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

A spokesman for Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleyCriminal justice groups offer support for Durbin amid fight for Judiciary spot Capitol physician advises lawmakers against attending dinners, receptions during COVID-19 spike Congress ends its year under shadow of COVID-19 MORE (R-Iowa) on Tuesday blasted Sen. Dianne FeinsteinDianne Emiel FeinsteinCriminal justice groups offer support for Durbin amid fight for Judiciary spot Bottom line Incoming Congress looks more like America 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 TrumpTrump alludes to possible 2024 run in White House remarks Trump threatens to veto defense bill over tech liability shield Tiger King's attorney believes they're close to getting pardon from Trump 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 GrahamBarr taps attorney investigating Russia probe origins as special counsel Democracy is the MVP in 2020 The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Mastercard - GOP angst in Georgia; confirmation fight looms MORE (R-S.C.) have referred Steele to the Justice Department for criminal investigation.