Lo Unto Us YET ANOTHER Fusion GPS Transcript Has Been Given!
Chunk face doesn't like this testimony, or this photoshopped picture.
It's been many moons since Sneaky Dianne Feinstein released the transcript of Fusion GPS co-founder Glenn Simpson before the Senate Judiciary Committee without Chuck Grassley's permission. And oh man, we could see why she did that, as it summarily destroyed pretty much every GOP whiny ass complaint about THE DODGY DOSSIER and where it came from. Now, the House Intelligence Committee has actually voted all by itself to release its own transcript with Simpson! House Intel's interview happened much later -- November 14, as opposed to August for Senate Judiciary -- and thus it happened after we learned things like "who paid for the dossier" and stuff. (Wonkette has weighed in on this, with our famous children's Bible story IT DOESN’T MATTER WHO PAID FOR THE FUCKING DOSSIER, YOU FUCKING ASSHOLES.)
So, like we do with transcripts like these, we're going to liveblog it while we read it, and hopefully we won't be here until 9:00 PM, considering how it is Friday. Sound good? OH YEAH IT DOES, TRANSCRIPTS MAKE YOU HAWT.
OK for serious though, let's go. (If you want to be a loser and cheat, here is a good Twitter thread with the observations of somebody named Not Wonkette.)
10:27: OK HI! Are we ready to read a thing? We have heard this one is juicy! Please pour yourself a flagon of coffee and get a blanket, as we are going to be here a while.
10:31: By the way, we are going to try not to talk about things Glenn Simpson told the Senate Judicary Committee, which we blogged exhaustively right here. So if you missed that and need to catch up, well, get on it.
10:41: Trey Gowdy would really like to know if Fusion GPS does mean lamestream media research, or if it's Fair And Balanced, like Fox News:
10:43: Trey Gowdy would also like to know what "fact" is. The Republicans are starting this interview off STRONG!
10:58: Looooooooooord, on page 15 the congresspeople just start fighting about whether or not Glenn Simpson is supposed to answer a question about who he talked to at Perkins Coie, the second, Democrat-linked entity that retained Fusion GPS to look into Trump. It is very dumb.
11:03: Trey Gowdy with the #SmokingGun. Glenn Simpson knew Perkins Coie was a Democrat law firm! Is it even legal to do Democrat things in America??????
11:07: When the EVIL DEMONCRATS retained Fusion GPS, this is where Fusion was in its look at Donald Trump:
11:24: Fusion GPS was paid 50,000 MONEYS PER MONTH to make up fake lies about pure and beautiful Donald Trump's ALLEGED connections to Russia:
BUT WERE THEY PAID IN RUBLES?
Because, you know, Facebook was literally paid in rubles for ads intended to fuck with America's election.
11:33: People like to focus on how it was the DEMOCRATS who were paying Fusion GPS when British spy Christopher Steele did the work that became the DODGY DOSSIER, but the true fact of the matter is that in the first phase, when Fusion GPS was working for the conservative Washington Free Beacon, they were already looking at Trump's weird Russian money (money-laundering!) connections:
You know, just FYI. Simpson adds that by spring of 2016 (still during the GOP primary) this was not "speculative research." It was FACTS, Trey Gowdy, FACTS, weren't you asking above what FACTS are? These are FACTS, Trey Gowdy, FACTS.
11:38: Christopher Steele was paid 160,000 AMERICAN MONEYS to make up a DODGY DOSSIER about how it's pretty obvious Donald Trump is a Russian intelligence asset. Nice paycheck, but honestly, could be more, considering how he was trying to SAVE THE WORLD.
11:41: Trey Gowdy is having a big confuse over "How can Christopher Steele learn things about Russia if he is not physically in Russia?" Did we mention the GOP is dishing out some pretty weak sauce in this hearing?
Trey Gowdy knows this is a very good question.
11:46: Trey Gowdy all "TELL ME WHAT PARTS OF THE DOSSIER ARE LIES" and Simpson is all "LOL nope, you idiot, shit is true."
Christopher Steele said much the same thing a couple months ago.
11:59: More on the sourcing. Simpson makes clear that a lot of the corroborating work they did involved doing their own research into obscure facts about Russia, and what they found was that shit checked out:
12:03: OK! Starting on page 31, we find ourselves at the end of DUMB TREY GOWDY (at least for now) and get to spend time with YOUR BOYFRIEND ADAM SCHIFF. Hopefully we will get into some juicy (MONEY-LAUNDERING TRUMP!) stuff now.
