Senate Democrats just released full testimony on the Trump-Russia dossier. Here's what's in it

Key Points
  • Sen. Dianne Feinstein released the full transcript of Fusion GPS co-founder Glenn Simpson's testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee.
  • Simpson touched on a wide array of topics in the 312-page transcript, including President Trump's business ties and his tax history.
  • Democrats on the committee said they were not consulted ahead of a decision by Senate Republicans to issue a criminal referral against former British spy and Fusion GPS investigator Christopher Steele.
Senate Democrats just released the full testimony on the Trump-Russia dossier. Here's what's in it

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., on Tuesday released the full transcript from Fusion GPS co-founder Glenn Simpson's testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee regarding Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

"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," Feinstein said in a statement. "The only way to set the record straight is to make the transcript public."

The move follows a decision by Republicans Chuck Grassley, who is chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and Lindsey Graham to issue a criminal referral last week against Christopher Steele, the former British spy who authored the largely unverified "Trump dossier."

Joshua Levy, a lawyer for Fusion GPS, testified that someone died as a result of the dossier. Levy did not name the individual, according to the transcript.

The release of the transcript, Feinstein said, was supported by committee Democrats.

Glenn R. Simpson, co-founder of the research firm Fusion GPS, arrives for a scheduled appearance before a closed House Intelligence Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Nov. 14, 2017.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais | AP

Democrats on the committee said they were not consulted ahead of the Republicans' referral to the Department of Justice.

According to a word search, the name "Trump" appears 171 times in the transcript. "Putin" appears 19 times.

In an op-ed in The New York Times on Jan. 2, Simpson and Fusion GPS partner Peter Fritsch criticized Republicans for selectively leaking portions of Simpsons' testimony.

Republican senators issue a criminal referral for the author of the controversial Trump dossier

"Republicans have refused to release full transcripts of our firm's testimony, even as they selectively leak details to media outlets on the far right," Simpson and Fritsch said in the piece. "It's time to share what our company told investigators."

Fusion GPS did not immediately respond to CNBC's request for comment.

Simpson touches on a wide array of topics, including Trump's business ties, his tax history and his connection to real estate developer Felix Sater, who is reported to have links to Russian organized crime.

Here are some of the highlights:

  • Steele, Simpson testified, told him the FBI also had a source inside the Trump operation, although he wasn't sure whether that meant the presidential campaign or the Trump Organization. The bureau was more inclined to believe Steele's information, he said, "because they had other intelligence that indicated the same thing, and one of those pieces of intelligence was a human source from inside the Trump organization." NBC News' Ken Dilanian later tweeted that the supposed walk-in source "was a mischaracterization by Simpson of the Australian diplomat tip about Papadopoulis."
  • Simpson touched on how the Trump Organization handles paying taxes: "One of the things we found out was that, you know, when it comes to paying taxes, Donald Trump claims to not have much stuff. At least the Trump organization. So they would make filings with various state and local authorities saying that their buildings weren't worth much."
  • Simpson discussed Trump's relationship with Sater: "This was something he didn't want to talk about and testified under oath he wouldn't know Felix if he ran into him in the street. That was not true. He knew him well and, in fact, continued to associate with him long after he learned of Felix's organized crime ties. So, you know, that tells you something about somebody."
  • Fusion GPS attorney Joshua Levy claimed that someone died as a result of the dossier: "Somebody's already been killed as a result of the publication of this dossier and no harm should come to anybody related to this honest work."
  • Fusion GPS did not secure full access to Trump's tax returns, Simpson said: "They were Trump properties and I believe we may have reviewed some public information about estate taxes and things like that. We didn't have access to his tax returns."
  • Simpson said he only become aware of the infamous Trump Tower meeting between Donald Trump Jr. and a Russian lawyer when it was reported in the New York Times: "I was stunned."
  • Simpson had no "factual reason to believe" the Trump Tower meeting was a Russian attempt to make contact with the Trump campaign, but: "You know, as a sort of question of counterintelligence and just general investigation of Russian methods and that sort of thing, I think that's a reasonable interpretation."
  • Fusion GPS concluded that Trump "exaggerated" his properties' worth in legal filings — but that did not indicate or show connections to Russia: "Not that I recall."
  • Simpson said Trump's country clubs aren't making any money: "They were not profitable entities. I don't specifically recall. I just remember that these were not doing very well and that he'd sunk a lot of money into them and he hadn't gotten a lot of money back yet."