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Having read the transcript of the interview that Fusion GPS head Glenn Simpson gave to investigators from the Senate Judiciary Committee, I have the following observations:
1) Simpson offered no meaningful support for the truth of the allegations in the Donald Trump dossier that he peddled to journalists. It was his subcontractor Christopher Steele who gathered the “human intelligence” in Russia that was the basis for the dossier. Simpson’s contributions consisted of searching public data sources in a manner that does not sound impressive. For example:
Beginning - Case - Order - Books - Subject
What we generally do at the beginning of a case if it’s possible is to order all the books about the subject from Amazon so we’re not reinventing the wheel and we know what’s been written and said before. So this was typical. We ordered every Donald Trump book and, to my surprise, that’s a lot of books. I was never very interested in Donald Trump. He was not a serious political figure that I’d ever had any exposure to. He’s a New York figure really.
So anyway, we read everything we could read about Donald Trump. Those books cover his divorces, his casinos, his early years dealings with labor unions and mafia figures.
Extent - Simpson - Allegations - Dossier - Efforts
To the extent that Simpson tried to verify the allegations in the dossier, his efforts were of the “there’s the bed” variety. (“I’ve got a bed that George Washington slept in. If you don’t believe me, there’s the bed!”) So, for example, if Steele claimed that the Trump presidential campaign was collaborating with a particular Russian, Simpson may have verified that the Russian exists. This description of how Simpson corroborated the claim that Carter Page may have been “compromised” would be funny in a different context:
Q. So beyond what is in the dossier, did you kind of find any evidence that he had actually...
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