Does Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein need something for her leaky brain?
That’s what the 84-year-old California lawmaker suggested when asked why she unilaterally released the testimony of Fusion GPS founder Glenn Simpson before the Senate Judiciary Committee without telling committee chairman Chuck Grassley.
“The one regret I have is that I should have spoke with Senator Grassley before,” she told NBC News. “And I don’t make an excuse, but I’ve had a bad cold and maybe that slowed down my mental facilities a little bit.”
Feinstein to @MariannaNBCNews RE: releasing the Glenn Simpson transcript: "The one regret I have is that I should have spoke with Senator Grassley before. And I don't make an excuse but I've had a bad cold and maybe that slowed down my mental facilities a little bit."
— Frank Thorp V (@frankthorp) January 10, 2018
Feinstein has come under fire for releasing Simpson’s testimony without notice. The testimony was taken in August 2017, during which Simpson discussed Fusion GPS’ role in producing the discredited “Trump dossier.” The anti-Trump dossier was paid for by Hillary Clinton’s campaign and the Democratic National Committee.
In a shocking move, Feinstein unilaterally published Simpson’s testimony this week. Her alibi for why she did this has changed three times.
Initially, she claimed she was “pressured.” When asked who pressured her, Feinstein backpedaled and said, “I wasn’t pressured.”
In the latest iteration of her story, Feinstein said her weakened “mental facilities” stemming from a cold made her leak closed-door testimony.
Asked who pressured her, Feinstein says: "I wasn't pressured" without reconciling her two statements. Her office later said she misspoke and wasn't pressured to release transcript.
— Manu Raju (@mkraju) January 10, 2018
In another wacky moment, Feinstein claimed today (Jan. 11) that she never said she “was pressured,” even though there are recordings of her saying that.
Just asked Feinstein about her comment yesterday about being "pressured" to release the Simpson transcript.
"I made no statement to that effect," she said.
Me: but there are recordings of you saying you felt pressured
"I don't believe there are. I don't believe I said that."
— Emma Loop (@LoopEmma) January 11, 2018
Senator Grassley slammed Feinstein, saying her action compromised the senate’s investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election. Interestingly, the leak occurred at around the same time that many observers are noting that special counsel Robert Mueller has produced no evidence of collusion after a year-long probe.
Senator Grassley said Feinstein’s leak could have a chilling effect on other witnesses, who now may be more reluctant to testify if they fear it will be leaked to the press.
Meanwhile, President Trump’s longtime personal attorney, Michael Cohen, has slapped Fusion GPS with a whopping $100 million defamation lawsuit for claiming he had colluded with Russian operatives despite easily disprovable “evidence.”
Cohen filed a separation defamation suit against liberal website BuzzFeed, its editor-in-chief Ben Smith, and three BuzzFeed writers for publishing the Trump dossier in January 2017, even though the liberal website admitted that “the allegations are unverified, and the report contains errors.”
The dossier has been widely slammed and discredited, both for its unsubstantiated claims and its dubious provenance.
The DNC and Hillary Clinton’s campaign paid Fusion GPS for the Trump dossier that the Democrats used to promote the narrative that the Trump campaign had colluded with Russia.
Fusion GPS hired former MI6 agent Christopher Steele to have his Russian spy sources investigate Trump’s real-estate activities in Russia. (Note to media: There’s your “Russian collusion.”)
In January 2017, Senator John McCain turned the dossier over to the FBI despite the fact that it contained no evidence of collusion but merely unverified smears against President Trump.
The Trump dossier was then used to launch an investigation into whether the Trump campaign had colluded with Russia. After a year-long probe by Robert Mueller and his team of anti-Trump lawyers and FBI agents, he has produced no evidence of collusion.
“It’s time for Bob Mueller to put up or shut up. If there’s evidence of collusion, let’s see it!” Republican Congressman Matt Gaetz said. “If there’s not, let’s move on.”
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