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What testimony on the Trump dossier adds to the Russian Federation probe

13 January 2018

Two senior USA senators have called for an investigation into an ex-MI6 officer over a dossier he wrote about President Trump's alleged Russian links.

Simpson's testimony, made public by Democratic senator Dianne Feinstein, describes Cohen as the Trump campaign's go-to person when questions were raised regarding ties with Russian Federation.

Slapping the senior California Democrat with a new nickname, "Sneaky Dianne Feinstein", Trump tweeted that the senator "who has on numerous occasions stated that collusion between Trump/Russia has not been found, would release testimony in such an underhanded and possibly illegal way, totally without authorization, is a disgrace". Grassley said the release could undermine attempts to interview other witnesses in the committee's investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election.

Feinstein released the transcript on Tuesday, breaking with Senate decorum to debunk the Republican theory that the dossier is what sparked the investigation of potential links between the Trump campaign and Russian officials.

Despite the so-called "salacious and unverified" claims in the dossier, the FBI reportedly used the document to justify secretly monitoring Trump campaign adviser Carter Page and to bolster its Trump-Russia investigation, . At that time, she replied that she had not.

Trump called the dossier "fake" and disputed all the allegations in it.

Trump's words differed from what he said at a news conference in June, shortly after fired FBI Director James Comey had told Congress that Trump asked him for a pledge of loyalty.

Committee Republican Lindsey Graham of SC, who last week joined Grassley in referring the author of the infamous Trump dossier to the Justice Department for possible criminal prosecution, tweeted, "It's not enough to simply release the transcript from the co-founder of #FusionGPS Glenn Simpson. [.] Imagine covering Simpson's testimony to the intelligence committee [.] in a situation in which you had no idea what they were fighting about".

This could mean Mr Steele made "false statements" when being interviewed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. "The only way to set the record straight is to make the transcript public".

"We've gotta count on Mueller being the only place that's going to ultimately get to the facts here", Murphy said. "I don't believe I said that". He said the president's golf clubs aren't making much money.

The disagreement between Grassley and Feinstein is further evidence of a breakdown on the panel after an initially bipartisan investigation.

Cohen has since denied the allegations of conspiracy: "I can tell you for certainty that neither I nor the president were involved, at any point in time, with this Russian conspiracy", Cohen said to Vanity Fair in a previous interview.

President Donald Trump speaks during a news conference with Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg in the East Room of the White House, Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2018, in Washington.