None of Glenn Simpson’s testimony supports the rickety Jenga pile of Republican theories implicating Clinton, Steele and the FBI.
The transcript of the Senate intelligence committee’s interview with Fusion GPS director Glenn Simpson is now in the public domain, put there by a frustrated Sen. Dianne Feinstein in the wake of ongoing Republican conspiracy theories about what Simpson did or did not tell the Senate.
Somehow, GOP critics of the Trump-Russia investigation have tried to put a positive spin on these materials, as if Simpson’s answers prove their point that the whole business is a witch hunt.
In fact, there are only two ways to read the Simpson interview: either it says nothing, or it has blown up months of carefully constructed conspiracy theorizing.
By now we’re all familiar with the “Steele dossier,” a raw — in every way — report from a British spy who was engaged by an opposition research firm called Fusion GPS. It makes sensational claims about years of Russian operations against President Donald Trump.
If not for Steele’s file, the GOP reasoning goes, the FBI would never have started down the path of investigating Trump, which would never have led to FBI Director James Comey approaching Trump about the file; absent this, Comey would never have been fired, there would be no Mueller probe, and all would be right with the world.
But what about Trump officials meeting with the Russians during the campaign? Indeed, in the telling of at least some Trump defenders, these were the result of orders issued from Clinton’s volcano lair for Fusion to lure Donald Trump Jr. and others into a room with shady Russians for meetings that were unwise — or even “treasonous,” if banished Trump advisor Steve Bannon is to be believed. Somehow, after all this slick tradecraft, Clinton’s people never saw it coming when the Russians betrayed them and hacked the DNC anyway.
Think about the size of the claim here: the Clinton…