Two of the top Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee are turning up the heat on Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, by demanding he release the transcript of the committee’s interview with Fusion GPS co-founder Glenn Simpson.
According to Sens. Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut and Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island, “[t]here is simply no reason to keep the Simpson testimony […] hidden.”
The Fusion GPS head testified for nearly seven hours behind closed doors in mid-November.
The opposition research firm helped pay for the controversial Trump dossier, which was a handful of memos compiled by former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele. The allegations connecting President Trump to Russia are mostly unverified, but Republicans have alleged they launched the FBI’s investigation into the possible ties.
Simpson and co-founder Peter Fritsch wrote an op-ed earlier this month slamming the GOP for selectively leaking parts of their testimony, and asked for the full transcripts to be released. Grassley responded by saying the invitation to testify publicly “remains on the tale.”
Blumenthal and Whitehouse, in a letter sent Sunday, call the “selective leaks” of the testimony “have become a distraction” from the committee’s own investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election and possible collusion with the Trump campaign.
Releasing selective evidence “does not appear to shed meaningful light on this important work,” the senators’ letter said.
“To the extent that you believe continued attention to [Simpson and Steele] is warranted, the American people should be allowed to decide for themselves,” they wrote. “Therefore, we — like the Committee’s Ranking Member [Dianne Feinstein] — believe that the full transcript of our interview with Glenn Simpson should be released to the public.”