Fusion GPS co-founder Glenn Simpson plead the fifth amendment before the House of Representatives this week, and if he knew what was good for him, he would’ve pleaded the fifth when he testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee last year too.
Last week we argued that Simpson lied to the Senate when he answered questions about a conspiracy surrounding the Russian “Alfa Bank” and their alleged connection to Donald Trump. The conspiracy was that Trump communicated with Alfa Bank from a server in Trump Tower. In reality, that server was sending out spam/promotional emails for Trump-branded hotels, some of which were sent to Alfa Bank employees who’ve previously stayed at Trump owned hotels.
Simpson told senators he didn’t know whether there was any dedicated Trump-Alfa server and drew no conclusions, according to the transcript of his August 2017 closed-door testimony. However, notes from Bruce Ohr show that Simpson promoted the Alfa Bank conspiracy to him in December 2016.
I suppose we can’t blame Simpson for pleading the fifth. If any of us lied under oath as often as him, we’d probably do the same.
That’s hardly the only lie, inconsistency, or eyebrow-raising comment from Simpson’s Senate testimony. If he were to testify again, there’s plenty for Congress to pick apart, hence why he’s so reluctant to do so. Here are three more.
- George Papadopoulos and the FBI’s Counterintelligence Investigation
During his testimony, Simpson was well aware of the narrative that it was George Papadopoulos who sparked the FBI’s counterintelligence investigation into the Trump campaign.
Simpson said at one point during his testimony that “One of those pieces of intelligence was a human source from inside the Trump organization.” What did he mean by that? According to NBC News, “ two sources close to Fusion GPS told NBC News that Simpson’s testimony inaccurately conflated what he had been told and that the human source was actually George Papadopoulos.”
There’s just one problem: that narrative wasn’t established until the New York Times published an article titled “How the Russia Inquiry Began: A Campaign Aide, Drinks and Talk of Political Dirt” in December 2017, months after Simpson’s testimony.
How could he have possibly known? Simpson must’ve realized revealing his statement was, as he later tried to retract the claim right after the Times article naming Papadopoulos went public. I suppose we can tally that retraction onto his list of lies too.
Even if this wasn’t a reference to Papadopoulos, there was indeed a spy within the Trump campaign named Stefan Halper (and again, questions arise as to how Simpson knew).
- The Trump Tower Setup
We’ve long maintained that the meeting between Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya and Donald Trump Jr. in Trump Tower was a setup – that it was a façade meant to create an illusion of Russian collusion to the public when there was one.
The smoking gun is that Veselnitskaya met with Simpson the day of, and the day after the Trump Tower meeting. Put in other words; Veselnitskaya, a Russian, met with the man who was working to “prove” Russian collusion with the Trump campaign, before meeting with a member of the Trump campaign.
Seem suspicious? Simpson attempted to explain away those meetings by telling the Senate “To be clear, I didn’t know about this meeting [Trump Tower] before it happened, and I didn’t know about it after it happened. And I found out about it, I think, you know, within a day of it being disclosed in the New York Times. Someone called me and said you heard about this meeting? And I said no. So anyway, that was the first I had heard about it.
Meeting the GOP’s presidential nominee tends to be something that would come up in conversation, don’t you think? For obvious reasons Simpson’s claim that the two didn’t discuss the meeting that was about to commence, and then had just occurred, is unbelievable.
- Fusion’s Research Continued – But Not According to Simpson
Simpson was asked during his Senate appearance, “So you didn’t do any work on the Trump matter after the election date; that was the end of your work?” Simson replied “I had no client after the election.”
That was a lie. A group of wealthy donors from New York and California spent $50 million after the election to continue the “research” into the bogus Russian collusion narrative. Among the recipients to continue the research were Chris Steele, the “Penn Quarter Group,” and of course, Glenn Simpson’s Fusion GPS.
Chuck Grassley publicly accused Simpson of lying on this point, stating that his statements were made in “contexts where material lies are criminal.”
I suppose we can’t blame Simpson for pleading the fifth. If any of us lied under oath as often as he, we’d probably do the same.