Grassley blasts Feinstein's release of Fusion GPS transcript as 'confounding'

A spokesman for Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck GrassleyChuck GrassleyFormer Sen. Bob Dole dies at 98 Alarm grows over smash-and-grab robberies amid holiday season GOP blocks bill to expand gun background checks after Michigan school shooting MORE (R-Iowa) on Tuesday blasted Sen. Dianne FeinsteinDianne Emiel FeinsteinBiden administration pulls Trump-era approval of water pipeline What's that you smell in the Supreme Court? New variant raises questions about air travel mandates MORE's (D-Calif.) release of a transcribed interview with the co-founder of the firm behind a controversial dossier on the Trump campaign's ties to Russia, calling the move "confounding."

In a statement, the spokesman, Taylor Foy, said that Feinstein's decision to release the transcript without first consulting Grassley compromises the Judiciary Committee's ability to conduct its investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election.

"Her action undermines the integrity of the committee’s oversight work and jeopardizes its ability to secure candid voluntary testimony relating to the independent recollections of future witnesses," Foy said. 

ADVERTISEMENT

He noted that no other congressional panel had released transcripts of private interviews related to the Russia investigations and suggested that Feinstein's decision may discourage potential witnesses from testifying before the Judiciary Committee. 

Feinstein, the Judiciary Committee's top Democrat, posted the 300-page transcript of the committee's interview with Fusion GPS co-founder Glenn Simpson, breaking with Grassley, who had opposed the release of the transcript.

Fusion GPS had demanded that the transcript be released. 

The private research firm commissioned the 2016 dossier, which includes salacious and unverified allegations about President TrumpDonald TrumpMan sentenced to nearly four years for running scam Trump, Biden PACs Meadows says Trump's blood oxygen level was dangerously low when he had COVID-19 Trump endorses David Perdue in Georgia's governor race MORE. The document was compiled by Christopher Steele, a former British intelligence official, who was hired by Fusion GPS. 

Grassley and Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamGOP senators introduce bill targeting Palestinian 'martyr payments' Bipartisan senators earmark billion to support democracies globally Democrats see Christmas goal slipping away MORE (R-S.C.) have referred Steele to the Justice Department for criminal investigation.