Senator Feinstein Releases Testimony on Trump-Russia Dossier

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.” [CNBC]

ENOUGH IS enough, California Senator Diane Feinstein decided.

It was a move by a senator who has been around long enough to know when politics is getting in the way of truth.

Senators Chuck Grassley and Lindsey Graham, who were ready to throw the book at Christopher Steele, are now standing around wondering how they got outplayed. Steele is the author of the infamous Trump-Russia dossier.

It wasn’t hard.

Now Republicans are stuck.

Everyone now knows that Robert Mueller was already investigating Trump’s ties with Russia long before the infamous dossier was published by BuzzFeed.

Ben Smith, the editor and chief of BuzzFeed News, gets the last word

But a year of government inquiries and blockbuster journalism has made clear that the dossier is unquestionably real news. That’s a fact that has been tacitly acknowledged even by those who opposed our decision to publish. It has helped journalists explain to their audience the investigation into Russian influence on the 2016 election. And Mr. Trump and his allies have seized on the dossier in their efforts to discredit the special counsel leading the investigation, Robert Mueller.

… But we never bought the notion, made by the traditionalists, that a main threat to journalism is that journalists might be too transparent with their audience. Keeping the reporting process wrapped in mystery only helps those who oppose the free press. This is why The New York Times posts leaked audio recordings, and why news organizations routinely publish raw court documents underlying their articles.

We strongly believed that publishing the disputed document whose existence we and others were reporting was in the public interest.