck Grassley. There has been bickering back and forth with Grassley refusing to release the testimony. Today Dianne Feinstein did. Let me say at this point that I don’t consider this to be some major act of mutiny. Grassley had dug in. At some point everyone realized that not releasing the testimony was a distraction, and Feinstein was allowed to release it so Grassley didn’t have to. I’m drawing that conclusion from the lack celebratory dancing by Feinstein and the lack of complaint by the GOP.

The transcript is 312 pages in Adobe PDF format and here’s the link to it. (Don’t be scared, it has big margins and it is double-spaced.)

I haven’t read it in toto yet. So I’m going to rely on some tweets along with my observations.

It isn’t very transparent. Often even when you know the names they are redacted. I think the only names left in the transcript are Steele and a couple of other well-know figures who couldn’t be disguised.


This is the big item you’ll read:

Here he gets it wrong, Simpson actually says “organization or campaign” and specifies he doesn’t know which but it is apparently less than that:

The testimony is self-serving as one might expect. Simpson portrays Steele as a man tormented by the possibility that Trump was being blackmailed and unilaterally contacted the FBI because it was the right thing to do, dammit. Believe it or not.

This is also interesting:

Over several pages Simpson refuses to ever really answer the question if his compensation had ever depended upon getting someone subjected to a criminal investigation.

Some stuff asks more questions than it answers

I don’t believe in leprechauns. And I don’t believe a long-time Fusion GPS associate, with visa problems, was able to meet with Simpson before and after meeting with Trump, Jr., and not mention to him who she had met with. This and the “maybe we do get people investigated” testimony earlier leaves me more convinced that whatever Steele did or didn’t find that Fusion GPS was playing their own game.

And there are laughs availiable:

Oveall, from the 100 or so pages I’ve scanned and the Twitter commentary, I don’t see anything terribly interesting here. But the way things have worked this past year, there may be a landmine in there just waiting to explode.