The release of the testimony by Fusion GPS founder Glenn Simpson doesn’t seem to have created any advantage for the Democrats or those anti-Trumpers still praying for Robert Mueller to come through with a finding that will result in Trump’s impeachment. That doesn’t seem to be the case. Simpson showed himself to be an untrustworthy witness. The only newsworthy revelation by Simpson was this:
A. A debrief I think is what he probably said, they had debriefed him. I don’t remember him articulating the specifics of that. You know, my understanding was that they would have gotten into who his sources were, how he knew certain things, and, you know, other details based on their own intelligence. Essentially what he told me was they had other intelligence about this matter from an internal Trump campaign source and that — that they — my understanding was that they believed Chris at this point — that they believed Chris’s 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.
This would be news as Simpson is saying that the FBI, in Rome, knew the FBI in DC was running an informant either in the Trump Organization or in the Trump campaign. Within minutes of the release of the testimony, longtime purveyor of Fusion GPS stories, NBC’s Ken Dilanian, floated a correction:
A source close to Fusion GPS tells me there was no walk-in source — that was a mischaracterization by Simpson of the Australian diplomat tip about Papadopoulis.
— Ken Dilanian (@KenDilanianNBC) January 9, 2018
As I pointed out earlier today, this is simply impossible as Papadopoulos wasn’t fingered until after July 22 (if it happened at all) and Steele’s tête-à-tête with the FBI took place on July 5.
The most intriguing statement was by Simpson’s lawyer, Joshua Levy:
MR. LEVY: It’s a voluntary interview, and in addition to that he wants to be very careful to protect his sources. Somebody’s already been killed as a result of the publication of this dossier and no harm should come to anybody related to this honest work.
The usual morons were out in force to make this case to the credulous
Rep. Schiff: When people have died under mysterious circumstances in Russia there have been profound questions about whether those deaths are connected here. pic.twitter.com/QjEtMztKJR
— Maddow Blog (@MaddowBlog) January 10, 2018
Everyone thought this was the reference. A former KGB general, Oleg Erovinkin, was found dead in his car in Moscow under “mysterious circumstances.” I’m not sure what would qualify as “mysterious circumstances” for a death in Moscow. Murder certainly wouldn’t. As it turned out, the speculation was wrong.
During the closed-door session, Levy did not identify the person who was killed. Despite Levy’s clear assertion that someone had been killed, a source close to the testimony told CNN on Tuesday that the comment did not refer to any specific killing. Instead, the source said, it referred to the mysterious string of Russian deaths after the 2016 election.
At least nine high-profile Russians died in the nine months after the election, including top diplomats overseas, a former Russian intelligence official that had close ties to figures mentioned in the dossier, and a security officer in the Russian consulate in New York. Some of the Russians appeared to die from natural causes, while others were murdered.
One of the authors of this piece, Manu Raju, it should be noted is one of Adam Schiff’s go-to reporters. Raju was burned on the erroneous Wikileaks story that had to come from Schiff or his staff and he also ran with the totally bogus story that Jeff Sessions lied on his disclosure forms about foreign contacts.
Both this and the Dilanian tweet seem calculated as an effort to correct the record in an informal way…though I didn’t know you were allowed to have friends correct your lies and remove you from legal jeopardy.
So we’ve gone from a killing definitely being caused by the dossier to “a lot of Russians died after the dossier was published and we can’t imagine one of them wasn’t caused by the dossier.”