Senate Dems demand release of Fusion GPS interview

Senate Dems demand release of Fusion GPS interview
© Victoria Sarno Jordan

Two Democratic senators are calling on the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee to release the transcript of its meeting with the CEO of the research firm that produced the controversial dossier about President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump defends Stephanopolous interview Trump defends Stephanopolous interview Buttigieg on offers of foreign intel: 'Just call the FBI' MORE

Sens. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and Sheldon WhitehouseSheldon WhitehouseThe Hill's Morning Report - Democrats wonder: Can Nadler handle the Trump probe? The Hill's Morning Report - Democrats wonder: Can Nadler handle the Trump probe? Democrats hope some presidential candidates drop out — and run for Senate  MORE (D-R.I.), who sit on the committee, asked Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) in a letter to release the full transcript of Fusion GPS CEO Glenn Simpson’s August interview.

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“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,” the senators said in the letter, which is dated Jan. 7.

The lawmakers cite “selective leaks” and attacks leveled against Simpson as they made their case for the transcript’s release. 

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

The letter comes after Grassley and Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamElection security bills face GOP buzzsaw Election security bills face GOP buzzsaw House Intel Republican: 'Foolish' not to take info on opponent from foreign ally MORE (R-S.C.), who also sits on the Senate Judiciary Committee, asked the Justice Department last week to open a criminal investigation of Christopher Steele, the former British spy who authored the dossier. 

A lawyer for the research firm criticized the referral, suggesting it could be an “attempt to discredit government sources.”

Simpson has also appeared in front of the House Intelligence Committee, which is conducting its own probe into Russia's attempts to interfere in the 2016 presidential election and any potential ties between Trump campaign staff members and Moscow.