Glenn Simpson: Man behind Donald Trump-Russia dossier 'stands by' its claims

Former Wall Street Journal reporter spent almost 10 hours behind closed doors answering questions from Senate Judiciary Committee staff

Samuel Osborne
Thursday 24 August 2017 11:16 BST
The dossier contains allegations of ties between Mr Trump and his associates and Russia
The dossier contains allegations of ties between Mr Trump and his associates and Russia (SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)

The co-founder of the research firm behind a dossier of salacious allegations about Donald Trump has said he "stands by" its findings.

Glenn Simpson, a former Wall Street Journal reporter, spent almost 10 hours behind closed doors answering questions from staff on the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Mr Simpson's lawyer said his client had "told Congress the truth and cleared the record on many matters of interest."

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The lawyer, Josh Levy, noted his client appeared voluntarily and said he had so far been the only witness to participate in a private interview with the Senate Judiciary Committee as the panel looks into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

The sheer length of Mr Simpson's appearance — far longer, for instance, than Mr Trump's son-in-law, Jared Kushner, spent before Senate and House intelligence committees — reflected the intrigue on Capitol Hill surrounding the dossier and the origins of the document.

His firm, Fusion GPS, hired a British intelligence officer who produced a dossier containing allegations of ties between Mr Trump and his associates and Russia.

Mr Trump has repeatedly denied the allegations.

Mr Simpson kept the identities of the firm's clients confidential during his appearance before Congress, his lawyer said.

The document attracted public attention in January, when it was revealed FBI Director James Comey had briefed Mr Trump, soon before he was inaugurated as president, about claims from the dossier Russia had amassed compromising personal and financial allegations about him.

It is unclear to what extent the allegations in the dossier have been corroborated or verified by the FBI, since the bureau has not publicly discussed it.

"Fusion GPS is proud of the work it has conducted and stands by it," Mr Levy, Mr Simpson's lawyer, said in a statement.

He said the "investigation into Mr Simpson began as a desperate attempt by the Trump campaign and its allies to smear Fusion GPS because of its reported connection to the Trump dossier."

Last month, Leaders of the Judiciary Committee said they were negotiating private appearances for Donald Trump Jr, who has attracted scrutiny for accepting a June 2016 meeting with Russians at which he expected to receive damaging information about Hillary Clinton, and for Paul Manafort, the former Trump campaign chairman. Yet no dates have been announced for their appearances.

"Following up on comments from certain Senate Judiciary Committee members who have noted Mr Simpson's cooperation with this investigation," Mr Levy said in a statement, "I would like to add that he is the first and only witness to participate in an interview with the Committee as it probes Russian interference in the 2016 election."

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