In a major “up yours” move to Senator Chuck Grassley, Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Senator Diane Feinstein, the ranking minority member, unilaterally released the entire 10-hour transcript of the testimony given by Glenn Simpson, co-founder of GPS Fusion and source for the now infamous “Steele dossier.”
Politico quotes Senator Feinstein as saying “The American people deserve the opportunity to see what he said and judge for themselves. The innuendo and misinformation circulating about the transcript are part of a deeply troubling effort to undermine the investigation into potential collusion and obstruction of justice. The only way to set the record straight is to make the transcript public.”
Senator Feinstein’s office released the following statement via her official Twitter account.
The American people deserve the opportunity to see the transcript of the Judiciary Committee’s interview with Fusion GPS founder Glenn Simpson. Read it for yourself: https://t.co/yEaJLHpGdG
— Sen Dianne Feinstein (@SenFeinstein) January 9, 2018
The comes on the recommendation last Friday by Chairman Grassley and Senator Lindsey Graham that the British investigator, Christopher Steele, be investigated by the Department of Justice for “making false statements.” Perhaps Senator Graham forgot that it was his good friend John McCain who personally delivered the dossier to the FBI last year. Wouldn’t that make Senator McCain equally culpable? They must be invoking the “Shoot the Messenger” section of federal law.
Senator But Feinstein has picked up an unexpected ally on the Judiciary Committee. As reported in The Hill, fellow member Senator John Cornyn (R.TX) publicly supported her move saying “I think that’s a good idea. I’m glad it was done. I respect Chairman Grassley and I really don’t know how this happened, but I do think more transparency is needed.”
Yes, more transparency is definitely needed, especially from the Republicans in Congress who seem to be doing their dead-level best to confuse, conflate, and collude on the investigation into ties between Donald Trump, his campaign, and Russia. These would be the same Republicans – looking at you Trey Gowdy – who had no problem holding eleven hours of public, televised testimony by former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on the deaths of four Americans in Benghazi. That may well have been justified, but there cannot be one standard for Democrats and an entirely different one for Republicans who are under investigation.
I’ll make a personal confession here. I was no fan of Hillary Clinton and knew that Gowdy had a reputation as a top-notch prosecutor. I watched the entire testimony, waiting for Gowdy to land the knock-out punch that would take Clinton down. After all, he had spent months and millions investigating the situation, so surely it was going to be an epic take-down. But at the end of the day, all I could think of was “Is that it? Is that all they’ve got? What the hell just happened here.”
Senators Feinstein and Cornyn are correct. The American people do deserve more transparency. We understand when classified information is involved, but politically uncomfortable information should not be hidden in the closet. Leaks, deliberately misleading information, and conspiracy theories will fill the vacuum left when accurate information is not available.
It basically boils down to what they think of the people who voted them into office. If they believe that people were smart to vote for them, then there should be no problem releasing this information. But if they thought the voters were stupid enough to vote for them, then it makes sense they don’t trust them to make sense of the information.