DAVENPORT -- Fusion GPS, the company at the center of the controversial Trump dossier, called Wednesday for a release of transcripts of their testimony before three congressional committees, including the Senate Judiciary Committee that’s chaired by Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa.
In a New York Times op-ed piece, published Wednesday, company founders Glenn Simpson and Peter Fritsch, also accused lawmakers of ignoring information about President Trump and Russian involvement in last year’s election, and instead seek to focus on them.
The op-ed set off a back and forth between Grassley and Fusion GPS on Wednesday.
Grassley spokesman Taylor Foy said the senator is committed to transparency but that certain information must be protected in the midst of an ongoing inquiry. He also said that it was Fusion GPS that wanted to keep the testimony confidential.
Fusion GPS is the company hired to look into Trump’s background, which resulted in a dossier compiled by a former British spy that detailed a number of allegations about the president’s ties to Russia. The company was first hired by a conservative web site and, later, by Hillary Clinton’s campaign.
In the op-ed, Simpson and Fritsch say they’ve testified before three congressional committees, and that 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.” The two suggest their firm is being used to distract from allegations about reports of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.
Trump has denied the allegations and called the investigations a witch hunt.
Foy said Wednesday that Grassley “has always been and remains for transparency. There are, however, investigative factors that he must consider to temporarily protect certain information in the midst of an ongoing inquiry such as this one, like tainting the memory of other witnesses.”
Foy added the committee’s previous offer for Simpson to testify publicly “remains on the table.”
Joshua Levy, a lawyer for Fusion GPS, challenged the account offered by Grassley’s office. He said the company “has consistently supported release of the transcript” and only wanted to review it for accuracy, which he said now has been done, and to ensure the identities of its bank and employees would be protected because of threats.
He went on to say “the Committee has long known that Fusion GPS is neither the story nor the reason why the U.S. government is investigating the president’s campaign. We suggest Chairman Grassley acknowledge that fact and be transparent with the American people.”
Foy said Fusion has not not been cooperative with the committee, still hasn’t responded to follow up questions and is instead spending its time issuing press statements.
“Chairman Grassley remains committed to transparency, and will endeavor to make as much material public as possible at the appropriate time,” he said.