January 10, 2018

Joy Ann Reid, subbing for Chris Hayes last night, didn't say it. But I will:

Senators Chuck Grassley and Lindsey Graham should resign.

They knew what was in the Fusion GPS testimony. And they made up "crimes" via the fact that the testimony was not public, calling for Christopher Steele to face criminal charges for something nefarious that didn't exist.

And yesterday Dianne Feinstein released the testimony on her own, and showed these two Republicans to be liars and propagandists covering up for Donald Trump and hampering an on-going investigation. That is partisan obstruction of justice, period, and both these senators should be out on their asses.

JOY ANN REID: Republicans did not want the public to see secret testimony related to the infamous Trump dossier. But today Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein went ahead and released the testimony anyway. Now that we've seen it, it's clear the Republicans didn't want it to get out. Because this testimony destroys the conspiracy theory being peddled on the right to undermine special counsel Robert Mueller's Russia investigation. According to that theory, the dossier was co-opted by the FBI in 2016 as part of a Democratic plot to tarnish Donald Trump.

The testimony released today blows those claims out of the water. And the two Republican senators blocking its release, Chuck Grassley and Lindsey Graham, knew that.


They knew the narrative being pushed on Fox News and Capitol Hill was baloney.

Instead of correcting that narrative, they chose to perpetuate it, calling for a second Special Counsel to investigate so-called FBI bias -- and referring the author of the dossier, former British spy Christopher Steele, for a criminal investigation. It's all part of a concerted drive by the president's allies to muddy the waters of the Russian investigation and discredit the dossier, which outlines alleged Russian collusion with the Trump campaign in 2016. According to the testimony released today, the reports in that dossier were, quote, "really serious and really credible." And their author Steele was an experienced intelligence professional who used to be the top Russia expert at MI6. The testimony was given by Glen Simpson, cofounder of the research firm Fusion GPS, which hired Steele to investigate Donald Trump during the campaign. The research by fusion GPS in turn was originally funded by the "Washington Free Beacon," a conservative website, later by a lawyer representing the DNC, and Simpson was interviewed in August for about thirteen hours by investigators on the Senate Judiciary Committee.

More recently at his firm's work has taken center stage in right-wing conspiracy theories, he's been calling on the committee's senior Republicans, Grassley, and Graham, to release his testimony. Today the top-ranking Democrat on Judiciary, Dianne Feinstein, got tired of waiting: [Feinstein:] "I think people are entitled to know what was said. And the lawyers also wanted it released. I see no problem with releasing."

A spokesman for Grassley slammed Feinstein's move in a written statement claiming that it "undermines the integrity of the committee's oversight work and jeopardizes its ability to secure candid, voluntary testimony related to the independent recollections of future witnesses." But Grassley may have had other reasons to object. According to the testimony, Christopher Steele approached the FBI in the summer of 2016, not as part of some shadowy Democratic plot, but because he was deeply troubled by his findings in the dossier. "he said he thought we were obligated to tell someone in government about this information. He thought from his perspective there was an issue, a security issue about whether a presidential candidate was being blackmailed."

Since the release of the testimony, Grassley has blustered and Graham has said he's "glad" it was released, as if he didn't LIE about it just days ago.

Both of them should resign in disgrace. Unfortunately, the Washington DC chardonnay circuit will excuse their behavior as mere politics.

It isn't. It's criminal obstruction via Fox News.

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