USA politicians ask whether Russian money may have funded Trump's golf courses

Democratic House Intel'Plenty of evidence

The House Intelligence Committee on Thursday released the transcript of the panel's interview with one of the co-founders of the investigation firm behind an infamous dossier about President Donald Trump's dealings in Russian Federation. A transcript detailing Simpson's testimony was released Thursday.

"I do believe there was a bit of an old-fashioned purge", Simpson told the committee, before adding, " to my knowledge, it wasn't anyone that helped us.

"W$3 e hope the release of this transcript will reinforce the importance of these critical questions to our investigation", Schiff said in the statement.

His interview with the House Intelligence Committee covers much of the same ground.

Mr Simpson testified that his firm Fusion GPS, which had been hired by Mr Trump's opponents to find damaging material on him during the 2016 campaign, investigated a claim by his son Eric Trump that the Trump Organisation had access to tens of millions of dollars in Russian funding for their golf courses.

Alan Garten, the Trump Organization's chief counsel, said that the deals Simpson referenced primarily involve properties to which Trump licensed his name, rather than owning, developing or selling them.

Simpson said his reason for pursuing the line of research was because Trump had "gone over [to Russia] a bunch of times, he said some weird things about Putin, but doesn't seem to have gotten any business deals".

Rep. Jim Himes, a Connecticut Democrat on the committee, also said that Simpson "did not provide evidence", and suggested that the question of criminality was better suited for special counsel Robert Mueller than the intelligence panel.




He said some of Trump's dealings exhibited "the patterns of activity that we thought might be suggestive of money laundering".

"If we knew that Donald Trump was working with the Russian mafia to fund Doonbeg in Ireland, then there's no way he would be President".

Simpson also said Fusion GPS did some research into Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner, but admits that Kushner is "someone who I sort of misjudged".

"I think that's an important point", Himes told CNN's Wolf Blitzer. "But in any event, we did look at some Kushner stuff and specifically focused on the project in Jersey City, I think partly because Trump had a position in that project", Simpson said.

The testimony by Fusion GPS's Simpson before the Senate Judiciary Committee last August contradicted those claims.

He said: "A lot of what I do is analyse whether things make sense and whether they can be explained". "Then I would go to the banks next".

Simpson in his November interview got into some of the nuts and bolts about his relationship with Christopher Steele, the ex-British spy hired by Fusion GPS to investigate Trump's Russian Federation ties, and how Simpson views Steele's work for the firm. In 2016, Steele later handed over his findings included in the dossier to the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The client didn't instruct us to do that.

Ever since Feinstein released the testimony on January 9, House Intelligence Committee Democrats have been asking that Simpson's testimony to their committee be made public.

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