On Tuesday, California Senator Dianne Feinstein made public a transcript of Fusion GPS founder Glenn Simpson’s testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee this past August.
While her decision to release the transcript outraged some Republicans, Feinstein, the committee’s ranking member, claimed she was compelled to release the testimony because “The innuendo and misinformation circulating about the transcript are part of a deeply troubling effort to undermine the investigation into potential collusion and obstruction of justice. The only way to set the record straight is to make the transcript public.”
The media immediately seized upon Simpson’s claim that the FBI had a mole inside the Trump campaign. An additional claim, made by Simpson’s lawyer, that someone had been killed as a result of the Steele dossier also, rightfully, made headlines.
Yet beneath the sensational and salacious parts of Simpson’s testimony lies a largely unreported story regarding William Browder, the hedge-fund manager turned human-rights crusader and Kremlin critic.
Simpson’s testimony about what he discovered about Browder has gone largely unremarked upon. There was no mention of it in three leading US publications (The Washington Post, The New York Times, and Politico), despite the fact that Browder was mentioned no fewer than 50 times during the course of Simpson’s testimony.
The media’s silence regarding the parts of Simpson’s testimony pertaining to Browder is also interesting given that Browder has, for years now, been the media’s go-to Kremlin critic of choice, appearing regularly on CNN, CNBC, and MSNBC, where he is often promoted as “Putin’s Enemy #1.”
Simpson’s testimony regarding what his firm found out about Browder would seem particularly newsworthy because it speaks to Browder’s credibility as the principal architect of the 2012 Magnitsky Act, which arguably set off a chain of events that deepened the new cold war between the United States and Russia.