by Rep. Julio Gonzalez, M.D., J.D.
In an unauthorized move of Jan. 9, Sen. Diane Feinstein released, in its entirety, the transcript of the Aug. 22, 2017, Senate Judiciary Committee interview of Fusion GPS director Glenn Simpson. The interview was part of the Senate’s investigation into potential acts of collusion between Russia and then candidate Donald Trump. From this interview we get information regarding Christopher Steele’s activities with Fusion and information regarding the meeting between Donald Trump Jr. and Russian operatives.
Although the release of the entirety of the transcripts brings little extra information to light regarding Fusion’s findings and the funding of Fusion activities, there are a few points that stand out — including the dangers of Feinstein’s actions.
First, it was Christopher Steele who suggested that Simpson go to the FBI with the information they had just obtained regarding potential cooperation between the Trump Campaign and foreign operatives. Recall that Steele was the former British intelligence officer hired by Fusion to look into potential ties between the Trump campaign and foreign operatives. It was Steele that produced the now mostly debunked Russian Dossier that was: A) largely funded by the Democratic National Committee; and B) laced with false information provided by the Russians.
What a coincidence that Steele would be the one to first suggest that Fusion go to the FBI to suggest launching an investigation into the Trump campaign!
All of this suggests one of two things. Either Steele is the absolute worst spy in the world and is lucky to be alive in light of his foolhardiness, or Steele is a willing conspirator with the Democrats and the Russians to frame Donald Trump. Interesting that the press is not evaluating Steele’s motivations further.
Second, it appears the reason why Simpson felt comfortable approaching the FBI regarding Trump is because there was a corroborating source inside the campaign. Who was this source? How reliable was he? And was it Steele himself who discovered this “source”?
The transcript does not shed much light on this topic because of Simpson’s interest — and that of his attorney, Joshua Levy — in protecting their sources. After all, said Levy, someone had already been killed as a result of the release of the Dossier!
This last point is absolutely fascinating, but perhaps even more intriguing is the total lack of follow up by the Judiciary Committee’s lawyers. There were no questions from the attorneys regarding who was killed, the circumstances by which he or she was killed, and for what reason.
In a moment of sheer incompetence, the comment was just allowed to sit there, unaddressed.
And there is one more implication to the release of the transcript by Sen. Feinstein: the damage to the credibility of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Recall that Simpson sat before the Committee voluntarily. Ostensibly, he did this as the result of a willingness to cooperate with the investigation. No subpoena was issued, but at the beginning of the inquiry, the lawyers told Simpson that the interview was confidential and that he was prohibited from discussing it with anyone outside of that room.
Simpson had called for the release of the transcript — and congratulated Feinstein for her actions — so there was no angst on his part regarding the unauthorized actions of Feinstein.
Consider this. What do you think this breach of confidentiality will do to the willingness of witnesses to cooperate with future investigations?
The answer, of course, is decidedly negative.
Dr. Julio Gonzalez is an orthopaedic surgeon and lawyer living in Venice, Florida. He is the author of The Federalist Pages and serves in the Florida House of Representatives. He can be reached through www.thefederalistpages.com to arrange a lecture or book signing.
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