House Intelligence Committee to vote on releasing Fusion transcript
Posted January 17, 2018 10:22 a.m. EST
WASHINGTON (CNN) — The House Intelligence Committee will vote Thursday on whether to release the transcript of the panel's interview with Fusion GPS co-founder Glenn Simpson, according to two sources familiar with the matter.
The committee has a business meeting scheduled for Thursday posted on its website, in which it plans to vote on whether to release the transcript of Simpson's interview, which was conducted behind closed doors.
Simpson has called for his interview transcripts to be released, as has the top Democrat on the intelligence panel, Rep. Adam Schiff of California.
Rep. Mike Conaway, the Texas Republican leading the committee's Russia investigation, said the panel would make a decision on that soon.
"Mr. Simpson has requested that, I know the minority folks have requested it as well, and we'll take it under serious advisement and have a decision soon," Conaway told CNN Wednesday.
Simpson and Fusion GPS have been at the center of the political firestorm over the opposition research dossier on Trump and Russia, which Fusion GPS hired ex-British intelligence agent Christopher Steele to compile. Republicans have said that the dossier research, which was paid for by Hillary Clinton's campaign and the Democratic National Committee, was a politically motivated document that got into the hands of the FBI.
The Senate Judiciary Committee's top Democrat, Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California, released the transcript of her committee's interview with Simpson, without the consent of Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley. Simpson testified last year behind closed doors with the House and Senate Intelligence Committees and the Senate Judiciary Committee.
In his Judiciary Committee testimony, Simpson argued that Steele gave the dossier to the FBI on his own volition out of concern that then-presidential candidate Donald Trump was being blackmailed, though no evidence has emerged to suggest Trump was actually blackmailed.
"Chris said he was very concerned about whether this represented a national security threat and said he wanted to -- he said he thought we were obligated to tell someone in government, in our government about this information," Simpson said.