12:06: Glenn Simpson doesn't read Breitbart or watch "Fox & Friends"! What kind of American is he, anyway??????
(Glenn Simpson is the kind of American who is not dumb as fuck.)
12:29: Sorry, we had to make a coffee! We are back now! Anyway, more from Simpson on how LONG BEFORE THE DODGY DOSSIER, he knew about weird Trump-Russia connections, and indeed, had reported on Paul Manafort, Trump's first campaign manager who is now under indictment:
That's right, Glenn Simpson was doing the FAKE NEWS DOSSIER even back when he was a Wall Street Journal reporter!
12:41: Ooh, let's learn about the RUSSIAN GANGSTER who lived in Trump Tower and ran a gambling ring out of there, who was also on the run because he #RIGGED the skating at the Salt Lake City Olympics! He was there at the Moscow Miss Universe pageant, the one where Trump (ALLEGEDLY) got peed upon! Remember, we are still not even talking about Christopher Steele or the dossier, we're talking about work Simpson did before that:
WHOA IF TRUE!
12:46: SCHIFF: During what periods did you see suspicious transactions that looked like money laundering relating to Trump?
SIMPSON: Literally Trump's entire life.
12:51: What happens to Trump's condo developments he does with weird Russians and other strange investors? They go bankrupt and Trump walks away with millions in (maybe dirty) money:
Read more about the Toronto project here. It is such a strange story.
And what happens to Trump's golf courses? Well, money comes in from somewhere, but they don't actually make money:
Is Trump just remarkably bad at business, or is he a YOOGE criminal? Bet Robert Mueller knows the answer!
12:57: Know how we joke about how, no matter what Russian the Trumps are in bed with, that Russian is probably a spy? Here is Glenn Simpson, explaining why Wonkette says that:
If it's Russian, just assume it works for Putin. That is a safe bet.
1:00: So THEREFORE, if the Russian mafia is laundering money through Trump projects and if the Russian government controls the Russian mafia, then it would follow that the Kremlin could pull the levers on their little Trump doll who is now in the Oval:
1:14: Weird how Russian mob types used to brag about their connections to Trump before American investigators started pursuing those connections:
Another good rule for life, on top of "don't talk to Russian spies," is "assume Michael Cohen is full of shit no matter what he is saying."
1:18: Also, SURPRISE, but some of the weird Trump-Russia connections Glenn Simpson was looking at long before the dodgy dossier was even a twinkle in Christopher Steele's pants were the very weird and creepy and gross connections between aforementioned Trump lawyer Michael Cohen and Russia:
Wanna take bets on whether Robert Mueller is going to send that fucker to prison?
1:25: Big takeaway: basically every Russian/Russian-connected person Donald Trump knows is a criminal spy money-laundering type person who works for the Russian government, officially or unofficially. Nice friends the president keeps!
1:32: Rebecca reminds everybody this is her very favorite Cohen is a creep and probably a criminal story: How Trump's Lawyer Placed A Big Casino Bet That Left Dozens Empty-Handed.
"You're the president of this company."
"No i'm not."
"Here's your signature saying you are."
"I disagree, and if I did, I don't remember it SAYS WHO."
1:34: Also criminally investigated for money laundering? The Agalarovs, the oligarchs who arranged Don Jr.'s Russian Treason Meeting and also did Moscow Miss Universe with Trump.
1:36: We knew this already, but it's worth mentioning that Fusion GPS's work on Trump and Russia, even once Christopher Steele was brought on, was much more expansive than just Steele's work:
1:41: Amazing description of Trump on page 51: "Someone who says they're a billionaire but can't get a bank loan."
1:48: And now we move back to Republicans, who will do a "lightning round" of obviously dumb stupid idiot Republican questions.
1:50: Told you we were in for some dumb questions. GOP idiot Tom Rooney thinks all of this stuff about Russian money laundering is interesting, but is it true?
IDEA! IDEA! IDEA! Maybe we should have an ... investigation?
1:53: ROONEY: Can we really say the Trump campaign colluded with the Russian government?
SIMPSON: Have you been in a coma the last year or two?
1:59: ROONEY: Have you even proven any of the DODGY DOSSIER to be true?
SIMPSON: Shitloads of it.
ROONEY: Have you disproven any of it?
SIMPSON: Nope sorry, shit's true.
2:01: ROONEY: Why did you and the fake British spy talk to the media about the DODGY DOSSIER?
SIMPSON: BECAUSE WE FUCKING CARE. Apparently you do not.
