Allegations of money laundering at Trump properties surface in U.S. hearing transcript

Cheryl Sanders
January 19, 2018

The transcript sheds new light explaining the work Fusion GPS and ex-British intelligence agent Christopher Steele did 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.

"I guess the last thing I will say on this is that we just started seeing this stuff when all the other Russian Federation stuff started bubbling up", Simpson said.

The head of the research firm behind a dossier of allegations against Donald Trump said he tried to spur stories that the GOP candidate was under FBI investigation, because he was angry that then-FBI Director James Comey had reopened a probe into Hillary Clinton days before the 2016 election, according to a newly released transcript.

It contained allegations that Russian agents surveilled Trump cavorting with prostitutes in Moscow, and engaging in "golden shower" fetish activities on a hotel bed.

Testimony to the US Congress by the head of a political research firm indicates that the Trump Organisation's sales of properties to Russian nationals may have involved money-laundering, the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee said on Thursday. Simpson had testified in private in November. President Trump had a "pattern" of making real estate deals with Russians indicative of money laundering. "And sometimes properties would be bought and sold, and they would be bought for one price and sold for a loss shortly thereafter, and it really didn't make sense to us".

"These issues have nothing to do with the scope of the investigation" by the House intelligence committee, Garten said in a phone interview.

At that point, Rep. Adam Schiff of California, the ranking Democrat on the Intelligence Committee, asked Simpson if that knowledge could have given the Russian government leverage over Trump. "And they targeted various conservative organizations, religious and otherwise, and they seem to have made a very concerted effort to get in with the NRA".

Simpson also talks about how Perkins Cole, a law firm that represented the Democratic National Committee, paid Fusion GPS a flat monthly retainer of $50,000 plus expenses for its services.

The NRA did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The panel's Republican chairman, Chuck Grassley, had not agreed to the release.

Russian Federation has repeatedly denied any collusion, while the dossier has been repeatedly criticized as being based entirely on unsubstantiated rumors and therefore inappropriate as the basis of an FBI investigation.

Simpson told South Carolina Republican Rep. Trey Gowdy during his November grilling that his firm paid $160,000 to former British spy Christopher Steele to obtain information from his contacts in Russian Federation.

Mr. Trump has repeatedly criticized the Steele dossier, calling it "discredited and phony".

The testimony by Fusion GPS's Simpson before the Senate Judiciary Committee last August contradicted those claims.

The decision on whether to release Simpson's testimony from his meeting with the House Intelligence Committee would reveal different answers to hours of different questions on the House side of Capitol Hill.

Other reports by iNewsToday