At Town Hall Chuck Grassley is Pushed to Release Glenn Simpson Testimony
Maddow showed footage of his town hall where he was asked about it at a Town Hall and he hemmed and hawed about possible errors in translation.
Grassley tried to deflect by saying ‘maybe the best thing is for him to testify publicly with Donald Jr and Paul Manafort.
A dogged and knowledgable constituent asked why it can’t be released after 10 hrs it as well as any subsequent public hearing? Great question. Rachel liked it too and called the guy asking these great questions ‘Her new boyfriend.’
Remember that Grassley initially said Simpson would testify publicly then changed his tune.
It certainly doesn’t sound like Simpson embarrassed himself at this 10 hr marathon hearing
(2) Simpson standing by Steele underscores that Steele's one of the best in the world at what he does. More important: the FBI believes him.
— Seth Abramson (@SethAbramson) August 23, 2017
(3) Republicans falsely focus on Simpson as the dossier "researcher," and Fusion as its "compiler," because they failed to discredit Steele.
— Seth Abramson (@SethAbramson) August 23, 2017
Yes-what’s been at the core of this is the GOP trying to find an angle to discredit the dossier-that the FBI clearly finds highly credible. In Right wing media the word ‘unverified’ is used to imply that it’s ‘fake news.’
But that’s not what ‘unverified’ means in the case of an intelligence dossier like this. If it were, the FBI would not have used it this extensively.
Sorry, Louise Mensch bashers, but she was dead right way back in February:
“I took as my starting point the idea that the Steele dossier should be believed and would be for the most part correct; and that it was more likely to be right than wrong. The reason I took this attitude is that all three heads of US intelligence agencies had included Steele’s dossier as an adjunct to their report to the President.”
“That is utterly extraordinary and represents a massive vote of confidence in Steele’s work. The heads of the FBI, CIA and NSA are not in the habit of including tabloid sensationalism in their official reports, whether as an adjunct or anything else. I do not wish to waste too much time on this, as the report was self-evidently believed to be credible; but contrary to lazy reporting by CNN and others, the dossier was not rubbished by the same agency heads who included it. They said they had not verified the whole of it. That is all. And, again, since parts of the work were not independently verified, its inclusion by the IC represented a colossal vote of confidence in the credibility of Chris Steele (if you are reading this sir please get in touch with me. You are a patriot, may God bless you).”
And since then, a number of aspects of it have been verified.
In any case, Rachel Maddow did a great job grilling Grassley. As for Grassley’s attempt to dodge-by now calling for Simpson to testify publicly along with Donald Trump Jr and Paul Manafort:
1. As Simpson’s lawyer, Josh Levy, says that’s very unfair to Mr. Simpson after he was grilled for 10 hours behind closed doors. As Maddow argued last night, what’s really happening is Grassley is hoping to push Simpson to give up his sources in a public hearing. He was unable to get Simpson to do it in their private interview despite 10 hrs of grilling.
2. The question begs is why did Grassley and friends spend so much longer grilling Simpson than Kushner and Donald Trump Jr?
Could it be because his agenda was not getting at the truth but discrediting the dossier? It’s also clear he failed as Simpson and GPS are calling for the testimony to be public and Grassley has been hemming and hawing.
Finally, after being grilled and pushed significantly, Grassley appeared to relent:
“Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley on Wednesday said he will hold a committee vote to release the transcripts of a 10-hour hearing with Glenn Simpson, the former reporter for the Wall Street Journal whose firm helped compile the infamous “dossier” about President Trump’s campaign team and Russia.”
“Grassley was put on the spot during a town hall meeting in Mount Air, Iowa, Wednesday when a man in the audience asked what he and his committee discovered during an all-day closed-door meeting with Simpson on Tuesday and whether they would share those findings.”
“The answer is, it will take a vote of the committee to do it, but I presume that they will be released,” Grassley said, even adding later that he would “of course” call for the vote.
“The Iowa senator warned the committee would have to give Simpson and his lawyer a copy of the transcript for them to look over before potentially making it public.”
“First of all, it takes a long time for the court reporter to get it ready to go, but we’ll have to give it to them before the thing you’re asking me about can be done,” Grassley added.
Notice though that he’s trying to make it sound like it’s some hugely laborious process to get it out. Simpson and his lawyer have made it clear they want it released.
“I don’t know why I wouldn’t. But I don’t want to say so because I’ve never — in all the years I’ve been in Congress, well, I guess I’ve only been chairman of two committees, I’ve never gone through this process before. So I’m not going to answer your question until I get a firm footing of what the precedent is,” Grassley said.
I don’t know why I wouldn’t. That’s in the passive tense and still makes it sound like he will try to milk time off the clock and still give himself room potentially in the future not to release it. Yes, this has backfired on him.
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