2:05: Mr. Rooney would like a special counsel to look into why Russian figure skating judges are such A-holes:
2:07: Back to Adam Schiff, in a line of questioning about possible Trump-Russian money laundering in Florida, we learn about SECRET TRUMP RUSSIA MEETINGS IN SICILY?????
2:15: Tom Rooney is confused again.
"Why, if Fusion GPS was finding evidence of all this money laundering with Trump and Russia, didn't Fusion GPS just subpoena all the banks involved, HUH?"
"Um, because we don't have subpoena power?"
2:36: Democratic Rep. Eric Swalwell with an interesting question: DOES MICHAEL COHEN HAVE A BUNCH OF ALIASES????
The question jumps out to us because remember after the dossier was published and Cohen tweeted a picture of his passport to "prove" he had never been to the Czech Republic for secret Trump Russia meetings or whatever? Which passport did he tweet us, HMMMM?
2:43: LOL Jared 'n' Ivanka's arranged marriage. A joining of the crime families!
WHOA IF TRUE and it probably is.
2:55: How did Donald Trump, whose credit score is probably like 580, get financing for his big projects in Panama and Toronto? Well! It's easy when Russian gangsters pre-buy all your condos as a personal favor!
2:59: Related to that, a lady named Elena Baronoff was mentioned above. She died in 2015, but she sold a bunch of Trump's Sunny Isles Beach properties in Florida to Russian criminals. Also she used to be a Russian spy! Like all Trump's friends are! LOL!
Read more about Baronoff here.
3:04: You know about Trump's real Russians, but do you know about his fake Russians? You know, the ones who say they're going to buy Trump properties in order to get the projects financed, but then they never actually buy the properties, which screws the real tenants who invest?
Ivanka and Don Jr. were investigated for similar fraud related to the Trump SoHo project in Manhattan, you know, the one that's actually not in SoHo.
3:09: Roger Stone and Nigel Farage and Steve Bannon and Brexit and WikiLeaks and Cambridge Analytica and the Mercers, OH MY! This entire long exchange is fascinating:
WikiLeaks, of course, is a known Russian intelligence front.
NO COLLUSION, NO COLLUSION, YOU ARE THE COLLUSION!
Curious what was on that thumb drive.
3:21: "One more time, why did you talk to the media before the election?"
"Once again, BECAUSE IT WAS FUCKING IMPORTANT?"
3:24: "Any other reasons you and Chris Steele decided to go to the media at the end of the campaign?"
"Honestly? Because FUCK JAMES COMEY for suddenly and publicly opening a new Hillary investigation 11 DAYS BEFORE THE ELECTION."
If you're in the mood for some day-after-the-election nostalgia, please read this post we wrote about GO FUCK YOURSELF, JAMES COMEY.
Of course, from the last Fusion GPS testimony, we learned Steele quit talking to the FBI because the New York Times, doing rigorous journalism, said the FBI wasn't investigating Trump at all, not even a little bit, because the Trump-Russia thing was a hoax.
3:31: "Did you go to the press to #RIGGED the election for Hillary??????"
"WE WENT TO THE PRESS BECAUSE A HOSTILE NATION WAS STEALING DEMOCRACY."
3:37: In this exchange, Adam Schiff asks, "Hey, what else should we investigate, bro?" And Simpson mentions longtime operative Arthur Finkelstein and the Hungarian connection that a journalist a while back really laid out in some detail. We were never sure how credible it was, but we sure did bookmark it because a lot of it just seemed right. Sounds like Glenn Simpson thinks so too. After all, Trump people sure did go to Hungary a lot during the campaign.
3:46: Simpson also wants the committee to look into a weird time in August of 2016 when all the Trump people were in the Hamptons, then Russian oligarch Dmitri Rybolovlev (you know, the guy who bought Trump's big mansion in Florida for one billion dollars for no reason!) showed up with his plane and maybe took them all to Nice and then suddenly LOL! Jared and Ivanka are in Dubrovnik, Croatia, and nobody knows why. Know who else was there? Wendi Deng Murdoch, ex-wife of Rupert, who is MAYBE A CHINESE SPY. Anyway, Simpson says there are "rumors" of meetings between Trump people and Russians on yachts during that trip.
And where did Rybolovlev's plane go after that? Hungary. Simpson also notes that Michael Cohen's statements about his whereabouts during that time are sorely lacking, or in other words, bullshit. Was he in Prague? Was he in Dubrovnik? Was he in Croatia? WAS HE ALL THOSE PLACES AT ONCE?
