The author of the explosive pre-election dossier on Donald Trump reported to the Federal Bureau of Investigation in July 2016 that he was concerned Trump was being blackmailed by the Kremlin, according to testimony by Glenn Simpson, co-founder of Fusion GPS, the company that commissioned the report.
That detail and a few others in a almost 300-page transcript released on Tuesday by Sen.
Speaking aboard Air Force One in July, Trump used the phrase "witch hunt" several times, declaring ongoing questions about Russian Federation to be a politically motivated "witch hunt" overplayed by the press.
Simpson said Steele went to the FBI in late June or "at the latest" early July - weeks before the FBI reportedly launched its investigation into the Trump campaign. Simpson is the co-founder of Fusion GPS.
On October 31, 2016, the New York Times published a (now infamous) story, "Investigating Donald Trump, F.B.I".
While Mr. Trump's camp dismiss the dossier as malicious fiction or pure political opportunism, some elements have been corroborated. The file includes salacious details that could have embarrassed Trump and been used as leverage over him. And although the dossier may have brought to light critical security issues, it can not ultimately prove anything explosive about Trump that would render him unfit for the presidency.
Now in the public domain, the transcript touches on a number of areas ranging from Trump's tax filings and business network-including his connection to Felix Sater, an individual with alleged connections to Russian organized crime gangs. And we understand why President Trump's supporters remain furious at the airing of a disturbingly vivid unproven allegation about encounters with prostitutes. Chuck Grassley and Lindsey Graham referred Christopher Steele, the author of the Trump-Russia dossier, to the Department of Justice for possible criminal charges.
"I can't think of a law that it violates", he said.
More recently, Rep. Jim Himes, a Connecticut Democrat who has been trying to bolster the dossier as a member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, delivered a harsh critique. Fusion GPS has told the Washington Post that it "had no prior knowledge" of that meeting and denied any involvement. "But there are still very many open questions about some of the allegations in that dossier".
A spokesman for the committee chairman, Sen.
Feinstein also took advantage of a televised meeting with the President and leading Republicans and Democrats on immigration. Now all of Simpson's testimony to her committee is available for review - and Democrats said that's the way it should be.
The United States intelligence community believes that the Russian government was engaged in electoral interference during the 2016 US presidential election. "That's obstruction of justice".