The House Intelligence Committee on Thursday released the transcript of the panel's interview with one of the co-founders of the investigation firm behind an infamous dossier about President Donald Trump's dealings in Russian Federation.
The interview took place on November 14, a little less than three months after Simpson spoke with the Senate Judiciary staff - the transcript of which was released by Senate Judiciary Ranking Member Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) last week. The unclassified document blots out small portions of the interview.
Mr Simpson said Mr Steele was paid $160,000 for his work on the Trump dossier but the former spy did not go to Russian Federation, at least not with Mr Simpson's knowledge, because he said "that's what he told me" and he assumed Mr Steele "would have billed me for it".
The transcript sheds new light on the work Fusion GPS and ex-British intelligence agent Christopher Steele did in investigating real estate deals from the Trump Organization and Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner, connections between the Trump world and Russian oligarchs and the possibility that the Russians had blackmailed Trump, which is what prompted Steele to go to the Federal Bureau of Investigation with the dossier.
This is a developing story and will be updated.More news: Trump weighs in on immigration, funding talks: 'Working on it'
Congressman Adam Schiff asked if he had seen Russian money involved with those and, in reply, Mr Simpson said that while it is not overt, there were certainly odd financial patterns.
"So I can't tell you he wasn't looking·for that, because it was probably something that was among the things that he would have asked someone to check", Simpson said.
"I think that's an important point", Himes told CNN's Wolf Blitzer. "They don't actually make any money".
Simpson was hired to probe the president by a conservative website, The Washington Free Beacon.
At various points, Simpson advises the committee on how to direct its investigation and outlined what he said were connections between the Trump orbit and Russian Federation.More news: Ostia, individuati gli ultimi due componenti della baby gang di Capodanno
"Various [Russian] criminals were buying [Trump] properties", said Simpson, identifying one by the underworld name Taiwanchik.
Simpson did not say yes or no, but said the patterns of behavior that emerged from the investigation raise questions. "Then I would go to the banks next".
Simpson commissioned former British spy Christopher Steele to look into Trump because the president, he said, allegedly had "gone over [to Russia] a bunch of times, he said some weird things about Putin, but doesn't seem to have gotten any business deals".
He said he was not aware of Steele paying any of his sources, while defending his methods of gathering information. In 2016, Steele later handed over his findings included in the dossier to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
"We did not ask permission from the client to do that. It was - he was - you know, it was viewed as reporting a crime in progress, sort of a citizenship obligation", Simpson said.More news: Greitens attorney: 'Zero' chance governor will resign