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

A spokesman for Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleyGrassley extends deadline for Kavanaugh accuser to decide on testifying Ben Carson appears to tie allegation against Kavanaugh to socialist plot Kavanaugh accuser seeks additional day to decide on testimony MORE (R-Iowa) on Tuesday blasted Sen. Dianne FeinsteinDianne Emiel FeinsteinGOP, Kavanaugh accuser struggle to reach deal GOP Senate candidate: Allegations against Kavanaugh 'absurd' Grassley panel scraps Kavanaugh hearing, warns committee will vote without deal 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. 

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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 John TrumpHannity urges Trump not to fire 'anybody' after Rosenstein report Ben Carson appears to tie allegation against Kavanaugh to socialist plot Five takeaways from Cruz, O'Rourke's fiery first debate 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 GrahamKim, Moon toss ball to Trump in ‘last, best chance’ for Korean peace GOP senator: Kavanaugh accuser 'moving the goalposts' Collins: Kavanaugh accuser should 'reconsider,' testify on Monday MORE (R-S.C.) have referred Steele to the Justice Department for criminal investigation.