This week, the House Intelligence Committee agreed to release the transcripts from the November 14, 2017 testimony of Glenn Simpson, co-founder of Fusion GPS.
Fusion GPS, as we all know, is the research firm employed to gather research on Donald Trump during the 2016 election cycle – first by conservative news site, The Washington Free Beacon, and then picked up by the Clinton campaign.
There’s been a lot of controversy surrounding the dossier produced through those efforts. Some details have been proven, some disproved, and others remain unsubstantiated.
Whatever the case, Republican lawmakers insist an unsubstantiated dossier was the sole impetus for the ongoing probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election, as well as possible collusion by Trump’s team, and they want the investigation shut down.
Democrats, predictably, want to push further, desperate to prove that they didn’t make a bad decision by installing Hillary Clinton as their hand-picked candidate for the presidency.
Then there are those who are standing in between, with suspicions, and maybe some doubts, but who ultimately want to hear everything and get to the truth.
That would be where I’m at, actually.
And speaking of everything, what do the released transcripts of Simpson’s testimony reveal?
Keeping in mind that this was Simpson speaking about what his firm suspected, the transcripts show that there was suspicions of something beyond just an election.
“Those transcripts reveal serious allegations that the Trump Organization may have engaged in money laundering with Russian nationals,” Representative Adam Schiff said.
And honestly, the rumors of Trump and his organization being neck-deep in dealings with the Russian mob have been around for years. These aren’t campaign-generated accusations. Talk to longtime residents of New York and New Jersey and you get the impression that it’s a badly kept secret.
So what brought Simpson and his company to suspect such nefarious activities?
In his testimony, Simpson said that his firm closely examined sales of condominiums in Trump properties in New York, Miami, Panama City and Toronto.
“There were a lot of real estate deals where you couldn’t really tell who was buying the property,” Simpson said. “And sometimes properties would be bought and sold, and they would be bought for one price and sold for a loss shortly thereafter, and it really didn’t make sense to us.”
“We saw patterns of buying and selling that we thought were suggestive of money-laundering,” he continued.
The Trump Organization’s chief counsel, Alan Garten, claims that the properties referenced by Simpson were simply properties Trump had licensed his name to, rather than having any substantial interest in.
“These accusations are completely reckless and unsubstantiated for a multitude of reasons,” Garten said.
“These issues have nothing to do with the scope of the investigation” by the House intelligence committee, Garten said in a phone interview. “But it’s not surprising the minority (Democrats) would focus on this given they’ve found absolutely no evidence of collusion.”
He’s not wrong. I don’t think the ongoing Russia probe was meant to target potential criminal activity, such as money laundering. I do believe, however, that if money laundering or any other criminal activity is swept up in the ongoing investigation, it could certainly go to motive.
Simpson’s testimony also revealed suspicions that Russia sought to infiltrate U.S. politics through powerful lobbies, such as the National Rifle Association.
I mentioned that situation earlier this week.
They also attempted to influence groups that promote independence for Texas and California.
“They seem to have made a very concerted effort to get in with the NRA,” Simpson said, according to the transcript.
So where do we go from here, given this information?
We keep digging.
This shouldn’t be considered a partisan issue. It should raise enough concerns that responsible American citizens want to know everything, before making a decision.