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Tom Cotton, James Lankford

This GOP senator says releasing the Fusion GPS transcript will hurt the Russia investigation


Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.), a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee said the publication of a transcript of the Judiciary Committee's interview with one of the founders of the firm that produced the salacious "Trump dossier" would hurt his committee's own investigation into ties between the Trump campaign and Russia.

"Now anyone that comes in to be able to actually meet with us, they’re afraid that their transcripts are going to be suddenly released publicly when they came in privately to be able to go through it," Lankford said in an interview with Circa on Wednesday.

"We want our witnesses to come, feel open to be able to share, to be able to go into great detail without a fear that their whole record is going to be released out there," he added.

On Tuesday, Feinstein, the top Democrat on the Judiciary Committee released the 312-page transcript of the interview with Glenn Simpson in response to what she said was a campaign by Republicans on the committee to smear the dossier and undermine the investigation.

Read more: Sen. Dianne Feinstein released the full transcript of the Trump Russia interview

In his testimony, Simpson said Christopher Steele, the former British spy he hired to investigate the campaign’s ties to Russia, had gone to the FBI after to report information he had that led him to believe then-candidate Trump could be being blackmailed.

Another shocking revelation from the transcript came from Simpson's lawyer, Josh Levy, who said that someone died because of the dossier.

“He wants to be very careful to protect his sources,”Levy said during the Aug. 22 interview of his client. “Somebody's already been killed as a result of the publication of this dossier and no harm should come to anybody related to this honest work.”

Feinstein released the transcript days after Sen. Grassley (R-Iowa), the chairman of the committee, and Sen. Lindsey Graham referred Steele to the Department of Justice for a criminal investigation. Feinstein said she and other Democrats on the committee were not consulted about the referral.

"There's no real tit for tat here when you're releasing information publicly," Lankford said. "When you take information that was private and you release it publicly that is always inappropriate whether a Republican or a Democrat does that. That's something you work on together."

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