Now, this storyline has been a bit of a Louise Mensch Special over the last year, but that does not mean it is automatically not true. You know the Louise Mensch way -- be right like 38.4% of the time, be batshit the rest of the time.
Anyway, the point is that the Grand Ship Captain of the Supreme Court, who DOES TOO EXIST, is on his way to the Senate to give the oath of office to PRESIDENT ORRIN HATCH like right the fuck now, probably.
4:01: "Any other Trump-Russia shit we should investigate?"
"Oh my god there is so much more Trump-Russia shit."
4:06: GOP IDIOT: Did you go to the Junior's Russian treason meeting at Trump Tower?
GOP IDIOT: Did you go to the Junior's Russian treason meeting at Trump Tower?
GOP IDIOT: Did you go to the Junior's Russian treason meeting at Trump Tower?
GOP IDIOT: One more question: did you go to the Junior's Russian treason meeting at Trump Tower?
4:08: Wherein Glenn Simpson's lawyer has to smack a GOP investigator idiot on the head:
This goes to the GOP's big conspiracy theory about Fusion GPS, which is the #SmokingGun that it was working for one client, BakerHostetler, which along with Natalia Veselnitskaya was representing the Russian company Prevezon Ltd., and AT THE SAME TIME HAD ANOTHER CLIENT, for whom Fusion GPS was doing an ongoing Trump-Russia investigation. Is it even physically possible to have two clients at one time? Surely not!
Anyway, we examined that in depth here, after the release of the first Fusion GPS testimony.
4:14: Why did that Russian oligarch Rybolovlev pay Trump one billion dollars for his crap mansion in Florida? BECAUSE DONALD TRUMP IS BRILLIANT IS WHY.
4:22: Glenn Simpson never misses an opportunity to call Carter Page a big idiot, and then explain that Russians would have recruited him BECAUSE OF THAT. Feature, not a bug!
Greedy, lonely, ambitious BIG IDIOT.
4:29: GOP idiot thinks they found the #SmokingGun again, that Glenn Simpson was SECRETLY WORKING FOR RUSSIA, because Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya shared info with the Kremlin:
Simpson adds that Vladimir Putin is an asshole and he really doesn't like being accused of working for the Kremlin, please and thanks.
4:37:OH HEY, weren't we just talking about how Robert Mueller is investigating whether Russians laundered money to Trump through the NRA just this week? We were! We talked about a Russian mob guy/politician/asshole NRA lifetime member named Alexander Torshin and his strange former employee Maria Butina, who runs a Russian gun group and mysteriously hung around the Trump campaign a whole lot.
Glenn Simpson has comments on that:
Well, if Russia wants to recruit American idiots, look no further than the NRA ...
Simpson adds that Russia has worked to infiltrate other wingnut movements, like Texas independence, as well as conservative religious organizations. He doesn't name any of them, but we will, and it's called the World Congress Of Families. Click here to learn some stuff about their Russian business.
4:49: "Besides Russian criminals, where else does Trump get his moneys from?"
"He's still living off his daddy LOL."
4:55: Fewer than 20 pages left!
GOP idiot would like to know if Fusion GPS ever investigated Hillary, and if not, HOW IS THAT EVEN FAIR?
5:01: LOL Adam Schiff telling Glenn Simpson about GOP conspiracy theories right in front of GOP idiots:
So stuff it up your ass, Devin Nunes.
(By the way, what is this #ReleaseTheMemo horseshit going around Twitter today? Devin Nunes wrote a thing and we are supposed to think what Devin Nunes has to say is truthful/important? LOLOLOL fuck you, Devin Nunes. Natasha Bertrand explains it here!)
5:07: Really interesting passage toward the end where Simpson talks about how, as the Prevezon case went on and became about Putin's arch-nemesis Bill Browder, Simpson started to feel kind of squicky about the case, and about Natalia Veselnitskaya, the Russian operator lawyer involved with both that case and Junior's Big Fun Russian Treason meeting.
Schiff asks Simpson, based on his knowledge of Veselnitskaya, if she seems like the type of person to try to conspire with Trump's idiot son to steal an election, in order to impress Putin. AYUP, says Simpson!
5:12: Simpson sums up Fusion GPS's Trump-Russia investigation in one beautiful sentence: "We threw a line in the water, and Moby Dick came back."
And with that, babydolls, we are adjourned! Good testimony, everyone! Happy Friday! If you love all-day liveblogs like this, click the links below to support our work, with dollars! Love you goodbye!
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[transcript via Business Insider since the House Of Representatives link is broken LOL GOVERNMENT SHUTTIN' DOWN EARLY]