The controversial research firm Fusion GPS is still investigating alleged ties between President Trump’s 2016 election campaign and Russia, according to several sources who spoke to this reporter.
What’s not known is who is paying for the continuing research? Fusion GPS officials could not be reached immediately for comment.
In October, the Washington Post revealed that Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton campaign paid the now embattled research firm Fusion GPS to fund the research into the dossier. Marc E. Elias, who was a lawyer representing the Clinton campaign and the DNC allegedly retained Fusion GPS, but the campaign failed to disclose those payments on its finance records.
Rep. Ron DeSantis, a Florida Republican and Chairman of the National Security Subcommittee, sent a letter last week to House Speaker Paul Ryan, asking him to direct Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee Devin Nunes , R-CA to declassify documents given to the committee related to the dossier. He asked Nunes to utilize the process known as Rule X to make the documents available to the American people and said Fusion GPS’s continuing research into President Trump should be investigated.
DeSantis told this reporter that releasing the information on the dossier and the classified FISA applications is the first step in getting the truth to the public.
“Congress needs to determine the role played by Fusion GPS in the Russia matter and that includes any current Fusion activity,” said DeSantis. “Fusion has not been forthright with Congress and the American people deserve the facts.”
The New York Times was the first to allude to Simpson’s continuing investigation into Trump’s alleged ties with Russia in a recent expose on Simpson stating, “But the work has not stopped. Fusion continues to look into ties between Mr. Trump and Russia, according to several people briefed on the research. Mr. Simpson’s specific areas of focus, and information about any current benefactors, are closely guarded.”
DeSantis said the first step is to “declassify these documents for the American people,”
“I want to see the cast of characters that are in the dossier and how it was used to get the warrants on the Trump campaign. We deserve the truth and I’m hopeful it will be very soon,” said DeSantis, who added that he expects the House Intelligence Committee report on the FBI and the Inspector General’s investigation into the FBI’s handling of the Clinton email scandal to be delivered at roughly the same time in the upcoming month.
A Republican congressional staff member, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said “it’s imperative to know who’s paying Fusion GPS for its current investigation.”
“There appears to be a concerted effort on the part of the dems to try to deflect from the explosive information now in the hands of the committees and we still don’t have the answers we need regarding Fusion’s role,” the congressional staff member said.
Rep. Adam Schiff, D-CA, has now asked the House Intelligence Committee to release Simpson’s transcripts from his interview with the committee. Sen. Diane Feinstein, D-CA, and minority chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee released her panels interview with Simpson, who had also asked for it to be made public.
But according to numerous sources the decision to release Simpson’s interview backfired.
The most fascinating part of Simpson’s interview was that Steele was told by an FBI agent that there was a confidential informant, a “human source from inside the Trump organization.” Shortly after Simpson’s testimony was made public, Fusion GPS backtracked those statements through NBC reporter Ken Dilanian who tweeted that “there was no walk in source” and that Simpson was referring to George Papadopoulos, a foreign policy advisor to the Trump campaign. The New York Times reported on Dec. 30 that it was a conversation between Papadopoulus and an Australian diplomat at a bar in London that led to the investigation.
“It backfired,” said a congressional official. “I doubt Glen Simpson really wants his testimony to be public and Feinstein’s release took him by surprise. Why did Simpson lie about it in his testimony and his (New York Times) op-ed?”
Congressional members say there are more questions than answers with regard to the 35 page dossier put together by former British spy Christopher Steele, which contained false and unverified information. In fact, Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe, who testified before the House Intelligence Committee, had cited only one fact in the dossier that had been verified by the bureau and that was that Trump campaign volunteer Carter Page had traveled to Moscow.
Page allegedly was willing to voluntarily speak to the FBI in September, 2016 but the FBI didn’t interview him for another five months during which time “the FISA warrant was allegedly approved,” according to a source with knowledge.
Representatives of the House Intelligence Committee, Senate Intelligence Committee, House Judiciary Committee, and Senate Judiciary Committee have examined the FISA documents related to the dossier in a secure room at the Justice Department, according to a recent article published by Byron York. According to York and sources who spoke to this reporter they were not allowed to remove the documents from the room but took extensive notes from the material that was provided by the Department of Justice. Nunes’ committee had been stonewalled for months before the DOJ agreed to turn over the documents, as recently reported.
Members asked Nunes, R-CA, of the House Intelligence Committee to make all relevant documents pertaining to the dossier and FBI interviews with witnesses available to all 435 congressional members, as first reported by Fox News Ed Henry.